A guest post! Possibly the first of many :-)
This has been written by Rhys Jones, and contains his photos. Links to his websites are available at the end. I was quite keen to showcase this particular stretch of the canals – many Saturdays of my mid-teenage years were spent down here, jumping across the narrower canal sections; walking to and from Robannas Studios and generally mucking around!
I am open to guest posts – just send me an email and we can discuss it further.
EXPLORING BIRMINGHAM’S HERITAGE
Most people are familiar with the glamorous canal area near Broad Street and Gas Street Basin, but the old industrial area of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal reveals some interesting aspects of Birmingham history. I joined the canal east of the Snow Hill road bridge and walked up a series of 13 locks to the NIA. Parts of the canal are under bridges and large buildings, giving some challenging light conditions for photography.
Although the distance is only just over a mile, I spent quite a few hours walking slowly and taking photographs. One of the most interesting places was the large dark area under Snow Hill Railway Bridge.
The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal was opened in the year of the French Revolution, 1789. In its day it formed part of the main transport artery between the West Midlands and London and was every bit as congested as the M6 motorway is today. Even when the canal company obtained an exemption from the Navigation Acts (which prohibited use of the canals during hours of darkness or on Sundays), enabling the locks to be worked 24 x 7, the problem remained unsolved.
By Rhys Jones
Thanks, Rhys! I hope to blog more about the canal network of Birmingham over the coming months.