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Green open spaces
09 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Return to Manor Farm Park at the beginning of December 2019

Went back to Northfield on Sunday 1st December 2019. And while there thought I might as well do an up-to-date walk around Manor Farm Park. Headed down Bell Hill to the entrance I used 2 years earlier. Then headed to the left path. Eventually passing the lake. Then near the housing development before checking out the old farm buildings again. The barn was demolished and now is a car park.

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Return to Manor Farm Park at the beginning of December 2019





Went back to Northfield on Sunday 1st December 2019. And while there thought I might as well do an up-to-date walk around Manor Farm Park. Headed down Bell Hill to the entrance I used 2 years earlier. Then headed to the left path. Eventually passing the lake. Then near the housing development before checking out the old farm buildings again. The barn was demolished and now is a car park.


Aware that the Cadbury barn had burnt down and also the Northfield Manor House (probably both by arsonists / kids), it was time to have another walk into Manor Farm Park.

Walked down Bell Hill and got in again via the entrance close to Shenley Lane. Two years back I think I went right towards Whitehilll Lane. This time I took the left path for the first time.

A new sign at the junction of the paths. Has a donut shaped sign saying Manor Farm Park.

The path heads straight then curves around a bit between the trees.

Near the end of the first path. Over a small footbridge that crosses a stream. This is the route of the Merritts Brook Greenway towards Bournville and Kings Heath.

Turning right, I headed straight down before turning left. Had to see the lake again.

I mainly passed the lake from the main path and not from the path that goes around it. Saw a pair of moorhens here.

A variety of gulls and geese in the lake.

Leaves on the ground on the opposite bank of the lake. Was still thinking of going all the way around the lake at this point.

Canada geese swimming to the right in the lake.

Nice sight of a tufted duck.

View of the tree island in the middle of the lake, to the left. It was around an hour and a half before sunset. The trees made nice reflections in the lake.

After I exited onto Manor House Drive saw this waterfall behind some trees.

Trying to get back into the park. I went around Middlepark Drive, and saw this pyramid climbing frame on the other side of the fence.

Heading back towards White Hill from Griffin Drive. Leaves on the lawn. Before I got a bus back to Selly Oak I first wanted to go back to the main entrance.

Made it back to the main entrance of Manor Farm Park from White Hill. The old farm buildings look mostly the same. Other than one of the buildings on the right might have been demolished. Really headed back this way to see what had happened to the site of the Cadbury barn.

In the years since the fire that gutted the Cadbury barn, it looks like it has been sadly demolished. There is now a car park here. The sign on the right looks relatively new though.

May have been a cold Sunday afternoon, but was still kids playing in the playground watched over by their parents.

The view into the park from the car park. Not far from the former site of the Cadbury barn.

There was this open garden to the back of the boarded up gatehouse or lodge. Nothing much to see in late autumn / early winter. The old farm buildings were to the left.

Zoom in of the boarded up gatehouse or lodge. From the other side it was covered in graffiti. All the doors and windows were boarded or blocked off. Hopeully the Council could do something with this and all the other surviving farm buildings here.

Previous post here with photos taken between 2010 and 2017: Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Modern Architecture
07 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, St Martin's Square in the Bullring - December 2019

St Martin's Square is at the heart of the Bullring shopping centre hosting St Martin in the Bullring (St Martin's Church), the Selfridges Building, many restaurants, the south entrance to the Bullring shopping centre, and the gateway to the Birmingham Markets and Digbeth. Also there are the 'Copper Tree' and the Birmingham Blitz Memorial.

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Birmingham, St Martin's Square in the Bullring - December 2019





St Martin's Square is at the heart of the Bullring shopping centre hosting St Martin in the Bullring (St Martin's Church), the Selfridges Building, many restaurants, the south entrance to the Bullring shopping centre, and the gateway to the Birmingham Markets and Digbeth. Also there are the 'Copper Tree' and the Birmingham Blitz Memorial.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
06 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Christmas at the Bullring down St Martin's Walk to St Martin's Square over the years

Every year like clockwork, the Bullring puts up their Christmas lights and Christmas tree between October and November every year. The gallery here from 2015 to 2019. Better to walk down St Martin's Walk, find it quite steep going up hill. The Christmas tree is usually in St Martin's Square outside of St Martin's Church (usually artificial).

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Christmas at the Bullring down St Martin's Walk to St Martin's Square over the years





Every year like clockwork, the Bullring puts up their Christmas lights and Christmas tree between October and November every year. The gallery here from 2015 to 2019. Better to walk down St Martin's Walk, find it quite steep going up hill. The Christmas tree is usually in St Martin's Square outside of St Martin's Church (usually artificial).


2015

This was during November 2015. The Christmas tree in St Martin's Square lit up after dark with Selfridges in the background.

Looking at the Christmas lights up St Martin's Walk between both the West and East Mall. This is towards Rotunda Square.

2016

This was during November 2016. The artificial Christmas tree seen in St Martin's Square.

This Bar was near all these Christmas trees in December 2016. Around the time that the Cola Cola Christmas truck returned to Birmingham. Post here Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years.

2017

There was a Lurpak Christmas tree in Rotunda Square during November 2017. Was the first weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, but it was unrelated to that.

The Christmas tree and carousel (merry-go-round) that was in St Martin's Square during December 2017.

The carousel was only at the Bullring during the Christmas / winter 2017 / 2018 season. Seen close to Selfridges, lit up in blue after dark.

Looking up at the Christmas lights from the statue of Nelson above St Martin's Walk towards the Rotunda.

2018

Now December 2018 and the Christmas lights up St Martin's Walk had changed. There was also now a small Christmas market at the bottom of the hill.

First look at the Snow House in the direction of the West Mall.

The Salvation Army band were performing near the Christmas tree in St Martin's Square. Visitors could pose with the reindeer in front of the tree.

They had changed the Christmas tree for 2018. Looking more green than the previous white one.

Heavy sleety cold rain as I walked down St Martin's Walk towards the Snow House. Was heading to Eastside City Park, where Ice Skate Birmingham was (at the time).

While it looks Christmasy, the weather didn't feel like it! The resulting photos from that weather came out quite good though, like the Christmas lights with Christmas trees and reindeer with some stars.

The Snow House. People under cover were probably dry. Outside everyone else was getting wet!

2019

The Snow House returned in October 2019, around 10 months later. In time for Halloween. So initially there was pumpkins and cobwebs etc around and a Haunted House.

The Haunted House. It would get replaced in November 2019 by the Christmas market again.

It is now November 2019 and the Christmas lights on the East Mall. "Walk in strut out". This is near Rotunda Square.

Better weather this time heading down St Martin's Walk. It looks like they reused the 2018 Christmas lights. The spire of St Martin's Church on the walk down to the Snow House. By then the small Christmas market at the bottom of the hill was back again.

Not quite as dark enough as I would have wanted it. But zooming into these Christmas lights made it a bit more dark looking. Snow House at the bottom.

The 2019 Christmas tree in St Martin's Square appears to be the same one as in 2018. Complete with the reindeer bench.

Looking up St Martin's Walk. The Christmas lights from the statue of Nelson up to Rotunda Square. You can compare this shot with the equivalent I took in 2017.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - December 2019

This build is going up so fast! These photos from the 30th November seem out of date already but it was a nice sunny day!

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The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - December 2019





This build is going up so fast! These photos from the 30th November seem out of date already but it was a nice sunny day!


Bonus bird in this one!

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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

City Centre Gardens a hidden gem behind The REP and Library of Birmingham

You can find the City Centre Gardens on Cambridge Street behind The REP and Library of Birmingham. Part of the Civic Centre estate, the gardens were opened in May 1993 close to the four residential tower blocks. Peaceful and relaxing, you would hardly know that it is there. You can go in during any season. Also nice views from the Library of Birmingham. Brindley Drive is on the right side.

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City Centre Gardens a hidden gem behind The REP and Library of Birmingham





You can find the City Centre Gardens on Cambridge Street behind The REP and Library of Birmingham. Part of the Civic Centre estate, the gardens were opened in May 1993 close to the four residential tower blocks. Peaceful and relaxing, you would hardly know that it is there. You can go in during any season. Also nice views from the Library of Birmingham. Brindley Drive is on the right side.


City Centre Gardens

Part of the Civic Centre Estate, there was various proposed schemes from 1918 onwards. Land was cleared in the 1920s near the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal towards the former Baskerville Wharf. The Hall of Memory was completed in 1925 and later Baskerville House by 1940 (just as WW2 broke out). The earlier schemes were abandoned, and by 1958 a new proposal for a line or residential towers was proposed. These were built by 1968 from the City Architect, Alan Maudsley. Including Galton Tower, Norton Tower, Crescent Tower and Cambridge Tower.

On the land where the gardens would one day be built was old factories and a warehouse. Apparently they were very derelict and run down. When Bingley Hall still stood (until the fire of 1984 - now the site of The ICC), you could park down this way. The City Centre Gardens was opened on the 18th May 1993 by two Councillors of Birmingham City Council. It later won an award from the Local Government News, Urban Green Space in 1995 for Street Design, winning the First Prize.

I have popped in here many times over the years in different weather conditions. When the Library of Birmingham opened in September 2013, there was decent views from the back of the Discovery Terrace (on Level 3) and from the Secret Garden (on Level 7).

 

February 2010

First visit into City Centre Gardens was during February 2010. One of the entrance signs on Cambridge Street with childrens artwork.

Main path to the central gazebo. There was some plaques on here, including one dated 18th May 1993 when the gardens was first opened to the public.

The second plaque on the gazebo (at the top) was in memory of Donald Octavius Smith (1949 - 2007), who was the founder of the Organisation for Sickle Cell Research (OSCAR).

The view towards Baskerville House and the Alpha Tower. Construction of the Library of Birmingham hadn't really begun at this point. The Orion Building and Hall of Memory were also visible from here.

View towards The ICC Birmingham. The REP was to the left and Brindleyplace over to the right. Tower of Three Brindleyplace visible from here.

This view towards Brindley Drive Car Park (since renamed Paradise Circus Car Park by Birmingham City Council). Baskerville House on the right.

Exit gate to Cambridge Street. The BT Tower is visible from the gardens.

August 2013

My next major visit to City Centre Gardens was in August 2013, a month before the Library of Birmingham was opened to the public.

A colourful flower tower seen from the far left Cambridge Street entrance (near the roundabout).

Flower beds lining the side of the gardens near Cambridge Street.

The Library of Birmingham seen for the first time completed next to Baskerville House. It would open a month after this. You can see the Discovery Terrace on the left, I would get to go up there when it opened in September 2013.

Hanging flower pot with the BT Tower.

The sun shining on these ball shaped hedges.

Lots of green with pinks and reds on this border.

The mixture of plants and flowers on the border close to Brindley Drive.

September 2013

The view from the Library of Birmingham. This was my first visit inside. I actually went 18 days after it first opened. Back then the library was so busy in the early weeks so I waited a bit. The view from the Discovery Terrace, Below is City Centre Gardens with the view of the four Civic Centre Estate towers (Galton Tower, Norton Tower, Crescent Tower and Cambridge Tower).

People relaxing or playing in the gardens. To be honest I'm not sure what they were doing!

April 2015

My next visit was during April 2015. The groundsmen has planted lots of colourful flowers all round the gardens. And they looked wonderful!

The gazebo seemed to have lost the wooden beams on top by then. Not sure why though.

You can't really go in here, as there is always flowers or plants in the middle. Lots of red,s pinks and yellows seen here during the spring.

A bench and one of the corner flower beds nearby the gazebo.

During 2017

Views during January 2017 from the Discovery Terrace at the Library of Birmingham as a pair of City Gardeners are seen hard at work.

Probably replanting the borders during a cold winter. There is usually not that much planted here in the witner. So mostly looks green, until spring comes and they plant flowers of a variety of colours. The wooden planks on the gazebo had been reattached by this point.

Panoramic taken in February 2017. From left to right: Baskerville House, Library of Birmingham, The REP and The ICC.

It is now August 2017 and the City Centre Gardens was looking lush and green during the height of the summer. Was several people sitting on the lawn. The usual view from the Discovery Terrace. With Norton Tower, Crescent Tower and Cambridge Tower visible from here.

January 2018

Winter again and it is now January 2018. Some rain and a light dusting of snow.

There was a lot of coaches on Cambridge Street at the time for the Strictly Come Dancing Tour at Arena Birmingham. It was probably really cold!

You can see the Civic Centre Towers from which ever angle you approach them. These are probably Galton Tower, Norton Tower and Crescent Tower.

If you can tell from these photos it was raining at the time, hence rain droplets on my lens. Not usually many people walking in here during winter. maybe the odd one or two.

Autumn 2019

Passing City Centre Gardens during October 2019 on Cambridge Street. This is the corner near Brindley Drive. This is the view from the service road between the Library of Birmingham and Baskerville House.

I'd previously got views from the Discovery Terrace. But I think this was my first view of City Centre Gardens in it's entirety from the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham (on Level 7). Very autumnal all over with leaves on the ground during November 2019. The towers seen here are Norton, Crescent and Cambridge towers.

After collecting my Birmingham We Are 2020 Gems calendars, I popped into City Centre Gardens before heading towards St Paul's Square. Late autumn at the end of November 2019. Looking towards the Library of Birmingham.

Hedgerow archway hides the brick walls near those benches. With the BT Tower to the right. Someone will have to go up and install the new BT logos in 2020!

Far corner close to Brindley Drive. The REP and The ICC to the left. With the Civic Centre towers on the right. Leaves all over the place.

Which ever way you look the Civic Centre towers are there. Hedges and bushes of different sizes to the left of the brick wall.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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