Board of Ordnance, Gun Barrel Proof House, The Tower, Bagot Street, Birmingham

My Dad Leslie Bracey who lived in the back to backs of Little Shadwell Street in #Birmingham’s Gun Quarter, carried shotguns to the #Birmingham Proof House before the Second World War when he worked for a #Birmingham gun maker in the Gun Quarter.

The Iron Room

Sandstone block which was part of a wall that once marked the extremity of the Tower site. Author’s image.

For most of the 18th century, muskets ordered from Birmingham contractors by the Ordnance Board were either proof tested to the Tower standard, within the grounds of the gun maker by an Ordnance Board inspector, or taken to London to be proved.1

In 1755, Board of Ordnance viewers were stationed at Birmingham to gauge and view barrels made by contractors for the Ordnance. Those that passed the test were then sent to London for proof. In 1777, with the increase in demand caused by the American War of Independence, the Ordnance in Birmingham established a warehouse to try to ease the selection process, but this caused the Ordnance viewers to become even more discriminating, which made the process even slower. Those barrels that passed selection faced a nine-day journey…

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Lunch at Itihaas, Birmingham

I have myself eaten at Itihaas and it is truly a top notch curry house


By Dave Massey

Lunch at Itihaas, Birmingham

It’s my first time at Itihaas. It is an upscale Indian Restaurant based just past the business district of central Birmingham. This strikes me as a venue where business deals are done. The staff are friendly and welcoming as you’d expect.

It’s exactly Noon when we arrive and the venue is totally empty apart from the Staff, the venue has two floors and we are seated in the rear area of the ground floor. We are offered a welcoming glass of Champagne and as its noon, I try and protest a tiny tiny amount about this before pretending not to accept the offer too quickly.

We take a look at the lunch menu, I pretend I’ve not looked online already at it. There’s burgers, wraps and and dosas on the menu. Which I didn’t expect to see at all.

Inside Itihass Inside Itihass

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10 of England’s Best Post-War Pubs

Post war Britain saw more pubs built in the country than at any other time in history……here’s a canter through 10 of the best…….@CAMRA

Heritage Calling

More public houses were built in the years 1945-1985 than in any other period in English history, yet pubs of these years are now highly threatened.

Dr Emily Cole, Senior Investigator in the Historic Places Investigation Team, has been leading a project on post-war pubs since 2015, with the aim of increasing understanding and appreciation. Recently, she has been responsible for proposing a group of pubs for listing, and five buildings have been successfully protected.

Here, Emily selects ten of her favourite pubs from across the ‘golden age’ of post-war pub building, in date order.

1. The Festival Inn, Grundy Street, Poplar, London

Exterior of The Festival Inn, designed by Frederick Gibberd along with the market buildings of the Lansbury Estate. The Festival Inn, designed by Frederick Gibberd along with the market buildings of the Lansbury Estate. DP170360 © Historic England

The Festival Inn was the earliest major post-war pub in England. It opened in May 1951, and formed part of the Live Architecture Exhibition of the Festival…

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