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Transport
26 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Reopening the Camp Hill Line at Moseley Station, Kings Heath Station and at Hazelwell Station

Today the Camp Hill Line is Freight only and Cross Country through trains only. But hopefully new stations will be built at the sites of the old ones at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell (in Stirchley). The stations originally opened in 1867 but closed in 1941 during the Second World War and were never reopened. But now it is possible that new stations may open by 2022.

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Reopening the Camp Hill Line at Moseley Station, Kings Heath Station and at Hazelwell Station





Today the Camp Hill Line is Freight only and Cross Country through trains only. But hopefully new stations will be built at the sites of the old ones at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell (in Stirchley). The stations originally opened in 1867 but closed in 1941 during the Second World War and were never reopened. But now it is possible that new stations may open by 2022.


Moseley Station

Moseley Station was located at a site between Woodbridge Road and St Mary's Row in Moseley from 1867 until it closed in 1941 on the Camp Hill Line. A previous station named Moseley Station was later renamed to Kings Heath Station (it's near Highbury Park). This station is close to St Mary's Church in Moseley Village.

There has been many proposals for a new station here sine 2007, but they were revised in 2016 by the West Midlands Combined Authority. In 2019 plans for the new stations gained Government funding. Construction could start later in 2020, to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

My original photos of the old Moseley Station site were taken from the Woodbridge Road Bridge near the end of April 2009. Remains of the old platforms are visible towards the tunnel.

I only had a compact camera at the time (having started taking photos around Birmingham in April 2009), so this was as far as I was able to zoom in to the tunnel. But you can see the overgrown platforms remains.

The other side of the Woodbridge Road Bridge. This direction towards Birmingham New Street. The Camp Hill Line goes through Balsall Heath, before joining other lines at Proof House Junction. Freight trains and Cross Country Trains operate non stop trains down here.

A new March 2020 photo from the bridge on the Woodbridge Road. A zoom in to the Moseley Tunnel that goes under St Mary's Row. Recently West Midlands Railway had stopping trains at Moseley and at the other sites in Kings Heath and Hazelwell. Stopping for the first time in almost 80 years.

This is the view of the Moseley Station site from St Mary's Row during February 2018 near St Mary's Church. The view was taken from the no 1 bus. This would be an ideal site to build the new station building and car park. Although I've noticed that their's land on Woodbridge Road for a car park as well.

Kings Heath Station

Kings Heath Station on the Camp Hill Line was located near the High Street and Highbury Park. It was open from 1840 until it closed in 1941 during the Second World War. It was originally called Moseley Station, but when a new station opened in Moseley at the site between Woodbridge Road and St Mary's Row, that station was named Moseley Station, and this one renamed Kings Heath Station. The new station could be built later in 2020 to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

These views from December 2009. Now the Findlay Road Retail Park, down the bottom is Homebase. Building at the top used to have MFI and Allied Carpets. By 2009 Topp Tiles occupied some of the units. Easy Gym moved in to the upper units by 2014. That is now The Gym.

Walking towards Highbury Park is this car park, somewhere near the old Kings Heath Station site. Bit hard to see behind the trees.

There is land here to build a new station, but wonder if they will have to knock down any of the retail units to the left?

The bridge on the Kings Heath High Street is too high to look over, so got this view from the top deck of the no 50 bus during April 2015. Here you can clearly see where the old station used to be. They might have to take over some of the land in Highbury Park when they build the new station.

Another view from the no 50 bus on the Kings Heath High Street. Snow on the line. The line heads in this direction towards Moseley and onto Balsall Heath. This was during January 2018.

Hazelwell Station

Hazelwell Station opened in 1903 and closed during 1941 (World War 2). The station was located on a site between Vicarage Road and Cartland Road. Being near Kings Heath and Stirchley. Hopefully the new station will begin construction here later in 2020, to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

These photos taken from the Vicarage Road Bridge between Kings Heath and Stirchley during December 2009.

There was snow on the line at the time. Remains of the platforms were close to the Cartland Road Bridge.

These views were taken from the Cartland Road Bridge in Stirchley during January 2015. This was the old Hazelwell Station building. It is currently Designer Bathrooms by Michael, but this building could be demolished when the new station is built here.

There are several fenced off areas at the site, that used to lead to the platforms.

One fence next to the Cartland Road Bridge. This could have been an old pedestrian footbridge. Now overgrown and with a large pipe to the right.

Behind this gate was the old ramp down to one of the platforms. Now grassy and had a lot of litter down there at the time.

Zooming further down to a gate. Currently no access to the public, only to Network Rail staff.

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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60 passion points
Green open spaces
26 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Ley Hill Park up the hill in Northfield

For this green spaces / park post, we go back to early April 2017, when I went up to Ley Hill Park in Northfield. Starting at the Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield, I went up Vineyard Road past Bellfield Junior School. The park was at the top of the hill. It's part of the Merritt's Brook Greenway, with a path heading to Manor Farm Park.

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Ley Hill Park up the hill in Northfield





For this green spaces / park post, we go back to early April 2017, when I went up to Ley Hill Park in Northfield. Starting at the Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield, I went up Vineyard Road past Bellfield Junior School. The park was at the top of the hill. It's part of the Merritt's Brook Greenway, with a path heading to Manor Farm Park.


During the lock down and the one form of exercise a day, I can only walk to the closest parks in walking distance. I don't know how many weeks or months this will last for. With many places closed down. But parks are open (playgrounds are not). So please continue to enjoy my virtual park visits from my actual past visits (if you can). And maybe once things goes back to normal after the virus crisis ends, we will all be able to enjoy parks and visit the places we used to be able to.

 

Here we will go back about 3 years to a visit to Ley Hill Park in Northfield when it was OK at the time to get the bus or train.

The then new Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield first opened around April 2017 and during my visit there, was thinking of somewhere to go. I could see a park up the hill nearby (also by checking Google Maps). Plus this walk would lead me towards Manor Farm Park and near the no 61 and 63 bus routes when I left.

 

The entrance to Ley Hill Park. Heading through a green space near Vineyard Road. I crossed over Merritt's Brook Lane and into the park. Welcome to Ley Hill Park.

The path into the park towards a footbridge that crosses the Merritt's Brook.

A look at one side of the Merritt's Brook. Looks like the routes of the tree on the right grows quite close to the brook.

A pair of paths. A third one makes a triangle.

I must have taken the right path by the looks of it.

Following one of the paths past the trees. The Merritt's Brook is to the right, and this was near the bottom of the park.

The path continues as the trees make shadows on the path and lawns. The fields to the left don't really have gravel paths to walk up to.

A pair of trees in the middle of the hilly field in the park.

The path leading to Merritt's Hill and the exit gates.

Another exit to Merritt's Hill. Hadn't really finished looking around Ley Hill Park at this point.

To head up the hill, I followed the mown grass paths up the hill.

Saw this robin but only got it from the back at the time.

Near the top of the hill and there was nice views of the Northfield and surrounding areas from up here.

Top of the hill. An zoom in's could see the local school and towards the tallest building on the Northfield High Street (Bristol Road South).

Heading to the next area. Here the bushes forms a triangular shape (which makes more sense if you look at the Satellite view on Google Maps).

Now for a pair of dirt paths near the trees.

There was more grass paths near the top end of the park.

This tree stump was lying on the ground up here.

Another exit gate to Merritt's Hill, this one was also near Clun Road.

One more look at the park from the top. Views not so visible from up here though.

Just outside of Ley Hill Park was a green space near Merritt's Hill. Starting at Clun Road going down to Meadow Brook Road.

I headed down Merritt's Hill via this green area. Which at this point led down to Meadow Brook Road.

Even from here the shopping centre on the Northfield High Street (Bristol Road South) was visible.

This path was near the houses south of Clun Road. And it takes you down to Meadow Brook Road.

The west view of the green area. Beyond the trees was Ley Hill Park.

Looking up the path I had just walked down from Clun Road.

Getting closer back to the Merritt's Brook Greenway, one last look at the path I went down. Getting back to Merritt's Hill.

There's that side entrance from Ley Hill Park that I saw earlier. Seen from Merritt's Hill.

Going down Merritt's Hill. Brookside was to the left which was near the Merritt's Brook Greenway entrance I was heading to.

And there's that Ley Hill Park entrance I saw earlier. That was on the Merritt's Brook Greenway. Next I took the path in the other direction towards Manor Farm Park.

To see my photos from Manor Farm Park, see my first post on that park here: Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield.

 

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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60 passion points
History & heritage
26 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A look back on Dippy on Tour in the summer of 2018

Dinosaur bones, or rather recreations in a cast. Dippy from the Natural History Museum in London started going on a tour of UK museums, and was at the Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the summer of 2018. After my June 2018 visit, it got me to visit Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham for more dinosaur skeletons. Was also a floral style trail around.

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A look back on Dippy on Tour in the summer of 2018





Dinosaur bones, or rather recreations in a cast. Dippy from the Natural History Museum in London started going on a tour of UK museums, and was at the Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the summer of 2018. After my June 2018 visit, it got me to visit Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham for more dinosaur skeletons. Was also a floral style trail around.


Dippy on Tour

Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

26th May to 9th September 2018

 

Dippy on Tour was a touring exhibition starting in 2018 at the various City museums around the country. It was at BM & AG in the Gas Hall in the dates above.

Dippy had been at the Natural History Museum in London from 1905, until 2017 when it went on a nationwide tour!

 

I booked my ticket online in advance and went on the 3rd June 2018. Got in earlier than my time and spent about 20 to 30 minutes here. Was plenty of families and kids there at the time. There were other exhibits in here. In this post we will mainly look at Dippy the Diplodocus and other full dinosaur skeletons in Birmingham.

 

This was my first view of Dippy!

Side view of the skull.

The tail from the back of the Gas Hall.

Another view from the front, from the left side this time.

Trying to get Dippy with the height of the ceiling in the Gas Hall.

Front view of Dippy's skull.

This was from a panoramic of Dippy in the Gas Hall.

One more view of Dippy with the Gas Hall ceiling.

Before Birmingham, Dippy was at a museum in Dorchester. After Birmingham, Dippy went to: Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne and Cardiff. Dippy is now in Rochdale (but I assume that the museum is closed now due to the lock down / pandemic period we are in). Dippy was next scheduled to go to Norwich.

 

Co-inciding with Dippy being at the Gas Hall was this Dippy on Tour Floral Trail around the City Centre during the summer of 2018. There was ten topiary dinosaurs to find.

Seen on the High Street outside of Marks & Spencer was this Allosaurus. A few weeks later I saw a full size Allosaurus skeleton at the Lapworth Museum of Geology (see further down the post for the photos). Sponsor was Retail BID Birmingham.

Triceratops seen in Rotunda Square between New Street and High Street. Sponsor was Retail BID Birmingham.

On New Street not far from the Apple building and HSBC UK was this T-Rex (and near the Midland Metro line to Grand Central Tram Stop). Retail BID Birmingham was the sponsor.

Further up New Street was this Stegosaurus opposite Cashino and Pret a Manger. Retail BID Birmingham was the sponsor.

Seen in Victoria Square during June 2018 for Dippy on Tour was the star of the shop the Diplodocus. At this time Council workmen were replanting plants around Dippy, so didn't get a clear view of her. Retail BID Birmingham was the sponsor.

One more indirect view of the Diplodocus in August 2018 when this band was playing in front of her. They were called Inpulse Percussion. At the time groups for the Transplant Games were near the top of Victoria Square. I never did get this one on it's own.

Back to June 2018 and we are now in the Great Western Arcade for Dippy on Tour. This is the Coelophysis. Retaiil BID Birmingham was the sponsor.

Seen at the bottom of Corporation Street opposite what was then a Vodafone store on the corner of New Street (opposite HSBC UK) was this Velociraptor. Near the Midland Metro line to Grand Central Tram Stop.

The last outdoors dinosaur was the Brachiosaurus outside of The Mailbox. Retail BID Birmingham was the sponsor.

The last two were a bit harder to find. The second T-Rex was in the childrens toys section on the bottom floor at Selfridges in the Bullring. Thank you to Shopping in Birmingham on Twitter who at the time gave me advice of where to find them. Much appreciated if you are reading this!

The last dinosaur I needed to find was inside of John Lewis Birmingham. The second Stegosaurus. This one was a few floors up near the cushions and in an awkward position (near the windows overlooking the escalators) to get a photo of (on my then smartphone camera). Trail complete.

Lapworth Museum of Geology, University of Birmingham

Just over 2 weeks later after seeing Dippy at the Gas Hall (the middle of June 2018), I headed to the University of Birmingham to see the dinosaur skeletons and bones in the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Located in the red brick Quadrangle, near Ring Road South.

This is a skeleton of a Allosaurus (not a T-Rex as I once thought). There was also rocks and minerals in this museum.

Full side view of the Allosaurus, towards all the rocks in the collection.

Zoom in to the skull of the Allosaurus.

From the other side, there was a first floor area with a balcony view. Not very busy when I visited.

The Allosaurus was standing on this white table with glass walls around it. I'm sure I once saw a T-Rex skeleton at BM & AG back in the 1990s (whatever happened to it). Then again as a child I remember queuing to get into the Gas Hall for a dinosaur exhibition (around the time Jurassic Park first came out, so around 1993, early 1990s).

The other full dinosaur skeleton at the Lapworth Museum of Geology was this Pteranodon hanging from the ceiling.

A close up view of the Pteranodon's skull and body.

View from the back of the Pteranodon and the Allosaurus.

Side view of the Pteranodon's skull from the first floor balcony area in the museum. The museum was quite small, I was in and out in about 10 minutes. Once I saw what I wanted to see I left. And I wasn't too interested in the rock samples. There was also skulls in the museums without the bodies.

Bonus photos to finish off this post. During Summer in Southside in the middle of July 2018. Was this Triceratops on Wheels on Inge Street outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome and not far from The Arcadian. Perhaps inspired by that summers Dippy on Tour (which was still on at the time).

A close up of the Triceratops skull. Was also another set of bones (not real of course) in a pram to the right.

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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40 passion points
Green open spaces
25 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Woodgate Valley Country Park near Quinton

We go back to October 2018 for this visit to Woodgate Valley Country Park, which is near Quinton in South West Birmingham. Getting the no 24 bus from Harborne, was hard to find a way into the park until I got in from Barn Piece. I followed the paths as far as the exit on West Boulevard. The route mostly followed the Bourn Brook.

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Woodgate Valley Country Park near Quinton





We go back to October 2018 for this visit to Woodgate Valley Country Park, which is near Quinton in South West Birmingham. Getting the no 24 bus from Harborne, was hard to find a way into the park until I got in from Barn Piece. I followed the paths as far as the exit on West Boulevard. The route mostly followed the Bourn Brook.


Woodgate Valley Country Park is a country park located between Bartley Green and Quinton in South West Birmingham. It is the third largest country park after Sutton Park and the Lickey Hills Country Park in Birmingham. It was set up in 1984. Having previously been rural land and small holdings.

 

Back in October 2018, I got the no 24 bus from Harborne. Had to keep checking Google Maps until I found an entrance at Barn Piece. I followed the main path towards an exit at West Boulevard. The Bournbrook Walkway goes through this park. Good for walkers, cyclists and dog walkers. I think I later got a no 23 bus back in the direction of Harborne from Northfield Road near California Way (the Bournbrook Walkway continues beyond the park).

 

I initially got close to Woodgate Valley Country Park in December 2016 after my walk around Senneleys Park when I was on Barnes Hill in Bartley Green (close to Weoley Castle), but didn't get around to heading back for an actual walk in the park until about October 2018. It's quite far to travel on a couple of buses. I had previously saw a sign to Woodgate Valley after a walk in December 2015 to see the Weoley Castle ruins.

 

Getting of the no 24 bus in Quinton, I think around Dwellings Lane off Quinton Road West, it was a bit hard to find a way into the park. I kept checking Google Maps until I found a way in at a cul-de-sac called Barn Piece. This is one of the maps of the Woodgate Country Park. There was a "You are here" red dot near the top left corner of the map.

This was the gate to the country park from Barn Piece. Make sure to close it as you go in.

Heading from the path from Barn Piece to the main path, saw this leaf basin. The main path goes to the left.

Onto the main path. Long and straight until it curves to the right.

A crossroads of paths. I took the path towards West Boulevard. Meaning that there was a part of the park I never saw (I missed the Woodgate Valley Urban Farm and the Woodgate Valley County Park Visitors Centre). I have not been back since this visit, and with the current situation in the world, I wont be coming back here any time soon.

This view of the Bourn Brook seen from the path. There is the main path and another path that runs on the other side of the Bourn Brook.

A newly laid surface suitable for cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and walkers. And photographers, not forgetting us! Hold on to the railings if you want to. Or lean your bike on it.

One of the many footbridges over the Bourn Brook. There was also a path on the right that went into the brook.

In this view of the Bourn Brook from the footbridge, there is also a path that goes through the brook. Possibly for horse riders or those on dirt bikes (or normal bicycles).

After crossing over the first footbridge over the Bourn Brook,  I followed a section of the dirt path through this canopy of trees. Still with green leaves in October.

But there was yellow and brown leaves fallen on the dirt path. The Bourn Brook was now to the right.

Another footbridge over the Bourn Brook, of the same design as the other one. Crossing back from the dirth path back to the main path.

As with the other footbridge on the Bourn Brook this one also had a track going into the brook, but on the other side of the bridge. This view of the Bourn Brook with the main path on the left.

Back on the main path now, and saw this area with a bench to the back. Surrounded by trees. Bit like a camp site. Leaves all over the ground. Very autumnal. A woodland area.

A look at the Bourn Brook and the trees all around it.

On the main path to West Boulevard, saw this tree hanging over the path. The leaves here at the time made it look quite autumnal.

Back on the path now heading towards West Boulevard. As you can see it is suitable for all those cyclists that ride their bikes in here.

Another view of the Bourn Brook.

First glimpse of West Boulevard behind this gate. Close to the end of this walk now. Although I didn't exit from this gate.

The exit to West Boulevard. I crossed over at the lights and continued on the next section of the Bourn Brook Walkway. It only took me about 25 minutes to walk from one end of the park to this end.

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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60 passion points
Digital services
25 Mar 2020 - FreeTimePays
News & Updates

Get your own branded digital workspace for unlimited engagements and collaborations

Regular, fast and well managed engagements and collaborations have never been so vital.

Within 24 hours we can have you up and running with your own branded platform and community workspace giving you access to an amazing suite of engagement tools. 

We can go further and help you with your surveys, collaborations, social media reach and panels. 

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Get your own branded digital workspace for unlimited engagements and collaborations





Regular, fast and well managed engagements and collaborations have never been so vital.

Within 24 hours we can have you up and running with your own branded platform and community workspace giving you access to an amazing suite of engagement tools. 

We can go further and help you with your surveys, collaborations, social media reach and panels. 


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mobile:  07432 637322

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