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Elliott Brown Modern Architecture
24 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing the Orion Building

The Orion Building was built from 2004 until 2006. Located on John Bright Street, Navigation Street and Suffolk Street Queensway. It is 90 metres tall. There is a Sainsbury's Local on Navigation Street. The building is opposite The Mailbox and is visible from the flyover on Suffolk Street Queensway.

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Introducing the Orion Building





The Orion Building was built from 2004 until 2006. Located on John Bright Street, Navigation Street and Suffolk Street Queensway. It is 90 metres tall. There is a Sainsbury's Local on Navigation Street. The building is opposite The Mailbox and is visible from the flyover on Suffolk Street Queensway.


The Orion Building is usually seen in a pair with the Beetham Tower. Especially in the views up and down Suffolk Street Queensway. Built from 2004 to 2006, the architects was BBLB Architects.

Some history of the site. A building by Frederick W. Lloyd was built on John Bright Street in 1901. This was demolished in 2002. The facade of a hotel built from 1899 to 1900 by A. B. Phipson was retained when the Orion Building was built from 2003 to 2005.

Located on Navigation Street is a Sainsbury's Local. The Stable, a pizza and cider restaurant / bar opened on John Bright Street in late 2015 or early 2016. An Indian Restaurant later open nearby on Navigation Street by 2017 called Tamatanga.

 

Gallery below of the Orion Building over the years ...

dndimg alt="Orion and Beetham Towers" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building and Beetham Tower (May 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion and Beetham Towers" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building and Beetham Tower (May 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building and Beetham Tower (June 2009).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building Nav St (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building Nav St (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building (Jan 2011) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building (Jan 2011) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building LoB (Sept 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Beetham LoB views (Dec 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Beetham LoB views (Dec 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Beetham LoB views (Dec 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Beetham LoB views (Nov 2017) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Beetham LoB views (Nov 2017) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building John Bright St (Dec 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building 12092020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building 12092020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building 12092020 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orion Building 12092020 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos above by Elliott Brown.

 

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_2961b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_9048b_002.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_0934b_ABST.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4796b_CUBE.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_1793b_Brum.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_1339.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_9997b_Brum.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_1192b_ORH.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Orion Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4605b_2CS.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos above by Daniel Sturley.

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Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
23 Mar 2021 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Construction of One Centenary Way - March 2021 Update Two

A lot is happening now at the site and the progress is fast! The building will be structurally all steel and the full girth of it can be seen from Centenary Square (the first photo in the main article). The outer perimeter structure is visable from all around the site and the central core structure is rising fast too with a maze of black girders appearing above the hordings.

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - March 2021 Update Two





A lot is happening now at the site and the progress is fast! The building will be structurally all steel and the full girth of it can be seen from Centenary Square (the first photo in the main article). The outer perimeter structure is visable from all around the site and the central core structure is rising fast too with a maze of black girders appearing above the hordings.


Construction of One Centenary Square in Birmingham

The following images have been taken during March 2021.

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_9615b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_8944b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_9601b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_9610b_1CW.jpg" />

 

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dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0216b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0220b_1CW.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0370b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0989b_1CW.jpg" />

 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0999b_1CW.jpg" />

 

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dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_1047b_1CW.jpg" />

All photography by Daniel Sturley

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Elliott Brown Civic pride
22 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Busts, statues and portraits in the Birmingham Council House

Inside of the Birmingham Council House you can find several busts, statues and portraits that belong now to the Birmingham Museums Trust. Seen near the main staircase from the double doors, and portraits in the corridor outside of the Banqueting Suite. Seen during the Birmingham We Are events of November 2018 and January 2020.

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Busts, statues and portraits in the Birmingham Council House





Inside of the Birmingham Council House you can find several busts, statues and portraits that belong now to the Birmingham Museums Trust. Seen near the main staircase from the double doors, and portraits in the corridor outside of the Banqueting Suite. Seen during the Birmingham We Are events of November 2018 and January 2020.


There is many civic artworks to see in the Birmingham Council House. As you enter the giant double doors from Victoria Square, you will pass several busts. Head up the main staircase, and there is a pair of statues halfway up. Then on the corridor on the first floor landing, you will find several portraits of important people in Birmingham's history, as detailed below.


 

Busts in the Council House

There is three busts near the bottom of the main staircase from the entraJesse Collings nce from Victoria Square. Including Joseph Gillott, Jesse Collings and John Skirrow Wright.

Joseph Gillott

This is a marble bust of Joseph Gillott (1799 - 1873) by Peter Hollins (1800 - 1886).
Gillott was a Birmingham pen manufacturer and patron of the arts. He made pens at the Victoria Works on Graham Street and Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. You can see an exhibition of his works at The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street.

dndimg alt="Joseph Gillott" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joseph Gillott bust at the Council House.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Jesse Collings

A marble bust of The Rt. Hon. Jesse Collings PC (1831 - 1920) by Albert Toft (1862 - 1949). Collings was a Liberal (later Liberal Unionist), and later served as Mayor of Birmingham, 1878-9, MP for Ipswich (1882 - 86) and Bordesley, Birmingham (1886 - 1918). There is also a portrait painted in 1885 in the Council House, by Jonahtan Pratt (1835 - 1911), but it is not it a public area to view.

dndimg alt="Jesse Collings" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bust CC (Nov 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

John Skirrow Wright

This is a bronze bust of John Skirrow Wright. It was cast by William Bloye, from a marble statue by Francis John Williamson. The original statue was made in 1883 and unveiled by John Bright MP in the Council House Square. The statue was joined by the statue of Joseph Priestley, and from 1901 that of Queen Victoria. In 1913, Priestley and Wright were moved to Chamberlain Place (now Chamberlain Square), so that Victoria could be joined by a statue of her son King Edward VII (by the sculptor Albert Toft). The statue remained in Chamberlain Place until 1951, when it was moved to storage (a new site was never found, the statue is now lost). However in 1956, a bronze copy of the bust was made by William Bloye, and was unveiled in the Council House in 1957, where it remains today.

dndimg alt="John Skirrow Wright" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bust CC (Nov 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Heading up or down the main staircase in the Council House, you would see statues of a young looking Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

 

Queen Victoria

Victoria was born in 1819, and reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901. A marble statue by Thomas Brock was unveiled in Victoria Square (formerly Council House Square), 12 days before her death. It was later cast in bronze in 1951 by William Bloye. A new Sceptre was installed in 2011, to replace the old one that was lost.

In Birmingham, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the Victoria Law Courts, during her Golden Jubilee year of 1887. There was a Queen's College on Paradise Street named in her honour, which gained this status by Royal Charter (it was the original Birmingham Medical School founded in 1828). Now just a façade built in 1904 (the rear building demolished and rebuilt now offices).

dndimg alt="Victoria and Albert" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/QV CC (Nov 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Prince Albert

Albert was born in 1819, and married Queen Victoria in 1840. He was Prince Consort until his untimely death in 1861.

In Birmingham, Prince Albert laid the foundation stone of the Birmingham & Midland Institute, on Paradise Street in 1855. It was moved from there in 1974 to Cornwall Street, where the Birmingham & Midland Institute is now based on Margaret Street. The old building was demolished to make way for Paradise Circus Queensway, Fletchers Walk and the Birmingham Conservatoire (which itself was later demolished in 2018). You can find a Grade II listed equestrian statue of Prince Albert in Queen Square, Wolverhampton, dated 1866 by Thomas Thorneycroft.

dndimg alt="Victoria and Albert" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/QV CC (Nov 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

 

Portraits in the Council House

There is five portraits to see in the corridor, just outside of the Banquetin Suite at the Council House. Including portraits of Peter Hollins, James Watt, Sir Josiah Mason, George Dawson and Joseph Chamberlain.

 

Peter Hollins

This is a portrait of Peter Hollins, Sculptor (1800 - 1886) by William Thomas Roden (1800 - 1886). Oil on canvas. He was an English sculptor who operated throughout the 19th Century. He was Vice-President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists for 37 years. In Birmingham, he is known for sculpting the busts of Charles Lloyd (1831) for the Birmingham General Hospital, Felix Mendelssohn (1850) for Birmingham Town Hall and of William Congreve Russell (1853) exhibited at Birmingham Society of Arts. He also sculpted statues that used to be in Calthorpe Park of Robert Peel (1855) (now outside of Tally Ho!) and Thomas Attwood (1859) (currently in storage). Also a statue of Rowland Hill (1869) originally at the Birmingham Exchange, moved to the Birmingham GPO in 1874, and GPO HQ in 1891 (it was lost in storage during WW2).

dndimg alt="Council House portrait" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Prt CC (Jan 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

James Watt

This is a portrait said to be of James Watt (1736 - 1819) by Sir William Beechley (1753 - 1839) attributed. A Scottish engineer who partnered with Matthew Boulton to improve the steam engine.  He lived at Watts House, 17 Regent Place in the Jewellery Quarter from 1777 to 1790. He moved to Heathfield Hall in Handsworth where he lived until his death in 1819. His statue by Alexander Munro (1868) was in Chamberlain Square until 2015. The Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue by William Bloye (1956), gilded in 2006, was on Broad Street until 2017.

dndimg alt="Council House portrait" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Prt CC (Jan 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sir Josiah Mason

This is a black and white photograph of Sir Josiah Mason (1795 - 1881). He was a Non-Conformist from a Kiddermister family. He established his first Almshouses in 1858 and an Orphanage in Erdington in 1868. He founded Mason Science College in 1880, which was in Chamberlain Place (later Chamberlain Square), next to the Birmingham Reference Library. This later became the University of Birmingham (which was founded in Edgbaston in 1900). He was knighted in 1872.

dndimg alt="Council House portrait" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Prt CC (Jan 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

George Dawson

This is a portrait of George Dawson (1821 - 1876). He was a preacher. He called for radical and social and politcal reform in Birmingham. In 1866 he gave a speech at the opening of the first Birmingham Central Library. His statue was in Chamberlain Square, which was sculpted in 1880 by Thomas Woolner. It is now in storage. At least one other statue was made of him at the time. There is also several busts, now at the Library of Birmingham and at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre.

dndimg alt="Council House portrait" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Prt CC (Jan 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Joseph Chamberlain

This is a portrait of Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914) by Sir Oswald Joseph Birley (1880 - 1952). Oil on canvas. The great statesman was the Mayor of Birmingham (1873 to 1876), a Birmingham MP (from 1876). He served as the Leader of the Opposition (1906-07), Secretary of State for the Colonies (1895 to 1903). The Chamberlain Memorial was unveiled in his lifetime in 1880 in Chamberlain Square. The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower was completed in 1908 at the University of Birmingham. There is also a Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter from 1903 (removed for repairs in 2020, due to be returned fully restored soon). He lived at Highbury Hall on the Highbury Estate from 1880 until his death in 1914.

dndimg alt="Council House portrait" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Prt CC (Jan 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
16 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is at 75-80 Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter (Hockley). It opened in 1992 in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory. When the factory closed for good in 1981, it left a time capsule, that the last owners would be unaware that it would be left for future generations to enjoy. Now part of the Birmingham Museums Trust.

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The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory





The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is at 75-80 Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter (Hockley). It opened in 1992 in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory. When the factory closed for good in 1981, it left a time capsule, that the last owners would be unaware that it would be left for future generations to enjoy. Now part of the Birmingham Museums Trust.


Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Not far from Jewellery Quarter Station is the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street. I think one of my schools took me there once, in the mid 1990s, and I've not been inside since, but have walked past it many times over the years. It's at 75 to 80 Vyse Street. No 76 on the corner of Branston Street is now The Whisky Club, but was previously used as an Events Space.

 

History of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

The museum occupies the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firms premises which closed for good in 1981. They ceased trading, leaving the premises as a time capsule unaware that they would be leaving it for future generations. The museum opened here in 1992 and is a branch of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Smith & Pepper was founded by Charles Smith and his uncle Edwin Pepper in 1899 and specialised in gold bracelets and other jewellery until it closed down in 1981. When the company closed, all the tools, machinery and papers were left behind. Also the former butterfly wing jewellery specialists T.L. Mott Ltd, along with all it's contents, was added to the museum when it opened in 1992.

It is a Grade II listed building (from 2004). No 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore.No 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. No 79 Vyse Street was rebuilt in 1990. The building had alterations during the 20th Century. Built of red brick and ashlar stone dressings. No's 77 and 78 was the former Smith and Pepper Works. The museum to the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is located in two late 19th Century manufactories. The Birmingham Museums Trust took over the running of the museum from Birmingham City Council in 2012.

 

December 2012

My first views of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street, surrounded by all the other jewellery manufacturing workshops on that side of the road. The buildings from 75 to 80 Vyse Street are now part of the museum.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the main entrance to the museum. There is a gift shop at the front (and probably the ticket office).

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Information Centre

There used to be an Information Centre at the end of Vyse Street near The Big Peg. It was demolished in 2014 to make way for The Golden Square. It was also seen near the end of 2012.

dndimg alt="Jewellery Quarter Information" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ Information (Dec 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

At the time, there was a sign here for The Jewellery Quarter Birmingham's Gem. Here it made reference to the Award winning Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. As well as The Pen Museum, Historic Buildings and Pavement Trails. Plus St Paul's Square, (Birmingham's last remaining Georgian Square). And the Historic Cemeteries of Key Hill and Warstone Lane.

dndimg alt="Jewellery Quarter Information" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ Information (Dec 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

January 2013

A few days later, on New Years Day 2013, another walk past the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street. The green painted doors at 76 Vyse Street. By 2015, this was used as Event Space at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. By 2019 it was The Whisky Club.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is this green letter box, marked as H. Aston Ltd. It is at 76 Vyse Street, what is now The Whisky Club. It is at the corner of Vyse Street with Branston Street.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vyse St (Jan 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is a plaque at the entrance to the museum, part of the Jewellery Quarter Discovery Trail. It was sponsored by the Birmingham City Action Team. It mentions Smith & Pepper jewellery works at this site. Plus the former premises of butterfly wing jewellery specialists T.L. Mott Ltd. Both of which were turned into the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This sign with the opening times, Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4pm. Close on Sunday's and Monday's except for Bank Holiday Monday's. Wheelchair access available on Branston Street.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The museum received an Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010. And were a Gold Winner. Congratulations for winning it 11 years ago!

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

December 2019

My most recent photos taken a couple of years ago on Vyse Street. Saw the sign for the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, next to a Christmas light of an anchor. Which is the symbol used by the Assay Office.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The main entrance door to the museum. Dogs on a lead were now allowed to enter the museum with their owners.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Took the plaque again, that I previously took years earlier (sometimes I forget what I've taken previously). Except I got it much closer up here, so you can read it.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During the lockdowns the museum is temporarily closed. Hopefully they will be allowed to reopen later in the spring and summer of 2021.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
08 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Akamba Heritage Centre the Metal Zoo in Solihull!

There is a hidden gem in Solihull, not far from Whitlocks End Station. On Tythe Barn Lane in Dickens Heath is the Akamba Heritage Centre. A garden centre, plus a Metal Zoo with sculptures of zoo animals that you can see from the pavement opposite (without actually entering the site). A small piece of the African jungle in Solihull.

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Akamba Heritage Centre the Metal Zoo in Solihull!





There is a hidden gem in Solihull, not far from Whitlocks End Station. On Tythe Barn Lane in Dickens Heath is the Akamba Heritage Centre. A garden centre, plus a Metal Zoo with sculptures of zoo animals that you can see from the pavement opposite (without actually entering the site). A small piece of the African jungle in Solihull.


Akamba Heritage Centre is in Solihull. In an area more known for farmland and grass roots football clubs, the least likely place to find a centre like this is near Dickens Heath. It is on Tythe Barn Lane, a short walk away from Whitlocks End Station.

 

As their signs say: "The home of: Tribe Bar & Eatery (Caribbean Take Away), Uhuru Art Gallery, Juakali Metal Zoo. Specialise in African Art & Culture - Rare & Exotic Plants from all over the World. The Midlands Best Kept Secret. A Garden Centre like no other."

 

March 2018

The first walk past the Akamba Heritage Centre during a walk around Dickens Heath in Solihull. Was walking to Whitlocks End Station to get a train home.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Sign on the right with details of the facilities here and contact details.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Could already see some of the metal zoo sculptures from the pavement opposite.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

They have Tribe Bar & Eatery here. Caribbean Take Away.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Juakali Metal Zoo. Hot food and drinks. Plus a Gift Shop.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Also some palm trees in the area outside, the UK weather must be a bit cold for what they have in Africa and the West Indies.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

An elephant and crocodile metal sculpture near the "We're open" sign.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up zoom in of the metal elephant.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Was also a metal hippo behind the "We're open" sign.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Mar 2018) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

February 2021

A walk from Shirley down Haslucks Green Road. Into Major's Green (Worcestershire). Then towards Whitlocks End Station, and up Tythe Barn Lane for another look at Akamba Heritage Centre. Closed of course as we are still on lockdown.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This time, first thing I spot was the palm trees. At least there was a bit of blue sky with the clouds!

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A metal horse. Unless it's meant to be a zebra?

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A metal bird with a long beak and tall legs. Possibly an African openbill. Or a stork.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Barbed wires above the gates. Metal elephant behind. Palm trees look nice, they survived the British winter.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A metal giraffe.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Despite the sign saying "We are open", I think they have been closed while we are still in lockdown. They probably reopened in 2020 from July to October, before the 2nd and 3rd lockdowns and the Tier 3 and 4 restrictions.

dndimg alt="Akamba Heritage Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Akamba HC (Feb 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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