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Green open spaces
06 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Grove Park in Harborne: near the former home of two past Birmingham MP's

Grove Park is located in Harborne on Harborne Park Road (one of the parks on the no 11 Outer Circle bus route 11A and 11C). The park was historically the grounds of The Grove, home to Thomas Attwood MP between 1823 and 1846. Later William Kenrick from the late 1870s until his death in 1919. Birmingham City Council inherited the park and house and opened the park in 1963.

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Grove Park in Harborne: near the former home of two past Birmingham MP's





Grove Park is located in Harborne on Harborne Park Road (one of the parks on the no 11 Outer Circle bus route 11A and 11C). The park was historically the grounds of The Grove, home to Thomas Attwood MP between 1823 and 1846. Later William Kenrick from the late 1870s until his death in 1919. Birmingham City Council inherited the park and house and opened the park in 1963.


Grove Park

The park was opened by Birmingham City Council in 1963 on land that was historically part of the estate of The Grove. Located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne, the park is also bordered by Mill Farm Road and Grove Lane.

Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove which was an 18th Century Georgian mansion house from 1823 until 1846. He was one of Birmingham's very first MP's. There is two statues of Attwood, the first sculpted by Peter Hollins used to be in Calthorpe Park, then later New Park, Sparkbrook, but has been in storage at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre since 2008 (covered in graffiti and looking worse for wear). The other sitting statue used to be in Chamberlain Square, sculpted by Sioban Coppinger & Fiona Peever in 1993, until it was moved into storage in 2015 before the demolition of Birmingham Central Library for Paradise Birmingham. It is possible that it could return to Chamberlain Square later in 2020?

The second Birmingham MP to live in The Grove was William Kenrick. John Henry Chamberlain rebuilt the house for him from 1877 to 1878. Kenrick lived there until his death at the age of 88 in 1919.

There is a blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre on Mill Farm Road in Harborne that states that Alderman W. Byng Kenrick (1872 - 1962) gave the Grove Estate to the City. The park opened to the public a year after his death.

The house was demolished in 1963, and the paneled anteroom of the drawing room of The Grove was saved from destruction and acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

2012

By first visit to Grove Park was during May 2012.

Welcome to Grove Park sign near one of the entrances on Harborne Park Road. Claims to be A public park since 1936. That could be a mistake if it was 1963?

A tree with many branches and green leaves close to the lake.

Another tree with one long over hanging branch.

In the pond / lake was this tree with pink flower heads.

The lake is small if compared to other lakes I've seen in other Birmingham park's.

Still it attracts geese and ducks etc.

Another bush with pink flower heads.

The end of the lake close to Harborne Park Road.

A Canada Goose in the lake.

2016

Grove Park during January 2016. The lake in winter. Trees with no leaves. Only brown leaves on the ground that fell in the autumn.

Gates on one of the paths. Some trees nearby may have been cut down.

Dark green picnic bench with seats on all four sides.

The playground which is close to Harborne Park Road. Swings near a bench. The public car park for this park is to the right of here.

2018

My most recent visit to Grove Park was during the autumn of November 2018. Mainly to find the blue plaque near the Kenrick Centre. The leaves were all orange and brown looking quite autumnal.

The playground and car park from the path towards Mill Farm Road.

Trees alongside Mill Farm Road. The blue plaque was up this way.

More trees. Mill Farm Road to the right, so this was probably after I saw the blue plaque for Alderman W. Byng Kenrick.

Trees and yellow leaves, the grass was still green.

Leaves all over the ground here as I headed back to a main path.

Can't visit a Birmingham park without seeing a squirrel with a nut!

The lake again in autumn.

More trees and more leaves on the ground.

This park is well worth visiting, if you get off the 11C or 11A buses. And is in walking distance of the Harborne High Street. It's also close to a Cricket Club and two Golf Courses.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Transport
02 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton

I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020

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Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton





I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020


First up on Sunday 29th December 2019, needed to catch a tram in Birmingham City Centre. They seemed more frequent than they usually are on a Sunday. I always prefer to head to Grand Central Tram Stop. But this time had to catch the tram from the platform near The Burlington Hotel, since the Westside Metro extension opened to Library Tram Stop in Centenary Square several weeks ago (with testing before that).

Grand Central Tram Stop

While waiting for a tram to Wolverhampton, saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 Comet arriving at th platform near Birmingham New Street Station.

The pantograph was lowered from the overhead wires, before heading up Stephenson Street under battery power towards Pinfold Street.

Heading past the Guildhall Buildings and the modern part of Victoria Square House. It would turn up right towards Pinfold Street and Victoria Square. A street cleaning vehicle to the right.

Passing Costa Coffee in the Guildhall Buildings (corner of Navigation Street and Stephenson Street) was tram 29 Cupid. Which I would catch to Wolverhampton St George's. A 45 minute journey. The pantograph was probably raised while I was inside of this tram.

Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop

45 minutes later I arrived in Wolverhampton. Getting off at Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop. Only one platform here now since it was rebuilt several years ago.

I was first heading to check out the Wolverhampton Metro extension to Wolverhampton Station. As you can see the former platform at the existing terminus is now for buses. Pipers Row has a tram stop with platforms but no shelters. And since they are still re-building Wolverhampton Station, the extension currently stops on the bridge on Railway Drive.

Bilston Road, Wolverhampton

The last time I walked down here in May 2017, the Urbos 3 trams were pink, and I walked up the canal. Ended up that time catching a tram from The Royal to West Bromwich. This time it was a walk down to Priestfield Tram Stop.

After a quick walk around Wolverhampton City Centre, I crossed over Ring Road St George's as West Midlands Metro tram 19 headed between Bilston Road and Bilston Street to the Wolverhampton terminus at St George's. Passing Novotel.

I later saw it heading down the Bilston Road. This was after it had left The Royal Tram Stop. Not sure if it was in service as it did not say "Birmingham" on the front or back digital display.

Tram 19 passing a Vauxhall car dealership on the Bilston Road.

Heading over the Bilston Road Bridge that crosses over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (Wolverhampton Level).

Next up was West Midlands Metro tram 18 (one of the trams with Just Eat adverts in red). Seen here going under the railway bridge that carries the West Coast Mainline between Wolverhampton and Birmingham (and London). Saw a couple of Avanti West Coast Class 390 Pendolino's up there (weird not saying Virgin Trains any more).

Passing various car showrooms. Wolverhampton Volkswagen to the left.

Passing a Toyota place on the Bilston Road.

Passing me next was West Midlands Metro tram 32. This was near Ettingshall Road near the boarded up The New Inn (which used to be an Oriental restaurant until it closed down).

Seen continuing up to Wolverhampton St George's. I later got this tram back from Priestfield.

Priestfield Tram Stop

Arrived at Priestfield Tram Stop too late to catch Tram 18 back to Birmingham. But only had to wait another 7 minutes for the next tram. It is here that the trams leaves the Bilston Road and goes back onto the old railway trackbed.

There is paths on both sides of the tracks that leads to the platforms at Priestfield.

I wasn't going to run for the tram like the man ahead of me. Priestfield has it's own car park.

Saw West Midlands Metro tram 30 arriving at Priestfield on it's journey towards Wolverhampton St George's.

I don't think tram 30 has a temporary reindeer name at Christmas time.

There is crossover track here, incase the line beyond here is closed for whatever reason.

Tram 32 arriving at Priestfield. I caught it all the way to Bull Street Tram Stop in Birmingham City Centre.

On Sunday afternoon many football fans of West Bromwich Albion got on board heading to The Hawthorns to watch their team in the Championship. Many of them had scarfs, hats and Baggies football shirts on.

If this is my last post in 2019, then I'd like to say Happy New Year 2020!

One last tram photo on the 31st December 2019. New Year's Eve. Tram 18 with Just Eat livery seen from Victoria Square at Town Hall Tram Stop.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Check out my brand new Facebook page Ell Brown Photos.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
29 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Oak Park: the gem of a park off the Selly Oak Bypass

Selly Oak Park is located on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak. Sections of the Lapal Canal goes through the north east corner of the park (still to be fully restored). The Selly Oak Bypass (Aston Webb Boulevard) opened in 2011 and the Selly Oak Shopping Park in 2018. They are now building a new section of the bypass near the former Sainsbury's site at Selly Oak Triangle. Also on Gibbins Rd.

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Selly Oak Park: the gem of a park off the Selly Oak Bypass





Selly Oak Park is located on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak. Sections of the Lapal Canal goes through the north east corner of the park (still to be fully restored). The Selly Oak Bypass (Aston Webb Boulevard) opened in 2011 and the Selly Oak Shopping Park in 2018. They are now building a new section of the bypass near the former Sainsbury's site at Selly Oak Triangle. Also on Gibbins Rd.


Selly Oak Park

This park is located on Harborne Lane and Gibbins Road in Selly Oak. It was developed under the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council. Land was donated in February 1899 by members of the Gibbins family. The park was opened in April 1899 on Easter Monday. In 1911 the park was taken over by Birmingham City Council when Selly Oak became part of the city. More land was donated over the years. In 1913 and 1919 by the owners of the Birmingham Battery and Metal Company (also Gibbins family members), in 1935 to give access to the Weoley Park Farm Estate. More land in 1950 by the Birmingham Battery & Metal Company (again). In 1958 some land was transferred to the City’s Public Works Committee. More recent land donations in 1980 and 1982.

The shelter built in 1899, the bandstand built in 1908 and the Daughters of Rest Pavilion built in 1953 have all since been demolished.

The park is now maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. That includes all the wooden sculptures found around the park.

2012

My first walk around Selly Oak Park was during June 2012, testing out my then new camera (which I had until about December 2015). I probably entered from Harborne Lane and headed up the main path.

One of the main squirrels in the park, with a nut.

Saw this red wind funnel thing. There is similar funnels in other nearby parks.

A council lawnmower going around the park cutting the grass.

The trees were so lush and green in the summer, the path curving round to the right.

Another squirrel behind a tree.

Two paths amongst the trees.

Distant view of the red funnel.

2017

The next visit to Selly Oak Park was during January 2017. The Friends of Selly Oak Park had commissioned all of these new wooden sculptures which were worth checking out. On this side it says Lapal.

To the side Welcome. So probably "Welcome to Selly Oak Park". This is near Gibbins Road.

A carved wooden bench. In memory of Geoff Bartlett, Founder of Friends of Selly Oak Park.

Part of the playground. A climbing frame, and a ride along a rope with a tyre (I think).

Another wooden sculpture. Of deer or a kangeroo (probably a deer and it's cub).

A new Welcome to Selly Oak Park sign. It's near the car park off Harborne Lane and close to the corner with Gibbins Road.

2018

This visit during March 2018. View of the new outdoor gym.

Daffodils alongside a path.

Selly Oak Park Play Area. One of the many Birmingham City Council elephant signs that you would find in this and other City parks. Behind was a slide.

Daffodils around a tree.

Daffodils and crocuses. From here I headed up Gibbins Road towards Lodge Hill Cemetery. Weoley Castle is also nearby.

Happy New Year 2020. More park posts to come during 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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90 passion points
Transport
27 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro tram in and out of Town Hall Tram Stop on the last weekend of the Birmingham FCM (December 2019)

The all blue West Midlands Metro trams are now running every day between Library and Wolverhampton St George's. Monday's to Saturday's every 6 minutes, and every 15 minutes on Sunday's. Heading up Pinfold Street as a tram heads down from Victoria Square. Also a pair of trams stopping at the new Town Hall Tram Stop. On the last weekend of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

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West Midlands Metro tram in and out of Town Hall Tram Stop on the last weekend of the Birmingham FCM (December 2019)





The all blue West Midlands Metro trams are now running every day between Library and Wolverhampton St George's. Monday's to Saturday's every 6 minutes, and every 15 minutes on Sunday's. Heading up Pinfold Street as a tram heads down from Victoria Square. Also a pair of trams stopping at the new Town Hall Tram Stop. On the last weekend of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.


Starting with West Midlands Metro tram 19 at Grand Central Tram Stop, on the early evening of Wednesday 18th December 2019. The tram with the 20 Years livery (1999 - 2019). Passing here again on Saturday 21st December 2019, it was a bit too crowded for me. Noisy football fans coming out of the Burlington Arcade, and protesters walking past with placards on the opposite platform.

Heading up Pinfold Street nad I have finally managed to get some photos of a tram heading down the hill. West Midlands Metro tram 21 in Just Eat livery, now all blue, but still with the red adverts.

The last weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, it closes on Monday 23rd December 2019.

You can see the Big Brum clocktower from down here which is behind the Council House. It is completely pedestrianised up here.

Tram 21 turns left from Pinfold Street onto Stephenson Street, passing La Galleria and Yorks Cafe in the Guildhall Buildings.

Heading to the end of Paradise Street, as far as pedestrians are supposed to go, saw tram 29 with the reindeer name Cupid coming round Paradise Circus. With Centenary Square behind. Including the Birmingham Big Wheel and ice rink at Ice Skate Birmingham. The REP, Library of Birmingham, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. HSBC UK at Arena Central on the left, while the site of One Centenary Way to the right.

Pedestrians are not supposed to walk beyond here, but some have ignoring the signs (can they not read?). Tram 29 continues to go round the corner with HSBC UK and the Birmingham Big Wheel seen behind.

Tram 29 Cupid heads onto Paradise Street. As a man with shopping walks beyond the point of no return for pedestrians. Behind you can still see the Big Wheel, Library, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. Only trams are allowed to enter Paradise Street here. Not cars.

Heading past the Town Hall as tram 29 arrives at Town Hall Tram Stop. The Christmas tree at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is visible to the right.

Tram 22 Dasher arrives at platform 1 for Birmingham (Library) while tram 29 Cupid comes into platform 2, bound for Wolverhampton (St George's).

A view not possible a few years ago. Big Brum at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery with the Birmingham Town Hall. Seen from Paradise Street while the pair of trams were at Town Hall Tram Stop. And as a bonus, the core of 103 Colmore Row. Paradise Birmingham is to the left. That was where Fletchers Walk and the old Birmingham Conservatoire used to be until a few years ago. And there used to be a road that was part of Paradise Circus that is now long gone.

Another new view from the tram stop is of Colmore Gate and the dome of Birmingham Cathedral. Never expected to get those with a pair of West Midlands Metro blue trams.

Tram 22 Dasher continues it's journey towards Centenary Square. You can see it's destination in the background, the Library of Birmingham. The Alpha Tower is usually visible from the end of Paradise Street.

Tram 29 seen leaving Town Hall Tram Stop. Going through Victoria Square, then down Pinfold Street. As visitors to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market pass in and out of the square.

I will add to this post as it was not published on the 23rd December 2019.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was dismantled between the 24th and 25th December 2019, and trams were running apart from on Christmas Day of course.

On Boxing Day, the 26th December 2019, at least two trams were broken down meaning no trams could go beyond Bull Street until they were removed.

On a miserable wet Boxing Day, tram 30 had broken down at Corporation Street. It was on the platform bound for Wolverhampton, but couldn't go anywhere.

Heading round to Bull Street Tram Stop, saw tram 28 Jasper Carrott with no destination on the board. This one on the Wolverhampton bound platform. Was it broken down to / not in service?

Then tram 22 arrived heading to Birmingham. But I'm not sure if it headed down to Corporation Street, or if all the passengers got off here, and it returned in the other direction.

Back to normal on the 27th December 2019. Saw at least one tram from Victoria Square.

After popping through the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station, I saw tram 18 in the Just Eat livery arriving. I saw the pantograph rising up and connecting to the overhead wires when it got to the tram stop from the newly opened extension.

Saw tram 34 arriving at Grand Central Tram Stop, but tram 18 had started to depart before I was able to get two trams in one shot, so I took this one instead. Looks like the pantograph had been lowered, before it started the journey up to Town Hall and Library.

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah as well! (Will all be over when this gets published). More tram posts and photos in 2020. I'm hoping to ride the tram again perhaps all the way to Wolverhampton.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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

The Empty Streets of Birmingham on Christmas Day 2019

Being autistic has its advantages when it comes to having a special interest, mine is the city and photography. I went out at about midday into the city centre to see if I could get another set of 'empty city' photos like I did in 2011, and great medicine for my mental health it was! Here's a gallery of what I got, they had to be black & white, 28 photos in this post.

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The Empty Streets of Birmingham on Christmas Day 2019





Being autistic has its advantages when it comes to having a special interest, mine is the city and photography. I went out at about midday into the city centre to see if I could get another set of 'empty city' photos like I did in 2011, and great medicine for my mental health it was! Here's a gallery of what I got, they had to be black & white, 28 photos in this post.


To see my 2011 photos click here: 2011 - Alone in the City

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