Monday, 27 August 2012

Birmingham Blue Plaque; Lord Nelson

"Trafalgar Bi-Centenary 2005. Admiral Lord Nelson, 1758 - 1805, Whilst visiting Birmingham in August 1802, Vice Admiral Viscount Nelson stayed at Styles' (later the Royal) Hotel, which stood  on the site opposite. Such was the impression that Nelson made during his stay, that after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, Birmingham was the first place in the kingdom to erect a statue to his memory. This foremost statue still stands in the Bull Ring today. The Birmingham Civic Society"

On the wall of Natwest bank, on Temple Row.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

An Update

Hello everyone!

Just thought I'd give you all an update as you're probably aware I haven't blogged in a while!

RSS Feed - I think I've now managed to set up an RSS feed for this blog, the link is over on the left of the page. Would someone be so kind as to check it and make sure it's working? I don't know much about these sorts of things and as ever, any feedback from you guys is important!

Walking for Heritage posts - these will hopefully continue within the next week. I've been super busy with work/volunteering/going to Oxford so haven't had chance to write up anymore.

Other posts - I saw a fantastic article and video today which has given me more of a drive to blog again, so I shall soon also have more blog posts relating to other parts of Birmingham! I am also hoping to go for another canal walk in the coming days, so that shall feature soon too.

As ever, if you've got any comments, questions, feedback or suggestions, do let me know! I'm still on the hunt for places in the North of the city to visit - I don't know much on that side of the city so parks, attractions, boulders, castle ruins etc are welcome!

ETA - the Flickr is now up to date with photos :-)


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Walking For Heritage; Typhoo Tea Factory

From the Art House, cross the road to the bridge. The Typhoo Factory is just across the water.

I had no idea Typhoo originated in Birmingham. At all. Some digging around on Ye Olde Interwebs has told me otherwise, and their website is quite a good source of information!

The Typhoo Factory is now empty, but you get a clear view of it whilst on the WfH walk route at the corner of Andover St/Fazeley St. Cross the road to get a better view. This web page has a picture of the Birmingham factory in 1926.

I’m not sure if there is a way to get closer to the building – this is still a very industrial working area. The Typhoo website has quite a lot of detail regarding the origins of this brand!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Birmingham Blue Plaque; William Hutton

City of Birmingham
"William Hutton, Bookseller, the first historian of Birmingham lived on this site from 1772 until 1791"

On the wall outside Waterstones on High St, near the Rotunda.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bullring Brickwork 02

The second instalment of the bricks of the Bullring! These ones are located just a little way further along, closer to the relocated 47 bus stop.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Walking for Heritage; Art House

This is not on the Walking for Heritage map, but it is on the route! I have included it as it is eye catching and pretty (and deserves a mention).

From the Proof House, follow the route. The Art House is on the right.

This arty house is located on the corner of Fazeley Street and Andover Street. I have included it on the WfH series of posts as it is quite eye catching and gives a hint at the creative hub that is Digbeth.

I don't know much about it (who, when, why etc.) but I wanted to include it as an extra thing to see!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Walking for Heritage; Gun Barrel Proof House

This blog post follows on from the previous Walking for Heritage post.

The second stop on the walking route is the Gun Barrel Proof House, which is located on Banbury Street. From Curzon Street Station follow the route and it will take you right there. Unfortunately you cannot actually enter the grounds of the Proof House – there is some wonderful architecture here and I would love to walk around and get pictures, but alas it is not to be. You can catch a glimpse of the Proof House from the road, behind two sets of gates – this is a working Proof House and I expect they don’t want any accidents! You can also get quite a good view of the Proof House if you are on the train to Lichfield. 

The Birmingham Proof House was established in 1813, at the request of the Birmingham Gun Trade, by an act of Parliament. The job of the workers here is to ensure that guns operate safely, without failure. There is a lot more information freely available on the interwebs about the actual process of proofing. As an aside, the re-enactment unit that I used to be part of had the field cannon proofed here.

You can go on tours around the Proof House – there is an internal museum – but these need to be booked in advance. You can find out more on their website.

You can read more information here and here.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Bullring Brickwork 01

Not many people know, or notice, the bricks in the Bullring. On August 2nd I stopped to take some photos, and as I was doing so, I noticed a few people stop to look at what I was doing. I asked a few if they had ever noticed before - they said they never had, but they wondered why a young lady was taking photos of bricks. Hopefully more people will notice these now!

There are quite a few clusters of these bricks, so I will blog them separately.

These ones are located on Smallbrook Queensway, near the relocated 63 bus stop.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Walking For Heritage; Curzon Street Station

This post follows on from the first Walking for Heritage post.

The First Stop – Curzon Street Station
From Millenium Point (at the Science Park), walk away from it towards Digbeth. Curzon Street Station is on the left.

Curzon Street Station is a fine piece of stonework, it really is beautiful. A few years ago, before it was boarded up, you could see the old hand pulled signal change levers on the top floor! Curzon Street stands quite proud against a backdrop of investment and change for the City – to one side there is Millenium Point and Thinktank, to the other the start of Digbeth as well as the Bullring. To the front and sides is a lot of building work as the new Eastside Park is being developed. To the back is wasteland – presumably the remains of the old platforms and goods yard, but it is now being used as a storage facility, car park and skate park!

Curzon Street was the original London-Birmingham terminus and opened in 1838. It went through a period of change as it went from being a passenger terminal to a goods terminal, and then it was wholly replaced by New Street Station in 1854. There is a plaque on the front wall near the door that commemorates the anniversary of the first arrival of a train from London.

With the proposed HS2 line due to head this way, Curzon Street could well be once again open for business, as the HS2 London-Birmingham link. I believe the plans are to incorporate the current building into the new one and to also extend the line to Moor Street Station (demolishing Park Street Graveyard on its’ way). I was also told the other day that an industrial estate in Nechalls (down near Dollman Street) would also be demolished, as that is where the tracks are due to be laid.

As a first stop for the Heritage Walk, it is quite a grand start and sets you up wondering what else there is to see in the surrounding area.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Walking for Heritage in Digbeth

This will become a series of posts based on a walk that I did recently, which follows a route devised by Thinktank and some young Birmingham citizens. It is called Walking for Heritage and takes the walker around parts of Digbeth that are not usually explored, with a view to showcasing the industrial past of the City. When I walked the route I stopped at extra locations and took photographs; I shall give these their own blog post under the same umbrella heading as it is all interesting! The walk took me about an hour and a half – I kept stopping – and is mostly on footpaths (there is a stretch along the canal, but the towpath is paved) so it is suitable for all users. Digbeth is very much still a hub of activity! Be aware of cars, buses, lorries and forklift trucks.

The route can be viewed here on Google Maps. Leaflets are due to be produced soon, but if you go to the Thinktank blog you can view a .pdf of the route.

The Starting Place – Thinktank at Millenium Point.
Currently obscured by fences due to the construction of the Eastside City Park, Millenium Point is the starting location for this walk. The walk has a route, and is ‘circular’, so you can walk it either way. I started at the start and followed the route, but I expect it’ll be equally as good if done in reverse.

image taken from the Thinktank blog