Elliott Brown

Passion Points: 26K

People & community
15 Nov 2019 - 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
15 Nov 2019 - 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
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).

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
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!

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
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.

Related

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.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Open spaces
21 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Malvern and Brueton Parks: from Solihull Town Centre to the M42

Two parks in one that are in Solihull Town Centre. Well Malvern Park is closer to the shops in Solihull. While Brueton Park is closer to the M42 (not far from the A41 and Junction 5). Over the years I've been to Malvern Park multiple times. Brueton Park only twice (it is much further away from the centre). Lots of paths to walk, also a lake and the River Blythe in Brueton Park.

Related

First up details from the Wikipedia page Malvern and Brueton Park.

This pair of parks is located in Solihull.The park is over 130 acres in size and opened in 1944. The parks are a Green Flag Award winner.

Malvern Park was laid out by the then Solihull Urban District Council in 1926, on land that was formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The Statue of Horse and Horse Tamer was sculpted in 1874 by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. It was purchased at auction by Captain Oliver Bird, of Bird's Custard for his garden at Tudor Grange, but he donated it to Solihull Council in 1945. It was placed in the park during the coronation year of 1953. The statue was damaged in 2012, and restored later that year.

Brueton Park is a Local Nature Reserve. The parkland was given to Solihull by Horace Brueton in 1944. This land was also formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The two parks were linked in 1963. A lake runs through the park near the River Blythe. There is many species of Oak trees in the park. It is hard to tell when you are leaving Malvern Park as you enter Brueton Park as they merge into one.

 

I'm not putting all the photos I've uploaded into this post, please see them in the gallery. Alternatively in my Flickr albums Malvern Park and Brueton Park.

Malvern Park

The Prancing Horse statue seen during January 2010. This was when the bronze was looking quite green and before metal thieves damaged it in 2012 (before it was later restored).

Malvern Park

The gates into Malvern Park. Seen in the middle of January 2010. They are the main gates from New Road in Solihull Town Centre. And not  far from the Warwick Road. They date to 1954-55.

Malvern Park

Saw this wooden frame not far from the playground in the park during December 2012. A few years later I saw that they had installed a rope that children could climb on and walk along, like something from an obstacle course.

Malvern Park

Near the New Road gate entrance. Saw this plaque in December 2012. From the "Rotary Club of Solihull. Presented to the people of Solihull in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, 2012, Sixty Glorious years". It was donated by Earlswood Garden & Landscape Centre and was made of mid Wales stone.

Malvern Park

A path in Malvern Park seen during February 2014. Sometimes the pedestrian and cylist paintwork on the path can become quite faint, so sometimes you maybe walking on the cyclists side.

Malvern Park

This canopy seen in Malvern Park during October 2014. Some kind of gazebo. Possibly somewhere that a band could play music, not that I've ever seen that myself here.

Malvern Park

This wooden walkway seen in March 2016, going off the path to the right.

Malvern Park

Ice cream van in the car park seen during March 2017. Super Whippy. I usually take the entrance from Park Road as it is the closest entrance from the Solihull High Street.

Malvern Park

There was a lot of snow in the park during December 2017. A Winter Wonderland. This view looking to the spire of St Alphege's Church. It was freezing!

Malvern Park

Mr Blue Sky was in Malvern Park during January 2019. Looking this way to the tennis courts.

Malvern Park

The main gates to the park if you are coming in from the Park Road entrance. But there is also a path to the right. The October 2019 visit which I took on the walk to Brueton Park again. These gates date to the opening of the park in 1926.

Malvern Park

Brueton Park

I've only been into Brueton Park twice. The first time was during October 2018. That time I walked all the way to the Warwick Road and then back into Solihull Town Centre. The Second time in October 2019 to cross a footbridge over the M42 (on a rather long walk to Widney Manor Station).

The path that leads from Malvern Park into Brueton Park.

Brueton Park

Here the paths diverge, but you can really only go right past the evergreen trees. This is near the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (I've been past them but not gone in).

Brueton Park

The lake in Brueton Park. It is quite large and runs along side the River Blythe.

Brueton Park

A swan in the Brueton Park Lake.

Brueton Park

Some gulls standing on branches of a tree, near the lake.

Brueton Park

Heading into Brueton Park during October 2019 and the leaves on the trees are going yellowy orange. Quite autumnal.

Brueton Park

This time I took the right path around the lake heading to a footbridge that crossed the River Blythe.

Brueton Park

Here the Brueton Park Lake flows into the River Blythe. I was on my way to cross that footbridge.

Brueton Park

Following the path alongside the River Blythe. The lake is on the other sides of the trees to the left.

Brueton Park

Another footbridge crossing the River Blythe in Brueton Park. A quick look before I left the park for the footbridge over the M42.

Brueton Park

Not only is it possible to walk from Solihull Town Centre over the M42, but you could probably also walk to Knowle and Dorridge if you wanted to. The Warwick Road is cut in half by the motorway. So the Solihull Bypass replaces that section of the A41. The footbridge can only be used by pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists (while they are not riding there bikes). I took a route towards Widney Manor Station.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Environment & green action
16 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sheldon Country Park: from the Coventry Road to Old Rectory Farm and the Airport viewing area

Only in Sheldon Country Park can you see a farm and then plane spot! There is several paths from the Coventry Road. One leads to Old Rectory Farm. The quicker route leads to the Airport viewing area near Marston Green Station. There are benches where you can sit and see planes taking off or landing. Get your train from or to Marston Green Station (or the bus).

Related

Follow this link to my full Sheldon Country Park album on Flickr.

February 2015

This was my first walk in the Sheldon Country Park. Getting on at the Coventry Road in Sheldon, running alongside the Westley Brook. Not far from Barrows Lane and Horse Shoes Lane. This sign welcomes you to the park. An ALDI supermarket is almost directly opposite this entrance.

Sheldon Country Park

Trees in the park not far from the Coventry Road in Sheldon.

Sheldon Country Park

The path from the Coventry Road. Following the route of the Westley Brook it ends at Church Road in Sheldon.

Sheldon Country Park

A look at the Westley Brook from a footbridge.

Sheldon Country Park

The footbridge that crosses the Westley Brook.

Sheldon Country Park

At the time the paths were quite muddy. Walked from the Church Road entrance and went past Old Rectory Farm. Here was a couple of horses.

Old Rectory Farm

One of the horses eating grass.

Old Rectory Farm

Several sheep here as well.

Old Rectory Farm

A pair of sheep.

Old Rectory Farm

Beyond Old Rectory Farm was a football pitch. Boys were playing a game that day as I walked past on the muddy paths.

Old Rectory Farm

Airport viewing area first few visits

In March 2016 at Easter, I returned to the Sheldon Country Park, taken several buses towards Marston Green Station as I heard via social media that the Emirates Airbus A380 would be landing at Birmingham Airport with passengers for the first time. Obviously other people had heard this aswell (thanks Birmingham Updates!).

Airport viewing area

Just about caught the Emirates Airbus A380 landing as I got close to the Airport viewing area. What a sight! It was then given Birmingham Airport's traditional hose down! See the post here Emirates Airbus A380 : the super double decker plane from Dubai in Birmingham and the Midlands.

Airport viewing area

Loads of people here during March 2016 to see the Emirates Airbus A380 (and other planes) but mainly the Emirates.

Airport viewing area

Panoramic, was a nice day weather wise.

Airport viewing area

In November 2016 for a bit of plane spotting. While there saw this London Midland Class 350 Desiro train heading over the viaduct near Marston Green Station.

Sheldon Country Park train

Was also a Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino going past. Best views usually from the platforms at Marston Green Station (but Virgin don't stop there, so go past at 100mph).

Sheldon Country Park train

Another plane spotting session during March 2017. That day mainly waiting to see the Emirates Boeing 777 take off. Meanwhile saw this Virgin Trains Super Voyager Class 221 (I think).

Sheldon Country Park trains

Also heading over the brick viaduct was an Arriva Trains Wales Class 158 train. They usually go as far as Birmingham International, and then head back to North Wales (Holyhead). Since that franchise ended it is now run by Transport for Wales (I have yet to get photos of their trains since the new franchise started, but have seen some in this area but missed getting a photo of one).

Sheldon Country Park trains

Chinese State Circus

The Chinese State Circus was on in the Sheldon Country Park on a strip of land near the path that was close to the Westley Brook, during May 2017. See my circuses post here for more photos Circuses in Birmingham.

Chinese State Circus

It was on from the 9th to 14th May 2017. There was signs lining the Coventry Road at the time letting people know about it, and elsewhere in Birmingham.

Chinese State Circus

October 2019

Just when I thought I'd walked all the paths in the Sheldon Country Park, while I was checking out the Sheldon Retail Park, I knew that there was another entrance to the park nearby, so headed there after leaving Morrisons. Is also a new M & S Food in the Sheldon area. This path follows the Hatchford Brook. Getting on close to The Arden Oak (Harvester), which is near Arden Oak Road.

Hatchford Brook

The path and the Hatchford Brook. Nearby to the right of the park is the Hatchford Brook Golf Club. But a bit hard to see the golf course over the fence and shrubbery.

Hatchford Brook

A footbridge seen crossing the Hatchford Brook.

Hatchford Brook

One side of the Hatchford Brook from the footbridge.

Hatchford Brook

Also a small waterfall, or weir. Before you know it, you are walking past Birmingham Airport.

Hatchford Brook

Newly laid paths in the Sheldon Country Park that runs up towards the Birmingham Airport perimeter.

Sheldon Country Park Birmingham Airport

The path now goes past the fence of the airport, and the Hatchford Brook enters the airport grounds.

Sheldon Country Park Birmingham Airport

Members of the public are not allowed to climb over the fence onto the airside area of the airport, or even use a drone here. It is forbidden!

Sheldon Country Park Birmingham Airport

An emergency exit gate from the airport onto the path in the park. It must be kept clear at all times.

Sheldon Country Park Birmingham Airport

I ended up at Marston Green Station again. Missed the first train to Birmingham New Street, and that was before buying a ticket (this was on a Sunday afternoon). After I bought my ticket had a half hour wait for the next London Northwestern Railway train that was heading towards Rugeley Trent Valley (now that the Chase line has been electrified). Got this view of the park when I finally left the station. Shows the airport viewing area. Benches and the path are to the left.

Sheldon Country Park Birmingham Airport

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
15 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham New Street Station and the Pallasades to Grand Central

A look at the transformation of Birmingham New Street Station from 2010 to 2015 / 16. The Pallasades was eventually replaced by Grand Central which opened in September 2015. The concrete station and shopping centre built in the mid to late 1960s replaced by the current station and shopping mall.

Related

I started taking photos of Birmingham New Street Station in 2010. And started regularly travelling from it to take photos around the network from about 2012. If you want to check out all my photos to date (other than on here) then follow my link on Flickr (over 1800 photos to date) Birmingham New Street Station.

The following information taken from Wikipedia (link at the top).

The station was originally built by the London and North Western Railway between 1846 and 1854, replacing the earlier terminus at Curzon Street which opened in 1838. LNWR shared the station with the Midland Railway until 1885, when Midland built their own extension alongside the original station. The two companies separated by a road called Queens Drive.

On Stephenson Street was built the Queens Hotel, this survived until the 1960s redevelopment.

Various lines go into New Street Station including the Stour Valley line, the Birmingham West Suburban Railway (that later formed part of the Cross City from 1978), and other lines.

In 1923 the LNWR and Midland Railway with others was grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. In 1948 the railways were nationalised under British Railways. During World War II the roof suffered extensive bomb damage as a result of the air raids during the Birmingham Blitz.

After the war repairs were made but the original station was in use until the 1960s.

The station was completely rebuilt in the 1960s as part of the West Coast Main Line modernisation programme. Demolition of the old station and Queen's Hotel began in 1964 and was not complete until 1966. The rebuilt New Street Station was opened in 1967. While The Pallasades was built from 1968 and 1970 and was opened at that time.

The railway was privatised in 1997 and the train operators were franchised. Eventually the station was to be owned by Network Rail.

 

One of my earliest photos of New Street Station taken in during February 2010, not far from St Martin's Queensway.

Birmingham New Street Station 2010

The back of the station as seen from Navigation Street in February 2010. The rear footbridge was built in 1993 after the Kings Cross fire of 1987, as New Street is classed as an underground station, and the footbridge is also like an emergency exit. Train operators seen here included London Midland, Virgin Trains and Cross Country Trains. The Pallasades was still above and demolition work yet to begin.

Birmingham New Street Station 2010

It's now January 2011 and the redevelopment of New Street Station was well under way. It would take 5 years. Here was the void over platforms 12a, 11a, 10a, 9a and 8a. Come here now, and you would find a public square opposite the Bullring from St Martin's Queensway, but not 8 years ago! Just a big hole above the tracks.

Birmingham New Street Station 2011

Seen here in September 2012 when the Moor Street Link Bridge was under construction, below the Odeon cinema. Now a useful link from New Street to Moor Street Station. The Rotunda to the right. I now take many of the my photos from up there (mostly of Virgin Trains).

Birmingham New Street Station 2012

By April 2013, it was almost time for the old concourse at New Street Station to close for the last time. Saw it here on the 13th April 2013. Half of the new concourse was to open by 28th April 2013. It was called "Half Time Switchover".

Birmingham New Street Station 2013

By August 2013 I had my first look at the new concourse. No ticket barriers yet but this is on the B side bridge over platforms 1 to 12.

Birmingham New Street Station 2013

Up the ramp to what was The Pallasades in March 2014. During the transformation into Grand Central. Heading past HSBC.

Pallasades 2014

The former Woolworths store was just about visible before they gutted it to transform it into new retail units for Grand Central. I think that they had already started to change the floor tiles by this point. I never really fancied taking photos of The Pallasades when it was still there, wasn't much to look at by the end. Dark and depressing. There used to be central escalators that took you down to the old New Street Station concourse, but that closed in 2013.

Pallasades 2014

Skipping ahead to September 2015, and the new New Street Station was almost ready to fully reopen. Seen here below John Lewis is the Southside media eye. At the corner of Hill Street and Station Street. They were testing out the new media eyes. Also preparing for the opening of Grand Central Birmingham. The Southside Steps are below (at one point nicknamed the Spanish Steps like the ones in Rome). This end is close to the Alexandra Theatre.

Southside media eye

Opening day late September 2015 from the newly opened public square. The media eye facing the Bullring showing a Grand Central Birmingham advert. Around this area they would later install a war memorial, which the Queen would visit when she reopened the station with the Duke of Edinburgh. The new taxi rank on what was Queens Drive is to the left (although it took some time before I saw taxis down there).

Bullring media eye

This was in October 2015. The Midland Metro extension to New Street Station wasn't quite finished (it was a bit behind). The Stephenson Street media eye at the corner of Stephenson Street and Navigation Street welcoming you to Grand Central. Above is Ladywood House (still to be redeveloped to this day). Grand Central Tram Stop would later open down here in 2016.

Stephenson Street media eye

First look around Grand Central in October 2015 (after it opened to the public in late September 2015). Looking this way to John Lewis. Below the new airy concourse of Birmingham New Street Station. With a Pret a Manger to the left. Joe & The Juice is just in front of John Lewis (and is part of that group).

Grand Central 2015

Some of the restaurants in Grand Central including Tapas Revolution.

Grand Central 2015

Tortilla - was a long queue in the early days and weeks. Since then many retail or restaurant units in Grand Central have closed down, some have been replaced. Some units have remained vacant. Might be the rent is too high?

Grand Central 2015

This is the view from a car park on Swallow Street (near Hill Street) of Birmingham New Street Station on the opening day in late September 2015. With Grand Central and John Lewis.

Birmingham New Street Station 2015

This is the view from October 2015 of the new Birmingham New Street Station looking more or less complete from the Bullring link bridge (just beyond what was later name Link Street). This is the route between Grand Central and the Bullring. On the media eye at the time was "Full London Ahead" from Virgin Trains (who are due to lose the West Coast franchise in December 2019). The demolition of the old 103 Colmore Row was well underway at the time.

Birmingham New Street Statio from the Bullring (October 2015)

Not everything was complete in 2015. In 2016 they were building a new exit to Hill Street, from the footbridge that stretches to the old Navigation Street exit. Both are now exit only. It's called the Southern Ticket Hall. Although all you can do in there is put your ticket in the ticket barrier to exit the station. This view from Lower Severn Street during October 2016.

Hill Street bridge exit 2016

It was open by December 2016. This exit is close to platforms 1 and 2. This photo below taken in July 2017. When I took this I wasn't exiting the station but using the footbridge to go between different platforms when I was on the look out for Big Sleuth bears. Travelling from Birmingham International to University.

Hill Street exit 2017

Heading over the Hill Street Footbridge during October 2017. Not all trains are on time, in fact from time to time there are delays. I was travelling to Longbridge and waiting at platform 12B, but the train I ended up getting was from platform 9B so used this footbridge to change platforms. I also call this the Navigation Street Footbridge. Not many people seem to use it when I'm there (not experienced it during the rush hour / commuting period, only off peak or weekends).

Hill Street bridge 2017

I don't often get new photos of Grand Central looking down to the New Street Station concourse. This view was taken in May 2017. The paid ticketed area is to the right, while the free area is to the left of the eateries. The escalators had Bulling & Grand Central on them (as the centres now have the same owner and were merged into one).

Grand Central (May 2017)

Some new places in Grand Central, some are still here some already gone! Mowgli seen in August 2018. Cocoa seen in August 2018 (they have moved to The Mailbox). Tuckers Newsagents & Games seen in January 2019 when Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was on Netflix (it was temporary and only there for a short period of time). Kitty Cafe seen in May 2019 (it is still there).

Grand Central 2018 2019

This mural was seen in Grand Central not far from the ramp during February 2019. It shows the likes of Selfridges, Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham's canal network. I don't think the mural is there now.

Grand Central mural 2019

The first Midland Metro extension to New Street Station was opened completely to Grand Central Tram Stop in 2016. By 2019, the trams are now run under the name of West Midlands Metro. And the trams are going blue. Seen here on Stephenson Place is a pair of battery-less trams. Tram 32 heading to Wolverhampton, and tram 27 heading to the (current) Grand Central terminus. The ramp was refubished during the Grand Central redevelopment of 2015, and looks much better now. The pair of trams seen in October 2019.

Trams 32 and 27

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Environment & green action
14 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pype Hayes Park: the park near Erdington and not far from Sutton Coldfield

I've visited Pype Hayes Park twice in the winter of 2018/19. First time around late December 2018 for a walk up the Plants Brook towards Wylde Green. Second time a month later in January 2019 after a walk from New Hall Valley Country Park towards Tyburn. In both cases saw the derelict Pype Hayes Hall which is in urgent need of restoration by the council.

Related

Pype Hayes Park is located near Erdington and Pype Hayes in North Birmingham, also close to Tyburn. It's main entrance is on the Chester Road. The corner of Chester Road and Eachelhurst Road marks the furthest end of the park. In the park is the Grade II listed building Pype Hayes Hall (now derelict and boarded up). There is also a pond.

December 2018

For a Christmas Day 2018 walk we went to Pype Hayes Park. Heading past some trees.

Pype Hayes Park

More trees seen as we headed down the path towards the Plants Brook.

Pype Hayes Park

I think this was the path that took us down to the Plants Brook and out of the park towards Wylde Green (and Walmley Golf Club). When we got to the Sutton Park Line railway bridge we turned back. Beyond was New Hall Valley Country Park (I would be back that way a month later).

Pype Hayes Park

After coming back along the Plants Brook, went up to look at the remains of Pype Hayes Hall. It dates from the late 18th / early 19th century. The listing says that it was a stucco refacing of house of an earlier 17th century timber framed house.

Pype Hayes Park

It was part of the Manor of Pype. It ended up in the Bagot family from about 1630. The Bagot's sold some of the land in the 1880s for the creation of the Minworth Sewage Works. The rest sold to Birmingham City Council in 1920. And the hall was used for various public social uses.

Pype Hayes Park

A look at a path and trees beyond the derelict hall. From this side it was fenced off, so wasn't much to see.

Pype Hayes Park

A playground not too far from the hall.

Pype Hayes Park

In the car leaving on Chester Road. A line of evergreen trees.

Pype Hayes Park

Leaving the main entrance from the car park.

Pype Hayes Park

One of the signs for Pype Hayes Park.

Pype Hayes Park

January 2019

I knew that I missed seeing the pond the first time around as got off the Plants Brook footpath early. This time walked all the way to the end and made it to the pond this time. I had got a bus to Sutton Coldfield, then walked down through the New Hall Valley Country Park (going past the New Hall Water Mill) and back down the Plants Brook to the familiar path I was on the month before.

Pype Hayes Park

A close up look at the pond, the usual swans and gulls to be found swimming in it.

Pype Hayes Park

A pair of swans and various gulls.

Pype Hayes Park

Found a garden to the back of Pype Hayes Hall. But being January was nothing much planted there, and I didn't return in the spring or summer to see what it should look like in warmer months.

Pype Hayes Park

Coming back here meant I got to se the other side of Pype Hayes Hall. This side from the garden.

Pype Hayes Park

The hall was looking quite white on this side, but hedges in the way.

Pype Hayes Park

Pype Hayes Hall was run as a residential children's home from about 1949 to the 1970s. Fences around the hedges.

Pype Hayes Park

In 1974 the body of a woman child-care worker was found in the grounds of Pype Hayes. A man called Thornton who also worked at the hall was a suspect, but it was later found that there was no evidence of him linked to the murder. Fences around the hedges continued, no access to the public from the park.

Pype Hayes Park

Another woman murdered 157 years earlier shared similarities with this 1974 death, and one of the accused men was also called Thornton. Some more derelict buildings, probably a barn or stables.

Pype Hayes Park

There might be "Plans to restore them for use as a 60-bed hotel, spa and swimming pool", but I'm not sure if that would happen or what the council is planning to do here. That was back in 2015.They can't leave it in this state!

Pype Hayes Park

After this headed to a bus stop and got a 67 back to the city centre, passing a boarded up pub called The Bagot Arms on the way. There was a sign on the pub saying that it would be a "Bar & Grill" coming soon. Has it opened now?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Show more