Friday, 1 June 2012

The Austin Village, Central Avenue

For the second post, I’ve again stayed local. This time, I visited an area that starts at the other end of Turves Green, down by the Woodpecker Pub. From Turves Green, walk up The Oak Walk and take a right onto Hawkesley Crescent. After walking a little way, you will see a road on the left – Central Avenue. Take this turning.

What you see before you is part of the Austin Village, and Birmingham’s first dual carriageway.

These brick houses and wooden pre-fabricated bungalows were built in 1917 for the workers of the Austin factory (Rover). During the Great War, the Austin factory produced munitions and I believe aeroplane parts. In 1997, the area was granted conservation status, and in 2002 two blue plaques were mounted in the middle of the dual carriageway. You can read more about Lord Austin here.

This is a nice part of Northfield to stroll around, especially when the trees are in bloom. Each little bungalow has its own character and the side streets are all named after trees. If you walk down The Mill Walk, you will come to a narrow bridge that carries the railway – this is a two way road! If you walk under the bridge, you will come to a section of the River Rea, a ford, the Lion Bridge and Cycle Route 5. This forms part of a walking route. Generations of kids have played pooh sticks on the Lion Bridge!

There will be a Jubilee street party too, on Sunday June 3rd:

Hog roast!!

You can visit this site in conjunction with Hawkesley House - Central Ave leads all the way up to the moat house area, and is (give or take) a 10 minute walk. 

To get here, take the 47 from Birmingham City Centre/Cotteridge/Stirchley (towards Cofton Hackett) and sit on it for a good 40 minutes. Ask the driver to set you down at the Moby Dick Fish Bar on Turves Green and head for the Woodpecker Pub.

You can also take the train, on the Cross City Line, from Birmingham New Street to Northfield. Leave the station onto Station Road (not via the car park) and take a right, walking towards a traffic light controlled junction. Take a left onto Coleys Lane, turn right at the top onto Turves Green (near some shops). Walk towards the Woodpecker Pub and The Oak Walk. 

This is quiet suburb of Birmingham, and is a residential area as well as a conservation area. Please respect the residents, and remember to take rubbish away with you. There are no public facilites.

All photos in this post were taken by me, today (30th May). Feel free to nick 'em, or visit and take your own! Click for bigger.

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