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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
23 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visit to St George's Park on Great Hampton Row

Getting the train one way to Jewellery Quarter, I walked to St George's Park in Newtown (other side of Great Hampton Street). Found my way there via Lucas Circus and New John Street West, through an housing estate. The park was developed from the 1960s after St George's Church (1821 - 1961) was demolished. But architect Thomas Rickman's tomb and a war memorial survive here.

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A visit to St George's Park on Great Hampton Row





Getting the train one way to Jewellery Quarter, I walked to St George's Park in Newtown (other side of Great Hampton Street). Found my way there via Lucas Circus and New John Street West, through an housing estate. The park was developed from the 1960s after St George's Church (1821 - 1961) was demolished. But architect Thomas Rickman's tomb and a war memorial survive here.


St George's Park is located on Great Hampton Row and Uxbridge Street in Newtown, Birmingham (it was part of Hockley). It is a short distance away from Great Hampton Street and the Jewellery Quarter.

For me it was easier to get a train one way to Jewellery Quarter Station and walk, rather than get two buses via the City Centre. Although the no 52 bus route from National Express West Midlands is nearby.

The park was formerly St George's Church. It was built in 1821 from designs by architect Thomas Rickman. After his death 20 years later in 1841, he was buried in a tomb here.

The church was proposed to become Birmingham's Cathedral for the Church of England, after the creation of the Diocese of Birmingham in 1905, but St Philip's Church was chosen instead (that was more centrally located in the City Centre).

The church continued to survive, but fell into disrepair, and was demolished during 1960-61 due to structural problems.

Later in the 1960s, four tower blocks were built around the park including Ryland House, Holland House, Cadbury House and Bowater House.

 

Main entrance to St George's Park from Great Hampton Row

The morning visit on Saturday 14th May 2022.

One of the parks entrance's from Great Hampton Row has a modern gate and path into the park.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This is similar to the other parks in the Newtown area (on the other side of New John Street West). You are now in St George's Park.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Mid May, and the trees are lush and green, creating shadows in the sunshine.

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Paths including one towards Uxbridge Street.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is a play area / playground in the centre of the park. Trees with shadows on the lawn.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look at the play area as I headed to the former church yard of St George's Church.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

One last look at the play area, before heading into the former churchyard.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Gate to the south east corner of the park.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Tomb of Thomas Rickman

I spotted this curious object in the park. It is the Tomb of Thomas Rickman, although it looked like the only remaining bit of St George's Church.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A close up look at the Tomb of Thomas Rickman (1776 - 1841). It is Grade II listed. Phyllis Nicklin photographed it herself in 1967 (several years after the church was demolished). See Thomas of Thomas Rickman by Phyllis Nicklin.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Tomb is now surrounded by trees. This was once also called St George's Gardens.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

St George's Church War Memorial

This is the St George's Church War Memorial. In the shape of a Celtic Cross. It commemorates those who were lost during the First World War (1914-18). There is now a couple of park benches near it.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

St George's Gardens

Heading to the south west corner exit of St George's Park,a look at the former site of St George's Church, or perhaps it's churchyard.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (13).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Gravestones remains around the perimeter wall, and the area is full of trees, perhaps they were planted in the 1960s?

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (14).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Outside of St George's Park, now back on Great Hampton Row. To the right is St George's C of E Academy (a primary school). St George's Community Hub is also located here. The old brick walls with railings of the former St George's Church survive here at St George's Park.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park 14052022 (15).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Views from St George's Park

I found a view from St George's Park towards the spire of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quater, Library of Birmingham and The Mercian in Westside.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park SPC LoB TM 14052022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

On the left is the spire of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter. Behind the church is Arena Central in Westside, where you can see HSBC UK at One Centenary Square and HMRC at Three Arena Central.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park SPC 14052022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

In the middle you can see the Library of Birmingham with Hyatt Regency Birmingham behind.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park LoB 14052022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Finally on the right you can see The Mercian with The Bank in the distance in Westside from St George's Park.

dndimg alt="St George's Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Georges Park TM 14052022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photography by Elliott Brown

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40 passion points
Your Place Your Space Construction & regeneration
12 May 2022 - Your Place Your Space
Inspiration

The Gothic on Great Hampton Street - just look at the detail in this wonderful redevelopment!

Work at The Gothic on Great Hampton Street is now well underway.  Let's take a look at the attention being given to retain the wonderful original victorian features of this famous Birmingham landmark.

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The Gothic on Great Hampton Street - just look at the detail in this wonderful redevelopment!





Work at The Gothic on Great Hampton Street is now well underway.  Let's take a look at the attention being given to retain the wonderful original victorian features of this famous Birmingham landmark.


At The Gothic on Great Hampton Street, a Grade II listed building dating back to the late 1870s, there is so much to take in and admire now that internal work on a number of magnificent homes is underway.

During 2020 and 2021, before work commenced and early in Cordia Blackswan's redevelopment of this wonderful building, we had the pleasure of visiting this Victorian Gem to see the treasures that had remained hidden for so long.

 

The windows of The Gothic - back in 2020/21

Of all the wonderful Gems to admire, both inside and outside, it was The Gothic's amazing windows which, for us, stole the show!

We marvelled at the craftmanship and passion that had gone into the structural shapes of these wonderful windows. 

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0710b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_3485b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.itsyourbuild.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_0585b_GOTH.jpg" />

See the full article from July 2021 here...

 

And now - as the windows are going in (May 2022)

In May 2022, we were invited back to take a look at how work was progressing with the redevelopment, and most importantly for us, to see what had been done to those wonderful arched windows.

We have not been disappointed!

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dndimg dndsrc="https://www.birminghamgems.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_6674b_GOTH.jpg" />

 

What about all that wonderful timber!

It's not just the windows though, take a look at the way much of the exquisite timber has been brought back to life and is on full display.

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6379b_GOTH.jpg" />

Here's what it was looking like pre-renovation.  What a great job done!

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6301b_GOTH.jpg" />

 

And now - wonderful wooden beams on show (May 2022)

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dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6560b_GOTH.jpg" />

Some of the original steel roof structure has also been incorporated into the restoration.

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dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6766b_GOTH.jpg" />

 

Go see for yourself!

What wonderful talking points they are for anyone fortunate enough to take ownership of one of these wonderful homes, 

Cordia Blackswan and the team are doing an absolutely brilliant job with the redevelopment of the building into a number of elegantly styled homes.

To find out more about the Gothic:

Homes For Sale Birmingham | The Gothic | Cordia Blackswan

Email enquiry@cordiablackswan.co.uk

 

You can't help but love The Gothic!

Here's a few more photos to enjoy, taken during our visit in May 2022.

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6582b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6578b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.birminghamgems.com/uploadedfiles/IMG_6779b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6498b_GOTH.jpg" />

dndimg dndsrc="https://www.yourplaceyourspace.net/uploadedfiles/IMG_6582b_GOTH.jpg" />

Photography by Daniel Sturley, a member of the It's Your Build team.

 

For more on The Gothic and the work on Great Hampton Street go to:

www.GreatHamptonStreet.com

 

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is (partially) open again - the visit of 7th May 2022

It has been closed for a long time. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery partially reopened (five galleries) on the 28th April 2022. It closed during the pandemic, briefly reopened October 2020, then again (lockdowns etc). Then re-wiring works. The Round Room has We Are Birmingham, Industrial Gallery has Black history and nightclub history. Also one room on local cinema history.

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is (partially) open again - the visit of 7th May 2022





It has been closed for a long time. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery partially reopened (five galleries) on the 28th April 2022. It closed during the pandemic, briefly reopened October 2020, then again (lockdowns etc). Then re-wiring works. The Round Room has We Are Birmingham, Industrial Gallery has Black history and nightclub history. Also one room on local cinema history.


Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery reopened on the 28th April 2022. I didn't visit over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, but instead popped in a weekend later on Saturday 7th May 2022 (coming back from Cineworld and the Library of Birmingham).

The approach from Centenary Way into Chamberlain Square, at Paradise Birmingham (103 Colmore Row behind). Entrance of course to BM & AG from Chamberlain Square.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Chamberlain Sq 07052022.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We Are Open. Heading to the double doors of BM & AG, the Chamberlain Square entrance.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG return 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The ground floor entrance room is empty, but has 'Welcome to Museum & Art Gallery Birmingham' signs on panels around it. Seen here from the stairs heading down to the Chamberlain Square exit.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG return 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG return 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The stairs leads up to Level 2. There is a new Directory of what is open now, and what will be in Gas Hall (when it reopens on the 14th May 2022).

Round Room - Don't Settle: We Are Birmingham

1. Shop

2. Industrial Gallery - Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que

Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea

Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence

3. Gallery
Flatpack Projects: Wonderland

4. Edwardian Tearooms

8. Bridge Gallery - Collection Stories

10. Gallery
Unprecedented Times

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG return 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Round Room - Don't Settle: We Are Birmingham

Sir Jacob Epstein's Lucifer statue is the only original piece to return to the Round Room. The walls have been painted a cream colour, and their is an exhibition on called We Are Birmingham.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

We Are Birmingham: Our Journeys - The Past is Now.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

An image of Selfridges on the right.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

We Are Birmingham: Our City. As well as Cold War Steve's Birmingham collage, their is black & white photos on the wall of Indian families.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

We Are Birmingham: Our Joy. Indian related objects and a bicycle.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading back into the Round Room from the Bridge Gallery.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BMAG Round Room 07052022 (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

1. Shop

From the Round Room to the Industrial Gallery. Plenty of gifts to buy here.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shop BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The walkway above the Industrial Gallery was open, and found this view through a grill to the shop below (and Round Room beyond that).

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shop BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2. Industrial Gallery: Birmingham Music Archive and Blacklash

There is several exhibitions located in the Industrial Gallery. Coming in from the Round Room, on the left is: 'Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que'. On the right is: 'Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea' and 'Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence'.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

You can head up the stairs to the upper level, but there is no objects upstairs, but there is tables to sit down on, study etc. The African exhibits including Blacklash are on the left, while In The Que (nightclubs) is on the right. This view towards the Shop and Round Room.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Some of the tables with benches that you can sit on. There used to be Ruskin pottery up here (or it used to be on the side near the stairs). I'm sure it will all be back one day in the future.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This view towards Wonderland in Gallery 3. With In The Que (left) and Blacklash (right) below.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que

The exhibit on the left hand side of the Industrial Gallery is currated by Birmingham Music Archive, and is called 'In the Que'. Que Club posters from the 1990s.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading in, there is a display of magazine articles. Que Here - Lifestyle.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (14).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

QUE in big colourful letters, plus some black and white photos from the nighclub.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (15).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />


 

Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence

In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement during 2020. A history of Black protests and marches. Some posters as you head into the Industrial Gallery.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

No Justice No Peace! The visit of Malcolm X to Smethwick in the 1960s. Black People Alliance. Also the Asian Youth Movement in the 1980s.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

African drums and spears. Some objects used at demonstrations. 'No Justice - Just Us!'

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was more posters under the stairs.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 


Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea

The second Afro themed exhibition. This bit about the Empire Korero on May 25th 1918. Various costumes and something about Good Captain Cook Day.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The entrance to the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea seen from above.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The stairs between the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea and Blacklash exhibitions.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A quick look at the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea exhibition on passing it by.

dndimg alt="Industrial Gallery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IG BMAG 07052022 (13).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Gallery 3: Flatpack Projects: Wonderland

Located in the gallery between the Industrial Gallery and the Edwardian Tearoom is a Birmingham Cinema's themed exhibit called Wonderland, run by Flatpack Projects.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Wonderland is Birmingham's Cinema Stories. Sign seen from the Industrial Gallery.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Cinemas closed for months during 2020, briefly reopened in the summer, then closed again, bookended by two lockdowns, and then the tiered restrictions. They only reopened without closing again during Spring 2021 last year.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Cinema related objects in glass cases to the left, and near the Edwardian Tearoom entrance.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Pictures on the wall of Birmingham cinema's including some that have closed a long time ago.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This section below focuses on The Electric Cinema on Station Street.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Xmas Crackers sign. I remember seeing it on a visit to The Electric, early in 2020 (few months before the first lockdown).

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Three red cinema seats. Was only an hour or so after I'd left Cineworld on Broad Street before I go to this exhibition.

dndimg alt="BM & AG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Wonderland BMAG 07052022 (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4. Edwardian Tearooms

After well over two years, you can now pop into the Edwardian Tearooms again. Buy your food and drink, cash or card is accepted. Plenty of tables like before. Access through Gallery 3 (currently Wonderland) via the large doors on the left (or right).

dndimg alt="Edwardian Tearooms" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/ET BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The galleries above are closed, with no objects on display.

dndimg alt="Edwardian Tearooms" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/ET BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

8. Bridge Gallery - Collection Stories

You can either head into the Industrial Gallery first, or into the Bridge Gallery. Where they have objects from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre under the title 'Collection Stories'. Just past through under the 'ART GALLERY EXTENSION AND FEENEY GALLERIS A.D. 1912' sign, and the blue plaque (for Bertha Ryland, unveiled back in 2018 by the Birmingham Civic Society).

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge Gallery BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Art on the walls of the Bridge Gallery, some objects in glass cases.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge Gallery BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

No entry to the Birmingham History Galleries upstairs, as it's closed, and the objects are still in storage, as the re-wiring works hasn't finished yet.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge Gallery BMAG 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

In front of the stairs, and near the small cafe, is Souvenir 9 (Queen Victoria). Was made in 2019 by Hew Locke, and acquired for the City by the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge Gallery BMAG 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Gallery 10: Unprecedented Times

Since the Museum & Art Gallery had been closed from 2020, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, various local artists had painted or created the art on display here. Art in response to being on lockdown. During the two lost years of the museum being closed.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gallery 10 BMAG 07052022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This small gallery is just beyond the Bridge Gallery to the right, and nothing else beyond here is open at the moment.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gallery 10 BMAG 07052022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The red shutter at the end was closed, as BM & AG still has a lot of work to do to re-wire the whole building.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gallery 10 BMAG 07052022 (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The steps to the Gas Hall & Exit was closed also. But I suspect it will reopen on the 14th May 2022, when an exhibit at the Gas Hall called 'Found Cities, Lost Objects, Women in the City' opens.

dndimg alt="BMAG" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gallery 10 BMAG 07052022 (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photography by Elliott Brown

 

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
04 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch to Centenary Square after almost 5 years!

It's been a long time in waiting, but William Bloye's 1939 statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch is back. Now located in Centenary Square next to Symphony Hall. They were formerly on what was part of Broad Street from 1956 until 2017. By then the land behind them was Arena Central, and they had to move for Library Tram Stop. Back in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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The return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch to Centenary Square after almost 5 years!





It's been a long time in waiting, but William Bloye's 1939 statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch is back. Now located in Centenary Square next to Symphony Hall. They were formerly on what was part of Broad Street from 1956 until 2017. By then the land behind them was Arena Central, and they had to move for Library Tram Stop. Back in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


The history of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue by William Bloye

The gilded bronze statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch was by the sculptors William Bloye and Raymond Forbes-Kings and it stood on a plinth of Portland stone, (formerly) outside the old Register Office on Broad Street in Birmingham (later the House of Sport after the Register Office moved to Holliday Street).

It is known locally as The Golden Boys after its colour, or The Carpet Salesmen after the partially-rolled-up plan of a steam engine which they are examining.  

All three men were members of the Lunar Society.  

Sponsored by an £8,000 bequest from Richard Wheatley in 1939, and £7,500 from the City Council, it was unveiled in 1956, from preliminary designs drawn up in 1938.  

The statue was restored and re-gilded, and replaced in its old position in September 2006. 

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Views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch in 2009

While I initally first took the statue on my first digital camera around April 2009, by the time I got my first bridge camera in June 2009, I headed to Broad Street, and took the follow photos below outside of the House of Sport. This was only about 3 years after the bronze statue had been re-gilded in 2006, now making it shiny and golden!

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Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from 2011 to 2017

More occasional photos in the years following my initial shots of the statues, such as when the Library of Birmingham opened, or when Arena Central started.

January 2011 - a (then) new information sign about the statue, and details about Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch.

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July 2013 - red flowers were planted in front of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue on what was then still a part of Broad Street.

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September 2013 - the Library of Birmingham is now open, and at the time, a view down to the Bouton, Watt & Murdoch statue, still surrounded by red flowers.

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April 2015 - early work begins to fence of the House of Sport (the old Birmingham Register Office) on Broad Street. As Arena Central got underway, but Boulton, Watt & Murdoch remained in place. Traffic was being diverted onto Bridge Street.

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May 2015 - Hoardings had gone up in front of the House of Sport ahead of it's demolition later in 2015. But you could still see the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue.

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October 2015 - demolition on the former Register Office / House of Sport was well underway, just a section near Bridge Street to come down. You could still get close up to the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue at the time.

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November 2015 - a view from the Library of Birmingham. DSM Demolition had a lot of rubble to clear of the House of Sport, while scaffolding had gone up the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statues to protect them.

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April 2016 - by this point the demolition behind Boulton, Watt & Murdoch had been complete, and it was now the site of One Arena Central. Library of Birmingham view.

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There was plant machinery in front of the statue.

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And there was a temporary path between Arena Central and where Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were.

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February 2017 - a night shot of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from Centenary Square. You could now see views to the hotels behind including Crowne Plaza and the newly built Holiday Inn Express (TETRIS building) at Arena Central.

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April 2017 - a rear view of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch, taken from Bridge Street, looking over Arena Central towards the Library of Birmingham.

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August 2017 - the last views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for 5 years before they went into storage. One Arena Central hoardings still behind them, and Midland Metro Alliance hoardings in front of them.

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A daylight view towards Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express. This was my last actual photo of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for almost 5 years (before they went into storage). This view on the 10th August 2017, the statue was removed on the 23rd August 2017 (ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension). Library Tram Stop would open on their old spot by December 2019.

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Return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch - late April 2022

While the Portland stone plinth was back in place by St George's Day, the actual gold covered bronze statue was lowered into place on the 29th April 2022. Just in time for the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend. Although there is still fences around it, and more paving work to do. As well as the installation of a future plaque, about Boulton, Watt & Murdoch's slavery links (post Black Lives Matter).

With Library Tram Stop (opened end of 2019).

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Seen outside of Symphony Hall, their new home.

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With the Library of Birmingham.

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Lookig towards Paradise Birmingham.

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Looking towards HSBC UK - One Centenary Square and The Exchange | University of Birmingham at Arena Central.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking towards Three Arena Central (One Arena Central aka Five Centenary Square still hasn't been built yet).

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking towards the Hyatt Regency Birmingham and near the new foyer of Symphony Hall.

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The view of Centenary Square on the 30th April 2022. Boulton & Watt & Murdoch now join The ICC, Symphony Hall, The REP, Library of Birmingham, Baskerville House and Hall of Memory. As well as Library Tram Stop.

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dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (15).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

From the other side of Centenary Square in this wide panoramic (centred on the Library of Birmingham). Bit hard to see Boulton, Watt & Murdoch but they are on the far left near Symphony Hall, while Edward VII is near Baskerville House. From HSBC UK to the old Copthorne Hotel (which will be demolished in the next few years).

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Welcome back lads, you have been missed!

For other monuments of Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch, see the post on St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
03 May 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - March/April 2022 Update

Visable progress at One Centenary Way.

Upper floors now await windows, external lifts have been installed and all the steel work is complete.

This post includes some great photos of this prominent build. 

View feature View community

The Construction of One Centenary Way - March/April 2022 Update





Visable progress at One Centenary Way.

Upper floors now await windows, external lifts have been installed and all the steel work is complete.

This post includes some great photos of this prominent build. 


One Centenary Way - Construction update (March and April 2022)

8th March 2022

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26th March 2022

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16th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 750 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Full Construction Gallery

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