31 August 2011


Or... put it another way

It is said that there are more canals in Birmingham than in Venice and the statement has been around for many years so I guess it must be true. Having so many canals makes it a place of interest.

Although Birmingham is the second city it was at one time looked down on, understandably considering the poor architecture that was around at the time. It was stated to be uninteresting and dirty and outsiders likened it to the industrial area known as the Black Country. Unfortunately people still deride the place without knowing that it has grown into a wonderful city. They should visit sometime. It would be so good to hear them change their opinion.

The Black Country dialect is very broad and nothing like the (described) Welsh waters lilt of Birmingham folk. Yet people think we’re all the same. I feel quite wounded when someone refers to Black Country people as a Birmingham born. But that’s the snob in me, I guess.

Birmingham and the West Midlands is a mosaic of urban and green spaces. There are more acres of parks and open space in Birmingham than any other UK city, there are eleven Nature Reserves and British Waterways promotes Birmingham as Britain's Canal City.

There are great educational opportunities at our wonderful universities and the artistic strengths of Birmingham and the surrounding area are unrivalled. We have the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Birmingham Royal Ballet. There are fantastic galleries too - the Barber Institute, the Ikon Gallery, the New Art Gallery, and impressive venues that include the world acclaimed Symphony Hall, the Hippodrome Theatre and The Drum. The region was once home to William Shakespeare, George Eliot, J R R Tolkien, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I love my birthplace. I love the fact that I can be in glorious countryside in minutes. I have fields and parkland and farms and mills all around my area. I can birdwatch and walk along lanes or saunter by rivers to my hearts content; when I visit our great city I can appreciate the fine architecture that has replaced the old. It’s a mixture of ancient and modern but the two complement each other.

Have a look at some of our canals, a mere handful compared with the total quantity.

Central Birmingham

Brindley Place to the Mailbox

The Bullring


  1. Barb says
    Barb has left a new comment on your post "CANALS":

    Hi Valerie,
    I am American and do not look at Birmingham with any set "steriotypes". This is all new for me and I welcome the discovery.

    I am sure that my camera & I would be delighted to discover Birmingham :)
    Have a nice day.

  2. Hi Barb, thanks for your comment. I realise you don't know Birmingham but I wish I could show you round.

  3. They do give your city a wonderful character. I am sure it was the best means of travel years ago, or at least the fastest. Great photos.

  4. What a WONDERFUL post, Valerie!

    I feel so well-educated now because I had no idea about Birmingham.

    " love my birthplace."

    And you should because it's LOVELY!

    Seeing these photos and watching the videos reminded me of when I lived in Amsterdam for a summer. The canals there are so charming!

    "The Black Country dialect is very broad and nothing like the (described) Welsh waters lilt of Birmingham folk. Yet people think we’re all the same."

    It's the same here. Many people think that the Philadelphia accent/dialect is similar to NYC, but it's not. Philadelphians BITE their R's, while New Yorkers drop their R's.

    Thanks for sharing, dear lady. Enjoyed! Have a lovely day!


  5. Well you've made me want to visit!

  6. You'd be more than welcome, Pearl.

  7. Hi Ron, it's strange about accents, isn't it? I could never figure out how they came about. Ah Amsterdam, I would have liked to spend more time there. I took hubs on a secret weekend visit for a big birthday treat. The canals and buses are two things I remember well...grins.

  8. Now I have to come and visit Birmingham some day!! You make the city come alive for me with your words and photos. Those canals must be amazing to see. Who needs Venice? LOL


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