Modern Architecture
17 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The new logo going up the BT Tower during 2021

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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". But the "B" didn't go up until August 2021 due to nesting peregrine falcons.

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Between February and August 2021, the BT Tower in Birmingham on Lionel Street, got the the new BT logos attached on both sides. The "T" on one side and a circle was put up between February and March 2021. The "B" and the other "T" didn't go up until late August 2021, due to nesting peregrine falcons.

Gallery below of photos taken by Birmingham We Are photography regular contributors Daniel Sturley and Elliott Brown.

 

6th February 2021

Crazy men abseiling down 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 go in place for the circle and the "T". The "B" pins are faint at this point.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

21st March 2021

First blue circle and a "T" goes up.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

3rd April 2021

View from the train going past Birmingham Snow Hill Station, this side 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 the lone "T" as seen from Hill Street near Birmingham New Street Station. With a peregrine falcon nest up there, 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

The view up from Lionel Street in the Jewellery Quarter, near Ludgate Hill. 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

Coming 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 had gone up the top of the BT Tower, and there was now visible ropes from there to the bottom of the tower. Work had finally resumed to finish replacing the BT Tower's logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

13th August 2021

The Library of Birmingham had reopened the Discovery Terrace (Level 3) and Secret Garden (Level 7) to visitors. So 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. An opportunity to get 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 away. The new BT logo visible on zoom in on a camera (if not with the naked eye from that distance).

Bank Mercian BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

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0 passion points
Classic Architecture
17 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Ely Cathedral Visit - 15th September 2021

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I was delighted to experience Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire during a few days in Cambridge City with my mum, taking the train to Ely and walking over to the cathedral, having a wonderful time taking loads of photographs of this amazing Norman building, the interior equally as stunning as the exterior.

Over 30 photos in this gallery post, enjoy!

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Photography by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points
Civic pride
17 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

My Trip to Cambridge, September 2021 - Part One

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Here is the first gallery of photography from my trip to Cambridge, more to come soon, the architecture of the city was magical and inspiring and I walked miles getting hundreds of photos to pick from and here is the first batch of the best so far, all except the first (15th) taken on 16th September 2021.

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Cambridge, a Seriously Nice Bicycle - 15th September 2021

Cambridge, a View from Travelodge - 16th September 2021

One of the Spires of King's College Chapel

The Tower of Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

One of the Spires of King's College Chapel

King's College Chapel

A pigeon on a chimney

The Senate House and the Gonville and Caius College

The Senate House and the Old Schools

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College with the Wilkins Building Behind

King's College Chapel

The Bronze Model of the Modern City

The Senate House and the Gonville and Caius College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Sundial at Caius Court

Senate House Passage

Railings at the Senate House

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Corpus Clock

The Corpus Clock

Bicycles

The Sundial on St Botolph's Church

Chimneys

The Courtyard at Pembroke College

Part Two to follow soon...

 

 

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Post Pandemic Office Scheme Approved

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A major post-pandemic office scheme at 40 Upper Gough Street has today been approved by Birmingham City Council's planning committee (September 16th, 2021).

  • 218,000 sq ft of flexible workspace & commercial
  • New east-west pedestrian route
  • State-of-the-art rooftop garden
  • ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ project
  • Related
    TWITTER: Buildsweare
    INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
     

     

    This two block office destination will now see the delivery of a ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ project offering 218,000 sq ft of flexible workspace, public realm improvements, six commercial units, and a state-of-the-art rooftop garden.

    Brought forward by City Realty Ltd, and driven by Holland Lloyd, Lambert Smith Hampton and Corstorphine + Wright, the plans aim to revive the area by delivering a truly mixed-use district.

    THE SITE

    BUILDINGS 1 & 2

    The main building [1] to Upper Gough Street, a 9-storey influenced by the former façade of St. Thomas Church, will wrap along the street and will feature open plan offices, reception & up to five commercial units around its boundary; while a shared basement will offer vehicular access for 20 from Marshall Street, cycle parking, showers, changing facilities, and a café unit.

    The building also includes a set back upper floor, allowing for a state-of-the-art roof garden boasting panoramic views across Birmingham. 

    The second building [2], a red brick affair influenced by the existing 93-99 Holloway Head - coming forward in Phase 2 - tops out at 10 floors onto Marshall Street and 9-storeys to its western end.

    Its basement level includes a loading bay, plant rooms and one commercial unit, with open plan offices also on the upper levels.

    NEW LANDSCAPED PUBLIC REALM

    To create greater permeability between both buildings, the project introduces an exciting east-west pedestrian route that’ll connect the existing Chapmans Passage with Marshall Street & to St. Thomas’ Church & The Peace Garden - one of Birmingham’s most historic of buildings.

    This new space would then offer the real potential for cafes and restaurants to open up shop here.

    FUTURE PHASE(S)

    All CGIs and renders are the property of Corstorphine+Wright.

    TWITTER: Buildsweare
    INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

£30M office 'Enterprise Wharf' well underway

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Lighting progress is being made at Enterprise Wharf, a new £30M addition to Birmingham Innovation Campus - the UK’s largest dedicated digital tech campus, home to over 170 businesses.

Follow the post for an overview of the project and the latest construction images.

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TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
 

Constrution images from Stephen Giles.

Featuring over 120,000 sq. ft of state-of-the-art commercial office space over ten floors, Enterprise Wharf will soon become Birmingham's first smart-enabled building, providing modern, flexible office space designed with digital and tech businesses in mind.

The building will feature a large, open plan reception and collaboration space, showers and kit drying room, an open-air roof garden alongside new outdoor breakout space, landscaping and public realm, including improved access to the adjacent Birmingham and Fazeley canal.

Enterprise Wharf is earmarked for an October 2022 completion.

ARTISTS IMPRESSIONS

All images are the property of Associated Architects.

PROJECT TEAM:

PARTNERS: Bruntwood SciTech (Bruntwood & Legal and General Joint Venture)
ARCHITECTS: Associated Architects
CONTRACTOR: Graham Construction
AGENTS: Avison Young/ Savills
COST MANAGER: RLF
PLANNING CONSULTANT: Turley Planning

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
People & community
07 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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110 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - September 2021

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Some of the parapet cladding extension has been installed and the east facing side is tantalisingly close to external completion. Photos from mid August to 4th September in this construction photo update.

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18th August

Photography by Elliott Brown.

20th August

25th August

26th August

28th August

30th August

31st August

4th September

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 1400 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Approval for Smithfield & Wolverley House

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  • Two new hotels for Birmingham
  • 12-storey, 175-bedroom lifestyle hotel
  • 9-storey, 80-bedroom aparthotel
  • Ground & rooftop public uses

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

Birmingham City Council has today approved plans to demolish the underutilised Smithfield House and Wolverley House and redevelop the site with 255-beds across two new hotels.

Comprising two parcels of land, separated by the pedestrianised Upper Mill Lane - which will also undergo £107,000 of public realm improvements, the site is to be developed to deliver a 12-storey, 80-bed aparthotel, and a 9-storey, 175-bed lifestyle hotel.

Each building will serve commercial ground floor uses, including cafe and restaurant space, with the addition of an enclosed rooftop terrace space in Smithfield House, and a rooftop public bar with its own independent entrance at Wolverley House.

Over three years in the making and, with the buildings struggling to attract commercial office tenants, the owners of the site have turned their attention into creating a new destination for the area, sitting as it does on the edge of the emerging Smithfield masterplan.

Lethia Holdings Ltd (freeholder of Wolverley House) and Uddingston Holdings (leaseholder of Smithfield House) are behind these now-approved plans.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
People & community
31 Aug 2021 - YourPlaceYourSpace
Inspiration

No limits to 'what you can achieve' at the Benson Community

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It all started for Paul, when he and his life-long friend Errol were watching a kick-about in the local park in Winson Green. With a vision that involved 'giving back to society', Paul and his team have gone on to grow a truly inspirational community project, now known as The Benson Community.  

Take a look at what they have achieved.

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When you first meet Paul Landucci and his team at Benson Community, you are immediately struck by three things: 

First of all, the passion they have for what they do; second, the energy and determination they have to succeed; and third the enjoyment and pleasure they and others get from what they do within the Community.

Paul says that for him it's all about 'giving back to society'.

You just have to watch and see his face light up when a young person who has never ridden a bike before, let alone ever owned a bike, manages to master the skill of cycling for the first time.

Just see what it means to Paul to see the reaction of the child. For Paul and the team, their message to all those who take part is that there are 'no limits to what you can achieve'.

The Benson Community should be proud of what they have achieved in such a short period of time.

In addition to cycling classes and tuition, the Benson Community offers football, basketball and other activities within the Community. Hundreds of people, of all ages, have enjoyed taking part and being involved.  

Over the years, Paul and Errol have not only given countless hours of their time for free, they have also dipped into their own pockets to buy equipment. 

Much of what is delivered is provided at the Hadley Stadium in Smethwick.  

In addition, equipment needed for their activities is often transported by van to parks and open spaces so more people can take part and enjoy the value of coming together as one community.   

For Paul and the team, it's all about creating a better society for all as the project has no boundaries.  For more details on the Community, to donate what you can and to support them in what ever way you can, contact Paul Landucci on 07882 079454.

Photography courtesy Benson Community.

For more on The Benson Community, click here

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
31 Aug 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Alben Works, 1-2 Legge Lane, Closing On Completion

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  • New mixed-use redevelopment on Legge Lane
  • 4 live/work units, an office, and 9 rear townhouses
  • All set around a private courtyard
  • Reinstation of building frontage on historic street

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

We took to the skies, and to the streets of the Jewellery Quarter, to snap the latest progress on Alben Works, 1-2 Legge Lane.

Liv Projekt - the development company behind Sjölander da Cruz Architects - has repaired and reinstated the plots long lost building frontage by producing an uncompromising mixed use scheme inspired by the industrial heritage of the Jewellery Quarter.

Featuring 4 live/work units - including two duplexes - and a double-height ground floor office unit fronting Legge Lane, Alben Works also provides a rear wing comprising an additional 9 (2-3 bed) contemporary townhouses with outdoor terraces, all set around a quiet courtyard space.

The former site (as seen below), a poorly executed 1960s factory that never truly utilised the site’s footprint, was set back from the street and was at complete odds with its historic surroundings.

It was once home to the Rapid Steel Company that made alben safety razors before being consigned to the history books in 2019.

Since then, Alben Works has been built out by Greswolde Construction, and now offers a fluid rhythm of frontages right across this historic JQ street, respecting the urban and historical contexts of the area but also that of the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area.

DEMOLISHED: Former Rapid Steel Company warehouse/ Image from Liv Projekt.

Images from Stephen GIles.

ALBEN WORKS: ARTISTS IMPRESSIONS

All CGIs the property of Liv Projekt/ Sjölander da Cruz Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
26 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - August 2021 - Update Two

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An interesting construction photo gallery of One Centenary Way, all taken from the 'Secret Garden' atop the Library on 14th August.

The building is just over half way up and now level with Two Chamberlain Square.

Click View Article to view the gallery.

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Photography by Daniel Sturley

See more in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Construction Photography

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60 passion points
Environment & green action
23 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

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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.

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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

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50 passion points
Green travel
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

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

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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.

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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

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80 passion points
Sport & leisure
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway

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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.

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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

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - August 2021

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Exciting gallery for August! The Library of Birmingham's Secret Garden and Lower Terrace are now open and we have views of the construction from these for the first time in 18 months. The above from Elliott Brown on the 13th plus more from Daniel Sturley from the 14th. Also from Elliott, some great skyline views from Tyseley to the east of the city and more. Amazing photos!

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23rd July

From the Aston Expressway.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

24th July

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

25th July

On Broad Street.

27th July

From Great Charles Queensway Footbridge.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

31st July

From Harborne Road, Edgbaston.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

1st August

From Oaklands Recreation Ground.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

7th August

Some architectural detals.

The lower frontage is being revealed.

From the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

8th August

From Cannon Hill Park.

11th August

From Broad Street.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

13th August

From the Library Lower Terrace.

From the 'Secret Garden'.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

14th August

From the Library's 'Secret Garden'.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

15th August

From Tyseley Station.

Photography by Elliott Brown.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now nearly 1400 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

 

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50 passion points
Travel & tourism
15 Aug 2021 - YourPlaceYourSpace
Gallery

City views from the 'Secret Garden' at the Library - wonderful!

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The 'Secret Garden' on the 7th Floor of the Library of Birmingham is open and our regular Birmingham We Are contributors Elliott and Daniel couldn't wait to get back up after 18 months to photograph all the changes across the city. We've included some photos of the inside of the Library and of the Secret Garden in this gallery.

Related

Inside the amazing Library of Birmingham. (August 13th 2021)

 

The Library's 'Secret Garden' on the 7th floor (13th August 2021)

 

City views from the Secret Garden

Here looking down at Centenary Square from 50 metres above it in the Secret Garden.

 

Here's a selection of views over the city.

 

Here's some of the amazing flowers that can be found in the Secret Garden.

All the amazing photography from our community contributors Daniel Sturley and Elliott Brown.

 

For our feature on the Library of Birmingham, one of our Birmingham Gems go HERE.

For our Birmingham Gems interactive map, go HERE.

For all Birmingham Gems, go to www.BirminghamGems.com.

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - August 2021

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The external construction of 103 Colomore Row is essentially complete with the large covered recess on the Colmore Row side  being finalised. A large gallery of photos covering April to early August in the full article.

Related

17th April

Photography by Elliott Brown.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

24th April

Photography by Elliott Brown.

29th April

Photography by Elliott Brown.

30th April

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

3rd May

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

4th May

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

9th May

Photography by Elliott Brown.

16th May

Photography by Elliott Brown.

17th May

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

28th May

Photography by Elliott Brown.

1st June

Photography by Stephen Giles.

5th June

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

9th June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

12th June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

13th June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

21st June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

29th June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

30th June

Photography by Elliott Brown.

10th July

Photography by Elliott Brown.

14th July

Photography by Elliott Brown.

19th July

Photography by Elliott Brown.

20th July

Photography by Elliott Brown.

25th July

Photography by Elliott Brown.

28th July

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

1st August

Photography by Elliott Brown.

3rd August

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

Click: 103 Colmore Row Construction Photo Gallery for more.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Inspirational tour of The Gothic (July 2021)

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In July 2021, Cordia Blackswan invited It's Your Build and Birmingham We Are to visit the The Gothic. The light was great for some really atmospheric photos that shows the amazing historic detail of the building early in its refurbishment.

Take the full article for some stunning images of this great historic Jewellery Quarter building to be found on Great Hampton Street.

Related

The Gothic is a stunning building!

It was a privalege to be invited to view the building and as you will see the lighting was just perfect for some great atmospheric photography.  

We hope you think so too.  Enjoy!

Photography by Daniel Sturley and Stephen Giles.

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - August 2021

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The construction of One Centenary Way continues with a large parts of the structure up to floor nine. The building is now starting to dominate the view from Centenary Square and will soon mostly block sight of 103 Colmore Row from here. Photos from 7th August in this gallery.

Related

Photography by Daniel Sturley

See more in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Construction Photography

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
09 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

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

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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

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 Aug 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Landmark 10-storey Aston University building has been approved

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  • Iconic 10-storey new building will provide work, teaching and social learning space as well as a ground floor public arcade
  • Dynamic new marker building to Aston University
  • Part of an ambitious masterplan for Aston University campus

Related

Plans for a distinctive lantern-style building providing work, teaching and social learning space at Aston University have been approved by Birmingham City Council (August 5th 2021).

The building represents the first stage of Aston University’s masterplan and long-term strategy to revamp their estate, as they bid to create a ‘destination campus’ over the next decade — a hub comprising high-quality education and innovation set around a central landscaped plaza.

The Hawkins\Brown design is split into two playful elements: the lower civic plinth — containing a public café, lecture theatres & other key public functions — will open out onto the landscaped plaza; and the upper university pavilion: a visually striking lantern with roof terraces and a variety of teaching spaces.

Within the outdoor plaza, new trees & study spaces will be established, equipped with USB ports and Wi-Fi charging spots to enable students to study outside.

The project team also includes Price & Myers, Exterior Architecture (ExA), Ridge and Partners, Hoare Lee, CDM Associates, CBRE and PMP Consultants.

All images are the property of Hawkins\Brown and Exterior Architecture (ExA)
 
Watch our socials for more!
 
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Transport
03 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

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

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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

 

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - July 2021 - Update Two

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More steel black girders installed on One Centenary Way are taking the building to floor nine, the lower sections are painted black now all the bolts are tightened up. The mass of the construction is starting to show some dominance on the Paradise development from all angles. Photos from 18th and 24th July in this construction photography gallery.

Related

18th July

24th July

Photography by Daniel Sturley

See more in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Construction Photography

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40 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
02 Aug 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Inspiration

A Short Walk along the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal Between Newhall and Livery Street

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One of the most interesting stretches of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal can be found in the City Centre between the Newhall Street Bridge and the Livery Street Rail Bridge, unless you are somewhat claustrophobic! Mind your head and enjoy a great urbanscape away from the bustle of the Jewellery Quarter.

A gallery of photos along this route on 27th July is in the full article.

Related

Starting at the Newhall Street Bridge and tunnel and heading east will take you down to where the canal passes under Brindley House. From here you eventually reach the tiny tunnel under the Livery Street Road Bridge and immediately into the cavernous Livery Street Rail Bridge Tunnel. A spiral staircase will take you back up onto Livery Street.

To start the trail, take the steps down from Newhall Street to the canal towpath. Alternatively join the canal from Fleet Street by crossing the bridge opposite the Michell's and Butler building. 

 

Looking down the tunnel under the Newhall Street Bridge.

 

Looking back the other way (west).

 

Here's the canal as you emerge underneath Brindley House.

 

Here we look back at the tunnel under Ludgate Hill.

 

This is the much smaller Livery Street Road tunnel which sits directly alongside the cavernous rail tunnel.

 

Here we looki back from the Liver Street road tunnel.

 

Now we emerge into the massive rail tunnel.

 

Here there is a spiral staircase up to Livery Street.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

We hope you enjoyed this trail created with the help of our great Birmingham community. 

Go HERE to see other trails and maps you may enjoy. 

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60 passion points
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