After church on Sunday (St. Martin's in the Bullring) we went to see the Birmingham Back to Backs, looked after by the National Trust. Behind this row of shops lies three back to back houses with the front houses facing the road and the ones behind facing into a courtyard. The houses all had a roomy downstairs parlour with scullery/larder room off and two upper floors for bedrooms. There were many courts like these in Birmingham built to house the influx of workers moving into the city in the 19th century. Most of the buildings remained in residential use up until 1966 when they were declared as unfit for living in. These are the only ones left, as the shops were still in use til 2001 when the NT took them over.
On Monday we took the boat down to Kings Norton Junction to give the engine a run and recharge the batteries and get some washing done!
We passed this well known establishment on the way.
And stopped on the way back to have a wander around Bourneville, the village built by the Cadbury family to house their workers at their factory in the country.
The Parish Church
The Junior School with carillon bell tower
The Friends Meeting House (The Cadbury Family were Quakers)
The Day School, for adult learning. Now part of Birmingham University.
The Cadbury Factory from the Village side with sports fields in front.
Gas Street Basin
We moored in Gas Street Basin last night. It seems to be much more open and is very much more tidy and modern looking than when we saw it last. Some of the character is gone, but much is still there.Like this rope worn groove in the bridge wall, the brick worn smooth and still shiny almost polished.
Wandering through the city we have walked through the German Christmas Market that is spread through the streets, creating a lovely festive feel with all the lights, music, food stalls, decorations, bars, and colourful gift stalls.
So we are feeling more Christmassy too and tonight we went to a Carol Concert in the Cathedral, a Charity do for the local hospital.
Dreams, a gospel style choir sang a mixture of old and modern christmas songs with us all joining in with traditional carols accompanied by the wonderful organ. Llovely.
12 miles, 2 tunnels