Sport & leisure
06 Oct 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Welcome to / Thank You for Visiting Birmingham sign on the Coventry Road near Sheldon Country Park

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Drivers or people on buses might see this sign on the A45 Coventry Road, between Solihull and Birmingham. Having just passed Birmingham Airport, and heading into Sheldon. Birmingham City Council in recent years has been using it to advertise athletics sporting events. Comparison from summer 2017 to autumn 2022.

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You can get to the Welcome to Birmingham / Thank you for visiting Birmingham sign on the Coventry Road in Sheldon, by either walking down from the Hobs Moat Road / Sheaf Lane junction, or exiting from the Sheldon Country Park (the path from the perimeter walk near Birmingham Airport). The X1 bus also stops near here. You can of course also see it from a car on travelling on the bus, or coach. You would probably have come off the M42 at Junction 6 (for Birmingham Airport and NEC), and heading for the Swan Island on the Coventry Road, or to Birmingham City Centre via the Smal Heath Highway?

 

Birmingham Athletics

Birmingham Athletics adverts seen in July 2017. Five years after London 2012, Team USA once again trained at the Alexander Stadium, while Team Jamaica trained again at the University of Birmingham. This was ahead of the London World Athletics Championships 2017.

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

 

 

Be Bold Be Birmingham

The Be Bold Be Birmingham poster from Birmingham City Council, seen on the Welcome to / Thank you for visiting Birmingham sign, seen during October 2022, with an image of the Bullring bull. A couple of months before it had an image relating to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, but only saw it from a car. I had caught a 72 bus from Sheaf Lane, Sheldon to Marston Green Station Interchange, walked through the Sheldon Country Park, past the Airport Viewing Area, to the Coventry Road exit near the sign. Would have caught an X1 bus from here, but too long a wait, so just walked back up to catch a X2 back to Solihull Town Centre.

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Sheldon sign

Photos by Elliott Brown

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Construction & regeneration
06 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

2 Snowhill Plaza: 47 Storey BTR Tower

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EXCLUSIVE: These are the first images for the proposed 47 storey tower at Snow Hill.

The plans are being brought forward by HUB Group, together with investment group, MARK, and Metropolitan Workshop Architects.

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Currently in the throes of a second and final public consultation, 2 Snowhill Plaza would provide a new marker building for the emerging Snow Hill side of the city.

Rising to 47-storeys and using a lower carbon approach, the scheme would offer 462 build to rent homes with a mixed use plinth offering shared residential amenities as well as a new commercial unit facing onto Snow Hill Queensway.

Activating the street with active frontages, landscaping & seating, a new east-west public route would also be created to allow for walkable access from Snow Hill Queensway to Weaman Street, for the first time in a generation.

Facilities at 2 Snowhill Plaza are expected to facilitate a lobby, bicycle workshop, storage, and co-working spaces; with additional vertical amenities ranging from biodiverse gardens to shared lounges, allowing for private classes and community events.

An opportunity also exists for a south-facing rooftop terrace at the peak of the building, allowing for additional amenities.

A planning application will be submitted in the coming weeks.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from HUB, Metropolitan Workshop

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10 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

2 Snowhill Plaza: 47 Storey BTR Tower

Post image

EXCLUSIVE: These are the first images for the proposed 47 storey tower at Snow Hill.

The plans are being brought forward by HUB Group, together with investment group, MARK, and Metropolitan Workshop Architects.

Related

 

Currently in the throes of a second and final public consultation, 2 Snowhill Plaza would provide a new marker building for the emerging Snow Hill side of the city.

Rising to 47-storeys and using a lower carbon approach, the scheme would offer 462 build to rent homes with a mixed use plinth offering shared residential amenities as well as a new commercial unit facing onto Snow Hill Queensway.

Activating the street with active frontages, landscaping & seating, a new east-west public route would also be created to allow for walkable access from Snow Hill Queensway to Weaman Street, for the first time in a generation.

Facilities at 2 Snowhill Plaza are expected to facilitate a lobby, bicycle workshop, storage, and co-working spaces; with additional vertical amenities ranging from biodiverse gardens to shared lounges, allowing for private classes and community events.

An opportunity also exists for a south-facing rooftop terrace at the peak of the building, allowing for additional amenities.

A planning application will be submitted in the coming weeks.

Words by Stephen Giles; images from HUB, Metropolitan Workshop

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
06 Oct 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Raging Bull in Centenary Square and Ladywood

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The Raging Bull, from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was in Centenary Square from 29th July to 23rd September 2022. After that he was moved to a car park in Ladywood at St Vincent Street and Great Tindal Street. There is also a street art mural on Ladywood Middleway on the wall of CostCutter (near Spring Hill Island). That was painted for the Hi Vis Festival.

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Gallery of photos taken between July and September 2022, from Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley. During the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, you could only photograph the Raging Bull from Centenary Square itself, but once the terraces reopened at the Library of Birmingham (in August) you could see him from the Discovery Terrace and Secret Garden. By the 23rd September, the bull had been relocated temporarily to a car park on Great Tindal Street and St Vincent Street. There is also a Birmingham mural with the Raging Bull on Ladywood Middleway (back of CostCutter), not far from Spring Hill Island.

 

29th July 2022

First day in Centenary Square, the day after the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Raging BullPhotography by Reiss Gordon-Henry

 

From above the Library of Birmingham Amphitheatre.

Raging BullPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

30th July 2022

The first Saturday in Centenary Square.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

31st July 2022

Commonwealth Games volunteers shows visitors where to go.

Raging BullPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

5th August 2022

Early morning view before the tourists showed up.

Raging BullPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

6th August 2022

Super Saturday, the last weekend of the Commonwealth Games.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

13th August 2022

View from the Library of Birmingham terraces

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

14th August 2022

View towards Paradise Birmingham.

Raging BullPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

20th August 2022

The Commonwealth pins was still in Centenary Square at the time.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

View from the Library of Birmingham terraces.

Raging BullPhotography by Daniel Sturley

 

3rd September 2022

First weekend of PoliNations, so they decorated the Raging Bull.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

11th September 2022

The Raging Bull was present for the Proclamation of King Charles III in Centenary Square. This was a couple of days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

16th September 2022

A West Midlands Metro tram enters the bus gate from Paradise Circus into Centenary Square, passing the Raging Bull on it's way to Library Tram Stop. As a pair of National Express West Midlands buses head in the other direction (towards Great Charles Street Queensway).

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

20th September 2022

The Raging Bull is going to miss the Conservative Party Conference 2022, but was present when the marquees went up.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

24th September 2022

A long walk along Ladywood Middleway from Five Ways to Spring Hill to see this mural of the Raging Bull. It's on the wall of a shop called CostCutter. Painted by George Tattooer' and artist Tokes, for the Hi Vis Festival, which took place in Digbeth at the Tea Works over the weekend of 24th - 25th September 2022.

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Raging Bull was last seen in a car park in Ladywood near St Vincent Street and Great Tindal Street. The land is next to the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline. He is going away for repairs and TLC, and a home indoors (TBC).

Raging BullPhotography by Elliott Brown

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0 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Oct 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Sustainable Construction Centre Kicks-Off In The JQ

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Work on University College Birmingham's new state-of-the-art sustainable construction skills centre is now underway with the appointment of a contractor.

The £10m project will transform a historic building to offer state-of-the-art courses that support the region's growth areas.

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GMI Construction Group will develop the industry leading skills centre for next year's intake of construction students through the regeneration of the iconic James Cond print works building on George Street.

Its revitalisation will breathe new life to the historic site while honouring its rich history to deliver essential skills, jobs, and training opportunities, which is expected to support more than 1,200 learners by 2025.

The consistent investment in University College Birmingham and the City demonstrates the commitment of the University in leading the way in delivering high-quality education that meets the needs of the region.

When the project completes in September 2023, the centre will specialise in world class, industry leading courses, including sustainable construction methods and renewable energy.

Be sure to watch the development here with us!

Images from Lucas Architects.

Interested in studying in the areas of construction and engineering? Explore UCB’s range of courses here: Department of Engineering, Computing and Sustainable Construction.

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20 passion points
Transport
29 Sep 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

National Express West Midlands: Birmingham Pride buses

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Whenever there is a Birmingham Pride parade, National Express West Midlands always has at least one bus in rainbow colours. They have been doing this since at least Pride 2018. And you can catch it in regular service during the year as well.

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National Express West Midlands proud to support Birmingham Pride 2018

Enviro 400 - 4879 - BX61 LNZ

On the 12th July 2018, I caught this National Express West Midlands on the 24 service, from Broad Street (near Five Ways Island). And got off at Colmore Circus Queensway (near the Colmore Building). 

Birmingham Pride

Birmingham Pride

 

National Express West Midlands - be proud of who you are

Enviro 400 - 4905 - BX13 JWE

First spotted on the 11th May 2019, on St Martin's Queensway outside of the Bullring, on route 47. It had been used for Birmingham Pride 2019.

Birmingham Pride

 

I next spotted the "be proud of who you are" bus on the 20th August 2019, in Digbeth. It was on bus route 60, while I was on a no 50 bus.

Birmingham Pride

Birmingham Pride

Birmingham Pride

 

On the 9th February 2022, I saw the "be proud of who you are" bus on bus route 97, it was on Moor Street Queensway.

Birmingham Pride

 

On the 1st April 2022, the "be proud of who you are" rainbow bus was on bus route 24, on Colmore Row, opposite of the Grand Hotel.

Birmingham Pride

Photography by Elliott Brown

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Historic Gun Quarter Site To Be Transformed

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A historic site at the heart of the Gunsmith Quarter is to be given a new lease of life & sympathetically rejuvenated to deliver an intimate 11 home community.

Once a quiet back street, Princip Street is now a hotbed of residential activity.

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16-18 Princip Street has recently received planning consent to be transformed into a residential community.

With Princip Street gravitating towards residential (see our development map), with sensitively designed new builds sitting side-by-side with gorgeous Birmingham's historic treasures – just look at Javelin Block’s ‘Comet Works’, for instance – this site is primed and ready to get in on the act.

Its façade is occupied by the lovely, grade II* listed F.I.S. Loveday building, and its rear, which backs onto the canal, is made up of a combination of single- and two-storey units.

It will be preserved, refurbished, and sensitively converted along with two of its adjoined rear wings – one of which will be extended – and the other canal-side will be re-roofed with a lightwell.

The site will, as per its original layout back, be opened up.



To facilitate this, central units will be removed to make way for a pair of three-storey townhouses, which will both face onto an intimate central courtyard, and another one facing onto the canal.

All retained buildings will accommodate 6 one to three-bedroom apartments (45.8 – 100.2 sqm), with 5 two & three-bedrooms occupying the townhouses, in sizes of 70.5 to a roomy 102.6 sqm.

Sustainability is firmly embedded into the heart of this small project. The redevelopment promises to improve the site’s thermal performance, along with solar panels, electric panel heaters & hot water cylinders, both with time controls, mechanical ventilation & LED lighting.

With Princip Street embarking on an exciting future, we can’t wait for this site to be brought back to life!

Drone images from Stephen Giles; artist impressions from BPN Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - September Update

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One Centenary Way certainly gives off a big city feel. With the landmark building close to being externally finished, we have a gallery of photos covering May to September from many different angles. We also have some images from the trip to the top thanks to Paradise Birmingham on the 5th July.

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May

June

Photography by Daniel Sturley

July

On the 5th July we attended a special visit to the top of the building for an invited photographers event.

Below are just a selection:

Photography by Daniel Sturley

Photography by Stephen Giles.

Photography by Mat Burling

Photography by Jack Babington

We were also able to get some great photos of the surrounding city with a full post of these here: 

 

Other photos of the construction from the 5th July:

Photography by Daniel Sturley

17th July 2022

The first crane come down.

Photography by Daniel Sturley

29th July 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

6th August 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

20th August 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

21st August 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

27th August 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

10th September 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

10th September 2022

19th September 2022, from Barr Beacon

Photography by Daniel Sturley

24th September 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

24th September 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

There are now over 800 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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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
28 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

An IYB Tour of 'The Bond: Creative Content Hub'

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The Bond, on Fazeley Street, is Birmingham’s freshest creative hub, with a focus on film, media and tech.

With an October '22 completion, we extend a massive thank you not only to Oval Real Estate, but to Create Central, and to the Digbeth Estate, for taking the time to show us around.

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An outstanding contemporary urban space, set around four historic buildings: Ice House, Retort House, Toll House & Gate House, the Creative Content Hub will be a place where minds meet, ideas are created and collaborations forged.

With Digbeth in the throes of a second revolution under the stewardship of Oval Real Estate, they’ve partnered with the influential industry body, Create Central, to transform the former Victorian gasworks into a state-of-the-art Google-styled campus for media businesses.

The superhub will bring together a range of diverse businesses with a speciality for content creation, technology, training and development, once again boosting Birmingham's status as a major centre for TV, gaming, digital and film production.

All this follows hot on the heels of the news that the BBC will move to Typhoo Wharf from 2026; MasterChef will settle into the neighbouring Banana warehouse from 2024; animation studios will be opening on Pickford Street; and, of course, there's Digbeth Loc Studios next door to look forward to.

ICE HOUSE ft canopy and Wharfside Yard

RETORT HOUSE:

TOLL HOUSE:

CGIs from Oval Real Estate/BPN; tour images from Stephen Giles.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Fountain Lofts, Digbeth - September 2022

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Fountain Lofts, a boutique development encompassing the historic 1790s-built The Fountain public house, is making its presence known on the Digbeth skyline.

We got our drone up recently to snap the superb progress being made on site.

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The Alcester Street site, brought forward by 10M Group, in conjunction with social impact investor Housing Growth Partnership (HGP), will deliver a mixture of 39 one- and two-bedroom apartments, in two buildings of three and six storeys.

Designed to reflect Digbeth's industrial past whilst providing high-end apartments to meet the needs of today's rental market, Fountain Lofts will feature an attractive internal courtyard, and spaces for 42 cycles, with additional amenities in the form of Highgate Park, a short walk away.

As our images show, the six-storey is already looking prominent, and, with a three-storey set to join the club and face onto Cheapside, the development will nestle nicely alongside its historic neighbour, The Fountain Inn, offering it focal point status - and bustling trade - for years to come.

And back on the ground:

All images from Stephen Giles.

Fountain Lofts, CGIs from 10m Group/ Corstorphine+Wright/ Designbcreative.

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20 passion points
People & community
13 Sep 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Proclamation of King Charles III outside of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square - Sunday 11th September 2022

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Queen Elizabeth II sadly died aged 96 on the 8th September 2022 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her son automatically became King, taking the regnal title of Charles III. After the Accession Council at St James's Palace on the 10th September, and Proclamation, a day later in Birmingham, the Lord Mayor read it out at 1pm in front of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square.

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Sunday 11th September 2022

Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on Thursday 8th September 2022, after a 70 year reign as Queen of the United Kingdom. Charles, Prince of Wales automatically became King. Taking the title of King Charles III.

The Accession Council met at St James' Palace on the morning of Saturday 10th September 2022 to officially proclaim King Charles III. And the Proclamation was read out there.

The following day, Sunday 11th September 2022, the Proclamation was read out in Town's and Cities across the UK and the Commonwealth. Including here in Birmingham.

The venue was outside of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square. In the 20th Century, Victoria Square outside of the Council House was used, but was obviously unavailable due to PoliNations.

The City of Birmingham Brass Band was playing around 12:30pm, and by 1pm the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and other dignitaries came out. Including the Bishop of Birmingham and Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council Brigid Jones. Lawrence Barton from Southside was also there to introduce the proceedings.

 

Westside BID has posted and article with a link to a video HERE.

 

11 photos below taken by Elliott Brown. Full gallery of 30 photos on his Facebook page HERE.

 

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Charles III

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Transport
13 Sep 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Birmingham Bus Bash at Birmingham Moseley Rugby - 4th September 2022

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The Birmingham Bus Bash for 2022 was held at Birmingham Mosely Rugby, at Billesley Common, on Sunday 4th September 2022 (near Yardley Wood Road). Elliott popped along on Sunday afternoon around half an hour before it finished for the day. Not as many buses here like the 2017 Bus Bash at Cannon Hill Park. Was also free bus rides to The Transport Museum, Wythall. 

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This is the first Bus Bash I have been to since the Birmingham Bus Bash 2017 at Cannon Hill Park. The 2022 Bus Bash was the first one since 2019 to be in person (2020 and 2021 was online only during the pandemic). This bus bash seemed a bit smaller with less buses than before. But still had a prescence from National Express West Midlands / Coventry and The Transport Museum, Wythall. Was the usual free bus rides towards the museum from Birmingham Moseley Rugby (Billesley Common) and back.

 

National Express West Midlands / National Express Coventry

In the field in front of the pitch of Birmingham Moseley Rugby (while a women's rugby game was on). There was line up of modern National Express West Midlands and National Express Coventry heritage livery buses. Plus a Hydrogen and Electric bus (not heritage livery).

From left to right: National Express West Midlands 4780, 4535, 1834, 2102, 4722, 4679. National Express Coventry 4453 and 875. National Express West Midlands 4651 and National Express West Midlands Hydrogen H1013. National Express Coventry Electric E038.

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

 

Midland Red West

I'd only see Midland Red West about 6 days before at The Transport Museum, Wythall on the August Bank Holiday Monday. But saw it again from the Maypole on Alcester Road South. I'd caught a 50 down to the Maypole to pop to the Starbucks Coffee Drive Thru, and was thinking of catching a no 2 bus to Billesley on Maypole Lane, but then remembered the 2 doesn't run to the Maypole on Sunday's, so walked back to Alcester Road South to catch a 50 to Wheelers Lane. And then would walk to Birmingham Moseley Rugby via the back entrance road.

Midland Red West 544 was taking visitors for free from Birmingham Moseley Rugby (venue of the Birmingham Bus Bash 2022) to The Transport Museum, Wythall.

I later saw it again on leaving the Bus Bash, this time it was on Yardley Wood Road and Brook Lane in Billesley (but was in a bus stop waiting to catch an 11A, and it was raining).

Midland Red West

Midland Red West

Midland Red West

 

Yellow Buses

At the Bus Bash, I saw this pair of yellow buses. The first on the left was the Midland Red Towing bus. To the right of that was the Children's Party Bus. Piccadilly Whip ice cream van was to the right of the Party Bus. I'd previously seen the Midland Red Towing bus at The Transport Museum, Wythall over the August Bank Holiday Monday.

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

 

Birmingham City Transport and coaches

It's Birmingham City Transport 2222 again. I once caught that from Snow Hill Queensway to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre back in September 2018 (four years ago). Next to the BCT bus was two coaches including: National Express XC 262 and Mighty Travels. I saw BCT 2222, JOJ 222 one last time from the bus stop on Yardley Wood Road (opposite Billesley Community Fire Station). Didn't get a photo, but it was raining, and I was in the bus stop waiting for the 11A at the time. I think it went back to Acocks Green Bus Garage.

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

 

WMPTE / NXWM / TWM

Next up we see WM Travel 2462, National Express West Midlands 669 and Travel West Midlands 313. I'd last saw WM 2462 on car park shuttle bus duties at The Transport Museum, Wythall on the August Bank Holiday Monday, but have seen it at previous bus garage open days as well.

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

Bus Bash

 

Timesaver

Waiting for my bus to go home, I saw the blue Timesaver bus again. It was heading from Yardley Wood Road onto Brook Lane around the island. Was in the bus stop opposite Billesley Community Fire Station, so did not get a new photo of it. Here's one from 2013, when I rode it from Acocks Green to Yardley Wood bus garages on the Open Day.

Timesaver 900 2018

Photos by Elliott Brown

 

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Construction of Maker's Yard - July to September 2022

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Maker's Yard is transforming Sherlock Street with 551 build-to-rent apartments, commercial units, amenities aplenty, and fluid new pedestrian links.

With the project set to rise, the site is beautifully situated adjacent to the emerging Smithfield & just 500m from Bullring. 

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We've been busy snapping Maker's Yard over the past few months – and it is looking exceptional.

Expanding the city core further outwards, Maker's Yard has been brought forward by Watkin Jones – with Get Living, the UK’s pioneer of large-scale build-to-rent communities, forward funding and operating the project.

Sat adjacent to Smithfield, Maker's will deliver – in addition to the new one-, two- & three-bedroom homes, of which 47 will be made affordable – circa 16,5000K SF of ground floor commercial in builds ranging from five, nine, 10, 11, 13 & 30-storeys.

Amenities will include a 24-hour concierge, wellbeing hub(s), landscaped podiums, spaces for 610 cycles, a gym, and co-working spaces, in addition to a double-height reception & sky lounge.

Complementing all of this will be a new public square that will connect the city centre with the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter, with fluid access to the commercial spaces that will further boost the area. Looking good!

JULY TO AUGUST:

MAKER'S YARD:

Drone images from Stephen Giles; original CGIs from Glenn Howells.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf Moves Closer to Construction

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As our images show, the demolition of the former Police Stores Building at 5 Princip Street, has been completed.

The site will soon deliver 'Lancaster Wharf' - a major placemaking build-to-rent (BTR) development comprising 266 homes, within builds ranging from six to 23 storeys.

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Left standing on site is a historic ornate gateway, which is now being carefully dismantled brick-by-brick before it'll be stored away and reinstalled at a later date.

Once the site is cleared, a major build-to-rent (BTR) development will be built from Select Property Group's Affinity Living brand, offering 266 new homes.

A series of linked buildings of six to 23-storeys will be built around a reactivated canal side to cater to the demands of the Birmingham rental market.

Offering large, contemporary living spaces, with new hybrid ways of living and working, Lancaster Wharf will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and fully integrated high-spec kitchens, in addition to a multitude of amenities.

These include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, an internal and external sixth-floor terrace area, basement cycle storage, co-working spaces, residents and TV lounge, and a spacious waterfront garden courtyard.

With a contractor already appointed be sure to watch our socials (Twitter & Instagram) for more updates on this project

Drone images from Stephen Giles; CGIs from Select Property Group.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Sep 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Typhoo Wharf - BBC Birmingham & The Wider Site

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A public consultation is now live for the future of Typhoo Wharf and its wider site.

The historic Typhoo Tea Factory is set to become home to BBC Birmingham in 2026, with the wider site potentially seeing up to 800K SF of new residential, offices, and hospitality uses.

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Birmingham’s own Glenn Howells Architects is working on a transformative masterplan (IYB map) that could see over 10 acres of underutilised land, around Typhoo Wharf in Digbeth, developed to house the BBC, along with new residential, offices, and hospitality uses.

The first phase will include the revival of the historic Typhoo Tea factory into a net-zero BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ broadcast centre for BBC Birmingham, who has agreed to move into the building, along with BBC Asian Network, BBC Newsbeat, as well as Midlands Today and BBC WM, in 2026.



Looking further afield – five to 10 years – there is a comprehensive vision in place to regenerate the wider site, including the creation of a new canal side quarter centred around the unique and historic canal network, delivering a ‘green and healthy, walkable / cyclable city’, complemented by new residential, offices, and commercial uses.

All of this is to be integrated into the area’s transport infrastructure, including the Midland Metro tram, which will have a stop next to the site and will provide fluid connectivity to the forthcoming HS2 Curzon Street station – set to get underway in February 2023.

Other developing cultural and economic infrastructure just outside the confines of Typhoo Wharf include Stephen Knight’s Loc Studios, BBC’s new MasterChef studio, the Creative Content Hub, animation studios, and Birmingham Midland Academy – all a stone’s throw away.

A public consultation is in its early stages – but it is now live for your consideration. It will run until Thursday 22 September 2022 and should Birmingham City Council give it the go ahead, construction is expected to start on site in spring 2023, ready for occupation by the BBC in 2026.

Typhoo Wharf, images from Glenn Howells Architects & BBC.

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20 passion points
Transport
05 Sep 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Visit to The Transport Museum, Wythall over the August Bank Holiday Monday 2022

Post image

On previous Bank Holiday weekends, I'd seen heritage buses from the collection of The Transport Museum, Wythall on the Alcester Road (south of the Maypole in Hollywood) or at Bristol Street or Suffolk Street Queensway (near The Alex Theatre, but CAZ stopped that). Finally went on the August Bank Holiday Monday 2022, plus rode a bus on a loop via Earlswood.

Related

The Transport Museum, Wythall is located at Chapel Lane, Wythall, Worcestershire, B47 6JA. On the Event Days of the August Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday the 28th and Monday the 29th August 2022, visitors could park their cars at Phoenix Group and get a free shuttle bus to the museum. Visitors could also get a free bus from the Maypole or from Wythall Station. As it was an Event Day, there was also free bus rides around the area. They used to also have buses going towards The Alexandra Theatre, but I'm unsure if they still do this since the Clean Air Zone came into force in 2021.

 

Car Park Shuttle buses

Bus route 758 from Phoenix Group to The Transport Museum, Wythall. We went on Travel West Midlands 4001 both ways, from the car park to the museum and back later that day. It was the first low floor bus in the fleet, also had seats to lift up for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Other buses on the Car Park Shuttle route 758 included West Midlands Travel 4613, National Express West Midlands 4321 and West Midlands Travel 2462. I'd earlier seen NXWM 4321 passing the Becketts Farm Flower Field on shuttle bus duties. And later saw it coming back on a Midland Red bus from a half hour bus ride to Earlswood and back.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Midland Red

This Midland Red bus was no 1902 with Mercian branding. Was parked next to a Birmingham City Transport bus, no 486.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Midland Red West 544 was one of the buses used for free bus rides on the Event Day.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Midland Red 4255 was in a new exhibition. The Barn Find Exhibition. Buses and old milk floats found in barns, and left unrestored, as they were as they were discovered.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

More Midland Red buses in the garage to the north west of the site. No 5399, plus a couple of others to the left.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

As we exited the milk float exhibit, saw this Midland Red bus, for route M33 Malvern Link.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

In the repair shed was some familiar buses. An unidentifed Midland Red bus on the left and to the right, one destined for Gloucester on the X72.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Time for a free bus ride. The 13:15 was supposed to go to Beoley via Alvechurch, but the driver did not know the route. So the bus we went on went from Wythall towards Earlswood and back on a half hour journey. It was Midland Red 5767.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

On leaving Wythall on the car park shuttle, saw from the top deck, Midland Red 5656, originally the Birmingham London Motorway Express on route ME1.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Birmingham City Transport

Seen inside of The Power Hall was these Birmingham City Transport buses. You could sit in 0-9926 and have your photo taken with it.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Seen outside of the engine repair shed was this pair of Birmingham City Transport buses 3009 and 486. Out so people could have bus rides on them.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Birmingham City Transport 486 later spotted on Chapel Lane, heading back towards the museum. From the Midland Red bus we were on, which was on Hill Lane at the time. Our bus on the half our round trip towards Earlswood and back to Wythall via the A435.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

It's been almost four years since I've seen Birmingham City Transport 2548. Inside the repair shed, licence plate missing at the front.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

West Bromwich Corporation

This West Bromwich Corporation bus was one that you could go inside. And was parked up next to a Birmingham Fire Engine, in The Power Hall.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Walsall Corporation

Bus no 56 from Walsall Corporation was inside of the repair shed.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Bus no 116 was in the Midland Red repair shed. This is the first time since I last saw it at the Birmingham Bus Bash in Cannon Hill Park in 2017. I previously caught it on the road in Bromsgrove back in 2013. Some of it's wheels was off.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Wolverhampton Corporation

This trolley bus was from Wolverhampton with overhead pantograph. The conductor would have to move it with a pole. It was seen in The Power Hall.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

West Midlands Travel

This West Midlands Travel bus no 4527 was parked outside on the Event Day.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Various including Midland Red, Birmingham City Transport etc

A variety of different buses from around the West Midlands in this garage, including several Midland Red buses, Birmingham City Transport, West Midlands Travel and Travel West Midlands. The no 47 bus stood out for me, no 2811, as I may have ridden this bus back in the 1990s or early 2000s. The Metrobus was withdrawn from service in 2010.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Transport
05 Sep 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Miniature Railway Wythall operated by Elmdon Model Engineering Society at The Transport Museum, Wythall

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It wasn't just heritage buses at The Transport Museum, Wythall. On the August Bank Holiday Mondat 29th August 2022, visitors could pay to go on the Miniature Railway Wythall operated by Elmdon Model Engineering Society. The locomotive in use was called Blanche from the Penrhyn Railway. Kids seemed to have enjoyed it.

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Miniature Railway Wythall operated by Elmdon Model Engineering Society

Shortly after getting off the car park shuttle bus at The Transport Museum, Wythall, I saw the station Elmdon Halt from the Miniature Railway Wythall.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

The first time I saw the miniature railway in action, was while looking at various heritage buses parked up. Was a grassy bank, and saw the miniature steam train Blanche come around.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

I was in The Power Hall, and briefly popped out when I saw this footbridge, shortly afterwards saw the miniature train heading around on the tracks. It went past the heritage buses, as well as a picnic bench area with bouncy castle and slides for kids.

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

Transport Museum Wythall

 

I was later in another bus garage on site, near the milk float collection, popped out and saw this tunnel. I did not wait around to see if the miniature steam train would come out of it. So back to the milk floats and buses it was.

Transport Museum Wythall

 

Before leaving, and after coming back to Wythall from a free bus ride, and ice cream. Saw the miniature steam train at Elmdon Holt, before we got back on the car park shuttle bus, to return to the Phoenix Group car park.

Transport Museum Wythall

Photos by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Squares and public spaces
31 Aug 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Brum's Big Splash, part of Birmingham Weekender at the Bullring

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The Birmingham Weekender returned once again, this time the August Bank Holiday Weekend on the 27th and 28th August 2022. Down Central Street (St Martin's Walk) at the Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham, from Rotunda Square, going down was Brum's Big Splash. In association with the Birmingham Hippodrome. A long water slide basically.

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Brum's Big Splash

Heading up St Martin's Walk at the Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham (renamed Central Street) was Brum's Big Splash. It was installed and tested the day before on Friday 26th August 2022. But opened on Saturday 27th August 2022, just after 12pm. People who wanted to ride it had to book up a space in advance, but was apparently some walk-up slots.

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

 

I headed up to Costa Coffee in Next, and managed to get a window seat, and got these views, as I saw some people slide down the splash-way!

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

Brums Big Splash

This was all part of the Birmingham Weekender, which was held on Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th August 2022.

Photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Aug 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of Cortland Broad Street - August 2022 Update

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Great progress is being made on Cortland Broad Street, a part 6, part 35-storey build-to-rent development for US giant, Cortland Group.

The six-storey element is already topped out, with the tower now up to the 17th floor and counting. An excellent update with impressive viewpoints from Daniel and Stephen.

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Photography by Stephen Giles.

The 'butterfly effect' cladding briefly made an appearance, before being stripped off in its entirety a few days later..

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 300+ photos of Cortland's construction, which can be viewed here. And then there's Birmingham's first ever map of developments, which can be viewed here.

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20 passion points
Environment & green action
24 Aug 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

PoliNations coming to Victoria Square in September 2022

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PoliNations is coming to Victoria Square from the 2nd to 18th September 2022. A free event. Following the end of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this is part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, and they are putting it up in the last three weeks of August 2022. Elliott got a first glimpse on Saturday 20th August 2022 on passing through Victoria Square.

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PoliNations is part of Unboxed Creativity in the UK. During the last three weeks of August 2022, after the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games things were dismantled (including Hew Locke's Foreign Exchange on the Queen Victoria statue). PoliNations moved in.

The free event is due to take place from the 2nd to 18th September 2022.

Step into a spectacular city-centre garden of magical proportions where you will be welcomed by an epic array of colour and nature.  

Giant architectural trees and thousands of plants will transform Victoria Square into an urban oasis, which will host free events, workshops and performances including live music, dance, spoken word and drag.

This supernatural wonderland uncovers the origin stories of the plants we know so well – daisies, pansies, apple trees, roses – in fact these, and most of the plants we see in our gardens are not from the UK. They tell the story of journeys, movement, dispersal, and new roots. 

PoliNations is a celebration of colour, beauty, and of natural diversity. Explore, enjoy and be your true unique self. You can experience music from around the world, an incredible light show each evening, and a grand finale like no other where the tree’s canopies will burst into a joyful cloud of confetti and colour.  

This is Carnival and Holi combined in one brilliant, messy, playful party and everyone is invited.

 

I first spotted the giant trees from Chamberlain Square.

PoliNations

 

Heading into Victoria Square, the PoliNations construction is all fenced off at the moment.

PoliNations

PoliNations

 

They encourage people to get public transport to PoliNations, including the West Midlands Metro, get off at Town Hall Tram Stop. Also in walking distance of the main railway stations and your bus stops.

PoliNations

 

The statue of Queen Victoria has been returned to normal after two months as Hew Locke's Foreign Exchange.

PoliNations

 

Key to the City ended on the 7th August, so it will no longer be possible to get views of Victoria Square from the 18th floor balcony like before.

PoliNations

PoliNations

PoliNations

PoliNations

 

Heading down Pinfold Street, then catching a view of a tram heading up towards Victoria Square and the PoliNations trees.

PoliNations

PoliNations

 

I will probably get more photos of PoliNations over the next couple of weekends, and probably in September as well (if time).

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Aug 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

2 Brindley Set For A Radical Upgrade

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Two Brindley is to be upgraded with a new rooftop extension, providing additional office floorspace - and bringing the building up to 90K SF.

Birmingham City Council has given the green light for the low-carbon revamp to proceed.

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As part of a radical net-zero upgrade, 2 Brindley is to be revitalised with a new single-storey, glazed rooftop extension, adding an additional 14,500K SF of office floorspace to the building.

Two new rooftop terraces will be formulated for tenants, while the facade to the ground, first, sixth & seventh floors will be overhauled and upgraded.

The ground level will also be dramatically improved, with all ramps, stairs, and balustrading set to be replaced with an uncluttered new entrance, lobby, and reception area. Within, generous facilities will include a unique wellness suite, fitness studio, changing areas, screening room, and a secure cycle hub for 128.

In order to achieve net-zero carbon, all M&E will be replaced with an all-electric energy-efficient system, with 80% of the structure remaining in place, ultimately cutting the scheme's embodied carbon by over 50 per cent, compared to a brand new-build office building.

2 Brindley, images from 5plus Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Aug 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Camp Hill Gardens Approved; First Major Digbeth Development Set to Kick Off?

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Today is a significant day for Camp Hill Gardens, 193 Camp Hill, as amended plans were unanimously approved today (18 August).

The major placemaking development could, at long last, become the catalyst for Digbeth and the wider area. 

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Setting the ball rolling for the wider area, Camp Hill Gardens will see six new buildings ranging from three to 26 storeys, creating a brand new community of 550 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments and townhouses.

Incorporating wellbeing, innovation, and sustainability, the placemaking project from Goodstone Living, the UK BTR arm of Macquarie Asset Management, will be set around a one-acre landscaped garden, the largest private garden in the city.

A fine selection of studios, one- and three-bedroom apartments, and four-bedroom townhouses, will be provided, in addition to 22,000K SF of dedicated commercial spaces that will further nurture Digbeth's live-work-play ethos.

This will contain areas for restaurants, cafés, boutiques, start-ups and independent retail; local companies will also benefit from 50% rental discounts.

The site, once occupied by Sulzer before they relocated to Birmingham Business Park, has already been demolished and works are ongoing to make the site construction ready, which is anticipated to begin soon now that permission has been granted.

Camp Hill Gardens, images from Darling Associates.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Aug 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Prominent Office Reanimation for Temple Street

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Vacant and unlisted 41-42 Temple Street, sat next to The Ivy restaurant, is to be demolished and a new building constructed to provide additional office space in the city.

Work, however, will see the retention of its historic façade & a new six-storey building built behind.

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EPIC (GP Temple Row) Ltd, which owns the site, as well as neighbouring buildings at 63-65 & 67-71 Temple Row, as well as 125 Colmore Row, wishes to rejuvenate the plot to offer high quality sustainable office floorspace in the city.

The existing three-storey building (below) is made up of a mid-19th century Temple Street façade, which will be preserved, as well as a lower quality mid-20th century re-building behind the façade.

The latter would be demolished and replaced with a new six-storey building behind the façade to deliver a gross internal area of approximately 13,000K SF.



This would deliver basement amenities - cycle store, shower facilities, etc - a ground floor commercial unit, with five storeys of speculative office accommodation above.

This fabric-led approach will see a reduction in energy demand to meet carbon reduction targets, with M&E system improvements, high-performance thermal insulation, solar control, air source heat pumps, and MVHR.

A statement on behalf of the applicant said: "It is clear the proposed development falls wholly in accordance with local and national policy and the benefits of the proposed development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any harm.

"The application is supported by a full suite of technical assessments which demonstrate that the proposals represent an efficient and effective use of an existing brownfield site and there are no significant constraints, either at local or national level, which would restrict the development of the site in the manner proposed.
"

Images from OMI Architects; Google Street Maps; and Samuel Lines: an 1821 painting.

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20 passion points
Squares and public spaces
17 Aug 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Victoria Square - View from 103, Key to the City

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In June 2022, Elliott was gifted the Key to the City by the lady behind the 103 Colmore Row Twitter and Instagram accounts. He visited 103 Colmore Row for views from the 18th floor balcony four times between June and August 2022. Here are the changing views of Victoria Square. Including during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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Having missed the February 2022 meet at 103 Colmore Row, Elliott was promised to get the key to 103 Colmore Row. He was gifted it by the lady who runs the 103 Colmore Row Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Between June and August, he went up four times. Usually as the view of Victoria Square kept changing. He always went on Saturday's.

Every time you arrive, you show your key to one of the Key to the City volunteers. The wait in the foyer could be anywhere between 20 minutes and 50 minutes (especially near the end of the Commonwealth Games). You would get a slot of 10 to 15 minutes to go up the fastest lift to the 18th floor, for views from the balcony.

It was an opportunity to get views of Victoria Square. When street art was painted ahead of the games, Elliott went twice on two Saturday's in July. And one final time in August on Super Saturday, while the 60th Jamaican Independence Day was being celebrated.

 

11th June 2022

General views down to Victoria Square from the 18th floor balcony of 103 Colmore Row.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

River and Youth aka the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was flowing again.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

Hew Locke reimagined the Queen Victoria statue as an artwork called Foreign Exchange (with the IKON Gallery). It would remain here for two months (until the middle of August 2022). Sir Antony Gormey's Iron: Man statue seen to the left.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

The Council House from above.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

Victoria Square House from above.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

The Town Hall from above.

Victoria Square

 

16th July 2022

Second visit to the 18th floor balcony, to see the artwork being painted called Connections by the artist Anjuli McKenna, in Victoria Square. It was half complete at this point.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

Hew Locke's Foreign Exchange artwork with Iron: Man as it was meant to be seen.

Victoria Square

 

The Town Hall again, this time with a Perry the Bull banner on Beneficial House behind.

Victoria Square

 

23rd July 2022

One week on, and the Victoria Square Fan Zone was almost complete, several days before the start of the Commonwealth Games. Also to see the Connections street art in Victoria Square fully complete. There was now a stage in the square, and would be the finish point for the Birmingham Marathona week later. The West Midlands Metro trams were also now running all the way between Wolverhampton St George's and Edgbaston Village.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

West Midlands Metro trams passing Victoria Square and stopping at Town Hall Tram Stop, in both directions.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

See more of that day here Riding trams in Zone 1.

 

6th August 2022

Super Saturday, and the final weekend of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the City Centre was very busy. It was also the 60th anniversary of Jamaican Independence which was being celebrated in Victoria Square at the time. This would be my final visit to 103 Colmore Row, before Key to the City ended the following day.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

Victoria Square

 

Thank you to 103 Colmore Row, the Key to the City volunteers, to Fierce and Yale Locks.

 

Next up is PoliNations in September 2022, but will have to get views from Victoria Square itself.

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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110 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Aug 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Camp Hill Gardens: Amended Plans Set For Approval

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It's a big week for Camp Hill Gardens, 193 Camp Hill. Amended plans for the prominent site are expected to be approved on 18 August.

The major development could set the ball rolling for the area.

Related

Six buildings ranging from three to 26 storeys will deliver a brand new community of 550 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments and townhouses as part of Camp Hill Gardens.

Incorporating wellbeing, innovation, and sustainability, the placemaking project from Goodstone Living, the UK BTR arm of Macquarie Asset Management, will be set around a one-acre landscaped garden, the largest private garden in the city.

The new community will present a fine selection of studios, one- and three-bedroom apartments, and four-bedroom townhouses, in addition to 22,000K SF of dedicated commercial spaces, further nurturing Digbeth's live-work-play ethos.

This will contain areas for restaurants, cafés, boutiques, start-ups and independent retail; local companies will also be eligible for 50% rental discounts.

The site, which was once occupied by Sulzer before they relocated to Birmingham Business Park, has already been demolished and works are ongoing to make the site construction ready, which is anticipated to begin as soon as permission is given. 

Camp Hill Gardens, images from Darling Associates.

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