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BirminghamWeAre – A FreeTimePays community

A City for All

BirminghamWeAre is a community devoted to social value, providing a shared space for people who make a difference and together have a positive social impact across the City.

Launch date: August 2018
Combined FreeTimePays following: 101K


Community sponsors:

Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Love our parks - get involved!

As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.

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Love our parks - get involved!





As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.


Over the next month and for the remainder of 2020, we will be growing our reach and pull together information and details on all the great work being carried out across communities as they collectively protect their parks.  

This will grow into a massive 'community-led' resource for people with a shared interest and passion for their local parks and green spaces.  

Here's just a few of the ideas and initiatives we will be telling you more about so we can share and get more people actively involved.

Litter picking groups - they do a fantastic job.  We'll connect you with your local group.

Art & Culture Trail.  We'll help you set up your trail and showcase your parks.

Walking clubs. We'll connect you and bring in more friends.

Park angels.  Volunteering with a difference.  We'll tell you more.

Creativity and green spaces collide.  Let's look at how art, music, photography and creativity in all its forms can help promote and protect our parks. 

Parks and mental health.  A walk, ride or jog in the park can do so much for your mental health.

There's something for everyone.

Connect with us and help us protect our parks. 

 

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60 passion points
Modern Architecture
17 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing The Wesleyan, Birmingham, UK

The Wesleyan was built between 1988 to 1991 for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society on the site of the Gaumont Cinema.

It is located at Colmore Square, Birmingham. B4 6AR.

Take our post for a bit of history and a bit of photography.  Enjoy!

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Introducing The Wesleyan, Birmingham, UK





The Wesleyan was built between 1988 to 1991 for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society on the site of the Gaumont Cinema.

It is located at Colmore Square, Birmingham. B4 6AR.

Take our post for a bit of history and a bit of photography.  Enjoy!


Founded in 1841, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, The Wesleyan this year celebrated its 179th anniversary back in April.

Their current building, completed in 1991 and opened by HRH the Duke of Kent KG on their 150th anniversary, offers a bright and modern open-plan working environment, plus an on-site restaurant.

It lies within easy reach of the West Midlands Tram & Snow Hill, Moor Street and New Street train stations.

The Wesleyan, located at Colmore Circus near Steelhouse Lane, was built on the site of the Gaumont Cinema. 

Photo courtesy Kinospoter and Cinema Treasures. 

According to Cinema Treasures, the cinema opened in 1931 and was built in the Art Deco style. In 1961, the cinema was closed and in1963 opened up as a Cinerama Theatre. This then closed in 1973 for repairs and redecoration and closed for the final time in 1983. The building was demolished in 1986.

The facade of the building was dismantled brick by brick and was put into storage.  The original intention was to re-use the brickwork on the same site.

Construction of The Wesleyan began in 1988 and continued until about 1991. The Wesleyan was built for the Wesleyan and General Assurance Society by Peter Hing & Jones.

Built of pink granite, it has a central core with an upside down pyramid roof. 

The subways around Colmore Circus would remained into the late 1990s but have since been filled in.  The area was raised to road level in the 2000s and became Colmore Square, which is located between the bottom end of Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane at Colmore Circus Queensway.

Here is a selection of photography of The Wesleyan taken over the years.

January 2010

Photos courtesty of Elliott Brown

The Wesleyan on the 26th July 2014

Photos courtesy Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

3 Arena Central: A Striking Centrepiece

Cladding is virtually complete on this striking centrepiece of a building, right at the heart of Arena Central. Due to open in autumn 2021, Stephen takes a closer look at the development, and how the building is already transforming Arena Central.

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3 Arena Central: A Striking Centrepiece





Cladding is virtually complete on this striking centrepiece of a building, right at the heart of Arena Central. Due to open in autumn 2021, Stephen takes a closer look at the development, and how the building is already transforming Arena Central.


Three Arena Central strikes a distinctive figure on the skyline doesn't it?

At 14-storeys tall, reaching upwards of 73 metres, it will soon become a home from home for several government services, including the new regional HQ for HMRC, in autumn 2021.

Sporting a geometric pattern of hexagonal metallic rainscreen panels, the building sits at the very heart of the Arena Central masterplan where it is already forming a strong identity; wrapping itself entirely around each of the facades to resemble a jewel, or maybe even giving a subtle nod to the former TV show Blockbusters.

The cladding has been divided into a standardised beehive-like grid, so that the rainscreen system can be incorporated throughout. The cladding sports a bright metallic sheen finish, which is in stark contrast to its near neighbours - but that's not to say it doesn't fit in.

COMPLIMENTING ITS NEIGHBOURS

MAKE have certainly designed Three Arena Central to be the striking centrepiece of the redevelopment, whilst being fully complimentary of its more established neighbours.

Yes, Arena Central does have an obvious eclectic mix of builds, but they do share, in one form or another, an architectural connection.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

With its angular geometry on full display, there are gentle nods everywhere you look; the double-height pedestrian friendly colonnades highlight this.

Hexagonal in shape, they’re similar in proportion and scale to the nearby Grade-II listed Alpha Tower, and the recently-completed HSBC UK HQ, next door.

Once the building is complete, and it soon will be, they will wrap around three sides of the building and will allow natural light into the recessed first floor, whilst providing an open vista looking outwards onto the new public square.

These hexagonal features have been designed so internal and external views are both the same, which will allow the tessellating pattern to be enjoyed from both perspectives, whilst also delivering areas of floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The building will boast recessed windows; adding depth, whilst the chamfered corners will naturally frame the building.

Photo by Daniel Sturley.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

This not only connects the relationship between them, but it also connects the dots for the impending public realms at Bank Court (adjacent, complete with water feature), and The Terrace - near Holliday Inn Express.

Arena Central Webcam: September 15 2020.

LIGHTING SCHEME

The strategy is quite simple: let the building do the talking! But that’s not to say the building won’t be washed with light.

The ground floor will be internally lit and will be occupied by units. The colonnades will also be uplit, with the metallic finish of the cladding assisting in illuminating the area even further.

The projecting metallic ‘hoods’ will also reflect light to provide a striking view when seen from below. Offices above, subject to operations, will too be lit.

This will undoubtedly create a random pattern of illumination that will complement the facades tessellating pattern, and become an Instagrammers dream.

With external works nearing completion, the internal fit-out - awarded to ISG - will commence in November and will complete in autumn 2021.

Words and pictures from Stephen Giles, with contributions from Daniel Sturley. Artists Impressions are from MAKE Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
History & heritage
16 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Spitfire and Hurricane at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

It's the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, so Elliott is taking a look back to his 2013 visit to Thinktank where he saw a Spitfire and Hurricane hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Sptifire's were built at Castle Bromwich, while Hurricane's over at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940.

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Spitfire and Hurricane at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum





It's the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, so Elliott is taking a look back to his 2013 visit to Thinktank where he saw a Spitfire and Hurricane hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Sptifire's were built at Castle Bromwich, while Hurricane's over at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940.


September 2020, marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain. Which took place over the English Channel between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. The official dates of the battle was the 10th July until the 31st October 1940. Did you know that many of the planes that fought in the battle were built right here in Birmingham!

The Supermarine Spitfire were built by Vickers Armstrong in Castle Bromwich. While the Hawker Hurricane at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge.

 

Photos below taken on a visit to Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum during April 2013.

Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX

The Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX was built in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham. The planes were built between 1938, and throughout the Second World War of 1939 to 1945. Vickers Armstrong had built over 11,000 planes there. The Spitfire was the most famous British fighter plane of the Second World War.

This plane was labelled HK A and ML 427. And could be seen above the Move It section of the museum (at the front) from the balcony views of We Made It.

Behind the Spitfire was the Hurricane.

 

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

To the back was a Hawker Hurricane Mark IV. This plane was known for shooting down over 60% of enemy aircraft during the 1940 Battle of Britain. Around 300 Hurricane's were built at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge in Birmingham. The Hurricane ended up being overshadowed by the more famous Spitfire. They were built from 1937 until 1944.

This plane was to the back and wasn't as easy to see as the Spitfire. Labelled JX R. With 395 at the rear end.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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80 passion points
People & community
15 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges

It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!

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Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges





It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!


In 20th place ....

Photographer: Daniel Tonks

In 19th place ....

Photographer: Maria Reaney

In 18th place ....

Photographer: Fiona Probert

In 17th place ....

Photographer: Joy Batchelor

In 16th place ....

Photographer: Karen Elizabeth Bucknall

In 15th place ....

Photographer:  Jay Mason Burns

In 14th place ....

Photographer:  Damien Walmsley

In 13th place....

Photographer: Liam Nicholls

In 12th place....

Photographer:  Mac McCreery

In 11th place....

Photographer: Rachel Dean

In 10th place....

Photographer: Stephanie Jackson

In 9th place....

Photographer: Julia Moyse

In 8th place....

Photographer: Sylwia Ciszewska Peciak

In 7th place....

Photographer: Goodfella

In 6th place....

Photographer: TellyVision

In 5th place....

Photographer: Phil Hook

In 4th place....

Photographer: Tony Mayo

In 3rd place....

Photographer: Kevin Maslin

In 2nd place....

Photographer: Charlie Tomlinson

And the winner is:

Photographer: Jack Crook

Our Judges

Many thanks to our judges who helped with the extremely difficult task of selecting our top 20 photographs.

  • Nicola Beckford, Presenter/Journalist, BBC News
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Limited
  • Councillor Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Rebecca Woods, BBC Online
  • Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Earl Falconer, musician, UB40
  • Robin Campbell, musician, UB40
  • David Furmage, Creative & Cultural Lead, GBSLEP
  • Ruth Millington, art historian, critic & blogger
  • Albert Wallace, owner, the bmag

Exhibition and video of photography

When restrictions ease we hope to run an exhibition of the photography.  With the wonderful UB40 providing the backing music, we will also be pulling the brilliant images together in a video and memory of times during Lockdown. 

Competitions, programmes and initiatives and celebrations of Creativity, Culture and Community

To find out more about our ongoing initiatives and our forthcoming events and festivals, please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07432 637322 or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com 

 

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60 passion points

Top Contributors

Elliott Brown
BirminghamWeAre points: 22K
Combined FreeTimePays points: 72K
Daniel Sturley
BirminghamWeAre points: 21K
Combined FreeTimePays points: 54K
FreeTimePays
BirminghamWeAre points: 10K
Combined FreeTimePays points: 23K
Stephen Giles
BirminghamWeAre points: 3050
Combined FreeTimePays points: 15K
Karl Newton
BirminghamWeAre points: 1470
Combined FreeTimePays points: 2910

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