Elliott Brown

Passion Points: 123K

Sport & leisure
19 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Be Bold Be Birmingham - the Commonwealth Games is coming to the City this summer 2022!

Post image

Be Bold Be Birmingham! The slogan for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games can be see around the City in the months running up to the event. Such as at Perry Park near the Alexander Stadium (Walsall Road) and other areas, including in the City Centre. Also a new Queen's Baton Relay mural near Birmingham New Street Station.

Related

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr

The Alexander Stadium in Perry Park, January 2022. Seen near the Walsall Road. The hashtag is #BeBoldBeBham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

Victoria Square, Birmingham

Seen at the end of December 2021, the Be Bold Be Birmingham hoardings around where the Floozie in the Jacuzzi used to be (currently having the fountain repaired).

Be Bold Be Birmingham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

Seen outside of the Council House during January 2022. Normally this would be the main entrance, but it's closed while the building (and Museum & Art Gallery) get repaired (BM & AG should reopen ETA April 2022).

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

The Council House was like this with Be Bold Be Birmingham at the end of September 2021.

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

Stratford Road - Birmingham / Solihull border

Seen on the Stratford Road, leaving Birmingham (Hall Green) for Solihull (Shirley) near Tesco. If you are driving into the City up the A34, you will see "Welcome to Birmingham Proud Host City of the Commonwealth Games 2022". If you are leaving the City and entering Solihull (on your way to the M42) you will see "Thanks for Visiting Birmingham". Seen on a walk down the Stratford Road to Shirley in November 2021.

Be Bold Be Birmingham

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

High Street, Harborne

I first spotted the Be Bold Be Birmingham signs in the summer of 2021. Such as on this council board on the High Street in Harborne, during August 2021. The same "Welcome to Birmingham Proud Host City of the Commonwealth Games 2022". It also comes up on digital billboards around the city.

Be Bold Be Birmingham

 

The Queen's Baton Relay - mural by Gent 48

This mural painted by Birmingham street artist legend Gent 48, is at the corner of Hill Street and Navigation Street in Birmingham City Centre near Birmingham New Street Station. It was painted and unveiled in January 2022. The Queen's Baton Relay is going around the Commonwealth.

Queens Baton Relay

Queens Baton Relay

Queens Baton Relay

Queens Baton Relay

Queens Baton Relay

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
0 passion points
Transport
15 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Royal Navy 692 - WT 723 at SCC Technology Campus in Tyseley

Post image

On the no 4 / 4A bus route on the Warwick Road in Tyseley. There is now a decommissioned Hawker Hunter at the SCC Technology Campus. After the Shoreham air crash, it would never fly again. But was placed here on a pole stand around September 2021. A short walk up from Tyseley Locomotive Works and Tyseley Station, not far from Greet and the River Cole.

Related

If you catch the no 4 or 4A bus from Carrs Lane in the City Centre towards Tyseley and Acocks Green, you might spot something unusual. This decommissioned Hawker Hunter Royal Navy plane has been mounted on a pole stand at the SCC Technology Campus between Greet and Tyseley. The Warwick Road junction with Battery Way. Also near the Cole Valley Business Park, Burbury Brickworks Nature Reserve (Shire Country Park) and the River Cole. People in cars or other transport might also spot it on their journey up and down the Warwick Road.

First flew in 1955. Retired in 1993. Various owners since. Since Shoreham crash it has been de-registered, and from September 2021 was moved to Tyseley pole-mounted at the SCC premises. All major components removed.

 

Royal Navy 692 - WT 723 - Hawker Hunter

Gallery of eight photos below. Taken on Saturday 15th January 2022.

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Royal Navy 692

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Transport
12 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The rebuilding of University Station - progress from May to December 2021

Post image

University Station originally opened on the Cross City Line in 1978 to serve the University of Birmingham, and now the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Work began to build the new station buildings around Spring 2021. By Winter 2021-22 the main buildings are taking shape and getting cladded. The old station remains open throughout the works. Three photo updates from Elliott.

Related

University Station - West Midlands Railway

First some photos of University Station in the years before the redevelopment.

View of University Station from platform 1 during March 2012. This was my first time getting off a train here.

University Station

 

Below a view from Westgate taken in January 2013. Sometimes also called University Road West.

University Station

 

In July 2017, a view of a London Midland Class 323 Electric Multiple Unit train, as seen from platform 2. By December of that year the franchise transferred over to West Midlands Railway. 323208 was the number.

University Station

 

By December 2019 there was a new West Midlands Railway sign outside the station on Westgate, replacing the old Network West Midlands one.

University Station

 

In August 2020, a view of University Station, after restrictions were being lifted at the time, but was no access to the University of Birmingham's Edgbaston Campus to members of the public who were not members of staff or students.

University Station

 

29th May 2021

First views of the new University Station getting built from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston.

University Station

University Station

The old 1978 station building remains open from the Westgate with a view of Old Joe (before the clock hands were removed).

University Station

View from the bus stops of the site from New Fosse Way. The new station buildings would be built alongside Vincent Drive, near NHS Blood & Transplant Birmingham and the Birmingham Research Park.

University Station

 

6th August 2021

In the summer of 2021, I got a train down from Birmingham New Street Station. West Midlands Railway 170509. In a purple livery (as it will soon transfer to East Midlands Railway).

University Station

Behind the train you could see the structure of the new building going up.

University Station

Heading down Vincent Drive.

University Station

University Station

It was possible to see Old Joe behind the new building before it was complete last summer.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University Station

Now on Pritchatts Road from the bridge over the Cross City Line and Worcester & Birmingham Canal. There will not be access to the station from this end.

University Station

University Station

 

28th December 2021

Starting this time from Pritchatts Road, after checking out Old Joe (now with clock hands reinstated), the same view as 5 months earlier from the bridge over the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the Cross City Line. The new station building has a new footbridge. When complete it will have an entrance to Westgate.

University Station

University Station

Heading up Vincent Drive to a more complete looking station, although a lot to complete.

University Station

University Station

University Station

Near the bus stops on New Fosse Way. Work was still going on here during the Christmas - New Year holidays.

University Station

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
110 passion points
Transport
12 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Perry Barr Station in 2012 and 2022

Post image

Since May 2021, Perry Barr Station has been closed to passengers for redevelopment ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The last station building was built in the 1960s and was very tired and dull looking after 55 years. Outside roadworks after the Perry Barr Flyover was pulled down in 2021. Should be complete by May 2022. Only time Elliott got a train here was August 2012.

Related

Perry Barr Station history

The first station was built by the Grand Junction Railway in 1837, and is one of the oldest continually served stations in the world (until the 2021-22 redevelopment).  The GJR became part of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), later the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), who all owned the station in turn, before the nationalisation of the railways in 1948 under British Railways in 1948 (later British Rail). The station was rebuilt in 1966 when the line was electrified towards Walsall. After privatisation in the 1990s, the station was run by Central Trains (from 1997), then London Midland (from 2007), and now West Midlands Railway (from 2017).

 

The station is on the Birchfield Road in Perry Barr, near Walsall Road and the One Stop Shopping Centre.

 

The visit of August 2012

The only time I got a return train journey to Perry Barr was in August 2012, for my then first photo walk around Perry Barr. Arriving on London Midland 323220.

Perry Barr Station

First view of the 1966 station building, with a pair of steps up to the exit.

Perry Barr Station

The train I got off continues towards Walsall.

Perry Barr Station

There used to be a ramp exit on both sides.

Perry Barr Station

View from the steps towards platform 2.

Perry Barr Station

The old British Rail Station Perry Barr sign was there for a long time.

Perry Barr Station

Plus at the time the Network West Midlands station sign for Perry Barr.

Perry Barr Station

There used to be a subway under the road here which you could use to get to Birmingham City University's City North Campus.

Perry Barr Station

Later after my walk, heading down the steps to platform 1, to catch a train on the Chase Line back to Birmingham New Street.

Perry Barr Station

Waiting for my train.

Perry Barr Station

Time to leave Perry Barr on London Midland 323202.

Perry Barr Station

 

2nd January 2022

Been so busy over the last 6 months, that I've had no time to travel up to Perry Barr. Traffic always seemed busy, if you were going to the cemetery at Witton.

 

On the second day of the new year, I caught an X51 bus to Perry Barr. An express bus service towards Cannock. First wanted to check out the Alexander Stadium / Perry Park, and the stop was near Perry Avenue. Bit hard to see the stadium or proper park access, so walked down Walsall Road past the One Stop to check out the new station building.

Perry Barr Station

The new station building is partially complete / cladded. But at least five more months work to complete it, ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Perry Barr Station

Temporary bus stops on the Birchfield Road.

Perry Barr Station

I went down Wellington Road at one point, so much traffic, and realised that there wasn't a distant bridge view of the station, so crossed over and headed back up to the island.

Perry Barr Station

Heading up Wellington Road, behind the new station building was the construction site of what was formerly going to be the Athletes Village for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Perry Barr Station

After crossing at the temporary lights over Birchfield Road (subways and footbridge have gone). Got this view from near Aston Lane.

Perry Barr Station

Heading onto the other side of the Birchfield Road, for one last view of Perry Barr Station, before waiting to catch a no 51 bus back to the City Centre. I wonder how they will deal with the crossing of this busy road, no subways, no footbridge!

Perry Barr Station

It is a bit of a walk from here to Perry Park, for visitors going to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from July - August 2022. A lot of roadworks are still unfinished. Hopefully they will finish everything here on time, fingers crossed.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Music & musicians
11 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

UB40 launched Musical Routes at Hall Green Station back in November 2021

Post image

(Late News). Near the end of November 2021, surviving members of UB40 were at Hall Green Station to unveil the first Musical Routes sign. The project is the brainchild of the Birmingham Music Archive founded by Jez Collins. While Birmingham We Are's Elliott Brown was at work that day, on the following Saturday morning, he got a few photos of the sign, with the thawing snow.

Related

UB40 Hall GreenUB40 launch Musical Routes at Hall Green Station. Photo courtesy of West Midlands Railway. Friday 26th November 2021.

 

Saturday 27th November 2021

After hearing about this in the local news, the day after UB40 was at Hall Green Station, I walked here, before heading to catch the no 6 bus on the Stratford Road to the City Centre.

View from the footbridge of Hall Green Station. I normally get on from Welby Road (there is a path from Brooklands Road).

Hall Green Station

 

In the station car park is the new Musical Routes sign below the new West Midlands Railway sign for Hall Green Station.

Hall Green Station

 

The map of Hall Green features Moseley & Kings Heath, Sparkbrook, Springfield (Sparkhill) and Hall Green. The map shows locations where famous Brummie musicians first started out, such as Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, UB40, Ocean Colour Scene, Bev Bevan and Laura Mvula.

Hall Green Station

Overnight had been some late November 2021 snow, but by the time I went out, it was thawing. The Musical Routes sign is near the disabled car parking spots.

Hall Green Station

Heading out of the Hall Green Station car park towards the Stratford Road, to catch a no 6 bus. It's been a while since I last caught a train from this station (due to cancellations as a result of a shortage ot train drivers and other reasons). 

Hall Green Station

National Express West Midlands is just a bit more reliable now than West Midlands Railway.

 

There will be other Musical Routes signs at other railway stations around Birmingham, but as yet, have not seen any more (or had time to visit any of them, other than my University and Perry Barr station rebuild updates).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
100 passion points
Classic Architecture
08 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Old Joe back with clock hands over the Christmas - New Year holidays end of 2021

Post image

The University of Birmingham campus was very quiet during the last week of 2021. Elliott caught the no 76 bus up to the Edgbaston Campus to check out Old Joe (aka Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower), now with the clock hands reinstated on all sides, and with the mechanisms working, the clock even rung / bonged while on the campus. Happy New Year 2022. 

Related

Getting off the no 76 bus on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak (Bournbrook close to the University of Birmingham), near The Goose at the OVT put. Could see Old Joe to the right near Grange Road. I headed right to the South Gate. It was the Boxing Day Bank Holiday Tuesday, 28th December 2021 (the actual Boxing Day fell on a Sunday).

Old Joe

 

The view of Old Joe (Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower), zoomed in from Bristol Road over Grange Road in Selly Oak.

Old Joe

 

Heading through the South Gate, noticed the Costa Coffee at the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness was closed (yet to go to this Costa), then headed past the Guild of Students building towards the East Gate. Not only are the clock hands back on, but they are reading the correct time.

Old Joe

 

Near the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the East Gate, and close to Edgbaston Park Road. The campus was really quiet, not many people around.

Old Joe

 

Now on Pritchatts Road, heading past the North Gate and the Green Heart.

Old Joe

Usually coaches park at this semi circle, but non during the inter Christmas - New Year period.

Old Joe

A look at Old Joe through the gate on the left.

Old Joe

And through the gate on the right.

Old Joe

One last view of Old Joe from the Green Heart, with the Main Library and Teaching & Learning Building on the right.

Old Joe

 

Heading down to check out the progress of the rebuilding of University Station, one last view of Old Joe taken from Vincent Drive. Evergreen tree on the right looked like a Christmas tree with no decorations on it.

Old Joe

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
100 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
06 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Some more rainbow crossings

Post image

It's not just in Birmingham's Southside that you will find rainbow crossings. All around the UK. Such as in Taunton in Somerset. As well as closer to home in Solihull, and in Royal Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. Happy New Year 2022. Not done many posts recently as they don't seem to get published by Jonathan as fast as Daniel's get's up, and nothing much to post.

Related

Taunton, Somerset

Near the end of the first South West holiday at the end of August 2021 (Devon and Somerset). On Saturday 28th August 2021 in Taunton, Somerset, heading to the Museum of Somerset, we entered Goodland Gardens (near The Bridge and River Tone). Saw this rainbow path. No cycling is allowed down this path. Stopped for coffee nearby at The Shed.

Rainbow Crossing Taunton

 

Solihull, West Midlands

On Sunday 19th December 2021, heading to Cineworld at Touchwood in Solihull, to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home. A little early, so took a side path to the rear entrance near Manor Square. Found this rainbow path between Touchwood and the Solihull Council House. I don't think there had been a crossing at this point before.

Rainbow path Solihull

 

Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

It had been a few months since I last got a train, so on Thursday 30th December 2021, I bought off peak return tickets in the Chiltern Railways app, and travelled down to Leamington Spa again, on the Chiltern Mainline, for a bit of walk around the Town Centre, and to have a coffee at Caffe Nero. On The Parade I spotted a rainbow crossing between Jephson Gardens and Pump Room Gardens. It was raining on and off, and took these from Pump Room Gardens later on the walk back to the station.

Rainbow path Leamington Spa

Rainbow path Leamington Spa

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
15 Dec 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Snow Village at Birmingham's House of Fraser and the Walking with The Snowman trail

Post image

During the Christmas 2021 festive period, head up to the fifth floor in the House of Fraser (between Corporation Street, Cherry Street and Temple Row) for The Snow Village. Inside you will find no 12 on the Walking with The Snowman trail. Twelve Drummers Drumming. The other Snowman artworks are around the City Centre if you can find them.

Related

The Snow Village

Head up to the fifth floor of the House of Fraser in Birmingham, between Corporation Street, Cherry Street, Temple Row and the North Western Arcade, for The Snow Village. This was the site where the House of Fraser used to have Santa's Christmas Grotto every year. But now it is The Snow Village.

 

You will find one of the Walking with The Snowman painted snowman sculptures. From Wild in Art, the same people behind The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015, The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017, and more recently Gratitude, which was located in Chamberlain Square for the last 10 days of August 2021.

 

Welcome to The Snow Village. From the House of Fraser and Retail BID Birmingham.

The Snow Village

 

Some snowmen and penguins.

The Snow Village

 

Outside The Ice House.

The Snow Village

 

Post Office and Santa's Workshop. Post your cards to Santa here.

The Snow Village

 

Into The Ice House. A fireplace.

The Snow Village

 

What I came for. Walking with The Snowman. No 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming created by Sue Guthrie.

The Snow Village

 

Heading out, saw some Christmas trees.

The Snow Village

 

And Santa's sleigh.

The Snow Village

 

 

Christmas in Cathedral Square from the House of Fraser

Down to the fourth floor, saw some windows, so got some views of Christmas in Cathedral Square, with 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham Cathedral and the Grand Hotel. Plus the BT Tower.

House of Fraser Christmas in Cathedral Square

House of Fraser Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

Panoramic photo merge of the two photos above. Makes 103 Colmore Row look larger than it actually is.

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

Entrance to Christmas in Cathedral Square from Temple Row, near St Philip's Place. 

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

The Pigeon in the Park, a temporary pub seen from St Philip's Place.

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

The helter skelter seen from St Philip's Place.

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

A Christmas tree seen from St Philip's Place.

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

Colmore Row view of Christmas in Cathedral Square.Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

Walking with The Snowman

Some of the other Walking with The Snowman painted sculptures I've found.

No 11: Eleven Pipers Piping by Amanda Quellin. In the Great Western Arcade, Birmingham. 

Snowman GWA

 

No 2: Two Turtle Doves by Laura-Kate Chapman. The Mailbox Birmingham, opposite BBC Birmingham.

Snowman Mailbox

 

No 8: Eight Maids Milking by Megan Heather Evans. In the Piccadilly Arcade, near the New Street end.

Snowman PA

 

No 5: Five Gold Rings created by Adam Pekr. Outside of the West Mall at the Bullring, not far from the bull.

Five Bullring

 

No 7: Seven Swans Swimming created by RP Roberts. Located on Corporation Street, close to Fore Street. Outside of the Cancer Research UK shop.

Seven Corporation Street

 

No 4: Four Calling Birds created by Mik Richardson. Located inside Birmingham New Street Station in the public concourse, not far from steps to platform 7.

Four Birds New Street Station

 

No 3: Three French Hens created by Jessica Perrin. Located outside of The Mailbox on Royal Mail Street, close to Starbucks and not far from City Social (at The Mailbox underpass square area).

Three Hens Mailbox

There is four more Snowman's to find, not sure if I'll get all of them before they go.

 

Bullring Bull

Bonus photo of the Bullring Bull in a silver outfit with snowflakes, at the beginning of December 2021.

Snowflake Bull

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
15 Dec 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

The Exchange | University of Birmingham (formerly the Municipal Bank) - March to December 2021

Post image

Delayed photo gallery update to The Exchange, now part of the University of Birmingham (formerly the Birmingham Municipal Bank Headquarters). This update from Daniel and Elliott with photos taken from March to December 2021 (external only, we have yet to visit since it reopened). It opened in Autumn 2021. Enjoy this update, sorry it's months late, Daniel forgot to update it.

Related

The Exchange opened in September 2021, and many people have had a chance to explore it since then, but Birmingham We Are's Daniel Sturley and Elliott Brown have yet to have time to visit it and go inside (other commitments, no time etc). This gallery of photos showing the renovations between March and December 2021. It was completed by the end of August 2021. It sounds like some people have had guided tours of the building. Hopefully Jonathan Bostock will get access for guided tours in 2022?

 

13th March 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

14th March 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

16th March 2021

The Exchange

 

21st March 2021

The Exchange

 

25th March 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

28th March 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

3rd April 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

29th April 2021

The Exchange

 

16th May 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

22nd May 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange

Photos by Elliott Brown

 

23rd May 2021

The Exchange

 

24th July 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

13th August 2021

The Exchange

The Exchange

 

2nd October 2021

The Exchange

 

5th December 2021

The Exchange

Photos by Elliott Brown

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Modern Architecture
11 Dec 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Holiday Inn Express at Arena Central - the TETRIS Building

Post image

Holiday Inn Express is a three-star hotel situated on Holliday Street in the Arena Central district of Birmingham.

Standing at 61 metres, the 18 storey hotel - which has a total of 250 bedrooms - opened for business in the spring of 2017, and formed the first phase of Arena Central.

Related

It was brought forward by Miller Developments, applicants Centre Island, designed by KKA Architecture, and built by Muir Associates & John Sisk & Son.

Its visual appearance is composed of elements derived from local and distant contextual features whilst at the same time hinting at the site’s historic connection with the famous ATV studios through a ‘pixelated’ façade.

Within, the hotel comprises three elements: a Holiday Inn Express hotel; an independent 10,000 sqft health club with swimming pool, gym, spa and treatment areas; and an atrium link providing access into the existing Crowne Plaza Hotel next door.

Photos by Stephen Giles.

CONSTRUCTION (2015- 2017):

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Construction images courtesy of Daniel Sturley & Elliott Brown.

Share  Connect with us
10 passion points
Squares and public spaces
18 Nov 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Christmas Markets and Ice Skate Birmingham are back in 2021

Post image

Ice Skate Birmingham is back in Centenary Square and is open from 4th November 2021 to 9th January 2022

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is back in Victoria Square and is open from 4th November to 23 December 2021.

Christmas in Cathedral Square is open in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral from 17th November to 19th December 2021.

Related

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham opened in Centenary Square, on the 4th November 2021, and will remain open until 9th January 2022. 

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

 

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market has returned to Victoria Square (and New Street). As well as Bob Wilson's Carousel. It opened on the 4th November 2021, and will close on the 23rd December 2021.

It's a little bit smaller this time around and no Floozie which has been removed for repairs.

BFCM

BFCM

BFCM

BFCM

 

Christmas in Cathedral Square

Taking place in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip's Cathedral) from the 17th November to the 19th December 2021 is Christmas in Cathedral Square featuring Christmas market stalls, a pub called Pigeon in the Park and a helter skeler.

Hours before the Christmas Market opened on 17th November 2021, the view below taken from Temple Row.

Christmas in Cathedral Square

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
29 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

A Nightmare on Central Street - Halloween at the Bullring, October 2021

Post image

There are scary things happening down Central Street aka St Martin's Walk at the Bullring, ahead of Halloween. A Nightmare on Central Street. If you are lucky you might be able to spot the tentacles of sea monsters above the malls.

Related

It's a Nightmare on Central Street at Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham from the 25th to 31st October 2021. During Birmingham's October Half Term scary creatures can be hunyted down day and night.

Get you camera ready and share with Birmingham We Are.

Follow the link above to the official Bullring website for more information.

The photo below was taken on Sunday 24th October 2021, from the steps heading down to St Martin's Square. Blue and green tentacles cower above the bronze statue of Horatio Nelson, days after the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Halloween Bullring 2021

You should be able to spot more tentacles above the East Mall and West Mall, between Rotunda Square, if heading down St Martin's Walk, towards St Martin's Square and St Martin's Church.

As we see in this photo below taken on the 25th October 2021. You have until the 31st October 2021 to spot them, and anything else spooky down here (day or night).

Nightmare on Central Street

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Classic Architecture
17 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House - enjoy our visit shared with you!

Post image

The purpose built Bournville Quaker Meeting House on Lindon Road, Bournville was completed in 1905 to the designs of William Alexander Harvey as part of the Bournville Village Trust, a Trust created by the Cadbury family.

Enjoy this article and photography with us.

Related

In 1879, Cadbury's relocated their factory from central Birmingham to their new site to the south of the city, now known as Bournville Village.

Following the opening of the new factory in 1879, George Cadbury built a number of houses for key workers close to the factory.

The Bournville Village Trust was established in 1900 and the purpose built Quaker Meeting House was built in 1905 to the designs of William Alexander Harvey.

Internal changes to the meeting room carried out in 1935 included the removal of the rostrum; the replacement of a platform; and the removal of panelling within the arch of the south hall.

An extension was built in 1960 for a children's room with a smaller library and cloakrooms. This was designed by Selby Clewer, the chief architect of the Bournville Village Trust. The library was opened in 1988 to make a lobby area, and the main hall was re-roofed, internal front doors were added, and ancillary facilities were reconfigured.

You enter the House through the green doors.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

As you go in to the building there is a pair of black and white portrait photographs of Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (1858 - 1951) and her husband George Cadbury (1839 - 1922).

Outside of the Friends Meeting House is a bronze bust of George and his ashes were buried there following his death.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

There is also a plaque to celebrate the planting of a Cedar Tree outside the buiding on the 24th June 1948 by Elizabeth Mary Cadbury during the year of her 90th birthday. This has now grown into the tree that is wrapped with Christmas lights between November and January each year.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

The house is a magnificent space similar in design to Bournville Village Primary School which was also designed by architect William Alexander Harvey.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

A roll of memory contains some of the Cadbury family and a number of other Quaker's who have passed away.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

A wonderful organ and clock can be found above the door.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Outside is the Cedar Tree, on this occasion used to announce "Quakers for Climate Justice".

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

We hope you enjoyed our post with greaat photography from Elliott Brown.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
100 passion points
Classic Architecture
09 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi - enjoy our visit shared with you!

Post image

Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi was opened in 1925, 3 years after the death of George Cadbury who had always wanted an Anglican church in the Bournville village. The church was designed by William Alexander Harvey. The South Chapel was built in 1966.

Enjoy this post and photography by Elliott Brown taken during Birmingham's Heritage Week (September 2021).

Related

The church is located on Linden Road.

Despite being a Quaker, George Cadbury had always wanted an Anglican church to be built in Bournville. The Hall was built in 1913 and the church followed in 1925. 

The South Chapel was opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay.

Here are some exterior photos of the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Now inside the church.

The ceiling inside St Francis of Assisi Church in Bournville is in the style that William Alexander Harvey was noted for.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Here is the pulpit inside the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Here is the alterpiece inside the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Next to the alterpiece is the organ.

Bournville Parish Church

There is a stained glass window in memory of Lt. John Barclay who was killed flying from H.M.S. Seahawk on 11th March 1953, aged just 24.

Bournville Parish Church

The South Chapel opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay (who all sadly died very young).

Alexander Lindsay Aitkin Turner (1927 - 1964) aged 37, Anthea Karen Turner (1936 - 1964) aged 28  and Julian St. John Cadbury (1926 - 1950) aged 24.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Classic Architecture
02 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

St Mary's Church, Handsworth - enjoy our visit shared with you!

Post image

St.Mary's Church in Handsworth, Birmingham (also known as Handsworth Old Church) is home to the memorial sculptures of James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch. Given its history and the importance it played at the time, it is often referred to as "The Industrial Cathedral of Birmingham". Enjoy this great post from Elliott, a regular Birmingham Gems contributor.

Related

During the Birmingham Heritage Week, Elliott went along to visit St Mary's Church in Handsworth, easy to get to on the no 16 bus that takes you to Hamstead Road.

It was quiet inside the Grade II listed Anglican church which is built on ten-acre of grounds, located adjacent to Handsworth Park.

The church is the resting place of famous progenitors of the industrial age, James Watt, William Murdoch and Matthew Boulton and has been described as “the Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution”.

Elliott's been waiting two years to get inside of this church, mainly for the memorials to James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch.

The church has origins back to the 12th and 13th centuries, although what you see today is a complete rebuild from the 19th century. Architects who worked on the building in the 19th century included William Hollins in 1820, Thomas Rickman in 1826 (the South Chapel built in memory of James Watt), and later J A Chatwin from 1876 to 1880. More recently the roof was repaired during 2019 to 2020.

It is a Grade II* listed building.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

 

Tour of the interior of St Mary's Church, Handsworth

You enter the church from the side door from the churchyard.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Below stained glass windows is information panels on James Watt and the Industrial Revolution (probably provided by the Birmingham Museums Trust).

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Down here you will find the monuments to Matthew Boulton, William Murdoch (spelt Murdock) and Joseph Grice. The South Chapel on the right leads to the statue of James Watt.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

The organ.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Here are two examples of stained glass windows at St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Here's the pulpit.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

And a piano.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

There's somewhere to light candles under a colourful cross.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

The lecturn resembles golden eagles.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

 

Monuments

The marble statue of James Watt (1736 - 1819) is located in the South Chapel. It was sculpted by Francis Legatt Chantrey.

This is currently the only place to see a statue of James Watt in Birmingham (the 1866 statue of James Watt formerly at Chamberlain Square by Alexander Munro has been in storage since 2015).

James Watt St Mary's Handsworth

The Monument to Matthew Boulton (1728 - 1809) is by Flaxman.

Matthew Boulton St Marys Handsworth

The Monument to William Murdoch (spelt here as Murdock) (1754 - 1839) was also by Flaxman.

William Murdock St Marys Handsworth

There is also a marble bust of William Murdoch in the cafe area (just behind a TV). A childrens book about James Watt was on the left.

William Murdoch

Other memorials here include this one to Joseph Grice Esquire.

Joseph Grice

Also there is a memorial/monument to Sarah Russell, and later her husband John Russell.

Sarah Russell

Also to be found here are these tombs.  A medieval armoured soldier and below him another one.

Tomb St Marys Handsworth

There was also this tomb of a couple found close to the area with the monuments to Boulton, Watt & Murdoch.

Tomb St Marys Handsworth

We hope you enjoyed this informative post and photography.  The full feature on St. Mary's Church can be found HERE.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Classic Architecture
22 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Village Primary School - enjoy our visit shared with you!

Post image

The Birmingham Heritage Week open days were held in Bournville on Saturday 11th September 2021 at about 11 venues. Elliott Brown popped to three venues that day, starting with the Bournville Village Primary School (formerly Bournville Junior School). The school opened in 1906, and celebrated their centenary in 2006. The Carillon was not open, but you could hear the bells ringing.

Related

Although the Bournville Carillon was not open to the public on Saturday 11th September, you could hear it ringing when getting off the bus on Linden Road. However Bournville Village Primary School was open with an entrance on Woodbrooke Road.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

You enter through the doors in the entrance hallway.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

The main school hall was designed by William Alexander Harvey and is a truly magnificent space.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Just look at the stained glass window unveiled in 2006 on the centenary of the school opening in 1906. It was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Gloucester and is stunning!

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Bournville Village Primary has some great values. 

Bournville Village Primary School

 

There is a black and white photo portrait of the schools founder George Cadbury (1839 - 1922).

Bournville Village Primary School

 

There was also a black and white portrait photo of his wife, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (1858 - 1951). George married his second wife Elizabeth in 1888 and they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1913. A tablet was placed in the main school hall in 1913 by the residents of Bournville to celebrate the occasion. Sadly George died in 1922, and Elizabeth was a widow for 29 years (until her own death in 1951).

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Through some of the locked doors, you can see corridors to classrooms, and also see the classrooms from the main hall.

Bournville Village Primary School

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Modern Architecture
20 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The story behind the new BT Tower logo

Post image

During 2021, Birmingham We Are's regular photographers Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley have occasionally been getting updates, everytime BT put up a "T" or a "B". Since at least March 2021, one side had a "T". The "B" didn't go up until August 2021 due to nesting peregrine falcons.

Related

Between February and August 2021, the BT Tower in Birmingham on Lionel Street finally got the the new BT logos attached on both sides of the building.

The "T" on one side together with a circle was put up between February and March 2021. The "B" and the other "T" didn't go up until late August 2021.  This was due to nesting peregrine falcons.

The photography below was taken by Birmingham We Are's regular contributors Daniel Sturley and Elliott Brown.

 

6th February 2021

"Not for everyone" - workers spotted abseiling from the top of the BT Tower.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

24th February 2021

From Edgbaston Reservoir, it wasn't particularly clear to see what they were doing up on the BT Tower but you could spot the BT logo on Three Snowhill from this vantage point.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

2nd March 2021

Pins are put in place for the circle of the logo and the "T" of BT. The "B" pins can just be seen.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

21st March 2021

First blue circle of the logo and a "T" goes into place on one side of the building.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

3rd April 2021

View from the train going past Birmingham Snow Hill Station. This side of the building at the time had a complete blue circle, but only visible pins for the "BT" logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

17th April 2021

Still only a lone "T" can be seen from Hill Street near Birmingham New Street Station. With peregrine falcons nesting at the top, BT engineers couldn't return until late August.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

21st April 2021

A close up view from the bottom of the BT Tower from Lionel Street. It's a long way up.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

16th May 2021

Here's a view up the tower from Lionel Street in the Jewellery Quarter, near Ludgate Hill. It would be another three months before they got back up to finish the BT logos.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown..

 

21st June 2021

View of the BT Tower from St Paul's Square with St Paul's Church. At the time, this side of the BT Tower still just had the blue circle.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

14th July 2021

The view of the BT Tower from Ladywood Middleway. Still just the lone "T" from the Ladywood view.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

23rd July 2021

This view is as you come off the M6 motorway, Junction 6 at Spaghetti Junction  (Gravelly Hill Interchange) onto the Aston Expressway, A38(M).  On the skyline you could see The Mercian and the BT Tower (still without a visible "BT" at this point).

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

27th July 2021

A view of the BT Tower from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal near Ludgate Hill in the Jewellery Quarter.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley..

 

7th August 2021

Scaffolding goes up at the top of the BT Tower and there is now visible ropes from there to the bottom of the tower. Work finally resumes to finish replacing the BT Tower's logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

13th August 2021

The Library of Birmingham reopens the Discovery Terrace (Level 3) and Secret Garden (Level 7) to visitors. It was now possible to see the BT Tower from both terraces. This view taken from the Secret Garden. The last time you would see the "T Tower" before the end of the month with Three Snowhill (which already had it's "BT" logos).

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

30th August 2021

In the last weeks of August, engineers returned to the BT Tower to attach the remaining letters to both sides of the building. Some of the scaffolding above had also been removed. This view taken from Great Charles Street Queensway.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

4th September 2021

A quick late afternoon visit to the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham, just before closing provides an opportunity to capture the BT Tower again from up high, now with the completed new logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

11th September 2021

A view from the Isaac Tongue Junction in Northfield at Bell Hill. Near the A38 (Sir Herbert Austin Way and Bristol Road South) of The Bank (tower 2), The Mercian and the BT Tower. A distance of about 6 and a half miles for this photo. The new BT logo only visible on a zoom camera (not with the naked eye from that distance).

Bank Mercian BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

We hope you enjoyed this post from Birmingham We Are.

See all our wonderful Birmingham Gems at www.BirminghamGems.com  

 

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
People & community
07 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Library of Birmingham ready for volunteers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Post image

From the 6th September 2021 until December, people who applied to be volunteers at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games can show up for an interview (if they have been invited). They will go to the Library of Birmingham. The Library Cafe and half of Level 2 have been taken over. Photos taken by Elliott Brown on the 4th September 2021 before closing time.

Related

Let the Games Begin! Enter via the door at Centenary Square, to what used to be the Library Cafe at the Library of Birmingham.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

As you can see Birmingham 2022 has taken over the space of the Library Cafe.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

As well as the Mezzannine floor (which is above the Library Cafe space).

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games banners have been placed inside of the Library foyer area on the ground floor.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Head up the escalators to Level 2. Note that the you might have to walk up the escalator from Level's 1 to 2, or use the lifts.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Be at the Heart of it. If you are applying to be a volunteer, head this way to your interview. Good luck.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Information about the Legacy Programmes and the Queen's Baton Relay. The relay last went into Birmingham's Centenary Square during 2014 (ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games).

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Meet the mascot, Perry the Bull.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
05 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

'Gratitude' - A tribute to NHS staff and key workers held in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham

Post image

Elliott Brown, a regular contributor at Birmingham We Are, got chance to experience Gratitude, a tribute to NHS staff and key workers, before it was moved to Manchester. The tribute consisted of 51 sculptures and was curated by creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

If you missed the event, don't worry you can still enjoy Elliott's gallery with us here!

Related

Gratitude was an event held by Wild in Art in Chamberlain Square, at Paradise Birmingham, which ran from the 20th to 30th August 2021. It has now moved on to Manchester and will then move on to Edinburgh and London. It pays tribute to NHS staff and keyworkers during the pandemic.

There were 51 "Lockdown Oscars" displayed in Chamberlain Square close to the Chamberlain Memorial.

The display had mirrors around it and it was curated by creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Gratitude

Gratitude

The gallery below includes 22 photos taken at Gratitude Lockdown Oscars.  Enjoy!

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

'Gratitude' has now moved to St Peter's Square in Manchester.

In Autumn 2021, the sculptures will be auctioned with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together.

Wesleyan was one of the main sponsors of the event.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

Share  Connect with us
110 passion points
Environment & green action
23 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

Post image

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

This is a wonderful walk or cycle ride in a wonderful Park. There is so much to enjoy including the Swan Pool, Sandwell Priory ruins and Sandwell Park Farm.  Enjoy with our compliments.

Related

To get to Sandwell Country Park

If you are travelling from outside Sandwell, catch the West Midlands Metro from Birmingham or Wolverhampton to West Bromwich Central. Alternatively catch the no 74 bus to West Bromwich Bus Station.

Note:  We recommend you buy a day ticket on the My Metro app before you travel.

West Bromwich Central Tram StopPhotography by Elliott Brown

Outside the station you could hire a West Midlands Cycle bike if you do not fancy walking.

West Midlands Cycle Hire West BromwichPhotography by Elliott Brown

Turn left onto the West Bromwich Ringway, then pass West Bromwich Bus Station. Turn right onto St Michael Street, continue onto New Street into the New Square shopping centre. Perhaps stop for coffee.

If you missed West Midlands Cycle Hire before, there is another docking point outside of Central St Michael's Sixth Form College.

West Midlands Cycle HireWest Midlands Cycle Hire at Central St Michael's Sixth Form College (August 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue through New Square and turn left towards Cronehill Linkway Car Park. Next walk up Cronehills Linkway, stop at the lights and cross over the Cronehills Interchange Bridge.

Cronehills Interchange BridgeCronehills Interchange Bridge. Photography by Elliott Brown

Near The Expressway follow the path onto Sandwell Road North, then onto Taylors Lane and Woodward Street until you get to Dagger Lane.

Turn right onto Salters Lane and continue heading down to the gate.

Enter Sandwell Valley Country Park. 

At the gates, enter Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Sandwell Valley Country ParkSalters Lane entrance to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue along Salters Lane through the park. The path/road here is a bit rough.

Along the way you will pass the fields of Sandwell Park Farm.

Sandwell Valley cowsSandwell Park Farm. Photography by Elliott Brown

You will then cross the first bridge over the M5 motorway.

Bridge 1 M5 Sandwell ValleyBridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

You are now on the other side of Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Now turn left onto Beacon Way and follow the path all the way around the Swan Pool.

Swan Pool Sandwell ValleySwan Pool at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After you've gone around the Swan Pool, turn left which takes you back onto the main path /road towards Park Lane. You will pass the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

At the end of this path, turn right alongside Park Lane, heading to the gate.

Note: If you want to leave the park here, you can, but there are no pavements on Park Lane.

Park Lane gate Sandwell ValleyPark Lane gate at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Let's continue along the path towards the ruins of Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall.

They were built in the 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich.

Located next to the 'Sand Well', a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name, it was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 during the Reformation, and later demolished.

It was excavated between 1982 and 1988.

Sandwell Priory RuinsSandwell Priory Ruins at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Next to the Priory is the ruins of Sandwell Hall. The land was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished the existing buildings to build his house.

The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

Sandwell HallRemains of Sandwell Hall at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After this, continue along the path, and then cross over the second bridge over the M5 motorway.

Alternatively if you have time, check out the Ice House Pool and Cascade Pool.

There is also another path that takes you back towards the Swan Pool.

M5 Bridge 2 Second bridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After the bridge, there is a path where you can take your exit towards Europa Avenue, or you can continue onto Dartmouth Park or Sandwell Park Farm.

The Europa Avenue exit goes past a Mercure Hotel near M5, Junction 1 and The Expressway.

Sandwell Valley Country Park Leaving Sandwell Valley Country Park at Europa Avenue. Photography by Elliott Brown

From Europa Avenue, take Beeches Road to Birmingham Road. If you want to catch a bus instead of the tram, the 74 stops on Birmingham Road.

Here you can either go down Roebuck Street or Roebuck Lane. Go onto Devereux Road, and get onto West Bromwich Parkway.

This is the end of the trail.  We hope you enjoyed it!

If you need a tram, follow the path to Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Look out for trams.

West Bromwich ParkwayWest Midlands Metro tram at West Bromwich Parkway. Photography by Elliott Brown

It shouldn't be too long to wait for a tram at Kenrick Park Tram Stop.

Kenrick Park Tram StopWest Midlands Metro tram arriving at Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Photography by Elliott Brown

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Green travel
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Children with guides kayaking up the BCN Mainline - 11th August 2021

Post image

I was walking past Gas Street Basin, when I saw a couple of kayaks full of children and their guides. They went through the Broad Street Tunnel, then up past Brindleyplace and the Brewmasters House towards Utilita Arena Birmingham. They were probably heading for Icknield Port Loop (according to Civic Square on Twitter). I left at Oozells Street Loop. Click View article for five photos.

Related

Kayaking from Gas Street Basin to Icknield Port Loop

Starting this brief canal walk from The Mailbox, on the 11th August 2021, I walked up to the end of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Worcester Bar, Gas Street Basin. On the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline side, I saw a couple of kayaks attached together, with a guide and several children in both of them.

The kayaks at the back near Gas Street Basin, heading into the Broad Street Tunnel.

Canoeing BCN Mainline

It was now apparent that there was two pairs attached to kayaks. The first one I saw was going through the Broad Street Tunnel, while the second was was metres behind.

Canoeing BCN Mainline

A Just Eat delivery man in orange on his bike. The pair of kayaks, children and their guides. It was time to duck as I walked under the tunnel.

Canoeing BCN Mainline

View from the Broad Street Tunnel (where the head room was a bit higher at the Brindleyplace end). Both sets of kayaks were heading under the Brindleyplace and Brewmasters Bridges. With Utilita Arena Birmingham, The Malt House and the Brewmasters House nearby. Oh and the red Water Bus on the left was about to depart.

Canoeing BCN Mainline

One last view as they headed under the Brewmasters Bridge, past The ICC Energy Centre. I would leave the Main Line via the Oozells Street Loop, heading to Brindleyplace. I assume that they were heading for the Roundhouse.

Canoeing BCN Mainline

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

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Sport & leisure
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway

Post image

On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.

Related

Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club

The Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club, also called Bournville Model Yacht & Powerboat Club, was founded in the year 1900 as the Bournville Model Yachting Club at Rowheath Park. By 1926, George Cadbury Jr (son of the late George Cadbury who died in 1922) commissioned an area of marshland on the now famous Bournville Village Trust, to be reclaimed, and a concrete pool of even depth was created. The surrounding park is called The Valley Parkway by Birmingham City Council. The club has their own Boat House on site, and regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and Sunday afternoons for model power boating. They sometimes also meet on other days for model boating.

 

26th March 2017

That Sunday there was model RNLI  powerboats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway.

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

 

4th October 2018

On a Thursday morning walk through The Valley Parkway, I only managed to get one photo of a model yacht in the lake. See the project gallery for more photos. They don't usually sail the model yachts on Thursday's. At weekends they regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and on weekdays, they meet on Wednesday mornings, and sometimes Tuesday afternoons. It's the power boat sessions that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Valley Parkway Bournville

 

15th August 2021

A Sunday morning walk along Bournville Lane, to see if I could see any activity from the Bournville Model Yacht Club. Luckily, there was a whole bunch of them out at Bournville Lake, with a lot of model yachts, as you can see in the gallery below. The members seem to be mostly retired men and women.

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

Valley Parkway Bournville

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

Share  Connect with us
100 passion points
Green open spaces
09 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021

Post image

I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.

Related

Previous Sandwell Valley Country Park post from my visit of July 2017.

 

Sandwell Valley Country Park, 4th August 2021

It's been around two years since I last got off the tram at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. And since then we have had the pandemic. By late July 2021, the Midland Metro Alliance closed the extension from Bull Street to Stephenson Street (so all stops to Library are closed until October 2021 for track relaying works). So I booked my day ticket in the My Metro app before I set out, and travelled to Bull Street Tram Stop.

I got the tram to West Bromwich Central, and after a coffee and toastie at Costa at New Square Shopping Centre, started walking towards Sandwell Valley Country Park (via the Cronehills Interchange Bridge which crosses The Expressway). I avoided Dartmouth Park, and got to Dagger Lane, and headed down Salters Lane to get into the park.

 

Sandwell Park Farm

Welcome to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Home to Sandwell Park Farm. This sign seen from Salters Lane. Sandwell Valley Children's Fun Fair is to the right.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

I almost walked up the road to the car park, but instead got back on Salters Lane towards the gate and went through it into the park.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

The path / road to walk on was quite rough. On the right saw a field full of cows.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

These flowers growing in the field are Helicrysum arenarium, according to a scan of Google Lens on my phone.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Further down, another field was full of sheep.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

The rough path continues on towards the first bridge that crosses over the M5 motorway.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Before I crossed the bridge, saw another path, this one runs around Hillhouse Farm

Sandwell Valley Country Park

 

M5 bridge crossing no 1

The first bridge over the M5 motorway. It is a Weak Bridge, so only vehicles of 7.5T mgw or less. Assume it is used by lightweight farm or park vehicles?

M5 bridge 1

The bridge rises over the M5 motorway as I walked towards the other half of the park.

M5 bridge 1

A lot of traffic on the M5 below. Heading towards the end of the M5 and M6, Junction 8. Left lane, M6 south, right lanes, M6 north.

M5 bridge 1

This view below towards M5, Junction 1 for West Bromwich. There was also a sign for Birmingham Park & Ride (either train or tram). If train then it probably means either The Hawthorns or Smethwick Galton Bridge.

M5 bridge 1

 

Swan Pool

This is the largest lake at Sandwell Valley Country Park. It is called the Swan Pool (alternative names include Wasson or Warstone). Used for sailing. Home of ducks, geese and swans. Paths around the lake for walks, taking your dog for a walk. Also used by cyclists.

A walk around Swan Pool, along the paths in a clockwise direction.

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Some swans in the lake, near decking used for fishing.

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

There was Canada geese in the lake as well as some Greylag geese.

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

After leaving Swan Pool, got a couple more photos from the path towards Park Lane, near the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

Swan Pool Sandwell Valley

 

Path from Park Lane

After leaving Swan Pool I was next heading towards Park Lane. I eventually got to this gate and crossed over, but couldn't see any pavements to safely walk to The Hawthorns, so instead followed the path towards the ruins instead.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Looking back to the Park Lane exit, behind me, I was approaching the ruins of both Sandwell Priory (closed 1525) and Sandwell Hall (demolished 1928).

Sandwell Valley Country Park

 

Sandwell Priory Ruins

The remains of Sandwell Priory, a medieval Benedictine monastery, which was excavated between 1982 and 1988. Some of the finds are on display at a small museum at Sandwell Park Farm. It was built in the mid 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich. It was located next to the 'Sand Well' a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name. In the first couple of centuries there was probably hundreds of monks here, but by the second half of the 14th century, there was only about one or two monks at the priory. After a recovery in the 15th century, the numbers declined again by the time Cardinal Wolsey closed it in 1525. By this date there was only the Prior and one monk, and many buildings were in a poor state.

Sandwell Priory Ruins

Sandwell Priory Ruins

Sandwell Priory Ruins

Sandwell Priory Ruins

 

Sandwell Hall Ruins

Sandwell Hall was built in top of Sandwell Priory in 1705. The site was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished most of the existing buildings to build a new house. It was built in brick and had towers on three corners. In the 19th century a portico supported by columns was added to the front of the hall, and the hall was extended to the west. The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

Sandwell Hall Ruins

Sandwell Hall Ruins

 

M5 bridge crossing no 2

After seeing the ruins of both Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall, the path leads directly to another footbridge over the M5 motorway. Again a Weak Bridge for vehicles with 7.5T mgw.

M5 Bridge 2

I wasn't expecting to cross the M5 twice, as I originally thought of leaving the park at Park Lane (but no pavements).

M5 Bridge 2

Busy traffic on the M5 below. Was a 40 mph limit towards the junction with the M6.

M5 Bridge 2

Southbound towards Worcester and Bristol was fine, just northbound to the end of the M5 looked congested.

M5 Bridge 2

 

Exit to Europa Avenue

After crossing over the second M5 bridge, I left via the path towards Europa Avenue. Found a housing estate with various cul-de-sacs. The path emerged onto a cul-de-sac called St John's Close. Saw this Welcome sign.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Now on Europa Avenue, saw this Sandwell Valley Community Noticeboard next to a red post box.

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Passing a Mercure Hotel, I took a route towards Kenrick Park Tram Stop, via Beeches Road, Birmingham Road, Roebuck Lane and Devereux Road. Found a path onto the West Bromwich Parkway, and Kenrick Park was a short walk away. The tram back had no free seats, so stood all the way back to Bull Street.

 

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

Share  Connect with us
90 passion points
Transport
03 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Emirates taking off from Birmingham on a Boeing 777-300ER

Post image

It's nice to see that Emirates have resumed their route from Birmingham Airport to Dubai. Although they are not using the double decker Airbus A380 at the moment. So back to the Boeing 777-300ER they were using before. Emirates had been alternating them over the years anyway. Once saw a Boeing 777 taking off while I was plane spotting at the Sheldon Country Park several years ago.

Related

15th March 2017

That day I spent about an hour plane spotting from the Sheldon Country Park, mainly to spot the Emirates plane. Turns out that lunchtime it was the Boeing 777-300ER taking off from runway 15. It was a glorious sunny blue sky day at the Birmingham / Solihull border. The Emirates Boeing 777 plane took off around 1:50pm during the day, bound for Dubai. At the time they were using the Airbus A380 plane in the evening instead.

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

 

6th August 2017

That time I spotted a Emirates Boeing 777 while walking through Boldmere in Sutton Coldfield (on The Big Sleuth trail). I was on the Boldmere High Street. In this case this Emirates plane was coming into land at Birmingham Airport from Dubai shortly before 12pm that day. Shortly after this I saw a Qatar Airways plane coming into land.

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates Boeing 777

 

1st August 2021

I travelled by bus (the 11A changing in Acocks Green) to the Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley, for another look at the City Skyline. First I saw a TUI plane taking off from Birmingham Airport, and before I left the park, I saw this Emirates Boeing 777 taking off for Dubai, just before 2:40pm in the afternoon. I think it's the first Emirates plane I've caught on camera since the pandemic began. Would be nice to see the Airbus A380 over the skies of Birmingham again.

Emirates Boeing 777

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

 

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Modern Architecture
26 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pink artwork Selfridges - mid April to late July 2021 update

Post image

After more than 9 months, the pink artwork called 'Dogtooth Flower' designed by Osman Yousefzada is now complete. It completely wraps around Selfridges on Park Street and Moor Street. Now the work to remove the discs underneath can begin. This gallery update featuring photos taken from the 17th April until 25th July 2021, at various locations around the City Centre.

Related

For the previous post go here: Osman Yousefzada's Dogtooth Flower at Selfridges

 

17th April 2021

Only a partial bit of pink artwork spotted on the Park Street side of Selfridges. Taken from the Digbeth Branch Canal in Eastside, near Curzon Street, overlooking the HS2 station site.

Selfridges

 

This view below taken in Digbeth from Milk Street, looking up Coventry Street, with the Rotunda seen above. Below is Moor Street Car Park.

Selfridges

 

This Digbeth view taken from Birchall Street, looking up Stone Yard, towards Birmingham Coach Station, near the Connaught Square development site.

Selfridges

 

27th May 2021

West Midlands Cycle Hire docking point seen on Park Street, opposite Selfridges. After this I went up the lift in Moor Street Car Park for the first time in ages.

Selfridges

 

The view from level 8 of Moor Street Car Park. The Park Street side of Selfridges.

Selfridges

Looking right towards the Parametric Bridge that connects Moor Street Car Park to Selfridges.

Selfridges

The view of Selfridges down Park Street, taken from the Parametric Bridge. The gaps have been filled in, so you can't really get your lens through much.

Selfridges

 

29th May 2021

A couple of days later and the standard view of Selfridges from the corner of Park Street and Moor Street. About halfway up, but yet to go over the top of the Parametric Bridge.

Selfridges

 

5th June 2021

The views heading down from St Martin's Walk into St Martin's Square at the Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham.

Selfridges

The screen on for the French Open, was still there for Wimbledon, and for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Selfridges

Vietnamese Street Kitchen is now open, where Handmade Burger Co used to be.

Selfridges

Selfridges near the entrance of Bullring Car Park, on Park Street.

Selfridges

The usual view from the Park Street and Moor Street corner, close to the entrance of Moor Street Car Park.

Selfridges

Heading up Moor Street to Birmingham Moor Street Station, several NXWM Platinum buses waiting opposite on the 50 (or 35).

Selfridges

The view of Selfridges from Birmingham Moor Street Station with the Chiltern Railways 168214 train waiting at platform 3. Rotunda on the right.

Selfridges

Now on platform 1 waiting to catch a train home, saw this view of the station with the Parametric Bridge. Still a long way to go at this point

Selfridges

 

13th June 2021

The view from Barford Street and Sherlock Street over the Smithfield development site. Near Southside. Pershore Street Car Park was getting demolished, Moat Lane Car Park is next for demolition.

Selfridges

 

21st June 2021

Blossom Bar was coming to the Bullring above St Martin's Square. Can barely see Selfridges from here.

Selfridges

It was open by the time we went into July.

Selfridges

 

4th July 2021

Ominious clouds above Selfridges from the usual Moor Street and Park Street corner view. I was walking to the Custard Factory in Digbeth. This was the last photo I took before it started heavily raining while in Digbeth (and I got drenched).

Selfridges

 

19th July 2021

The view from Moor Street Queensway, bus stop MS4. A bus advertising the new Warner Bros / DC movie The Suicide Squad passes Birmingham Moor Street Station, the view of Selfridges on Moor Street.

Selfridges

 

20th July 2021

On the no 50 NXWM Platinum bus heading towards the Bullring. This view of Selfridges, taken from the skyline view on Moseley Road, between Highgate and Digbeth. This view might be lost in the future, if the proposed building between Moseley Street and Cheapside gets built up here.

Selfridges

 

The 50 is now on Moat Lane, about to stop on St Martin's Lane near St Martin's Church and Park Street. I would get off the bus at the 50 terminus on Moor Street.

Selfridges

 

25th July 2021

I got off the bus early on High Street Bordesley, to walk up to Camp Hill. Got this view near Alcester Street of the Rotunda, 103 Colmore Row, Selfridges and the BT Tower. The self storage place has closed down I think.

Selfridges

 

Later walking back up Digbeth near the Beorma Quarter. The Prince's Trust is in the Digbeth Cold Storage building. I saw a no 97 bus passing the building.

Selfridges

Selfridges near the top of Digbeth. St Martin's Church on the left.

Selfridges

Selfridges from Digbeth and on Park Street at the pedestrian traffic lights. A no 50 NXWM Platinum bus goes by.

Selfridges

 

Later I got back on my bus at Moor Street Queensway (MS4), with another view of Birmingham Moor Street Station and pink Selfridges. The taxi rank outside.

Selfridges

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

 

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Show more