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WestMidlandsWeAre – A FreeTimePays community
Launch date: July 2017
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Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Love our parks - get involved!

As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.

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Love our parks - get involved!





As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.


Over the next month and for the remainder of 2020, we will be growing our reach and pull together information and details on all the great work being carried out across communities as they collectively protect their parks.  

This will grow into a massive 'community-led' resource for people with a shared interest and passion for their local parks and green spaces.  

Here's just a few of the ideas and initiatives we will be telling you more about so we can share and get more people actively involved.

Litter picking groups - they do a fantastic job.  We'll connect you with your local group.

Art & Culture Trail.  We'll help you set up your trail and showcase your parks.

Walking clubs. We'll connect you and bring in more friends.

Park angels.  Volunteering with a difference.  We'll tell you more.

Creativity and green spaces collide.  Let's look at how art, music, photography and creativity in all its forms can help promote and protect our parks. 

Parks and mental health.  A walk, ride or jog in the park can do so much for your mental health.

There's something for everyone.

Connect with us and help us protect our parks. 

 

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60 passion points
History & heritage
21 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside

The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.

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The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside





The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.


The Eagle & Tun was a pub in Digbeth (later Eastside). Close to the viaduct of the West Coast Mainline (also used by the Cross City Line and other routes in and out of Birmingham New Street). It was located on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street. But HS2's plans changed, and it was decided that the pub would have to be demolished.

Originally HS2 had planned to incorporate the pub into the new Curzon Street HS2 Station, but for some reason this changed. This was in 2014, when it was then thought construction on the station would start by 2017 (it didn't).

There has been a pub on this site since at least the late 1850s. The Eagle & Tun originally closed down in 2008, and was derelict for many years. Only to get new landlords in late 2015. It reopened in 2016. Only for HS2 to change their minds again, and the pub closed down by January 2020. By October 2020, demolition was well under way on the pub. It would be gone by the end of the month.

The council had locally listed the pub as Grade B. It never received a Grade II listing from English Heritage (now Historic England).

 

My first photo of The Eagle & Tun, taken during January 2010, from what was then Albert Street. At this point at had been closed for about 2 years.

 

I took more photos of The Eagle & Tun back in February 2010. These shots originally came out dark (on my old camera). And I have just fixed them in Photoshop Elements 2020. You can see that a derelict building was still there on Banbury Street next to the pub (it would be demolished within a few years and become a temporary car park).

 

Below, The Eagle & Tun in late March 2016 after the pub had reopened to the public.

 

The Eagle & Tun in late December 2019. Within the next couple of weeks, HS2 had it closed down for good. See my post from January 2020 when I visited the inside of the pub for the first and only time.

 

A couple of days before the National Lockdown came into force in late March 2020, I got my last full photo of the Eagle & Tun on New Canal Street before it would be demolished. In the months that followed the roads would be closed by HS2 for Enabling Works.

 

By October 2020, I was aware of The Eagle & Tun undergoing demolition. I took this series of photos from New Canal Street on Sunday 4th October 2020. Until then, I wasn't sure if I could walk up New Canal Street, what with the road being closed to cars. But it seems it is open to pedestrians. At this point only the ground floor remained.

 

One more walk past on the 20th October 2020. Heading from Eastside City Park. Nothing left now. HS2 workers were putting up new hoardings around the site of the pub. I found that you could also walk onto Fazeley Street (the road is closed for roadworks as well but there was access for pedestrians).

 

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

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60 passion points
Green travel
20 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pop up cycle lanes in the Jewellery Quarter

A couple of pop up cycle lanes have been installed in the Jewellery Quarter. One on Newhall Hill, from Sandpits to Frederick Street (no bollards). The other on Legge Lane and Graham Street towards Newhall Street. Whether cyclists will use them, I don't know. Was at least one van parked in the lane on Newhall Hill. And one cyclist on Graham Street didn't even use it.

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Pop up cycle lanes in the Jewellery Quarter





A couple of pop up cycle lanes have been installed in the Jewellery Quarter. One on Newhall Hill, from Sandpits to Frederick Street (no bollards). The other on Legge Lane and Graham Street towards Newhall Street. Whether cyclists will use them, I don't know. Was at least one van parked in the lane on Newhall Hill. And one cyclist on Graham Street didn't even use it.


Newhall Hill

From the bottom of Newhall Hill towards Sandpits. The Council has placed red and white barriers, closing it off to motorists. So only cyclists and pedestrians can pass through.

Just before here, saw a white van parked on the cycle lane, but the Council hasn't installed bollards up here (yet).

The Newhall Hill junction with Legge Lane and Graham Street. Near The Argent Centre (under scaffolding), and the Victoria Works of Joseph Gillott. Pens were historically made around here (or pen nibs).

Legge Lane / Graham Street

Onto Graham Street, opposite the Victoria Works, I spotted these red and white bollards. Although was originally thinking of walking up Frederick Street towards the site of the clock. Instead I headed down Graham Street towards Newhall Street.

Looking back towards Legge Lane from Graham Street. The temporary sign says that there is no access to Sandpits except for cycles. But there is still some cars around here.

A bit further down Graham Street, and there was a raised platform for the bus stop about halfway down the road.

Graham Street curves into Newhall Street where the pop up cycle lane ends just past the red post box.

See also the pop up cycle lane on Bradford Street and Old Camp Hill in Digbeth / Bordesley.

 

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
20 Oct 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 we recommend that 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 obvious parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less obvious parks such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. Too 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 we recommend that 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 obvious parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less obvious parks such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. Too many to choose from.


Click the links below to go to the projects and view the posts. All reachable by car 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 into the 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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60 passion points
People & community
14 Oct 2020 - Jon Police
Introducing

It's your community (Kings Heath & Moseley) - an interview with Fareeda Khan - PCSO with West Midlands Police

Jonathan from Birmingham We Are caught up with Fareeda Khan, a PCSO with West Midlands Police operating in the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood. Here’s a brief insight to Fareeda’s work with community and how she feels Kings Heath and Moseley can really benefit from Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. 

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It's your community (Kings Heath & Moseley) - an interview with Fareeda Khan - PCSO with West Midlands Police





Jonathan from Birmingham We Are caught up with Fareeda Khan, a PCSO with West Midlands Police operating in the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood. Here’s a brief insight to Fareeda’s work with community and how she feels Kings Heath and Moseley can really benefit from Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. 


Q.  Can you tell me a little about your work as a PCSO Fareeda?

“As a PCSO we are very visible in the community.  Our role is very much community based and we are the eyes and ears of the community. 

I particularly enjoy engaging with young people through schools and youth clubs.  Young people now understand our role a lot more and I like to think they have a lot more trust in us and are more forthcoming in approaching us.”

Q.  Fareeda, you cover Moseley and Kings Heath.  Can you tell me a little about your patch and the community?

“Moseley and Kings Heath are sometimes referred to as bohemian neighborhoods.  There’s a lot of culture and a lot of community get-togethers with street parties and festivals. They are very creative places to live and visit. People are always helping each other out.

It is a very friendly and inviting part of the city and a great place for people to visit.”

Photo: Welcome to Kings Heath courtesy Christine Wright

Photo: Moseley Bog courtesy Elliott Brown

Photo: Highbury Hall in Moseley courtesy Elliott Brown

Q. How can we ensure that these communities are best able to benefit from the City attracting more visitors with events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games?

“I think more awareness and more outreach work in the community. Raise awareness as some communities may feel a little isolated and that it’s not for them.  Perhaps there could be a showcase of the opportunities for younger people and parents and information on how they can get involved.

Perhaps opportunities via schools and colleges nearer the time so that young people can understand how they can get involved.”

Young people on National Citizen Service visit Art Rooms in Kings Heath 

Photo: The Orchard, Highbury Park courtesy Christine Wright

Q. Do you think the police could have a big role to play in helping the local community maximize the opportunities presented by the Commonwealth Games?

“Because we do a lot of work with the community and work with many different agencies to build trust and confidence, people know they can come to us.  Another way they can connect with us is through something like sport and different types of outreach work.  If the police can get more involved, we can help community get more involved.”

Photo: Woodworkers from the Moseley and Kings Heath Shed courtesy Christine Wright

Photo: St Mary's Church, Moseley courtesy Damien Walmsley.

Q. How important are community leaders to the work that you do?

“We have different types of leaders in the community.

We have business leaders, religious leaders, leaders in education and other community leaders such as neighborhood watch co-coordinators etc. We have done a lot work around active citizens and identifying those key people in the community that have a special role as the voice of a local group who can make a real difference. 

The Active Citizens Fund managed by the Police is there to support the work of such groups.”

Photo: Kings Heath Park courtesy Christine Wright

Photo: Moseley Farmers Market courtesy Elliott Brown

Q.  Would you be able to help our work at Birmingham We Are in introducing young people on programs such as the national citizen’s service to the culture within the local community?

“I would be delighted to help in any way I can. Moseley and Kings Heath are certainly places to experience and enjoy the culture of Birmingham.”

Thank you for your time Fareeda. 

This is one of a series of discussions taking place by Birmingham We Are as an introduction to people as influencers who can make a massive difference to the City and the community in which they live or work. 

Our interviews with PCSOs operating across the City has the full support of West Midlands Police. 

For further details on our work contact Jonathan.Bostock@PeopleMattersNetwork.com.

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