Thursday, 15 July 2010

The real Birmingham at last

The old and the new shafts

We saw the new Birmingham in the shopping crazy Bullring and the old B'rum in the Black Country Museum but where I still wondered was what I'd always thought was the real Birmingham - the engineering centre of Britain. The home of car factories, motorcycle factories, gunsmiths. Were they all gone, sold to the Chinese, and quietly forgotten.
Well here in Tipton I found the real Birmingham - a small, highly skilled machine toolmakers shop, Aquatools, that could machine me a new water pump shaft quicker than the GPO could deliver a first class letter. Ordered at 4p.m. and done by noon next day.
Tipton, too, boasted a great local, The Fountain, home of the town's folk hero, the Tipton Slasher, the legendary 19th bare knuckle fighter William Perry.
And on "two meals for the price of one" night we had two of the best steak and Guinness pies I've had in a long time and three pints of beer for just over a tenner. Bloody brilliant!

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