This morning we set off towards Stourport, through the town of Kidderminster. The church in Kiddy looks impressive from the canal.
In the center of town, an old warehouse converted into a Debenhams department store provides an equally impressive view.
Such is the nostalgia for the old utilitarian warehouses that line the old canal wharves that new blocks of flats (US: apartment buildings) beside the canal are constructed in the style known as Warehouse Vernacular.
So, if Britain votes to leave the EU, the economy collapses as a result, all the recent immigrants leave, and there is suddenly a housing surplus, it will be easy to convert those flats into warehouses. Britain’s infrastructure is ready for anything.
Stourport is the only town in the UK, and possibly the world, that exists simply because of a canal. Some of the later canals built were the result of a speculative canalmania, and had little real chance of ever making money, or in some cases even being completed. However, the Staffs and Worcester had a vital economic purpose, connecting the industry of the West Midlands with navigable section of the Severn River, and thus the port of Bristol and the Atlantic trade. Where the canal met the river, and goods were transferred from the broader river boats to the narrow canal boats, Stourport grew up.
It’s also close to where my brother lives and as we pulled into the last lock we were greeted by Ant (Tony to everyone but me) and his wife Carol. Here’s Paula demonstrating how to work to lock paddles to Ant.
Stourport is proud of its canal history, and lately has attempted to reinvent itself as a resort town for canal boaters, and day trippers from the Birmingham area. There are amusement arcades, souvenir shops, and a fun fair.
Think Santa Cruz without the beach, pier, university, scenery, climate, or pot.
In a previous post, in which I commented on a spurious apostrophe in a tattoo shop sign, I accidentally typed Stourport when I meant to write Stourbridge. In the comments my brother said:
“Stourbridge” people, not “Stourport” people (whose grammar is far superior!)