I was in Birmingham last week, catching up with friends and enjoying some culture which is somewhat lacking in the small northern village I call home.
Finally I got to go to the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter which is something I have wanted to do for a while. Everything is exactly as it was in 1981 when the owners of Smith and Pepper closed their doors.
Although the workshop closed in 1981 not a lot had changed over the years, I loved seeing the work benches and all the tools, some were very familiar but I didn’t know about the blowpipes used to blow air into the torch flame to get it hot. After an early evening pub meal we headed for the Symphony Hall to see Jethro Tull. The music was brilliant but Ian’s voice wasn’t what it used to be and much of the time you just couldn’t hear him. Still, at 70 what a performance, playing the flute standing on one leg.
The following day we went to Coughton Court, a National Trust property.
Then back into Birmingham to see Brighton Rock, (written by Graham Greene) at Birmingham Repertory. I remember the old black and white version with a young Richard Attenborough playing the very troubled Pinky. This performance had all the tension I remember from the film.
We managed a walking day in the Lickey hills even though the weather wasn’t very good. I called them the ‘sticky hills’ as it was very muddy, and as I forgot my walking boots I walked 8 miles in trainers with very wet feet. It was quite misty so the views weren’t so good but we did see a woodpecker and a Jay. We were lucky enough to see an urban fox in our friend’s street when walking home from the pub, the perfect end to the day.