Construction & regeneration
19 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, Two Chamberlain Square

With Two Chamberlain Square now completed we can look at it in some context with the rest of the Chamberlain Square redevelopment, here's some photos from December and this weekend.

Related

Photos by Tom Grunt

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Construction & regeneration
19 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square

A nice sunny winter day for some blue sky shots of One Chamberlain Square.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Construction & regeneration
19 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC)

The crane at Three Arena Central has been dismantled and the parapet extension of the cladding has started.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
18 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery (above the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham at Arena Birmingham)

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery opened during early December 2019. I first spotted them above the Legoland Discovery Centre near the end of last year. Popped back on New Year's Day 2020, but they were closed. So returned several days after that and met the couple behind The BCAG. At Arena Birmingham.

Related

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery opened on the 5th December 2019, in the units above the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham, at Arena Birmingham. There are steps to the left to get up there. Or use the main steps from King Edwards Road and walk all the way around.

First spotted it on the 27th December 2019, on a photo walk around town with Karl Newton.

Found them on Twitter The BCAG and Instagram The BCAG. And they are now following / liking my photos. Thanks very much.

BCAG Dec 19

New Year's Day 2020 on the 1st January 2020, I decided to find where they were, and how to get to them. Got on from the Arena Birmingham steps near King Edwards Road. But you have to go around to the right, as no access to the left from there. Just headed all the way around until I found them.

BCAG Jan 20

Found these steps nearby, which would be easier for future visits.

BCAG Jan 20

Sign in the door. BCAG. But they were not open this day.

BCAG Jan 20

The BCAG with LDC Birmingham below.

BCAG Jan 20

View from the canalside on the Birmingham Canal Navigations, with the Lego Giraffe.

BCAG Jan 20

View from the other side of the canal. The BCAG above LDC Birmingham.

BCAG Jan 20

Tried again visiting on the 4th January 2020, and this was when I met them in person. Sarah Wallace & Albert Wallace. First off, a look around the gallery.

BCAG art int

Metal figures, not sure what to make of them. Prefer the paintings on the walls though.

BCAG art int

Art of the Bullring Bull.

BCAG art int

Painting in a gold frame near the window. Another pair on the floor.

BCAG art int

Metal vase on a glass topped table.

BCAG art int

Was a lot of bright sunshine, leading to shadows that day.

BCAG art int

More shadows over the paintings and figures.

BCAG art int

BCAG sign near the entrance with pictures nearby.

BCAG art int

White leather sofa in the corner. The Lego Giraffe outside looking in.

BCAG art int

Lampshade with a curved arm. With bright sunshine outside. They have a nice view of the canal and Brindleyplace from here.

BCAG art int

One last look at the gallery before I left.

BCAG art int

Before I left, they wanted me to take a few photos of them. Near the Bullring Bull but a lot of shadows here.

BCAG Wallace's

More shadows and light, a bit better in this direction.

BCAG Wallace's

One more with the BCAG sign.

BCAG Wallace's

14th January 2020 and at the Birmingham We Are event. Jonathan Bostock introduces the Lord Mayor of Birmingham (for 2019-20) to the team behind The BCAG.

Lord Mayor meets BCAG

These artworks were at the Council House during the BWA annual event, I think they might be from BCAG (but am not sure). Near where Gloriana was.  This painting reminds me of Gozer, the evil ghost from the end of the original Ghostbusters film.

BCAG art

These little trees in frames are definitely from The BCAG. And the other figures. Plus they had their card on the table to the left.

BCAG art

This one also near the Gloriana sign. Looks like a bald African girl.

BCAG art

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square - January 2020

With PwC's One Chamberlain Square complete and the staff having moved in it is time to say bye to this particular build on our construction feature, but it will be moved to the Modern Architecture feature from now on. Here are some recent photos of this fantastic addition to the city.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - January 2020

Take the link: (link)

for a superb picture update of 103 Colmore Row from Daniel, Tom & Karl, with steelwork continuing its upward trajectory to the ninth floor, plus an exclusive first glimpse at the glass cladding, which was delivered early last week..................

.....

 

 

Related

Work has re-commenced on site soon after the well-earned Christmas and New Year break.

Steelwork is back on the rise, now reaching levels 8 & 9, but without doubt the biggest news saw the first batch delivery of glass panels delivered on Wednesday (January 15th).

Having arrived from Italy, the panels have been designed by the Italian firm, Focchi; a specialist in window and curtain walling systems. 

This latest update shows the fantastic progress being made on site, but also shows an exclusive first glimpse of the cladding.

Enjoy!

Photo by BobB1

Photos by Tom Grunt

Photo by Karl Newton

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photo by Sterling Property Ventures

Words by Stephen Giles

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Squares and public spaces
16 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Victoria Square almost empty over the past decade

Apart from when major events such as the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is there, Victoria Square is empty. On certain Bank Holiday's, the square can look empty and deserted. There has been changes in recent years with the building of the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square (which is now open and more or less complete). So there is new paving and steps. It looks good.

Related

Victoria Square

The square was formerly known as the Council House Square and was renamed on the 10th January 1901 to honour Queen Victoria who died just 12 days later. The marble statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled at the time and was designed by Thomas Brock, it was later cast in bronze by William Bloye in 1951. Other statues used to be in the square, such as the statue of King Edward VII which later moved to Highgate Park in 1951, but it was restored in 2010 and moved outside of Baskerville House in Centenary Square. The statue of Robert Peel moved to Calthorpe Park, but is now outside of Tally Ho! in Edgbaston on the Pershore Road (now the training HQ of the West Midlands Police). The Joseph Priestley statue was moved to Chamberlain Square, but it moved to storage in 2016. The George Dawson statue was moved to Edmund Street, but is now at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre.

The most recent redevelopment of Victoria Square took place between 1992 and 1994. The River also known by Brummie's at the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, by Dhruva Mistry was unveiled in 1993. Antony Gormley's Iron: Man was also unveiled in 1993, but has been in storage since 2017 (due to the construction of the Westside Metro extension).

The Westside Metro extension was built in Victoria Square between 2017 and 2019 from Pinfold Street to Paradise Street, which included a tram stop on Paradise Street next to the Town Hall. This opened to Centenary Square during December 2019.

 

The following photos taken over the last decade or so. The square almost empty.

Victoria Square during the early May Bank Holiday weekend 2011 (May Day). Union Jack bunting left over from the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate (now the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge). Birmingham Central Library was still there at the time (it would close in 2013 and get demolished in 2016). Seen between the Town Hall and Council House. This was from the New Street end of Victoria Square.

Victoria Square

View towards the Town Hall. Was plenty of bollards here at the time. The pair of red phone boxes near Victoria Square House and Pinfold Street had yet to be removed, as was all those trees.

Victoria Square

This was during the snow of the middle of January 2013. Christmas tree still on the right. This was from the New Street end of the square.

Victoria Square

A wet afternoon in Victoria Square on New Year's Day 2017 (1st January 2017). Raining in the morning, and the square still looked wet and empty when I passed through it. The square is always like this, days after the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market packs up and returns to Germany.

Victoria Square

More snow in Victoria Square, but during March 2018. Some Council workers were laying salt grit in the square. It was around this period that the World Indoor Athletics Championships were being held over at Arena Birmingham. So was direction signs to the Arena. This view towards the Town Hall with the Council House to the right. By this point, construction of the Westside Metro extension was well under way, and the Iron:Man was now in storage.

Victoria Square

One year on in March 2019, and I passed through Victoria Square during a hail storm. Saw white hail stones coming down. This view towards Victoria Square House. Was already new paving around the statue of Queen Victoria, which was done with the Metro extension.

Victoria Square

Heading down the steps towards New Street, as the hail was getting heavier. The Metro extension behind fences, but you could still get to the pavement on Pinfold Street.

Victoria Square

A complete contrast a month later! A stunning blue sky in Victoria Square during April 2019. It was very hot for that time of the year. This photo was taken 10 years to the day when I first started taking photos of Birmingham, including in Victoria Square. Council House on the left, the statue of Queen Victoria, with new paving, to the right.

Victoria Square

Boxing Day during late December 2019. And this was several days after the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market had closed (again) and been dismantled. I approached the square this time from Hill Street. Here you can see the newly complete paving and steps that was built as part of the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square. View towards Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Council House. You can also see the core of 103 Colmore Row.

Victoria Square

New Year's Day 2020 and heading up to Victoria Square on the very first day of January 2020 from New Street. Quite a contrast from my earlier photos, as the tram tracks curves around to the left from Pinfold Street towards Town Hall Tram Stop on Paradise Street. Most of the bollards to the right have survived. Was temporary tarmac to the left, where during the BFCM, there was security barriers. Another new view is to Paradise Birmingham with Two and One Chamberlain Square. Also compared to the earlier view, the Floozie is now in a flowerbed instead of a cascading fountain (although that could get repaired again in the future).

Victoria Square

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
History & heritage
16 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Eagle & Tun: HS2 calls it time to sadly knock this historic pub down

The Eagle & Tun in the current building has been on the corner site of New Canal Street and Banbury Street for 120 years. Built to a design from James & Lister Lea in 1900. In 2020 the current licence comes to an end, as HS2 wants to knock this historic pub down to make way for the proposed station. Had a few hours there with the Brumtography Facebook group created by Karl Newton.

Related

Out of the blue, Birmingham We Are person with passion Karl Newton, over on Facebook set up a new group called Brumtography. And he invited members to go to The Eagle & Tun on Saturday 11th January 2020 from about 3pm to 6pm. I got there by 2:30pm, and we left by 5:30pm. We had plenty of time to take photos of the inside of this historic pub.

The pub was designed and built in 1900 (had been another pub on this site) by James & Lister Lea. The pub was made famous in the 1980s, as UB40 shot a music video here for their single Red Red Wine.  It was also used as the cover of the UB40 Best Of album. More recently Ed Sheeran popped by the pub.

It was closed and boarded up from about 2008 until the new landlords bought and reopened it in 2016. A nice Indian couple and their son.

 

I met up with Karl around here. Lots of old looking tables and chairs. Bar to the left. Window on the right was smashed and had a wooden board covering the damage.

Eagle & Tun

Near the entrance. The bar to the left. Lots of musical instruments were near the top of the walls but below the ceiling.

Eagle & Tun

I wonder where they got all of these musical instruments from?

Eagle & Tun

View of the bar from near where we were sitting / met up.

Eagle & Tun

Into the Pool Room. The pool table, the landlord later lit up the fire.

Eagle & Tun

Saw lots of old looking Roman or Greek pictures on the walls around here.

Eagle & Tun

A pair of gaming machines. The tiles looked quite interesting, they could be saved and go to an interested museum?

Eagle & Tun

Bottles behind the bar. Many drinks to be had here.

Eagle & Tun

Beer pumps from Red Fang, 3D Beer Cisco Steam, Twisted Wheel Brew Co and Pitchfork.

Eagle & Tun

Another look at the bar curving round close to the way in. Door to the back leads to the pool room.

Eagle & Tun

If you left the pool room from this side, this would be the view, near the bar.

Eagle & Tun

Mint Julep and Dixie Beer. Wine glasses and bottles, instruments all around.

Eagle & Tun

Behind the bar. The landlord had a box of really old cameras that he needed to sell.

Eagle & Tun

Another view of what was behind the bar.

Eagle & Tun

Back of the beer pumps. The landlord and landlady pour your beer or lager here.

Eagle & Tun

Was getting dark outside, final curtains on this historic bar. What can be saved?

Eagle & Tun

After we left, we took several photos of the exterior of The Eagle & Tun, after dark. It was also raining. This from Banbury Street. HS2 have put barriers up, so the opposite pavement was closed.

Eagle & Tun

They have coloured lights that change colours on the first floor. Was a lot of passing traffic on New Canal Street.

Eagle & Tun

Could see passing trains go past behind the pub. It will be sad to see this 120 year old pub knocked down. Is there no way to move it brick by brick to somewhere else in the city? Don't go the way of the doomed Fox & Grapes on Park Street. Only The Woodman will remain open, and probably survive the possible building of the HS2 Birmingham terminus station at Curzon Street.

Eagle & Tun

The pub sign of The Eagle & Tun is one thing that hasn't changed. Although at one point a previous landlord renamed the pub as The Cauliflower Ear! But thankfully it was later changed back.

Eagle & Tun

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
People & community
16 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Birmingham We Are at the Council House (14th January 2020)

The annual Birmingham We Are event was held at the Birmingham Council House in the presence of the Lord Mayor on Tuesday 14th January 2020. Once again in the Banqueting Suite and Drawing Room. Birmingham We Are People with Passion had their photos on display. And BWA's Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley won awards! Thank you very much. Plus various Birmingham organisations were present.

Related

Postponed from the 3rd December 2019 (due to the General Election) to the 14th January 2020. The annual Birmingham We Are event. A Celebration of a City with Community was held once again in the Banqueting Suite and Drawing Room.

At this end they were showing a slideshow presentation with our photos on Birmingham We Are.

BWA Council House

Looking towards the Drawing Room. Packed at this point.

BWA Council House

Jonathan Bostock introduces the Lord Mayor of Birmingham to some visitors.

BWA Council House

Jonathan introduces the Lord Mayor to the Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery.

BWA Council House

Quite busy at both ends. Lots of tables with various Birmingham organisations with art on display.

BWA Council House

The likes of the Canal & River Trust and Birmingham Museums Trust were represented in the Drawing Room.

BWA Council House

Gloriana the Elizabethan dancers with their official photographer in his interesting looking costume. More on them in another post.

BWA Council House

By this point, a few tables had been cleared, and many people had already left the Council House. At the far end of the Drawing Room was the gallery of photos by Birmingham's People with Passion (including my own).

BWA Council House

One last look before leaving the Council House. Was a lot of standing around.

BWA Council House

In the Banqueting Suite displays of art.

Craftybun Print Making.

BWA arts

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery and Gloriana.

BWA arts

Lessness

BWA arts

Get Balsall Heath Reading. St Paul's Community Development Trust. Smart Lyte.

BWA art

This looks like a portrait of the Queen on a stamp but with pressed flowers.

BWA art

Birmingham Urban Sketch. Paula Gabb I think.

BWA art

Commissoned Book Arts.

BWA art

Handmaiduns

BWA art

Birmingham We Are People with Passion Awards 2020

All the awards were concrete models of the Rotunda. Community groups first. The award presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

Award 1.

BWA Awards 2020

Award 2.

BWA Awards 2020

Award 3

BWA Awards 2020

Award 4

BWA Awards 2020

Award 5: Birmingham Community Matters.

BWA Awards 2020

Award 6

BWA Awards 2020

Award 7: The Gunmakers Arms.

BWA Awards 2020

Award 8: Elliott Brown. Photo courtesy of Damien Walmsley. Thank you Damien.

BWA Awards 2020

Award 9: Daniel Sturley.

BWA Awards 2020

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are award winner 2020.

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
16 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Gloriana Historical Dance at the Council House for Birmingham We Are (14th January 2020)

For quite a lot of hours, Gloriana Historical Dance, performed Tudor or Elizabethan style dances in the Banqueting Suite at the Council House, during Birmingham We Are's annual event on Tuesday 14th January 2020. I only saw them in here. Didn't see them elsewhere in the Council House, or pop into BM & AG. Thank you for coming.

Related

They have a public Facebook group here Gloriana Living History and Historical Dance.

First dance in Venetian style masks.

Gloriana

Gloriana

Masks off. Partnering up.

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Going up those sticks with leaves on them.

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Gloriana

Jonathan Bostock introduces the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mohammed Azim to Gloriana.

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham (for 2019-20) poses for photos with Gloriana.

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

I got Jonathan in shot as well.

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Lord Mayor and Gloriana

Thank you very much for coming. After this they went to other parts of the Council House and into the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. I didn't head to BM & AG as I needed to have a late lunch. And to sit down after standing around for over 4 hours.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are award winner 2020.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
History & heritage
13 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The exterior buildings of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

You can see the exterior buildings of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from the likes of Chamberlain Square. Also on what was Edmund Street, Margaret Street (Council House Extension) and on Great Charles Street Queensway. Has been many changes since Paradise Birmingham started in about 2015. The Birmingham History Galleries opened in 2012 and that restored part of the gallery.

Related

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

For my interior galleries post click here A tour (over the years) of the galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Construction of the original Art Gallery building along with the Council House started in 1881 and was completed in 1885. The Council House extension began in 1911 and was completed in 1919. The original building was designed by Yeoville Thomason, while Ashley & Newman did the extension. The main entrance to the gallery is in Chamberlain Square, but is also an entrance on what was Edmund Street (which also leads to the Gas Hall). The back entrance on Great Charles Street Queensway used to be in use until before the Parardise Circus roadworks began. But have been closed ever since (even after the roadworks were completed). 

The Birmingham History Galleries were built on the upper floor of the extension galleries between 2011 and 2012. After the concrete bridge to the demolished Birmingham Central Library was itself demolished, the stonework at the corner above Congreve Passage was finally restored.

 

The link bridge seen from Chamberlain Square during April 2009 looking down Edmund Street towards One Snowhill.  You can walk through it from the Round Room towards the Feeney Galleries. The dates 1885 and 1911 are on the side. 1885 when the original gallery opened, and 1911 when they started to build the extension.

BMAG

The view from Chamberlain Square from the steps near Birmingham Central Library during April 2009. From this position, it was a bit hard to get the clock tower Big Brum in the same shot. Through the columns and up the steps to the main entrance of the gallery. You then head up the staircase to the Round Room.

BMAG

This is the view down what used to be part of Edmund Street (these days part of Chamberlain Square). Part of the Council House, on this side is the Water Hall (I've never been inside). Also from April 2009, but about a week after the previous photos. I had only started taking photos of Birmingham with my then compact camera.

BMAG

This view of the Big Brum clock tower from Chamberlain Square. With Christmas trees and huts from the Christmas Craft Market that used to open here next to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (which was in Victoria Square). The view from November 2009. There is a pair of plaques at the corner of Chamberlain Square and Edmund Street:

Council House Clock
The Clock in this tower indicates Greenwith Mean Time on the first stroke of the hour bell. The minute hand moves forward at the completion of each half minute.

Clock Tower
Erected in 1885 as a Gift by Follett Osler F.R.S. Height from pavement 152 ft 4in, 46.43M. Pendulum is 15ft, 4.57M long and weights 4½ CWT, 228.6kg. Hour bell known as Big Brum weighs 3 tons 6 CWT, 3200kg. 159 steps to Clock face level. Cambridge Chime.

BMAG

This is the view of the Museum & Art Gallery from Great Charles Street Queensway. This view from December 2009. This was during the early evening at sunset. Above the Forward window was sculpted coat of arms. This is the Allegories of Art and Industry by William Bloye and made in 1919 of stone. I used to use this entrance until they closed it in about 2014. Roadworks for the Paradise Circus alterations meant that entrance was closed for a few years. But even when they finished the roadworks here, that entrance remained closed to the public.

BMAG

Another Great Charles Street Queensway view of the Council House extension. The galleries of the Museum & Art Gallery are mostly on the upper floors. This was in February 2010. The corner with Margaret Street. The road has been reconfigured in recent years due to the rebuilding of Paradise Circus.

BMAG

This was during March 2011 and there was scaffolding on the Council House extension. At the time was a Yell advert for Street Wiser. They were building the new Birmingham History Galleries. Which opened in October 2012.

BMAG

Another Chamberlain Square view, this from November 2012. The Christmas Craft Market huts set up once again in the square to the left of the Town Hall. Getting a photo from this view now is not possible until Paradise Birmingham finishes off the square sometime in 2020.

BMAG

These three cherry pickers were in Chamberlain Square during May 2016 for the Second Unit filming of the movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The crew had a lot of vehicles and equipment in Victoria Square, including the taxi cab that was used for the chase scenes at night around the Colmore Row area. Doubling as London of course. Filming of the movie actually started in Birmingham, before going elsewhere. The film was released in cinemas in September 2017. Ready Player One also filmed in the City in 2016. Come back Hollywood, film more of your big budget movies here!

BMAG

This was the view from the no 23 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus on Broad Street during March 2018. Two Chamberlain Square hadn't been built yet so you could see the Museum & Art Gallery as well as the Chamberlain Memorial and the Town Hall. They had started to build the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square (near where the bus was), which was completed and opened by December 2019. This view made possible by the demolition of the old Central Library in 2016 and Chamberlain House earlier in 2018.

BMAG

This view of Big Brum and the Museum & Art Gallery taken from Centenary Way during November 2018. One Chamberlain Square to the left was already cladded. Two Chamberlain Square had begun construction and was several floors up.

BMAG

In October 2019, Paradise Birmingham had reopened this route from Victoria Square into Chamberlain Square. From July to October 2019, the route was blocked off to pedestrians, and you had to walk round the back via Eden Place and Edmund Street to get to the Chamberlain Square entrance (if it was open). They were getting it open in time before the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market returned. During the summer Eden Place was so busy, I've never seen it so busy with people walking around the back. It has now returned to the normal levels that I expect.

BMAG

Late November 2019, and after picking up my Birmingham We Are calendars, I headed towards Paradise Circus and Great Charles Street Queensway and back to Colmore Row. This is the current state of the back of Paradise Birmingham. One Chamberlain Square is now complete, and PWC moved in January 2020. The side of the Museum & Art Gallery is now restored above the still closed Congreve Passage (could be renamed back to Congreve Street when it reopens in the future). The concrete bridge to the former Central Library (1974-2013) used to be on this side. As was formerly the Paradise Circus tunnel that went towards Paradise Street. Now all gone of course, and looking much better than is used to be.

BMAG

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
08 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Circus Berlin at The NEC Birmingham

I kept seeing posters around Birmingham about the Circus Berlin at The NEC. So wanted to see it from the outside before it closed on the 4th January 2020. I headed to The NEC with Karl Newton although there was a lot of bright sunshine to the right of the circus. It was opposite Resorts World in the South Car Park. 19th December 2019 - 4th January 2020. This NEC visit on the 3rd Jan 2020.

Related

Circus Berlin

Previous circuses post here Circuses in Birmingham.

There was posters all over Birmingham about this circus, so had to check it out at The NEC before it closed down. It opened for it's first performances on Thursday 19th December 2019 and finished on Saturday 4th January 2020. I travelled to The NEC with Karl Newton (showed him the Air-Rail Link and we also went to Vortex Gaming in Resorts World) on Friday 3rd January 2020. So one day before it was going to close.

This zoom in from just outside The NEC main entrance, past Resorts World Arena, with Resorts World Birmingham on the left.

Circus Berlin

Located in South Car Park 3, there was strong sunlight to the right of Resorts World. The main circus tent where it all took place.

Circus Berlin

As you can see the light was quite bright from this side, but it was about midday on this visit to The NEC.

Circus Berlin

Conely's Thunderdome with Union Jack flags and smiley Emoji's.

Circus Berlin

A close up zoom in of the Circus Berlin tent which was red and yellow all over.

Circus Berlin

The Ticket Office with a sign for Circus Extreme. Above was various flags of the world, although mostly European flags.

Circus Berlin

The Chop Shop. Some kind of dodgems ride I think.

Circus Berlin

The bright sunshine wasn't getting any better on this side, so this was my last photo of the circus tent.

Circus Berlin

I think this ride was called Twister. Could barely see what I was taking with all the strong sunlight so took one more shot of it.

Circus Berlin

Lots of reds and yellows. The photos came out better after editing and fixing the lighting issues.

Circus Berlin

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Green open spaces
06 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Grove Park in Harborne: near the former home of two past Birmingham MP's

Grove Park is located in Harborne on Harborne Park Road (one of the parks on the no 11 Outer Circle bus route 11A and 11C). The park was historically the grounds of The Grove, home to Thomas Attwood MP between 1823 and 1846. Later William Kenrick from the late 1870s until his death in 1919. Birmingham City Council inherited the park and house and opened the park in 1963.

Related

Grove Park

The park was opened by Birmingham City Council in 1963 on land that was historically part of the estate of The Grove. Located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne, the park is also bordered by Mill Farm Road and Grove Lane.

Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove which was an 18th Century Georgian mansion house from 1823 until 1846. He was one of Birmingham's very first MP's. There is two statues of Attwood, the first sculpted by Peter Hollins used to be in Calthorpe Park, then later New Park, Sparkbrook, but has been in storage at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre since 2008 (covered in graffiti and looking worse for wear). The other sitting statue used to be in Chamberlain Square, sculpted by Sioban Coppinger & Fiona Peever in 1993, until it was moved into storage in 2015 before the demolition of Birmingham Central Library for Paradise Birmingham. It is possible that it could return to Chamberlain Square later in 2020?

The second Birmingham MP to live in The Grove was William Kenrick. John Henry Chamberlain rebuilt the house for him from 1877 to 1878. Kenrick lived there until his death at the age of 88 in 1919.

There is a blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre on Mill Farm Road in Harborne that states that Alderman W. Byng Kenrick (1872 - 1962) gave the Grove Estate to the City. The park opened to the public a year after his death.

The house was demolished in 1963, and the paneled anteroom of the drawing room of The Grove was saved from destruction and acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

2012

By first visit to Grove Park was during May 2012.

Welcome to Grove Park sign near one of the entrances on Harborne Park Road. Claims to be A public park since 1936. That could be a mistake if it was 1963?

Grove Park

A tree with many branches and green leaves close to the lake.

Grove Park

Another tree with one long over hanging branch.

Grove Park

In the pond / lake was this tree with pink flower heads.

Grove Park

The lake is small if compared to other lakes I've seen in other Birmingham park's.

Grove Park

Still it attracts geese and ducks etc.

Grove Park

Another bush with pink flower heads.

Grove Park

The end of the lake close to Harborne Park Road.

Grove Park

A Canada Goose in the lake.

Grove Park

2016

Grove Park during January 2016. The lake in winter. Trees with no leaves. Only brown leaves on the ground that fell in the autumn.

Grove Park

Gates on one of the paths. Some trees nearby may have been cut down.

Grove Park

Dark green picnic bench with seats on all four sides.

Grove Park

The playground which is close to Harborne Park Road. Swings near a bench. The public car park for this park is to the right of here.

Grove Park

2018

My most recent visit to Grove Park was during the autumn of November 2018. Mainly to find the blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre. The leaves were all orange and brown looking quite autumnal.

Grove Park

The playground and car park from the path towards Mill Farm Road.

Grove Park

Trees alongside Mill Farm Road. The blue plaque was up this way.

Grove Park

More trees. Mill Farm Road to the right, so this was probably after I saw the blue plaque for Alderman W. Byng Kenrick.

Grove Park

Trees and yellow leaves, the grass was still green.

Grove Park

Leaves all over the ground here as I headed back to a main path.

Grove Park

Can't visit a Birmingham park without seeing a squirrel with a nut!

Grove Park

The lake again in autumn.

Grove Park

More trees and more leaves on the ground.

Grove Park

This park is well worth visiting, if you get off the 11C or 11A buses. And is in walking distance of the Harborne High Street. It's also close to a Cricket Club and two Golf Courses.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
06 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

That time that Ice Skate Birmingham spend two Winter seasons in Eastside City Park

While Ice Skate Birmingham is enjoying a successful return to Centenary Square for the 2019-20 winter season. Do you remember when they had to spend two winters in Eastside City Park? First year was 2017-18 on a part of the HS2 land. Then 2018-19 on Eastside Green. This was due to the redevelopment of Centenary Square which wasn't completed until the summer of 2019.

Related

Happy New Year 2020. Christmas might be over and we have just had New Year's but doesn't mean Ice Skate Birmingham has closed down yet. Looking back to the two winter seasons over in Eastside.

November 2017 to January 2018

It was open from Thursday 16th November 2017 until Sunday 7th January 2018 at Eastside City Park. They were using land that belongs to HS2.

Setting up during late October 2017 on Eastside Green. This view after 5pm from Fazeley Street.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Before opening in November 2017. The view of the Birmingham Big Wheel and Millennium Point from the train from the Chase Line leaving Birmingham New Street.

Ice Skate Birmingham

This view from the Snow Hill lines heading into Birmingham Moor Street. The Emporium building was under construction behind the Birmingham Big Wheel. With Jennens Court and the Birmingham Ormiston Academy to the right.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Sunset behind Curzon Street Station with the Birmingham Big Wheel sandwiched between that and the Rotunda.

Ice Skate Birmingham

For 2017 / 18 Ice Skate Birmingham had a ride called the Wild Mouse. Bit like a mini roller coaster. This was near New Canal Street.

Ice Skate Birmingham

During December 2017. The view from the top of Moor Street Car Park. The Emporium was still going up, while there were other rides near the Birmingham Big Wheel (bit hard to see from this view).

Ice Skate Birmingham

Nightshot views of the Birmingham Big Wheel. This view from New Canal Street. Headed back to the Bullring via Digbeth.

Ice Skate Birmingham

The Wild Mouse ride lit up after dark. With Curzon Street Station, The Curzon Building, University Locks (of Birmingham City University) and The Woodman behind, in this New Canal Street view.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Still on New Canal Street as the Birmingham Big Wheel was lit up and the ride to the right was spinning. It was called The King.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Closing down during January 2018. Ice Skate Birmingham had it's last day on Sunday 7th January 2018. At the time I wasn't sure if it would return to Eastside or Westside. In the end they got permission to return to Eastside City Park as Centenary Square was still not finished during 2018.

Ice Skate Birmingham

 

November 2018 to January 2019

They couldn't use the HS2 land this time around, so they used the land where the water fountain jets are, and the lawn down to Park Street instead. It was open this from Saturday 17th November 2018 until Sunday 6th January 2019.

These views from November 2018. View of the Birmingham Big Wheel once again outside of Millennium Point. Seen from a Chiltern Railways train I was on, heading into Birmingham Moor Street. Was closer to The Woodman this time around.

Ice Skate Birmingham

This view of the Birmingham Big Wheel from the bridge over the Grand Union Canal (Digbeth Branch) from Grear Barr Street in Digbeth. The canal buildings up Warwick Bar are up here. To the right was Curzon Street Station, and behind was Birmingham Metropolitan College - Matthew Boulton Campus).

Ice Skate Birmingham

The view looking up Curzon Street towards the Birmingham Big Wheel, with Masshouse behind. Curzon Street Station to the left.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Another view of Ice Skate Birmingham from the top of Moor Street Car Park. The land used a year before was now an HS2 site. Monkey World ride to the left.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Now in December 2018, was heading into Eastside City Park to see the Coca Cola truck again, as it was raining. But first up, headed up to Moor Street Car Park again for a nightshot view of the Birmingham Big Wheel. Visibility was poor and I couldn't see the Coca Cola Christmas truck from up here, so headed down and into the park.

My Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years post is here.

Ice Skate Birmingham

As I walked up Park Street towards Eastside City Park, it was freezing cold, wet, sleeting and raining. Not what I would call festive weather! First close up look at the Birmingham Big Wheel lit up after dark.

Ice Skate Birmingham

The Bar & Ice Skating area, seen near the main entrance of Eastside City Park. My camera was getting wet as I headed in. I was soaking! But the ice rink was covered, so those enjoying an ice skate were dry.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Passing the ice rink, wasn't much to see from here into the ice rink, but got interesting lighting effects from the Big Wheel and the wet weather.

Ice Skate Birmingham

A couple of days later and it was now dry in Eastside City Park. A look at the ice rink from the outside.

Ice Skate Birmingham

It is now January 2019, and the Birmingham Big Wheel has already been taken down. The ice rink was behind fences as they started to dismantle it. This was around 5 days after Ice Skate Birmingham had finished for the year.

Ice Skate Birmingham

This was the last time it was in Eastside. Around 10 months later (October 2019), they were setting up Ice Skate Birmingham in Centenary Square again (first time since 2016-17). It opened on the 7th November 2019 and it is due to close on the 12th January 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Photography
02 Jan 2020 - Jenny Burrows
Gallery

Boxing Day on Amroth Beach

Related

 

 

 

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Transport
02 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton

I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020

Related

First up on Sunday 29th December 2019, needed to catch a tram in Birmingham City Centre. They seemed more frequent than they usually are on a Sunday. I always prefer to head to Grand Central Tram Stop. But this time had to catch the tram from the platform near The Burlington Hotel, since the Westside Metro extension opened to Library Tram Stop in Centenary Square several weeks ago (with testing before that).

Grand Central Tram Stop

While waiting for a tram to Wolverhampton, saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 Comet arriving at th platform near Birmingham New Street Station.

Tram 23

The pantograph was lowered from the overhead wires, before heading up Stephenson Street under battery power towards Pinfold Street.

Tram 23

Heading past the Guildhall Buildings and the modern part of Victoria Square House. It would turn up right towards Pinfold Street and Victoria Square. A street cleaning vehicle to the right.

Tram 23

Passing Costa Coffee in the Guildhall Buildings (corner of Navigation Street and Stephenson Street) was tram 29 Cupid. Which I would catch to Wolverhampton St George's. A 45 minute journey. The pantograph was probably raised while I was inside of this tram.

Tram 29

Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop

45 minutes later I arrived in Wolverhampton. Getting off at Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop. Only one platform here now since it was rebuilt several years ago.

Tram 29

I was first heading to check out the Wolverhampton Metro extension to Wolverhampton Station. As you can see the former platform at the existing terminus is now for buses. Pipers Row has a tram stop with platforms but no shelters. And since they are still re-building Wolverhampton Station, the extension currently stops on the bridge on Railway Drive.

Tram 29

Bilston Road, Wolverhampton

The last time I walked down here in May 2017, the Urbos 3 trams were pink, and I walked up the canal. Ended up that time catching a tram from The Royal to West Bromwich. This time it was a walk down to Priestfield Tram Stop.

After a quick walk around Wolverhampton City Centre, I crossed over Ring Road St George's as West Midlands Metro tram 19 headed between Bilston Road and Bilston Street to the Wolverhampton terminus at St George's. Passing Novotel.

Tram 19

I later saw it heading down the Bilston Road. This was after it had left The Royal Tram Stop. Not sure if it was in service as it did not say "Birmingham" on the front or back digital display.

Tram 19

Tram 19 passing a Vauxhall car dealership on the Bilston Road.

Tram 19

Heading over the Bilston Road Bridge that crosses over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (Wolverhampton Level).

Tram 19

Next up was West Midlands Metro tram 18 (one of the trams with Just Eat adverts in red). Seen here going under the railway bridge that carries the West Coast Mainline between Wolverhampton and Birmingham (and London). Saw a couple of Avanti West Coast Class 390 Pendolino's up there (weird not saying Virgin Trains any more).

Tram 18

Passing various car showrooms. Wolverhampton Volkswagen to the left.

Tram 18

Passing a Toyota place on the Bilston Road.

Tram 18

Passing me next was West Midlands Metro tram 32. This was near Ettingshall Road near the boarded up The New Inn (which used to be an Oriental restaurant until it closed down).

Tram 32

Seen continuing up to Wolverhampton St George's. I later got this tram back from Priestfield.

Tram 32

Priestfield Tram Stop

Arrived at Priestfield Tram Stop too late to catch Tram 18 back to Birmingham. But only had to wait another 7 minutes for the next tram. It is here that the trams leaves the Bilston Road and goes back onto the old railway trackbed.

Tram 18

There is paths on both sides of the tracks that leads to the platforms at Priestfield.

Tram 18

I wasn't going to run for the tram like the man ahead of me. Priestfield has it's own car park.

Tram 18

Saw West Midlands Metro tram 30 arriving at Priestfield on it's journey towards Wolverhampton St George's.

Tram 30

I don't think tram 30 has a temporary reindeer name at Christmas time.

Tram 30

There is crossover track here, incase the line beyond here is closed for whatever reason.

Tram 30

Tram 32 arriving at Priestfield. I caught it all the way to Bull Street Tram Stop in Birmingham City Centre.

Tram 32

On Sunday afternoon many football fans of West Bromwich Albion got on board heading to The Hawthorns to watch their team in the Championship. Many of them had scarfs, hats and Baggies football shirts on.

If this is my last post in 2019, then I'd like to say Happy New Year 2020!

One last tram photo on the 31st December 2019. New Year's Eve. Tram 18 with Just Eat livery seen from Victoria Square at Town Hall Tram Stop.

Tram 18

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Check out my brand new Facebook page Ell Brown Photos.

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Dec 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - December 2019

Following several months of extensive site clearance and enabling works, construction of One Centenary Way is now officially underway.

Related

A piling rig is now busy on site.

Basement construction works will ramp up in 2020, followed by the frame construction, with a targeted completion date of autumn/winter 2021. 

Photo by Reiss Gordon Henry

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Green open spaces
29 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Oak Park: the gem of a park off the Selly Oak Bypass

Selly Oak Park is located on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak. Sections of the Lapal Canal goes through the north east corner of the park (still to be fully restored). The Selly Oak Bypass (Aston Webb Boulevard) opened in 2011 and the Selly Oak Shopping Park in 2018. They are now building a new section of the bypass near the former Sainsbury's site at Selly Oak Triangle. Also on Gibbins Rd.

Related

Selly Oak Park

This park is located on Harborne Lane and Gibbins Road in Selly Oak. It was developed under the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council. Land was donated in February 1899 by members of the Gibbins family. The park was opened in April 1899 on Easter Monday. In 1911 the park was taken over by Birmingham City Council when Selly Oak became part of the city. More land was donated over the years. In 1913 and 1919 by the owners of the Birmingham Battery and Metal Company (also Gibbins family members), in 1935 to give access to the Weoley Park Farm Estate. More land in 1950 by the Birmingham Battery & Metal Company (again). In 1958 some land was transferred to the City’s Public Works Committee. More recent land donations in 1980 and 1982.

The shelter built in 1899, the bandstand built in 1908 and the Daughters of Rest Pavilion built in 1953 have all since been demolished.

The park is now maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. That includes all the wooden sculptures found around the park.

2012

My first walk around Selly Oak Park was during June 2012, testing out my then new camera (which I had until about December 2015). I probably entered from Harborne Lane and headed up the main path.

Selly Oak Park

One of the main squirrels in the park, with a nut.

Selly Oak Park

Saw this red wind funnel thing. There is similar funnels in other nearby parks.

Selly Oak Park

A council lawnmower going around the park cutting the grass.

Selly Oak Park

The trees were so lush and green in the summer, the path curving round to the right.

Selly Oak Park

Another squirrel behind a tree.

Selly Oak Park

Two paths amongst the trees.

Selly Oak Park

Distant view of the red funnel.

Selly Oak Park

2017

The next visit to Selly Oak Park was during January 2017. The Friends of Selly Oak Park had commissioned all of these new wooden sculptures which were worth checking out. On this side it says Lapal.

Selly Oak Park

To the side Welcome. So probably "Welcome to Selly Oak Park". This is near Gibbins Road.

Selly Oak Park

A carved wooden bench. In memory of Geoff Bartlett, Founder of Friends of Selly Oak Park.

Selly Oak Park

Part of the playground. A climbing frame, and a ride along a rope with a tyre (I think).

Selly Oak Park

Another wooden sculpture. Of deer or a kangeroo (probably a deer and it's cub).

Selly Oak Park

A new Welcome to Selly Oak Park sign. It's near the car park off Harborne Lane and close to the corner with Gibbins Road.

Selly Oak Park

2018

This visit during March 2018. View of the new outdoor gym.

Selly Oak Park

Daffodils alongside a path.

Selly Oak Park

Selly Oak Park Play Area. One of the many Birmingham City Council elephant signs that you would find in this and other City parks. Behind was a slide.

Selly Oak Park

Daffodils around a tree.

Selly Oak Park

Daffodils and crocuses. From here I headed up Gibbins Road towards Lodge Hill Cemetery. Weoley Castle is also nearby.

Selly Oak Park

Happy New Year 2020. More park posts to come during 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Dec 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

One Centenary Way, Paradise, Birmingham Phase 2

One Centenary Way is now underway. In doing so, it represents the official start of Paradise, Birmingham, Phase Two.

Related

Rising to thirteen storeys above ground floor level, the building is being built speculatively, and once complete, will provide up to 280,000 square foot of prime city centre office space, with retail space on the ground floor.

OCW will also house Birmingham's first major cycle hub, catering for up to 500 cycles for hire & servicing, with showers and locker rooms included.

The new building will open out onto Centenary Way; the pedestrian walkway linking Victoria, Chamberlain and Centenary Squares, and will unquestionably provide a visually prominent gateway, with its exposed structural steel façade, as seen in the pictures below.

It is perhaps the most complex of all the buildings so far on the Paradise site, as the A38 Queensway tunnel runs directly underneath the site, with the design subsequently reflecting these constraints.

The A38 will remain in operation throughout the construction process, with piling works very much underway. 

 

Artists Impressions from Glenn Howells Architects

Words by Stephen Giles

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Dec 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

St Martin's Place - top of the range apartments in Birmingham city centre

St Martin's Place is very close topping out. From Seven Capital, it will soon become Birmingham’s first luxury hotel-serviced living residences offering a lifestyle option very rarely seen outside of the capital.

Click the link below to find out more about this exciting development.

 

 

Related

In a booming city with a growing demand for top of the range city centre spec apartments, St Martin's Place goes above and beyond.

Brought forward by Seven Capital, designed by Building Design Group (BDG) and financed by Urban Exposure, St Martin's Place is exclusively aimed at the business professional.

Located between Broad Street and Tennant Street, the development sits close to key business locations of Brindleyplace, Arena Central and the Paradise redevelopment.

City centre living is rapidly on the rise, which goes hand in hand with how well Birmingham is performing. A big upturn in people desiring to live and play within the city centre has risen sharply, buoyed by new transport links, easy walking distances to their workplace & a plethora of amenities at their immediate disposal.

Standards of living are rising tenfold, interiors are being meticulously designed and apartments are becoming more and more spacious, and can actually lay claim to being called “luxurious”.

STEP FORWARD, ST MARTIN'S PLACE

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

Rising to 17 storeys, the building is very close to topping out, with internal works already underway.

Check these latest images from December 2019:

Photo by Metrogogo

Photo by Stephen Giles

& the latest from December 22nd & the 23rd:

Photo by Metrogogo

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Once complete in 2021, St Martin's Place will feature 228 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with a penthouse suite; all of which will benefit from full use of hotel services (spa, apartment cleaning, bar and restaurant) provided by the neighbouring four-star Park Regis Hotel.

Services within St. Martins will exclusively offer 24-hour concierge, bed-turning, dry cleaning & ironing services, with food and beverages able to be ordered via an exclusive hotel application. Snazzy.

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

There’s a private gym, communal WiFi lounge, cinema & a courtyard garden at podium level, providing an oasis of calm in an otherwise bustling, evolving city.

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

Artist Impression by BDG Architects

The development is scheduled for completion in and around Quarter 2, 2021.

For the busy business professional, St Martin’s Place will most certainly bring a welcome peace of mind to residents.

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Transport
27 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro tram in and out of Town Hall Tram Stop on the last weekend of the Birmingham FCM (December 2019)

The all blue West Midlands Metro trams are now running every day between Library and Wolverhampton St George's. Monday's to Saturday's every 6 minutes, and every 15 minutes on Sunday's. Heading up Pinfold Street as a tram heads down from Victoria Square. Also a pair of trams stopping at the new Town Hall Tram Stop. On the last weekend of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Related

Starting with West Midlands Metro tram 19 at Grand Central Tram Stop, on the early evening of Wednesday 18th December 2019. The tram with the 20 Years livery (1999 - 2019). Passing here again on Saturday 21st December 2019, it was a bit too crowded for me. Noisy football fans coming out of the Burlington Arcade, and protesters walking past with placards on the opposite platform.

Tram 19

Heading up Pinfold Street nad I have finally managed to get some photos of a tram heading down the hill. West Midlands Metro tram 21 in Just Eat livery, now all blue, but still with the red adverts.

Tram 21

The last weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, it closes on Monday 23rd December 2019.

Tram 21

You can see the Big Brum clocktower from down here which is behind the Council House. It is completely pedestrianised up here.

Tram 21

Tram 21 turns left from Pinfold Street onto Stephenson Street, passing La Galleria and Yorks Cafe in the Guildhall Buildings.

Tram 21

Heading to the end of Paradise Street, as far as pedestrians are supposed to go, saw tram 29 with the reindeer name Cupid coming round Paradise Circus. With Centenary Square behind. Including the Birmingham Big Wheel and ice rink at Ice Skate Birmingham. The REP, Library of Birmingham, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. HSBC UK at Arena Central on the left, while the site of One Centenary Way to the right.

Tram 29

Pedestrians are not supposed to walk beyond here, but some have ignoring the signs (can they not read?). Tram 29 continues to go round the corner with HSBC UK and the Birmingham Big Wheel seen behind.

Tram 29

Tram 29 Cupid heads onto Paradise Street. As a man with shopping walks beyond the point of no return for pedestrians. Behind you can still see the Big Wheel, Library, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. Only trams are allowed to enter Paradise Street here. Not cars.

Tram 29

Heading past the Town Hall as tram 29 arrives at Town Hall Tram Stop. The Christmas tree at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is visible to the right.

Tram 29

Tram 22 Dasher arrives at platform 1 for Birmingham (Library) while tram 29 Cupid comes into platform 2, bound for Wolverhampton (St George's).

Tram 29 and 22

A view not possible a few years ago. Big Brum at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery with the Birmingham Town Hall. Seen from Paradise Street while the pair of trams were at Town Hall Tram Stop. And as a bonus, the core of 103 Colmore Row. Paradise Birmingham is to the left. That was where Fletchers Walk and the old Birmingham Conservatoire used to be until a few years ago. And there used to be a road that was part of Paradise Circus that is now long gone.

Tram 29 and 22

Another new view from the tram stop is of Colmore Gate and the dome of Birmingham Cathedral. Never expected to get those with a pair of West Midlands Metro blue trams.

Tram 29 and 22

Tram 22 Dasher continues it's journey towards Centenary Square. You can see it's destination in the background, the Library of Birmingham. The Alpha Tower is usually visible from the end of Paradise Street.

Tram 22

Tram 29 seen leaving Town Hall Tram Stop. Going through Victoria Square, then down Pinfold Street. As visitors to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market pass in and out of the square.

Tram 29

I will add to this post as it was not published on the 23rd December 2019.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was dismantled between the 24th and 25th December 2019, and trams were running apart from on Christmas Day of course.

On Boxing Day, the 26th December 2019, at least two trams were broken down meaning no trams could go beyond Bull Street until they were removed.

On a miserable wet Boxing Day, tram 30 had broken down at Corporation Street. It was on the platform bound for Wolverhampton, but couldn't go anywhere.

Tram 30

Heading round to Bull Street Tram Stop, saw tram 28 Jasper Carrott with no destination on the board. This one on the Wolverhampton bound platform. Was it broken down to / not in service?

Tram 28

Then tram 22 arrived heading to Birmingham. But I'm not sure if it headed down to Corporation Street, or if all the passengers got off here, and it returned in the other direction.

Tram 28 and 22

Back to normal on the 27th December 2019. Saw at least one tram from Victoria Square.

After popping through the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station, I saw tram 18 in the Just Eat livery arriving. I saw the pantograph rising up and connecting to the overhead wires when it got to the tram stop from the newly opened extension.

Tram 18

Saw tram 34 arriving at Grand Central Tram Stop, but tram 18 had started to depart before I was able to get two trams in one shot, so I took this one instead. Looks like the pantograph had been lowered, before it started the journey up to Town Hall and Library.

Tram 34

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah as well! (Will all be over when this gets published). More tram posts and photos in 2020. I'm hoping to ride the tram again perhaps all the way to Wolverhampton.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Green open spaces
26 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Fox Hollies Park through the years along the Westley Brook

Fox Hollies Park is located on the Shirley Road between Acocks Green and Hall Green, and stretches as far as Gospel Lane. This park is quite small and has the Westley Brook flowing through it. Playgrounds at both ends and a small lake as well. To the west end is close to Fox Hollies Leisure Centre (but is not part of the park). Paths for walks, that can also be enjoyed by dog walkers too.

Related

Fox Hollies Park

This park is located on the Shirley Road in Acocks Green, close to Hall Green. It stretches along the Westley Brook towards Gospel Lane, which isn't too far from Gospel Oak and Olton in Solihull on the Warwick Road. Other nearby roads surrounding the park include Pool Farm Road, Oakhurst Road and Severne Road. There is two playgrounds, one close to the Shirley Road entrance, the other near Gospel Lane. There is also a small lake / pond where you will find many of the usual bird species to be found in a park like this.

Most of the time I hardly see many people walking around this park. Maybe the odd person walking a dog. Assume that cyclists may pass through here. Or occasionally families using the playground in decent weather. Then again I've only been through it in the winter.

2010

These views of Fox Hollies Park from Shirley Road during December 2010. A snowy walk up Shirley Road and a look at the park. I did not enter the park at this time.

Fox Hollies Park

The playground covered in snow. Three people on a morning jog through the snow covered park.

Fox Hollies Park

Another view of the playground.

Fox Hollies Park

The old Birmingham City Council - Fox Hollies Park sign. It was already looking dirty when it was covered in snow.

Fox Hollies Park

Entrance to the park from Shirley Road. These old railings survived until at least 2017 or 2018 when they were replaced by the Council all the way around the park.

Fox Hollies Park

This from close to the entrance of Fox Hollies Leisure Centre. Apparently the Yardley Constituency Office is also there. The office for the Birmingham Yardley MP is now on Yardley Road in Acocks Green (Jess Phillips MP from 2015 to present). John Hemming used be the MP from 2005 to 2015.

Fox Hollies Park

View of the park from the opposite side of the Shirley Road. A Council advert about visiting Santa in his Grotto.

Fox Hollies Park

The furthest end of the park to the right on Shirley Road.

Fox Hollies Park

2017

I didn't really do an actual walk through Fox Hollies Park until January 2017. Getting in on the Shirley Road I walked as far as the Gospel Lane exit. Leaves on the lawn looking like it was still autumn.

Fox Hollies Park

Passing the empty playground which is close to the Shirley Road entrance.

Fox Hollies Park

The path curving around to the left.

Fox Hollies Park

Straight ahead on the path. This more or less is close to Oakhurst Road (which is to the right of here on the other side of the trees and houses).

Fox Hollies Park

Path up to the trees.

Fox Hollies Park

Distant houses probably on Pool Farm Road.

Fox Hollies Park

Two paths in two different directions.

Fox Hollies Park

The path up to Gospel Lane. The second playground is to the far right of here.

Fox Hollies Park

A look at the pond / lake. Bit hard to get decent views of it, trees in the way.

Fox Hollies Park

2018

Another walk round Fox Hollies Park, this time during December 2018. Slightly different route this time. And the Council was installing new wooden railings and bollards throughout the park. This footbridge crossing the Westley Brook.

Fox Hollies Park

The Wesley Brook from one side.

Fox Hollies Park

And from the other side.

Fox Hollies Park

One of the new Welcome to Fox Hollies Park wooden sign and entrance with metal bars. This was on Pool Farm Road.

Fox Hollies Park

I wasn't quite finished with Fox Hollies Park, so I walked up to the second entrance on Pool Farm Road. Still had the old Council sign on the right.

Fox Hollies Park

A close up look at the slide in the playground close to Gospel Lane.

Fox Hollies Park

Back of the new exit / entrance to Gospel Lane.

Fox Hollies Park

And the front side with Welcome to Fox Hollies Park. As you can see it's near the playground at the Gospel Lane end. From here you can catch the no 4A bus to Birmingham.

Fox Hollies Park

2019

On Christmas Eve Eve in December 2019, I was walking up Shirley Road and remembered that they were installing the new railings here the year before. Seem to recall hoping over the old railings, but they hadn't finished the new ones. A year on and it is complete.

Fox Hollies Park

As well as the new Welcome to Fox Hollies Park wooden entrance sign, the Council has also installed a new sign on the left.

Fox Hollies Park

The new railings are slightly higher than the old ones, tries to make the park look nice and modern.

Fox Hollies Park

Hopefully other City parks will get new railings like these. But it would be nice for more people to use Fox Hollies Park. It's just a quiet out of the way park, that other than locals, people wouldn't really be aware of.

Fox Hollies Park

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah (will all be over when this gets published). More park posts to come in 2020. Look out for Witton Lakes Park, Brookvale Park and the Oaklands Recreation Ground.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Civic pride
26 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, the City Skyline from Lickey Hills - 25th December 2019

Daniel went out to the Lickey Hills Country Park in the winter low sunshine to get some photos of the city skyline from some seven miles away, more in the full post.

Related

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
26 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Empty Streets of Birmingham on Christmas Day 2019

Being autistic has its advantages when it comes to having a special interest, mine is the city and photography. I went out at about midday into the city centre to see if I could get another set of 'empty city' photos like I did in 2011, and great medicine for my mental health it was! Here's a gallery of what I got, they had to be black & white, 28 photos in this post.

Related

To see my 2011 photos click here: 2011 - Alone in the City

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Green open spaces
23 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Peace Garden, a nice peaceful place to relax and remember

The Peace Garden is located off Bath Row on the land which used to be St Thomas's Church, until it was destroyed during World War 2. First laid out in 1955, it was redesigned in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. World leaders of the G8 came here in 1998, and they each planted a tree. You can sit and relax here, read the plaques of peace. It's not far from The Cube.

Related

The Peace Garden

Located on Bath Row in Birmingham, between Five Ways and Holloway Circus. This small peaceful park is also on Granville Street, Ridley Street and Washington Street. The ruins of the Church of St Thomas are on the corner of Granville Street and Bath Row.

St Thomas's Church was completed in 1829, one of the so called 'Waterloo Churches'. Built following the victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It survived until the Birmingham Blitz in 1940 when German bombs destroyed it. It was never rebuilt.

The ground were laid out for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Peace Garden was redesigned in 1995 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The First World War Colonnade built in 1925 in what is now Centenary Square (near the Hall of Memory), was relocated here when the first Centenary Square was being built from 1989.

World leaders of the G8 came to the Peace Garden in 1998, each planting a tree and unveiling a plaque, including Tony Blair (British PM from 1997 - 2007) and Bill Clinton (US President from 1993 - 2001).

 

Most of my photos of the Peace Garden were taken in 2009.

The Colonnade seen in March 2009 from Ridley Street. It was designed by S. N. Cooke and W. N. Twist, in 1925.

Colonnade

My first proper visit to the Peace Garden was in April 2009. Here I was having a close up look inside of the Colonnade. Peace plaques on the wall to the left.

Colonnade

The Colonnade viewed from the Peace Garden. Lots of flowers in the flower beds at the time.

Colonnade

First look at the ruins of St Thomas's Church. The clock tower and columns had survived. There was also plaques inside. Railings were designed by Anuradha Patel.

Peace Garden

The paths and lawns were laid out in a cross design by the looks of it. Benches to sit on and contemplate as the world goes by.

Peace Garden

Circle in the middle with a message of peace.

Peace Garden

"May Peace Prevail On Earth".

Peace Garden

Some of the Peace Garden plaques. This one about St Thomas's Church being a victim of World War 2.

Peace Garden plaque

This plaque on the ground for the British Nuclear Test's Veterans Assocation. It was placed here in September 1994.

Peace Garden plaque

Two plaques in the Colonnade (there are more). National Service for Crown and Country (1939 - 1962). And National Service Memorial  to Peace.

Peace Garden plaque

19g8 The Birmingham Summit. Eight trees were planted in the Peace Garden to represent each of the G8 nations taking part in the Birmingham Summit 15 - 17 May 1998. Hard to believe that this was 21 years ago now! Can we have another summit at The ICC in the 2020s?

Peace Garden plaque

This was in January 2011. The view of the clock tower of the ruins of St Thomas's Church and the Colonnade from Washington Street. With the Colonnade on Ridley Street.

Peace Garden

This view of St Thomas's Church ruins from Granville Street.

Peace Garden

A look at the Anuradha Patel railings at the Peace Garden during February 2015. It has images of doves of peace. This was from Granville Street.

Peace Garden

The gate from Washington Street was looking closed. Some of the plaques could to with some TLC. The view towards St Thomas's Church. This is the main entrance to the gardens.

Peace Garden

This December 2016 view of the ruins of St Thomas's Church seen from Bath Row. Looking in good condition in the winter sunshine. This is the view from the bus stop. You can now get the 80, 80A, X20, X21 and X22 on the opposite side of the road. While you can also get the 23 and 24 on the stop towards New Street Station.

Peace Garden

Zoom in to the clock. I wonder if it is still ticking? It must be, as in my other photos the clock hands are at different times.

Peace Garden

A few more plaques seen during November 2017. This one for the Federation of Ex-Service Associations Birmingham.

Peace Garden plaques

This one for the Royal Naval Engine Room Association.

Peace Garden plaques

Close up look at the plaque I previously saw in 2009 for the National Service for Crown and Country.

Peace Garden plaques

And a close up look at the National Service Memorial to Peace.

Peace Garden plaques

Saw this view of the Peace Garden from the no 24 bus on Bath Row during December 2019. All the gates looked closed. Or at least the one on Washington Street. Didn't see anyone in there. Couldn't see if the gates on Granville Street or Ridley Street were open or not. The Cube has dominated the skyline from here since it was completed in 2010.

Peace Garden

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah (will all be over when this gets published). More posts to come in 2020. More parks and public open spaces etc.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Show more