Elliott Brown

Passion Points: 18K

History & heritage
16 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Up the Belfry in St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter: Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2016)

It's now Birmingham Heritage Week again and time for another throw back post. Back in September 2016 I went to St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter and went up the Belfry (bell tower). Sometime after 2pm on the 10th September 2016. The spiral staircase is nerve wrangling going up and down. The bell tower was free to go up. More heritage posts soon.

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For my St Paul's Church album on Flickr follow this link St Paul's Church for the Jewellery Quarter.

The Heritage Open Day was held during Birmingham Heritage Week on the 10th September 2016, shortly after 2pm. I arrived too early, so first went to the Pen Room for the free open day there, before coming back.

St Paul's Church was built in 1777, the tower was added around 1822 to 1823. New bells were installed in 2005 during the 250th anniversary of the St Martin's Guild.

Balloons were outside St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square.

St Paul's JQ

Welcome to Saint Paul's. I was at the time hoping to get a photo of the main church hall area, but didn't, and was then later people in the way by the time I left.

St Paul's JQ

Time to head up the spiral staircase. Last time I did this was at the former St Mary's Church in Lichfield, during a spire climb (with a guide). Every time I went up one of these church spiral staircases it felt so weird (this was 3 years ago).

St Paul's JQ

The room with ropes which they use to ring the bells. They gave a talk and showed visitors how they pull the ropes.

St Paul's JQ

One of three clock faces in the room. Only little windows, so not sure it's possible to get close to them to look out of them, or to take photos out of the windows.

St Paul's JQ

The members of St Paul's Church ring the bells pulling the ropes up and down. I have videos on my Flickr if you want to see them (link to album at the top).

St Paul's JQ

A bell model.

St Paul's JQ

Bell ropes in the training room, I think this was on the floor below.

St Paul's JQ

Another of the bell rope for training.

St Paul's JQ

Back down the spiral staircase.

St Paul's JQ

Keep going down.

St Paul's JQ

And down until you get to the bottom.

St Paul's JQ

It's been years since I've been up or down spiral staircases in churches. But have been up and down the equivelant in castles (not in Birmingham). Last year went to a couple of castles in North Wales, and that didn't feel as nervous as going up a spiral staircase in a church!

 

Sunday 15th September 2019 update: For this weekend: on Saturday 14th September 2019, I went to Selly Manor In Bournville, then walked towards the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Prince Lazar (directions via Google Maps). On Sunday afternoon, went back to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston. It was quite packed. May do a post on these visits soon?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
16 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Friday the 13th: OLA the West Midlands Metro tram without batteries (tram 27)

It was Friday the 13th when I saw West Midlands Metro tram 27 in blue with lime green OLA adverts. This time fully blue. Seen at Bull Street Tram Stop waiting to go to Birmingham. Have been looking out for other trams. The week before saw tram 20 at Corporation Street Tram Stop (in blue with batteries). But mostly the trams I've seen in blue before.

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Friday 13th September 2019

OLA West Midlands Metro tram 27 seen at Bull Street Tram Stop near Forbidden Planet and Colmore Gate.

Tram 27

Thought the first shot on my phone camera didn't take, so though this was the first photo (these are now cropped and edited).

Tram 27

The OLA advert in the middle of tram 27 as it catches the light at Bull Street. Why get a private hire taxi when you can get the tram, bus or train instead?

Tram 27

This tram currently has no batteries, so it won't be able to go beyond Grand Central unless they fit batteries to it.

Tram 27

Friday 6th September 2019

West Midlands Metro tram 20 seen at Corporation Street Tram Stop. Waited a week before putting these into a post as wanted more photos of other trams. This one has batteries. I missed the other blue tram as it headed up to Bull Street (I don't know what number it was).

Tram 20

Tram 20 heading down Stephenson Place towards Grand Central Tram Stop, past the Apple building (in the former Midland Bank building).

Tram 20

Saturday 7th September 2019

Platform 3 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station. Not very clear views of the trams stopping at St Chad's Tram Stop. First saw West Midlands Metro tram 28.

Tram 28

Then tram 17.

Tram 17

Was a long wait for the train last Saturday at Birmingham Snow Hill due to "an obstruction on the line" or signalling.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
11 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway from Cheltenham Race Course to Broadway

My ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway was on Sunday 8th September 2019. The 14:05 from Cheltenham Race Course to Broadway. Along 14 miles of a line that used to link Stratford to Cheltenham. We had our own reserved carriage. A pleasant ride through the fields of the Cotswolds. 

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Cheltenham Race Course Station

Being filled with coal at the far end of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway was 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co at Cheltenham Racecourse Station. This steam locomotive would head up to the crossing point, then head down on the other line, before being attached to the carriages at the far end of the station. Built in 1941 and then given the Southern Railway number 21C6. Renumbered to 35006 in 1948 by British Railways after Nationalisation. Withdrawn in 1964, it was purchased for preservation in 1983. Restoration completed between 2015 and 2016.

35006 Cheltenham Race Course

35006 was seen near the Evesham Road bridge near Cheltenham Race Course. We headed down the ramp and got onto our reserved carriage for the journey towards Broadway.

35006 Cheltenham Race Course

Gotherington Station

Our train had to stop outside of Gotherington Station as the line from Cheltenham Race Course was a single track, and this was the only double track with a passing loop. Wasn't a steam locomotive coming, past but an old diesel train. BR Class 117 heading towards Cheltenham Race Course. Nos. W51360, W59510, W51363. 2C36 at the front.

GWSR Gotherington

2L05 at the back but with the Broadway name plate at the front.

GWSR Gotherington

Winchcombe Station

After we had passed Winchcombe Station I saw several trains on the sidings such as these ones. Baguley-Drewry looks like a pick up truck with a trailer.

GWSR Winchcombe

17244 Wansea Docks. One of the old wagons on the sidings.

GWSR Winchcombe

Toddington Station

Heading into Toddington Station on the GWSR towards Broadway. On Sunday 8th September 2019 there was a Classic Vehicle Day in a nearby field to the station. But another steam train went past the one I was on. The steam locomotive at the front was 2807. Built in 1905, withdrawn in 1963, saved in 1981, and moved to Toddington Station, restored to steam in 2010.

2807 at Toddington on the GWSR

It was a bit too close as my train came to a stop. Saw the 2807 number plate and a bit of the inside of the cab where they shovel the coal into the engine.

2807 at Toddington on the GWSR

Broadway Station

When we got to Broadway Station I only had time to get photos of the station buildings before heading to our coach. The station was rebuilt and reopened in 2018, 58 years after it was closed to passengers. I was hoping to head to the other end of the platform before 35006 moved down to the other end but had to stay with my group. Took these from the coach as 35006 decoupled at the far end, then headed down over the bridge. It then switched tracks again before reversing back.

35006 at Broadway on the GWSR

The driver slowly moved 35006 back until they reattached it to the carriages. We were off to Broadway for a few hours. Having earlier that day had a look around Regency Cheltenham.

35006 at Broadway on the GWSR

I will get all of my photos of that day up onto my Flickr in this album Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Adding to my existing ones from July 2019.

When I saw the 6023 King Edward II steam locomotive from the car in the summer, I didn't know back then that I would be going on the GWSR. But was good that I did, as I got a proper look around Cheltenham and Broadway! This visiting locomotive is no longer on the heritage railway.

King Edward II

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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30 passion points
Photography
05 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Marvellous Machines by Rowland Emett: Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (May 2014)

This exhibition was held by the Rowland Emett Society from the 10th May to 21st September 2014 in the Gas Hall at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Entry was for a £5 ticket either on the reception desk outside the Gas Hall or online (at the time 5 years ago).

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Rowland Emett's connection to Birmingham was, while he was born in London, he went to schools in Birmingham, including at the Birmingham School of Arts and Crafts. A blue plaque in the Jewellery Quarter unveiled in 2014, marks the site where he worked in the 1920s.

The exhibition titled "Marvellous Machines - The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett" was held at the Gas Hall at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from the 10th May to the 21st September 2014. I visited on the 11th May 2014 (the second day that it was open to the public). The ticket was only £5 to enter from the Gas Hall reception desk (or online).

For my full gallery of photos on Flickr please visit this link Marvellous Machines by Rowland Emett. I also have video clips in that gallery as well.

Rowland Emett

A quiet afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley

'A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley' is the last and biggest of Emett's works completed in 1984. It brings together many of the themes that appeared in his works over his career. Emett died only six years later.

Rowland Emett

Wm Hake Lobsters Bathing & Swimming.

Rowland Emett

Two colliding trains.

Rowland Emett

One of the two colliding trains. This one was on the left.

Rowland Emett

The other colliding train on the right.

Rowland Emett

Cows and man on a harp!

Rowland Emett

Man on a bike.

Rowland Emett

Emett's World

Featherstone Kite made in 1962.

Rowland Emett

Maud Lunacycle made in 1970.

Rowland Emett

Fairway Birdie made in 1983

Rowland Emett

Machines from the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Husha-Bye Hot-Air Rocking Chair.

The 'Hush-A-Bye Hot Air Rocking Chair' featured in the scene where Caractacus Potts, played by Dick Van Dyke, discovered the ability of the Humbug Major to produce musical 'Toot Sweets'.

Rowland Emett

The Humbug Major Sweet Machine

The Humbug Major was the sweet making machine that accidentally produced musical 'Toot Sweets'.

Rowland Emett

Little Dragon Carpet Sweeper

The Little Dragon Carpet Sweeper was used to demonstrate the impracticality of Potts' machines. Rather than clean the carpet it tended to suck it up whole.

Rowland Emett

Clockwork Lullabye Machine.

The Clockwork Lullabye Machine featured in the bedtime scene in the film when the twins Jeremy and Jemina are drifting off to sleep to its music.

Rowland Emett

Bonus photo taken at Millennium Point in June 2014. This Rowland Emett machine was seen in the foyer. Not far from Thinktank. It was there while the exhibition was on at the Gas Hall 5 years ago.

Rowland Emett at Millennium Point

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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40 passion points
Transport
03 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Severn Valley Railway over the years: from Kidderminster Town to Bridgnorth

Ahead of my trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway a look back at the Severn Valley Railway between Kidderminster Town (Worcestershire) and Bridgnorth (Shropshire). I've only been on it during a day out back in August 2006. My last time to Kidderminster by train was September 2016 (but not on the SWR). More recently saw the line from Arley Arboretum.

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The Severn Valley Railway runs between Kidderminster in Worcestershire to Bridgnorth in Shropshire. It is a 16 mile heritage line. Part of the Beeching cut's of the late 1960s, the line closed in 1963. The Severn Valley Railway Preservation Society was formed in 1965, and they bought the line reopening it in stages between 1970 and 1984.

Kidderminster Town Station

I got a train from my local station in Birmingham to Kidderminster Station, mainly to have a look around the town centre in early September 2016, so wasn't there for the Severn Valley Railway. But got some photos of Kidderminster Town Station of the SVR while I was there. This billboard also advertising the Kidderminster Railway Museum.

Kidderminster Town

Seen from Kidderminster Station while still under London Midland. A look at the carriages at Kidderminster Town Station. Was also old freight waggons in the background as well.

Kidderminster Town

Can just about see a steam locomotive buffing away on ther right. Bit hard to see from the modern station on the Birmingham to Worcester via Kidderminster line.

Kidderminster Town

The Kidderminster Railway Museum. I didn't go in there on my last visit to Kidderminster. This was after my walk around the town, and was now back at Kidderminster Station to get my train home. I do hope to go on the Severn Valley Railway again in the future, just not got around to it (not checked out how much a ticket costs).

Kidderminster Town

Bewdley Station

My first and so far only journey on the Severn Valley Railway was on a day out back in August 2006 (13 years ago!). Didn't have my own camera back then, used my brothers compact camera (wasn't into photography back then). This diesel locomotive with 2D12 on it to "Banbury" (well not here).

No. 51941/50933/52064/56208/59250. Ex-British Railways. Class: 108 DMU. Owner: DMU Group (West Midlands)
Notes: based at Bewdley - undergoing repairs before further use. Details from Meet our locos.

SVR Bewdley

Also saw this steam locotive with carriages behind it.

SVR Bewdley

Not sure of the number as didn't get it in my old photos back in 2006 but think it was ex British Railways.

SVR Bewdley

Carriage on the left numbered 52255. Not clear from here what number the steam locomotive was though.

SVR Bewdley

Some more of the carriages. Must be ex LNER. Middle carriage numbered 24105.

SVR Bewdley

Arley Station

On a visit to Arley Arboretum at the beginning of September 2019, could hear the whistles of nearby steam trains. Must be the Severn Valley Railway! The Severn View Point was on the walk past the trees towards the Grove Coppice at the arboretum in Arley. This diesel locomotive heading towards Arley Station is D9551, known as 'Angus'. Ex-British Railways. Built in 1965. Owned by the Severn Valley Railway Class 14 Company Ltd. Normally based at Bridgnorth. Details from Meet the locos.

SVR Arley

Waited a few minutes for the next train, before I saw 7714 heading towards Bridgnorth having just left Arley. Ex-Great Western Railway, built in 1930, owned by the SVR Pannier Tank Fund. Details from Meet the Locos.

SVR Arley

Later on after a walk around the arboretum, headed to the Severn View after passing The Well, just before going up the Laburnum Arch. First train I saw heading into Arley Station was 2857. Ex-Great Western Railway, built in 1918, Class 2800, owned by the 2857 Society. Details from Meet the Locos.

SVR Arley

After that train had left Arley, then saw this train head out of Arley towards Bridgnorth. 4144, Ex-British Railways. Direction facing Kidderminster. It is on hire from Didcot Railway Centre until November 2019. Details from Meet the Locos.

SVR Arley

Bridgnorth Station

Heading back to Bridgnorth Station during August 2006. We had gone to look at the ruins of Bridgnorth Castle in the Bridgnorth Town Park. Don't really remember much about this visit, other than we must have walked over this footbrige and around the road. Then gone into the park and then walked back to the station.

SVR Bridgnorth

My only decent photos of the trains at Bridgnorth was from this viewpoint. Don't think I took any photos of the trains from the platforms at this station. Well not until we got to Bewdley.

SVR Bridgnorth

In this view was too many trees in the way of the trains to see them. Didn't really take much photos of trains back then. Didn't really start taking trains photos again until 2009, after I lost my brother in late 2008 (on my own camera).

SVR Bridgnorth

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
02 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400: The fastest way from A to Flybe - Faster than Road or Rail

You can get domestic flights across the UK with Flybe at Birmingham Airport. Up to Scotland or over to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland on a Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400. I've not been on one myself but seen plenty at Birmingham Airport or over the skies of the West Midlands! Flybe also use a small number of ATR 72 planes, but operated by other airlines on their behalf.

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Flybe Dash 8 Q400

Flybe is the worlds largest operator of the Dash 8 Q400. They have either been in a white and sky blue livery, or more recently a purple livery.

Birmingham Airport

This view from June 2012. Was heading to catch a flight to Naples (with Thomson Airways).

Flybe Dash

This December 2016 view from Car Park 5 at Birmingham Airport. There is a bus stop outside of the car park and you can get off the X1 or X12.

Flybe Dash

The Sheldon Country Park is a good location for plane spotting, not far from Marston Green Station. This view from the middle of March 2017 as this purple Flybe Dash came into land at runway 15 over the park.

Flybe Dash

About 10 days later back at the Sheldon Country Park near the end of March 2017. This purple Flybe Dash was seen taking off.

Flybe Dash

Had just landed back from Lyon at Birmingham Airport in a Flybe Embraer 175 (as my plane taxiied back to the terminal building), when I saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash plane, during June 2017.

Flybe Dash

As my plane ended it's journey at the Terminal building, saw a few more purple Flybe planes with a Shell tanker to the left. June 2017. You can also see the Air Traffic Control Tower from here, but it didn't have the Flybe name on it at the time. "Fast than road or rail".

Flybe Dash

In June 2018 I was waiting to get on my Jet2 plane to Pisa. I saw this white Flybe Dash taxiing back to the terminal building. Can just about glimpse the City Skyline in the background.

Flybe Dash

In August 2018 I tried plane spotting from another location near Birmingham Airport. The Birmingham Airport Viewing Area South End. Got off the bus near the Holiday Inn, and walked up the paths along the Coventry Road, round the semi circle that was changed for the runway extension. Directly opposite runway 33 is the viewing area just beyond the runway and the A45 Coventry Road. Saw this purple Flybe Dash taking off.

Flybe Dash

In May 2019 shortly after landing back from Barcelona with Ryanair saw these puprle Flybe Dash planes near the Terminal building. The area where Ryanair is based is usually to the right of where Flybe is normally based at the airport.

Flybe Dash

Back to Car Park 5 at Birmingham Airport at the end of August 2019. Saw this white and sky blue Dash 8 taking off.

Flybe BHX

This purple Dash 8 was not that far from the Terminal buildings (but passengers may have to access it via a bus). Says Scotland at the front.

Flybe BHX

Erdington

There are other places to see planes coming to land and take off from Birmingham Airport. In May 2014 I went to Erdington for the first time, and saw this white Flybe Dash from the Chester Road.

Flybe Dash

I've only been to Erdington Station once, and in May 2014 saw several planes coming into Birmingham Airport including thie white and sky blue Flybe Dash.

Flybe Dash

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

These gardens in Castle Bromwich are closer to the airport in Solihull Borough, so the planes were much closer to see. Saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash coming into land at Birmingham Airport during October 2018.

Flybe Dash

There was also this purple Flybe Dash seen from the same gardens in Castle Bromwich. Details were quite clear on zoom in.

Flybe Dash

Bonus plane photo from Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. This ATR 72-500 seen during Octobe 2018 coming into land at Birmingham Airport. From March 2019, the plane went back to the Irish carrier Stobart Air. At the time had a distinctive white nose.

Flybe ATR 72

Stechford

Another place to see planes coming into Birmingham Airport is from Stechford Station. Saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash taking off during late October 2018.

Flybe Stechford

This ATR 72-500 seen over Stechford Station during October 2018. Blue Islands were operating it on behalf of Flybe. The ATR's look similar to the Dash 8's but the body of the plane is slightly different.

Flybe ATR 72

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
History & heritage
02 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A tour (over the years) of the galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Before 2012 I wasn't sure if you could take photos inside Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery so took some but not much. But when the Birmingham Museums Trust took over from the council, photo restrictions were relaxed and it was now ok to take photos in the galleries (unless you were told not to). Some of the permenant galleries have changed over the years.

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Enter the museum at the Chamberlain Square entrance. And head up the stairs. You go around this ellaborate entrance hall. This view from April 2012. This quote from Pevsner "The upper landing with covered ceiling and square rooflight".

Chamberlain Square entrance

The Round Room seen in March 2012. There are paintings around the room. This view towards the Chamberlain Square exit / entrance. The shop and the Industrial Gallery are to the left. In the centre of the room is Jabob Epstein's Lucifer. This description from Pevsner "The impressive Round Room, with plain walls for hanging pictures and a low conical glass roof above a strapwork band of circles and hexagons".

Round Room

We now enter the Industrial Gallery. In this view below from March 2012 looking up to the ceiling. There is steps to the floor above where you can see Ruskin pottery. The following quote from Pevsner: "The Industrial Gallery is all in exposed ironwork: seven aisled bays with columns in two tiers, semicircular arcades and cross-arches in the aisles, larger semicircular trusses supporting the roof, all of them exposed I-beams with the rivets prominent. Like a classical version of the Oxford Museum; but the immediate inspiration must be J.H. Chamberlain's Board Schools. Huge pendant  gas burners. T-plan staircase of 1893, with a different design of railings".

Industrial Gallery

Another view of the Industrial Gallery but from the floor with Ruskin Pottery during April 2012. The gift shop is just beyond the archway. They also have up here: Wedgwood pottery, English pottery, English Porcelain, De Morgan Pottery, Worcester Porcelain and others. The Soho House Sphinxes are now back at Soho House.

Industrial Gallery

Now above the Edwardian Tea Room. This floor has metalworks such as gates and iron objects. Also steel plates, candlesticks and cups. This view from April 2012.

Metalworks Gallery

A look at the Edwardian Tea Room as it was during April 2012. The room outside used to be the Buddha Gallery, but is now the Mini Museum for kids (there is a new Faith Gallery in another part of the museum now). Here's a quote from Pevsner: "The present Tea Room has a cantilevered iron gallery and impressive, slightly Romanesque, details e.g. blind arcading with paired colonnettes".

Edwardian Tearoom

The Edwardian Tea Room was given a new look and I went up to the Metalworks Gallery during August 2014 for a look below. All new furniture, tables and chairs. It can get quite busy in here. But if you don't want to come in here, there is also a new cafe just on the other side of the link bridge.

Edwardian Tearoom

The Link Bridge between the 1885 built museum and the Council House Extension completed in about 1911. I found it to be empty during January 2019. but there are normally pictures on the walls, but BM & AG staff rotate what they put in here quite a lot. Oh and that new cafe is at the far end of here, to the left, if you were wondering. Sit inside, or sit on the seats outside of it.

Link Bridge

In November 2018, I found this gallery with blue walls to be completely empty. It was between temporary exhibitions. Modern British Art may have been in here before. By January 2019 they were decorating this gallery, and it opened for a short while in late January 2019 as "Too Cute! Sweet is about to get Sinister" Curated by Rachel Maclean. It opened on the 26th January and it ran until the 12th May 2019. Saw it myself during February 2019.

Empty blue gallery

Now a look at some temporary exhibitions in the main galleries. This was called The Past is Now - Birmingham and the British Empire. I saw it during January 2018.

Birmingham and the British Empire

New Art West Midlands seen in one of the galleries during April 2013. This sculpture is called: Man and his Sheep 1989 by Ana Maria Pacheco. Wood, paint, teeth. The artist is from Brazil. Seven figures huddle around an almost naked man holding a sheep's head on a pole. This sculpture is now back in one of the galleries at BM & AG after coming out of storage.

New Art West Midlands

In the Modern British Art gallery during January 2013. This is the Rock Drill Reconstruction made in 1974, based on the original of 1913-15. It was designed by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880 - 1959). Made of Polyester resin, metals and wood. Epstein created his original in 1913. It was a life-size plaster figure of a visored robotic man seated upon an actual rock drill. It was shown briefly in 1915 before being dismantled. This is a reconstruction made in 1974 from Epstein's studio photographs. It was presented to the museum in 1982. Epstein destroyed his original Rock Drill, but there are still photos of the original Rock Drill by Jacob Epstein.

Modern British Art

This is the Ancient Egypt Gallery as seen during March 2012. There is a set of friezes around this room. At the time the gallery below featured artifacts from Ancient Greece & Rome, but BM & AG later turned that gallery into the new Staffordshire Hoard Gallery. So I'm not quite sure where those objects have gone (if they are still in the museum, or moved to the Birmingham Museums Collections Centre). These galleries are quite close to the Great Charles Street Queensway entrance (now no longer in use).

Ancient Egypt

The second Staffordshire Hoard Gallery as seen from above from the Ancient Egypt Gallery (the one with the friezes all around). Seen for the first time during October 2014. It opened on the 17th October 2014, and this photo was taken the following day on the 18th October 2014. I've not taken close up photos of the hoard pieces (not sure if you are allowed to do so). As when the old gallery was open, I don't think they allowed photos of the pieces of the hoard.

Staffordshire Hoard

Going back to March 2012 and this gallery with historical objects relating to African History. Around the room is this  plaster cast of the Frieze of the Nereid Monument (original in the British Museum dated to 380 B.C.). Gallery 33 is below.

African Gallery

A look at Gallery 33 during March 2012. From the same gallery above with the African artifacts and the frieze. It was an exhibition about the way people live, beliefs, values, customs and art from around the world. In recent years this gallery has been closed off to the public. Seem to use it for storage, photo shoots and other things.

Gallery 33

There used to be an entrance on Great Charles Street Queensway (the doors are still there), but when Paradise Birmingham started (the roadworks) that entrance was closed off. Since the roadworks were completed the entrance has remained closed (so Edmund Street or Chamberlain Square are the only other entrances still in use to this day). But I have used it in the past. One of my earliest photos of this Forward coat of arms stained glass window from the steps during July 2009.

Forward

A zoom in of the Forward coat of arms from the staircase near the Great Charles Street Queensway entrance during April 2012.

Forward

Another window seen on the same day during April 2012. This one with the Forward shield of Birmingham.

Forward

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Civic pride
29 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Watt in the World: The Life and Legacy of James Watt, 1736-1819

There is an exhibition on from the 12th July to 2nd November 2019 at the Library of Birmingham in The Gallery on Level 3 about James Watt (1736-1819). He died 200 years ago so it is the bicentenary of his death. Organised by The Lunar Society. It is 10 years since a Matthew Boulton exhibition in the Gas Hall (he died in 1809).

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Watt in the World

Head up to Level 3 in the Library of Birmingham for Watt in the World: The Life and Legacy of James Watt, 1736-1819.

Watt in the World

James Watt (1736-1819) Life and Legacy. The portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), 1812. Was commissioned by James Watt junior.

Watt in the World

A quote by William Wordsworth on Watt: 'Considering both the magnitude and the universality of his genius .... perhaps the most extraordinary man this country has ever produced ...'

Watt in the World

Marble bust of James Watt you would see as you walk into The Gallery. Perhaps the same one that is at Soho House? Behind the 1812 portrait of James Watt by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Watt in the World

Model of the Soho Lap Engine by David Hulse. The Soho Lap Engine was built in 1788 to provide power to make coins at Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory.

Watt in the World

The Soho Lap Engine - it was projected on the wall.

Watt in the World

The Boulton & Watt Steam Engine. Here was some drawings of Boulton & Watts steam engine.

Watt in the World

James Watt's Legacy. One of these pictures was a Japanese print. Also shows the statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch (which is still in storage until it eventually gets placed in the new look Centenary Square - when I don't know).

Watt in the World

James Watt and Popular Culture. Various objects in the tables under the glass. Also History West Midlands: The Power to Change the World.

Watt in the World

Portrait of Matthew Boulton by Sir William Beechey, 1810. Watt commissioned this version of Sir William Beechley's 1798 portrait of Boulton shortly after the death of his friend in 1809. It was originally displayed at Heathfield Hall, but after Watt's death James Watt junior moved it to Aston Hall where it was hung opposite Beechley's portrait of his father.

Portrait of James Watt by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), 1812. James Watt junior commissioned Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint this portrait of his father. Watt junior had never liked Sir William Beechley's early 1801 portrait, but in order not to offend Beechley he asked his friend George Lee to say that the new portrait was for him.

Watt in the World

10 years ago was another exhibition but on Matthew Boulton at the Gas Hall. The exhibition was called: Matthew Boulton: Selling what all the world desires. It was in the Gas Hall at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from the 30th May to 27th September 2009. Matthew Boulton was born in 1728 and died in 1809, so 2009 was the bicentenary of his death (like 2019 is the bicentenary of Watt's death). I took this photo outside in August 2009 near Edmund Street (and under the BM & AG link bridge) from Chamberlain Square.

Matthew Boulton 2009

I took a couple of photos of this exhibition in the Gas Hall before I was told off. Was photo restrictions back then. I went in July 2009. Bust of Matthew Boulton, probably like in the window at Soho House. Even when I went to Soho House in July 2010 I had to sign a photo disclaimer (I think they no longer do this since the Birmingham Museums Trust took over in 2012 from Birmingham City Council).

Matthew Boulton 2009

A model of a Boulton & Watt steam engine. I was told off by a guard when I took this photo and took no more photos in this exhibition.

Matthew Boulton 2009

This is a Treadle Lathe dating to 1762. With 18th to 19th century blacksmith's anvil, bellows and weights, top and bottom swage, and hand tools. Took this photo before the steam engine model, so before the guard said "no photos allowed".

Matthew Boulton 2009

Since 2012 the museums photo policy has been relaxed since Birmingham Museums took over. And I've had no problems in the Gas Hall at other exhibitions in the years since.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Photography
28 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A tour of the Street Art in and around Southside (Spring / Summer 2019)

Most of this street art is by the local street artist Gent48 (and others maybe) created at the time of the B-Side Hip Hop Festival. You can see them on Smallbrook Queensway and Hurst Street. Also some on Pershore Street, and I found one piece on Dean Street (off Upper Dean Street back of the Travelodge).

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Smallbrook Queensway

July 2019

Gent48 - a sitting man with a skull between his legs.

Smallbrook Queensway

Gent48 - at the former Banana Leat - Chinese dragon, a goldfish and Chinese lanterns.

Smallbrook Queensway

August 2019

Round the corner at Holloway Circus. A panda with bamboo by Gent48.

Smallbrook Queensway

No name on this one but assume by Gent48 - a blue man with green cap.

Smallbrook Queensway

Another Gent48 (probably). At the former Chicken Box - Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Smallbrook Queensway

Corner of Hurst Street and Smallbrook Queensway. Love. Possibly by Gent48 or someone else. I did see a stage being set up mid week but didn't go down to investigate it (headed to the Bullring).

Smallbrook Queensway

Hurst Street

May 2019

These pieces under the Ringway Centre close to Smallbrook Queensway. Artists including Gent48 and others.

Hurst Street

This colourful piece on the right side of Hurst Street from the Smallbrook Queensway end.

Hurst Street

Birmingham The Bronx - Another NY Classic - artists here include: Goldie, Flake, Zed, Marlyn and Aaron.

Hurst Street

This piece just off Hurst Street next to Dixy Chicken in an alley. Artists include: Gent, Zooki and Panda.

Hurst Street

Dean Street

August 2019

I got off a bus on Upper Dean Street and crossed over and saw this piece on Dean Street. Another Gent48. The rear of the Travelodge hotel. And not far from the future Smithfield site (current Wholesale Market demolition site). A purple man with hands on his face and cactuses.

Dean Street

Pershore Street

August 2019

These pieces mostly by Gent48 and others were for the B-Side Hip Hop Festival and are round the back of The Arcadian.

Pershore Street

This one looks like a zombie baseball player.

Pershore Street

On the side in this private car park.

Pershore Street

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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30 passion points
People & community
28 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Southside Cinema: The Screen on the Green

For the August Bank Holiday weekend. Southside put up a screen to show movies on Hurst Street. They had astro turf up on Ladywell Walk and Hurst Street. Not just showing films, but the news and sport as well. A very hot weekend to end the summer in Birmingham! When I went past a BBC News report was on about the hot weather! Was also a screen at The Mailbox this summer.

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Ladywell Walk

I popped along on the August Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August 2019 to see if the Southside Cinema was still there. Organised by Enjoy Southside. Southside BID plans to name this square Hippodrome Square and one day install a Chinese Arch on Ladywell Walk.

Southside Cinema

The green on Ladywell Walk. No screen on this section. A Steven Knight look-a-like (creator of Peaky Blinders) went past me.

Southside Cinema

Southside Cinema

Hurst Street

The cinema is on Hurst Street. With the Elonex screen and striped deckchairs. A hot weekend for people to enjoy movies in the sunshine, or BBC News.

Southside Cinema

There was a report about the weeekends hot weather, including at beaches and swimming pools.

Southside Cinema

Since the 3rd test of the Ashes ended on Sunday where England beat Australia, they were just showing the news.

The back of the screen near Genting Casino.

Southside Cinema

The Mailbox

I passed through The Mailbox on the 22nd August 2019 and noticed this. Live the Summer at Mailbox.

Mailbox

That day they had deckchairs out and were showing the 3rd Ashes test England v Australia, at Headingley in Leeds. England went on to win this test drawing the series 1-1 (loss at Edgbaston, draw at Lords, win at Headingley). 2 more tests to go.

Mailbox

St Martin's Square, Bullring

In July 2019 there was a big screen and deckchairs out in St Martin's Square near Selfridges and St Martin's Church. So that people could watch Wimbledon here. On the 7th July 2019 no games, so they had Finding Nemo on, but deckchairs all stacked up.

Bullring

A week later on the 14th July 2019, the deckchairs were out as Tim Henman was on the screeen at Wimbledon.

Bullring

I don't think this is there now if you head in or out of St Martin's Square. But it was the same kind of set up as in Southside.

Bullring

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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30 passion points
Architecture
27 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham Municipal Bank: Birmingham's Hidden Spaces during Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2015)

The only time I was able to go inside of the Birmingham Municipal Bank on Broad Street was back in September 2015. Birmingham's Hidden Spaces was hosting the free visit during Birmingham Heritage Week. You could look around, go down the vaults (the areas that were safe to go to). I've also got exteriors from years before / after as well. University of Birmingham taking it over.

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Some history. Birmingham Municipal Bank headquarters. It was at 301 Broad Street in Birmingham. The building was by Thomas Cecil Howitt and was opened on the 27 November 1933 by Prince George. It was built as the headquarters for the Birmingham Municipal Bank. It ceased to be a department of the Council who sold it in 1976, becoming a Trustee Savings Bank. The TSB (later Lloyds TSB) left the building in 2006 selling it back to Birmingham City Council. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1996. The University of Birmingham completed the purchase of the former bank in November 2017, and it will become a venue to showcase it's display of it's research and host performances and exhibitions.

Full album on my Flickr here Birmingham Municipal Bank.

 

One of my first photos of the former Municipal Bank taken on Broad Street during December 2009. By this point the bank had been closed for about 3 years and still had a Lloyds Bank sign on it. The Arena Central development was stalled by the recession, so demolition works behind were left unfinished until around 2015.

Municipal Bank

A close up of the former bank from December 2009. Built in the early 1930s, it has several giant Ionic columns. The building was empty / vacant and would remain so for years to come.

Municipal Bank

By 2013 they were opening up the Municipal Bank to arts venues. In June 2013 it was used by the Universe of Sound. Free, fun, interactive orchestra experience. Playing The Planets. I never did go inside at this point, and would go in until Birmingham's Hidden Spaces opened it up in 2015.

Municipal Bank

The Library of Birmingham first opened in September 2013 when I got this view from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham.  Would be a couple of years before Arena Central started to come to life again.

Municipal Bank

In April 2016 it was being used by the International Dance Festival Birmingham as the Dance Hub from April to May 2016. This view as usual from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. Behind construction of Holiday Inn Express  (the TETRIS building) was well underway and HSBC UK to the left had just started too.

Municipal Bank

By 2017 the Westside Metro extension had started and that side of Broad Street was closed. This view of the former Municipal Bank from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham during November 2017.

Municipal Bank

Scaffolding going up the former Municipal Bank during March 2019 as seen from theDiscovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. By the summer it was completely wrapped as work started to turn it into a venue for the University of Birmingham.

Municipal Bank

The visit to the Birmingham Municipal Bank as hosted by Birmingham's Hidden Spaces was on the 12th September 2015 during Birmingham Heritage Week.

Seen on the ceiling of the main banking hall: "Thrift Radiates Happiness" and "Saving is the Mother of Riches".

Municipal Bank

A pair of windows with the Birmingham Forward coat of arms. Left:  Commerce & Integrity. Right: Labour & Perseverance.

Municipal Bank

Another pair of windows with the Birmingham Forward coat of arms. Left: Banking & Finance. Right: Industry & Progress.

Municipal Bank

A side room. Probably where customers would hand over their valuables to go into the vaulted slots on the floor below.

Municipal Bank

A desk in the basement. Not entirely sure of it's use though. Although it wasn't far from the vault.

Municipal Bank

A look around the vault. Customers valuables would be locked away in these small lockers.

Municipal Bank

At the top of one side it reads: "Prudent People Seek a Safe Place Where to Lodge Their Securities".

Municipal Bank

The thick steel door to the vault. Normally it would be locked. Probably with a wheel and a code only the banker who knew how to open the vault. You don't want to get locked in there!

Municipal Bank

Period 1930s lights seen on the banking floor.

Municipal Bank

Revolving doors. The main entrance from Broad Street. Normally you don't see this as the thick doors in front of them are closed.

Municipal Bank

Will be interesting to see what the University of Birmingham does with the building, and if members of the public will have access to all areas, including the vault.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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60 passion points
People & community
26 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Home of Metal at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery presents Black Sabbath 50 Years - Elliott went to visit

This Black Sabbath exhibition at the Gas Hall in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery opened on the 26th June 2019, running until 29th September 2019. I finally booked my ticket online and went on the morning of 23rd August 2019. The museum opens at 10:30am on Friday's, so had to wait until they unlocked the doors. Spent around half an hour looking round the exhibition.

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My full gallery of photos is now on my Flickr here Home of Metal: Black Sabbath 50 Years. The official website for Home of Metal relating to this exhibition and for booking your ticket online is here Home of Metal: Black Sabbath 50 Years a Major Exhibition.

While the usual route to Chamberlain Square is blocked off due to the Paradise Birmingham works, you can go round the back via Eden Place and Edmund Street. When the doors are open you can go in via the Edmund Street entrance for the Gas Hall. Just show your QR code in the email or PDF, and head through the revolving doors. Ticket was £12 plus £1.57 fee (£13.57 in total).

 

First thing you would see is this Black Sabbath sign. Take a selfie here. Only a year ago this view would have been on Dippy the dinosaur!

Black Sabbath

Buy your Black Sabbath merchandise from here. T-shirts were £20 when I had a proper look. Was other items such as mugs and coasters. You can also buy Black Sabbath items from the main museum shop.

Black Sabbath

Later saw this sign in the Black Sabbath merchandise shop area. They invented Heavy Metal. And it led to all other forms of metal music around the world.

Black Sabbath

Behind the shop was a collection of Black Sabbath t-shirts that the fans could buy or have bought in the past. "It's the people's music, it always has been" - Bill Ward.

Black Sabbath

Harley Davidson motorbike from 2006. Courtesty of Ric Lovett. It has been heavily customised displaying the owner's love of Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath

In the centre was this darkened area. At the back was Ozzy and Tony. Later went back in here to find Geezer and Bill at the other side.

Black Sabbath

Back of display cases. This side stars with Ozzy in period photos from the 1970s probably.

Black Sabbath

The other end of the back of those display cases. Ozzy Osbourne the main singer, Geezer Butler was the bassist, Tony Iommi on the guitar and Bill Ward on the drums.

Black Sabbath

A recreation of Tony Iommi's home recording studio.

Black Sabbath

A recreation of the Black Sabbath stage with some of the costumes that they may have worn. They played at venues all over the world.

Black Sabbath

One corner had a display about Ozzy Osbourne, as well as a drawing of him! Known the world over as the "Prince of Darkness".

Black Sabbath

A Black Sabbath fans living room, belonging to Stephen Knowles. Quite a collection of Black Sabbath memorabilia here.

Black Sabbath

I'd seen photos of this on Social Media. Where are you from? A map of the world. Of course I took off a red sticker and placed it over Birmingham! Fans mostly from the West Midlands and around Europe. Some from the America's, China and Australia / New Zealand as well.

Black Sabbath

In the far right hand corner of the Gas Hall was these guitars. Apparently you can try and play them. Was also another selfie spot! Around here showing all the albums that Black Sabbath released.

Black Sabbath

The other side of the guitars and world map. This end of the museum is usually for kids to play or draw. Just behind here is kid tables for colouring in Black Sabbath pictures.

Black Sabbath

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

For more posts and a great gallery of photos go HERE.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
22 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Aston Hall Civil War Siege 1643 - Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2017)

The build up to the next Birmingham Heritage Week (in September 2019) continues with a look back at an event at Aston Hall during September 2017. A recreation of the Civil War Siege of 1643. Sir Thomas Holte awaited the arrival of Royalist troops. Would the hall fall? Nearby Birmingham was on Parliaments side. At Easter 1643 was the Battle of Camp Hill with Prince Rupert.

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On Saturday 16th September 2017 I went to an event at Aston Hall, booking online for £8.00. The Civil War Siege of Aston Hall in 1643 (the web link from 2 years ago still works). For my full album on Flickr follow this link Aston Hall Civil War Siege.

Can the Hall hold or will it fall? See soldiers arrive to defend the Hall, and experience the story of the siege. Help the servants and soldiers as they prepare for battle, fortifying the Hall and learning to fight.

In the 1640s the country was at war with itself, King against Parliament, and in 1643 the tides of war brought battle to Aston Hall.

Can the Hall hold? Come early to follow events as they unfold!

The above text was from the Birmingham museums website for the Aston Hall (the first link above).

Inside The Great Hall at Aston Hall. Sir Thomas Holte is about to go outside to confront the soldiers that are turning up on his doorstep.

Civil War Siege

Sir Thomas Holte and his advisor's are now outside, as the soldiers match up to confront him.

Civil War Siege

Royalist troops in red match up to the hall.

Civil War Siege

They confront Sir Thomas Holte.

Civil War Siege

A prisoner is held captive. Is he a spy? Is he on Parliaments side?

Civil War Siege

After the man was taken away for questionning, one of Sir Thomas's men signs a document.

Civil War Siege

What next for Aston Hall, has it fallen to the Royalists?

Civil War Siege

A short time later, servants at Aston Hall were given rifle practice by the Royalist soldiers.

Civil War Siege

Bang! As the servants fire their rifles.

Civil War Siege

After target practice had ended, had the servants joined the Royalist army to fight Parliament?

Civil War Siege

For Birmingham Heritage Week in September 2019, Aston Hall has the following events on:

Meet Sir Thomas Holte Tour on the 11th September 2019.

A Servant’s Life Guided Tour on the 12th September 2019.

Bookings for the above muse be made on their website.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Photography
21 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The best of The Big Hoot 2015 and The Big Sleuth 2017

Does anyone miss the public art trails that were around Birmingham and the West Midlands like I do? The Big Hoot was held in the summer of 2015, while The Big Sleuth in the summer of 2017. We haven't had a trail like this in 2 years now. So in this post a look at some of my favourite owl and bear painted sculptures. Wild in Art have these trails around the country and around the world.

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There was over 100 owls and bears from each trail, so I'm not going to post all of them here. But you can follow the links to my Flickr albums for all my photos, including the little owls and bears.

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017

Comparing an owl and bear from approximately the same location, but two years apart.

Victoria Square

Alf the Penguin Owl was near the bottom of Victoria Square in front of the planted garden that now surrounds the Floozie in the Jacuzzi. The artist was Deven Bhurke and the sponsor was The National SEA LIFE Centre. During the trail a lot of these owls got vandalised, so when I saw this one part of the mask was lying on the plinth (they kept having to repair them). July 2015.

Alf owl

In July 2017 the Spock bear was near the top of Victoria Square. The artists were Maria Shrigley and Patricia Shrigley and the sponsor was Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Based on Spock from the Star Trek Franchise, originally played by the late Leonard Nimoy. As Spock appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series from 1966 - 1969 (Nimoy returned for the first six movies from 1979 to 1991). There has been new versions of Spock in the Star Trek Kelvin timeline movies (2009 - 2016) and more recently in season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery (2019).

Spock bear

Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip's Cathedral)

There was many owls around the grounds of St Philip's in July 2015. One of them was called Clash by the artist Damien Jeffery. The sponsor was KPMG.

Clash St Philip's

As with 2 years before, there was loads of bears to be found around Birmingham Cathedral. Seen in July 2017 was Sweet William by the artist Caroline Jariwala: Mango Mosaics. The sponsor was LDC.

Sweet William at Birmingham Cathedral

New Street

Ozzy Osbourne had his very own owl. Seen during July 2015 was Ozzy's Owl by the artists Ozzy Osbourne and Graham Frank Wright. The sponsor was Retail Birmingham. It was close to the Midland Metro extension to New Street Station. Paving at the circle near the Corporation Street junction with Stephenson Place was being done at the time.

Ozzy's Owl New Street

Two years later in July 2017 you could find the bear based on William Shakespeare. Shakesbear was by the artist Donna Newman. The sponsor was Vodafone. Based on William Shakespeare, the Bard from Stratford-upon-Avon (1564-1616). By this point the Midland Metro line to Grand Central Tram Stop was up and running.

Shakesbear New Street

St Paul's Square, Jewellery Quarter

Heading over to the Jewellery Quarter, seen near St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square during July 2015 was Bejewelled Owl by the artist Claire Scully. The sponsor was Jewellery Quarter BID. In the middle of lavender.

Bejewelled Owl St Paul's Square

Two years later in July 2017, the bear here was called Peabody by the artist Tory Allen. The sponsor was again Jewellery Quarter BID. Again surrounded by the lavender that is there each summer.

Peabody St Paul's Square

Golden Square, Jewellery Quarter

While The Jewellery Quarter Festival was on during July 2015, I saw Jewellery Owl in Golden Square. The artist was Sue Guthrie. The sponsor was Birmingham City University.

Jewellery Owl Golden Square

Two years later in July 2017 was Gummy Bear by the artist Deven Bhurke. The sponsor was Jewellery Quarter BID.

Gummy Bear Golden Square

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Transport
20 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

As expected West Midlands Metro tram 28 has gone blue

Another week goes by and another tram has gone blue. When I last rode it from West Bromwich Central to Corporation Street tram 28 was pink. Over a week later it is now blue. I keep seeing tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne about. Still looking out for tram 23, and apparently tram 30 has also gone blue. Only tram with batteries that hasn't gone blue is 35 Angus Adams, but not seen it recently.

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Trying to see if I could see the blue trams from other city centre locations other than just Grand Central Tram Stop, walked up to St Paul's Square, then over to the bridge near Livery Street. No tram at that point, so walked down to st Chad's Tram Stop.

After seeing tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne again, I saw tram 28 in blue for the first time at Colmore Circus Queensway. Would have tried to take a photo of the two trams together but a limo and this street cleaning vehicle got in the way!

Tram 28 blue

It was just over a week before that I rode this tram back from West Bromwich Central to Corporation Street when it was still pink. Now it's blue! Seen passing the crossing between Colmore Square and Colmore Row, with Bull Street behind.

Tram 28 blue

The lift at St Chad's Tram Stop was out-of-order, so walked up the steps. Tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne seen arriving, not far from the new Three Snowhill.

Ozzy's tram 37 St Chad's

Walked up a bit past the Living Wall that runs near Birmingham Snow Hill Station, and tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne headed up towards it's next stop at Bull Street.

Ozzy's tram 37 Snow Hill living wall

A few days before saw tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne at Grand Central Tram Stop in the rain. Saw it again on my walk to Birmingham New Street Station.

Ozzy's tram 37 Grand Central

This pretty much confirms that the tram is still called Ozzy Osbourne. "Rock 'n' Roll!"

Ozzy's tram 37 Grand Central

The Ozzy Osbourne name seen on tram 37 back in June 2016 when at Corporation Street Tram Stop. Glad it kept that name. Now when are they going to give tram 35 Angus Adams the blue treatment (where is it, not seen it in town recently).

Ozzy's tram 37 Corporation Street

Since the West Midlands Metro trams with battery packs are going fully blue, I'm always on the look out for blue trams. On the 11th August 2019 saw tram 17 heading up Stephenson Place past the Apple building towards Corporation Street.

Tram 17 Stephenson Place

Despite the tram going up the hill, people still walking down on the right. There is no longer a pavement on that side under the ramp.

Tram 17 Stephenson Place

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Transport
20 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

West Bromwich Corporation heritage livery on an NXWM bus

I was heading up to St Chad's Tram Stop when I spotted another modern bus in old livery. National Express West Midlands route 12, ID no 4679 in the West Bromwich Corporation livery. Seen at St Chad's Circus and Colmore Circus. Did also see it at Colmore Row before it departed. In November 2018 I saw a green Wolverhampton bus and blue Walsall in Yardley Wood when the open day was on

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I'm already used to the National Express West Midlands bus in heritage livery on the buses services from Acocks Green Garage, so was suprised to see this bus heading past, as I headed up to St Chad's Tram Stop.

4679 on the no 12 bus route heading towards it's terminus on Colmore Row. The no 9 from Stourbridge, 6921 was in front in the Platinum lime green livery.

NXWM on the 12

The no 12 waiting at the lights at St Chad's Circus, it was in West Bromwich Corporation vintage livery.

NXWM on the 12

After walking up from St Chad's Tram Stop past 3, 2 and 1 Snowhill, saw it again at Colmore Circus. Just before the pair of blue trams went past here.

NXWM on the 12

The bus ended it's journey on Colmore Row, but by the time I crossed the road, it had pulled out, so wasn't able to get a fourth photo of it.

 

That bus reminded me of the two special livery buses used at last November 2018's Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day. The green bus from Wolverhampton was taking passengers around the suburbs. Seen here in the rain at the Warstock Road island.

NXWM Yardley Wood Wolverhampton

With Wolverhampton Garage on the front it's ID was 4535, and was probably heading to Yardley Wood Bus Garage.

NXWM Yardley Wood Wolverhampton

It was a wet day as I started my walk from Yardley Wood to the Maypole.

NXWM Yardley Wood Wolverhampton

Later saw it again from the Maypole on Alcester Road South, it had probably headed around the suburbs such as Billesley before getting to the Maypole before returning to Yardley Wood. A no 50 bus on the left (those buses are now with the no 11 bus routes since the 50 got upgraded to Platinum).

NXWM Yardley Wood Wolverhampton

I was thinking that the West Bromwich Corporation heritage livery bus I was was Walsall Corporation (or at least I thought what it said). The actual heritage livery Walsall Corporation bus I saw last year during the November 2018 Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day was in blue with ID 4601, with the destination of Sutton Coldfield.

Walsall blue bus

Seen from the back with other buses.

Walsall blue bus

As well as the buses there was tables with items to buy, and bagpipes playing. This bus was advertising Aston University.

Walsall blue bus

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Architecture
19 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Hyatt Hotel over the last decade

I've taken various photos over the years of the Hyatt Hotel either from Broad Street / Centenary Square or Gas Street Basin. Can also see it on the skyline from certain parts of the city. I again missed the sky high visit, but I'm always going up the Library of Birmingham for views, and they can get a bit boring taking the same views again and again. I've never been inside.

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The Hyatt Hotel was built in the late 1980s opening in 1990. Located at 2 Bridge Street in Birmingham next to Broad Street. A link bridge was built connecting the hotel to The ICC and Symphony Hall (you usually see politicians using it when party conferences are in town).

This view of the Hyatt taken from Broad Street near Centenary Square during April 2009. The House of Sport was still in the former Register Office building to the left (demolished in 2015).

Hyatt Hotel

This Gas Street Basin view of the Hyatt Hotel from taken during May 2010. Probably from the footbridge over Worcester Bar.

Hyatt Hotel

This view taken in June 2010 from Gas Street Basin. The crane from when the Library of Birmingham was first getting built.

Hyatt Hotel

Skipping to September 2013 and when the new Library of Birmingham was first opened. This view from the Secret Garden. Arena Central had yet to start, and the redevelopment of Centenary Square was about 4 years away.

Hyatt Hotel

By May 2016 the hotel had a new name: Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Again the view from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham.

Hyatt Hotel

More recently in July 2019 from Centenary Square when the reflective pool had opened. Giving a reflection of the Hyatt and other buildings.

Hyatt Hotel

View of the Hyatt Regency Birmingham with Arena Central from Gas Street Basin during August 2019. Including 1 Centenary Square (HSBC UK), 3 Arena Central and Holiday Inn Express. The footbridge at Worcester Bar always has nice views of the changes. Not forgetting the Alpha Tower. 

Hyatt Gas Street Basin

The Hyatt Regency Birmingham sign seen from the corner of Bridge Street and Broad Street during June 2009.

Hyatt sign

The old Hyatt sign up top seen during December 2009.

Hyatt sign

The new Hyatt Regency sign seen during May 2016. Now saying Hyatt Regency.

Hyatt sign

In December 2016 saw some workmen over the side of the Hyatt Regency I assume servicing the sign (or cleaning windows?). It's a long way up there!

Hyatt sign

The main entrance to the Hyatt Regency Birmingham Hotel from Bridge Street seen during August 2019. Politicians and celebrities alike would arrive here. Also sports stars. 

Hyatt Bridge Street entrance

Late September 2018 from the Library of Birmingham. And preparations were underway for the Conservative Party Conference, which has been held in the city at The ICC and Symphony Hall about every 2 years. The main politicians usually stay in the Hyatt. Viewed from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. The marquees were where the new reflective pools are now.

Con Conf 2018

The area around the Hyatt was ringfenced off with a lot of security at the time. So work on Centenary Square and the West Midlands Metro extension had to stop that week.

Con Conf 2018

In this February 2014 view from the Edgbaston Reservoir near the Icknield Port Loop, you can see the Library of Birmingham, Alpha Tower and Hyatt Hotel. The NIA / Barclaycard Arena (now Arena Birmingham) is on the left of the picture. Near the Alpha Tower is the Rotunda (on the left). And Three Brindleyplace was visible in front of the Hyatt.

Edgbaston Reservoir

The Hyatt is also visible from Tysely Station and the DMU depot of West Midlands Railway. In this skyline view from March 2019 you can see (from left to right): The Cube, The Sentinels (Cleveland tower and Clydesdale Tower), the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Holiday Inn Express (the TETRIS building at Arena Central), Beetham Tower (Radisson Blu Hotel), Alpha Tower, Dandara and the Centre City Tower.

Tyseley skyline

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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50 passion points
Architecture
14 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sports grounds around Birmingham viewed from the Library of Birmingham

While I've missed all of Birmingham We Are's Sky High visits, it's not like I've missed out when I keep going to the Library of Birmingham since it opened in 2013. The best views from the Secret Garden. This post with views of The Hawthorns (WBA), St Andrew's (BCFC), Villa Park (AVFC) and Edgbaston (Warwickshire CCC).

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Villa Park: Aston Villa Football Club

This view of Villa Park looking towards Aston was taken from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during March 2017. On a clear day you can also see the M6.

Villa Park

The Hawthorns: West Bromwich Albion Football Club

This was the first stadium I was able to take from the Library of Birmingham, during January 2017. My notes from the times says I took it from the Discovery Terrace, but I'm thinking now it was more likely from the Secret Garden. There is an area round the back of the Discovery Terrace, but it's only Level 3, compared to the Secret Garden on Level 7. Looking towards West Bromwich in Sandwell.

The Hawthorns

St Andrew's: Birmingham City Football Club

Located in the Small Heath area of the city, this view beyond the Rotunda was taken from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during January 2018. That was the area of the city where the Peaky Blinders were based in.

St Andrew's

Edgbaston: Warwickshire County Cricket Club

My first view of Edgbaston Cricket Ground was taken during April 2016 from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. No games on that day.

Edgbaston

My most recent view of Edgbaston from the Secret Garden was taken in August 2019, when England were playing Australia in the 1st Ashes test. This was on day 3 of 5. Fortress Edgbaston as they called it. But England ended up loosing the Test to Australia. So the Aussies go into the 2nd test at Lords 1-0.

Edgbaston

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
12 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Central Buses Wedding Special - former London Transport red bus around Birmingham

I was on the no 50 bus in Kings Heath when I unexpectedly saw a red London bus, the Wedding Special bus heading in the Maypole direction. Camera wasn't out so no new photo of it (was unexpected). So here is some old photos of what I assume is the same bus in Birmingham City Centre in 2015 and 2016.

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Dudley Street, May 2015

The first time I spotted this bus was on Dudley Street in Birmingham, at the time Birmingham New Street Station wasn't quite finished (well not on the Station Street side). Licence plate no: JJD 411D. "Congratulations from Central Buses: Wedding Special".

Dudley Street red London bus

Side view of this ex London Transport Routemaster, called Trudy, as seen on Dudley Street.

Dudley Street red London bus

You're more likely now to see rail replacement coaches parked down here, than this vintage bus 4 years ago.

Dudley Street red London bus

Back view of the ex red London bus.

Dudley Street red London bus

Newhall Street / Great Charles Street Queensway, September 2016

The next time I spotted it, the bus was crossing over Newhall Street from the Jewellery Quarter, over Great Charles Street Queensway, to the other side of Newhall Street in the Colmore Business District.

Newhall Street red London bus

Holliday Street, November 2016

My last photo to date of this bus was a view on Holliday Street in front of the Register Office. The view from the Holliday Street Aqueduct on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

Holliday Street red London bus

More recently, I saw it (assuming it was this bus) heading down the Alcester Road South in Kings Heath. I was on a no 50 bus, sitting on the right on the top deck. I wasn't expecting it, and no time to pull my camera out. So the above archival photos from 2015 and 2016 will have to do for now. The last vintage London Routemaster I got photos of was a a picnic bus at the East Anglian Railway Museum in Essex.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
09 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro tram 29 the fifth tram to go fully blue and trying out the My Metro app

I downloaded the new My Metro app, registered, and bought an off peak return day ticket. I headed to Grand Central Tram Stop and caught West Midlands Metro tram 29 to West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. I didn't realise it that it was the fifth tram to be unveiled fully in blue, the week starting Monday 5th August 2019. Some other trams I saw on the 8th August 2019.

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I've been meaning for a while now to have another ride on the tram to West Bromwich from Birmingham, and it's been well over a year and a half since I travelled up to Bilston and before that Wednesbury. Wanting an easier way to buy a day ticket, than wait for the inspector, I downloaded the new My Metro app. After registering with it, and uploading a profile photo, my account was ready. I chose the option to buy an off peak return day ticket for £4.00. It's valid on weekdays between 9:30am and 3:30pm.

After getting my bus to town and heading past the Bullring and Birmingham New Street Station I got to Grand Central Tram Stop where I found West Midlands Metro tram 29 waiting at the platform. I hadn't realised at the time that it was the fifth tram to get the full blue livery (I've yet to spot tram 23 like this).

WMM tram 29 Grand Central

I've always found it best to board the tram at Grand Central, as it's more likely to be more empty than at the other tram stops. I sat somewhere near the back on the right. The other platform is still out of action until the next extension opens to Centenary Square.

WMM tram 29 Grand Central

I got the tram as far as West Bromwich Central, and took these views of West Midlands Metro tram 29.

WMM tram 29 West Bromwich Central

One more view of tram 29, before heading to New Square in West Bromwich to find The Three Degrees statue (called The Celebration).

WMM tram 29 West Bromwich Central

Earlier when I first got to Birmingham New Street Station, saw another tram waiting at Corporation Street Tram Stop (before I got to the tram at Grand Central). It was tram 31. It couldn't move until tram 29 (the tram I would catch) would begin it's journey towards Wolverhampton.

WMM tram 31 Corporation Street

View of West Midlands Metro tram 31 from my seat on tram 29. It was still at Corporation Street tram stop, but it was about to move down to Grand Central.

WMM tram 31 Corporation Street

Later back at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop, after another look around Dartmouth Park, I walked back to the tram stop to return to Birmingham. West Midlands Metro tram 21 in the Just Eat livery had arrived, on it's journey to Wolverhampton St George's.

WMM tram 21 Just Eat West Bromwich Central

Trams during the day are supposed to be every 6 minutes. Full side view of tram 21 in the Just Eat livery. See my previous post on the special livery trams here Blue ended West Midlands Metro trams with advertisements.

WMM tram 21 Just Eat West Bromwich Central

West Midlands Metro tram 28 arriving at West Bromwich Central. Still in pink. I caught this crowded tram back to Corporation Street Tram Stop. I suspect this could be next for the fulyl blue treatment. It has the battery packs on the roof racks.

WMM tram 28 West Bromwich Central

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
History & heritage
08 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Moseley Hall Hospital and Moseley Park: Birmingham Heritage Week, September 2016

Back during the Birmingham Heritage Week of September 2016, on the 11th September 2016 I went to Moseley Hall Hospital, starting off at the Dovecote and Cow House. Then walking towards Moseley Hall Hospital. On the open day Moseley Park was open, so didn't need a key (I'm not a resident). In the park I had a look in the Ice House.

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Walking down from Kings Heath along the Alcester Road, I entered via the service road to Moseley Hall Hospital, and sat on a bench until the Dovecote and Cow House were opened, sometime after 2pm on Sunday 11th September 2016.

The estate was farmland back in the 18th century surrounding Moseley Hall. Eventually the land was sold to the City of Birmingham and housing built around the estate.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Moseley estate ended up with the Grevis family who rebuilt the hall in the early 1600s. In 1768 it was sold to the banker John Taylor, His son John built a new house in the plain classical style. In 1889 the estate was sold to Richard Cadbury of the chocolate making family. In 1891 Cadbury presented Moseley Hall to the City of Birmingham. It is now a NHS community hospital.

The Dovecote

The Dovecote is a Grade II listed building. Made of brick, tiled roof with wooden lantern and finial. It dates to the 18th century. I had a look around outside before it opened.

Dovecote Moseley Hall Hospital

You head up some wooden steps and then you can have a look inside. This was the first building I went up shortly after 2pm when they unlocked the door. A look up to the wooden ceiling.

Dovecote Moseley Hall Hospital

Cow House

The next building I looked at was the Cow House, seen here before they unlocked the door. A Grade II listed building described as the Building to the North East of the Dovecote. Built in the 18th century, brick with a slate roof.

Cow House Moseley Hall Hospital

Once the door was unlocked a look at the ground floor. There was also steps up to the area above. Like all places like this, you go up the steps, but have to reverse down them, a bit like in various old mills I've been too. Was various old bits and bobs upstairs.

Cow House Moseley Hall Hospital

Moseley Hall Hospital

After the Dovecote and Cow House, I walked down to the old hall, now a hospital. Moseley Hall Hospital is a Grade II listed building. It was built in about 1790. It was Richard Cadbury's home until he gave it to the City to be Children's Home in 1890. Made of Ashlar with a slate roof. Has a porch with 4 pairs of Tuscan columns.

I previously posted the below photo in this post Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury.

Moseley Hall Hospital

I did briefly pop inside, but decided there was nothing worth taking photos of, so I next set off for Moseley Park. Saw this side view of Moseley Hall Hospital on the way. Heading down the grass bank to the busy Salisbury Road, was tricky finding somewhere to safely cross the road, before heading through the open gate into the park.

Moseley Hall Hospital

For more photos taken at Moseley Old Hospital, check out my album on Flickr.

The Ice House in Moseley Park

First up a look a the Ice House, the main reason for going into Moseley Park. The Ice House was built in the 18th century to store blocks of ice for Moseley Hall. One of the volunteers said that even ice shipped over from America via the UK's canal system was stored here. Even now, if you put ice down here, it will stay frozen! The Ice House is a Grade II listed building. Dates to the late 18th century, built of brick.

Ice House Moseley Park

A look inside and down the Ice House. It has a ladder there, but don't think you can go down there. Worth a look though. Subterranean structure under slight earth mound. Domed brick chamber of about 16ft deep.The chamber is, at least partly, of cavity brick construction.

Ice House Moseley Park

Moseley Pool

At the time I also had a look around the park. One of the many paths and trees here. Leading to the Moseley Pool.

Moseley Park

Usually only locals that live in the area with a key would get to see this pool of water. But on the Heritage Open Day, anyone could see it.

Moseley Park pond

Looks so tranquil and peaceful, hard to believe that this is in Moseley! Between Salisbury Road, Alcester Road and Chantry Road.

Moseley Park pond

A Boat House on the Moseley Pool. The gates are on Salisbury Road and Alcester Road. Both are normally locked. They also have music festivals in this park (I've never been).

Moseley Park pond

For more photos taken at Moseley Park, check out my album on Flickr.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Transport
05 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

British Airways diverts at Birmingham Airport (December 2016)

I headed to Car Park 5 back during December 2016 at Birmingham Airport. During a period of bad weather that caused several British Airways planes to land and take off from Birmingham Airport instead of Heathrow. So a rare sighting of BA's world famous Boeing 747-400! Wish that BA would start regular flights from Birmingham again, we mostly just have the budget carriers such as Flybe.

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There are several plane spotting points around Birmingham Airport. One of them is in Car Park 5. I got a X1 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus to the bus stop outside of the car park. I've got a bus here a couple of times (but not recently).

On the 17th December 2016, there it was day of bad weather over London, which resulted in British Airways being forced to divert their famous planes to Birmingham!

My first glimpse of a British Airways Boeing 747-400.

British Airways

A zoom in of this BA Boeing 747-400. The distinctive Union Jack tail fin at the back.

British Airways

The side view of this British Airways Boeing 747-400 next to a Birmingham Airport sign. A rare sighting these days.

British Airways

Seen taking off was this British Airways Embraer ERJ-190SR.

British Airways

Another angle of this BA Embraer ERJ-190SR.

British Airways

Bonus photos taken at Malaga Airport in Spain during June 2014. This was before I flew back to Birmingham with Monarch (not with BA). At the time there was a French Air Traffic Control strike so we were waiting at this airport for hours.

British Airways Malaga Airport

This photo of another British Airways plane taken from the Monarch plane I was on. Was stuck on the plane for hours before it was given permission to take off. Has been several occasions in the past being at airports when Air Traffic Control strikes have been on in France (usually resulting in not being able to fly over French airspace).

British Airways Malaga Airport

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Environment & green action
05 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Parks around the no 11 Outer Circle Bus Route: from Kings Heath Park to Swanshurst Park and beyond

If you catch the 11A or 11C buses as frequently as I do, then you would know that there is plenty of parks to visit around the Outer Circle. Here we will look at some of the parks along the route. Not all visited at the same time of course. There is parks in Kings Heath, Bournville, Selly Oak and other places along the route.

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Swanshurst Park

This is the park I normally pass first heading up the 11C on Swanshurst Lane in Moseley. Would also normally pass it heading down in the 11A from Kings Heath. Swanshurst Park is the home of the Moseley New Pool. Where you would see many Canada geese, swans, ducks etc in the pool. They are also sometimes to be found on the grass bank near Swanshurst Lane. Photo from March 2011 when Zippos Circus was in town.

Swanshurst Park - No 11 Outer Circle

Kings Heath Park

I normally get the 11C towards Kings Heath Park, and the 11A back from it. The park is on Vicarage Road a short walk from the Town Centre / High Street of Kings Heath. It's next door to King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools. Photo from February 2018, around a month after the Magical Lantern Festival had vacated the park, and the grass had to grow back (it moved back to the Botanical Gardens for Xmas 2018).

Kings Heath Park

Cotteridge Park

This park isn't visible from the roads that the 11A or 11C buses goes on, but if you get off on the Pershore Road or Watford Road in Cotteridge, this park is a short walk away. Seen below in early August 2018, I would get off the 11C on the Pershore Road, then walk up Breedon Road and cross the bridge over the Cross City Line into Cotteridge Park. You can exit / enter also on Franklin Road. Head left towards Bournville and Linden Road, or right towards Bournville Station and Mary Vale Park.

Cotteridge Park

Bournville Park

This small park in Bournville is near the Linden Road and is opposite the Cadbury Factory playing field. This view from August 2012 shows The Bourn that flows through the park. The park has a bowling green and a tennis court. The park ends at Selly Oak Road and Oak Tree Lane. You can continue your walk into the Valley Parkway along the Merritts Brook Greenway. Also suitable for cyclists.

Bournville Park

Selly Oak Park

You can get off the 11A or 11C buses on the Harborne Lane in Selly Oak to visit this park. It is also near Gibbins Road. My first visit (photo below) during June 2012. Selly Oak Park is close to the site of the Lapal Canal, and over the years a section in the park has been restored, but the canal is not yet ready to be completed to be reconnected to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Recently the new Selly Oak Shopping Park opened during autumn / winter 2018. If you continue beyond the park along Gibbins Road, you end up near Lodge Hill Cemetery.

Selly Oak Park

Grove Park, Harborne

I first went to Grove Park in Harborne during May 2012. You get off the bus on the Harborne Park Road. The park is also bordered by Mill Farm Road, Grove Lane and Old Church Road. In November 2018 I found the blue plaque of Alderman W. Byng Kenrick, which states that he gave the Grove Estate to the City. It was near the Kenrick Centre on Mill Farm Road. This park also has a pond.

Grove Park, Harborne

Lightwoods Park, Bearwood

This park is usually the furthest that I normally go on the 11C, getting off the bus on Lordswood Road. Bearwood is within Sandwell, and is part of Smethwick. Lightwoods Park was managed by Birmingham City Council hence the likes of the bandstand (pictured restored as of November 2017) having the coat of arms of Birmingham. Management of the park was handed over to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2010. In recent years Lightwoods House has been fully restored, as has the Shakespeare Garden nearby. The park is on the Hagley Road West, not far from Edgbaston and Harborne.

Lightwoods Park, Bearwood

Summerfield Park

I once ended up in Summerfield Park after completing my second half walk of the Harborne Walkway during February 2016. The path leads to the Dudley Road near Winson Green. The 11A / 11C do go past here, although I've never gotten those buses this far around. But I have been past on the 87 towards Smethwick and Dudley. The park is also close to the Edgbaston Reservoir and the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (as well as the railway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton). Icknield Port Road runs down one side of the park. Near the top right corner is a derelict Police Station building. Was the former Summerfield Police Station before they moved to new building on Icknield Port Road.

Summerfield Park

Rookery Park, Erdington

During my early January 2019 walk from Bromford Bridge up the Bromford Lane towards Wood End Road in Erdington, I went past Rookery Park on my way towards Erdington Town Centre. Didn't pop in, but took this shot on the way past. Don't usually get the 11A as far as Erdington, but around the December 2018 / January 2019 period, I decided to see how long it would take to get the bus on the Outer Circle to Erdington. It is faster though to get one of the Express buses back into the City Centre, or the train from either Chester Road or Erdington Station.

Rookery Park, Erdington

Old Yardley Park

Another park not visible from the 11A or 11C bus routes, but you can get off the bus on Stoney Lane in Yardley near Blakesley Road to walk to this park. One way is to Blakesley Hall, and the other leads to Old Yardley Village via Church Road. This photo from my January 2017 visit to Old Yardley Park in a stones throw view of the spire of St Edburgha's Church. The park is bordered by Church Road and Queens Road in Yardley.

Old Yardley Park

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
01 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Evesham Vale Light Railway in the Evesham Country Park (August 2014)

Heading towards Snowshill Manor recently, I was reminded of my visit to the Evesham Country Park in Worcestershire 5 years ago in August 2014, when I saw the Evesham Vale Light Railway. It's not far from the A435 and A46 route from the Maypole, going past Alcester. At the time was in the country park for a few hours before heading onto Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.

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Five years ago back in August 2014, was on the way for an outing to Bourton-on-the-Water. We stopped for a few hours in the Evesham Country Park for around 2 and a half hours. While in the park I saw the Evesham Vale Light Railway. If you are in a car or on a coach, you head down the A435 and the A46 from the Maypole in Birmingham, heading down the Hollywood Bypass. On the way you pass Studley, Coughton and Alcester before getting to near Evesham.

For my Bourton-on-the-Water post on BRUM! follow this link BRUM! at the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

This place is also home to The Valley Evesham, an outlet shopping park. It's probably changed in the 5 years since I was last there.

 

This sign tells you that you can take the train through the old apple orchards to the picnic and viewing area. You can break your journey any time walking through the countryside before later returning by the train.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Exmoor 0-4-0STT St. Egwin with several carriages behind it.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Close up of  Exmoor 0-4-0STT St. Egwin (at the front). Here you see it had three carriages behind that you can ride on.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

No 2 at the back, then No 8 in the middle. No 1 carriage at the front behind St. Egwin.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Another look at Exmoor 0-4-0STT St. Egwin. It was stationary.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

First look at the station with a carriage you can ride on. At the front was Severn Lamb 0-6-0STT Dougal. Seen at Twyford Station.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Severn Lamb 0-6-0STT Dougal seen in Twyford Station with passengers ready to go.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

A close up of Dougal at Twyford Station. Excited kids can't wait to ride this train!

Evesham Vale Light Railway

The light steam engine Dougal is now on the way up the lin with several carriages full of passengers behind.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Dougal and the carriages were quite small, maybe half the size of a full size steam locomotive. Also the rail gauge was much smaller.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Close up of Dougal as it passed me on the path I was walking on at the time.

Evesham Vale Light Railway

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
30 Jul 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Former Travel West Midlands Metrobus back on the 11C with Roberts

From time to time there are rival bus companies that operate on the 11 Outer Circle (11A / 11C). This former Travel West Midlands bus withdrawn back in 2010 I think, is now with Roberts. B789 AOC. With TWM used to have the ID 2789. Seen on School Road in Hall Green. By chance advertising my current Smartphone!

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