Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Heartland

Black Sabbath Bridge

Featured Posts

In June 2019, Broad Street Bridge/ Tunnel in Birmingham was renamed BLACK SABBATH bridge, and this event coincides with an exhibition at the Museum.

 

CRT in their wisdom have chosen to place a new information board linking this heavy metal band with the bridge.

 

In a way if they had done their research properly they could have found a link with the Brass House that was adjacent to the original Broad Street bridge and a suitable link made, but then CRT is CRT and they seem to have no concept of their canal heritage.

 

They have chosen to use one image from the Waterways Collection  ref 972 0187 which according to their caption is Wimbolds Green. I have not heard of that location and would appreciate some enlightenment as to that caption. They show a canal side factory with a horse boat and the name Metal Closures. Now this firm was a West Bromwich firm that made stoppers etc and had their main factory in Bromford Lane. Their factory came down to the towpath north of Bromford Lane Bridge. The horse towing the boat from the direction of the basins that once served collieries and brickworks.  

 

I suppose the name Metal Closures is the best CRT could come up with, to link it with a heavy metal, but it is embarrassing that they have not used more thought.

 

As there was a Church above the canal at this point they may have used divine inspiration, but that church was pulled down and the widened bridge is now left with a view of the modern canal scene that is Brindley Place, that was, in part, built on the old Brassworks site.

 

Whilst brass is not a heavy metal as lead, it was still quite heavy and heavier than the products of Metal Closures

Metal Closures.jpg

Edited by Heartland
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As it happens I'm currently reading the autobiography of Jim Simpson, long-term music biz man who took Black Sabbath from Brum obscurity, as "Earth", to international success. He mentions the renaming of the bridge (and the unveiling of the Black Sabbath Bench on it) as "recent", but it must have been earlier than this June, I think, for it to have been included in a book published in July. He implies that the bridge had already been renamed before the bench was installed.

   Jim is justly proud of his one-time proteges' achievement, but I must admit that I'm not sure the name really fits the bridge's history. Perhaps, as the band all came from Aston, one of the coils of Spaghetti Junction could have been dedicated to them instead. "You are now entering the Black Sabbath Traffic Jam".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, as the boat is quite clearly one of Alan Steven's Rubbish Boats it seems to fit in quite well. I have never heard of Wimbolds Green either and it doesn't look like Winson Green.  These things are nearly always agreed a long time before any press releases are free from embargo.

Edited by BuckbyLocks
Mispelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll continue to call it Broad Street Bridge or Tunnel.

 

Just like Ashted Locks will never be Eastside.

 

Could be they are continuing BWs tradition of ignoring tradition. I was rather annoyed a few years ago to find Locomotive Bridge in Huddersfield had been renamed Quay Street Bridge and then there is High Bridge on the Dudley No 2 which is now High Bridge Road Bridge.

Edited by pearley
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And how sad that CRT are likely to support the demolition of the Flapper and building canalside flats in its place, the Flapper is the home of Birmingham Heavy metal.

 

..........Dave

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

I'm sure Ozzy would be turning in his grave to hear of CRT naming bridges after the band, if he was dead, that is. 

 

On the other hand mebbe he sleeps in a grave anyway...

 

 

 

 

According to Jim, the former band members all knew about it (and I think Tony Iommi actually turned up to the bench ceremony and speechified). I'll phone him (Jim, not Tony) next week and ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the thread that was going when the formal ceremony was held...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, dmr said:

And how sad that CRT are likely to support the demolition of the Flapper and building canalside flats in its place, the Flapper is the home of Birmingham Heavy metal.

 

..........Dave

It’ll be a shame to see the Flapper go.

 I like Cambrian Wharf because it has the Flapper.

And it’ll be souless without it. 

 

We’ll have to get out more next time we’re in Birmingham the Home of Heavy Metal. 

Venues swop and change and the new place is the Hammer and the Anvil. (Can’t see them letting dogs in though)

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Goliath said:

It’ll be a shame to see the Flapper go.

 I like Cambrian Wharf because it has the Flapper.

And it’ll be souless without it. 

 

We’ll have to get out more next time we’re in Birmingham the Home of Heavy Metal. 

Venues swop and change and the new place is the Hammer and the Anvil. (Can’t see them letting dogs in though)

 

 

 

Bet it don't have a balcony where you can sit and have a pint while watching boats coming up the locks and even see your own boat moored right below.

 

Currently at the Barge, Honeystreet, K&A, amazingly rescued from the hands of Mr McEvil property developer, new owners, clean and tidy, food, busy with a mix of customers, six real ales (well 5-1/2 as one is Doom Bar), expecting some serious music tonight.

 

...............Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Athy said:

As it happens I'm currently reading the autobiography of Jim Simpson, long-term music biz man who took Black Sabbath from Brum obscurity, as "Earth", to international success. He mentions the renaming of the bridge (and the unveiling of the Black Sabbath Bench on it) as "recent", but it must have been earlier than this June, I think, for it to have been included in a book published in July. He implies that the bridge had already been renamed before the bench was installed.

   Jim is justly proud of his one-time proteges' achievement, but I must admit that I'm not sure the name really fits the bridge's history. Perhaps, as the band all came from Aston, one of the coils of Spaghetti Junction could have been dedicated to them instead. "You are now entering the Black Sabbath Traffic Jam".

It was June This year that the “renaming” took place, but in fact the Broad Street Tunnel sign is still there along with the new one.

 

Tony Iommi worked in a metalworking factor in the early days and lost the tips of 2 fingers on his fretting hand, a fact then defined their sound somewhat as he had to develop his own technique of forming chords.  Is it possible that picture is a reference to that factory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, dmr said:

Bet it don't have a balcony where you can sit and have a pint while watching boats coming up the locks and even see your own boat moored right below.

 

Currently at the Barge, Honeystreet, K&A, amazingly rescued from the hands of Mr McEvil property developer, new owners, clean and tidy, food, busy with a mix of customers, six real ales (well 5-1/2 as one is Doom Bar), expecting some serious music tonight.

 

...............Dave

What serious music?

You’re miles from the home of Heavy Metal. 

A bit of tin whistle and that irish drum thing if you’re lucky. 

 

Any decent cider on?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Athy said:

According to Jim, the former band members all knew about it (and I think Tony Iommi actually turned up to the bench ceremony and speechified). I'll phone him (Jim, not Tony) next week and ask.

Tony & Geezer were both there for the bridge ceremony.

Edited by The Bearwood Boster
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

I'm sure Ozzy would be turning in his grave to hear of CRT naming bridges after the band, if he was dead, that is. 

 

On the other hand mebbe he sleeps in a grave anyway...

 

 

 

 

He was still alive in January when we saw him in Glasgow....just.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Renaming is part of a destabilising program, like 'reframing'. Lose an identity, and part of history is lost. The subject is deeper than you might think.

Leg O' Mutton lock only survived for the length of a film, but what if it had had a sign put up? Cow Roast sounds odd, but not if associated with the achievement of reaching the summit when built, and a Cow was roasted in the celebrations, or so the story goes.

 

Several locks are named after families that lived there even after their successors have long gone. It's like that with houses where I live, there's 'Annies' and 'Turners', people and families long gone, but their memories are held inperpetuity by locals, though there are no physical signs. Ashted Locks; Farmer's Bridge; Sutton's; Carpenter's; Corketts; Broad Street; Maffers (spell it how you like), so it will remain. Respect history by leaving it be, and passing it on.

Edited by Derek R.
  • Greenie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Derek R. said:

Cow Roast sounds odd, but not if associated with the achievement of reaching the summit when built, and a Cow was roasted in the celebrations, or so the story goes.

What story?

 

The name undoubtedly long predates the building of the canal, and is believed to be a distortion of "Cow Rest", as it sits on an old cattle droving route, and is one of the points where cattle (and drovers) were rested before carrying on their journey.

I've never heard of any connection to the canal, which surely came after the name already existed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the Predatory Developers want to knock down the Flapper and destroy a place where bands were encouraged to perform so ending a connection with the heavy metal music scene.

 

Yet  the Flapper was part of the late 1960's development that brought back a derelict canal side. 250 years ago this canal section was the first to open and bring coal by boat to Birmingham. Later a group of warehouses were erected along this stretch. Crowley & Co had the warehouse on the Flapper site. Later the LNWR owned Shropshire Union Railway & Canal Carrying Co had this warehouses and the wharf which had been No 1 Crescent Wharf, became Cambrian Wharf. 

 

Tony Iommi lost the tip of his fingers whilst operating a guillotine press in a sheet metal factory, probably near Aston ( it would be useful for this thread to know which one). From the published accounts it is less likely that it was in West Bromwich. 

Edited by Heartland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When was the change from The Longboat to The Flapper...?  We used to regularly moor outside when it was The Longboat which would have been late 70's\early 80's and I can't imagine my dad drinking in a heavy metal pub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Heartland said:

Yes the Predatory Developers want to knock down the Flapper and destroy a place where bands were encouraged to perform so ending a connection with the heavy metal music scene.

 

Yet  the Flapper was part of the late 1960's development that brought back a derelict canal side. 250 years ago this canal section was the first to open and bring coal by boat to Birmingham. Later a group of warehouses were erected along this stretch. Crowley & Co had the warehouse on the Flapper site. Later the LNWR owned Shropshire Union Railway & Canal Carrying Co had this warehouses and the wharf which had been No 1 Crescent Wharf, became Cambrian Wharf. 

 

Tony Iommi lost the tip of his fingers whilst operating a guillotine press in a sheet metal factory, probably near Aston ( it would be useful for this thread to know which one). From the published accounts it is less likely that it was in West Bromwich. 

I chatted to a bloke in Oxford who claimed he had been a chargehand at a Birmingham Lucas factory and had a young man working for him on the production line who had no interest in work and just wanted to sing all the time, might just be an urban myth but he claimed it was Ozzy.

 

..................Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

When was the change from The Longboat to The Flapper...?  We used to regularly moor outside when it was The Longboat which would have been late 70's\early 80's and I can't imagine my dad drinking in a heavy metal pub.

It was still the Longboat until at least the early 90's, and you're right, as far as I can recall there wasn't any heavy metal played there when it was called the Longboat. BCN Society meetings were held there in the early/mid 80's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, dmr said:

I chatted to a bloke in Oxford who claimed he had been a chargehand at a Birmingham Lucas factory and had a young man working for him on the production line who had no interest in work and just wanted to sing all the time, might just be an urban myth but he claimed it was Ozzy.

 

..................Dave

It could indeed be true. His mother worked at Lucas and young Ozzy joined her for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - Alan is correct - Cow Rest. Should have remembered that, but instead the grey matter lurched off in the wrong direction. Again . . .

A days march to the 'Smooth field', or the one up behind King's Cross more like.

 

The pub was The Longboat in '83. We stopped and bought some Lockmaster maps from thereabouts.

Edited by Derek R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, John Brightley said:

It was still the Longboat until at least the early 90's, and you're right, as far as I can recall there wasn't any heavy metal played there when it was called the Longboat. BCN Society meetings were held there in the early/mid 80's.

I remember BCN Society social meetings being held in the boat which was moored in the arm alongside the Longboat in the mid 70s. It was a full length Josher butty, with full length cabin painted up in Ansells brewery colours and named Squirrel (the Ansells emblem). It had rather nice etched glass windows with the squirrel emblem. The boat was later sold off and the arm infilled to provide more outdoor seating area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Timeout website it states it was renamed to The Flapper and Firkin in 1991.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Derek R. said:

 

The pub was The Longboat in '83. We stopped and bought some Lockmaster maps from thereabouts.

The British Waterways shop and information centre on Kingston Row was open up until about that year, so you could have bought your maps from there. When it closed the general store opposite took on the role of selling a few canal related items.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.