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Art; Culture & creativity
08 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Hurst Street Christmas Lights in Southside (2018, 2019 and 2020)

A look at the Christmas lights on Hurst Street from Smallbrook Queensway towards the Birmingham Hippodrome and The Arcadian in Southside / Chinese Quarter. The walk through Christmas tree is now in front of the Hippodrome, but it was in Hippodrome Square the year before (when they had astroturf down there but not now).

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Hurst Street Christmas Lights in Southside (2018, 2019 and 2020)





A look at the Christmas lights on Hurst Street from Smallbrook Queensway towards the Birmingham Hippodrome and The Arcadian in Southside / Chinese Quarter. The walk through Christmas tree is now in front of the Hippodrome, but it was in Hippodrome Square the year before (when they had astroturf down there but not now).


A look at the Christmas lights on Hurst Street in Southside (Chinese Quarter / Gay Village) over the last three years. Mostly the same red and yellow Christmas lights on trees, in the Chinese Lantern style. The walk through Christmas tree was first installed in Hippodrome Square in November 2019. It returned in November 2020 outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome.

December 2018

These were taken on the 30th December 2018 (after 4:30pm), after getting off the no 45 bus on Pershore Street. A walk up Hurst Street through the Gay Village. The multicoloured fairy lights on the trees came out a bit blurry.

First look at the red and yellow Christmas lights near The Arcadian as I headed towards the Hippodrome.

A close up of the Hippodrome sign with the red and yellow tree Chinese lantern style Christmas lights.

Dragon Christmas lights in yellow and red on the lampposts on Hurst Street in front of the Genting Casino.

November 2019

Heading down Hurst Street in Southside on the 26th November 2019, just before 5pm, to see the walk through Christmas tree. That year it was on the astroturf on Hippodrome Square. Several people about.

People posing for photos with the walk through Christmas tree.

A few days later on the 29th November 2019, took it again, this was shortly after 4:30pm that evening.

December 2020

On the early evening of the 1st December 2020, I headed down Hurst Street shortly before 5pm.

These fairy lights (below) were on the side of Snobs on Hurst Street.

Looking down Hurst Street along the cycle lane with taxis parked opposite of Genting Casino.

The fairy lights along Genting Casino, Happy Lemon and Mr Egg in the Chinese Quarter.

This year the Christmas tree is in front of the Hippodrome. There wasn't anything on the Hippodrome Square space.

As usual, there is always red lights in the trees outside of the Hippodrome.

First close up shot of the walk through Christmas tree near the Hippodrome and Back to Backs. As a cyclist went past (I don't do long exposure or know how to).

A retake of the Christmas tree, with The Sly Old Fox pub on the left. Closed in the lockdown, probably still closed afterwards in Tier 3 as they can't do takeaways.

The red and yellow Chinese style Christmas lights on the trees in the Gay Village part of Hurst Street near The Dragon Inn and The Arcadian.

 

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

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40 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
04 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Annatomix Birmingham street art trail

Annatomix is one of Birmingham's most well known street artists with her unique style of foxes done in origami. Her pieces can be found around Digbeth and Southside. There is also a Birmingham mural in Grand Central, just as you exit or enter from the ramp. She is also known for her David Bowie pieces.

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The Annatomix Birmingham street art trail





Annatomix is one of Birmingham's most well known street artists with her unique style of foxes done in origami. Her pieces can be found around Digbeth and Southside. There is also a Birmingham mural in Grand Central, just as you exit or enter from the ramp. She is also known for her David Bowie pieces.


ANNATOMIX

Come with Birmingham We Are and one of their followers of street art Elliott on a digital tour of the street art of Brummie legend Annatomix. Known for her distinctive origami style foxes. She also famously did a piece of David Bowie in Southside (which she had to repaint after multiple vandal attacks). Why can't they leave her art alone?

More digital street art trails coming soon. So watch this space.

 

Digbeth

Location: At Warwick Bar (on the opposite side of the River Rea Aqueduct) on the Grand Union Canal (Digbeth Branch). Close to The Bond, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE. 

Date found: February 2018.

Annatomix Origami Fox

 

Location: Under the Bordesley Viaduct, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: April 2018.

Annatomix Origami Fox

 

Location: Under the Bordesley Viaduct, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: April 2018.

Annatomix Origami Rabbit

 

Location: Close to Heath Mill Lane entrance and Greenhouse, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: February 2019.

Annatomix Giant Origami Cat and a Small Rabbit

 

Southside

Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: February 2016.

Annatomix Bowie

Her original tribute to the late singer David Bowie who passed away in January 2016, age of 69.

 

Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: January 2019.

Annatomix Bowie

Version 2, as vandals kept damaging the 2016 piece, but they would target this one as well.

 

Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: February 2020.

Annatomix Bowie

A repair to the eyes scratched out with a blindfold, sadly vandals kept targetting her work.

Detail of the new blindfold and black star above Bowie's head.

 

Location: Next to Rodroj Fish and Chips, 25-27 Smallbrook Queensway, B5 4HE.

Date found: November 2020.

Annatomix Origami Fox

Sadly vandalised by the time of my visit, hopefully she can fix it.

 

Grand Central

Location: Opposite NatWest, East Mews, Grand Central Birmingham, B2 4BF.

Date found: February 2019.

Annatomix Mural of Birmingham

Featuring the Library of Birmingham, Rotunda, Selfridges, Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham Canals (passing people in the way at the time).

 

Location: Opposite NatWest, East Mews, Grand Central Birmingham B2 4BF.

Date found: November 2020.

Annatomix Mural of Birmingham

With the Library of Birmingham, Rotunda, Bullring Bull and Selfridges (no people in the way due to lockdown).

 

Street art by Annatomix. Click the link to the left to visit her website.

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

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70 passion points
Green open spaces
03 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Another visit to Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills

Only really had time for one park walk during the second lockdown (before I had to go back to work in the middle of November 2020). We went to Beacon Hill a the Lickey Hills Country Park (by car). After getting the skyline view updates, we walked into the woods, down and around the muddy paths. Got as far as a stream before going back up. The woods were covered in leaves and was quite wet.

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Another visit to Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills





Only really had time for one park walk during the second lockdown (before I had to go back to work in the middle of November 2020). We went to Beacon Hill a the Lickey Hills Country Park (by car). After getting the skyline view updates, we walked into the woods, down and around the muddy paths. Got as far as a stream before going back up. The woods were covered in leaves and was quite wet.


Beacon Hill into the woods with mud

The weather in November 2020, hasn't been great. We were in lockdown again for 4 weeks. So couldn't go far unless going in the car. And I wouldn't go back to work in the City Centre until the middle of the month (by which time the weather had improved a bit).

Before then we went in the car to Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park on the 10th November 2020. Was a bit cloudy. First priority was to get updates of the skyline. Then we had a bit of a walk down the hill into the woods. Some paths were quite muddy and wet, so shoes and jeans got covered in the muck.

Some signposts pointed to the Rose & Crown and Monument Lane. Although we ended up not getting close to either of those (apart from the road with the stream).

 

Birmingham Skyline, November 2020

First up checking out the Birmingham Skyline. New to the skyline is 103 Colmore Row and The Mercian.

As well as The Bank Tower's 1 & 2.

You can see why they call Birmingham the City of trees!

If you zoom in a bit, you can see Old Joe at the University of Birmingham on the skyline with The Sentinels and the Beetham Tower.

Zooming in from Beacon Hill to see 103 Colmore Row to the left of The Cube.

103 Colmore Row was seen behind Chamberlain Tower at The Vale Village (University of Birmingham).

The zoom in to The Mercian finds it in front of The BT Tower. The Bank Towers's 1 & 2 seen to the left.

You also have the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Park Regis Birmingham Hotel in this view.

Beacon Hill Toposcope

All my main Toposcope photos were taken back during my earlier May 2013 visit so wasn't going to take any new shots of it. But took this pair after the muddy walk down and around the woods as we headed back to the car park.

Was good to be back at the top of the hill, after getting a bit lost around the woods as you will see below. Nice to see the Toposcope again!

Around the woods in the mud

At first the path in the woods close to the top of the hill looked quite dry.

There was leaves all over the ground below the trees.

The further you got in, the more autumnal it looked, but off the paths.

Up to the fingerpost. Rose & Crown to the left, Monument Lane to the right.

Behind the fingerpost, the hill going down. Don't walk down this bit!

We first headed towards the Rose & Crown. But the path got muddy the further you went down, so we went back up.

Now heading in the direction of Monument Lane, some trees still have leaves on in yellows and greens.

Still a bit muddy as we went down the hill.

Getting further down and there was a lot of leaves on the path.

Some green fields nearby.

End of this path near the steps, was very muddy with a puddle, but found another way around.

This way seemed less muddy down to the stream.

The stream near the road. I think this was closer to Rose Hill, but we didn't head that way.

Other side of the stream, lined with rocks. We headed this way.

Heading up a bit, this path looked dry.

Saw a bridge over the stream and steps, so headed up this short cut to get back up to the Toposcope.

Leaves on the path as we went back up.

Back on the main path back up to the top of the hill.

Not far now as there was daylight behind the trees.

Back up at the top with the field at the top of Beacon Hill.

 

For my original post on Beacon Hill go to this post here: Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park.

 

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

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Dec 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

Birmingham's 103 Colmore Row is now externally completed!

103 Colmore Row is now externally completed with the last few panels installed on 26th November. The building is stunning and looks so different from different angles and in various lighting conditions. Take the full article for construction photos up to December 1st.

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Birmingham's 103 Colmore Row is now externally completed!





103 Colmore Row is now externally completed with the last few panels installed on 26th November. The building is stunning and looks so different from different angles and in various lighting conditions. Take the full article for construction photos up to December 1st.


15th November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

16th November 2020

Photos by Elliott Brown

20th November 2020

22nd November 2020

23rd November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

26th November 2020

Photos by Elliott Brown

26th November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

30th November 2020

Photo by Elliott Brown

1st December 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

See the full gallery with many more photos not highlighted in this update:

https://www.itsyourbuild.com/kms/dmart.aspx?strTab=ProjectTimeline&PageType=item&filter_ViewArticle=N&filter_ViewPosts=N&filter_ViewGallery=Y&filter_SurveyId=105543#Content

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90 passion points
Green open spaces
03 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

12 must visit parks in Birmingham in 2021

There is literally hundreds of parks in Birmingham, but here is a quick look at 12 parks you could visit in 2021 at any time of the year for a walk, cycle, or taking your dog for a walk etc. From the well known parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less well known such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. So many to choose from.

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12 must visit parks in Birmingham in 2021





There is literally hundreds of parks in Birmingham, but here is a quick look at 12 parks you could visit in 2021 at any time of the year for a walk, cycle, or taking your dog for a walk etc. From the well known parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less well known such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. So many to choose from.


Click the links below to go to the projects and view the posts. All parks are reachable by cycle or bus. Some by train and tram. Many of these parks used to be country estates before being acquired by the Council from the late 19th or early 20th Century.

 

Cannon Hill Park

Located between Moseley and Edgbaston on Edgbaston Road and Russell Road. There is also entrances from the Pershore Road. Cannon Hill Park opened to the public back in 1873, on land donated by Louisa Ryland. It is probably the most popular park in Birmingham with lakes, playgrounds and a fun fair. The Midlands Art Centre is also based here. Various memorials are located in this famous park.

Bus routes: 1, 1A, 35, 45 or 47.

 

Kings Heath Park

Probably the second most popular park in Birmingham is Kings Heath Park. Located on Vicarage Road and Avenue Road in Kings Heath. The park was home to the TV Garden, and there is a Tea Room located in a house built in 1832 for an MP, William Congreve Russell. The land and house later ended up in the Cartland family in 1880, and they sold it in 1900s. Eventually the local council took control, before Kings Heath became a part of Birmingham in 1911. Today there is several play areas in the park, plus a couple of ponds.

Bus routes: 11A, 11C, 27 or 76.

 

Highbury Park

Located between Kings Heath and Moseley, with one entrance near the Kings Heath High Street. It was the estate of Joseph Chamberlain who lived at Highbury Hall until his death in 1914. Highbury Park also has entrances on Moor Green Lane, and one near a gatehouse close to Yew Tree Lane. From Dad's Lane and Shutlock Lane, there is a back entrance to the park also leading to a car park. The park opened to the public in 1930. The park has a couple of ponds that you can see.

Bus routes: 27, 35, 50 or 76.

Trains: A new Kings Heath Station could open in the future by 2022 (the original station closed in 1941).

 

Kings Norton Park

This park is located down the Pershore Road South in Kings Norton. It was opened to the public in 1924. There is a car park located on Westhill Road. The River Rea flows through the park, although you can't see it. The park features a play area near the Westhill Road entrance, and a skate park. Not too far from the old Kings Norton Village. Part of the Rea Valley Route, and on the National Cycle Network route no 5.

Bus routes: 18, 19, 45, 47 and 49.

Trains: Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line up the hill in Cotteridge.

 

Handsworth Park

This park is located between Hamstead Road and Hinstock Road in Handsworth. Also with entrances on Holly Road and Grove Road. Nearby is the Church of St Mary, where James Watt and Matthew Boulton are buried. Handsworth Park has at least two lakes. A railway line crosses half way through the park (it was the site of Handsworth Wood Station until 1942). Originally known as Victoria Park, it opened to the public in the 1880s. A sculpture was installed in the park called SS Journey by Luke Perry.

Bus routes: 16, 61 or 101.

Trams: In walking distance of Soho Benson Road or Winson Green Outer Circle tram stops.

 

Grove Park

This park is located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne. Grove Park has been a public park in Birmingham since 1963. The southern end of the park is on Mill Farm Road towards the Kenrick Centre. Historically the park was the grounds of The Grove, which was an 18th century Georgian house. One of Birmingham's first MP's Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove from 1823 to 1846. The house was later rebuilt for another Birmingham MP, William Kenrick in 1877-78. He died there in 1919. His son Alderman W. Byng Kenrick donated the estate to the City (he died in 1962). The house was demolished by Birmingham City Council in 1963. The park has a play area and a lake.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 76.

 

Bournville Park

This small park located in Bournville is on Linden Road, and is disected by The Bourn. Directly opposite the world famous Cadbury chocolate factory. The parks goes towards Selly Oak Road and Oak Tree Lane. There is a play area close to Linden Road. Close to Bournville Village Primary School. There is also a tennis court and a bowling green.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C, 27 or 48.

Trains: Bournville Station on the Cross City Line.

Rookery Park

Up to Erdington for this park. Rookery Park is located on Wood End Road and Kingsbury Road. The site of Rookery House, which was being restored the last time I saw it. The Grade II listed house was built in the 18th century, and was originally known as Birches Green House. Was the home of Abraham Spooner and his descendants from 1730. Various different owner occupiers during the 19th century. The local council took over the land in the late 19th century, then became part of Birmingham from 1911. There was several derelict toilets in the park in urgent need of restoration. As well as a play area towards the Western Road exit.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C or X14.

Trains: In walking distance of Erdington Station on the Cross City Line.

Selly Oak Park

This park is located in Selly Oak on Gibbins Road and Harborne Lane, close to the Selly Oak Bypass and the site of the Lapal Canal. The park has a play area and plenty of paths for walking. One route along the site of the lost canal goes towards Weoley Castle. Selly Oak Park opened in 1899 on land donated by the Gibbins family. More land was added to the park during the 20th century. The park is maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. You can find carved wooden sculptures around the park, by Graham Jones.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 48.

Trains: In walking distance of Selly Oak Station on the Cross City Line.

Cotteridge Park

This park can be accessed from the Persore Road via a bridge (over the Cross City Line) from Breedon Road. The park also runs up Franklin Road towards Bournville. The park has a play area and tennis courts. Plus a skate park and basketball court. Cotteridge Park had a Sons of Rest building, but it was demolished in the 1990s. The Friends of Cotteridge Park was started up in 1997. A small community building was built between 2019 and 2020.

Bus routes: Not far from the 11A, 11C, 45, 47 or 48.

Trains: Bournville or Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line.

Manor Farm Park

Over to Northfield for this park, located on the Bristol Road South. Although it is known as White Hill in the area close to Bournville. The park was the site of the Northfield Manor House, which was damaged by fire in 2014 (never seen it myself). It was the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, from 1890, until his death in 1922 and her death in 1953. The park was opened to the public in 1951. Also home to a small lake. A wooden picnic barn built in 1894, was sadly destroyed by arsonists in 2017 and has been demolished. The Friends of Manor Farm Park hope to restore the outbuildings in the park.

Bus routes: 44, 48, 61, 63, 76 or 144.

Sheldon Country Park

This large Country Park is located between the Coventry Road in Sheldon towards Marston Green and Birmingham Airport. The Westley Brook flows through the park. There is an Airport viewing area that is good for plane spotting, as well as The Old Rectory Farm. Sheldon Country Park is split into sections, from Coventry Road to Church Road. Then from Church Road towards the Airport Viewing Area. The Hatchford Brook also flows into the park joining the Westley Brook not far from the runway of the airport.

Bus routes: 60, X1, X2, 72 or 73.

Trains: Marston Green Station on the West Coast Mainline (Birmingham New Street to Coventry line).

Similar post here on the 11 bus Outer Circle.

 

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

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