New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

A Capful O’Nails

Posted December 9th, 2011 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with 1 Comment

Regarding the recommendations for books about Birmingham I thought I would share this with everybody.  My choice of book may seem to some like a very odd choice.  However, the book concerned is by an Author called David Christie Murray who was born in West Bromwich in 1847.  I first came across it as a recommendation whilst researching Christmas within the nail-making communities for an exhibition held by Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove where I once served as a volunteer.  It basically follows the story of a small boy growing up in the nail-making communities around the Black Country and Birmingham and the struggle his father has against the Nail Masters (the rotten-at-the-core establishment).  I believe it to be based on some truth and it really does reflect very well the actual conditions which, at the time, were prevalent within these communities.  It is also a story of triumph of good over bad (most good books are) and due to it being set in the Birmingham area, I seem to relate to the story even more.  What struck me was the cruel way in which the families of the community were treated and, adversely, the focus on the inherant ‘good’ in people.  Did this really happen near my town?  I guess it did and that is what makes Capful O’ Nails a great read for those interested in local history and the story of the Nail makers in general.

One Response to “A Capful O’Nails”

  1. Leigh December 12, 2011

    I know it’s a slightly tenuous link with Brum however the story gives a real feel for what life was like for normal working class folk within our region. Thanks to Gavin for getting me up and running with this, hopefully there will be more blogs by me to follow.


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