Art; Culture & creativity
28 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Lion dance for the Lunar New Year outside of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square

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On Thursday 26th January 2023, the lion dance from the Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham (James Wong) started their Westside Tour at 2pm outside of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square. Elliott caught them going past The REP to The ICC. While Daniel spotted them outside his beloved Caffe Nero in Brindleyplace.

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The Lunar New Year lion dance tour in late January 2023, continued at Westside, on Thursday afternoon, on the 26th, after 2pm.

After setting up outside of the Library of Birmingham, they went past The REP, towards The ICC.

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dance

Lion dancePhotography by Elliott Brown

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History & heritage
27 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

West Bromwich - Take a Tour with us!

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Head on the tram to Sandwell from Birmingham and get off in West Bromwich (Zone 2). There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at West Bromwich. Well worth a visit. For history, there's some fascinating places to visit. There are some wonderful open spaces and some great places to relax.

Take our article.

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On your My Metro app, buy an off peak return Zone 1 - 2 ticket. Make your way to either Corporation Street or Bull Street tram stops (or any Zone 1 tram stops) in Birmingham City Centre. Catch an Urbos 3 or Urbos 100, West Midlands Metro tram towards Dudley Street Guns Village Tram Stop, where this tour will begin of West Bromwich!

 

Dudley Street Guns Village Tram Stop

This will be our stop in West Bromwich, as you can start the walk from the top of the High Street. The tram stop is at Dudley Street in West Bromwich. This is good starting point for the Farley Clock Tower. The no 74 bus also stops near here. And there is the West Bromwich Parkway.

Dudley Street Guns Village Tram StopPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

From Dudley Street,  turn right, and walk towards Carters Green and the West Bromwich High Street. Directly in front of you is the Farley Clock Tower.

 

St Andrew's Carters Green

St Andrew's Carters Green is at 18 Dudley Street, West Bromwich, B70 9LR. At the junction with Carters Green.

A church at Carters Green in West Bromwich which is shared by both The Church of England and The Methodist Church. It was built from 1915 to 1924.

St Andrew's Carters GreenPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Farley Clock Tower

This Grade II listed red brick and terracotta clock tower dates to 1897, and was named after Reuben Farley (1826 - 1899), who was the first Mayor of West Bromwich, and served four terms. Located at Carters Green. There is three reliefs, a portrait of Reuben Farley, one of Oak House and one of West Bromwich Town Hall.

Farley Clock TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Old Hop Pole

The Old Hop Pole at 474 High Street, West Bromwich, B70 9LD. Corner of Guns Lane.

A traditional West Bromwich High Street pub near Guns Village called The Old Hop Pole.

The Old Hop PolePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Wheatsheaf

The Wheatsheaf at 379 High Street, West Bromwich, B70 9QW

A Real Ale public house on the High Street in the West Bromwich called The Wheatsheaf with Pure Black Country Holder's Golden.

The WheatsheafPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Garden of Remembrance

The Memorial Gardens in West Bromwich aka the Garden of Remembrance. High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8RJ.

A place for reflection in West Bromwich for those lost in conflicts of the past. The gardens is in front of the Sandwell Register Office at Highfields House.

Memorial GardensPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Highfields House

Sandwell Register Office at Highfields, High Street, West Bromwich. B70 8RJ.

This building is the location of the Sandwell Register Office, it is called Highfields, or Highfields House. A Grade II listed building since 1985, was four houses, now offices, probably built in the 1830s.

HighfieldsPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Take a minor detour down Lodge Road, for a couple of former Sandwell College buildings, that used to be part of the West Bromwich Campus.

 

West Bromwich Grammar School

The former West Bromwich Grammar School was at Lodge Road, West Bromwich, B70 8DY

The West Bromwich Municipal Secondary School was built in 1902 as the West Bromwich Institute at Lodge Road, funded by George Kenrick. The school was expanded several times, and later became a Grammar School in 1944. The actress Madeleine Carroll was a pupil here. The school moved to new buildings in Clarkes Lane in 1964. For a period from at least the 1990s to the early 2010s, the building was part of Sandwell College as the Hair Beauty and Holistic Centre. The college moved out in 2012 to a purpose built building on the West Bromwich Ringway. The building was empty until about 2018 when Ideal Travel Services took up a unit in the building.

West Bromwich Grammar SchoolPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Ryland Memorial School of Art

What is now the British Muslim School is at Lodge Road, West Bromwich, B70 8NX

This red brick building on Lodge Road in West Bromwich, was built as an Art school in 1902 by Wood & Kendrick of Birmingham. It had been part of Sandwell College, as the Ryland Building until the early 2010s (before the college moved to a modern building on the West Bromwich Ringway). Empty for a few years, by 2017 it had become the British Muslim School and Latifiah Fultali Complex.

Ryland Memorial SchoolPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Head back to the High Street, for the Town Hall and Library next.

 

West Bromwich Town Hall

West Bromwich Town Hall is at High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DJ. Corner with Lodge Road.

A town hall in West Bromwich from 1874 to 1875, on what was the Lodge Estate. It was the headquarters of the county borough of West Bromwich and remained the seat of local government after Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council was formed in 1974. However, the council moved to a modern facility in Oldbury in 1989. The building has been Grade II listed since 1987.

West Bromwich Town HallPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

West Bromwich Central Library

West Bromwich Central Library is at 316 High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DZ

Originally a library was built into the town hall of West Bromwich of 1874-5. But a purpose built public library was built next door in 1907, by Stephen J Holliday, of red brick with yellow terracotta dressings. The building was a gift of Andrew Carnegie to the Borough. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1987, and is known as the Central Library, West Bromwich.

West Bromwich Central LibraryPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Kenrick & Jefferson Building

The Kenrick & Jefferson Building is at 1, Astle Park, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8NS

Red brick and terracotta offices built on the West Bromwich High Street in 1883 for Kenrick & Jefferson. It was a Printing Works founded by John Arthur Kenrick and Frederick Jefferson. They bought the Free Press newspaper in 1878 to help promote Liberalism.

Kenrick & JeffersonPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Sandwell

The Sandwell is at 277 High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ND. Corner with New Street.

A corner public house in West Bromwich at High Street and New Street. Now called The Sandwell. It was known as The Goose until at least 2015-16. And was associated in the past with Mitchells & Butlers. Now owned by Great UK Pubs.

The SandwellPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Billiard Hall

The Billiard Hall is at St Michael's Street, West Bromwich Ringway, West Bromwich, B70 7AB

Built as a snooker and billiard hall in 1913 in West Bromwich, since the early 21st century, the building has been used as a JD Wetherspoon Free House.

Billiard HallBilliard Hall, West Bromwich (May 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Leave the High Street, and turn left onto New Street, and walk to the New Square Shopping Centre. Perhaps stop for a coffee at Costa Coffee? On sunny blue sky days, it does get a bit bright in that Costa. There is other venues for lunch here including Nandos and a pub called the Interceptor.

 

Central St Michael's Sixth Form College

This building was originally a public arts venue called The Public, designed by Will Alsop. It was fully open by 2009, but it closed it's doors by late 2013 and was handed over to Sandwell College, where it became Central Sixth Sandwell College in 2014. By 2018 it was renamed to Central St Michael's Sixth Form College (following a merger between Sandwell College and Cadbury College). Round the back is a portrait bust of Phil Lynott (1949-86) a member of the band Thin Lizzy. It was unveiled in 2021 on what would have been his 72nd birthday.

The PublicPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Walk back along New Street, then turn left onto the High Street. You will walk past the markets and shops. Head towards Dartmouth Square where there is a memorial fountain and a clock.

 

Elizabeth Farley Memorial Fountain

This drinking fountain and canopy was originally erected in 1885 in Dartmouth Park by Alderman Farley J.P. the son of Elizabeth Farley, of whom the fountain was in memory of. In 1987, the drinking fountain and canopy was relocated to the High Street at Dartmouth Square, around the time it was granted Grade II listing status. It used to be in a dark red colour, and a canopy over it from the Farley Centre was removed between 2012 and 2014. It was renovated and repainted in blue and green in 2022.

Farley FountainPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Kenrick's Clock

This Grade II listed clock dates to 1912, and was presented to the Borough by the then Mayor, Councillor J Archibald Kenrick. The clock was relocated in 2000 from a traffic island to it's current position in Dartmouth Square. In 2022, the clock was refurbished and repainted from it's old red colours to blue and green.

Kenrick's ClockPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

From Dartmouth Square, cross over at the lights at Bull Street, and continue down the High Street. Several Indian / Asian related restaurants and bars down here. The cross over the lights at Trinity Way.

 

The Great Lion Bar & Grill

The Great Lion Bar & Grill is at 43 High Street, West Bromwich, B70 6PB

A red brick and stone building, built as the Lewisham Hotel in 1887. To the rear was the Lewisham Brewery, the architect was Arthur James Price. In recent years the building has been Desi Junction, and since 2021-22, as The Great Lion Bar & Grill, an Indian restaurant.

Great LionPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

 

Continue down the High Street, which then becomes Birmingham Road. At West Bromwich Interchange, which is M5, Junction 1, there is pavements around it. Wait for the traffic lights to stop the traffic before crossing safely. As you will go past a Georgian landmark, the only surviving building from Sandwell Hall, it's lodge!

 

The Lodge of Sandwell Hall

This remarkable survival might date to the early 18th century, it was the Lodge of Sandwell Hall. The remains of the hall are at Sandwell Valley Country Park (not far from the Sandwell Priory ruins). It is thought that William Smith designed this lodge. The M5 motorway was opened in stages between 1962 and 1972, and this lodge is a feature in West Bromwich for drivers around the Interchange. You can also see it from the top deck of the no 74 bus.

Lodge of Sandwell HallPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

From West Bromwich Interchange, walk down Birmingham Road, then cross the footbridge, as you will be approaching the home stadium of West Bromwich Albion Football Club. The Hawthorns. There is also a Starbucks Drive Thru, McDonald's and Greggs nearby.

 

The Hawthorns - home of West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion has been located at The Hawthorns since 1900, the stadium is located on Birmingham Road, on the corner with Halfords Lane. It is here that you will find the 2014 statue of Tony 'Bomber' Brown, WBA's highest goal scorer!

The HawthornsPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Hawthorns Tram Stop

Enter The Hawthorns Tram Stop from Middlemore Road in West Bromwich. There is a path called Roger Horton Way from there. Just head down the steps and wait for your tram back to Birmingham.

The HawthornsPhotography by Elliott Brown

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History & heritage
25 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Eastside and Aston University to Nechells - Take a Tour with us!

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Here is our second tour around Nechells. This time we start at the University Quarter in Eastside near Birmingham City University (BCU) and Aston University before making our way into Nechells via Aston Cross.  Of course, you could take the tour the other way.

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Nechells Tour Two: Eastside via Aston University and Aston Cross to Nechells

Arrive in Birmingham City Centre, get off your bus near Moor Street Queensway, or off your train at Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street. From Moor Street Queensway, walk down Albert Street between the Clayton Hotel and HS2. Then head onto Park Street before entering the park.

 

Eastside City Park

The park opened alongside Millennium Point and Curzon Street in 2012, and was the first new City Park for a century. Part of the park in recent years hase been taken over by HS2.

Eastside City ParkPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Woodman

A public house on the corner of New Canal Street and Albert Street (now part of Eastside City Park). It was built in 1896-97 by James & Lister Lea. It was the only pub to survive the HS2 works, but it sadly closed down in the summer of 2022.

The WoodmanPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Curzon Street Station

This was the original terminus of the London & Birmingham Railway opening in 1838 at the corner of New Canal Street and Curzon Street. It's use declined when Birmingham New Street opened in 1854, and it closed for passengers in 1893. It was used for goods until 1966. And Parcelforce used the rear of the site until 2006. It is now part of the HS2 redevelopment, and the building will be fully restored, hopefully reopening by the 2030s, almost 200 years since it was first built!

Curzon Street StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Millennium Point

A mixed use venue, it opened in 2001 near Curzon Street in Eastside. It is home to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, as well as Birmingham City University and Birmingham Metropolitan College. There used to be a IMAX cinema / Giant Screen Cinema here, but is now Platform, a venue hire space.

Millennium PointPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

A paid for science museum located within Millennium Point, it opened in 2001. The main entrance used to be via the escalators to Level 2, but after the pandemic was moved to the ground floor. It replaced the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry that used to be on Newhall Street in the Jewellery Quarter from 1951 to 1997. Most contents from that was moved here, other than those that went to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre.

Thinktank Birmingham Science MuseumPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Parkside Building

Starting from 2011, Birmingham City University started to move their main campus from Perry Barr to Eastside. The Parkside Building next to Millennium Point was the first building to be completed and opened in 2013. On the corner of Cardigan Street with Eastside City Park (and near Curzon Street).

The Parkside BuildingPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Curzon Building

The second BCU Central Campus building to be built was The Curzon Building from 2013 to 2015, on the corner of Cardigan Street and Curzon Street. It was followed by Curzon B to the back from 2016 to 2018, near Gopsal Street and the Digbeth Branch Canal (between Ashted locks 4 and 5).

The Curzon BuildingPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Now walk up to the end of Curzon Street to Curzon Circle. Then cross over at the traffic lights towards Compass.

 

Compass Birmingham 

New student accommodation at Curzon Circle, between Vauxhall Road and Lawley Middleway. It was completed in 2022, and close to the HS2 line. It replaced the Curzon Gate student accommodation that HS2 demolished in 2019. Compass Birmingham was built on the site of Professional Music Technology (who moved to the Trident Retail Park in 2019) between 2021 and 2022.

CompassPhotography by Jack Babington

 

The White Tower

The White Tower aka Moriarty's is a traditional public house at the corner of Vauxhall Road and Lawley Middleway at Curzon Circle. It is near Eastside and the HS2 development.

The White TowerPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Next walk up Lawley Middleway and cross back over to Eastside, then pass University Locks, and walk down Penn Street to Belmont Row.

 

Lock Keepers Cottage

A cottage on the Digbeth Branch Canal, near the Ashted Locks flight (close to Ashted Lock 4). It might date to 1891. The last owner moved out by 2007, after the property was compulsory purchased by the Council, ahead of the Eastside Locks redevelopment. In 2019 Lucy McLauchlan (Beats 13) painted her distinct street art in the boarded up windows and door.

Lock Keepers CottagePhotography by Jack Babington

 

Now walk along Gopsal Street, before heading up Cardigan Street.

 

Eagle & Ball by BCUSU

An Ansell's pub built in the 1840s. By the 1960s it was renamed to the Moby Dicks. Now a Grade II listed building, lovingly restored and incorpoated into Birmingham City University. It was renamed back to The Eagle & Ball. It is on the corner of Penn Street and Gopsal Street, and near The Curzon Building, as well as the Joseph Priestley Building.

Eagle & BallPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Steamhouse by Birmingham City University

The Belmont Row Works built in 1899 as the Headquarters for the Eccles Rubber and Cycle Company, and it housed rubber manufactory. By 1918 it was occupied by the Co-Operative Society, which used the premises to make underwear. In 1931 the factory was making pianos, and by 1941 bedsteads. Was destroyed by a fire in 2007. Derelict for over a decade until Birmingham City University had it restored and extended as Steamhouse from 2020 to 2022.

SteamhousePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Cross over Jennens Road between Cardigan Street and Woodcock Street. Turn left towards the Student Accommodation, then walk past the Aston Brain Centre to the Aston University main building on Aston Street.

 

Aston University Green

If walking past Aston University Library, on the left is the University Green. When the student accommodation was rebuilt in the 2010s here, the area was re-landscaped. The Chancellor's Lake has been there for decades and the Peace sculpture dating to 1985 in the lake was by William Pye. The Students Union relocated to a new building on campus in 2019 called the Sir Adrian Cadbury Building. 

Aston University GreenPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Aston University

Aston University was founded in 1966, but it began as the College of Advanced Technology with buildings dating to 1949-55 and 1957-65. The University celebrated it's 50th birthday in 2016, and was The Guardian University of the Year 2020. The campus at Aston Triangle has been redeveloped over the 2010s.

Aston UniversityPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

If you want a drink, pop into Costa Coffee on Aston Street. Tesco Express is next door. There is a view in Costa towards the Sacks of Potatoes pub.

 

Sacks of Potatoes

A traditional public house in what was the Gosta Green area of Birmingham, it probably dates to the late 19th century. It's near Woodcock Street, on the Aston University campus.

Sacks of PotatoesPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute

The building opened as the Delicia Cinema in 1923, next to the Sacks of Potatoes pub in Gosta Green, Birmingham. After the war the cinema closed and was taken over by the BBC as television studios until they moved to Pebble Mill in 1971. Aston University took over the building, later housing the Birmingham Arts Lab in 1976. Various other uses until it was a Dillons (later Waterstones) bookstore. The building was empty from 2003, but was converted into the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)  in the 2010s. Only the facade of the cinema survives.

EBRIPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Gosta Green

A public house in a red brick building dating to 1906, originally built as offices for Ansells, later the Holt Brewery. After the brewery closed down in the early 1970s, the building was converted into a pub called the Pot of Beer, but was later renamed to the Gosta Green. It is on the corner of Woodcock Street and Holt Street.

The Gosta GreenPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Walk down Lister Street, then turn left at Dartmouth Middleway, and walk towards Dartmouth Circus. Head down the subway, where you will find the Boulton & Watt Engine of 1817.

 

Dartmouth Circus - site of the Boulton & Watt Engine of 1817

This is a Grazebrook Engine built to the designs of James Watt in 1817 at a foundry in Soho, Birmingham, by Grazebrook & Whitehouse for their Netherton foundry in Dudley, Worcestershire (now West Midlands). It was retired in 1912, remaining on site as a standby engine. It was dismantled in 1964, and is now on display at Dartmouth Circus. Made of cast iron, it is 28 feet high, and weighs 10 long tons.

Boulton & Watt EnginePhotography by Elliott Brown
 

Leave Dartmouth Circus via a subway for Aston Road North. Follow the pavement towards Aston Cross, where you will find a clock.

 

Aston Cross Clock

A Historic landmark. The Aston Cross Clock Tower was made in 1891 of iron, and has four clock faces. It was near the Ansells Brewery (on site from 1881 to 1981) and the HP Sauce factory (late 19th century until 2007). The site today is East End Foods. The island is between Aston Road, North, Park Lane, Rocky Lane and the Lichfield Road.

Aston Cross ClockPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Aston Cross Tavern

A former public house, Aston Cross Tavern  (also called at one point The Golden Cross) was on the corner of the Lichfield Road and Rocky Lane at Aston Cross, Birmingham. It was last called O'Reillys, closed by 2012, now flats. There has been a pub on this site since the late 18th century, but this building probably dates to the late 19th century. It was built for the Holt Brewery, and later owned by the Ansells Brewery.

The Golden CrossPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Aston Cross Library

A public library built on the Lichfield Road in Aston in 1903. It was opposite the Ansells Brewery and HP Sauce factory (until they closed down). The building hasn't been a library for a long time, there is rooms to let inside. Funds to built it was provided by Andrew Carnegie, on a site gifted by William and Edward Ansell. The library closed during the 1970s.

Aston Cross LibraryPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Next walk along Rocky Lane, turn onto Chester Street, then Avenue Road, and Rupert Street.

 

Nechells Wellbeing Centre

This facility is located on Rupert Street in Nechells. It shares a building with the Nechells Community Sports Centre.

Nechells Wellbeing CentrePhotography by Jack Babington

 

St Matthew's Church

St Matthew's Church is a Grade II listed building, built 1839-40 by William Thomas of Leamington. The first of 5 churches to be built by the Birmingham Church Building Society. Near Nechells Parkway and Duddeston Manor Road.

St Matthews ChurchPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Loxton REC Play Park

Located in Nechells near Duddeston Manor Road, Wardlow Road, Howford Grove and Little Hall Road. It features a basketball court and play area.

Loxton REC Play ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

The Nimab Welfare Trust

A mosque and cultural centre, located in a former pub called The Winning Post. The Nimab Welfare Trust appears to have opened here around 2010, on Great Francis Street.

Nimab Welfare TrustPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Heartlands Academy

A secondary school located on Great Francis Street in Vauxhall, near Nechells, for children aged 11 to 16. Now an E-Act Academy.

Heartlands AcademyPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Erksine Street Park

A small park located between Erksine Street, Great Francis Street and Pitney Street in the Vauxhall / Nechells area of Birmingham.

Erksine St pocket parkPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Museum Collection Centre

The Birmingham Museum Collection Centre is located on Dollman Street in Nechells near Duddeston Station. The store of the Birmingham Museum Trust's collection that is not on display. Sometimes open to the public on open days.

Birmingham Museum Collection CentrePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Walk up Dollman Street, Duddeston Mill Road, Little Hall Road, then go onto Duddeston Manor Road, cut past High Tower to Nechells Parkway, then cross over to Bodmin Grove and into Oliver Street.

 

Masjid Quba

A mosque and Islamic Centre on Oliver Street in Nechells. It was previously home to the United Reformed Church, but has been a mosque since at least 2015.

Masjid qubaPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Nechells POD

A community centre on Oliver Street in Nechells. It is also where the Bloomsbury Library is based now.

Nechells PODPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Walk up Rupert Street, pass Cromwell J & I School (see Nechells tour 1), then Walter Street and Long Acre.

 

St Joseph's Church

St Joseph's is a Grade II listed building and a Roman Catholic church. Was built as a cemetery chapel in 1850 by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. Enlarged in 1872 by Edward Welby Pugin. Restored in 1945 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Long Acre in Nechells.

St Josephs ChurchPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Church of God of Prophecy Nechells Outreach Centre

The Nechells Outreach Centre is located in this historic church building on Long Acre in Nechells. It was formerly a Presbyterian chapel of 1888-9, now the Church of God of Prophecy.

Nechells Outreach CentrePhotography by Jack Babington

 

From here, either walk to Aston Station, or find the nearest bus stop to return to Birmingham City Centre. You should be able to catch the no 66 bus from Long Acre.

 

End of tour.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
25 Jan 2023 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Plans for Birmingham Smithfield Are Now In!

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EXCLUSIVE: Plans for Birmingham Smithfield are now in!

Detailed first phase plans include a new destination market, a state-of-the-art office, a health and wellbeing hub, and 547 new homes tailored for families.

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Here are the exciting plans for Birmingham Smithfield Phase 1, a once-in-a-lifetime £1.9b redevelopment from a Birmingham City Council & Lendlease Joint Venture.

Hybrid plans submitted in early December have now landed (in January!) and contain full detailed planning for Phase 1 and outline plans for future phases. These detailed plans include:

NEW MARKETS (Plots 5ABC) from David Kohn Architects and Eastside Projects

Bringing together the current Indoor and Rag Markets, this destination market will offer 13,301 sqm of spaces for live performances and events, day and night, along with places to eat, drink & socialise within the new dining hall and a landscaped rooftop garden overlooking Festival Square.

Located to the northern most point, the markets will provide maximum visibility for the new market areas from the commercial and retail heart of the city around the Bullring and St Martin’s Church.



NEW HOMES (Plot 1D) from dRMMIntervention Architecture, Fira.

Borderd by Bradford Street and Barford Street comes the residential element of Smithfield. Tailored towards families, Plot 1D will comprise 405 residential dwellings with flexible retail and commercial floorspace provided at ground floor level.

Adding Plot 4A1 into the equation, a total of 547 homes will be delivered across the first phase of Birmingham Smithfield.

Provision for an additional 3,000 (12% affordability) is to be come forward as part of subsequent applications in the future – with a mixture of studios to four-bedroom dwellings.

A HEALTH & WELL-BEING HUB (Plot 4A1) from RCKa and Intervention Architecture.

A new mixed-use Health and Wellbeing Hub for everyone!

Situated next to the new markets and connecting to the rest of Smithfield via a new green pedestrian boulevard, ‘The Hub’ will provide 142 residential dwellings, a plethora of amenities, all complemented with retail and food and beverage outlets, including a pub!

OFFICES (Plot 3) from Minesh Patel ArchitectsHaworth Tompkins and Fira.

Plot 3A will occupy a significant location in the heart of Smithfield.

Integrating with the new public realm Plot 3A will provide 48,883sqm of Grade A office floorspace, complemented by a fourth-floor rooftop garden terrace.

The vision is to deliver an exciting new workplace offer, with a design that celebrates its adjacency to Festival Square and its connection to Central Boulevard.

The building has been designed to celebrate its functionality and to be adaptable so it can respond to future working trends.

Event space:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @Buildsweare, and Instagram: Itsyourbirmingham, as we'll update all of this information, including renderings, as the application evolves over the coming months.

Images from Lendlease and the above architects.

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
23 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Lunar New Year 2023: The Year of the Rabbit in Birmingham

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The Lunar New Year celebrations kicked off at the Bullring & Grand Central on Saturday 21st January 2023 with the Traditional Lion Dance from Choy Lee Fut Lion and Dragon Dance Team, orgainised by the Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham. There was also events in Southside at Hippodrome Square and The Arcadian on Sunday 22nd January 2023. Happy Chinese New Year!

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Saturday 21st January 2023 at Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham

Chinese Lion Procession (Beginning at 'The Bull')

The festivities began around 12pm at The Bull. Birmingham We Are's Elliott Brown popped up to Costa Coffee inside Next at the Bullring, and after buying a coffee, was able to get a table for the views. After they left Rotunda Square, and went down St Martin's Walk, it was time to leave Costa @ Next and head to the West Mall 2nd floor balcony view!

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dancePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Traditional Lion Dance at the Bullring

The Choy Lee Fut Lion and Dragon Dance Team walking in with the their dancing lions and drums on the ground floor of the Bullring, was a great view from the 2nd floor balcony, many people were watching. After introductions from the MC and James Wong, the drummers really showed their stuff to the crowd! Would be more events during the day, but this was all that I wanted to see, and it hurts to stand on one spot for too long.

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dance

Chinese Lion dancePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Sunday 22nd January 2023 around Southside

 

Lunar New Year Celebrations in Hippodrome Square

For the first time in 3 years (since January 2020 before the pandemic), they had a stage set up in Hippodrome Square, and it drew a large crowd of people, a little bit too crowded, and not enough room to walk out of the area. The Chinese lion dancers and drummers went on stage early on, after the procession from The Arcadian.

Southside

Southside

Southside

Southside

SouthsidePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Ladywell Walk

There was a carousel on Ladywell Walk near Hippodrome Square, as well as a balloon arch. The procession from The Arcadian went up here to the stage.

Ladywell WalkPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Hurst Street

On Hurst Street, south of the Hippodrome was various market stalls and fun fair rides. Was a bit crowded at this end.

Hurst StreetPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

There was also a ride called Hysteria on Hurst Street, close to the Missing bar and Bromsgrove Street. On the roads that were open, was a lot of traffic around. Was also a teacup ride at this end.

Hysteria

Hysteria

Hysteria

Hysteria

HysteriaPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Arcadian

The procession of the lion dance started in the arena here, before proceeding to Ladywell Walk and Hippodrome Square.

The ArcadianPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

Lunar New YearPhotography by Jack Babington

 

MasterChef champion Dan Lee was also in Southside with his trophy.

Lunar New YearPhotography by Jack Babington

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Jan 2023 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Five Years of Birmingham City Centre Construction Cranes - 2017 to 2022

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Five Years of Birmingham City Centre Construction Cranes - 2017 to 2022

I find that cranes can be quite photogenic and discovered this as part of covering the construction of several Birmingham buildings over the last five years. Here is a gallery of my favourites...

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2017

Cranes all lined up in the wind at the dormant construction of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick.

Cranes at the early part of the construction of Three Snow Hill.

The installation of the crane for Bank Birmingham Tower Two.

The installation of the crane for Bank Birmingham Tower Two.

The installation of the crane for Bank Birmingham Tower Two.

The installation of the crane for One Chamberlain Square.

Construction Crane over the Unite Union HQ in the Eastside.

A great cluster of cranes.

 

2018

Crane at sunrise over One Centenary Sqaure at Arena Central.

Crane at Paradise Birmingham for the construction of One Chamberlain Square.

Cranes at Arena Central.

Cranes at Arena Central with a full moon.

The Full Moon Tests the Strength of a Crane at Arena Central.

Crane and rainbow.

Cranes at Arena Central for the construction od Three Arena Central.

 

2019

Cranes at Arena Central.

Cranes at Paradise Birmingham.

Cranes at Paradise and 103 Colmore Row.

Moon Rises Behind a Crane at Arena Central.

A great cluster of cranes in the Westside from Digbeth.

Crane at 103 Colmore Row.

Crane Dismantles its Sibling at Three Snow Hill.

Crane at the Paradise Development from the Library.

Crane Reflected in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Cranes at St Martins Place.

Crane Dismantles its Sibling at Three Arena Central.

Crane Dismantles its Sibling at Three Arena Central.

Cranes at the Paradise Development.

The full moon at Arena Central.

Cranes at The Mercian.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

Full Moon Over Arena Central.

Trio of Cranes at Lancaster Gate.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

Crane at the Paradise Development.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row

Crane in Ladywood at Sunset.

 

2020

The Construction of Three Arena Central.

Crane and the Full Moon at 103 Colmore Row.

Crane at Lionel House.

Cranes in Aston.

Cranes at 103 Colmore Row.

Crane at Arena Central.

Cranes at the Mercian.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of The Mercian.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

The Construction of The Mercian.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of The Mercian.

Crane at One Centenary Way.

Crane in Ladywood.

Crane at One Centenary Way.

Cranes at Paradise.

Cranes at Paradise.

Crane at 103 Colmore Row.

Construction of One Centenary Way.

Cranes at One Centenary Way.

Cranes at One Centenary Way.

Crane with a Nest.

The City Skyline from Egg Hill in Frankley at Night.

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row.

 

2021

Cranes at One Centenary Way.

Cranes at One Centenary Way.

Crane at One Centenary Way with the Half Moon.

The Construction of The Mercian.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

The Construction of One Centenary Way.

Crane at Arena Central.

A Crane Exchange Square.

 

2022

Crane at The Square on Broad Street.

Crane at The Square on Broad Street.

Cranes at One Centenary Way and Exchange Square.

Crane at Exchange Square.

Cranes at Exchange Square.

Crane in Handsworth.

Metropolitan House at Five Ways.

Crane at The Octagon.

View from the Library ‘Secret Garden’ twards Sandwell

Crane at The Square on Broad Street.

The Construction of South Central.

Crane at The Octagon.

The Construction of New Garden Square.

 

A few bonus photos from January 2023:

The Construction of The Square on Broad Street.

The Construction of The Octagon.

The Construction of The Octagon.

The Construction of The Square on Broad Street.

All photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

Please see the full construction crane gallery here: Crane and Plant photography

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40 passion points
Health & wellbeing
12 Jan 2023 - Your Place Your Space - Support
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20 passion points
Health & wellbeing
12 Jan 2023 - Your Place Your Space - Support
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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
10 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Warner Village Cinemas handprints at Star City

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Before Vue was Vue, it was Warner Village Cinemas at Star City, in Nechells, Birmingham. Around 1998, celebrities put their hands and signed in clay, created a mold. Star City opened in 2000, and these handprints can still be found around Star City. See if you can recognise any?

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These stars, handprints with celebrity signatures have probably been in and around Star City since the year 2000. It wasn't Warner Village Cinemas for long, as it's been Vue for much longer.

 

WARNER VILLAGE CINEMAS

WVC

 

Dame Edna Everage

WVC

 

Kenneth Branagh

WVC

 

Denise Van Outen

WVC

 

This one is a bit hard to read? Paul G Hensleigh 78 ?

WVC

 

Denzel Washington

WVC

 

Barbara Windsor

WVC

 

Vinnie Jones

WVC

 

Joanna Lumley

WVC

 

Helen Mirren

WVC

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
History & heritage
10 Jan 2023 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Nechells - Take a tour with us!

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Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Nechells. Well worth a visit. For history, there's some fascinating places to visit. There are some wonderful open spaces and some great places to relax.

Take our article.

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Nechells tour 1: Aston Station to Star City, then towards Duddeston Station

Get the train from Birmingham New Street, on the Cross City Line towards Aston Station. If you have the West Midlands Railway app, it is easy to purchase your QR code ticket (use at the ticket gates at Birmingham New Street if closed).

 

Aston Station

Getting off your Class 323 train at Aston, head down the steps from platform 1 (or use the lift). Both routes takes you down to the Lichfield Road. The station originally opened in 1837, and has been part of the Cross City Line between Redditch and Lichfield since 1978. You can alternatively catch the no 65 or 67 bus routes to the Lichfield Road

Aston StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Heading down the steps you will see the former Britannia pub, and to the left of it near Holborn Hill is the now closed Swan & Mitre pub. 

 

The Britannia

This pub opposite Aston Station on the Lichfield Road was built around 1898 to 1900. It was built on the site of a previous pub called the Aston Hall Tavern, which was built in 1867, but was renamed to The Britannia in 1872. In recent years there has been cafes in the building, but it has been closed longer than it has been open.

The BritanniaPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Swan & Mitre

This public house on the corner of Lichfield Road and Holborn Hill was built in 1898 by James & Lister Lea. The pub is opposite Aston Station, but has been closed for many years, and had been for sale at one point.

Swan & MitrePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Next walk up Holborn Hill into Nechells, crossing over the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

 

The Villa Tavern

A public house on the corner of Holborn Hill and Nechells Park Road. The pub was rebuilt from 1924 to 1925. The pub has been vacant for many years.

The Villa TavernPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Nechells Baths

The former public baths was built on the corner of Nechells Park Road and Aston Church Road in 1910. Since the baths closed, it has become The Wisdom Cultural Islamic Centre since 2017.

Nechells BathsPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Now walk up Nechells Park Road towards Eliot Street, as next you will be passing a late Victorian Primary School building.

 

Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy

Eliot Street was originally called Hutton Street. Hence the Birmingham School Board opened it as the Hutton Street Board School in 1879, to the designs of Martin and Chamberlain. Renamed in 1897 to the Nechells Board School, by the 20th century it was called Nechells Primary School. By 2015 it became the Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy.

Nechells Primary E-Act AcademyPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Continue to the end of Eliot Street, turn right up Long Acre. Then right again at Cuckoo Road. Cross over the lights and over the Grand Union Canal and arrive at Star City.

 

Mount Street Park

Before heading to Star City, perhaps pop over to the Mount Street Park. It has a childrens play area, as well as a basketball court. It is on Cuckoo Road and Mount Street, with the Grand Union Canal down the other side.

Mount Street ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Star City

A leisure and entertainment complex, Star City opened to the public near Cuckoo Road, on Watson Road in the year 2000. It opened with a Warner Village Cinemas (now Vue). It also used to have a casino. There is restaurants and cafes, a bowling alley and an amusement arcade with games. The no 66 bus route has bus stops outside, there is also a car park.

Star CityPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Stop for a drink at the Costa Coffee or Subway at Star City, before walking down towards Duddeston. Leaving Star City behind, head down Watson Road, turn left at Cuckoo Road. Walk down Heartlands Parkway past the Holiday Inn Express. Next turn right onto Aston Church Road, there is an old bridge that crosses the Grand Union Canal and River Rea. Continue towards The Wisdom Cultural Islamic Centre and enter Hope Gardens.

 

Hope Gardens

A small pocket park at the corner of Aston Church Road and Nechells Park Road called Hope Gardens. There is an open basketball court, and a childrens play area. 

Hope GardensPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Now walk down Nechells Park Road. You will pass the Nechells Methodist Church, on your way towards Wing Yip.

 

Free@Last

A community centre in Nechells located at Cattells Grove and Nechells Park Road. They have been providing a wide variety of opportunities for the children, young people and adults for many years.

Free@LastPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Wing Yip

A Chinese Superstore located on the corner of Nechells Park Road and Thimble Mill Lane. The famous Chinese Arch is located here. They have genuine Chinese & Oriential groceries here.

Wing YipPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Leaving Wing Yip, walk up Walter Street, then turn onto Rupert Street. Before walking up Rocky Lane to Bloomsbury Park, there is Cromwell Junior & Infant School.

 

Cromwell Junior & Infant School

The school opened in 1889 to the designs of J A Cossins under the name of the Cromwell Street School, and was built in the Gothic and Queen Anne Revivial styles. The school is located between Rupert Street, Rocky Lane and Cromwell Street.

Cromwell Junior & Infant SchoolPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Continue up Rocky Lane, and enter Bloomsbury Park through the gates.

 

Bloomsbury Park

This parkland was formerly called Bloomsbury Village Green, but is now known as Bloomsbury Park. It is between Nechells Parkway, Rocky Lane, Cromwell Street and Oliver Street. The childrens play area is close to Oliver Street, and is not that far from the Lanchester Car Monument, which can also be found in this park.

Bloomsbury ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Lanchester Car Monument

This sculpture commemorates the work of Frederick W Lanchester, who in the late 19th century, produced cars on a site nearby on Bloomsbury Street. In 1995, Tim Tolkien (a great nephew of the author J.R.R. Tolkien) created this steel sculpture of the Lancester motor car.

Lanchester Car MonumentPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Leaving the park, you can't help to notice a red brick and terracotta building with a distinctive clocktower, this is the old Bloomsbury Library. Head down Bloomsbury Street to Nechells Parkway, or down Bloomsbury Walk.

 

Old Bloomsbury Library

The Bloomsbury Branch Library was built in 1893 to the designs of Cossins & Peacock. Saltley Road used to go past here, but this section is now called Nechells Parkway. The building is also on Bloomsbury Walk. After Bloomsbury Library relocated to Nechells POD, the building has been used by Rising Stars Daycare. The play area outside is called Bloomsbury Library Gardens.

Old Bloomsbury LibraryPhotography by Jack Babington

 

From Nechells Parkway, cross over at the lights, and walk down Melvina Road towards Duddeston Station. On your left will be a concrete sculpture called Youth.

 

Youth statue  

A concrete statue that was made in the year 1958 by the sculptor Harry Seager. It is close to the brick wall of the Cross City Line. The trees, bushes and shrubs can be seen growing around it.

YouthPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Continue up Melvina Road until you get to Duddeston Mill Road, find the crossing and head down the steps into Duddeston Station.

 

Duddeston Station

There has been a railway station at this site since 1837, original name was Vauxhall Station, and was the temporary terminus in Birmingham of the Grand Junction Railway. This was before Birmingham Curzon Street opened by 1839. It was renamed to Vauxhall & Duddeston in 1889. Destroyed by a bomb in 1941 during the Second World War. Rebuilt in the 1950s. The line was electrified in 1966. Station renamed to Duddeston in 1974. The Cross City Line opened in 1978. It is the first stop out of Birmingham New Street heading north, on both the Cross City (Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield Trent Valley) and Chase Lines (Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley).

Duddeston StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Catch the train one stop from here to Birmingham New Street on a Class 323 train. Or walk the short distance to catch the no 14 bus back into Birmingham City Centre.

 

End of Nechells trail 1.

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40 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
04 Jan 2023 - Jack Babington
Gallery

My personal top 54 favourites photos taken in 2022

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I took photography up around 5 years ago, i have got autism and it is my special interest and hobby.

I love taking pictures around Birmingham city centre the different events happening in 2022 like the gay pride and PolliNations 

so here iare my favourite 54 pictures shot by me, 'prophotographypicture' on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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Photos from January to December 2022 

 

 

 Thank you and have a happy new year!

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
31 Dec 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham UK, My Personal 100 Favourites Taken in 2022

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I like to take photos, it's helps my mental health and I don't put myself under any pressure. I love my adopted home city and since discovering that it is a beautiful and amazingly photogenic, diverse and muddled up urban landscape, I have sought to expose the negative myths about Birmingham by publishing my photos since 2010. Please see my 2022 favourites gallery:

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January 1st 2022, Clent Hill.

6th January, snow in Central Square in Brindleyplace.

15th January, the Broad Street Cluster.

15th January, The Cube from the 'Secret Garden' atop the Library.

20th January, pre-sunset over Ladywood.

3rd February, Ladywood.

19th February, Three Snow Hill.

19th February, Luke Perry's 'Forward in Unity' sculpture in Colmore Square.

23rd February, the Library from 103 Colmore Row, on the 'Views from 103' photography tour.

23rd February, the sunrise from 103 Colmore Row, on the 'Views from 103' photography tour.

23rd February, an abstract from 103 Colmore Row, on the 'Views from 103' photography tour.

23rd February, the Lower Terrace on 103 Colmore Row, on the 'Views from 103' photography tour.

19th March, the city skyline from Egg Hill near Frankley.

19th March, Bank Tower Two on Broad Street.

26th March, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha and St Micheal's Church from the Library.

26th March, the 'Iron_Man' and the city Council House in Victoria Square and 103 Colmore Row.

26th March, the weather vane atop St Philip's Cathedral.

26th March, the Shakespeare Memorial Room atop the Library.

16th April, sunrise from Brindleyplace.

16th April, Bank Tower Two reflected in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

7th May, the 'Golden Men' back in Centenary Sqaure.

7th May, the drunk robot at 'Reflex' 80's club on Broad Street.

14th May, a reflection of the 'Golden Men' in Symphony Hall.

14th May, the 'Flower of Life' pattern in the Library.

22nd May, 'Old Joe', the Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower.

22nd May, 'Old Joe', the Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower.

28th May, 'Muddle Earth' at the construction of the Octagon at Paradise Birmingham.

2nd June, the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Victoria Square.

2nd June, photo panels at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Victoria Square.

12 June, the installation of 'Foreign Exchange' in Victoria Square.

12th June, 'Foreign Exchange' in Victoria Square.

12th June, 'Perry' photobombs the 'Floozie'.

12th June, 'Foreign Exchange' in Victoria Square.

24th June, the city skyline from Dudley Castle.

25th June, an interior of the Library.

26th June, the city skyline from Egg Hill near Frankley.

5th July, 'Foreign Exchange' in Victoria Square.

5th July, a view from One Centenary Way as part of an invited photographers event.

10th July, 'Perry' banner on the city Council House.

10th July, the Town Hall.

10th July, Chamberlain Square.

22nd July, the Cordia Blackswan sponsored 'King Kong' statue at Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter.

22nd July, the Cordia Blackswan sponsored 'King Kong' statue at Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter.

27th July, the Queen's Baton Relay arrives in Brindleyplace.

28th July, Westside BID's 'Big Whistle' event.

31st July, the 'Brummie Bull' in Centenary Square, detail of the red lit eye.

31st July, there will be a few of the Bull in this gallery! Here the nostrils.

31st July, this of the Bull was made into canvases presented to BBC's Mike Bushell and Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council Leader.

1st August, the 'Brummie Bull' with the Library.

1st August, 'Foreign Exchange' and the Town Hall.

1st August, 'Perry' banner on Colmore Row.

1st August, the Commonwealth Games floral display in Cathedral Square.

1st August, the Library.

5th August, the BBC's Mike Bushel in Centenary Square.

5th August, a rainbow and 103 Colmore Row.

6th August, Central Square in Brindleyplace.

6th August, the Cordia Blackswan sponsored 'King Kong' statue at Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter.

6th August, the Canal in Brindleyplace.

6th August, the 'Brummie Bull' and the Library at twilight in Centenary Square.

7th August, 'Perry' in Centenary Square.

6th August, the scene of 'Muddle Earth' in Centenary Square.

7th August, 'Perry' says "no more hiding, Birmingham!".

9th August, the full moon and the Hyatt Regenct Hotel.

14th August, the England giant flag pin in Centenary Square with the Library.

20th August, a view from the Library over Centenary Square.

20th August, part of the the giant flag pins display in Centenary Square.

20th August, the 'Brummie Bull' form the Library.

20th August, the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

2nd September, the 'Brummie Bull' floraly adorned for the opening of the 'PoliNations' event.

3rd September, during the first 'Sunset Shift' display at 'PoliNations in Victoria Square.

11th September, flowers at 'PoliNations'.

11th September, the city flag at half-mast for the passing of Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

11th September, the Victoria R statue during the 'PoliNations' event in Victoria Square.

19th September, part of the city skyline from Barr Beacon.

24th September, the Laurence Broderick Bull statue adorned with an amazing head dress for Pride Birmingham 2022.

24th September, a couple at the start of the Pride Birmingham 2022 parade.

1st October, a scene in Chamberlain Square that I just had to document.

1st October, sometimes it appears easier to put the crane on the top of the concrete core, here at the construction of South Central.

2nd October, an abstract reflection in one of the lamps by the canal in Brindleyplace near Old Turn Junction and the Arena.

2nd October, after his time on display in Centenary Square and having been 'saved' for the city, the 'Brummie Bull' was hosted for a while in a brownfield site provided by an owner in Ladywood.

8th October, a view west from the 'Secret Garden' atop the Library.

8th October, a reflection pattern from the windows in the Library Amphitheatre.

10th October, the city Council House, 'Big Brum' at the Museam and Art Gallery with 103 Colmore Row, featured as November's photo in the 2023 Birmingham Gems Charity Calendar.

19th October, part of the city skyline from Cotteridge.

29th October, empty chairs on the City Star Flyer in anticipation before the opening of Ice Skate Birmingham 2022.

30th October, the city skyline from Lickey Hills Country Park.

5th November, the rides at Ice Skate Birmingham 2022.

5th November, the City Star Flyer at Ice Skate Birmingham 2022.

6th November, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square.

6th November, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square.

12th November, a rare selfie reflection in a Christmas Tree ball in Central Square in Brindleyplace.

13th November, the Remembrace Day Parade in Colmore Row.

13th November, the 'AIR' ride at Ice Skate Birmingham 2022.

19th November, the Christmas Fayre in Cathedral Square.

20th November, shadows on the classic stream engine at the Thinktank museum.

23rd November, twigs and the 'Flower of Life' architecture on the Library.

1st December, the revealing of the Luke Perry HIV Memorial in Hurst Street.

10th December, 'Old Joe', the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham, in a pool of sunlight from Lickey Hills Counrty Park.

25th December, the city skyline from Oaklands Recreation Ground in Yardley.

25th December, a part of the city skyline from Oaklands Recreation Ground in Yardley.

Happy New Year to you all!

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103 passion points
Sport & leisure
26 Dec 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club on the Windmill Pool, Boxing Day 2022.

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A walk around the Windmill Pool, on Boxing Day 2022, when I saw the Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club out with their yachts on the lake. It was a cold morning in Earlswood. Plenty of people around walking around Earlswood Lakes here. Was nice to see the yachts out too.

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On the Bank Holiday Monday, 26th December 2022, Boxing Day, the Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club was out on the Windmill Pool at Earlswood Lakes.

Saw them before they headed out onto the lake in their wetsuits.

Walked through a very muddy and wet path, covered by trees, before getting to the far end of the lake.

By then the yachts were all coming out.

Which was nice to see as we walked up the other side of the lake (which wasn't as bad as the muddy section).

Also a blue sky and bright winter sunshine.

At least one boat capsized, but the safety boat came out to help him.

 

Gallery of 10 photos below. Enjoy!

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

Photography by Elliott Brown

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Dec 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Approval for Villa Park's Redevelopment

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Birmingham City Council has approved Aston Villa’s £100m stadium revamp plans this morning (22/12/22).

Villa Park will see its capacity increased to 50,065, creating a world-class sporting venue and a vibrant community hub for the city.

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The £100m investment will see first phase improvements to Villa Park and to the wider community, with works starting in late 2023 before completing by the end of 2025.

Driven by spectator demand, Villa Park will accommodate approximately 7,400 new seats to a brand-new North Stand, which will wrap into a hospitality-enhanced Trinity Stand.

Bringing capacity up to 50,065, there is scope to uplift Villa Park even further through refurbishments to the Holte End and Doug Ellis stands in the future.



Outside, ‘Villa Live’ will become a standalone multi-use entertainment, community, and retail destination that promises all-year round events for the local community.

It will house the club shop, food and drink outlets, plus areas dedicated to showcasing the club’s proud heritage and history.

The venue will accommodate between 200 and 2,000 people and will host everything from match day meet ups, televised away games, cultural gigs and festivals, student nights, e-gaming, and corporate and exhibition nights.



7,000sqm of public realm improvements will also be made to the Witton Lane entrance around the North Stand, providing a safe and vibrant space accessible for all.



The redevelopment also opens the door for improvements in terms of transport links to both Witton and Aston train stations, with more space for pedestrians and cars.

Tantalisingly, when it completes in 2025, Villa Park would also be eligible to host major national and international tournament games, including the UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028.

Aston Villa expansion, images from Aston Villa.

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35 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Dec 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - December 2022 Update

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The exterior of the building is having finishing touches applied with the bright reflective panels at the top helping to easily locate it visually from some distance.

This gallery is of photos from October , November and December.

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1st October 2022

8th October 2022

15th October 2022

6th November 2022

12th November 2022

10th December 2022

17th December 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

There are now over 850 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Full Construction Gallery

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43 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Dec 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of the Octagon at Paradise - December 2022 Update

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Big news for a big project!

The core is out of the ground and there are some outer columns installed, all now visable above the hordings around the site. The building will seem bulkier in the early stages of construction we think, until it gets above 100 metres when it will start to look much thiner but very tall!

Click 'View Article to see the full gallery.

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3rd December 2022

17th December 2022

 

Photography by Daniel Sturley

There are now over 300 photos of the construction of this building in the Octagon Full Construction Photo Gallery

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43 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Dec 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

X10 Brindleyplace Close To Completion

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The transformation of X10 Brindleyplace continue apace with completion for the new sustainable office building slated for Q1 2023.

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A BOLD NEW BRAND & IDENTITY

CBRE Investment Management has recently announced the completion of exterior work at X10 Brindleyplace, revealing a brand new back to frame £40m transformation.

The investment combines 8 and 10 Brindleyplace to form a new net zero office and commercial environment, one that comes with large open office floors and full height windows. 

Once fully complete in Q1 2023, X10 will offer 210K SF of prime grade A office floorspace, an all-electric system powered by green energy, and one of the city’s largest floorplates, at more than 27K SF.

The façade, redesigned to have the least impact on the environment, now includes new thermal insulation, with all contemporary bricks on X10 locally sourced bricks from a sustainable quarry.

Within, X10 boasts a lavish new double-height reception space and a roastery and a coffee shop.

Adding to the vibrancy is a new public realm, lounges, conference facilities, studios, co-working areas, meeting rooms, podcast facilities, showers and drying rooms, a fitness studio, six new roof terraces, and a public Turtle Bay restaurant.

PROJECT TEAM:

CLIENT: CBRE Global Investors
ARCHITECTS: Associated Architects
DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Thamesis
PROJECT MANAGER: Workman (Venture)
JOINT AGENTS: CBRE and Savills
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER/ QS: RLF
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Cundall
FACADE CONSULTANT: Wintech
M&E: Couch Perry Wilkes
CONTRACTOR: Wilmott Dixon Interiors
TARGETED COMPLETION: Q1 2023
 
Construction images by Stephen Giles; CGIs from Savills & CBRE.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
15 Dec 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Pressworks, 34 Northwood Street, Jewellery Quarter - December Update

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The Pressworks includes the renovation of the site’s Grade II* listed gem and the erection of contemporary new builds.

The development showcases a fine example of old and new world co-mingling to create a truly unique place.

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The Pressworks is a stunner firmly in full flow.

Nestled on Northwood Street, just off St Paul’s Square, the historic site is being brought back to life with 48 apartments and a mews house.

Steeped in history and dating back to the 1800s, the site was formerly occupied by a Pressworks. The Grade II* listed building that still stands from that area is now being restored and converted into centrepiece homes.

Blending old world with new, contemporary new builds will flank the listed building and will be set around a quaint landscaped courtyard.

The Pressworks will also deliver a unique new duplex mews house to the site’s rear.

In another subtle nod to history, the site's former press will be displayed as a new design feature within the site's courtyard.

DECEMBER 14 -

MARCH: The Grade II* listed building in question:

Construction images from Stephen Giles; CGIs from Northwood Street Ltd.

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Dec 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Luminate at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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Another lights trail at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. During the Christmas 2022 season. Tickets need to be bought in advance. I went with a group on Tuesday 6th December 2022 between 7pm and 8pm in the evening. The trail was a bit different to the Magical Lantern Festival I'd previously seen here. At least it wasn't raining. But it was cold.

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LUMINATE, BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TRAIL 2022

 

Arriving at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. We didn't park here, so we had a bit of a walk from Frederick Road via Calthorpe Road.

The main entrance of the Botanical Gardens, with Christmas trees, where we waited for other members of our group to arrive.

Luminate

There was several Christmas trees in the foyer, these ones, near the exit to the shop.

Luminate

Later on near the end of the visit was the #BBG hashtag in the foyer and one of the Christmas trees. These are more to do with the Botanical Gardens than Luminate.

Luminate

 

After the group tickets were shown, one of the first things you see is this Luminate sign.

Luminate

 

On the main lawn was these lights that kept changing colours.

Luminate

 

There was a full moon that evening over the Botanical Gardens. The Cold Moon apparently. It was still full two nights later.

Luminate

 

The rainbow ribbon suspension bridge.

Luminate

 

The enchanted fairyland.

Luminate

 

The Glitterball Solar System.

Luminate

 

The rainbow light path.

Luminate

 

The Square light tunnel.

Luminate

 

Spotlights from the Viewpoint near the Refreshments area.

Luminate

 

The Globe lights canopy above a path.

Luminate

 

Bright white reindeer trail.

Luminate

 

The warped light tunnel. This was popular.

Luminate

 

The light bulb beads, you had to walk through these.

Luminate

 

Near the end. The Alpine Yard with lit up greenhouses.

Luminate

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
12 Dec 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Ribbons: Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial in Hippodrome Square

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Until now, there has been no memorial sculpture to those people who lost their lives to AIDs & HIV. Garry Jones came up with it after watching It's a Sin on Channel 4, and his design was sculpted by Luke Perry. It was unveiled in Hippodrome Square on Hurst Street in Southside, outside Genting Casino on the 1st December 2022. It is two interlaced red ribbons.

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For more on The Ribbons go to the Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial website.

The community and city of passionate individuals worked tirelessly over 18 months to deliver a lasting and symbolic memorial in the centre of the UK, in our hometown of Birmingham. It was unveiled on World AIDS Day on the 1st December 2022.

The Red Ribbons sculpture was created by Garry Jones, and was sculpted by Luke Perry. Also involved was co-founders Phil Oldershaw and Andrew Bentley-King.

 

The plinth, October 2022

In the last couple of weeks of October 2022, work took place to install the plinth in Hippodrome Square on Hurst Street, Southside in front of the Chinese Quarter shops: Sohair, Ying Wah, Happy Lemon and Mr Egg.

BAHMPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Ribbons sculpture arrives wrapped, November 2022

With less than two weeks to go, The Ribbons: Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial is installed on the plinth, but will remain under wraps until the evening of the 1st December 2022.

BAHM

BAHM

Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Unveiling of The Ribbons, 1st December 2022

While Birmingham We Are's regular contributor Elliott Brown, was unable to attend the event that evening, Daniel Sturley and Jack Babington were able to attend.

BAHM

BAHM

BAHM

BAHMPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

The Ribbons, a few days after unveiling, December 2022

Elliott had always planned to return a couple of days after the unveiling to get The Ribbons: Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial in the daylight, and without anyone in the way. It is quite inspiring to see, and had flowers on the plinth below.

BAHM

BAHM

BAHM

BAHMPhotography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Green open spaces
08 Dec 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

A Winter Walk in Sandwell Valley Country Park - 7th December 2022

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Daniel was in Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 7th December 2022 and the lighting conditions were great for some atmospheric landscape, abstract and even wildlife photography...

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Starting from the Park Farm, entering into the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve...

Photography by Daniel Sturley

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10 passion points
People & community
07 Dec 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

Introducing the Nechells POD

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You may not know that the Nechells POD started out as an Education Action Zone in 2008, it then became a Community Interest Company and in 2015 it became a charity.

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As a charity, Nechells POD offer a range of services and activities that support, help, inspire, nurture and empower Nechells residents.

The Nechells POD is so proud of their achievements.

They consider themselves to be very lucky to have some amazing community volunteers who make sure their activities and sessions run smoothly.

They also have some brilliant trustees who give up their time freely to make sure the charity is run well.

There are so many positives about Nechells POD but the biggest positive is the people who come along to the activities, the brilliant staff, our spectacular partners and wonderful volunteers.

Go along and be part of the Nechells POD story.

Community Spirit

People who visit Nechells POD become part of an inclusive community that is tolerant and respectful, offering each other friendship, comfort and support.

Library Offer

Bloomsbury Library is located in Nechells POD and offers the opportunity to borrow books – the library is a place for creation and collaboration.

Activities & Events

Nechells POD runs a range of sessions including adult education, children’s activities, health and well-being experiences and intergenerational sessions. There really is something for everyone at Nechells POD!

Volunteering

Help make Nechells POD even better by supporting them in raising funds or becoming a much needed and valued volunteer.

Get in touch with Nechells POD at:

28 Oliver St, Birmingham B7 4NX

Tel: 0121 681 2173

www.NechellsPOD.com 

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Dec 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of South Central - December 2022

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We're up to the 21st floor (of 30) at the 166-home South Central Tower, at the corner of Bristol Street & Essex Street. 

A bright and breezy early December update.

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Drone images from Stephen Giles; below: Daniel Sturley; CGIs: Glancy Nicholls Architects.

View the site map here.

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20 passion points
Business & enterprise
06 Dec 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

free@last

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free@last is committed to providing
opportunities, activities, mentoring and support
for children and young people in Nechells, and to
further their interests by working with their
families, other agencies and relevant
professionals

49 Nechells Park Rd, Nechells, Birmingham B7 5PR

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Our journey over the past few years has seen the need for our own youth facility evolve into a brand new youth and community centre. But this new place is not just a building, it is a beacon of hope and aspiration for the people of Nechells. Our aim is to provide a facility that is open to all who live and work in Nechells, regardless of age, race, religion, culture, lifestyle etc., but we don’t just want a building to run projects from, we want to be a centre for change. Whether encouraging young people to explore entrepreneurialism, developing cross generational clubs and performance groups or exploring a world outside Nechells, our Big Build is now focused on building peoples’ lives and enabling each and every person, who invites us to become involved with their lives, to live life to the full.

 

 

 

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Education
06 Dec 2022 - Jack Babington
Gallery

Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy Eliot Street, Nechells Birmingham B7 5LB

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Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy
Eliot Street,
Nechells
Birmingham
B7 5LB

 

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honoured to be the headteacher of Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy. Prior to becoming headteacher in June 2021, I held the post of deputy headteacher for the last three years working alongside the previous headteacher as we worked to improve our school.

I have worked with E-ACT since January 2016. E-ACT are a forward thinking Multi-Academy Trust and share an aspirational vision for all their academies. We align our school values with the shared values of E-ACT, these are:

  • Think Big
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Team Spirit

We place emphasis on individual achievement whilst building an awareness and understanding of others. As part of this, we focus on personal, social, moral and emotional development as well as academic and creative achievement. When our pupils exhibit the behaviours that align with our values, they are both rewarded and reinforced.

I am delighted that for the first time in our school’s history Nechells was graded by Ofsted as Good in May 2021. As Ofsted noted, our pupils behaviour and attitudes are outstanding; they are friendly, polite, courteous and eager to learn.

My staff are talented and committed professionals who have high expectations of our pupils and community; we ensure all pupils, despite their differences, are able to make excellent progress. We strive to provide pupils with the best opportunities and our curriculum is specifically designed to be ambitious, coherent and promote curiosity in our pupils. Our core purpose is to ensure that through our well taught curriculum our pupils ‘know more and remember more’.

A big part of our offer at Nechells is the amazing learning environments that we create for our pupils. We have extensively developed our outdoor environment which includes a forest school with chickens, sports pitch, mini golf course and engaging Early Years outdoor area. We also have an art gallery, immersive classroom and a library at the heart of our school with new, engaging books.

We place the welfare and safety of our pupils at the top of our agenda, consequently our experienced safeguarding team are well positioned to navigate any concerns professionally and compassionately.

We are fortunate to have a community advisory hub on site which enables all pupils and the wider community to access a range of support from different agencies; more information can be found here.

The best way to get a real feel for our school is to come and visit, I’d be delighted to show you around Nechells Primary.

Mr David Camps

Headteacher

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