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

Roundhouse Birmingham: a timeline to reopening

Finally Roundhouse Birmingham has reopened to the public. Located at Sheepcote Street and St Vincent Street, it is on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline. Originally opened in 1874, to the designs of W. H. Ward as the Corporation Depot. Also used by the London and North Western Railway as a railway depot at the time. Now co-owned by the Canal & River Trust and National Trust.

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Roundhouse Birmingham: a timeline to reopening





Finally Roundhouse Birmingham has reopened to the public. Located at Sheepcote Street and St Vincent Street, it is on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline. Originally opened in 1874, to the designs of W. H. Ward as the Corporation Depot. Also used by the London and North Western Railway as a railway depot at the time. Now co-owned by the Canal & River Trust and National Trust.


History of Roundhouse Birmingham

A crescent shaped Grade II* listed building, it was built for the Corporation of Birmingham from 1873 to 1874, to the designs of William Henry Ward (he also designed the Great Western Arcade). The two gatehouses facing the corner of Sheepcote Street and St Vincent Street were completed in 1885. It was originally named Corporation Wharf, as it was near the Birmingham Canal. It was also used as a large railway depot for the London and North Western Railway, on the Stour Valley Line.

The site was arranged to create a highly secure internal storage environment, for open air storage, horses and maintenance.

Pevsner describes it having a pair of picturesque Gothic lodges. And that inside was more of a semicircular range with a cartway running under it's centre to the canal. With evocative cobbled pavements.

The building was used by the City of Birmingham Engineers Department until the 1980s, when it became redundant and was sold. It was bought by British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) in 2001.

Unused for many years, other than part of it as a nursery school, the Canal & River Trust and the National Trust gained funding in 2017 for the restoration of the building, and to open it up to the public. It should have opened in 2020, but delays due to the pandemic, means it won't open now until at least late summer 2021.

Some of the earliest tours by narrowboat have started in late July 2021, during the summer heatwave.

 

2009

Some of my earliest photos of the Roundhouse, taken from the opposite towpath on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline, between the Sheepcote Street Bridge and St Vincent Street Bridge.

 

15th May 2009

At the time there was a lot of narrowboats moored up on both sides of the towpath next to the Roundhouse.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (May 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was still a brick wall alongside the Roundhouse, part of it would be later removed when restoration works began years later.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (May 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2013

A look at the pair of gatehouses from the corner of Sheepcote Street and St Vincent Street, and the first look at the inside of the horseshoe courtyard for the first time. A few months later, I saw the Roundhouse close up from the towpath.

 

23rd February 2013

At the time the Roundhouse for for sale or to let, and the junction here was a bit different.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Roundhouse BCN Mainline (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Signs on the gate "Warning Kingdom Security".

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Feb 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This is what the horseshoe courtyard looked like at the time, years before the restoration began.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Roundhouse BCN Mainline (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

18th May 2013

A look through the railings to the back of the Roundhouse. The former Fiddle & Bone pub on the right was derelict at the time, but would be restored and reopen a few years later.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (May 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2015

The Fiddle & Bone pub was restored and reopened, so time to look at the Roundhouse again from the canalside towpath.

 

26th December 2015

It was nice to see the Fiddle & Bone restored. They put out painted picnic benches at the time, and they sealed off the arches in the Roundhouse behind.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2015) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This area was all part of the Fiddle & Bone beer garden, at the back of the Roundhouse.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2015) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2017

A few years later, the Fiddle & Bone was renamed to The Distillery.

 

26th October 2017

By now, the Roundhouse was co-owned by the National Trust and Canal & River Trust, and within a few years would begin work to restore the building. Meanwhile I was having a look at The Distillery from the opposite side of the canal.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Oct 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Two years after seeing The Distillery, the Roundhouse next door would start to get restored.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Oct 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is an entrance to the pub from the canalside, there was formerly one from the first floor on Sheepcote Street.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Oct 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2019

During the BCN 250 celebrations, I noticed that work to restored the Roundhouse had begun.

 

2nd November 2019

There was a parade of narrowboats up and down the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline at the time for BCN 250, while the Roundhouse was under scaffolding.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Nov 2019).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Scaffolding up the right hand side of the Roundhouse, they were also replacing the old windows.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Nov 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now called Roundhouse Birmingham. The area out front was still a beer garden for The Distillery, but the picnic benches were no longer painted.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Nov 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It should have been completed and reopened by 2020, but the pandemic resulted in it being delayed until 2021.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Nov 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While at the time this was the beer garden of The Distillery, in future it would (probably) also act as the public entrance to Roundhouse Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Nov 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

27th December 2019

One last update before the end of 2019, and before I heard about the coming virus. The pair of lodges were under scaffolding. Road layout had changed on St Vincent Street, near Sheepcote Street.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Part of the Roundhouse already had new windows on one side.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Window view of another window.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Similar window shot as the last one.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This area (below) had a temporary wooden hoarding in place. They would later install a window here. Probably an area for people to view the canal out of the Roundhouse?

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Dec 2019) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2021

My first major photo update of the Roundhouse since the pandemic began, and in time for it opening to the public to the first time.

 

14th July 2021

Views of the Roundhouse from the Sheepcote Street Bridge. Including the Annatomix rustic horse street art.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Jul 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Distillery is on the right. Entrance from the canalside, they make Roundhouse Gin here.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Jul 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The pair of Victorian lodges fully restored, at the corner of Sheepcote Street and St Vincent Street. Was a homeless man sitting close to the gate, so didn't want to get too close to him.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Jul 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A zoom in beyond the gate to the horseshoe courtyard area.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rndhse Bham (Jul 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

20th July 2021

Views from the opposite side of the BCN Mainline canal, towards the Roundhouse. I walked past the Victoria narrowboat dropping off visitors, below the Sheepcote Street bridge.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Famed Birmingham street artist Annatomix was commissioned to paint this wall, she has painted a rustic horse.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Onto St Vincent Street, a view towards this gate, all fully restored, with new windows installed.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The horseshoe shaped courtyard, seen inside of the gate from the St Vincent Street corner with Sheepcote Street. Some of the bricks on the cobbled surface have been replaced.

dndimg alt="Roundhouse Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rhouse Bham 20072021 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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80 passion points
Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
21 Jul 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - July 2021

A misty morning of the 21st July for the latest photo of this almost externally complete construction on Broad Street. The cladding has reached full height bar the parapet in places and the full effect of this massive tower is apparent. Great photos from Elliott and Daniel from several viewpoints in this photo gallery update.

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The Construction of The Mercian - July 2021





A misty morning of the 21st July for the latest photo of this almost externally complete construction on Broad Street. The cladding has reached full height bar the parapet in places and the full effect of this massive tower is apparent. Great photos from Elliott and Daniel from several viewpoints in this photo gallery update.


 

24th June

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Lwood%2026062021%20(1).jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Highgate%2029062021.jpg" />

Photography by Elliott Brown.

7th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9423b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

8th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9428b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

9th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9490b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9482b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

10th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Westside%20Mtro%20Brd%20St%20(Jul%202021)%20(2).jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Chln%20Gdns%2014072021%20(1).jpg" />

Photography by Elliott Brown.

13th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9573b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9603b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9596b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

14th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Gros%20St%20W%2014072021.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%2015072021%20(1).jpg" />

Photography by Elliott Brown.

15th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%2015072021%20(3).jpg" />

Photography by Elliott Brown.

17th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_9766b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

18th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0154b_WEST.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0163b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0197b_IKON.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0213b_MERC_002.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0228b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

20th July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Lwd%20Jcn%2020072021%20(1).jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Lwd%20Jcn%2020072021%20(2).jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/Mercian%20Sheepcote%20St%2020072021.jpg" />

Photography by Elliott Brown.

21st July

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0405b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0410b_MERC.jpg" />

dndimg align="middle" dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_0399b_MERC.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 1300 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

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53 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
19 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood

In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 

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Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood





In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 


Chamberlain Gardens, Ladywood

During 2020 and 2021, Birmingham City Council has installed new railings and gates at Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood. The parkland is at the heart of a Council housing estate, many of the tower blocks here have been reclad in recent years.

I found at least four new gates, from Beaufort Road, at the Calthorpe Entrance, at Cawdor Crescent, is the Winfield Entrance. Further up Cawdor Crescent to Monument Road is Perrotts Entrance, and at the Monument Road corner with Ladywood Road is the Osler Entrance.

Chamberlain Gardens was first developed in the 1960s, and was named after the former Mayor of Birmingham, Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914), he served three terms from 1873 to 1876, before he resigned the office when he got elected to Parliament.

 

2014

I first briefly went into Chamberlain Gardens back in October 2014. I was close to the corner of Monument Road and Ladywood Road at the time. This sign for Chamberlain Gardens, A Barclays Space for Sports.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was very autumnal at the time, when I spotted this hut in the middle near the trees.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The roof was missing some tiles at the time. What was it used for in the past, a ticket kiosk, or somewhere to buy ice cream? Anyone know?

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2021

Fast forward to July 2021, and it was time to check out Chamberlain Gardens. Last year I went to see Perrotts Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower again, but at the time decided to not pop into the park. There is now new gates that have been installed since I was last in the area.

Welcome to Chamberlain Gardens. This is the Calthorpe Entrance at Beaufort Road in Ladywood. It is near Kenrick House.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing Kenrick House from the Beaufort Road entrance into the park.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Council has recently cut the grass here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look to the Chamberlain Gardens Playground.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Next to that was the Chamberlain Gardens Outdoor Gym Area.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to Cawdor Crescent, to check out the next gate.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the Winfield Entrance at Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading along Cawdor Crescent, double yellow lines, so no cars parked here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the tennis and basketball courts from Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Between Cawdor Crescent and Monument Road is the next gate, this is Perrotts Entrance. It is close to Perrotts Folly (which is on Reservoir Road). Although Noel Road is closer at this point.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading back into the park, there is a view here towards The Mercian.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look at the hut I saw all those years ago. The roof is now repaired by the looks of it, but it is still unused.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the paths seems to have been resurfaced here, maybe it is suitable for cyclists.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now heading along the path near Monument Road towards Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice reflection on the newly laid path of a tree.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path curves around past the trees near Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Out of the park one last time. This is the Osler Entrance at the corner of Ladywood Road and Monument Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here, it was a short walk to Ladywood Middleway along Monument Road. It was very hot and sunny.

 

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

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Squares and public spaces
14 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

It's Coming Home at Holloway Circus with the Chinese Pagoda

The digital billboard from Suffolk Street Queensway towards the Chinese Pagoda at Holloway Circus and Thomas Garden. It's Coming Home, see on the 10th July 2021. The day later England played Italy at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final. A 1-1 draw after extra time. Usual penalties, and we lost 3-2. First time runners up. Better than semi finalists in 1996, 25 years ago. Well done England!

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40 passion points
Elliott Brown Transport
13 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Midland Red Private Charter bus at Holloway Circus

Just a quick post. On the 26th June 2021, walking past Holloway Circus from Smallbrook Queensway to Suffolk Street Queensway, saw this vintage Midland Red bus. It was a Private Charter and had white wedding strips at the front. Just the one photo, before it turned up Holloway Head. Hopefully they are exempt from the Clean Air Zone charges from the Council. Let's hope so.

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50 passion points
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