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Green open spaces
19 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chinn Brook Meadows in the Shire Country Park

In Yardley Wood there is two areas named after the Chinn Brook. The Chinn Brook Meadows (also called the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground) and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. I've been to both a couple of times (usually walking from one part into the next). In this post though we will take a look at the Chinn Brook Meadows. From Trittiford Road / Highfield Road to Yardley Wood Road.

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Chinn Brook Meadows in the Shire Country Park





In Yardley Wood there is two areas named after the Chinn Brook. The Chinn Brook Meadows (also called the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground) and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. I've been to both a couple of times (usually walking from one part into the next). In this post though we will take a look at the Chinn Brook Meadows. From Trittiford Road / Highfield Road to Yardley Wood Road.


Chinn Brook Meadows

The Chinn Brook Meadows is one of the satellite parks of the Shire Country Park. Many locals in Yardley Wood still refer it to as the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground (and is labelled as that on Google Maps). The Chinn Brook Meadows is a 34 Acre site that stretches from Yardley Wood Road to the west, towards Trittiford Road and Highfield Road to the East. To the north is Chinn Brook Road and Glastonbury Road is to the south. The Chinn Brook flows through the Recreation Ground, where it joins up with the River Cole in The Dingles. Also nearby is the Trittiford Mill Pool to the east. The site was renamed in 2010 from the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground to the Chinn Brook Meadows, as it was thought that Meadows better reflects it's character.

 

I've had at least two full walks through the Chinn Brook Meadows. In December 2014 on Christmas Day and in April 2020 on a lockdown walk.

2014

For a Christmas Day morning walk on the 25th December 2014, we started our walk in the Chinn Brook Meadows. Getting in from the main entrance on Trittiford Road. There was this information sign and map, although vandals had tagged it at the time.

A look at the Chinn Brook from the bridge on Trittiford Road in Yardley Wood.

The fingerpost in the Chinn Brook Meadows was looking relatively new at the time. Directions to The Dingles, Trittiford Mill Pool and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve.

The playground / play area that is close to Trittiford Road. There is also an entrance to it from Chinn Brook Road.

S bend in the Chinn Brook.

One of the footbridges over the Chinn Brook.

Was a nice sunny morning at the time, as I had a look over the footbridge. Bollards at both ends.

The path in the Chinn Brook Meadows goes past the field, that most people still call The Rec.

But it's what was growing alongside the path and the Chinn Brook that got it renamed to Chinn Brook Meadows.

More of the same near the Chinn Brook.

Trees not far from the houses on Chinn Brook Road.

The path curving to the right.

Near the end of The Rec section before you walk down a path to Yardley Wood Road.

A couple take their dog for a walk.

The gate at the end of the path near Yardley Wood Road. Exit here and cross over the road to enter the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve.

2017

In January 2017, I saw this carved wooden sculpture close to Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. It was probably done by local Birmingham based carver, Graham Jones. You can find his work in other parks and green spaces around Birmingham.

It had various carvings around it, such as birds and flowers.

Some details at the bottom including a swan.

Later that year in December 2017, while it was snowing in Yardley Wood, I walked down to the Trittiford Mill Pool. While there I got these snowy views towards the Chinn Brook Meadows.

The roads around it had been gritted by the council, but looks quite slushy and dirty.

This side was closer to The Dingles, but was the view in the direction of the Chinn Brook Meadows. Not seen snow around there since then.

2020

In April 2020 we had a lockdown walk through the Chinn Brook Meadows before heading into the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. Parking on Chinn Brook Road, we passed the playground / play area which of course (at the time) was closed due to the pandemic / lockdown. So no child on the swings or slides until the beginning of July.

Looking through the swings to the slide from Chinn Brook Road.

Notices from the Council, to not enter the play area. Then again, some people ignored these, and hoped over the gate.

The Chinn Brook Meadows fingerpost from Chinn Brook Road, near the entrance to the play area.

One last look at the equipment that children couldn't use from about late March until early July 2020.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of families out in the Recreation Ground for a walk and exercise (more than my previous visit). At the time, getting out for your one form of daily exercise was allowed (apart from getting essentials from the shops).

Was a nice blue sky as we walked up the path towards Yardley Wood Road. Grass nice and short.

As before, the path curves around to the right. People taking their dogs for a walk and having fun in the Chinn Brook to the left.

Plenty of space here to have a game of football, although at the time that kind of activity was not allowed under the restrictions.

Nearing the end of the path close to The Rec.

The path to Yardley Wood Road was a bit narrower, and the leaves on the trees hadn't fully grown back.

Bluebells growing close to the path. When you couldn't go far at the time, your local green spaces was the only place to see them.

Such a short period of time to see the bluebells in flower.

This sign close to the Yardley Wood Road exit reminds you that this area is part of the Millstream Way. Also that it is illegal to access and ride with off-road motorcycles within the City Council parkland. But idiot youths keep ignoring this. And they spray painted over the West Midlands Police logo!

Later on the walk back from the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve down Chinn Brook Road. This was another one of the entrances. Such bright sunshine from that side.

Yellow flowers growing near the gate on Chinn Brook Road. According to Google Lens, they are called Gorse.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
18 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock

This clock tower located in the Jewellery Quarter is in memory of Joseph Chamberlain's visit to South Africa in 1903 after the Boer War, while he was the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It is at the junction of Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street. It will be removed end of August 2020 for restoration work.

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Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock





This clock tower located in the Jewellery Quarter is in memory of Joseph Chamberlain's visit to South Africa in 1903 after the Boer War, while he was the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It is at the junction of Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street. It will be removed end of August 2020 for restoration work.


Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock

The Chamberlain Clock is an Edwardian cast-iron clock located in the Jewellery Quarter. It was erected to mark Joseph Chamberlain's tour of South Africa from the 26th December 1902 until the 25th February 1903, after the end of the Second Boer War. It was unveiled while Chamberlain was still alive in January 1904, by Mary Crowninshield Endicott, his 3rd wife. It is at the junction of Vyse Street with Warstone Lane and Frederick Street. At one point Chamberlain lived in Frederick Street (probably before he moved into Highbury Hall). It was last restored in 1989. The clock is Grade II listed.

The clock is next due for a restoration soon, and will be removed on the 22nd August 2020. The clock no longer works. It will be reinstalled in early 2021 with a new information panel. See our friends at Birmingham Updates for more.

 

I first took a series of photos of the clock in November 2009.

View to the Rose Villa Tavern. Today the area behind is now called Golden Square. Corner of Vyse Street and Warstone Lane.

View to the HSBC bank at the other corner of Warstone Lane and Vyse Street.

Some information on the bottom of the clock. It was erected by his constituents the electors of West Birmingham.

Another view with HSBC to the corner of Warstone Lane and Vyse Street.

An old Metrobus on the 101 to Handsworth about a year before they were withdrawn. Was still Travel West Midlands at the time.

Christmas lights behind the clock on Warstone Lane.

This was the view near the Barclays Bank looking up Frederick Street.

This view below of the Chamberlain Clock was taken during January 2019, from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. Looking up Newhall Hill to Frederick Street. HSBC was now HSBC UK (after 1 Centenary Square opened). The modern 101 bus is now red from National Express West Midlands.

Returned to this part of the Jewellery Quarter for the first time in ages in August 2020. Heading down Vyse Street from Jewellery Quarter Station. Barclays Bank on the left at the Warstone Lane and Frederick Street corner.

The Warstone Lane view of the clock between the Rose Villa Tavern and Barclays Bank.

Also got this view looking up from Frederick Street. The clock no longer works, it needs repainting. It's in urgent need of some TLC.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Fox Hollies Park from March to June 2020

Fox Hollies Park for me is the closest park in walking distance. Not that I always wanted to go there (due to shady characters). Popped in or nearby several times during the lockdown from March to June 2020. Usually on walks to or from Acocks Green. Recently local volunteers have gone around the park litter picking.

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Fox Hollies Park from March to June 2020





Fox Hollies Park for me is the closest park in walking distance. Not that I always wanted to go there (due to shady characters). Popped in or nearby several times during the lockdown from March to June 2020. Usually on walks to or from Acocks Green. Recently local volunteers have gone around the park litter picking.


Fox Hollies Park

This is my second Fox Hollies Park post. Find my original post here: Fox Hollies Park through the years.

March 2020

At the beginning of the lockdown, I had a late March 2020 walk around Fox Hollies Park. There wasn't many people in the park. As usual entered at Shirley Road and walk around the path along the Westley Brook. Saw a Jet2 plane taking off. Was starting to get rare to see passenger planes in the sky.

A look at the Westley Brook and the tree branches.

Taking a slightly different route through the trees along this dirt path.

More parts of the Westley Brook.

Trees leaning over the Westley Brook.

Trees without leaves on the path to the pond.

The Round Pool.

Danger No Swimming or Paddling. Duck on the left.

Metal footbridge on the right hand side of the Round Pool.

Pair of Canada geese.

Another duck.

April 2020

An afternoon walk around Acocks Green, and we briefly popped into Fox Hollies Park from Pool Farm Road near Fanshawe Road. It was a sunny afternoon and more people about.

Walked towards the Gospel Lane exit. Blue sky and leaves growing back on the trees. At the time you were not allowed in the play area, yet some men were inside playing with a remote controlled car!

Saw this structure from Gospel Lane. Probably somewhere for teenagers to hang about. After this continued my walk around Acocks Green and back into Hall Green.

June 2020

Early June 2020, and I went down Shirley Road to take something to the Post Office. Took this photo on my smartphone camera of the grass cut in stripes for social distancing.

Late June 2020, and walking back up Shirley Road after an evening walk down to Acocks Green Village.

The main entrance to Fox Hollies Park from Shirley Road through this new gateway.

The grass still cut at different levels for social distancing.

Long grass in a look towards the Shirley Road Play Area (which was still closed at the time).

For another nearby park in the area, check out my post on Langley Hall Park. It's just down Gospel Lane from Fox Hollies Park. And can be entered via Swanswell Road. It's just over the Birmingham / Solihull border in Olton / Kineton Green.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

 

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60 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal

One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.

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The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal





One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.


Brandwood Tunnel

The Brandwood Tunnel is on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal in Birmingham. In September 2018 I had a walk of the canal, starting at Alcester Road South near Kings Heath and Alcester Lanes End, and walking towards Kings Norton Junction. It was Birmingham Heritage Week at the time, although my walk here was nothing to do with that.

There is no towpath in the tunnel, so you have to walk up the towpath ramp towards Brandwood Road. And make your way to Shelfield Road for the other end. It was not signposted, and had to check Google Maps at the time (at one point I walked up Monyhull Hall Road in the wrong direction before I turned back and consulted Google Maps).

 

East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

Located on the walk between Alcester Road South and Monyhull Hall Road, is the East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel. It is a Grade II listed building. It was built from 1793 until 1796 of brick and stone. The canal engineer was probably Josiah Clowes. In an age before motorised narrowboats, the narrowboat would have been pulled by a horse. But the horse would have been taken up to road level, while a pair of men legged it through the tunnel. The towpath leads up to Monyhull Hall Road. You have to walk down Brandwood Park Road to Shelfield Road to get to the other part of the canal, and the West Portal.

Was a nice reflection in the water of the tunnel entrance at the east end.

Sign about the Brandwood Tunnel at the East Portal. Canoes can go through, but they must check that the tunnel is clear and have a forward facing white light on.

From this point, the towpath starts to go up the hill.

Both ends have a portrait, but the East Portal seems to be missing a portrait (maybe it eroded due to weather over 220 plus years?). There was unsightly tags at the top of the East Portal brickwork.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign looked like it was in need of a repair.  It's hard to tell who this portrait was of.

The Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres in length.

Steps down for someone in a narrowboat to use. Such as the person with the key to the locks.

Last look at the East Portal before walking up to the road level. Some more graffiti tags on the right.

West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

This portal is located near Shelfield Road in Brandwood End. Easy to miss as it was not signposted at road level, so had to check Google Maps to find the towpath. The West Portal is also a Grade II listed building and was built from 1793 to 1794. The north section of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal opened in 1802. This side has a portrait of William Shakespeare (as people in narrowboats will most likely be heading for Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon). Beyond here the canal leads to Kings Norton Junction where it meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Kings Norton (just after a guillotine lock).

Heading down the towpath next to the West Portal. More graffiti on the brickwork to the left.

First proper glimse at the West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel, as I headed down the towpath.

A view of the portrait of William Shakespeare.

This portrait of Shakespeare has survived the centuries, but looks weathered around the edges.

Even this side mentions that the Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres long.

One last look at the Shakespeare portrait.

A proper look at the West Portal before continuing the walk towards Kings Norton.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign at the West Portal at the time was heavily vandalised with graffiti tags. Hopefully the Canal & River Trust has cleaned it up since. But the canal down here always gets tagged, even at the guillotine lock at Kings Norton a bit further down.

 

There are other tunnels that you can walk through. Such as the Edgbaston Tunnel and Broad Street Tunnel on the Worceser & Birmingham Canal, which I can cover in future posts.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Transport
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Railway 196 101 test run through Yardley Wood Station

I got a tip off where I could see West Midlands Railway 196 101. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station. This Spanish built CAF train would pass through at about 10:17 on 13/08/2020. Stopping for a moment before resuming it's journey back to Tyseley TMD.

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West Midlands Railway 196 101 test run through Yardley Wood Station





I got a tip off where I could see West Midlands Railway 196 101. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station. This Spanish built CAF train would pass through at about 10:17 on 13/08/2020. Stopping for a moment before resuming it's journey back to Tyseley TMD.


Click here to see the Class 196 mock up at Tyseley post.

WEST MIDLANDS RAILWAY 196 101

I'd like to thank my Flickr friend and fellow train enthusiast Geoff Dowling for this tip off. He said that I might see the test run of West Midlands Railway 196 101 between 10:15 and 10:30 on the 13th August 2020. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station to see it. Thought I might as well buy an E-ticket to Birmingham Snow Hill on the app as I walked down Highfield Road.

This Class 196 is currently the only full train that West Midlands Railway has, apart from that mock up I saw in Tyseley. Since arriving, it's been regularly doing test runs down to Stratford-upon-Avon or towards Worcester Foregate Street or Worcester Shrub Hill.

In this case, it was returning from Stratford-upon-Avon, probably going back to Tyseley TMD. It arrived around 10:17. Simulating a stop for a few seconds before moving on. I had another half hour wait at platorm 2, for the 10:45 to Birmingham Snow Hill.

Made by CAF in Spain, there is 26 trains of this Class on order. When the full fleet arrives in the UK, West Midlands Trains plans to replace the fleet of Class 170/5 and 170/6 Turbostar's and their Class 153's with the new Class 196's.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followe

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