March 24th, 2012
|09:44 am - Walk back out of town|
Yesterday I took the train into central Birmingham and spent the afternoon walking out on the Grand Union Canal into Warwickshire.
In the centre of Birmingham the canal area is really nice. I had a drink in the sunshine at Gas Street Basin. My new job will be moving to that area in a few months (hopefully) and I think it's a good place to work. It's such a pleasant spot.
The next stage of the walk is through the Jewellery Quarter. This is a proposed world heritage site, and it's where my forebears worked. On my grandfather's birth certificate his mother is listed as a 'gold worker' and my grandmother's first job aged 13 was gold-soldering with a blowpipe she held in her mouth. My Great Aunt Adelaide was a power press operator (see the first image, manual gold press, on that wikipedia page) and hence quite rich for a working class woman. It's now all posho flats and boutiques.
Then the canal goes through an industrial wasteland. There's a long stretch of barren open land with ruined factories, which is actually quite dramatic and beautiful. I was right by where that pic was taken, but it was much sunnier than that.
After that there's a couple of miles going past actual working factories and warehouses, and a massive waste incinerator. I wouldn't do this walk again, because that bit while interesting was not particularly pleasant.
Then the second half of the walk - so about seven miles in all - was through a long shady cutting. That bit of the walk was lovely. I would do this bit again, so it's a shame, this is a walk with two excellent parts separated by a part that's a chore.
I ended up at Catherine De Barnes which is a village in Warwickshire. I sat in a pub garden and phoned H to come pick me up. All in all a very good day out.
ETA - I was saying to H I sometimes get tired on walks, but I never get bored. And there's not many things you can do for six or seven hours without ever feeling bored.
I think I've done most of that walk on a canal boat! There were derelict bits of it where I was quite pleased to have a windlass (ie a heavy piece of metal) in my hand when I was ashore, just in case I ran into someone nasty.
Yes, there were a number of gloomy-looking individuals hanging about under the bridges, as if vampires hiding from the sun. Incidentally I did not see one single woman all day, only men. H says it's because women do the work and men hang about around canals, though that's rule I disprove.
|Date:||March 24th, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)|| |
What a super walk! I really appreciate the links, it's lovely to see the places you talk about. The shady cutting looks gorgeous.
I've been meaning to do it for years, literally, so I'm glad i took the chance. It was really lovely with a lot of birds flying about making nests.
|Date:||March 24th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)|| |
Sounds idyllic, except for the dodgy part, obviously. :)
That was interesting though. I am not entirely sure what the men were doing under the bridges. Possibly some kind of hook up thing.
|Date:||March 24th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)|| |
Lovely area! I admit, being the devotee of derelict, that one of the ruined factories GOT to me :)
You would have loved it. The modern buildings in the centre of Birmingham were in the background, and big ruined factories in front, with weeds and butterflies all around them.