11 September 2012

Monthly Anecdotes


Catherine Hutton, with a perceivably snobbish tone, describes her fellow travellers returning on a journey from London to Birmingham by stage coach in 1783: "One Miss was delicate, whispering and whining, and smiling; all she said was yes or no. The other was of the true Brumicham mould, honest and rough enough. She drank no tay, and daynt mind travelling all night. The company had its advantages, for it did not put me to the trouble of uttering a single syllable." ...an interesting impression of the 'Brumicham mould'.


On the 3rd of September 1849 an advert appeared in the Birmingham Gazette promoting an exhibition of 'Birmingham in Miniature'. It stated that visitors would "gain a better knowledge of the Town in half an hour's visit to the MODEL OF BIRMINGHAM than they would otherwise in a months residence". The model covered 350 square feet and included all the churches, public buildings, manufactories, canals and the new railways. This model, although made in 1849, would have depicted a largely Georgian and Regency landscape, although little of the lived parts of the town.


In his poem The Ramble of the Gods Around Birmingham, James Bisset writes the verse “The STREETS are pav’d tis true, but all the stones - Are set the wrong way up, in shape of cones, - And STRANGERS limp along the best pav’d street, - As if parch’d peas were strew’d beneath their feet.” One Birmingham resident visited London at that time and thought that their properly paved streets were too smooth by far, so that there ‘was no foot-hold’.

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