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Squares and public spaces
16 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

From the Flame of Hope to the Countdown clock to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

On Commonwealth Day the countdown clock to the Commonwealth Games 2022 was unveiled in Birmingham's Centenary Square. I was unaware of it until I saw it on Twitter. So headed down to Centenary Square several days later. Here we will also look at the Flame of Hope which was near the Library of Birmingham site from 1999 to 2009.

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From the Flame of Hope to the Countdown clock to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games





On Commonwealth Day the countdown clock to the Commonwealth Games 2022 was unveiled in Birmingham's Centenary Square. I was unaware of it until I saw it on Twitter. So headed down to Centenary Square several days later. Here we will also look at the Flame of Hope which was near the Library of Birmingham site from 1999 to 2009.


The Flame of Hope

Seen in Centenary Square during April 2009 was The Flame of Hope. This was the first day (at the time) that I took a camera around Birmingham and that included in Centenary Square. Behind was the site of the Library of Birmingham due to open in 2013. Also there at the time was the Spirit of Enterprise fountain. Both went into storage before construction of the Library began, where they remain to this day.

In this cropped view of the Flame of Hope towards Baskerville House. By this point the flame had been turned off for a few years.

It looked impressive, with a globe and where the flame was once lit up at the top at the turn of the Millennium, sadly it wasn't to last.

After this, I never saw the Flame of Hope again, as it was removed to storage before the prepatory works for the Library of Birmingham had begun.

Countdown clock to Birmingham 2022

The countdown clock was unveiled on Commonwealth Day during March 2020. A few days later, I had free time, so travelled to Centenary Square to see it. Passing through The Mailbox, while BBC Midlands Today was on, I noticed that they were reporting at it live, so I went to have a coffee in Brindleyplace before checking it out.

By the time I got there, BBC Birmingham was gone. This view from the back towards HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square.

The countdown timer is not on this side. From here you can see HSBC UK, 3 Arena Central, the Municipal Bank and The Cube. West Midlands Metro tram 27 was at Library Tram Stop.

This side view of the countdown clock towards the Hyatt, Symphony Hall and The ICC. With tram 27 to the left.

Now for the first view with the Library of Birmingham. At the time of my visit with 867 days to go.

A more central view towards the Library of Birmingham. 867 days, 4 hours, 47 minutes and 00 seconds.

Popped over to Library Tram Stop for some views with West Midlands Metro tram 27 (OLA lime green adverts). The countdown clock to Birmingham 2022 was to the right.

Close up to the front of the tram with the countdown clock to the right. Would have gone down the path near HSBC UK but it was closed off, so headed back into Centenary Square instead.

Heading around the Hall of Memory, got this view to the corner between The ICC and The REP.

Got one more view from near the Hall of Memory towards the foyer works at Symphony Hall.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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70 passion points
Civic pride
26 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Frederick G. Burnaby: a candidate for a Birmingham MP in 1880 who has an obelisk in Cathedral Square

Have you seen a large obelisk in Cathedral Square near Birmingham Cathedral? It is in memory of Frederick G. Burnaby, a one time Conservative Party candidate to be an MP in Birmingham (in 1880 but he lost). Who died in 1885 at the Battle of Abu Klea, Sudan. The obelisk is close to Temple Row. One side says Khiva 1875 and the other Abu Klea 1885.

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Frederick G. Burnaby: a candidate for a Birmingham MP in 1880 who has an obelisk in Cathedral Square





Have you seen a large obelisk in Cathedral Square near Birmingham Cathedral? It is in memory of Frederick G. Burnaby, a one time Conservative Party candidate to be an MP in Birmingham (in 1880 but he lost). Who died in 1885 at the Battle of Abu Klea, Sudan. The obelisk is close to Temple Row. One side says Khiva 1875 and the other Abu Klea 1885.


Have you ever seen this obelisk in Cathedral Square near Birmingham Cathedral (with the church grounds of St Philip's Cathedral Birmingham) and wondered who it is for? For a war that no one remembers from the late 19th century.

It is in memory of Frederick Burnaby. Born in Bedford on the 3rd March 1842. He died at Abu Klea, Sudan on the 17th January 1885 (aged 42). He had various military adventures overseas including in the Khanate of Khiva during March 1875. He unsuccessfully stood as a Conservative Party candidate to be an Member of Parliament for Birmingham in 1880. His second attempt in 1885 was also unsuccessful (he died in January 1885 and the election was between November and December 1885 so he couldn't had stood, but he must have hoped to be a candidate again in 1884 before he was killed in action). In the 1880 election, the Liberal Party won three seats including John Bright and Joseph Chamberlain. It was a Liberal hold.

The obelisk was unveiled by Lord Charles Beresford on the 13th November 1885. It is a tall Portland stone obelisk, and contins the inscriptions "Khiva 1875" and "Abu Klea 1885" as well as a portrait bust.

The Burnaby obelisk is Grade II lised. It has been listed since 1970.

 

My earliest photos of the Burnaby obelisk was taken during May 2009. This view towards Birmingham Cathedral, with the dome on the left.

Close up of the portrait bust of Frederick Burnaby. Most people just pass this and wouldn't even know who this Victorian man even was!

Not taken many recent photos of the obelisk over the years since, I mostly pass through without getting new photos of it. In May 2017 the flags were at half mast after the Manchester Terror Attack at the Manchester Arena (22nd May 2017). The Burnaby obelisk is seen here between the Union Jack and England flag. This was around a week after that attack.

Seen during Early November 2019 from Temple Row. There was leaves on the lawn in Cathedral Square. The Burnaby obelisk seen to the right while the Cathedral was to the left.

Some new photos of the Burnaby obelisk taken in February 2020, as I was thinking of doing this post. This view towards Temple Row. It says Burnaby on this side. There is now plants planted at the bottom on all sides of the obelisk.

Close up of Burnaby. Could do with a clean up at the bottom of the obelisk.

Khiva 1875. You can see the new 103 Colmore Row rising on the right.

Abu Klea 1885. This was where Frederick Burnaby died. Hence he never lived to stand for a second time as a Birmingham Conservative MP. Although the Liberal's won again near the end of 1885, there was more than one Birmingham seat. This view towards St Philip's Place.

In the end the obelisk was unveiled a few weeks before the 1885 General Election. And it's been on this spot for almost 135 years.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
20 Feb 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Constructon of Symphony Hall - February 2020 update

The Symphony Hall extension is rapidly progressing.  It will look spectacular. 

Stephen and Dan have been watching and have documented the development every step of the way. See their February 2020 update here.

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Constructon of Symphony Hall - February 2020 update





The Symphony Hall extension is rapidly progressing.  It will look spectacular. 

Stephen and Dan have been watching and have documented the development every step of the way. See their February 2020 update here.


HOW SYMPHONY HALL WILL LOOK ONCE FINISHED

The development will provide a state-of-the-art performance space to host 
free and affordable events, improved bars, cafes, seating and hospitality experiences. 

It will also become home for Symphony Hall's Learning and Participation programme, which will include spaces for teaching, performance, and rehearsals. The Box Office and welcome desk will also be relocated to a much more prominent position.

The new look will provide Symphony Hall with a curved sweep of the façade, centred on the Hall of Memory across the square. Two new entrances will be created, both providing quick and direct access from Centenary Square.

Artists Impressions from Page/Park Architects

LATEST PROGRESS ON SITE:

February 14th:

Photos by Stephen Giles

EARLIER THIS MONTH

February 7th:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

4th February:

Photos by Stephen Giles

Photos by Daniel Sturley

January 2020:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

What's happening at 103 Colmore Row - take our January 2020 update

Take this post for a superb picture update of 103 Colmore Row from Birmingham's People with Passion Daniel, Tom & Karl. Steelwork continues its upward trajectory to the ninth floor, plus an exclusive first glimpse at the glass cladding, which was delivered a week ago. Update by our follower of construction Mr Stephen Giles.

 

 

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What's happening at 103 Colmore Row - take our January 2020 update





Take this post for a superb picture update of 103 Colmore Row from Birmingham's People with Passion Daniel, Tom & Karl. Steelwork continues its upward trajectory to the ninth floor, plus an exclusive first glimpse at the glass cladding, which was delivered a week ago. Update by our follower of construction Mr Stephen Giles.

 

 


Work has re-commenced on site soon after the well-earned Christmas and New Year break.

Steelwork is back on the rise, now reaching levels 8 & 9, but without doubt the biggest news saw the first batch delivery of glass panels delivered on Wednesday (January 15th).

Having arrived from Italy, the panels have been designed by the Italian firm, Focchi; a specialist in window and curtain walling systems. 

This latest update shows the fantastic progress being made on site, but also shows an exclusive first glimpse of the cladding.

Enjoy!

Photo by BobB1

Photos by Tom Grunt

Photo by Karl Newton

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photo credit to Sterling Property Ventures

Words by Stephen Giles

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
17 Jan 2020 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square - January 2020

With PwC's One Chamberlain Square complete and the staff having moved in it is time to say bye to this particular build on our construction feature, but it will be moved to the Modern Architecture feature from now on. Here are some recent photos of this fantastic addition to the city.

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Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square - January 2020





With PwC's One Chamberlain Square complete and the staff having moved in it is time to say bye to this particular build on our construction feature, but it will be moved to the Modern Architecture feature from now on. Here are some recent photos of this fantastic addition to the city.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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