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Your Place Your Space Art; Culture & creativity
Displaying until 31 Dec 2022 - Your Place Your Space
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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@yourplaceyourspace.net m: 07432 637322

 

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50 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. 

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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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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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An image of Selfridges on the right.

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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.

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

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Heading back into the Round Room from the Bridge Gallery.

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1. Shop

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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There was more posters under the stairs.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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).

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

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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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).

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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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