The ( Industrial ) History of the World…Part 1…

Our Coast to Coast adventure taught us many things, not all of them about walking….
One of the rambling lessons that we did learn though, was that walking is definitely better when it’s a journey.
It’s much more interesting and purposeful to travel from A to B rather than wander, slightly aimlessly round in a circle!
So, what next after the C2C..?
I’d often said that it should be possible to leave our house, cross the road onto the bridle paths and walk all the way to the Welsh Coast.
This had never been much more than idle talk but a conversation happened on holiday that changed the situation…
A couple that we met from Solihull talked about a Birmingham to Aberystwyth long distance trail.
They told us that there was a very rare first, and only edition book that was now fetching £170 per copy on eBay.
Mrs Hill decided to investigate and soon found the book on Amazon. English pounds changed hands and she bought it..!
The book arrived, and the first stage was from Gas Street Basin in Birmingham to the Bonded Warehouse in Stourbridge so an idea began to form…..
The only problem with walking from A to B is that if you live at A, you’ve got to get back there…
So, our plan was made…get the train from Stourbridge Junction to Birmingham, Snow Hill and then walk back..Simples!
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A whole new experience….

I’m not a big fan of public transport…it’s full of..other people..but I have to say that our trip to Snow Hill was very enjoyable.!
The entertainment provided ranged from the teenage girls squealing like piglets as they tried to throw each other off the train, to the nuclear scientist sat opposite having an absolutely inane conversation with his partner about nothing.
I suppose when your whole life’s subatomic your small talk goes the same way..
In no time at all we were in Birmingham..
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The Town Hall….

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The new library….

I have to say…Birmingham is wonderful..!

I’ve been to the Broad Street area a couple of times recently and the atmosphere is just fantastic..
If you haven’t been lately, go..!
We could’ve got on the canal at Broad Street but we wanted to start at the beginning, so Gas Street it was..
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The beginning…

This was the start of a walk that illustrated over 200 years of the industrial history of the West Midlands. This was the area that changed the world..!
The original canals here were built by James Brindley in the 18th century.

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I think he’d be impressed with Brindley Place….

We walked for miles along the canal through Smethwick towards the M5 near Oldbury..
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Thomas Telford built this…
It’s just a simple aquaduct linking 2 canals but just look at the details…
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Lovely Smethwick….
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Where the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries meet…
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Next time you drive on the elevated section of the M5 near Oldbury, you’ll know what’s holding it up ..!

A little further on, if we’d been 100 years earlier, we would have taken the 3 mile long tunnel and emerged on the western slope of the ridge linking Rowley Regis to Dudley.
As we were 100 years late we came off the canal and climbed the ridge.
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The Post Office Tower in Birmingham to the right, The Hawthorns in the middle..

Soon the masts came into view and we headed straight towards them..
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One of the local residents…

Soon we came to Dudley Golf Course..

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It’s a little hilly…not many elderly members…

From here it was on to Warren’s Hall Nature Reserve and then on towards Netherton..
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Now, at this point I have to report that my phone ( aka my camera ) gave up the ghost and so…no more photos.
There is clearly only one solution…
The History of the World ( part 2 )..
I’m beginning to understand how Tolkien felt when he wrote LOTW…

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