England's second biggest city stands at the very heart of the country, geographically and historically. Birmingham grew from a modest market town in medieval times to being hailed as `the first manufacturing town in the world' in 1791. The city was at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution, responsible for many scientific and technological advances that would lay the foundations of the modern industrial society. Indeed, the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, happened in Birmingham.
Secret Birmingham offers a unique insight into this Midlands metropolis, highlighting the lesser-known aspects of its history and revealing intriguing facts that even most Brummies don't know.
Born in Wednesbury in South Staffordshire's Black Country, Tony A. J. Hewitt has long been fascinated with the outdoors and hiking. A retired history and geography secondary school teacher, Tony has walked much of England and has a prolific knowledge of its landscapes and waterways.