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  1. Heartland

    The Disc Engine

    Most are aware of the many steam engines made in Birmingham and South Staffordshire. But there was one that one firm that had a brief existence. Placed in Berkeley Street, the factory and foundry was placed beside an arm of the canal, but ceased production in 1845. They had constructed disc...
  2. Heartland

    Train Building in the UK

    There was a time when both the railway companies and private companies built rolling stock and locomotives. Railway companies as British Rail ceased that task when British Railway Engineering was wound up. A few rolling stock builders remained and there was hope that the Newton Aylcliffe...
  3. Heartland

    Has the metro line been moved?

    A recent advertisement has been published that advertises the extension to Centenary Square. The artist seems to chosen the crossing point away from Broad Street. Can members comment?
  4. Heartland

    Not making any more

    It has been a trend over the last few decades to loose factories and works and transfer manufacturing elsewhere. Skills for manufacturing in both Birmingham and the Black Country has been lost. For some such a transition is viewed as progress, for others the vast gaping hole left with the...
  5. Heartland

    Bus conversions

    The requirement of recovery and maintenance has seen some former buses altered for recovery vehicles-
  6. Heartland

    London & North Western Railway Plaque

    There was a plaque at Curzon Street that commemorated the war dead of the First World War. When the old depot was demolished, the plaque was stored in the new parcels depots offices. When Curzon Parcels depot closed, the plaque was mounted on a wall at New Street Station, but with the...
  7. Heartland

    What future for the rail franchises

    West Midlands Railways has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons- train overcrowding, punctuality and cancellation. The Police & Crime Commissioner has called the franchise to account and expects urgent improvement. Yet this situation seems to be spreading across the UK. The Scottish...
  8. Heartland

    Location of interest

    This is a view of an excavation, which seems to have St Phillips on the background, but the location of the spot is a puzzle.
  9. Heartland

    F & H M Joiner

    The firm of F Joiner, later F H M Joiner Ltd of 69 Water Street, Birmingham was a packing case maker whose premises adjoined the Metropolitan Theatre in Snow Hill. The buildings were built in the shape of an L, and had a frontage to both Snow Hill and Water Street. These premises appear to be...
  10. Heartland

    High Pavements

    There are places in Birmingham where houses, homes and factories are a higher level than the road. Some have now gone like the High Pavement at Soho Hill, that started at the junction with Key Hill. Their origin may be through ground levels, but with the Soho Hill example was it through road...
  11. Heartland

    Regeneration and the loss of Canal Heritage

    The face of Birmingham Canals have changed dramatically since the 1990's. It is often difficult now to identify authentic element of the past from what is now in their place. At Gas Street there is a footbridge that has a steep curve to cross over the water at the Bar Lock. Why it was built in...
  12. Heartland

    British Steel at Bilston

    The Bilston Steelworks at Bilston had a long history- it is one that that can be traced back to Bickley's original blast furnace beside a private branch of the canal. Iron smelting ceased in 1979 and the works finally closed in 1983. A part of a final improvement to the works was a the building...
  13. Heartland

    Another Bus Location

    This image shows a West Midlands Travel bus on the 205 route. But what is the type and where is it?
  14. Heartland

    The Inland Port, Landor Street

    I noticed the demolition of the Inland Port buildings in July and August, which have been unused for some time. They used to have sidings for the rail vehicles needing custom clearance. These buildings are not on the direct route of HS2 which skirts the Freightliner Depot to the north, but is...
  15. Heartland

    Railway infrastructure and engineering development

    The building of the London & Birmingham Railway provided new challenges for the railway engineer. Robert Stephenson assembled a team of talented engineers to assist with the work. Amongst those people was Derby born, Charles Fox (1810-1874). Fox was involved with the Watford Tunnel and the rope...
  16. Heartland

    Metro Extension to Centenary Square

    Track laying is nearing completion on the section of the metro from Pinfold Street to Centenary Square as the finishing touches are made at the top of the difficult part at the top of Pinfold Street and the contractors move on to finish the new terminus at Centenary Square. It is expected that...
  17. Heartland

    Bus Garages

    Birmingham had a number of garages placed around the city. Some had been tramway depots, but others were new build. Lea Hall was a new build garage, though not now used for buses.
  18. Heartland

    The changing face of Birmingham Railways

    There were several landmark changes in the Birmingham railway scene. These include (1) The first railway companies lay tracks in Birmingham (2) Railway mergers create the network of track that became the Great Western, London & North Western and Midland Railway (3) Other independent railways are...
  19. Heartland

    A Birmingham Library Deposit

    BRL 258435 is an old Birmingham Reference Library Collection map that shows Birmingham in a circular map highlighting some features as well as old names. It shows the canals and would date from the 1820's. Somers Town is shown and Asylum Road leading to the Asylum
  20. Heartland

    Selly Oak Waterworks

    Wednesday's Birmingham Mail highlighted the former Birmingham Corporation Waterworks Building at Selly Oak and at the same time brought to the surface the exasperation felt by researchers in the way some listed buildings are described. This is the present description for the building. BRISTOL...
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