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BirminghamWeAre

A City for All

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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Construction & regeneration
19 Nov 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - November 2019

Here's the latest construction photo update for 103 Colmore Row with the steel structure rising fast.

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The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - November 2019





Here's the latest construction photo update for 103 Colmore Row with the steel structure rising fast.


Crane sections are massive when you see one up close!

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Open spaces
18 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Highbury Park through the seasons and the years between Kings Heath and Moseley

I first started getting photos of Highbury Park near Kings Heath and Moseley 10 years ago in December 2009. First proper venture into the park when it was all covered in snow to see Highbury Hall. The park was originally the grounds of the home of Joseph Chamberlain. He gave the park to the city before his death in 1914 and the park opened to the public in 1930.

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Highbury Park through the seasons and the years between Kings Heath and Moseley





I first started getting photos of Highbury Park near Kings Heath and Moseley 10 years ago in December 2009. First proper venture into the park when it was all covered in snow to see Highbury Hall. The park was originally the grounds of the home of Joseph Chamberlain. He gave the park to the city before his death in 1914 and the park opened to the public in 1930.


Highbury Park on Wikipedia. The park is the estate of Highbury Hall which was the former home of Joseph Chamberlain. Once the Mayor of Birmingham in the late 19th Century. He was later an MP. The hall is near the north east corner of the park on Yew Tree Road in Moseley (in the Moor Green area). Before he died he bequeathed the park to the people of Birmingham. The park finally opened to the public in 1930.

The Camp Hill Line is to the south of the park. Hopefully in a few years, Kings Heath Station will be rebuilt close to where The Gym and Homebase are now at the Findlay Road Retail Park.

The main entrance of the park is on the High Street in Kings Heath, close to Queensbridge Road. If you are coming from Kings Heath Park, you can also enter Highbury Park from Dad's Lane, in an entrance on Shutlock Lane. The other entrances and exits are on Moor Green Lane, and near the gatehouse lodge close to Yew Tree Road.

From here you can then walk towards Cannon Hill Park, either down Russell Road or head down Moor Green Lane and enter on Brockley Grove onto the Holders Lane Woods.

 

OK back to Highbury Park.

 

December 2009

The first time I got photos of Highbury Park was from early December 2009 from the High Street in Kings Heath, but I did not enter the park at this time as I wasn't ready. I probably headed up Queensbridge Road at the time.

The path down into the park. I would return a few weeks later after it had snowed.

About 4 days before Xmas Day I headed to the park, this time for an actual walk around. Back to the High Street, Kings Heath entrance (at this point hadn't used the other entrances). A bike near the caution sign.

The old brick wall. It would later be fully repaired years later.

One of the ponds in the park. Totally frozen and iced over.

The paths near Moor Green Lane and Shutlock Lane had a thin layer of snow over them. Evergreen trees behind trees that had shed their leaves.

I think the snow was completely frozen over the paths despite all the footprints and tyre marks from bikes. This path leads back to the old wall. The gardens of Highbury Hall are to the left of here.

Near the entrance / exit to Moor Green Lane, close to Yew Tree Road is this gatehouse / lodge. Now a private residence. Built around 1880 as part of the original approach to Highbury Hall. Part of the drive is still present. But most of the route is now covered by trees. Now the only main entrance to Highbury Hall is on Yew Tree Road.

January 2015

The next major time I visited Highbury Park with my camera was when there was these outdoor musical instruments that people could play with (especially young kids). This one looked like a harp.

A carved wooden bench.

Another wooden bench. Notice that they both have flowers carved into them.

Can you play? Can you play loud or quiet? - Dynamics. Can you play long or short notes? Duration. This is what it says on each one of these musical instruments.

A bit closer up. Not really sure how they work.

A wooden circle. Birmingham's very on "Stone Henge" or more like "Wood Henge" in Highbury Park.

Stone hall in a triangular piece of stone. Again not fully sure what you are supposed to do with this, maybe say something through the hole and another person may hear you?

August 2018

Heading down Dad's Lane towards the Shutlock Lane entrane of the park. Saw this National Express West Midlands single decker bus on the 27 bus route. It would also pass Kings Heath Park.

Saw a Land Rover Series II in the car park.

Mocha Moo Cafe was at The Great Big Pet Picnic. Here people could get food and drink while with their pets in this field.

The leaves were lush and green in the middle of August 2018. And the ponds made some nice reflections and ripples.

The pond is also known as the Fish Pond. Many birds are to be seen around here.

Saw this heron pirched on a branches of a tree that was over the pond.

Trees in a wood and early signs of the autumn to come.

Almost the middle of August, and leaves were already falling off trees, and it wasn't yet September!

Yet the leaves on the trees were still green. Apart from the leaves that had already fallen.

August 2019

Heading round the back of the old brick wall. Now fully restored, after part of it was damaged. Signs of graffiti, but faint.

Getting closer to the wall. Trees all full of green leaves at this point. This was near the end of August 2019.

Here you can see evidence of the brick wall repairs. Looking as good as new.

A grass path amongst the trees. I didn't head up this one.

Reflections in the pond. Leaves still lush and green before autumn came.

A Common moorhen seen in the Fish Pond. The odd leaf had fallen into the pond. And the fishes are just about visible close to the surface. At least I think they are fishes!

Several flower beds with roses. Close to the Shutlock Lane and Moor Green Lane exit.

After this I headed down Moor Green Lane and went into Cannon Hill Park via the Holders Lane Woods. In late summer, there is usually a fun fair on the fairground in Cannon Hill Park, which I saw on my walk towards Edgbaston Road. You can even start your three parks walk in Kings Heath Park and walk through Highbury Park and then into Cannon Hill Park. Ending up near the Cricket Ground.

 

For more of my Highbury Park photos, please check out my Flickr album here Highbury Park.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Photography
15 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The 2009 Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (10 years ago this November)

I took my very first photos of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 10 years ago on the 14th November 2009. Can't believe that 10 years already has passed since then. I have over the years taken more photos from the market, but not as full as my initial photos (subsequent years mostly the market going up or down). Back then was a helter skelter, giant polar bear and Santa heads!

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The 2009 Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (10 years ago this November)





I took my very first photos of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 10 years ago on the 14th November 2009. Can't believe that 10 years already has passed since then. I have over the years taken more photos from the market, but not as full as my initial photos (subsequent years mostly the market going up or down). Back then was a helter skelter, giant polar bear and Santa heads!


These photos were taken on the 14th November 2009. 10 years ago this week. In the years since I have taken more photos at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, but not with all the crowds that I experienced 10 years ago!

Victoria Square, November 2009

Now this is the route of the new Westside Metro extension, but back in 2009 Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man was still here, and they had a helter skelter ride near Victoria Square House! Was also a nest in this tree (now cut down).

Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man statue enjoying the first weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. 10 years on it's still in storage.

Another man with a camera heading around the market.

Can you see the giant polar bear with a Christmas hat?

Close up of the polar bear. I think this was a Polar Beer Bear Bar (or something like that?).

Also a giant Santa Claus head. Whatever happened to that?

Bob Wilson's Carousel returns like clockwork every year, so expect to see it in Victoria Square now, like 10 years ago. The Floozie in the Jacuzzi, when the River was dry (after a leak).

New Street, November 2009

This was the view heading down Christchurch Passage towards New Street.

Already looking too crowded on New Street, yet I headed down to try and get my first photos of the market.

Somehow caught a beggar with his hands out near the Halifax (now a Nando's).

More people as I headed down New Street. This is from Ethel Street.

This piece is at the Frankfurt Christmas Market every year. Red candles with figures of Santa, Nutcrackers etc. Always just before Bennetts Hill.

Carrying on past the Tesco Metro. There is never any market stalls between Bennetts Hill and Temple Street. A pedestrianised road to allow vehicles through.

Getting closer to Corporation Street. Near Slater Menswear and Urban Outfitters

Near an Oasis shop. Which is still there now. Close to what was a Waterstone's book shop (now an Apple store). Would be a few years later before the market stretched as far as Rotunda Square.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
People & community
15 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Armistice Day at the Hall of Memory in Centenary Square (11th November 2019)

For the first time since Centenary Square reopened, it was now possible to have an Armistice Day morning service at the Hall of Memory. Also for the first time in front of Ice Skate Birmingham. Getting ready for the two minutes silence at 11am, men in uniform going around with flags. I approached from Centenary Way and left near Baskerville House.

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Armistice Day at the Hall of Memory in Centenary Square (11th November 2019)





For the first time since Centenary Square reopened, it was now possible to have an Armistice Day morning service at the Hall of Memory. Also for the first time in front of Ice Skate Birmingham. Getting ready for the two minutes silence at 11am, men in uniform going around with flags. I approached from Centenary Way and left near Baskerville House.


Heading past Paradise Birmingham onto Centenary Way, I was popping into Centenary Square near the Hall of Memory as the service on the 11th November 2019 was getting underway in the shadow of Ice Skate Birmingham (seen behind).

The first Armistice Day service to take place in Centenary Square in perhaps 3 years (the Hall of Memory was closed off while the square was being redeveloped and at the time the Book of Remembrance was moved to the Library of Birmingham).

Uniformed veterans carry flags around the Hall of Memory.

People pause as they watch the ceremony taking place.

It has changed so much around the Hall of Memory in the last 10 years. The only buildings that were there back then was the Hyatt Hotel, Symphony Hall, The ICC, The REP and Baskerville House. Now we have HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square and the Library of Birmingham. Ice Skate Birmingham is temporary and will be here until early January 2020.

A uniformed officer and a man in a suit with a trumpet.

The men with flags have now passed to the right side of the Hall of Memory.

I didn't stick around, but ended up in Birmingham New Street Station at 11am when there was a two minutes silence there.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Open spaces
14 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Rookery Park in Erdington: once the site of Erdington Town Hall

I initally went past Rookery Park in Erdington back in January 2019 on Wood End Road, and have only just got around to having a look round the park in November 2019. Was very autumnal on my visit. Rookery House is derelict and under scaffolding. Hopefully the house is being restored. There is also a couple of derelict toilet buildings in the park, boarded up covered in graffiti.

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Rookery Park in Erdington: once the site of Erdington Town Hall





I initally went past Rookery Park in Erdington back in January 2019 on Wood End Road, and have only just got around to having a look round the park in November 2019. Was very autumnal on my visit. Rookery House is derelict and under scaffolding. Hopefully the house is being restored. There is also a couple of derelict toilet buildings in the park, boarded up covered in graffiti.


Rookery Park is a small park located in Erdington between Wood End Road and Western Road. You can catch the no 11A or 11C buses to the park. The park is bounded by Kingsbury Road to the east and Rollason Road to the west.

Some history taken from Rookery Park and House, Birmingham, which by the looks of it was taken from Bill Dargue - Erdington's page.

The house in Rookery Park was originally known as Birches Green House. Built in the early Georgian period around 1730 by Birmingham ironmaster Abraham Spooner. He moved to Elmdon Hall in 1760 and his son Isaac and family lived here until Abraham's death in 1789 when they moved to Elmdon. William Wilberforce planned his antislavery campaigns in this park. He married a member of the family Dorothy Spooner. Later Birmingham's first Tory MP, Richard Spooner was born here in 1783.

The glass manufacturer Brueton Gibbons lived in Rookery House from 1816. From 1871 the house was leased by William Wiley. Rookery House became Erdington's Council House after 1894 until 1911 when Erdington became part of Birmingham.

The Council had used it until about 2008 for council services, but in recent years it's become derelict. Now under scaffolding, the house is being converted into flats.

 

I first passed the park on Wood End Road in January 2019, but a Asian wedding party was there for their photos, so I didn't enter at this time. Took me until November 2019 until I actually travelled back to Erdington.

January 2019

Just passing the park as I walked up Wood End Road towards the Erdington High Street. A wedding car was on the road, and was an Asian wedding party there for their photos, so I didn't want to disturb them, so carried on up the road.

Saw this derelict gents building behind fences, the doors boarded up. The window frames rotten. I don't think it's changed condition in the last year or so.

November 2019

Entered the park via the gate on Wood End Road in Erdington, I had just seen an Emirates Airbus A380 coming into land at Birmingham Airport (missing getting the photo by the time I entered the park). I took the right path towards Rookery House.

Leaves on the lawn, trees shedded their leaves. Not too bad at this point as it was before the forecast rain.

Looking very autumnal as I headed round the path.

Another old toilet block. All the doors and windows were bricked up, and covered in recent graffiti.

First look at Rookery House. I was hoping to see it looking like it's former self. Maybe after the restoration is complete.

A formal garden in front of the house. But nothing much in the flower beds at this time of the year. Like Pype Hayes Park, I hope that the house is fully restored, and perhaps given a use to the public. As flats it would be for private residents.

Then I saw this playground to the left.

Heading up the path towards Western Road. Car park to the right.

Looking back at the field of leaves and trees. My path taken was on the left.

Just before exiting at Western Road, pair of paths. I used the one on the left. Another path on the right also leads back to Wood End Road.

From here, checking Google Maps, left Western Road via Rollason Road and Church Road. Leading to the Erdington High Street. After a coffee stop, I went towards Erdington Station, but the rain started by then. Another possible park to visit it Witton Lakes Park, if the weather is better.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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