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Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2020 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - March & April (2020) update

An average of 17 glass panels a day will be fitted onto this new, 26-storey, Birmingham landmark. This update shows the progress made on site in March and April, with the structural steelwork superstructure continuing its upward rise, closely followed by the beautiful glazing facade. Already a new Birmingham Gem!

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The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - March & April (2020) update





An average of 17 glass panels a day will be fitted onto this new, 26-storey, Birmingham landmark. This update shows the progress made on site in March and April, with the structural steelwork superstructure continuing its upward rise, closely followed by the beautiful glazing facade. Already a new Birmingham Gem!


Gallery of 103 Colmore Row photography by Daniel Sturley, one of the People with Passion at It's Your Build and Birmingham We Are.

Photography taken during April 2020

Photography taken during March 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
History & heritage
27 Apr 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham from the Domesday Book in 1086 to 1300 when William de Birmingham was Lord of the Manor

There is a model in the Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, showing what Birmingham might have looked like in the year 1300. The Lord of the Manor was William de Birmingham. Did you know why Moat Lane is called Moat Lane? There used to be a moat in what is now the Bull Ring area and the de Birmingham family lived in a manor house there.

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Birmingham from the Domesday Book in 1086 to 1300 when William de Birmingham was Lord of the Manor





There is a model in the Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, showing what Birmingham might have looked like in the year 1300. The Lord of the Manor was William de Birmingham. Did you know why Moat Lane is called Moat Lane? There used to be a moat in what is now the Bull Ring area and the de Birmingham family lived in a manor house there.


Birmingham has a history going back centuries, way before we gained City Status in 1889. And way before the Chamberlain's of the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries and way before Boulton and Watt in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. The Roman's had a fort in Birmingham close to the site of what is now the University of Birmingham around 48 AD.

 

The following photos below were originally taken at The Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in November 2012. These were in the section called Origins up to 1700.

This panel is about Medieval Birmingham. It mentions that in 1086 Birmingham was valued at just £1. It was recorded in the 'Domesday Book' by the Normans (20 years after the Norman Conquest of England). 200 years later Birmingham was one of the wealthiest trading centres in Warwickshire.

This panel about Birmingham before Birmingham. The town came into existence in the 1160s. People have lived in the area for hundreds of thousands of years. Many of Birmingham's place names are of Anglo Saxon origin. Archaeology at the Bullring from 1997 to 2001 didn't find any finds before the 12th century (or evidence of a major settlement before then).

When Birmingham got a charter to hold a market, this was in 1166 by the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham. That's when Birmingham began to develop. Around the area that is today's Bullring. This is what Peter de Birmingham could have looked like.

It was the year 1166 when Peter de Birmingham as the Lord of the Manor bought a market charter from the king, Henry II, which entitled him to hold a weekly market. He made profits from the rent paid by the craftspeople who settled here and the traders who came to sell their goods.

This large model was near the entrance of the gallery and was what Birmingham could have looked like in the year 1300 when William de Birmingham was the Lord of the Manor.

At this end of the model, it shows the moat where the Lord of the Manor's house would be.

A close up look at the moat. The de Birmingham family might have decended from Norman ancestors, other sources suggest they decend from an Anglo-Saxon family. The market would have been held within the land of the moated manor house, or just outside it. Today the site of the moat is where Moat Lane Car Park is (it has been renamed to Markets Car Park) and the former site of the Birmingham Wholesale Market (demolished for the proposed Smithfield development). The moat was filled in during the 19th century. Maps from the 19th century show the moat was still there in 1816, but gone by the 1830's as by then the Smithfield Market was on the land.

Settlements to the north of the moat. There was a church in the middle. That was St Martin's Church.

This direction towards St Martin's Church and Market Place with the Manor House and Moat at the far end. Today this would be the location of the modern Bullring (built 2003). East Mall would be to the left (Selfridges) and the West Mall would be to the right (towards Debenhams). Spiceal Street would wind around up past St Martin's Church then up St Martin's Walk. The market place has changed a lot in 850 plus years.

This map in the exhibition might make things a bit clearer. To the south was the Manor House and Moat. Above that was the Market Place. A Watermill was near the moat. And most of the countryside was Deer Park. By the year 1300 around 1,500 people were living in Birmingham. New Street, Park Street and Edgbaston Street all existed by the year 1300.

This is William de Birmingham. He's the Lord of the Manor and everyone who lives in Birmingham pays him rent. He reduced the size of his deer park so that people can build houses on his land and he increased the rental income.

Another map of Birmingham in 1300. The centre of Birmingham is marked by the yellow rectangle including the Church (St Martin's), the Market and the Manor House. The Deer Park is on two sides of the town. To the north west was the Priory Hospital. New Street goes to the west. To the south west was the Parsonage. The River Rea flows from the north east to the south (passing the areas later known as Deritend and Digbeth but not marked on this map).

There is a series of four history panels located around the Bullring. I got photos of them back in 2009 and 2010. They mention that archaeological digs were carried out as part of the Bullring redevelopment. The digs uncovered evidence of Birmingham's medieval origins about 2 metres below the present ground level and it is known that by the 1300s Birmingham was a thriving medieval market and industrial town.

1. High Street.

This was located outside of the Pavilions. Seen in October 2010.

It says Birmingham by the year 1300 had a population of 1,500. It had houses, markets and industry and was thriving. The Priory or Hospital of St Thomas was located at the northern end of Dale End between Bull Street and Old Square (where the name The Priory Queensway comes from).

2 Edgbaston Street

Located on the walk towards Debenhams. Seen in May 2009.

Edgbaston Street was one of the oldest streets in Birmingham. In medieval times it linked the moated manor house with Parsonage Moat and carried traffic to and from the busy Bull Ring Market. An archaeological dig on Edgbaston Street (below the Indoor Market building) showed that a 13th century tannery was tucked in at the rear of the houses fronting the main street. Was one of the earliest tanneries now known to have existed in the Bull Ring and Deritend.

3 St Martin's Square

This was on the wall below Selfridges, but was moved in 2011 when the Spiceal Street development was built (Hand Made Burger Co was at this site until 2020). Seen in August 2009.

St Martin's, the parish church in Birmingham was built in the 12th century. The dig done in advance of the landscaping around the church as part of the Bullring development. Most of the burials found remains dating to the late 18th and throughout the 19th century. No remains from Medieval times were outside.

4 Park Street

This was on Park Street near Birmingham Moor Street Station. Seen in August 2009.

This area was the Lord of the Manor's deer park. Archaeological digs at Moor Street and Park Street (below what is now Moor Street Car Park) discovered a large ditch that was the boundary between the town and deer park in the 12th century. By the 13th century, the park's use for hunting gave way to the demands for the land close to the Bull Ring. As a result of the success of the markets, the Lord of the Manor abandoned the deer park. The ditch was infilled and Moor Street and Park Street were created to provide additional building land. 13th century pottery was made here, including metal-working, horn-working, born-working and textile production.

No wonder they called Birmingham The Workshop of the World. And this was as early as the 13th century!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at over 1,120 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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100 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
26 Apr 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

My Exercise Photo Walk - 26th April 2020

I went out for my exercise walk in the mid morning sunshine and went into Centenary and around Brindleyplace, here are my favorite 12.

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My Exercise Photo Walk - 26th April 2020





I went out for my exercise walk in the mid morning sunshine and went into Centenary and around Brindleyplace, here are my favorite 12.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Squares and public spaces
23 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A variety of events that were held in Chamberlain Square until 2015

Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.

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A variety of events that were held in Chamberlain Square until 2015





Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.


2009 - 2012

Back in the summer of 2009. June 2009 to be exact, the Monarch Beach was in Chamberlain Square with a fake beach. It was a hot summer. Pretend that you were getting on a Monarch plane at Birmingham Airport and jetting off to a European destination in the sun. The beach was full of sand, picnic benches with parasols and deckchairs. This view towards BM & AG and the Town Hall.

This view towards the Town Hall. At the time Monarch had destinations all over Europe from Birmingham Airport. I eventually flew with them once on a holiday to Spain in the summer of 2014 (flying to Malaga for a tour holiday of Seville and Granada and other places that were part of Moorish Spain).

Sadly Monarch, the airline no longer exists. They sadly ceased trading in October 2017. Since then we have also lost Thomas Cook and more recently Flybe. BMI Baby also ceased to exist years ago. So going back almost 11 years, this beach was nice to see. Not sure it will ever happen again.

The first time I saw the St George's Day Celebrations in Chamberlain Square was back in April 2011. It was a hot bank holiday weekend. The event also took place in Victoria Square that year, but was too crowded and couldn't see what was going on, so only got the photos here in Chamberlain Square.

Looks like there was a open air bouncy castle ride for kids, and behind a small ride. The view was towards the Town Hall. The city centre that day was packed and it was very hot, a heatwave. And I was walking back into town after seeing a film at a cinema in Five Ways at the time. So was just passing through at the time.

In August 2011 during the 6 week school summer holidays was Six Summer Saturdays. On this particular Saturday was Snow in the City. It was organised by the Birmingham Hippodrome. Event description as following:

Birmingham has woken up to a snow storm in the middle of the night and you can join in the fun and throw a snow ball or two. Yes, really! In partnership with Snow Business.

It was The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and this was celebrated in Birmingham during June 2012. There was a stage set up with deckchairs for people to sit in and enjoy. All they they had performances by a tribute act The Rat Pack, and Rock 'n' Roll music from The Bravo Boys and Skiffle. Although when I went past I didn't catch any of that. There was also Maquee Workshops set up in Victoria Square with Union Jack flags.

In August 2012 it was the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica from the UK. Jamaica in the Square was held in Chamberlain Square and in Victoria Square. There was a stage set up in Chamberlain Square next to the Town Hall. I was in fact on the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail at the time, so just got a few views of this event at the time.

2013

The Big Egg Hunt was a trail of painted Easter Eggs around Birmingham City Centre, for around a week during February 2013. Unlike the later Big Hoot or Big Sleuth trails, it was on display all over the country. Before Birmingham, the trail was around London. After Birmingham it went to Liverpool. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial and Birmingham Central Library (which would close later in 2013 before the new Library of Birmingham opened).

Lots of eggs here, so I didn't want to take every individual one. The view near Birmingham Town Hall. Buses at the time still used Paradise Circus, and a bus stop used to be outside of the Town Hall. Fletchers Walk was behind (now demolished).

The only egg I took up close was Smiley Stop ;-) by Jack Brindley. Lot no 31. the view towards BM & AG, Chamberlain Memorial and the Town Hall.

One last view next to the Chamberlain Memorial. I believe that when this trail ended, they were all up for auction.

The St George's Day Celebrations that took place in Chamberlain Square during April 2013. With a Punch & Judy puppet show near the Chamberlain Memorial.

The entertainer here seen juggling next to the Punch & Judy tent.

Visitors on deckchairs in Chamberlain Square. A bit like a beach. There was pictures with holes to stick your heads in, get your picture taken.

The event spread over that weekend into Victoria Square as well. Plenty of things to keep families and their kids entertained.

Moving on to September 2013, 4 Squares Weekender was held in Chamberlain Square (also in Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Central Square and Oozells Square, Brindleyplace) to celebrate the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. Dancers from DanceXchange were on the stage.

The DanceXchange dancers at this point had their arms up. Some members of the audience were dancing along with them.

This moment the DanceXchange dancers were pointing their arms at the audience.

View of the stage from the side which was near the Town Hall.

2014

The last St George's Day Celebrations that I have a record of in Chamberlain Square took place during April 2014 (and in Victoria Square). This time it was a battle arena for Medieval Knights, not that I saw any them clashing swords!

The arena was set up between BM & AG and the Town Hall. So no deckchairs in the square this time. A different kind of event.

Close up it's hard to see what the people were looking at, but was shields and bows and arrows down there (I think).

Close up look at the medieval style shields. It was also during the Easter weekend. They moved the St George's Day events to Centenary Square the following year in 2015.

The Lord Mayors Show 2014 was held in Chamberlain Square during June 2014. View of deckchairs set out not far from BM & AG.

There was man climbing on this scaffolding with ladders towards the Council House Extension.

The deckchairs from the other side of the pool near the Chamberlain Memorial as a  pair of security guards look on.

One of the last events of it's kind in Chamberlain Square. The event was also taking place over in Victoria Square where you could see the then new Lord Mayor for 2014-15 Shafique Shah. This view towards the main entrance to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Where you could see the Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett exhibition in the Gas Hall.

Held in Chamberlain Square during August 2014 was Minimum Monument WW1 by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. Ice sculptures on the steps. Held by the Birmingham Hippodrome. By the time I got there, most of the ice sculptures were melting. Was only aware of it that day due to seeing something on Social Media (Twitter probably). As you can see only the iced legs were left here.

There was a lot of people taking photos of them. I would think that the summer sunshine was quickly melting them.

5000 ice sculptures were placed on the steps of Chamberlain Square to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 1914. This was by 2:30pm that day. There was also red petals on the steps.

If I knew about it sooner, I might have travelled into the City Centre much earlier that day. But there was a lot of people around even in the afternoon, so wasn't too bad in the end. There had also been rain in the morning, then the sun came out. They might have lasted longer if they were inside in cooler conditions.

2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

Seen in Chamberlain Square during July 2015 was Our Happy Hospit-owl. The artist was Cathy Simpson and the sponsor was Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. This view towards the Paradise Birmingham hoardings around Birmingham Central Library. Demolition would not start until December 2015, Congreve Passage was still open, as was Paradise Forum.

This view of Our Happy Hospit-owl towards the main entrance of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The trail was on that summer for 10 weeks before being auctioned off.

The next time I saw Our Happy Hospit-owl on it's own was two years later in August 2017. The location was at the Little Ripley Day Nursery on Goldieslie Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield. I was in Sutton Coldfield at the time on the bear hunt for The Big Sleuth, so this was a surprise to see at the time. This nursery must have won it at auction. It used to be outside of BM & AG in Chamberlain Square for 10 weeks over the summer of 2015.

Back to July 2015, and the other Big Hoot owl in Chamberlain Square was The Ship by the artist Neil Morris. The sponsor was Listers. The view towards BM & AG.

I didn't get a direct on The Ship as other people were having a look at it, at the time. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial. There was also owls inside of BM & AG to see, including the Little Owls.

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

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60 passion points
Squares and public spaces
16 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

From the Flame of Hope to the Countdown clock to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

On Commonwealth Day the countdown clock to the Commonwealth Games 2022 was unveiled in Birmingham's Centenary Square. I was unaware of it until I saw it on Twitter. So headed down to Centenary Square several days later. Here we will also look at the Flame of Hope which was near the Library of Birmingham site from 1999 to 2009.

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From the Flame of Hope to the Countdown clock to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games





On Commonwealth Day the countdown clock to the Commonwealth Games 2022 was unveiled in Birmingham's Centenary Square. I was unaware of it until I saw it on Twitter. So headed down to Centenary Square several days later. Here we will also look at the Flame of Hope which was near the Library of Birmingham site from 1999 to 2009.


The Flame of Hope

Seen in Centenary Square during April 2009 was The Flame of Hope. This was the first day (at the time) that I took a camera around Birmingham and that included in Centenary Square. Behind was the site of the Library of Birmingham due to open in 2013. Also there at the time was the Spirit of Enterprise fountain. Both went into storage before construction of the Library began, where they remain to this day.

In this cropped view of the Flame of Hope towards Baskerville House. By this point the flame had been turned off for a few years.

It looked impressive, with a globe and where the flame was once lit up at the top at the turn of the Millennium, sadly it wasn't to last.

After this, I never saw the Flame of Hope again, as it was removed to storage before the prepatory works for the Library of Birmingham had begun.

Countdown clock to Birmingham 2022

The countdown clock was unveiled on Commonwealth Day during March 2020. A few days later, I had free time, so travelled to Centenary Square to see it. Passing through The Mailbox, while BBC Midlands Today was on, I noticed that they were reporting at it live, so I went to have a coffee in Brindleyplace before checking it out.

By the time I got there, BBC Birmingham was gone. This view from the back towards HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square.

The countdown timer is not on this side. From here you can see HSBC UK, 3 Arena Central, the Municipal Bank and The Cube. West Midlands Metro tram 27 was at Library Tram Stop.

This side view of the countdown clock towards the Hyatt, Symphony Hall and The ICC. With tram 27 to the left.

Now for the first view with the Library of Birmingham. At the time of my visit with 867 days to go.

A more central view towards the Library of Birmingham. 867 days, 4 hours, 47 minutes and 00 seconds.

Popped over to Library Tram Stop for some views with West Midlands Metro tram 27 (OLA lime green adverts). The countdown clock to Birmingham 2022 was to the right.

Close up to the front of the tram with the countdown clock to the right. Would have gone down the path near HSBC UK but it was closed off, so headed back into Centenary Square instead.

Heading around the Hall of Memory, got this view to the corner between The ICC and The REP.

Got one more view from near the Hall of Memory towards the foyer works at Symphony Hall.

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

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