Elliott Brown

Passion Points: 75K

Modern Architecture
29 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing The BT Tower, Birmingham: The tallest building in the City!

The BT Tower in Birmingham is located on Lionel Street in the Jewellery Quarter and still holds the record for the tallest building in the City. Built between 1963 and 1965, it was in operation by late 1966. Formerly known as the Post Office Tower or the GPO Tower. It is 152 metres high (499 ft). In recent years many of the dishes have been removed, as has the old BT logo.

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BT TOWER, BIRMINGHAM

 

The BT Tower in Birmingham. It has been the tallest building in the City since it opened in 1966, taking the record from the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower (Old Joe). Other tall buildings have gone up and down in the last 55 years, but so far none of them have been higher than the BT Tower. There is also the issue with the flight paths in and out of Birmingham Airport.

Seen from various places within the City Centre, the BT Tower is also visible from the suburbs on the skyline.

The tower (having the equivalent of 24 floors) is not open to the public, so only BT staff are allowed to go up it.

At one point the tower was painted light brown, but this was changed in the early 2000s, and looks more white now. The BT logo on the top of the tower has changed over time. As of September 2020, the old BT logo has been taken down, but we are not sure when BT are going to put up their current logo.

The last of the satellite dishes were removed by 2012. Also during 2012, during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, they had a London 2012 banner on two sides of the tower.

Hopefully something will be done to the tower for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (if it goes ahead and isn't delayed by the 2020 pandemic).

 

Below gallery of photos taken over the years by Elliott Brown. 2009 to present.

2009

Earliest views from the Jewellery Quarter, and Great Charles Street Queensway.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

2011

Zoom ins to the BT Tower as many of the dishes had been or were being removed from the top.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

2012

Official logos for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralmpic Games.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

2013

Views from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

2016

Was looking to see if I could see where the Peregrine falcon nests, but couldn't see it. Discovery Terrace views from the Library of Birmingham.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

2020

One of the last times seeing the old BT logo on the BT Tower. This was a month before lockdown. As seen from Ladywood.

BT Tower

The old BT logo is removed during August 2020.

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

BT Tower

Nothing left of the old BT logo by September 2020, other than a scar or ghost sign of what was left underneath.

BT Tower

BT Tower

On the weekend of the 17th and 18th October 2020, a helicopter lowered the new BT logos into place onto Three Snowhill, on the Snow Hill Queensway and Livery Street sides. But as you can see on the 19th October 2020, the BT Tower still was without new logos (apprently they have them inside ready to go up). This view from St Chad's Queensway.

Three Snowhill and BT Tower

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the wonderful gallery of BT Tower photos above!

One day it will be nice to get permission from BT to go up to the top for photos, but at the moment that seems very unlikely for members of the public.

And while we are at it, can BT give us permission to go up to the top of Three Snowhill?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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10 passion points
Green open spaces
29 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Acocks Green Recreation Ground in the Fox Hollies area

Not far from Acocks Green Bus Garage is the Acocks Green Recreation Ground. Located on Westley Road, Fox Hollies Road and Broad Road. Sometimes used for fun fairs. In the last year or so, new railings have been installed. There is a playground close to Westley Road. Other than that there is a large open field and some paths. Nothing much else.

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Acocks Green Recreation Ground

For some history of the Acocks Green Recreation Ground, there is some information over at the AGHS website.

The land was donated to the Yardley Rural District Council by the Yardley Charity Estates in 1898. The grounds opened in 1902 on the Coronation of King Edward VII. Birmingham took over Yardley in 1911. The grounds has since been used by travelling carnivals and fun fairs. The Recreation Ground used to have a Sons of Rest pavilion (but this has long since disappeared).

The ground to the back was a football and cricket ground. And there used to be tennis courts alongside Broad Road (these no longer exist).

All that remains today is a children's playground near the Westley Road entrance.

In 2019 new railings and an entrance gate was installed on Westley Road. There is even a Friends of Acocks Green Recreation Ground.

2014

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was held at the Acocks Green Recreation Ground seen during May 2014. It took place from Thursday 15th May until Sunday 18th May 2014.

American Circus

Uncle Sam regularly popped over from the USA for American Circuses!

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

The Big Top

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Large Prizes

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Flying Chairs Carousel

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Rock City

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

< < < Slide

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was back in October 2014. These were taken from the no 11C bus stop on Fox Hollies Road after dark.

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

Taken at the time on my then Sony smartphone, so the zoom in wasn't too great with the bright lights.

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

2019

In September 2019, I was on the 11C bus on Westley Road when I spotted the new entrance gate and railings, near the play area.

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

The fun fair was also back again. It was Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair again.

Fun Fair Acocks Green RG

2020

First of two lockdown walks into the Acocks Green Recreation Ground during May 2020. The new railings and bollards on Fox Hollies Road.

Acocks Green RG

The green open field, no path alongside Fox Hollies Road, unless you walk on the pavement, like I used to do.

Acocks Green RG

The odd piece of litter on the field.

Acocks Green RG

Getting close to the playground near Westley Road.

Acocks Green RG

Looking back at the field. Clear signs of tyre marks of vehicles that have driven onto the recreation ground in the past (such as all those fun fairs).

Acocks Green RG

About to exit the new gate onto Westley Road. Bus stop on the left for the 11A. Acocks Green Village is to the left.

Acocks Green RG

Went through again in June 2020. This time walking back from Tyseley. Got in via the path on Broad Road. The bollards here are much older.

Acocks Green RG

The path follows Broad Road towards Westley Road.

Acocks Green RG

Grass a bit longer, trees full of green leaves in the height of summer.

Acocks Green RG

Shadows from the trees on the field.

Acocks Green RG

Not far until the end of the path.

Acocks Green RG

There was a few more entrances from Broad Road and you could dip in and out.

Acocks Green RG

Now back on Westley Road, the new railings near the play area.

Acocks Green RG

Another look at the new main entrance to the recreation ground. Looks good.

Acocks Green RG

Post and photos by Elliott Brown. On Twitter ellrbrown.

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10 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
28 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Over the Moon Lantern Installation at The Arcadian

Over the Moon is a Netflix film (with a limited cinema release), and to promote it, they are having a Lantern Installation at The Arcadian in the Chinese Quarter / Southside. I popped by on Sunday lunchtime, but these can also be seen lit up after dark. A bit like those Magical Lantern displays in years gone by. It is free. I believe they will be up until the middle of November 2020.

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Over the Moon appears to be a new Netflix film. And to promote it, there is a Lantern Installation at The Arcadian in Southside / Chinese Quarter. It is viewable from the central circular area. It has been on display from the last few weeks of October 2020, and I think it will still be there until the middle of November 2020.

 

More details on Over the Moon. The film was released in select cinemas on the 16th October 2020 and on Netflix on the 23rd October 2020. It is a computer animated film.

 

Gallery below of the laterns in the daylight. But you could see them after dark to get the full effect. Now we are back in Greenwich Mean Time, it might be dark enough after 5pm or 6pm GMT.

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
28 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Railway 196 101 and 104 at Tyseley TMD

There is now at least two new Class 196 trains based at Tyseley TMD, the home of West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley. WMR 196 104 was visible on the sidings close to Tyseley Station, while 196 101 was sticking out of the modern engine shed. More will be arriving in the next year or so.

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I noticed from the no 4 bus last week that you could see a Class 196 train from West Midlands Railway in Tyseley, as I was heading down to Acocks Green. So a few days later, I walked up from Acocks Green Village to see if I could spot them. There was two of them. Hard to see the numbers with your eyes, but got them from the photos. It started raining just after I got them, before I caught the no 4 bus to Solihull.

West Midlands Railway 196 101

This train was visible from near the entrance of the Tyseley Locomotive Works, and also near the entrance of West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley (through the fences).

WMR 196 101

WMR 196 101

West Midlands Railway 196 104

This train could be seen from the Wharfdale Road Bridge near Tyseley Station. You could also see it from the Warwick Road. If you are lucky, you might see it from a train in passing (if it's still there of course).

WMR 196 104

WMR 196 104

WMR 196 104

If not getting a train to or from Tyseley Station, you can get the no 4 or 4A buses here on the Warwick Road. Also in walking distance of Acocks Green Village.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
28 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Dayus Square a little known gem in the Jewellery Quarter

Most people would be aware of St Paul's Square and The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter. But there is one more little known square in the area called Dayus Square. Developed in 2011 to 2012 from what was previously called Albion Square. Named after a late local author Kathleen Dayus, who wrote about the area in her books. The Old Fire Station and The George & Dragon are here.

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DAYUS SQUARE

There is a square in the Jewellery Quarter that is little known. Located at the junction of Legge Lane, Albion Street and Carver Street. It was formerly called Albion Square. It was redeveloped between 2011 and 2012, reopening as Dayus Square in the Spring of 2012. Named after the late local author Kathleen Dayus (born in 1903, she died in January 2003 a few days short of her 100th birthday).

Notable buildings located at Dayus Square include a pub formerly called The George & Dragon (later renamed The Pig & Tail after it was restored). There is also The Old Fire Station Children's Nursery.

 

Back in December 2012, Elliott took a series of photos around Dayus Square after hearing in the news about it. Despite going around the Jewellery Quarter many times over the years with his camera, he only popped back to this area in January 2018, when The George & Dragon reopened as The Pig & Tail. He's not been back to Dayus Square since.

 

The Dayus Square sculpture unveiled in 2012, was sculpted by Peter Walker. It contains extracts from Kathleen Dayus's book "The Girl from Hockley".

Dayus Square

Dayus Square

Dayus Square

General view below of Dayus Square, with The Old Fire Station on the left. At the time the white building on the right was occupied by One 2 One. But the use of it has changed over the years. In 2019 it was Ultra Hair Clinic.

Dayus Square

Below was the Dayus Square road sign.

Dayus Square

To the other corner with The Old Fire Station on the right. Modern offices on the left. The Orb at 15A Albion Street. The sculpted book quote is on that side.

Dayus Square

Then the general view from the square of The Old Fire Station.

Dayus Square

Panoramic of the two photos as it was at the end of 2012. Still looks like this now.

Dayus Square

THE OLD FIRE STATION CHILDREN'S NURSERY

These buildings are on the corner of Albion Street and Legge Lane.

First up is 62-65 Albion Street (not actually in Dayus Square but adding for completion). A Grade II listed building. Built in 1833. The architect was W Tadman Foulkes. Jewellery Quarter works built of red brick in Italianate style with hints of Queen Anne revival. In 2012 it was occupied by Saunders and Shepherd Ltd. It was the Albion Street Works. In 2019 the building was up for sale.

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station starts from here from James House at 66 Albion Street.

The Old Fire Station

But The Old Fire Station was listed from 67, 68 and 69 Albion Street. A Grade II listed building, now a Children's Nursery. It was built as the Corporation Fire Station from 1909 to 1910. The architect was T G Price. It combines the Edwardian Wrenaissance with Birmingham Arts and Crafts. Built of red brick with stone detailing.

The Old Fire Station

Panoramic of the last two photos on Albion Street.

The Old Fire Station

The former fire engine doors. Now with children's toys inside.

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station

The Birmingham Forward coat of arms.

The Old Fire Station

The corner view of The Old Fire Station at Albion Street and Legge Lane.

The Old Fire Station

 

THE GEORGE & DRAGON / THE PIG & TAIL

Seen under scaffolding at the end of 2012 was The George & Dragon pub. Now called The Pig & Tail, this pub is at the corner of Carver Street and Albion Street, with Pope Street. The George & Dragon is a Grade II listed building. It dates as far back as perhaps 1820, with a rebuild of around 1860 to 1870. There was a one storey extension of 1922 by local Birmingham pub building legends James and Lister Lea. It was quite derelict when Dayus Square was redeveloped.

The George & Dragon

The George & Dragon

The George & Dragon

The George & Dragon was restored in 2016 and reopened as The Pig & Tail. Seen below in January 2018. It was originally a Mitchells & Butlers pub, it also inspired the novels of the late Kathleen Dayus.

The Pig & Tail

The Pig & Tail

It would be nice on future Jewellery Quarter walks, to perhaps pass through here again, if I can head in the general direction, as I'm always ending up at St Paul's Square, then heading back into the City Core. The last JQ walk took me along the pop up cycle lane down Graham Street towards Newhall Street.

Whether the Council had plans for a Kathleen Dayus heritage trail or not I'm not sure. And plans may have changed when the Con-Dem Coalition went out of power to the current Labour council. Or maybe one of the local Jewellery Quarter groups would do one.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
26 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Star Wars cosplay and costumes at the November 2016 MCM Birmingham Comic Con at The NEC

I've only been to MCM Birmingham Comic Con once at The NEC. This was back in November 2016. Many Star Wars fans turning up in costume. Stormtroopers, some with lightsabers etc. Plus was stationary displays about the convention hall. While I never got around to booking a ticket again for the later conventions at The NEC, it sounds like all the 2020 cons are cancelled. 2021 cons?

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STAR WARS AT THE NEC

I attended the MCM BIRMINGHAM COMIC CON on Sunday 20th November 2016 on a General Admission ticket. It was in Hall 5. But you had to queue up in Hall 1, to get checked in, get your ticket scanned, and get your hand stamped.

 

On the way in saw all of these Stormtroopers from Star Wars in the queue in Hall 1. They were probably members of the 501st Legion.

Star Wars

They liked to pose with their blasters.

Star Wars

Star Wars

Later spotted them again in Hall 5.

Star Wars

Later saw a parade of Stormtroopers heading out of Hall 5.

Star Wars

 

A Clone Trooper.

Star Wars

 

At least one lady as a Jedi, and two Sith lords. Plus the lady in the middle as Padmé Amidala.

Star Wars

Star Wars

 

A Jedi Knight and a Rebel X-Wing pilot, near the Emperor.

Star Wars

 

The back of: Rey, a Stormtrooper and Kylo Ren from the Sequel Trilogy era.

Star Wars

 

Not sure about this cosplayer below, but probably a Sith lord with two lightsabers. With a Spider-Man style mask.

Star Wars

 

Another Stormtrooper (below), but just a statue.

Star Wars

 

The Emperor and an Imperial Officer.

Star Wars

 

A rebel pilot costume. Near the Rebel Legion stand.

Star Wars

 

At static display with Stormtroopers standing either side of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder. Probably on Tattooine.

Star Wars

Star Wars

Star Wars

One dead Stormtrooper lying in the sand.

Star Wars

Watto from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

Star Wars

 

STAR WARS is © Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Food & drink
26 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Parklets around the Colmore Business District

In these troubling times, the Colmore BID with Cofton Nursery have installed Parklets outside of various bars and restaurants, so that people can eat and drink outside, but sticking to the current restrictions. Households are not allowed to mix inside and there is the Rule of Six and the 10pm curfew to think about. They are on Colmore Row, Waterloo Street, Church Street and Barwick Street.

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These Parklets were out and about around the Colmore BID from late August until at least early October 2020. I'm not sure if they are still there now, what with the weather getting colder. They were located on Colmore Row, Waterloo Street, Church Street and Barwick Street (that I found of them).

 

COLMORE ROW

Located on Colmore Row in front of the Grand Hotel and opposite Birmingham Cathedral. It was outside of the Liquor Store, Crockett & Jones and 200 Degrees Coffee. Seen on the 29th September 2020.

Parklet Colmore Row

Parklet Colmore Row

Parklet Colmore Row

BARWICK STREET

To the back of the Grand Hotel on Barwick Street was this Parklet. It was on a car parking spot outside of Primitivo Bar & Eatery. Also close to Barclays Bank. You can approach it from Livery Street. Seen on the 9th October 2020.

Parklet Barwick Street

Parklet Barwick Street

Parklet Barwick Street

Parklet Barwick Street

CHURCH STREET

This Parklet was located on Church Street outside of the Hotel du Vin & Bistro. It was opposite Urban Coffee and Home Cafe Deli. Seen on the 18th September 2020.

Parklet Church Street

Parklet Church Street

Parklet Church Street

WATERLOO STREET

The first Parklet to be installed on Waterloo Street was close to Victoria Square and outside of Christchurch House near Purecraft Bar & Kitchen. Also opposite Adam's Restaurant. Seen on the 22nd August 2020.

Parklet Waterloo Street A

Parklet Waterloo Street A

Parklet Waterloo Street A

Parklet Waterloo Street A

 

The second Parklet on Waterloo Street was located outside of Theatrix at 130 Colmore Row, close to Victoria Square. Seen on the 29th September 2020.

Parklet Waterloo Street B

Parklet Waterloo Street B

Parklet Waterloo Street B

 

There might be a sixth Parklet somewhere in the Colmore BID, but I've not seen or found it yet. So I apologise in advance.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
23 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Fox & Grapes, another Eastside pub demolished by HS2 back in 2018

Of the three pubs on the site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station only The Woodman survives and is open. The Eagle & Tun was demolished in October 2020. We have to go back to about September 2018 for the demolition of the Fox & Grapes. This former Mitchells & Butlers pub had been left derelict for a long time, on the Freeman Street corner with Park Street. Was also a fire in 2014.

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The Fox & Grapes was a Grade II listed building. It's origins might have gone back to the late 17th or early 18th centuries. So there had been a pub on this site for well over 200 years or more. The pub had alterations in the mid 19th century. It was originally listed back in 1982. I'm not sure if Historic England is aware that it was demolished back in 2018.

Before HS2 was even thought of, the pub was originally saved for the now cancelled City Park Gate scheme (which would have been on the land of the now future HS2 Curzon Street Station). But by the early 2010s the pub was boarded up and derelict. Then in 2014 arsonists targeted the pub and burnt it down, leaving it in ruins, and there was no effort at all to restore this historic building.

Sadly the decision was taken by HS2 to knock this listed building down, and it was reduced to rubble in September 2018.

The Eagle & Tun would survive for another 2 years until it to was demolished in October 2020. But it was able to reopen as a pub between 2016 and early 2020.

 

 

The views below of the Fox & Grapes from June 2010 as seen on the corner of Freeman Street and Park Street. It was near the entrance to the surface car park that was on the land between Moor Street Queensway and Park Street. Showing all the signs of it being a Mitchells & Butlers pub in the past.

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

 

A bit of sunshine on the Fox & Grapes during March 2011, as seen from Park Street. Hotel La Tour was under construction to the far right. Island House was still standing, but would itself be demolished by 2012.

Fox & Grapes

 

A March 2013 view of this Thomas Caffrey's Irish Ale sign. Perhaps the Fox & Grapes later years was as an Irish pub until it closed down?

Fox & Grapes

 

After a series of fires / arson attacks to the Fox & Grapes in 2014, the pub was in ruins, and the roof was exposed, as I saw in April 2015. No effort by any organisation to fully repair the pub, not even by the Council or HS2.

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

 

The Journey Starts Here. HS2. Sadly that didn't include the Fox & Grapes, still visible (below) in January 2018. This view from Eastside Green. The trees would be cut down as well to make way for the station.

Fox & Grapes

 

Perhaps my last indirect photo of the Fox & Grapes during March 2018. In this view of Millennium Point and Curzon Street Station, with The Woodman. It was the day that Prince Harry and Meghan visited Millennium Point (before they tied the knot and became the Duke & Duchess of Sussex). View from a train.

Fox & Grapes

 

In September 2018, HS2 performed an act of cultural vandalism by demolishing the Grade II listed Fox & Grapes pub. I was walking back from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre at the time from another open day. 200 years of history down the toilet.

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

Fox & Grapes

 

The view from a bus of the HS2 site from Moor Street Queensway. The car park had been closed down by this point. But you could still kind of see the site of the Fox & Grapes at the corner of Park Street and Freeman Street during November 2018.

Fox & Grapes

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
21 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside

The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.

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The Eagle & Tun was a pub in Digbeth (later Eastside). Close to the viaduct of the West Coast Mainline (also used by the Cross City Line and other routes in and out of Birmingham New Street). It was located on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street. But HS2's plans changed, and it was decided that the pub would have to be demolished.

Originally HS2 had planned to incorporate the pub into the new Curzon Street HS2 Station, but for some reason this changed. This was in 2014, when it was then thought construction on the station would start by 2017 (it didn't).

There has been a pub on this site since at least the late 1850s. The Eagle & Tun originally closed down in 2008, and was derelict for many years. Only to get new landlords in late 2015. It reopened in 2016. Only for HS2 to change their minds again, and the pub closed down by January 2020. By October 2020, demolition was well under way on the pub. It would be gone by the end of the month.

The council had locally listed the pub as Grade B. It never received a Grade II listing from English Heritage (now Historic England).

 

My first photo of The Eagle & Tun, taken during January 2010, from what was then Albert Street. At this point at had been closed for about 2 years.

Eagle & Tun

 

I took more photos of The Eagle & Tun back in February 2010. These shots originally came out dark (on my old camera). And I have just fixed them in Photoshop Elements 2020. You can see that a derelict building was still there on Banbury Street next to the pub (it would be demolished within a few years and become a temporary car park).

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

Eagle and Tun

 

Below, The Eagle & Tun in late March 2016 after the pub had reopened to the public.

Eagle & Tun

Eagle & Tun

 

The Eagle & Tun in late December 2019. Within the next couple of weeks, HS2 had it closed down for good. See my post from January 2020 when I visited the inside of the pub for the first and only time.

Eagle & Tun

 

A couple of days before the National Lockdown came into force in late March 2020, I got my last full photo of the Eagle & Tun on New Canal Street before it would be demolished. In the months that followed the roads would be closed by HS2 for Enabling Works.

Eagle & Tun

 

By October 2020, I was aware of The Eagle & Tun undergoing demolition. I took this series of photos from New Canal Street on Sunday 4th October 2020. Until then, I wasn't sure if I could walk up New Canal Street, what with the road being closed to cars. But it seems it is open to pedestrians. At this point only the ground floor remained.

Eagle & Tun

Eagle & Tun

Eagle & Tun

Eagle & Tun

Eagle & Tun

 

One more walk past on the 20th October 2020. Heading from Eastside City Park. Nothing left now. HS2 workers were putting up new hoardings around the site of the pub. I found that you could also walk onto Fazeley Street (the road is closed for roadworks as well but there was access for pedestrians).

Eagle & Tun

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
20 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

12 must visit parks in Birmingham in 2021

There is literally hundreds of parks in Birmingham, but here is a quick look at 12 parks we recommend that you could visit in 2021 at any time of the year for a walk, cycle, or taking your dog for a walk etc. From the obvious parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less obvious parks such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. Too many to choose from.

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Click the links below to go to the projects and view the posts. All reachable by car or bus. Some by train and tram. Many of these parks used to be country estates before being acquired by the Council from the late 19th or into the 20th Century.

 

Cannon Hill Park

Located between Moseley and Edgbaston on Edgbaston Road and Russell Road. There is also entrances from the Pershore Road. Cannon Hill Park opened to the public back in 1873, on land donated by Louisa Ryland. It is probably the most popular park in Birmingham with lakes, playgrounds and a fun fair. The Midlands Art Centre is also based here. Various memorials are located in this famous park.

Bus routes: 1, 1A, 35, 45 or 47.

Cannon Hill Park

 

Kings Heath Park

Probably the second most popular park in Birmingham is Kings Heath Park. Located on Vicarage Road and Avenue Road in Kings Heath. The park was home to the TV Garden, and there is a Tea Room located in a house built in 1832 for an MP, William Congreve Russell. The land and house later ended up in the Cartland family in 1880, and they sold it in 1900s. Eventually the local council took control, before Kings Heath became a part of Birmingham in 1911. Today there is several play areas in the park, plus a couple of ponds.

Bus routes: 11A, 11C, 27 or 76.

Kings Heath Park

 

Highbury Park

Located between Kings Heath and Moseley, with one entrance near the Kings Heath High Street. It was the estate of Joseph Chamberlain who lived at Highbury Hall until his death in 1914. Highbury Park also has entrances on Moor Green Lane, and one near a gatehouse close to Yew Tree Lane. From Dad's Lane and Shutlock Lane, there is a back entrance to the park also leading to a car park. The park opened to the public in 1930. The park has a couple of ponds that you can see.

Bus routes: 27, 35, 50 or 76.

Trains: A new Kings Heath Station could open in the future by 2022 (the original station closed in 1941).

Highbury Park

 

Kings Norton Park

This park is located down the Pershore Road South in Kings Norton. It was opened to the public in 1924. There is a car park located on Westhill Road. The River Rea flows through the park, although you can't see it. The park features a play area near the Westhill Road entrance, and a skate park. Not too far from the old Kings Norton Village. Part of the Rea Valley Route, and on the National Cycle Network route no 5.

Bus routes: 18, 19, 45, 47 and 49.

Trains: Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line up the hill in Cotteridge.

Kings Norton Park

 

Handsworth Park

This park is located between Hamstead Road and Hinstock Road in Handsworth. Also with entrances on Holly Road and Grove Road. Nearby is the Church of St Mary, where James Watt and Matthew Boulton are buried. Handsworth Park has at least two lakes. A railway line crosses half way through the park (it was the site of Handsworth Wood Station until 1942). Originally known as Victoria Park, it opened to the public in the 1880s. A sculpture was installed in the park called SS Journey by Luke Perry.

Bus routes: 16, 61 or 101.

Trams: In walking distance of Soho Benson Road or Winson Green Outer Circle tram stops.

Handsworth Park

 

Grove Park

This park is located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne. Grove Park has been a public park in Birmingham since 1963. The southern end of the park is on Mill Farm Road towards the Kenrick Centre. Historically the park was the grounds of The Grove, which was an 18th century Georgian house. One of Birmingham's first MP's Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove from 1823 to 1846. The house was later rebuilt for another Birmingham MP, William Kenrick in 1877-78. He died there in 1919. His son Alderman W. Byng Kenrick donated the estate to the City (he died in 1962). The house was demolished by Birmingham City Council in 1963. The park has a play area and a lake.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 76.

Grove Park

 

Bournville Park

This small park located in Bournville is on Linden Road, and is disected by The Bourn. Directly opposite the world famous Cadbury chocolate factory. The parks goes towards Selly Oak Road and Oak Tree Lane. There is a play area close to Linden Road. Close to Bournville Village Primary School. There is also a tennis court and a bowling green.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C, 27 or 48.

Trains: Bournville Station on the Cross City Line.

Bournville Park

Rookery Park

Up to Erdington for this park. Rookery Park is located on Wood End Road and Kingsbury Road. The site of Rookery House, which was being restored the last time I saw it. The Grade II listed house was built in the 18th century, and was originally known as Birches Green House. Was the home of Abraham Spooner and his descendants from 1730. Various different owner occupiers during the 19th century. The local council took over the land in the late 19th century, then became part of Birmingham from 1911. There was several derelict toilets in the park in urgent need of restoration. As well as a play area towards the Western Road exit.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C or X14.

Trains: In walking distance of Erdington Station on the Cross City Line.

Rookery Park

Selly Oak Park

This park is located in Selly Oak on Gibbins Road and Harborne Lane, close to the Selly Oak Bypass and the site of the Lapal Canal. The park has a play area and plenty of paths for walking. One route along the site of the lost canal goes towards Weoley Castle. Selly Oak Park opened in 1899 on land donated by the Gibbins family. More land was added to the park during the 20th century. The park is maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. You can find carved wooden sculptures around the park, by Graham Jones.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 48.

Trains: In walking distance of Selly Oak Station on the Cross City Line.

Selly Oak Park

Cotteridge Park

This park can be accessed from the Persore Road via a bridge (over the Cross City Line) from Breedon Road. The park also runs up Franklin Road towards Bournville. The park has a play area and tennis courts. Plus a skate park and basketball court. Cotteridge Park had a Sons of Rest building, but it was demolished in the 1990s. The Friends of Cotteridge Park was started up in 1997. A small community building was built between 2019 and 2020.

Bus routes: Not far from the 11A, 11C, 45, 47 or 48.

Trains: Bournville or Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line.

Cotteridge Park

Manor Farm Park

Over to Northfield for this park, located on the Bristol Road South. Although it is known as White Hill in the area close to Bournville. The park was the site of the Northfield Manor House, which was damaged by fire in 2014 (never seen it myself). It was the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, from 1890, until his death in 1922 and her death in 1953. The park was opened to the public in 1951. Also home to a small lake. A wooden picnic barn built in 1894, was sadly destroyed by arsonists in 2017 and has been demolished. The Friends of Manor Farm Park hope to restore the outbuildings in the park.

Bus routes: 44, 48, 61, 63, 76 or 144.

Manor Farm Park

Sheldon Country Park

This large Country Park is located between the Coventry Road in Sheldon towards Marston Green and Birmingham Airport. The Westley Brook flows through the park. There is an Airport viewing area that is good for plane spotting, as well as The Old Rectory Farm. Sheldon Country Park is split into sections, from Coventry Road to Church Road. Then from Church Road towards the Airport Viewing Area. The Hatchford Brook also flows into the park joining the Westley Brook not far from the runway of the airport.

Bus routes: 60, X1, X2, 72 or 73.

Trains: Marston Green Station on the West Coast Mainline (Birmingham New Street to Coventry line).

Sheldon Country Park

Similar post here on the 11 bus Outer Circle.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Green travel
20 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pop up cycle lanes in the Jewellery Quarter

A couple of pop up cycle lanes have been installed in the Jewellery Quarter. One on Newhall Hill, from Sandpits to Frederick Street (no bollards). The other on Legge Lane and Graham Street towards Newhall Street. Whether cyclists will use them, I don't know. Was at least one van parked in the lane on Newhall Hill. And one cyclist on Graham Street didn't even use it.

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Newhall Hill

From the bottom of Newhall Hill towards Sandpits. The Council has placed red and white barriers, closing it off to motorists. So only cyclists and pedestrians can pass through.

Newhall Hill

Just before here, saw a white van parked on the cycle lane, but the Council hasn't installed bollards up here (yet).

Newhall Hill

The Newhall Hill junction with Legge Lane and Graham Street. Near The Argent Centre (under scaffolding), and the Victoria Works of Joseph Gillott. Pens were historically made around here (or pen nibs).

Newhall Hill

Legge Lane / Graham Street

Onto Graham Street, opposite the Victoria Works, I spotted these red and white bollards. Although was originally thinking of walking up Frederick Street towards the site of the clock. Instead I headed down Graham Street towards Newhall Street.

Graham Street

Looking back towards Legge Lane from Graham Street. The temporary sign says that there is no access to Sandpits except for cycles. But there is still some cars around here.

Graham Street

A bit further down Graham Street, and there was a raised platform for the bus stop about halfway down the road.

Graham Street

Graham Street curves into Newhall Street where the pop up cycle lane ends just past the red post box.

Graham Street

See also the pop up cycle lane on Bradford Street and Old Camp Hill in Digbeth / Bordesley.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Superhero and Villains street art around Digbeth and elsewhere in the City

Most of the graffiti street art of superheroes and villains are located in Digbeth. There is some in Southside. Not all the pieces I've seen are still on the wall or hoardings they were painted on. Mostly from Marvel. You can find the Joker from DC in a car park in Digbeth. Plus Judge Dredd is in Zellig Car Park.

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2000 AD

JUDGE DREDD

Located in Zellig Car Park. Seen during October 2019. As far as I'm aware these pieces are still there. Painted as part of the High Viz Street Art Festival.

Judge Dredd

This piece of Judge Dredd below is by After the Robot Apocalypse.

Judge Dredd

JUDGE CASSANDRA ANDERSON

Judge Anderson

PSI ANDERSON DIVISION

PSI Anderson Division

DC Comics

TWO FACE AND THE JOKER FROM THE DARK KNIGHT (2008).

Located at The Paper Mill Digbeth in a car park off Allison Street in Digbeth. Seen in September 2019, it should still be there now. Two Face looks like ex PM David Cameron. Joker is obviously the late Heath Ledger in the Batman movie.

Joker

MARVEL

CAPTAIN AMERICA

This piece by the Forty Eights was seen in Digbeth near some wasteland from High Street Bordesley back in August 2011. It is still there. Seems to me to combine The Terminator T800 endoskeleton in a Captain America costume. This land has sometimes been used as a second hand car dealership.

Captain America

There used to be another Captain America piece in Lower Trinity Street Car Park in Digbeth. Seen during February 2015, I think this has long since been painted over. Had a K instead of an A on the top of the helmet. Possibly painted for the City of Colours in 2014.

Captain America

IRON MAN

Located in Digbeth Court Car Park. Seen during May 2019. It is still on that wall. It is visible from High Street Bordesley from the buses in and out of the City Centre. Same artwork style as Wolverine. Credited artist seems to be Ziah.

Iron Man

But was tags CRZ and VOID on either side of Iron Man.

Iron Man

WOLVERINE

This was located in a wasteland in Acocks Green near the Warwick Road. Painted around the time that Stan Lee passed away. Seen in November 2018, it is no longer there. But at the time was visible from Olton Boulevard East.

Wolverine

Back to Digbeth for this Wolverine street art. First spotted it in September 2019 on Milk Street.

Wolverine

It was still there in March 2020 before the lockdown happened. Next to a Hoakser piece.

Wolverine

This piece below was a bit like Wolverine combined with Mickey Mouse, if Wolverine was played by Mel Gibson. The USA flag with Marvel all over it. Years before Disney bought 20th Century Fox. Seen in Lower Trinity Street Car Park back in Sepember 2015. It is no longer on that wall. Was also Captain America's shields.

Wolverine

SPIDER-MAN

The Marvel Playstation 4 Spider-Man mural located in Lower Trinity Street Car Park (now called Custard Factory Car Park). Seen during September 2018. Painted by the artist Jim Vision for the Hi Viz Festival. This might still be there, but was a Peaky Blinders banner over it in 2019, but I think it's still there.

Spider-Man

Gent 48 painted this Spider-Man on the former Chinese Herbal Medicine & Health Care at 31 Smallbrook Queensway in Southside. It was there in March 2020, but Gent has painted over it with something else. It looks like the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man.

Spider-Man

DOCTOR DOOM

The super villain from the Fantastic Four was on the hoardings on High Street Deritend near Zellig Car Park and the Custard Factory in Digbeth during September 2019. Painted at the time for the High Viz Street Culture Festival. It is no longer there, and has been painted over a few times since with something else.

Dr Doom

BLACK PANTHER

The late Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Seen near the top of Hurst Street in Southside during October 2020. Painted for the B-Side Hip Hop Festival 2020, also for the Black Lives Matter movement. Chadwick sadly died in August 2020 of Colon Cancer, aged 43.

Black Panther

STAN LEE

The late great Stan Lee. Located on a wall on Barford Street in Digbeth, behind the former Birmingham Wholesale Market. Painted for the B-Side Hip Hop Festival 2020 and seen during October 2020. EXCELSIOR! Stan THE MAN Lee died during November 2018, aged 95. He famously made cameos in many Marvel movies over the years.

Stan Lee

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Van Gogh Alive The Experience at the Birmingham Hippodrome

The Birmingham Hippodrome has reopened for the first time since it closed back in March 2020, due to the pandemic / lockdown during October 2020. Not for a play, panto or ballet performance, but for something called Van Gogh Alive The Experience. It opened on the 8th October 2020, and could be on until the end of January 2021. Digital projections on the stage of Vincent Van Gogh's art.

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VAN GOGH ALIVE THE EXPERIENCE

 

Go to Van Gogh Alive to book tickets. This is the UK Premiere in Birmingham. But it has been all around the world. 6 million visitors worldwide, over 50 cities visited, in over 5 continents. It is powered by Sensory 4 projection technology. It is safe and Covid compliant. Wear a mask inside and regularly sanitise your hands.

 

You can book up to 6 tickets per household (Rule of Six). You get a QR code on a PDF. Show on your phone or print out. It will get scanned in the Birmingham Hippodrome about 4 times. Main entrance from Hurst Street. You later exit via the Dance Xchange building on Thorp Street.

 

The digital projections of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings is on the stage. You head down the stairs. The show lasts around 45 minutes to an hour (I think). Classical music accompanies Van Gogh's famous paintings, with some animations, and his life story in France after he left the Netherlands.

 

From Paris (1886-88) to Arles (1888-89) to Auvers-sur-Oise (1890). Including his time in hospital and at an asylum. Vincent famously cut one of his ears off later in his life. Born in 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands, he died in 1890, aged 37 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France (suicide by gunshot).

 

It opened on Thursday 8th October 2020, and if all goes to plan (depending on the latest lockdown restrictions) it could stay open until the end of January 2021.

 

Birmingham We Are's person with passion, award winning Elliott Brown paid a £20 ticket and went on Sunday 11th October 2020. Hopefully inspiring other people to go (depending on the new Covid Tier 2 restrictions).

There is timed slots, so hopefully not too many people in the theatre at one time. I'd advise you to not take a large bag, as the cloakroom is closed, and they do a bag check when you first arrive.

 

Van Gogh Alive - outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome in Hippodrome Square, Hurst Street.

Queue outside, put your mask on, get your QR ticket ready on your phone (or print it out at home and take it along).

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Down the stairs, then before going to the stage, was this area with reprints of Vincent's famous art with descriptions. One way in and out, stay apart, wear a mask at all times.

Van Gogh Alive

 

Vincent's artistic story in France in the 1880s.

Starting with Paris 1886-88.

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Arles 1888-1889

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Starry Night.

Van Gogh Alive

Auvers-sur-Oise 1890

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, France, a recreation.

Visitors on their way out can stop to have their photos taken with their family. Sit on the chairs, or on the bed.

Van Gogh Alive

After this, exit by heading up the stairs. Leave via the gift shop that was selling Van Gogh merchandise. There was also a coffee shop open (I think). The exit was past the toilets towards the Thorp Street exit (the Dance Xchange building).

 

Van Gogh Alive The Experience was created by Grande Exhibitions and Sensory 4 Immersive Experience.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Travel & tourism
12 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Enterprise bridges at Destination Star Trek at The NEC in 2016 and 2018

I went to Destination Star Trek Europe at The NEC in October 2016, and two years later as Destination Star Trek Birmingham in October 2018. Both times they had the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 and NCC 1701-D. I didn't go in 2019. Star Trek turned 50 back in 2016.

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Destination Star Trek Europe was held during the weekend of the 7th to 9th October 2016. I went on the Sunday, the ticket cost about £30 online. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek which started on NBC in the USA on the 8th September 1966. This was the first time an official Star Trek convention was held in Birmingham (technically within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull).

Fans could get their photos take on the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 from Star Trek: The Orignal Series (1966-69) or the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94). They could also be in shot with some of the stars (for a price). I of course wasn't going to pay for that.

 

Captain's Log Stardate 77854.6. We have arrived in the City of Birmingham, but it seems like we are in a Borough called Solihull. Never the less, The Birmingham NEC is located here. Plenty of fans in cosplay, plus recreations of the bridge and other sets. I speculate that these halls are large enough to film episodes of Star Trek, if CBS Paramount wish to film the shows over here.

 

TOS BRIDGE

TOS Bridge

TOS Bridge

TNG BRIDGE

TNG Bridge

TNG Bridge

TNG Bridge

Marina Sirtis played Counselor Deanna Troi.

TNG Bridge

TNG Bridge

 

Destination Star Trek Birmingham was held at The NEC during the weekend of the 19th to 21st October 2018. The second time in Birmingham. It would return once again a year later in 2019, but I didn't see the point of paying another £30 for a third time, and didn't find the second visit as good as the first.

TOS Bridge with Tribbles

TOS Bridge

TNG Bridge returns

TNG Bridge

I've got plenty more photos from both events for future possible posts. I couldn't take the classic props at the 2018 convention as photography was not allowed for that (private collection). But was able to get the costumes / props in 2016.

Plus I once went to MCM Birmingham Comic Con back in November 2016 (didn't go back to it in the years since).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
08 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Bill & Ted Face the Music at Cineworld

I've seen Bill & Ted Face the Music twice. First time at Cineworld Broad Street Birmingham on 16/09/2020. Second time at Cineworld Solihull (Touchwood) on 02/10/2020. As it was £4. At the time didn't know that Cineworld was closing down again. The movie is amazing. Even got the book on the Trilogy and the soundtrack! Excellent!

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I'm back, kind of. Been having a minor rest from this site for a bit. The break may continue. Until then all I've been thinking of is Bill & Ted, as Bill & Ted 3 just came out in cinemas (that are open). I have ran out of ideas for Birmingham related posts, and wont be doing those architecture ones.

 

Going to the cinema now is so different under pandemic conditions. As usual with Cineworld I book my ticket online or on the app. And use the e-Ticket that gets scanned at the cinema. You have to wear a face mask in the foyer and in the screen. Go to the numbered seat you chose online. The screens I've been in have been almost empty. First time wasn't too bad. Second time in Solihull was hardly anyone there. No wonder cinemas are struggling right now.

 

The doors at Cineworld Broad Street in July 2020. The cinema reopened at the end of July.

Cineworld Broad Street

The view in August 2020 of Cineworld with the Westside Metro extension to Hagley Road.

Cineworld Broad Street

A few weeks later I went back to the cinema to see The New Mutants. Bill & Ted Face the Music wouldn't open until the middle of September 2020.

Cineworld Broad Street

 

Spoilers below if you haven't seen the movie.

The movie is 90 minutes long plus the adverts and trailers. There is a new CGI Creature Discomforts advert from Aardman Animations. Was a trailer for James Bong 25: No Time to Die (sadly postponed again until April 2021).

Bill & Ted Face the Music is well worth seeing if you are a Bill & Ted fan. I've been waiting the best part of the last decade for it. Bill & Ted are now in their 50s with families but haven't written the song that will save reality and time as we know it. They now have daughters in their 20s called Billie & Thea.

I missed Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) in the cinema. I think I first saw them on VHS rental, probably in 1992. Loved them straight away.

The excellent duo decide to travel into their future to steal the song from themselves. But it gets worse further into the future they go. Including Prison Bill & Ted.

At the same time Billie & Thea use Kelly's time pod to get historical musicians to form a band.

There is also a robot called Dennis Caleb McCoy. He later zaps everyone and sends them to hell.

The group later finds Death (the Grim Reaper) and convince him to take them back to the real world.

They arrive at MP46 to perform the song at 7:17pm in San Dimas, California. They realise that Preston / Logan is their daughters, who DJ the band to play instruments, while Bill & Ted time travel across realities to get everyone to play an instrument.

There is a funny post credits scene at the end.

 

Cineworld is closing again due to a lack of blockbusters coming out due to the pandemic. Many movies have been pushed to 2021 or 2022. So is nothing much else coming out in the next few months.

 

I've not been back to Odeon since the lockdown began. Sounds like Odeon is going to a weekend only model.

 

Follow Bill & Ted 3 on Twitter. Follow Bill & Ted Face the Music UK on Twitter.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

AND ...

PARTY ON DUDES!

 

RIP to Eddie Van Halen. There is a memorable scene in the first Bill & Ted movie where the excellent duo discuss making a music video and wanting Eddie Van Halen on guitar. Watch it here on YouTube Bill & Ted Wyld Stallyns. EXCELLENT!!!!!!

 

Bill & Ted Face the Music is © Orion Pictures 2020. Distributed in the UK by Warner Brothers Pictures. The franchise is now owned by MGM under their Orion Pictures label.

 

Photos of Cineworld Broad Street taken by Elliott Brown.

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30 passion points
History & heritage
01 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Tolkien trail between Perrott's Folly and Sarehole Mill

Take this trail (walk, cycle or bus) between Perrott's Folly and Sarehole Mill and enjoy many of the places connected with the world renowned author, J.R.R. Tolkien during his time in Birmingham between 1895 and 1911.  

Take the article, view digital map or download the pdf map.

Article and words credited to Chris Upton, Kristina Williamson & Chris Rice.

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Start or Finish at Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Waterworks on the Edgbaston/Ladywood border.  View digital map.

Google Maps

Map of Ladywood from Googles Maps

Whilst living in Edgbaston the young J.R.R. Tolkien would have been very familiar with two distinctive local landmarks. The extraordinary 96ft (30m) Perrott’s Folly is named after John Perrott who had it built in 1758. The crenelated gothick tower was originally part of a hunting lodge. In the 19th century it became one of the first weather recording stations in the country.

Along the road at Edgbaston Waterworks stands a later Victorian chimney tower. The tower was part of a complex of buildings designed by J H Chamberlain and William Martin around 1870.

The pair are said to have suggested Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith, the Two Towers of Gondor, after which the second volume of The Lord of the Rings is named. The Tolkien brothers lived with their aunt in nearby Stirling Road between 1904 and 1908.

The Two Towers

See more on Perrott's Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower here.

A short walk to Newman's Oratory on the Hagley Road.  View digital map.

When Tolkien’s mother converted to Catholicism in 1900, the family worshipped at St Anne’s Church in Alcester Street, Digbeth. After moving to Edgbaston in 1902, Mabel and the boys attended Cardinal Newman’s Oratory on the Hagley Road. The family lived nearby in Oliver Road and, for a time, Ronald was enrolled at St Phillip’s School, at that time located in the same street. The friendship of Father Francis Xavier Morgan, who became the boys’ guardian, was a source of strength during Mabel’s illness and subsequent death.

Birmingham Oratory

See more on Newman's Oratory here.

A short walk to the Plough & Harrow Hotel on Hagley Road.  View digital map.

Whilst living in lodgings in Duchess Road, Tolkien had met and fallen in love with nineteen year old Edith Bratt. He was only sixteen at the time and his guardian Father Morgan attempted to put an end to the relationship by moving the two boys to Highfield Road. It was Tolkien’s last Birmingham address. In 1913, aged 21, and whilst still at Exeter College in Oxford, Tolkien re-established contact with Edith and their romance was rekindled. They were married in the Spring of 1916 in Warwick and in June of that year spent a night in Birmingham at the Plough & Harrow Hotel. Ronald was most likely on embarkation leave prior to his departing for France as an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers. There is a blue plaque here, which was presented by the Tolkien Society in 1997.

Plough & Harrow

A short walk to one of Tolkien's homes on Highfield Road.  View digital map. 

From 1910 to 1911 Tolkien lived at 4 Highfield Road. It is now a nursery. The houses at 3 & 4 Highfield Road are a Grade II listed building and was built in 1830. It was a semi-detached late Regency stucco villa. There is a blue plaque here from the Birmingham Civic Society and the Tolkien Society. He previously lived from 1902 until 1910 at Duchess Place in Ladywood. On Teleperformance House which was on Hagley Road, there is another blue plaque marking near where he lived at the time.

4 Highfield Road

Then walk or cycle to Moseley Bog (approx. 40 mins) or take the no 1 bus (Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston to Wake Green Road, Moseley).  View digital map.

Google Maps

Map of Sarehole from Googles Maps

Tolkien later lamented the encroachment of the suburbs upon his former home but there is one place that ‘civilisation’ missed: Moseley Bog. The Bog was an ideal place for Tolkien’s childhood adventures. It was once a storage pool for Sarehole Mill, and is also the site of two Bronze Age ‘burnt mounds’. The Bog is recalled in Tolkien’s description of the ‘Old Forest’, last of the primeval wild woods, where ‘Tom Bombadil’ lived. It is now preserved as a Local Nature Reserve managed by the Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust. 

Moseley Bog

See more on Moseley Bog here.

Then walk or cycle to another of his homes at 264 Wake Green Road.  View digital map.

In 1896 the Tolkien family moved to 5 Gracewell Cottages (now 264 Wake Green Road) in the hamlet of Sarehole. At the time the area was completely rural and Tolkien said that the times he spent here were the happiest years of his youth. Sarehole is said to have been the model for “The Shire”, the home of the Hobbits, and memories of this country childhood were to colour much of his later writing. 

264 Wake Green Road

See more on the Sarehole area here.

Then walk or cycle to Shire Country Park.  View digital map.

The Shire Country Park follows the attractive and varied valley of the River Cole as a green ribbon for some four miles from Small Heath to Yardley Wood. It was named in 2005 to reflect Tolkien’s links with the local area. The park contains wetland, grassland, woodland and heath, and supports a wealth of animal, plant and insect life. Herons, mallards and moorhens are a common sight, and if you are lucky you may spot a kingfisher hunting for fish along the meandering river. The ford at Green Road (formerly Green Lane) is one of the few remaining fords along the Cole Valley and would have been very familiar to the young J.R.R. Tolkien.

Green Road ford

See more on Shire Country Park here.

Start or Finish at Sarehole Mill in Hall Green. View digital map.

Ronald and his brother Hilary spent many hours exploring the grounds of Sarehole Mill and being chased off by the miller’s son, whom they nicknamed the ‘White Ogre’. In the 1960s Tolkien contributed to the public appeal to restore the Mill as a museum. Today Sarehole Mill is part of Birmingham Museums Trust. As well as being a working watermill, the museum features the Signposts to Middle Earth exhibition which tells the story of Tolkien’s connections with Sarehole and the surrounding area.

Sarehole Mill

See more on Sarehole Mill here.

Photos by Elliott Brown unless stated above.

 

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0 passion points
Green travel
30 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

New cycle lane on Bradford Street in Digbeth

As of September 2020, there is a new cycle lane in Digbeth on Bradford Street. There is also a section on Old Camp Hill and Trinity Terrace near Holy Trinity Church. Double yellow lines and bollards in place to hopefully stop cars parking. But there is car parking spaces on the other side of the road.

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From the bus heading in and out of Digbeth, I've spotted new cycle lanes with red and white bollards. They have also painted white lines on the road. Double yellow lines to hopefully stop car drivers parking their cars in the way of the cyclists. Who would then have to ride into on coming traffic.

The main route goes down Bradford Street towards Moat Lane. There is another section that leaves Camp Hill at Old Camp Hill, then goes down Trinity Terrace (near the former Holy Trinity Church).

 

View 1: after getting off the no 50 bus, saw the demolition site opposite, where Kingfield Heath used to be.

Bradford Street Digbeth

View 2: A bit further down, St Modwen Homes have taken over the St Anne's Court site which had been stalled for a few years. Fabrick Square was completed a few years ago.

Bradford Street Digbeth

View 3: The abandoned S. K. Buildings. Which usually gets tagged and pasted all over. Hopefully this building can be redeveloped into apartments.

Bradford Street Digbeth

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
28 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visitor for King Edward VII, his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, in Centenary Square on the 23rd September 2020

In Centenary Square next to the statue of King Edward VII is a temporary statue of his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria. It is a publicity stunt from Netflix to promote their new film Enola Holmes, which starts on Netflix on the 23rd September 2020. The Princess was a founder member of the British Red Cross and President of the Royal British Nurses Association.

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There was a temporary statue in Centenary Square until Wednesday 23rd September 2020 of Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, the sister of King Edward VII. This is to promote the new Netflix film Enola Holmes starring Millie Bobbie Brown (Stranger Things) and Henry Cavill (Superman in the DCEU).

Princess Helena was born in 1846 to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She died in 1923. She was a founder member of the British Red Cross and was President of the Royal British Nurses Association. She was a lifelong champion of healthcare workers. She also campaigned for better working conditions, rights and pay. Which led to nurse registration.

Netflix had placed other statues around the UK next to other statues. See this article from Screen Rant.

 

Gallery of 10 photos below in a wet Centenary Square.

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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50 passion points
Modern Architecture
24 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing the Holiday Inn Express at Arena Central, Birmingham

Resembling the video game TETRIS during construction, the Holiday Inn Express hotel is located on Holliday Street and was part of the Arena Central redevelopment site (the first building to be completed). Construction started in the autumn of 2015. The hotel was opened in the spring of 2017. Located close to the Crowne Plaza hotel.

19 Holliday Street, Birmingham, B1 1HH.

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Holiday Inn Express was built on a site on Holliday Street in Birmingham City Centre. Construction began in the Autumn of 2015 and was complete and open by the Spring of 2017. When going up, the building resembled a game of TETRIS (on the Nintendo Game Boy).

Each piece was pre-cast off site and lowered down by a crane. The windows in shapes of a right angle. Eventually the building was cladded in a white and black cladding.

Since opening in April 2017, the hotel has officially been called Holiday Inn Express Birmingham - City Centre. Located at 19 Holliday Street, Birmingham, B1 1HH.

 

Regular contributors Elliott thinks of it as the TETRIS building, while Daniel as the Minecraft building.

Gallery of photos taken from 2015 to present:

2015

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2016

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2017

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2018

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2019

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2020

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Photos courtesty of Elliott Brown

2017

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2018

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2019

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

2020

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Photos courtesty of  Daniel Sturley

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0 passion points
Green open spaces
22 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

An Indian Summer in Kings Heath Park during September 2020

A Sunday afternoon visit to Kings Heath Park during September 2020, on award winning person with passion Elliott's 38th birthday. It was sunny afternoon, plenty of people about. Cartlands Tea Room was open again where you could buy ice cream. Hopefully people were sticking to the "Rule of Six". Households can't mix at home so instead they have public parks.

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September 2020, means that during the month, Elliott (that's me) would have another birthday. On the Sunday afternoon, we headed to Kings Heath Park, for a bit of a walk around. The walk was a bit slow at times (I'm usually a fast walker, but wasn't on my own). On a Sunday in September with sunshine and fine weather, was a lot of people out in the park. Both car parks were full (personally I prefer to get the 11C bus there if I was on my own).

Since my last visit, Cartlands Tea Room has reopened. And you can buy a 99 ice cream with a Flake. The garden centre is open again, but only Monday's to Friday's. The TV Garden was still closed to the public. Kids playing on the basketball court, others having a kick about with a football, or at the two play areas. Or having a picnic on the lawn.

 

Sign / banner seen on Vicarage Road in Kings Heath, Saying that Cartlands Tea Room is now reopened.

Kings Heath Park

The large open field from the path near the drive. The odd couple sitting on the grass.

Kings Heath Park

A stunning blue sky and more people sitting on the grass.

Kings Heath Park

Floral display near the School of Horticultural Training. How home to the Cartlands Tea Room.

Kings Heath Park

Some people took their own foldable chairs to sit amongst the floral displays for a chat.

Kings Heath Park

Kings Heath Garden Centre. Not open at weekends. But if you go Monday to Friday, wear your mask, and stay 2m apart.

Kings Heath Park

Another field near the bottom of the park. At least one person sitting on the lawn. Perfect blue sky.

Kings Heath Park

Steps into the field to the bottom of the park.

Kings Heath Park

Tall thin trees near the bottom end of the park.

Kings Heath Park

More people sitting on the lawn near or having a kick about.

Kings Heath Park

View towards the play area near Avenue Road.

Kings Heath Park

Back near the School of Horticultural Training, home of Cartlands Tea Room (now reopened).

Kings Heath Park

One of the signs on the noticedboard of interest: Don't litter, if the bins are full please take it home!

Kings Heath Park

Entrance to Cartlands Tea Room. Was later a socially distanced queue of people queuing for ice cream or coffee or tea.

Kings Heath Park

They also had these sky blue chairs outside.

Kings Heath Park

Moorhen in the pond.

Kings Heath Park

Robin on the bench around a tree.

Kings Heath Park

Also spotted a squirrel climbing up a tree.

Kings Heath Park

A few more bits and pieces before leaving. One of the short woodland paths off the main path to the bottom of the park.

Kings Heath Park

Another peek at the TV Garden through the locked gate. I've not been able to go into here in over 6 years now.

Kings Heath Park

Never Give Up. Yarn bombing. This was on the fence even during the earlier part of the last lockdown.

Kings Heath Park

The pond, none of the fountain water jets were on. Hose pipe exposed above the water.

Kings Heath Park

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
21 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Hollybank Spinney on The Haunch Brook Pathways

Beyond Billesley Common, on Hollybank Road is the Hollybank Spinney. Also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The piece of land was named after Hollybank Farm. Named in memory of Christopher Hollins Lucas, who was killed during the Great War in 1918. Was a grandson of Joseph Lucas. Just a path and trees along the Haunch Brook. Just a small pocket of the Shire Country Park.

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Hollybank Spinney

Part of the Haunch Brook Pathways, which goes through Billesley Common, if you leave the Common at Hollybank Road in Kings Heath, and cross over the road, is a small section called the Hollybank Spinney. This is also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The path amongst the trees goes from Hollybank Road towards Ardencote Road, so it's not very long. There is another short path from Hollybank Road that leads to Chamberlain Road.

The land was named after the Hollybank Farm which used to be on the site. It was given to the City of Birmingham by the Lucas family, known for Lucas Industries, in memory of the late Hollie Lucas, a grandson of the late Joseph Lucas (1834 - 1902).

Christopher Hollins Lucas fought during the First World War (1914-18), which at the time was called The Great War. He was also called Hollies Lucas. He was a second lieutenant in the 8th battalion of the Prince of Wales North Staffordshire Regiment. He was killed in action at the age of 21 on the 10th April 1918 in Belgium.

His medals were sent to his parents, who at the time lived on Cambridge Road in Kings Heath. A road off Wheelers Lane was named Hollie Lucas Road in his memory.

 

My visit to the Hollybank Spinney on a walk from the Kings Heath High Street towards the bus stop on Haunch Lane near Billesley Common, during July 2020.

Approaching the Hollybank Spinney from Hollybank Road in Kings Heath.

Hollybank Spinney

Lots of trees and long grass.

Hollybank Spinney

Onto the path towards Ardencote Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Here's the sign about Joseph Lucas, and his grandson that this area is named after.

Hollybank Spinney

The path curves around the trees.

Hollybank Spinney

Near the end of the path, it's not very long.

Hollybank Spinney

Man walking his dog near the end of the path as it goes onto Ardencote Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Bit hard to see the Haunch Brook from here.

Hollybank Spinney

The Haunch Brook is down there. Goes under this tunnel towards Kings Heath, not sure were it emerges though.

Hollybank Spinney

Going back on the path towards Hollybank Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Trees and bushes everywhere. A little bit of paradise.

Hollybank Spinney

About halfway back to Hollybank Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Not too far back to the end of the path.

Hollybank Spinney

The Hollie Lucas Memorial on the left (the Joseph Lucas sign I saw earlier).

Hollybank Spinney

Near Hollybank Road, noticed workmen who were resurfacing the paths in Billesley Common.

Hollybank Spinney

The other end of the Haunch Brook from Hollybank Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Almost hard to see here too. Some unwanted rubbish on the banks of the brook.

Hollybank Spinney

One more path to take. This leads to Chamberlain Road.

Hollybank Spinney

This path was much shorter.

Hollybank Spinney

Trees all around the Haunch Brook near Chamberlain Road.

Hollybank Spinney

Chamberlain Road is a cul-de-sac with this turn circle at the end. The path into the Hollybank Spinney is straight ahead.

Hollybank Spinney

Chamberlain Road leads to Haunch Lane. Then just a walk down the hill to the bus stop outside of Billesley Common (the wait in my mask for the 76).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
History & heritage
16 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Spitfire and Hurricane at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

It's the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, so Elliott is taking a look back to his 2013 visit to Thinktank where he saw a Spitfire and Hurricane hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Sptifire's were built at Castle Bromwich, while Hurricane's over at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940.

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September 2020, marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain. Which took place over the English Channel between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. The official dates of the battle was the 10th July until the 31st October 1940. Did you know that many of the planes that fought in the battle were built right here in Birmingham!

The Supermarine Spitfire were built by Vickers Armstrong in Castle Bromwich. While the Hawker Hurricane at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge.

 

Photos below taken on a visit to Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum during April 2013.

Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX

The Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX was built in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham. The planes were built between 1938, and throughout the Second World War of 1939 to 1945. Vickers Armstrong had built over 11,000 planes there. The Spitfire was the most famous British fighter plane of the Second World War.

This plane was labelled HK A and ML 427. And could be seen above the Move It section of the museum (at the front) from the balcony views of We Made It.

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Behind the Spitfire was the Hurricane.

Spitfire

 

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

To the back was a Hawker Hurricane Mark IV. This plane was known for shooting down over 60% of enemy aircraft during the 1940 Battle of Britain. Around 300 Hurricane's were built at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge in Birmingham. The Hurricane ended up being overshadowed by the more famous Spitfire. They were built from 1937 until 1944.

This plane was to the back and wasn't as easy to see as the Spitfire. Labelled JX R. With 395 at the rear end.

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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80 passion points
Modern Architecture
14 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing The Wesleyan, Birmingham, UK

The Wesleyan was built between 1988 to 1991 for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society on the site of the Gaumont Cinema.

It is located at Colmore Square, Birmingham. B4 6AR.

Take our post for a bit of history and a bit of photography.  Enjoy!

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Founded in 1841, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, The Wesleyan this year celebrated its 179th anniversary back in April.

Their current building, completed in 1991 and opened by HRH the Duke of Kent KG on their 150th anniversary, offers a bright and modern open-plan working environment, plus an on-site restaurant.

It lies within easy reach of the West Midlands Tram & Snow Hill, Moor Street and New Street train stations.

The Wesleyan, located at Colmore Circus near Steelhouse Lane, was built on the site of the Gaumont Cinema. 

Photo courtesy Kinospoter and Cinema Treasures. 

According to Cinema Treasures, the cinema opened in 1931 and was built in the Art Deco style. In 1961, the cinema was closed and in1963 opened up as a Cinerama Theatre. This then closed in 1973 for repairs and redecoration and closed for the final time in 1983. The building was demolished in 1986.

The facade of the building was dismantled brick by brick and was put into storage.  The original intention was to re-use the brickwork on the same site.

Construction of The Wesleyan began in 1988 and continued until about 1991. The Wesleyan was built for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society by Peter Hing & Jones.

Built of pink granite, it has a central core with an upside down pyramid roof. 

The subways around Colmore Circus would remained into the late 1990s but have since been filled in.  The area was raised to road level in the 2000s and became Colmore Square, which is located between the bottom end of Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane at Colmore Circus Queensway.

Here is a selection of photography of The Wesleyan taken over the years.

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

January 2010

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

Photos courtesty of Elliott Brown

The Wesleyan on the 26th July 2014

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

The Wesleyan

Photos courtesy Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
History & heritage
14 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Objects in cages at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre

It's Birmingham Heritage Week again, but I'm not likely to go anywhere and most events are online. So lets look back to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre from two open days I've been to in the past. First room you look around has all these cages with objects to look at. But hard to get your lens behind the bars if you have a big camera. Anything from masks to old cameras.

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Click here for my previous posts from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre:

 

When you first arrive at 25 Dollman Street in Nechells, the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre. The first room you go into has objects in cages in both the ground floor and the first floor. When taking photos, it is hard to get your lens behind the bars (don't even try), to get an image of the object behind. Many objects from the collection of the Council (now Birmingham Museums Trust), where there is no room at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery or at other City museum venues such as Thinktank. Unless they go on a special exhibition at BM & AG.

Open Day on Sunday 13th May 2012

Old toy cars. Possibly part of the collection of Chad Valley of Harborne.

BMCC cages

Old helmets. Could be old Policemen helmets.

BMCC cages

Ancient Chinese (or Japanese) ceremonial armour .

BMCC cages

Very old clocks. Scales at the front.

BMCC cages

Model engines.

BMCC cages

Collection of old cameras. Pollaroid and Kodak (I think).

BMCC cages

Who knows maybe one day your camera will end up in here? Halina in the middle.

BMCC cages

Cameras with wooden bodies. These could be well over a century old.

BMCC cages

There was a lot of these old cameras.

BMCC cages

A coat of arms shield.

BMCC cages

Was plenty of old dolls in the cages as well.

BMCC cages

More vintage car toys and motorbikes. Some of them ended up in an exhibition at Thinktank. Chad Valley of Harborne.

BMCC cages

Up on the first floor. Miniature bust of King Henry VIII and King Charles II.

BMCC cages

This was a Ceramic figure of a man.

BMCC cages

Open Day on Sunday 16th September 2018

This was on the last day of Birmingham Heritage Week. Where I caught a vintage bus from Snow Hill Queensway to BMCC.

Carrier bag from The Birmingham Shopping Centre. This was what later became The Pallasades (now Grand Central Birmingham).

BMCC cages

Cadbury chocolate bars. Dairy Milk, Whole Nut and Fruit & Nut. Probably decades old, so don't eat them!

BMCC cages

Was also a couple of old boxes of Cadbury's Roses Chocolates.

BMCC cages

Lamp sculptures. Candle stick holders.

BMCC cages

Another old clock.

BMCC cages

Maquette of the Forward sculpture that used to be in Centenary Square from 1991 until it was burnt by an arsonist in 2003.

Forward

Luckily this original Forward maquette by Raymond Mason survives in the cages at BMCC.

Forward

Death Mask of Oliver Cromwell.

BMCC cages

Bronze bust of Frederic Lord Leighton by Thomas Brock.

BMCC cages

Sri Lanka Masks.

BMCC cages

There was a wide variety of these Sri Lankan masks in the collection.

BMCC cages

This Sri Lankan mask at the back of the cage was quite big.

BMCC cages

In here was a ZX Spectrum - ZX Microdrive.

BMCC cages

Also a couple of joysticks with a keyboard and mouse.

BMCC cages

This is only a small selection. For more photos check out my album on Flickr.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Environment & green action
10 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Scribers Lane Site of Importance to Nature Conservation in the Shire Country Park

Beyond the Trittiford Mill Pool in the Shire Country Park is an area called Scribers Lane. It is designated as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (or SINC for short). It runs alongside the River Cole from Scribers Lane near Yardley Wood and Hall Green, and passes through Slade Lane. It ends on the Birmingham / Solihull border at some stepping stones. Two fords also pass through.

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Scribers Lane in the Shire Country Park

Located near Hall Green and Yardley Wood is the Scribers Lane Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (also called SINC). The site runs alongside the River Cole from Scribers Lane (after the southern end of the Trittiford Mill Pool) then heads south towards Slade Lane. The site continues beyond that towards some stepping stones on a stream. If you cross over them you leave Birmingham for Solihull at Nethercote Gardens (and you can continue your walk towards Mill Lodge Park).

You can get onto Scribers Lane from Baldwins Lane in Hall Green. One end of Baldwins Lane leads to Slade Lane. The Shakespeare Line runs along the eastern side of the site, with two railway bridges that you can walk under. There are fords on Scribers Lane and Slade Lane.

2016

First walk through of Scribers Lane was during May 2016. During the May Day Bank Holiday (a walk that started from the Sarehole Mill Car Park).

Wetland near the footbridge close to Scribers Lane (what the area was named after).

Scribers Lane

A look at the wetland from the footbridge.

Scribers Lane

There was what looked like a guillotine lock on the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

Saw this heron, but the photo was not to clear as my camera focused instead on the branches.

Scribers Lane

Gates to the woodland walk.

Scribers Lane

View of the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

Cut branches to the side of the footpath.

Scribers Lane

Some planks of wood on a muddy part of the path.

Scribers Lane

Another view of the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

Got as far as Slade Lane. The fingerpost was missing the direction signs from here.

Scribers Lane

2020

A lockdown walk through Scribers Lane during May 2020. This time went further than last time (as far as the stepping stones).

A look at the River Cole from Scribers Lane.

Scribers Lane

The footbridge again this time everything around was overgrown, apart from the grass that was cut.

Scribers Lane

Lilies in the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

The trees on the other side of the river.

Scribers Lane

Hard to believe that this is in south Birmingham (but it is).

Scribers Lane

On this tree is a rope that kids can swing over.

Scribers Lane

Getting to the bridge on Slade Lane. Gate to exit to the left.

Scribers Lane

This time continued further than last time. The path was dry. May had a heatwave.

Scribers Lane

Cow parsley growing on both sides of the grass path.

Scribers Lane

Another view of the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

Was some nice natural reflections in the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

Out onto the path to the end of the nature reserve.

Scribers Lane

The stepping stones. I did stand on them, but didn't cross over the end of May 2020 (from the Nethercote Gardens side).

Scribers Lane

Close up look at the stepping stones.

Scribers Lane

That time we turned back towards the Trittiford Mill Pool.

Scribers Lane

Then back onto the normal path between Slade Lane and Scribers Lane. River Cole on the left.

Scribers Lane

Saw a red ball in the River Cole with a nice reflection.

Scribers Lane

Pair of sluice gates on the River Cole.

Scribers Lane

And the other sluice gate.

Scribers Lane

Later that month we were back in the Scribers Lane SINC having crossed over the stepping stones (on the walk from Mill Lodge Park).

Scribers Lane

The heatwave would last until the end of the month.

Scribers Lane

Blue sky and a lot of long grass.

Scribers Lane

Was a lot of long grass next to the main path from Slade Lane to Scribers Lane.

Scribers Lane

Near the end of Scribers Lane.

Scribers Lane

The guillotine lock again. After this we headed back into Scribers Lane to walk back to Mill Lodge Park.

Scribers Lane

More views of the River Cole which was quite shallow at the time.

Scribers Lane

Still cow parsley to see near the River Cole at the time.

Scribers Lane

One last look at the Scribers Lane area before crossing back over into Solihull. The suburban area near Shirley and Solihull Lodge.

Scribers Lane

Next post will be the fords on Scribers Lane and Slade Lane.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
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