My Dad has often spoken of the Black Country Museum. This is an area in Birmingham that has been returned to how it looked from early 1900. One can purchase old money and buy things that can no longer be bought through mainstream shopping.
So today we will head out thereto take a look.
Breakfast done and chores completed we jump into Uncle Jim’s car and off we go. To get there we have to drive completely across Birmingham. Uncle Jim well knows the way and having the opportunity to sit in the vehicle without the burden of having to drive I am able to sit back and enjoy the passing view.
Thanks to Uncle Jim’s narrative various parts of Birmingham take up significance to my family history. The old buildings intrigue me. The rows and rows of terrace housing In certain areas contrasting with others where the residences are huge but equally old.
The most interesting thing for me is the odd area where a building is slowly falling to bits. A factory here, a large tenement building there, several houses in a long row of occupied ones.
And everywhere the building medium is red brick. Very few other colours than dark red/brown.
We reach The Museum to find that there are extremely long queues for both carparking and entry. Auntie Pat is not up to a long stand or walking a distance and the decision is made to give the visit a miss. But there is another place we can visit. It is called Hatton Farm.
This back over the other side of Birmingham and we have to retrace our route back through the city.
An hour or so later and we are in the countryside around Warwick. We find Hatton Farm, which is a converted farm that now houses a number of old time shops, antiques, sweets and handicrafts. We spend a bit of time poking into this shop and that, and end up with a bag full of beads and things for earrings and necklaces.
Heading back towards Shirley we stop at an old church. Fortuitously the warder arrives at the same time. She lets Uncle Jim and I in to explore the church. She is a mine of information on the building of the church. It is wonderful. The oldest part of the church is a wall that was built in the early 1200’s. The youngest part was completed in 1906. There are a number of stained glass windows that are intricate and exquisite.
I am permitted to snoop around and take photos to my hearts content. We both feel thankful enough to each leave a small donation in the church plate.
On to home base and tea time. The usual TV and off to bed for a read and a well deserved sleep.