Byline: Chris Upton
A recent survey declares Birmingham the third most popular tourist destination in the UK, and those of us who have lived in the city for more than a decade or so will know what an astonishing turn-around this is. Birmingham and tourists? They once went together like rhubarb and gravy.
Not so long ago the sum of Birmingham's visitor offer (I've picked up this phrase from the people at Marketing Birmingham, but I wish they hadn't) was a trip to the Art Gallery and a box of faulty chocolates from Bournville.
So, when did this sea-change occur? I believe there's an early inkling of it as far back as 1926. In fact, I can be more precise than this: the date was April 7, 1926.
It was on this day that Birmingham's Outer Circle bus (No. 11) began its eternal circling of the city.
The service had an entirely practical purpose at the outset.
All of …