Featuring

People & community
Displaying until 24 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays

BirminghamWeAre - a FreeTimePays Community of Passion and digital portal for people who want to make a difference!

With a combined reach of 100,000, FreeTimePays is delighted to welcome Birmingham as a Community of Passion. Together with our People with Passion, this digital space will be used to showcase all that's great about the City.

Take the full post to find out more and see how you can get involved.

Connect with us and promote the passion that is Birmingham!

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BirminghamWeAre - a FreeTimePays Community of Passion and digital portal for people who want to make a difference!




With a combined reach of 100,000, FreeTimePays is delighted to welcome Birmingham as a Community of Passion. Together with our People with Passion, this digital space will be used to showcase all that's great about the City.

Take the full post to find out more and see how you can get involved.

Connect with us and promote the passion that is Birmingham!


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

BirminghamWeAre delivers a digital space for people who are passionate about Birmingham and want to do whatever they can to help their community.

At BirminghamWeAre, we help connect people where passions are shared; we give people FREE access to their very own digital space where they can promote their passion; and we recognise people for the contributions they make through the allocation of Passion Points. Interested? Connect with us HERE.

The reach of FreeTimePays is huge and is growing with Communities of Passion being rolled out across the UK. 

Companies and organisations keen to support People with Passion play an essential role and we have a range of partnership, sponsorship and advertising packages available.

We can even go as far as to set groups and networks up with their own portal so they can grow their own branded Community of Passion linked to their own website or social media account.

View our Partnership arrangements or connect with us HERE.

Now let's show you what you get with FreeTimePays. 

FreeTimePays

FreeTimePays is an impact focused digital platform and social media channel specifically for people who want to make a difference and create a positive social and economic impact.

FreeTimePays is the social media of choice for 'People with Passion'.

With FreeTimePays, we help people take their passion to the next level by giving them access to a suite of digital tools and applications.

There are three components to FreeTimePays.

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

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

Community Passport

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

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

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

Community Workspace

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

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

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

Community Matchmaker

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

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

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

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

For more detail on what is provided by FreeTimePays connect HERE.

BirminghamWeAre

BirminghamWeAre will grow as a shared space for the many individuals, communities and businesses that will want to connect and share in their passion for their community.

Their work, their ideas and their proposals can be pulled together in the one collaborative space giving them access to a huge resource bank for sharing images, documents and web links. 

In this space people can chat in a secure environment if they wish; they can set up and promote events; or they can communicate with any of the FreeTimePays Communities through creating and submitting posts.

We would be delighted to tell you more.

Contact Jonathan Bostock at jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com or connect HERE with FreeTimePays for more information on sharing your passion for Birmingham.

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Featuring

People & community
Displaying until 23 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays

Are you passionate about Birmingham? Join Us!

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

‘People with Passion’ are given the digital space and the digital tools so they can promote their passion for Birmingham and connect with people who share their passion.

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Are you passionate about Birmingham? Join Us!




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

‘People with Passion’ are given the digital space and the digital tools so they can promote their passion for Birmingham and connect with people who share their passion.


BirminghamWeAre is all about engaging people in the passion that is Birmingham.

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

FreeTimePays is an impact focused digital platform and social media channel specifically for people who want to make a difference and create a positive social and economic impact.

FreeTimePays is the social media of choice for 'People with Passion'.

With FreeTimePays, we help people take their passion to the next level by giving them access to a suite of digital tools and applications.

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

Connect with us HERE and take your passion to the next level.

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40 passion points

Featuring

People & community
Displaying until 31 Dec 2018 - FreeTimePays

Connect with FreeTimePays for social impact, economic growth and community engagement

Take up a partnership with FreeTimePays, advertise, build brand image or even launch your own community of passion using FreeTimePays digital technology.

 

 

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Connect with FreeTimePays for social impact, economic growth and community engagement




Take up a partnership with FreeTimePays, advertise, build brand image or even launch your own community of passion using FreeTimePays digital technology.

 

 


There are many ways you can use and deploy FreeTimePays technology to engage your community and support your objectives. 

 

Take a look at the packages we offer and Connect with us for a solution that is tailored to meet your precise requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call us on 0121 410 5520 or Connect with us to discuss our partnerships.

 

For more about the FreeTimePays engagement suite and the many applications for engaging, inspiring and rewarding people for collectively making a difference, see more details here.

 

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Did you know?

Civic pride
18 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Joseph Sturge and the campaign to abolish slavery

Joseph Sturge was a Birmingham businessman who campaigned to abolish slavery in the 19th century. Slavery was abolished in the 1830s. There is a statue of Sturge in Five Ways outside of the Marriott Hotel. And he once lived in a property in a house that used to be on Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston (flats are now on that site).

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Joseph Sturge and the campaign to abolish slavery




Joseph Sturge was a Birmingham businessman who campaigned to abolish slavery in the 19th century. Slavery was abolished in the 1830s. There is a statue of Sturge in Five Ways outside of the Marriott Hotel. And he once lived in a property in a house that used to be on Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston (flats are now on that site).


Joseph Sturge

was a Quaker and abolitionist, and founded the Anti-Slavery Society. He moved to Birmingham in 1822. The Reform Act 1832 in his opinion failed to address poverty and he campaigned for radical electoral reform. He was against the building of the Birmingham Town Hall and he was interested in the island of Jamaica and the condition of it's enslaved workers.

He was elected as an Alderman in Birmingham's first Borough Council of 1838.

Joseph Sturge lived on a house on Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston from 1824 until 1859 (his death). That house is now long since demolished. Flats now stands on that site called Eden Croft. You can see a Birmingham Civic Society blue plaque on the side of the building, that was placed there in 2007.

 

Joseph Sturge memorial

The statue of Joseph Sturge was unveiled in 1862 at Five Ways, close to his former home. It was at the boundary between Edgbaston and Birmingham, and was sculpted by John Thomas. Sometime around 1975 the left hand fell off. The statue was restored in 2007 on the 200th anniversary of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. The statue is Grade II listed.

The statue was moved in 1925 to it's current position, now in front of the Marriott Hotel (formerly the Swallow Hotel). Beneath the statue, on four sides, are inscribed the words 'Joseph Sturge 1859', 'Peace', 'Charity', and 'Temperance'.

Due to Five Ways Island, you can only really see it if you walk past it.But it is visible from Harborne Road if on the bus or in a car. From Five Ways Island, there are trees in the way and you can't see the statue from there. It's just a bit visible from the Hagley Road, although it is a bit far from there. So as I said, best to walk past the statue to admire it!

The bronze plaque is there for passers by to know a bit more about him.

"He laboured to bring freedom to the Negro slave, the vote to British workmen, and the promise of peace to a war-torn world."

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Inspiration

Fundraising & charity
16 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley

You're not alone with Autism

I hope the artical below will give you a self-esteem boost and also help reduce meltdowns with the questions and prompts at the end!

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You're not alone with Autism


I hope the artical below will give you a self-esteem boost and also help reduce meltdowns with the questions and prompts at the end!


Because I have autism, I needed to develop a survival tool kit to fit a bit better into the neurotypical world. I want to share what worked for me, to help others with the same problems. My vlogs and blogs hopefully highlight the less spoken about problems, risks and hacks that unveil autism in a new and brighter light, to those who are unfamiliar with autism.

 

I also design and develop illustrated resources to improve decision-making skills. In spite of my autism, I have learned (with many back-up plans as my extra safety net) to master a level of precise organization even many neurotypicals would struggle to maintain. Without this lifestyle, I fall apart very quickly and it is difficult to explain to other people that I need a system in place again, and fast. People who don't know me well perceive that the added responsibility of setting up a system is too much for me, as I am not coping already. Ironically, it's all my established systems that make for a happy and busy day. My safety nets enable me rather than ensnare me. Of course I have had a history of OCD but this was just lists and organizing going to the other end of the same scale. Everyone is different and that can be said for everyone on the autistic spectrum too.

 

Apart from timetabling, meal plans, and other systems to manage the logistics of independent life, the social side is an entirely different ball game. For a start, you have to work from the inside out. You can't change what other people do, or even fully understand what they communicate (or try to hide) with their actions, words and expressions alone. Growing up in a whirlwind of my own hormones (which changed sporadically in my teens because autism delays then "spikes" developments of any kind!), I also had to survive the new social hierarchy and rules at school, and I of course was a prime target for bullying with my combination of social cluelessness and high grades. My mum already had OCD at the time and the "man of the house" had an addictive personality, which led down the dark spiral of domestic abuse. This included a ton of mind-games where rules were twisted just as I thought I'd figured things out. By the time I was 16 I over-thought everything and this naturally manifested into all kinds of disordered behavior including eating issues, lying about everything, and deliberately self-inflicting sleep deprivation.

 

This extremely destructive lifestyle perpetuated and worsened my unhealthy mindsets, but thankfully, things got so bad and I was so alone, I knew the only person who could really improve things was me. I spent a year looking up motivational speakers and self-help resources. I also took the simplest advice from them and changed my words (I was too weak and muddled to do things like exercise or travel lots at this point). My language change had to be VERY drastic. I avoided absolutes like “always” and “everything”. I kept a complaining jar and used my OCD attitude to my advantage for keeping this track record. Slowly, my perception of life and myself started to change… Years of dreaming about recovery and leading a functional life finally became my reality. Once I accepted my wounds and weaknesses, I could start to deal with them methodically. Once I made friends with myself, other people approached me to become friends. It was an upward spiral from there.

 

I still find writing things down keeps a measurable record and highlights any bumps I need to address before things backlog and snowball. Over time, I have grown enough confidence to reintroduce, or try new things like food, conversation topics, and exploring places. Occasionally things go wrong or I push myself too far, but I bounce back much quicker now and am still willing to try again.

 

 

It sounds a bit sci-fi, but I strongly believe everything we see physically manifest, starts with an idea: aka the mind. If you can start and end life with a healthy mind, your life overall improves in both quality and length. I hope my story has encouraged you- autism is not the full stop or definition of what makes you “you”. 
 


Below are some questions I want to leave you with to help reduce meltdowns.


Is this situation reasonable?

Are other people as stressed as you? They might even have more urgent things happening in their life than yours.
Are you the only one to have ever felt like this?

Are you the only one to have ever had to do or go through this?
Is it likely?
What options do you have?
Will it last forever?

Will this affect you this badly by tomorrow?

How about in a weeks/months/years time?

Can you feel your feet? (If “no”, find a place to sit down. Avoid stamping or walking, and place hands firmly on a solid railing or wall).

Can you count to 10? (Then count to ten- don’t just say yes!)

Can you remember why you are here?

Can you see an exit sign or someone in a uniform that matches with the brand of this location?

Are you hot or cold? (Take off or put on a jacket accordingly).

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Gallery

Transport
16 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Tram Stops in the Black Country from Wolverhampton to West Bromwich

A look at the tram stops in the Black Country of the West Midlands. Mainly in Wolverhampton, Bilston, Wednesbury and West Bromwich. They all originally opened back in 1999, but have since been altered to allow the new Urbos 3 trams to stop at them. Midland Metro line 1 goes from Wolverhampton St George's towards The Hawthorns before heading into Birmingham.

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Tram Stops in the Black Country from Wolverhampton to West Bromwich




A look at the tram stops in the Black Country of the West Midlands. Mainly in Wolverhampton, Bilston, Wednesbury and West Bromwich. They all originally opened back in 1999, but have since been altered to allow the new Urbos 3 trams to stop at them. Midland Metro line 1 goes from Wolverhampton St George's towards The Hawthorns before heading into Birmingham.


A look at some of the main tram stops in the Black Country between Wolverhampton and West Bromwich, including stops in Bilston and Wednesbury.

Starting with some of the tram stops that are in Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop

The tram stop opened on the 31st May 1999 and is the current terminus of line 1 on what is now known as the West Midlands Metro (formerly Midland Metro). T69 trams used to run between here and the former Snow Hill Tram Stop, until they were replaced by the Urbos 3 trams in 2014 - 2015. When the Birmingham City Centre extension opened in 2015 - 2016 to Grand Central, the T69's were retired, some were later scrapped.

It was built as an island platform with a crossover loop, but was changed in 2015 when one platform was removed and is now used by buses. They are currently building an extension loop around to Wolverhampton Station (a redevelopment project has just started there) with stops at Pipers Row and Wolverhampton Station.

The Royal Tram Stop

The tram stop opened on the 31st May 1999. It was named after a nearby hospital called the Royal Hospital which closed in 1997.

The line from Priestfield to Wolverhampton St George's was closed for around 6 months in 2017 along the Bilston Road so that they could replace the tram tracks. This section reopened by the end of the year. The former Royal Hospital is Grade II listed and the former Tram & Bus Depot nearby was demolished for new housing. Tesco did acquire the hospital building in 2001 for a retail development but was sold to the Homes and Communities Agency in 2015 for residential development.

Bilston Central Tram Stop

The tram stop opened on the 31st May 1999 along the brick lined former Great Western Railway cutting. The platforms are staggered.

There are entrances at both ends of the tram stop. One end has a lift with steps. The other end has steps. The tram stop is a short distance to the north from the original Bilston Station on the Birmingham Snow Hill-Wolverhampton Low Level Line that closed down in 1972.

The tram stops below are all with Sandwell.

Wednesbury Parkway Tram Stop

This tram stop is in Wednesbury, and opened on the 31st May 1999.It has park and ride facilities. Get off here for walks along the Walsall Canal.

The tram stop also has a third platform with a track as tram start from the Wednesbury Tram Depot which is next to Wednesbury Great Western Street Tram Stop. That platform is for trams that terminate here.

Wednesbury Great Western Street Tram Stop

The tram stop opened on the 31st May 1999 and it is near the Midland Metro tram depot (the base of the current and the former trams that used to be based there). The stop was built on the site of the former Wednesbury Central Station which closed in 1972.

Another former railway line runs close to underneath this tram stop. It was the South Staffordshire Line. The line towards Brierley Hill will be used to build a new extension. The overgrowth that has grown over the years has been cut down. The line could open by 2023. It will share trackbed with a heavy rail line to Walsall.

Lodge Road West Bromwich Town Hall Tram Stop

The tram stop opened on the 31st May 1999 and is to the western side of West Bromwich Town Centre. The stop is in a deep cutting. Sometimes just known as Lodge Road Tram Stop. Has West Bromwich Town Hall in it's name as it is nearby.

As with Bilston Central, this tram stop has a lift with stairs at one end, and a ramp / walkway at the other end. It was one of the least used tram stops in the year 2015 / 16.

West Bromwich Central Tram Stop

This is the tram stop to use if you want to go to West Bromwich Town Centre. It opened on the 31st May 1999 and is quite close to West Bromwich Bus Station, and the shops. Sandwell College was built close to the tram stop,

It was built on the site of the former West Bromwich Station on the Great Western Railway line from Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level. In 2015/16 it was the most heavily used intermediate tram stop on line 1.

The Hawthorns Tram Stop

The railway station on the Jewellery line opened in 1995. While the tram stop opened on Midland Metro line 1 in 1999. The site was the location of The Hawthorns Halt from 1931 until 1968 opened by the Great Western Railway on their line from London Paddington via Birmingham Snow Hill to Birkenhead. The current station opened in 1995 when the Jewellery line was built connecting Birmingham Snow Hill to Smethwick and Stourbridge on the line to Worcester via Kidderminster.

T69 trams such as the one below were still being used late into 2014, as the Urbos 3 were introduced, but they were withdrawn from service in 2015. Many of them going to be scrapped.

Football fans travel to this tram stop (or get the train) to watch the home matches of West Bromwich Albion FC play at The Hawthorns Stadium. There is separate paths for fans of different teams as they walk to the stadium. It is easy to interchange here between trams and trains (similar to Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham). So if you want to change between trams and trains do it here or at the Jewellery Quarter (at Birmingham Snow Hill, the new St Chad's Tram Stop you have to go down to road level then walk around under the Queensway tunnel or head towards the Colmore Row entrance, or use Bull Street Tram Stop).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Gallery

Sport & leisure
14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays

Great Birmingham run (2018) - gallery of photos

Elliott out in the rain gets some great coverage of the run in 2018.

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Great Birmingham run (2018) - gallery of photos




Elliott out in the rain gets some great coverage of the run in 2018.


All photography courtesy Elliott Brown.

 

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Did you know?

History & heritage
14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays

Kings Norton and 'Thomas the Tank Engine' - did you know!

This is 'Saint Nicolas Church Kings Norton. Birmingham. It may be a surprise to hear that Rev Awdry was Curate here. 1940-46. He started writing stories for his son Christopher about the trains at the local station. This was the modest beginnings of 'Thomas the Tank Engine'.

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Did you know?

History & heritage
14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays

Great architecture at Kings Norton

Another great 'Did you Know' post from Birmingham's People with Passion: Did you know that the area, now known as Kings Norton, was given to Queen Henrietta Maria as part of her wedding dowry. She also stayed over night in a building there in 1643. Photo and post credited to Pat Taylor.

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Gallery

History & heritage
14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays

The magnificent Old Crown Pub in Digbeth

The 'Old Crown Pub' in Birmingham. Be great if they did tours, they'd be very popular. Stunning architecture all over Birmingham.

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Did you know?

Architecture
14 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Manor Houses in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull

Let's leave Birmingham, and head over into the next borough. Solihull to be presise. On the High Street is the Manor House and nearby that is a timber framed building. Both now used as shops. Not far from there is Malvern Hall, now a school (Brueton Park open to the public). Over in Castle Bromwich is Castle Bromwich Hall, now a hotel (Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens open to the public).

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Manor Houses in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull




Let's leave Birmingham, and head over into the next borough. Solihull to be presise. On the High Street is the Manor House and nearby that is a timber framed building. Both now used as shops. Not far from there is Malvern Hall, now a school (Brueton Park open to the public). Over in Castle Bromwich is Castle Bromwich Hall, now a hotel (Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens open to the public).


We start on the busy Solihull High Street. And head back to 15th and 16th centuries long before it was full of shops and the Touchwood Centre (built 2001).

The Manor House

It was built in 1495 by the Greswold family. Saved by public subscription in 1945. It is Grade II* listed. It had never been home to the Lords of the Manor so it isn't a manor house in the traditional sense. Greswold is also spelt Greswolde. By the 19th century it was known as Lime Tree House due to the 9 lime trees planted there in 1720. For many years it was the local doctor surgery of Ferdinand Page and his son Ericson.

A brewery purchsed it in 1938 with plans to turn it into a public house, but that was shelved due to the Second World War. It was the local headquarters during the war of the Home Guard. Sold in 1945, eventually used as a community, adult and social care centre. These days there is a shop on the High Street, and round the side is the Manor House Tearoom.

The Black Greyhound on the coat of arms of the borough was taken from the Greswold family.

116 - 120 High Street, Solihull

This timber framed building was built in 1571, with changes in 1845 and 1924. It is a Grade II listed building. A variety of shops have been in this building for many years now.

The Touchwood Shopping Centre opened nearby in 2001. In the late 2000s / early 2010s a shop called East was in this building. Joules has been there since at least the mid 2010s.

On the left looks like what was a coach entrance, now blocked off with a window with the shop!

Malvern Hall

The Greswold family built another property in Solihull. The Rector of Solihull, Henry Greswold bought the site of Malvern Farm in 1690 for his son Humphry Greswold. The hall passed to various members of the Greswold family until 1772 when Henry Greswold Lewis inherited the hall. When he died in 1829 it passed to a cousin who took the Greswold name. After years of neglect by 1896 it was bought by a Birmingham industrialist who reduced the house to it's present size. Horace Brueton bought it in 1915, but made few changes to the hall.  He sold it to Solihull Rural District Council in 1926, and by 1931 a school opened here. Mr Brueton also gave the parklands of the hall to the council and it was opened to the public as Brueton Park (later linked to Malvern Park).

It is now a Grade II* listed building and is part of Saint Martin's School. A girls school that started here during the Second World War started by two ladies as a boarding school. That school moved to another site in 1989 and Saint Martin's purchased the hall.

Brueton Park was formerly part of the grounds to Malvern Hall (the gardens). Horace Brueton gave the park to Solihull Council in 1944. The park was joined to the nearby Malvern Park in 1963. Walking through them both you can't really tell wehn you are leaving one park for the other! The park received Local Nature Reserve status in 2002.

Brueton Park Lake. The famous artist John Constable visited Malvern Hall and the lake in the 19th century. His painting of the scene is now at Tate Britain. John Constable Malvern Hall, Warwickshire 1809. The view Constable saw is now not possible due to the line of trees separating the park from the school grounds.

Castle Bromwich Hall

It was built between 1557 and 1585 by Sir Edward Devereux, the first MP for Tamworth, and can be described as an Jacobean Mansion (similar to Aston Hall but much older). But was from the Elizabethan period. Sir Orlando Bridgeman bought the Hall and Gardens for his son Sir John Bridgeman I in 1657 (during the Commonwealth period). Sir John Bridgeman II inherited the hall and gardens in 1710 and made changes to the hall and gardens. The gardens were further developed over the following centuries by other members of the Bridgeman family later to become Earls of Bradford. The last member of the family to live here was Lady Ida Bridgeman who died here in 1936. During World War II it was used for storage, after that an apprentice training centre, and later used as offices by various small companies. From 2007 to 2009 it was used as a furniture showroom, before being sold again and becoming the hotel it is today.

The hall is a Grade I listed building. The Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust was formed in the 1980s to protect and preserve the gardens. The hall is now used as a hotel. And visitors can come to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Access to the part of the garden near the hall is for guided tours only.

Seen beyond the gardens of Castle Bromwich Hall (from Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens) is the Dovecote (or the Bakehouse), a Grade I listed building dating to the late 16th century. It is now a part of the hotel.

The Mirror Pond seen at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. It is on the other side of the garden walls. On this side you can find an orchard, a wildflower meadow, and various other areas for nature. There is a view of Castle Bromwich Hall beyond the railings in the middle of the wall. The view is separated by the Lower Wilderness (garden area closest to the wall), and the Upper Wilderness (closer to the entrance to the gardens). You can walk up the Archery Lawn in the middle to get close to the view of the hall.

Photos by Elliott Brown

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Gallery

Photography
13 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Christmas Day 2011 - Alone in the City Centre

In 2011 I found myself alone for Christmas Day and whilst I was a bit down, I wasn't lonely. As an autistic person I have a base state of alone, so I took the opportunity to indulge my 'special interest' of city photography and to wander the streets of Birmingham city centre to get some shots. Serendipity intervened to gift this set of rare photos.

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Christmas Day 2011 - Alone in the City Centre




In 2011 I found myself alone for Christmas Day and whilst I was a bit down, I wasn't lonely. As an autistic person I have a base state of alone, so I took the opportunity to indulge my 'special interest' of city photography and to wander the streets of Birmingham city centre to get some shots. Serendipity intervened to gift this set of rare photos.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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News & Updates

People & community
13 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Fighting for Air - Kings Heath CAN (Clean Air Network)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tp2G18K6Lkw

This is the original documentary that appeared on BBC2's  Fighting for Air programme. As a result, a group of residents set up the Kings Heath Clean Air Network.

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Gallery

Civic pride
11 Oct 2018 - PMNet Support

Honk for Hedges

Would you like to do it again?

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26 passion points

Gallery

Health & wellbeing
11 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Still Fighting for Air - Kings Heath CAN (Clean Air Network)

https://www.youtube.com/embed//Z9LK1zPsjm4

The team that appeared on BBC2's  Fighting for Air programme, set up the Kings Heath Clean Air Network after the programme aired to continue to fight for improvement to the air quality in the local area. Here is a short video they made to try and capture local resident's views in June 2018.

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Gallery

Environment & green spaces
11 Oct 2018 - Christine Wright

The lovely Autumn colours in King's Heath!

Just to get us in the mood for this year's Autumn, here's a look back at the Autumn of 2017, showcasing Christine's collection of wonderful photography taken in King's Heath. These show just how the colours change as we go though the season.

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The lovely Autumn colours in King's Heath!




Just to get us in the mood for this year's Autumn, here's a look back at the Autumn of 2017, showcasing Christine's collection of wonderful photography taken in King's Heath. These show just how the colours change as we go though the season.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photograpy by Christine Wright 

 

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Civic pride
10 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Shakespeare in Birmingham

While William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-upon-Avon or London, and didn't live in Birmingham, you can still find objects of Shakespeare here in our city! Including pubs called The Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Memorial Room in the Library of Birmingham, and various busts of the bard!

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Shakespeare in Birmingham




While William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-upon-Avon or London, and didn't live in Birmingham, you can still find objects of Shakespeare here in our city! Including pubs called The Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Memorial Room in the Library of Birmingham, and various busts of the bard!


The Shakespeare Memorial Room opened up at the top of the Library of Birmingham in 2013. But it was originally part of the much loved Victorian library. Created in 1882 to house the Shakespeare Library, it was designed by John Henry Chamberlain, who was responsible for rebuilding the old Central Library after the original was gutted by a fire.

When the Central Library was demolished in 1974, the room was dismantled and stored, and eventually re-erected as part of the School of Music Complex.

The same happened again when construction of the new Library of Birmingham started in 2010.

 

Library Theatre Birmingham seen in 2011. Close to Adrian Boult Hall and the Birmingham Central Library. The location of the Shakespeare Memorial Room was close to here back then.

Entrance to the William Shakespeare Memorial Library and the Library Exhibition Hall. I never did get around to going in and seeing it at the time. So only saw it for myself when the Library of Birmingham opened in 2013.

In 2013 the Shakespeare Memorial Room was installed at Level 9 of the Library of Birmingham inside this golden cylinder. The space next to it is the Skyline Viewpoint. There is also some busts and foundation stones saved from the demolished old libraries up there.

A look around the walls of the Shakespeare Memorial Room. Inside are books and folios of Shakespeares famous plays.

The roof has been reconstructed in plaster by A E Edwards & Co, a Birmingham based company dating to the 1870s.

Images of Shakespeare to be found in the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

Much ado about Shakespeare

Our Shakespeare was an exhibition at the Library of Birmingham, from April to September 2016 in the Exhibition Gallery on Level 3.

This bust is normally at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Our Shakespeare

Was several old books around in glass cases. Shakespeare's Folios.

The Actors Names

The Tempest

There is one bust of Shakespeare at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre in the warehouse.

Over to the pubs in the City Centre named after William Shakespeare.

First off we have a look at The Shakespeare on Lower Temple Street.

Before refurbishment in 2010. It used to be a Mitchells & Butlers pub.

This building dates to 1911.

After refurbishment in 2011 with a new pub sign.

Nicholson's was established in 1873.

The other pub called The Shakespeare is on Summer Row near the Jewellery Quarter.

Pub sign has changed over the years. This one from 2012. Nicholsons also runs this pub.

Built in the Victorian period, also known as the Shakespeare Tavern.

Here's a bonus The Shakespeare pub that no longer exists in Birmingham City Centre.

The Shakespeare used to be in Birmingham New Street Station but closed in 2013 during the redevelopment of the station.

 

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Gallery

People & community
10 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Highbury Hall - Summer 2018

This was the first Digbeth Dining Club / Hare and Hounds event held at Highbury Hall on 29 April 2018. The summer I remember looked quite different to this photo! However, the weather didnt put us off and hundreds descended on the beautiful grounds to enjoy delicious street food and groovy music. Hopefully we will see more of these events in 2019.

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News & Updates

People & community
10 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Young Directors Festival

The Young Directors' Festival is now LIVE on the MAC Birmingham Website! These tickets are limited and once they're gone, they're gone! Looking forward to seeing you there. http://ow.ly/TsYi30lYUxt 

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Young Directors Festival




The Young Directors' Festival is now LIVE on the MAC Birmingham Website! These tickets are limited and once they're gone, they're gone! Looking forward to seeing you there. http://ow.ly/TsYi30lYUxt 


Hiya,
My name is Daisy Wilkes, and at Stage2 this term, I am directing an original 10 minute play called “Breathless” by Kate Goodall in the Young Directors festival by Stage2.

When I was trying to find a play to direct, I became dissatisfied by the lack of relevant plays that could create a narrative in the space of ten minutes, as well as being adaptable to a small cast and theatre space. As a result I approached Kate Goodall and commissioned her to write a short piece that fitted the themes I wanted to explore; technology, mental health and social pressures. I also wanted it to be designed specifically for young people to perform.

This has now been developed into a short play where the central character has recently suffered a bereavement, a close friend who died by suicide. The central character finds themselves in a state of declining mental health, vulnerable through their grief and struggling with the pressures of society.

The scenes are interwoven with poetic verse and I intend to create a performance with physical theatre and choral speaking which reflect the emotions and tensions of the central character.

Each member of the cast reflects different aspects of emotions, for example, one voice is pessimistic, another optimistic, sometimes the voices will harmonise and sometimes they will conflict with each other. I am hoping that the play could be interpreted as each cast member reflecting different voices of one person, but that it is also open to audience interpretation.

I am really looking forward to working with the cast and hope to also include their ideas about how the piece would best be performed. I am excited to tackle the challenges and watching how the performance evolves, hopefully forming a contemporary performance which delves into the minds of teenagers today.

By Daisy Wilkes

To find out more visit http://www.stage2.org/

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Fundraising & charity
09 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley

Unique Sensory Struggles

Sensory Spectacle asked me to list a few hang ups I had that were directly realted to having autism. Below are 10 things I struggled with but are now not really a problem for me.

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Unique Sensory Struggles


Sensory Spectacle asked me to list a few hang ups I had that were directly realted to having autism. Below are 10 things I struggled with but are now not really a problem for me.


1) Hugging

I feel awkward when people hug me but I still respond with a light hug back. Sometimes I initiate one using the same social rules I have picked up on when going along with small talk. I don’t get why people do it, but it seems rude or more awkward for other people if I don’t respond.

 

2) Getting your hair cut

It’s not a sensory problem to get it cut or lightened and dyed at a salon. I can bang my head on a shelf or open cupboard door and just carry on, but hair spray does make me retch and swallow. I condition rather than cut my ends to preserve length- it’s my aesthetic style preference.

 

3) Using escalators or Lifts

As a very young child I used to have to be warned and the longer I checked the speed of the escalator the less I wanted to use it- the scariest idea was getting one foot on and not having time to fully step on- I was scared I would fall over or do the splits (going down escalators was the worst because you could see the angle and height you could fall at).

 

4) Find yourself shouting

I raise my voice when I am enthused about what I’m talking about. I don’t realise until people say I’m shouting. When I try to be quieter, I’m told I’m mumbling. It’s hard to judge because I hear myself at a constant volume because my mouth is next to my ears.

 

5) Gag easily

Anything soft/fluffy and dry can make my throat close up- hair spray, wool and gloves covering my fingernails is especially bad.

 

6) Being told you're heavy handed

Because I am aware that my hand-eye coordination is not my strongest asset, I actually compensate by going to the other extreme and dropping things, or taking a noticeably longer time setting items carefully down on tables.

 

7) Brushing your teeth

Toothpaste used to hurt because the flavour was overpowering when I was a child and was getting used to switching from infant to adult toothpaste. Mouthwash also hurt but my sense of tatse has calmed down with time, so I am able to overlook ingrediants I don’t like in meals and use a wider range of toiletries without wincing, or neglecting things due to smell colour and taste.

 

8) Difficulty sitting still

I just like to fidget, I have never been sure why, I just seem to get bored or tired much quicker and my focus goes if I’m not moving constantly. However, I can stand very still for hours and don’t get the same problem.

 

9) Washing your hands

I have to do this half-way through a big lot of washing up- I like how my skin is not left slimy by hand soap but washing up liquid is slimy. I like the smell and how my skin is softened by soaps and creams for hands.

 

10) Wearing your hood up

I used to keep my head covered with a hat- hoods don’t turn with my head making crossing roads dangerous. I used to like keeping my ears warm and protected from loud noises but this need has reduced with time and I like to keep my hair less oily by avoiding hoods and hats nowadays.

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
08 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square

One Chamberlain Square is nearing external completion with some of the retail space windows going in, the upper sill on the front is almost complete. More photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square




One Chamberlain Square is nearing external completion with some of the retail space windows going in, the upper sill on the front is almost complete. More photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
07 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

It looks like another big chunk of cladding is ready to be revealed and the main structure is nearing the last few floors. Lots of photos in this update, view them in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two




It looks like another big chunk of cladding is ready to be revealed and the main structure is nearing the last few floors. Lots of photos in this update, view them in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

People & community
07 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Kings Heath Volunteers

Much of the work done in Kings Heath, is lead by fantastic volunteers, who undertake all sorts of projects under the radar, from gardening, to maintenance and painting. Here are just a couple of volunteers that are very communtiy driven - can you tell who they are?

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Gallery

People & community
07 Oct 2018 - Kate Goodall

Back of the Kingsway Cinema

Designed by Horace G Bradley and built in the 1920s, The Kingsway was for decades used as a cinema until it closed in 1980.It reopened as a bingo hall a few years later before closing down for good in 2007, only to be ravaged by a fire in 2011. The frontage is all that remains and hopefully will become the frontage for new things in this part of the High Street soon.

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Civic pride
06 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury

You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.

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Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury




You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.


George Cadbury lived from 1839 until 1922.

With his brother Richard, they acquired land to the south west of Birmingham in 1878 and built their factory there in 1879. He helped start the development of the Bournville Village from around 1900 onwards. There is no pubs as the Cadbury's were Quakers.

George lived at 32 George Road in Edgbaston from 1872 until 1881. There is an English Heritage blue plaque on this house

The Bournville Village Trust was established in 1900 by George Cadbury.  We take a look at some of the buildings built during George Cadbury's lifetime in the early part of the 20th century.

The Bournville Carillon was built in 1906 by W Alexander Harvey. It is now part of Bournville Junior School. You can sometimes hear the bells ringing if you are in Bournville, it is quite a unique sound!

A bust of George Cadbury is outside of the Quaker Meeting House. That was built in 1905 by W Alexander Harvey. The Cadbury's were Quaker's.

The Rest House in Bournville Village Green. Built in 1914 by W Alexander Harvey to mark the silver wedding of George Cadbury and his then wife. It is now a visitor centre for the Carillon.

If you enter Bournville from the Cotteridge end or the Selly Oak end, you might see this sign. It has a photo of George Cadbury at the top welcoming you to Bournville!

Richard Cadbury lived from 1835 until 1899 and was and elder brother of George.

With his brother George, he took over the family business in 1861, and they eventually acquired land four miles to the south west of Birmingham by 1878 and built the Cadbury chocolate factory a year later. He dontated Moseley Hall to the City of Birmingham, and it is now a hospital.

Richard lived at 17 Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston from 1861 until 1871. There is a English Heritage blue plaque on this house.

Richard Cadbury bought the Moseley Hall estate in 1889. He then gave it as a children's home. It was built in 1795. Is now known as Moseley Hall Hospital.

Another property in Moseley, this one on the Queensbridge Road is the Uffculme Centre (not far from the Highbury Estate). Built for Richard Cadbury in 1890. It was his last home from 1891 until his death in 1899. His family lived there until the death of his widow in 1906. The house was later gifted to the City of Birmingham in 1916 when it became a hospital until around 1999. Now used as a conference centre.

Almshouses built in Bournville by Richard Cadbury for the benefit of the Cadbury workers. The railings were removed during the Second World War, but new ones were installed in 2008 by the Bournville Village Trust.

 

You might be familiar with this building if you pass through Bournville, either on the train or walking along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The Cadbury Factory building, on this site from 1879 onwards. Cadbury World has been inside part of the site since the early 1990s.

View from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal over looking the Cross City Line South.

The famous Bournville sign.

The famous Cadbury sign.

Photos by Elliott Brown.

 

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