Art, culture & creativity
22 May 2019 - Debra Power
Gallery

'Sky High' creativity from The Rotunda - Birmingham

Our talented 'People With Passion' took an opportunity to share their creative skills and talents through a mixture of great art, photography & sketching, capturing the stunning skyline views of our great city. We are delighted to feature 'Birmingham Sky High' from the Rotunda as part of a BirminghamWeAre 'Sky High' feature.

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'Sky High' creativity from The Rotunda - Birmingham




Our talented 'People With Passion' took an opportunity to share their creative skills and talents through a mixture of great art, photography & sketching, capturing the stunning skyline views of our great city. We are delighted to feature 'Birmingham Sky High' from the Rotunda as part of a BirminghamWeAre 'Sky High' feature.


Before we introduce you to our stunning gallery of images, let's take a brief look at the history of the Rotunda.

The construction of the Rotunda began in 1961 and was competed in 1965 it stands 266ft tall. The original plans, were to house a rooftop restuarant & cinema. Dring the1980s sugestions were that it should be demolished.  However, from 2004 to 2008, the Rotunda, a Grade ll listed building was refurbished and partially converted for residential use. The redevelopment created 232 luxury apartments, including six penthouse suites on the 20th floor. The whole of the 19th floor and one of the penthouses on the 20th floor is run as serviced apartments by the Manchester-based operator, Staying Cool.  

 

Photo by Mac McCreery

 

Standing tall at 81 metres (266 ft)

Photo by Barry Whithead

 

The Rotunda still shining bright in the city centre after completion in 1965. 

Photo by Tammie Naughton

 

The Rotunda stands proud over our city -  The building had originally been intended to look like a candle with a flame-like weather beacon on top, changing colour to reflect the weather.

Photo by Elliott Brown

 

Below we share some great photography of sentional views from 20th floor of the Rotunda. What great views of our ever changing city's skyline.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

Photo by Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Karl Newton

 

Photo by Pete Davies

 

Photo by Simon Felton

 

Photo by Christine Wright

 

Sketching by Tim Griffiths

 

Photo by Stephen Cooper

 

Photo by Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Chris Fletcher

 

Photo by Kev Maslin

 

Photo by Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Jay Mason-Burns

 

Photo by Pete Davies

 

Photo by John Paddington

 

Photo by  Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Jay Mason-Burns

 

Photo by Karl Newton

 

Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

Photo by Kev Maslin

 

Photo by Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Chris Fletcher

 

Photo by Kev Maslin

 

Photo by Damien Walmsley

 

Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

 

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 May 2019 - FreeTimePays
Introducing

Introducing Smithfield (previously home to the Wholesale Market), Birmingham, UK

Take the post for details of Smithfield development and plans going forward. 

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Introducing Smithfield (previously home to the Wholesale Market), Birmingham, UK




Take the post for details of Smithfield development and plans going forward. 


PROJECT DETAIL:

Demolition of the former Wholesale Markets is well underway, which will then make way for a mixed-use family destination. In January 2019, Birmingham City Council announced Lendlease as its development partner to deliver the transformation of the 17-hectare Birmingham Smithfield site.

Birmingham Smithfield is a £1.5 billion redevelopment project that will continue to position the city on an international stage.

Lendlease will form a contractual joint venture with the city council and lead the creation of an urban quarter that will include a new home for the city’s historic Bull Ring retail markets, a unique family destination including a leisure and cultural offer, a new public square, integrated public transport and more than 2,000 homes with a public park and community facilities.

The development of Birmingham Smithfield is part of the city’s Big City Plan, launched in 2010, which sets out a 25-year vision to grow the city centre by more than 25 per cent. As one of the areas of transformation, Birmingham Smithfield is located directly adjacent to the Bullring and New Street Station; and will be a short walk from the new High Speed 2 City Centre Terminus Station which is set to open in 2026.

The council and Lendlease will finalise the terms of the partnership, start the preparation of a planning application and produce a business plan for the site’s redevelopment before the formal award of the contract, which is expected to happen by the end of the year.

The first phase of the scheme set to include the new homes, the new retail markets building and public realm.

DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS:

Lendlease & Birmingham City Council

MASTERPLANNING ARCHITECTS:

Prior Associates

PHOTOS & IMAGES from Lendlease and Prior Associates:

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
19 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - May 2019

The cladding is approaching completion and is really starting to catch the light, many more photos from various perspectives in this gallery, including from our recent trip to the top of the Rotunda thanks to Staying Cool.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

Related

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - May 2019




The cladding is approaching completion and is really starting to catch the light, many more photos from various perspectives in this gallery, including from our recent trip to the top of the Rotunda thanks to Staying Cool.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Stephen Giles

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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50 passion points
Green travel
11 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Velo Birmingham at Victoria Square

On the 10th and 11th May 2019, Velo Birmingham & Midlands was at Victoria Square in Birmingham. For cyclists to register for the event, and there was also stands there with information and bikes there too. Velo Birmingham took place on Sunday 12th May 2019. Starting at Birmingham for a 100 mile ride around the Midlands. Including to Coventry and around Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

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Velo Birmingham at Victoria Square




On the 10th and 11th May 2019, Velo Birmingham & Midlands was at Victoria Square in Birmingham. For cyclists to register for the event, and there was also stands there with information and bikes there too. Velo Birmingham took place on Sunday 12th May 2019. Starting at Birmingham for a 100 mile ride around the Midlands. Including to Coventry and around Warwickshire and Worcestershire.


Over the 10th and 11th May 2019, Velo Birmingham were set up in Victoria Square. So that cyclist could register for the event, pick up their number and get a goody bag! The main event itself was held on Sunday 12th May 2019 around Birmingham & the Midlands. That was effecting road closures and buses would have to be diverted. I wasn't expecting to get out to see the cyclists riding around the city and the West Midlands, but this gathering in Victoria Square will do (I'm not a cyclist, have never ridden a bike, or owned one!).

Riders can ride 100 miles or 42 miles.

A look around Victoria Square. No sooner had the Knife Angel been installed in the square, that they set up the Velo Birmingham event all around! This to the right of the Knife Angel and left of the Queen Victoria statue.

Help Desk. Insturctions for registering for the event. Was a lot of people around.

The Cycle Republic Mini will be the events crew car.

The Cycle Republic Mini looking towards the Council House.

Enjoy The Ride! This seen at the bottom of Victoria Square near New Street and the newly opened Nandos.

Stands including West Midlands Cycle and West Midlands Network.

West Midlands Railway were there too!

Velo Birmingham & Midlands banners seen near the Knife Angel from Chamberlain Square, looking towards Victoria Square House.

The view from Colmore Row towards the Town Hall.

Good luck to all the riders taking part. (am assuming that this will go up after the Velo Birmingham event has finished).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - May 2019

Some 'Beaky Blinders' hanging around in Centenary Square with the externally completed One Chamberlain Square, the new home for PwC in the Midlands. More photos in the gallery.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - May 2019




Some 'Beaky Blinders' hanging around in Centenary Square with the externally completed One Chamberlain Square, the new home for PwC in the Midlands. More photos in the gallery.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Civic pride
10 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit at Sarehole Mill

If you visit Sarehole Mill, inside or out, you may see these signs (if they are still there) of a Bilbo Baggins / The Hobbit trail. The biopic Tolkien was released in UK cinemas in early May 2019. Featuring scenes set in Birmingham and near Sarehole Mill and around Edgbaston and the City Centre. This is a fun trail for Tolkien fans!

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J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit at Sarehole Mill




If you visit Sarehole Mill, inside or out, you may see these signs (if they are still there) of a Bilbo Baggins / The Hobbit trail. The biopic Tolkien was released in UK cinemas in early May 2019. Featuring scenes set in Birmingham and near Sarehole Mill and around Edgbaston and the City Centre. This is a fun trail for Tolkien fans!


These photos below were taken during a free open day at Sarehole Mill in October 2013. Couldn't help but notice these The Hobbit signs. Clearly part of a picture trail round the mill!

Seen in the tea room, when it also used to be the ticket office (that was later moved into a building close to the car park).

Bilbo Baggins - look for his pictures around the mill.

Gandalf the Grey - he is looking for young Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo Baggins - a Hobbit.

Gandalf A grey wizard.

Thorin Leader of the Dwarves

Gollum A Stoor Hobbit of the River folk.

On the top floor of the mill, Bilbo's house!

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit

When the leaves are gold before they fall, look for Bilbo in the woods of the Shire

During another visit to the gardens of Sarehole Mill (September 2016), I saw these four signs on stones with JRR Tolkien quotes from his books! Only had my (then) smartphone camera on me at the time. So not as detailed as would be on my main camera. I would guess that they were meant to be clues?

One Ring to rule them all One Ring to find them ...

Tall ships and tall rings, Three times three what brought they from the foundered land ...

For Bole and bougo Are burning a bit the furnace We go to War ...

Reeds by the shady pond. Lillies on the water ...

Bonus photos. It was the Summer of 2015. And The Big Hoot's Little Hoot trail was on around Birmingham, along with the bigger The Big Hoot trail. In Kings Heath they had several of them in shop windows. But if you popped into Lloyds Bank between July and August 2015 (may have still been there September 2015), you may have seen Frowldo Baggins!

This owlet was designed by Zac Iman and based on the character Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings. I saw it during August 2015 in the Lloyds Bank in Kings Heath (Alcester Road South next door to Sainsbury's).

There was little owl sculptures at Sarehole Mill, but they weren't really Tolkien related.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 May 2019 - Tom Grunt
News & Updates

Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK - latest update

Work has commenced on the build of Timber Yard, a residential scheme in the Southside area of Birmingham.  

Take the post for more on this build.

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Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK - latest update




Work has commenced on the build of Timber Yard, a residential scheme in the Southside area of Birmingham.  

Take the post for more on this build.


Timber Yard is a residential scheme in the Southside area of Birmingham designed by Claridge Architects.

It is one of several projects brought forward by joint-venture developers Apsley House Capital and Galliard Homes, and the first one to have reached a construction stage.

The project includes 379 apartments spread across two buildings ranging from 7 to 14 storeys, lots of private and public green space, plenty of ground floor commercial space, private gym for residents, concierge, cinema and 95 car park spaces.

There’s going to be 10 commercial units for shops and restaurants on the ground floor and all located on Skinner Lane. These will benefit from a number of bespoke, timber benches placed along this street.

A planning application was submitted in November 2017 with approval granted in October 2018. There was a brief delay in approving the scheme as objections were raised by local club owners, who feared that presence of apartments in immediate vicinity of their clubs could lead to noise complaints from future residents, which in turn could lead to the clubs being forced to close.

Following these complaints, the developer held a meeting with the club owners and reassured them that all the bedroom windows would be sufficiently sound-proofed.

Architecture & Massing

One of the scheme’s objectives is to restore the urban grain in the area, as the plot has been nothing but a surface car park since the 70s which has had a negative visual impact on the landscape.

The density of this scheme is in keeping with buildings around it and also takes into account future projects, namely Smithfield.

The development acts as a transition between Smithfield and other residential builds to the west and north.

The city planners weren’t supportive of the originally proposed 19-storey building at the corner of Pershore Street and Skinner Lane and so the height was reduced to 14-storeys, only as tall as necessary to mark the corner.

The design directly reflects the area’s context, with the most used material in the area being red and brown brick, hence why brick has been chosen for this development, albeit of a slightly different colour.

The brick chosen is somewhat paler and has a more contemporary feel, but compliments its surroundings.

The site is bounded by four streets, and the composition of façade differs to an extent on each of the streets to reflect the immediate vicinity. For example, because Hurst Street is quite a narrow road with high pedestrian footfall and a lot of shops, it felt appropriate that the façade facing this road should assume a more vertical expression.

On the other hand, blocks facing Skinner Lane and Pershore Street have façades with wider openings and horizontal expressions as the roads are wider and are not major pedestrian routes.

Public Space & Greenery

The block breaks up in two places which allows for creation of two public pocket parks, one on Skinner Lane and one on Claybrook Street.

There’s a large communal private garden in the courtyard on which grass, fern, shrubs and trees will be planted in an informal arrangement. A pedestrian route with benches will run through the garden, and give off a light woodland feel.

Further greenery is going to be created along Claybrook Street with a wide planting strip created running along the full length of the street and varieties of indigenous wild flowers will be planted on the roof to create bio-diverse gardens.

It is one of the first pieces of puzzle in the continuous regeneration of this part of Birmingham, with a number of other schemes underway or proposed.

Tomas Grunt

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Artist impression by Claridge Architects

Photo by Stephen Giles

Photo by Stephen Giles

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40 passion points
People & community
09 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Knife Angel in Coventry and Birmingham

The Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley was in Coventry for around 2 months. During March and April 2019. It was located outside of Coventry Cathedral. It has now moved to Birmingham and is in Victoria Square for the duration of May 2019 until the beginning of June 2019.

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Knife Angel in Coventry and Birmingham




The Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley was in Coventry for around 2 months. During March and April 2019. It was located outside of Coventry Cathedral. It has now moved to Birmingham and is in Victoria Square for the duration of May 2019 until the beginning of June 2019.


The Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley was made out of over 100,000 knives that were handed over in 2015/16. He made it at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry and is a memorial to those affected by knife crime. It is 27ft high. In 2018 it began it's tour of the UK outside of Liverpool Cathedral. It has also been shown in Hull.

Knife Angel in Coventry

Seen outside of Coventry Cathedral at the end of March 2019. I got the train down from Birmingham New Street to Coventry to see it. At the time, wasn't aware that it would be moving to Birmingham in May! There was a crowd of people in front of it, so I took these from a distance, close to the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. On the left is Epstein's sculpture of St.Michael and Lucifer. It was in Coventry from the 14th March to the 7th May 2019.

Zoom in's of the Knife Angel outside of Coventry Cathedral.

It's position in Coventry meant you couldn't fully see the wings behind, but you can in Victoria Square, Birmingham!

There was some kind of event on at the Coventry Cathedral ruins on the 30th March 2019, and I saw all these coaches and buses parked near the cathedral. I'm not sure if they were there for the Knife Angel, for some other event. I think I saw a VIP car parked close to Coventry University as well.

Knife Angel in Birmingham

The Knife Angel was moved to Victoria Square in Birmingham in front of the the Town Hall during early May 2019. First shown to the public on the 8th May 2019, it will be in Birmingham until at least the 5th June 2019. Details from Birmingham City Council here Birmingham welcomes the Knife Angel as city works to tackle knife crime.

As with Coventry, when I got to Victoria Square, found a crowd of people in front of the Knife Angel. So I took a zoom in from distance. I think it's better to take photos of it from a little bit far away!

A zoom in of the Knife Angel in front of the Town Hall.

A comparison of the Knife Angel with the statue of Queen Victoria and the Chamberlain Memorial in Chamberlain Square. Two and One Chamberlain Square to the right as well.

Looking to Chamberlain Square. The location in Victoria Square, means that you can now see the wings of the Knife Angel from behind (that wasn't possible in Coventry). One Chamberlain Square to the left and the Council House to the right.

View of the wings from the right side towards the Council House. Most people viewing the Knife Angel from the front.

The wings fully from the back of the Knife Angel. Statue of Queen Victoria to the right. Crane for 103 Colmore Row to the left.

The view from the bottom of the steps of the Knife Angel with the Chamberlain Memorial. Backed by the Town Hall, Two Chamberlain Square and One Chamberlain Square.

Seen with the Floozie in the Jacuzzi. And can you see Queen Victoria in the Floozie's lap?

Let's hope that Anthony Gormley's Iron:Man returns soon, although that's unlikely by the time the Knife Angel leaves Birmingham for it's next destination! This is just a mock up. The Iron:Man is still in storage, at least until the Westside Metro Extension near the Town Hall is completed!

 

If anyone wants their Knife Angel photos in a gallery, please send them to Daniel or Deb who I'm sure will produce a gallery of your photos! I recommend doing a Coventry and Birmingham gallery in one.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
People & community
08 May 2019 - The Friends of Kings Heath Park
Gallery

April in Kings Heath Park.

Fresh spring leaves, spring blossom, and Easter Egg hunting in the park.

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April in Kings Heath Park.




Fresh spring leaves, spring blossom, and Easter Egg hunting in the park.


April brought new colours to Kings Heath Park as the buds opened to reveal fresh green leaves and spring blossom. The spring weather brought more people to the park, and the Friends of Kings Heath Park Litter Pickers were out, making sure that the park was tidy for all to enjoy.

The highlight of the month was the Easter weekend, with sunshine and warm temperatures making the park the perfect place to go. The Friends of Kings Heath Park put on a children's Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Saturday. Each child had to find one of the many wooden discs that had been hidden in the area of the park around the big horse chestnut tree, then exchange it for two eggs - a wooden one to paint, and a chocolate one to eat. The keen painters could also decorate rocks to hide in the park, continuing the 'Kings Heath Rocks' craze that has been keeping children and families entertained for well over a year now. 

The evenings are getting longer still, and the park is enjoyed by walkers of all ages, nature lovers, runners and sports groups, dog walkers, and families and children. A wonderful open space in our community of Kings Heath!

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 May 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Massive development at 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham is back on track!

The Landmark office development at 103 Colmore Row is back on track after a brief delay in construction.

Map of site

Gtr Birmingham developments overview map

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Massive development at 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham is back on track!




The Landmark office development at 103 Colmore Row is back on track after a brief delay in construction.

Map of site

Gtr Birmingham developments overview map


103 Colmore Row is one of a kind.

Standing at an imposing 26 storeys (108m from its lowest peak and 105.5m at its highest), it will become the city’s tallest office building once complete.

But not only that, it also takes the crown of being the largest office under construction anywhere outside of London, showing once more that Birmingham continues to be a hugely attractive city to invest and do business in.

Sterling Property Ventures and Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP teamed up in 2014 (until the latter were acquired by Patrizia in late 2017) to bring this project forward, that is until a top London investor entered the scene recently, which saw a brief pause on construction.

Tristan Capital Partners acquired Patrizia’s interest in the site and will now work with development manager Sterling PV to commence this eagerly-awaited development.

Work has now officially recommenced with work on the concrete core set to rise this month.

Photo by Sterling Property Ventures

WHAT IS IT WE'RE GETTING?

Artists Impression by Doone Silver Kerr

Designed by architects Doone Silver Kerr, and currently being built by BAM Construction, 103 will boast 223,631 sq ft (square foot) of office space over 20 floors, 7,665 sq ft of restaurant space on the ground and top two floors, a winter garden, 18th floor terrace and multi-purpose business lounges. 

In fact, the top two floors will see a signature double-height ‘lantern’ bar and restaraunt, offering panoramic views across the ever evolving Birmingham skyline for everyone to enjoy.

It will be lit up like a beacon at night, ensuring that this majestic building is visible from miles around the city.

Artists Impression by Sterling Property Ventures

Artists Impressions by Doone Silver Kerr

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50 passion points
Transport
06 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Class 165 trains with Chiltern Railways, between Stratford-upon-Avon / Leamington Spa to Birmingham Moor Street

Here we will take a look at the slowest trains on the Chiltern Railways network, as seen in the West Midlands region. From Birmingham Moor Street to Leamington Spa, and also at Stratford-upon-Avon. They stop at stations such as Lapworth and Hatton, as well as Warwick, Solihull and Dorridge (not in that order).

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Class 165 trains with Chiltern Railways, between Stratford-upon-Avon / Leamington Spa to Birmingham Moor Street




Here we will take a look at the slowest trains on the Chiltern Railways network, as seen in the West Midlands region. From Birmingham Moor Street to Leamington Spa, and also at Stratford-upon-Avon. They stop at stations such as Lapworth and Hatton, as well as Warwick, Solihull and Dorridge (not in that order).


The Class 165 trains with Chiltern Railways are operated on their lines from London Marylebone towards Leamington Spa, Birmingham Moor Street and also Stratford-upon-Avon. They were built between 1990 and 1992 originally for Network SouthEast. They were refurbished between 2003 and 2005. With Chiltern they are known as Chiltern Turbos.

Seen at Stratford-upon-Avon Station during January 2013 was Chiltern Railways 165035. Passengers heading to or from London Marylebone can get the train from or to here. Tourists can come up from London to experience the tourist attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon, including Shakespeare's Birthplace, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre etc.

In October 2011 at Leamington Spa Station was Chiltern Railways 165018. It was heading towards Stratford-upon-Avon. This was one of my earliest photos of a Class 165 train, but I would take some more at London Marylebone Station during November 2011.

Seen in May 2016 stopping at Warwick Station was Chiltern Railways 165023. It was heading to Leamington Spa from Birmingham Moor Street. I later got this train back to Solihull, and would ride it again a year latter when I went to Hatton. That weekend was the Wembley Special timetable, as the FA Cup Final was on that Sunday.

At Warwick Parkway Station after a walk up the Grand Union Canal, from Warwick Station, during April 2019. I found that the pair of Class 165's that pass this station don't stop here. such as Chiltern Railways 165005 heading up to Birmingham Moor Street. But the Class 168 Clubman's usually stop here between Birmingham Snow Hill and London Marylebone!

For another Grand Union Canal walk during March 2017, up the Hatton Locks, I got Chiltern Railways 165023 from Solihull to Hatton Station. After a walk around the Hatton area, then heading up past the Hatton Locks of the Grand Union Canal, I returned to Hatton Station. After a wait of around an hour on a Sunday afternoon (having just missed the last train), I would get 165023 again back to Solihull.

My first visit to Dorridge by train was during January 2017. Seen at Dorridge Station was Chiltern Railways 165005. I was waiting for a London Midland train back to Acocks Green, but was more convenient to get this back to Solihull instead (and then get a bus from Solihull).

Not stopping at Widney Manor Station during February 2013 was Chiltern Railways 165005. This station in Solihull is close to the M42 motorway, and near the number 5 bus route. Chiltern trains rarely stop here apart from rare evenings in the rush hour. Widney Manor Golf Club and the River Blythe are nearby to this station.

I mostly get Chiltern Railways trains from Solihull Station, my local station on the line down to London Marylebone, but in recent years I have been going to the intermediate stops in the West Midlands and Warwickshire! Chiltern Railways 165007 seen during May 2013, stopping at Solihull before resuming it's journey to Leamington Spa. Is this James Bond 007's train of choice?

I saw Chiltern Railways 165005 passing Acocks Green Station during January 2017. It was heading from Leamington Spa to Birmingham Moor Street. I was waiting for my London Midland train down to Dorridge that day. I later caught this train from Dorridge back to Solihull, rather than wait for another Class 172 train back to Acocks Green!

I saw Chiltern Railways 165020 passing Tyseley Station during December 2013. It was heading non-stop towards Leamington Spa, with it's next stop being Solihull. At the time I was doing the unusual journey from Hall Green to Solihull via Tyseley. I would normally get the bus down to Solihull. In terms of Tyseley I can get the 4 or 4A bus there on the Warwick Road (they were previously the no 37 bus). I saw this train again a few hours later at Solihull Station. Seen behind is the Tyseley Energy from Waste Plant at the Tyseley Tip (household and recycling centre for south east Birmingham). You normally see the chimney pumping out fumes!

Seen at platform 4 at Birmingham Moor Street Station during February 2014 was Chiltern Railways 165019. I had just got off this train, having ridden it from Solihull. The train headed over the Bordesley Viaduct quite slowly! These trains are small, but quite comfortable to ride.

I normally only see Class 168's or Class 172's over at Birmingham Snow Hill, so will stop here for now with the Class 165 trains.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC) - May 2019

There has been some windows intalled in the hexagonal frames on the lower floors together with some black sub-cladding. The final steel structure for the upper floors is being constructed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

Related

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC) - May 2019




There has been some windows intalled in the hexagonal frames on the lower floors together with some black sub-cladding. The final steel structure for the upper floors is being constructed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, Centenary Square - May 2019

There is a distinctly maritime look about Centenary Square now that the huge poles (masts?) have been installed! More photos in the full post.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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Birmingham, Centenary Square - May 2019




There is a distinctly maritime look about Centenary Square now that the huge poles (masts?) have been installed! More photos in the full post.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Green travel
04 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sky Ride Birmingham 2012 and 2013

While this event is no longer held in Birmingham, there used to be a Sky Ride event in the city back in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 it was around Edgbaston. In 2013 around Digbeth. Families could ride together along the route wearing a Sky Ride yellow bib! While we haven't had Sky Ride since 2013, a few years later was replaced by Lets Ride Birmingham sponsored by HSBC UK.

Related

Sky Ride Birmingham 2012 and 2013




While this event is no longer held in Birmingham, there used to be a Sky Ride event in the city back in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 it was around Edgbaston. In 2013 around Digbeth. Families could ride together along the route wearing a Sky Ride yellow bib! While we haven't had Sky Ride since 2013, a few years later was replaced by Lets Ride Birmingham sponsored by HSBC UK.


Sky Ride Birmingham 2012: Edgbaston

This event was held on Sunday 19th August 2012.

Seen on the Edgbaston Park Road.

Passing Edgbaston Park at The Vale (University of Birmingham).

Passing a man with Union Jack balloons, looked like a clown with that wig on!

Near the top of Edgbaston Park Road. I think it was bidirectional on this road.

This bunch was turning from Church Road onto Edgbaston Park Road. Barriers round the corner blocked access to Arthur Road.

Sky Ride Birmingham 2013: Digbeth

This event was held on Sunday the 13th September 2013. Around Highgate, Digbeth and Eastside.

Seen on Rea Street South in Highgate. Bidirectional on this road. Many side roads were closed at the time.

Seen on Moseley Street in Highgate.

Passing the Custard Factory on High Street Deritend in Digbeth.

This was seen on River Street in Digbeth. Bidirectional on this section of the route.

On Fazeley Street in Digbeth, heading for Eastside. Hotel La Tour is now the Clayton Hotel. Masshouse on the right. Bidirectional here too!

On New Canal Street in Eastside, between The Woodman pub and Curzon Street Station. The route ended / started near Millennium Point in Eastside City Park.

While there has been no more Sky Ride's in Birmingham since 2013, Birmingham has had Velo Birmingham in September 2017. But that is for professional cyclists. The next Velo will be held on Sunday 12th May 2019 throughout Birmingham and the West Midlands. But there is an event coming for amateur cyclists, Lets Ride Birmingham. Sponsored by HSBC UK. To be held on Sunday 9th June 2019.

I saw this in the window of the HSBC UK bank on Poplar Road in Solihull Town Centre, about Lets Ride. HSBC UK are a proud partner of British Cycling.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
04 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Cannon Hill Park, the Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims - April 2019

In March the memorial to the 31 British victims of the 2015 Sousse Terror Attack in Tunisia was unveiled by Prince Harry in Cannon Hill Park, here's a small gallery of photos of this amazing sculpture called 'Infinate Wave' created by George King Architects.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Cannon Hill Park, the Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims - April 2019




In March the memorial to the 31 British victims of the 2015 Sousse Terror Attack in Tunisia was unveiled by Prince Harry in Cannon Hill Park, here's a small gallery of photos of this amazing sculpture called 'Infinate Wave' created by George King Architects.

Photos by Daniel Sturley


There are 31 stainless steel tubes creating this sculpture, one for each of the 31 British victims.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Transport
03 May 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

From the plane wing at Birmingham Airport

The view from the window on the planes I've been on at Birmingham Airport, usually close to the wing! Either heading off on holiday, or coming back! Airlines in the past included BMI Baby (now defunct), Thomson Airways (now TUI), Monarch (now defunct), Flybe and Jet2.

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From the plane wing at Birmingham Airport




The view from the window on the planes I've been on at Birmingham Airport, usually close to the wing! Either heading off on holiday, or coming back! Airlines in the past included BMI Baby (now defunct), Thomson Airways (now TUI), Monarch (now defunct), Flybe and Jet2.


BMI Baby

It was May 2011, and we were heading off to Provence in the South of France. The airport we were going to was Nice. First off after a delay, an Esso tanker stopped by to fill up the plane with fuel! We went to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon and other places at the time.

One week later and back from Provence and Nice Airport! Next to my BMI Baby plane was an Air France by Britair jet. We had a delay in Nice of around an hour, waiting for the plane to get fuel. May have been a strike on at the time in France.

Air France by Britair seen pulling out. Aer Lingus and Thomson in the background.

Thomson Airways

In June 2012 we were heading for Sorrento and Naples in southern Italy. During the summer of 2012, the air traffic control tower had the Olympic rings on it for the London 2012 Olympic Games (it now has a Flybe sign on it). We came back a week later at night, but my camera at the time wasn't very good at taking night shots out of the plane window! So only daylight heading to Naples Airport! Went to the ruins of Pompeii on that holiday!

Monarch

In June 2014 coming back from Malaga in Spain, after a tour of "Classical Spain", which included stays and visits to Cordoba, Seville, Granada and other places. Here landed back at Birmingham Airport from Malaga Airport. SAS Airlines plane seen in the background.

Air India plane seen from the Monarch plane I was on.

The Monarch plane with yellow tip.

Flybe

Been with Flybe in 2016 and 2017. In June 2016 headed to Lake Como and we went to Milan-Malpensa Airport. This holiday also included visits to Lake Maggiore and a ride on the world famous Bernina Express from Italy to Switzerland.

Flybe wing on my plane, to the tail of the other Flybe plane.

A week later back at Birmingham Airport at the beginning of July 2016. Another Flybe plane seen next to the one I was about to get off! A year later in early June 2017 we flew to Lyon with Flybe. The airport we went to at the time was Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport. That was for a holiday in Lyon and Burgundy, including a stay in Beaune. Including visits to a few abbeys and villages as well as wine tasting in a former convent in Beaune.

Jet2.com

June 2018 and this holiday was to Florence and Tuscany. We went to Pisa Airport. A week later at the beginning of July 2018, landing back at Birmingham Airport. It was in the late evening when we got back (after a few delays at the Pisa end). That week we had also been to Volterra, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and San Gimignano.

My Jet2 plane heading to a stop. Lights on at the terminal at Birmingham Airport.

Another Jet2.com plane seen at Birmingham Airport, shortly before we got off. They have that annoying jingle on the plane, usually when you get on, an when you get off! You know, the one in the TV adverts!

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 May 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

ONE Eastside in Birmingham - this is set to be big!

A 500ft skyscraper is on course to become Birmingham's biggest ever building. Introducing ONE Eastside

Map of the site

Greater Birmingham Developments Map Overview

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ONE Eastside in Birmingham - this is set to be big!




A 500ft skyscraper is on course to become Birmingham's biggest ever building. Introducing ONE Eastside

Map of the site

Greater Birmingham Developments Map Overview


Court Collaboration & Glancy Nicholls Architects have revealed plans for what will be Birmingham’s tallest ever building.

ONE Eastside will have two residential buildings of 15 & 51 storeys (160m) with 667 one and two-bed apartments, as well as various public realms.

It's set to become the tallest building in the city, overtaking the 152m BT Tower, a structure that has dominated the city's skyline for over 53 years.

Artists Impressions by Court Collaboration

Located at the junction of James Watt Queensway and Jennens Road, seconds away from the proposed HS2 Curzon Street Station terminus, the area is expected to drive huge, unprecedented regeneration in the years to come.

The project is being forward funded through a portfolio of global investors including specialised build-to-rent funds, with Court’s aim not just to create something special in this crucial area of the city, but to also push new boundaries when it comes to city centre living.

“We are truly excited about One Eastside. Bringing such a tower of scale to the region and adjacent to the entrance to our new HS2 station, this scheme will create new standards of city centre living for its residents."

"The people who live in these apartments in the city centre have a lot of choice which has forced everyone to up their games, which can only be good news.

"This is a fantastic project for Birmingham and would be a real landmark for the city." - Court Collaboration CEO and founder Anthony McCourt

Indeed, amenities here will include a spacious roof-top sky lounge featuring a bar and dining area for residents, a cinema and a variety of yoga and gym facilities.

There will also be commercial space on the ground floor, plus residents will also be allowed to keep pets at the scheme.

DEMOLITION

The CEAC building (Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry) currently sits on site, however, demolition has already been approved.

Blucon Group will internally strip out the building, remove asbestos before mechanical demolition can take place in the coming weeks ahead.

In the meantime, McCourt continued: "We've been engaged in a detailed pre-application process over the past nine months and done a huge amount of consultation and discussion already.

"We have done a lot of work with Birmingham City Council on this and they have been supportive of height, as long as the design is there as well."

That planning application will arrive shortly, with construction expected to commence in November 2019, with a targeted completion of late 2022. Watch this space!

Artists Impressions from Glancy Nicholls Architects - all pictures are subject to change

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50 passion points
Photography
02 May 2019 - Barry Whitehead
Gallery

10 of the best from our Birmingham with Passion Photographers

Barry has selected 10 photos from his great photography, a talented photographer and one of Birmingham's 'People with Passion' showcased at BirminghamWeAre. 

Open the full post to view Barry's wonderful photography taken in and around Birmingham & Dudley, West Midlands

Enjoy!

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10 of the best from our Birmingham with Passion Photographers




Barry has selected 10 photos from his great photography, a talented photographer and one of Birmingham's 'People with Passion' showcased at BirminghamWeAre. 

Open the full post to view Barry's wonderful photography taken in and around Birmingham & Dudley, West Midlands

Enjoy!


St Phillips Cathedral, Birmingham

 

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands 

 

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

 

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands


 

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham


 

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands

 

Reflections, The Rotunda, Birmingham 

 

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands

 

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands

 

Birmingham at night

Photography by Barry Whitehead

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Apr 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC) - April 2019

The new headquarters for HMRC Midlands, Three Arena Central, is rising fast with the last three floors being constructed and the cladding/window frames being installed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map

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The Construction of Three Arena Central (HMRC) - April 2019




The new headquarters for HMRC Midlands, Three Arena Central, is rising fast with the last three floors being constructed and the cladding/window frames being installed.

Map of the site

Birmingham developments overview map


Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

Photos by Tom Grunt

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70 passion points
Architecture
30 Apr 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

A great selection of architecture & interesting features from in & around the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Here we have selected some great photography of architecture & interesting features taken in & around the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, taken by the very talented Karl Newton.

Open the full post to view Karl's wonderful photography.

Enjoy! 

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A great selection of architecture & interesting features from in & around the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham




Here we have selected some great photography of architecture & interesting features taken in & around the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, taken by the very talented Karl Newton.

Open the full post to view Karl's wonderful photography.

Enjoy! 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photography by  Karl Newton 

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Apr 2019 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Exciting developments by Nikal at Exchange Square, Birmingham, UK - Construction with Community

Exchange Square (Phase 1) is an exciting new urban village development from the guys at Nikal.  

Take the post by Stephen, one of Birmingham's People with Passion and follower of Construction, for more on the development.

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Exciting developments by Nikal at Exchange Square, Birmingham, UK - Construction with Community




Exchange Square (Phase 1) is an exciting new urban village development from the guys at Nikal.  

Take the post by Stephen, one of Birmingham's People with Passion and follower of Construction, for more on the development.


Designed by Stephenson Studio, and being built by Sir Robert McAlpine, this mixed-use scheme on Moor Street Queensway contains three new builds -  one 9 storeys tall, one 16 storeys and the other of 27 storeys - comprising a total of 603 apartments, ranging from studios to one, two and three bedrooms.

Artist Impression by Stephenson Studio

There are rooftop gardens available for residents, plus a new public square will naturally form the heartbeat of the development, and will include 30,000 square foot of prime restaraunt, bar and cafe space fronting onto Moor Street Queensway.

Photo credit: Tom Grunt

Photo credit: Tom Grunt

Photo credit: Tom Grunt

Also included is a 5,000 sq ft residents’ hub, with concierge and members club style private lounge, plus basement car parking for 187 cars and secure cycle storage for 78 bicycles.

Artist Impression by Stephenson Studio

Artist Impression by Stephenson Studio

Phase 2 will see yet more investment, in the form of two new projects. Firstly, a minimum 35-storey tower, also from Nikal. Grainger (the residential landlord) officially forward funded the project late last year.

Also confirmed is a 13-storey, 225-room Premier Inn Hotel, with a Bar + Block steakhouse restaurant, which will formally complete the Exchange Square development.

Birmingham is booming with a sustained period of investment and regeneration in the area showing no signs of stopping. With HS2 and other exciting developments on the horizon, Exchange Square is superbly placed in the thick of it, as this area of the City continues its burgeoning renaissance.

You can view a Live webcam of the build (courtesy of Nikal) at http://nikal.reachtimelapse.co.uk/exchangesquare/

View the full ItsyourBuild coverage of Exchange Square here.

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50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Apr 2019 - FreeTimePays
Introducing

Introducing Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK

Take the post for full details of Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK.

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Introducing Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK




Take the post for full details of Timber Yard, Birmingham, UK.


PROJECT DETAIL:

Timber Yard comprises 379 one, two and three bedroom units arranged over two buildings, with 9 commercial units (10,000 sq ft), a residents’ private gym, club lounge, 95 undercroft car parking spaces, 358 cycle spaces and internal courtyard gardens 

BREAKDOWN OF UNITS:

East Block - 219 apartments offering 1, 2 & 3 bedroom types rising to 12 storeys.
West Block - 160 studio and 1 & 2 bedroom apartments arranged from upper ground to 6th
floor.

207 one bed (55%), 151 two bed (40%), 8 three bed (2%) & 13 studios (3%)

DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS:

Apsley House Capital & Galliard Homes Joint Venture

ARCHITECTS:

Claridge Architects 

CONTRACTOR:

Galliard Construction 

PLANNING APPLICATION: 

2017/09461/PA (Full Planning)

ARTIST'S IMPRESSIONS & IMAGES BY Claridge Architects:

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40 passion points
Architecture
27 Apr 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Aston Hall - April 2019

Here's a small gallery from Aston Hall including some interiors.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Aston Hall - April 2019




Here's a small gallery from Aston Hall including some interiors.

Photos by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Transport
27 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

4651 a National Express West Midlands bus in classic Birmingham City Transport colours

Recently I've kept seeing a National Express West Midlands bus in classic Birmingham City Transport livery colours. 4651 based at Acocks Green usually goes on the 1, 1A, 4 or 4A bus routes. I had a ride of this bus finally in late April 2019 from Carrs Lane, near M & S in Birmingham City Centre to Warwick Road in Acocks Green Village. I've also seen it in Solihull!

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4651 a National Express West Midlands bus in classic Birmingham City Transport colours




Recently I've kept seeing a National Express West Midlands bus in classic Birmingham City Transport livery colours. 4651 based at Acocks Green usually goes on the 1, 1A, 4 or 4A bus routes. I had a ride of this bus finally in late April 2019 from Carrs Lane, near M & S in Birmingham City Centre to Warwick Road in Acocks Green Village. I've also seen it in Solihull!


I first saw this National Express West Midlands bus 4651 in the classic Birmingham City Transport livery during March 2019. It was coming off the 1A bus route from the QE Hospital. I had gotten off the 4A bus and headed to the 11C bus stop on the Westley Road outside of Acocks Green Bowl. I quickly took this photo on my smartphone camera! I've been seeing it again ever since, usually as the 4 or 4A. Sometimes it's on the 1 or 1A bus routes as well. Based at Acocks Green Bus Garage.

I was able to get another photo of 4651 in Solihull. This is the roundabout between Prince's Way, Blossomfield Road, Streetsbrook Road, Lode Lane and Station Road. This was in the middle of April 2019. I think they may have done this livery to celebrate the end of Birmingham City Transport which ended 50 years ago in 1969 when it was taken over by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.

Late April 2019, and I saw 4651 as the 4 at the bus stop on Carrs Lane in Birmingham City Centre, and I caught it towards Acocks Green Village. Didn't take a photo before getting on the bus, but took this from the other side of the Warwick Road, before it resumed it's journey to Solihull Town Centre! The bus stop is close to Wilko and a zebra crossing that I use when I get off the 4 or 4A (was the 37 until July 2018).

I went up to the top deck of 4651 when the bus was at Carrs Lane. I only get photos like this when the top deck is empty (would rather not take it if full of passengers behind me). Sat at the front. Just the standard NXWM interior. Although the seat coverings may have been changed. But they haven't made the interiors look like a classic BCT bus.

Sitting at the front of the bus while on Carrs Lane, above me was the number 4651. The bus windows were more or less dry on the journey to Acocks Green, apart from the odd rain drops, due to the strong winds and light rain outside the bus!

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Transport
27 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Air Rail Link: from Birmingham Airport to Birmingham International Station and vice versa!

Between Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Station is the Air Rail Link, a free mono rail style car that gets passengers between the airport and railway station, or the other way around! It also means you have a convenient link from the Airport to the NEC as well! There is two cars that goes along the raised tracks. The airport end is on the first floor.

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Air Rail Link: from Birmingham Airport to Birmingham International Station and vice versa!




Between Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Station is the Air Rail Link, a free mono rail style car that gets passengers between the airport and railway station, or the other way around! It also means you have a convenient link from the Airport to the NEC as well! There is two cars that goes along the raised tracks. The airport end is on the first floor.


The first photo I took of the Air Rail Link was from outside of Birmingham Airport during November 2015. At this point I had yet to have a ride of it between Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Station, or in the other direction. I wasn't even sure where the station at the Birmingham Airport end was at that point!

Some clearer views from January 2017. Seen from Bickenhill Lane on my walk towards Birmingham International Station. The 966 bus from Solihull (now the X12) normally heads towards Birmingham International Station first before Birmingham Airport, so I got off the bus a stop or two before the station. The X1 bus (formerly the 900) always goes towards Birmingham Airport, before Birmingham International Station first.

Passing the car park at Birmingham International Station. The only windows that you can see out of are front and back. On the sides were Fly Emirates adverts for holidayds to Australia (not good for taking photos out of the windows, so can only do that at the front or back!).

I had a close up look at one of the Air Rail Link vehicles at Birmingham International Interchange Station during January 2017. At this point, wasn't sure if the Air Rail Link was free or if you had to pay. But I later found out that it is free to ride. So that time I ended up going down the escalators and catching an X1 bus back to Birmingham instead!

On to February 2017, and I was back at Birmingham Airport. I still wasn't sure where the Birmingham Airport Station was at this point (later found out that it was on the first floor above the departures check in area). This view was close to the local bus stops. You can catch the X1 to Birmingham or Coventry. The X12 to Solihull or Birmingham. The occasional National Express coach also stops down here.

The Air Rail Link heading past one of the multi-storey car parks at Birmingham Airport. This view was taken from the X1 bus back to Birmingham. I would later try and ride the Air Rail Link during July 2017 for the first time from Birmingham International Station towards Birmingham Airport, to see what it's like.

In July 2017, I finally got a chance to ride the Air Rail Link, while the Big Sleuth trail was on. After getting the bears at Resorts World, I was aware of several little bears at the airport. This vehicle seen from Birmingham International Interchange Station.

I somehow missed the little sleuth bears, as I went down the escalators , thinking that they were in departures near the various check in desks (they weren't). The trail of small bears across Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country was officially called "The Big Sleuth presents the Little Bears Detective Club". They were not that far from Birmingham Airport Station near one of the bars. Eventually time to get the Air Rail Link back to Birmingham International, so I could catch a train to Birmingham New Street!

The Air Rail Link car on the right heading from Birmingham Airport Station to Birmingham International Station. I was waiting for the one on the left to arrive!

And here's the one that I caught to Birmingham International Station back in July 2017. There is two compartments, and the doors have to line up with the glass doors in the station. A bit like the Jubilee Line on the London Underground. The doors must line up so that people can get off, and people can get in!

The seats at the window ends, means if you want to look out, you have to turn around, or stand up. Taking photos out of the sides were obscured by the advertisments, so out of the front window was best. I was on the car heading back to Birmingham International Interchange Station. While the other car was heading back to Birmingham Airport Station!

After arriving at Birmingham International Interchange, I took this photo after the other passengers got off, and before I got off! It's usually full of passengers, and I wouldn't want to take it with them in there! So just a quick photo, before the next load of passengers boarded for Birmingham Airport! As you can see there is only benches at the front or back ends, or standing and holding onto the poles. Even inside was an advert for Emirates to Australia!

For more photos see my album on Flickr, including the photos of the tracks. Birmingham Air-Rail Link, Flickr.

My first YouTube video that I made in August 2018 is here Birmingham Air Rail Link, YouTube. That's mostly a slideshow with the video clip at the end!

My second YouTube video is here from November 2018. Air-Rail Link from Birmingham International Interchange to Birmingham Airport, YouTube. That's the full ride towards the Airport!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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