People & community
Displaying until 24 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

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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60 passion points
People & community
Displaying until 23 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Are you passionate about promoting your passion and your City? 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.

Related

Are you passionate about promoting your passion and your City? 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.  To help promote your passion, your City and, of course yourself, connect HERE

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
Construction & regeneration
6 hours ago - FreeTimePays
News & Updates

Wow! Birmingham's Grade II Moor Street station to be 'future proofed'

Plans in place to develop this magnificent Grade II station and 'future proof' the City's ability to cater for significant growth in visitor and commuter numbers. All this whilst protecting the station's entrance and concourse which are both of huge historic value to Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown, a People with Passion from Birmingham.

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Wow! Birmingham's Grade II Moor Street station to be 'future proofed'




Plans in place to develop this magnificent Grade II station and 'future proof' the City's ability to cater for significant growth in visitor and commuter numbers. All this whilst protecting the station's entrance and concourse which are both of huge historic value to Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown, a People with Passion from Birmingham.


The plans to redevelop Birmingham’s historic Moor Street station, creating links to Birmingham New Street and planned HS2 services into and out of Curzon Street have now been revealed.

Here are some artists impressions produced by Grimshaw Architects.

Images by Grimshaw Architects 

No completion date has been set but with a significant increase in people travelling to the City by train and with the arrival of HS2 in 2026, work is considered vital at Moor Street

As we can see on the artists impressions from Grimshaw Architects, it is fantastic to see that attention and due consideration is being paid to retain the station’s Grade II listed entrance and concourse dating back to 1914.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 hours ago - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Construction at Arena Central - March 2019

There has been some of the hexagon window and cladding frames installed on the Bridge Street side of the building, not long now till the exterior of the building will show how it will sit with the others around it.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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Construction at Arena Central - March 2019




There has been some of the hexagon window and cladding frames installed on the Bridge Street side of the building, not long now till the exterior of the building will show how it will sit with the others around it.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
23 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The removal of the crane at Bank Tower Two - March 2019

The crane at Bank Tower Two in Birmingham is removed by King Lifting.

Take the post for a selection of photos as it is removed.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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The removal of the crane at Bank Tower Two - March 2019




The crane at Bank Tower Two in Birmingham is removed by King Lifting.

Take the post for a selection of photos as it is removed.

Photos by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
22 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Moseley Bog from my December 2012 and September 2016 visits

Moseley Bog is not that far away from me, just catch the 11C up the Swanshurst Lane and get off the bus on the Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park. The main entrance to Moseley Bog is on Yardley Wood Road. This photo gallery ahead of a proposed Birmingham We Are group visit to the bog! Part of the Shire Country Park. Another entrance / exit is on Pensby Close.

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Moseley Bog from my December 2012 and September 2016 visits




Moseley Bog is not that far away from me, just catch the 11C up the Swanshurst Lane and get off the bus on the Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park. The main entrance to Moseley Bog is on Yardley Wood Road. This photo gallery ahead of a proposed Birmingham We Are group visit to the bog! Part of the Shire Country Park. Another entrance / exit is on Pensby Close.


A gallery of 20 photos. The first 13 from my visit in December 2012. The last 7 from my visit in September 2016. It is easy to get lost in here! Best to start from the main entrance on the Yardley Wood Road in Moseley.

The bus routes here are the 11A / 11C (bus stops on Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park). Or the 2 or the 3 from the city centre or Yardley Wood. You could also get the 5 to Wake Green Road, close to where JRR Tolkien used to live as a child, when Sarehole was a hamlet.

You could also get the train to Hall Green Station and then walk down Cole Bank Road past Sarehole Mill (or catch the 11C down the hill if you want to). Trains from Birmingham Snow Hill / Moor Street or Shirley down to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Birmingham City Council sign for Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood Local Nature Reserve seen on Yardley Wood Road.

The sculpted entrance gate to Moseley Bog from the Yardley Wood Road entrance. Small car park here.

Welcome to Moseley Bog - this sign was near the Yardley Wood Road entrance, with a map of the area.

Decking all around now, so your shoes are less likely to get muddy, but it could still be wet if it's rained!

More decking to walk around.

Around to the right past the trees.

Which way, left or right, it's up to you!

Narrow planks if you go this way.

A sign to stop and read close to this corner decking stop point.

There is steps here to go down to the dirt track.

Heading down the steps.

Take these steps to the exit onto Pensby Close. A cul-de-sac. Head out via that road then onto Thirlmere Drive, then you get to Wake Green Road near Sarehole Mill.

Not all the routes are decked out. Are some dirt paths to follow as well.

The next 7 photos from a return visit in September 2016.

Somehow didn't get photos of the bog itself until 2016! Different conditions in different seasons.

Can see other members of Birmingham We Are enjoy taking photos of this from different angles!

Someone had made a camp site in Moseley Bog. Perhaps Cubs or Scout groups or school parties use the bog?

Several fallen trees. Was looking a bit muddy underneath.

Another fallen tree, this one above a pool of water.

A muddy stream with logs in it.

Those steps again that I used in 2012. In 2016 I entered via Pensby Close, and had hoped to find my way to the Yardley Wood Road entrance / exit. But it is easy to get lost, and ended up going back to the Pensby Close entrance / exit again instead! Would GPS / a compass help me / us find a route out?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Civic pride
20 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The first object in the collection at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: a marble bust of David Cox

Did you know that the first object donated to the collection of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery was a marble bust of the landscape artist David Cox (1783-1859). It was made in the early 1860s by Peter Hollins. Cox used to lived in Harborne from 1841 to his death in 1859. He is buried at Saint Peter's Church in Harborne where a window is dedicated to him in his honour.

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The first object in the collection at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: a marble bust of David Cox




Did you know that the first object donated to the collection of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery was a marble bust of the landscape artist David Cox (1783-1859). It was made in the early 1860s by Peter Hollins. Cox used to lived in Harborne from 1841 to his death in 1859. He is buried at Saint Peter's Church in Harborne where a window is dedicated to him in his honour.


David Cox

The bust of David Cox and a small exhibition about him used to be at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, on the landing area of the museum, not far from the doors to the stairs that leads to the Great Charles Street Queensway entrance (and to the Staffordshire Hoard and other galleries). These photos below taken during March 2012.

David Cox was born in 1783 and died in 1859 in Birmingham. He was an English landscape artist. He painted in watercolour. Cox was born on the 29th April 1783 on Heath Mill Lane in Deritend. He was based in London from 1804 to 1814, then Hereford from 1814 to 1827, and London again from 1827 to 1841. He moved back to Birmingham in 1841. He moved to a house on Greenfield Road in Harborne where he lived until his death on the 7th June 1859, aged 76.

The bust was commissioned after his death in 1860 by the Birmingham Society of Artists as a memorial to David Cox. It was made by Peter Hollins from 1860 to 1862. It was later the first object to be donated to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

The signature of David Cox that used to be on the wall above the bust in the museum.

There used to be two history boards on the wall near the bust, with the history of his life on the first board below.

The second board was above David Cox and Birmingham. After 37 years living away from Birmingham, he spent his last 18 years living in Birmingham in his Harborne home.

The last time I saw the marble bust of David Cox in the museum was during January 2016 on the museum link bridge (it is not there now). The sign below notes that it was Birmingham's first object. If it's no longer at BM & AG now, it might be at the Gallery of the RBSA in the Jewellery Quarter.

I was looking for the blue plaque of David Cox in Harborne during April 2012. It is on a house now known as David Cox Court at 116 and 118 Greenfield Road in Harborne. A Grade II listed building known as Greenfield House when Cox lived there. The house was built in the late 18th century and was remodelled in the early 19th century. David Cox lived here from 1841 until his death in 1859. His son David Cox Jr. did a painting of the house, which you can see here on Wikimedia Commons David Cox Jr - Greenfield House, Harborne.

Metchley Abbey seen on Metchley Lane in Harborne. Also on the same day as looking for the David Cox plaque. This time for the blue plaque of Sir Granville Bantock (1868 - 1946) a composer who lived here from 1926 to 1933. A Grade II* listed building at 93 Metchley Lane (now private property). A E Greeman historian of the Norman
Conquest visited here, and David Cox apparently frequently visited this property! It was built in the early 19th century in the Picturesque Gothic style.

Saint Peter's Church in Harborne. The East Window here is in memory of David Cox, and he is buried here in the churchyard. The church and churchyard are around Old Church Road. A Grade II listed building dating to the 15th century. It is the Parish Church of Harborne. In 1867 Yeoville Thomason was responsible for the designs of the Nave, aisles, transepts and apsidal chapel. The West Tower dates to the 15th century, and some lower details from the 14th century.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
People & community
20 Mar 2019 - Barry Whitehead
Gallery

St Patrick's parade & celebrations in Birmingham

Enjoy a wonderful gallery of photography from one of Birmingham's People with Passion Barry Whitehead taken at last weekends St. Patrick's weekend festival in Birmingham. 

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St Patrick's parade & celebrations in Birmingham




Enjoy a wonderful gallery of photography from one of Birmingham's People with Passion Barry Whitehead taken at last weekends St. Patrick's weekend festival in Birmingham. 


Gallery of photography from the St Patrick's parade in Birmingham - Barry Whitehead. 

Photography by Barry Whitehead

 

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40 passion points
Architecture
15 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Round towers in Birmingham, UK and Pisa, Italy

I finally got to go to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa during a holiday to Florence and Tuscany in June 2018. While I didn't go up the tower (not worth paying for the short amount of time to go up). Was well worth seeing it and other landmarks in the area. A comparison with the Rotunda in Birmingham, UK. The Leaning Tower was stablised by 2008, while our Rotunda was renovated.

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Round towers in Birmingham, UK and Pisa, Italy




I finally got to go to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa during a holiday to Florence and Tuscany in June 2018. While I didn't go up the tower (not worth paying for the short amount of time to go up). Was well worth seeing it and other landmarks in the area. A comparison with the Rotunda in Birmingham, UK. The Leaning Tower was stablised by 2008, while our Rotunda was renovated.


Birmingham has direct flights to Pisa, from Birmingham Airport to Pisa Airport. When I went it was with Jet2.com (organised via Riviera Travel) during June 2018. We had around 3 days in Florence, before setting off for Tuscany. On one of the touring days, after a wet morning in the city of Lucca, our coach took us to the city of Pisa in the afternoon. I remember being in Pisa, and seeing Ryanair or Jet2 planes flying over head!

 

First up a look at the Rotunda in Birmingham, seen over many years in the city centre, from different views.

The Rotunda, Birmingham

The Rotunda was built from 1961 to 1965, it was by the architect James A. Roberts, and was built with the original 1960s Bull Ring Shopping Centre. It was a 12 storey office block. It was revised to 25 storeys and had an abandoned rotating restaurant on the top floor (that was never built). In the 1980s and 1990s it was used to advertise Coca Cola (and resembled a giant can of Coke!).  It was given Grade II listed building status in 2000. The building was rebuilt between 2005 and 2008 by the architects Glenn Howells Architects and was renovated by Urban Splash. There is now apartments and a hotel in the building.

This view below was taken in August 2009 at the Bullring. Looking up from St Martin's Square on a very sunny day in Birmingham. This was around the time that I was getting photos of the Horatio Nelson statue with a blue sky.

This view of the Rotunda was taken during December 2009 from St Martin's Queensway. A no 63 bus waits not far from Birmingham New Street Station (the refurbishment of the station had yet to start, but was done from 2010 to 2015). One of the "bridges" links the Rotunda side to the 2003 Bullring. From here you can head up the ramp to Rotunda Square, or head under the dark part of St Martin's Queensway to Moor Street Queensway and Birmingham Moor Street Station. Some maps also show this as Swan Passage (probably one of the poorly designed part of the modern Bullring).

This view of the Rotunda was taken during August 2014 from Digbeth. Not far from Selfridges at the Bullring was a paint brush for the City of Colours Festival. They held a demonstation at the Bullring, and later had a day in Digbeth around the Custard Factory area painting street art on walls. Birmingham Coach Station and the BT Tower was also visible from here. Behind Digbeth Police Station is the Beorma Quarter. This was when the Adagio Aparthotel was under construction. St Martin's Church seen to the left.

A view from the Library of Birmingham of the Rotunda and Ladywood House (either seen from the Discovery Terrace or the Secret Garden) during October 2015. Visible from up here also was the Premier Inn hotel near Birmingham New Street Station and the Charters Building.

The Rotunda seen from Bordesley Street in Digbeth, during a sunny day in January 2018. Seen with the Bordesley Viaduct (with scaffolding) and Selfridges. Moor Street Car Park is usually a good place for roof top views of the city. You can also see the Rotunda if you are standing at platforms 3 or 4 at Birmingham Moor Street Station.

A Secret Garden view from the Library of Birmingham during January 2019. Seen to the left of the Rotunda was St Andrew's Stadium, the home of Birmingham City Football Club. It's also possible up there to see The Hawthorns (home of West Bromwich Albion) or Villa Park (home of Aston Villa) on a clear day.

Sit at the front of the no 50 bus on the top deck for this view of the Rotunda. Seen during February 2019 on Bradford Street in Digbeth. Heading up, you can see at the Bullring: St Martin's Church, Smithfield House and Selfridges. As well as the BT Tower. In Digbeth on the right is the Adagio Aparthotel (at the Beorma Quarter development) and Digbeth Police Station. I don't fancy going up that eyesore concrete car park on Moat Lane for views, so this bus view will do for now!

Another bus view, this one from the no 63 bus at the top of the Bristol Road near the Belgrave Interchange. Looking up the Bristol Road to Southside. The Rotunda seen with the McLaren Building and the tower of Exchange Square phase 1. At Belgrave Interchange you can see the on going roadworks of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution for the cycleway being built down the Bristol Road in Edgbaston. It goes as far as the University of Birmingham along sections of the Dual Carriageway. It's all change on Bristol Street too. Bristol Street Motors stands alone, while the Monaco House site awaits development for New Monaco House. A church used to be down here too, but that was demolished for new housing being built on the St Luke's land (towards Sherlock Street).

Now lets travel over 1000 miles to Italy. Fastest to fly from Birmingham Airport to Pisa Airport (the flight was around 3 hours with Jet2). As I said above we went to Florence first (where our first hotel was). The day after we went to Pisa. This was during late June 2018.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

In Italian the tower is called the Torre pendente di Pisa. It is the campanile or the freestanding bell tower of Pisa Cathedral. Work on the tower started in 1173 and was completed 200 years later in 1372. The tower began to lean during the 12th century. The tower is 55.86 metres high made of marble and stone. The tower was stabilised in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The tower has 294 or 296 steps. The tower lean has changed since the stabilisation work was completed by 2008.

It was well worth seeing, I was hoping to see it for years, before going on the Florence and Tuscany holiday. Could have paid in advance to go up, but for 30 minutes, the price wasn't worth it. So in the end, while there just explored the grounds of the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).

This first view with the Cathedral. One of my first views after entering the tourist heavy area!

Slightly more close up and zoomed into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Tourists try to do a selfie pose of "pushing" the tower over! I tried it myself, not that the photos of me got the desired affect! Being the summer, there was loads of tourists about.

It realy is leaning! This view with the lawn and the tourists at the bottom. Can you see the people on the upper level balconies? There was other monuments about such as statues and sculptures.

This view of the Leaning Tower of Pisa seen with the Fontana dei putti. The monumental fountain that welcomes the entrance of the square from Via Santa Maria is by Giuseppe Vaccà (base and fountain) and by Giovanni Antonio Cybei (the marble group of putti holding the coats of arms of Pisa and the Opera).

I tried to head all the way around for different views. From this side to the right of the cathedral, it looks straight! Was also a Italian Army vehicle on site to keep tourists safe. I also saw them in Florence at different sites.

Even more closer looking up! I think this is near the entrance to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Would guess that paying ticket holders would queue up around here?

This view from the steps of Pisa Cathedral. We sat down here for a period. I also noticed planes flying overhead such as Ryanair and Jet2. It's really leaning from this view!

It looks like here that the man on the left is leaning on the tower to push it over! While the man on the right is trying to push in left (for his own photo). Of course many tourists were trying the famous move for there holiday snaps! The tower also had a Republic of Pisa flag. That existed from the 10th to the 15th centuries. It was taken over by the Republic of Florence in 1402.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. My Twitter ellrbrown and Flickr ell brown.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
15 Mar 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

West Midlands unveils £10bn investment programme at MIPIM

The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street launched £10bn worth of projects to international investors on the opening day of MIPIM (2019) – the annual conference for property professionals held in Cannes, France.

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West Midlands unveils £10bn investment programme at MIPIM




The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street launched £10bn worth of projects to international investors on the opening day of MIPIM (2019) – the annual conference for property professionals held in Cannes, France.


Leading the delegation of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Andy Street unveiled an Investment Prospectus consisting of 24 development opportunities from across the region that are seeking investment, many of which lie in Birmingham.

The Prospectus, containing current investment opportunities and ones coming soon - will provide investors with the opportunity to make their mark on a booming city regularly named as the UK’s most investable for foreign investment and business start-ups, as voted by 500 of Europe’s top property experts.

With a record number of developments underway and a healthy pipeline of projects on the horizon, Birmingham represents an attractive opportunity for investors all itching for the chance to deliver on some of the UKs biggest projects.

Some of these projects include:-

  • £2bn+ UK Central Hub and HS2 Interchange
  • £700m Paradise Birmingham
  • £1bn+ Birmingham Curzon HS2

Curzon Street Station HS2 

©Grimshaw Architects

This Grimshaw Architects & WSP UK designed station will form Phase 1 of HS2, and will link central London with the Second City. It will also enter the history books as being the first intercity train station built since the 1800's.

With preparatory works underway and a planning application for the station due soon, a £724m investment programme has been agreed with the Government that will not only create a spectacular new gateway station for Birmingham and its rail passengers, but be fully integrated into an extended Midland Metro Alliance tram network, as well as offering countless connections to the rest of the city and beyond.

HS2 will ignite and accelerate the expansion of the city’s office core and unlock land around the Curzon Street regeneration area, with a number of growth opportunities for commercial and residential uses in the pipeline, with Birmingham City Council as promoter working with Homes England as well as landowners to identify land ripe for development.

Paradise Birmingham

This £700 million Joint Venture is being led by Argent and Hermes and will deliver a high quality mixed-use development right in the cultural heartbeat of Birmingham.

We will see ten new buildings totalling 1.8 million sq ft, including offices, bars and restaurant space, all around a new public realm complimenting its historic city centre setting.

Phase One of ‘Paradise’ (two new buildings) will complete later this year. These include One and Two Chamberlain Square.

One Chamberlain Square - an Eric Parry Architects designed building comprises 172,000 sq ft of offices and ground floor commercial space. PwC will move 1400 employees into the building later this year and it will become their signature Midlands HQ. There is also the potential growth for an extra thousand more employees if needs be. BAM Construction have been tasked with finishing the job that Carillion couldn’t.

©Paradise Birmingham

Two Chamberlain Square – Designed by Birmingham’s own Glenn Howells Architects. Standing at eight storeys, it is being speculatevly built and features 183,000 sq ft of offices with ground floor commercial space fronting onto a new public realm. A significant pre-let is not too far away from being announced here. It is also being built by BAM Construction.

 

©Paradise Birmingham

Phase 2 of Paradise includes the 13-storey One Centenary Way, another Glenn Howells Architects design and faces onto Centenary Square.

 

©Glenn Howells Architects

This has been approved, funding has been secured and construction will get underway imminently. The building will be speculatevely built, such is the confidence in Birmingham these days and will feature 280,000 sq ft of office space, with shops and restaurants at ground and upper ground level. It will also feature the city’s first major Cycle Hub, with bike hire.

©Glenn Howells Architects

Also due in Phase 2 is a new 4 star hotel with approximately 250 bedrooms; and Three Chamberlain Square, offering more Grade A Offices, retail space and a new square. These can be seen below, but they are indicative images. Formal planning applications on these buildings have yet to be released.

©Paradise Birmingham

Phase 3 has outline planning permission to deliver a further five buildings and a new large public square and will follow in the same vein as Phases 1 & 2.

UKCENTRAL 'The Hub' & HS2 Interchange

UKCentral, or 'The Hub' is a 20 year growth plan on an area of land in Solihull, just off Junction 6 of the M42 motorway. It is home to Birmingham Airport; the National Exhibition Centre (NEC); Birmingham International Station; Birmingham Business Park; Jaguar Land Rover; and the Arden Cross development site which will be the location of the HS2 Interchange Station from 2026.

©Urban Growth Company©Urban Growth Company

The Urban Growth Company (a vehicle formed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and supported by WMCA and GBSLEP) is partnering with West Midlands Combined Authority to maximise the opportunities with the arrival of HS2 in 2026 and are working with HS2 Ltd to link planned and existing local and regional transport to HS2, which will deliver £1.6 bn worth of infrastructure investment, with the potential to deliver up to 77,000 new jobs, 775,000 sq ft of commercial space & an urban quarter of up to 5000 new homes, with HS2 Interchange Station (below) at its heart.

©HS2 Ltd

HS2 Interchange will be the first stop outside London in 2026 and will bring together a fully-integrated and seamless transport exchange at a newly transformed Birmingham International Station (see below) – bringing together the NEC, future NEC City, airport, road, trams, plus the rail network that will see it become an international gateway by 2025.

Investors are being given the opportunity to support these plans by becoming long-term equity investors, large scale development funders and partners. All this will significantly contribute to growth and deliver thousands of new homes and jobs, as well as new commercial and leisure facilities and unrivalled connectivity that Birmingham and the surrounding areas has to offer.

©Urban Growth Company

Street said: “We are building the future and there’s never been a better time to invest in the West Midlands. We have a diverse, resilient economy, one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Europe, great quality of life, unrivalled connectivity, brilliant centres of learning, and world-class businesses, large and small.

“This provides us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive inclusive growth across the region that benefits all our communities.

“This £10bn investment prospectus demonstrates the strength of our offer and the boldness of our vision. We are the most promising place to invest in the UK – and, like all good businesses, we have a plan and are delivering it."

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60 passion points
Open spaces
12 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend

The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.

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Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend




The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.


The redesigned area of University of Birmingham’s campus, known as the ‘Green Heart’, is the result of two years work redeveloping the area to open up the campus in the way that the Founders imagined it would be.  The new parkland in the centre of the University’s historic campus measures over over 12 acres, providing a multi-use space for performances, events and markets, as well as bringing wild flowers and native plants to campus.

The Green Heart will also open up new pedestrian and cycle routes, allowing students, staff and visitors to move across campus with ease.  This will improve air quality, provide shade and create a place of peace, whilst developing zoned lighting to balance campus safety with minimising light pollution.

The Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend will bring a range of outdoor music performances, with music from University of Birmingham musicians and range of street food and drink on offer.  There will also be the opportunity to explore hands-on exhibits which highlight the recent research from the University.

To read more about University of Birmingham’s Green Heart, visit their website at https://uobgreenheart.com/

And for more information on Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend, visit the University of Birmingham’s website.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Construction at Arena Central - March 2019

Construction at Arena Central is mainly Three Arena Central (HMRC Midlands) with One Centenary Square (HSBC UK) finished and Dandara externally complete. Some interesting perspectives in this photo gallery.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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Construction at Arena Central - March 2019




Construction at Arena Central is mainly Three Arena Central (HMRC Midlands) with One Centenary Square (HSBC UK) finished and Dandara externally complete. Some interesting perspectives in this photo gallery.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Mar 2019 - Stephen Giles
Did you know?

Tallest buildings across Birmingham - now and in the future!

I am Stephen Giles, a member of the ItsYourBuild community and follower of all things construction. Here I look at how Birmingham is 'reaching for the skies'.

I am delighted to include some stunning photography from Daniel, another member of the passionate and growing ItsYourBuild community in Birmingham.

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Tallest buildings across Birmingham - now and in the future!




I am Stephen Giles, a member of the ItsYourBuild community and follower of all things construction. Here I look at how Birmingham is 'reaching for the skies'.

I am delighted to include some stunning photography from Daniel, another member of the passionate and growing ItsYourBuild community in Birmingham.


BIRMINGHAM IS BOOMING!

Take a leisurely stroll around this flourishing city of ours and you'll never be too far away from a development under construction, anchored by a colourful 'dancing crane hypnotically towering above'.

The city continues to reach new heights, with developer and investor confidence in Birmingham at an all time high. This is all culminating in record levels of construction, investment and redevelopment across the UK's ‘Second City’.

We are clearly in an unprecedented time of growth which the city has not seen in many a generation.

Another exciting chapter awaits in the evolution of this remarkable city.

BUT FOR NOW LET'S TALK TALL BUILDINGS!

Birmingham is currently building two of the largest office buildings outside of London, one at Three Snowhill and the other at 103 Colmore Row.

With HS2 inching ever closer, the city is already capitalising on its position. It has seen, and will continue to see, a number of businesses choose Birmingham over its' rivals. With this comes an influx of new professionals moving to the city, with developers already reaping the rewards and wanting to build even more offices. 

Away from the limelight of the City Centre, it's also interesting to note patches of derelict land scattered around the city which are now quickly being filled up by low-rise residential buildings, which densifies the city even further and which leads us one step closer to building taller.

Land prices are rising significantly in certain areas of the city and the only way developers can get more 'bang for their buck' is to do one thing, build tall! The clamour for developers to begin building upwards has already begun.

CLUSTER OF TALL BUILDS IS EMERGING

Broad Street, one of the largest parts of land in the city, is home to the city’s tallest ever habitable building – Bank Tower Two, a Wates development.  Bank Tower Two comprises 217 one and two bed apartments with a private gym, 24-hour concierge, a residents bar and much more. It’s been designed by local architectural firm Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Bank Tower Two reaches 33 storeys (102 metres) and sets a benchmark for city living, not just for Broad Street, but for Birmingham as a whole.

Incidentally, Broad Street is earmarked for even taller builds, with one imminent and another the focus of pre-application discussions. Various sites nearby are being earmarked for redevelopment in the not too distant future.

MODA TOWER OTHERWISE KNOWN AS 2ONE2 BROAD STREET

Opposite Bank Tower Two will be MODA Tower, otherwise known as '2one2 Broad Street' and is the imminent development referred to above. Currently undergoing groundworks, this development will reach a whopping 42 storeys (132 metres).

Followers, like myself, of all things 'Tall Buildings' in Birmingham have been remarking - "You wait ages for one bus – and then two come along at the same time!"

SO, WILL WE BE BUILDING EVEN TALLER THAN 42 STOREYS?

In a nutshell, yes! Clearly if it is economically viable for a developer to build a mammoth building on a patch of land they’ve purchased, they will do so.

OK, BUT WHERE WILL THESE BUILDS GO UP?

Whispers are that we’ll see these huge builds opposite the future Curzon Street HS2 building. There appears a desire from many in positions of influence, for tall, well designed buildings. We’re already seeing prime land being bought by developers with the intention of building 'big'.

Nikal have Phase 2 of Exchange Square up their sleeve. There is also Berkeley Group's much anticipated 37 storey building proposed for Eastside Locks, with an application due shortly.

Then there's Court Collaboration, a local group, hoping to shatter all records themselves by reaching for the skies. Backed by huge investment from overseas, there are rumours of a 46 storey building from Court Collaboration on James Watt Queensway, with a planning application due shortly.

In the meantime, the development pipeline for Birmingham looks as healthy as ever.

Let's enjoy the ride!

If you'd like to know more about our Community of Passion at ItsYourBuild and would like to sponsor a passion, contribute to our community or follow everything construction, then connect HERE or call us at FreeTimePays on 0121 410 5520.

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60 passion points
Photography
10 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Daniel Sturley Photography - Recent Birmingham Photos

Here is a gallery of recent photos from around the city, a selection of many more in my Full Gallery. Above is looking up at the Library of Birmingham on a sunny winter's day.

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Daniel Sturley Photography - Recent Birmingham Photos




Here is a gallery of recent photos from around the city, a selection of many more in my Full Gallery. Above is looking up at the Library of Birmingham on a sunny winter's day.


Birmingham, One of the Two Lion Sculptures Outside HSBC UK - March 2019

 

Birmingham, Grand Central and the Rotunda - March 2019

 

Birmingham, the City in the Trees, Orion House - March 2019

 

Birmingham, the Holiday Inn Express on Holliday Street - March 2019

 

Birmingham, a Very Bright Street Lamp on Bridge Street - March 2019

 

Birmingham, gnarly 'Safety Devices' - March 2019

 

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - March 2019

 

Birmingham, the View over Arena Central - March 2019

 

Birmingham, the Chamberlain Monument and the Museum and Art Gallery Reflected in Two Chamberlain Square - March 2019

 

Birmingham, The Library of Birmingham - February 2019

 

Birmingham, a View North from the Library - February 2019

 

Birmingham, Five Ways Tower - February 2019

 

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - February 2019

 

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - February 2019

 

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - February 2019

 

Birmingham, the Skyline from Digbeth - February 2019

 

Birmingham, the Moon Rises Behind a Crane - February 2019

 

Birmingham, the View North from the Library - February 2019

 

Birmingham, 'Ball Lighting' at the ICC - February 2019

 

Birmingham, One Centenary Square (HSBC) Reflecting the Library - February 2019

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
09 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - March 2019

Leftbank Tower Two is dominating the westside and can be seen from lots of areas and angles, here from the Mailbox. The external lifts have been extended to the top for the rest of the cladding to be installed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

 

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two - March 2019




Leftbank Tower Two is dominating the westside and can be seen from lots of areas and angles, here from the Mailbox. The external lifts have been extended to the top for the rest of the cladding to be installed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

 


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
09 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham Construction, Cranes Across the City - March 2019 Update

Many new photos have been added to our Birmingham Cranes photography feature, here's a selection.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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Birmingham Construction, Cranes Across the City - March 2019 Update




Many new photos have been added to our Birmingham Cranes photography feature, here's a selection.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photo by Elliott Brown

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Green travel
06 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Think blue, let cyclists through

Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.

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Think blue, let cyclists through




Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.


Birmingham Connected, which covers all transport planning activity for the council, are making drivers aware of some new road layouts, ahead of the new cycle routes opening soon on A34 and A38.  The blue surfaced routes show the new cycleways, which are separated from other traffic where possible.  At areas where the blue routes cross central reservations or side roads drivers need to give way to cyclists.

From Monday 25 March planned access changes to Priory Road from Bristol Road will be implemented, where there will be no right turn into Priory Road, whilst travelling out of the city centre.  Travelling into the city there will be no access (left turn and right turn) into Priory Road from Bristol Road. The left turn towards the cricket ground will remain open. Signage will be installed and information will also be provided about alternative routes.

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50 passion points
People & community
06 Mar 2019 - The Friends of Kings Heath Park
Activity for you

Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Egg Painting in kings Heath Park

Join the Friends of Kings Heath Park and the Ranger Service for an Easter egg hunt and Easter Egg Painting in @kingsheathpark.


20 Apr 2019 to 20 Apr 2019
11.00am - 1.00pm or 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Kings Heath Park - Birmingham

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40 passion points
History & heritage
05 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Stirchley Village up and down the Pershore Road and Hazelwell Street

There is plenty of history in the Stirchley area of Birmingham. A big chunk of it is called Stirchley Village. Here we will be looking at buildings up and down the Pershore Road and Hazelwell Street. There was a big Co-operative Society presence in the village, and the Cadbury's were nearby in Bournville. Buildings include the Stirchley Baths, the British Oak pub and many more!

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Stirchley Village up and down the Pershore Road and Hazelwell Street




There is plenty of history in the Stirchley area of Birmingham. A big chunk of it is called Stirchley Village. Here we will be looking at buildings up and down the Pershore Road and Hazelwell Street. There was a big Co-operative Society presence in the village, and the Cadbury's were nearby in Bournville. Buildings include the Stirchley Baths, the British Oak pub and many more!


While there might be a lot of derelict shops on the Pershore Road in Stirchley, there are many historic buildings up and down the road in good condition. Some like the old swimming baths and the Friends Meeting House have been restored. Stirchley goes from Selly Park towards Cotteridge along the Pershore Road, and the road is used during the Great Birmingham Run every October and the Great Birmingham 10K in April or May. The village also has boundaries with Bournville and Kings Heath.

 

First up a look at the Sea Cadets building. It is not far from Cottteridge but it is in Stirchley. The Sea Cadet Corps Birmingham Sherbourne is located a 1667 Pershore Road. They were established in 1942. They help people learn the skills  to become a Sea Cadet and one day join the Royal Navy!

Stirchley Community Primary School shares their building with the Selly Oak Constituency Office on the Pershore Road. There may have been a school here since the late 19th century. The building was built in 1879 by William Hale, on what was Stirchley Street. It had room for 215 pupils. Extensions built in 1883 and 1893, both by Hale, and in 1896 by Edward Holmes. (these details taken from a book called Victorian Buildings of Birmingham by Roy Thornton, published in 2006 - very useful for details of Victorian buildings).

The British Oak is a public house on the Pershore Road in Stirchley. It is now near all that Seven Capital land awaiting development. The pub is a Grade II listed building. It was built from 1923 to 1924 by James and Lister Lea for the Mitchells and Butlers brewery. Red brick in Flemish bond, with diaperwork, brick mullion-transom windows and tile arches. It is a large public house in 17th century Domestic Revival Style. The pub also includes a garden loggia of the same date.

The Dog Pool Hotel, also known as The New Dog Pool Hotel & Restaurant. On the Pershore Road in Stirchley, close to Selly Park. The pub has been closed down for years. Built in the 1920s, it was formerly the Hibernan. It replaced another Dog Pool Inn that used to be opposite. A wedged building at the corner of St Stephen's Road and the Pershore Road. The nearby road opposite is called Dogpool Lane. That leads to Dads Lane and onto Kings Heath. Some people (as a joke) vandalise the road sign to read "Dogpoo Lane"!

Stirchley Public Baths was restored in 2015 and reopened in January 2016 as a Community Centre. It's on the corner of Bournville Lane and Hazelwell Street in Stirchley. It is a Grade II listed building. The swimming baths was built in 1910 by John P. Osborne. Red brick in Flemish bond and diaper pattern blue brick, and with stone dressings. Slate roofs. Built in the Edwardian Baroque style. For many years the building was closed before it was restored. Seen here a few days after it reopened to the public in January 2016.

Stirchley Library is on the Bournville Lane in Stirchley. A short walk away from Bournville Station. It was built in 1905 for the Kings Norton & Northfield Urban District Council (years before the area became part of the City of Birmingham). A Grade II listed building. The Public Library was built in 1905 by John P. Osborne. Red brick in Flemish bond, with stone dressings and a slate roof. Built in the Freestyle. It is next door to the former swimming baths (now community centre).

The Birmingham Civic Society had unveiled a blue plaque for Mary Cottrell (1868 - 1969) at the Stirchley Community Centre (the former public baths) during February 2019 - Mary Cottrell Blue Plaque unveiled. When I got off the no 47 bus early in the rain near the British Oak, I thought the plaque would be at the baths, but walking along in the torrential rain, saw it at this building, which was the former Central Bakery dated 1891. The building is now home to Em's Pet Food Store at 1395 Pershore Road and Isherwood & Co. at 1393 Pershore Road. DJF Bathrooms and Kitchens is to the right near the archway. It was formerly the site of a Ten Acres and Stirchley Co-operative Society Bakery. Mary Cottrell was the first woman Birmingham City Councillor for the Labour & Co-operative Party in 1917. She was also a board member of the Ten Acres and Stirchley Co-operative Society from 1909, and the Co-operative Wholesales Society in 1922.

Fun runners on the Birmingham International Marathon which was held on Sunday 15th October 2017. It was the 1st new marathon in Birmingham (26.2 miles) since the 1980s. Held on the same day as the Great Birmingham Run (which started a little bit later). There was no marathon in 2018  (due to roadworks along the route) but the normal Great Birmingham Run and Great Birmingham 10K were still held in the city.

Views below of the fun runners running past the Pershore Road in Stirchley towards Bournville. Between the community centre and the former bakery.

As usual the roads were closed to allow the run to take place.

I got the train to Bournville that day to check out the Birmingham International Marathon in the Bournville and Stirchley areas. Bus routes would have been diverted while it was on.

 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - March 2019

With the building essentially finished externally it is tiny details left after the crane and the external lifts are removed. Lots of views in this photo update.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - March 2019




With the building essentially finished externally it is tiny details left after the crane and the external lifts are removed. Lots of views in this photo update.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Mar 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - March 2019

There has been a lot of windows installed on the front of the building facing Chamberlain Square and another row of columns at the back start to show the way they will look. We cant wait for the full effect!

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

Related

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - March 2019




There has been a lot of windows installed on the front of the building facing Chamberlain Square and another row of columns at the back start to show the way they will look. We cant wait for the full effect!

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Photography
02 Mar 2019 - Jay Mason-Burns
Gallery

Brumgraff:

A look at the ever-changing Street Art on the walls and streets of Birmingham.

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Brumgraff:




A look at the ever-changing Street Art on the walls and streets of Birmingham.


Brumgraff: A Look at the ever-changing Street Art on the walls and streets of Birmingham.

Artist: Annatomix

What follows is a gallery of photographs that I have taken of street art or grafitti art, from around the Birmingham area over the last couple of years.  It's by no means an exhaustive gallery, more simply I guess you could call it an overview of what I have seen and how I have sought to capture this art on camera. Where possible I have given credit to the original artist, but obviously this hasn't always been possible.  

Artist: N4T4

Grafitti is a bit of a dirty word.  People have commonly associated it with loutish behaviour, urban neglect, derelict buildings and the pointless vandalism of public areas. 

Grafitti is, perhaps, the oldest Artform we humans have.  Grafitti has been found dating back to neolithic cave paintings, even the ancient Egyptians and Greeks liked to scrawl their names upon their most majestic of buildings. 

It could be argued that grafitti stems from one of our most basic of urges, to make a mark, to write our names and say 'I was here', to record our progress or to make mockery of authority and express our outrage, boredom or disconnection from society. 

Ultimately Grafitti is an illegal act, the defacing of a wall, building or public space.  Despite our growing tolerance and even veneration for grafitti, it remains a criminal act, and it has to be said there is sadly a lot of grafitti that has little or no merit beyond selfish vandalism. 

There is also no denying that some artists cross the line to get to places they shouldn't necessarily be to display their masterpieces.  But without that endeavour, that willful urge to push the limits, we wouldn't have such beauty. I think you just have to accept the rough with the smooth. Wine tastes good and fills you with good cheer, but the hangover's always a bitch.

 Artist: Lucy McClauchlan 

So, do I love grafitti? Oh gosh yes! Absolutely!!

During the 20th Century, in places like New York, grafitti was an expression of youthful rebellion and social opinion that started out as scrawls on boxcars and subway trains and abandoned buildings in a new form of visual language that appropriated styles and genres to suit whatever a person wanted to say. There were, and are, no limits.  

It took root and spread, becoming a recognised sub-cultural art form that has captured the imagination of artists, photographers and writers alike. In places like Northern Ireland and the Palestinian West Bank, large murals were painted on houses and dividing walls in deeply provocative acts of political resistance and human defiance.  Many of these murals remain today as symbols of political hope and identity. 

I think identity is one of the defining elements of grafitti, it is about people and the places they live in or inhabit, especially in those deprived and abandoned places where the authorities and politicians hold no sway over creative and personal expression. 

What began as (and remains) an illegal activity has evolved into a dynamic and ever changing art form that has made it's way from the streets into galleries and social spaces.  Grafitti is now often referred to as Street or Urban Art. 

At it's heart grafitti is an ephemeral art form, blink and you'll miss it.  It's art that captures the heart and soul of a place and its people.  It's often provocative, in your face, ironic, laugh out loud funny, sometimes immense in size or quietly beautiful.  Local and national heroes are often memorialised whilst other less worthy public figures are mercilessly ridiculed.  It is joyous, touching and sometimes cruel, but that's life. 

Artist: Pahnl

Where I live in Birmingham the street art changes week in week out.  Most mornings on my way to work I detour through the Bournbrook Grounds, a pocket park situated behind the Aldi supermarket in Selly Oak.  It backs on to a large electrical substation, the walls of which act as an enormous canvas for local artists. 

Here the grafitti is tolerated, and consequently it's become a test bed for many local artists to try out new works.  The art changes all the time, it's wonderful. 

Artist: Hoakser

The next few pictures were taken in the park, over the last few months. Sometimes I will see three different pieces painted on the same wall in just a week.  The art is never boring, even if it's not always to my taste.  It's colourful, dynamic, eye catching and always interesting.  It's like a free open air gallery, the smell of fresh paint fills the air, a radio will be blasting out tunes whilst local students play basketball in the park courts.  It's colourful, lively, human. 

When we think of street art in Birmingham most people think of Digbeth and the walls and railway arches surrounding the creative hub at the Custard Factory. 

Since the old Bird's Custard factory was redeveloped as a media and creative centre of excellence in the early 1990s, the whole of Digbeth has undergone an artistic and suburban renaissance, so much so that the street art now defines the identity of the place, intrinsic to what makes Digbeth tick. 

Artist: N4T4

The railway arches, factory walls, entire streets and the canals that snake through the area have become a grafitti paradise where street art, in all it's forms, is not just tolerated but positively encouraged. 

Artist: Goldenboy

Street Art highlights areas like Digbeth, Shoreditch in London and Bedminster in Bristol, giving them a contemporary artistic vibe that attracts tourism and is in tune with the creative types now living and working in the area. 

Artist: Annatomix

Following on from the example of Bristol's Urban Paint festival, Digbeth has cottoned on to the trend for Street art tourism, firstly by staging the City of Colours fest in 2014 and most recently with the highly successful HighVisFest, which is returning later this year. 

Artist: PhilthBlake

Artist: Justin Sola

Artist: Andrew 'Title' Mills

Street Art embraces and subverts all forms of cultural and social discourse, everything is fair game to be depicted, reimagined and used to frame a point of view or simply be a beautiful creation.

Street art can be spray painted, poster paste-ups, tiny stickers on lamposts, even lighting and video installations.  In Birmingham we are blessed with a wealth of street artists who live or visit the city regularly, such as Lucy McClauchlan, Annatomix, PhilthBlake, Dan Newso, Justin Sola, Andrew 'Title' Mills and the inimitable Fokawolf. 

Artist: Lucy McClauchlan

As a photographer and a student of Art I find grafitti, in all it's forms, compulsive viewing and exciting.  Grafitti can literally be anywhere, so it's constantly surprising where it can be seen, on lamposts, trees, bus stops and the dark dirty corners amongst the ruin and detritis of humanity. 

For myself I like to ground my photos of street art in the wider environment, usually by depicting people around it or interacting with it, so in that way it responds to the life around it. 

Street Artist: Justin Sola

I really enjoy walking around Birmingham, capturing the ordinary and everyday scenes that make our city so special.  I think street art really adds spice and colour to our urban landscapes, often rendering contrast against the grey ugliness of destitution, dereliction and neglect.  I think street art is the most singular artistic movement of the modern era, it's the art of the common people, it can be done by anybody and not just by the monied educated few.  I object very strongly to the appropriation of street art by the corporate and business quarters looking to buy their way into hearts and minds, but sadly money always talks. 

Bordesley Junction.

I hope you've enjoyed my little odyssey through the street art of Birmingham. For me it's a joy to witness these works and incorporate them into my work. 

The best way to experience it is in the flesh, so get out there and see it for yourselves. You'll be blown away by the skill and imagination of these people. 

Thanks for reading and if you'd like to see more of my photography you can find me on Instagram and Twitter as @jayjayjjetplane  

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70 passion points
Poetry
02 Mar 2019 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Two Parks - a poem by Phil Banting

Here's a lovely poem from Phil Banting about two of Birmingham's great parks - Kings Heath Park and Highbury Park.  Selected as a winner in the Kings Heath, Birmingham 2019 poetry competition. 

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40 passion points
Transport
28 Feb 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Cyrille Regis tribute on West Midlands Metro tram 31

I've been waiting a while to see West Midlands Metro tram 31 again, since I heard that they have named the tram after West Bromwich Albion legend Cyrille Regis! He was born in 1958 and died in 2018 and had a CBE. The tram was unveiled at the tram depot in Wednesbury. I finally saw the tram waiting at Corporation Street Tram Stop! In the glorious sunny late February 2019 weather!

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Cyrille Regis tribute on West Midlands Metro tram 31




I've been waiting a while to see West Midlands Metro tram 31 again, since I heard that they have named the tram after West Bromwich Albion legend Cyrille Regis! He was born in 1958 and died in 2018 and had a CBE. The tram was unveiled at the tram depot in Wednesbury. I finally saw the tram waiting at Corporation Street Tram Stop! In the glorious sunny late February 2019 weather!


Tram 31

Cyrille Regis was born on the 9th February 1958 and died on the 14th January 2018, aged 59.  Most famous for playing for West Bromwich Albion from 1977 to 1984, he also played for Coventry City from 1984 to 1991, Aston Villa from 1991 to 1993 and Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1994 to 1995, of the clubs in the West Midlands.

The tram was named after Cyrille Regis in the middle of January 2019 at the Wednesbury tram depot. You can see a video of that event at this link Cyrille Regis: Metro tram in memory of footballer.

I first saw the tram this time from Cannon Street and Fore Street, and found it stationary at Corporation Street Tram Stop.

The same image seen further down the tram. Showing off nice in the unseasonable sunshine and warmth of late February 2019!

Full view of tram 31 with the Cyrille Regis livery memorial on the side. I think it's on the other side as well.

Down to Stephenson Street, and another tram was waiting at Grand Central Tram Stop, hence the reason why tram 31 was waiting at Corporation Street. This view looking up Stephenson Place to Corporation Street with the spire behind from the Methodist Central Hall.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
Green travel
27 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March

Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.

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National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March




Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.


The charity, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, originally started campaigning to introduce the UK’s first zebra crossing and the introduction of speed limits, aims to get the country walking.

Their annual National Walking Summit, a highlight in the street planning calendar, will bring together leaders, decision-makers and campaigners, to inspire and shape debate on how to create towns and cities that are fitter for walking.

Held at Birmingham’s Council House, the summit will include input from Cllr Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council; Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands; Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Transport, Travel and Public Space; and a series of lightning talks from grassroots campaigners.

To book a free place at the National Walking Summit, visit the Living Street website at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/walking-summit 

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