Thursday, 10 September 2009

Home On The Canals.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli


Photos are copyright of Maggie May.


A few weeks ago when my daughter and the two grandsons were staying with us, we decided to go to Birmingham to meet the boys' other grannie and we ended up at the Black Country Living Museum.
This was a lovely place to go and there were many houses and shops depicting life as it would have been in late Victorian times. In fact there was a little village with several streets. All these buildings had been dismantled from somewhere else and had been reconstructed just how they used to be in this little village. There were actors on the streets and we listened to little disputes mostly between mouthy women. I really felt that I had been transported back in time.
In the streets there were skipping ropes, metal hoops and hopscotch games to try out.

There was even a canal and we came across this authentic house boat complete with lady dressed as she would have done when these long boats frequented English canals.




I love the art on these traditional metal coal scuttles that were used to store the coal that lit the tiny stove in the minute living space. The houseboats were pulled by horses along the tow path and when they had to go through tunnels, the horse was taken over land, probably by a child and some strong fellow had to lie on his back and walk along the top of the tunnel to propel the boat through. I expect everyone had to join in as the boat would be heavy.


In the photo below, I managed to get a picture of the living conditions below deck and how it would have looked years ago, when families of many children had to live in such cramped conditions as in this tiny bedsit.
I sometimes think I am badly done to, but realize how lucky I am having so much space in my ordinary terrace home. How could any family manage to bring up a family in such a small place?






Photostory Friday is hosted by Cecily. For more interesting stories and photos why not visit the link?

41 comments:

Expat mum said...

Great photos Maggie. I'm afraid I would need to keep breathing into a paper bag if I lived there. Worse than the pit cottages.

Wayne said...

I live not to far from a canal , looking at those boats is so intreasting they are a part of our history and I think they will be around forever.

Great photo friday

Michelle said...

Looks like a really interesting place. I love the color in the first shot!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Lovely post, Maggie and the photos are not bad either!
"What do you mean, not bad?"
"Oh well, I've got to tell you, they are brilliant! ~ Eddie

david mcmahon said...

Seriously lovely shots, Maggie. Do I really HAVE to pick a favourite? Oh, all right, the first one!

Chris said...

It's amazing how a simple look back in history changes our entire perspective.

The Green Stone Woman said...

We had canal boats here too in the Netherlands, but they were not as narrow, allowing a little more living space, but still, things were cramped. It was not a bad thing to be brought up on a boat, though. People like that had a lot of freedom.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

WOW that is a tiny space! Makes one very grateful for what they have. Great captures.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a fun place to go for a visit Miss Maggie! I love that. You are seriously the coolest Grandma out there : )

Suburbia said...

I love the art too! What brilliant photos. Looks like a great day out.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Congratulations, Maggie, on yet another well deserved POTD.
I'm thinking of having a stecil cut!! ~ Eddie

Eddie Bluelights said...

For stecil please read stencil

latree said...

that was a great experience. I'm so thankful I have space in my simple house..

jinksy said...

I'd imagine much of their life was lived on the top of the barge, rather than it's cramped inside? Loved your pictures and had to smile at the crochet blanket squares - some things don't change!

SandyCarlson said...

Maggie, I enjoyed these! The painted tinware made me think of the artwork my great grandmother used to do. Makes me wish I had such skills to warm up the ordinary things of the house!

That room is tiny. I guess the upside is you don't have to go very far if you forget to take your book with you to bed or something! That' a cozy afghan, too.

Thanks for this bit of history.

Valerie said...

Thanks for posting these, Maggie. I love what we call barge art, it's so colourful. I haven't been to the museum for ages but agree it is a fascinating place. Memories were definitely recalled with visits to shops and kitchens. Did you also indulge in a plateful of faggots and peas?

Alix said...

Hey! I know you! Seems you hang out on the POTD list a lot. Well, at least I know where I can find you. Some people hang out at Starbucks, which just goes to show how shallow some people are...

Congratulations on your POTD mention at authorblog. I enjoyed your post and photos very much.

Sharon said...

That is interesting. I am amazed that people were able to live in such tight places. I guess you do what you have to do.

Love the pics. Especially that first one!

Tiaras said...

can you just imagine? I can not!! I have this HUGE house today and I still think it is not big enough! I think my priorities are backwards!

Rose said...

Such an interesting post, Maggie May! I had no idea that England had so many canals nor that people actually lived on these boats. It does make you appreciate the spaciousness of your own home, doesn't it? Great images--I'd love to have one of those painted coal scuttles for my house!

Raise Them Up said...

What a neat look at a different way of life! It IS amazing how small the space is, and I love the painting on the coal can, too! Great post!

~ shi ~ said...

what a fun trip! Lots of wonderful pictures and memories :)

Ayak said...

Hi Maggie..I popped across to look at your blog because you had visited mine. Your blog is lovely and I will certainly be following it more closely. Aren't there some wonderful blogs out there? And not enough hours in the day to read them all!

Best wishes
Ayak (Turkish Delight)

Ayak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kaye said...

what a fascinating place. I’m remembering 9/11 today here’s my link Have a nice Friday!

Cheffie-Mom said...

How fun!! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!!

Lolli said...

Wow! That living space is WAY cramped! That would have been tough. And I thought my 3 bedroom townhouse was cramped with 7 people....

Jeni said...

Not just entertaining with your great pictures, but also very educational as well. I had no idea that people lived on houseboats back in Merry Olde England! See how much I've learned in just a very short time too.
Peace.

Cecily R said...

What a great reminder to be happy with what we have! I love LOVE the composition of that first shot!!!

Dottie said...

Didn't I see John Noakes doing that "walking the boat through the tunnel" thing on Blue Peter in the 70's? Or was it Peter Purvis?
Great post Maggie
Dot x

Akelamalu said...

That sounds like a fabulous place to visit, I love places like that. We visited Sydney Old Town whilst in Australia which was just like that - so much fun and intersting. :)

San said...

Great photos and narrative, Maggie. I love the way you captured the letters GOOD in the foreground in the top photo. That is striking and colorful. Really GOOD!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

So glad I saw your POTD at David's and dropped by. How lovely!

Lola said...

Ciao Maggy,
thank you for stopping by my place and leaving your lovely comment.
Of course you can come for tea! My kitchen is always open, at all hours of the day - you never know who might show up for a nibble.

Now if you don't mind, I'd like to take a look around your blog and make myself at home.

Ciao,
Lola xx

Brian Miller said...

wow. would be a little tight. and i think my boys crawl on me enough now...great pics as well. does sound like a fun day trip though.

gaelikaa said...

It's lovely to visit a place like that. History comes alive, so to speak!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I love English houseboats...they are so beautiful...used to watch them glide through the locks on the Wey river...behind our row cottage...This brings back very happy memories...Thank you, Maggie for your warm words, your kindness, your friendship...it means so much to me!! You can't imagine!!!! Love to you and your family~Janine XO

Jeni said...

Maggie -thanks for your comment on my post this a.m. about Maya and her massive meltdown. It was definitely quite the show, let me tell you. Mandy snagged that little bit of a video of her on her cell phone -wants to show it to Maya's therapist so she can get a better idea of how obnoxious she can get at times!

Working Mum said...

Sounds really interesting. Nice photos to illustrate it as well.

scrappysue said...

i so wanna do that one day! but maybe not wear the hat...

Hilary said...

Lovely photos, Maggie... and wonderful perspective in so many ways.