Here’s a bit of great entertainment in video / music narrating the historical tale of “The Battle of Stourbridge” which took place in 1962 – I’m sure that many of you will remember the well publicised episode vividly!
The song is from the album “Rainbow Man” by Eddy Morton. The Battle of Stourbridge was a famous event in the history of the preservation of the canal network, not just here but across the whole of the UK. In 1962 volunteers trying to preserve the Stourbridge arm threw inspectors into the canal as they tried to stop them navigating the whole length of the canal to Stourbridge Wharf.
As the founder member of The New Bushbury Mountain Daredevils Eddy toured the UK and Europe constantly for eleven years releasing 8 albums during which time the band appeared at every major Folk/Roots Festival in the UK.
The song was written in 2016 as part of Eddy’s last solo album “Rainbow Man” which was released in 2017. Listen and Watch from here: https://youtu.be/8a9oGkqi0jE
It was written obviously about the Battle of Stourbridge in 1962 but also from the point of view of his wife’s family who were boatmen and women in the late 19th century, early twentieth in and around Birmingham. The song like an earlier song of his “the Queen of Stourbridge Town” looks through the eyes of the people who would have lived, worked and drank at his pub (Katie Fitzgerald’s) when it was then known as the Golden Lion. It is also intended to be somewhat allegorical as it holds a mirror up to recent battles to hold on to public services against a government determined through its austerity regime to destroy the social compact that has existed here in our country since the Second World War. Eddy believes that many of the arguments used in cutting public services are the same short sighted lack of vision that those self-same civil servants used in their desire to close the canal network and the rail network . Since that time both rail and canal preservation networks have proved their worth socially and economically and the health and wellbeing benefits to our country as a whole are incalculable.
Eddy’s latest solo release “Rainbow Man” is also available on iTunes.
We hope that you enjoy the song about the Battle of Stourbridge, which if it had been lost may have seen Canal Street looking very different from what it does today.