History & heritage
16 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

A bell model.

St Paul's JQ

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

St Paul's JQ

Another of the bell rope for training.

St Paul's JQ

Back down the spiral staircase.

St Paul's JQ

Keep going down.

St Paul's JQ

And down until you get to the bottom.

St Paul's JQ

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

 

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

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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

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

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

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Friday 13th September 2019

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

Tram 27

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

Tram 27

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

Tram 27

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

Tram 27

Friday 6th September 2019

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

Tram 20

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

Tram 20

Saturday 7th September 2019

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

Tram 28

Then tram 17.

Tram 17

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

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of the Mercian - September 2019

The lower level columns have been started for the base of the building which will fill the whole site up to several floors and the concrete core for the tower is now well on the way.

Photo by Stephen Giles

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The gap in the skyline where the tower will rise and it will be considerably taller than Bank Tower Two.

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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40 passion points
Photography
16 Sep 2019 - Sheena Parry-Davies
Gallery

Magnificent Mwnt

Mwnt is a little piece of Paradise, located approximately 4.5m from Cardigan, in South Ceredigion Wales. Mwnt boasts spectacular views, fantastic walks, and a quaint whitewashed parish church. Additionally, there is a hidden sandy sheltered cove, to sit and soak up the peace and tranquillity on a quieter day.

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Transport
11 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway from Cheltenham Race Course to Broadway

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

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Cheltenham Race Course Station

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

35006 Cheltenham Race Course

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

35006 Cheltenham Race Course

Gotherington Station

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

GWSR Gotherington

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

GWSR Gotherington

Winchcombe Station

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

GWSR Winchcombe

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

GWSR Winchcombe

Toddington Station

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

2807 at Toddington on the GWSR

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

2807 at Toddington on the GWSR

Broadway Station

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

35006 at Broadway on the GWSR

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

35006 at Broadway on the GWSR

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

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

King Edward II

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian, Broad Street - September 2019

There has been lots of work on the building with some of the columns for the lower section started and the main concrete core has had more progress in preparation to start rising.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Photography
10 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham photography from Daniel - his favourite July and August photos - enjoy!

Take the full post for a wonderful collection of photography taken across Birmingham during July and August 2019.

Above photo: Birmingham, Towers in Hodge Hill from Fort Dunlop - July 2019

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Birmingham, the City from Fort Dunlop - July 2019

On the Roof of Fort Dunlop - July 2019

The 'Birmingham Family' - Sculpture in Centenary Square - July 2019

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC) - July 2019

The Construction of Bank Tower Two, Birmingham - July 2019

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham - July 2019

The Hyatt Regency Hotel reflected in Centenary Square, Birmingham - July 2019

Cranes at the Construction of the Mercian in Birmingham - August 2019

The Hyatt Regency Hotel, Birmingham - August 2019

'Sky High Birmingham' from the Hyatt Regency Hotel - August 2019

'Sky High Birmingham' from the Hyatt Regency Hotel - August 2019

The Full Moon over Arena Central, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of Bank Tower Two, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC), Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham - Interiors - August 2019

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham - Interiors - August 2019

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham - Interiors - August 2019

The Construction of Bank Tower Two, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham - August 2019

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham - August 2019

Crane at the Paradise Development, Birmingham - August 2019

Dandara at Arena Central, Birmingham - September 2019

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC), Birmingham - September 2019

Arena Central, Birmingham - September 2019

Arena Central - September 2019

All photography by Daniel Sturley - View more of Daniel's photography HERE.

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People & community
10 Sep 2019 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Hay Mills We Are - a digital space for people with Shared Values

Hay Mills We Are is all about sharing and nurturing values within a community that, together, can create positive social and economic for the benefit of all. 

It is a space that the community jointly owns to showcase the work being done and, in partnership with others, drive forward new initiatiates, new ideas and positive change.  

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Hay Mills We Are is a Community of Passion that utilises FreeTimePays digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

It is a digital space for people who are passionate about their community and want to help make a positive difference for the benefit of those who live and work in Hay Mills.

At Hay Mills We Are, we help connect people where passions are shared; we give people FREE access to their very own digital space where they can promote their passion; and we recognise people for the contributions they make.

This is all achieved with the help of a digital platform called FreeTimePays.

FreeTimePays is a digital product that supports the growth of Communities of Passion, giving the community access to the tools needed to drive forward initiatives and support people who are passionate about making a difference. 

There are three components to FreeTimePays.

There’s Community Passport, Community Workspace and Community Matchmaker. Operating right across the platform in recognition of the valuable contribution being made by users is FreeTimePays gamification. This takes the form of points and rewards for passions shared.

FreeTimePays is here for people who really want to become involved in their community or with their particular passion and for those people who are really serious about making a difference. It’s our job at FreeTimePays to provide the tools and functionality that helps bring together those who create the great ideas with those who have the potential to turn an idea into something that really does make a difference.

Community Passport

Passport is a personal space which registered members can make their own. With a passport, members can choose to get involved with their passion and participate in many different ways.

They can view regular content and posts; sort and save this content by type or by passion; they can collect points for giving their views through polls and surveys, attend events or even join a discussion.

With a FreeTimePays Community Passport, members can follow inspiring people and they can learn more about their community and their passion by following regular ‘Did you Know’ features. And the more they decide to do and the more they get involved, the more points they collect and the greater the opportunity to take up offers and win prizes.

Community Workspace

With their unique Community Workspace, FreeTimePays is able to help those who are inspired and serious about taking things to the next level. FreeTimePays will give these people their own access rights environment where they can work on their idea or project.

In this digital space they can work alone, or bring in others to share in building evidence, acquiring knowledge and developing plans. This is the ideal space for working on the business; working on the idea; working on the initiative.

A range of facilities and tools can be found in workspace and users can effectively utilise this space for collating documents, photos, videos and web links, for opening up discussion and chat with others, or for running surveys and analysing results.

Community Matchmaker

The whole focus and rationale for FreeTimePays is MAKING A DIFFERENCE. It’s our job at FreeTimePays to provide the tools and functionality that helps bring together those who create the GREAT IDEAS with those who have the potential to turn an IDEA into something that really does MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Matchmaker is where the dreamers can join with the dream makers – with those who are more than happy to put their support, their resources, their connections, and their wealth of experience behind the idea and behind the passionate people responsible for coming up with the idea.

These are the community drivers, the investors, the philanthropists, the funders of great initiatives, the Lottery, and those from local government and the public sector who are responsible for the provision of public services.

These are the people and the organisations who are in positions of making things happen for those who are passionate and inspired to want to make a difference.

Are you such a person?  Get involved and share your passion at Hay Mills We Are.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Sep 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Dramatic changes planned for Westside Birmingham with the arrival of the Broad Street Cluster

We're calling it the Broad Street Cluster - a group of high builds in various stages of development in the Westside district of Birmingham.  Here's a wonderful article from Stephen which looks at the past, present and future of the big builds in Birmingham's Westside.

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Broad Street is quickly turning into a corridor of huge builds, or at least, it soon will be.

Set on the edges of the city ridge, a cluster is emerging, with two of the city’s tallest residential apartment blocks on the street now complete or near near completion.

Image by Reiss Gordon Henry/ Greater Birmingham Developments

The 'Golden Mile' has long been earmarked for loftier ambitions, as per the Big City Plan & High Rises masterplan documents, with Planning chiefs actively encouraging the need for more tall buildings in prominent locations along the ridge.

More are coming too, with 2019 turning out to be a bumper year for Broad Street, with several ground-breaking proposals in recent months.

THE BIG CITY PLAN

“A city should bustle. It should be full of people, of movement, of functions and activities. Providing greater opportunities for people to live and stay in the city centre will be central to a successful area and delivering greater sustainability.

The location of tall buildings needs to be handled carefully, respecting the surrounding environment and the topography. The quality of design must reflect and justify their dominant position in the built environment.

They will need to ensure they integrate into and are compatible with their surroundings; enhance skylines, views and settings; protect and preserve areas of special character and interest including principal views across the city and historic skyline; assist in the legibility of the city and contribute strongly to a sense of place and promote the highest design quality.

It will be important that such buildings have a good relationship with the street, movement patterns and transport facilities, creating high quality public space at the same time. They will need ‘breathing space’, and the creation of a publicly accessible plaza, or extension of existing public realm will be required.”

– The Big City Plan, 2010, Birmingham City Council

WE ALMOST GOT THIS

Back in 2005, Broad Street Tower burst onto the scene, with Richardson and Cordwell proposing a 41 storey (134m) skyscraper. It was to feature a 150-room hotel, and contain around 350 apartments.

Artist Impressions from Level Seven Architects

Over the road, Regal Property Group planned a 200.5m, 56 storey tower. This would have made it, at the time at least, the second largest building outside of London.

The mixed use development would have stood at 56 storeys, included a 289 bed hotel with 256 serviced apartments, 3 floors of penthouses set within the ‘Crown' and a parade of boutique shops on the ground floor.

Artist Impressions by Aedas Architects

These buildings never materialised, for one reason or another.

PRESENT DAY BROAD STREET

Prior planning permission was given from Birmingham City Council Planning for those sites above, thus establishing a planning precedent for tall buildings in this location.

It doesn't come as a surprise that those two plots are being developed on today.

BANK TOWER I & II

Regal Property Group came back with new plans in 2014 - for two builds of 31 and 22 storeys, providing a total of 540 apartments across both developments, with facilities including 24-hour concierge, private gyms, lounges and a coffee bar, with ample bicycle storage, as well as a restaurant and shops.

Building Two has since been bumped up by two storeys, to 33, and now features a crown feature lit up by LED lighting.

This is scheduled for completion in November, and is already a prominent addition to the skyline, as seen below.

These buildings have now set the precedent for the future of Broad Street.

Images by Daniel Sturley

212 Broad Street aka 'The Mercian'

MODA have since turned up the heat in the Broad Street building stakes with this 42-storey development, with amenities aplenty.

The building is very much underway, with the lift shafts, refuse chute, goods lift and stairwell now peaking above the hoardings at ground level. The core will rise in the coming weeks ahead. 

The building has been designed by Birmingham's own Glenn Howells Architects.

This healthy lifestyle branded development will come with a 14 storey shoulder and a 3 storey podium, containing 481 residential apartments, with over 30,000 sqft of communal amenity space, including wellness centres and a 200m running track - a U.K.. first on a habitable building.

We can't wait to see this rise!

Artist impressions from Glenn Howells Architects

PROPOSED BUILDINGS

     211 Broad Street

A new 36-storey glass tower is set join the highrise club after plans were revealed recently.

Taylor Grange Developments plan to construct a £58 million ‘superslender’ block of 264 serviced apartments with hotel facilities.

The building will be an incredible 9.5m in width and has been designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects, with Court Collaboration as development manager.

The project will see 33 storeys of serviced apartments with three floors of podium space intended for retail, food and drink outlets, along with a residents' lounge and gym.

The development is expected to be operated by an international hotel brand which will bring a brand new presence to the Birmingham market.

A crown will also sit prominently at the top, with provision for external lighting highly likely.

With the Midland Metro Tram set to commence works along the route, there will be no car parking spaces. Cycle parking will be provided instead.

Artist impressions from Glancy Nicholls Architects

100 Broad Street

Out of the blue! At 61-storeys (193m), this is Birmingham's biggest yet.

I don't know who was more surprised by this development - those in the industry or those outside!

A full planning application was submitted by Euro Property Investments, the Birmingham-based company with a huge portfolio of glamorous projects within the UAE.

The building has once again been designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects.

100 Broad Street will see the demolition of the existing building on site and replaced with 503 apartments with commercial/ retail uses.

It will also incorporate a two-storey pavilion containing residents' amenities within a landscaped courtyard.

Amenity space includes a gym, work space areas, games room, cinema and a lounge with roof terrace.

For non-residents, a public sky lounge on the 58th to the 60th will feature a bar & a restaurant, both public and private.

No parking provision is provided, given the sustainable location & with the Midland Metro tram due to whiz passed in the near future.

250 cycle spaces are again provided.

Artist impressions from Glancy Nicholls Architects

Planning Officers at the City Council support this development, and have raised no objection in pre-application talks for a significant tower of this size.

And what about further ahead, Here's one to keep a close eye on!

ONES TO LOOK OUT FOR 

Motto by Hilton

A move to Birmingham hasn't been made public yet, but there are rumours it's on the cards.

'Motto' is Hilton's newest affordable lifestyle brand that aims to empower guests by giving them the freedom to create their own experiences in the world’s most sought-after cities - with Birmingham firmly on that list.

Broad Street is no stranger to hotels of course, but they're coming thick and fast.

With NYX Hotel (Jury's Inn's new concept hotel on Berkley Street) approved earlier this year, it's going to be fascinating to see these rise.

It will be nestled alongside Hampton by Hilton. Certainly one to keep an eye out for.

  224 Broad Street, Lee Longlands site

An outline planning application for this site arrived in 2011 from Lee Longlands themselves. They teamed up with Glenn Howells to bring this. 

Artists Impression by Glenn Howells Architects

The approved application never materialised past the 'outline' stage of planning.

Lee Longlands - the applicant on the application -  aren't renowned property developers, so that came as no surprise.

With consent given back in 2011 for development, it's paved the way for a developer to purchase the site.

Redevelopment looks to be a foregone conclusion that not only gives Lee Longlands, at least, a brand new store to compete with their rivals, but it also allows them to secure a better return ££-wise from what is one of their best assets - the land on which they sit, in an area going through vast change.

Something big will materialise very soon, which we hope will incorporate the sites art-deco frontage. Very exciting one to watch regardless.

Brasshouse

With operations having now moved to the Library of Birmingham, The Brasshouse is suddenly vacant.

Plans are afoot, with talk and sketches showing a sizeable development here, akin to the Bank developments.

Given the footprint of the site, one would hope if something materialises soon, that the historic Brasshouse would be incorporated into any forthcoming scheme. 

The Square

This is officially on the market, with a deadline for bidders now at an end.

The site currently comprises 55,115 sqft of occupied offices, with tenants all on short-term leases.

Birmingham City Council approved the development of 98 apartments through permitted development rights on the site, however those within the industry and close to the project anticipate a much, much larger scheme, with potentially more than 500 apartments coming forward.

See itsyourbuild construction map HERE.

The Square will sit next to 100 Broad Street.

Another biggie in the offing here? Something of significant scale will likely surface here. 

Exciting times ahead for Broad Street. Watch this space!

In the next Broad Street cluster update, we'll look more closely at 211 Broad Street

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30 passion points
Photography
05 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

Rowland Emett

A quiet afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley

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

Rowland Emett

Wm Hake Lobsters Bathing & Swimming.

Rowland Emett

Two colliding trains.

Rowland Emett

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

Rowland Emett

The other colliding train on the right.

Rowland Emett

Cows and man on a harp!

Rowland Emett

Man on a bike.

Rowland Emett

Emett's World

Featherstone Kite made in 1962.

Rowland Emett

Maud Lunacycle made in 1970.

Rowland Emett

Fairway Birdie made in 1983

Rowland Emett

Machines from the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Husha-Bye Hot-Air Rocking Chair.

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

Rowland Emett

The Humbug Major Sweet Machine

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

Rowland Emett

Little Dragon Carpet Sweeper

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

Rowland Emett

Clockwork Lullabye Machine.

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

Rowland Emett

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

Rowland Emett at Millennium Point

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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40 passion points
Photography
05 Sep 2019 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

The beautiful Elan Valley - A Welsh Gem!

Photo above Sorcha Lewis 

With a beautiful landscape, thriving wildlife, dams and reservoirs, the Elan Valley is a stunning area of Wales. 

Open the full post to view our selection of wonderful photography from highly talented photographers  'People with REAL Passion' for Wales. 

 

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Photo Courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

 

Photo courtesy Pamela Jones

 

Photo Courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

 

Photo courtesy Sheena Parry-Davies

 

Photo courtesy Darren Laurie

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis 

 

Photo courtesy Karl McCarthy

 

Photo courtesy Pamela Jones

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

Photo courtesy Karl McCarthy

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

Photo courtesy Darren Laurie

 

Photo courtesy Sheena Parry-Davies

 

Photo courtesy Pamela Jones

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis

 

Photo courtesy Karl McCarthy

 

Photo courtesy Sorcha Lewis

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian, Broad Street - August/September 2019

It seems a bit like a rocket taking off, slow and struggling up at first, but soon to soar skywards. A massive floor slab is about to be poured and the rest of the lower core is to complete.

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26th August

 

September 1st

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

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50 passion points
Transport
03 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

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

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

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

Kidderminster Town Station

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

Kidderminster Town

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

Kidderminster Town

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

Kidderminster Town

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

Kidderminster Town

Bewdley Station

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

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

SVR Bewdley

Also saw this steam locotive with carriages behind it.

SVR Bewdley

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

SVR Bewdley

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

SVR Bewdley

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

SVR Bewdley

Arley Station

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

SVR Arley

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

SVR Arley

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

SVR Arley

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

SVR Arley

Bridgnorth Station

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

SVR Bridgnorth

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

SVR Bridgnorth

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

SVR Bridgnorth

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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

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

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

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

Chamberlain Square entrance

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

Round Room

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

Industrial Gallery

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

Industrial Gallery

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

Metalworks Gallery

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

Edwardian Tearoom

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

Edwardian Tearoom

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

Link Bridge

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

Empty blue gallery

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

Birmingham and the British Empire

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

New Art West Midlands

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

Modern British Art

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

Ancient Egypt

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

Staffordshire Hoard

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

African Gallery

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

Gallery 33

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

Forward

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

Forward

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

Forward

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Cranes Across the City - September 2019

Here are the latest crane photos from across the city during August.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

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50 passion points
Transport
02 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

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

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

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Flybe Dash 8 Q400

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

Birmingham Airport

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe BHX

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

Flybe BHX

Erdington

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe Dash

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

Flybe ATR 72

Stechford

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

Flybe Stechford

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

Flybe ATR 72

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
People & community
01 Sep 2019 - FreeTimePays
Introducing

Introducing Chamberlainsq.com - a FreeTimePays Community of Passion

Chamberlainsq.com is all about involving people in growing a Chamberlain Square Community of Passion and providing a digital space where people who work there or love to visit the Square can share their passions and collect points for passions shared.

With full access to FreeTimePays, our contributors can promote themselves and their passions. 

View the article.

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Camberlainsq.com is a Community of Passion that utilises FreeTimePays digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

‘People with Passion’ are given the digital space and the digital tools so they can make a real difference for themselves and others.

With Passion Points and with the support of our FreeTimePays partners, we recognise the difference and the contribution people make and the positive impact they collectively deliver.

Whether your interest is as a follower, a contributor or a potential partner, connect with us here.

Connect here to find out more about the types of FreeTimePays partnerships and collaborations we are looking to create and grow at ChamberlainSq.com. 

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
01 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - August 2019

The core for 103 Colmore Row is at 20 floors now with the crane ties at the 12th and 19th floors. Lots of photos added in the main gallery, take the full post for a selection of 12.

Main Gallery

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Aug 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Past, present and future of 5 Centenary Square, Birmingham

The history and future of this build in a prime location in Birmingham is fascinating. Stephen pulls it all together in this fascinating post.

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Birmingham continues to move forward as one of the country’s most successful business destinations, and with developments such at Arena Central, Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square it's easy to see why.

Latest to hit the development scene is 5 Centenary Square..

Boasting floorplates totalling 225,086 sq ft of office space over nine floors, 5 Centenary Square will also include a seventh floor external terrace overlooking the newly transformed Centenary Square.

The development is being brought forward by Make Architects and Arena Central Developments LLP - otherwise known as Kier Property, who recently purchased AC from Miller Developments.

With Centenary Square undergoing a staggering transformation, the Midland Metro Tram close to running through, and with all the major cultural attractions closeby, 5 Centenary Square represents a prime location for any potential occupier(s).

2014 SCHEME

Planning consent was actually granted for this very building (then known as 1 Arena Central) at eight storeys tall. 

However, it was put on hold, with the rest of Arena Central being built up. Now it''s back, amended and firmly back on the agenda, as I'll point out below.

THE BUILDING

Make no mistake, Arena Central and its plethora of new buildings are causing a bit of a stir. The designs are bold and “out there”.

The beauty of architecture is that there's no wrong opinion. You'll either love it, or you'll absolutely loathe it.

5 Centenary Square will complete the line of frontages facing onto Centenary Square and will become a gateway into Arena Central, with Hyatt Hotel and Alpha Tower bookmarking the site on opposite sides.

With an elegant curve and a bold precast pattern, it's been designed to imitate and respect its grand old Portland Stone neighbours next door and across the square, whilst adding its own modern interpretation to proceedings.

The curve has been designed to draw people into the development and onto the landscaped ‘Serpentine’ pedestrian route.

The route will zig-zag its way through the development, finishing up on Holliday Street, but not before linking up with The Terrace & Bank Court - new public plazas yet to come, as well as secondary pedestrian routes, as seen below.

DESIGN & FACADE

As you can see, the cladding is simple, yet effective.

Inspiration has been taken from Bridget Riley - a fine art artist. See her 'Movement in Square' piece here, and her other works here.

Her specialty is creating illusions that make flat surfaces appear rippled or curved.

Applying that to this building emphasises the curve, whilst strengthening the overall form of the building.

There are a range of options for the precast concrete panels. Final shades are yet to be confirmed. Greater Birmingham Developments will be sure to keep everyone up to date on any changes.

CAR & CYCLE ACCESS

Vehicular access to the building is available via Bridge Street, as is the case with HSBC UK. Cars will enter and exit via the shared ramp.

A total of 68 parking spaces are to be provided at basement level, alongside charging points for electric vehicles.

Cycle storage is located on the lower ground floor, with access from the Bridge Street pavement. These will include cycle racks, showers and locker facilities.

LIGHTING SCHEME

With Centenary Square lighting up the area beautifully nowadays, this building won't be awash with light.

It'll be a case of less is more and just highlighting its best features.

The ground floor recessed entrance, as you can see in the picture above, will be uplit, providing a safe and welcoming presence.

Looking upwards, you'll notice that the balcony around the curved corner will too be illuminated, with fittings mounted on the inside face of the cladding panels.

As for the internal lights on the office floorplates. These will be switched on or off depending on the tenants’ hours of operation.

CHANGES FROM THE 2014 SCHEME

We've got an additional floor, which is being dictated by market confidence and interest from potential occupiers, impressed no doubt by the city’s ability at signing up HMRC and HSBC UK, next door.

Other changes have seen the commercial unit on the ground floor facing onto Centenary Square omitted, following feedback from these "potential" occupiers.

Active frontages will dominate though, albeit in the form of staff cafés, meeting suites or office space. The fire-fighting entrance, cycle entrance and parking exit have also been changed to improve the overall aesthetic of the building.

MORE PICTURES OF 5 CENTENARY SQUARE:

All pictures in this article are artists impression from Make Architects

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

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

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

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Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

Watt in the World

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

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

Watt in the World

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

Matthew Boulton 2009

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

Matthew Boulton 2009

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

Matthew Boulton 2009

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

Matthew Boulton 2009

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

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Aug 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - August 2019

Here is the latest gallery of photos of Two Chamberlain Square which is externally completed and the fit out is commencing.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Aug 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

PwC Change and Engagement Team Interior Inspection - August 28th 2019

PwC's Change and Engagement Team with Chair Matthew Hammond made an interior inspection of the progress at their new headquarters One Chamberlain Square. Daniel was invited along to get some photos and had an opportunity to take some brand new viewpoints of the city through the windows. 

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Aug 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - August 2019

Here's the latest construction photo gallery for 103 Colmore Row, this tower core is rising so fast!

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Aug 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - August 2019

The new strip lights on the top of Bank Tower Two were shining a lovely turquoise for a couple of days. Here are some more shots as well as some of the tower reflecting the sunset and a coulple taken from Digbeth.

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Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Photography
28 Aug 2019 - Jenny Burrows
Gallery

A Wander Along the Beach from Coppet Hall to Saundersfoot

 

 

 

 

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Saundersfoot was known in medieval times as Llandussyllt and then St Issels, after the parish church of St Issels which nestles in the wooded valley half a mile inland to the north. It did not become Saundersfoot until Elizabethan times and the harbour was built in 1834. Saundersfoot is one of Pembrokeshire's most popular beaches, stretching for half a mile northwards from the harbour to Coppet Hall point. The beach usually attains the Blue Flag Award and consists of fine sand with a few outcrops of rock. 

Coppet Hall is at the northern end of Saundersfoot Bay and is a beach of sand, backed by some shingle. The name 'Coppet Hall' derives from 'Coal Pit haul' - a reference to its earlier mining days. A former colliery tramway which ran from Saundersfoot harbour to Stepaside is now a foot /cycle path, linking Coppet Hall to Saundersfoot through a 70 yard tunnel.

One late August morning I parked at Coppet hall just before dawn, the tide was completely out, which meant I could walk right along the beach without using the tunnel. This is one of my favourite areas of coastline, from Wiseman's Bridge right around to Tenby and at dawn on a late summer's morning, there is no place I would rather be.

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20 passion points
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