Gallery

Construction & regeneration
02 Nov 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Construction at Arena Central - November 2018

Construction at Arena Central powers on with the start of the main structure of Three Arena Central, the new HQ for HMRC Midlands and Dandara is almost externally complete. More photos of the site in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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Construction at Arena Central - November 2018




Construction at Arena Central powers on with the start of the main structure of Three Arena Central, the new HQ for HMRC Midlands and Dandara is almost externally complete. More photos of the site in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
01 Nov 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square

Two Chamberlain Square is continuing to rise at Paradise Birmingham, it's now looming over Centenary Way producing a wide canyon feel on the way down to the Museum and Art Gallery.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square




Two Chamberlain Square is continuing to rise at Paradise Birmingham, it's now looming over Centenary Way producing a wide canyon feel on the way down to the Museum and Art Gallery.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Did you know?

Civic pride
30 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Joseph Chamberlain: Birmingham's visionary Mayor in the late 19th Century

A look at Joseph Chamberlain who as well as later being an MP for Birmingham, before that served several years as the Mayor of the town (it didn't become a City until 1888). A member of the Liberal Party, he was elected Mayor of Birmingham in 1873, holding that title until 1876 when he was elected to Parliament. Various clocks and monuments are around the city in his name.

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Joseph Chamberlain: Birmingham's visionary Mayor in the late 19th Century




A look at Joseph Chamberlain who as well as later being an MP for Birmingham, before that served several years as the Mayor of the town (it didn't become a City until 1888). A member of the Liberal Party, he was elected Mayor of Birmingham in 1873, holding that title until 1876 when he was elected to Parliament. Various clocks and monuments are around the city in his name.


Joseph Chamberlain

The Chamberlain Memorial is in Chamberlain Square in the centre of Birmingham (now the Paradise Birmingham construction site). It was erected in 1880 to commemorate the public service of Joseph Chamberlain. It was erected during Chamberlain's lifetime. By the time the memorial was installed, Chamberlain has been an MP for Birmingham since 1876.  Chamberlain was elected to the Town Council in November 1869. He was elected Mayor in November 1873 and resigned the office in June 1876 on being returned as a representative of the borough to Parliament. During his Mayoralty many great works were advanced. And his devotion to the Water & Gas undertakings. (there is halls at the Council House called Water Hall and Gas Hall that are now part of the Museum & Art Gallery).

Seen here with Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the vantage point with the statue of James Watt.

Seen with the now demolished Birmingham Central Library.

Medallion bus of Joseph Chamberlain on the memorial.

Birmingham's failed bid for UK City of Culture in 2010 for 2013.

A more recent photo of the Chamberlain Memorial with One and Two Chamberlain Square under construction during July 2018. Part of Paradise Birmingham. Apart from the Museum & Art Gallery and the Town Hall, it is the only thing to survive from the late 19th century period (the other buildings demolished and the statues gone into storage).

 

Seen at the University of Birmingham is the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, also known as Old Joe. It is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world. The tower was built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain who was the first Chancellor of the University. Construction started in 1900 and finished in 1908. It held the record for the tallest building in Birmingham from 1908 until 1965 (when the BT Tower opened).

Please also have a look at my post comparing this tower to the campanile tower that inspired it in Italy here Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower inspired by the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy.

Seen with the Great Hall from Aston Webb Boulevard (Selly Oak New Road). Designed by Sir Aston Webb and Ingress Bell (built 1900 - 1909).

Close up of the tower in 2009.

The view from Mindelsohn Way, Selly Oak in 2017.

For a period earlier during 2018 the clock was stuck at 12 o'clock, but after it was repaired the clock was once again seen to be ticking again!

Welcome to University Station in Edgbaston, on the University of Birmingham's main Edgbaston campus. When you get off the train, take a look at this image of Joseph Chamberlain before heading up the steps. And read the message to the left. You may also notice the Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower on the steps as you go up.

 

In the Jewellery Quarter there is a clock at the junction with Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street called the Chamberlain Clock. It commemorated the visit of Joseph Chamberlain to South Africa between 1902 and 1903 when he was the Secretary for State for the Colonies. It was erected by his constituents the electors of West Birmingham. Mr Chamberlain landed at Durban on the 26th December 1902 and sailed from Cape Town on the 25th February 1903. The clock was unveiled in 1904 during Chamberlain's lifetime.

There is also a clock like this one in Five Ways, but that one does not commemorate Joseph Chamberlain. And also another similar clock at Aston Cross.

Seen with the Rose Villa Tavern in the Jewellery Quarter.

These views were from 2009, and was traffic constantly going past the clock, so got cars in some of these old photos.

The clock is one of the main landmarks in the Jewellery Quarter. It's a short walk from Jewellery Quarter Station. It's also close to Warstone Lane Cemetery (also known as Brookfields Cemetery).

Highbury Hall was the Birmingham residence of Joseph Chamberlain from 1880 until his death in 1914. Was commissioned in 1878 and built in 1879. Is now a Grade II* listed building and in the care of the Chamberlain Highbury Trust (formerly Birmingham City Council). It took it's name from the Highbury area of London that Chamberlain lived in as a child. There is extensive grounds that now includes Highbury Park. John Henry Chamberlain was the architect (he wasn't a relation of the Chamberlain family).

The main entrance with the car park. A blue plaque is on the left.

The garden to the hall. There is paths that leads out to Highbury Park and surviving parts of Highbury Hall's original gardens via an orchard.

The first floor landing at Highbury Hall.

Portrait of Joseph Chamberlain MP painted by Nestor Cambier at Highbury Hall.

Artefacts seen at the Birmingham History Galleries about Chamberlain's Birmingham.

Including a postcard of Corporation Street dated 1902. Home Rule and the Irish Question by Joseph Chamberlain, MP 1887.

A mug with the head of Joseph Chamberlain.

Close up look at the mug that looks like Joseph Chamberlain.

Souvenir from the 30th anniversary of Joseph Chamberlain being elected to Parliament for Birmingham in 1876, from 1906.

Photos by Elliott Brown

 

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News & Updates

History & heritage
30 Oct 2018 - Luke Harris

Birmingham's failed bid for the 1992 Olympics article

‘THE TONIC TO BOOST BRITAIN’S SAGGING REPUTATION IN INTERNATIONAL SPORT?’ BIRMINGHAM’S BID FOR THE 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES

http://www.playingpasts.co.uk/articles/general/the-tonic-to-boost-britains-sagging-reputation-in-international-sport-birminghams-bid-for-the-1992-olympic-games/ 

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
29 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

Bank Tower Two now has it's main structure up to the 29th floor and much more cladding is installed or being prepared. The tower looks amazing in the winter sunlight! More photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two




Bank Tower Two now has it's main structure up to the 29th floor and much more cladding is installed or being prepared. The tower looks amazing in the winter sunlight! More photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Transport
25 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

Cadbury No 14 - the diesel locomotive at Cadbury World

Before you start your visit to Cadbury World, you can't help but notice the diesel locomotive near the car park. It's Cadbury No 14. And has been located where it is now since 2007. Built in 1957 it was at the Cadbury factory at Moreton. Moved to the Llangollen Railway Society in 1978. Was donated to Cadbury by Burton Foods who now operate from Moreton.

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Cadbury No 14 - the diesel locomotive at Cadbury World




Before you start your visit to Cadbury World, you can't help but notice the diesel locomotive near the car park. It's Cadbury No 14. And has been located where it is now since 2007. Built in 1957 it was at the Cadbury factory at Moreton. Moved to the Llangollen Railway Society in 1978. Was donated to Cadbury by Burton Foods who now operate from Moreton.


It's a 20 ton diesel locomotive, but can be easily mistaken for a steam locomotive based on it's design!

The front of the locomotive says Hudswell. It was made by Hudswell Clarke and has the number D1012. It was built in 1956.

Moreton is in Merseyside. It had been at the Cadbury Schweppes, Moreton site, before it moved to Premier Brands UK Ltd in Moreton. After that it was moved to the car park of Cadbury World in 2007.

There was another Cadbury No 14 that used to run on the Cadbury factory's private railway, but I don't think this one was ever used at Bournville, only at Moreton.

 

After it left the Cadbury site at Moreton, Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0DM (D1012/1956) for a period was used at the heritage railway at Llangollen from 1978 until 2007.

 

While the Cadbury private railway no longer exists, it is nice to see a locomotive from Cadbury's past, even if it wasn't originally based at factory at Bournville.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown in November 2015 on a visit to Cadbury World.

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Gallery

Transport
24 Oct 2018 - Elliott Brown

City of Birmingham 46235 at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

A steam locomotive named the City of Birmingham has been preserved and is now in Thinktank (where it can't move). Previously it was housed in the old Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street until it closed in 1997. The public could see it again at Thinktank from 2001 onwards. In British Rail green. A bit hard to photograph all in one go due to where they put it.

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City of Birmingham 46235 at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum




A steam locomotive named the City of Birmingham has been preserved and is now in Thinktank (where it can't move). Previously it was housed in the old Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street until it closed in 1997. The public could see it again at Thinktank from 2001 onwards. In British Rail green. A bit hard to photograph all in one go due to where they put it.


City of Birmingham 46235

Built for the London Midland and Scottish Railway it was a Coronation Class steam locomotive originally with the number of 6235 and was built in 1939 at Crewe. It passed to British Railways in 1948 and was renamed to 46235. It's original colour was crimson lake, but during the Second World War it was given a black livery. The naming ceremony took place for the City of Birmingham at Birmingham New Street Station in March 1945, despite it having the name for years.

After British Railways took it over in 1948, it was given a new short lived blue livery in 1950. It was repainted in Brunswick Green in April 1953. It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and kept the green livery through it's preservation.

The Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry opened in 1951 at the former Elkington Works on Newhall Street. After a period at Nuneaton during preservation, the City of Birmingham locomotive was moved to the museum in 1966 which they built around it. It remained there until 1997 when the museum closed. This museum was free to enter.

Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum opened to the public in 2001 at Millennium Point, where they again built the new building / museum around where they placed the locomotive. In a fixed position so it can't move, but they built a pathway to the side so visitors can get up and close to it. The museum has an entrance fee (but you can get a discount if you get a bus or train voucher online).

There is information panels on this side, close to where you can see the City of Birmingham name plate, plus the cities coat of arms.

Light from the Millennium Point windows at the time made it a bit hard to get photos in decent light, but that may have changed since my visit. Although even with the bright light and the new Science Garden outside in Eastside City Park, may still make it a bit hard to see, unless it's a cloudy day.

If you want to get a photo of the side of the locomotive all in one, then it's simply not possible. I had to take a series of photos and later stitch them together to make a panoramic, then alter the photo. My visit with these photos was in 2013.

This is as close as you can get from the front. The locomotive has not steamed since it was preserved back in the 1960s, and anyone wishes to see it on the mainline or on heritage railways in the future, then they would have to remove the wall and windows in front of the locomotive. Having the Thinktank Science Garden in front from 2012 onwards also makes it difficult to remove. I remember seeing it in the old Science Museum on Newhall Street in the 1990s. Back then it may have been able to go back and forward on the rails, but it can't do that now at Thinktank, it's in a fixed position.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square

Much of the external work is complete at One Chamberlain Square, just the rest of the sills to install it seems as well as finishing off the retail spaces at ground level. 12 more photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square




Much of the external work is complete at One Chamberlain Square, just the rest of the sills to install it seems as well as finishing off the retail spaces at ground level. 12 more photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

The scene from the Library of Birmingham shows how Bank Tower Two is rising well above the others in the westside cluster with several floors still to go. Over 20 photos in this update.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two




The scene from the Library of Birmingham shows how Bank Tower Two is rising well above the others in the westside cluster with several floors still to go. Over 20 photos in this update.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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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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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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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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Civic pride
11 Oct 2018 - PMNet Support

Honk for Hedges

Would you like to do it again?

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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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Environment & green action
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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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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