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Travel & tourism
29 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Present at Thinktank

The first area you pass through at Thinktank would be The Present on Level 2. You enter the museum from the top floor of Millennium Point. Today it is called "Investigate the Present". Usually lots of families and children here having fun (back when they were open). Several galleries up here include: Things about me, Wild life, Medicine matters and The Street.

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The Present at Thinktank





The first area you pass through at Thinktank would be The Present on Level 2. You enter the museum from the top floor of Millennium Point. Today it is called "Investigate the Present". Usually lots of families and children here having fun (back when they were open). Several galleries up here include: Things about me, Wild life, Medicine matters and The Street.


The Present at Thinktank

Located on Level 2 of Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum at Millennium Point in Eastside is what is now called Investigate the Present. On my fist visit with my camera in April 2013, this area was quite busy with lots of families and their kids learning about all kinds of things up here. The second visit with my camera a year later in April 2014, it wasn't as busy so got to have a proper look this time.

 

Description below (from the official Thinktank website) of the 5 galleries in The Present:

 

Five fascinating galleries that uncover the science all around us. Here you can be a forensic detective, find out who bit the Jurassic crocodile, and explore your senses with a giant tongue.

The galleries are located on Level 2.

 

Things About Me Gallery

This unique gallery gives kids the chance to find out more about how our bodies work. Take an unusual journey into the human body and get to grips with your muscles, guts and taste buds in an amazing exploration of some basic bodily functions. Meet the TAM gang and go supermarket shopping or join them for an aerobics work out.

 

Wild Life Gallery

Explore the diversity of life and the range of habitats found on Earth. There are many animals including insects, birds and mammals, together with fossils and sensational creatures such as Giant Deer, a Jurassic Crocodile and Triceratops skull!



Family Packs

Borrow for free one of our 'Wildlife' activity packs, designed to help you explore our museums. Suitable for 3 - 8 year olds.



Medicine Matters Gallery

The Medicine Matters Gallery is all about modern medicine and medical breakthroughs. Learn about the role of Birmingham scientists in recent medical advances.

 

The Street Gallery

Uncover the astonishing science and technology underlying everyday life in a walk down The Street.

 

Things About Me

All about parts of the human body.

The googly sign of the Things About Me. Seen during the April 2013 visit.

Your mouth, tounge and teeth.

What happens to food when it goes down your throat. Twist to draw air into the body and watch what happens to the epiglottis.

Lungs and the rib cage.

Your intestines. Can you squeeze them back in, it's a tight fit.

A close up look at the small intestine. Also your liver.

How is your food digested? Seen in the Things About Me during the April 2014 visit.

All about your beating heart. Interactive displays. Press the buttons.

How do your brain and senses work? Showing the links from your hands, and your eyes and ears.

All about your digestive system. Interact with those levers and turn the displays in front of you.

Food on the table on your plate.

Wild Life

Technically the bones and stuffed animals were found years ago, but scientists using them to learn about animals in the natural world.

Triceratops skull seen during the April 2013 visit. It was found in Montana, USA in 1908. It came to Birmingham in 1958.

A Giant Deer skeleton. This is a skeleton of an extinct giant deer. Discovered beneath a peat bog in Ireland.

Various stuffed animals (taxidermy). Starting with this Polar Bear. Seen during the April 2014 visit. Ursus martimus from the Arctic.

The main one here was a Blackbuck. Antilope cervicapra from India.

And a Leopard. Panthera pardus.

 

Medicine Matters

Scientific discoveries in Birmingham in this gallery.

Pikachu from Pokemon. First seen in a Nintendo video game back in 1997 on the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance. This was the famous Pokemon with a shock. Was also some Pokemon cartoons around the turn of the century (late 1990s into the early 2000s). Seen during the April 2013 visit.

The language of the genes. Cracking the DNA code. Seen during the April 2014 visit.

The Immunity Maze in Medicine Matters.

The Street

Everyday things on The Street, from roadworks to recycling.

Entrance to The Street. Seen during the April 2014 visit.

Underground services. Water, gas and electricity roadworks. Danger site.

Looking down at the underground services. Gas, water or electricity.

Heading towards the Zebra crossing. This way towards Medicine Matters. Kids' City to the right.

From the Zebra crossing on The Street, you can head over to Medicine Matters or Kids's City.

Yellow digger with coloured balls to pick up. Seen during the April 2013 visit. A boy was on the other side at the controls.

Microwave energy in The Street.

Section about recycling. This machine recycles Aluminium cans.

This machine recycles plastic bottles.

Another view of the recycling machines.

Know your rubbish! Most things you throw away end up in landfill or buried by incinerators. Some items can be saved and recycled and turned into something else.

Kids' City

A mini city for kids and families to learn together. It is off The Street to the right.

Coloured squares and triangles with numbers 1 to 21.

Victorian style lamppost in Kids' City.

More colourful walls, and a "tree". Pictures of foxes on the right.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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50 passion points
Transport
28 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Vintage red London Transport Routemaster spotted in Highgate, Birmingham

I was getting the no 50 bus into town, when I saw this vintage red ex London Transport Routemaster bus. I later had a long walk back to Highgate just to see it, before getting the 50 back to Kings Heath. Possibly last used as a Burrito Bus.

CUV 291C

RML2291

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex.

 

 

 

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Vintage red London Transport Routemaster spotted in Highgate, Birmingham





I was getting the no 50 bus into town, when I saw this vintage red ex London Transport Routemaster bus. I later had a long walk back to Highgate just to see it, before getting the 50 back to Kings Heath. Possibly last used as a Burrito Bus.

CUV 291C

RML2291

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex.

 

 

 


Spotted this bus from the no 50 bus heading into Birmingham City Centre while it was on Upper Conybere Street in Highgate. I stayed on the bus until the Bullring. And later had a long walk to Highgate via Westside and the Middleway's.

Located on a site near Highgate Middleway and Upper Conybere Street.

Last used as a "Burrito Bus".

 

HOP ON-BOARD THE BURRITO BUS

 

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex

CUV 291C

RML2291

London Transport

Remember to wear a face covering on a bus (or train or tram). I usually find that I get warm air under mine, and my glasses or sunglasses steam up. Also remember to use hand sanitser (and take some with you in your bag).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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50 passion points
History & heritage
28 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Shakespeare Memorial Room at the Library of Birmingham

Since September 2013, the Shakespeare Memorial Room has been located on Level 9 at the Library of Birmingham (near the Skyline Viewpoint). Did you know that it was orginally built in 1882 to house the Shakespeare Library and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain. It was later dismantled and placed in the 1974 Central Library in the School of Music Complex, before it was moved again.

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The Shakespeare Memorial Room at the Library of Birmingham





Since September 2013, the Shakespeare Memorial Room has been located on Level 9 at the Library of Birmingham (near the Skyline Viewpoint). Did you know that it was orginally built in 1882 to house the Shakespeare Library and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain. It was later dismantled and placed in the 1974 Central Library in the School of Music Complex, before it was moved again.


The Shakespeare Memorial Room

On the 28th September 2013, I returned to the Library of Birmingham for my second visit. Also to go up to the floors that I had no time for the first time around. I went up the lift. Some lifts only go has far as Level 7, so you need the lift to Level 9. This would take you to the Skyline Viewpoint and to the Shakespeare Memorial Room. Or you can walk up the stairs.

In the first month of being open, the library was very busy and full of tourists, including many from overseas, so it was packed! There was a lot of people in the Shakespeare Memorial Room on my first visit. Although in the years since, I've had the room to myself.

Click here for my last post on the Library of Birmingham for an interior tour.

Now located inside of the Golden Cylinder at the top of the Library (looks like a Nescafe Gold Blend coffee jar lid).

The Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library was founded by George Dawson and some of his closest friends, as they decided that Birmingham should be the home of the greatest collection of Shakespeare's books in the world. They insisted that a room be built for them, and that it should be free and open to everyone.

It was originally created for the much loved (and missed) Victorian Central Library (opened in 1882 and demolished in 1974). The first Central Library of the Victorian era was built in 1866 but was partially destroyed by a fire in 1879. John Henry Chamberlain was given the task to re-build the Library and this included a room to house Birmingham's Shakespeare Library.

Sir Barry Jackson, the founder of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1913, later became a Director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during the late 1940s. There is a gavel given to him in 1936 in the room.

The next Central Library was designed by John Madin and was built from 1969 until 1974. The Shakespeare Memorial Room was dismantled from the old Victorian library and put back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Being placed in what was the School of Music complex. Which included Adrian Boult Hall and the Birmingham Conservatoire. This included the Library Theatre Birmingham and the William Shakespeare Memorial Library and the Library Exhibition Hall.

It remained there until it was moved to the new Library of Birmingham in 2013 (built from 2010 until 2013).

The roof was reconstructed by in plaster by A E Edwards & Co, a Birmingham based company dating to the 1870s.

I'd only ever got close to the outside of the old complex (during 2011), so never stepped foot in the room until it reopened at the Library of Birmingham in 2013.

 

View of the Library Theatre Birmingham on the 2nd January 2011. This concrete bridge was in front of Woktastic. There was also an entrance to Adrian Boult Hall at the time.

What was the entrance to the William Shakespeare Memorial Library and Library Exhibition Hall. I never went in. Wasn't sure if I could open the doors as they were self locking doors. After the last Central Library closed down for good in 2013, I had to wait for the new Library to open before I could see the room for myself for the first time.

On the 31st August 2013, I was getting my last views of the Library of Birmingham before it opened to the public in Centenary Square 3 days later on the 3rd September 2013. This view of the golden cylinder seen from Suffolk Street Queensway. The windows at the front is the Skyline Viewpoint and the Shakespeare Memorial Room is behind that.

On the 21st September 2013 during my first visit to the inside of the Library of Birmingham I took the photo below. At the top of the library on Level 9 is the Shakespeare Memorial Room inside of the Golden Cylinder. Below on Level 7 is the Secret Garden. The view was from the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line (near the Turnover Bridge No. 2 close to what was at that point called the National Indoor Arena). Overlooking the ICC Energy Centre.

On the 28th September 2013, arriving at the Shakespeare Memorial Room on Level 9 for the first time. There was a lot of people in there.

Looking up at the ceiling. It is remarkable that this has survived since the late 19th century (unless it is a recreation).

Looking to the wooden panelling on one side of the room.

It more or less looks the same to the right.

And to the left near the door.

One of the corners with the bookcases.

Looking down at the doors of the lower cabinets.

Looking up to the ceiling to the ornate detailing at the top.

Out of the door, and there was comfy red sofas at the Skyline Viewpoint.

Ornate glass windows in the upper cabinet doors.

The views outside the room are spectacular. There is also a couple of busts and plaques / tablets, including ones saved from the old Central Libraries. If the lifts are busy walk down the stairs (if you can).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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70 passion points
Green open spaces
27 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Billesley Common and the Haunch Brook Pathways in the Shire Country Park

The home of Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club is at Billesley Common in the Shire Country Park. There is paths in the woods called the Haunch Brook Pathways. The area is classed as a SLINC (Site of Local Importance to Nature Conservation). There was also a new Wetland area developed in 2010. Billesley Common was first mentioned in 1774 as common land. With a big open field used for rugby.

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Billesley Common and the Haunch Brook Pathways in the Shire Country Park





The home of Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club is at Billesley Common in the Shire Country Park. There is paths in the woods called the Haunch Brook Pathways. The area is classed as a SLINC (Site of Local Importance to Nature Conservation). There was also a new Wetland area developed in 2010. Billesley Common was first mentioned in 1774 as common land. With a big open field used for rugby.


Billesley Common

 

Billesley Common is located on Yardley Wood Road and Haunch Lane in Billesley, and is a satellite park of the Shire Country Park. There is also an entrance off Hollybank Road if you walk down Chessetts Grove alongside the Haunch Brook. The Haunch Brook Pathways are located to the south of the common with entrances on Haunch Lane and on Yardley Wood Road. To the north of the common is the current home of Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club. (since 2005). Also nearby there is the Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre. Between them is the City of Birmingham Indoor Bowls Club. If you walk past these places, you end up on Wheelers Lane. Going past the new home of the Irish Centre (in what used to be the West Midlands Travel Birmingham Sports & Social Club). There is also a Friends of Billesley Common that cleans the parkland, gets the footpaths resurfaced and the footbridge repaired.

 

You can park your car on the layby on Yardley Wood Road near Billesley Common. Although whenever I've been down there, I've seen a lot of litter and flytipping (hopefully the Council or the Community Group can clean it up now that lockdown is eased even more).

History of Billesley Common

Billesley Common was first mentioned in the history books back in 1774 as common land. Billesley was a typical Anglo-Saxon name, possibly a corruption of Bills Leah and the Anglo-Saxon word for Bill's clearing. Leah means a woodland clearing and a woodland clearing is known to have existed in Billesley north of the Chinn Brook. It is thought that their used to be an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the higher ground near the present day Wold Walk.

A new Wetland area was developed in 2010, which was created so that flood water could be received from the Haunch Brook. A variety of wildlife is known to be around here.

Your main walk around Billesley Common would be around the Haunch Brook Pathways. Follow the Perimeter Walk around and over the Haunch Brook. There is also a path that leads up to Moseley Rugby Football Club, which has an entrance off Yardley Wood Road on Woodroofe Way.

South of Billesley Common is the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve (near Cocks Moors Wood Golf Club), and also the Chinn Brook Meadows (also called the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground). I will cover those areas in two future posts (so watch this space).

October 2016

My first walk around Billesley Common, on the Perimeter Walk and the Haunch Brook Pathways was in October 2016. I had kept seeing it over the years from the no 76 bus when it stops on Haunch Lane.

The entrance from Haunch Lane into Billesley Common. The noticeboard and information sign were on the right.

Heading up the Haunch Brook Pathways into Billesley Common.

A look at the Haunch Brook. Behind that fence is Yardley Wood Road.

The path continues amongst the trees

At this point you have the entrance to Yardley Wood Road to the right and the Perimeter Walk to the left.

Heading onto the Perimeter Walk.

First view of the field, or the common. Various rugby goalposts up the hill and floodlights.

A pair of rugby goalposts.

Was a blue sky with clouds that afternoon (it was just before 1pm on the 2nd October 2016).

Saw this sign about Bird Life on Billesley Common around the Haunch Brook Pathways.

Footbridge over the Haunch Brook.

You can leave the Perimeter Walk and the Haunch Brook Pathways for the Hollybank Spinney. Just head towards Hollybank Road up Chessetts Grove (I've yet to check out the Hollybank Spinney).

Later back on Yardley Wood Road. Park your car up there for your walks around Billesley Common. It is up here though that I keep spotting rubbish and flytipping which is not nice to see.

March 2020

A few days before the lockdown kicked in in March 2020, we headed for a walk around Billesley Common. Parking on Yardley Wood Road, we had a walk around the Perimeter Walk, before getting the car up to Swanshurst Park next.

Starting from the Yardley Wood Road entrance, the trees were looking a bit bare at the time.

Heading up the path, the trees had yet to grow their leaves back.

View of the Haunch Brook behind the trees

Heading up the path near the common. The rugby field beyond towards Moseley Rugby Club.

Again I decided to do the Perimeter Walk this time so turned left at this fingerpost.

This rugby goalpost was looking quite rusted.

Zoomed up to the play area / playground. When lockdown came in properly, all play areas and playgrounds had to be closed down.

Another pair of rugby goalposts, probably the same ones as I saw 4 years ago. Was crows on the common.

A look at the trees from the Perimeter Walk. Strong sunlight.

The footbridge again over the Haunch Brook.

One of the views of the Haunch Brook from the footbridge.

If you head this way you go to the Wetland area. The last time I saw that footbridge (July 2020), it looked broken, but was OK to cross when I went on the 20th March 2020.

Pair of wooden footbridges over the Haunch Brook. The one on the left doesn't have a handrail to hold onto, so be careful.

July 2020

More recently went for an evening walk around Billesley Common. Again starting at the Yardley Wood Road entrance. But this time walking past Moseley Rugby Club and heading to the Wheelers Lane exit. Before going back in via Hollybank Road and Chessetts Grove. The walk was after 7pm in the evening on the 11th July 2020.

Heading up the Perimeter Path from the Yardley Wood Road entrance, there was bright sunshine in the evening, and the resulting photos of the common here came out a bit dark.

Like other City parks, the grass here had been cut for social distancing walks, with some long grass kept.

A long cloud on the left hides the sun which was behind it in the evening. Imagine the history here.

This time walking up the path towards Birmingham Moseley Rugby, past the rugby goalposts and floodlights.

The view towards Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club.

Now on the path towards Wheelers Lane. The road into Moseley Rugby Club was called Woodroofe Way.

The only part of the common not built on was to the right of the Rugby Club, Indoor Bowls Club and Indoor Tennis Centre.

After the walk up Wheelers Lane and down Hollybank Road, I got to the Haunch Brook near Chessetts Grove, and saw this banner. Thank you NHS. Thank you key workers. In this together. Stay safe.

The view of the Haunch Brook from the bridge on Hollybank Road. I will leave going into the Hollybank Spinney for a future time.

Back onto the Haunch Brook Pathways around the Perimeter Walk and I saw this Little Egret landing on this tree branch!

There had been a lot of growth of the bushes and the trees in the 4 months since my last visit here. This was on the Wetland area side.

Beyond the Wetland towards the common.

Heading out of the Haunch Brook Pathways up the path towards Haunch Lane. Leaves on the trees fully grown back.

Getting back to the Haunch Lane exit / entrance. The bus stop there is for the 18 and 76 bus routes. Drivers of the 76 usually change here. Just had to walk around to Yardley Wood Road for the car ride home.

I went to Hollybank Spinney on the 23rd July 2020. Look out for a post on it in the future in the Shire Country Park project (it's part of the Haunch Brook Pathways and is very short).

But first I will need to do posts on the Chinn Brook Meadows and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Newhall Square: From the Elkington Electroplating Works and Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry to The Whitmore Collection

It has been over 20 years since the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street closed for good. Since then the site has been the development site called Newhall Square. With hotels and apartments around a square, near the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Heritage buildings have been fully restored and incorporated into the development.

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Newhall Square: From the Elkington Electroplating Works and Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry to The Whitmore Collection





It has been over 20 years since the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street closed for good. Since then the site has been the development site called Newhall Square. With hotels and apartments around a square, near the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Heritage buildings have been fully restored and incorporated into the development.


Newhall Square

Newhall Square is located on Newhall Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Between Fleet Street and Charlotte Street. On one side is the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. It was historically the site of the Elkington Silver Electroplating Works from 1838. Built opposite of the Birmingham Assay Office, it was the 19th century silver electroplating factory of George Elkington. The much larger premises was mostly demolished in the mid 1960s. To the back was the Whitmore Arm (also known as Miss Colmore's Arm) (this is now filled in) and the Whitmore Warehouse (which survives to this day).

The Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry was located in the buildings at 144 Newhall Street from 1951 until it closed for good in 1997 (most but not all of the contents moved to Thinktank which opened at Millennium Point in Eastside during 2001). It was the home for the last 50 years of the 20th Century of the 1797 Smethwick Engine, and the City of Birmingham locomotive (which was moved out in the year 2000).

144 Newhall Street has been a Grade II listed building since 2004. Today it is addressed as 2 Newhall Square, and is now home to Glancy Nicholls Architects, who are based in The Engine Room to the rear.

Whitmore Warehouse to the back of Newhall Square was also given a Grade II listed building status in 2004. It dates to the mid 19th century. It was formerly part of the museum complex, and before that part of the Elkington Works.

The mid to late 20th century museum buildings were demolished in 2006 for a project called the Jewellery Box. This was probably later renamed to Newhall Square.

The Travelodge hotel along Charlotte Street was open by the late 2000s. It wouldn't be until 2014 before construction would begin on what would become Staycity ApartHotels. This is also on Charlotte Street and faces the canal as well. It opened in 2016. The final phase to complete Newhall Square didn't start until 2018. This would be The Whitmore Collection, including the restoration of the old Whitmore Warehouse. Finally being complete during 2020. Some 23 years after the museum closed down. But some 14 years since the land clearance began.

 

2009

I started taking photos of Newhall Square in April 2009. And continued getting the occasional update for the next 11 years. First views over the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal where there is a viewpoint area from Newhall Street. Islington Gates which is to the left of the canal was already built by this point. View to the remains of the Whitmore Warehouse.

To the right you can see the Travelodge hotel and the back of The Engine Room at 144 Newhall Street.

The locks on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal near Newhall Street. There used to be steps that went down to the canal from here. The Islington Gates development seen to the left of the canal.

In November 2009 I got my first photos of 144 Newhall Street. Which was the former Elkington Electroplating Works. On this building was a blue plaque from the Birmingham City Society (unveiled in 2004) about Alexander Parkes (1813-1890), who was the inventor of the first plastic. He worked for the Elkington, Mason & Company Electroplaters here from about 1840 until 1850.

This building on the left used to be the former entrance to the Museum of Science & Industry. It too has a blue plaque. This one from English Heritage about George Elkington who was a promotor of Electro-plating at his works on this site.

View of both buildings that used be the main entrance to the Elkington Electroplating Works. To the far right on the corner of Newhall Street and Charlotte Street is The Queens Arms public house.

2011

Not too many changes during July 2011, other than Newhall Square had hoardings up and offices To Let or For Sale.

The wasteland was being used as a car park at this point.

Would be years before another development began at Newhall Square.

Gates to the Newhall Square site from Newhall Street. Probably for staff only.

For some reason they had painted this building yellow. Even the hoardings covering the door.

2013

Now onto June 2013. Some demolition rubble spotted from the towpath of the canal not far from the Travelodge hotel.

They had now tarmaced the wasteland.

2014

By September 2014, construction was finally under way for the next phase, which would become the  Staycity ApartHotels.

By December 2014 the hotel construction was going on behind Whitmore Warehouse.

You could also see it from Newhall Street. The canal and Islington Gates are to the left. Travelodge to the far right.

2015

Just a couple of updates during 2015. In January 2015 the hotel was still under scaffolding.

By November 2015 it was nearing completion.

2016

In January 2016 the new Staycity ApartHotels building was complete. As seen from this canal view from the footbridge close to Fleet Street.

By April 2016 the Staycity ApartHotels was open. View down on Charlotte Street.

Some of the yellow signs of the Staycity ApartHotels on Charlotte Street.

Next to the Staycity ApartHotels on Charlotte Street ws a temporary car park.

You could also see it down the canal from the Saturday Bridge on Parade.

2017

A tempoary car park was at Newhall Square during January 2017. Behind is Glancy Nicholls Architects at The Engine Room. At the time the Ormiston Academies Trust was using 144 Newhall Street as Ormiston House.

View from the canal towpath towards the Travelodge hotel.

This would be the last year without construction activity on this site.

2018

Signs of activity at Newhall Square during January 2018. Associated Architects had designed a mixed-use development of purpose-built apartments for private rent.

This space would be built on and would complete the square within 2 and a half years.

By April 2018 construction had started on what would be called The Whitmore Collection. The view from the canal footbridge near Fleet Street.

Digging the foundations. The Newhall Street canal entrance / exit would be sealed off, meaning you would have to get onto the canal from other entrances. Also this old wall would eventually be replaced / go.

By June 2018 the steel girders were flying up.

In July 2018 the steel girders were visible from the Library of Birmingham at the Secret Garden.

2019

My last update before the lockdown was back in November 2019. View over the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal from Fleet Street. Staycity ApartHotels is to the left and The Whitmore Collection to the right.

On Newhall Street the building was at full height under scaffolding. It was being built by Winvic.

You can see The Whitmore Collection surrounding what used to be 144 Newhall Street (now 2 Newhall Square). The building with the George Elkington blue plaque was still painted yellow at the time. The building would have a Residents' Clubhouse, Free coffee and WiFi when complete.

2020

During the 4 long months of lockdown, Newhall Square was completed. And I was aware of it being complete and open by the summer. I was only able to travel into town in July 2020. I walked down Newhall Street and headed onto the new path alongside the canal.

This is the new entrance to the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal from Newhall Street. Much more appealing than the dark steps that used to be there before.

Could already see that the Whitmore Warehouse was finally restored, probably into apartments.

There is two sets of water features here with water jet fountains. Approximately near where the old Whitmore Canal Arm used to be in the 19th century.

Whitmore Warehouse hasn't looked this good since it was last used as part of the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry. I think it was in here that the working Smethwick Engine used to be (now working at Thinktank).

First proper look into the square. Glancy Nicholls Architects are in The Engine House. To think 25 years ago this was part of the museum complex. Travelodge to the left.

I have memories of visiting the museum back in the 1990s and could not imagine it looking like this now. Wish I had a camera with me back then (if only a film one).

Heading out of Newhall Square past The Engine Room.

The exit to Newhall Street. Directly opposite is 141 Newhall Street.

Back onto Newhall Street, you can see how The Whitmore Collection was built onto Islington Gates at 110 Newhall Street. It makes a pleasing entrance to the canal. Lets hope the area is kept clean and litter free.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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