>Where did the 176 stop?


This is the best jpg I could find of the pocket bird guide I use. They bring a new one out every so often and stick a different bird on the front. But this is the one I have and this is the one that goes with me everywhere in my rucksack.

I’m a tad tired at the moment. I’ve been a bit restless and don’t know why. I’m thinking that someone somewhere may have something going on. It’s not a grief I’m feeling, just a very slight sense of sadness or foreboding. Maybe I’m about ready for this holiday.

Yesterday was fairly good, however.

I did a bit more picture research for the Voices book. Our local history group is still going, but it’s a waste of time me asking there because this ancient paragon of fear that used to teach them all at primary school has instructed each one of them to hinder and refuse me as I’m an interloper, and if anyone should write a local history book it should be someone local. So why don’t they get on and do it, then? We may have identified at least 2 sources, though. Possibly 3 – and another interviewee. Thanks to the keep fat buddy for the suggestions and ideas.

Then I did quite a bit of writing and managed another chapter of Catch the Rainbow. It was hard work, a bit like reading a book in my sleep and not knowing what the next word is. It’s not the greatest chapter, there’s too much telling and not enough showing, hardly any dialogue, and very little interaction. But it’s a structure and it gives me bones on which to hang flesh. It’s also raised a few factual questions like:

  • Did they put flowers outside the pubs as they do today when there’s a tragedy?
  • Where exactly on New Street was Wimpy?
  • Was it before or after The Odeon?
  • On which corner was the jewellers?
  • Would the jeweller have been H Samuel?
  • Were notices put up in shops saying “No Irish Allowed”?
  • Had Midland Red buses changed to West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive yet?
  • Did the 176 stop outside WH Smiths or did it only go as far as the bus station?
  • Indeed, was it called the 176 then? (It was the 57 later.)
  • How long did it take them to reglaze the shop fronts?
  • Did Christmas lights go up in town in 1974?
  • Etc, etc, etc.

If anyone knows … you know what to do. I didn’t dwell on any of the questions, just made a note and carried on. The additional research, answers to questions, and any interviews will come when draft 1 is finished and I know where most of the gaps are.

Today is day 1 of a 2-day week (sorry, Colin). I have a lot to fit into those 2 days, and I must remember to put my out-of-office auto-replies on all of my email addresses. There’s no internet where I’m going, so it’ll be just me and my mobile phone. If there’s a signal …

9 thoughts on “>Where did the 176 stop?

  1. Ordinary Man 13 July 2010 / 11:12 am

    >Deep breaths Di, sound a bit stressed.This is testing the memory banks a bit but here goes. Some answers with thanks to my Dad. There was an Irish guy where he worked on the morning after the bombs that was trying to collect money for another bomber that blew himself up in Coventry a week or so before and was unaware what had happened that night. Thanks to some of the workforce the rope that was around his neck didn't get attached to the staircase banister that some were about to throw him over…scary times. Worse than now if you ask me.The wimpey was on the corner of New Street as you walk from the Tavern to the odeon. Flowers were not at either of the pubs, floral tributes were left at the church thats in the square on Colmore row (where the memorial stone now stands) and the one by the outdoor bullring market, sorry can't remember their names. Yes the signs did go up in the shops…and many city centre and surrounding area pubs. There was a jewellers on the corner of new street next to the ramp that took you into the bullring. Hope this helps


  2. Diane 13 July 2010 / 11:28 am

    >Thanks, Nidge. This is the kind of thing I'm hoping for – and thanks to Nidge's dad too. :o)It's St Philip's, the cathedral up on Colmore Row, and St Martin's down by the Bull Ring.Another mate of mine, an Irishman, said a friend was strung up in a kangaroo court at work, so a second incident will give that extra credibility.I was in town the following spring (with Rita, John Deehan's little sister), and we were still being searched at Wimp(e)y, even though we were aged 10/11. I don't remember much else about it, apart from Solihull Cinema being closed following a nail bomb attack/attempt, but my sister, who's a bit older, remembers walking up the hill from Hobs Moat to Hatchford Brook and hearing the explosions – she was going to meet a friend in the Mulberry Bush that night but Dad made her go to college instead.Journalists were on strike at the time, along with everyone else, so no newspapers other than those occasionally produced by the editors, and the few that did come out after the attack due to shock and respect.I need a research trip to Birmingham very soon – I need to walk down New Street again.


  3. Diane 13 July 2010 / 11:29 am

    >Maybe I can combine it with a drinking trip with you lot. :oD


  4. Ordinary Man 13 July 2010 / 12:30 pm

    >Never need an excuse for a drinking trip Di, just an excuse for the day after.It always makes me shudder when I think of the horrific retribution that was handed out to the Irish community after the bombing. I've had many a heated debate with my parents over this. My Dad says its the reason we were never bombed again. London had the WW11 "bomb us as much as you like , we will never give in" attitude..so they did. The people of Birmingham just completely terrosied the Irish community, Northern Irish, Southern Irish, sympathisers and non-sympathisers.Then he reminds me that the Birmingham six pleaded that they were nothing to do with the IRA then on the day of their release walked from court into the arms of Martin McGuiness, second in command of the IRA. I had few Irish friends then and it was tough going for a bit, politics even tries to screw up your childhood Would love to read it when it's completed. local history and a very emotive subject..can't lose.


  5. Devon Ellington 13 July 2010 / 12:43 pm

    >Can you get your hands on microfiche of local newspapers for that time period in one of the libraries? That would have both photos and a lot of the info, which you could match against a street map.Remember, my fellow Pisces, all the retrogrades. Neptune, our ruling planet, is in retrograde, which messes us up on so many levels, and throws us slightly off. Pluto, the planet of what's hidden, is retrograde, so secrets are revealed — good time to go digging in local history archives, though. Uranus, the planet of individuality and creativity is in retrograde, which throws up all kinds of obstacles.Deep breath. All will be better.


  6. Diane 13 July 2010 / 1:30 pm

    >Nidge: I was at a RC primary school at the time, so surrounded by Irish. I think that's why a lot of it passed me by – they didn't talk about it so it didn't happen.The IRA never, ever admitted responsibility and they never, ever apologised, although they agreed it was a very grave error. The code that was given to the police was wrong, and there wasn't enough time given either, which is why there was no evacuation. There were also rumours that it was supposed to be the tax office, which I can understand as it was right next door to the Tavern in the Town at the time, and I supposed the Mulberry Bush was under the Rotunda, so the offices there might have been the official target. I have never understood why one was found in the Hole in the Wall, though, as it was nowhere near anything other than a market and a car park.A lot of people are interested in this one. I hope I can deliver the goods …


  7. Diane 13 July 2010 / 1:33 pm

    >Devon: The journalists were on strike, everyone was on strike, there were power cuts, 3 day weeks, no newspapers until after the event when everyone downed sticks and turned back in to work after all due to outrage.I keep telling myself this will pass. I'm ok, it's just niggling a bit.


  8. Rare Lesser Spotted 13 July 2010 / 2:20 pm

    >I love history, particularly local and family history and I must confess it can be the most frustrating of pastimes trying to unravel the unravelable (is there such a word?) I guess that's partly set against the almost instant availability of information about our current world in almost every conceivable subject that we find the most simple questions about our past difficult to answer. I do however have no love whatsoever for people who keep local secrets and treasures about our community and its past that frankly can't hurt anyone, without sharing in some way (they never have to give anything original up – everything can be copied in one way or another). I hope they are suitably shamed when you publish and no doubt make comment in your preface about such short sighted behaviour. Head up girl.XX


  9. Diane 13 July 2010 / 2:31 pm

    >I love history too, Steve, and when I came here I made it my business to join the local history group to find out as much as I could about my new village. I got the group loads of publicity, which Dragonfeatures also hated because I wasn't local, but nobody else was doing it so why shouldn't I? I left when my hours increased at work, which was another reason for them not to help me. I could give them special mention in the acknowledgements … but that would be more publicity for them.


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