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History & heritage
20 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Bakehouse reopened at Sarehole Mill during Storm Dennis

Sarehole Mill have had the Bakehouse restored during the early part of 2020. And they scheduled a free open day on Saturday 15th February 2020. Storm Dennis didn't stop people visiting the mill or the Bakehouse despite the weather. This is the first time in almost 150 years that they have been able to bake loafs of bread and other things in the oven.

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The Bakehouse reopened at Sarehole Mill during Storm Dennis





Sarehole Mill have had the Bakehouse restored during the early part of 2020. And they scheduled a free open day on Saturday 15th February 2020. Storm Dennis didn't stop people visiting the mill or the Bakehouse despite the weather. This is the first time in almost 150 years that they have been able to bake loafs of bread and other things in the oven.


I've been to Sarehole Mill many times over the years, so wasn't going to stay around here too long during Storm Dennis. Saw something on their Twitter about the mill being open on Saturday 15th February 2020 from about 11am to 4pm, for free. As I didn't want to go too far in the storm, I headed down the 11 Outer Circle bus route and popped into the mill for a bit.

 

The Bakehouse has been out of use for almost 150 years. Early in 2020 it was fully refurbished and is baking for the people of Birmingham again. The last baker was William Anderton, who retired in 1872, after baking here for almost 20 years.

One of the smaller baking ovens on the left. Last time I saw this, there was either a Big Hoot little owl up here (in 2015) or a Big Sleuth little bear (in 2017).

Looking up to the ceiling, with the wooden roof supports.

The Bakehouse was probably built in the 1840s. The oven was never allowed to go cold as it was too expensive to heat it back up from scratch.

One of the Sarehole Mill Bakehouse volunteers places a loaf of bread in the oven, then quickly shuts the oven door.

I didn't stick around too long to see the finished result, but they have also baked other things in here such as pizza and pastries. They have an Instagram account here Sarehole Bakehouse. It might just be the Sarehole Mill account renamed.

The outside of the Bakehouse to the left, still stormy outside. I popped over the the Mill Pool and briefly into the mill again before leaving.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
14 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model of St Martin's Square at St Martin in the Bullring

I did not know that this model of St Martin's Square was inside of St Martin in the Bullring. After meeting King Charles I Return for the first time for coffee (Aka Daniel Williams) we headed into St Martin's Church for a quick look around. First thing I spotted was this model. I'd say it was made around 2000 for the Bullring that opened in 2003. Also shows Selfridges.

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Model of St Martin's Square at St Martin in the Bullring





I did not know that this model of St Martin's Square was inside of St Martin in the Bullring. After meeting King Charles I Return for the first time for coffee (Aka Daniel Williams) we headed into St Martin's Church for a quick look around. First thing I spotted was this model. I'd say it was made around 2000 for the Bullring that opened in 2003. Also shows Selfridges.


In this post, first we will look at the model that I found inside of St Martin in the Bullring. Then comparison photos I took around St Martin's Square between Spring 2009 and early 2011 (before it all changed for the Spiceal Street development).

 

This model is between the exit from St Martin in the Bullring Cafe on the corridor to an entrance inside of the Church of St Martin. Didn't know it was there. Not even from a previous photo I took of the corridor to the cafe. I met King Charles I Return (aka Daniel Williams) on Friday 7th February 2020 for coffee. After that we popped into the church for a quick look around.

This view from Digbeth towards St Martin's Church with Selfridges on the right with the East Mall. The West Mall is to the left. The square as it was from 2003 until the 2011 Spiceal Street development added several new restaurants.

It was in a glass dome, so bit hard to get views without reflections. Birds-eye view down on St Martin's Square. Used to be a stepped sitting area on the left. That is where Chaophraya Thai Restaurant is now. Hand Made Burger Co was later built to the left of Selfridges down the right hand side of the path down to the road.

The view between St Martin's Church and Selfridges towards the main entrance to the Bullring. You can see the statue of Nelson in the middle.

This is the view from the markets side of the Bullring. Which is close to where buses drop off passengers (buses do not pick up passengers from this stop).

Another view of the path into St Martin's Square. Those steps on the right is where Handmade Burger Co is now. Sadly the Birmingham based chain has closed down (including their Bullring and Brindleyplace restaurants).

 

Now to compare the model to the real St Martin's Square from 2009 to early 2011 (before the Spiceal Street development got underway).

From the spring of 2009 when I started taking photos of Birmingham, that included the Bullring area. Got this view of St Martin's Church from near the steps during May 2009. The Three Cubes fountains were still there on the left. Little did I know that this area would all change about 2 years later.

These views from Digbeth, look quite similar to the model. Taken in October 2009, on the first day that I ever took photos around Digbeth (and not the last). This view past the Bull Ring Tavern towards the crossing between St Martin's Church and Selfridges.

Digbeth ends here, then the Bullring starts on the other side of the lights. There is a really short section of road called St Martin's Lane between Moat Lane and Park Street. Usually the buses wait at the lights here.

This view from near the Bull Ring Open Markets on Moat Lane. There was bunting on the lampposts. A sign on the right pointed directions to Digbeth Temporary Coach Station, as National Express was having their old coach station rebuilt into Birmingham Coach Station (which opened at the end of 2009 by the then England Football Manager, Fabio Capello).

Some of my earliest photos of St Martin's Square from April 2009. This from the balcony not far from the statue of Horatio Nelson. This view towards Borders, the Three Cubes fountain sculpture and Gloria Jeans Coffee. Neither of those were on the model (the sculpture and coffee shop).

This view also from April 2009, looking up to the balcony with the statue of Nelson. The stepped seating area was on the left, next to that was the Three Cubes fountain sculpture. St Martin in the Bullring to the right (still there now of course).

On month on, now May 2009. The curved semi circle section of the West Mall above Borders, the Three Cubes fountain sculpture and Gloria Jeans Coffee.

At the time in May 2009, the stepped seating area was closed off. Perhaps for a deep clean. But they would be dug up 2 years later in 2011 for the Spiceal Street development. This view towards Selfridges.

Side view of Gloria Jean's Coffee. This cafe building would be open until the end of 2010 (and into January 2011). The metal panels were later recycled into the tree sculpture that is in St Martin's Square today.

Aware that the building occupied at the time by Gloria Jean's Coffee would be dismantled for the Spiceal Street development, I took these early evening shots around 5pm at the end of December 2010.

There was already some barriers around here, but people could still go up and down the steps. Oh and Forever 21 had opened up above Jamie's Italian by then (where Borders used to be until that closed down).

A few days later and a couple of days into the new year of 2011. So now January 2011 for some last daylight shots of this building before they took it down.

There was a planning application here from Birmingham City Council detailing the plans for what was going to happen at Spiceal Street.

I did not go in. I didn't really start to go to coffee shops until 2012, starting off with Costa Coffee. Before trying Caffe Nero and Starbucks in 2014. I also discovered Coffee#1 in 2015 in South Wales before they opened some stores in the West Midlands.

In August 2009 a view from the upper balcony near Selfridges towards Digbeth. At this point in time, I had yet to have a photo walk around Digbeth. I didn't start to do that until October 2009. The steps below on the left, were demolished in 2009, and this is where Handmade Burger Co was built. The model of St Martin's Square shows tables and chairs outside of Selfridges on the lower balcony. There used to be a Starbucks in Selfridges at this corner (that has now gone).

A nice sunny view heading into St Martin's Square during August 2009. I had changed camera's by this point.

This view of Selfridges from Digbeth during December 2009. They were selling (at the time) Real Christmas Trees at Selfridges. The steps were still there at the time (seen on the left).

St Martin's Square in late December 2010. Slightly blurry at about 5pm near the Christmas tree. This was a few months before the Spiceal Street development which took all of 2011 to complete adding several new restaurants, and new steps up to St Martin's Walk with a replacement water feature.

The Three Cubes fountain sculpture seen during April 2009. Behind them was the former stepped seating area. Borders Books used to have many of the units there, including a Starbucks Coffee. That later became Jamies Italian and Forever 21 (which at one point had a Costa Coffee). Sadly both have recently closed down. But there is a Starbucks in the West Mall just as you enter the doors.

As you can see by December 2010, Jamie's Italian had moved in. They would last until 2018 (going into administration and closing down). The cubes were removed in early 2011 when construction of the Spiceal Street development started.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Feb 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - February 2020

One Centenary Way breaks ground with the piling almost complete, here's the latest photos from the construction of this first building of phase two at Paradise Birmingham.

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - February 2020





One Centenary Way breaks ground with the piling almost complete, here's the latest photos from the construction of this first building of phase two at Paradise Birmingham.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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40 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
11 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Events over the years in Centenary Square on what is now the Reflective Pool

Events held in Centenary Square over the years. Seen from the Library of Birmingham, up until before the square was redeveloped, and again after it reopened (not including Ice Skate Birmingham of course). While the water jets are now back on and kids enjoying it again, I will show what has been on this space in the past. These events usually take place a weekends.

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Events over the years in Centenary Square on what is now the Reflective Pool





Events held in Centenary Square over the years. Seen from the Library of Birmingham, up until before the square was redeveloped, and again after it reopened (not including Ice Skate Birmingham of course). While the water jets are now back on and kids enjoying it again, I will show what has been on this space in the past. These events usually take place a weekends.


There was still a stepped platform in Centenary Square back in June 2009. About 6 years after an arsonist had destroyed the Forward sculpture. Made in Birmingham was an exhibition of old photos from the 19th century. It was based on The Birmingham Exhibition in Local Manufactures and Natural History from 1886. This view towards Chamberlain House (demolished in 2018).

The O2 Guru Range was in Centenary Square outside of The REP back in June 2010. Construction of the new Library of Birmingham hadn't really started yet, but was cranes on site. Which had just gone up.

There was Table Tennis tables (Ping Pong) in Centenary Square during July 2011. There was 55 tables around Birmingham from the 8th July to the 8th August 2011 and they were free to play! They were from Ping Brum.

Back in September 2013, 4 Squares Weekender was being held, including in Centenary Square. It was to celebrate the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. Looked like a storm was coming. Banner with the Alpha Tower to the right. There was also an outdoor photo exhibition called the Reference Works. This was probably before the Library has opened, and before my first visit. Plus back then there was long queues to get in, so I waited until the end of the month before my first visit (I now pop in at least once a month).

My first visit to the Library of Birmingham near the end of September 2013 and the Reference Works was still to the right of the new lawn (that's gone now). The view from the Discovery Terrace. I waited 18 days before visiting the library for the first time. It was The Library of Birmingham Photography Project. Showing old photos of the previous Central Libraries of Birmingham, from 1865 to 1986.

Free Hugs passing through Centenary Square in November 2013. It was also Free High Fives. This was when the late Stephen Sutton and friends passed through Birmingham. Sadly he died in May 2014. Near The ICC and The REP.

The Queen's Baton Relay was in Centenary Square during June 2014. It was during the build up to the Commonwealth Games that were being held in Glasgow in August 2014. The view towards the Hyatt Hotel and Symphony Hall. Years before Birmingham 2022 became a reality (they were probably thinking of bidding for 2026 back then).

In September 2014 the Zombie Walk was being held in Centenary Square. Looks at those trees in full bloom. They would be cut down before the regeneration of Centenary Square started. The view from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. Entertainment was by Free Radio.

Back when the Library of Birmingham was open on a Sunday, I popped up when Remembrance Sunday was taking place during November 2014. This was where people would pick up the Poppy Wreaths to lay them at the temporary Cenotaph, or in the Hall of Memory. This hasn't taken place here since about 2016. They moved it to Victoria Square in 2017, and around Colmore Row / Birmingham Cathedral in 2018 and 2019. Although the Armistice Day commemorations returned to the Hall of Memory in 2019 (after the square was completed).

The St George's Day celebrations that took place in Centenary Square during April 2015. There was a fair on at the time. Was several motorbikes to the right. You could also play a 'hook a duck' game and buy some candy floss. In previous years this event had been in Victoria Square.

The WMFS Band was performing in Centenary Square outside of the Library of Birmingham back in May 2015. The Band of the West Midlands Fire Service.

During Armed Forces Day in June 2015, members of the Armed Forces were marching around Centenary Square. This view from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. In recent years, military parades such as this have taken place around Birmingham Cathedral and Colmore Row. They went around the Hall of Memory and past Baskerville House. You can really see the carpet design of the old Centenary Square that has now been lost.

The Caribbean Food Festival was held in Centenary Square during August 2015. The view from the Discovery Terrace on Level 3 of the Library of Birmingham. Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were still in place, and the former House of Sport had yet to be demolished for Arena Central.

Giant Rugby Football on the lawn in Centenary Square during September 2015. This was for the Rugby World Cup 2015. The Big Hoot was also on during that summer as well.

Two years after the 4 Squares Weekender, was the Birmingham Weekender. Seen in Centenary Square during September 2015. This was Lady Godiva.

The Great Birmingham Run used to go down Broad Street long before the Metro extension works. In October 2015, they were preparing the area near the end of the run. The view from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. A Saturday view, as on Sunday the Library was closed, and no one would be able to get a view up here (as the Library opening hours had changed by then). The former Register Office / House of Sport was in the process of being demolished for the 1 Arena Central site (now 5 Centenary Square and not built on to date).

Badminton courts were set up in Centenary Square during March 2016. As the All England Championships were on at the time at the Barclaycard Arena. Behind early works for cutting down trees and for the future Metro extension to Centenary Square (that is now the site of Library Tram Stop). House of Sport had been demolished, but at the time they were calling the site 1 Arena Central (it is now called 5 Centenary Square but hasn't been built on yet).

The International Dance Festival Birmingham was being held in Centenary Square during May 2016. They set up a stage area where dancers would perform their tricks. There was also an old Ford Escort where dancers would jump on fellow dancers shoulders.

The BE Festival was held in Centenary back in June 2016. In this view from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham, you could see this painted mural by An Wei. There was also a market around here, plus drummers called Bloco Louco. They were already doing a test pit around the trees. A mature tree would end up getting cut down a year later in 2017 (all the other trees went as well). But some new trees have been planted since the square was done up (2017 - 2019).

CBBC Live was being held in Centenary Square back in July 2016. This was taken from the no 24 bus I  got toward Harborne. Was part of CBBC's Awesome Authors event. Since I only got it from the bus, that meant I didn't head up the Library to see it from above.

About a week later, but still during July 2016, I saw this from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. Rogue Play was part of the Tilt Festival - Snakes and Ladders. The next Tilt Festival will be in July 2020. Summer 2016 was one of the last times that you could see the old 1991 design of Centenary Square by Tess Jaray. The bricks would be lifted during 2017 and 2018 for the redevelopment of the square that opened in the summer of 2019.

One of the last things to take place in Centenary Square was Britain's Got Talent during October 2016. Rather that the auditions were probably inside of The ICC at the time. They had set up a screen like this on the back of a lorry one year before this back in October 2015. While the Birmingham auditions do return, they have yet to return to Centenary Square.

This post isn't really about Ice Skate Birmingham in Centenary Square, but during December 2016, saw these Morris Dancers on the paved section between the grass (which had only opened to the public in September 2013). Seen from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham while it was raining. They were from Earlsdon Morris Coventry. The grass and paving here was lifted in 2017 and 2018. The new paving here opened to the public in July 2019. After this when 2017 started, they fenced off the square, and no other events would take place here until the summer of 2019.

For my Ice Skate Birmingham post when in Centenary Square, follow this link: Birmingham Big Wheel and (later) Ice Skate Birmingham in Centenary Square (2009 - 2016, 2019 - present).

This was the first event to be held in Centenary Square since it reopened in July 2019. Birmingham 2022, 3 years to go. Celebrating that it would (at the time) be 3 years to go until the Commonwealth Games would be held in Birmingham in 2022. As you can see they put the logo on the new Reflective Pool. But the fountains were turned off. They were still working around the clock to finish the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square, which was finally completed and opened by December 2019.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Feb 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - February 2020

Progress at 103 Colmore Row is in a cruise state, with steel up to the 12th floor and some cladding and windows installed on the Colmore Row and Newhall Street corner, lots of great photos in this gallery from Stephen, Reiss and Daniel.

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The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - February 2020





Progress at 103 Colmore Row is in a cruise state, with steel up to the 12th floor and some cladding and windows installed on the Colmore Row and Newhall Street corner, lots of great photos in this gallery from Stephen, Reiss and Daniel.


 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

Photos by Stephen Giles

 

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

Artist's Impression of the finished building.

 

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