Elliott Brown

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Art; Culture & creativity
19 Feb 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Bullring presents Borealis by Dan Acher - 9th to 18th February 2024

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From the 9th to 18th February 2024 at the Bullring in Birmingham was an art installation by Dan Acher called Borealis. Based on the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. It was on Central Street (St Martin's Walk) for 10 days from 5pm to 9pm each evening. Best seen after dark, as the effect didn't really work in daylight I found. Smoke machines and ambient music.

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Borealis

BOREALIS THE NORTHERN LIGHTS - ANYTIME, ANYWHERE Borealis recreates one of nature’s most awe-inspiring phenomena over cities around the world. It shifts our emotional experience of familiar urban landmarks and awakens a shared conscience by creating something magical - something that shouldn’t naturally be there. Borealis is about our ancestral communion with nature and our more recent compulsion to control it. As our planet’s climate breaks down, the question arises: will technology one day replace everything that nature currently provides for us?

 

Dan Acher's Borealis was held at the Bullring on St Martin's Walk above St Martin's Square (aka Central Street) from the 9th to 18th February 2024. Time started each evening at 5pm, ended each night at 9pm. Every evening attracted a big crowd looking at the artificial Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Personally I think they should have started it a month earlier, as between 5pm and 6pm, it's not that dark in February, although getting dark after sunset, which is getting a bit later each day now.

 

11th February 2024

First spotted one of the Borealis light towers from Edgbaston Street, after walking from Southside between buses.

Borealis

 

12th February 2024

Nice sunset down St Martin's Walk to St Martin in the Bullring, at approx 4:50pm, so 10 minutes before Borealis was due to start. This day I didn't wait for the lights to turn on.

Borealis

Borealis

 

14th February 2024

This day, I waited the 5 minutes until 5pm for the multi-coloured lights to turn on, but was cloudy, and you don't really get the full Borealis effect at this time, but noticed the smoke machines going on.

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

 

16th February 2024

That evening was when I hoped to catch Borealis after dark, I even popped to Costa Coffee in Grand Central beforehand after work, but I got there at 5:30pm and it wasn't dark yet, but got the full effect, and not much to see from St Martin's Square below.

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

 

18th February 2024

The last evening, one more attempt, so got the bus up from home, then popped to Caffe Nero in Birmingham New Street Station (other coffee shops close at 5pm). Then got here for 6:30pm, and got a lot of photos of it, best I could, these are the best photos I took of Borealis.

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

Borealis

 

Borealis is next scheduled to go to Australia in Adelaide. It goes around the world.

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Transport
18 Feb 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A look around the new look University Station

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The new University Station buildings were opened on Sunday 28th January 2024, and I went to have a look around two weeks later on Sunday 11th February 2024. I got a train one way up from Longbridge, then checked out the buildings inside, the went over the bridge to the campus, and walked around to Vincent Drive and Pritchatts Road. It looks good and fresh. The old building is exit only.

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University Station, the new buildings at the West Gate of the University of Birmingham and at Vincent Drive was fully opened on Sunday 28th January 2024. With the ASLEF train driver strikes the following weekend (3rd and 4th February 2024), thought it was best to wait until the next weekend (10th and 11th February 2024) to come back and check out the buildings.

 

I got the 12:43 train from Longbridge to University, and to my suprise it was West Midlands Railway 323221 in the classic Regional Railways livery. I got to University shortly before 1pm on Sunday 11th February 2024.

University Station

 

The waiting room on platform 1, there is also a new waiting room on platform 2. Probably useful for passengers going with Cross Country on the line between Cardiff Central and Nottingham via Birmingham New Street (if not the Cross City Line, as trains are frequent during the week).

University Station

 

A look at the main concourse from platform level, toilets are to the right. Soon there will be an NHS facility to the left.

University Station

 

Tickets and information near the stairs, way out to the Medical School.

University Station

 

Up the steps from platform 1 concourse, there is seats to sit on near the lift.

University Station

 

View out of the window on the new bridge above the tracks, platform 1 on the right, platform 2 on the left. Towards the 1978 building, now exit only.

University Station

 

Steps down to the platform 2 concourse. Also a lift.

University Station

 

Exiting the station over the new footbridge to the University of Birmingham campus, with a view to Old Joe, it crosses the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

University Station

 

There is also an entrance to University Station from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towpath. I used to have to leave the canal via the steps to Westgate to get to the 1978 entrance.

University Station

 

To the right is a ramp for disabled passengers (wheelchairs etc) to use, or 45 steps down to the University campus.

University Station

 

Looking back at University Station from the new footbridge.

University Station

 

There is some unfinished areas near the footbridge, including in this view towards the canal and new station building.

University Station

 

This grassed area is currently all fenced off, awaiting completion, other than that the steps, ramp and bridge above are open.

University Station

 

Following the Westgate path towards the 1978 building, as we see the 2024 building alongside the canal. This was part of the site of Metchley Roman Fort.

University Station

 

Now heading to the new University Station building from the new path from Westgate.

University Station

 

It is well landscaped with lampposts and a grass lawn.

University Station

 

The station building is close to Vincent Drive. Bollards should prevent vehicles going beyond and parking where they shouldn't do.

University Station

 

One of the many new University Station signs at the station.

University Station

 

The University Station sign from Vincent Drive.

University Station

 

One last look at the station from the bridges on Pritchatts Road, heading to the North Gate of the University of Birmingham, as West Midlands Railway 323218 arrived at platform 2.

University Station

We hope you enjoyed our tour of the new University Station. Experience it yourself by buying your tickets at West Midlands Railway. We recommend using their app, which has a QR code ticket (once tickets purchased). But you can still buy tickets at the station of your choice (ticket machines or ticket office) such as Birmingham New Street. There is ticket gates at the station, on the platform level. Trains on the Cross City Line go between Redditch or Bromsgrove to Lichfield Trent Valley.

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
11 Feb 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Chinese lion dragon dance at The Mailbox Canalside

https://www.youtube.com/embed//fzr09_2Cl3U?si=qiVyCwphk4hTvU5a

It was the Lunar New Year on Saturday 10th February 2024. The Year of the Wood Dragon. The Choy Lee Fut Lion and Dragon Dance Team from Southside performed for about 20 minutes after 2pm at The Mailbox Canalside. Similar to what they have done around the City Centre in previous years, like in the Bullring in 2023. I was joined in getting images with Jack Babington.

Related

CLFLion Dragon on Instagram.

The Choy Lee Fut Lion and Dragon Dance Team started the walk from The Mailbox on Royal Mail Street, then walked up Severn Street and Commercial Street to the steps up to The Mailbox Canalside.

Chinese lion dragon

 

Enjoy this series of 20 photos of the performance, or watch my YouTube video compilation above.

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Chinese lion dragon

Photos and video by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
People & community
09 Feb 2024 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Welcome to Ladywood around Ladywood Middleway

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While Ladywood includes much of the City Centre, in this post we will take a look at Ladywood around Ladywood Middleway. This is the suburban part not far from Edgbaston and Five Ways. Spring Hill Library is near the end of Ladywood Middleway, while Broadway Plaza is close to Five Ways (the former site of the Children's Hospital). 

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The first recorded evidence about Lady Wood was back in 1565. It was named after the Lady Wood which was located between Monument Road and the Ladywood Brook. It stretched from Portland Road to Spring Hill. The wood may have been the property of a church. The wood was long gone by the mid 16th century.

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line was built through Ladywood between 1769 and 1772 by the canal engineer James Brindley.

The canal was straightened by Thomas Telford in the 19th century and this led to Brindley's sections being cut off as loops. Today we have the Icknield Port Loop and the Soho Loop within Ladywood (and the Oozells Loop in the City Centre).

Birmingham Canal

The Birmingham to Wolverhampton Railway

The Birmingham to Wolverhampton Railway opened in 1852 and it passes through Ladywood. It is known as the Stour Valley Line. There used to be a station in Ladywood called Monument Lane. It opened in 1854, was renamed to Edgbaston shortly afterwards. Renamed back to Monument Lane in 1874. It was relocated in 1886 and it was closed down in 1958.

Birmingham to Wolverhampton Railway

St John's Church Ladywood

The Church of St John is located on Monument Road near Ladywood Middleway. It is a Grade II listed building. Originally built in 1854 in the Gothic style (or Decorated style) by S. S. Teulon, the Church of St John the Evangelist was built on the site of Ladywood House, on land that was leased from King Edward VI School.  The famous Birmingham architect J. A. Chatwin built additions to the church in 1881. It was also called the Anglican Church of St John and St Peter.  The building material used was coursed red sandstone with ashlar dressings. The Church of St John the Evangelist became the Church of St John and St Peter in 2000.

St Johns Church Ladywood

Lench's Trust Almshouses

These Almshouses are on Ladywood Middleway near Five Ways. They were built in 1858 by J H Hornblower and Haylock in the Tudor style or Jacobean style. It is a Grade II listed building. It was built of red brick with stone dressings and tiled roofs. No 1 Hagley Road (Metropolitan House by John Madin) is seen behind to the left.  Broadway Plaza is to the right of this.  It was the site of the Children's Hospital until 1998).

Lench's Trust Almshouses

Lench's Trust Almshouses

Below is the view from the Hagley Road of the Lansdowne House during April 2016 with developer Seven Capital. No. 1 Hagley Road was also getting refurbished at the time. You could see Lench's Trust Almshouses from Hagley Road before The Lansdowne got built.

Lenchs Trust Almshouses

Ladywood Middleway view of Lench's Trust Almshouses, with The Lansdowne well under way behind. Seen during March 2018. A mixture of old and new architecture.

Lenchs Trust Almshouses

Here is another view of Lench's Trust Almshouses during November 2019. 

Lenchs Trust Almshouses

Spring Hill Library

Spring Hill Library is next to a large Tesco supermarket at Spring Hill on Summer Hill Road. Spring Hill Library is a Grade II* listed building built in 1893 by Martin and Chamberlain. It was built in the Gothic style with bright red bricks and terracotta dressings. 

St Johns Church Ladywood

Welcome to Ladywood

Prominently located on Ladywood Middleway is this sculpture of Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker.

In September 1873 he came to Birmingham, and crossed Edgbaston Reservoir on a tightrope! The statue was made in 1992 and placed on Ladywood Middleway. It was sculpted by the artist Paul Richardson in 1993.

Welcome to Ladywood

Welcome to Ladywood

Welcome to Ladywood

 

Broadway Plaza

The Birmingham Children's Hospital was on the Ladywood Middleway site from when it was built from 1910 to 1919, until they moved to Steelhouse Lane (the former Birmingham General Hospital) in 1998. Most of the hospital was demolished apart from the facade, and Broadway Plaza opened in 2003. It originally had a 12 screen cinema run by AMC, but Odeon took it over in 2012. It was transformed into the Odeon Luxe Cinema in 2018. There is also a bowling alley here. Originally BowlPlex, it is now the Hollywood Bowl. There is also a Travelodge hotel.

The architect of the Children's Hospital was F W Martin. At one point it was called the King Edward VII Memorial Children's Hospital. Only the facade was retained, the rest of the hospital was demolished. The facade became the entrance to the Broadway Casino, with Virgin Active to the left.

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Birmingham Children's Hospital

This memorial stone was laid in April 1913 by H.R.H. The Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.

Birmingham Children's Hospital

View below during December 2009 with Christmas stars up as Christmas decorations at Broadway Plaza.

Birmingham Children's Hospital

An early evening shot below from December 2013 with Christmas lights on the facade of the former Children's Hospital at Broadway Plaza.

Birmingham Children's Hospital

 

Kareo 6 Medical & Health Centre

Not much is known about this building. In the middle of the building is a Birmingham Forward coat of arms dated to 1934. Inscribed on it was Maternity & Child Welfare Centre. So that must of what it was originally built as back in the day.

Kareo 6 Medical Centre

Kareo 6 Medical Centre

Ladywood Community Fire Station

Ladywood Fire Station is located on Icknield Port Road in Ladywood. It is not far from Monument Road. West Midlands Fire Service serves all of Ladywood plus the City Centre West from this fire station. 

Ladywood Fire Station

Ladywood Fire Station

Ladywood Fire Station

Ladywood Leisure Centre

The Ladywood Leisure Centre was opened in August 2019 on a site on Ladywood Middleway at the end of Monument Road. It replaced the old Ladywood Arts & Leisure Centre. The site was cleared by 2015 and it was built in 2019. It is similar in design to new leisure centres built in Northfield (2018) and in Stechford (2018).

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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100 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
07 Feb 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Annatomix wildlife street art on the Digbeth Branch Canal in Eastside below the HS2, Curzon No 3 Viaduct site

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In the summer of 2023 on the Digbeth Branch Canal between Curzon Street and Curzon Street Tunnel in Eastside, Annatomix was painting wildlife street art for HS2, below where they are building the Curzon No 3 Viaduct. By the autumn it wasn't complete, and as of winter 2023-24, it is now badly tagged by graffiti vandals, so not sure if it will be repaired / repainted or not.

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July 2023

Annatomix started painting the commissioned street art on the Digbeth Branch Canal in Eastside for HS2 in the middle of summer 2023.  This would be where they are building the Curzon No 3 Viaduct.

Annatomix

Annatomix

 

August 2023

Just one update in the late summer, as Annatomix worked away at her art. I walked past towards the Curzon Street Tunnel. Decided to wait a few months to see if it was finished or not.

Annatomix

 

October 2023

A major update of the Annatomix street art on the Digbeth Branch Canal in the middle of Autumn 2023. It was looking good at the time, but she was having a break at the time for about a month. There was also a message at one end "if you like the art please stop drawing on it".

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

 

February 2024

In the months since, taggers and graffiti vandals have been drawing / writing all over the street art, and it looked like Annatomix didn't return (health reasons I think). Meanwhile HS2 had put up rusted weathering steel triangular trusses for the Curzon No 3 Viaduct. Am not sure if it is worth her coming back in future to fix / repaint the art here (her other pieces around the city get tagged as well).

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Annatomix

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Transport
31 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

University Station progress from May 2022 to January 2024

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The new University Station buildings opened on Sunday 28th January 2024. Here's our photo update from May 2022 to January 2024. The station was open throughout the works, and the extended platforms were open in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, but was delays for some reason in completing the station, beyond 2022. We'll get another update at a later date.

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It was supposed to open in July 2022, but is now going to fully open on Sunday 28th January 2024. 

Photo progress gallery below from May 2022 to January 2024.

* Note that all these photos were taken before the new buildings were opened to the public.

 

May 2022

Worcester & Birmingham Canal view near the University of Birmingham, the new buildings under scaffolding.

University Station

 

First look at the extended platforms from platform 1 at University.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

Cross Country Trains Class 220 Voyager passed non stop towards Birmingham New Street.

University Station

 

West Midlands Railway 323209 calls at University, platform 2.

University Station

 

West Midlands Railway 170501 passes on a service to Worcester Foregate Street (this train is now at sister company East Midlands Railway).

University Station

 

West Midlands Railway 323208 calls at University, platform 1 (this train has since moved to Northern Trains).

University Station

 

June 2022

From the X21 bus top deck, before the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games began. Clearly it wouldn't be ready for summer 2022.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

A day later, a comparison with the 1978 building (right, still open) and 2024 building (left).

University Station

 

August 2022

Views of University Station from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Some scaffolding had come down at the time.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

October 2022

Approaching from New Fosse Way and the Westgate entrance.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

One last look during 2022 at the platforms, clearly the buildings wouldn't open by the end of the year.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

Cross Country Voyager Class 220 passing at speed towards the south west.

University Station

University Station

 

West Midlands Railway 323217 stops at University, to take me to Birmingham New Street.

University Station

 

February 2023

First University update of 2023, as usual the walk up the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from the Selly Oak Shopping Park.

University Station

 

This time I walked to the far end of platform 1, buildings appeared to be complete, but would not open for at least another year.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

This was the day, when I managed to get West Midlands Railway 323221 in the Regional Railways Centro livery!

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

Later that month, some views from the X21 bus as it went up Pritchatts Road and Vincent Drive.

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

June 2023

A walk along Prichatts Road and Vincent Drive for more views of the station.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

July 2023

A look at the new access footbridge from the University of Birmingham, near the Westgate.

University Station

University Station

 

This will be one of the new station entrances from Westgate and New Fosse Way.

University Station

University Station

 

August 2023

Approaching University Station again from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

University Station

 

Views from the X21 bus on Vincent Drive.

University Station

University Station

 

A week later, views from the X22 bus on Vincent Drive.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

January 2024

With the news that the ORR had given permission for the new University Station buildings to open on Sunday 28th January 2024, I had one last visit to the station before it opened to the public.

The usual views from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal on the walk from Selly Oak Shopping Park.

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

Looks pretty much the same from platform 1, the boards with train times were on. Some labels needed peeling off.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

 

A Cross Country Trains Class 220 Voyager in the direction of Birmingham New Street.

University Station

 

West Midlands Railway 323241 seen arriving at platform 2.

University Station

 

My West Midlands Railway Class 323 train arrived, to take me one way to Birmingham New Street.

University Station

Photography by Elliott Brown

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90 passion points
Transport
31 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Preserved Midland Metro tram 16 at Very Light Rail, Dudley and West Midlands Metro tram 52 in service

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On a walk around Dudley, I did not expect to find the preserved Midland Metro tram 16, one of the T-69 trams, to be at Very Light Rail in Dudley. Out of the 16 trams in service from 1999 to 2015, 13 have been scrapped, while three preserved including this one. The other two 07 and 10 are at Long Marston. The last West Midlands Metro tram 52, and was the last of the new Urbos 100 order.

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I was in Dudley, during January 2024, for an update of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, and was walking out of Dudley Town Centre, when I spotted this old tram at Very Light Rail.

The former Midland Metro tram 16, a T-69 which was in service from Wolverhampton St George's to Birmingham Snow Hill from 1999 to 2015, was moved from Long Marston to Dudley, for testing on the Very Light Rail tracks.

It still has The Metro, and original red, blue and yellow livery on it, as well as a Wolverhampton College advert dating to 2014. It arrived in Dudley in November 2023.

Midland Metro

Midland Metro

Midland Metro

Midland Metro

 

The most recent tram to come into service was West Midlands Metro tram 52 in January 2024. The last of the Urbos 100 order. Currently there is multiple bus routes from Birmingham to Dudley including the 74, 87, 126 and X8. But by the end of 2024, the tram extension from Wednesbury to Dudley Town Centre might open.

Seen here leaving Edgbaston Village Tram Stop on Hagley Road, via the Five Ways underpass towards Broad Street and Five Ways Tram Stop.

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro

Photography by Elliott Brown

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90 passion points
History & heritage
24 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Winston Churchill, Cadbury No 7 steam locomotive outside the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley

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On a walk around Dudley in January 2024, I went down Tipton Road past the Black Country Living Museum, during a weekend when they were closed for maintenance, so the car park was empty. I saw a green steam locomotive called Winston Churchill, this was the Cadbury Bros No 7 steam locomotive. It arrived in 2012, on the spot where the Titanic anchor replica used to be.

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First a repost on the Titanic anchor replica seen in 2011

The replica of The Titanic Anchor. It was made in 2010 by Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd for a Channel 4 documentary. It was on loan at the time to the museum from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.  The original anchor was made by N. Hingley & Sons Ltd in 1911 at their factory in Netheron, Dudley. The original anchor weighed 15.5 tons. In 2011 the Titanic anchor replica was seen outside of the Black Country Living Museum near the former Rolfe Street Baths building. But it was eventually moved to a more permenant location in Netherton where it remains today. It was replaced in 2012 by the Winston Churchill, Cadbury No 7 steam locomotive.

Titanic Anchor

Titanic Anchor

Titanic Anchor

Titanic Anchor

 

Winston Churchill, Cadbury No 7 in 2024

The relocation of the Winston Churchill was made possible through the help and support of the local house builder Lovell Partnerships Ltd and The Friends of the Black Country Museum.

0-6-0ST Manning Wardle locomotive built at Boyne Engine Works, Leeds in 1923. It was ordered by the Cadbury Brothers, Bournville in February 1923, and was completed and sent to Cadbury Blackpole Factory by June 1923. It became their No 7 steam locomotive at the Waterside Site. It was moved to Bournville for a short time before it returned to Blackpole. And was named after Winston Churchill. By 1946 it had been replaced by diesel and was sold to Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn in Darlington. It arrived in Dudley at G Pitt & Co Ltd on the Pensnett Trading Estate later in 1946. It was eventually placed outside of the Black Country Living Museum in 2012 after the Titanic anchor replica was removed.

Winston Churchill Cadbury No 7

Winston Churchill Cadbury No 7

Winston Churchill Cadbury No 7

Winston Churchill Cadbury No 7

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
18 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Beacon of Hope at St Martin in the Bullring

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From the 15th to 27th January 2024 outside of St Martin in the Bullring is a temporary stained glass installation called The Beacon of Hope, by Ugandan artist Matt Kayem. It was commissioned by Christian Aid.

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The Beacon of Hope

From 15-27 January 2024, beaming brightly in the grounds of St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham, our stained-glass style ‘Beacon of Hope’ will create an awe-inspiring spectacle of light and colour with messages of hope to lift everyone’s spirits.

From Blue Monday, the Beacon will illuminate five powerful messages of hope about hunger, equality, health, climate, and injustice.

Each message of hope was brought to life by Ugandan artist, Matt Kayem, from and working in Kampala. Matt’s work explores identity, race, history, and culture through installations, collage-paintings and photography.

Working in his signature style Matt used recycled denim, sourced from the markets of Kampala then stretched onto frames, as the unique canvas for his vivid, colourful creations.

 

 

I first saw information about The Beacon of Hope, from this banner on St Martin in the Bullring. I was on the bus on the 12th January 2024 heading to my terminus stop. It tells you that it will be here from the 15th to 27th January 2024.

Beacon of Hope

 

A few days after the Lord Mayor of Birmingham unveiled The Beacon of Hope, I got a couple of photos of it, shortly after arriving at the Bullring. There is about four stained glass panels. Seen on the 17th January 2024.

Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Photography by Elliott Brown

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90 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
07 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Birmingham Cathedral: Divine Beauty at Night

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This is the second year that Divine Beauty at Night has been held at Birmingham Cathedral. This time from the 4th to 6th January 2024. After the Edward Burne-Jones stained glass windows were cleaned and restored during 2023. I went on the evening of the 6th January 2024. Was in a queue outside initially, and got in a little late due to a technical issue, but once in, it was amazing!

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St Philip's Church commissioned the famous Arts & Crafts firm of Morris & Co and the artist Edward Burne-Jones to design and construct three stained glass windows in 1884.

He chose three subjects for the windows:

The Ascension (completed 1885)

Burnes-Jones windows

 

The Nativity (1887-8)

Burnes-Jones windows

 

The Crucifixion (1887-8)

Burnes-Jones windows

These were in the newly enlarged chancel.

 

About a decade later a fourth window followed, the Last Judgement (1897).

Burnes-Jones windows

 

During World War 2 (1939-45) they were removed to a Welsh slate mine to keep them safe.

In 2023, the Divine Beauty Project started, and the windows were fully restored and cleaned.

The first Divine Beauty at Night took place from the 12th to 14th January 2023. The second from the 4th to 6th January 2024. Both events organised by Luxmuralis.

 

Divine Beauty at Night 2024

On Saturday 6th January 2024, was the third evening / night of Divine Beauty at Night. Held for the second year. Was a long queue, with the timed ticketed slots, but the delay was due to a technical issue, meaning the show started a bit late. So got into Birmingham Cathedral around 20 minutes later than expected, but was worth it once I got in the building.

The Divine Beauty at Night lights show of the Burne-Jones windows lasted about 25 minutes, it was quite impressive. A gallery of photos is below.

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night

Divine Beauty at Night Photography by Elliott Brown

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90 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
04 Jan 2024 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Graham Jones wood carving sculptures across Birmingham and the West Midlands

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There is many wooden carving sculptures across Birmingham and the West Midlands region by local woodcarver Graham Jones. There is collection in Selly Oak Park. Recent ones have been installed in Hall Green and Swanshurst Park. In the past he's made ones for the Lickey Hills Country Park and Jephson Gardens, Leamingon Spa.

Related

Graham Jones | Wood Carver

He has over 30 years experience of creating public wood carvings. Many of them can be found in Birmingham, and other areas.

 

Copper Beech Tree bench and snail

Location: Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa.

Wooden carving from an oak tree that was felled in 2013 in Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa. Seen near the Parade and River Leam. It was carved by Graham Jones from a  copper beech tree. The tree had been there from the 1840s to 2013.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

The Spirit of the Woods

Location: Lickey Hills Country Park, on Bilberry Hill. Not far from the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre.

A carved wooden sculpture called The Spirit of the Woods. Made by Graham Jones in 1993. Part of a Sculpture Trail. The sculpture trail was first commissioned in 1991 by Birmingham City Council and the Arts Council.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Galton Valley Owl

Location: Opposite the Galton Valley Pumping Station on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Old Mainline (Wolverhampton Level). Near Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick.

Probably installed in 2023. Close to The Galton Valley Canal Heritage Area.

Galton Valley Owl

Galton Valley Owl

 

Owl Totem Pole

Location: Elmdon Park, Solihull

The totem pole was created from ideas put forward by local schools, after an Oaks and Shires event in 2004.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Twitters

Location: Elmdon Park, Solihull

'Twitters' came to Elmdon Park in 2003 and is carved from a tree that was removed from the park.

Graham Jones

 

Swanshurst Park Centenary Pole

Location: Swanshurst Park, near Yardley Wood Road, closer to Moseley than Billesley, in view of the Moseley New Pool.

A wooden totem with a painted black swan on the side and a crow on top. Installed in 2023 for the Friends of Swanshurst Park group for the Centenary of Swanshurst Park (1923 - 2023).

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Hall Green

Location: Greet Mill Meadow, Shire Country Park, near Stratford Road, Hall Green.

Installed in 2022 for the Hall Green's Keepin' It Clean litter buster group.

Graham Jones

 

Be green because we're Hall Green let's make a difference

Location: Between Stratford Road and Reddings Lane on York Road in Hall Green. Behind the Apple Green petrol station.

Installed in 2023 for the Hall Green's Keepin' It Clean litter buster group.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Dragon Bench

Location: Outside of Hall Green Library on the Stratford Road.

The Dragon Bench was  carved by Graham Jones in 2002. It was unveiled in February 2003, on the 40th anniversary of the library. May have been inspired by the dragon Smaug in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (Tolkien lived down the road in the hamlet of Sarehole in the early 1900s as a small boy). May have been done in association with pupils of Hall Green School.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Chinn Brook Meadows

Location: Chinn Brook Meadows, Shire Country Park. Near Highfield Road, Yardley Wood.

Carved from the remains of a tree trunk. Image of a swan and flowers on it, plus a hand.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Roots and Branches

Location: Handsworth Park.

Wooden carving by Graham Jones & cast in metal by Tim Tolkien.

Four trees with extended roots on the ground in steel which can be used as seats. Roots extend out above the ground forming seating with the inner space proving a meeting place. Made in 2019-20. Part of the Handsworth Park Arts Trail.

Roots and Branches

 

The Commonwealth of Nations

Location: St Thomas' Peace Garden.

These appear to have been made for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in mind. The Commonwealth replaced the British Empire in name in 1949. There was also a wooden table here, and mosaics on the ground.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

 

Lapal - Welcome to Selly Oak Park

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Bench in memory of Geoff Bartlett, Found Friend of Selly Oak Park

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Deer or kangaroo

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Carved log bench

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

 

Nuthatch

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Selly Oak Park bench

Location: Selly Oak Park.

Part of the sculpture trail for the Friends of Selly Oak Park in 2011.

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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100 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
30 Dec 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Stacey Barnfield's Colour Palette's in Birmingham, Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa

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Former Birmingham Mail editor Stacey Barnfield set up a company called Draw My City and the Colour Palette Company. He has also been involved in Staying Cool's Creative Heights programmes. His Colour Palette's can be seen in Birmingham at Grand Central, in Warwick at Warwick Station and in Royal Leamington Spa in a subway below the station.

Related

Go here for Stacey Barnfield's Draw My City website, if you wish to purchase any of his products.

 

The Birmingham Colour Palette

The Birmingham Colour Palette seen in Grand Central during June 2021. This is if you are heading to the Stephenson Street exit of Birmingham New Street Station. Was covering over vacant units.

The Birmingham Colour Palette

 

The Birmingham Colour Palette and Draw My City seen in Grand Central during October 2022. More vacant units were covered by Stacey's art beyond the Kitty Cafe.

Birmingham Colour Palette

Birmingham Colour Palette

 

The Warwick Colour Palette

The Warwick Colour Palette is located on platform 1 at Warwick Station, as seen during April 2023. The station is currently being renovated, so the subway and station building were closed.

The Warwick Colour Palette

The Warwick Colour Palette

The Warwick Colour Palette

 

Seen from the Chiltern Mainline, when the train stopped at Warwick Station during December 2023. The Warwick Colour Palette is to the right of the temporary entrance to platform 1 (half the platform is still closed during these works).

The Warwick Colour Palette

The Warwick Colour Palette

 

The Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

The Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette is located in the pedestrian subway below Leamington Spa Station (not the subway between platforms 2 and 3). The panels are on both sides of the subways walls.

Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

Royal Leamington Spa Colour Palette

 Photography by Elliott Brown

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130 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
11 Dec 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Luke Perry's public art sculptures across the West Midlands

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In this post we list the current Luke Perry public art metal sculptures on public display across the West Midlands, and where to find them. Plus links to the features with galleries of photos. This is only Luke Perry's sculptures currently on display, not temporary ones that have been removed.

Related

To find these sculptures you will have to get the bus, train or tram, or walk to their locations to find them. Click the links to the features, then click the links to the map locations.

 

Find Luke Perry on Instagram and his website.

 

Located in Birmingham

SS Journey

Location: Handsworth Park, facing the lake.

Artist: Luke Perry

This sculpture is dedicated to the brave individuals who have left their homes around the world and made the journey to Handsworth and other parts of the UK, seeking a new life for themselves and their families. Was part of the Handsworth Arts Trail, made in 2017.

A representation of the bow of a steam ship with a passenger looking into the distance and to their future. Local man Hector Pinkney MBE, a youth worker and mentor for many young people in the area and known to many locally as ‘Mr Handsworth’, modelled for the figure.

SS Journey

 

The Ribbons: Birmingham AIDS and HIV Memorial

Location: Hurst Street, Hippodrome Square, Southside (outside of Mr Egg and Happy Lemon)

Artists: Garry Jones and Luke Perry

It was unveiled on the 1st December 2022.  It depict's two interlocking heart ribbons.

Birmingham HIV Aids Memorial

 

Black British History is British History

Location: Soho Loop (Birmingham Canal Navigations Old Mainline) to the east of the Asylum Bridge in Winson Green

Artists: Luke Perry and artist Canaan Brown

Roundhouse to Chance Glassworks Arts Trail

Legacy West Midlands presents Black British History if British History (2023).

Made of Galvanised Steel.

The rear of the sculpture represents important figures and moments from Black British history, spanning from the Roman period to the Second World War.

In the centre is the towering mast of a ship, whose huge sails reads in large print 'BLACK BRITISH HISTORY IS BRITISH HISTORY'.

These sails are representative of the fact that for nearly 1800 years, the sole method of travel to the UK was by sailing ship, with many working in the Merchant and Royal Navy. Maritime coastal communities of Black people arose in busy ports such as Liverpool, Bristol and London, as sailors settled in Britain.

Black British History is British History

 

Located in Sandwell

Cradley Column

Location: Tesco Extra, High Street, Cradley Heath

Artist: Luke Perry

The column was commissioned and funded by Tesco to mark the opening of their store in Cradley Heath in 2007.

Cradley Column

 

Mary Macarthur statue

Location: Mary Macarthur Gardens, near the corner of Sydney Road and Lower High Street, Cradley Heath

Artist: Luke Perry

The statue was named after the trade unionist who led the women chainmakers in 1910, when they held a strike, in their demands for a mimimum wage.

Unveiled in 2012, after being made for a period of two years. Also called the Womens Chainmakers Statue.

Mary Macarthur

 

Lions of the Great War

Location: Near the High Street, Smethwick

Artist: Luke Perry

A bronze statue of a First World War Sikh solider, opposite the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, unveiled on the 4th November 2018.

Lions of the Great War

 

Portrait bust of Phil Lynott

Location: New Square, West Bromwich (behind Central St Michael's Sixth Form College, formerly The Public).

Artist: Luke Perry

A portrait bust / bronze statue of the singer Phil Lynott (1949-86) unveiled in August 2021 on what would have been his 72nd birthday.

Phil Lynott

 

Located in Wolverhampton

Saragarhi Memorial

Location: Memorial Park in Wednesfield near Rookery Street and Well Lane, opposite a Sikh temple called the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Wednesfield.

Artist: Luke Perry

A memorial to the Sikh Regiment was unveiled in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, in September 2021. The 3-metre (9.8 ft) statue by artist Luke Perry commemorates the Battle of Saragarhi.

The Sikh community of Wednesfield, Wolverhampton acknowledge the heroic actions of NEC Camper Khuda Dadh and regiments cook who took up arms and fought alongside his brothers to the end.

Dedicated to the brave men of the 36th Sikh Regiment who fought to the last man defending their outpost at the Battle of Saragarhi. 12th September 1897.

Saragarhi Memorial

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
29 Nov 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Christmas bauble arches in Birmingham 2023

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For the 2023 Christmas season, gone up in November 2023, at San Carlo Ristorante Italiano on Temple Street and The Queen's Head on Steelhouse Lane is a pair of Christmas bauble arches, for people to enjoy. Some I've noticed people have had their photos taken with them. I've also put them up on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Related

San Carlo Facebook post | San Carlo Instagram post

San Carlo Ristorante Italiano at 4 Temple Street has a Christmas baubles arch. Popular with people having their photos taken with it. There is a couple of Jack-in-a-Boxes on it, Santa's legs up-side-down, candy canes and dolls.

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

San Carlo

 

 

The Queen's Head Facebook post | The Queen's Head Instagram post

The Queen's Head at 28 Steelhouse Lane has a Christmas baubles arch with two halves of a cracked Christmas cracker above, and a red post box for sending post to Santa at the North Pole until the 24th December 2023.

The Queen's Head

The Queen's Head

The Queen's Head

The Queen's Head

The Queen's Head

 

 Photography by Elliott Brown

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Art; Culture & creativity
26 Nov 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Doctor Who 60: Alien Invasion of Acocks Green

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Happy 60th anniversary to Doctor Who (1963 - 2023). Back in August 2015, the then Acocks Green Village BID held and event called the Alien Invasion of Acocks Green, and there was Doctor Who props inside of Acocks Green Library at the time. The TARDIS and Cyberman head were autographed.

Related

Alien Invasion of Acocks Green: Doctor Who

Saturday 1st August 2015, the Acocks Green Village BID held an event called the Alien Invasion of Acocks Green.

That day, Doctor Who props were inside of Acocks Green Library, with an autographed TARDIS and Cyberman head. 

Also here was K9 and Davros (the creator of the Daleks).

Acocks Green Library

 

Autographed Cyberman head

Acocks Green Library

 

As well as Doctor Who, there was a Steampunk exhibition inside.

Acocks Green Library

 

Autographed TARDIS with Davros.

Acocks Green Library

 

K9

Acocks Green Library

 

Heading out, there was a cardboard cut out Dalek, and shelves with Doctor Who books, comics and DVD's. David Tennant, Tenth Doctor era.

Acocks Green Library

 Photography by Elliott Brown

 

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90 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
18 Nov 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Snowdogs Birmingham 2023 trail

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For a third Christmas season in a row, there is another Wild in Art trail. This time 10 Snowdogs. Based on the Snowman and the Snowdog by Raymond Briggs. Get as many Snowdogs as you want in a day, or get them over a number of days if that is easier for you. On from mid November 2023 to early January 2024.

Related

Go here for Jack Prophotographypictures Birmingham We Are post on the Snowdogs on our Instagram page.

 

Candy Cane in the Great Western Arcade

Snowdog

 

Elf at Christmas in Cathedral Square, Colmore Row (Birmingham Cathedral)

Snowdog

 

Classic Snowdog on Corporation Street (CASS Art)

Snowdog

 

Bark the Herald Angels Sing at the Bullring (Nike Birmingham)

Snowdog

 

Gizmo in Selfridges (Click & Collect)

Snowdog

 

Roodie in the Piccadilly Arcade

Snowdog

 

Ginger at Hippodrome Square, Southside (Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst Street)

Snowdog

 

Sparkle in The Mailbox (BBC Birmingham)

Snowdog

 

Starry Night at Ice Skate Birmingham (Centenary Square)

Snowdog

 

Ru-dog at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (Victoria Square)

Snowdog

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Classic Architecture
01 Nov 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visit to the National Trust property of Attingham Park in Shropshire

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Went to Attingham Park in Shropshire in late October 2023, on the way for a weeks holiday in Llangollen, Wales. The Deer Park was closed after Storm Babet. So was only able to go around the house, stables and to the walled garden. But was a lot of puddles and mud around. This post just a general look around the house with the rooms open to the public.

Related

Between 1784 and 1947, Attingham Park was home to the 1st to 8th Lord Berwick's and their families. The 1st Lord Berwick was Noel Hill MP for Shrewsbury. Between 1948 and 1976 it was The Adult Education College. After that it became a National Trust property. The mansion is a Grade I listed building.

The Deer Park was closed due to Storm Babet, and was still a lot of mud and puddles around the part of the estate that was open. This post mostly looking at the mansion at Attingham Park and the historic rooms inside. It is also called Attingham Hall.

 

First view of the mansion at Attingham Park from the car.

Attingham Park

 

The West Wing

Attingham Park

 

Exterior of Attingham Park, the mansion before going in.

Attingham Park

 

The Inner Courtyard on exiting the hall. It leads to the Service Courtyard.

Attingham Park

 

Service Courtyard - leads to the Clock Gatehouse on exiting.

Attingham Park

 

Attingham Park - rooms inside

Entrance Hall

Attingham Park

 

Picture Gallery

Attingham Park

 

Nash Staircase

Attingham Park

 

The Dining Room

Attingham Park

 

Inner Library

Attingham Park

 

West Ante Room

Attingham Park

 

Octagon Room

Attingham Park

 

Servants World

Servants Hall

Attingham Park

 

Butlers Pantry

Attingham Park

 

Servants Waiting Room

Attingham Park

 

Kitchen

Attingham Park

 

Servants Dining Room

Attingham Park

 

Still Room Kitchen

Attingham Park

 

Lord Berwick's luggage (to the house exit)

Attingham Park

Photos by Elliott Brown

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50 passion points
Photography
13 Oct 2023 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Birmingham We Are on Facebook and Instagram

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Not had much time recently for the Birmingham We Are website. But am posting on the Facebook and Instagram pages, run by me and Prophotographypicture (Jack). If you want community, there is several private Birmingham related photography groups on Facebook. Where you will get more reactions to your photos of Birmingham.

Related

Click here for our Facebook page: Birmingham We Are Facebook - 62 followers as of the middle of October 2023.

 

Click here for our Instagram page: Birmingham We Are Instagram - 943 followers as of the middle of October 2023.

 

Our pages on Meta are run by Elliott and Jack.

 

Or you can check out Jonathan and Daniel's Twitter X run page Birmingham We Are Twitter X - 30.7K followers. But not posting as frequently as in the past.

 

 

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10 passion points
Modern Architecture
04 Oct 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Creative Heights II: Shoot the Sunset from Staying Cool at the Rotunda

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On Sunday 1st October 2023, Elliott and Jack and other photographers got the chance to go up to the level 20 balcony from Staying Cool at the Rotunda, as the sun went down. It was a bit cloudy, so not much of a sunset really, and got misty as it got dark. The views was amazing. Here just highlights of the views.

Related

Full photos here in Sky High Birmingham.

This visit to Staying Cool at the Rotunda was booked two months in advance for Creative Heights II. The £15 paid went to the Love Brum charity, they raised over £400.

Sunday 1st October 2023 between 5pm and 8pm (although Elliott and Jack arrived around 4:30pm, and left by 7:30pm).

The balcony was on Level 20. We had access mainly to one penthouse suite, and briefly let into the other for the views on the other side.

 

The Rotunda

Rotunda

 

Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central

Birmingham New Street Station

 

The Ringway Centre on Smallbrook Queensway

Ringway Centre

 

1000 Trades Square (Grand Central Square)

1000 Trades Square

 

Birmingham New Street Signal Box

Birmingham New Street Signal Box

 

Birmingham Moor Street Station

Birmingham Moor Street Station

 

HS2 Curzon Street Station

HS2 Curzon Street Station

 

Millennium Point and Eastside City Park

Millennium Point


 

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

St Martin's Square at the Bullring

St Martin's Square

 

Rotunda Square at the Bullring

Rotunda Square

 

Bullring

Bullring

 

Selfridges

Selfridges

 

High Street with Primark and Waterstones

High Street

 

New Street

New Street

 

The White House on New Street

White House

 

Birmingham Council House

Birmingham Council House

 

Birmingham Town Hall

Birmingham Town Hall

 

Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham Cathedral

 

Centenary Square

Centenary Square

 

The Cube

The Cube

 

The Mailbox

The Mailbox

 

Ruins of St Thomas' Church at the Peace Garden

Peace Garden

 

BT Tower

BT Tower

 

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

 

The Octagon at Paradise Birmingham

The Octagon

 

The Mercian

The Mercian

 

Victoria Law Courts and Methodist Central Hall

Steelhouse

 

Beetham Tower

Beetham Tower

 

The Electric Cinema

Electric Cinema

 

Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Hippodrome

 

Birmingham Back to Backs

Back to Backs

 

The Wellington Hotel

The Wellington Hotel

 

Birmingham Coach Station in Digbeth

Birmingham Coach Station

 

Custard Factory, Digbeth

Custard Factory

 

The former Floodgate Street Board School, Digbeth

Former Floodgate Street Board School

 

Former Father Lopes' Chapel, Digbeth

Former Father Lopes Chapel

 

St Alban's Church, Highgate

St Alban's Church

 

Birmingham Central Mosque

Birmingham Central Mosque

 

Small Heath Station

Small Heath Station


St Andrew's Stadium, home of Birmingham City FC

St Andrew's

 

Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr

Alexander Stadium

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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Transport
02 Oct 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Solihull Food Festival heritage buses out from The Transport Museum Wythall

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Over the weekend of 29th September to 1st October 2023, The Transport Museum Wythall had a couple of their heritage buses out in Solihull Town Centre for the Solihull Food Festival. I had a look on the 30th September 2023. West Bromwich Corporation 248 was at Station Approach, while WM Travel 6835 was going around the Town Centre with two stops on the way.

Related

West Bromwich Corporation 248

248 NEA

I got to Station Approach near Solihull Station (closed due to ASLEF industrial action on Saturday 30th September 2023), to find West Bromwich Corporation 248 broken down, there was an engineer with the heritage bus at Station Approach bus stop A. I was thinking of riding it, until I realised it wouldn't go into service, so ended up walking into Solihull Town Centre instead.

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

 

I'd previous seen West Bromwich Corporation 248 at The Transport Museum Wythall back on the August Bank Holiday Monday of 2022, and had a look inside of it (both decks).

Wythall Transport

Wythall Transport

Wythall Transport

Wythall Transport

 

WM Travel 6835

WDA 835T

Metrobus

I first saw WM bus 6835 on the walk up Station Road towards Touchwood in Solihull Town Centre, as a fire engine went past.

Wythall Solihull

 

The 6835 bus was waiting outside of Touchwood, normally where the no 6 buses end their service from Birmingham, close to the entrance of Touchwood.

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

 

I then went up to Starbucks in Touchwood, and from the first floor, saw 6835 come back around 20 minutes after I'd last seen it. Then a 6 arrived behind it.

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

 

Later after a walk around New Road and Warwick Road, I got this view of it one more time from Poplar Road, before walking to the Solihull Town Centre bus stop near John Lewis to catch the 6 home. This was around half an hour after I got it from Starbucks above.

Wythall Solihull

 

After leaving Starbucks, I walked through Touchwood, and was able to see 6835 arriving at New Road close to The Masons Arms public house. Was a lot of traffic around here.

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

 

I walked up New Road, then onto Warwick Road, when eventually 6835 passed me, before it would turn onto Poplar Road to the next stop.

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

Wythall Solihull

 

I previously saw 6835 back at the Birmingham Bus Bash at Cannon Hill Park, during September 2017. It was the second bus from the left. The one that said route 52, Beeches Estate via Walsall Road.

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

 

And last saw 6835 at The Transport Museum Wythall during the August Bank Holiday Monday 2022 visit. It was the third bus on the left.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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Art; Culture & creativity
27 Sep 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Mali Morris Calling and Dean Kelland Imposter Syndrome at the IKON Gallery

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From September to December 2023, there is two art exhibitions located at the IKON Gallery in Oozells Square, Brindleyplace. Head up to Level 1 for Mali Morris Calling and then up to Level 2 for Dean Kelland Imposter Syndrome. Use the stairs or the lift.

Related

Mali Morris Calling

You can see some of Mali Morris Calling art outside of the IKON Gallery from Oozells Square, in Brindleyplace. The exhibition opened on 20th September, and will run to 22nd December 2023.

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

 

Head up the stairs for a look at the Mali Morris Calling art exhibition on Level 1.

A major solo exhibition by British artist Mali Morris. Calling has nearly 30 works from the last 25 years.

Morris's first solo exhibition was held at the Ikon Gallery on John Bright Street in 1979, so she returns to the Ikon now at Brindleyplace, some 44 years later to transform the galleries space into fields of colour and light.

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

 

Dean Kelland Imposter Syndrome

For Dean Kelland Imposter Syndrome, just head up to Level 2 of the Ikon Gallery to see it.

An exhibition of Pop Art and Prison Art by Dean Kelland, with new films, prints and sketchbooks, since the 1960s. Referencing popular figures such as Elvis Presley and David Bowie. 

Kelland had a four year residency at HMP Grendon (2019-2023).

He chose the title Imposter Syndrome, reflecting his experience at an all male prision.

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

IKON Gallery

Photos by Elliott Brown

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Art; Culture & creativity
20 Sep 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Ten years of free exhibitions in The Gallery at the Library of Birmingham

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The Gallery is on Level 3 (the third floor) of the Library of Birmingham. There has been several exhibitions in this space between 2013 and 2023. From the Reference Works exhibition in September 2013 to The Birmingham Allotment Project in September 2023. Plus a couple related to Shakespeare and Watt in between.

Related

2013: Reference Works

3rd September to 29th December 2013.

The very first exhibition in The Gallery at the Library of Birmingham, from September 2013 was Reference Works. Birmingham Central Library in 2010 commissioned four photographers - Michael Collins, Brian Griffin, Andrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps to make individual creative responses to the emergence of the Library of Birmingham. The four artists also mentored students and graduates from Birmingham City University. There was also an exhibition outside of the Library of Birmingham at the time in Centenary Square, with historic images of the old Central libraries from the 1882 to 2013.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2014: Voices of War

29th September to 31st December 2014

Voices of War: Birmingham People 1914-19 transports us back to Birmingham during the First World War and tells the stories of local people.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2015: Mat Collishaw - In Camera

18th September 2015 to 10th January 2016.

The room was dark with this art installation by Mat Collishaw. In Camera means Camera Obscura (Latin for dark chamber). It features a series of 12 crime scene negatives made for the Birmingham City Police Force during the 1930s and 1940s. Collishaw discovered the uncatalogued images. Using flashing bulbs.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery
 

2016: Our Shakespeare

22nd April to  3rd September 2016.

It commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of the bard William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616). Also relating to the Shakespeare Memorial Room and George Dawson.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2017: Pavel Brázda is Here! 

1st June to 1st July 2017.

Didn't go to this one, just saw the signs from outside of the library at the time.

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2017: Connecting Stories

Around October 2017 there was an Indian tricycle (Rickshaw) in front of The Gallery. Behind was an exhibition at the time called Connecting Stories (didn't go into that one).

The Gallery

 

2018: Wholesale Memory

29th January to 7th April 2018.

Friction Arts presents the Wholesale Memory Exhibition. The Smithfield Wholesale Markets have been on their present site for 900 years but they moved later in 2018 to Witton to make way for the Smithfield redevelopment.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2018: The Empire Windrush Generation Exhibition

24th May to 30th June 2018.

Celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush ship with Black Britions who emigrated to the UK from the Caribbean, in 1948.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2019: Watt in the World

12th July to 2nd November 2019.

Commemorated the bicentenary of the death of James Watt (1736 - 1819). As well as his life and legacy.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

 

2022: Everything to Everybody

22nd July to 5th November 2022.

Was part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Was about creating the Shakespeare Library.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

2023: The Birmingham Allotment Project. Wotta Lotta Culture!

Saturday 16th September to Saturday 25th November 2023.
A snapshot of Birmingham's vibrant allotment culture from the 1960s to the present day.

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

Photos by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
History & heritage
18 Sep 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Bell Ringing Chamber at St Martin in the Bullring for Birmingham Heritage Week

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I went on the 1pm tour of the Bell Ringing Chamber, which is halfway up the spire in St Martin in the Bullring on the 14th September 2023. Was just me and another lady on the tour, plus the two bell ringer volunteer experts. This would be my last Birmingham Heritage Week visit of the 2023 season I think. I even got to try and ring some hand bells.

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They were having tours of the Bell Ringing Chamber at St Martin in the Bullring for Birmingham Heritage Week, from Thursday 14th, Friday 15th and Saturday 16th September 2023, starting at 1pm, they should last around 45 minutes to 1 hour per tour.

I went on the 1pm tour on the 14th September 2023, I waited for around 20 minutes in the prayer chapel below the spire tower, and signed a form with my name while I waited.

Since 1991, there has been 16 bells in the spire, before that there was previously 12 bells. The current bells cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

The main guide was pointing to the two tablets, the first one marking the 81st birthday of Queen Victoria in May 1900, and the second one after her death, they rang bells in February 1901.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

There is tablets all around the room, recording when the rang the bells for over 3 hours for special occasions.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

The two ropes here, one of the guides showed us how he rings the bell, it starts in an upright position.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

Made a video of him bellring here.

 

Hand bells

These are the hand bells, we later had a go with. Got to try ringing two bells, which was easier said than done. We rang them in a loop, then Queens (right bell everyone, then left bell everyone).

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

Model bell

A model of what a bell in the tower above would look like. They usually leave it in an up position. And there is wooden break at the bottom which stops it going all the way around. The wheel has a hole in it which is usually attached to the rope.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

The Taylor Trophy

Every year there is a bell ringing competition across the country, and since 2011, Birmingham has won it 8 times! Congratulations St Martin's bellringers!

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

Some wall tablets of note

On the occasion of Queen Victoria's 81st birthday, 12 members of the  St Martin's Guild of Change Ringers rang a peal of Stedman Cinques for 3 hours and 41 minutes, on Thursday 24th May 1900.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

A year later, after Queen Victoria's death on the 22nd January 1901. St Martin's Guild of Change Ringers, on Tuesday 26th February 1901 rang a peal of Stedman Cinques for 3 hours and 50 minutes.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

On the occasion of the coronation of King George V & Queen Mary on 22nd June 1911, the St Martin's Guild of Church Bell Ringers rang a peal of Stedman Cinques for 3 hours and 57 minutes (a ladder was in the way).

St Martin in the Bullring

 

On the occasion of the coronation of King Georve VI & Queen Elizabeth on the 12th May 1937, St Martin's Guild of Church Bell Ringers rang a peal of Stedman Cinques for 3 hours and 40 minutes.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

Two blanks panels here, left to record the ringing of the bells in 2022 to mark the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

16 new bells were installed in 1991, and the St Martin's Guild of Church Bell Ringers rang them for the first time on Tuesday 16th November 1993 for 3 hours and 44 minutes. It was the 5000th peal for the guild.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

In November 2008 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of St Martin's Band. The first peal was rung on 19th November 1758 for 3 hours & 22 minutes with 5040 Grandsire Caters. On the 19th November 2008 they rang the bells for 3 hours & 20 minutes with 5040 Grandsire Caters. Then on the 22nd November 2008, they rung the bells for 3 hours & 55 minutes with  5250 Bristol Surprise Sixteen.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

Other objects of note

Royal coat of arms looking golden.

St Martin in the Bullring

 

A clock in memory of George E Fearn (1906 - 1974). Secretary of St Martin's Guild of Bellringers from 1949 to 1968. Ringer at this tower for 45 years and tower master warden and ringing master from 1961 to 1874. Leading peal ringer with 2667 peals.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

A black and white photograph of Roderick W Pipe (1940 - 2011). A member of St Martin's Band, composer, conductor, innovator and visionary. A memorial peal of Stedman Cinques was rung here on Monday 11th April 2011. The room was renovated in his memory in 2013.

St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin in the Bullring

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
History & heritage
13 Sep 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Heritage Week visit

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I popped into St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter to see the interiors of the church during Birmingham Heritage Week on the 12th September 2023. Some seven years after I did the Belfry / bell tower climb (September 2016). But back then didn't look inside of the actual church. This time it was less busy, was one tour group in there. Found the Hollins memorial.

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St Paul's Belfry 2016 post from 2019.

St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter was open most days of Birmingham Heritage Week during September 2023. This visit was on the 12th September 2023. Just a quick look around. Noticed a group on a guided tour.

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

 

Royal Coat of Arms at the west end of the church, above the balcony.

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

 

The east window was was made by Francis Eginton in 1791 and modelled on an altarpiece painted about 1786 by Benjamin West, representing the Conversion of Saint Paul.

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

 

There is two stained glass windows on one side of the church. And one panel from the year 2000 on the other side.

St Paul's Church

 

The stained glass window with angels on it, is near the bust and memorial of William Hollins, architect and sculptor.

St Paul's Church

 

This more modern stained glass window from the year 2000, as we entered the new millennium.

St Paul's Church

 

As you head into St Paul's Church, on your right is a sculpture of John B. Surman, architect of the restoration, from 1949 to 1951.

St Paul's Church

 

This small chapel area on the far left of the east window, there is a cross inside, which they probably use at Easter to recreate the Crucifixion parade through the streets. Also candles to light.

St Paul's Church

 

A golden eagle lectern and a piano.

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

 

Near the organ was these flags from the regiments who served in various conflicts.

St Paul's Church

 

The organ next to the flags and east window.

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

 

Two brass floor plates / plaques. The first was in memory of the members of this Parish who fell in the First World War (then known as the Great War) 1914 - 1918, and later the Second World War 1939 - 1945.

St Paul's Church

 

Another brass plaque in memory of a boy called Ralph Andrew Watkyn Stevens, who was born on the 22nd September 1944 and died aged almost 15 on the 25th August 1959. He was the son of Ralph Stevens (the then Vicar of this Parish) and of Gwen Stevens.

St Paul's Church

 

Near a stained glass window is a marble bust of the architect and sculptor William Hollins (1763 - 1843). He remodelled St Paul's Church in 1820.

St Paul's Church

 

As well as William Hollins, there is a memorial for his wife Catherine (1764 - 1831).

St Paul's Church

 

As well as a memorial to Thomas Hollins (died in 1821), an artist, plus members of his family, who passed away during the 19th century. Many members of the Hollins family became artists. 

St Paul's Church

Photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
History & heritage
11 Sep 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A Birmingham Heritage Week visit to St Alban's Church in Highgate

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St Alban's Church in Highgate, Birmingham was open for free visits on Sunday 10th September 2023, as part of Birmingham Heritage Week / Heritage Open Days. The entrance was on Stanhope Street. The staff / volunteers were so welcoming, they gave you laminated information cards, including a map of the church. Plus you could have tea / coffee and biscuits in the church hall.

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I caught the 50 bus up to Moseley Road in Balsall Heath, getting off near Moseley Road Baths, before walking to Highgate via Balsall Heath Road, then crossing at the lights near Birmingham Central Mosque. St Alban's Church was not that far away.

You can compare and contrast the church tower completed in 1938 at St Alban's Church to the new domes at the Birmingham Central Mosque extension completed in 2022.

St Alban's Church

 

History of St Alban's Church

The church located at Conybere Street and Stanhope Street in Highgate was built from 1879 to 1881, and was designed by  John Loughborough Pearson.

St Alban's Church

 

Both this church and Ark St Alban's Academy grew from a religious and educational mission started by the brothers James and Thomas Pollock in 1865.

St Alban's Church

 

This was a developing area on the edge of Birmingham of factories and poor housing.

A tower and spire was added in 1938 by Edwin Francis Reynolds.

St Alban's Church

 

The interior features stained glass east window by Henry Payne.

St Alban's Church

 

In the south chapel is a copper Arts and Crafts triptych with painted panels by local artists Kate and Myra Bunce, and donated by them in 1919 in memory of their sisters and parents.

St Alban's Church

 

The roof was completely renewed in 2020.

It has been a Grade II* listed building since 1952.

The church is open for heritage visits during Birmingham Heritage Week every September.

 

Exteriors of St Alban's Church

The approach to St Alban's Church from Highgate Street, then walked up Thomas Benson Place and James Samuel Place (cul-de-sac's named after the Pollock brothers, bollarded in the middle), to Conybere Street.

St Alban's Church

 

The Birmingham Civic Society blue plaque for Kate Elizabeth Bunce was unveiled on Conybere Street in 2015. She crafted fine reredos for a chapel in this church with her sister Myra.

St Alban's Church

 

The bottom of the tower with blue plaque.

St Alban's Church

 

Main entrance on Stanhope Street, just up the steps, then open the door in the porch on the left.

St Alban's Church

 

There is a memorial cross outside in memory of the founders of this church,  James Samuel Pollock and Thomas Benson Pollock. Which started in 1865, and finished by 1897.

St Alban's Church

 

From Stanhope Street. The church also known as Saint Alban and St. Patrick Anglican- Catholic Tradition. But usually just as St Alban's Church.

St Alban's Church

 

The church hall is to the rear of the church. Some heritage lampposts down this path.

St Alban's Church

 

Church interiors

Just after entering, first look at the Victorian gothic architecture. Volunteers were to the right of here, they give you laminated information cards to read as you go around.

St Alban's Church

 

A statue of St Alban the Martyr, whom this church was named after.

St Alban's Church

 

A golden eagle lecturn for the vicar to give sermons from. Currently that is Dr Gerald Sykes (from 2017 to present).

St Alban's Church

 

The High Altar is to the east of the church.

St Alban's Church

 

The organ to the north side of the church, and close to the door, that leads to the church hall at the back.

St Alban's Church

 

Wooden pulpit.

St Alban's Church

 

Stained glass rose window to the west side of the church.

St Alban's Church

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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