The English Midlands is the birthplace of the Industrial revolution ~ and of William Shakespeare. Birmingham, Britain's second city, is at the heart of the area. Stratford-upon-Avon, home of the bard, is not far away. Warwick Castle is fairly close, too.

There are castles, manor houses, moated buildings, timber framed cottages ~ and industry and commerce ~ often side-by-side with areas of ordinary housing.

Birmingham & its environs has more history than even most of its inhabitants know about. The Lunar Society, with members such as Joseph Priestley, James Watt & Matthew Boulton, was based there and attracted 'guests' and friends, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

Birmingham is (or was) the home of Cadburys Chocolate, Austin cars, HP sauce.

So many firsts; so many famous people! The first British car ~ by Lanchester. Tolkien's home ~ Sarehole. Chance's glass made for lighthouses all over the world.

Almost everywhere I go & everything I read seems to have references or links to Birmingham and / or the Midlands.

Visitors are usually pleasantly surprised. Bournville (home of Cadbury's chocolate) is particulatly attractive.

"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.