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

Birmingham Heritage Week (14th to 15th September 2019): Bournville - Selly Manor and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Edgbaston - Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Three venues visited over the weekend of the 14th and 15th September 2019. Selly Manor (including Minworth Greaves) and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bournville. Then the next day to Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston (was really busy there).

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Birmingham Heritage Week (14th to 15th September 2019): Bournville - Selly Manor and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Edgbaston - Birmingham Botanical Gardens





Three venues visited over the weekend of the 14th and 15th September 2019. Selly Manor (including Minworth Greaves) and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bournville. Then the next day to Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston (was really busy there).


Selly Manor

The first of the two buildings at Selly Manor. George Cadbury, the founder of Bournville bought the building in 1907 and arranged for it to be moved from Selly Oak to where it stands today. Now at the corner of Sycamore Road and Maple Road. The heritage open day was on Saturday 14th September 2019 during Birmingham Heritage Week.

A look at the exterior.

Selly Manor was moved to this site in 1916. It is now operated as Selly Manor Museum by Bournville Village Trust. It is a Grade II listed building. The exit steps from the top floor is seen to the left. The main entrance was around to the left.

Interiors: a dining room table I think on the ground floor. The house contains the Laurence Cadbury furniture collection with objects dating from 1500 to 1900.

Costumes on a table including hats. Kids could try them on and look in the mirror. On the first floor. There is about six rooms inside to see.

The ceiling and one of the windows I think on the attic floor. So small in here I exited too quickly, as the steps near here led back outside! William Alexander Harvey the architect managed the restoration from 1909 to 1916.

Minworth Greaves

The second of two buildings at Selly Manor. Near Maple Road in Bournville. I've seen it before back in 2009, but this was my first time inside. Thought to date to the 13th century, it was moved here in 1932 by Laurence Cadbury.

Walking round the back of Minworth Greaves. This site is quite small, compared to other places I've been to (Manor House wise).

A Grade II listed building. William Alexander Harvey supervised the re-build from 1929 to 1932. The interior looking up at the roof to the trio of coat of arms. The Birmingham Watercolour Society Exhibition was on from the 3rd to 14th September 2019.

One of the three coat of arms at the back of Minworth Greaves. This one on the left.

View of the timber framed ceiling from the back looking to the middle. A curtain divides the two sections. The exhibition was below.

Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Prince Lazar

The Heritage Open Day was held in Bournville on Saturday 14th September 2019. Located on Griffins Brook Lane near Cob Lane. I had to use Google Maps directions to find it via the Merritts Brook Greenway. It's not far from the Bristol Road South.

Built in 1968, it is also known as the Lazarica Church. It was built for political refugees from Yugoslavia after World War II.

Serbs have been associate with Bournville since Dame Elizabeth Cadbury sponsored thirteen Serbian refugee children of World War I.

A look at the colourful interior. Very impressive as you head into the main entrance. Looks likes something straight out of Serbia (I've never been).

Just before the exit, the group of visitors also admiring this building.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

It was free to enter the Botanical Gardens on Sunday 15th September 2019, the Heritage Open Day during Birmingham Heritage Week. And loads of people showed up, families with kids. Was a really busy day in Edgbaston! Located on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston, the gardens was designed in 1829 by J. C. Loudon and opened to the public in 1832. Near the entance is various tropical houses. Also on the site is bird houses and a bandstand.

The Subtropical House

It simulates climatic conditions found between the warm temperate and tropical regions of the world.

Mediterranean House

The plants in this house grow in parts of the world that typically have hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters so the main growing season is late winter and spring.

The Bird Houses

Various birds in the four giant cages here. On the open day I saw the peacocks on the roof! When I got close to the cages, was able to get some decent photos through the cages of the birds.

The Bandstand

A band was there for the day performing songs during the afternoon. It is Grade II listed and was built in 1873.

Near the entrance and exit was these pink and blue Heritage Open Days balloons on the spiral staircase. Was loads more people coming in as we exited. And also lots of cars coming around Westbourne Road (clogging up the traffic). We walked a distance away from the Botanical Gardens to get here. You could also get the no 23 or 24 buses (but they were also stuck in traffic). Also the no 1 bus was nearby.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Sep 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Introducing 211 Broad Street - a 36 storey glass build in Birmingham

Another great article from Stephen Giles, one of our people with passion in Birmingham who's following all the builds across the City.  Here Stephen introduces us to the glass tower planned at 211 Broad Street.

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Introducing 211 Broad Street - a 36 storey glass build in Birmingham





Another great article from Stephen Giles, one of our people with passion in Birmingham who's following all the builds across the City.  Here Stephen introduces us to the glass tower planned at 211 Broad Street.


A new 36-storey glass tower is set join the high-rise club on Broad Street after plans were revealed recently.

Taylor Grange Developments, a Birmingham based property developer, plan to construct a ‘super slender’ block of 264 serviced apartments with hotel facilities, on land at 211 Broad Street.

The scheme has been designed by Broad Street trend-setters, Glancy Nicholls Architects, with Court Collaboration as development manager.

The project will see 33 storeys of serviced apartments with three floors of podium space intended for retail, food and drink outlets, along with a residents' lounge and gym.

Artist Impressions from Glancy Nicholls Architects

The development will be operated by an international hotel brand, who will bring a brand new presence to Birmingham.

No parking provision will be allocated, which has been deemed acceptable by Planning Officers, due to the Midland Metro Westside Phase 2 tram extension arriving in 2021.

Appropriate cycle storage will be incorporated into the scheme instead.

FIRST UP: DEMOLITION

Today, the site is currently occupied by the unlisted Transport House and 117-118 Tennant Street at the rear. Both have been vacant since 2015 and will be not be retained.

Transport House: Image by Graham Young

They have been fully assessed, with both concluded as having low importance of evidential value, and not holding any significance worthy of preservation.

Rear of Transport House: Image by Graham Young

'SUPER-SLENDER'

The application has evolved from 32 floors to 36, with the Council welcoming the design, glass and of course, the height, with a real belief that the proposal brings out the best out of the site.

And this rings true. The narrow width of the site necessitates an efficient use of the land, given the compact nature of the site.

At an incredible 9.5m in width, 211 Broad Street represents a unique opportunity for a high density ‘super-slender’ tower to not only maximise the site, but to further enhance the skyline.

Artist Impression from Glancy Nicholls Architects

There will be 8 apartments per floor, signage - presumably for the hotel operator - and a crown parapet level, taking the entire building, from base to top, up to 116.5 metres tall.

ARCHITECTURAL RELATIONSHIP

The scale of 211 Broad Street is a direct response to the built context of its surroundings.

The building will provide a natural step down from Moda, or a step up from Hilton, depending on which perspective you look from.

The connection not only comes from its height, but also through a shared rhythm of podiums and active lower levels.

Artist Impressions from Glancy Nicholls Architects

Another crucial component of the development is this active frontage facing onto Tennant Street (see below). Cycle parking is likely to be based just within.

Once a non-descript street, with little in the way of character, is now quickly becoming a crucial cog in the revitalisation of the area.

Artist Impression from Glancy Nicholls Architects

THE FACADE 

A unitised façade system will take pride of place and give the building a glass box effect, thus maximising the views out of the window. It'll ooze simpleness.

No openable windows are proposed, so the architects have once again incorporated a slot vent system into their proposal.

The system allows fresh air in, and fresh air to go out. It will be incorporated into the spandrel panels on the glazing, which has been meticulously designed to minimise the impact on the façade.

SITE CONSTRAINTS

Like any site, it'll have to overcome a wide range of issues. This development is no exception.

Noise: Broad Street is the entertainment capital of the Midlands, which of course brings a few extra added layers of decibels with it.

The street has a wide array of facilities within close proximity to each other, high spec noise insulation will need to be implemented to ensure a high quality scheme remains so.

Proximity: 29m is all that separates 211 Broad Street from The Mercian next door, and just 10m from The Mercian's fourteen-storey shoulder. 

In the other direction, Hampton by Hilton lies within 30m.

During pre-app talks, the issue of overlooking onto MODA's rented units was established. The issue has since been remedied, with an agreement in place to reposition serviced apartments away from prying eyes.

Buildability: The sites narrowness poses a constraint, and then you've got crane(s) to contend with. A level of technical and structural innovation will be required to build this.

EXTERNAL LIGHTING & SIGNAGE

The building will feature an two extra storeys of plant level, featuring potential integrated hotel signage and a crown feature - arguably the most visible element of the entire building.

The glazed middle, however, will not be externally lit but will instead rely on internal lighting from within the apartments.

The crown will naturally hide the BMU unit (Building Maintenance Unit) and lift overruns.

This also has the potential to be visually permeable at night. 

Precedents used by the architect include 610 Lexington Avenue, in New York City.

Image by Foster & Partners

The podium will also be lit from within, providing a clean, active frontage onto the busy street.

We’ll find out how these plans pan out as the application evolves over the coming months. 

Artist Impression from Glancy Nicholls Architects

Watch this space!

Next up: 100 Broad Street

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30 passion points
History & heritage
16 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Up the Belfry in St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter: Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2016)

It's now Birmingham Heritage Week again and time for another throw back post. Back in September 2016 I went to St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter and went up the Belfry (bell tower). Sometime after 2pm on the 10th September 2016. The spiral staircase is nerve wrangling going up and down. The bell tower was free to go up. More heritage posts soon.

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Up the Belfry in St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter: Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2016)





It's now Birmingham Heritage Week again and time for another throw back post. Back in September 2016 I went to St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter and went up the Belfry (bell tower). Sometime after 2pm on the 10th September 2016. The spiral staircase is nerve wrangling going up and down. The bell tower was free to go up. More heritage posts soon.


For my St Paul's Church album on Flickr follow this link St Paul's Church for the Jewellery Quarter.

The Heritage Open Day was held during Birmingham Heritage Week on the 10th September 2016, shortly after 2pm. I arrived too early, so first went to the Pen Room for the free open day there, before coming back.

St Paul's Church was built in 1777, the tower was added around 1822 to 1823. New bells were installed in 2005 during the 250th anniversary of the St Martin's Guild.

Balloons were outside St Paul's Church in St Paul's Square.

Welcome to Saint Paul's. I was at the time hoping to get a photo of the main church hall area, but didn't, and was then later people in the way by the time I left.

Time to head up the spiral staircase. Last time I did this was at the former St Mary's Church in Lichfield, during a spire climb (with a guide). Every time I went up one of these church spiral staircases it felt so weird (this was 3 years ago).

The room with ropes which they use to ring the bells. They gave a talk and showed visitors how they pull the ropes.

One of three clock faces in the room. Only little windows, so not sure it's possible to get close to them to look out of them, or to take photos out of the windows.

The members of St Paul's Church ring the bells pulling the ropes up and down. I have videos on my Flickr if you want to see them (link to album at the top).

A bell model.

Bell ropes in the training room, I think this was on the floor below.

Another of the bell rope for training.

Back down the spiral staircase.

Keep going down.

And down until you get to the bottom.

It's been years since I've been up or down spiral staircases in churches. But have been up and down the equivelant in castles (not in Birmingham). Last year went to a couple of castles in North Wales, and that didn't feel as nervous as going up a spiral staircase in a church!

 

Sunday 15th September 2019 update: For this weekend: on Saturday 14th September 2019, I went to Selly Manor In Bournville, then walked towards the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Prince Lazar (directions via Google Maps). On Sunday afternoon, went back to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston. It was quite packed. May do a post on these visits soon?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
16 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Friday the 13th: OLA the West Midlands Metro tram without batteries (tram 27)

It was Friday the 13th when I saw West Midlands Metro tram 27 in blue with lime green OLA adverts. This time fully blue. Seen at Bull Street Tram Stop waiting to go to Birmingham. Have been looking out for other trams. The week before saw tram 20 at Corporation Street Tram Stop (in blue with batteries). But mostly the trams I've seen in blue before.

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Friday the 13th: OLA the West Midlands Metro tram without batteries (tram 27)





It was Friday the 13th when I saw West Midlands Metro tram 27 in blue with lime green OLA adverts. This time fully blue. Seen at Bull Street Tram Stop waiting to go to Birmingham. Have been looking out for other trams. The week before saw tram 20 at Corporation Street Tram Stop (in blue with batteries). But mostly the trams I've seen in blue before.


Friday 13th September 2019

OLA West Midlands Metro tram 27 seen at Bull Street Tram Stop near Forbidden Planet and Colmore Gate.

Thought the first shot on my phone camera didn't take, so though this was the first photo (these are now cropped and edited).

The OLA advert in the middle of tram 27 as it catches the light at Bull Street. Why get a private hire taxi when you can get the tram, bus or train instead?

This tram currently has no batteries, so it won't be able to go beyond Grand Central unless they fit batteries to it.

Friday 6th September 2019

West Midlands Metro tram 20 seen at Corporation Street Tram Stop. Waited a week before putting these into a post as wanted more photos of other trams. This one has batteries. I missed the other blue tram as it headed up to Bull Street (I don't know what number it was).

Tram 20 heading down Stephenson Place towards Grand Central Tram Stop, past the Apple building (in the former Midland Bank building).

Saturday 7th September 2019

Platform 3 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station. Not very clear views of the trams stopping at St Chad's Tram Stop. First saw West Midlands Metro tram 28.

Then tram 17.

Was a long wait for the train last Saturday at Birmingham Snow Hill due to "an obstruction on the line" or signalling.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of the Mercian - September 2019

The lower level columns have been started for the base of the building which will fill the whole site up to several floors and the concrete core for the tower is now well on the way.

Photo by Stephen Giles

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The Construction of the Mercian - September 2019





The lower level columns have been started for the base of the building which will fill the whole site up to several floors and the concrete core for the tower is now well on the way.

Photo by Stephen Giles


The gap in the skyline where the tower will rise and it will be considerably taller than Bank Tower Two.

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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