“The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 inBirmingham, England. At first called the Lunar Circle, “Lunar Society” became the formal name by 1775. The name arose because the society would meet during the full moon, as the extra light made the journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting. The members cheerfully referred to themselves as “lunarticks”, a pun on lunatics.”
This week is Birmingham Heritage Week, and I bought tickets to the ‘Lunar Trail’, which took place today. An hour-and-a-half guided walk around Birmingham City Centre, learning about the Lunar Society, described above. The walk covers the first ten sites listed here.
A life-long Brummie, I know bits and bobs of the city’s history, but not much about these guys, whose members include Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley, James Watt, and Josiah Wedgwood.
Despite a fraught start to the day, and fully expecting to be too late for the tour, we made it just a few minutes after the start time. Constant drizzle didn’t daunt us, in fact, I was happier than if we’d trudged in sunshine!
We listened, chatted, trudged, and I took photos. Here they are, including lots of shots juxtaposing the old with the new, ongoing construction and rejuvenation of the city centre, and a whole heap of reflections that gladdened my eye. I particularly enjoyed the walk along the canalside, and yes, Birmingham DOES have more miles of canals than Venice! [35 miles in Brum v 26 miles in Venice.]
OK, here’s my Powerpoint ramblings about my home town: