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Civic pride
26 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, the City Skyline from Lickey Hills - 25th December 2019

Daniel went out to the Lickey Hills Country Park in the winter low sunshine to get some photos of the city skyline from some seven miles away, more in the full post.

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Birmingham, the City Skyline from Lickey Hills - 25th December 2019





Daniel went out to the Lickey Hills Country Park in the winter low sunshine to get some photos of the city skyline from some seven miles away, more in the full post.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Green open spaces
23 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Peace Garden, a nice peaceful place to relax and remember

The Peace Garden is located off Bath Row on the land which used to be St Thomas's Church, until it was destroyed during World War 2. First laid out in 1955, it was redesigned in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. World leaders of the G8 came here in 1998, and they each planted a tree. You can sit and relax here, read the plaques of peace. It's not far from The Cube.

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The Peace Garden, a nice peaceful place to relax and remember





The Peace Garden is located off Bath Row on the land which used to be St Thomas's Church, until it was destroyed during World War 2. First laid out in 1955, it was redesigned in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. World leaders of the G8 came here in 1998, and they each planted a tree. You can sit and relax here, read the plaques of peace. It's not far from The Cube.


The Peace Garden

Located on Bath Row in Birmingham, between Five Ways and Holloway Circus. This small peaceful park is also on Granville Street, Ridley Street and Washington Street. The ruins of the Church of St Thomas are on the corner of Granville Street and Bath Row.

St Thomas's Church was completed in 1829, one of the so called 'Waterloo Churches'. Built following the victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It survived until the Birmingham Blitz in 1940 when German bombs destroyed it. It was never rebuilt.

The ground were laid out for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Peace Garden was redesigned in 1995 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The First World War Colonnade built in 1925 in what is now Centenary Square (near the Hall of Memory), was relocated here when the first Centenary Square was being built from 1989.

World leaders of the G8 came to the Peace Garden in 1998, each planting a tree and unveiling a plaque, including Tony Blair (British PM from 1997 - 2007) and Bill Clinton (US President from 1993 - 2001).

 

Most of my photos of the Peace Garden were taken in 2009.

The Colonnade seen in March 2009 from Ridley Street. It was designed by S. N. Cooke and W. N. Twist, in 1925.

My first proper visit to the Peace Garden was in April 2009. Here I was having a close up look inside of the Colonnade. Peace plaques on the wall to the left.

The Colonnade viewed from the Peace Garden. Lots of flowers in the flower beds at the time.

First look at the ruins of St Thomas's Church. The clock tower and columns had survived. There was also plaques inside. Railings were designed by Anuradha Patel.

The paths and lawns were laid out in a cross design by the looks of it. Benches to sit on and contemplate as the world goes by.

Circle in the middle with a message of peace.

"May Peace Prevail On Earth".

Some of the Peace Garden plaques. This one about St Thomas's Church being a victim of World War 2.

This plaque on the ground for the British Nuclear Test's Veterans Assocation. It was placed here in September 1994.

Two plaques in the Colonnade (there are more). National Service for Crown and Country (1939 - 1962). And National Service Memorial  to Peace.

19g8 The Birmingham Summit. Eight trees were planted in the Peace Garden to represent each of the G8 nations taking part in the Birmingham Summit 15 - 17 May 1998. Hard to believe that this was 21 years ago now! Can we have another summit at The ICC in the 2020s?

This was in January 2011. The view of the clock tower of the ruins of St Thomas's Church and the Colonnade from Washington Street. With the Colonnade on Ridley Street.

This view of St Thomas's Church ruins from Granville Street.

A look at the Anuradha Patel railings at the Peace Garden during February 2015. It has images of doves of peace. This was from Granville Street.

The gate from Washington Street was looking closed. Some of the plaques could to with some TLC. The view towards St Thomas's Church. This is the main entrance to the gardens.

This December 2016 view of the ruins of St Thomas's Church seen from Bath Row. Looking in good condition in the winter sunshine. This is the view from the bus stop. You can now get the 80, 80A, X20, X21 and X22 on the opposite side of the road. While you can also get the 23 and 24 on the stop towards New Street Station.

Zoom in to the clock. I wonder if it is still ticking? It must be, as in my other photos the clock hands are at different times.

A few more plaques seen during November 2017. This one for the Federation of Ex-Service Associations Birmingham.

This one for the Royal Naval Engine Room Association.

Close up look at the plaque I previously saw in 2009 for the National Service for Crown and Country.

And a close up look at the National Service Memorial to Peace.

Saw this view of the Peace Garden from the no 24 bus on Bath Row during December 2019. All the gates looked closed. Or at least the one on Washington Street. Didn't see anyone in there. Couldn't see if the gates on Granville Street or Ridley Street were open or not. The Cube has dominated the skyline from here since it was completed in 2010.

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah (will all be over when this gets published). More posts to come in 2020. More parks and public open spaces etc.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
20 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019

Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.

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The PwC Partners Opening of One Chamberlain Square - 19th December 2019





Daniel was delighted to attend the PwC Partners Opening and tour of the completed One Chamberlain Square where he collected his copy of the book 'One Chamberlain Square - Everything is Possible' containing his photos of the construction of this iconic addittion to the city centre. Great photos of the astounding interior in this gallery. Thanks to Matt Hammond, Chair, PwC Midlands.


Wordsmith Casey Bailey recites his poem about the Midlands, now on the wall at One Chamberlain Square.

Casey Bailey, Matt Hammond and Daniel Sturley.

One of the many 'Living Walls', moss that gives out a significant amount of oxygen.

Booth for private phone calls.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Transport
17 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

The Westside Metro extension now open to Centenary Square and some trams with reindeer names

With no announcement, the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square was open to the public on Wednesday 11th December 2019. I wasn't able to get down to ride the newly opened extension until Saturday 14th December 2019. For the Christmas season, West Midlands Metro has name some of their trams with Christmas reindeer names such as Rudolph, Comet and Dasher.

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The Westside Metro extension now open to Centenary Square and some trams with reindeer names





With no announcement, the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square was open to the public on Wednesday 11th December 2019. I wasn't able to get down to ride the newly opened extension until Saturday 14th December 2019. For the Christmas season, West Midlands Metro has name some of their trams with Christmas reindeer names such as Rudolph, Comet and Dasher.


Tram 22 Dasher

Sunday 8th December 2019, and on this day we did not know when the extension to Centenary Square would open. I walked along Arena Central, passing HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square and the Municipal Bank redevelopment. Fencing was still up, while a rainbow was behind the Library of Birmingham and the Birmingham Big Wheel.

Before services started, from the 1st December 2019 onwards, trams were leaving Grand Central and heading to Library Tram Stop without passengers. Close up of tram 22 Dasher

The Dasher name is temporary. Will probably be removed in January 2020.

The end of the line (for now) was looking like a mess. The extension to Hagley Road will open in 2 years time in 2021, only they have to build it first along Broad Street.

Tram 36 Rudolph

On Saturday 14th December 2019, it was my first day back in Birmingham City Centre for several days. And when I got to Birmingham New Street Station, I purchased an Adult off peak day ticket in the My Metro app. And rode tram 36 from Grand Central to the newly opened Library Tram Stop in Centenary Square.

For the Christmas period tram 36 is called Rudolph. Seen behind was the Library of Birmingham, Star Flyer and Birmingham Big Wheel.

Zoom in of the temporary Rudolph name.

The trams for now can use both platforms, and there is crossing tracks just in front of the tram stop. Beyond here is hoardings as they still need to build the second Westside extension which will take another two years to complete. Reflection of HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square in the Hyatt Regency Birmingham hotel.

Tram 36 seem heading back to Wolverhampton, as I made the short walk into the Library of Birmingham for views of the trams from above. Not too long to wait this time around as only every 6 minutes Monday's to Saturday's (every 15 minutes on Sunday's but the Library is closed on that day).

Tram 25

First up views from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham. Tram 25 seen at platform 2 at Library Tram Stop. The Birmingham Big Wheel was in the way of this view.

One of the trams with lime green OLA adverts. It now has batteries on top. But currently in white not yet blue outside.

No temporary reindeer name on this tram.

Tram 25 is now seen leaving platform 2 at Library Tram Stop on it's way to Wolverhampton. It is passing the Municipal Bank site for the University of Birmingham. On the right is 5 Centenary Square (formerly 1 Arena Central). But that hasn't started yet. Was the site of the Register Office. The tram shelter on platform 1 is close to the site of where the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue was from 1956 to 2017.

Tram 25 seen heading round Paradise Circus. Cones on the road. Only the southbound lanes are open at the moment.

A taxi waits at the traffic light as tram 25 heads to Paradise Street and Town Hall Tram Stop.

Tram 23 Comet

Last saw this tram here on a test in November 2019. I headed up to the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham when I saw this tram again. In this view heading up Paradise Street towards Paradise Circus.

Heading around Paradise Circus. Easy Row Subway below is still closed to pedestrians, but the bridge has been reinforced and rebuilt before they even laid tracks here.

Coming into Centenary Square, in what until a few years ago was part of Broad Street.

Crossing tracks and heading to platform 2 at Library Tram Stop. Behind is HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square. They have also built new roads which in future will be used by buses.

As it headed into the tram stop, passing the Municipal Bank, some scaffolding on the left appears to have been removed.

Pavements on both sides of the road are now free of temporary barriers. Apart from in front of 1 Centenary Square and the Municipal Bank to the left.

Had to wait for some passengers to get off before I could get this zoom in of th Comet name.

Doors open, passengers heading into Centenary Square. They have also installed new bus stops.

Tram 30

It was getting dark as early as between 3pm and 3:30pm and it was time to get my next tram towards Jewellery Quarter. Tram 30 seen coming from Paradise Circus into Centenary Square.

It was about to cross tracks and head towards platform 2. Behind is a new view of Two Chamberlain Square and the Library of Birmingham.

Tram 30 now at platform 2 at Library Tram Stop. On the right is the Arena Central development with HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square and 3 Arena Central (for HMRC I think).

Between Library and Grand Central the tram was nice and quiet. One of the monitors on board showing Library Centenary Square.

The view from my seat. The tram was about to depart. After Grand Central the tram got quite full, of Christmas shoppers etc, and I got off at Jewellery Quarter to check out the Banksy and see what all the fuss was about.

Jewellery Quarter

After riding the tram all the way from Library Tram Stop I got off the busy tram 30 at Jewellery Quarter Tram Stop. On the opposite platform was tram 34.

St Paul's

After checking out the Banksy on Vyse Street, I walked down Great Hampton Street and Constitution Hill. I saw the bridge down on Livery Street to popped there first which is actually on Northwood Street. Tram 28 was leaving St Chad's Tram Stop.

Birmingham Snow Hill Station behind, tram 28 Jasper Carrott slowly head's to St Paul's from St Chad's, while West Midlands Railway 172 342 heads towards Jewellery Quarter after leaving platform 1.

A Chiltern Railways Class 168 was in it's usual spot at platform 2, as the tortoise vs hare race was clearly being won by West Midlands Railway!

Tram 28 about to arrive at St Paul's Tram Stop as the train headed into the Jewellery Quarter tunnels towards Jewellery Quarter Station. A Matter of Opinion on the right as well as a train not in service.

Jasper Carrot tram 28 coming to a stop to pick up passengers towards Wolverhampton. It was time to walk down to St Paul's Tram Stop with the entrance to the left on Constitution Hill.

I only just got to the tram stop when I saw the tram arriving. Tram 32 is one of those lime green OLA advert trams now with batteries. Seen coming through the Jewellery Quarter tunnels.

I got tram 32 towards Bull Street. Standing room only. All stops after this one on the extensions. St Paul's is the last tram stop to open in 1999 that is closest to the City Centre after the original Snow Hill Tram Stop closed in 2015.

Bull Street

Standing room only on tram 32, I got off at Bull Street Tram Stop instead of Corporation Street. Although both are in walking distance of my usual bus stop on Carrs Lane. The Lewis Building to the right.

As Tram 32 was about to turn onto Corporation Street, I saw tram 17 about to turn onto Bull Street. It was getting dark now, so was time to head to my bus home.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
09 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, the Amazing Stained Glass Windows in St Martin in the Bullring - December 2019

I was lucky to visit the interior of St Martin in the Bullring during almost perfect conditions for photos of some the amazing stained glass windows, the low sun was shining directly through the south side windows and I got a few of the famous Burne-Jones window in the south transept.

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Birmingham, the Amazing Stained Glass Windows in St Martin in the Bullring - December 2019





I was lucky to visit the interior of St Martin in the Bullring during almost perfect conditions for photos of some the amazing stained glass windows, the low sun was shining directly through the south side windows and I got a few of the famous Burne-Jones window in the south transept.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points

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