Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.

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A variety of events that were held in Chamberlain Square until 2015





Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.


2009 - 2012

Back in the summer of 2009. June 2009 to be exact, the Monarch Beach was in Chamberlain Square with a fake beach. It was a hot summer. Pretend that you were getting on a Monarch plane at Birmingham Airport and jetting off to a European destination in the sun. The beach was full of sand, picnic benches with parasols and deckchairs. This view towards BM & AG and the Town Hall.

This view towards the Town Hall. At the time Monarch had destinations all over Europe from Birmingham Airport. I eventually flew with them once on a holiday to Spain in the summer of 2014 (flying to Malaga for a tour holiday of Seville and Granada and other places that were part of Moorish Spain).

Sadly Monarch, the airline no longer exists. They sadly ceased trading in October 2017. Since then we have also lost Thomas Cook and more recently Flybe. BMI Baby also ceased to exist years ago. So going back almost 11 years, this beach was nice to see. Not sure it will ever happen again.

The first time I saw the St George's Day Celebrations in Chamberlain Square was back in April 2011. It was a hot bank holiday weekend. The event also took place in Victoria Square that year, but was too crowded and couldn't see what was going on, so only got the photos here in Chamberlain Square.

Looks like there was a open air bouncy castle ride for kids, and behind a small ride. The view was towards the Town Hall. The city centre that day was packed and it was very hot, a heatwave. And I was walking back into town after seeing a film at a cinema in Five Ways at the time. So was just passing through at the time.

In August 2011 during the 6 week school summer holidays was Six Summer Saturdays. On this particular Saturday was Snow in the City. It was organised by the Birmingham Hippodrome. Event description as following:

Birmingham has woken up to a snow storm in the middle of the night and you can join in the fun and throw a snow ball or two. Yes, really! In partnership with Snow Business.

It was The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and this was celebrated in Birmingham during June 2012. There was a stage set up with deckchairs for people to sit in and enjoy. All they they had performances by a tribute act The Rat Pack, and Rock 'n' Roll music from The Bravo Boys and Skiffle. Although when I went past I didn't catch any of that. There was also Maquee Workshops set up in Victoria Square with Union Jack flags.

In August 2012 it was the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica from the UK. Jamaica in the Square was held in Chamberlain Square and in Victoria Square. There was a stage set up in Chamberlain Square next to the Town Hall. I was in fact on the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail at the time, so just got a few views of this event at the time.

2013

The Big Egg Hunt was a trail of painted Easter Eggs around Birmingham City Centre, for around a week during February 2013. Unlike the later Big Hoot or Big Sleuth trails, it was on display all over the country. Before Birmingham, the trail was around London. After Birmingham it went to Liverpool. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial and Birmingham Central Library (which would close later in 2013 before the new Library of Birmingham opened).

Lots of eggs here, so I didn't want to take every individual one. The view near Birmingham Town Hall. Buses at the time still used Paradise Circus, and a bus stop used to be outside of the Town Hall. Fletchers Walk was behind (now demolished).

The only egg I took up close was Smiley Stop ;-) by Jack Brindley. Lot no 31. the view towards BM & AG, Chamberlain Memorial and the Town Hall.

One last view next to the Chamberlain Memorial. I believe that when this trail ended, they were all up for auction.

The St George's Day Celebrations that took place in Chamberlain Square during April 2013. With a Punch & Judy puppet show near the Chamberlain Memorial.

The entertainer here seen juggling next to the Punch & Judy tent.

Visitors on deckchairs in Chamberlain Square. A bit like a beach. There was pictures with holes to stick your heads in, get your picture taken.

The event spread over that weekend into Victoria Square as well. Plenty of things to keep families and their kids entertained.

Moving on to September 2013, 4 Squares Weekender was held in Chamberlain Square (also in Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Central Square and Oozells Square, Brindleyplace) to celebrate the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. Dancers from DanceXchange were on the stage.

The DanceXchange dancers at this point had their arms up. Some members of the audience were dancing along with them.

This moment the DanceXchange dancers were pointing their arms at the audience.

View of the stage from the side which was near the Town Hall.

2014

The last St George's Day Celebrations that I have a record of in Chamberlain Square took place during April 2014 (and in Victoria Square). This time it was a battle arena for Medieval Knights, not that I saw any them clashing swords!

The arena was set up between BM & AG and the Town Hall. So no deckchairs in the square this time. A different kind of event.

Close up it's hard to see what the people were looking at, but was shields and bows and arrows down there (I think).

Close up look at the medieval style shields. It was also during the Easter weekend. They moved the St George's Day events to Centenary Square the following year in 2015.

The Lord Mayors Show 2014 was held in Chamberlain Square during June 2014. View of deckchairs set out not far from BM & AG.

There was man climbing on this scaffolding with ladders towards the Council House Extension.

The deckchairs from the other side of the pool near the Chamberlain Memorial as a  pair of security guards look on.

One of the last events of it's kind in Chamberlain Square. The event was also taking place over in Victoria Square where you could see the then new Lord Mayor for 2014-15 Shafique Shah. This view towards the main entrance to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Where you could see the Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett exhibition in the Gas Hall.

Held in Chamberlain Square during August 2014 was Minimum Monument WW1 by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. Ice sculptures on the steps. Held by the Birmingham Hippodrome. By the time I got there, most of the ice sculptures were melting. Was only aware of it that day due to seeing something on Social Media (Twitter probably). As you can see only the iced legs were left here.

There was a lot of people taking photos of them. I would think that the summer sunshine was quickly melting them.

5000 ice sculptures were placed on the steps of Chamberlain Square to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 1914. This was by 2:30pm that day. There was also red petals on the steps.

If I knew about it sooner, I might have travelled into the City Centre much earlier that day. But there was a lot of people around even in the afternoon, so wasn't too bad in the end. There had also been rain in the morning, then the sun came out. They might have lasted longer if they were inside in cooler conditions.

2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

Seen in Chamberlain Square during July 2015 was Our Happy Hospit-owl. The artist was Cathy Simpson and the sponsor was Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. This view towards the Paradise Birmingham hoardings around Birmingham Central Library. Demolition would not start until December 2015, Congreve Passage was still open, as was Paradise Forum.

This view of Our Happy Hospit-owl towards the main entrance of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The trail was on that summer for 10 weeks before being auctioned off.

The next time I saw Our Happy Hospit-owl on it's own was two years later in August 2017. The location was at the Little Ripley Day Nursery on Goldieslie Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield. I was in Sutton Coldfield at the time on the bear hunt for The Big Sleuth, so this was a surprise to see at the time. This nursery must have won it at auction. It used to be outside of BM & AG in Chamberlain Square for 10 weeks over the summer of 2015.

Back to July 2015, and the other Big Hoot owl in Chamberlain Square was The Ship by the artist Neil Morris. The sponsor was Listers. The view towards BM & AG.

I didn't get a direct on The Ship as other people were having a look at it, at the time. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial. There was also owls inside of BM & AG to see, including the Little Owls.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020