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Art, culture & creativity
11 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A look around Zellig at the Custard Factory over the years

For many years now part of the Custard Factory has been called Zellig. Inside is various businesses and shops. As well as art fixtures. There used to be a pond in the middle of the square, but think that's gone now. Recent changes including the "Only in Digbeth" parts. You can pass through from Gibb Street to the Zellig Car Park. Would be nice one day to get up on the roof.

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A look around Zellig at the Custard Factory over the years





For many years now part of the Custard Factory has been called Zellig. Inside is various businesses and shops. As well as art fixtures. There used to be a pond in the middle of the square, but think that's gone now. Recent changes including the "Only in Digbeth" parts. You can pass through from Gibb Street to the Zellig Car Park. Would be nice one day to get up on the roof.


ZELLIG

My earliest photos around Digbeth and the Custard Factory were taken during October 2009. I think that this was before the area became known as Zellig. Here there used to be a big pond in the square, near The City is a Work of Art. On the right used to be Factory Kitchen.

This view looking up at the Custard Factory, painted white and the windows.

Also seen during this October 2009 visit was a sculpture of a Dragon on the wall. Made in 1993 by Tawny Gray. Was scaffolding to the right at the time.

The first time I got a photo inside of the Zellig public area inside was during July 2015. All these white tubes going up to the roof. A bit like the game KerPlunk. This is called Chaos by Philip Watts, There are bridges up there. Now how does a member of the public that doesn't work there get up, can the Custard Factory give us photographers access, including up on the roof?

My first photo of this hanging sculpture taken during July 2015. The Deluge by Toin Adams made in 2010.

Also a sculpture of a Lion. Artist and year made unknown.

This view from April 2016 near the pond that used to be there. Towards The City is a Work of Art.

By April 2018, this area at Zellig was now a square without a pond. And I saw the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Police Box Public Call. Had the 13th Doctor landed? Behind to the left was Alfie Birds. They were in the process of regenerating the buildings.

Yellow hoardings with the Only In Digbeth hashtag seen during August 2018. Thinks were changing here.

A Christmas Tree seen in the Zellig square during December 2018. To the right was the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Work still being done on the Only in Digbeth alterations.

By October 2019 the Only in Digbeth works were complete. On this side was The Crib and Stag Digbeth - Coffee / Bar / Barbers and Cocktails.

Another look at Chaos by Philip Watts. Shop below called Wayland's Forge.

One of the new looking entrances to Zellig during November 2019. Industrious, Individual, In it Together, #OnlyinDigbeth.

Same thing again, but a close up look at the sign.

During December 2019 towards the Zellig Reception and Shops. Saw this pair of Christmas trees along with the decorations. Chaos is seen behind. The Deluge is above (by Toin Adams).

In January 2020, I met up with Karl Newton for a Brumtography meet at Ghetto Golf. While there had a look around Zellig again. Looking up to the domed glass roof. Bit like a crystal from the Crystal Maze.

A piano. There was an exhibition on the walls around here by Lisk Bot.

Some more views of Chaos by Philip Watts. Somehow it holds up those walkway bridges.

There looks to be about three levels up there.

5 years after I last got a photo of this sculpture, I got a much better photo of The Deluge by Toin Adams (2010). Just look up when you are around there.

At Zellig during February 2020. This time meeting Karl again for the Roxy Ballroom meet. NQ64 Arcade Bar. We wont be doing a Brumtography meet here, as they want too much money, and wont let us do it for free, which is shame. So for now, this would be the closest I could get to it.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
10 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years

It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq

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Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years





It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq


Previous related posts: Coca Cola Christmas Truck and Festival of Light.

Seen in St Martin's Square during May 2015 was this old London Routemaster bus with a livery for the animated movie Minions. The buses licence plate no was JJD 573D. The film came out on the 26th June 2015. I have never seen it or any of the Despicable Me films either!

View from the side, as a little boy was by chance wearing a Minions backpack and a yellow top. How cute!

They had a screen on the right, probably showing a trailer of the Minions movie.

Minions on Tour was brought to Birmingham with Capital FM. You can still see the little boy in his Minions backpack.

Another former London Routemaster bus, this one seen during March 2016 for Virgin Holidays. Licence plate no VVS 373

They had added thinkings to this bus with the Dream Bigger hashtag. At the time advertising holidays to Mexico and Jamaica.

There is always good views from the balcony above, hence why I always go up there for views like this.

It looks like most people were just ignoring this one, and walking past, not much interest by the looks of it.

It is now July 2016 and during the height of the summer in St Martin's Square was Vita Coco.

Fake palm trees, a sky blue pick up truck and a Coconut Grove bar.

Some sand near the Vita Coco pick up truck.

It was about Coconut Oil mainly. "Eat it, Wear It, Swear By It" what ever that means?

Winter again and it is now during February 2017 in St Martin's Square. The Hunter's Lodge (a wooden looking lorry) was in town with the Cadbury Creme Egg.

It was for the Cadbury Creme Egg Hunting Season. Beware of Poachers.

The best view from one of the balconies from above. A contrast to the Coca Cola Christmas Truck that used to go in the exact same spot.

I try to get as many views as I can from up there.

This view from the balcony on the far side near Selfridges. Hope people liked their Cadbury Creme Egg's! Used to have them, but not for years. Anyway since they introduced the white Creme egg, people keep unwrapping them and re-wrapping them in store, so not worth buying. Although sometimes buy Mini Eggs, but not recently. Not good for your (or my) teeth.

Bud Light was in town during April 2017. They had these 4 Toyota Hilux pick up trucks in blue.

Each one had boxes in the back.

Was also signs saying Dunk Responsibily.

This one was parked close to St Martin's Church.

This one near to where Hand Made Burger Co used to be. The path leading down to Park Street and Digbeth.

One more view of all four trucks. Most people walking past, showing little interest in the drinks on offer.

One year on to April 2018 with BJ's Bingo on this bus. Licence plate no W866 PNL. With a reflection of Selfridges.

The bus had this digital screen on the side and a slogan: Everyones a Winner, and Your 1st Time is Free.

So basically gambling then. Only a few people stopping to talk to the assistants.

Brew Dog during July 2018, was the last major thing like this with a lorry that I've spotted in St Martin's Square.

So another beer truck then. Beer without Borders. Punk State is Here.

Looks like people could try the drinks in the trailer of the lorry. Taste the Revolution.

Standard side view from one of the balconies towards Selfridges. Visitors could sit on those crates and have a drink.

One last view before I left and headed up St Martin's Walk, or into one of the malls.

I could do a similar post to this, but from Rotunda Square, as they have those lorries or buses up there too. Usually Formula 1 simulators. Cars on display etc. 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
History & heritage
09 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Moseley Road Baths: an Edwardian gem in Balsall Heath

The Brumtography Facebook group had a guided tour and photo meet at the Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath on Sunday 8th March 2020. Thanks to Karl Newton for organising. We each gave a £2 donation at the end. It's been more than a quarter of a century since I last swam there with school, and many things have changed. Parts have been restored, but still a lot to do.

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Moseley Road Baths: an Edwardian gem in Balsall Heath





The Brumtography Facebook group had a guided tour and photo meet at the Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath on Sunday 8th March 2020. Thanks to Karl Newton for organising. We each gave a £2 donation at the end. It's been more than a quarter of a century since I last swam there with school, and many things have changed. Parts have been restored, but still a lot to do.


A guided tour around Moseley Road Baths with the Brumtography Facebook group members. Thanks once again to Karl Newton for organising it. I was last inside here before, probably in the early to mid 1990s with my Primary School for swimming classes, which was more than a quarter of a century ago. So it's been a long time since I've been here, other than passing it on the Moseley Road on the no 50 bus in Balsall Heath.

Some history from Wikipedia (link above).

Balsall Heath Library opened in 1895, and the baths followed in 1907. Built of red brick and terracotta in the Edwardian style. Jethro A. Cossins and F. B. Peacock was the architect of the library, while William Hale and Son were architects of the baths. The baths and library has several Birmingham Forward coat of arms, as it was built as an incentive for Balsall Heath to become a part of Birmingham (which happened in 1891).

Before people had their own bathroom at home, they would come here for a bath. There was a Ladies bath room, also a Mens First Class and Second Class bath room. There is also two pools. The building is Grade II* listed Balsall Heath Library and Balsall Heath Public Baths.

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths group was formed in 2006. Over the years there has been scaffolding in the baths. At the moment only one of the swimming baths has water in it (the smaller bath). The larger one has scaffolding around it, and a new temporary exhibition in the pool (no water).

 

Some exteriors I took as I arrived in Balsall Heath. Crossed to the other side of the Moseley Road as I got there early. The Public Library is on the right with the clock tower.

From the left side with the chimney at the back. The doors for the old Men's Bath Second Class and Women's Baths have long since been closed (for a very long time). The main entrance is via the door labelled Men's Baths First Class.

The main entrance foyer and what is now the reception desk. This used to be the entrance hall to the Men's Baths First Class. In the swimming baths with water, you have to put these blue bags over your outdoor shoes.

The Deep End. The baths currently in use are to the left. While the larger pool with the exhibition was ahead and to the right. Another door beyond led to the boiler room and the pump room.

Got this view of the foyer after leaving pool 1, and before we were taken upstairs to the laundry room. The door on the right leads to the women's baths, the door to the left to the main entrance and exit. The men's baths is to the far left of here.

Men's Baths

To the right of the main entrance hall was the former men's baths. There was separate rooms in here with bath tubs. The room is now used for storage.

At the far end was a window with the Birmingham Forward coat of arms. Some panels of glass were missing (years of wear and tare).

One of the baths with a rope (probably used to pull yourself out). As you can see, boxes, papers etc are now in there. Before people had their own plumbed bathrooms, they had to come to places like this.

Women's Baths

The women's baths was to the left of the main entrance. Saw this old door with a wall blocking it behind. It reads: "Notice: No money or tickets will be exchanged after leaving this window soap tablets 1d - each".

One of the bath rooms and bath tubs. No doors on some of them that I could see. A bench to sit on and a hook to hang your clothes up.

The corridor between the women's bath rooms, leading back out to the foyer. These are no longer used either.

Boiler Rooms

We were given access by our guide to the boiler rooms to the back of Moseley Road Baths. Was very warm in there. Pipes all over with red wheels to turn (not us of course).

Was another room with a big tank inside, we were taken outside to the back for some views of the chimney. Was a stream deep under the building which could be accessed from here.

In the main room was these large tanks full of steam, more pipes and tubes all over the place.

Pool 1

This swimming pool is still in use. This was the Second Class baths. Modern looking changing rooms on both sides. Now used for kids swimming lessons, and women's swimming group sessions.

You could smell the smell of clorine in here, and my camera got quite steamed up. They let us walk all the way around the pool, as long as we had the blue bags on our shoes. Was bright sunshine coming through as well.

Steps to climb down into the pool. A warning sign behind for No Diving. I did not see any diving boards in Moseley Road Baths. Probably isn't safe, or they never had one.

Laundry Room

We were next taken up some stairs to the old Laundry Room. The drying racks was on the left. The next set of steps leads up to the header tank in the roof. This room had some good views of the City Skyline through the windows on the right.

A close up look at the drying racks.

Up those wooden steps, then up a wooden ladder for a view in the roof. Below is the header tank. Just a look up here, wasn't going to climb on the plank.

Pool 2

This pool is not currently in use, and has scaffolding all around it with no water in the swimming pool. I suspect that this was the pool I used with my primary school back in the early 1990s. Boys shared cubicles on the left, while girls in the cubicles on the right. Going past them now, they look cramped, doors missing and not lights. A new temporary exhibition has opened up in this space called Specular Reflecular. A hand painted animation for Moseley Road Baths by Juneau Projects and members of the local community.

They let us through to the balcony on the top. But it was only safe to walk around the edges near the tiled walls. This pool would have been the First Class swimming baths.

This was as far as I and others could go on this side, as I looked down at the pool with the temporary exhibition below. They installed wooden steps, and behind the screen was emergency scaffolding steps from the pool.

Be sure to follow Moseley Road Baths on Twitter: Moseley Road Baths, on Facebook: Moseley Road Baths and on Instagram: Moseley Road Baths. Their website is at Moseley Road Baths.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
09 Mar 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of the Mercian - March 2020

A double update this time with photos from February and the first week of March. The core is rising visibly onto the skyline; now reaching level 11, with the main floors creeping up and starting to show its impressive bulk.

 

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The Construction of the Mercian - March 2020





A double update this time with photos from February and the first week of March. The core is rising visibly onto the skyline; now reaching level 11, with the main floors creeping up and starting to show its impressive bulk.

 


With the three-storey podium constructed, attention now turns to the residential aspect above.

This will see the erection of a 39-storey residential tower, with a 14-storey shoulder element. Once complete, The Mercian will yield 481 apartments, all exclusively for rent.

The core slipform is growing in size every couple of days, with the core now sitting pretty on level 10 (March 9th), as seen below.

Image from Moda Reachtimelapse

Construction of the floors are also creeping up quickly, with the main tower approaching level 10 from Tennant Street, and level 9 from Broad Street.

The 14-storey shoulder is, at this moment in time, halfway through completing its 9th floor. Impressive stuff.

6th-8th MARCH:

Photos by Stephen Giles

Photo by John Egan

Photos by Daniel Sturley

8th February:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Artist Impression from Glenn Howells Architects

Photos by Daniel Sturley, Stephen Giles and John Egan. Words by Stephen.

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50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
04 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

From sunset to after dark from the balcony of The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery for Birmingham We Are

Was at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery for Birmingham We Are and got some views of the sunset outside and some after it was dark. The sun set over the Sheepcote Street Bridge of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline. The Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham below was closed for the day. Wednesday 26th February 2020.

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From sunset to after dark from the balcony of The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery for Birmingham We Are





Was at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery for Birmingham We Are and got some views of the sunset outside and some after it was dark. The sun set over the Sheepcote Street Bridge of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline. The Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham below was closed for the day. Wednesday 26th February 2020.


This was around 4:40pm on Wednesday 26th February 2020 outside of The BCAG. Looking towards the Libary of Birmingham, ICC, Alpha Tower, Hyatt, Three Brindleyplace and the National Sealife Centre Birmingham. Not quite dark yet.

Looking towards Sheepcote Street as the sun was going down, but was a bit bright to see anything from this side.

Just before 5pm, the sunset was starting to look dramatic from The BCAG balcony.

The canal was quiet, the Lego giraffe was all alone after the LDC Birmingham closed for the day.

Popped out again at 5 minutes past 5pm as the sun went down.

Just about got a reflection from Symphony Court.

One last look at the sunset as it made red flares before I went back in. It was cold.

This was about 5 minutes before 6pm. The sun had gone down as it started to get dark, but could already see the crescent moon.

A few minutes before 6pm past The BCAG towards the Library, ICC, Alpha Tower, Hyatt, Three Brindleyplace and National Sealife Centre.

It was now sometime after 6:30pm and it was fully dark. I spotted a crescent moon in the sky.

Above the moon was either a star or a planet, not sure which.

Here you can a decent image of the crescent moon with The BCAG.

I left just before 7pm, and got this view heading down the steps.

This view from a footbridge on the other side of the canal. Lego and Costa were both closed.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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