Art; Culture & creativity
Displaying until 31 Dec 2022 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Birmingham Gems (incl. Culture Trail) - the biggest ever collaboration with community starts!

https://www.youtube.com/embed//jU7twXMkVSA

With help of young people on the National Citizens Service run by Sport 4 Life and with the full support of WM Police, we're starting to build the largest digital Culture Trail ever attempted by a City's community.

The Trail promoting our wonderful Birmingham Gems will be fully populated ahead of the Commonwalth Games in 2022.

Thanks also the great UB40.

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Birmingham Gems (incl. Culture Trail) - the biggest ever collaboration with community starts!





With help of young people on the National Citizens Service run by Sport 4 Life and with the full support of WM Police, we're starting to build the largest digital Culture Trail ever attempted by a City's community.

The Trail promoting our wonderful Birmingham Gems will be fully populated ahead of the Commonwalth Games in 2022.

Thanks also the great UB40.


The vision

The project ACT Community will deliver as ‘a curator’ the most inclusive, digitally accessible art and culture trail ever created by any city, bringing together, for the wellness of society, all of community in a massive celebration of place with events held throughout the year and an annual celebration taking place in the banqueting suite of the Birmingham City Council.

Schools, community groups, charities, faith groups, clubs, societies across all districts will be engaged through the art and creative contacts and partnerships already established across every district in Birmingham, bringing together people regardless of disability or mental health.

Building on community ‘spirit’

There is no better time for engaging community in ACT Community and it will offer a great opportunity for the creatives and those passionate about culture to shine.

This bottom up engagement will promote the values delivered by a connected, engaged and cohesive community and build on those values and strengths shown by people during the fight against Coronavirus.

The project will feed off and into the “spirit” shown by community during this difficult period and every year a showcase of community, culture and creativity will be held in celebration of what is being showcased and delivered on the digital trail.

Delivery and logistics

ACT builds on the work already started and funded by philanthropists. This work over the past 2 years has led to the growth of a large and co-ordinated community of people who are passionate about their place and their culture.

ACT also builds on the huge success of an event held at Birmingham’s Council House in January 2020 which showcased the work (art and culture) of over 100 #PeoplewithPassion #BirminghamPassion from across community.

Digitally, the work of our #PeoplewithPassion is followed by over 100,000 people across the UK. Many of these passionate contributors are known to face mental health challenges and for many our platform has become a positive outlet and a form of ‘medicine’ for their wellness.

Through a mix of digital and traditional engagement, we will expand and bring together in one digital space over 1,000 people from across community to promote, share and showcase their place, culture and the creativity of community.

This community will be hosted at www.birminghamWeAre.com.

A minimum of 100 people/organisations per district will be given free access to use digital tools and collaborate in populating and maintaining the Art & Culture Trail.

Once restrictions over travel and social distancing are fully lifted, we will utilise drone technology to map and pin the creative and cultural places of interest in key locations.

Mapping software already used for another linked project ‘Birmingham Gems’ and VR technology (see www.BirminghamGems.com) is also available.

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery will operate as the physical city centre hub where creatives from the districts can come together, inspire and be inspired. Here creatives can pitch their ideas, attend wellness workshops and meet potential funders .

All of our community artists and creatives will be invited to join in the annual celebrations at the Council House banqueting suite and will have the chance to display their work.

Benefits of participating

People and organisations involved and participating in the trail and all the associated events and celebrations will benefit in so many ways.

Health & Wellbeing. People will be given the digital and physical opportunity to share their passions and develop their skills.

Belonging. By collaborating in something that has clear social value across the community people take pride in contributing to something with real purpose and value that can be measured.

Digital skills. Our digital workspace with free access to tools will help people grow their digital competencies.

Overriding it all is community wealth and employment by providing a space where new faces are given the opportunity to shine and develop careers.

Evaluating our progress

A quarter by quarter evaluation will cover 3 targets.

First, the development of the trail district by district. With a target of 100 contributors per district, we will monitor how we are progressing against our target of mapping all art, creativity and culture.

Second, the number and coverage of events and participation across community will be monitored to ensure representation, irrespective of ability, skill or location.

Third, and overarching everything, is the social value added from the combined contributions of individuals, alliances and corporate sponsors.

Location

In partnership with over 50 organisations with a direct interest in promoting the city’s culture and with support from the City Council’s neighbourhood team, we will roll out the digital trail across all districts.

Note: This model, with similar support from other Councils, can be expanded to include the whole region.

At regular events (every 3 months), district artists and galleries have the chance to pitch their work and their ideas at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery to an audience they would not ordinarily have the chance to meet.

Wellness workshops held by the Gallery will give creatives much needed support to help them on their journey.

All of these community artists and creatives will be invited to join in the annual celebrations at the Council House banqueting suite and will have the chance to meet corporates, funders and investors of art, design and creativity.

The events will be an opportunity for all those contributing to the art and culture trail to shout out. It will provide the chance for creatives through the ongoing engagement we have with schools, community-based galleries, community groups and charities to connect without physical or geographical barriers.

Our selection of partners and associates will ensure representation of all community and all people irrespective of ability, wealth or location. Giving schools and community groups free access to our community workspace, as partners and stakeholders will ensure the participation of people of all ages in a secure and access rights environment.

The roll out will be inclusive as it will be supported by a range of stakeholders that represent the interests and needs of all groups irrespective of their physical or mental challenges.

Over 50 organisations.across community are being approached to participate in the project and assist in introducing ACT to their community. With these organisations, we will jointly run events to promote the project and bring people together promoting the values and strengths of a cohesive community.

This is just the start!

Funding

This will be a process of matched funding from 3 sources.

First, in order to inject support during and immediately after the coronavirus, we are approaching multiple organisations for funding and grants, including philanthropists. Our target is £150,000 in funding from these sources each year for the next 3 years.

Investors and sponsors, include corporates that keen to see their brand associated with the growth of creatives in the City, will contribute a further £150,000.

The commercial activities conducted at the gallery and the advertising revenue brought in through commercial advertising on the associated Birmingham Gems platform will generate a further £150,000.

The on-line home for all sponsors and supporters will be www.CreativesWeAre.com and the physical home for events, socials and creative pitches will be The Contemporary Art Gallery at the Indoor Arena.

This will cover all costs associated with the delivery and maintenance of two complementary digital ventures including all services, products and administration.

1. Act Community - Art and Culture Trail

2. Birmingham Gems – the City mapped and tracked for visitors

Contact for further details and to arrange a tour of the digital platform: Jonathan Bostock Jonathan@FreeTimePays.com m: 07432 637322

 

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
22 Nov 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

An Autumn Photowalk in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter - 22nd November 2020

Daniel took a stroll in and around the beautiful St Paul's Square in the heart Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter containing St Paul's Church and a haze of autumn colours from all the various plants and trees, great late afternoon sunlight too! See the full gallery...

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An Autumn Photowalk in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter - 22nd November 2020





Daniel took a stroll in and around the beautiful St Paul's Square in the heart Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter containing St Paul's Church and a haze of autumn colours from all the various plants and trees, great late afternoon sunlight too! See the full gallery...


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
01 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Broad Street Tunnel under the Black Sabbath Bridge

Near the end of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline is the Broad Street Tunnel, between Brindleyplace and Gas Street Basin. In 2019, the bridge above it was renamed as the Black Sabbath Bridge in honour of the famous metal group who had been rocking for 50 years. Inside the tunnel the roof is quite low, so if you are tall, you have to duck as you walk through it.

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Broad Street Tunnel under the Black Sabbath Bridge





Near the end of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline is the Broad Street Tunnel, between Brindleyplace and Gas Street Basin. In 2019, the bridge above it was renamed as the Black Sabbath Bridge in honour of the famous metal group who had been rocking for 50 years. Inside the tunnel the roof is quite low, so if you are tall, you have to duck as you walk through it.


Broad Street Tunnel

The Broad Street Tunnel is located on the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline between Brindleyplace and Gas Street Basin. Above it (from 2019) is the renamed Black Sabbath Bridge. Bars over the Gas Street Basin end include the Australian Bar Walkabout and the Indian O Bar. The BCN Main Line was built during the early 1770s with the canal engineer James Brindley. The canal reached Old Wharf through the tunnel by 1773. This was originally the Paradise Street Branch which left what is now Old Turn Junction towards Paradise Street. Today the canal ends at Gas Street Basin, and beyond what was Old Wharf is all filled in (the Arena Central development site).

At the side of the tunnel near Brindleyplace and The ICC, used to be a church, called the Church of the Messiah, this existed from the 1860s (when it was built above the tunnel), but was demolished in 1978.

In 2019 (for about 3 months), the tunnel was closed to allow the Midland Metro Alliance to strengthen the road above to enable the laying of tram tracks between Centenary Square and Hagley Road (just beyond Five Ways). After these works were complete, the bridge above the tunnel was renamed the Black Sabbath Bridge. Where the Black Sabbath Bench was placed (it has now gone into storage due to the Metro extension works). Instead there is temporary hoardings with images of the four members of Black Sabbath, so that fans can take selfies with them (Geezer, Ozzy, Tony and Bill).

2009

The Broad Street Tunnel seen from Gas Street Basin during June 2009. From the footbridge at the Worcester Bar. Today there is bars on all three sides including, the Tap & Spile, O Bar and Walkabout.

Narrowboats taking people through the tunnel below The O Bar.

On top of the Broad Street Tunnel during December 2009, with The O Bar and Walkabout on Broad Street. The O Bar is at the corner with Gas Street and is a Grade II listed building at 266 and 266X Broad Street. Build in 1875 of red brick and some stone by Martin & Chamberlain. Also at 2 Gas Street.

Next door to the left is Walkabout, The Australian Bar, which is in a Grade II listed building at 266A and 267 Broad Street. Built in 1860 of red brick with coloured tiles in Venetian Gothic Style.

2010

Heading through the Broad Street Tunnel during June 2010. Beware of the low headroom and the width of the tunnel varies. Towpaths on both sides.

Near the end of the tunnel, getting close to Brindleyplace (to the left) and The ICC and Symphony Hall (to the right).

From the other side of the Broad Street Tunnel. There is steps on the left up to Broad Street. That demolished church used to be located up above around this spot until the late '70s.

Through those bars on Broad Street used to be a good view of The NIA. There was also Ozzy Osbourne's Broad Street Walk of Fame star up there.

2017

In August 2017 heading over the Broad Street Bridge on the bus. Early stages of roadworks for the Midland Metro extension on Broad Street. The Crown / Reflex 80s Bar on the left, Walkabout on the right.

By December 2017, cars were having to turn right onto Gas Street, as construction of the first Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square was underway. Ony buses and taxies were allowed beyond this point.

2018

By November 2018 I was aware that the tunnel was due to be closed from January 2019 for 3 months, so got some photos before the closure.

As usual, had to duck as I walked through the tunnel.

If you stay on the towpath on this side, you walk around past Regency Wharf towards what was Old Wharf at Bridge Street. A couple of months later the tunnel would be closed for the Midland Metro Alliance works.

2019

On the Broad Street Bridge, above the tunnel in January 2019. By this point the tunnel below was closed. And was a lot of restrictions in place at road level as well. All of this for the Midland Metro Alliance works.

From January 2019 the Broad Street Tunnel was closed for a period of about 3 months. This view from Brindleyplace towards Walkabout and O Bar.

From the footbridge at Gas Street Basin, you could see that the towpath on both sides were closed.

Scaffolding had been placed over the towpaths and the canal.

The barriers, scaffolding and the signs made for some nice reflections at the time.

There was also a line of yellow buoys in the canal. No boats could come this way for three months. Would be a long winter diversion.

Later in January 2019 for another look from Gas Street Basin. Now was some white sheets over the scaffolding.

Another look in early March 2019. The Broad Street Tunnel was still closed. View from the Brewmasters Bridge over the Brindleyplace Bridge.

Near the end of March 2019, the tunnel was open again for the first time in 3 months.

Saw a narrowboat go through for the first time since the end of 2018.

First this narrowboat was going through the tunnel, followed by the Waterbus.

From the Gas Street Basin end, caught the red Waterbus from Sherborne Wharf heading through the tunnel.

Hard to believe that the tunnel had been closed for three months. Was nice to see boats going through it again.

The Black Sabbath Bench seen during July 2019 on top of the Black Sabbath Bridge. Which is above the Broad Street Tunnel. It was later removed in October 2019 for the Metro extension works to take place up here.

Back in August 2019, I saw this red narrowboat coming out of the Broad Street Tunnel. Was raining at the time.

It was steaming away as I crossed over the Brindleyplace Footbridge.

From this September 2019 view (below), you could see that the bridge above the Broad Street Tunnel was now called the Black Sabbath Bridge. This was renamed over the summer of 2019. Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler came to Birmingham in June 2019 to unveil the Black Sabbath Bench and rename the bridge above the canal tunnel.

The Black Sabbath Bench was in place on the Black Sabbath Bench, above the Broad Street Tunnel.

Around October 2019 on the Black Sabbath Bridge, the Black Sabbath Bench had been removed to storage, as the Midland Metro Alliance prepared to build the next extension towards Five Ways.

Also in October 2019, I caught this tourist narrowboat emerging from the Broad Street Tunnel to Gas Street Basin. Was another Sherborne Wharf narrowboat called Bosworth Lady.

 During December 2019, a view of Black Sabbath Selfie with images of the four rockers, Geezer, Ozzy, Tony and Bill.

2020

The Black Sabbath Bridge seen during February 2020. My last shot of the Broad Street Tunnel before the lockdown.

It wouldn't be until July 2020 (due to months of the lockdown), before I would see the Black Sabbath Selfie hoardings again on Broad Street. This was the first time in about 4 months that I'd seen it again.

A lot of progress had taken place during lockdown to lay tracks along Broad Street, and that included above the Black Sabbath Bridge. At certain points is crossings with gates, but this changes from time to time. Expect trams to cross over here by the end of 2021.

At the beginning of August 2020, I followed the Victoria 2012 narrowboat from the Salvage Turn Bridge near The Cube and The Mailbox, towards the Brindleyplace Footbridge. Families once again getting trips on the canal like this.

Close to the end of August 2020, I got some more shots of the Broad Street Tunnel. Starting from Gas Street Basin. Much quieter due to the pandemic, even with lockdown restrictions eased.

Hardly anyone in the tunnel, at least until I had to wait for some people to walk past me, due to social distancing.

As usual, had to duck my head as I walked through both sections of the tunnel.

Before heading to Brindleyplace, one last look at the Broad Street Tunnel. With the Black Sabbath Bridge above. Still the Black Sabbath Selfie hoardings on Broad Street for the time being. A lot of the tracks have been laid above.

One more view days before the end of August 2020. Before heading up the steps to Broad Street. The Brasshouse and Celebrity Restaurant are to the right. The ICC Mall is still closed, so this is one of the routes to Centenary Square you can go.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Classic Architecture
19 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Joe at the University of Birmingham from 2018 to 2020

While during the lockdown / pandemic you are not allowed to go onto the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston you can see Old Joe for miles around the campus. Views here taken between 2018 and 2020. Up until early March 2020 I could still go onto the campus (now it's not possible without an ID). Named after Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University.

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Old Joe at the University of Birmingham from 2018 to 2020





While during the lockdown / pandemic you are not allowed to go onto the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston you can see Old Joe for miles around the campus. Views here taken between 2018 and 2020. Up until early March 2020 I could still go onto the campus (now it's not possible without an ID). Named after Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University.


OLD JOE:

JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN MEMORIAL CLOCK TOWER

 

Find my old post comparing the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower here to the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy.

Old Joe on Twitter.

Some history about the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower aka Old Joe. Built from 1900 until 1908, it was the tallest building in Birmingham until 1965, when the BT Tower opened. Designed by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell who were responsible for the initial phase of building the University in the Edwardian period. The tower was based on the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy (see the link above to my old comparison post).

The tower commemorated Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. It is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world. It is over 100 metres tall (possibly as high as 110 metres). The tower is Grade II listed and it can be seen for miles around the campus. As far away as the Lickey Hills and Waseley Hills (for instance). Even from nearby parks and suburbs. It is thought that Old Joe was the inspiration for the Eye of Sauron in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

2018

January 2018 from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park. Old Joe on the City Skyline

March 2018: From Vincent Drive overlooking the Cross City Line. The new University of Birmingham Library with Old Joe.

May 2018: Seen from the Bristol Road in Edgbaston, when they got the clock working again!

June 2018: View from Winnie Road in Selly Oak around the time that Old Joe won the World Cup of Birmingham's Best Buildings! on Twitter (held by I Choose Birmingham).

July 2018: Visible from the Bourn Brook Way not far from Harborne Lane in Selly Oak.

November 2018: A close up view from the Chancellors Court at the University of Birmingham.

2019

January 2019: From the Green Heart at the University of Birmingham (before it was completed later that year).

February 2019: In this view from the Bristol Road, Selly Oak, before the Selly Oak Railway Bridge of 1931.

April 2019: Heading down Cartland Road in Stirchley, could see Old Joe between the roofs of houses.

August 2019: Not far from the Bramall Music Building. The clock was once again stuck at 12 on all sides.

October 2019: The view from Bournbrook Road in Selly Park, heading towards Selly Oak.

December 2019: Old Joe was visible on the skyline from Sir Herbert Austin Way in Northfield.

2020

January 2020: Heading towards the Poynting Building from the Guild of Students over a footbridge with this view.

March 2020: One of my last shots of Old Joe before the lockdown began earlier in the month. Clocks stuck at 12 again.

May 2020: The first time I'd seen Old Joe in two months due to the lockdown. This view from Cannon Hill Park.

May 2020: Also saw Old Joe from Highbury Park, not far from Joseph Chamberlain's former home Highbury Hall.

May 2020: Walking back from Weoley Castle past Selly Oak Park down Gibbins Road saw this view of Old Joe.

June 2020: Saw this view of Old Joe from the Waseley Hills Country Park, before I zoomed in on the skyline.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 Jul 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

Birmingham, Chamberlain Square is Close to Re-Opening

It looks as if Chamberlain Square in the very heart of the city is soon to re-open and will once again become a primary destination for Brummies and visitors alike. It does look familiar and at least one of the statues, Thomas Attwood, is being reinstalled. 8 of the latest photos in this post plus a look back at the square before the redevelopment, seems so long ago now, we can't wait!

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Birmingham, Chamberlain Square is Close to Re-Opening





It looks as if Chamberlain Square in the very heart of the city is soon to re-open and will once again become a primary destination for Brummies and visitors alike. It does look familiar and at least one of the statues, Thomas Attwood, is being reinstalled. 8 of the latest photos in this post plus a look back at the square before the redevelopment, seems so long ago now, we can't wait!


A section of the Chamberlain Monument is test cleaned, 30th June 2020.

The statue of Thomas Attwood is being reinstalled, the Paradise Birmingham news story is here: https://www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk/2020/07/01/thomas-attwood-is-heading-back-to-paradise/

The Statue of Thomas Attwood in Chamberlain Square - July 2014

 

Chamberlain Square up to 2016

Chamberlain Square - July 2014

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery during 'City of Colours' festival - August 2014

Winter Craft Market 2016

One of new navigation signs in 2016

The portrait relief of Joseph Chamberlain on the Chamberlain Monument 2016

Mural artwork on the Central Library 2016

Ice sculptures as part of the Minimum Monument event for WW1 remembrance 2016

The Chamberlain Monument, 'Big Brum' at Museum and art gallery and the dome of the City Council House 2016

A 'Brumgull' on the stature of James Watt 2016

Beautiful Mosaic on the Chamberlain Monument

 

The Demolition of the Central Library 2016


The start of the construction of PwC's One Chamberlain Square 2016

If you are intersted in the construction at Paradise Birmingham visit ItsYourBuild and the One & Two Chamberlain Square feature projects.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
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