A few weeks ago, Jenni and some of our Tame Past Present Future volunteers took a stroll around Witton and along the Tame towards Salford Bridge, now situated underneath Spaghetti Junction. We will be producing a heritage walk through the area, so we were testing the route, finding out about the history, as well as using Phyllis Nicklin's photographs from the 1960s to explore how the area has changed. Nicklin was a geography lecturer at Birmingham University in the 1950s and 1960s, and as part of her work she took hundreds of images around Birmingham. We've pinpointed those taken in Witton and along the River Tame, and during the walk everyone was clicking away recording the industry in the area, and also trying to retake Nicklin's images.
Here is a selection of Phyllis Nicklin's photographs and the images taken by myself and our volunteers as we walked around the area.
HOCKLEY BROOK, SALFORD: EARLY 1963 & AUGUST 2014
The original image (see above) shows the River Tame flowing beneath the old canal bridge. The Hockley Brook, which was clearly visible joining the river in 1963, is now obscured by greenery.
|By Albert Blakeway|
GEC IN WITTON FROM DULVERTON ROAD: 1968 & 2014
The following two images show the entrance to Witton's GEC, that in 1964 employed about 9000 people. Today (2014) the GEC is closed and most of its buildings have been demolished; though, the main building is listed, a gate post remains, as does a rather shabby looking electric lamp post (one of presumably many that would have lined the entrance). Around the back, along the canal, a chimney stands too.
|GEC from Dulverton Road by Albert Blakeway|
|GEC from Dulverton Road by Si Hope|
|GEC from Dulverton Road by Jen Dixon|
TAME VALLEY CANAL, SALFORD: 1968 & 2014
The Tame Valley Canal follows the river, on and off, from Wednesbury. Here it cuts to the rear of the GEC in Witton and joins the Grand Union and the Birmingham & Fazeley canals at Salford Junction, now underneath Spaghetti Junction.