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Birmingham is well known as being the birthplace of Cadbury’s chocolate but did you know….
1. J.R.R Tolkien used numerous sites in Birmingham as inspiration for Middle Earth.
The legendary author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit novels grew up in the Birmingham area. Apparently, The Two Towers takes its name from Perrott’s Folly and the Brick Chimney at Edgbaston Waterworks.
2. The bicycle bell was invented in Birmingham.
Bright spark John Richard Dedicoat invented the bicycle bell in Birmingham. Finally, cyclists could let people know they were coming in a way that didn’t involve a great deal of shouting and profanity.
3. Birmingham has more canals than Venice.
They may not be as romantic as the ones that you find in Venice, but Birmingham has 35 miles of canal compared with 26 miles in Venice. More water flows through the canals in Birmingham than any other city in the world!
4. Heavy Metal was born in Birmingham.
Tommy Iommi, guitarist of Black Sabbath, helped to pioneer the distinct sound of heavy metal music after he adapted his playing style to accommodate the fact that he lost the tips of two of his fingers in an industrial accident. Talk about commitment to your art!
5. The Mini was designed and built in Birmingham.
This tiny little car was designed by Alec Issigonis in Birmingham, and was put into production in 1959. The Mini went on to become one of the most famous cars in the world, thanks to films like The Italian Job and, of course, that other British icon, Mr Bean.