Monday, 22 March 2010

On the Trail of Fellows Morton and Clayton - Part 2

From Warwick Bar to the centre of Brum the route by canal is via Curzon Street tunnel, Ashted locks and tunnel, past the top of Aston locks and then up the Farmers Bridge flight to "Old Turn".
Curzon Street tunnel is well lit and has a towpath rail so although you can't see the exit from the entrance its not at all intimidating to those on foot. Judging by the collection of debris at the tunnel mouth however it looks as it its been a while since a boat went through.
The area of Birmingham, known as the "Eastside" is due for major redevelopment over the next few years and, despite the recession, work is already underway to clear the ground. At Ashted locks huge machinery was hard at work moving large quantities of earth and stones. A banksman had been stationed at the adjacent lock to stop the work during the passage of boats or, in the absence of boats, the passage of pedestrians such as myself, thus giving the operatives a no-dount welcome break.
Site clearance at Ashted locks - note the banksman behind the far lock gate
I'm not a big fan of modern-day graffiti. I can see the point of 1960s "political" slogans such as "Marples Must Go!" or "Hands off Vietnam" (or even, as once appeared on a wall in my home town in south Wales "Hands of Vietnam") but the mindless scrawls you see nowadays leave me cold. I was, however, quite impressed with this effort on a bridge on the Farmers Bridge flight:
I wonder if its a "Banksy"?
From the top of the locks its only a short walk to Sherborne Street. Nowadays a busy boatyard, with extensive moorings and a trip boat operation, it was once another FMC depot and site of the last warehouse built by that company in 1938.
The warehouse survives, now converted into apartments (what else?)  but still carrying the name of its former owners and marking the end of my walk from Warwick Bar.
Fellows Morton and Clayton's 1938 warehouse at Sherborne Street, Birmingham

1 comment:

Captain Ahab said...

A good pair of posts - thanks.