Category Archives: Canal

Clay miles: Henry Doulton in the Black Country

On the North Worcestershire Path, not far from Iverley, there is a broken water pipe lying to one side of the track. It’s a bit forlorn, but clearly a very nice thing: it’s glazed, and the makers have taken the trouble … Continue reading

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“Slums” of the Black Country: Gold’s Hill, West Bromwich

The Black Country is constructed not just upon topography but upon geology. Mines can only be built where there’s something to mine; other sorts of works require proximity to those materials; infrastructure is built around, and to meet the demands of, the geology. … Continue reading

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“Slums” of the Black Country: Eel Street, Oldbury

The Post’s next community is one I’m loathe to try and explain in detail. Oldbury was infamous as one of the most polluted towns in the country – so much so that Dr Janet Sullivan recently completed a top-notch PhD thesis on … Continue reading

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Put yourself in the picture

As you’ll have probably gathered, I’m a map fan. However, I’m also aware of their limitations, and the main one is that in real life, no-one looks at or uses the world from x distance above looking directly down. We operate … Continue reading

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Fens Pools

One of the advantages of a period of limbo between formally starting my PhD and a first supervision meeting is that I can take a little bit of time to hitch up the dog for some really long walks and … Continue reading

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Oxford Canal

Back in July I tweeted about a trip up to Stockport to collect some doors off an eBayer seller, and how I crossed no less than 16 separate bits of canal in one day. In fact, if I’d have taken … Continue reading

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More miles of canal than Venice

When talking about their home town, West Midlanders are some of the most self-deprecating folk you’ll meet; try putting a Brummie up against a Scouser in a bragging contest and you’ll see what I mean. But there’s one thing guaranteed … Continue reading

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Saul Junction

There must be very few places on the waterways network that demonstrate so clearly the complete shift in use from industrial to leisure as Saul Junction. We swung by (a pun for ship canal enthusiasts there) on a sunny Sunday afternoon in … Continue reading

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Pottering

I’m just back from my hols from work, which mostly consisted of abortive DIY and collecting things to do the do it yourself myself, if you see what I mean. On Sunday we took a trip up to Stockport to collect … Continue reading

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Smethwick: canals upon canals

There are few particular advantages to working an admin role within a university, but one of the best is called Shibboleth. This wonderful beast allows me, a layman, full access to academic papers, a host of archive sources, and most … Continue reading

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