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Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
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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.

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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
People & community
21 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Halloween Decorations around Kings Heath on the 31st October 2020

We are closer to a Covid Christmas now than Halloween. But on the afternoon of the 31st October 2020, I had one last walk around Kings Heath before the 2nd lockdown announcment. Mainly to see those flower planters on closed roads. But also saw Halloween decorations in front of houses, in windows etc. Pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs!

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Halloween Decorations around Kings Heath on the 31st October 2020





We are closer to a Covid Christmas now than Halloween. But on the afternoon of the 31st October 2020, I had one last walk around Kings Heath before the 2nd lockdown announcment. Mainly to see those flower planters on closed roads. But also saw Halloween decorations in front of houses, in windows etc. Pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs!


HALLOWEEN KINGS HEATH, 31ST OCTOBER 2020

A month late, but Happy Halloween! The Nightmare Before Christmas! It was heavily raining on the morning of the 31st October 2020, and with a dry spell in the afternoon, I got the 11C bus to Kings Heath. Mainly to see the Low Traffic Neighbourhood around Kings Heath. But couldn't help notice some houses had Halloween decorations out at the time. It was rumoured that another lockdown was coming, but it wasn't confirmed until later that day.

 

Halloween bunting spotted on a hedge on Colmore Road in Kings Heath.

 

Passing Vicarage Road and Kings Heath Park and onto Avenue Road. Saw this window with these decorations inside. The Day of the Dead!

 

Then onto Highbury Road. Social Distance Trick or Treaters Welcome Here! Skeleton on the wall.

 

Later after seeing the last of the LTN flower planters went down Springfield Road to get the 11A bus home.

Various Halloween decorations around this tree plus a hand!

Cobwebs around this telegraph pole and on the bushes.

More Halloween decorations in this window with the blue plaque for Miss Minnie May (who was a Teacher of Dressmaking that lived here in 1939).

Near the end of the road was this pair of carved pumpkins. Looks like a bat.

A more traditional scary Halloween pumpkin carving!

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

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
21 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

From Baubles at Paradise to Christmas lights around the Colmore BID

There is three red Christmas Baubles on Centenary Way at Paradise Birmingham. Meanwhile the Colmore Business District Christmas lights have been turned on during late November 2020, including around Cathedral Square and an artificial Christmas tree at Colmore Square. They look good both in daylight and after dark.

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From Baubles at Paradise to Christmas lights around the Colmore BID





There is three red Christmas Baubles on Centenary Way at Paradise Birmingham. Meanwhile the Colmore Business District Christmas lights have been turned on during late November 2020, including around Cathedral Square and an artificial Christmas tree at Colmore Square. They look good both in daylight and after dark.


Paradise Birmingham

Located on Centenary Way is this trio of red Christmas Baubles from Paradise Birmingham, outside of One Chamberlain Square.

'Tis the season to enjoy

'Tis the season of goodwill

'Tis the season to stay safe

Colmore Business District

At Cathedral Square around Birmingham Cathedral St Philip's are these winged angels playing a trumpet, on the ornamental lampposts. They look good in daylight or after dark.

View towards the BT Tower.

Towards Temple Row.

Towards Temple Street.

After dark towards the Cathedral.

Colmore BID Trio of Angels

The main feature this Christmas is the Colmore BID trio of Angels. The Colmore Row side towards Birmingham Cathedral. Looks good at midday.

The three Angels also looks good after dark towards Colmore Row.

Only two years ago there was a Christmas Market here, I suppose these Angel's makes up for that not being here this time around.

Colmore Square

The Christmas tree in Colmore Square this year is an artificial one from the Colmore Business District. Changes from year to year. Caught a tram going past at midday.

I later took another photo after dark of the Christmas tree lit up towards The Wesleyan.

There is no Christmas tree (or decorations) outside of Birmingham Snow Hill Station this year, probably due to the public realm works outside (or they haven't put it up yet).

 

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

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40 passion points
Green travel
25 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Low Traffic Neighbourhood around Kings Heath

Various side roads in Kings Heath have been blocked off with flower planters and bollards. Called a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN). Only bikes and pedestrians will be able to enter these roads. Cars and other motor vehicles are banned (apart from residents living on these streets). Has been more traffic on the High Street, Vicarage Road and Howard Road as a result of the road closures.

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Low Traffic Neighbourhood around Kings Heath





Various side roads in Kings Heath have been blocked off with flower planters and bollards. Called a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN). Only bikes and pedestrians will be able to enter these roads. Cars and other motor vehicles are banned (apart from residents living on these streets). Has been more traffic on the High Street, Vicarage Road and Howard Road as a result of the road closures.


Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Kings Heath

In October 2020, various side roads that are connected to the High Street in Kings Heath, had flower planters installed and bollards by Birmingham City Council. In attempt to stop cars using these roads to get to the High Street, or Vicarage Road or from Howard Road. Now they have to take the long way around. Of course the only cars allowed in are residents who live on these streets. So only bicycles and pedestrians are allowed in the LTN areas.

It has been controversial, some people getting angry about it. Delivery drivers having to take different routes to get to the shops they are trying to take goods to. Some days there had been a lot of traffic on the main roads in the area, especially at the Vicarage Road traffic lights near The Red Lion pub (which joins onto Howard Road and Grove Road).

Double yellow lines have been painted where cars are no longer supposed to park. Kids can play in the road between the flower planters without getting run over.

 

On Halloween, 31st October 2020, Elliott made one last trip to Kings Heath before the 2nd lockdown was announced later that day by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

 

Starting with a drink at Coffee #1, crossing the lights over Alcester Road South, then going onto Vicarage Road. Then turning left onto All Saints Road.

All Saints Road to Howard Road

At the end of All Saints Road, there was additional red and white bollards, to stop cars cutting over the grass to get in or out of All Saints Road from Howard Road.

There was even some colourful benches for kids to sit on.

Hazelhurst Road from Howard Road

This road off Howard Road, locals with their cars parked outside of their houses, on their drives or on the road. The only way out of Hazelhurst Road now would be from Abbots Road. Which connects to Vicarage Road and All Saints Road.

Colmore Road from Howard Road

A slightly shorter road off Howard Road. Colmore Road links to Vicarage Road. Again residents now have only one way to enter this road.

Next Elliott went up Vicarage Road and Avenue Road. Then went up Grange Road. With the idea to get to Station Road.

Highbury Road from Grange Road

Heading up Grange Road from Avenue Road, the next set of flower planters was on Highbury Road. Only way out for residents here was from Vicarage Road. Unless they have a bike or are on foot.

On Station Road, Elliott didn't quite get as far as the High Street, when he got to York Road. This would be the main LTN road in the Kings Heath scheme.

York Road to High Street

Going down York Road from Station Road. This road turns at a right angle towards the High Street. At least four sets of flower planters here.

Double yellow lines near Top Bananas. Kids can play in this section if they want to. Cars parked in the next section towards the Hare & Hounds.

No bollard here, so cars can enter in the middle. Close to the Hare & Hounds and the Kings Heath High Street.

One more flower planter on York Road at the High Street where the Pedestrian and cycle Zone Ends.

A short walk to the left down the High Street, before crossing at the lights and walking up Poplar Road.

Poplar Road towards Cambridge Road Methodist Church

Heading up Poplar Road past the shops towards Kings Heath Primary School. One set of flower planters just before the zebra crossing.

Directly ahead is Cambridge Road Methodist Church.

Cambridge Road near Springfield Road

At the island near Springfield Road is one last set of flower planters I saw at the end of Cambridge Road. One more walk down Springfield Road to get the 11A bus home, with all the Halloween decorations out.

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

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40 passion points
Squares and public spaces
24 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Floozie from the fountain on in 2010, to the Floral Garden in 2015, to cleared in late 2020

Cofton Nursery removed the plants in November 2020 around the fountain and statues called River and Youth by Dhruva Mistry. We all know it as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi. The fountain leaked in 2008, but was fixed by 2010. Another leak in 2013, led to plants and soil going in by 2015. All stripped out by late 2020. Hopefully the fountain will be repaired going into 2021?

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The Floozie from the fountain on in 2010, to the Floral Garden in 2015, to cleared in late 2020





Cofton Nursery removed the plants in November 2020 around the fountain and statues called River and Youth by Dhruva Mistry. We all know it as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi. The fountain leaked in 2008, but was fixed by 2010. Another leak in 2013, led to plants and soil going in by 2015. All stripped out by late 2020. Hopefully the fountain will be repaired going into 2021?


Previous Floozie post here: Floozie in the Jacuzzi in Victoria Square over the years

During November 2020, Cofton Nursery returned to Victoria Square to remove the plants and soil that had been around River and Youth for 5 years. So for the first time in over 5 years you can now see the Floozie in the Jacuzzi without plants, but the fountain has not yet been switched on, as we are awaiting the leak to be repaired once and for all.

The last fix was in 2010 (after the first leak of 2008), then another leak in 2013 led to it being turned off again. Then in 2015 River and Youth was turned into a Floral Garden. Making it the Floozie in the Floral Garden.

With the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic / lockdown / restrictions etc, it meant that work could continue in Victoria Square with the paving, and also to start to fully restore the fountain in front of the Council House.

 

But first lets look back 10 years to when it was last working.

 

2010

It was near the beginning of November 2010 when I was first able to get photos of River and Youth (the Floozie in the Jacuzzi) with the fountains switched on, and the pools filled with water.

Around the rim of the upper pool is a poem by T.S. Eliot called Burnt Norton.:

"And the pool was filled with water of sunlight, and the lotos rose, quietly, quitely, the surface glittered out of heart of light, and they were behind us, reflected in a pool. Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty."

The general view of River and Youth looking up towards the Council House, with a pair of poppies.

There was a Christmas tree on the Council House balcony between the pair of poppies, as the water went down the steps.

Looking up to the Floozie herself. With the Town Hall, Central Library (closed in 2013, demolished in 2016) and the Council House behind.

It looks quite impressive, like an artificial waterfall. This view towards 125 and 130 Colmore Row.

Looking up the steps towards John Madin's NatWest Tower (103 Colmore Row). It would be demolished from 2015 to 2018.

The water cascades down the steps from River (the Floozie in the Jacuzzi) down to the pair of statues called Youth. The BBC screen was still in Victoria Square at the time.

At the bottom was Youth, with two metal bowls with all the water coming out.

Near the end of November 2010 I saw the colourful lights around River and Youth in Victoria Square for the first time after dark. This was well after 10pm, so the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market had closed for the night.

This view below from heading down Christchurch Passage through the railing bars.

The lighting here was impressive, but it was also from the Frankfurt Christmas Market. View below probably taken through the railing bars on Christchurch Passage.

From the bottom of Victoria Square near the Christmas Tree. The Happy Christmas Birmingham message is on the Council House every year.

The Council House was all lit up, as River Routh was in a mix of blues and purples at this point.

One month on to late December 2010. View of the Floozie lit up in orange lights, just before 5pm, 2 days before the end of the year. London 2012 logo on the BBC Screen.

View of the Floozie in orange towards No 1 Victoria Square and the Town Hall. The fountain was off.

It looked like the fountain had been turned off again, and the pools looked empty.

A line of pink, blue, purple and red lights going down to the Youth statue.

Looking towards Victoria Square House and No 1 Victoria Square. Was still old red phone boxes at the top of Pinfold Street.

2015

5 years later, and a few years after the fountain was last turned on. By July 2015, Cofton Nursery had planted an impressive number of plants, to try and make the area look nice, as the leak couldn't be repaired at this time.

Only the steps didn't have plants on them. Still possible to see Birmingham Central Library at this time, before demolition would begin at the end of the year.

You could hardly see Youth amongst the plants at the bottom, of what by then looked like a tropical garden.

By the end of July 2015, The Big Hoot trail of owls was in the City which would last for 10 weeks. Alf the Penguin Owl was at the bottom in front of River and Youth (neither of which can be seen).

In Early August 2015, there was a group of Morris Dancers in Victoria Square, not far from the Floozie and the floral garden that was in place of the fountains. I'm not sure if they were dancing to hope that the fountain would get fixed, or for the post Summer Solstice?

2020

Onto the middle of November 2020. My first day back in the City Centre after about 2 weeks. So took my camera (while on my work lunchbreak) and checked out the Floozie, now that Cofton Nursery had removed all of the plants.

The only water in the pools was from rain water. No market, means that the pavin works around the Queen Victoria statue can continue without interruption by Christmas events.

Compared to the view of 10 years ago, the Central Library is now replaced by Two Chamberlain Square.

It was very quiet in Victoria Square due to the 2nd lockdown, and in town in general. At least Youth at the bottom can be seen again, without the plants.

Later that day after I left work, just before 5pm, had time before getting the bus home to pop to Centenary Square after dark. For the first time in 10 years saw River and Youth lit up with the colourful lights.

New to this view of River and Youth was the new (but unfinished) 103 Colmore Row. Victoria Square was completely empty and quiet.

If this was a normal year, the Frankfurt Market would be on by now. It still looks good all lit up towards 103 Colmore Row.

Hopefully the fountain will be fixed and the water flowing again in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And I hope it stays fixed this time.

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

 

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