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Walk back out of town - The Ex-Communicator

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March 24th, 2012


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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.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:kalypso_v
Date:March 24th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
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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.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 24th, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:azdak
Date:March 24th, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)
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What a super walk! I really appreciate the links, it's lovely to see the places you talk about. The shady cutting looks gorgeous.
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From:communicator
Date:March 24th, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:tehomet
Date:March 24th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
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Sounds idyllic, except for the dodgy part, obviously. :)
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From:communicator
Date:March 25th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
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That was interesting though. I am not entirely sure what the men were doing under the bridges. Possibly some kind of hook up thing.
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From:sallymn
Date:March 24th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Lovely area! I admit, being the devotee of derelict, that one of the ruined factories GOT to me :)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 25th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
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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.

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