If like me you sometimes sit at work/home/on the train, etc, etc with nothing much to do then you may be interested in the websites below. All of them have a link into either heritage, history and/or Birmingham and all are very interesting indeed. I often spend a lunch break sat in front of my PC looking at old and beautiful buildings or learning something new about our past or shared heritage. If you’ve already visited these websites then you’ll know what I mean and for those who are looking for the first time, I hope you enjoy. I’ve put a small explanation as to why I think you will find them interesting and would encourage people to share their own favourite ‘cyber’ destinations (heritage/history related of course).
Here’s my top 5:
1) http://www.photobydjnorton.com/ – Fantastic website of then/now pictures of the Birmingham area dating from the late 50’s and early 60’s charting the change from one landscape to another, slightly less impressive landscape (only a personal opinion by the way).
2) http://www.old-maps.co.uk/ – Type in your postcode and you get to see various maps from the past, most dating back as far as 1830’s. For me seeing the map of mid 1800’s Northfield (where I was born), got me to thinking that up until fairly recently it wasn’t actually part of Birmingham at all!!
3) http://www.austinmemories.com/ – Another personal favourite of mine. I worked here in the old “shadow factory” for over 17 years (from the age of 16). It is surprisingly rich in history and for those with only passing associations, I think you’ll see why everybody was so distraught when it closed. Most of the site today is earmarked for housing!!
4) http://billdargue.jimdo.com/ – A histoy of Birmingham place names is a must for those who like to know the reasons why places have such colourful designations. A vast repository of information which I’m sure people will spend hours looking at (not at work though, eh!!)
5) http://www.lapal.org/ – Finally the Lapal trust website. The story and the history of one of the longest canal tunnels in the UK right on our doorstep. There’s still a battle going on to get the Dudley No.2 canal reinstated from Selly Oak through to Halesowen. I also recommend a visit to Weoley Castle castle as part of this as well. Land locked in a housing estate are the ruins of quite an important fortified house.
It’s clearly not an extensive list and of course the Birmingham Conservation Trust website would feature if we weren’t already there! Have fun!!