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Transport
31 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Westside Metro Extension on Broad Street

Despite the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, there has been a lot ot progress on the Westside Metro Extension from Centenary Square towards the Hagley Road, just beyond Five Ways in Edgbaston. Here we will look at the building of it from April 2015 to December 2020 on Broad Street with gaps from Feb to July 2020 and Nov 2020 due to the lockdowns.

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The Westside Metro Extension on Broad Street





Despite the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, there has been a lot ot progress on the Westside Metro Extension from Centenary Square towards the Hagley Road, just beyond Five Ways in Edgbaston. Here we will look at the building of it from April 2015 to December 2020 on Broad Street with gaps from Feb to July 2020 and Nov 2020 due to the lockdowns.


Westside Metro Extension on Broad Street

Most progress was done during the various lockdowns in 2020. Especially in the months where I was unable to travel to the City Centre (until I had to go back to work in July). I also missed November (2nd lockdown, until I went back to work). Didn't really get around to checking the extension out again until late December 2020.

They have started to install Brindleyplace Tram Stop. I had a walk down on Broad Street on Christmas Eve to see it.

Enjoy this photo gallery from April 2015 to December 2020. Track laying began at the end of 2019, and they made a lot of progress during 2020, while Westside was quiet.

25th April 2015.

In April 2015, early signs on Broad Street of utility works between the future site of The Bank and The Mercian.

A lorry and van from the National Grid were on site in front of Zara's starting to move the undeground pipes and cables.

5th April 2017.

Just under the link bridge from the Hyatt to Symphony Hall. More utility diverence works. This time by Pier (UK) Ltd.

10th February 2018.

This view of Broad Street zoomed in from the Library of Birmingham's Secret Garden. Buses were still going up and down Broad Street at the time. This was close to Lee Longlands and Novotel.

15th February 2018.

Views from the top deck of the X10 NXWM Platinum bus, emerging from the Five Ways Underpass near the Five Ways Complex.

Was a lot of traffic here due to the roadworks close to Pryzm.

Traffic was diverted around to the right, with temporary traffic lights. Welcome to the City Centre.

It's hard to imagine Broad Street like this now, as it's been closed to traffic since 2019.

There was even a big hole in the road near Uber, at the corner of Ryland Street.

26th March 2018.

I was on a no 23 NXWM Platinum bus on the top deck, while the 24 was in front. Cones in the middle of the road, while more utilities were diverted near the O Bar.

Near the end of Broad Street approaching Centenary Square, and about to go under the link bridge from Symphony Hall to the Hyatt Regency Birmingham. This view would change a lot in the follow two years.

21st December 2019.

View from the no 24 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus from the top deck, looking towards Broad Street from Five Ways Island. Tracks had already been laid in the Five Ways underpass from Hagley Road to Broad Street.

3rd February 2020.

The road had been dug up and was gates at certain sections, near where pedestrians could cross the road. This was near the Bierkeller Entertainment Complex towards the Five Ways Complex.

22nd February 2020.

The footpath near Symphony Hall was closed, you had to cross through the temporary path towards the Hyatt Regency Birmingham.

Between Regency Wharf and Symphony Hall, it looked like a warzone! No road surface.

Towards Centenary Square, you can see Library Tram Stop in the distance.

14th July 2020.

First time back on Broad Street for about 4 months due to the first lockdown (I'd gone back to work). Tram tracks had been laid near Reflex '80s Bar (The Crown), Walkabout and towards The Brasshouse.

25th July 2020.

Tracks going all the way past Cineworld on Broad Street, down into the underpass below Five Ways Island.

The other side of the fence up Broad Street past the Five Ways Complex, towards The Bank, The Mercian and the Hampton by Hilton Hotel (Cumberland House).

29th August 2020.

Near Regency Wharf and the Solomon Cutler Wetherspoon. The road surface had yet to be filled up.

12th September 2020.

You could now walk down the middle of Broad Street. They were now doing the paving in front of the O Bar and Walkabout. As well as the paving on the Black Sabbath Bridge.

Near the Solomon Cutler Wetherspoon at Regency Wharf. You could walk over part of the track that goes towards Five Ways.

16th September 2020.

Now you can see the track that was installed to connect to the end of the current line at Library Tram Stop.

From Centenary Square at Library Tram Stop, where the tracks are connected to the existing line.

19th October 2020.

Near Brindleyplace, Free Radio and Popworld.

The tracks and the road surface were more or less complete near the Five Ways Complex.

25th October 2020.

My last major walk of the Westside Metro extension before the 2nd lockdown was announced. Seen here near Cineworld (which had closed down again) and Pryzm at the Five Ways Complex.

The freshly laid road surface not far from Revolution.

Autumn leaves on the tracks near Dil Bar Indian Restaurant.

Paving works between Symphony Hall and the Solomon Cutler at Regency Wharf. You could walk down the tracks.

They had already started to lay bricks on the new tracks near Centenary Square, with this view of the Library of Birmingham.

They had made a lot of progress since my previous update of this view, looked almost finished.

19th December 2020.

Headed to the Black Sabbath Bridge, as the Black Sabbath Bench is now back in place. Brickwork towards Walkabout and O Bar is now complete.

Looking towards The Brasshouse and Three Brindleyplace. All it needs now is the four Broad Street Walk of Stars of the Black Sabbath members to be laid, but that would mean removing the newly laid bricks!

24th December 2020. 

The view on Broad Street towards Five Ways. Cineworld has been closed since the middle of October. Buses have to divert down Ryland Street.

Similar to the October view, but all the autumn leaves have long since been cleared up.

Towards the so called Broad Street Cluster.

There is the usual shutdown over the Christmas holidays.

Can walk down the middle of the tracks past Novotel and Travelodge.

First view of Brindleyplace Tram Stop near Free Radio and Popworld.

The start of the building of the tram platforms near Brindleyplace.

Towards the Black Sabbath Bridge with what was The Crown ('80s Reflex Bar) and The ICC.

A lot of strong winter sunshine on Broad Street, was close to Walkabout here.

Looking back at the Black Sabbath Bridge.

Towards Centenary Square, the link bridge from Symphony Hall to the Hyatt.

From just in front of Library Tram Stop, the Westside Metro extension to Five Ways starts here.

27th December 2020.

View of Broad Street from Five Ways Island on the no 24 NXWM Platinum bus towards the so called Broad Street Cluster. Tracks below emerging from the Five Ways underpass. I expect they will build a tram stop near Cineworld sometime in 2021.

Also check out my Hagley Road, Edgbaston post .

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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110 passion points
Transport
31 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road, Edgbaston

The tail end of the Westside Metro extension is being built at Hagley Road in Edgbaston, just beyond Five Ways. It goes past the Morrisons supermarket and Starbucks Coffee and will end outside of the refurbished Fifty4 Hagley Road. As of late December 2020, they have laid the tracks but yet to build up the road or pavement surface around most of it. Photo gallery from 2017 - 2020.

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The Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road, Edgbaston





The tail end of the Westside Metro extension is being built at Hagley Road in Edgbaston, just beyond Five Ways. It goes past the Morrisons supermarket and Starbucks Coffee and will end outside of the refurbished Fifty4 Hagley Road. As of late December 2020, they have laid the tracks but yet to build up the road or pavement surface around most of it. Photo gallery from 2017 - 2020.


Westside Metro Extension on Hagley Road

One day from the end of 2021 onwards, West Midlands Metro trams will emerge from the Five Ways underpass, coming from Broad Street. Then will come to the end of the extension on Hagley Road in Edgbaston, this takes it past the Morrisons supermarket, with Starbucks Coffee at the end. But will end at the tram stop that will be built outside of Fifty4 Hagley Road.

The Five Ways underpass has been closed to all traffic since 2019, and they have to go on a diversion around Five Ways Island.

Beyond the end of the line, it was proposed that Sprint would continue down Hagley Road, but not sure what has happened to that. It would take a very long time to extend the line even further (as far as Bearwood and Quinton), but that seems unlikely for now.

1st October 2017.

The view from the wide pavement outside of Tricorn House. I thought they could built the line here (at the time). View towards Morrisons and Fifty4 Hagley Road, near where the line would eventually be built in 2020.

But they would eventually build the extension outside of Morrisons towards Starbucks Coffee.

You can see how wide the pavement was at the time at this side of Hagley Road back in 2017. The bus stops, lampposts, etc would all have to go.

A view towards the offices at Fifty4 Hagley Road. Just some barriers on the pavement. Trees and grass that would have to go.

15th February 2018.

A bus ride from the top deck of the X10 NXWM Platinum bus, as it passed Morrisons and the Marriott Hotel (on the right).

Cones in the middle of the road. Opposite was also a Pizza Hut Delivery place for take away.

The bus leaves Hagley Road, heading down the Five Ways Underpass towards Broad Street.

There was a digital billboard that you can see as you head under Five Ways Island.

View from the bus in the Five Ways Underpass. A view runners of the Great Birmingham Run used to have until a few years ago. Broad Street is at the end of the white light!

29th June 2019.

The view from the top of Hagley Road. The Five Ways Underpass to the left. It would be hard to get views of the Metro extension around the tunnel if you were on the pavement, especially with traffic going past.

21st December 2019.

One way to see a view of the tram tracks being laid was from the top deck of a bus going around Five Ways Island. This view towards Hagley Road past The Lansdowne, early track laying progress. This was taken from the top deck of the no 24 NXWM Platinum bus. By now going on a diversion to the City Centre.

23rd December 2019.

Saw these pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers just beyond Morrisons on the Hagley Road.

There was also some pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers in front of Fifty4 Hagley Road. All of that grass and young trees have been removed for the extension in the year since.

4th January 2020.

A view of the Five Ways Underpass with the tracks that had been laid. This was the view zoomed in from the window at Morrisons Cafe. This was my last photo of the extension on Hagley Road before the pandemic was declared, and we had those lockdowns and restrictions.

31st July 2020.

With restrictions eased by the summer, I was back to work in the middle of July. On a day off I headed towards the Hagley Road on a warm day to see The Two Towers again. Was lots of cones and barriers on the right.

There was also a lot of traffic trying to get past Fifty4 Hagley Road. As only one lane was open.

25th October 2020.

I heard that the crossing on the Hagley Road near Starbucks was closed, so that day I went to have a drink and toastie inside of Starbucks. Then got these photos of the tracks that had been laid. A bit awkward with the fences in the way.

Completed tracks emerging from the Five Ways underpass onto the Hagley Road, in from of Tricorn House and Cobalt Square.

There was a bus stop in use on the left, but all other traffic had to go to the right.

24th December 2020.

Christmas Eve, and I got off the no 1 bus on Highfield Road, and walked to Hagley Road to see the latest progress of the extension.  Starting from Fifty4 Hagley Road. This was near the old Birmingham 1 mile sign.

Bit of a mess outside of Fifty4 Hagley Road, but there is tracks laid just up ahead.

The tracks that have been installed in front of Barclays, towards Morrisons.

Cross over tracks just beyond Starbucks. Bright sunshine.

A path has been built towards Starbucks Coffee, with bricks in the middle. I'm not sure if they were open for takeaway or not.

Tracks in the direction of Fifty4 Hagley Road, past Barclays. You can see the cross over tracks. A lot of litter needs to be picked up when they resume in January 2021.

The tracks towards Morrisons. This was the wide pavement. Trees on the right survive next to the dry cleaning place.

Last photo, of water logged tracks that come out of the Five Ways underpass. With traffic waiting on the Hagley Road, having just come on from Five Ways Island.

27th December 2020.

The day after Boxing Day, I got the bus to Harborne, then caught a no 24 NXWM Platinum bus from Harborne Road, Edgbaston. Got the updated view of the tram tracks going in and out of the Five Ways underpass from Five Ways Island.

The bus stopped at traffic lights, so was able to get a second view. The tracks heading towards Morrisons and Fifty4 Hagley Road. Seems to be concrete barriers in the middle for some reason.

See also my Broad Street post.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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110 passion points
Classic Architecture
11 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Joe at the University of Birmingham from 2018 to 2020

While during the lockdown / pandemic you are not allowed to go onto the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston you can see Old Joe for miles around the campus. Views here taken between 2018 and 2020. Up until early March 2020 I could still go onto the campus (now it's not possible without an ID). Named after Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University.

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Old Joe at the University of Birmingham from 2018 to 2020





While during the lockdown / pandemic you are not allowed to go onto the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston you can see Old Joe for miles around the campus. Views here taken between 2018 and 2020. Up until early March 2020 I could still go onto the campus (now it's not possible without an ID). Named after Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University.


OLD JOE:

JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN MEMORIAL CLOCK TOWER

 

Find my old post comparing the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower here to the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy.

Old Joe on Twitter.

Some history about the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower aka Old Joe. Built from 1900 until 1908, it was the tallest building in Birmingham until 1965, when the BT Tower opened. Designed by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell who were responsible for the initial phase of building the University in the Edwardian period. The tower was based on the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy (see the link above to my old comparison post).

The tower commemorated Joseph Chamberlain who was the First Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. It is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world. It is over 100 metres tall (possibly as high as 110 metres). The tower is Grade II listed and it can be seen for miles around the campus. As far away as the Lickey Hills and Waseley Hills (for instance). Even from nearby parks and suburbs. It is thought that Old Joe was the inspiration for the Eye of Sauron in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

2018

January 2018 from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park. Old Joe on the City Skyline

March 2018: From Vincent Drive overlooking the Cross City Line. The new University of Birmingham Library with Old Joe.

May 2018: Seen from the Bristol Road in Edgbaston, when they got the clock working again!

June 2018: View from Winnie Road in Selly Oak around the time that Old Joe won the World Cup of Birmingham's Best Buildings! on Twitter (held by I Choose Birmingham).

July 2018: Visible from the Bourn Brook Way not far from Harborne Lane in Selly Oak.

November 2018: A close up view from the Chancellors Court at the University of Birmingham.

2019

January 2019: From the Green Heart at the University of Birmingham (before it was completed later that year).

February 2019: In this view from the Bristol Road, Selly Oak, before the Selly Oak Railway Bridge of 1931.

April 2019: Heading down Cartland Road in Stirchley, could see Old Joe between the roofs of houses.

August 2019: Not far from the Bramall Music Building. The clock was once again stuck at 12 on all sides.

October 2019: The view from Bournbrook Road in Selly Park, heading towards Selly Oak.

December 2019: Old Joe was visible on the skyline from Sir Herbert Austin Way in Northfield.

2020

January 2020: Heading towards the Poynting Building from the Guild of Students over a footbridge with this view.

March 2020: One of my last shots of Old Joe before the lockdown began earlier in the month. Clocks stuck at 12 again.

May 2020: The first time I'd seen Old Joe in two months due to the lockdown. This view from Cannon Hill Park.

May 2020: Also saw Old Joe from Highbury Park, not far from Joseph Chamberlain's former home Highbury Hall.

May 2020: Walking back from Weoley Castle past Selly Oak Park down Gibbins Road saw this view of Old Joe.

June 2020: Saw this view of Old Joe from the Waseley Hills Country Park, before I zoomed in on the skyline.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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90 passion points
Environment & green action
08 Dec 2020 - Christine Wright
Gallery

Kings Heath Park - a much loved green space in the Birmingham suburbs

Take the full post for a selection of photos looking at the life of Kings Heath Park throughout the seasons. 

The park is managed by Birmingham City Council, with the help of a team of local volunteers, the 'Friends of Kings Heath Park'.

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Kings Heath Park - a much loved green space in the Birmingham suburbs





Take the full post for a selection of photos looking at the life of Kings Heath Park throughout the seasons. 

The park is managed by Birmingham City Council, with the help of a team of local volunteers, the 'Friends of Kings Heath Park'.


All photography by Christine Wright.

Find out more about the 'Friends of Kings Heath Park' by connecting here.

Kings Heath Park is centered on the Park House which was built in 1832 for the MP, William Congreve Russell. In 1880, it was bought by John Cartland (ancestor of the author Barbara Cartland, lover of pinkness and author of  romantic novels!).

The land was sold to the council and opened as a public park in 1908. The building houses council offices and the Cartland Tea Rooms.

Plants are available for sale in the nursery at Kings Heath Park.

Let's take a look at the Park though the seasons :

Photography by Christine Wright.

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150 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Dec 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

Birmingham's 103 Colmore Row is now externally completed!

103 Colmore Row is now externally completed with the last few panels installed on 26th November. The building is stunning and looks so different from different angles and in various lighting conditions. Take the full article for construction photos up to December 1st.

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Birmingham's 103 Colmore Row is now externally completed!





103 Colmore Row is now externally completed with the last few panels installed on 26th November. The building is stunning and looks so different from different angles and in various lighting conditions. Take the full article for construction photos up to December 1st.


15th November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

16th November 2020

Photos by Elliott Brown

20th November 2020

22nd November 2020

23rd November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

26th November 2020

Photos by Elliott Brown

26th November 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

30th November 2020

Photo by Elliott Brown

1st December 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

See the full gallery with many more photos not highlighted in this update:

https://www.itsyourbuild.com/kms/dmart.aspx?strTab=ProjectTimeline&PageType=item&filter_ViewArticle=N&filter_ViewPosts=N&filter_ViewGallery=Y&filter_SurveyId=105543#Content

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90 passion points
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