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.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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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.

 

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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

 

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60 passion points
Green 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.

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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.

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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!

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 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. 

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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40 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)

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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.

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70 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.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
31 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Muntz Park: the little known park in Selly Oak

There is another park in the Selly Oak area near Selly Park called Muntz Park. You probably haven't heard about it. It is between Gristhorpe Road and Umberslade Road. The park was named after Frederick Ernest Muntz. The Muntz family originally came from Lithuania. His grandfather George Frederick Muntz was the inventor of 'Muntz metal'. Park formed around 1907.

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To be fair, I wasn't expecting to find Muntz Park on my walk around Selly Oak in late December 2018. This was after I saw some nice Selly Oak Police ladies going around the area on patrol (seeing me with my camera). Told them about Birmingham We Are (I think). My idea originally that day was to get to the 11A bus stop on Oak Tree Lane, but I went a bit off route. The walk ended in Stirchley (including passing through Stirchley Park for the first time) and the Fordhouse Lane bus stop for the 11A.

Entering the park on Gristhorpe Road near Raddlebarn Primary & Nursery School. Here we see the modern Nursery building.

Muntz Park

The Muntz Park playground seen from Gristhorpe Road.

Muntz Park

Close up of the slides and climbing frames in this small park.

Muntz Park

This sign tells you all about the history of Muntz Park. Named after Frederick Ernest Muntz, grandson of George Frederick Muntz, who invented 'Muntz metal'. George became one of Birmingham's first MP's in 1840. Frederick inherited the Muntz estates in 1898.

Muntz Park

The Muntz family came from Lithuania, then later moved to France. Phillipe Frederic Muntz settled in Birmingham after the French Revolution. The park was formed from land that was part of Selly Farm. The Council bought the land between 1907 and 1909 and developed it into a park. Birmingham Civic Society got a grant to re-landscape the park in 1923.

Muntz Park

The park also has a big hollow in the ground. It was the remains of a marl pit. They were common in the 19th century. In 2005 the Friends of Muntz Park was formed to celebrate the centenary of the park and to make it more attractive for users.

Muntz Park

Nearby parks to Muntz Park include: Selly Park (up Raddlebarn Road), Hazelwell Park (along the River Rea Route in Stirchley), Stirchley Park (behind the Co-operative Food in Stirchley) and Cotteridge Park to name a few.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
31 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Stirchley Park: the park hidden behind The Co-op

If you went past The Co-operative Food and Farmfoods in Stirchley, you wouldn't know that it is there. Stirchley Park is a small park hidden behind those supermarkets near The Bourn. Got into the park via a path near Ribblesdale Road and Bond Street. Exited near the Friends Meeting House. The visit during December 2018.

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Follow Stirchley Park on Twitter (run by Pierre).

This walk during late December 2018 started at Selly Oak. Just trying to get to an 11A bus stop. After I passed Muntz Park, I continued going down Gristhorpe Road and then turned onto Ribblesdale Road. Went past the car park of The Co-operative Food when I saw this sign for Stirchley Park. The entrance was near Bond Street and Ribblesdale Road, and passes over a bridge that crosses The Bourn (same brook in Bournville Park)..

Stirchley Park

This path leads you into the small park past the noticeboard.

Stirchley Park

The Bourn seen from the footbridge. Car park for The Co-operative Food to the left, Stirchley Park to the right.

Stirchley Park

A wall to the back of The Co-op with the street art as of December 2018 (I think it's changed since then).

Stirchley Park

New trees have been planted in the park and it has been tidied up. Paths on both sides.

Stirchley Park

This path leads to the back of The Co-op.

Stirchley Park

Another look at the mural.

Stirchley Park

The graffiti street art was by Graffiti by Title.

Stirchley Park

A few more panels to the right. The artist has also done pieces around the Digbeth and Southside areas of the city. Go check them out if you can. He has been a graffiti artist since 1985.

Stirchley Park

I exited to Hazelwell Street near the Friends Meeting House. Which is also near Stirchley Baths (now a community centre) and Stichley Library. Bournville is a short walk away (Bournville Station can be accessed from Bournville Lane). Just had to walk down the Pershore Road to my bus stop on Fordhouse Lane.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
31 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Swanshurst Park through the seasons through the years

Swanshurst Park is a park that I regularly return to and have been taking photos there for almost 10 years. Visited in different seasons. In the autumn or winter, spring or summer. Sometimes when a circus is on, or even a fun fair! Located on the border of Moseley and Billesley. The park is not in Kings Heath. On the World Famous no 11 Outer Circle bus route (also the 2 and 3).

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Usually the first park that I pass on the 11C bus heading up Swanshurst Lane and up Yardley Wood Road, I have been around this park a lot. Swanshurst Park. Follow this link for my album on Flickr Swanshurst Park. Find the full gallery here Swanshurst Park gallery.

December 2009

It was Christmas Eve 2009 when I headed up to Swanshurst Park for the first time with a camera. The park was full of snow and looking quite "Christmasy". Was also freezing. A White Christmas indeed!

Swanshurst Park

The lake was frozen with a layer of snow on it.

Swanshurst Park

Was also quite misty, hard to see the trees in the distance.

Swanshurst Park

A lone swan with several Canada geese. They were able to get a swim in the freezing cold water.

Swanshurst Park

The corner of the Moseley New Pool. All iced over with a layer of snow on it.

Swanshurst Park

March 2011

This visit to the park on a wonderful sunny spring day was to see Zippos Circus on the other side of the Moseley New Pool. They seem to return to the park every year. A pair of Canada geese on the south bank of the pool.

Swanshurst Park

Looking towards Zippos Circus. See my circuses in Birmingham post here Circuses in Birmingham.

Swanshurst Park

Daffodils, a sight you usually see in March or April. Some years in February.

Swanshurst Park

Up the path towards Swanshurst Lane.

Swanshurst Park

The path leads to the Moseley New Pool. The circus seen in the distance.

Swanshurst Park

March 2012

On a hot March afternoon in Swanshurst Park. The field near Brook Lane in Billesley. With this park, you can also do walks to the nearby Shire Country Park in Hall Green and Yardley Wood.

Swanshurst Park

The playground is access from Yardley Wood Road. There is also a car park on that side.

Swanshurst Park

Plenty of trees up here. In recent years the council has had to protect the park from travellers, who seem to set up a camp on the park near here.

Swanshurst Park

This was during May 2013, passing on the 11C bus on the Yardley Wood Road in Billesley. On the right is the Billesley Community Fire Station. That graffiti mural has long since gone, since someone sprayed graffiti on top of it!

Swanshurst Park

Now June 2014, and Bob Wilson's Fun Fair was on in the park. Again seen from the passing 11C bus on the Yardley Wood Road in Billesley.

Swanshurst Park

November 2015

It's now autumn, and there was a canopy of brown leaves on the ground near the Swanshurst Lane entrance of the park. Days after Halloween, and the day before Bonfire Night.

Swanshurst Park

The path down from Swanshurst Lane to Moseley New Pool. Looking quite autumnal.

Swanshurst Park

You always see Canada geese at this end of the park. Yellow and brown colours all over.

Swanshurst Park

Gulls in the Moseley New Pool. The colours of autumn were everywhere.

Swanshurst Park

The corner of the pool close to Swanshurst Lane.

Swanshurst Park

December 2017

After the snow had melted. Leaves on the lawn near Yardley Wood Road. Trees line the park, and the Moseley New Pool in the distance.

Swanshurst Park

Canada geese and swans in the Moseley New Pool.

Swanshurst Park

The middle of December 2017, and saw the gulls flying about above the Moseley New Pool with the Canada geese below.

Swanshurst Park

Is quite the sight to see! There are signs around the park advising people to not feed bread to the birds, yet they still do it any way.

Swanshurst Park

The playground seen on a Christmas Day 2017 walk. No buses run on this day (they never do).

Swanshurst Park

In July 2018 during a summer heatwave. All throughout the UK, the green grass had gone yellow, and it was the same here at Swanshurst Park. This view from Brook Lane in Billesley.

Swanshurst Park

It is now December 2018 and after getting off the no 2 bus on Yardley Wood Road, I walked down Swanshurst Lane as it was getting dark. (Had to change buses from the 5 in Sparkbrook). Still leaves on the lawn, and the park seems different after the sun has gone down.

Swanshust Park

February 2019

The end of winter with signs that spring was upon us. A man fishing in a tent near the Moseley New Pool. Was a sunny day. Headed along the path from the Yardley Wood Road to Swanshurst Lane.

Swanshurst Park

Purple and white crocuses. A sign that it was almost spring. But was only the middle of February!

Swanshurst Park

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
31 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

No time for a break at 103 Colmore Row - Our end October 2019 update

Here is an end October 2019 gallery update of works at 103 Colmore. It's all go as we can see from these images taken by Daniel. 

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Photos by Tom Grunt

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
29 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Park: the park on Raddlebarn Road of the suburb with the same name

This park is on the no 76 bus route between Solihull and the QE Hospital and is not that far from the University of Birmingham. Selly Park shares it's name with the suburb of the same name Selly Park. The park takes is name from Selly Hall, a Tudor-style 19th century mansion that was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1864. The Roman Catholic Church of St Edward is nearby.

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A visit to Selly Park during the beginning of October 2019. Getting off the no 76 bus on Raddlebarn Road, I entered via the corner path at Raddlebarn Road and Warwards Lane. This old rusted bollard at the start of the path.

Selly Park

The path leads to this playground up ahead. Sometimes Selly Park is also called a Recreation Ground.

Selly Park

Near the playground, saw this blue wind pipe thing. There is a similar one over at Selly Oak Park (will do a post on that park soon probably).

Selly Park

Always prefer taking playgrounds when they are empty.

Selly Park

There is a large football field and outdoor gym equipment. But on the day of my visit, found many gulls on the goalpost!

Selly Park

Above the gulls on the goalpost, you can see the Beetham Tower.

Selly Park

Saw this coach from Swan Street Coaches. Parked near St Paul's Convent on Selly Park Road. Now owned by the Roman Catholic Church I think this was what was Selly Hall. Built in the 19th century in the Tudor style.

Selly Park

General look at the playing field not zoomed in. I have been to Selly Park before, walking past this park, but this visit was my first time going in. And looking at my old photos from Raddlebarn Road of December 2014, didn't seem to have taken any photos of this park before now (I think boys were playing a football game back then?).

Selly Park

Another look at a goalpost with gulls on top as well as the outdoor gym equipment.

Selly Park

Zooming in to the outdoor gym equipment near Selly Avenue.

Selly Park

Pair of goalposts, gulls on the field and a lady walking over the field.

Selly Park

From here it is an easy walk to the University of Birmingham down the Bournbrook Road towards the Bristol Road. I then walked around the Aston Webb Boulevard (Selly Oak Bypass) towards the new Selly Oak Shopping Park. On the way saw a #Selly sign near The Pavilion at the University. From Selly Park to Selly Oak.

 

For more photos see my album on Flickr Selly Park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
28 Oct 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Three Arena Central - October 2019 Update

Here's the latest ItsYourBuild photo gallery for Three Arena Central (HMRC). The sub-cladding is complete and the silver final panels will start to appear soon. The building looks very black and dark at the moment but makes for some interesting photos.

Take the post for a great gallery of photography.

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With the curtain walling more or less complete up to level 13, attention since our last update has quickly turned to the installation of pressure plates.

All this is in preperaton for the eagerly-awaited rainscreen cladding, which should start to appear in time for our next update.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
26 Oct 2019 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

Birmingham Gems 2020 Calendar - As a sponsor add your brand to this amazing showcase of Birmingham Culture!

Join a select group of businesses helping to promote Birmingham's amazing Culture. The hugely popular Birmingham Gems Calendar features 12 wonderful public spaces for 2020. It contains fantastic photography, informative Did You Know's and a fantastic interactive digital map. As a sponsor of Birmingham Gems you are making all this possible. 

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Contact:

Debra Power at debra.power@freetimepays.com or on 0121 410 5520. 

For a sponsorship of £500 you will receive:

YOUR’ORGANISATION'S LOGO ON EVERY MONTH OF THE CALENDAR

A BIO OF YOUR ORGANISATION ON THE INSET PAGE

100 CALENDARS FOR YOUR OWN USE

5 TICKETS TO THE CELEBRATION OF A CITY WITH COMMUNITY AT THE COUNCIL HOUSE (3rd December 2019)

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48 passion points
Construction & regeneration
26 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham Construction, Cranes Across the City - October 2019 Update

Here's the latest update gallery for the crane photography feature at ItsYourBuild with cranes across Birmingham over September and October. Above, a crane strains with the removal of the concrete core overrun from 103 Colmore Row.

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Photos by Tom Grunt

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
25 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - October 2019

Most of the external lifts have been removed from Bank Tower Two now that the cladding is complete. Lower retail sections are now being prepared for fit out.

Open the post for some stunning photography from Daniel.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
24 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Highgate Park: inner city park where the statue of Edward VII used to be

By the time I first had a look around Highgate Park in 2010, the statue of King Edward VII had been removed for restoration (it was later installed in Centenary Square near Baskerville House). Not many people visit this inner city park, on the no 50 bus route (Moseley Road), but it has nice views of the skyline, a playground and a sports pitch. The gatehouse was burnt down and demolished.

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Highgate Park

This was the last inner city park (within the middle ring road) to be open for over 130 years before Eastside City Park opened in 2012.

A few details from the Wikipedia page.

The park opened in 1875 on land originally owned by Elizabeth Hollier. When she died it was to be used by a charity. The Trustees of Elizabeth Hollier's Charity wanted to develop the land for industry, but the Birmingham Corporation bought it to develop it as a park. The area near Alcester Street was later asphalted to be used as a playground.

The statue of King Edward VII was in the park from 1951 after being moved from Victoria Square. Various bronze parts were stolen in the 1970s and 1980s and were never recovered. The Victorian Society was able to get Birmingham City Council to move the statue out of the park in 2009 for restoration. The statue was repaired and installed in Centenary Square in late 2010, and the missing bronze pieces recast and replaced.

 

June 2010

First up a look around Highgate Park during my first look around in June 2010. I was heading to see the Edward VII statue but it wasn't there any more!

A path and trees.

Highgate Park

More trees and a slope. I'm not entirely sure where the statue used to be, could have been up there somewhere, but all the grass had grown back.

Highgate Park

Quite possible that this was the site of the Edward VII statue looking at the disturbance of the grass. It had only been taken out of the park a year before sometime during 2009.

Highgate Park

A path heading around and down to the playground.

Highgate Park

A look at the playground close to Alcester Street.

Highgate Park

When you head down this way, there is a good view of the Birmingham skyline. In June 2010, you could see The Cube (completed that year). The Sentinels (Cleveland Tower and Clydesdale Tower) and the Beetham Tower. The Hyatt Hotel could also be seen from here.

Highgate Park

Interesting climbing frame on the playground for kids.

Highgate Park

Also this S shaped snake like bench.

Highgate Park

Statue of King Edward VII

The following photos of the statue of King Edward VII taken in Centenary Square (not Highgate Park). Seen in November 2010 in front of The Copthorne Hotel. They had just installed it here, but the new bronze parts (to replace the stolen and never recovered parts) were not yet added.

Edward VII

By December 2010 they had finished the restoration of the statue, and it was looking as good as new! The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was being advertised on the Birmingham Central Library (above the entrance to Paradise Forum).

Edward VII

Another view from about July 2011 it was looking nice and clean.

Edward VII

The statue stayed here for the duration of the Centenary Square renovation works (2017 to 2019). But the statue had got quite weathered over the last 9 years. Seen here during June 2019, before they had fully reopened Centenary Square. At one point was portacabins around this site. The Copthorne Hotel is still there (but expect it to go in the 2020s).

Edward VII

Gatehouse

OK now back to Highgate Park and sad news about a building close to the Moseley Road. The gatehouse seen during March 2011, boarded up and empty for decades (probably).

Highgate Park

This plaque confirms that it was built in 1876. I wonder if this plaque has gone to the Birmingham Museums Collections Centre?

Highgate Park

By April 2018, the gatehouse had been covered in graffiti and was severely damaged from a fire (arson).

Highgate Park

The door doesn't look too good. Graffiti either side of it. And looking damaged from the fire.

Highgate Park

Sadly the gatehouse was demolished in September 2018. And in the year since, this area has been grassed over. This is what happens when the Council abandons a park gatehouse and leaves it to rot. Hopefully the surviving gatehouses in other city parks will be protected?

Highgate Park

April 2018

Heading towards the back of The Rowton Hotel from the Alcester Street entrance of the park. On the way to see the fire damaged gatehouse.

Highgate Park

Just outside of the sports pitch. I'm not sure what that green and red structure is for.

Highgate Park

New flats built at the back of a Moseley Street site near St Anne's Hostel. Park View.

Highgate Park

The back of The Rowton Hotel. Formerly called the Paragon Hotel. A Grade II listed building. Parkview House. Built in 1903-04 as the Rowton House hostel.

Highgate Park

August 2019

My last visit to Highgate Park was when I got off the no 50 NXWM Platinum bus on the Moseley Road. For some reason National Express West Midlands call the stop Camp Hill Middleway (it's the bus stop after Highgate Middleway). This view walking up a road called Chandos Road. It leads to Salop Street. So the view through the railings.

Highgate Park

A homeless persons tent set up in Highgate Park. Was close to the wall on the Moseley Road.

Highgate Park

The main path from the Salop Street entrance towards the Moseley Road entrance.

Highgate Park

Skyline update during August 2019. As well as the Beetham Tower, you can also see from here: the Library of Birmingham, Orion Building and The Forum. Big Brum at BM & AG was also visible from here. Above the playground. The new Arena Central buildings was also visible from the park.

Highgate Park

For more Highgate Park photos, please check out my album on Flickr Highgate Park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Modern Architecture
23 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

From the Oozells Street Boarding School to the IKON Gallery

Located on Oozells Street in what is now Oozells Square in Brindleyplace,Birmingham is the IKON Gallery. It was originally built in 1877 as the Oozells Street Boarding School designed by the famed architect John Henry Chamberlain. By 1981 it was used by Birmingham City Council as Furniture Stores. Was converted into the IKON Gallery in 1997 by Levitt Bernstein.

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IKON Gallery

(Information below from Wikipedia)

The IKON Gallery was founded in 1965, but only moved to it's present location in 1997. It was founded by four artists from the Birmingham School of Art, David Prentice, Sylvani Merilion, Jesse Bruton and Robert Groves. Originally located in the 1960s Bull Ring shopping centre. By 1978 they had moved to a former carpet shop on John Bright Street near the Alexandra Theatre. The gallery moved to the former Oozells Street Board School in 1997 where they remain to this day. The refurbishment work was designed by Levitt Bernstein.

It is a Grade II listed building now listed as the The Ikon Gallery and Ikon Cafe. But when it was originally listed in 1981, it was the Furniture Stores Of City Of Birmingham Education Department. The listing was last amended in 2011. It was built in 1878 for the Birmingham School Board by Chamberlain and Martin and altered by the same practice in 1898. Paul Clarke of Levitt Bernstein converted it to it's current use in 1997.

 

The following views from Oozells Square of the IKON Gallery taken during May 2009.

IKON Gallery

These were mobile shots as I think that my then compact camera had run out of battery.

IKON Gallery

IKON sign from the side. Looking towards Jurys Inn on Broad Street.

IKON Gallery

First look at the main entrance with the IKON sign. Did not go inside at this time.

IKON Gallery

I was trying different modes out on my then phone camera, so here I did a black and white monochrome version. Could be a photo from the latre 19th century if it wasn't for the modern building behind!

IKON Gallery

By June 2009 I had a new bridge camera (after having an issue with my old compact camera in May 2009). So amongst other things got new photos of the IKON Gallery from Oozells Square.

IKON Gallery

Side or close up view with the rebuilt tower. The original tower was demolished in the 1960s, and in the late 1990s rebuilt and conversion a new tower was built to the original design. Further back it is hard to tell that it is relatively new!

IKON Gallery

Ahead of a work 25th anniversary do in November 2010, got new photos including this glass lift tower.

IKON Gallery

You can only really see it from the outside from this service path from Oozells Square to the Water's Edge.

IKON Gallery

The next time I would see the glass lift shaft would be inside during my works party (almost 9 years ago now).

IKON Gallery

Close up look at the IKON sign as I entered for the first time during late November 2010, for my works 25th party.

IKON Gallery

A look at the lift. There is two levels, Level 1 and Level 2 that have exhibitions on. If you go in the lift, it makes a noise, "na na naa naaa naaaa naaaaaa" etc (it is best if you use the lift yourself, also I've not videoed the lift sound). I most recently used the lift after visiting the Barry Flanagan exhibition. Barry Flanagan bronze sculptures at the IKON Gallery.

IKON Gallery

The Victorian interiors preserved with the late 1990s lift shaft and glass staircase.

IKON Gallery

Modern metal tubes connect to the Victorian brick and stonework.

IKON Gallery

Pretty much the same when you turn slightly to the right. This I think was from Level 2.

IKON Gallery

Some of the artworks I saw probably on Level 2 during late November 2010.

IKON Gallery

No idea who the artist's was or what this exhibition was about though.

IKON Gallery

Lots of metal circles inside of circles.

IKON Gallery

Perhaps something to do with sound and air?

IKON Gallery

Skipping ahead to July 2015 when The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 was on. Here in Oozells Square outside of the IKON Gallery was: Midnight Moths by the artist: Alyn Smith, it was sponsored by: Harrow Green.

IKON Gallery

This owl sculpture was in Central Square, Brindleyplace outside of Five Brindleyplace. It was offices of BT, but later  Deutsche Bank. The Oozells Owl was by the artist: Jodie Silverman, and the sponsor was of course Deutsche Bank.

IKON Gallery

Back to outside of the IKON Gallery in Oozells Square during July 2017. The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 was on with a bear trail. The Ink Detective was by the artist: Mr A Singh and the sponsor was Deloitte.

IKON Gallery

There is a Barry Flanagan bronze sculpture of a sitting hare outside in Oozells Square. Seen here during September 2019. At that time wasn't sure of going into the IKON Gallery, also had a long bus journey and walk, so left it for another week.

Barry Flanagan

One of the Barry Flanagan hare sculptures seen inside of the IKON Gallery during early October 2019. For more photos, the link to the post is further up. Or see them via this search Barry Flanagan.

Barry Flanagan

During my most recent visit to the IKON Gallery earlier in October 2019, after seeing the Barry Flanagan exhibition (link further up this post), went back down the glass lift (for the first time in almost 9 years). Saw this modern area with a dartboard. Somewhere to sit in the foyer, near the shop. There is a cafe to the far left of here (I have never been). It is now home to Yorks Cafe. They erroneously have the date 1847 for when the school was built (it was actually around 1877 or 1878).

IKON Gallery

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
23 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Remember when Terminator was on Caroline Street in the Jewellery Quarter (March 2018)

Ahead of the release in cinemas of the sixth Terminator movie (Terminator: Dark Fate) a look back to that time when The Terminator (T800 Model 101) was on Caroline Street in the Jewellery Quarter. This was on the 13th March 2018. When I saw on Twitter / Facebook that he was there I had to see him before he disappeared! I'll be back! Hasta la vista baby!

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Somehow I forgot to add Terminator to this post: Characters from Movies and TV spotted around Birmingham and the West Midlands.

On the 13th March 2018 I saw photos on Social Media (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram) that the Terminator was in the Jewellery Quarter.

So I headed out at lunchtime to see him. Was on Caroline Street just north of St Paul's Square.

Terminator

Here he is in close up in the middle of Caroline Street. "I told you I'd be back!".

Terminator

The Terminator is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold has played different versions of the T800 in the movies since 1984 (apart from the 4th movie in 2009 when he was Governor of California so that was a CGI version over a stunt double). He was the T850 in T3. 

Terminator

Terminator from the back as he looks to the spire of St Paul's Church and to the BT Tower. Not far from The Bloc hotel.

Terminator

Terminator: Dark Fate comes out on the 23rd October 2019. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton have just completed a promotional tour of the UK (London). Arnold has been to Birmingham several times for those An Experience with ... events at The ICC.

The movies are as follows: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator: Salvation (2009), Terminator: Genisys (2015) and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Green open spaces
22 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Calthorpe Park: the park named after the Calthorpe Family

You have probably heard of the Calthorpe Estates which manages the land and what can be built in Edgbaston. They gave their name to Calthorpe Park which opened on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston in 1857. The park is between Speedwell Road and Edward Road. The River Rea is to the back of the park. The statue of Robert Peel used to be here, but just the plinth survives here now.

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First up the information taken from the Wikipedia page: Calthorpe Park.

The park opened in 1857 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. The parks name comes from the Calthorpe family whose Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe  provided the land for it's creation in 1857. His son Augustus Gough-Calthorpe, 6th Baron Calthorpe signed over the freehold of the land in 1894. The park was formally opened by Prince George, Duke of Cambridge on the 1st June 1857.

An 1855 statue of Robert Peel used to stand in the park, but all that remains here is the original plinth. The statue was moved further down the Pershore Road to outside of Tally Ho! (now the West Midlands Police Training HQ).

 

December 2010

I've not been into Calthorpe Park much with my camera, but the first time was during December 2010.

A look at the empty plinth that used to have the statue of Robert Peel above it.  Like many old statues / plinths this plinth had graffiti on it (at the time) and the pair of L's were damaged. (You should see the old plinths at the Birmingham Museums Collection Centre for more examples).

Calthorpe Park

The statue of Robert Peel seen in front of Tally Ho! on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston during November 2009 (it is still at this location). The statue used to be on Congreve Street, then it was moved to Council House Square in 1873 (now Victoria Square). In 1926 a gas lamp knocked it off it's pedestal (it was hit by a lorry) and it was moved to Calthorpe Park. In 1963 the statue was moved to the Pershore Road on top of a new plinth, leaving the old plinth where it was. The Victorian Society had opened to move the plinth and statue to a suitable location in the city centre, but that never happened. The statue was erected to commemorate the Repeal of the Corn Laws and not his involvement in setting up the Metropolitan Police.

Robert Peel statue

Trees in Calthorpe Park seen from the Pershore Road side. There is football pitches behind with many goalposts.

Calthorpe Park

One of the paths and a line of trees.

Calthorpe Park

Looking back to the Pershore Road. Towards Birmingham Central Synagogue (the 1960s building was demolished in 2013 when the congreation moved into their refurbished building on Speedwell Road). That is now the site of a retirement home (Gracewell of Edgbaston).

Calthorpe Park

The paths were looking a bit tired in late 2010. Edward Road seen to the far right.

Calthorpe Park

I think the paths have been done up in the following years.

Calthorpe Park

A plant close to the Pershore Road. The gatehouse lodge to the left on the corner of Speedwell Road.

Calthorpe Park

From the Pershore Road looking at the path in the middle.

Calthorpe Park

Close up look at the gatehouse. I don't think anyone has lived there in decades.

Calthorpe Park

This column used to have council advertising around it. Now it is bare, but has plants growing out the top of it.

Calthorpe Park

October 2019

I returned to Calthorpe Park with my camera while the Great Birmingham Run was on, up the Pershore Road. Trees looking very autumnal and the paths looking as good as new.

Calthorpe Park

The tree lined path to the centre of the park (well heading along the path towards Speedwell Road / Alexandra Road).

Calthorpe Park

Now near Speedwell Road. There are bollards close to here which separates Speedwell Road from Alexandra Road, as well as Princess Road in the middle.

Calthorpe Park

The path alongside Alexandra Road leads to a bridge over the River Rea.

Calthorpe Park

One of the goalposts on the football fields as well as a view of Edgbaston Cricket Ground with it's floodlights. The cricket stadium was redeveloped in 2011.

Calthorpe Park

Looking to a spire in Moseley. It is of St Anne's Church, which is located on Park Hill in Moseley. Below a small brick building with graffiti all over it.

Calthorpe Park

Looking to the football field with Edgbaston Cricket Ground in the distance.

Calthorpe Park

Some of my photos from the Great Birmingham Run 2019 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. For more photos follow this link Great Birmingham Run 2019: runners on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston.

Great Birmingham Run Calthorpe Park

This is close to the corner of Edward Road and Pershore Road (where I entered the park this time around).

Great Birmingham Run Calthorpe Park

The runners continue to head up the Pershore Road and back into the city centre. Heading past Gracewell of Edgbaston and the Edgbaston Dental Centre.

Great Birmingham Run Calthorpe Park

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - October 2019

Significant progress has been made on the lower steel structure for 103 Colmore Row with the vertical setbacks now clearly visible on the Newhall Street side of the build and the large overhang at street level visible on Colmore Row.

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Artist Impression from Doone Silver Kerr Architects

New to this update on the progress at 103 Colmore Row is the installation of four new 20 metre tall columns overlooking Colmore Row.

Weighing up to 20 tonnes, the structure will soon form the entrance to the new winter garden, the main architectural feature of the new development, as seen in the above render.

LATEST PHOTOGRAPHY TAKEN 14 - 20 OCTOBER:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - October 2019

The construction of the podium at The Mercian on Broad Street is now well advanced, with concrete pouring commencing across the site. Both cores are progressing well and are almost ready for lift off. A cladding sample has also appeared on site. Exciting times!

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The main core will comprise of three lifts, a goods lift, refuse chute and a stairwell. This will provide direct access to floor 42.

A secondary core is also going up, as seen behind the main one. This will provide two additional lifts and provide access up to level 14, where the development will see a shoulder extension.

PHOTO UPDATE OF THE MERCIAN (14 - 20 OCTOBER 2019)

Photos by Daniel Sturley

A cladding sample is now taking pride of place on site.

Photo by Alan Webb

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Transport
21 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses at the Great Birmingham Run 2019

Walking up the Edgbaston Road to check out a bit of the Great Birmingham Run. Had to give up the idea of going into Cannon Hill Park, and the Cricket Ground was quiet. Anyway saw this pair of buses at the Pershore Road junction as runners went past up the Pershore Road.

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I was expecting runners to be coming out of Cannon Hill Park and around Edgbaston Cricket Ground, but Great Run had to cancel that. So Edgbaston Road was a bit quiet while it was completely closed from the Willows Road / Russell Road end.

Saw this pair of open top buses at the Edgbaston Road / Pershore Road junction.

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses

Bath Bus Company with the Alzheimer's Society.

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses

Southdown with the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses

People were cheering on the runners from the top deck of each bus. I headed right next up Pershore Road and went as far as Calthorpe Park before I left the runners behind.

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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