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Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
22 Feb 2021 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The refurbishment of the former Municipal Bank (now The Exchange) - February 2021

For much of the past year, Three Centenary Way (the former Municipal Bank) has been hidden behind protective coverings. With these now largely removed, we have been given the first glimpse of this immaculate building since it has been cleaned.  Now in University of Birmingham hands, we can see that considerable progress has been made.

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The refurbishment of the former Municipal Bank (now The Exchange) - February 2021





For much of the past year, Three Centenary Way (the former Municipal Bank) has been hidden behind protective coverings. With these now largely removed, we have been given the first glimpse of this immaculate building since it has been cleaned.  Now in University of Birmingham hands, we can see that considerable progress has been made.


The following gallery takes a look at how things have progressed over the past 12 months.

 

March 2020

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April 2020

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September 2020

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December 2020

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February 2021

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Photography courtesy Daniel Sturley (Birmingham We Are and It's Your Build communities)

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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central

I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.

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Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central





I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.


Both Sunset Park and Moonlit Park can be found between Lee Bank Middleway and Bath Row at the Park Central development in the Lee Bank area of Central Birmingham. They stretch as far as Bristol Street.

This explore of the buildings around Park Central was during February 2012, but I didn't actually go into the parks at the time, and have not been back since. But in the years since, have done walks down Lee Bank Middleway, Bristol Street and Bath Row. Plus got photos of the new corner development (Roosevelt Luxury Apartments) near the Belgrave Interchange (including the new cycle paths).

 

Sunset Park

These views of Sunset Park taken on a walk down Alfred Knight Way. Probably got here via Wheeleys Lane and Longleat Avenue.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is this metal ramp structure with metal steps in the park.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing the railings on Alfred Knight Way, probably looking at the apartment buildings opposite.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

These apartments are certainly an improvement to what used to be here before.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Again looking more at the apartments and less at the park. Next heading onto Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Moonlit Park

Next up passing Moonlit Park on Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looks like a metal sculpture on concrete pillars.

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Moonlit Park seen over on Bell Barn Road to the far right.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Basketball Court near Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Children's Play Area seen from Bell Barn Road, with what looks like a climbing frame for kids.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Corner of the park near Mosedale Way.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Maybe once the 3rd lockdown ends, and I can go on the bus again, I might make an effort to travel to these parks and walk through them, never really thought about them in the past.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020

The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.

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A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020





The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.


Dudmaston

The National Trust property of Dudmaston is located near the village of Quatt in Shropshire. The country house dates to the 17th century. There is former farm buildings, some of which have been converted into a tea room and second hand book shop. There was a gallery you could visit (sanitise your hands before going in), but no photography allowed inside for copyright reasons (I think the family still live in the house). Tickets and time slot as before booked via the National Trust website (with tickets on EventBrite). If there was a gift shop, I think it was closed.

This visit was on the 18th October 2020 (so was about half a month before the second lockdown began).

 

Outbuildings at Dudmaston

The Outbuildings from the lawn. Near here was picnic tables. A queue for the toilets, sanitise your hands, wer your mask if you go in.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A courtyard near the Outbuildings. All the rooms here were closed. There was a one way system in place, so if you wanted, you could enter the gardens from this gate on the right.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Outbuildings from the garden. Due to the one way system in place, if you went out of the garden, then back in, you had to head this way to get out.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This gate to the courtyard looked nice, but it was no entry this way (you could only walk through them from the other direction).

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Private garden seen over the fence from the Kitchen Garden. Far end of the Outbuildings.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />
 

Dudmaston Hall

Round the back of Dudmaston Hall. A tent with National Trust volunteer, to register you before going into the exhibition / gallery. Sanitise your hands again, mask on. No photos allowed inside (tempting as it was).

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The back of Dudmaston Hall. It is a Grade II* listed building. A Queen Anne mansion. Built of red brick with stone dressings. Was also a 19th Century office and stable wing built in the Elizabethan style. Couldn't cross the rope on the left.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading down the hill, a look at Dudmaston Hall, an impresive looking house.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There was this Red Ivy going down the house. A bit like those poppy art installations around Remembrance time. Some old steps with urns.

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Another view of the house with the Red Ivy in the middle.

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The Red Ivy looked wonderful from any angle in the parkland.

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You could have a walk around the Dingle Walk. Eventually you would end up at the back of the Big Pool, with this wonderful picturesque view of Dudmaston Hall.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Parkland and gardens

A look down to the Big Pool at Dudmaston Estate.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sculpture in the garden, part of a trail. Spaceframe sculpted by Anthony Twentyman during 1985.

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Seated bench area for relaxing and looking at the views of the picturesque parkland.

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Greylag geese flying and landing in the Big Pool.

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The Kitchen Garden. Pumpkins in the greenhouse before Halloween.

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Fingerpost on the Dingle Walk. Head right to the Garden, or left to the Dingle Walk.

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Kept spotting this brick boathouse near the Big Pool, although didn't see any boats in the lake.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The South Lodge seen from the car as we left Dudmaston Estate. Now a private house. A Grade II listed building dating to the early 19th Century. Made of coursed sandstone rubble, with a tiled roof. The gate on exiting the estate was an automatic electric gate.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Hope to visit more National Trust properties in 2021, after the 3rd lockdown ends, if we are allowed to travel far again. Especially in the Spring or Summer months.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Yellow O's at the Oaklands Recreation Ground

A lockdown walk to the Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley on the 17th February 2021 (a distance I'd usually get the bus to in normal times). Saw all these yellow O sculptures plus purple I's. I would guess they were installed by the Yardley Arts Forum sometime during 2020. Nice to see. The walk was too long, next time I'm getting a bus there (after lockdown ends).

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Yellow O's at the Oaklands Recreation Ground





A lockdown walk to the Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley on the 17th February 2021 (a distance I'd usually get the bus to in normal times). Saw all these yellow O sculptures plus purple I's. I would guess they were installed by the Yardley Arts Forum sometime during 2020. Nice to see. The walk was too long, next time I'm getting a bus there (after lockdown ends).


A walk of over 12,000 steps and almost 6 miles (via Acocks Green). I walked on Wednesday 17th February 2021 to South Yardley. Not renewed my pass since before we entered this third lockdown (and not been on a bus in a month and half now). Mainly to see the skyline again from the Oaklands Recreation Ground.

While there found all these new yellow O sculptures and purple I sculptures. Plus they are starting to built wildlife friendly planting areas. So development of this park continues into 2021.

 

The first yellow O I saw on entering the Oaklands Recreation Ground was from the entrance on Church Road. Says I love Oaklands on all of them.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The yellow O's were scattered all over the park.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some placed at different angles near the paths.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This yellow O with a view to the Swan Shopping Centre (with Tesco Extra), Bakeman House and Equipoint.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Towards Church Road with this yellow O. Some people have already tagged them sadly.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Back on the semi circle Church Road and got this view of 103 Colmore Row and the BT Tower with a yellow O. Wondered if I could have lined it up with 103 Colmore Row inside of the O?

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Also when first entering from Church Road, saw these purple I's slanted in the soil.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

They are creating wildlife friendly planting areas here. Seen close to Equipoint and the Tesco Extra petrol station.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some more purple I's on the path to the other end of Church Road.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was about 7 purple I's here around the path, and one yellow O. View to the Birmingham skyline. The Mercian was visible to the right of it, about 6 miles distance away.

dndimg alt="Purple I's and an yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Skyline Oaklands (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One of the yellow O sculptures was also visible with the Birmingham skyline from the Oaklands Recreation Ground.

dndimg alt="Yellow O skyline Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Skyline Oaklands (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
18 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Floral Trail, The Big Hoot & Sleuth at St Martin's Square

There has been a couple of Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail pieces in St Martin's Square, but only in 2009 and 2013. In 2015 there was several Big Hoot owls around the Bullring, with at least one outside of St Martin's Church. Plus in 2017 there was one Big Sleuth bear outside of the church in the square (another bear was to be found inside Selfridges).

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The Floral Trail, The Big Hoot & Sleuth at St Martin's Square





There has been a couple of Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail pieces in St Martin's Square, but only in 2009 and 2013. In 2015 there was several Big Hoot owls around the Bullring, with at least one outside of St Martin's Church. Plus in 2017 there was one Big Sleuth bear outside of the church in the square (another bear was to be found inside Selfridges).


Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail

Birmingham Parks & Nurseries (aka Cofton Nursery) have over the years been making floral trail pieces to go on display in the City Centre every summer. But first they take the main display to the Chelsea Flower Show and Gardeners World Live, where they usually win the Gold prize. These are the floral trail features spotted over the years in St Martin's Square.

 

Trafalgar Medal, Summer 2009

I didn't really start exploring the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail until August or September 2009. One of the first pieces I found was Trafalgar, Oct 21 1805 near St Martin's Church in August 2009. It is based on a medal that Matthew Boulton made, following the death of Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He approached the Admiralty and offered to commemorate the famous victory by presenting sailors who fought in the battle with a medal. Birmingham was the first place in the country to erect a statue of Horatio Nelson in 1809.

dndimg alt="Trafalgar St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Martins Square Bullring Trafalgar (August 2009).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Best of Birmingham, Summer 2012

This is the second half of The Best of Birmingham. It won Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show, plus Gold and Best of Show at Gardeners World Live in 2012. Seen in St Martin's Square during August 2012. At the top is the Bullring Bull, then Selfridges in the middle and the Birmingham canals at the bottom with a narrowboat. The first half was in Centenary Square (with the Town Hall, Silver Spoon and a Mini).

dndimg alt="Best of Birmingham part 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Martins Square Bullring BCCFT Bullring Bull (August 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the bottom half with Selfridges and the Narrowboat in the canal with a lock.

dndimg alt="Best of Birmingham part 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Martins Square Bullring BCCFT Bullring Bull (August 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

View from the balcony near Selfridges looking down to St Martin's Square. It was very impressive looking. Must have been nice having the two halves together at Chelsea and at The NEC that year.

dndimg alt="Best of Birmingham part 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Martins Square Bullring BCCFT Bullring Bull (August 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

Now onto The Big Hoot. In St Martin's Square there was about 3 Big Hoot painted owls from July 2015, for around 10 weeks. Before they were auctioned off for the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

Beorma

This owl was located outside of St Martin's Church and was called Beorma (after the nearby Beorma Quarter in Digbeth). It was  painted by the artists Jodie Silverman from a design by Betty Underwood a pupil from Camp Hill School for Girls. The sponsor was The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. Seen during July 2015.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was about 8 interlocking hands at the front.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Plus flags of the world on a wing at the back. More little owls could be found inside of St Martin's Church at the time.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Selfie

This Big Hoot owl resembled Selfridges (seen behind) and was called Selfie. The artist was Martin Band, and the sponsor was LDC. This was up the ramp around the back of the Spiceal Street development, not far from Jamie's Italian. Seen during July 2015. And yes I took a selfie with this one.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Skyline 2015

This Big Hoot owl was located at the bottom of St Martin's Walk at the Bullring, with the spire of St Martin's Church and the statue of Horatio Nelson behind. Skyline 2015 was by the artist Nick Murley. The sponsor was Bullring. Seen during July 2015.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The skyline was painted on the back of this owl as well.

dndimg alt="Big Hoot St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017

Now onto The Big Sleuth. There was several Big Sleuth bears around the Bullring starting from July 2017, for around 10 weeks. Before they were auctioned off for the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

Bearmingham

This Big Sleuth bear was located outside of St Martin's Church, and resembled the Birmingham Forward coat of arms. It was by the artist James Mustafa. The sponsor was The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. Seen during July 2017. There was more little bears inside of St Martin's to find at the time.

dndimg alt="Big Sleuth St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Sleuth St Martins Sq (July 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Brummie Bear

This Big Sleuth bear was to be found inside of Selfridges (and not in St Martin's Square, but adding for completion). It was by the artist Slobodan Topolović. The sponsor was Selfridges Birmingham. It resembled Selfridges, Rotunda, St Martin's Church, Bullring Bull and Birmingham New Street Station.

dndimg alt="Big Sleuth St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Sleuth St Martins Sq (July 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The famous Selfridges discs at the back of the bear. Lasting longer than the real discs that need some TLC.

dndimg alt="Big Sleuth St Martin's Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Sleuth St Martins Sq (July 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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