Thursday, 22 November 2018

Smethwick-Handsworth urban exploration (England)

Hi folks,

On Tuesday, the 20th November 2018, I officially turned into a 37-year-young lad. Now you know this, let's change the topic! .... haha
Well, it is not about the years, it is about how content you feel about your life, and I am pretty happy. Being outdoors makes me even happier, and I am excited to do local urban explorations; so despite the cold and rain, I organised a spontaneous birthday walk in Birmingham. The route I took and feeling that associates with it can only be described as Katies said: Birminghamesque - and if you know the area, you understand this! And if you are not aware of it, my photos will give you an idea.

I started the walk from Smethwick railway station, where the Smethwick Galton Bridge Interchange sign is (it is literally by the Galton Bridge), and had a walk along the canal as I wanted to see the junction where two canals, the M5 motorway and a railway bridge cross over each other. As I walked along the toe path, I saw lots of graffiti on the walls of an old, gutted factory. And you know well that I love graffiti, so I truly had a fascinating walk, even if the entire area is a bit grim.

The main idea of the walk was to go to Handsworth and find St Mary's Church where one of the most influential inventors of the Industrial Revolution, James Watt was buried. I got there, but the church was closed - it is only open when a service is on which is normally early morning or late evening, or Sunday of course. Well, I will go back one day when it is open, but if you want to know more about this church, check out the church's website:

Even though I could not see James Watt's grave and memorial in the little Handsworth church, I saw many many other things which I have captured in photographs too. You will see photos here of Thomas Telford's Galton Bridge, the Smethwick canal, lots of graffiti, the West Bromwich Albion football club, the West Bromwich sign, the North West Birmingham sign, some shots from Handsworth cemetery and chapel, Handsworth centre and park, St Mary's church and grounds, the Soho Road district sign, and I finished the walk in Hockley, where the Interchange sign is, another grim-looking area where the subway is fully covered with colourful street art. After I put the camera away and walked back to Birmingham New Street. The walk was over, but we went out for a nice birthday dinner, so the day was not over just yet...

Enjoy the photos, folks!

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2018). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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