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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
07 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Stratford House: a timber framed survivor dating to 1601

Located in Highgate near Highgate Park is a remarkable survival. Stratford House is close to Highgate Middleway on the no 50 bus route. You can see it from the bus on Moseley Road and New Moseley Road. Built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget, it was once surrounded by farmland. In recent years it's been offices and a swingers club. A fire in 2015, led to restoration 2016.

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Stratford House: a timber framed survivor dating to 1601





Located in Highgate near Highgate Park is a remarkable survival. Stratford House is close to Highgate Middleway on the no 50 bus route. You can see it from the bus on Moseley Road and New Moseley Road. Built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget, it was once surrounded by farmland. In recent years it's been offices and a swingers club. A fire in 2015, led to restoration 2016.


On the trail between Digbeth and Kings Heath, if you are getting the no 50 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus (you can catch it from outside Selfridges on Moor Street in the City Centre). Heading past Highgate Park on Moseley Road, you will spot Stratford House. One of the oldest remaining buildings within the City Centre and within the middle ring road, dating to 1601 (last few years of Tudor and Elizabethan England).

 

Stratford House is located at 82 Stratford Place, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0HT. Since 2020 it has been the offices of Age UK Birmingham and Age UK Sandwell.

 

I personally think it could become a museum, run by the Birmingham Museums Trust, or the National Trust. With period furniture. The noise from the passing traffic on Highgate Middleway might causes issues though.

 

The history of Stratford House

The timber framed manor house was built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget. It was originally part of a 20 acre farm that Ambrose owned. He farmed sheep, pigs, oxen and cows on the land.

In 1840, a goods yard was opened nearby at Camp Hill by the Midland Railway. The companies successor, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, in 1926 bought the house and wanted to demolish it. There was a public outcry and the house was saved.

There was further plans to demolish the house in the 1950s due to it dilapidated state. But it was bought by Ivor Adams in 1954 and it was saved. It has been a Grade II* listed building since 1952.

 

The following two images taken from the Birmingham Museums Trust Collection, Digital Image Resourse and are in the Public Domain and dates to the early 1950s. Under the Creative Commons Zero Licence (CCO).

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1996V79 Stratford House Camp Hill Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House in 1950. Ink drawing by John L. Baker. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

 

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1976V92 Stratford Place Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Old houses, Stratford Place, Birmingham in 1951. Watercolour. By Allen Edward Everitt. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the house was home to Network Records, one of the UK's exponents of Techno music.

 

Stratford House, 2010

By the late 2000s and early 2010s it was occupied by Birmingham Centre for Art Therapies (BCAT).

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House 2010.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House on Stratford Place in 2010.

 

Stratford House, 2016

In 2014 it was a swingers club called the Tudor Lounge (who signed a 10 year lease with Birmingham City Council). This opened in January 2015, but by December 2015 there was a major fire here. The building was extensively restored during 2016.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Restoration of Stratford House during April 2016. Views from the no 50 bus.

 

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (May 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (May 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Restoration of Stratford House during May 2016. Seen from the Moseley Road in Highgate.

 

Stratford House, 2018

By 2018, Stratford House was fully restored, and was available to let.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (April 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Stratford House fully restored as of April 2018

 

Stratford House, 2021

From 2020, the building is now home to Age UK Birmingham and Age UK Sandwell. In April 2021, Birmingham City Council approved plans for the road in front of Stratford House to be closed to create a Knott Garden. It lies within the Clean Air Zone. If you go onto Highgate Middleway, that is outside of the zone.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House at the end of June 2021.

 

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
05 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!

The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).

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The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!





The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).


One of the oldest buildings in Birmingham, including within what is now the City Centre (as far as the middle ring road), is The Old Crown. They claim to date back to about 1368. For instance they celebrated their 649th birthday in 2017 with a ribbon on one of the doors.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown Dbeth (Sep 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

So as of 2021 they are now 653 years old!

 

History of The Old Crown

The Old Crown was probably built sometime between the year 1450 and 1500 (in Medieval and early Tudor times). Some evidence dating back to 1492. A man visiting Birmingham in 1538 described the building as a "mansion house made of timber". It is thought that the building was originally built as the Guildhall and School of St. John, Deritend. In 1589 the building was bought by "John Dyckson, alias Bayleys". It remained in the Dixon family for the next 100 years. It may have began to be used as an inn from this time, especially in the years following the Spanish Armada, and gained the name "Crown".

Although later evidence suggests it was used as an inn by around 1626, and being called the Crowne by 1666. During 1643, the forces of Prince Rupert attacking Birmingham during the Civil War (on the way to fire his musket at the cockerel of the old St Martin's Church), there was some skirmishes near the inn.

The house was converted into two houses in 1684, and then into three by 1693. It remained three houses until the 19th century. Joshua Toulmin Smith saved the building in 1851, from demolition by the Corporation of Birmingham (who wanted to improve the street). The Corporation again proposed to knock it down in 1856 and 1862, but Smith saved it each time.

 

The following three Public Domain Dedication images taken from the Birmingham Museums Trust Collection.

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham, 1895-1900, by Samuel Henry Baker (d. 1909).

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1970V130 Old Crown Inn Deritend.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A watercolour painting by George Warren Blackham of the Old Crown Inn Deritend, Birmingham. Probably in the late 19th century.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1956V372 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham by J. Alfred Swatkins. Possibly late 19th or early 20th century, with the old tram tracks.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1965V8 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

High Street Deritend, outside of The Old Crown was widened and reopened by 1955. This included removing the old tram tracks, and the old cobbled road surface. Buildings opposite were demolished, and the Bull Ring Trading Estate was later built there (on the site of St. John's Church, Deritend, which was demolished in 1947, after suffering damage during the Second World War in 1940).

 

Two vintage photos taken by the late Phyllis Nicklin, who was a tutor in Geography in the former Department of Extramural Studies, University of Birmingham. They were originally digitised by BrumPic.

The Old Crown in Digbeth taken by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). This was probably before the road was widened in the mid 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown P Nicklin 2.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown in Digbeth, taken in 1960 by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). High Street Deritend had been widened in the 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown P Nicklin.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />


The Old Crown was bought by the Brennan family in 1991. In the summer of 1994, they found an old well, while doing repairs, when they were clearing out the old sheds at the rear of the property, which at the time had been closed off for more than 100 years. The Brennan family reopened the pub in 1998.

The pub is a Grade II* listed building (since 1952) at 186, 187 and 188 High Street Deritend, and is on the corner of Heath Mill Lane. It is situated to the right of the Custard Factory.

As of the summer of 2021, roadworks are taking place down on the Digbeth High Street. This is to build the Eastside Metro Extension. Which will be starting properly from July 2021. The route will go past the HS2 Curzon Street Station. Work has also began to built a Sprint bus route towards Solihull and Coventry on the A45 (via the Small Heath Highway and Coventry Road). It could be ready in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

The Old Crown in the 21st Century

The following images of The Old Crown were taken during October 2009 by Elliott Brown. This was on the first day that I would take photos around the Digbeth area.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown 1368.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (14).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Beer Garden / car park at the back from Heath Mill Lane.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (16).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown Coffee Club, seen from High Street Deritend during January 2014.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jan 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Irish flags and bunting up, at The Old Crown, during March 2014 for the St Patrick's Day Festival. The parade used to take place down the Digbeth High Street each March until 2019.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A red ribbon on The Old Crown during November 2016, getting ready for Christmas. This view taken from the bus.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Nov 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown during March 2017 for St Patrick's Day. Getting ready for The Father Ted's Lampa. The St Patrick's Fundraiser.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Digbeth 110318.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Seen in March 2018, with snow on the roof, was The Old Crown. Again getting ready for St Patrick's Day. The beer garden around the back, became the Guinness Village, to show the England vs Ireland Six Nations Rugby Union match on the TV. 

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One year on, to March 2019. St Patrick's Day again at The Old Crown. This time it had signs on it for 13 Hop House Lager.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Passing The Old Crown in Digbeth on the no 4 bus during the middle of June 2021. This was during the Euro 2020 match between England and Croatia.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
15 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The distinctive street art of Mohammed "Aerosol" Ali around Birmingham

Mohammed "Aerosol" Ali is known in Birmingham for his stencil sprayed on artwork around the City. Such as in Kings Heath, Moseley or Digbeth. Most famous for doing pieces on the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali (who died in 2016). More recently he has done a Malcolm X piece outside The Art Rooms Kings Heath. Plus "I Can't Breathe" Black Lives Matter pieces in 2020.

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The distinctive street art of Mohammed "Aerosol" Ali around Birmingham





Mohammed "Aerosol" Ali is known in Birmingham for his stencil sprayed on artwork around the City. Such as in Kings Heath, Moseley or Digbeth. Most famous for doing pieces on the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali (who died in 2016). More recently he has done a Malcolm X piece outside The Art Rooms Kings Heath. Plus "I Can't Breathe" Black Lives Matter pieces in 2020.


The art of Mohammed Ali aka Aerosol Ali seen around Birmingham from 2016 until 2021. Note that not all of his pieces displayed here are still visible to see. Some of his art is politcal. Connect with Mohammed on Twitter (click the link above).

 

Digbeth

Location: Bradford Street

Date: June 2018

"The fish, even in the fishermans net, still carries the smell of the sea."

This piece has been painted over, and part of the hoarding is missing as of June 2021.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bradford St Digbeth MA (Jun 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Bradford Street

Date: August 2020

"I Can't Breathe" - Black Lives Matter.

These posters have probably been removed, and other taggers kept writing over it.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bradford St Digbeth MA (Aug 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Moseley

Location: Moseley Central - Alcester Road

Date: February 2017.

Deaths in 2016, including Muhammad Ali, Alex Keogh, USA  (Trump election) and Jo Cox.

These hoardings have gone, and Moseley Central was completed in 2018.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Moseley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moseley V Alcester Rd MA (Feb 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016). Famous boxer. His namesake Mohammed Ali (no relation), sprayed pieces like this all around the City after Ali died aged 74.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Moseley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moseley V Alcester Rd MA (Feb 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

USA (1776-2016). The election of Donald Trump in November 2016. Served one term as the 45th President of the United States (20th January 2017 to 20th January 2021). Succeeded by Joe Biden (as 46th President of the United States), after Trump lost the 2020 election. Trump was banned from all social media platforms early in 2021.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Moseley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moseley V Alcester Rd MA (Feb 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Alex Keogh (1988-2016). Not sure about him, other than a young man that died young, at 28. He was a teaching assistant according to the Birmingham Mail. He died of a alcohol and drug overdose at Christmas Eve 2016.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Moseley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moseley V Alcester Rd MA (Feb 2017) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Jo Cox (1974-2016). She was MP for Batley and Spen from the 7th May 2015, until she was murdered on the 16th June 2016, in Birstall, West Yorkshire of gun shot wounds, and she was stabbed. She was 41 years old.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Moseley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moseley V Alcester Rd MA (Feb 2017) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Kings Heath

Location: Acorns - Silver Street

Date: June 2016

Muhammad Ali (1942 - 2016). This was one of the first pieces I found of Mohammed Ali. He also did similar pieces in Sparkbrook and elsewhere in the City at the time.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Kings Heath" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Silver St KH MA (Jun 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Acorns - Silver Street

Date: October 2019

Greta Thunberg. A teenage environmental activist. She was born in Sweden in 2003. She is now 18 years old. But was 16 when Mohammed Ali sprayed this on the wall.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Kings Heath" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Silver St KH MA (Oct 2019).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Acorns - Silver Street

Date: July 2020

"I Can't Breathe" - Black Lives Matter. This piece had perspex put over it by the Council.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Kings Heath" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Silver St KH MA (Jul 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Acorns - Silver Street

Date: January 2021

2021 - Coronavirus Pandemic, the new year after the disaster that was 2020. The year of vaccines in 2021. This piece is still on the wall.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Kings Heath" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Silver St KH MA (Jan 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: The Art Rooms - High Street

Date: June 2021

Malcolm X on Marshall Street, Smethwick, early February 1965. A few weeks after his return to the US, he was shot dead in New York. Mohammed Ali also painted a Palestine flag on it, during the "Free Palestine" movement. After the bombings in Israel and continuing issues with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

dndimg alt="Aerosol Ali Kings Heath" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Art Rooms KH MA (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
19 Apr 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Digbeth Fun Fair

With restrictions being eased, a fun fair has opened in Digbeth. Located at Charles Henry Street and Moseley Street. Digbeth Fun Fair is also near Birchall Street (in walking distance of the Custard Factory and the Bullring). Opened on the 12th April 2021. Open daily from 1pm to 10pm. Only groups of six in social bubbles can attend. From the people behind Ice Skate Birmingham.

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Digbeth Fun Fair





With restrictions being eased, a fun fair has opened in Digbeth. Located at Charles Henry Street and Moseley Street. Digbeth Fun Fair is also near Birchall Street (in walking distance of the Custard Factory and the Bullring). Opened on the 12th April 2021. Open daily from 1pm to 10pm. Only groups of six in social bubbles can attend. From the people behind Ice Skate Birmingham.


Digbeth Fun Fair opened on Monday 12th April 2021. In time for more restrictions being eased in the middle of Spring 2021. Just as people can go back to bars and restaurants (at the moment eating and drinking outside). The Fun Fair in Digbeth is located on wasteland at the corner of Moseley Street and Charles Henry Street (close to Highgate and towards Southside). You can approach it from the Custard Factory by walking up Birchall Street. It is also near Alcester Street, which connects you to Sherlock Street (if coming from Southside).

Due to the lockdowns and Tiered restrictions, Ice Skate Birmingham was cancelled in 2020 (it would have taken place around November 2020 to January 2021 at Centenary Square, but it didn't happen). Ice Skate Birmingham was based at Centenary Square until 2016, then at Eastside Green for 2017 and 2018, before moving back to Centenary Square in 2019.

So Digbeth Fun Fair is about 6 months later than the last Ice Skate Birmingham could have opened (but without the ice rink). Many of the rides here have featured at the previous events.

 

The approach from Birchall Street past The Market Tavern on Saturday 17th April 2021.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Digbeth Fun Fair seen at the corner of Charles Henry Street and Moseley Street.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The views below all taken from Charles Henry Street.

Wild Mouse was last seen at Ice Skate Birmingham on Eastside Green in 2017-18.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Welcome - I recall seeing this at a previous fun fair that was near Curzon Street Station in a car park about 10 years ago (now where the HS2 station will be built).

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Wheel and Sky Flyer. They were last seen in Centenary Square around 2019-20.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A ride called Extreme. View towards the Beetham Tower and Centre City Tower. 

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Wild Mouse and The Big Wheel back together again.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Wild Mouse and the Sky Flyer.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Wheel with the Wild Mouse and Sky Flyer.

dndimg alt="Digbeth Fun Fair" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Digbeth Fun Fair (Apr 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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60 passion points
Elliott Brown 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.

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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.

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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).

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This covered canopy seen on the path from Curzon Street.

dndimg alt="Eastside City Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside City Park (Dec 2012) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

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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.

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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).

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

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The white lights lighting up the new trees.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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