Construction & regeneration
28 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Octagon at Paradise - November 2022 Update

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Underpinned by a 2,000 cubic metre concrete slab, the foundations continue to look majestic at ground level. There are now 77 reinforced concrete piles in place, each one 65 feet deep and weighing a combined 500 tonnes.

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8th October

29th October

Photography by Daniel Sturley

October 30th

Photography by Stephen Giles

5th November

9th November

12th November

23rd November

25th November

26th November

Photography by Daniel Sturley

There are nearly 300 photos of the construction of this building in the Octagon Full Construction Photo Gallery

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20 passion points
Shopping
28 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Moseley Farmers Market over the years

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Usually held on the last Saturday of each month is the Moseley Farmers Market on St Mary's Row, near Moseley Village Green. It can be seen from the following bus routes: 1, 35 or 50. Takes place in the morning until at least midday before it closes. Gallery of the farmers market, as seen mostly from the no 1 bus, top deck on St Mary's Row. But also from the 50 on Alcester Road.

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Moseley Farmers Market is usually held on the last Saturday of each month on St Mary's Row, near Moseley Village Green. There is also market stalls on Alcester Road (but on the pavement between the former Boots and Subway stores) the Moseley Arts Market. You can get the no 1, 35 or 50 bus routes to the market. But there is sometimes a lot of parked cars on the pavement on Salisbury Road, which makes it difficult for the no 1 bus to get past between Moseley and Edgbaston.

 

26th April 2014

Bottom deck views of Moseley Farmers Market in late April 2014, from the no 1 bus, heading onto St Mary's Row from Salisbury Road, in the direction of Wake Green Road. Held on the Saturday between 9am and 1pm.

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

 

27th May 2017

I next photographed the Moseley Farmers Market from the top deck of the no 1 bus, on St Mary's Row in late May 2017. This was before 10am in the morning. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, and bread for sale at the time.

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

 

29th July 2017

The next time I saw Moseley Farmers Market was at the end of July 2017. When the ex Barclays Bank was a Costa Coffee (now Wafflings). No 1 bus view again. Flowers in full bloom.

Moseley Farmers Market

 

29th June 2019

At the end of June 2019. The first view taken from the no 1 bus before 12:30pm while it was still open. Later caught the 50 back towards Kings Heath, and they were packing up before 3pm. The Moseley Farmers Market on St Mary's Row as usual, while the Moseley Arts Market would have been on the Alcester Road pavement between Boots (now closed) and Subway.

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

 

 

24th September 2022

Late September 2022 view from the top deck of the no 1 bus on St Mary's Row, just after 12pm that day. Both markets were looking busy.

Moseley Farmers Market

 

26th November 2022

The last Saturday in November 2022, also the final market before the one they will have in the middle of December before Christmas. The usual views from the top deck of the no 1 bus, as it approached the traffic lights before going down Salisbury Road towards Edgbaston and Five Ways.

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

Moseley Farmers Market

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Plans in for BBC Birmingham's move to the Typhoo Building

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A planning application for the BBC's relocation into Typhoo Wharf has arrived.

The building will become an 84K SF, custom-built broadcast centre, positively reinvigorating Digbeth.

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The BBC will move out from its current home at The Mailbox into a custom-built 84K SF broadcast centre in 2026.

The 1929-built landmark, famous for its production of Typhoo Tea, will become one of Birmingham’s first net zero carbon in construction office buildings. It is on target to achieve a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating and an energy performance certificate (EPC) of ‘A’.

The building will be conserved and will house several BBC editorial teams, including The Archers, BBC Newsbeat, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio WM and Midlands Today. 

The move presents a golden opportunity to catalyse on reinvigorating the wider area and kick-starting investment in Digbeth’s built environment and transport connections.

DEMOLITION:

 

Over the next decade, there are also plans to deliver up to 800K SF of new residential, office and hospitality accommodation around the new BBC site.

The wider scheme will see more than 10 acres of land around Typhoo Wharf and the adjoining canal basin transformed into a new mixed-use neighbourhood, including public spaces.

Grant Associates is designing the new landscape and urban realm, which will create a new canalside quarter, and the new public square will be delivered in time for the first BBC staff to arrive in 2026.


PARTNERS: Stoford, Benacre 2022 LLP (The Gooch Estate)
ARCHITECTS: Glenn Howells Architects, Grant Associates
QS, PM: Arcadis
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER: Anstey Home
CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: BWB
M&E, SUSTAINABILITY: ESC
CONTRACTOR: ISG
AIR QUALITY, TRANSPORT: BWB
FIRE CONSULTANT: Jensen Hughes
AGENT: Savills & Wallis Real Estate
PLANNING CONSULTANT: Turley
PLANNING APPLICATION NUMBER: 2022/08628/PA

Typhoo Wharf, images from Glenn Howells Architects & BBC.

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20 passion points
Photography
24 Nov 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

St Matthews church nechells

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St Matthews church is located in nechell duddeston manor rd Birmingham b7 4jh 

Was built in 1840 and daughter church of Aston parish church 

A food bank and nechells scouts run inside the church 

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0 passion points
Photography
24 Nov 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

Loxton rec play park

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Loxton rec play park location on duddeston manor rd

B7 4Jl by heartlands academy and over the road at Matthew church 

Great for family and kids 

 

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Art; Culture & creativity
21 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Penguin Parade in Birmingham from Wild in Art

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The Penguin Parade trail of 15 painted penguins started on 9th November 2022, and will run to early January 2023. Bit like the Snowman trail in late 2021 (and The Big Hoot, summer 2015 and The Big Sleuth, summer 2017 before that).

My advice is to do the trail over several days. Get as much as you can. Might be a lot of walking betwen penguins. Most outside, some inside.

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Brum's Penguin Parade

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 1.

Location: Inside Selfridges (ground floor near Click & Collect).

Title: Buddy The Elf Penguin.

Artist:  Megan H Smith Evans.

Description: Buddy is a cheeky character that everyone loves to see in the run up to Christmas. He loves helping his good friend Santa and knows there’s room for everyone on the nice list! He says 'the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 2

Location: Rotunda Square at the Bullring (behind the Bullring Bull, not far from the West Mall entrance).

Title: It's Penguining to look a lot like Christmas! 

Artist: Laura Kate Draws.

Description: The design merges the fabulous festive world of penguins and Father Christmas with a dash of folk art patterns. It takes inspiration from nesting wooden dolls, known as Matryoshka dolls.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 3.

Location: Inside Primark (2nd floor near the kids pyjamas).

Title: Percy The Party Penguin.

Artist: Reilly Creative.

Description: Percy is full of festive spirit and ready to party! Wearing his dashing winter print suit and candy cane glasses, he is dressed to impress and ready to rock around the Christmas tree.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 4.

Location: Piccadilly Arcade.

Title: In The Deep (Midwinter).

Artist: Sue Guthrie.

Description: Penguins can be comically awkward on land, but this design shows off their grace underwater. Go on an adventure as you dip and dive around Christmas baubles.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 5.

Location: The Mailbox (inside opposite BBC Birmingham).

Title: Snowy.

Artist: R P Roberts.

Description: Featuring mystical mountain tops in the warm glow of sunset, Snowy captures the feeling of being surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 6.

Location: Great Western Arcade.

Title: Kevin The Kinguin.

Artist: Caroline Daly.

Description: A rare creature with the colours and delicate feathers of a Kingfisher but the larger, strong build of a Penguin. It is an excellent diver with unbeatable fishing skills! Taking the best of both creatures, it symbolises luck, loyalty and love.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 7. 

Location: Victoria Square, at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Title: Santa Paws.

Artist: Jessica Perrin.

Description: Santa Paws is inspired by the weird and wonderful fancy dress that owners love to dress their pets in at Christmas. From proud Santa pooches to grumpy cat elves, this playful design is sure to make you giggle

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 8.

Location: Corporation Street, outside Urban Outfitters and Santander.

Title: The Road to Giverny.

Artist: Studio Glenn.

Description: This penguin is inspired by Monet's 1885 painting of the same name. The stunning winter scene evokes memories of crunching snow and cold fingers and toes before settling down with a hot cup of tea beside an open fire.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 9.

Location: House of Fraser, outside on Corporation Street near Cherry Street.

Title: Vitamin P.

Artist: Mikesian Studio.

Description: He struggles with the cold winters but keeps warm by eating as much fruit and vegetables as he can get his flippers on. We should all be more like him - a ray of citrus sunshine.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 10

Location: Christmas in Cathedral Square (outside on Colmore Row).

Title: Helter Skelter

Artist: Amanda Quellin.

Description: This penguin is inspired by a love of nostalgic fairground rides such as a helter skelter and carousel. See how many playful animals you can spot enjoying the ride on a penguin.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 11.

Location: Church Street Square (near Edmund Street).

Title: The Forest At Christmas.

Artist: Jodie Silverman.

Description: This design is inspired by an enchanting snow-covered forest at Christmas. Animals of the forest are surrounded by a magical night-time landscape of tall trees and falling snow.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 12. 

Location: Centenary Square at Ice Skate Birmingham.

Title: Mr Easy Freezy.

Artist: Jenny Leonard.

Description: Mr Easy Freezy gives a nod to the classic 90’s penguin track race game. Snowboarding and skiing penguins race each other down the mountain in their classic ski gear.

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 13.

Location: Hippodrome Square at Hurst Street, near Ladywell Walk (The Arcadian and close to Birmingham Hippodrome).

Title: Pullover Penguin.

Artist: Donna Newman.

Description: Arriving from the Arctic, this cute penguin likes to stay cosy in her favourite Christmas jumper. The cable-knit creation features festive knitting patterns, painted with a fluffy texture. Pullover Penguin is ready for cuddles! 

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 14.

Location: Birmingham New Street Station (near the framed spades, close to Platform 7).

Title: Tiffany.

Artist: Lois Cordelia

Description: this penguin is specifically inspired by the beauty of Tiffany stained glass and evokes the magic of a winter landscape. How many details can you see?

Penguin Parade

 

Number: 15.

Location: Corner of Hill Street and Navigation Street (near Birmingham New Street Station).

Title: The Emperor.

Artist: Amanda Quellin.

Description: Our classic Emperor Penguin stands tall and majestic like the royalty she is. But she's always ready for a cuddle as she and her colony get ready for the frosty winter.

Penguin Parade

 

Birmingham Mail links: 

 

Wild in Art: Brum's Penguin Parade

Visit Birmingham map download

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Three Builds of 44, 48 & 56-storeys Earmarked for Smallbrook Queensway

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The 1960s-built The Ringway Centre is to be reimagined with a three phase residential-led, mixed-use development comprising up to 1750 new homes in buildings ranging from 44 to 56-storeys.

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Brought forward by CEG on behalf of Dooba Investments II Ltd, hybrid plans have been lodged (full & outline) that will see the site fully redeveloped to breathe new life into a vital part of Birmingham city centre.

A modernist favourite, the tired buildings however are widely seen as a physical barrier between two vibrant parts of the ever-evolving city.

SBQ aims to fully reinvent and reconnect itself with the city by delivering the demand for new city centre 1-3 bed apartments and unlocking existing disconnected areas with the provision of new vibrant ground-level uses.

A comprehensive public realm strategy will also be implemented, helping to green the city's core and enhance ties with the nearby Chinese Quarter, Gay Village, the emerging Smithfield district, and unlock development sites next door.

THE PLANS:

Phase 1 (closest to Bullring): Full plans include a 48-storey building accommodating 571 Build to Rent (BTR) apartments, sat above an eclectic array of lower-level retail, commercial, and leisure uses.



Subsequent phases: Two further buildings of 44 (SBQ1) & 56-storeys (SBQ2) are also earmarked, coupled with demolition works, and are being brought forward under outline plans. Both will accommodate well over 1000 new homes, complemented by high quality commercial & leisure uses.

An all-electric affair that will incorporate renewable sources to achieve high standards of energy efficiency, SBQ will undoubtedly act as a catalyst for future development and investment in the area, providing a more aesthetic environment.

Words by Stephen Giles; all images are the property of Corstorphine+Wright.

2014 image from Mac McCreery.

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20 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
17 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Oak Winding Hole 2022 update

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The Winding Hole in Selly Oak, near the Bristol Road was built and completed during 2022. At the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the restoration of the Lapal Canal (Dudley No. 2 Canal) at Selly Oak Junction, which some day in the future will be restored to Halesowen. Until then, the area where narrowboats can turn onto this to be restored canal is now finished. Boats even moor there.

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Previous post from May 2021: Selly Oak Winding Hole until 2021.

 

During 2022, the Lapal Canal Trust worked to have the Winding Hole built. work was well underway in spring 2022, and was open by autumn 2022. In the future, they will need to dig out the canal under Sainsbury's and next to Selly Oak Shopping Park, towards Harborne Lane and through Selly Oak Park towards Weoley Castle. But that is a long way off for now.

The area, also called Whitehouse Wharf was open on the 25th September 2022 to boats.

 

May 2021

View from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the towpath near an entrance to Selly Oak Shopping Park, as a Cross Country Trains Class 170 passes over the railway. The future Winding Hole site is to the right of here. Seen on the 29th May 2021.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

August 2021

Views from the passing train on the Cross City Line. There was still grass on the Winding Hole site at the time. View towards the Unite student accommodation with Sainsbury's behind it, on the 15th August 2021.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

January 2022

Early signs that they will soon be digging out the Winding Hole for the Lapal Canal Trust. Seen from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towpath near the Unite student accommodation on the 8th January 2022.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

May 2022

By the spring of 2022, work was well underway to dig the grass and soil out of the Winding Hole site, as they secured the site so water didn't get in. Seen from the footbridge that will one day be the entrance to the Lapal Canal (under Sainsbury's) on the 21st May 2022.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

October 2022

By the autumn of 2022, the Selly Oak Winding Hole was complete, as can be seen from the footbridge and canal towpath. There was even a boat and narrowboat moored at it on the 2nd October 2022.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

A couple of weekends later, on the 16th October 2022, this time I got the Selly Oak Winding Hole from the pocket park on the other side of the canal, heading for the Selly Oak Shopping Park via the footbridge that opened in 2021. Two narrowboats moored here this time.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Selly Oak Winding Hole

 

November 2022

I got the train one way from Birmingham New Street to Selly Oak, on the 6th November 2022. Leaving via Bristol Road, it was raining, and saw this view to the Winding Hole. Much more pleasant to see than what it used to look like in the past.

Selly Oak Winding Hole

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Faraday statue by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi at the University of Birmingham

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On the occasion of the Centenary of the University of Birmingham in the year 2000, the sculptor Sir Eduardo Paolozzi presented the University with a bronze statue called Faraday. It was placed at the West Gate of the University. Close to the School of Computer Science. It would be the first thing students, staff and visitors would see after getting off the train or bus nearby.

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Faraday by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

In the year 2000, when the University of Birmingham celebrated it's Centenary, the artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi gifted a bronze statue called Faraday. It was placed at the West Gate, on University Road West, outside of the School of Computer Science. You would see it when arriving at University Station, and walking towards University Square and Old Joe (and other parts of the campus). Even if you get off a bus, or walk from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, or Selly Oak Shopping Park (via Aston Webb Boulevard and New Fosse Way) you'd probably see it. Or it would be the last thing you see before heading into University Station, before catching a train on the Cross City Line up to Birmingham New Street.

The statue was probably inspired or named after Michael Faraday, who was an English scientist, who studied electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Various things were named after him. There is a statue of Faraday in London at Savoy Place.

 

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi CBE, RA (1924-2005) Faraday.
Bronze, 2000. West Gate, outside University Railway Station

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi said of this colossal bronze sculpture, commissioned to mark the centenary of the University of Birmingham's Royal Charter, that is was 'not of Faraday, but for him'. Faraday discovered the laws of electro-magnetic rotation and electrical induction and, among many other principles, explored the science of terrestrial magnetism. The loops of bronze between the figure's hands are a visual manifestation of natural fields of force.

Paolozzi has here articulated the achievements of all experimental scientists who unlock and transform understanding of natural phenomena, and has also created an allegorical figure representing the control of power. His figure of another great scientist, Newton (1995), stands outside the British Library (in London). Cut in the bronze around the base of the figure are lines from The Dry Salvages by T.S. Eliot. These reflect upon growth and change, and bear a valuable message for University students: 'Here between the hither and the further shore. While time is withdrawn, consider the future. And the past with an equal mind.'

 

I first photographed the Faraday statue in February 2013. There was a small bird on his head, and a tag around one of it's ankles. As a man looked on.

Faraday

 

Took Faraday again during January 2019. This time without any one or any objects on it. There appears to be a bench around the plinth.

Faraday

 

I next photographed the statue during June 2021. This time a view with 'Old Joe' the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower. At the time, the clock hands were being taken down, ahead of the clock getting repaired that year.

Faraday

In the other direction from behind Faraday, you can see part of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Faraday

I also found a bronze plaque about Faraday by Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 - 2005). A gift from the artist to mark the Centenary of the University. 2000.

Faraday

 

In late August 2022, there was still Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Game wraps on the School of Computer Science, behind Faraday, including an image of the infamous Perry the Bull (remember him?) and 'Sport is just the beginning'.

Faraday

 

By October 2022, these had been replaced by the University of Birmingham, behind Faraday with 'Proud to be a World Top 100 University' and 'Welcome Game Changers'.

Faraday

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
09 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Holloway Head - November 2022

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Holloway Head is being re-energised with the creation of a new residential community, bringing up to 485 new homes to the area.

Four new buildings will go up over the next few years, with Phase 1 shaping up nicely

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49-51 Holloway Head had stood derelict for over 25 long years.

In the last decade – at least – the site, which had become a target for vandalism, had threatened to be developed, but any optimism soon vanished when the site kept being sold on.

In 2019, Invesco Real Estate took a punt on the area – and Holloway Head is now rising!

We will see four new buildings: two in phase 1; and two in phase 2.

The re-energised site will deliver a new community of up to 485 homes (PRS), in buildings ranging from 10 to 16 storeys, complemented by a host of amenities and a 3,600K SF commercial unit, bringing more vitality to an ever-changing area.

Residents will benefit from landscaped courtyards, lounges, co-working areas, dining spaces, a gymnasium, and roof terraces.

Phase 1 is in full flow and progressing nicely – and is well on course for a 2024 completion.

Phase 2, expected to commence in late 2024/ early 2025, will then see the relocation of the Girl Guides HQ from their current Trefoil House building on Blucher Street, into the new building, enabling the final two buildings to be completed by Winvic.

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Words & pictures by Stephen Giles; CGIs from Corstorphine+Wright. 

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
07 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Museum of the Moon at Lichfield Cathedral

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Another Luke Jerram work of public art on display. Museum of the Moon was at Lichfield Cathedral from the 21st September to 31st October 2022. Elliott got a train on the Cross City Line to Lichfield City (on the 30th October 2022), and after a Costa stop at Three Spires, walked to the cathedral. During the day the entry ticket was free (paid evening tickets were sold out).

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See also Gaia at Millennium Point (February 2022)

I was first aware of Museum of the Moon after Birmingham People with Passion Damien Walmsley and later Jack Babington visited and took photos at Lichfield Cathedral.

 

Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface*.

Over its lifetime, the Museum of the Moon will be presented in a number of different ways both indoors and outdoors, so altering the experience and interpretation of the artwork. As it travels from place to place, it gathers new musical compositions and an ongoing collection of personal responses, stories and mythologies, as well as highlighting the latest moon science.

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. Each venue also programmes their own series lunar inspired events beneath the moon.

 

It has been over six years since I last got a train from Birmingham New Street to Lichfield City. Back then I did a spire climb at St Mary's in the Market Square.

I found out that this moon exhibit in Lichfield Cathedral was ending on the 31st October, so I got the train up on Sunday the 30th October 2022. It got in around 12:30pm, and was there around 20 minutes, including a look around the inside of the Cathedral on the ground floor.

It appears that there is other moons at other venues all around the world, same with Gaia, the Earth sculpture.

Submitted one photo to the Birmingham Post & Mail Flickr group, and it got published in the Birmingham Mail readers letters page on Tuesday 1st November 2022, you can see that photo at the end of the gallery below.

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Museum of the Moon

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of South Central - November (Part 1) 2022

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South Central is blossoming and has reached the 16th floor.

Rising to 30-storey's and set to accommodate 166 new homes, the building, to the corner of Essex Street, continues its upward ascent - and again, we've snapped its progress from the air.

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With a clear aspiration for a necklace of well-designed talls extending from Belgrave Middleway up to Holloway Head island, South Central will become the first of many.

Designed with a curved tram-inspired terracotta façade, South Central will offer an eclectic selection of one to three-bedroom apartments to cater to every need, including eight First Homes & Low-Cost Home Ownership units.

Residents will benefit from an array of amenities, including a Bristol Street-facing commercial unit, a lobby lounge, a concierge, a multi-media community room, co-working areas, and secure storage for up to 76 bicycles.

The crowning feature, however, will be its sky garden; a rooftop space that will offer up a cozy space for the likes of an outdoor cinema, to socialise, exercise, or just simply a place to take in the ever-changing views - which, from these images alone, will be pretty stunning!

Drone photography from Stephen Giles (TW); CGIs from Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Photographic Works: Facade reveal

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The wraps are coming down at Photographic Works, a brand new boutique development of 50 apartments and duplex townhouses, on Camden Street, Jewellery Quarter.

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The wraps are slowly coming down to reveal a fabulous new façade at Photographic Works.

Blending history with contemporary style, the façade, with its brick piers reminiscent of film strips, is heavily inspired by the site’s former use as a Photographic Processing Works.

The Photographic Processing Works was once occupied by Munn’s Brothers, a company that developed films for companies, such as Boots.

Its redevelopment, bought forward by Hatchbury, designed by BPN, and built out by mac group, rises to four storeys & will soon offer 43 one and two-bedroom apartments along with five duplex townhouses, all for private sale.

All of this will be complemented by communal gardens, private balconies and gardens to select apartments, lift access, private gated car parking & spaces for up to 48 cycles.

Words & construction images by Stephen Giles; CGIs from Hatchbury/ BPN Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

2 Snowhill Plaza: Plans In For 48-storey Tower

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EXCLUSIVE: Plans for a 48-storey tower at Snow Hill have arrived.

The residential plans have been brought forward by HUB Group, together with pan-European investment group, MARK, with designs coming from Metropolitan Workshop Architects.

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2 Snow Hill Plaza is a major 48-storey (G, UG + 46fl) build-to-rent (BTR) development comprising 462 one- to three-bedroom homes, on-site shared amenities, ground-floor commercial, and a new public realm.

Modernist-inspired 2 Snowhill Plaza is being developed by HUB Group, in partnership with pan-European investment manager MARK.

Using a lower carbon approach, the scheme will deliver 228 one-bed (1-2 persons), 189 two-bed (3-4 persons), and 45 three-bed apartments (5 persons), complemented by a mixed-use plinth offering on-site communal amenities, as well as a public ground-level commercial unit.

The plinth will incorporate a multi-levelled entrance featuring a lobby, cycle workshop, and co-working spaces. Venturing upwards, chamfered corners will be made at levels 14 & 22, allowing for lounges & pocket gardens. Additional semi-covered space will also be provided on floor 46.

A new east-west public connection, allowing for fluid walkable routes from Snow Hill Queensway to Weaman Street for the first time since the late 19th century, will also be created.

With 2 Snowhill Plaza predominately car-free, 486 cycle spaces will be allocated alongside 2 off-site disabled spaces, 2 off-site motorcycle spaces, and 2 off-site car club spaces.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from HUB, Metropolitan Workshop.

Follow the development on our socials: Twitter & Instagram; and on our Development Map.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Ambitious Tower for Solihull Approved

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Ambitious plans for a 12-storey gateway building in Solihull have been approved.

The plans from Winston Group will revitalise Station Road with a legible landmark building in between Solihull train station and its centre.

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The Lantern is a 12-storey gateway building at the heart of the Solihull 2036 masterplan.

Replacing a vacant two-storey unit, The Lantern will not only improve the legibility of a gateway site by delivering a distinctive and affordable destination that is both viable and technically deliverable, but it will also bring a permanent community base back into the area.

It will offer a range of 50 one- and two-bedroom apartments across ten floors, in a mixture of 14 one-beds, and 36 two-bedrooms.

Its ground floor will be occupied by a modern flexible commercial unit, while the peak will exhibit a stunning lantern tiara-inspired art installation, complemented by a spacious new roof garden for its residents.

FURTHER UNLOCKING OF LAND

Future landscaping works around the site are SBC-owned, but work is underway to unlock the land to introduce new public realm greenery.

The row of shops abutting The Lantern is also coming forward for 48 more homes - again from Winston Group (here).

The Solihull Town Centre Masterplan aims to provide a framework for future investment and development which maximises the opportunities for Solihull, capitalising on its existing assets, and sets out a clear vision for Solihull 2036.

Images from JM Architects, DEP.

Follow the development on our socials: Twitter & Instagram; and on our Development Map.

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20 passion points
Food & drink
01 Nov 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visit to Orelle Restaurant on the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row

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In early October 2022, photographers, bloggers etc got a chance to go up to the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row to go to Orelle Restaurant. I mainly went up for the views. In this post we will look at the interior of the restaurant and the stunning views from the windows (taken in the morning). A lift takes you up to the 24th floor. There is also a cafe bar on the ground floor. 

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July 2022

On the 10th July 2022, I saw a sign on the ground floor of 103 Colmore Row below the Equinox sculpture. Orelle was going to open here during the autumn of 2022, located on the 24th floor with 360° views over Birmingham.

OrellePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Daniel noticed Orelle about a week before I did, on the 3rd July 2022.

OrellePhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

October 2022

On Saturday 8th October 2022, I went to Orelle, after getting permission a couple of days before to go up at 11am, although I arrived early, went up, and spent around 10 minutes or so getting my photos (mostly of the views).

After I left, for a photo walk around the City Centre, I got this view of 103 Colmore Row from Suffolk Street Queensway, near Holloway Circus, showing the location of the 24th floor and where Orelle Restaurant is.

Orelle

 

Reverse order here, took the exterior of Orelle Restaurant from Colmore Row after I left.

Orelle

A view of the Orelle entrance and outdoor seating area, taken on the 24th October 2022 (just over two weeks since my visit).

Orelle

 

Back to the 8th October. The ground floor bar of Orelle, after heading down the lift, and before exiting to Colmore Row.

Orelle

 

When I got to Orelle, I told staff at the entrance that I got permission to photograph on the 24th floor at Orelle, and a member of staff took me up the lift. Then I went around taking photos of the interiors, plus the amazing views. There was only one side I did not get, the view towards Victoria Square, saw a door, and thought it was a private staff area. Well at least I got three sides, plus the view towards the BT Tower and Cathedral Square.

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

Orelle

 

Views from the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row

Westside

Library of Birmingham and Utilita Arena Birmingham.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Ladywood

Edgbaston Reservoir.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Jewellery Quarter

BT Tower.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Great Hampton Street

The Gothic and King Kong in King Kong Park.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Colmore BID

Birmingham Snow Hill Station to Cathedral Square.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Colmore Square

West Midlands Metro tram, The Wesleyan and the Forward Together sculpture.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

City Core

Towards the Rotunda, Birmingham New Street Station etc.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Holloway Circus

Towards the Beetham Tower, The Sentinels, Orion Building and The Mailbox.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Views from 103 Colmore Row

 

Digbeth

Chiltern Railways Class 168 trains parked on the Bordesley Viaduct. Can also see Selfridges and the Custard Factory.

Views from 103 Colmore Row

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
01 Nov 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Gunsmith Quarter Expansion Approved

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APPROVED: Consort AH has received consent to transform their existing premises on Lower Loveday Street, in the Gunsmith Quarter. 

The expansion, which also includes a heritage building, will bring the site in line with other developments in and around the site.

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Consort Architectural Hardware, a leading manufacturer & supplier of architectural hardware products, located at 28-31 Lower Loveday Street, has been given the nod to transform their premises with a bespoke new low energy, low carbon expansion.

The environmentally conscious scheme is composed of an existing Grade C locally-listed gothic revival building and a set-back warehouse storage unit.

With its gothic arch details, the heritage property will accommodate offices on its lower levels, with an upward extension introducing two duplex apartments to the site. External balconies & a new ‘false façade’ at second-floor level will be created, allowing for maximum resident privacy.

The warehouse will also be expanded in line with other developments next to the site (see below), affording Consort the luxury of additional storage for their products.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from JAB Design.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
31 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Approval for Temple Street Office

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41-42 Temple Street, a vacant late Georgian three-storey building, is to be demolished (excluding its façade) and a new six-storey rear new build erected.

The project has been approved subject to safeguarding measures to guarantee a high-quality standard of development.

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Built in a classical style with stucco render, with pedimented first-floor windows with a Greek key frieze motif, the building dates back to c1824 and is a rare survivor of Georgian Birmingham.

Its façade and intricate detailings will be retained; however, a much-altered lower quality mid-20th century re-building behind the façade will be removed and replaced with a six-storey new build accommodating five floors of speculative office floorspace (650 sqm).

Synthesising with the existing architecture, the project will be complemented by basement amenities – a cycle store, showers & spaces for office occupiers – & a vibrant ground-level retail/food/beverage unit, adding to the mixture on the street.

The fabric-led approach will see the project aim for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ score. To achieve this the building's M&E systems will be improved, along with high-performance insulation, solar control, air source heat pumps, and MVHR.

Temple Street will be brought forward by EPIC Ltd, the building's owner.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from OMI Architects.

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20 passion points
Civic pride
31 Oct 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The statue of Horatio Nelson at the Bullring

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Horatio Nelson visited Birmingham in August 1802. Following his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805, a statue was made in 1809, and unveiled at the Bull Ring in October 1809. This was the first public statue in the Town of Birmingham (it didn't become a City until 1889). The statue was moved during the 1960s and 2000s redevelopments, but once again faces St Martin's.

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On the 31st August 1802, Horatio Nelson stayed in Birmingham. This was in the years when he was off duty, before he returned to the Royal Navy to help fight the Napoleonic Wars. He stayed at the Styles' Hotel (later Royal Hotel), which was on a site on Temple Row (from the 1960s this was Rackhams, but has been House of Fraser since 2000). Following his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, on board HMS Victory on the 21st October 1805, a statue was erected in his memory at the Bull Ring in 1809. This blue plaque was unveiled by The Birmingham Civic Society on the Trafalgar Bi-Centenary 2005, on the wall of NatWest on Temple Row (the bank closed this branch for good in September 2022).

Horatio Nelson

 

Four years after the death of Horatio Nelson at Trafalgar onboard HMS Victory (sniper shot from a French gunman). Birmingham became the first place in the world to erect a statue in his memory. £2500 was raised by public subscription, and it was made in 1809 by Sir Richard Westmacott. It was unveiled on the 25th October 1809, on the day that was declared to be the Golden Jubilee of King George III.

Horatio Nelson

 

Painting below on a Japanned Tray by Thoma Hollins, circa 1830-40. Showing a view of the Bull Ring from the High Street in Birmingham, towards the statue of Horatio Nelson and St Martin's Church (as it looked before it was rebuilt later in the century).

Horatio Nelson1942F83 Japanned Tray - View of the Bull Ring, High Street, Birmingham, 1830-40. By: Thomas Hollins. Birmingham Museums Trust, Public Domain

 

This drawing is attributed to Thomas Allom, showing The Bull Ring and the Nelson statue in Birmingham in 1845. When the outdoor market used to be around the statue.

Horatio Nelson1940P901. Drawing - The Bull Ring & Nelson Statue, Birmingham, 1845. Attributed to: Thomas Allom (Previously attributed to David Cox). Birmingham Museums Trust, Public Domain

 

Nelson stands in a uniform with one arm resting on an anchor with the prow of a miniature ship: HMS Victory.

Horatio Nelson

Upon the ship is the Flag Staff Truck of the French ship Orient (1791), flagship of the French fleet sunk at the Battle of the Nile.

Horatio Nelson

The statue was originally erected on the site of the Old Cross, a two storey building, built in 1703 and demolished in 1784. It stood outside of the Market Hall (opened nearby in 1835, roof and interior destroyed during WW2 in 1940, exterior walls demolished in 1963).

Horatio NelsonPublic Domain image of the Nelson statue at the Bull Ring, next to the Market Hall with the original plinth, lanterns and cannons, c. 1898. Unknown photographer

 

It has been Grade II* listed since 25th April 1952.

Horatio Nelson

The statue was moved in 1961 during the first redevelopment of the Bull Ring and a carved plinth, cannon and lanterns were lost. The 2003 redevelopment returned the statue close to it's original location north of St Martin's Church.

Horatio Nelson

Nelson now again looks over St Martin in the Bullring.

Horatio Nelson

The railings were replaced in 2005 in time for the Trafalgar Bicentenary celebrations which was centred on the statue.

Horatio Nelson

In 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of the statue's unveiling, a medal was struck by St Paul's Mint of Birmingham. This floral trail piece in St Martin's Square (below) from the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail 2009, was based on the medal Matthew Boulton had struck in 1805 after the death of Nelson, and given to all the sailors.

Trafalgar St Martin's Square

As of 2022, the statue is 213 years old, making it one of the oldest surviving statues to still be on public display in Birmingham. The plinth has gotten a bit weathered since it was restored to the location facing St Martin in the Bullring in the early 2000s.

Horatio Nelson

Photography by Elliott Brown. 19th century images courtesy of the Birmingham Museums Trust.

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
31 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Octagon - October 2022

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After months of groundworks, Octagon, the city's tallest building under construction, is impressively taking shape at ground level.

Foundations and floor slabs at the 49-storey (155m, 510 feet) tower are now visible. Follow the post for a fab October update.

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Drone photography from Stephen Giles (TW: Mo0time).

Photography from Daniel Sturley (TW: Ikonic_exposure).

Drone photography from Stephen Giles.

At Itsyourbuild we follow each project from inception to completion. For Octagon, there are now over 200 superb photos of its construction which can be seen in reverse date order in our full gallery here: The Octagon at Paradise.

Also, be sure to check all Birmingham projects via our Development Map here.

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20 passion points
People & community
31 Oct 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Northfield - Take a tour with us!

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Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Northfield. Well worth a visit. For history, there's St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone. Victoria Common is a great open space and not far away is Manor Farm Park.

Take our article.

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How to get to Northfield?

Take the no 61 or 63 bus from Birmingham and travel along Bristol Road South to Northfield High Street; catch a train on the Cross City Line to Northfield station; or take a cycle ride which will take in some great sights along the canal.

If travelling by train, we recommend you buy a ticket in advance using the West Midlands Railway app and you will get a QR code to scan at the ticket gates at Birmingham New Street. Paper tickets are still available to buy at the automatic ticket machines or at staffed ticket desks.

The train takes a scenic route via Five Ways, Birmingham University, Selly Oak and Bournville, before arriving at Northfield. Some sections of this run alongside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

 

Northfield Station

Welcome to Northfield Station. You get off the train at Platform 4. Head towards the exit via the subway. You can either take the exit towards Station Road, or via the subway head to the station building and exit at Copse Close via Quarry Lane.

Take the Station Road exit if you want to head to the old Northfield Village, where you will find St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone Inn.

From Station Road, walk up to Church Hill Road. Walk under the railway bridge, until you get to St Laurence's Church.

 

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence's Church has origins going back to the 12th century, with elements dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The church is part of a conservation area.

The last major change to the church took place in the year 1900, when G F Bodley built the north aisle in the 14th century style.

The major 13th century feature is the chancel. The south chancel and lower stage of the west tower also dates to the 13th Century.

A 4 bay octagonal pier arcade at the south chancel dates to the 14th Century.

The upper tower was built during the 15th Century.

The roof is most likely a 15th century replacement of an earlier 13th century nave roof.

The church has Royal Arms from the Hanoverian period. The church was built of sandstone.

St Laurence's Church, Northfield

After the church, it is a short distance to the Great Stone Inn and the Village Pound, at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

 

The Great Stone and the Village Pound

The Great Stone Inn is an historic public house at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

The Inn probably dates back to the 18th century. 

It is a timber-framed building with painted brick and a tile roof.

The Inn is close to St Laurence Church in the historic old Northfield village. It is now a traditional pub with a beer garden run by Great Pubs.

The Great Stone

A few meters away on Church Road is The Village Pound, and the current location of the historic Great Stone which the Inn was named after.

Dating back to the 17th century, The Village Pound was a high walled structure used to keep livestock in, such as stray cattle, pigs and sheep.

The Village Pound is now the home of the Great Stone, moved by Birmingham City Council to this site in 1954. It is a glacial bolder formed in a volcanic eruption 450 - 460 million years ago. 

For generations The Great Stone was at the corner of Church Road and Church Hill in Northfield, where it protected the Inn wall. A glacial erratic bolder that was former in an explosive volcanic eruption during the Ordovician period, 450-460 million years ago. During the ice age, possibly up to 400,000 years ago, it was carried by an ice sheet from the Snowdon area of North Wales and deposited with many others around Northfield when the area was a frozen wasteland.

Birmingham City Council moved the boulder to this site in 1954 for road safety reasons.

Village Pound

Next, we recommend taking a short walk up Church Road towards Great Stone Road.

Cross over the road at the traffic lights, then walk towards Northfield Library.

Walk up Meeting House Lane to get into Victoria Common Recreation Ground.

 

Victoria Common

This is a great recreation ground hidden behind Northfield Shopping Centre.

You will find playgrounds and tennis courts here plus paths for walking. There's plenty of green open spaces to enjoy.

Victoria Common

After your walk round Victoria Common head to the path that leads to the Bristol Road South, and walk down Northfield High Street for a bit of retail therapy. 

You can alternatively walk down Sir Herbert Austin Way and pop into the Starbucks Coffee Drive Thru. Alternatively, there are many cafes and places to eat in Northfield.

If you fancy a meal in a traditional pub, in addition to the Great Stone Inn, there's The Black Horse located on Bristol Road South (near Frankley Beeches Road).

 

The Black Horse

The Black Horse opened on the 1st December1929  and was designed for the Davenport Brewery,by Francis Goldsbrough (from the local architectural practice of Bateman and Bateman).

The Black Horse is one of the largest and finest examples of a Brewer’s Tudor-style public house in the country.

It was registered a Grade II listed building in 1981. JD Wetherspoon refurbished the pub in May 2010. 

The Black Horse

If you are not too full, next have a walk to Ley Hill Park. Leave the Black Horse, and head past Sainsbury's via Sir Herbert Austin Way. Or if you had a toastie or panini with your coffee at Starbucks, you just have to walk up Vineyard Road, past Bellfield Junior School. The park is at the top of the hill.

 

Ley Hill Park

You can enter this park from the entrance at Merritt's Brook Lane. Take any path you want for your walk, or walk onto the grass if it's not too wet. Head up to the top of the hill for views down to the Northfield High Street.

There is a play area, plus benches to sit on.

You can exit the park at Merritt's Hill and walk down the road towards Brookside.

Now head into Merritt's Brook Greenway, and walk along the path, following the Merritt's Brook towards Bell Hill. Cross over the road at the traffic lights near Whitehill Lane and enter Manor Farm Park.

 

Manor Farm Park

This park was once the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, who lived at the Northfield Manor House (until their respective deaths).

The park opened to the public in 1951.

Follow the paths around the park with a 2 kilometre walking route. See our suggested trail HERE.

You will walk past a lake. The Manor House is nearby. The park also has a play area and old farm buildings. 

If you exit near the lake at New House Farm Drive, perhaps have a detour up to the Northfield Manor House? Just walk until you get to Manor House Drive.

 

Northfield Manor House

The original house was built in the early 1800s.

George Cadbury purchased the property in 1890, and he moved in with his wife Elizabeth in 1894.

They named it Manor Farm.

The lived here until his death in 1922 and her's in 1951.

The University of Birmingham took it over, and converted it into a hall of residence from 1958, but it ceased this function by 2007.

Years of dereliction lead to arsonists (teenagers) burning it down in 2014.

Partial demolition in 2015, followed by a full restoration between 2019 and 2021.

The Manor House, Northfield

Head down Manor House Drive, back onto New House Farm Drive and onto Bristol Road South.

Leave the park at Bristol Road South. A short walk away is another property once owned by George Cadbury. This is the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

 

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

A house called The Woodlands was built on this site around 1840.

It was later to become one of George Cadbury's homes, who in 1907 gave it to the then named "Cripples Children's Union".

After various mergers, what has now become known as the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, was firmly based on this site.

At one point they had an Outpatients Department on Broad Street at Islington House (this lasted until the end of the 20th century). One of the surgeons based here was Mr Naughton Dunn (from 1913 to 1939), who was a national pioneer and Birmingham's first orthopaedic specialist.

The hospital has been part of the NHS since it's founding in 1948.

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

We hope you enjoyed this tour of Northfield. 

If you have return tickets on the train, walk back to Northfield Station. Alternatively, head to a bus stop on Bristol Road South. If getting a bus, we recommend that you have a Swift card, and buy your ticket at National Express West Midlands in advance. Otherwise, you will need to pay a cash fare, or use contactless. Alternatively, you can have the NXWM app and buy your ticket on there. Bus routes include the 20, 61 and 63 from National Express West Midlands or the 144 from First Midland Red.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Photography
30 Oct 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

looking down

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shoot on birmingham city library when sun out of a man in the circle rings outside the building 

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Mecanoo designed the exterior of the building to reference the city's jewellery quarter, adding a filigree pattern of metal rings over golden, silver and glass facades

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0 passion points
Classic Architecture
25 Oct 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Crown on Station Street, where Black Sabbath rehearsed, is due to reopen in a few years time!

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The Crown on Station Street, the corner of Hill Street, has been closed since 2014 (a Japanese developer bought the pub and car park behind). It has remained unused ever since. But in October 2022, it was announced that Birmingham Open Media will have the pub fully restored. This will take a couple of years. It will be the site of a new live music venue and digital centre. 

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The Crown on Station Street - history

The public house at the corner of Station Street and Hill Street was built in 1881 opposite Birmingham New Street Station, to the designs of Thomson Plevins (1825 - 1897). The same architect who designed the Grand Hotel in 1875. He was a Scottish architect who practised in Birmingham.

The likes of Black Sabbath was first hosted at The Crown back in 1968. The pub later hosted the likes of Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, and UB40, until at least the 1980s.

The pub was still open in 2014, but closed in the middle of the 2014 FIFA World Cup (in Brazil),  when it was bought by Japanese development company Toyoko. Unfortunately, in the years since then, nothing has happened to the pub, and it's been left to rot, and get covered in graffiti.

Jez Collins, the creator of the Birmingham Music Archive has been looking to refurbish the pub for a number of years now. He will be working with Birmingham Open Media (BOM). The work could start in 2023, and it is hoped it could be completed by the end of 2024.

More information from Thomas Cramp at Birmingham Live here: Pub venue of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath's first gig to be restored after lying derelict

 

The Crown - gallery of photos

During the early years of the rebuilding of Birmingham New Street Station, I took a series of photos of The Crown from Hill Street and Station Street. At the time it was externally painted in black and white, as can be seen during January 2011.

The Crown

The Crown

The Crown

The Crown

 

Another photo of The Crown during April 2011, when new bollards had been installed in the middle of Hill Street, at the Station Street junction. Behind the pub is the Centre City Tower, and is a short walk down to Smallbrook Queensway and Hurst Street in Southside.

The Crown

 

In September 2015, Birmingham New Street Station, was completely reopened to the public. This half had closed in 2013 at Half Time Switch Over. From the newly opened Southside Steps (our Spanish Steps), you can see The Crown to the left. By this point it had been closed down for more than a year.

The Crown

The Crown

 

I went into John Lewis Birmingham store for a look around during October 2015. On the upper floors there was views to The Crown, and other buildings on Station Street and Hill Street, but view was slightly obscured by the patterns in the windows. So was a bit hard to see. Sadly during the pandemic in 2020, this John Lewis store closed down, never to reopen. But the store was used for filming of the Tom Cruise movie, Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part I (during the summer of 2021). Then known as Mission: Impossible 7. It is due for release in cinemas by June 2023. But it won't feature The Crown in the movie. It was transformed into Abu  Dhabi Airport (including Grand Central).

The Crown

The Crown

 

In April 2017, I got views of The Crown for the first time from the balconies at the Southside end of Birmingham New Street Station. The lower half of the former pub had been repainted, but was looking graffiti free at this point. The pub was a short distance away from the Electric Cinema and The Old REP Theatre.

The Crown

The Crown

 

The Cricket World Cup was on in Birmingham during June 2019, as could be seen by these banners located on Station Street outside of The Crown. A no 16 NXWM Platinum bus in orange livery, was about to turn from Hill Street onto Station Street, for the journey towards Handsworth and Hamstead.

The Crown

 

In November 2019, for the festive season, the Southside BID put fairy lights up along the buildings on Station Street, including on The Crown. It looked good after dark, once the clocks had gone back.

The Crown

The Crown

 

During the pandemic, local graffiti and street artists were pasting their art on the windows and walls of The Crown, as could be seen on Station Street during August 2020. The art here was a dissected cat by Tempo 33.

The Crown

 

Even more graffiti art and vandalism on The Crown during October 2020, as I spotted a Ariel Atom car turning from Hill Street onto Station Street. Traffic gets busy around here at weekends.

The Crown

The Crown

 

By April 2021, as lockdown restrictions were beginning to ease, you could now hire Voi e-Scooter's and West Midlands Cycle Hire bikes outside the Southside entrance to Birmingham New Street Station. Meanwhile the graffiti was still all over The Crown, and wouldn't be cleaned off until before the Commonwealth Games began a year later.

The Crown

 

The Crown as it is, now in October 2022. The rainbow colours from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are still up. Signs on the former pub point to Smithfield (where beach volleyball and basketball was played) and to Edgbaston (cricket). Only graffiti now says "Ozzy woz here". These views were taken from the Southside balconies at Birmingham New Street Station. I took these photos after hearing that the pub might reopen in a few years time.

The Crown

The Crown

The Crown

Photography by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
25 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Application in for MasterChef's Move into Birmingham

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The BBC's flagship television show, MasterChef, will move to Digbeth's Banana Warehouse in 2024, the first time the show will be made outside London in more than 20 years.

The historic site forms the first building of the wider Digbeth Loc. Studios.

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The series, produced by Shine TV, will be made at what will become the first building of the new Digbeth Loc studios, as part of a six-year deal.

This will mean that spinoff shows such as MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, and Young MasterChef for BBC Three, as well as any festive editions, will be made in Digbeth.

The canal-side building, a historical gem dating back to 1840, will be refurbished and extended to deliver pre-production, filming, and post-production spaces. This will include a main stage, a contestants' room, critics' dining, offices, and support spaces, e.g. prep-kitchen & meeting rooms.

WIDER DIGBETH LOC. STUDIOS

Becoming the first building within the wider Digbeth Loc. Masterplan, BBC MasterChef will undoubtedly set the tone and aid in promoting the area as a creative media district.

Conceived by Birmingham-born screenwriter and director, Steven Knight, Digbeth Loc. will incorporate film and TV studios, workspaces, a hotel & residential; all of which will be located close to HS2, the new BBC Birmingham HQ at Typhoo Wharf, & the new Creative Cluster at The Bond.

The city is fast becoming a popular filming location for blockbusters & television. The Girl with All The Gifts was filmed here. Grand Central doubled as Abu Dhabi airport for Tom Cruise’s upcoming Mission Impossible film. Citadel, an upcoming Amazon series was also partially shot in the city, while Steven Spielberg shot large portions of Ready Player One here.

Be sure to follow this development here; as well as on our Twitter and Instagram channels.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from K4 Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Cole Waterhouse completes acquisition of Upper Trinity Street, Digbeth

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Investment and development company Cole Waterhouse has completed the acquisition of Upper Trinity Street (UTS), a key development site in Digbeth, paving the way for the £260 million mixed-use scheme to deliver 943 new homes & a new public park for the city.

Cole Waterhouse has entered into an agreement with debt facility provider Ingenious to acquire the land from multiple private owners, with Auxillium Real Estate acting as the debt broker.

The purchase follows hot on the heels after Birmingham City Council granted planning permission in July 2021 for the transformation of the industrial land into a cultural, commercial and residential scheme. It will include the creation of Pump House Park which will sit alongside the canal and the historic lock keepers cottage which will be retained.

Last year Cole Waterhouse signed the first tenants at UTS including the world’s first Museum of Youth Culture, Birmingham Music Archive and Digbeth’s legendary Pat Benson Boxing Academy which together will occupy over 15,000 sq ft of space.

Designed by Corstorphine & Wright, UTS will deliver a blend of rentable and open market sales homes, some with live-work space and roof gardens, a 133-bedroom hotel, 60,000 sq ft of flexible commercial space, car parking and large new areas of public realm across a network of landscaped yards, squares and hidden spaces.

The development of UTS is expected to create 600 jobs during the construction phase, deliver £229.5m GVA to the local economy and will create up to 313 additional jobs once built.

Phase one (below) will see the development of a portion of the residential element of the scheme comprising build-to-rent housing, spread over three buildings of fifteen to sixteen storeys.

Speaking about the acquisition, Damian Flood, CEO at Cole Waterhouse commented: “With the land now successfully acquired, we look forward to the delivery of this major mixed-use scheme. Over the course of the next few months, we will be tendering the construction contract for phase one, and aim to start on site by Q3 next year. We will also be appointing a real estate adviser to support us with marketing the residential offer both locally and internationally.

“There has been a huge collaborative effort from the stakeholders including the City Council, the local community of Digbeth, the Canal & River Trust and our project team and I would like to thank everyone for supporting our vision and for their unwavering commitment to the delivery of UTS.”

UTS, images from Cole Waterhouse, Corstorphine+Wright.

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