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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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Transport
25 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop (November 2019)

I did walk up Pinfold Street into Victoria Square again but saw no trams go up or down. So I headed to Centenary Square (after a coffee stop in Starbucks). And saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop. I then popped up to the Library of Birmingham to see it. Had a 20 to 25 min wait to see the same tram again!

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West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop (November 2019)





I did walk up Pinfold Street into Victoria Square again but saw no trams go up or down. So I headed to Centenary Square (after a coffee stop in Starbucks). And saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop. I then popped up to the Library of Birmingham to see it. Had a 20 to 25 min wait to see the same tram again!


First up, West Midlands Metro tram 21 departing Grand Central Tram Stop. Now in the full blue livery with the red Just Eat adverts as it moves onto the Wolverhampton bound tracks.

When walking up Stephenson Street I think I saw another tram arrive at Grand Central, but none as I walked up Pinfold Street, into Victoria Square through the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. After a coffee stop in Starbucks, I headed towards Centenary Square.

West Midlands Metro tram 23 seen heading through Paradise Circus Queensway. The roadway is now complete. The view towards Suffolk Street Queensway and the Beetham Tower.

Heading past Arena Central and Dandara, onto what used to be Broad Street. The Bus Gate has been rebuilt by the looks of it.

Tram 23 comes to a stop outside of HSBC UK at Arena Central. Before continuing onto Centenary Square Tram Stop.

I next crossed through Centenary Square around the ice rink of Ice Skate Birmingham and headed into the Library of Birmingham. And went up to Level 3 and onto the Discovery Terrace. I waited around for around 10 minutes or so, even getting more photos of Ice Skate Birmingham, and the Westside Metro extension without the tram. Then went up to Level 7 to go to the Secret Garden.

Eventually I saw tram 23 heading round Paradise Circus Queensway. Looks like cars or buses in future would have to head down the slip road onto Suffolk Street Queensway.

Seen here heading onto what used to be Broad Street but is now considered to be Centenary Square. As it passes the Alpha Tower and HSBC UK at Arena Central.

Passing HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square.

The Birmingham Big Wheel as tram 23 arrives at Centenary Square Tram Stop.

End of the line, at least for another 2 years. Welcome to Centenary Square Tram Stop.

Heading back towards Town Hall Tram Stop. Back on Paradise Circus Queensway. I think Easy Row Subway is still under there, but the bridge has been reinforced.

About to turn left towards Paradise Street. Which is Tram only. So if you are in a car, don't drive down there OK!

These trams are quite flexible and bendy. No over head wires, all battery powered.

Passing Paradise Birmingham (on the left).

Now on Paradise Street heading towards Town Hall Tram Stop (for Victoria Square).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian, Broad Street - November 2019

The core riseth.

The concrete core for the Mercian on Broad Street is now rising visibly and is set to fly up over the next few months, a good part of the lower structure is built too. We also see the cladding test rig installed. Lots of photos in this construction update.

Related

The Construction of The Mercian, Broad Street - November 2019





The core riseth.

The concrete core for the Mercian on Broad Street is now rising visibly and is set to fly up over the next few months, a good part of the lower structure is built too. We also see the cladding test rig installed. Lots of photos in this construction update.


November 11th 2019

Photos by Stephen Giles

 

24th November 2019

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - November 2019

Bank Tower Two is complete with just the fitout of the ground level retail spaces to go. A dull misty day for these photos but some interesting perspectives and angles.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two - November 2019





Bank Tower Two is complete with just the fitout of the ground level retail spaces to go. A dull misty day for these photos but some interesting perspectives and angles.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Architecture
21 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Central Square, Brindleyplace: Westside's central hub for events

Development of Central Square in Brindleyplace took place in the 1990s. In the centre is the Brindleyplace Cafe which is a Costa Coffee. One building looks like it escaped from Venice and that's Three Brindleyplace. Four Brindleyplace is now home to Caffe Nero and BANK (a restaurant not a bank). Opposite is Two Brindleyplace. Five Brindleyplace finishes off the square.

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Central Square, Brindleyplace: Westside's central hub for events





Development of Central Square in Brindleyplace took place in the 1990s. In the centre is the Brindleyplace Cafe which is a Costa Coffee. One building looks like it escaped from Venice and that's Three Brindleyplace. Four Brindleyplace is now home to Caffe Nero and BANK (a restaurant not a bank). Opposite is Two Brindleyplace. Five Brindleyplace finishes off the square.


Lets have a look around Central Square, Brindleyplace. First with my earliest photos from May 2009.

Costa Coffee based in the Brindleyplace Cafe or Central Cafe. I have been here several times over the years. Although it's more convenient now to go to the Costa at Arena Birmingham (it's bigger). This view looking towards Six Brindleyplace (to the left) and Five Brindleyplace (to the right).

Looking towards Two Brindleyplace. Near there is the water fountain jets. There is a path in the middle that goes down the steps. The building was completed in 1997. At one point it was the offices of Lloyds TSB (now just Lloyds Bank).

Now Birmingham's very own escaped from Venice buildings. Three Brindleyplace, which was completed in 1998. It faces the canalside and is to the right of the National Sealife Centre. In recent years restaurant space has been opened up on the ground floor.

Five Brindleyplace is seen to the right of Six Brindleyplace and the Costa Coffee Cafe. It was completed in 1996. It was offices of BT. But in recent years has been refurbished into offices for Deutsche Bank (who used to be in One Brindleyplace (that has been taken over by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games).

View of the Aqueduct sculpture by Miles Davies seen in November 2009. It was unveiled in 1995. Four Brindleyplace seen behind was completed in 1999. BANK the restaurant was in Central Square 10 years ago like it is now. I think an estate agents was where Caffe Nero is now (on the left). I regularly go to that Caffe Nero (as with others around the City and Solihull).

The water fountain jets. Walk down the path in the middle for safety reasons. Kids may want to play in the water. Sometimes it is turned off. Between Two and Three Brindleyplace. Seen in May 2009.

Now a look at some of the events held here over the years.

4 Squares Weekender

Held over the weekend of the 6th to 8th September 2013. Co-inciding with the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. They also used Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square. I saw it on the 7th September 2013.

This is Pif Paf.
The thrilling new aerial sculpture by Pif Paf, within a transforming mechanical world of action, metal and rope, presented by mac Birmingham.

Some musicians including a man with a guitar. Was still an estate agent at Four Brindleyplace at this time (no Caffe Nero until sometime in 2014).

One of the pink and white banners for 4 Squares Weekender.

Another view of Pif Paf.

Fine and Local Food Market

This was on the 30th May 2014. These market stalls near Two Brindleyplace.

These market stalls between the Costa Coffee Cafe and Three Brindleyplace. Looking towards Two Brindleyplace (on the left).

Brindleyplace Film Festival

This was held from the 7th to 13th July 2014. On Saturday the 12th July 2014 they were showing Toy Story 2 in Central Square.

The crowd of people enjoying the movie in the summer sunshine, as I headed for a coffee at Caffe Nero in Four Brindleyplace. They could be in Venice but Three Brindleyplace is in Birmingham. The Waters Edge on the right leads towards the canal and The ICC.

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

It was an art trail of painted owls across the city. Was a pair in Central Square from July 2015 for a 10 week period over the summer. (the old The Big Hoot website is no longer online).

This one was called You Can Call Me Owl by the artist Stephen McKay and the sponsor was Brindleyplace. Seen in July 2015. It looked like a red phone box. Seen close to Two Brindleyplace.

This owl that resembled the IKON Gallery was outside of Five Brindleyplace. The Oozells Owl by the artist Jodie Silverman and the sponsor was Deutsche Bank (outside of their new home from 2014). See also my IKON Gallery post.

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017

Another public art trail around Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Dudley. But this time painted bears. A 10 week trail over the summer from July 2017. Their website has unfortunately been taken over by something that is nothing to do with the trail.

Bearlock was by the artist Lee O'Brien and the sponsor was Deustche Bank. Seen outside of Five Brindleyplace. Based upon Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Seen in July 2017.

Bear'indleyplace was by the artist Jennifer Shufflebottom and the sponsor was Brindleyplace. Was close to Two Brindleyplace.

Christmas 2016

Seen in December 2016 was Santa's Christmas Boot. A bit like one of those Magical Lantern things that was at the Botanical Gardens at the time.

Seems to me like Brindleyplace only put's up teir Christmas tree in early December, like his one in December 2016. looking towards Caffe Nero and Four Brindleyplace. You wont find a Christmas tree here in November (unlike other parts of the City Centre).

Amazon Treasure Truck

This was seen in February 2018. Seen parked close to Three Brindleyplace. Over 2018 I kept seeing it return to the City Centre multiple times. Sometimes in Victoria Square, sometimes at the Bullring.

The front side of the Amazon Treasure Truck near Costa Coffee and Five Brindleyplace.

This view towards Four Brindleyplace and Caffe Nero. The occasion for this visit was Valentines Day.

Forget me not

This was during April 2018. Got these views from the Brindleyplace Car Park. There for the second year from the 2nd to 8th April 2018.

2000 wrought iron flowers symbolises a special person who is no longer with us. Views from the car park were a bit awkward to get.

Bit harder to get a decent view from the square itself. I'm not sure if it returned here for a third year in 2019 or not. Didn't hear anything about it this time around.

Fast & Furious

This was seen in Central Square during April 2018. Promoting Fast & Furious Live which was going to be at Arena Birmingham on the 20th, 21st and 22nd April 2018 (last year).

Various revved up and modded cars were parked in the square. We now have Fast & Furious 9 to await in cinemas in 2020 (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw came out in August 2019).

The Fast & Furious Live lorry parked near BANK at Four Brindleyplace.

Brindley The Place

This was a temporary renaming of Brindleyplace as Brindley The Place during April 2019 (these signs have gone now). This was on Three Brindleyplace or Three Brindley The Place.

This was at Four Brindleyplace. Or Four Brindley The Place.

Welcome to Brindley The Place. This large banner was down Six Brindleyplace or Six Brindley The Place.

More Central Square photos here Brindleyplace, Central Square, Birmingham. Including some small dinosaurs and Oompa loompas.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
19 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years

The world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck used to make an annual visit to Birmingham (and other places across the UK). It will not be returning to Birmingham in December 2019 (instead to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley). Instead enjoy this gallery of photos from the Bullring (2014 and 2016) and Eastside City Park (2017 and 2018).

Related

Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years





The world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck used to make an annual visit to Birmingham (and other places across the UK). It will not be returning to Birmingham in December 2019 (instead to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley). Instead enjoy this gallery of photos from the Bullring (2014 and 2016) and Eastside City Park (2017 and 2018).


St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2014

I was first able to get photos of the world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck at the Bullring in St Martin's Square on the early evening on the 11th December 2014.

Was a crowd of people in the queue to get a free can of Coca Cola, or pose with the truck. Was near Selfridges, St Martin's Church and a Christmas tree.

Views from the upper level balcony at the Bullring are best to see the Coca Cola Truck (and other things that park here).

The Coca Cola Truck always drew a crowd of people.

You know the "holidays are coming" when Santa brings his Coca Cola Truck to town!

St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2016

Thanks to Birmingham Updates for using one my 2016 photos on their Social Media posts, I now know that it wont be returning to Birmingham in December 2019.

I next saw the Coca Cola Truck when it returned to the Bullring on the 17th December 2016. This time got my photos in the daylight hours.

Similar views as before, but you can see the Coca Cola Truck properly now. A Coke man takes a families photo with the truck.

The Bullring's 2016 Christmas tree look rather artificial that year. This is the photo that Birmingham Updates used. Coca Cola Truck Bham Updates.

Getting different views, but more of the same.

Going round the side of Selfridges for this view of the Coca Cola Truck at the Bullring.

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2017

The next time I saw the Coca Cola Truck was when it visited Ice Skate Birmingham in Eastside City Park. This was on the 9th December 2017. This was the day before it snowed. I was coming back on the train from a day out in Bedworth. Not much of a view from the train, so I headed to Eastside after I arrived at Birmingham New Street Station.

Close up view of the world famous Coca Cola Truck. New views with it included The Woodman pub and Curzon Street Station.

This view with the Birmingham Big Wheel and the other rides that were at Ice Skate Birmingham. They found this site in 2017 due to the then redevelopment of Centenary Square (which took two years in the end).

Slightly further back with the Birmingham Big Wheel. It would be nice to get something like this again in Westside, but the Coca Cola Truck isn't coming to Birmingham this year.

Last 2017 view as the light faded. Masshouse residential blocks to the right. Rotunda in the middle and the Birmingham Big Wheel to the left.

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2018

Spending a section festive season in Eastside City Park, Ice Skate Birmingham once again hosted the return of the Coca Cola Christmas Truck. I saw it on the early evening of the 15th December 2018, in rainy sleety cold and freezing weather!

Despite the weather conditions, the resulting photos looking quite Christmasy, even thought it wasn't snowing. The Birmingham Big Wheel to the right. With The Woodman pub seen behind.

For 2018, they parked the Coca Cola Truck in a slightly different position. Also Ice Skate Birmingham were further to the right, as the land they used previously was now HS2 land.

Probably due to the weather, there wasn't many people around.

Still the sleety rain added to the effect of a Coca Cola Christmas!

I hope people at Merry Hill enjoy it. Never been there myself. Although I know that you can get a bus from Cradley Heath Station (which is on the Snow Hill lines). According to the Birmingham Mail, it will be in Merry Hill on the 6th and 7th December 2019. Coca-Cola Christmas truck 2019 heads to intu Merry Hill.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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