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BirminghamWeAre

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


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Construction & regeneration
31 May 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Paradise: Transformation of the Public Realm

Earlier in the week we posted a little update on our Instagram showcasing the current progress acoss the civic heart of Birmingham: Chamberlain Square.

Public realm works continue across the site and it is of the highest quality!

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Paradise: Transformation of the Public Realm





Earlier in the week we posted a little update on our Instagram showcasing the current progress acoss the civic heart of Birmingham: Chamberlain Square.

Public realm works continue across the site and it is of the highest quality!


New lighting has appeared on Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG), with new paving continuing near the Town Hall.

Next on the agenda will see the restoration and refurbishment of the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial.

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry (IYB)

Instagram post: @Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
28 May 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition with UB40

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j7LL-UQh9no

With so many entyries, this competition with great support from UB40 has proved to be a huge success. Final entries need to be in by 31st May 2020.  So whatever has been your experience and greatest memory of the lockdown, send your photography via www.CreativesWeAre.com 

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40 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
27 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Breeding Pool and Boating Lake at Cannon Hill Park

Here we look at the main lake in Cannon Hill Park. Starting with the Breeding Pool, we then go onto the main Boating Lake. Usually attracting the usual gulls, geese, swans, ducks etc. The lake closest to The MAC is used as a Boating Lake. In recent years there has been Swan Lake Boats close to The MAC. This replaced the old paddle boats that used to be in the lake until 2016.

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The Breeding Pool and Boating Lake at Cannon Hill Park





Here we look at the main lake in Cannon Hill Park. Starting with the Breeding Pool, we then go onto the main Boating Lake. Usually attracting the usual gulls, geese, swans, ducks etc. The lake closest to The MAC is used as a Boating Lake. In recent years there has been Swan Lake Boats close to The MAC. This replaced the old paddle boats that used to be in the lake until 2016.


In this post we look at the main lake in Cannon Hill Park. Called the Boating Lake. But at the southern end is the Breeding Pool. This lake runs parallel to the River Rea and Queens Ride. You would find The MAC to the north of the Boating Lake (rebuilt in 2009-10). Swan Lake Boating opened in 2016 along with a Fun Park from Green Space Leisure. Halfway in the middle of the lake is a metal bar which various birds usually perch on (mostly gulls). Paths on both sides for walking, walking your dog, pushing your childs pushchair, running and cycling. Even kids in scooters, or rollerskates or skateboards etc.

 

Breeding Pool

The Breeding Pool in Cannon Hill Park seen during November 2009. It is near the Ornamental Bridge. Mostly gulls at this end at the time.

The bridge is Grade II listed and dates to 1875. Made of red bricks and stone dressings.

Gulls around the Breeding Pool near the bridge.

The bridge leads to the Queens Ride.

This view of the Ornamental Bridge if you were coming from the Queens Ride end. There is also a bridge over the River Rea, but just has those painted metal railings. One of the paths from the Rea Valley Route is to the right (leads to Holders Lane Woods).

It was foggy / misty at the Breeding Pool during April 2018.

Just about see the tree island in the middle of the lake at the time.

The ornamental bridge seen during August 2019. Some geese in there at the time.

In February 2020, there was a black Great Cormorant in the middle of the bird bars, with a line of gulls either side of it.

The Great Cormorant was an unusual site in Cannon Hill Park.

But was nice to see a bird that you don't normally see here, other than the usual gulls. There was at least two Great Cormorant there that day.

In May 2020 as the lockdown restrictions were eased. Passed the Breeding Pool when I saw a Canada geese family with their newborn babies.

So cute! The proud Canada geese parents and their newborn gosling in the Breeding Pool.

There was about 7 baby gosling there on the banks of the pool. They will grow fast.

View of the Ornamental Bridge towards Queens Ride. Rare for it to be empty like this, but it was in the morning before more people arrived for their daily form of exercise in the park.

Boating Lake

In April 2011, and a view up the Boating Lake towards The MAC.

A pair of Canada geese near the edge of the lake.

Always loads of Canada geese around here.

There is a bar in the middle of the lake between the boating side and the Breeding Pool. Usually birds perched on the bars.

There is paths both sides of the lake to walk or cycle around.

The MAC was rebuilt in 2009 and reopened in a new building in 2010.

View of The MAC with the Boating Lake.

In January 2013, snow had fallen all over Birmingham and that included at Cannon Hill Park. The Boating Lake near The MAC was completely frozen and covered in snow and ice.

Even the paths were icy at the time. There may have been birds at the far end of the lake, but not at this end at the time.

Paddle boat on the Boating Lake in December 2013 as a gull flew past it.

Swan Boats seen in June 2016. This opened in May 2016 and is called Swan Lake Boating. Close to The MAC. Replaced the old paddle boats that used to be used here.

Swan paddle boats for four people to paddle about in the lake. It's part of the Fun Park from Green Space Leisure. Small rollercoaster nearby.

The summer drought during July 2018 when grass all over the City had lost it's green and had gone a dry yellowy colour.

At the time the Birmingham Thai Festival was being set up on the lawn near the lake. It was held on the weekend of the 28th and 29th July 2018. It hadn't rained for a month and it was quite hot.

This view of the Swan Boats during May 2019. You can see where they store the orange life jackets behind.

A pair of Swan Boats seen in use in the Boating Lake during August 2019. Seems like there is room for 4 people were boat and they have to wear orange life jackets.

In February 2020, I saw all these gulls flying about above the Boating Lake towards The MAC.

It was quite a sight to see all the gulls flying all over the place. Could even see a floodlight at Edgbaston Cricket Ground behind The MAC.

Slightly more calm now as the gulls came to land in the lake to the left of The MAC.

The May 2020 walk past the Boating Lake, while it was quite on lockdown (before the crowds arrived in the morning). The path was empty, and the grass mown.

Saw another Canada geese family near the lakeside. At least three baby Gosling here. How cute! And some ducks.

No boats are allowed to be used during lockdown, so just the birds in the lake (and fish if there are any under the water).

But for your daily form of exercise, you can run or ride a bike (or just walk). The play area near The MAC is of course closed.

People socially distancing on the benches, while a man rides his bike past the Artists Studios site (was the Peoples Postcode Lottery Arena at The MAC).

Swan Lake Boating is closed during the pandemic / lockdown period we are in. The boats are 4 seaters. The Peoples Postcode Lottery Arena is being replaced next to The MAC by an Artists Studio

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Classic Architecture
27 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Blue Coat School from Colmore Row to Edgbaston

Did you know that The Blue Coat School in Birmingham was founded in 1722, and was located at a site on Colmore Row on what is now St Philip's Place from 1724 until 1930 (opposite what was St Philip's Church). They moved to a site in Edgbaston near Harborne on Metchley Lane and Somerset Road. The new buildings were built in the 1930s on the site of what was Harborne Hill House.

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The Blue Coat School from Colmore Row to Edgbaston





Did you know that The Blue Coat School in Birmingham was founded in 1722, and was located at a site on Colmore Row on what is now St Philip's Place from 1724 until 1930 (opposite what was St Philip's Church). They moved to a site in Edgbaston near Harborne on Metchley Lane and Somerset Road. The new buildings were built in the 1930s on the site of what was Harborne Hill House.


The Blue Coat School

The Birmingham Blue Coat School was founded in 1722, and was originally located at a site on Colmore Row opposite St Philip's Church from 1724 until they moved to a site in Edgbaston (near Harborne) in 1930. The school was founded by Reverend William Higgs, who was a Rector of St Philip's Church (now Birmingham Cathedral). The buildings on the site today are on St Philip's Place and are offices.

In 1930 the school moved to a site on Metchley Lane and Somerset Road in Edgbaston. The new buildings were designed by Henry Walter Simister. Although some elements of the original buildings were moved to the Edgbaston site.

The schools original purpose was to educate children aged 9 to 14 from poor backgrounds. In the early years, 32 boys and 20 girls for educated, clothed and fed there.

The school was rebuilt several times during the 18th century. Mainly between 1792 and 1794. As a four storey neo-Classical building.

In 1930 the new school was planned to be built in Edgbaston, built on what was the site of Harborne Hill House. Statues of a boy and girl in uniform dating to the 1770s were moved to the new school, but placed inside. Copies were made in 1930 and placed in the main entrance porch.

Historical information above taken from The Blue Coat School - History.

 

The Blue Coat School, Colmore Row, Birmingham, watercolour painting by James Billingsley. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

Engraving of the Blue Coat School, Birmingham. One of a collection of engravings of local views contained in volume: Wilkinson Collection, Vol.ii.

Etching - Entrance to the Blue Coat School, Birmingham by F. Gould. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

Public Domain Dedication images free to download from the Birmingham Museums Trust Digital Image Resource.

 

In February 2010, I got photos of the current building from Cathedral Square (or St Philip's Churchyard as I used to call it myself). This was the then home of the the Government Office for the West Midlands at 5 St Philip's Place. This was built in 1935-37 and was the former Prudential Assurance building. Built for the Prudential Assurance Architects' Department. The original architect was P B Chatwin. Built in the Beaux Arts classicism style in Portland stone. Additions by Temple Cox Nicholls from 2002. Information taken from Pevsner Architectural Guides: Birmingham by Andy Foster.

There is an old blue plaque at 5 St Philip's Place about the Blue Coat School. It stood on this site of this building from 1724 to 1930. Since removed to Edgbaston.

Next door was Hays Recruitment at 4 St Philips Place. This was probably Provost's House. Built with a Cotswold stone front. It replaced a Rectory of 1885 by Osborn & Reading. The rest of the building was by Caroe & Partners in 1950. Rebuilt behind by Temple Cox Nicholls from 1981-82. There is a NatWest bank to the right at Temple Row.

Got this photo in December 2010 so I knew what was in 5 St Philip's Place, which at the time was the Government Office for the West Midlands. But the Coalition Government came in May 2010, so this wouldn't last much longer.

By April 2011 the Government Office for the West Midlands had moved out of 5 St Philip's Place.

The plaque had been removed by this point. Today this building is occupied by Communities and Local Government.

 

Time to head over to the Edgbaston / Harborne border.

In May 2018 there was a bus diversion, as Harborne Park Road in Edgbaston was closed, and I took this view of the Blue Coat School from the no 23 bus. One advantage of this site was a playing field for sport, which the old site probably didn't have (unless pupils played sport in what is now Cathedral Square?).

The walk up Metchley Lane and Somerset Road past the Blue Coat School. Starting with the School Chapel. It was dated 1932.

Above the door as seen from Metchley Lane ws this stone in Latin.

AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM MCMXXXII ~ THE GLORY OF THE MAJOREM 1932

Above the chapel is this bell tower with cross at the top.

This was probably the Gatehouse, on Somerset Road.

Onto the main school building built in 1930. Near Somerset Road.

Above the middle part of the Blue Coat School was this clock tower and weather vane. Stone dates the school: AD MCMXXX ~ AD 1930.

The weather vane on the clock tower has a cockerel sculpture on top.

Flag of the Blue Coat School flapping in the wind.

Pedestrian Entrance to The Blue Coat School at this gate from Somerset Road. The sign also has the schools badge. It reads: The Blue Coat School Birmingham 1722 * Grow in Grace.

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks to all my followers.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
27 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Doctor Who, The Big Hoot & Sleuth at The Mailbox and BBC Birmingham

Lets jump in the TARDIS and go back to The Mailbox and BBC Birmingham when it was safe to do so. For many years there has been a Doctor Who TARDIS at BBC Birmingham, and a Dalek. In 2015, The Big Hoot was on. Then in 2017 it was the turn of The Big Sleuth.

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Doctor Who, The Big Hoot & Sleuth at The Mailbox and BBC Birmingham





Lets jump in the TARDIS and go back to The Mailbox and BBC Birmingham when it was safe to do so. For many years there has been a Doctor Who TARDIS at BBC Birmingham, and a Dalek. In 2015, The Big Hoot was on. Then in 2017 it was the turn of The Big Sleuth.


Thank you BBC Birmingham / BBC Midlands Today for running a story about the Creatives We Are competition (and using one of my photos on lockdown). Lockdown photo contest to create 'lasting memory'.

If you watch Beccy or Shefali's Insta stories, they are sometimes in the BBC dressing room, and you can see the Birmingham We Are calendar in the background.

DOCTOR WHO

Going back years before our current period when I saw a TARDIS and Dalek from Doctor Who at BBC Birmingham in The Mailbox.

The TARDIS seen in the window of BBC Birmingham from The Mailbox in July 2010. At the time The Doctor was the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).

In July 2017, I had to sign a form before I could go around BBC Birmingham, while The Big Sleuth was on with it's Little Bears Detective Club. The TARDIS had been moved by this point. The Doctor by now was The Twelth Doctor (Peter Capaldi).

There was also a Dalek inside, from around the 9th and 10th Doctor eras (2005 - 2010).

I'd earlier seen it in the window of BBC Birmingham during May 2017. DO NOT TOUCH THE DALEK.

Behind was BBC Blue Room. Was a Nando's opposite. EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!!!!

At the time you could see the Dalek through the window at BBC Birmingham. If you were going on a tour of the Beeb, you could head upstairs for more. For a few years the TARDIS was visible in this window.

THE BIG HOOT BIRMINGHAM 2015

In July 2015, The Big Hoot owl sculpture trail was on all around Birmingham, and that included in The Mailbox.

Near BBC Birmingham was a Big Hoot Owl called Peacock. By the artist Jane Anderson. The Mailbox was the sponsor.

A man was on a saxophone, then some men moved it to the other side closer to the BBC.

Two strong men moving the Peacock owl back near BBC Birmingham.

Inside the foyer of BBC Birmingham was The Big Hoot's Little Hoot. Five small owls painted by schools. There names were as follows: Chilw-owl, Lileigh, Seasonal Owl, MoMo and The High Five Values. I didn't make a note of who the schools were at the time.

THE BIG SLEUTH BIRMINGHAM 2017

Seen outside of Harvey Nichols in July 2017 was the Peaky Blinders Bear. By the Castle Galleries artist Jon Jones, endorsed by series creator Steven Knight in partnership with Retail BID. The Mailbox was the sponsor.

BY ORDER OF THE PEAKY BLINDERS

On the back of the Peaky Blinders Bear was Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy).

THIS IS OUR CITY ~ THOMAS SHELBY

Bradley's Bear was in the hallway outside of BBC Birmingham (and near the restaurants). While it is a little bear, it was not part of the Little Bears Detective Club. It was designed by Bradley Simpson with thanks to the Retail BID and was brought to life by Donna Newman.

When I went into BBC Birmingham to find The Big Sleuth presents the Little Bear's Detective Club, I had to sign a form when I went in. I found about 7 little bears in total (may have missed one or two?)

Charlie McCheery designed by Kings Heath Primary School.

Bear Grylls created by The Oaks Primary School.

Totally Tropical Bear created by Wheelers Lane Primary School.

The Great Bear created by Colmore Junior School. School sponsored by College of Medical and Dental Science, University of Birmingham.

Fox Hollies School Sun Bear created by Fox Hollies School and Performing Arts College.

Lulu created by Bishop Challoner Catholic College.

Bournville Unwrapped created by Bournville School.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks to all my followers.

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