DUDLEY is building on its claim to be a seat of Black Country culture by setting a town centre benchmark.

The borough council is literally getting to the bottom of the region’s wordy history with plans for a pair of seats in the new market place redevelopment.

The benches will feature the work of town poet Ben Boucher.

The benches will be constructed in front of the town’s fountain and made from the same Portland Stone, they will seat eight people and one will carry a cast bronze seated figure of Ben Boucher.

Councillor Judy Foster, Dudley cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are using these seats as an opportunity to create something unique to Dudley which will commemorate the important local history of this market town.

“As well as celebrating Dudley, the seats will help to create a focal centre for the town. We plan to use the space around the fountain for public events, and the seats will be well located for onlookers to sit and view the activities taking place.”

The council has applied for planning permission for the benches, which will include extracts from Boucher’s humorous 1827 poem Lines on Dudley Market.

Boucher is reported to have been fond of his beer which he paid for by selling poems, although he clearly never made his fortune – the man known as the Dudley Poet died in a workhouse in 1851 aged 82.