Digbeth, Birmingham's oldest street has descended downhill from St Martin Church to the River Rea since 1166 when Birmingham's market opened. At the Rea crossing Deritend joins Digbeth to form a southerly route in and out of Birmingham with Highgate located to the West. Each district has varying historical assertions that contribute towards Birmingham's growth from a small village into the large metropolis we know today. The Victorian railway viaduct survives, still dominating one side of the road together with various other structures including the Old Crown and Bird's Custard Factory. This book illustrates where most of the old industry, shops, schools and places of worship have been replaced by modern structures. Alongside these alterations the River Rea, although mainly unseen, still manages to meander along man-made culverts through the three districts.
Ted Rudge is a well-known local figure in the area. He has recently completed a dissertation at Birmingham University under another well-known man - Carl Chinn. He has a deep interest in the area, and devotes much of his time to studying and writing about local history. He lives in Shirley with his wife, and runs a Winson Green website. Keith Clenton was born, raised and educated in Small Heath. He is an avid collector of Birmingham memorabilia and regularly photographs changing Birmingham scenes and events to add to his personal collection of Birmingham photographs.