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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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Photography
05 Jun 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

Canal photography around Birmingham - start of a gallery!

Hi all, this is Karl

Over the last few months I have developed an interest in our canal networks and moving forward I am planning to develop this into some sort of formal project and document more of it with my camera, in the meanwhile here below is a look back at some of my photos so far

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Canal photography around Birmingham - start of a gallery!





Hi all, this is Karl

Over the last few months I have developed an interest in our canal networks and moving forward I am planning to develop this into some sort of formal project and document more of it with my camera, in the meanwhile here below is a look back at some of my photos so far


All photography courtesy Karl Newton

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80 passion points
Photography
05 Jun 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

Edgbaston Reservoir an introduction

One of my favourite haunts photography wise especially on lovely evenings is Edgbaston Reservoir.  

 

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Edgbaston Reservoir an introduction





One of my favourite haunts photography wise especially on lovely evenings is Edgbaston Reservoir.  

 


Edgbaston Reservoir, originally known as Rotton Park Reservoir and referred to in some early maps as Rock Pool Reservoir,is a canal feeder reservoir. Despite its name, it is actually situated in Ladywood rather than nearby Edgbaston. It is situated just 2 miles outside of the city centre and offers a wonderful cityscape view looking towards the city taking in most of the cities iconic landmarks.

 

Originally a small pool named Roach Pool in Rotton Park, it was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824-1829 to supply water to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton of the BCN canal system via Ickneild Port loop at the foot of the dam. It was excavated to a depth of 40 feet (12 metres) and covers an area of 58 acres (230,000 m2), holding 300,000,000 imperial gallons (1,400,000 m3) of water, and was the largest expanse of water in Birmingham at the time.

 

The reservoir is surrounded by woodland and grassland. The total area of the site is 70 acres (280,000 m2). It supports a variety of birds, in addition to newts and bats.

The Reservoir perimeter provides a pleasant route for joggers, with a gravel and tarmac path throughout its 1.75 mile (2.8 km) circumference.

In 2019 Plans were revelaed to revamp Edgbaston Reservoir as detailed below;

Birmingham City Council has unveiled a masterplan to revamp the site on the edge of the city centre which is already a popular spot for walkers, boat clubs and other water sports. Among the concepts outlined in the plan is 'Thomas Telford Place', described as a landmark development which will bring new life and activity at the site of the former Tower Ballroom.

It will provide a mix of residential, community and leisure uses and incorporate a new promenade. There are also plans for a new pedestrian and cycling route along the water's edge which will join the reservoir up with the city's wider networks.  There will be a signposted 'Tolkien Walk' to connect the reservoir to the historic canalside  Roundhouse in the city centre and encourage movement between buildings such as Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Waterworks Tower. These towers are thought to have influenced JRR Tolkein to write The Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings series.

The reservoir redevelopment would feed into the wider Greater Icknield Plan which includes the Port Loop residential project where work is under way to create around 1,150 new homes.

Above CGI image from Birmingham Council of what the newly developed resevoir will look like

 

Below are some of my images from the site over the last 12 months or so

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60 passion points
Transport
05 Jun 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Stourbridge Shuttle in 2013 and 2017 (in the London Midland era)

Back in the London Midland days, I went on the Stourbridge Shuttle originally in April 2013. On 139 002. The last time I rode it was was during November 2017. This short branch line goes between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. They have just had a new West Midlands Railway livery done, so might be time to return to Stourbridge once again!

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Stourbridge Shuttle in 2013 and 2017 (in the London Midland era)





Back in the London Midland days, I went on the Stourbridge Shuttle originally in April 2013. On 139 002. The last time I rode it was was during November 2017. This short branch line goes between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. They have just had a new West Midlands Railway livery done, so might be time to return to Stourbridge once again!


I have seen photos on social media of the Stourbridge Shuttle in it's new orange and purple West Midlands Railway livery (inside and out), so thought I'd share (or re-share if you've seen my photos before) of the Stourbridge Shuttle during my past visits in 2013 and 2017 to Stourbridge (in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley).

Stourbridge Junction

You can get a train on the Snow Hill lines towards Stourbridge Junction (a Class 172) and change there to head the short distance to Stourbridge Town. I first travelled to Stourbridge during April 2013. And on the day I went it was London Midland 139 002. Seen here arriving from Stourbridge Town.

This was years before All The Stations (Geoff Marshall & Vicki Pipe on YouTube) and Great British Railway Journeys (Michael Portillo) travelled there, so it had yet to be called "The Cuttest Train!".

At the time in the London Midland Livery it was known as the London Midland Stourbridge Shuttle.

Seen waiting at Stourbridge Junction before heading back to Stourbridge Town.

A few years later I ended up getting the no 9 bus all the way to Stourbridge during November 2017. And I decided to get the train back to Birmingham. And that gave me another chance to ride the Stourbridge Shuttle back from Stourbridge Town to Stourbridge Junction! Was 139 002 again! I've never been on 139 001.

 

Stourbridge Town

Getting off the Stourbridge Shuttle at Stourbridge Town Station during my visit of April 2013 (to start my look around the town for the first time). The journey doesn't take that long from Stourbridge Junction, and I would later return here to return to Birmingham.

It is one of two Class 139 Parry People Movers operating on the line. 139 002. Seen at the time in London Midland green, black, white and yellow. It would have that livery until 2019, when it was changed into the orange and purple West Midlands Railway livery (yet to see it myself like that). The London Midland name was removed in late 2017 when the West Midlands rail franchise changed hands.

The view of the "cute" little train from the other side of the buffer. Stourbridge Interchange is nearby, where you can change onto the buses from National Express West Midlands. A subway takes passengers into Stourbridge Town Centre.

This was after my day out in Stourbridge Town Centre in April 2013, ready to catch the Stourbridge Shuttle back to Stourbridge Junction from Stourbridge Town. The platform here is quite short.

Now a look at the interiors, when they were in London Midland colours!

On board the Stourbridge Shuttle in April 2013 arriving at Stourbridge Town. This little train even has room for a passengers bike!

This was when I got back on the Stourbridge Shuttle for the ride back to Stourbridge Town, so an opportunity to get shots of the interior while empty!

The other side, drivers cab at both ends.

The only change by November 2017 was those two new chairs, otherwise unchanged (until the West Midlands Railway interior livery was applied in 2019).

Am not sure yet when I will have time to travel back to Stourbridge to ride the Stourbridge Shuttle again in it's new West Midlands Railway guise, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later? I can catch my local train all the way to Stourbridge Junction and change like I did over 6 years ago! (2 years ago was just one way back to Birmingham).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 Jun 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

Fascinating tour round 'The Gothic' and Great Hampton Street Project with Blackswan

We were delighted to be shown round 'The Gothic' and the Blackswan scheme at 1-4 Great Hampton Street. Fascinating plans for this site involve retaining so much of the wonderful history and architecture of 'The Gothic' for people to enjoy in the future! Thanks to the amazing team at BlackSwan for the opportunity to experience this project so early.

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Fascinating tour round 'The Gothic' and Great Hampton Street Project with Blackswan





We were delighted to be shown round 'The Gothic' and the Blackswan scheme at 1-4 Great Hampton Street. Fascinating plans for this site involve retaining so much of the wonderful history and architecture of 'The Gothic' for people to enjoy in the future! Thanks to the amazing team at BlackSwan for the opportunity to experience this project so early.


On Wednesday 29th May we made a visit to the site of the former Gothic pub on Great Hampton Street in the St Pauls/Jewellery Quarter area of the city.

The Gothic is one part of a whole development stretching over 3/4 ajoining buildings on Great Hampton Street.

The plans for the site will include a hi-end restaurant, quality rooms and apartments as well as 2 social venues with courtyards to the rear.

We will run a separate post with further details of the amazing plans by BlackSwan.

Below are a selection of images showing some of the orignal art deco features inside the property, something we were ensured would be retained by the new development which in huge part is aiming to simply strip the sites back to their orignal features architecture wise and highlight them moving forward.

All photos by Karl Newton

Much more to come as we follow this exciting project through to completion early in 2020. 

 

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Jun 2019 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

An illuminated crown to light up the City skyline in Birmingham!

With the cladding inching closer to completion, Stephen Giles looks at the distinctive two-storey crown feature that'll top off this momentous development.

Map of the site

Birmingham Developments Overview Map

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An illuminated crown to light up the City skyline in Birmingham!





With the cladding inching closer to completion, Stephen Giles looks at the distinctive two-storey crown feature that'll top off this momentous development.

Map of the site

Birmingham Developments Overview Map


The silver cladding continues its upward rise, and with the interior meticulously being fitted out, attention is quickly turning to the distinctive two-storey crown feature at the very top.

Excitingly, it will incorporate a new addition to the city’s skyline – an illuminated crown.

It came about after Regal Property Group, the developer, saw an opportunity to enhance the project by adding an extra two storeys, taking it from 31 to 33 floors. 

Not only did this see the building whiz past the 100 metre mark (102m), but it allowed the architects to produce a design that gave the project further distinction, given that it will sit proudly on the skyline for years to come. 

Glancy Nicholls have designed this to acknowledge the silverworks metal working heritage of Broad Street from yesteryear. The tower already takes subtle nods from that, referencing it with its silver hues in its design and materiality.

Artist Impressions by Glancy Nicholls Architects

The crown has seen an increase in silver frame bars/spindles, with strips of vertical blue lighting, which will further define the crown and give Bank II an imposing identity.

Once complete, the building will boast recessed LED lighting, and given the site location, on what is one of the tallest plots of land in the city, it'll be instantly recognisable for miles around.

Artist impressions by Glancy Nicholls Architects

June 1st construction update:

Picture by Aqueembayor

Photos by Stephen Giles

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