People & community
20 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Armistice Day at the Hall of Memory in Centenary Square (11th November 2019)

For the first time since Centenary Square reopened, it was now possible to have an Armistice Day morning service at the Hall of Memory. Also for the first time in front of Ice Skate Birmingham. Getting ready for the two minutes silence at 11am, men in uniform going around with flags. I approached from Centenary Way and left near Baskerville House.

Related

Heading past Paradise Birmingham onto Centenary Way, I was popping into Centenary Square near the Hall of Memory as the service on the 11th November 2019 was getting underway in the shadow of Ice Skate Birmingham (seen behind).

Hall of Memory

The first Armistice Day service to take place in Centenary Square in perhaps 3 years (the Hall of Memory was closed off while the square was being redeveloped and at the time the Book of Remembrance was moved to the Library of Birmingham).

Hall of Memory

Uniformed veterans carry flags around the Hall of Memory.

Hall of Memory

People pause as they watch the ceremony taking place.

Hall of Memory

It has changed so much around the Hall of Memory in the last 10 years. The only buildings that were there back then was the Hyatt Hotel, Symphony Hall, The ICC, The REP and Baskerville House. Now we have HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square and the Library of Birmingham. Ice Skate Birmingham is temporary and will be here until early January 2020.

Hall of Memory

A uniformed officer and a man in a suit with a trumpet.

Hall of Memory

The men with flags have now passed to the right side of the Hall of Memory.

Hall of Memory

I didn't stick around, but ended up in Birmingham New Street Station at 11am when there was a two minutes silence there.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Photography
20 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The 2009 Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (10 years ago this November)

I took my very first photos of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 10 years ago on the 14th November 2009. Can't believe that 10 years already has passed since then. I have over the years taken more photos from the market, but not as full as my initial photos (subsequent years mostly the market going up or down). Back then was a helter skelter, giant polar bear and Santa heads!

Related

These photos were taken on the 14th November 2009. 10 years ago this week. In the years since I have taken more photos at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, but not with all the crowds that I experienced 10 years ago!

Victoria Square, November 2009

Now this is the route of the new Westside Metro extension, but back in 2009 Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man was still here, and they had a helter skelter ride near Victoria Square House! Was also a nest in this tree (now cut down).

BFCM Victoria Square

Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man statue enjoying the first weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. 10 years on it's still in storage.

BFCM Victoria Square

Another man with a camera heading around the market.

BFCM Victoria Square

Can you see the giant polar bear with a Christmas hat?

BFCM Victoria Square

Close up of the polar bear. I think this was a Polar Beer Bear Bar (or something like that?).

BFCM Victoria Square

Also a giant Santa Claus head. Whatever happened to that?

BFCM Victoria Square

Bob Wilson's Carousel returns like clockwork every year, so expect to see it in Victoria Square now, like 10 years ago. The Floozie in the Jacuzzi, when the River was dry (after a leak).

BFCM Victoria Square

New Street, November 2009

This was the view heading down Christchurch Passage towards New Street.

BFCM New St

Already looking too crowded on New Street, yet I headed down to try and get my first photos of the market.

BFCM New St

Somehow caught a beggar with his hands out near the Halifax (now a Nando's).

BFCM New St

More people as I headed down New Street. This is from Ethel Street.

BFCM New St

This piece is at the Frankfurt Christmas Market every year. Red candles with figures of Santa, Nutcrackers etc. Always just before Bennetts Hill.

BFCM New St

Carrying on past the Tesco Metro. There is never any market stalls between Bennetts Hill and Temple Street. A pedestrianised road to allow vehicles through.

BFCM New St

Getting closer to Corporation Street. Near Slater Menswear and Urban Outfitters

BFCM New St

Near an Oasis shop. Which is still there now. Close to what was a Waterstone's book shop (now an Apple store). Would be a few years later before the market stretched as far as Rotunda Square.

BFCM New St

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Open spaces
14 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Rookery Park in Erdington: once the site of Erdington Town Hall

I initally went past Rookery Park in Erdington back in January 2019 on Wood End Road, and have only just got around to having a look round the park in November 2019. Was very autumnal on my visit. Rookery House is derelict and under scaffolding. Hopefully the house is being restored. There is also a couple of derelict toilet buildings in the park, boarded up covered in graffiti.

Related

Rookery Park is a small park located in Erdington between Wood End Road and Western Road. You can catch the no 11A or 11C buses to the park. The park is bounded by Kingsbury Road to the east and Rollason Road to the west.

Some history taken from Rookery Park and House, Birmingham, which by the looks of it was taken from Bill Dargue - Erdington's page.

The house in Rookery Park was originally known as Birches Green House. Built in the early Georgian period around 1730 by Birmingham ironmaster Abraham Spooner. He moved to Elmdon Hall in 1760 and his son Isaac and family lived here until Abraham's death in 1789 when they moved to Elmdon. William Wilberforce planned his antislavery campaigns in this park. He married a member of the family Dorothy Spooner. Later Birmingham's first Tory MP, Richard Spooner was born here in 1783.

The glass manufacturer Brueton Gibbons lived in Rookery House from 1816. From 1871 the house was leased by William Wiley. Rookery House became Erdington's Council House after 1894 until 1911 when Erdington became part of Birmingham.

The Council had used it until about 2008 for council services, but in recent years it's become derelict. Now under scaffolding, the house is being converted into flats.

 

I first passed the park on Wood End Road in January 2019, but a Asian wedding party was there for their photos, so I didn't enter at this time. Took me until November 2019 until I actually travelled back to Erdington.

January 2019

Just passing the park as I walked up Wood End Road towards the Erdington High Street. A wedding car was on the road, and was an Asian wedding party there for their photos, so I didn't want to disturb them, so carried on up the road.

Rookery Park

Saw this derelict gents building behind fences, the doors boarded up. The window frames rotten. I don't think it's changed condition in the last year or so.

Rookery Park

November 2019

Entered the park via the gate on Wood End Road in Erdington, I had just seen an Emirates Airbus A380 coming into land at Birmingham Airport (missing getting the photo by the time I entered the park). I took the right path towards Rookery House.

Rookery Park

Leaves on the lawn, trees shedded their leaves. Not too bad at this point as it was before the forecast rain.

Rookery Park

Looking very autumnal as I headed round the path.

Rookery Park

Another old toilet block. All the doors and windows were bricked up, and covered in recent graffiti.

Rookery Park

First look at Rookery House. I was hoping to see it looking like it's former self. Maybe after the restoration is complete.

Rookery Park

A formal garden in front of the house. But nothing much in the flower beds at this time of the year. Like Pype Hayes Park, I hope that the house is fully restored, and perhaps given a use to the public. As flats it would be for private residents.

Rookery Park

Then I saw this playground to the left.

Rookery Park

Heading up the path towards Western Road. Car park to the right.

Rookery Park

Looking back at the field of leaves and trees. My path taken was on the left.

Rookery Park

Just before exiting at Western Road, pair of paths. I used the one on the left. Another path on the right also leads back to Wood End Road.

Rookery Park

From here, checking Google Maps, left Western Road via Rollason Road and Church Road. Leading to the Erdington High Street. After a coffee stop, I went towards Erdington Station, but the rain started by then. Another possible park to visit it Witton Lakes Park, if the weather is better.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Nov 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

St Martin's Place, Birmingham - November 2019 update from It's Your Build

Seven Capital's 'St Martin's Place' continues to rise on Broad Street. With interesting construction methods, the development has largely been manufactured off-site. Check Stephen's latest picture update and check the phenomenal progress over the past few months.

Related

Building works here have rapidly blossomed in the space of six months or so. Whilst other developments take time to get out of the ground, St. Martin's Place is already close to topping out.

HOW?

Thanks to pre-cast offsite manufacturing being back in fashion and new technology being implemented, the pre-cast exterior is being designed, manufactured and assembled offsite by Creagh Concrete, who are using their popular fast-track building method called 'Rapidres', before assembling on-site. It's almost lego-esque.

These include the external sandwich panels you see today, which feature both a smooth and a brick finish, along with internal walls, stairs, lift shaft and flooring.

It's an ideal method for multi-storey projects where the layout is replicated across each floor, with the same method used at 'Aston Place' at Arena Central & The Lansdowne on Hagley Road.

With this method in mind, take a look at the difference five months makes.

APRIL 19 2019:

Photos by Stephen Giles

JUNE 1: 

Photo by Stephen Giles

THIS WEEK - NOVEMBER 11+

Photos by Stephen Giles

Photos by Tom Grunt

The project is being developed by Seven Capital, has been designed by BDG Architects, and is being built by Colmore Tang Construction.

Once complete, it'll sit at 17-storeys, and will feature a total of 
228 residential apartments - comprising 118 one, 105 two and 5 three beds.

These 'super deluxe apartments' will also include shared facilities with the adjacent Park Regis Hotel, including a state-of-the-art gym, cafe, private cinema and 24-hour on-site concierge service.

Six commercial units are proposed at ground floor level. A landscaped courtyard, sat above the car park, sits on the upper floors and will provide a beacon of peace and quiet in an otherwise bustling city.

& HOW IT'LL LOOK ONCE COMPLETE:

Artists Impressions by B|D|G Architects

Words by Stephen Giles

Share  Connect with us
35 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Nov 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

103 Colmore Row - Steel up to 4th floor! - See our Nov 2019 update

Lots more progress on the lower steel structure on this build, which has now reached the fourth floor! Take the link for a our thorough weekly picture update from Daniel, Stephen & Tom.

Related

Photos by Stephen Giles

Photos by Tom Grunt

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
13 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years

The world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck used to make an annual visit to Birmingham (and other places across the UK). It will not be returning to Birmingham in December 2019 (instead to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley). Instead enjoy this gallery of photos from the Bullring (2014 and 2016) and Eastside City Park (2017 and 2018).

Related

St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2014

I was first able to get photos of the world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck at the Bullring in St Martin's Square on the early evening on the 11th December 2014.

Coca Cola Truck

Was a crowd of people in the queue to get a free can of Coca Cola, or pose with the truck. Was near Selfridges, St Martin's Church and a Christmas tree.

Coca Cola Truck

Views from the upper level balcony at the Bullring are best to see the Coca Cola Truck (and other things that park here).

Coca Cola Truck

The Coca Cola Truck always drew a crowd of people.

Coca Cola Truck

You know the "holidays are coming" when Santa brings his Coca Cola Truck to town!

Coca Cola Truck

St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2016

Thanks to Birmingham Updates for using one my 2016 photos on their Social Media posts, I now know that it wont be returning to Birmingham in December 2019.

I next saw the Coca Cola Truck when it returned to the Bullring on the 17th December 2016. This time got my photos in the daylight hours.

Coca Cola Truck

Similar views as before, but you can see the Coca Cola Truck properly now. A Coke man takes a families photo with the truck.

Coca Cola Truck

The Bullring's 2016 Christmas tree look rather artificial that year. This is the photo that Birmingham Updates used. Coca Cola Truck Bham Updates.

Coca Cola Truck

Getting different views, but more of the same.

Coca Cola Truck

Going round the side of Selfridges for this view of the Coca Cola Truck at the Bullring.

Coca Cola Truck

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2017

The next time I saw the Coca Cola Truck was when it visited Ice Skate Birmingham in Eastside City Park. This was on the 9th December 2017. This was the day before it snowed. I was coming back on the train from a day out in Bedworth. Not much of a view from the train, so I headed to Eastside after I arrived at Birmingham New Street Station.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Close up view of the world famous Coca Cola Truck. New views with it included The Woodman pub and Curzon Street Station.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

This view with the Birmingham Big Wheel and the other rides that were at Ice Skate Birmingham. They found this site in 2017 due to the then redevelopment of Centenary Square (which took two years in the end).

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Slightly further back with the Birmingham Big Wheel. It would be nice to get something like this again in Westside, but the Coca Cola Truck isn't coming to Birmingham this year.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Last 2017 view as the light faded. Masshouse residential blocks to the right. Rotunda in the middle and the Birmingham Big Wheel to the left.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2018

Spending a section festive season in Eastside City Park, Ice Skate Birmingham once again hosted the return of the Coca Cola Christmas Truck. I saw it on the early evening of the 15th December 2018, in rainy sleety cold and freezing weather!

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Despite the weather conditions, the resulting photos looking quite Christmasy, even thought it wasn't snowing. The Birmingham Big Wheel to the right. With The Woodman pub seen behind.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

For 2018, they parked the Coca Cola Truck in a slightly different position. Also Ice Skate Birmingham were further to the right, as the land they used previously was now HS2 land.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Probably due to the weather, there wasn't many people around.

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

Still the sleety rain added to the effect of a Coca Cola Christmas!

Coca Cola Truck Eastside

I hope people at Merry Hill enjoy it. Never been there myself. Although I know that you can get a bus from Cradley Heath Station (which is on the Snow Hill lines). According to the Birmingham Mail, it will be in Merry Hill on the 6th and 7th December 2019. Coca-Cola Christmas truck 2019 heads to intu Merry Hill.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Photography
12 Nov 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

The wonderful colour changes of Autumn

Karl 'people with passion' shares his wonderful Autumnal photography. The beautiful rich vibrant colours of Autumn.

Related

 Birmingham - Worcester Canal, Edgbaston

 

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham

 

Moseley Park and Pool, Birmingham

 

 Birmingham - Worcester Canal, Edgbaston

 

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham

 

 Birmingham - Worcester Canal, Edgbaston

 

Temple Row, Birmingham

 

Brueton Park, Solihull, West Midlands

 

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham 

 

Moseley Park and Pool, Birmingham

 

Grand Union Canal, Acocks Green, Birmingham

 

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Open spaces
12 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Cotteridge Park: the park near the Cross City Line

Getting off the 11C bus on the Pershore Road in Cotteridge. I usually head up Breedon Road past Cotteridge Junior & Infant School. Crossing into the park over the Cross City Line. There is many paths to take. Last couple of times I ended up at Bournville Station. The bridge over the railway still has the mural painted in 2012.

Related

Cotteridge Park dates to the Victorian period. The park is near Franklin Road and not far from Bournville. One way into the park is over the railway bridge that you can cross from Breedon Road. The No 11 Outer Circle bus route (11A and 11C) passes nearby on the Pershore Road and Linden Road. The Friends of Cotteridge Park  was established in 1997 and they celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2017.

 

December 2013

Approaching the bridge from Breedon Road. Vehicles can't go over it so there are bollards there.

Cotteridge Park

Painted in 2012 on behalf of the Friends of Cotteridge Park, Birmingham City Council an Network Rail.

Cotteridge Park

Welcome to Cotteridge Park.

Cotteridge Park

Path into the park. Not sure what used to be on that stone plinth in the middle.

Cotteridge Park

A look at the skate park.

Cotteridge Park

The path leading to Franklin Road.

Cotteridge Park

Playground view probably seen from Franklin Road.

Cotteridge Park

August 2018

The view from the bridge crossing the Cross City line. A pair of West Midlands Railway Class 323 trains passing each other. By this point the electrification to Bromsgrove was complete and you can get electric trains all the way there on the Cross City Line.

Cotteridge Park

Another view of the playground. Trees lush and green.

Cotteridge Park

Logs on the lawn. Trees and a path. On the way to Bournville Station.

Cotteridge Park

This tree has been sculpted to read Cotteridge Park.

Cotteridge Park

September 2019

Heading over the bridge from Breedon Road again. There is this view of the skyline towards Five Ways / Broad Street. From Park Regis Birmingham to The Bank Tower Two. Didn't see a train until I entered the park again.

Cotteridge Park

Took a different path this time. Saw a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train passing by. It wouldn't be long before I found myself at Bournville Station yet again.

Cotteridge Park

A container covered in graffiti.

Cotteridge Park

Curved benches, looks like some kind of school camping area?

Cotteridge Park

Noticeboard from the Friends of Cotteridge Park.

Cotteridge Park

Squirrel on a tree.

Cotteridge Park

Playground again and the skating ramps.

Cotteridge Park

A wider look at the camping area.

Cotteridge Park

Feels like a forest in Cotteridge.

Cotteridge Park

Or a wood.

Cotteridge Park

Path up to Franklin Road.

Cotteridge Park

More photos on my Flickr here Cotteridge Park.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Open spaces
12 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield

I first went to Manor Farm Park in June 2010. Thought there would be views of the skyline (but there weren't). The park has a large pond that runs near the Merritt's Brook. The Bristol Road South runs past (at White Hill). Always thought it to be in Northfield, although Bournville isn't that far away. The Cadbury's used to have a house on the land of Northfield Manor House.

Related

Manor Farm Park is a 50 acre open space with woodlands, meadows and a lake. The park opened to the public in 1951 and was originally the grounds of Northfield Manor House.

My first full visit to the park was back in June 2010. I never did find the manor house at the time. But then there was probably no public access. Looking on Google Maps Street View, there is security barriers on the roads that I think probably led to the house. Sadly arsonists burnt down the house years ago and it is now demolished.

George and Elizabeth Cadbury lived in the house that they called Manor Farm. George Cadbury bought the house in 1890, moving in there in 1894. They lived there together until George's death in 1922. Elizabeth continued to live there until her own death in 1951. It was acquired by the University of Birmingham in 1953. The fire happened there in 2014, and there was a partial demolition in 2015. It was located up Manor House Drive.

 

June 2010

My first full walk around the park near Northfield. Getting on from the Bristol Road South in Northfield (shows up as White Hill on Google Maps). At look at Whitehill Lane which curves around past the park.

Manor Farm Park

No paths on this section, so had to walk over the field part of the park past the trees.

Manor Farm Park

In the lake / pond was some Canada geese.

Manor Farm Park

They do have paths in the park, this one near the trees and shrubs.

Manor Farm Park

Also saw a swan in the lake at the time.

Manor Farm Park

The lake / pond in the park. A path does go around it on both sides. They lead to the roads that probably led to the Cadbury's old house.

Manor Farm Park

I took the exit to the road that leads to the car park near White Hill. Before I left saw this old wooded barn.

Manor Farm Park

Glad that I got photos of this barn, as arsonists sadly burnt it down in 2017. Historic Cadbury park set for revamp after £250,000 barn fire payout.

Manor Farm Park

The barn was built by the Cadbury's in 1895. The Friends of Manor Farm Park had hoped to restore the barn before the fire. It was hoped that the building could be restored, but it's future is uncertain at the moment.

Manor Farm Park

Saw these old farm buildings on the way out.

Manor Farm Park

Hopefully they could be restored and turned into a cafe, toilets and a public space.

Manor Farm Park

I'm not sure if they were in use back in 2010 or not. Looked derelict. The park and the buildings have been owned by the City Council since the 1950s.

Manor Farm Park

June 2011

Since I initial visit, I have not been back to the park that much. This is actually a recreation ground in Northfield, taken during a walk down to Longbridge. Coming up on Google Maps as Hilltop Park.

Hilltop Park

A playground in this recreation ground, just seen in passing at the time. Google Maps calls this a Play Park.

Hilltop Park

March 2012

I can confirm that this is from or near Manor Farm Park. This was during a walk from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to the demolished former Bournville College. A squirrel on the leaf covered lawn.

Manor Farm Park

This was near the Bristol Road South / White Hill in Northfield (I did not actually enter the park at this time).

Manor Farm Park

Purple crocuses growing out of the grass at the beginning of Spring.

Manor Farm Park

Another squirrel.

Manor Farm Park

April 2017

My last actual visit to Manor Farm Park was during a walk on the Merritt's Brook Greenway. Probably starting at the new Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield, I headed up towards Ley Hill Park, then across the Merritt's Brook Greenway, until I crossed over the road on Shenley Lane, and into the park.

Manor Farm Park

Newly laid paths takes you into the park from here.

Manor Farm Park

Footbridge over the Merritt's Brook.

Manor Farm Park

A look from the footbridge at the Merritt's Brook.

Manor Farm Park

I was now heading through the park up Whitehill Lane. Daffodils lining the roadside.

Manor Farm Park

Up Whitehill Lane back to the Bristol Road South / White Hill.

Manor Farm Park

Saw this man with a metal detector. Did he find anything?

Manor Farm Park

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
People & community
11 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Remembrance Sunday parade and service around Birmingham Cathedral (November 2019)

I just about caught the tail end of the parade on Temple Row as they headed round onto St Philip's Place. Was more veterans ready to go outside 103 Colmore Row. The Cenotaph was on Colmore Row outside of Birmingham Cathedral St Philip's. Sunday 10th November 2019 on Remembrance Sunday 2019. 101 years since the end of WW1. 80 years since WW2 started.

Related

Remembrance Sunday for 2019 was on Sunday 10th November 2019. For the second year at Birmingham Cathedral and Colmore Row. I missed it last time, so managed to get to town in time to see some of the events going on here.

Parade on Temple Row

Heading up Cherry Street, I saw the parade on Temple Row heading past the banks. Got these views from the area in front of Lloyds Bank as they turned onto St Philip's Place past NatWest.

Temple Row

The were marching past Cathedral Square, home of Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip's Cathedral Birmingham).

Temple Row

I was hoping to see them on parade on Colmore Row, but Temple Row will do.

Temple Row

Veteran firemen and police as well on parade.

Temple Row

Marching around past NatWest.

Temple Row

Fire and police officers passing the Mexican Street Food place.

Temple Row

Also volunteers and St John Ambulance personnel.

Temple Row

I think this was the end of the parade on Temple Row.

Temple Row

Veterans outside 103 Colmore Row

I wasn't sure if there would be room outside 103 Colmore Row. But there was. Another man with a camera.

103 Colmore Row

Veterans carrying flags of various regiments and the Union Jack.

103 Colmore Row

Man at the front with a banner representing their regiment or unit.

103 Colmore Row

Men at the back in bowler hats.

103 Colmore Row

Crowd of people in Cathedral Square

The Cenotaph was this year on Colmore Row and a stage was set up, like every year. This time close to the top of Church Street and the Grand Hotel.

Cathedral Square

By this point the poppy laying ceremony was well underway. People could watch what was going on, on the pair of screens. In the distance is the core and cranes of 103 Colmore Row behind Birmingham Cathedral. With the BT Tower and Grand Hotel to the right.

Cathedral Square

From St Philip's Place. The Bishop of Birmingham was on one of the screens. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham would have been there too (not on display on that screen at this point). The Vice Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands was also present.

Cathedral Square

Heading back onto Temple Row, the screen was showing a poppy and The Royal British Legion logo.

Cathedral Square

Remembrance Sunday service on Colmore Row

By the time I got back to Colmore Row, most of the veterans were standing still waiting for 11 o'clock to come. Police and fire officers here.

Colmore Row

In view of Birmingham Cathedral, was a bit hard to see what was going on here.

Colmore Row

The Cenotaph. It goes into storage after the service is over, then comes back out for Remembrance Sunday. It used to take place in Centenary Square, and Victoria Square in one previous year. Been on Colmore Row now two years in a row.

Colmore Row

People gathered at the Colmore Row junction with Temple Row West. Towards Birmingham Cathedral St Philip's

Colmore Row

One last look towards the Grand Hotel. By then they were laying the poppy wreaths near the Cenotaph.

Colmore Row

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Photography
11 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 2019: Day 1 of 43

Open now for it's 20th annual year in Birmingham, the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market as usual stretches from New Street to Victoria Square. For the first time it opened about 2 weeks earlier than usual on the 7th November 2019. Meaning it will be open for around 43 days until the 23rd December 2019.

Related

New Street

This is the section of New Street between Corporation Street and High Street. Retail BID have again turned the tree lights pink and purple. This was around 5pm on Thursday 7th November 2019 between the Britannia Hotel and Odeon Cinema.

Birmingham FCM

This year they have an new arch on New Street saying "Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market". Also with the shields / arms of Birmingham and Frankfurt. The cities have been twinned since 1966. Birmingham and Frankfurt.

Birmingham FCM

A closer look at the tower with Birmingham's Forward coat of arms / shield.

Birmingham FCM

Santa Claus and penguins.

Birmingham FCM

Zum Glockenspiel near the end of New Street. Poppies up as it's the time of year of Remembrance.

Birmingham FCM

Victoria Square

Earlier in the day, I popped out at lunchtime and headed up Pinfold Street from Birmingham New Street Station, following the tracks of the West Midlands Metro extension to Centenary Square (also known as the Westside Metro extension).

Birmingham FCM

A small change to the security barriers near the new tram line. As the Birmingham FCM is now open again in front of the Council House.

Birmingham FCM

Even here the towers have Birmingham's Forward coat of arms shield. One of the square's Sphinx Guardian's watches on.

Birmingham FCM

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Photography
11 Nov 2019 - Barry Whitehead
Gallery

Remembrance Day - Lest we forget 2019

Barry shares Remembrance Day with his great photography. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. A two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember the people who have died in wars. All photography courtesy Barry Whitehead.

Related

Lest we forget......................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
10 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, the Frankfurt Christmas Market - November 2019

I went down to the edge of the Frankfurt Chrismas Market, a bit too intense for me to venture inside on the first weekend but I got some more magical scenes of this fantastic attraction in Victoria Square.

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Civic pride
10 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Remembrance at Birmingham New Street Station 2015 to 2019

After the new Birmingham New Street Station opened in September 2015, there was a new war memorial in the public square. I think they lay the poppy wreaths a few days before Remembrance Sunday in November every year. Photos taken from 2015 to 2019.

Related

November 2015

The new war memorial seen outside Birmingham New Street Station in the new public square on the 15th November 2015. No poppy wreaths at this time. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were due to officially re-open the station a few days later on the 19th November 2015. It honours the lost workers of the London & North Western Railway from Birmingham, 1914 - 1918 who made the supreme sacrifice.

Birmingham New Street Station

November 2016

First saw poppy wreaths on the war memorial at New Street Station on the 13th November 2016. This was a few days after the Armistice Day anniversary. Wasn't on Remembrance Sunday that I saw them.

Birmingham New Street Station

November 2017

This was on Remembrance Sunday 2017. On Sunday 12th November 2017. By chance I also saw a man with a big poppy on his backpack, as I again passed the war memorial with poppy wreaths.

Birmingham New Street Station

November 2018

The Armistice 100 year. Seen on the 10th November 2018 was this Land Rover Freelander with various Union Jack flags for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Birmingham New Street Station

VETERAN was on the licence plate.

Birmingham New Street Station

Looking towards the Rotunda and the Bullring. It was near the station's war memorial.

Birmingham New Street Station

One of the poppy wreaths on the war memorial.

Birmingham New Street Station

November 2019

Headed through Birmingham New Street Station on Remembrance Sunday 2019. On Sunday 10th November 2019. The Stephenson Street media eye was displaying Lest we forget from Bullring & Grand Central.

Birmingham New Street Station

Getting closer, it was changing too fast, so here it was between adverts as the poppy fades into the advert of some singers album.

Birmingham New Street Station

Another look at the war memorial. The poppy wreaths I think were laid a few days before.

Birmingham New Street Station

I was heading from the Colmore Row and Birmingham Cathedral parade and service for Remembrance Sunday. Link to that post here: Remembrance Sunday parade and service around Birmingham Cathedral (November 2019).

Armistice Day

At 11am on Monday 11th November 2019, Birmingham New Street Station fell silent for the two minutes silence on Armistice Day. 100 years since the first one in 1919. Also 101 years since the First World War had ended.

Two minutes silence

Virgin Trains ant Network Rail staff as well as passengers were silent for two minutes. While other passengers headed for their trains or exiting or arriving at the station.

Two minutes silence

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
08 Nov 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Work progresses at pace at The Mercian, Broad Street, Birmingham - see our November 2019 update

Take our post for an early November update of the construction work at The Mercian including some great photography. 

Related

Both cores have risen considerably since the last update, with the main core now sitting pretty at level 4. Just a mere 38 to go!

The pumping of concrete continues, as does the construction of new floors, as seen below.

Picture from MODA Reachtimelapse webcam

On the left hand side nearest the camera sits the only patch of land on site yet to see a floor. However, the vultures are quickly closing in.

A new floor is sweeping across from Tennant Street towards Broad Street at a quick rate, and given the frenzied nature of works here, it's only a matter of time before the whole site is officially filled in and 'The Mercian' can rise as one.

As stated in the last update, the main core will feature three public lifts, including a goods lift and a stairwell. This will allow access up to floor 42.

The secondary core, which you can see directly behind the main one, will service up to floor 14.

Photos by Daniel Sturley & words by Stephen Giles

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
07 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Magical Lantern Festival 2017 at Kings Heath Park

The Magical Lantern Festival returned to Birmingham for the Christmas 2017 season, but this time at Kings Heath Park, having been at the Botanical Gardens the year before. I only really saw it in the daylight hours. Looked "magical" with the snow of December 2017. Did return once more at Christmas Eve, but didn't book a ticket to see after dark.

Related

See also my Magical Lantern Festival post on the 2016 event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

After getting some initial daylight photos from the 11A or 11C buses on the Vicarage Road in November 2017, I went to Kings Heath Park on the 8th December 2017 after it had snowed. Tickets to go after 5pm would have been anywhere between £15 to £17. But Kings Heath Park was open as normal before then for free.

A pink canopy of roses surrounded by snow.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Santa with his reindeer near the entrance.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Would assume that at nightfall you would walk under this archway.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Snow covered presents, Christmas trees and a house with a boy.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Snow covered elf.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

I wan't sure if this was Angry Birds or Rio?

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Santa clock lamppost.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Red boot with presents.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Reindeer covered in snow looking sky blue in colour.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

2017 "Merry Christmas" and Santa on a relaxing armchair reading a list of kids present wishes. Why fly to Lapland when you could go to Kings Heath Park (2 years ago that is).

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

I last came back on Christmas Eve 2017, by then the snow had melted, so looked a lot less Christmasy.

Fun fair rides under wraps. They probably open them up just before it gets dark. In the day they were covered over.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Polar bears. Now if only I got them with the snow.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Some kind of flowers I would guess.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Polar bears again from another angle.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Oh look it's the red boot with presents again, but no snow this time.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Giant butterfly on a tree.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

More flowers along side a path, on the leaf covered soil area.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

In the pond was a frog (I think). Or some kind of pond monster?

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

These swans look real, but they are jusr Magical Lanterns!

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

The Birmingham skyline. I would guess this would look nice lit up after dark.

Magical Lantern Kings Heath

Link to the Botanical Gardens post Magical Lantern Festival 2016 Birmingham Botanical Gardens .

More photos here on my Flickr Magical Lantern Festival including photos from 2016 to 2018.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - November 2019

Two Chamberlain Square currently offers some great reflections of the Museum and Art Gallery, the Joseph Chamberlain Monument and the Council House while we wait for the new renovated Chamberlain Square to open. All these taken from the entrance to the Museum.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
100 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
07 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

My Favourite 50 Photographs in Birmingham - July - October 2019

Here's a gallery of my top 50 favorite photos that I've taken in Birmingham between 1st July & 31st October. On October 5th I caught the Black Sabbath Bridge monument on Broad Street in great light, looking moody but bright & jolly too.

 

Related

The 'Secret Garden' atop the Library of Birmingham - 11th July

The 'Secret Garden' atop the Library of Birmingham - 11th July

The 'Secret Garden' atop the Library of Birmingham - 11th July

On the Roof of Fort Dunlop - 12th July

The City Skyline from Fort Dunlop - 12th July

Looking Towards Hodge Hill from the Roof of Fort Dunlop - 12th July

The City Skyline at Dusk from Fort Dunlop - 12th July

The Full Moon Over Arena Central - 16th July

The 'Birmingham Family' Statue in Centenary Square - 25th July

Looking Over Brindleyplace in the Westside - 27th July

Multi-coloured Lights on the Top of Bank Tower Two on Broad Street  - 7th August

The Hyatt Regency Hotel - 12th August

Looking Down Great Charles Street from the Hyatt Regency Hotel - 12th August

One Chamberlain Square and the Snow Hill Complex from the Hyatt Regency Hotel - 12th August

One and Two Chamberlain Square from the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Dusk - 12th August

Crane, Moon and Jet Trails Over Arena Central - 16th August

The Concrete Core of 103 Colmore Row from Highgate - 24th August

The Birmingham City Skyline from Egg Hill in Frankley 6 miles to the South West - 24th August

The Westside City Skyline just before Sunset - 25th August

One and Two Chamberlain Square - 27th August

The 7th Floor Interior of One Chamberlain Square - 28th August

Architectural Detail in One Chamberlain Square - 28th August

The Library of Birmingham at Night - 31st August

The Crane at Paradise Birmingham with the Library - 1st September

One of the New LED Lamp Poats at Arena Central - 1st September

Arena Central - 1st September

'New Growth' from the Library of Birmingham - 8th September

The Library of Birmingham - 8th September

The Ikon Art Gallery Tower Reflected in the Water Feature in Oozells Square at Brindleyplace - 11th September

One of the New Light Masts in Centenary Square - 14th September

The Closest I get to a Selfie

Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha / Saint Michael's Parish Handsworth - 14th September

Smethwick Jamia Masjid with Dudley Castle in the Distance from the Library of Birmingham - 14th September

The Moon Over the Hyatt Regency Hotel - 15th September

The Moon Over Arena Central and Beetham Tower - 15th September

The View Down Suffolk Street Queensway from the Library - 15th September

The New Pool in Centenary Square from the 'Secret Garden' atop the Library - 16th September

A Crane Struugles with the Removal of the Concrete Core Over-run from 103 Colmore Row - 19th September

The Westside City Skyline at Sunset - 20th September

The Westside City Skyline at Dusk - 21st September

The Concrete Core of 103 Colmore Row - 22nd September

One Chamberlain Square Reflected in Two Chamberlain Square - 22nd September

The 'Secret Garden' atop the Library - 5th October

Baskerville House in Centenary Square - 6th October

Moody Sky Over Arena Central - 6th October

Crane at 103 Colmore Row - 20th October

The Water Feature in Central Square in Brindleyplace - 20th October

The Ferris Wheel in Centenary Square - 28th October

The Ferris Wheel in Centenary Square - 28th October

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Open spaces
06 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Old Square from Tony Hancock to the Kenneth Budd mural

Old Square in Birmingham is the square / island between Corporation Street and The Priory Queensway. One way leads to the courts and Aston University. The other way to the shops. It used to be a Georgian square but the square has been redeveloped over the centuries. From the 1960s to the early 2000s there used to be subways and a sunken area here. Now known for the Tony Hancock statue.

Related

I don't really take photos much any more in this square, so most of my photos are from 2009 or 2010. The more recent photos from when there was a Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail sculpture there, or a Big Hoot owl or Big Sleuth bear.

 

Some history from Wikipedia: Old Square was the site of the Priory of St Thomas of Canterbury Which was here until 1536, and demolished by 1547 (during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII). The site was in ruins for 150 years until it was purchased by John Pemberton in 1697. He levelled the land to create the Priory estate.

The square dates from 1713. Various Georgian town houses were built around the square. The inventor of the English Dictionary, Dr Samuel Johnson visited his friend who lived in Old Square, a Surgeon and Doctor - Edmund Hector (who lived at No 1 Old Square), before he died in December 1784. Lloyd the Banker lived at 13 Old Square in 1770. Later Samuel Galton Jr lived at no 13 Old Square. One of the members of the Lunar Society.

 

The mural by Kenneth Budd dates to 1967 and depicts the history of Old Square. This view from May 2009. Looking in the direction of The Wesleyan up The Priory Queensway.

Old Square

This view from September 2009.

Old Square

Corporation Street would cause the demolition of many of Old Square's Georgian houses in 1882, as well as the construction of the Lewis's department store in 1885, built over The Minories.

Looking towards The Minories in December 2009. The Minories was refurbished and reopened as shopping arcade in October 1994. Temple Court and The Priory Court are based in this building now. The Lewis Building was refurbished in 2017 and 2018.

Lewis Building

After WW2 The Priory Queensway was developed and that led to the creation of Priory Square. From the 1960s, the area was sunken and had subways at all four corners.

By the early 2000s the subways were demolished and the square rebuilt at surface level. Making it easier to get from the shops to the courts to Aston University. Old Square was enhanced in 1998. A plaque was unveiled in September 1998 near the Old Square mural.

 

This view of Old Square from October 2010.

Old Square

Christmas tree in Old Square during December 2009. The statue of Tony Hancock is on the left.

Old Square

The Christmas tree in December 2009. From this side near Corporation Street. The Minories is to the left (not in the photo). Opposite was a Post Office (on the left now Sainsbury's Local) and Tesco Express (to the right). Cannon House and Priory House on the left. With Maple House to the right.

Old Square

The next time you are crossing Old Square to or from The Minories. Stop to look down on the pavement. There is this Figure of Justice. Seen in December 2009. The courts including the Victoria Law Courts (Birmingham Magistrates Courts) and the Elizabeth II Law Courts are in the other direction down Corporation Street.

Old Square

The statue of Tony Hancock in Old Square seen during May 2009. In the direction of Corporation Street (towards New Street).

Tony Hancock

Hancock was born in Hall Green in 1924. The statue was made by Bruce Williams and unveiled in 1996 by Sir Harry Secombe.

Tony Hancock

Famed for his 1960s comedy show Hancocks Half Hour, he sadly committed suicide in 1968.

Tony Hancock

Seen during the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail 2012 was Paralympian Blade Runner. It was sponsored by the Colmore Business District. Based on Richard Whitehead from Nottinghamshire. It was number 20 on this trail. They were out for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Seen in August 2012.

Old Square floral trail

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 was an art sculpture trail of painted owls all around Birmingham. In July 2015, after the trail had started, I saw Dotty in Old Square. The artist was David Graham and the sponsor was Cross Country Trains (I think they have offices in Old Square).

Old Square Big Hoot

Two years on, and another art trail, this time of bears. The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 was around Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Dudley! Vincent the Bipolar Bear. Designed and created by mental health patients at St Andrew's Healthcare (Birmingham) facilitated by Marcela Stenson. Funded by St Andrew's Healthcare. This view towards Sainsbury's Local.

Old Square Big Sleuth

A backpack on the back looking towards the National Express West Midlands buses on Corporation Street. Including at least two grey Platinum buses.

Old Square Big Sleuth

Old Square has always been a good route to get from Aston University along Corporation Street. Then through The Minories towards Bull Street (now passing over Bull Street Tram Stop). And then up Temple Row passing Birmingham Cathedral. Or you could head up the Great Western Arcade towards Colmore Row and Birmingham Snow Hill Station. Or down the North Western Arcade to another part of Corporation Street. You would regularly see buses heading around the island.

 

See also my Old Square album on Flickr for more photos.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - November 2019

Lots more progress on the lower steel structure on this build, it is already starting to impose it's bulk on the surrounding streets and is really flying up!

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
04 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Magical Lantern Festival 2016 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

I booked a evening ticket to see the Magical Lantern Festival on Saturday 10th December 2016. After a lot of waiting around town, I got the bus to Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. Was there between 4:50pm and 5:30pm. It was raining on my visit, so I got quite soaked going around the trail of colourful lit up Magical Lanterns. I've not been back since (apart from the dinosaurs / ice age)

Related

The Magical Lantern Festival first came to Birmingham at Christmas 2016 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. It was on from the 25th November 2016 until the 2nd January 2017. They returned to Birmingham for the Christmas 2017 season at Kings Heath Park (I only saw that in the daylight) and back to the Botanical Gardens a year later at Christmas 2018 (I only saw them from the bus or walking past on the Westbourne Road). I'm not aware of if it's returning for the Christmas 2019 season.

You book your ticket online, and get it on Eventbrite with a QR code (or print it out - but the paper version would get wet in the rain).

My visit on the evening on the 10th December 2016 just after 5pm. But it was raining, but I did manage to get around the trail (my camera got wet).

"Merry Christmas". A welcome from Santa.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

2016 with penguins and a snowman. Also presents.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Colourful birds and flowers.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

A jug of water and flowers.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

A reindeer.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

The Chinese Pagoda that you would find in the middle of Holloway Circus in Birmingham City Centre.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

A Bug's Life. A mushroom and a giant ant.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

A peacock. I've seen real peacocks here in the daylight hours (in the years after this visit).

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Santa Claus in his sleigh.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

The world famous Bullring bull in Magical Lantern form.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

A Christmas tree Magical Lantern style.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

I think this is supposed to look like the glasshouses of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

One of the clowns.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Canopy over the fountain.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Frog on a lily.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Green ant from A Bug's Life. Or Antz?

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Mushrooms and flowers with water droplets.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Pearl in an oyster.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Reindeer and a snowman near the entrance canopy.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Exiting back onto Westbourne Road, giant teddy bear and presents.

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

I've also got daylight photos from Kings Heath Park from December 2017. I will put some of those in another post soon.

For a similar post on the Jurassic Kingdom and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events follow this link to this post: Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

More photos here on my Flickr Magical Lantern Festival including photos from 2016 to 2018.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Three Arena Central (HMRC) - Latest community update in photos from It's Your Build (November 2019)

Wow! Just take a look at this latest gallery of photography from our growing People with Passion at Its Your Build - local people in Birmingham who are on hand to keep the community updated on the ever developing built environment across the City.

Here we take a close look through photography at Three Arena Central. 

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
03 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 2019

The Frankfurt Christmas Market is setting up in Victoria Square, here's a sneak peek at some of the magical scenes to be found once open soon.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
63 passion points
Construction & regeneration
01 Nov 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

A real hive of activity at Birmingham's future tallest building - latest gallery update for The Mercian

A real hive of activity at Birmingham's (soon to be) tallest building. Pouring of concrete continues throughout, new floors are also being prepped, plus a concrete pump now sits tantalisingly close to the main core! Check the link for the latest Mercian update.

Related

The first floor podium has seen a concrete pouring on the Broad Street elevation, with work again commencing on the Tennant Street side. As you can see from the pictures, the podium level almost sits level with the Lee Longlands building next door.

With progress showing zero signs of slowing down, a concrete pump also now sits tantalisingly close to the main core. 

Hopefully not too long until we see this one rise into the Birmingham sky!

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
01 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - October 2019

Here's a gallery of recent photos of One Chamberlain Square, the near completion of the paving of Centenary Way giving some nice perspectives of the front entrance, with nice reflections of the Museum and Art Gallery in the curved windows.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Show more