Friday, 24 July 2015

Still in Birmingham

Tuesday 21 July. 0 miles.

Diana is back from Scotland this afternoon so a domestic day inside and to the supermarket to stock up on supplies. Meet her at the station then stopped on the way home for a coffee. In the evening we went to Brindley Place which is full of restaurants and bars. Diana's choice, as it is the first time we have been alone together since her birthday. Nice meal plus desert.

Wednesday 22 July. 0 miles.

We have a booking for the 1015 tour of "Back to Backs". A National Trust property. There are 6 three storied house, 3 face the street and 3 the court yard. In the yard is the washhouse and the loos. All shared by the 90 people that lived there in 1840. We went through 3 houses. One representing the 1840's, one the 1930's, and the last one as it was last occupied in 1970. A good insight into living conditions in the industrial age.
The Fish and Meat market was close so we wandered through there. If we had a freezer on the boat I could have filled it with stuff that Diana wouldn't touch. Great selection of Crustaceans and offal. After lunch we walked in a different direction to visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. It was the last tour of the day and got a bit rushed as the guide, obviously had to have us back to the shop before it closed. We were taken through the smelting, cutting, stamping, soldering and polishing of silver and gold products. A factory that was closed and left as it was until opening as a museum.

Thursday 23 July. 0 miles.

A lazy morning till after lunch then off to the Coffin Museum. A bit different. Newman Bro's closed down in the 60's and the place was the way it was then. They didn't make coffins but did make all the bits and pieces to dress a coffin. We were shown how all the handles, name plates, etc were stamped and polished. Then into the sewing room to see the shrouds and linings. A comprehensive tour of how it was, including how the orders were processed and who made the tea. The cups were still on the kitchen sink. The guides name was "Cornelius" and looked like a character from The Munsters.
Next was the "Pen Museum". The guide here was half blind and almost totally deaf resulting in some interesting answers to questions we asked. Once again we were taken through the process of how a nib is pressed and bent, in fact we made a nib ourselves. Then we were taken through a large collection of pens, nibs, nib boxes, ink. wells, typewriters, stamps, stenography and braille machines. It is great that all these collections are being saved. Not sure who will look after them when the present generation of volunteers die. We split up then as Diana wanted to go to the Rag market and I had been told about a model train museum. My museum was still being developed. It had a number of train sets running but no museum type stuff. It looked a bit like Train World in Napier. Heaps of potential for a tourist destination. Diana's Rag market was just as exciting.

Friday 24 July. 0 miles.

It had been our intention to leave Birmingham so we were away from the noisy bars before the weekend. Woke to a cold and drizzly day so decided to wait for the promised improving weather around lunch time. Still waiting. After a relaxing morning and lunch on board we put on the wet weather gear and walked into town for a coffee. If we didn't I think Cabin fever could have got the better of us. Back home for a nice dinner of fresh pasta and greens. Recharged the batteries, turned on the heater and settled in for the night.

1 comment:

  1. You have certainly visited some interesting museums in Birmingham