Sunday, 19 January 2014

Discovering Birmingham

I tried Geocaching twice today and found nothing including the point, but enjoyed reading about the buildings near where the deposits where supposedly placed, which to be fair perhaps is the point. I can't see why I should traipse around looking for an old camera film tube someone's jammed by the roadside and which has probably been swept up by council refuse. (Sorry, grumble over now).
Better however, and where you can be sure of the information's authenticity, is the "Dozens and Trails" App from the new Library of Birmingham (I hope not so called because of any plan to close the others) or Central Library to older Brummies.
Plenty of archival photographs of sights and documents, and information on local landmarks and history. Writers include historian Dr Chris Upton who used to work for the library and knows his material, having conducted tours, written books and articles and newspaper columns for some years now.
The trails section has four themed tours such as public statues and Birmingham on sixpence a day, the latter taking you though the associations woth poverty many experienced here, as embodied by the old workhouses (now City Hospital, for example). Great advantages over Geocaching: you can see the objects and you know there'll be there ... and they're worth investigating. You'll find new things if you're an old Brummie, and a valuable introduction to the city if you're new here but interested in more than just sleeping or going for a drink.
"Dozens" has the archive material, on all sorts of topics from
community libraries to James Watt and family and World War 2 propaganda.

Downloadable from App Stores.


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