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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.

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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
Elliott Brown Modern Architecture
04 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selfridges the most photographed building of Birmingham!

I've been taking photos of the Selfridges Building at the Bullring in Birmingham for well over a decade. It was completed in 2003. I started capturing it back in 2009, and continued to do so until late 2020. I only went up to the top of Moor Street Car Park from late 2017 onwards. In recent years many of the discs have gone missing. And now a pink hoarding is going up with scaffolding.

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Selfridges the most photographed building of Birmingham!





I've been taking photos of the Selfridges Building at the Bullring in Birmingham for well over a decade. It was completed in 2003. I started capturing it back in 2009, and continued to do so until late 2020. I only went up to the top of Moor Street Car Park from late 2017 onwards. In recent years many of the discs have gone missing. And now a pink hoarding is going up with scaffolding.


The Selfridges Building at the Birmingham Bullring

On Park Street and Moor Street in Birmingham City Centre is the Selfridges Building. Completed in September 2003. It is home to Birmingham's Selfridges Department Store. The architecture firm was Future Systems. It contained over 15,000 anodised aluminium discs on a blue background.

After dark, lights around Park Street and Moor Street light it up in different colours, from blue to orange, to green, to red to white. It is joined to Moor Street Car Park by the Parametric Bridge, which customers can cross over. With buses, coaches, taxis and cars going below. It is an iconic landmark, that runners of the Great Birmingham Run could sometimes run past. It also goes green each year for St Patrick's Day.

You might regularly see men abseiling down the side of the building cleaning discs, or replacing them. But many of the discs started to go missing by 2018 and 2019. So by late 2020, scaffolding started to go up. With a pink hoarding artwork that is continuing to go up during 2021. Osman Yousefzada has designed what he has called the 'Dogtooth Flower'. This started to go up in December 2020.

Being on lockdown again since January 2021, I will have to wait until restrictions are eased again before travelling back into the City Centre to see what it is like now.

 

Below is a gallery of photos I've taken from 2009 to 2020. Not all of them, please go to the gallery in the Selfridges feature for more.

 

21st April 2009

One of my first photos of the exterior of Selfridges, taken from Moor Street Queensway, looking down Moor Street.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 21042009 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

15th May 2009

Getting some early shots of the Parametric Bridge from the pavement below.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 15052009 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

22nd August 2009

By the summer that year, had my first bridge camera, and in late August there was a brilliant blue sky. And took some classic Selfridges shots, that everyone would get for the decade that would follow.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 22082009 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

30th October 2009

A mobile shot taken from Platform 1 at Birmingham Moor Street Station, going home that evening from work. My first time capturing it in blue after dark in the early evening.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Blue Selfridges 30102009 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

6th January 2010

Snow at the start of the 2010s. This view from near the surface car park between Park Street and Moor Street Queensway. Looking towards Selfridges and Birmingham Moor Street Station.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Snow Selfridges 06012010.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

30th December 2010

Close to the end of the year, got Selfridges lit up in blue light from Moor Street Queensway looking left down Moor Street. Was also Christmas lights on the lampposts.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Blue Selfridges 30122010 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

18th October 2011

Selfridges used to get special flashing Christmas lights in the windows around the outside of the building where the famous flashing yellow Selfridges signs are. They used to put them in at the beginning of the decade, then replace them with SALE signs after Christmas.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Blue Selfridges 18102011 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2nd December 2011

Selfridges had been lit up in orange lights. This view from Moor Street Queensway with the main entrance to Birmingham Moor Street Station.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orange Selfridges 02120211 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

7th December 2012

About a year later, lit up in orange lights again. This view from Park Street, with the Christmas lights in the middle.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Orange Selfridges 07122012 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

16th March 2013

Selfridges was lit up in green for St Patrick's Day, I had travelled up that evening just to get it in green. This photo ended up in Flickr Explore, and at the time got a lot of views, likes and comments.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Patricks - Selfridges 100318.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

20th December 2013

A blue view of Selfridges after dark from Moor Street Queensway with Birmingham Moor Street Station. A old and new contrast. With a building originally opened in 1909, to one that opened in 2003. The rebuilding of the Bullring led to the restoration of the Edwardian railway station between 2003 to 2006, with platforms 3 and 4 opening by late 2010.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Blue Selfridges 20122013.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

15th March 2014

Went to have a coffee at Starbucks Coffee, and got a table near the window at the time, and took this view of Selfridges. Rarely go to this Selfridges in the years since, as it was always busy (back when you could sit inside of a coffee shop and eat and drink in them, instead of just having a take away).

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sbucks Selfridges 15032014.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

18th July 2014

On the bus heading home, passing Selfridges, when I captured this sunburst from Park Street, on my then smartphone camera.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sburst Selfridges 18072014.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

31st May 2015

One of my earliest photos taken inside of Selfridges was of this model of the Bullring Bull made entirely out of sweets!

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sweetbull Selfridges 31052015.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

27th June 2015

They put a SALE sign on the outside windows (where the flashing yellow Selfridges signs are behind). SMILE BIRMINGHAM SALE IS HERE.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sale Selfridges 27062015.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

31st July 2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015  (a trail of painted owls) was on from July, for a period of 10 weeks before being sold at an auction for charity. One morning I saw Selfie, by the artist Martin Band. It was sponsored LDC. And yes I did take a selfie with it at the time! It resembled the exterior of Selfridges with all the discs.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Hoot St Martins Sq (Jul 2015) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

9th February 2016

A pair of Johnsons Coaches buses parked on Park Street outside of Selfridges. Usually the 150 goes to Redditch, and the X20 on The Bard's Bus to Stratford-upon-Avon. Although in recent years the X20 route no longer goes from the Bullring to Stratford-upon-Avon any more (replaced by the X50 on Sunday's).

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Jsons Selfridges 09022016.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

10th November 2016

A view of Selfridges from Birmingham Moor Street Station. This was at platforms 3 and 4, usually used by Chiltern Railways, and Vintage Trains (for the Shakespeare Express or Polar Express). Platform 5 has yet to be reconnected, but for many years there used to be a steam locomotive at the end, before it returned to the Tyseley Locomotive Works.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMSS Selfridges 10112016.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

24th January 2017

Diamond also used to park their buses on Park Street. One of my bus stops is opposite. Got a reflection on that passing car.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Diamond Selfridges 24012017.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th February 2017

Near Valentines Day, and on the Selfridges staff doors it said "I love you", "I love me".

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IHU Selfridges 04022017.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

13th July 2017

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 (a trail of painted bears) was on from July, for a period of 10 weeks before being sold at an auction for charity. Inside of Selfridges was Brummie Bear, it was by the artist Slobodan Topolović. The sponsor was Selfridges Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Big Sleuth St Martins Sq (July 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

29th October 2017

Inside of the East Mall at the Bullring, saw this giant robin sculpture, next to a dummy with a tall French style army hat.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Robin Selfridges 29102017.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

6th December 2017

Went up to the top of Moor Street Car Park, to see the Santa Christmas Train. While there got my first photos from the top of the car park, and shortly afterwards, crossed through the Parametric Bridge to get inside of Selfridges and the Bullring.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 06122017 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

11th February 2018

The West Midlands Police, at the time had this pair of Police cars parked in the middle of Park Street, checking passing vehicles. I took this from a bus I was on looking towards Selfridges.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMP Selfridges 11022018.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

10th April 2018

A pair of National Express coaches were heading around Park Street onto Moor Street at the time, near Selfridges. Your LONDON tour starts here. Or catch at train from the nearby Birmingham Moor Street Station with Chiltern Railways (your choice).

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/NX Selfridges 10042018.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

13th June 2018

This T-Rex was inside of Selfridges as part of the Dippy on Tour in the City trail. Was in the children's department. Hence the toys behind.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dippy on Tour - T-Rex at Selfridges Birmingham (June 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

30th August 2018

The Big Brum Buz was replaced with this lime green open top Sightseeing bus, that I captured passing Selfridges, from the top deck of a bus I was on at the time.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sightseeing Selfridges 30082018.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

 

15th December 2018

Heading down the escalators inside of Selfridges, saw this giant plump Santa on the floor below!

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Xmas Selfridges 15122018 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th January 2019

Early signs of the missing discs that were on Selfridges. Metal bits sticking out of the centre.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Discworld Selfridges 04012019 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

9th February 2019

Red lights on Selfridges for Chinese New Year, but not quite dark enough from Birmingham Moor Street Station.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMS Selfridges 09022019.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

18th March 2019

Over the years I've seen many workers abseil down Selfridges to clean the discs. Now they were removing or replacing them. But this wasn't really working as it would take ages to replace them like this.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Abseiling Selfridges 18032019 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

19th August 2019

Still taking down the damaged discs in the summer. Another disc dangles below the man on the ropes in front of Selfridges, with a head for heights.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Abseiling Selfridges 19082019 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

5th October 2019

Crossing over the Parametric Bridge from Moor Street Car Park to Selfridges, I noticed that the gaps at both ends had been covered over. Probably to stop people jumping or leaning over the side. But makes it hard to get a photo now from the sides of the bridge.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 05102019 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

31st December 2019

My last photo of Selfridges of the 2010s taken from Moor Street Car Park, looking towards the Parametric Bridge and Birmingham Moor Street Station behind. The buses and cars look tiny below!

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 31122019.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

26th January 2020

HAPPY NEW DECADE screamed the sign at Selfridges. Saw it while I was at the Bullring that evening for the Festival of Light. Little could Selfridges predict the coming lockdowns and the pandemic. Plus the long term closures of non essential retailers.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 26012020.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

3rd March 2020

My last photo of Selfridges that I took about 20 days before the 1st lockdown began. From Park Street in Eastside next to the HS2 hoardings. Park Street would later be permanently closed in the middle by HS2.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/HS2 Selfridges 03032020.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

31st July 2020

Lockdown restrictions were eased by July, so was able to renew my travel pass and go back to the City Centre and work. Still missing discs, in this view towards Digbeth and the Bordesley viaduct. Can see the Custard Factory as well.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selfridges 31072020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th October 2020

HS2 had blocked off my many walking routes from Digbeth to Eastside, so took a diversion via Great Barr Street and Lawley Middleway. Got this view of Selfridges from Curzon Street. The Grade I listed Curzon Street Station was on the right. On the left is the site of the future HS2 station at Curzon Street.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Eastside Selfridges 04102020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

16th November 2020

Back to work again halfway into the second lockdown. By then scaffolding was going up around Park Street and Moor Street in front of Selfridges. The hoardings would start going up a month later.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Scaf Selfridges 16112020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

24th December 2020

We were in Tier 3 restrictions at the time. I headed into the City Centre to see the Westside Metro extension. Then walked to Park Street to get the beginnings of the pink hoardings in front of Selfridges. This is the 'Dogtooth Flower' design by Osman Yousefzada. The 3rd lockdown started early in January 2021, and I've been unable to travel back into the City Centre to get an update of the progress. When restrictions get eased again, hopefully I will be able to get a bus or train to see it.

dndimg alt="Selfridges" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pink Selfridges (Dec 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

 

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60 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
01 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Newman Brothers Coffin Works

Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.

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Newman Brothers Coffin Works





Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.


The Coffin Works

Located on Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter is this hiden gem. The Coffin Works is at 13-15 Fleet Street. Between Summer Row (at Parade) and Hotel ibis Styles (which is between Fleet Street and Lionel Street). Also near the head office of Mitchells & Butlers.

The Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory is a part of the Jewellery Quarter conservation area. Founded by the brothers Alfred and Edwin Newman. They moved to this site in 1894 (the building was built from 1892 to 1894 and designed by Roger Harley in 1892). Their company began life as a brass foundry company, before they changed to making coffin furniture (the handles, nameplates etc, all which would get buried with the deceased in the coffin underground).

Edwin ceased to be involved in the company during 1895, leaving his brother Alfred as the sole trader of the business until his death in 1933. He was succeeded by his two sons George and Horace. They ran the company until George Newman passed away in 1944, and his brother Horace Newman passed away in 1952. After that there was a variety of owners of the company. Although their sister Nina continued to hold shares until 1980.

The business passed to the Doggart and Whittington families. The last owner was Joyce Green, who acquired the company following the death of the companies two managing directors in 1976. Green first joined the company as a secretary in 1949. She moved up through the ranks until she bought the company in 1989, and was the sole trader until the business closed for good in 1998.

 

Restoration

During the 1990s, Joyce Green fought for the building to be restored. The factory received a Grade II* listed status in the year 2000 by English Heritage. In 2001 the Birmingham Conservation Trust carried out a study on the building about the threat of redevelopment and the loss of the building. The factory was one of three candidates in the first series of the BBC's Restoration programme in 2003, although it didn't receive enough votes to reach the final.

But it got enough interest for restoration in the future. In 2006 / 2007 the Birmingham Conservation Trust got a grant of £1.5 million. The credit crunch in 2009 caused a minor setback when Advantage West Midlands collapsed. But Birmingham City Council was able to buy the building from AWM in 2010. Restoration finally took place during 2013 to 2014. The museum opened in October 2014. Joyce Green was involved in the project throughout until her death in 2009.

 

Fleet Street, 2014

In June 2014, I was walking up Fleet Street, when I took my first photo of the building. Viet Moon was a restaurant at 5-11 Fleet Street. While the Coffin Works next door was coming to it's conclusion in terms of it's restoration.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Jun 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By September 2014, the Coffin Works restoration project was complete. Heading down some steps between Lionel Street and Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter, saw these painted signs on the wall to the left "to the Coffin Works Visit Newman Bros.".

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The side of the Coffin Works with at least three chimneys.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was another painted sign further down the steps closer to Fleet Street.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Now a first proper look at Newman Brothers aka The Coffin Works. It would open as a museum in the following month.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A zoom in to the painted Newman Brothers sign looking as good as new!

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. This view towards Fleet Street from near the Cable-Stay Footbridge and Farmers Bridge Lock No 6. Behind me was the Newhall Square development.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works BF Canal (Sep 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2018

By April 2018, I saw this plaque on the Coffin Works. From The Birmingham Civic Society, who presented the Renaiisance Award to the Birmingham Conservation Trust for the Newman Brothers Coffin Works in 2014.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A full look at the building with the plaque. In all the years since it opened as a museum, I never once thought of buying tickets in advance to pop in and take photos.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2020

This was on the evening in December 2020, when I was walking towards Jewellery Quarter Station, to see the Christmas lights at St Paul's Square and The Golden Square, as well as surrounding streets. After passing the Library of Birmingham, via Parade, got onto Fleet Street, and saw the Newman Brothers sign lit up after dark! Bit hard to see in this photo.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Dec 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Maybe once museums can open again, I may think of buying a ticket on their website and pay them a visit. But this will be when I can travel on buses and trains again. After lockdown restrictions get eased again (hopefully for good this time).

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

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80 passion points
Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
22 Feb 2021 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The refurbishment of the former Municipal Bank (now The Exchange) - February 2021

For much of the past year, Three Centenary Way (the former Municipal Bank) has been hidden behind protective coverings. With these now largely removed, we have been given the first glimpse of this immaculate building since it has been cleaned.  Now in University of Birmingham hands, we can see that considerable progress has been made.

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The refurbishment of the former Municipal Bank (now The Exchange) - February 2021





For much of the past year, Three Centenary Way (the former Municipal Bank) has been hidden behind protective coverings. With these now largely removed, we have been given the first glimpse of this immaculate building since it has been cleaned.  Now in University of Birmingham hands, we can see that considerable progress has been made.


The following gallery takes a look at how things have progressed over the past 12 months.

 

March 2020

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April 2020

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September 2020

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December 2020

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February 2021

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Photography courtesy Daniel Sturley (Birmingham We Are and It's Your Build communities)

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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central

I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.

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Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central





I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.


Both Sunset Park and Moonlit Park can be found between Lee Bank Middleway and Bath Row at the Park Central development in the Lee Bank area of Central Birmingham. They stretch as far as Bristol Street.

This explore of the buildings around Park Central was during February 2012, but I didn't actually go into the parks at the time, and have not been back since. But in the years since, have done walks down Lee Bank Middleway, Bristol Street and Bath Row. Plus got photos of the new corner development (Roosevelt Luxury Apartments) near the Belgrave Interchange (including the new cycle paths).

 

Sunset Park

These views of Sunset Park taken on a walk down Alfred Knight Way. Probably got here via Wheeleys Lane and Longleat Avenue.

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There is this metal ramp structure with metal steps in the park.

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Passing the railings on Alfred Knight Way, probably looking at the apartment buildings opposite.

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These apartments are certainly an improvement to what used to be here before.

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Again looking more at the apartments and less at the park. Next heading onto Bell Barn Road.

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Moonlit Park

Next up passing Moonlit Park on Bell Barn Road.

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Looks like a metal sculpture on concrete pillars.

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Moonlit Park seen over on Bell Barn Road to the far right.

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Basketball Court near Bell Barn Road.

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Children's Play Area seen from Bell Barn Road, with what looks like a climbing frame for kids.

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Corner of the park near Mosedale Way.

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Maybe once the 3rd lockdown ends, and I can go on the bus again, I might make an effort to travel to these parks and walk through them, never really thought about them in the past.

 

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

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