Posts
648
Points
32K
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Brindleyplace festive lights in Westside (2013 and 2020)

For 2020, Brindleyplace has put blue festive lights in Central Square as well as a blue baubles lit Christmas tree. It looks nice after dark. I saw it on a heavy rain Friday evening, so I got a bit soaked. We will also show you what the Christmas lights was like back in December 2013 at Brindleyplace in the early evening.

View feature View community

Brindleyplace festive lights in Westside (2013 and 2020)





For 2020, Brindleyplace has put blue festive lights in Central Square as well as a blue baubles lit Christmas tree. It looks nice after dark. I saw it on a heavy rain Friday evening, so I got a bit soaked. We will also show you what the Christmas lights was like back in December 2013 at Brindleyplace in the early evening.


If you go to Central Square in Brindleyplace during November and December, there is always usually something nice to see in terms of the Christmas tree and Christmas lights. Especially after dark. They really try to make an effort. Most years they have had a real Christmas tree. But their 2020 effort is a blue and white baubles Christmas tree that looks pretty at night.

 

December 2013

This was on the 14th December 2013, sometime after 4pm. Heading up Brunswick Street from Brunswick Square towards Central Square. The Brindleyplace Car Park is on the left. Christmas lights above.

This route takes you past the car park and Four Brindleyplace and into Central Square.

A real Christmas tree with fairy lights and a Christmas star located in Central Square at the time.

Then the Christmas lights near Cafe Rouge as I left Central Square towards the Water's Edge at Brindleyplace.

 

December 2020

Heading towards Brindleyplace and into Central Square on a rainy Friday evening on the 4th December 2020, around 5pm from Atlas Way. Could already see all the blue lights between Five and Four Brindleyplace.

It was very blue to the right, but was raining a lot, so was a lot of puddles and all paths were wet.

Turning to the white and blue baubles Christmas tree between Three and Two Brindleyplace, it made a nice wet reflection in the puddle.

Getting a close up view of the Baubles Christmas tree, my lens was getting wet, no time to wipe it in this weather!

Noticed that the water jet fountains down the steps were turn on.

Not many people around in this weather, but the lights still madea nice wet reflection from this angle as well.

One last view, before I headed towards Oozells Square and Broad Street.

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

 

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Green open spaces
09 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Kings Norton Park down the Pershore Road South

While I've been to Kings Norton many times over the years, I've only had one proper walk into Kings Norton Park way back in 2011. Back in 2009 I passed it on the way down the Pershore Road South to Kings Norton Village. And only skimmed it from Westhill Road in 2016. The park is down the hill from Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge. There is a Recreation Ground opposite.

View feature View community

Kings Norton Park down the Pershore Road South





While I've been to Kings Norton many times over the years, I've only had one proper walk into Kings Norton Park way back in 2011. Back in 2009 I passed it on the way down the Pershore Road South to Kings Norton Village. And only skimmed it from Westhill Road in 2016. The park is down the hill from Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge. There is a Recreation Ground opposite.


Kings Norton Park

This park is located down on the Pershore Road South in Kings Norton, between Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge to the north and the old Kings Norton village to the south. Westhill Road is to the west while Camp Lane is to the north. You can also approach the park from Wychall Lane, and is on the no 45 and 47 bus routes.

There is a group called the Friends of Kings Norton Park. A group of local volunteers who come together to improve and protect the park and neighbour playing fields. (There blog has not been updated since 2014).

There is a 2 kilometre walking route in the park, as well as a skatepark and a playground. The River Rea flows to the northern edge of the park. National Cycle Network route number 5 passes through the park, and it is also part of the Rea Valley Route.

 

2009

My first indirect photos of Kings Norton Park were taken on a walk down the Pershore Road South. Starting in Bournville, then passing Cotteridge and going down to the old Kings Norton village. This was when I started taking photos around Birmingham during April 2009.

Some views of the River Rea. There is at least two bridges on the Pershore Road South, so the first bigger one is definitely the River Rea. The other smaller bridge crosses an unnamed stream.

Another view of the River Rea or an unnamed stream. This was 11 years ago, so I can't remember which bridge I took them from.

The main path into Kings Norton Park with a pair of long paths, with flower beds on the grass in the middle.

2011

My walk near the end of June 2011 through Kings Norton Park was my first proper walk around the park. Starting on Westhill Road. This is probably the River Rea (I used to think it was an unnamed stream).

The main entrance on Westhill Road is similar to that on the Pershore Road South, they look identical. A pair of paths with flower beds in the middle of the lawn.

The playground near the Westhill Road entrance to the park is also near a car park. (obviously during our current situation the playground is now closed). This was some kind of curved climbing frame for kids.

Still in the playground, not sure what this is, with a pair of steps. Can't see if it has a slide. The view was towards the spire of St Nicholas's Church.

Two pairs of swings in the playground.

This was the slide in the playground here.

Now over the the skatepark area of Kings Norton Park.

The skatepark had many ramps for skateboarders and BMX bike riders to do crazy tricks on.

It had graffiti all over it.

Was loads of different sections of the skatepark with barriers at the higher levels.

This was the lower section of the skatepark.

Now onto a path with the trees mostly to the left.

More trees as I got closer to the Pershore Road South.

An old stone bench, which was off one of the paths from the main Pershore Road South entrance.

Saw this wooden post. Sponsored by Birmingham City Council. Would assume it was installed by the Friends of Kings Norton Park. Possibly from some kind of floral trail?

There was this dirt path through a pair of brick and stone gate posts, not far from the Pershore Road South entrance. I have never walked up here (I don't think).

No path behind these brick and stone gateposts, just overgrown bushes (at the time).

2016

Passed nearby again briefly back in February 2016. Again from Westhill Road, but this time I found some steps near the south west corner of the park. You can see the playground in the distance to the left. I started a walk from Kings Norton village from The Green and ended up going up Westhill Road.

A look at the steps from Westhill Road. I did not go up these steps, or go into the park this time around.

A cycling sign seen from Westhill Road outside of the park. The pavement is only on the left, not pavement on the right (if you are heading up to Camp Lane).

Yellow and purple crocuses seen on the grass just outside of Kings Norton Park.

The crocuses were on the roadside of the lawn, separated by the park barrier.

Another look at the River Rea from Westhill Road, before I walked up Camp Lane to the Pershore Road South.

I keep thinking I already had the photos in past years, so find it hard to find something new to take in Kings Norton. I wont be able to return again until the lockdown ends. It's been well over a year since I last got several buses to Kings Norton. Including when I last walked up the Stratford-on-Avon Canal to Kings Norton Junction. And even on those visits, never thought about going into Kings Norton Park again (the canal walk ended at the Kings Norton Recreation Ground and it was raining at the time).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
09 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Todo es Posible by Lucy McLauchlan aka Beat 13 around Birmingham Central Library (2010-16)

Before doing a Lucy McLauchlan Birmingham street art trail, lets have a look at a lost piece that she did. Also known as Beat 13. Todo es Posible was painted by Lucy in July 2010. You could see it on Birmingham Central Library from Chamberlain Square and down Congreve Passage. There was also bits at the other end of Centenary Way near Paradise Forum. Last visible during February 2016.

View feature View community

Todo es Posible by Lucy McLauchlan aka Beat 13 around Birmingham Central Library (2010-16)





Before doing a Lucy McLauchlan Birmingham street art trail, lets have a look at a lost piece that she did. Also known as Beat 13. Todo es Posible was painted by Lucy in July 2010. You could see it on Birmingham Central Library from Chamberlain Square and down Congreve Passage. There was also bits at the other end of Centenary Way near Paradise Forum. Last visible during February 2016.


TODO ES POSIBLE BY LUCY MCLAUCHLAN

From about July 2010 to February 2016, it was possible to see Lucy McLauchlan's Todo es Posible street art all the way around Birmingham Central Library (not covering all of it). It gave you something to look at other than the dated John Madin concrete of the 1960s and 1970s. The library would close in 2013 when the Library of Birmingham opened. And demolished during 2015 to 2016. Including the removal of Paradise Forum.

 

Location: at the time Birmingham Central Library. What is now PwC, One Chamberlain Square, B3 3AX. Note if you go to Chamberlain Square now, you will not find Todo es Posible as it was destroyed during the demolition of Birmingham Central Library in 2016.

 

July 2010

My first look at Todo es Posible down Congreve Passage from Chamberlain Square.

 

August 2010

A small section of Todo es Posible on the concrete of Birmingham Central Library. Like a bird face. It was to the left of McDonald's at Paradise Forum.

 

April 2011

Another look at the right half section of Todo es Posible on Congreve Passage. Around what used to be the Art in the Window Gallery. Lucy had painted more of the piece over the windows after this gallery had closed.

 

November 2012

Cherry pickers in front of Lucy's Todo es Posible street art on Congreve Passage. This view looking left towards Chamberlain Square and the Town Hall.

 

April 2014

Found some more of Lucy's art near Paradise Forum from Centenary Way. Leaves and berries.

Another look at the distinctive bird face near McDonald's at the Chamberlain Square end of Paradise Forum.

Some of the leaves and berries to the left of McDonald's (it closed down in late 2015).

 

February 2015

The right hand side of Birmingham Central Library was behind Paradise Birmingham hoardings, but it was still possible to see Todo es Posible down Congreve Passage. Paradise Forum would close at the end of 2015.

 

February 2016

Demolition of Birmingham Central Library was well underway by then, and this was the last time to see Todo es Posible before it went to dust.

From Centenary Way at the former entrance of Paradise Forum was another of Lucy's leaves and berries art.

Centenary Way now goes all the way from Centenary Square to Chamberlain Square in the open air. But at the time was the gutted Paradise Forum and rubble everywhere. One last look at Lucy's artwork on the right through the hoardings window.

 

Street art by Lucy McLauchlan 2010. Click the link on the left to visit her website.

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

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
09 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Smallbrook Queensway Christmas lights in Southside (2018, 2019 and 2020)

Southside BID are responsible for the Christmas lights on Smallbrook Queensway, in the yellow and red Chinese Quarter style. Traffic has gone from being mostly buses, to being busy with cars, to just buses again. Depending of what time of day it was. Smallbrook Queensway goes from Holloway Circus Queensway towards the Bullring. See also my post on the lights on Hurst Street.

View feature View community

Smallbrook Queensway Christmas lights in Southside (2018, 2019 and 2020)





Southside BID are responsible for the Christmas lights on Smallbrook Queensway, in the yellow and red Chinese Quarter style. Traffic has gone from being mostly buses, to being busy with cars, to just buses again. Depending of what time of day it was. Smallbrook Queensway goes from Holloway Circus Queensway towards the Bullring. See also my post on the lights on Hurst Street.


The Christmas lights on Smallbrook Queensway have looked nice over the last three years in Southside. You can see them from Holloway Circus, crossing the road from Hill Street to Hurst Street. Or from the Bullring end close to Link Street (above). All part of the Southside Business District. They are on the trees that lines the road that used to once form part of the Inner Ring Road (aka the Concrete Collar).

 

Click here for the Hurst Street Christmas Lights post. 

 

December 2018

Just before 4pm on the 8th December 2018 from Holloway Circus, looking up Smallbrook Queensway. Not quite dark enough, but the yellow and red Chinese style Christmas lights were turned on.

 

On the 30th December 2018, sometime after 4:30pm, during Blue Hour. Smallbrook Queensway at the Hurst Street junction with the Centre City Tower to the left, and the Bullring straight ahead.

About a minute later after crossing the road, the other side of Smallbrook Queensway, near Hill Street, looking towards Holloway Circus. Lots of cars heading into the City Centre.

 

November 2019

On the 29th November 2019, sometime after 4:30pm on Smallbrook Queensway. These Chinese style Christmas lights close to the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre hotel, with the old Ringway Centre opposite.

There was so much traffic on Smallbrook Queensway that evening. Seen close to the Centre City Tower and the Ringway Centre. Many of the shops on the right have moved out, and there is now hoardings with street art on them.

December 2020

Heading to see the latest Christmas lights on Hurst Street, I crossed over at the traffic lights on Smallbrook Queensway, on the evening of the 1st December 2020, shortly before 5pm after work. Not as much traffic, just the odd coach and mini bus on this side near Hill Street.

National Express West Midlands buses on Smallbrook Queensway, with not other traffic on the last evening of the second lockdown. Was very quiet around here.

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

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Green open spaces
08 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Eastside City Park as it was in 2012 onwards after it opened

The land that was used to build Eastside City Park was hoarded off during 2011. And the park was complete and open by the end of 2012. Here we will look at the park when it was brand new and when it was opened. Taking land that was formerly a car park in front of Millennium Point, and part of which was Albert Street. It also runs alongside Curzon Street. Near the BCU Eastside Campus.

View feature View community

Eastside City Park as it was in 2012 onwards after it opened





The land that was used to build Eastside City Park was hoarded off during 2011. And the park was complete and open by the end of 2012. Here we will look at the park when it was brand new and when it was opened. Taking land that was formerly a car park in front of Millennium Point, and part of which was Albert Street. It also runs alongside Curzon Street. Near the BCU Eastside Campus.


Eastside City Park

Development of the park took place during 2011 and 2012, and was partially opened in late 2012. It was fully opened by the spring of 2013. The park is near Millennium Point, which included the Thinktank Science Garden and a Kids Park. Access to the Science Garden is usually with youtr entrance ticket to Thinktank.

December 2012

This was during December 2012 when the hoardings had come down. My first look around Eastside City Park. Getting on from Park Street, and walking up the footpath around which used to be Albert Street. In the distance is The Woodman pub and Curzon Street Station. The park was partially opened by the then Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore on the evening Wednesday 5th December 2012.

Looking towards Millennium Point. The tall sculptures near the steps ahead. While new trees had been planted here on the newly laid lawns.

The steps when new, with benches to sit on. Looking towards Millennium Point and the Thinktank Science Garden. This was before the skateboarders started to regularly do their tricks here (well where the water fountain jets are to the right of here). Grosvenor Street West is to the left of here (near BOA (Birmingham Ormiston Academy) which leads to Jennens Road.

Close up look at the four metal sculptures on the steps. The view to the left is of the former Christopher Wray building and the McLaren Building.

Towards Masshouse. The residential block at the front is called Hive.

Masshouse without the sculpture columns in the way. To the left is what was called Hotel La Tour (now the Clayton Hotel).

Heading along the footpath near Curzon Street with Millennium Point and the Parkside Building on the left. The first building of the Birmingham City University Eastside Campus was complete by the summer of 2013.

Now looking back towards Millennium Point. As you could see, the Parkside Building wasn't yet complete.

The lawns as they were at the end of 2012. A brand new park, the first one in the City Centre for over a 100 years. Highgate Park was probably the last one to open within what is now the Middle Ring Road (Middleway's).

This covered canopy seen on the path from Curzon Street.

These early evening photos taken in the middle of December 2012. The Eastside City Park sign with crazy lights near what is now the site of The Emporium Building.

I had heard that the park looked good lit up after dark, so checked it out on the way back to my bus from work. This view towards Millennium Point.

Rush hour traffic to the left on Curzon Street. Before the University Campus opened here, the park wasn't full of students like it is now. Although Birmingham Metropolitan College has always been based in Millennium Point. And BCU had a presence in there even from the UCE days. At this point BCU were still at their old campus in Perry Barr (to be the site of the Commonwealth Games 2022 village).

Some of these shots came out a bit blurry. But you can see the spot lights all over.

The white lights lighting up the new trees.

Getting close to the area with steps and those four metal sculptures.

It was so perfect in December 2012. The paving hadn't got worn like it did in later years.

I'm sure many Birmingham photographers have taken these over the years. But I got it early on in December 2012.

March 2013

By the middle of March 2013, the park was fully complete. So I had another look around, a few days before it was officially opened in full. This is the curvy benches area under the canopy near the park entrance on Park Street.

Benches line this area with plants and new trees. Towards Curzon Street Station and New Canal Street.

Towards the Christopher Wray Building and Jennens Court. This is what it looked like 5 years before the Emporium Buillding was built here.

A few days later it was the day that Eastside City Park was officially opened on the 16th March 2013. Saw this banner.

Over there on the area where the water jet fountains are, was the official opening ceremony. Councillor Sir Albert Bore (then Leader of Birmingham City Council) was talking about how he envisioned a park when they started the Eastside development back in 1999.

This view from the steps near the metal sculptures towards the official event formally opening the park in full. The railway line behind with a London Midland train heading in or out of Birmingham New Street Station.

Water fountain jets

The water fountain jets seen in Eastside City Park during June 2013. Kids used to play in these like the ones in Centenary Square (that opened in summer 2019). And in later years, skateboarders would do tricks here.

This view from April 2014. The water jets would get quite high. In recent years though, these have not been turned on. Especially since Ice Skate Birmingham had their Big Wheel and Ice Rink here in the winter period of 2018 / 19 (they were on HS2 land on Eastside Green in the winter of 2017 / 18).

The Canal

Near Millennium Point and the Parkside Building was this canal. There is bridges that crossed it. In April 2013 it looked quite new and in good condition.

But by June 2014, the walls where the water jets came out of looked quite rusted around the holes. And hard marks down the side. This night shot was from December 2014. In the last several times that I've been past here, this has not even been turned on or even full of water. Unless rain water filled it up. Hopefully it can be cleaned and turned back on.

In late July 2019 the state of the canal near the Farmhouse Dairy Ice Cream block. Hardly much water in it. There must be a reason why the Council hasn't turned it on in a while?

More recent views to date

This view of Millenniumt Point taken from Eastside City Park during December 2016. On a lovely blue sky day. This was sometime after 11am on Boxing Day 2016 so hardly anyone around!

Snow on the side border during February 2017. Wasn't much other snow around here.

Snow in Eastside City Park during March 2018. Well here it was quite slushy and icy. The Emporium Building seen under construction.

More snow on the grass than on the paving. No one around at midday on the 18th March 2018.

This was after dark in January 2019. the Emporium Building was complete by then. Heading into the park, this would be the last time you could see Ice Skate Birmingham at the other end of the park. As they were starting to dismantle the ice rink.

What had happened to the grass in Eastside City Park in March 2019? It looked like this. All patchy. They had to replace the grass during the spring of 2019. I may have applied a filter on this phone shot that I took.

By May 2019, just soil where the ice rink had been of Ice Skate Birmingham from November 2018 to January 2019. It was raining in the park. As you can see the water jet fountains were still off. And the only water you could see was rain water. HS2 land all hoarded off to the far left. Trees all lush and green though.

What a transformation to the grass by July 2019! They had laid new grass. The trees all full of green leaves.

Hopefully the grass can stay like this into 2020. These days the park is full of students from Birmingham City University. This view towards Millennium Point.

The Woodman pub has been reopen for several years now. Various people walking through the park as I saw this cyclist go past. I think I headed down New Canal Street into Digbeth from here. The tower of Exchange Square Phase I was getting bricked up.

These days struggle to find something to take photos of in Eastside City Park. In August 2019, saw this unusual bike outside of The Woodman. Babboe City. A cargo bike.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
80 passion points
Show more