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17 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A walk on the Harborne Walkway back in 2016

A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.

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A walk on the Harborne Walkway back in 2016





A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.


HARBORNE WALKWAY

The Harborne Walkway forms part of the route of the former Harborne Railway, which had trains going from Birmingham New Street, leaving the branch line at Harborne Junction with the Stour Valley Line (Birmingham to Wolverhampton). The railway opened in 1874, with four railway stations at Harborne, Hagley Road, Rotton Park Road and Icknield Port Road. The line closed to passengers in 1934. The line remained open for coal to be carried until it closed for good in 1963.

Today the line is now of course the Harborne Walkway. It starts in Harborne at Forest Drive. It then crosses over Park Hill Road on a bridge. All other bridges, you can walk, run or cycle under them. Following along the Chad Brook (although you can't see it). The first bridge you walk under is at Woodbourne Road, then Hagley Road.

There is an exit / entrance to Station Avenue and Percival Drive. Which lead to Stanmore Road. Passing through Ladywood, the next bridge to go under is at Portland Road, followed by Rotton Park Road. The final bridge to pass through is at Selwyn Road, before entering Summerfield Park.

The paths split off in many directions in the park, but the route of the former railway line continues towards Icknield Port Road, then Barford Road, before ending at Coplow Street and Northbrook Street.

There used to be a railway bridge over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline and the Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway line. But all that remains now is the brick buttresses.

 

Forest Drive / Park Hill Road

I did my first half walk on the Harborne Walkway from Harborne towards Hagley Road on the 5th February 2016. As I felt it was too far for me to walk all the way in one go to the end of the line.

First up a look at the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne.

Heading around to a cul-de-sac called Forest Drive, I followed the public footpath onto the Harborne Walkway.

The Park Hill Road Bridge is the only bridge you walk over. The other bridges you walk under them.

The views from the bridge looking down at both sides of Park Hill Road in Harborne. The Harborne High Street in this direction.

Beyond Park Hill Road, it leads onto Moor Pool Avenue.

The other side of the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne, as seen on the 13th March 2016.

There is an entrance path on the right from Park Hill Road.

Turning around, you can head down to or up from Park Hill Road from the path on the left.

Woodbourne Road

Coming up to the Woodbourne Road Bridge.

The Woodbourne Road Bridge from the other side.

Hagley Road

Coming up was the Hagley Road Bridge.

I exited here at Hagley Road, but would resume the walk 3 weeks later to complete it. Was a man running under the bridge, looks a bit like a tunnel.

20 days later on the 25th February 2016, I headed back to the Hagley Road, to resume my walk on the Harborne Walkway. First up on the left was the exit / entrance to Station Drive and Percival Road. It leads to Stanmore Road.

Portland Road

Passing through the Portland Road Bridge.

It looks like exiting a tunnel under the Portland Road Bridge.

Rotton Park Road

Not too far from the end of the Harborne Walkway now. Passing the Rotton Park Road Bridge. From here it is a short walk towards the Edgbaston Reservoir.

Selwyn Road

The final bridge to pass under is the Selwyn Road Bridge, before entering Summerfield Park. I'm not sure why this section is fenced off, unless there is still railway sleepers here.

The open gate seen from under the Selwyn Road Bridge, the entrance to Summerfield Park.

A look back at the Selwyn Road Bridge from Summerfield Park.

Beyond Summerfield Park there is no more bridges to walk under. But there is a bridge on Icknield Port Road, but the exit gates are at road level so you don't go under that. The only time I went into Summerfield Park, I exited at Dudley Road.

The path towards Barford Road, now runs alongside the Barford Primary School football pitch. There is also a housing estate on the other side of that road, but no bridge.

The footpath ends at Coplow Street which leads onto Northbrook Street. There is the remains of a bridge on one side of Northbrook Street near the canal.

Northbrook Street

That day I did end up on Northbrook Street, so got to see the remains of the railway buttresses over the existing canal and railway line.

While the viaduct that used to cross the railway and canal is long gone, there is a lot of old brick walls that remains, but covered in graffiti near the towpath. Can see the BT Tower and Library of Birmingham from here.

First look at the massive red brick buttress that used to carry the Harborne Railway over the Birmingham Canal.

A Cross Country Voyager (Class 220) heads towards Birmingham New Street, it's last stop was probably Wolverhampton.

Of course the trains that would have gone on the Harborne Railway a century ago would have been steam engines, and not the modern diesel or electric trains we have today.

One last look at the large brick buttress in the middle of the canal from Northbrook Street. A relic of a lost railway line.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
Green travel
16 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Voi eScooters around the City Centre

In the months before the 2nd lockdown, I was able to travel to the City Centre (when it was allowed), and occasionally saw the new Voi eScooters around. They are road legal, although some users did seem to ride them on pavements, or on pedestrianised roads. It's not just the official orange ones I've seen. Personal owned black eScooters have been seen all over the City as well.

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Voi eScooters around the City Centre





In the months before the 2nd lockdown, I was able to travel to the City Centre (when it was allowed), and occasionally saw the new Voi eScooters around. They are road legal, although some users did seem to ride them on pavements, or on pedestrianised roads. It's not just the official orange ones I've seen. Personal owned black eScooters have been seen all over the City as well.


Voi eScooter's

Voi Scooters users can download an app, and pay for the use of them. They are located all over Birmingham City Centre. Apparently anyone can use the, either a man in a suit or a student in jeans. They reduce noise and air pollution. They enable people to move freely in an urban environment.

There is a 6 month trial in Birmingham City Centre. I think they were to have a trial in Coventry but that was halted. I also found some none Voi eScooter's over in Redditch, Worcestershire.

After about a month, Voi put these pads on the handles, so that they can be cleaned after each use (due to the Pandemic and hand sanitising etc).

I wouldn't want to ride them myself, prefer to get the bus or train and walk.

 

12th September 2020 on the High Street (near lower Bull Street). Got my first photo of a Voi eScooter from my bus stop. Buses on the Stratford Road routes including the 2, 3, 5 and 6.

Earlier that day, I got a photo of a masked man riding an Voi eScooter through Centenary Square, outside of the Library of Birmingham.

16th September 2020 in Victoria Square. Graham Young of the Birmingham Mail on a test ride, stop as another guy passes him. He later wrote an article for the Birmingham Live, which you can read here: What happened when we tried to ride a VOI scooter in Birmingham city centre

You can find him on Twitter: Graham Young.

9th October 2020, heading down Hill Street, I spotted this eScooter. Close to Hinckley Street, and not far from Smallbrook Queensway. I was heading down to Southside to check out the latest B-Side Hip Hop street art.

On the 10th October 2020, saw this pair of Voi eScooter's near the bike racks on Eden Place. Close to Colmore Row and the Council House.

11th October 2020 from Navigation Street outside of Birmingham New Street Station, saw this trio of three Voi eScooter's. Not far from the Stephenson Street entrance to the station. The day I was going to see Van Gogh Alive at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Had just come down from Grand Central Birmingham.

25th October 2020 from the Bullring near St Martin's Church. This Voi eScooter at the corner of Edgbaston Street and St Martin's Lane.

2nd November 2020 in The Golden Square near Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Three Voi eScooter's, not far from the site of where the Jewellery Quarter Clock was until August 2020.

Bonus eScooter's in Redditch, Worcestershire

14th October 2020 a train trip to Redditch to see the John Bonham statue, when I saw some BIRD eScooter's in Redditch on Alcester Street. Similar in design to Voi, but a little different.

There was three BIRD eScooter's outside of the Redditch Town Hall.

 

It will probably not be until the 2nd lockdown is over that I will see more eScooter's around Birmingham. Unless I got out for a local walk, and see someone riding a black eScooter on the pavement (which is illegal, they should be ridden on the road).

I might be back in the City Centre week commencing 16th November 2020, for the first time in 2 weeks, so might see move Voi eScooter's when I'm in town.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Construction of 103 Colmore Row - October & November 2020 photo update

103 Colmore Row is certainly looking superb!

Take our October & November update feature from Daniel and Reiss, contributors at It’s Your Build and Birmingham We Are, and loyal followers of the built environment in Birmingham.

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Construction of 103 Colmore Row - October & November 2020 photo update





103 Colmore Row is certainly looking superb!

Take our October & November update feature from Daniel and Reiss, contributors at It’s Your Build and Birmingham We Are, and loyal followers of the built environment in Birmingham.


NOVEMBER

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

OCTOBER

Photos by Daniel Sturley

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Nov 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian, Birmingham - November 2020 photography update

The concrete core is now showing 'Floor 38' below the slip-form, 4 to go!

Take our feature for a selection of superb photography of this build from Elliott and Daniel, contributors at It's Your Build and Birmingham We Are and followers of the built environment in Birmingham.

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The Construction of The Mercian, Birmingham - November 2020 photography update





The concrete core is now showing 'Floor 38' below the slip-form, 4 to go!

Take our feature for a selection of superb photography of this build from Elliott and Daniel, contributors at It's Your Build and Birmingham We Are and followers of the built environment in Birmingham.


Here is a selection of photography of The Mercian taken by Elliott and Daniel during October and early in November 2020.

Elliott Brown:

25th October

2nd November

10th November

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Daniel Sturley:

4th October

11th October

25th October

26th October

27th October

2nd November

3rd November

4th November

5th November

6th November

 

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30 passion points
People & community
12 Nov 2020 - FreeTimePays
Did you know?

Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury

You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.

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Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury





You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.


George Cadbury lived from 1839 until 1922.

With his brother Richard, they acquired land to the south west of Birmingham in 1878 and built their factory there in 1879. He helped start the development of the Bournville Village from around 1900 onwards. There is no pubs as the Cadbury's were Quakers.

George lived at 32 George Road in Edgbaston from 1872 until 1881. There is an English Heritage blue plaque on this house

The Bournville Village Trust was established in 1900 by George Cadbury.  We take a look at some of the buildings built during George Cadbury's lifetime in the early part of the 20th century.

The Bournville Carillon was built in 1906 by W Alexander Harvey. It is now part of Bournville Junior School. You can sometimes hear the bells ringing if you are in Bournville, it is quite a unique sound!

A bust of George Cadbury is outside of the Quaker Meeting House. That was built in 1905 by W Alexander Harvey. The Cadbury's were Quaker's.

The Rest House in Bournville Village Green. Built in 1914 by W Alexander Harvey to mark the silver wedding of George Cadbury and his then wife. It is now a visitor centre for the Carillon.

If you enter Bournville from the Cotteridge end or the Selly Oak end, you might see this sign. It has a photo of George Cadbury at the top welcoming you to Bournville!

Richard Cadbury lived from 1835 until 1899 and was and elder brother of George.

With his brother George, he took over the family business in 1861, and they eventually acquired land four miles to the south west of Birmingham by 1878 and built the Cadbury chocolate factory a year later. He dontated Moseley Hall to the City of Birmingham, and it is now a hospital.

Richard lived at 17 Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston from 1861 until 1871. There is a English Heritage blue plaque on this house.

Richard Cadbury bought the Moseley Hall estate in 1889. He then gave it as a children's home. It was built in 1795. Is now known as Moseley Hall Hospital.

Another property in Moseley, this one on the Queensbridge Road is the Uffculme Centre (not far from the Highbury Estate). Built for Richard Cadbury in 1890. It was his last home from 1891 until his death in 1899. His family lived there until the death of his widow in 1906. The house was later gifted to the City of Birmingham in 1916 when it became a hospital until around 1999. Now used as a conference centre.

Almshouses built in Bournville by Richard Cadbury for the benefit of the Cadbury workers. The railings were removed during the Second World War, but new ones were installed in 2008 by the Bournville Village Trust.

 

You might be familiar with this building if you pass through Bournville, either on the train or walking along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The Cadbury Factory building, on this site from 1879 onwards. Cadbury World has been inside part of the site since the early 1990s.

View from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal over looking the Cross City Line South.

The famous Bournville sign.

The famous Cadbury sign.

Post & Photos by Elliott Brown.

 

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