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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Forgive my ignorance

Forgive my ignorance but I didn't know that Birmingham was once famous for the manufacturing of guns or that BSA (Beeza to me)  made anything other than motorcycles!
It seems that BSA stands for, Birmingham Small Arms, so that's me standing corrected in my orthopaedic shoes!!   
The reason that I am now aware of this gap in my education/general knowledge is that lunch today was at a recommended alehouse called The Bull which turns out to be  smack bang in the centre of the Gun Making Quarter of Birmingham.  The recommendation came  because this pub welcomes dogs, sells real ale and serves home made food - heaven....

The Bull, circa 1800

Himself had steak and kidney pudding and a plateful of fresh vegetables and I had smoked haddock fishcakes and veggies.  The dogs had a bowl of water each and a large packet of pork scratchings and kept the pub cat amused to boot!

The 3 boys waiting while I take photo's

The fine Barker Bridge

So to get to this pub - walk down the Farmers Bridge Flight of locks until you get to Barker Bridge, where you go up onto Lower Loveday St and turn left - The Bull is up the road on the left and it is really worth a visit.

Here is a link that gives you information about Birmingham's gun making past.


  1. My first air rifle was a BSA. Interestingly it appears despite Birmingham manufacturing small arms it didn't have a shot tower. One assumes the ammunition was made at a separate location!

  2. If you wnat to see an entertaining programme on B'hams past try to get hold of the Mark Williams DVD,s on Insutrial Revelations. In one of the episodes he covers the history of the area and why the canals were so important. Try also googling the LUNAR Society, the original memebership consisting of the Industrial giants of the area such as Mattehw Boulton and James Watt to name but a few.
    Rathe ironic that the Black Country is now so green isnt it!

    Andy Bayley NB Brindley
    Born in the black country and still fascinated by the Industrial Revolution

  3. Hi Anon
    I can't find any record of lead shot towers in Birmingham. Plenty in London, and one in Chester and in Bristolthough.

  4. Hi Andy
    I have googled the Lunar Society, very interesting. Nb Brindley ....nice name for your boat!!

  5. Birming still houses The Proof House for proof firing guns http://www.gunproof.com/

    1. True Ditchcrawler and if you want to visit it will cost £150 for a minimum group of ten!
      I thought Joe like to see the Proof House and Museum so I looked it up but he declined on cost..


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