Geograph Blog ::

Chris and Ashley's Brum Bash

By Chris Allen

On Saturday 19 February I met up With Ashley Dace Link to explore some of the industrial history and steam engines of Birmingham. As I have been visiting, studying in or working in Birmingham variously since 1977, it seemed reasonable that I act as local tour guide and interpreter of technology.

The weather was dreadful but forecast to improve in the afternoon, so we started indoors at the Thinktank museum at Millennium Point SP0787 : Millennium Point by John M that replaced the old Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street SP0687 : Traction engine rally, Newhall Street by Chris Allen.

Our main target in the museum was the power hall gallery SP0787 : Thinktank Power Gallery by Ashley Dace on the lowest level - home to the world's oldest and third oldest workable steam engines (neither posted yet). However there are many other fine stationary steam engines to see SP0787 : James Watt & Co Steam Pumping Engine by Ashley Dace SP0787 : Pollit & Wigzell Tandem Compound Mill Engine by Ashley Dace SP0787 : Galloway Uniflow Engine by Ashley Dace. Ashley was especially pleased to catch up with the Coronation/Duchess class locomotive City of Birmingham SP0787 : City of Birmingham by Ashley Dace as this completed his set. We finished here surprisingly quickly because I had left the camera kit in the bag.

So we ventured forth to explore on foot and visit another large beam engine en route. Curzon Street station has been closed for much longer than it was open but is a splendid survivor in a sea of land clearance SP0787 : Curzon Street Station by Ashley Dace. Just round the corner is the splendid and overlooked Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House SP0786 : Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House by Chris Allen SP0786 : Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof house by Chris Allen. Behind that we entered the mysterious world of Birmingham's canal system SP0886 : Grand Union Canal by Ashley Dace SP0887 : Curzon Street Tunnel by Ashley Dace SP0887 : Ashted Canal Tunnel, south portal by Ashley Dace. I was able to record industrial dereliction SP0887 : Post-industrial wasteland by Chris Allen and my co-conspirator in action SP0887 : Geograph photographer at large, Ashted locks, Birmingham by Chris Allen.

Eventually we emerged by the Grazebrook beam blowing engine and Ashley was able to capture it for posterity (I had been there as recently as late December 2010) SP0788 : Grazebrook beam engine by Ashley Dace SP0788 : Grazebrook Engine by Ashley Dace. A wander up Farmer's Bridge locks SP0687 : Industry and the Canal by Ashley Dace and down Newhall Street brought us back to the city centre and I left Ashley to catch his train home. On the way back to the car I passed Moor Street Station again and as the weather was a little better, took the shots we had both passed on in the morning SP0786 : Moor Street Station by Chris Allen SP0786 : Birmingham Moor Street Station - preserved locomotive by Chris Allen.

This completed a most enjoyable day, let down only by indifferent weather. I hope that there will be more tales of joint exploration.

Tue, 1 Mar 2011 at 19:57
Chosen Photo

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