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BirminghamWeAre

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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.

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Art, culture & creativity
08 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Circus Berlin at The NEC Birmingham

I kept seeing posters around Birmingham about the Circus Berlin at The NEC. So wanted to see it from the outside before it closed on the 4th January 2020. I headed to The NEC with Karl Newton although there was a lot of bright sunshine to the right of the circus. It was opposite Resorts World in the South Car Park. 19th December 2019 - 4th January 2020. This NEC visit on the 3rd Jan 2020.

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Circus Berlin at The NEC Birmingham





I kept seeing posters around Birmingham about the Circus Berlin at The NEC. So wanted to see it from the outside before it closed on the 4th January 2020. I headed to The NEC with Karl Newton although there was a lot of bright sunshine to the right of the circus. It was opposite Resorts World in the South Car Park. 19th December 2019 - 4th January 2020. This NEC visit on the 3rd Jan 2020.


Circus Berlin

Previous circuses post here Circuses in Birmingham.

There was posters all over Birmingham about this circus, so had to check it out at The NEC before it closed down. It opened for it's first performances on Thursday 19th December 2019 and finished on Saturday 4th January 2020. I travelled to The NEC with Karl Newton (showed him the Air-Rail Link and we also went to Vortex Gaming in Resorts World) on Friday 3rd January 2020. So one day before it was going to close.

This zoom in from just outside The NEC main entrance, past Resorts World Arena, with Resorts World Birmingham on the left.

Located in South Car Park 3, there was strong sunlight to the right of Resorts World. The main circus tent where it all took place.

As you can see the light was quite bright from this side, but it was about midday on this visit to The NEC.

Conely's Thunderdome with Union Jack flags and smiley Emoji's.

A close up zoom in of the Circus Berlin tent which was red and yellow all over.

The Ticket Office with a sign for Circus Extreme. Above was various flags of the world, although mostly European flags.

The Chop Shop. Some kind of dodgems ride I think.

The bright sunshine wasn't getting any better on this side, so this was my last photo of the circus tent.

I think this ride was called Twister. Could barely see what I was taking with all the strong sunlight so took one more shot of it.

Lots of reds and yellows. The photos came out better after editing and fixing the lighting issues.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
06 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

That time that Ice Skate Birmingham spend two Winter seasons in Eastside City Park

While Ice Skate Birmingham is enjoying a successful return to Centenary Square for the 2019-20 winter season. Do you remember when they had to spend two winters in Eastside City Park? First year was 2017-18 on a part of the HS2 land. Then 2018-19 on Eastside Green. This was due to the redevelopment of Centenary Square which wasn't completed until the summer of 2019.

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That time that Ice Skate Birmingham spend two Winter seasons in Eastside City Park





While Ice Skate Birmingham is enjoying a successful return to Centenary Square for the 2019-20 winter season. Do you remember when they had to spend two winters in Eastside City Park? First year was 2017-18 on a part of the HS2 land. Then 2018-19 on Eastside Green. This was due to the redevelopment of Centenary Square which wasn't completed until the summer of 2019.


Happy New Year 2020. Christmas might be over and we have just had New Year's but doesn't mean Ice Skate Birmingham has closed down yet. Looking back to the two winter seasons over in Eastside.

November 2017 to January 2018

It was open from Thursday 16th November 2017 until Sunday 7th January 2018 at Eastside City Park. They were using land that belongs to HS2.

Setting up during late October 2017 on Eastside Green. This view after 5pm from Fazeley Street.

Before opening in November 2017. The view of the Birmingham Big Wheel and Millennium Point from the train from the Chase Line leaving Birmingham New Street.

This view from the Snow Hill lines heading into Birmingham Moor Street. The Emporium building was under construction behind the Birmingham Big Wheel. With Jennens Court and the Birmingham Ormiston Academy to the right.

Sunset behind Curzon Street Station with the Birmingham Big Wheel sandwiched between that and the Rotunda.

For 2017 / 18 Ice Skate Birmingham had a ride called the Wild Mouse. Bit like a mini roller coaster. This was near New Canal Street.

During December 2017. The view from the top of Moor Street Car Park. The Emporium was still going up, while there were other rides near the Birmingham Big Wheel (bit hard to see from this view).

Nightshot views of the Birmingham Big Wheel. This view from New Canal Street. Headed back to the Bullring via Digbeth.

The Wild Mouse ride lit up after dark. With Curzon Street Station, The Curzon Building, University Locks (of Birmingham City University) and The Woodman behind, in this New Canal Street view.

Still on New Canal Street as the Birmingham Big Wheel was lit up and the ride to the right was spinning. It was called The King.

Closing down during January 2018. Ice Skate Birmingham had it's last day on Sunday 7th January 2018. At the time I wasn't sure if it would return to Eastside or Westside. In the end they got permission to return to Eastside City Park as Centenary Square was still not finished during 2018.

 

November 2018 to January 2019

They couldn't use the HS2 land this time around, so they used the land where the water fountain jets are, and the lawn down to Park Street instead. It was open this from Saturday 17th November 2018 until Sunday 6th January 2019.

These views from November 2018. View of the Birmingham Big Wheel once again outside of Millennium Point. Seen from a Chiltern Railways train I was on, heading into Birmingham Moor Street. Was closer to The Woodman this time around.

This view of the Birmingham Big Wheel from the bridge over the Grand Union Canal (Digbeth Branch) from Grear Barr Street in Digbeth. The canal buildings up Warwick Bar are up here. To the right was Curzon Street Station, and behind was Birmingham Metropolitan College - Matthew Boulton Campus).

The view looking up Curzon Street towards the Birmingham Big Wheel, with Masshouse behind. Curzon Street Station to the left.

Another view of Ice Skate Birmingham from the top of Moor Street Car Park. The land used a year before was now an HS2 site. Monkey World ride to the left.

Now in December 2018, was heading into Eastside City Park to see the Coca Cola truck again, as it was raining. But first up, headed up to Moor Street Car Park again for a nightshot view of the Birmingham Big Wheel. Visibility was poor and I couldn't see the Coca Cola Christmas truck from up here, so headed down and into the park.

My Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years post is here.

As I walked up Park Street towards Eastside City Park, it was freezing cold, wet, sleeting and raining. Not what I would call festive weather! First close up look at the Birmingham Big Wheel lit up after dark.

The Bar & Ice Skating area, seen near the main entrance of Eastside City Park. My camera was getting wet as I headed in. I was soaking! But the ice rink was covered, so those enjoying an ice skate were dry.

Passing the ice rink, wasn't much to see from here into the ice rink, but got interesting lighting effects from the Big Wheel and the wet weather.

A couple of days later and it was now dry in Eastside City Park. A look at the ice rink from the outside.

It is now January 2019, and the Birmingham Big Wheel has already been taken down. The ice rink was behind fences as they started to dismantle it. This was around 5 days after Ice Skate Birmingham had finished for the year.

This was the last time it was in Eastside. Around 10 months later (October 2019), they were setting up Ice Skate Birmingham in Centenary Square again (first time since 2016-17). It opened on the 7th November 2019 and it is due to close on the 12th January 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
06 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Grove Park in Harborne: near the former home of two past Birmingham MP's

Grove Park is located in Harborne on Harborne Park Road (one of the parks on the no 11 Outer Circle bus route 11A and 11C). The park was historically the grounds of The Grove, home to Thomas Attwood MP between 1823 and 1846. Later William Kenrick from the late 1870s until his death in 1919. Birmingham City Council inherited the park and house and opened the park in 1963.

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Grove Park in Harborne: near the former home of two past Birmingham MP's





Grove Park is located in Harborne on Harborne Park Road (one of the parks on the no 11 Outer Circle bus route 11A and 11C). The park was historically the grounds of The Grove, home to Thomas Attwood MP between 1823 and 1846. Later William Kenrick from the late 1870s until his death in 1919. Birmingham City Council inherited the park and house and opened the park in 1963.


Grove Park

The park was opened by Birmingham City Council in 1963 on land that was historically part of the estate of The Grove. Located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne, the park is also bordered by Mill Farm Road and Grove Lane.

Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove which was an 18th Century Georgian mansion house from 1823 until 1846. He was one of Birmingham's very first MP's. There is two statues of Attwood, the first sculpted by Peter Hollins used to be in Calthorpe Park, then later New Park, Sparkbrook, but has been in storage at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre since 2008 (covered in graffiti and looking worse for wear). The other sitting statue used to be in Chamberlain Square, sculpted by Sioban Coppinger & Fiona Peever in 1993, until it was moved into storage in 2015 before the demolition of Birmingham Central Library for Paradise Birmingham. It is possible that it could return to Chamberlain Square later in 2020?

The second Birmingham MP to live in The Grove was William Kenrick. John Henry Chamberlain rebuilt the house for him from 1877 to 1878. Kenrick lived there until his death at the age of 88 in 1919.

There is a blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre on Mill Farm Road in Harborne that states that Alderman W. Byng Kenrick (1872 - 1962) gave the Grove Estate to the City. The park opened to the public a year after his death.

The house was demolished in 1963, and the paneled anteroom of the drawing room of The Grove was saved from destruction and acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

2012

By first visit to Grove Park was during May 2012.

Welcome to Grove Park sign near one of the entrances on Harborne Park Road. Claims to be A public park since 1936. That could be a mistake if it was 1963?

A tree with many branches and green leaves close to the lake.

Another tree with one long over hanging branch.

In the pond / lake was this tree with pink flower heads.

The lake is small if compared to other lakes I've seen in other Birmingham park's.

Still it attracts geese and ducks etc.

Another bush with pink flower heads.

The end of the lake close to Harborne Park Road.

A Canada Goose in the lake.

2016

Grove Park during January 2016. The lake in winter. Trees with no leaves. Only brown leaves on the ground that fell in the autumn.

Gates on one of the paths. Some trees nearby may have been cut down.

Dark green picnic bench with seats on all four sides.

The playground which is close to Harborne Park Road. Swings near a bench. The public car park for this park is to the right of here.

2018

My most recent visit to Grove Park was during the autumn of November 2018. Mainly to find the blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre. The leaves were all orange and brown looking quite autumnal.

The playground and car park from the path towards Mill Farm Road.

Trees alongside Mill Farm Road. The blue plaque was up this way.

More trees. Mill Farm Road to the right, so this was probably after I saw the blue plaque for Alderman W. Byng Kenrick.

Trees and yellow leaves, the grass was still green.

Leaves all over the ground here as I headed back to a main path.

Can't visit a Birmingham park without seeing a squirrel with a nut!

The lake again in autumn.

More trees and more leaves on the ground.

This park is well worth visiting, if you get off the 11C or 11A buses. And is in walking distance of the Harborne High Street. It's also close to a Cricket Club and two Golf Courses.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Transport
02 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton

I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020

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Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton





I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020


First up on Sunday 29th December 2019, needed to catch a tram in Birmingham City Centre. They seemed more frequent than they usually are on a Sunday. I always prefer to head to Grand Central Tram Stop. But this time had to catch the tram from the platform near The Burlington Hotel, since the Westside Metro extension opened to Library Tram Stop in Centenary Square several weeks ago (with testing before that).

Grand Central Tram Stop

While waiting for a tram to Wolverhampton, saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 Comet arriving at th platform near Birmingham New Street Station.

The pantograph was lowered from the overhead wires, before heading up Stephenson Street under battery power towards Pinfold Street.

Heading past the Guildhall Buildings and the modern part of Victoria Square House. It would turn up right towards Pinfold Street and Victoria Square. A street cleaning vehicle to the right.

Passing Costa Coffee in the Guildhall Buildings (corner of Navigation Street and Stephenson Street) was tram 29 Cupid. Which I would catch to Wolverhampton St George's. A 45 minute journey. The pantograph was probably raised while I was inside of this tram.

Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop

45 minutes later I arrived in Wolverhampton. Getting off at Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop. Only one platform here now since it was rebuilt several years ago.

I was first heading to check out the Wolverhampton Metro extension to Wolverhampton Station. As you can see the former platform at the existing terminus is now for buses. Pipers Row has a tram stop with platforms but no shelters. And since they are still re-building Wolverhampton Station, the extension currently stops on the bridge on Railway Drive.

Bilston Road, Wolverhampton

The last time I walked down here in May 2017, the Urbos 3 trams were pink, and I walked up the canal. Ended up that time catching a tram from The Royal to West Bromwich. This time it was a walk down to Priestfield Tram Stop.

After a quick walk around Wolverhampton City Centre, I crossed over Ring Road St George's as West Midlands Metro tram 19 headed between Bilston Road and Bilston Street to the Wolverhampton terminus at St George's. Passing Novotel.

I later saw it heading down the Bilston Road. This was after it had left The Royal Tram Stop. Not sure if it was in service as it did not say "Birmingham" on the front or back digital display.

Tram 19 passing a Vauxhall car dealership on the Bilston Road.

Heading over the Bilston Road Bridge that crosses over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (Wolverhampton Level).

Next up was West Midlands Metro tram 18 (one of the trams with Just Eat adverts in red). Seen here going under the railway bridge that carries the West Coast Mainline between Wolverhampton and Birmingham (and London). Saw a couple of Avanti West Coast Class 390 Pendolino's up there (weird not saying Virgin Trains any more).

Passing various car showrooms. Wolverhampton Volkswagen to the left.

Passing a Toyota place on the Bilston Road.

Passing me next was West Midlands Metro tram 32. This was near Ettingshall Road near the boarded up The New Inn (which used to be an Oriental restaurant until it closed down).

Seen continuing up to Wolverhampton St George's. I later got this tram back from Priestfield.

Priestfield Tram Stop

Arrived at Priestfield Tram Stop too late to catch Tram 18 back to Birmingham. But only had to wait another 7 minutes for the next tram. It is here that the trams leaves the Bilston Road and goes back onto the old railway trackbed.

There is paths on both sides of the tracks that leads to the platforms at Priestfield.

I wasn't going to run for the tram like the man ahead of me. Priestfield has it's own car park.

Saw West Midlands Metro tram 30 arriving at Priestfield on it's journey towards Wolverhampton St George's.

I don't think tram 30 has a temporary reindeer name at Christmas time.

There is crossover track here, incase the line beyond here is closed for whatever reason.

Tram 32 arriving at Priestfield. I caught it all the way to Bull Street Tram Stop in Birmingham City Centre.

On Sunday afternoon many football fans of West Bromwich Albion got on board heading to The Hawthorns to watch their team in the Championship. Many of them had scarfs, hats and Baggies football shirts on.

If this is my last post in 2019, then I'd like to say Happy New Year 2020!

One last tram photo on the 31st December 2019. New Year's Eve. Tram 18 with Just Eat livery seen from Victoria Square at Town Hall Tram Stop.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Check out my brand new Facebook page Ell Brown Photos.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Dec 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

One Centenary Way, Paradise, Birmingham Phase 2

One Centenary Way is now underway. In doing so, it represents the official start of Paradise, Birmingham, Phase Two.

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One Centenary Way, Paradise, Birmingham Phase 2





One Centenary Way is now underway. In doing so, it represents the official start of Paradise, Birmingham, Phase Two.


Rising to thirteen storeys above ground floor level, the building is being built speculatively, and once complete, will provide up to 280,000 square foot of prime city centre office space, with retail space on the ground floor.

OCW will also house Birmingham's first major cycle hub, catering for up to 500 cycles for hire & servicing, with showers and locker rooms included.

The new building will open out onto Centenary Way; the pedestrian walkway linking Victoria, Chamberlain and Centenary Squares, and will unquestionably provide a visually prominent gateway, with its exposed structural steel façade, as seen in the pictures below.

It is perhaps the most complex of all the buildings so far on the Paradise site, as the A38 Queensway tunnel runs directly underneath the site, with the design subsequently reflecting these constraints.

The A38 will remain in operation throughout the construction process, with piling works very much underway. 

 

Artists Impressions from Glenn Howells Architects

Words by Stephen Giles

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