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Report - - Walker & Woodwood, Brassfounders Birmingham, Feb 2013 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Walker & Woodwood, Brassfounders Birmingham, Feb 2013


dweeb

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It's been the best part of a decade since I started taking photos of derelict industry. Raddog and I began exploring the wilds of the great industrial city of Birmingham without the aid of huge lists of derelict buildings on forums and flickr, we simply hopped in the car and drove round. I remember the sunny day we first happened upon this place, and it still captures my imagination as much now as it did then...

Walker and Woodwood pretty much sums up a typical small Victorian works that made Birmingham the city it is today. The industrial revolution had set the demand for metal ware of every description, and small scale works shot up in their thousands to cater for this demand. The firm manufactured brass handles, ships fittings, hinges and other small brass castings. I've learned this not from the internet or from books, but by rooting around under floors for the very articles themselves.

You could have walked into any of the thousands of workshops in the city in the late Victorian era and found a similar set up to this. Long workshops with small iron framed windows, lined with crude but robust wooden benches. These benches were the workplace for skilled men and women, who almost unbelievably made things of astonishing beauty in such basic conditions. Basic they are, but they are also unbelievably well made. The workbenches you see in these photos are probably over a hundred years old, and have survived the bash of the hammer and the blade of the saw over countless decades, not to mention the elements subjected to the building since it's closure.

You can't walk a yard in the works without seeing something shaped by those years, be it a worn workbench or a hobnail boot worn staircase. These little details show just how many years the building was in use surviving with very little change. When I became interested in exploring I was told by various people I was 20 years too late to see this kind of thing, but unbelievably it still survives today, if one takes the time to look for it.

I would advise anyone new to exploring who lives in or around Birmingham to see this rare survivor before it is inevitably redeveloped.

Pictures in B & W as it was a horrid overcast day and the colour was a little flat.

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