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Green open spaces
23 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Peace Garden, a nice peaceful place to relax and remember

The Peace Garden is located off Bath Row on the land which used to be St Thomas's Church, until it was destroyed during World War 2. First laid out in 1955, it was redesigned in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. World leaders of the G8 came here in 1998, and they each planted a tree. You can sit and relax here, read the plaques of peace. It's not far from The Cube.

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The Peace Garden, a nice peaceful place to relax and remember





The Peace Garden is located off Bath Row on the land which used to be St Thomas's Church, until it was destroyed during World War 2. First laid out in 1955, it was redesigned in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. World leaders of the G8 came here in 1998, and they each planted a tree. You can sit and relax here, read the plaques of peace. It's not far from The Cube.


The Peace Garden

Located on Bath Row in Birmingham, between Five Ways and Holloway Circus. This small peaceful park is also on Granville Street, Ridley Street and Washington Street. The ruins of the Church of St Thomas are on the corner of Granville Street and Bath Row.

St Thomas's Church was completed in 1829, one of the so called 'Waterloo Churches'. Built following the victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It survived until the Birmingham Blitz in 1940 when German bombs destroyed it. It was never rebuilt.

The ground were laid out for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Peace Garden was redesigned in 1995 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The First World War Colonnade built in 1925 in what is now Centenary Square (near the Hall of Memory), was relocated here when the first Centenary Square was being built from 1989.

World leaders of the G8 came to the Peace Garden in 1998, each planting a tree and unveiling a plaque, including Tony Blair (British PM from 1997 - 2007) and Bill Clinton (US President from 1993 - 2001).

 

Most of my photos of the Peace Garden were taken in 2009.

The Colonnade seen in March 2009 from Ridley Street. It was designed by S. N. Cooke and W. N. Twist, in 1925.

My first proper visit to the Peace Garden was in April 2009. Here I was having a close up look inside of the Colonnade. Peace plaques on the wall to the left.

The Colonnade viewed from the Peace Garden. Lots of flowers in the flower beds at the time.

First look at the ruins of St Thomas's Church. The clock tower and columns had survived. There was also plaques inside. Railings were designed by Anuradha Patel.

The paths and lawns were laid out in a cross design by the looks of it. Benches to sit on and contemplate as the world goes by.

Circle in the middle with a message of peace.

"May Peace Prevail On Earth".

Some of the Peace Garden plaques. This one about St Thomas's Church being a victim of World War 2.

This plaque on the ground for the British Nuclear Test's Veterans Assocation. It was placed here in September 1994.

Two plaques in the Colonnade (there are more). National Service for Crown and Country (1939 - 1962). And National Service Memorial  to Peace.

19g8 The Birmingham Summit. Eight trees were planted in the Peace Garden to represent each of the G8 nations taking part in the Birmingham Summit 15 - 17 May 1998. Hard to believe that this was 21 years ago now! Can we have another summit at The ICC in the 2020s?

This was in January 2011. The view of the clock tower of the ruins of St Thomas's Church and the Colonnade from Washington Street. With the Colonnade on Ridley Street.

This view of St Thomas's Church ruins from Granville Street.

A look at the Anuradha Patel railings at the Peace Garden during February 2015. It has images of doves of peace. This was from Granville Street.

The gate from Washington Street was looking closed. Some of the plaques could to with some TLC. The view towards St Thomas's Church. This is the main entrance to the gardens.

This December 2016 view of the ruins of St Thomas's Church seen from Bath Row. Looking in good condition in the winter sunshine. This is the view from the bus stop. You can now get the 80, 80A, X20, X21 and X22 on the opposite side of the road. While you can also get the 23 and 24 on the stop towards New Street Station.

Zoom in to the clock. I wonder if it is still ticking? It must be, as in my other photos the clock hands are at different times.

A few more plaques seen during November 2017. This one for the Federation of Ex-Service Associations Birmingham.

This one for the Royal Naval Engine Room Association.

Close up look at the plaque I previously saw in 2009 for the National Service for Crown and Country.

And a close up look at the National Service Memorial to Peace.

Saw this view of the Peace Garden from the no 24 bus on Bath Row during December 2019. All the gates looked closed. Or at least the one on Washington Street. Didn't see anyone in there. Couldn't see if the gates on Granville Street or Ridley Street were open or not. The Cube has dominated the skyline from here since it was completed in 2010.

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah (will all be over when this gets published). More posts to come in 2020. More parks and public open spaces etc.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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90 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
21 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Gas Street Basin between 2009 and 2019

There is many ways to walk around Gas Street Basin. At least two entrances from Gas Street. Or from Bridge Street. Also from the Broad Street Tunnel or The Mailbox ends. The BCN was completed in 1773 to Old Wharf, while the W & B Canal completed by 1815. Worcester Bar was between them. Used to be a gate blocking passage between both canals (long since gone). Redeveloped from the 1990s.

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Gas Street Basin between 2009 and 2019





There is many ways to walk around Gas Street Basin. At least two entrances from Gas Street. Or from Bridge Street. Also from the Broad Street Tunnel or The Mailbox ends. The BCN was completed in 1773 to Old Wharf, while the W & B Canal completed by 1815. Worcester Bar was between them. Used to be a gate blocking passage between both canals (long since gone). Redeveloped from the 1990s.


Gas Street Basin

Located near Gas Street in what is now the Westside area of Birmingham City Centre. Gas Street Basin is where the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at the Worcester Bar. The Birmingham Canal completed their canal to Old Wharf by 1773. The Worcester & Birmingham Canal reached as far as Selly Oak by 1795, not being completed as far as Worcester until 1815. The Worcester Bar was a physical barrier between the two canals, which were owned by two separate companies at the time. A gate blocked access from one canal to the other (this has long since been removed).

In the 1990s, Gas Street Basin was renovated. And is now used on both sides to moor narrowboats. You also see the likes of the Waterbus and the Sherborne Wharf narrowboat take tourists down the canal. You can visit Gas Street Basin in all seasons, in all weathers, come sunshine, rain or snow!

Things have changed quite a lot over the last decade. The once derelict James Brindley pub is now The Canal House. The view towards Arena Central is ever changing. The Hyatt Hotel has dominated the skyline there for the past 30 years. The Broad Street Tunnel has Walkabout and The O Bar above on Broad Street. Various bars and restaurants have popped up along Gas Street. The Tap & Spile has been there for a long time. Bistro Pierre opened up a few years ago in the former offices of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

2009

I started taking photos of Birmingham during April 2009. So these are my earliest views of Gas Street Basin. Narrowboats on the BCN side, while you can see The Cube under construction to the far left.

The Worcester Bar Footbridge. I think it was installed during the 1990s, as before then there wasn't a bridge at this point. Until the restoration works, the canal was quite derelict. This bridge allows access from the Gas Street side to the Bridge Street side of the basin at Old Wharf.

This view in June 2009. You can walk walk all the way along the Worcester Bar through the open gate. The blocked off bridge at Bridge Street is the site of Old Wharf. The Birmingham Canal used to terminate just beyond there. The James Brindley pub was boarded up, I don't remember ever seeing it open. At the time the view was towards the Alpha Tower and Crowne Plaza hotel. The old concrete building wouldn't be demolished until the mid 2010's for the Arena Central redevelopment (which got delayed by the 2008 recession).

The view from the Worcester Bar footbridge towards the Broad Street Tunnel. The O Bar on the left, Walkabout to the right. A red brick Grade II listed building designed by Martin & Chamberlain and built in 1875. The Tap & Spile pub also to the left. One of the Sherborne Wharf narrowboats seen heading through the Broad Street Tunnel towards Brindleyplace.

2010

Snow and ice at Gas Street Basin during December 2010. The view towards Regency Wharf and the Hyatt Hotel.

There wasn't too much ice in the canal at the time. The view towards the BT Tower, between the Hyatt Hotel and James Brindley pub (closed and derelict).

This view of the entrance to the Broad Street Tunnel during June 2010. Whenever I walk through it, on either towpath, I have to duck down a bit. Halfway down the roof height changes. The headroom and width of the tunnel varies.

2018

Seen during January 2018 was this Canal & River Trust service boat. It was raining a bit.

The last time we had decent snow and a covering of ice on the canal was during the early part of March 2018. The canal water at Gas Street Basin was completey frozen over. Nothing getting in or out. This view towards Regency Wharf.

Hard to believe that this was the beginning of Spring. It was during the Beast from the East and Storm Emma. Could make a nice Christmas postcard. At the time the World Indoor Athletics Championships was about to start at Arena Birmingham!

Going back to January 2018, saw the red Waterbus heading through the Worcester Bar from the footbridge above, while it was raining. Heading in the direction of The Mailbox. Moored to the left was several Away 2 Dine narrowboats. Leaving the Birmingham Canal Navigations for the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

2019

Heading up to March 2019. The Broad Street Tunnel was open again after being closed for three months due to the Midland Metro Alliance reinforcing it for the future second phase of the Westside Metro extension. Meanwhile, I saw the Waterbus again heading in the direction of the tunnel, having just gone under the Worcester Bar bridge.

In October 2019, traffic under the Broad Street Tunnel was back to normal. Saw this Sherborne Wharf narrowboat with tourists enjoying a ride towards Gas Street Basin and beyond. You can't really tell from down there that it was closed the previous winter for three months.

Raining during December 2019. The view from the BCN side has been completely transformed by Arena Central. 1 Centenary Square and the Holiday Inn Expres are already open. While 3 Arena Central is still under construction.

One of the Away 2 Dine narrowboats is seen heading back into it's spot on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal side of the basin, below the Hyatt Regency Birmingham. There wasn't many people about on the Canalside Walk in the wet weather.

Still reversing in, near Regency Wharf.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
20 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019

Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.

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The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019





Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.


Wordsmith Casey Bailey recites his poem about the Midlands, now on the wall at One Chamberlain Square.

Casey Bailey, Matt Hammond and Daniel Sturley.

One of the many 'Living Walls', moss that gives out a significant amount of oxygen.

Booth for private phone calls.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
19 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Summer in Southside through the years at The Arcadian

Every summer during July or August, Birmingham Hippodrome hosts Summer in Southside, also called #BHOutdoors (if you use the hashtag on Twitter during the summer). Here we will look at the goings on at The Arcadian over the years. The Arcadian opened in the early 1990s in the Chinese Quarter in what is also now Southside. Used to be a cinema here but it closed in the early 2000s.

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Summer in Southside through the years at The Arcadian





Every summer during July or August, Birmingham Hippodrome hosts Summer in Southside, also called #BHOutdoors (if you use the hashtag on Twitter during the summer). Here we will look at the goings on at The Arcadian over the years. The Arcadian opened in the early 1990s in the Chinese Quarter in what is also now Southside. Used to be a cinema here but it closed in the early 2000s.


Summer in Southside

2013

The first Summer in Southside I remember hearing about was during August 2013. I popped to The Arcadian on the 24th August 2013 when I saw these men in white t-shirts, including one spinning a board.

Another man climbed onto the water feature near the steps spinning a pointed sign saying Culture Alert.

And another one. Seemed like they had several of those signs to spin!

Over at the canopied area was some Chinese ladies performing, perhaps dancing?

2014

The next year, another Summer in Southside, now the 24th August 2014. People sitting on deckchairs on the left.

This raised area is always good for views. This was the FLOAT Circus Mash.

INFO from this yellow and red cart.

Close up at Circus Mash, they were raising this pink and yellow thing up.

2015

Now August 2015. This time on the 29th August 2015. A stage to the left with a couple of blokes playing the guitar.

A row of chairs for people to enjoy the music.

In the middle was some people dancing.

The next move, leg up, arms out.

2018

Skipping ahead to 3 years later. This was on the 14th July 2018. A band on the stage with brass instruments.

Saw this Indian TucTuc. The Chutney TucTuc. There next performance at 3pm. Perhaps banging those drums and dancing.

This was a day later on the 15th July 2018. A rapper and a DJ behind him.

2019

The 50th anniversary of the Moon landing by Apollo 11 in July 1969. Saw this giant moon on the 14th July 2019. Most of the activities were happening outside on Hurst Street and Ladywell Walk.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
19 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Shirley Park over the years off the Stratford Road in Shirley

Down the Shirley High Street which is still called the Stratford Road is Shirley Park. Paths for walking, a playground for kids. An area for dogs to do tricks. There used to be a putting green here years ago, but it's long since gone. Since Parkgate opened, there has been a new entrance and war memorial. Recent developments over the last 5 years have included various sculptures.

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Shirley Park over the years off the Stratford Road in Shirley





Down the Shirley High Street which is still called the Stratford Road is Shirley Park. Paths for walking, a playground for kids. An area for dogs to do tricks. There used to be a putting green here years ago, but it's long since gone. Since Parkgate opened, there has been a new entrance and war memorial. Recent developments over the last 5 years have included various sculptures.


There is another Shirley Park further down the Stratford Road near Monkspath and the M42 but that's a golf club. Here we are looking at the main Shirley Park at the heart of the main shopping area in Shirley, behind ALDI (recently rebuilt). The Parkgate retail park opened in 2014 and is also nearby the park. The park is located on the Stratford Road and goes down to Hurdis Road. To the west is Haslucks Green Road and to the east is Grenville Road and Halifax Road. A walk around this park doesn't take too long.

 

2009

These were taken on my then mobile phone camera during May 2009. Lush green trees and green grass.

The putting green was still there at the time so you could see the flag poles over the other side of bushes.

I used to go putting here in the 1990s, I did OK, suppose it was fun. But eventually stopped going here.

Tennis courts on the other side of the now gone putting green.

Path to the bricked canopy.

Pinkish reddish flowers hanging from the top of the wooden beams.

2014

The Parkgate development was completed in 2014, and this included upgrades to Shirley Park. In this August 2014 visit, from the Stratford Road, there was new war memorial plaque on the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 from Shirley Royal British Legion.

Brand new entrance gateway from the Stratford Road to the main path into the park.

There was also three of these new pavement mosaics. In good condition in 2014, in recent years I've noticed that some are missing many of the coloured tiles (hopefully someone will come back and repair them). They have also become quite weathered.

A curcved path around the park. By 2014 the putting green had long since been removed from the park.

The entrance gate at Hurdis Road, is the same as at the Stratford Road entrance. Just less busy at this end.

2015

The next visit during March 2015. The playground, no kids here so got this shot of the slides and other equipment. Looked new.

A wooden climbing frame (I think).

Wooden sculpture of a giant tortoise.

Wooden sculpture of a wildlife totem pole. Including a frog, rabbit and an owl that I can see here.

Colourful slide for kids to climb up and slide down in the playground.

Some of the outdoor gym equipment.

One of the pavement mosaics with a rose in the centre and a maze design.

This pavement mosaic had butterflies on it.

This is the area that dog walkers can take their dogs into and let them run around and do tricks like at Crufts. They call it the Dog Agility Area. This is close to Grenville Road and Halifax Road. The tennis courts are nearby here. They were built on the land formerly used by the putting green.

2018

This was during March 2018. Daffodils near a tree in spring.

The new war memorial in the park. Not far from Shirley Parkgate and the ASDA supermarket.

The sun breaking through the clouds over this field.

Ice cream van - Mr Yummy. Birmingham finest ice cream.

A walk around the park in December 2018. Looking to the playground, looking empty again.

The same play equipment from a few years ago, looks to be in good condition.

Probably a weekday, the kids at school. Otherwise if this was a weekend it would be full of kids.

Where this slide is, is one of the oldest parts of the playground. I probably went up there as a kid. Not sure if it's the same slide as 25 to 30 years ago, or one installed 5 years ago?

Squirrel in the park.

2019

These days I would first pop to Costa Coffee in Shirley for drink before walking around the park. Used to be a Coffee #1 at Parkgate but that closed down and is now a TUI travel shop. This walk in the park during May 2019. Wooden climbing frame and totem pole again.

The skate park area in the park. Bit hard to find something new to take photos of around here.

A December 2019 walk around Shirley Park on a Sunday lunchtime. Starting from Parkgate after leaving Costa. Saw this Christmas tree in front of the Rugby goal posts.

The Rugby goal posts.

Above the war memorial, saw this Remembrance flag. Just over a month since the last Remembrance commemorations. Lest We Forget. We Will Remember Them.

Semi circle climbing frame. I think kids have to stand on that snake thing connected by the chains.

Football goal posts.

Another view of the outdoor gym equipment. Behind the bushes used to be the putting green, but is just now paths and shrubs to walk around near the tennis courts.

Welcome to Shirley Park - this noticeboard near the exit at Hurdis Road.

The rebuilt ALDI supermarket. It was closed for a year during 209, but opened in time for Christmas. Where this path is was close to the site of the former putting green. But is hard to tell the way it is now.

No rivers, no ponds or lakes. So the only water on the ground is puddles on paths from recent rain.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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