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Elliott Brown Education
22 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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King Edward VI Five Ways School - from Five Ways in 1883 to Bartley Green in 1958

In the second of our posts on the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (that was founded in 1883). This time we take a look at King Edward VI Five Ways School. Originally located at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways. They moved to a site on Scotland Lane in Bartley Green in 1958, near Bartley Reservoir. Was a boys only Grammar School until girls joined in 1988.

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King Edward VI Five Ways School - from Five Ways in 1883 to Bartley Green in 1958





In the second of our posts on the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (that was founded in 1883). This time we take a look at King Edward VI Five Ways School. Originally located at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways. They moved to a site on Scotland Lane in Bartley Green in 1958, near Bartley Reservoir. Was a boys only Grammar School until girls joined in 1988.


King Edward VI Five Ways School

Today at Five Ways Island there is little evidence other than a plaque to tell you that a Grammar School used to be located at this busy traffic island. That school was King Edward VI Five Ways School, and it still exists today, although they have spent the last 63 years based in Bartley Green, on a site on Scotland Lane (next to Bartley Reservoir). The school is about 5 to 7 miles away from where they were originally located.

 

History of King Edward VI Five Ways School

The school was founded in 1883 as part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. The school building was originally the former Edgbaston Proprietary School, at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways, Birmingham. The building was designed by J.A. Chatwin and opened in January 1883 by A. J. Mundella. At first the school had room for 350 boys. The first headmaster was E.H.F. MacCarthy, who remained in the post until his retirement in 1916. A building at the Bartley Green site was later named after him in his honour.

Public domain photo below dated to 1888 of the old King King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old KEVIFW.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

During the Second World War, the school evacuated to Monmouth, and the boys attended Monmouth School. After the war, the school was getting a bit too overcrowded, due to the development of land around Five Ways, and there was no room to expand. So the decision was taken to relocate the school to Bartley Green. The land was formerly Bartley Farm next to Bartley Reservoir, and the Foundation purchased it. The school opened there at Scotland Lane in April 1958.

After the school moved away from Five Ways, eventually the old building was demolished, and Five Ways Island was developed during the 1960s. Ladywood Road was renamed to Ladywood Middleway. Meanwhile an underpass was built under the island from Broad Street to Hagley Road in Edgbaston. Islington Row became Islington Row Middleway, while Calthorpe Road and Harborne Road remained with the same road names.

In January 1983, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school, this plaque (photo below below taken in 2009) was unveiled by Councillor P. Hollingworth (when Lord Mayor of Birmingham). It records King Edward VI Grammar School Five Ways from 16-1-1883 to 2-4-1958. The plaque was unveiled on 16-1-1983. It is below the Tubular Steel sculpture in the middle of Five Ways Island.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Five Ways plaque (Jul 2009).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

When the Westside Metro extension to Hagley Road opens at the end of 2021, passengers will have little idea that they are travelling under the site of a former grammar school!

The site of Five Ways Island today in May 2021, as seen from the top of Calthorpe Road. The school would have been approximately where the Stainless steel sculpture is today, although I suspect part of it could have been where Metropolitan House is now (built 1972 to 1974, refurbished 2015-16).

dndimg alt="Five Ways Island" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Five Ways Island (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

King Edward VI Five Ways School today in Bartley Green

The site at Bartley Green has been developed ever since they moved from Five Ways in 1958. This includes the Eyles and Chowen Centres, the former and current home of the Sixth Form Centre. A music block and technology block have been added, as well as a Sports Hall and the MacCarthy Block. The Science Wing was also expanded. In recent years, a sports pavilion was built, as well as an astro turf playing field, a mobile classroom and an Observatory was built. The Eyles building was renovated into the Eyles-Music Block, as the old Music block had become too small.

It was one of the first schools to get computer technology in 1978. This was achieved with links to Aston University. Girls have been admitted to the school since 1988. The school today is the largest co-educational grammar schools in the West Midlands and one of the top five co-ed grammar schools nationally.

 

I took these photos (below) of King Edward VI Five Ways School, back in early March 2021, during a return visit to Bartley Reservoir. The views of the school all taken from Scotland Lane in Bartley Green.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The view of the modern school buildings taken through the gate on Scotland Lane.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This road is the exit from the school. The entrance road is to the left.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This sign welcomes you to King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

An old King Edward's Royal Coat of Arms. I suspect they saved it from the old building at Five Ways in 1958. I'm not sure what else survived from the 1883 to 1958 building.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Zooming in to a modern Royal Coat of Arms sign of the school. Probably the Royal arms of King Edward VI?

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is plenty of signs here you let you know that this is King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later saw a tractor on the walk back fro Bartley Reservoir (before walking to Senneleys Park).

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Walking past the school, was my first time back since around 1993-94 when I was looking at Secondary Schools to go to. I even put it at as my number one choice for a Grammar School to go to in Birmingham (ahead of Camp Hill). Unfortunately I failed the 11+, and ended up at my local Comprehensive school (which was in walking distance). Then again King Edward VI Five Ways was too far to travel on two buses each day. And I now think I should have put Camp Hill as number one (too late now 28 years later of course). King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys was much closer to get to on the 11C (my late brother went there). The journey to Bartley Green would have taken well over an hour (including the no 18 bus). I only ever did that journey once in 2015 when I first went to Bartley Reservoir.

 

Go here for the post on King Edward VI Aston School.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
19 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street

The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.

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The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street





The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.


The Pen Museum is located on Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The building was originally built as the Argent Works of 1862-63 by JG Pollard. It was a pen manufactory for Q E Wiley. They also installed Turkish baths here! Built of red brick with stone and gault and buff brick dressings. Now known as The Argent Centre, the building runs to Legge Lane, which had a refurbishment (completed in 2020).

The Argent Centre, seen here in early April 2021, fully restored at the Legge Lane and Frederick Street corner. The Pen Museum is a short walk away. A Grade II* listed building, it was reopened earlier in 2021. And The Pen Museum is lucky to be in such a historic building.

dndimg alt="The Argent Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exterior of The Pen Museum

An early view of The Pen Museum, also called The Pen Room, in this view from Frederick Street during December 2012. I wouldn't go inside until the Birmingham Heritage Week visit of September 2016.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Dec 2012).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

In September 2016, the view of the archway of The Argent Centre. Entrance to The Pen Museum via a door to the right.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of The Pen Museum during early April 2021. By now closed due to the lockdown. The gate and doors were closed. Getting closer to the 20th anniversary of the museum, which opened in late April 2001. They are not yet quite ready to reopen, that depends on the roadmap, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased. At the time I was there to check out the restored Chamberlain Clock.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The middle of May 2021, and I saw a 101 NXWM Platinum bus (to Handsworth) waiting outside of The Pen Museum, as I walked up to the new Costa Coffee at 32 Frederick Street. The day before indoor dining, but they had an outdoor space at the back where I could have my coffee.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/101 Pen Museum JQ (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Birmingham Heritage Week visit to The Pen Museum, September 2016

That day, The Pen Museum was free to visit, but normally you would have to pay an entrance fee. The museum is based in a former pen factory in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. If you wanted to, you could make a pen nib or write your name in Braille. The museum opened in 2001. They also have early typewriters.


In the main room of The Pen Museum, you could see all the cabinets with all the pen nibs, bottles of ink and machinery used to make the pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bottles of ink for all kinds of fountain pens.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Boxes of various different pens. Such as pencil pens, crown pen diamond brand, red ink pens, telephone pen, the swan pen and so on.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Macniven & Camerons Pens "Pickwick". They used to cost 6d & 1'-per box.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portraits of the late Prince Albert (In Memoriam), Queen Victoria, King George V & Queen Mary. As well as King Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works

There was an exhibition of Joseph Gillott, who was a pen maker to the Queen (Victoria). A display of Gillott pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (1) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They also had a display cabinet to look at from the Victoria Works (which is opposite the museum on the corner of Frederick Street and Graham Street).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (2) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was a 1001 Spring Ground Mammoth Quill Circa 1845 - The Largest Pen Made. Made by Joseph Gillott of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (3) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More on Joseph Gillott here, plus women working in the factory.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

For more on Joseph Gillott go to this post.

 

George W. Hughes

Steel pen nibs made by George W. Hughes in this cabinet display.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They were quite cheap to buy, a sample card for 1d, or sample boxes for only 6d.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

William and John Mitchell

Display cabinetts of pens and steel pen nibs made by William Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (21).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the next cabinet is the steel pen nibs made by John Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (22).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens

Cabinet displays here of pens and pencils. One of them was Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens. Fountain pens made at various locations around Hockley in the 19th century (now the Jewellery Quarter).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here we see School Slates and Quill pens. Also various printed certificates.Also a set of Royal portable quills.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Boons & Blessings

The Boons & Blessings - The Pickwick - The Owl - The Waverley.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These cabinets all about the Waverley pen nib.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another sign on The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen. Also Brandauer.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Presses

A press in the corner. Now it can only be operated by museum staff only.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to one of the presses near something about Workmen's Compensation Acts 1906 and 1923.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the presses near the window, looking out onto Frederick Street. Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works is opposite, it opened in 1840.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The presses are only used to make hardened nibs which are to be slit. A delicate "push" is all that is required on the handle to achieve this.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Childrens's Classroom

A children's classroom to the back of the museum.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portrait of Queen Victoria and certificates on the wall.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
17 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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King Edward VI Aston School - founded in 1883

Welcome to our first post of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. We are starting with King Edward VI Aston School. Which is between Albert Road and Frederick Road in Aston, and close to Aston Hall & Park. Founded in 1883, it is a Boys Grammar School. The Girls Grammar School moved to Handsworth in 1911. The architect was J A Chatwin. They are on the same site today,

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King Edward VI Aston School - founded in 1883





Welcome to our first post of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. We are starting with King Edward VI Aston School. Which is between Albert Road and Frederick Road in Aston, and close to Aston Hall & Park. Founded in 1883, it is a Boys Grammar School. The Girls Grammar School moved to Handsworth in 1911. The architect was J A Chatwin. They are on the same site today,


King Edward VI Aston School

In 1883, 5 new Grammar Schools were founded as part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. One of them was King Edward VI Aston School. Located on a site between Albert Road and Frederick Road, it also goes down Upper Thomas Street. Not far from two entrances to Aston Hall & Park. This is the only school from the 1883 creation to remain on the same site to this day. It became a boys only school in 1911, when the girls school was moved to Handsworth, forming King Edward VI Handsworth School. The school is for boys aged 11 to 18. The architect was J A Chatwin.

Another building was opened in 1963 called Douglas House (after a Victorian villa had had been on the same site). It has since been extended, and was named the Watcyn Thomas Wing, after a former Welsh Rugby International who taught at the school for 37 years. It was opened in 2008 by Bob Simpson, and Aston Old Edwardian (what former pupils are called).

I noticed some building work going on near Upper Thomas Street (May 2021).

 

The photo of King Edward VI Aston School below was taken in September 2003 by Wikimedia Commons user Mdsalih. I only ever once went into the school around 1993-94, looking at Grammar Schools. I never put Aston as a choice, but ended up at my local comprehensive school after failing the 11+.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King Edward VI Aston School.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

All photos below are mine, taken on my most recent visit to Aston Hall & Park during May 2021.

Wasn't much to see from Upper Thomas Street, what with the building works, and double fences.

These views taken from Albert Road.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Suprisingly the building isn't even Grade II listed. I didn't see a sign saying King Edward VI Aston School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Car parking from the residents of the houses opposite.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is some modern houses built to the left of the school on Albert Road.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading onto Bevington Road, a quick look at Frederick Road. I once took this entrance to Aston Park about 5 years ago, although didn't really notice the school. The building below is probably Douglas House (of 1963), near the Aston Park Play Area.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The 1883 buildings by J A Chatwin seen from Frederick Road. More modern houses, and cars parked by local residents.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Look out soon for posts on King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools (Boys and Girls) and King Edward VI Five Ways School. Both schools which are no longer on their original sites. Camp Hill moved to Kings Heath, while Five Ways moved to Bartley Green.

See also my post on King Edward's School.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
10 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park

After a week of rain and hail on and off. Finally some decent sunny weather on Sunday. So I travelled up by bus to Aston to see In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park. It's a free open air tempoary art installation, in memory of those lost during the pandemic and in tribute to the NHS. On for a couple of weeks in May 2021.

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In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park





After a week of rain and hail on and off. Finally some decent sunny weather on Sunday. So I travelled up by bus to Aston to see In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park. It's a free open air tempoary art installation, in memory of those lost during the pandemic and in tribute to the NHS. On for a couple of weeks in May 2021.


In Memoriam is a temporary artwork by artist Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park, for a couple of weeks in May 2021. They are made out of bed sheets, white and blue. In memory of those lost during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic, and in tribute to the NHS.

There is an NHS Covid-19 QR code to scan to check in while you are there and hand sanitiser.

Aston Hall opened at 11am, and I popped into the courtyard to have a coffee. After that a look around Lady Holte's Garden again. Nice decent spring like weather. Note that the actual hall itself is not open to the public at this time. A one way system into the courtyard (NHS Covid-19 QR codes to scan as you go in, and in the cafe).

 

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Lady Holte's Garden

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (21).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="In Memoriam" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMLJ Aston HP (May 2021) (22).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bus: 65 or 67 to Lichfield Road (catch it from The Priory Queensway). Or 7 to Witton Road (catch it from Livery Street near Birmingham Snow Hill at Colmore Row).

Train to Aston or Witton station's (from Birmingham New Street).

Car parking is also available in Aston Park.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Rivers, lakes & canals
04 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Selly Oak Junction - a decades development of the Winding Hole site of the Lapal Canal

A new public space has recently opened near the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Selly Oak, at the Bristol Road. The site of the Winding Hole of the Lapal Canal restoration project (Dudley No. 2 Canal). When the new Selly Oak Shopping Park opened in late 2018, work started near the railway to build a new footbridge and area the public could enter. Historically the site of lime kilns.

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Selly Oak Junction - a decades development of the Winding Hole site of the Lapal Canal





A new public space has recently opened near the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Selly Oak, at the Bristol Road. The site of the Winding Hole of the Lapal Canal restoration project (Dudley No. 2 Canal). When the new Selly Oak Shopping Park opened in late 2018, work started near the railway to build a new footbridge and area the public could enter. Historically the site of lime kilns.


December 2009

A couple of days before Christmas Eve 2009, I headed to Selly Oak with my then bridge camera. Caught the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from the Bristol Road for the first time. Snow and ice on the water. To the left is the Battery Park site (later to be developed into Selly Oak Shopping Park). On the right was the former site of the Winding Hole of the Lapal Canal. This was Selly Oak Junction. Dudley No. 2 Canal used to join here, and would head to the left of this point.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Birmingham Super Hospital (later to be named Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham) and the Selly Oak Bypass were under construction at the time. The hospital would open in 2010, and the bypass in 2011 (under the name of Aston Webb Boulevard). On the other side of the Bristol Road is Selly Oak Station.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Dec 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

June 2011

Next to the Selly Oak Railway Bridge of 1931 on the Bristol Road, there also used to be this brick viaduct next to the existing Cross City Line. It was probably built in the 1870s, which resulted in two of the lime kilns that used to be on this site being levelled.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Viaduct Bristol Rd (Jun 2011) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

For many years, the area to the left was overgrown with trees or shrubs. Clearance of the land began in 2012, and the unused viaduct was demolished by 2015.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Viaduct Bristol Rd (Jun 2011) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

February 2013

A walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Selly Oak towards the Ariel Aqueduct and University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

At the Bristol Road / Winding Hole site of the Lapal Canal, you could at the time see some land clearance, and the old graffitied buildings remaining. The brick viaduct was still there. This view to the Selly Oak Railway Bridge of 1931.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The original winding hole of the Lapal Canal, used to be around here. Two more years and the abandoned brick viaduct would be demolished.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Up ahead, a sign on the wall for www.lapal.org. The current website is www.lapalcanal.co.uk

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Not sure of the age of these derelict buildings, but they were all covered in graffiti and had broken windows.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Some of them had metal walls and roofs.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

These two would be demolished in the following years to come.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Cross City Line was behind, as well as the Selly Oak Electricity Substation building (near the Bournbrook Skate Park).

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2013) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

May 2015

The brick viaduct of the 1870s was demolished by 2015, and the hole site was cleared.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winding Hole SO (May 2015) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

You can now see the Cross City Line viaduct from the Bristol Road in Selly Oak for the first time in years.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winding Hole SO (May 2015) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

All the overgrowth was cut down, the derelict buildings demolished, as well as the removal of the unused viaduct.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winding Hole SO (May 2015) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

June to October 2018

Construction of the new Selly Oak Shopping Park began in the autumn of 2017, and would be completed a year later in the autumn of 2018. This would include a new Sainsbury's store, as well as a Unite Students accommodation block. In June 2018, I saw this temporary builders footbridge crossing the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, from the Winding Hole site to the Shopping Park site.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Jun 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look, but this time from the no 61 bus (top deck) on the Bristol Road, during October 2018. In a matter of weeks, the new Selly Oak Shopping Park and Sainsbury's would open to the public for the first time. A more permanent footbridge would be built at this site in 2020. And there would also be a new canal entrance built from the Bristol Road in 2019 as well.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

August to October 2019

A new entrance and footbridge being built near the Bristol Road, Sainsbury's and Unite Students accommodation. Seen here during August 2019. Before then, you had to walk the long way around to the Selly Oak Shopping Park to Aston Webb Boulevard.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The new bridge would also be above the future tunnel of the Lapal Canal that would go under the new Sainsbury's in Selly Oak.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A visit to the Selly Oak Shopping Park during October 2019. The temporary footbridge from 2018 is gone.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The new footbridge over the entrance to the Lapal Canal was now open, and fully landscaped around the Unite Students accommodation. Winding Hole site on the far right all behind hoardings.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One day in the future, those who built and restore the Lapal Canal will have to dig up the surface below this new footbridge.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is now a quick and easy route from the Bristol Road and Selly Oak Station to get to the Selly Oak Shopping Park. And more safer than the old canal entrance from Selly Oak (down The Dingle near a 2nd hand car showroom).

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

January to October 2020

First year of the pandemic. In January 2020 I went to Selly Oak to go into the new Sainsbury's. While there got these views. This area near the new footbridge at Bristol Road, next to the old bridge over the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Jan 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A West Midlands Railway Class 323 train on the Cross City Line, as work was under way at the Winding Hole site of the Lapal Canal.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Jan 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Blue hoardings on the left, as during 2020, the new permanent footbridge would be built at the site. Seems like plenty of activity at the time on the other side of the canal.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Jan 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Views from the no 63 bus on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak, taken during February 2020. The footbridge over the start of the Lapal Canal near Sainsbury's at the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This would be the last time I would pass the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Selly Oak before the first lockdown started about a month later. You can see the route of the Lapal Canal, that it will go in the future (after restoration). Part of the existing towpath would have to go, and people would have to cross over the footbridge.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Feb 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After the first lockdown, restrictions were being eased by summer 2020. During August 2020, I walked a section of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, and saw the new footbridge under construction from the Selly Oak Shopping Park, to the Winding Hole site to the right.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Both sides had ramps and steps that the builders were installing here. The original pipe bridge and railway bridge were still behind.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The new ramps and steps on the Winding Hole side of the canal.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Saw a West Midlands Railway Class 170 train passing in orange and white. These trains are now in purple, before they are transferred onto East Midlands Railway.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The ramps and steps on the side of the canal near the Selly Oak Shopping Park.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

General canal view of the new footbridge as of August 2020.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Aug 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One more view of the new footbridge during October 2020, days before the 2nd lockdown began. This was from a Stirchley to Selly Oak canal walk that I did at the time. Wouldn't be back here again under after the 3rd lockdown restrictions were being eased during Spring 2021.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Oct 2020).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

April 2021

The third lockdown from January 2021, meant I couldn't travel back to Selly Oak on public transport until April 2021. Got the train down to Bournville and walked up via Linden Road and Oak Tree Lane on the 24th April 2021. Walked down the Bristol Road, and got this view of the area as it is now. What a transformation!

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was completed in either late 2020 or early 2021. The grass on the right is where the winding hole of the Lapal Canal will be (once restored). But they will have to dig that all out.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Metal fence along the Bristol Road, as I headed down to the entrance.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is bollards close to where the old viaduct used to end, until it was demolished more than 6 years ago.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the first time I think the area has been opened up to the public. From 1842 until 2000 it was the site to Goodman's, a successful builders merchant.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The area was also known as Whitehouse's Wharf. Selly Oak Junction opened here in 1798. The canal basin on this site was filled in during the 1940s. Sign in the middle all about the history and of the lime kilns that used to be here.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to the footbridge, the ramps on the right, steps on the left.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Before going onto the ramps, saw this Cross Country Voyager train heading south over the Cross City Line viaduct bridges.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I went up half of the ramps, before going up the rest of the way up the steps.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The view from the top of the ramps. Hard to believe what a mess this site was a decade ago.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Crossing the footbridge to the Selly Oak Shopping Park. Sainsbury's on the left.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View from the footbridge, look how nice, clean and tidy the area is now. More work of course in the future for the Lapal Canal restoration. Will take a long time to reach Dudley again.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After a drink at Costa Coffee (sat on a bench outside of Sainsbury's). I headed back to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, to get a train back to Birmingham New Street from Selly Oak.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the winding hole site. Looks nice with the grass, but that will have to go when they dig down to restore it in the future.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One last look, before crossing Bristol Road, to get my train back to the City Centre. People with bikes can cycle all the way from here if they want to.

dndimg alt="Worcester & Birmingham Canal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WB Canal Bristol Rd (Apr 2021) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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