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Transport
31 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road, Edgbaston

The tail end of the Westside Metro extension is being built at Hagley Road in Edgbaston, just beyond Five Ways. It goes past the Morrisons supermarket and Starbucks Coffee and will end outside of the refurbished Fifty4 Hagley Road. As of late December 2020, they have laid the tracks but yet to build up the road or pavement surface around most of it. Photo gallery from 2017 - 2020.

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The Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road, Edgbaston





The tail end of the Westside Metro extension is being built at Hagley Road in Edgbaston, just beyond Five Ways. It goes past the Morrisons supermarket and Starbucks Coffee and will end outside of the refurbished Fifty4 Hagley Road. As of late December 2020, they have laid the tracks but yet to build up the road or pavement surface around most of it. Photo gallery from 2017 - 2020.


Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road

One day from the end of 2021 onwards, West Midlands Metro trams will emerge from the Five Ways underpass, coming from Broad Street. Then will come to the end of the extension on Hagley Road in Edgbaston, this takes it past the Morrisons supermarket, with Starbucks Coffee at the end. But will end at the tram stop that will be built outside of Fifty4 Hagley Road.

The Five Ways underpass has been closed to all traffic since 2019, and they have to go on a diversion around Five Ways Island.

Beyond the end of the line, it was proposed that Sprint would continue down Hagley Road, but not sure what has happened to that. It would take a very long time to extend the line even further (as far as Bearwood and Quinton), but that seems unlikely for now.

1st October 2017.

The view from the wide pavement outside of Tricorn House. I thought they could built the line here (at the time). View towards Morrisons and Fifty4 Hagley Road, near where the line would eventually be built in 2020.

But they would eventually build the extension outside of Morrisons towards Starbucks Coffee.

You can see how wide the pavement was at the time at this side of Hagley Road back in 2017. The bus stops, lampposts, etc would all have to go.

A view towards the offices at Fifty4 Hagley Road. Just some barriers on the pavement. Trees and grass that would have to go.

15th February 2018.

A bus ride from the top deck of the X10 NXWM Platinum bus, as it passed Morrisons and the Marriott Hotel (on the right).

Cones in the middle of the road. Opposite was also a Pizza Hut Delivery place for take away.

The bus leaves Hagley Road, heading down the Five Ways Underpass towards Broad Street.

There was a digital billboard that you can see as you head under Five Ways Island.

View from the bus in the Five Ways Underpass. A view runners of the Great Birmingham Run used to have until a few years ago. Broad Street is at the end of the white light!

29th June 2019.

The view from the top of Hagley Road. The Five Ways Underpass to the left. It would be hard to get views of the Metro extension around the tunnel if you were on the pavement, especially with traffic going past.

21st December 2019.

One way to see a view of the tram tracks being laid was from the top deck of a bus going around Five Ways Island. This view towards Hagley Road past The Lansdowne, early track laying progress. This was taken from the top deck of the no 24 NXWM Platinum bus. By now going on a diversion to the City Centre.

23rd December 2019.

Saw these pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers just beyond Morrisons on the Hagley Road.

There was also some pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers in front of Fifty4 Hagley Road. All of that grass and young trees have been removed for the extension in the year since.

4th January 2020.

A view of the Five Ways Underpass with the tracks that had been laid. This was the view zoomed in from the window at Morrisons Cafe. This was my last photo of the extension on Hagley Road before the pandemic was declared, and we had those lockdowns and restrictions.

31st July 2020.

With restrictions eased by the summer, I was back to work in the middle of July. On a day off I headed towards the Hagley Road on a warm day to see The Two Towers again. Was lots of cones and barriers on the right.

There was also a lot of traffic trying to get past Fifty4 Hagley Road. As only one lane was open.

25th October 2020.

I heard that the crossing on the Hagley Road near Starbucks was closed, so that day I went to have a drink and toastie inside of Starbucks. Then got these photos of the tracks that had been laid. A bit awkward with the fences in the way.

Completed tracks emerging from the Five Ways underpass onto the Hagley Road, in from of Tricorn House and Cobalt Square.

There was a bus stop in use on the left, but all other traffic had to go to the right.

24th December 2020.

Christmas Eve, and I got off the no 1 bus on Highfield Road, and walked to Hagley Road to see the latest progress of the extension.  Starting from Fifty4 Hagley Road. This was near the old Birmingham 1 mile sign.

Bit of a mess outside of Fifty4 Hagley Road, but there is tracks laid just up ahead.

The tracks that have been installed in front of Barclays, towards Morrisons.

Cross over tracks just beyond Starbucks. Bright sunshine.

A path has been built towards Starbucks Coffee, with bricks in the middle. I'm not sure if they were open for takeaway or not.

Tracks in the direction of Fifty4 Hagley Road, past Barclays. You can see the cross over tracks. A lot of litter needs to be picked up when they resume in January 2021.

The tracks towards Morrisons. This was the wide pavement. Trees on the right survive next to the dry cleaning place.

Last photo, of water logged tracks that come out of the Five Ways underpass. With traffic waiting on the Hagley Road, having just come on from Five Ways Island.

27th December 2020.

The day after Boxing Day, I got the bus to Harborne, then caught a no 24 NXWM Platinum bus from Harborne Road, Edgbaston. Got the updated view of the tram tracks going in and out of the Five Ways underpass from Five Ways Island.

The bus stopped at traffic lights, so was able to get a second view. The tracks heading towards Morrisons and Fifty4 Hagley Road. Seems to be concrete barriers in the middle for some reason.

See also my Broad Street post.

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

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110 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
30 Dec 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Reflections of Birmingham

Since April 2014 I have been taking lots of Birmingham photos and over the years I have developed some themes that I now look for additions too. The first to become apparent was my attraction to reflections, particularly in the glass of city buildings. Here is a gallery of my favorite 50 'Reflection' photos. More themes to come soon including 'Lamps' next.

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Reflections of Birmingham





Since April 2014 I have been taking lots of Birmingham photos and over the years I have developed some themes that I now look for additions too. The first to become apparent was my attraction to reflections, particularly in the glass of city buildings. Here is a gallery of my favorite 50 'Reflection' photos. More themes to come soon including 'Lamps' next.


11th April 2014

On a visit to the 'Secret Garden' atop the Library I noticed this great reflection in the shear tinted glass facade of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Later that day I saw this crazy visual mash-up including a reflection of the Library, it started me thinking about the pure asthetic quality of distorted reflections, something I have tried to develop since.

11th April 2014

18th April 2014

20th February 2015

I've always been pleased with this reflection in the Hyatt Regency Hotel of the urbanscape to the north of the city centre.

30th January 2016

Of course the stainless steel of Grand Central has become a favorite canvas for amazing distorted reflections.

30th January 2016

22nd July 2016

I like how the seemingly rigid structure of many 'glass boxes' actually breaks up reflections and offers perspectives otherwise unseen.

6th August 2016

15th October 2016

Modern architecture can provide great opprtunities to showcase classic examples.

12th November 2016

Sometimes it is simply the reflection of the sky that catches my eye.

28th January 2017

Flat glass on a curved building can produce crazy effects like this isolation of the reflection of the Library in the Arena.

20th May 2017

21st May 2017

Sometimes I just love the visual muddle.

3rd June 2017

I have developed a liking for using reflections to confuse the eye initially.

11th June 2017

18th June 2017

Reflected sunsets are a must in many modern buildings.

7th October 2017

22nd October 2017

More visual muddle and confusion.

16th December 2017

This is as close to a selfie as I get.

1st January 2018

Oh, of course cranes, another one of my themes, but also great when smashed up in a good reflection.

14th January 2018

24th February 2018

Some opportunities just can't be passed by.

21st July 2018

More visual confusion.

25th August 2018

The glass of the old Sympony Hall facace actually gave some great reflection opportunities.

27th August 2018

3rd February 2019

New buildings such as One Chamberlain Square are a feast of great reflection opportunities.

3rd March 2019

Two Chamberlain Square.

10th March 2019

17th March 2019

21st April 2019

A curved window! awesome.

20th July 2020

Flat glass on a curve producing tall thin reflections of the Library, the Hyatt, One Centenary Square (HSBC) and Alpha Tower.

12 August 2019

From the Hyatt, the Library in the Centenary Square pool.

24th August 2019

Confusing symmetry. 

8th September 2019

Reversed perpectives.

7th December 2019

From the Library, it just jumped out as I walked along the 'Secret Garden' and was great to get the Jamia Masjid Anwar-Ul-Uloom and Dudley Castle in the shot too.

7th December 2019

Wrong way round! At first glace the BT tower is on the wrong side of the 103 Colmore Row construction.

27th December 2019

I just liked the symmetry of the wheel and the skating tent.

22nd March 2020

Sometimes the focus point can make all the difference.

24th March 2020

19th May 2020

14th June 2020

I love this mash-up of reflections in the REP Theatre.

29th August 2020

4th November 2020

Visit to The Cube roof for sunrise.

5th November 2020

15th November 2020

15th November 2020

1st December 2020

19th Decembr 2020

25th December 2020

25th December 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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40 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
30 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Babbs Mill Lake in the Kingfisher Country Park

A Christmas Day morning walk on Friday 25th December 2020 around Babbs Mill Lake. Located in Kingshurst, Solihull within Babbs Mill Jubilee Park. Which is now a satellite park of the Kingfisher Country Park, which stretches from East Birmingham into North Solihull. The lake and park was named after the nearby Babbs Mill, which dates to the 18th Century.

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Babbs Mill Lake in the Kingfisher Country Park





A Christmas Day morning walk on Friday 25th December 2020 around Babbs Mill Lake. Located in Kingshurst, Solihull within Babbs Mill Jubilee Park. Which is now a satellite park of the Kingfisher Country Park, which stretches from East Birmingham into North Solihull. The lake and park was named after the nearby Babbs Mill, which dates to the 18th Century.


Babbs Mill Lake

Heading towards Kingshurst in Solihull on Christmas Day, 25th December 2020, for a walk past Babbs Mill Lake. The lake is man-made and is near the River Cole. It is located within the Kingfisher Country Park. But the local park it is within is now called the Babbs Mill Jubilee Park, which was formed in 1977 during the Queen's Silver Jubilee year. It was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2002. The Kingfisher Country Park was declared in 2004, and was a joint venture between Birmingham and Solihull.

 

Babbs Mill Lake is named after Babbs Mill, which still survives to this day. It is a Grade II listed building dating to the 18th Century. It was named after the miller, John Babb, who died in 1651.

 

First views of Babbs Mill Lake. We started the walk from the car park near Fordbridge Road.

Island in the middle of the lake, seems like a lot of birds goes there.

First view of the morning winter sun. This was not a sunrise or sunset, but the sun was pretty low in the sky.

A ramp going off into the lake towards the geese and swans.

At the end of the ramp was quite a lot of Canada geese. With the bright morning sunshine making it a bit dark here.

Too the right was a lot of gulls on the railing. This was close to some picnic benches, where I saw pigeons on them as well.

More of the morning sunburst off centre to the right.

Then off centre to the left.

A line of four trees making nice shadows with the sun behind to the left.

A newly laid footpath curves around the lake to the right.

The path doesn't seem quite finished. Plus was another section with unfinished tarmac. But saw the odd graffiti tag that will need removing by the local Council.

Can't get enough of that sunburst! Wow!

Sunburst to the left of the lake.

Sunburst to the right.

We only went around two sides of the lake. Was a muddy path after this.

The lake from the muddy path.

We turned back, and instead headed up the path towards Shard End (leading to Packington Avenue). The Birmingham / Solihull border is somewhere to the left of here.

Later walking back to the car park, got a few more shots, including the sunburst again.

The sun was now directly behind that line of trees, making incredible shadows!

Coming back saw a couple of Domestic geese near the lake, got this shot of one on the grass.

 

I didn't see any herons around Babbs Mill Lake, but later saw one coming into land near the Cole Valley Route in the Kingfisher Country Park. Not far from Packington Avenue in Shard End. This area is probably part of the Norman Chamberlain Local Nature Reserve.

I only managed to get two photos of it, this second zoom in came out a bit better. But would have been nice to see it near the lake.

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

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60 passion points
Photography
28 Dec 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Daniel Sturley - My Favourite 75 Birmingham 2020 Photos

Having just published my 3,300th photo taken of, or in Birmingham in 2020 to my main gallery, I felt like making a post of my 75 favourites!

Above is my most popular of the year, a perfect rainbow over the city centre on 13th June.

Thanks so much for your interest in my Birmingham photography.

I hope you all have a positive 2021!

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Daniel Sturley - My Favourite 75 Birmingham 2020 Photos





Having just published my 3,300th photo taken of, or in Birmingham in 2020 to my main gallery, I felt like making a post of my 75 favourites!

Above is my most popular of the year, a perfect rainbow over the city centre on 13th June.

Thanks so much for your interest in my Birmingham photography.

I hope you all have a positive 2021!


18th January 2020:

8th Feb:

25th Feb:

14th Mar:

22nd Mar:

22nd Mar:

28th Mar:

4th Apr:

11th Apr:

11th Apr:

Experimental laser pen and quartz macro photography during lockdown.

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27th Dec:

It's the Planet Saturn!

I hope you all have a positive 2021.

My full gallery is here: https://www.freetimepays.com/gallery/DanielSturley

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Dec 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - August to December 2020

The construction of One Centenary Way has seemed slow to start but such a massive foundation and lower structure takes time. The main steel is ready to rise fast now though as the building starts to appear from behind the hordings. August to December 19th covered in this photo update.

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - August to December 2020





The construction of One Centenary Way has seemed slow to start but such a massive foundation and lower structure takes time. The main steel is ready to rise fast now though as the building starts to appear from behind the hordings. August to December 19th covered in this photo update.


20th August 2020

30th August 2020

19th September 2020

27th September 2020

4th October 2020

25th October 2020

5th November 2020

7th November 2020

24th November 2020

1st December 2020

5th December 2020

19th December 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

There are now nearly 200 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Full Construction Photo Gallery

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40 passion points
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