Thursday, 4 November 2010

Blue brick, cast iron and rivets

Leaving Merryhill this morning and we're back in the land of blue brick, cast iron and rivets, all the stuff of the Black Country Canals.

The thing about the BCN, is all the now unused bits that makes you wonder what it was like in 1925, when Dove was brand new and doing it's first runs through Birmingham to Preston Brook.
When all the arms busy with boats and Bridges busy with rail traffic even if it was the GWR
Canals passing over canals and toll islands at every junction

Going up Factory locks where the bottom gates are single and the cast iron foot bridge has the tow line gap at the side.
On the way round to the Engine Arm we called for a pint or two at Glass and Bottle in the Black Country Museum and very nice it was too.
Up the Engine Arm you'll find the proper BCN, the backside of Birmingham, where not a lot has changed.
The water is black with shiny bits in it, the buildings are well used and full of history. They have bits of ironmongery bolted on the walls that used to serve some purpose at some time, but now redundant and rusting away, leaving you guessing as to their use.

There are Bridges made wider using riveted iron section supporting blue brick work to accommodate the industrial growth of the day.
We're now tied up opposite this building, which is still working by the way.

As far as I'm concerned, this is real boating, not poncing about on the posh bits, this is where it all started, the industrial heart of England, moving manufactured goods and raw materials by boat.
Use it or lose it

1 comment:

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