01 October 2008

Model boat III

Another model boat belonging to a member of the Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club.

30 September 2008

Model boat II

Another model boat belonging to a member of the Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club.

29 September 2008

Model boat I

A model boat belonging to a member of the Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club.

28 September 2008

27 September 2008

Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club building doorway

A closer view of the club building from yesterday.

26 September 2008

Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club building

A small wooden building provides the base for Bournville Model Yacht and Power Boat Club.

Behind me when I took the photo is a small lake/large pond with boats sailing on it. In fact, only the club members are permitted to sail their model craft on the water.

25 September 2008

Hard disk corruption

My hard disk has corrupted. All my photos are on it. Is there no end to this?

I shall carry on posting for as long as possible - I have some uploaded and I shall try and take some more.

I hope this wont be the last straw for my readers :(

Bournville's high street

If we move further towards Bournville's high street, we find a lovely row of old-fashioned shops.

23 September 2008

Bournville Rest House

This rest house was biult to celebrate the Silver Wedding Anniversary of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, but first I should maybe explain about Bournville and its relation to Mr. Cadbury and his now world famous chocolate.

Bournville must be one of the nicest places in Birmingham. To understand how it came to be so, one needs to look back to 1879 when George and Richard Cadbury moved their chocolate factory from Bridge Street (near The Mailbox) in the centre of Birmingham to a rural area near Bournbrook Hall in the hope that it would be easy to develop and there was a canal and railway station nearby, which would be necessary for the transportation of their products. They named this new place after Bourn Brook (known now as The Bourn).

At the time, most workers were paid poor wages and their living conditions were cramped and the working conditions very hard. However, the Cadburys were Quakers and they believed in providing their workers were better accommodation and working conditions (although still nowhere near today's standards). A similar set-up can be found at Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Village near Manchester.

The rest house is now used to house local information.

22 September 2008

Athletic Pavillion, Bournville

Also known as the Cadbury Cricket Pavillion and the Coronation Cricket Pavillion (it was given in commemoration of the coronation of King Edward VII), this impressive building was a gift to the Bournville Cricket Club (from whom, I don't know) and was opened in June 1902.

21 September 2008

Vain statue!

The statue is admiring its own reflection!

I don't think that's the idea, but I don't know who the statue is supposed to be of, so you never know!

The statue is outside the Cadbury World building, Bournville.

20 September 2008

Cadbury World, Bournville

Yesterday's building behind the fence was Cadbury World - a visit to which involves a tour around a museum about the history of chocolate, the Cadbury familiy and their products.

19 September 2008

Through the fence

Does anyone know what the well-known building behind the fence is?

18 September 2008

Juvenile ducks, Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Bournville

Still by the canal, but this time a group of juvenile ducks. Strictly speaking, they're not much to do with Birmingham except that they're Birmingham ducks, but here they are.

17 September 2008

Falstaff, Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Bournville

I've posted two canal pictures already, but I may as well show you one more.

Is 'Falstaff' the name of the boat, or an indication as to its manufacturer or model?

15 September 2008

Barge on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Bournville

About a month ago, I went to Bournville and Selly Oak, in response to a comment from someone asking for photos of the canal there. Unfortunately, I cannot find the comment, so I don't know who posted it, but I can finally say here is a photo!


The phone line has finally been mended!

I'm so sorry for such a long delay, especially after the delays caused by the computer breakage.

As with the previous problems, it may take a while to get back to normal, so please still expect sporadic posting for a (hopefully) short time. Catching up with your posts will also take a while.

Thank you for your patience and for sticking with the blog!


12 August 2008

Complete loss

We have now have a complete loss of service. I am posting this at my workplace (although I'm not actually at work per se). BT are still doing nothing about it.

08 August 2008

Apologies again

I'd just like to apologise for yet another delay in posting to this blog. Our house and four others in our road have an almost complete loss of the use of our telephone lines. The internet connection is slow and very sporadic, involving a lot of browser refreshing, loss of work and loss of patience! Apparently the road needs to be dug up to replace some corroded or damaged cables. The fault was first reported on the 30th July and over a week later nothing has been done about it.

Aside from the fact that we may be missing some important phone calls, I can't post to my blog very easily at all! So, my apologies to you again - sorry for delays so soon after the last problems!

For those of you (Americans *ahem*) who are about to post 'you're on DIAL-UP?!' I want to say that no, I'm not. I don't know what you have over in the States, but using a telephone line for one's internet connection does not necessarily mean dial-up. Just thought I'd let you know, because someone on a forum I belong to was astonished when I told him about the problem and told me to 'get with the times'!

06 August 2008

School Road

You may be forgiven for thinking this photo shows a lane in small village. In fact this is School Road, Moseley, running past a surgery (St. George's, not St. Georg's!), a florist, a hairdressers' shop and a tailor's, before reaching Cambridge Road Methodist Church on a small island with four other roads leading from it.

These long-established shops are some real gems in a country of chain stores and five-minute-wonder independent shops and are even more amazing given that they are in Birmingham. I hope they remain.

05 August 2008

Cambridge Road: leaning lamppost

A lamppost leans rather precariously on Cambridge Road, Moseley!

04 August 2008

Big Dickens Wood forest school

Tucked away in Big Dickens Wood, Dickens Heath is a 'forest school' belonging to, and built by, Tidbury Green School. The forest school is a small area of woodland marked out with blue rope and contains within the boundaries a fire place surrounded by log seats and fences made of logs and sticks from the wood. Around this there are materials suitable for building small shelters. The area is also used for physical education lessons. The school has given the local cubs permission to use it. May I point out that not only is this highly irregular in England in this day and age of over-zealous health and safety, this is downright astounding in Birmingham!*

*Actually it's Solihull, but it has a B postcode, so it's still astounding!

03 August 2008

Tidbury Green wheat field

A field of wheat belonging to Tidbury Green Farm, Tidbury Green, Solihull. Nearby is Big Dickens Wood.

02 August 2008

House extension

It's summer - the time when everyone seems to feel the need to enlarge their houses and so the air is filled with the noise of drills, saws and skip lorries. Here a workman delivers breeze blocks to an already doubled-in-size house in Moseley.

01 August 2008

Highbury Park dog walker

A man walks his Dalmatian in Highbury Park, Kings Heath.

Highbury Park is the estate of Highbury Hall which was created and developed by the Chamberlain family from 1879 to 1914.

The grounds of Highbury Hall were twenty five acres and were landscaped by Edward Milner. Field boundaries were removed to create thirteen acres of parkland, although trees were retained and additional trees were planted.

The gardens followed the changing fashions. A new rose garden was planted in 1890, a 'Dutch' gardern with beds of bulbs edged with terracotta tiles and paths, with a surrounding holly hedge 1901 and an 'Italian' garden in 1902.

By 1903, the grounds extended to over 100 acres, some leased from Richard Cadbury.

Josheph Chamberlain died in 1914. Most of the grounds became a public park in 1930.

Highbury Park has entrances on Alcester Road, Shutlock Lane and Moor Green Lane.

31 July 2008

Birmingham City Council van

Birmingham City Council appear to have applied a new livery to their fleet of vans, roadsweepers etc. Vehicles which used to be white are now green and have the Birmingham coat of arms on the sides. Here's one such van (sorry the front is cut off) on the corner of Blenheim Road and Billesley Lane.

30 July 2008

Lamppost base (green and silver)

There are several different styles of lamppost in Birmingham. This particular one can be found on Blenheim Road, just off Billesley Lane, Moseley.

Although painted in new colours relatively recently, this was almost certainly made before 1977, as the coat of arms are emblazoned using the design granted in 1889 and used until 1977.

See post Birmingham coat of arms - Council House gate for more information on heraldry and the Birmingham coat of arms.

29 July 2008

Onboard a Birmingham bus

Back seat of a Travel West Midlands Dennis Trident 2, complete with the usual litter.

28 July 2008

Victoria Wine --> Threshers

I reported on Friday that Victoria Wine was repainted red. Actually, the post was a bit late because I (shock horror!) schedule some posts in advance, and that one got posted later than I had inteded, so by the time it was posted, I knew the secret of why it was red anyway.

So, anyway, it's tme to show you some photos of its transition.

The new signs and a pile of old letters.

Now this one makes me cringe. I'll tell you why. When taking photos of people, especially random people in the street, you have to be confident and friendly and you have to communicate well if they take being photographed the wrong way. Unfortunately, while I can communicate well (I think!), I'm not very confident, so when these men turned round, I got really worried and I think I asked them in a weak voice 'do you mind?' (!) and mumbled something about a photoblog, when what I really meant was 'do you mind if I photograph you for my photoblog?'. I hope they didn't take it the wrong way. Personally, I think they just thought I was nuts!

The completed Threshers.

27 July 2008

Bus shelter at night

Today, rather than show you parks and nice old buildings, I thought I'd show you something a bit more Birminghamesque - a dirty, graffitied bus shelter.

This one is outside Solihull College, Blossomfield Road.

26 July 2008

Victoria Wine...but it's red?

Victoria Wine is traditionally green, but here's one which has been newly painted--but it's red.

They need to sort the 'R' out too!

(Billesley Lane/Southlands Road)

See map

25 July 2008

Telephone Boxes: No. 2 in a series

An old red telephone box on the corner of Billesley Lane and Southlands Road, photographed at night.

Sadly, the telephone box is often vandalised. I just hope they don't remove it.

24 July 2008

I received a reply today (24th July) from the council about the second pool in Swanshurst Park (mentioned on the 20th July post 'Swanshurst Park: Fenced off'):

Hello [name] - thank you for your recent enquiry regarding pools in Swanshurst Park. The second pool identified on the website relates to a pool/boggy wetland area located in the bottom portion of the park. During winter this is quite a large body of shallow water but in drier months tends to dry out and become more boggy.

Hope this answers your question


Swanshurst Park: Don't fall in!

The water's so shallow you could probably stand up in the middle and they've recently built up the sides with gravel to make it even shallower at the edges. But still, here's a life belt just in case you need it!

23 July 2008

Swanshurst Park: Mallard with duckling

There are many ducklings on the water at Swanshurst Park, some tiny, some this size. The duck and duckling shown here are mallards.

You're probably quite familiar with the mallard as it's very common, but just in case you're not, here's some information.

Mallards are widespead and very common throughout the UK. The male has a dark green head, a yellow beak, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill. Mallards eat seeds, acorns, berries, plants, insects and shellfish.

22 July 2008

Swanshurst Park: Afternoon sun

The houses behind line Yardley Wood Road.

21 July 2008

Swanshurst Park: Baby coots

Two baby coots with their mother (or possibly father).

In case you don't know much about coots and would like to know a little more, I'll give you some quick facts. The coots in the UK are year-round residents, although they are not present in the far north and west areas of Scotland. They are known as the common coot or the Eurasian coot, with the scientific name Fulica atra. They are black all over, except for their white beak and 'shield' above the beak. Instead of having webbed feet, their toes have lobes of skin. They eat vegetation, snails and insect larvae.

20 July 2008

Swanshurst Park: Fenced off

This new fence at Swanshurst Park is a typical example of excessive safety measures put in place by Birmingham City Council and is also typical of the emerging 'nanny state'. Thankfully, the fence is only around part of the lake/pond.

Swanshurst Park is a fairly small park off Swanshurst Lane and Yardley Wood Road, comprising a sloping field, a few grassy paths and a path around a small lake/large pond.

Until the end of the Second World War, the park was used as common grazing land, then the land was given to the City as parkland and a nine hole pitch and putt were added in the 1950s. In the 1990s this was closed down and most of the site has returned to its more natural heathland condition making it an important nature conservation habitat.

According to Birmingham City Council's website, there are two large pools within the park, but I only know of one and Google Maps shows only one. I've sent an enquiry to the council about this - it will be interesting to hear from them about it.

EDIT: I received a reply today (24th July) from the council:

Hello [name] - thank you for your recent enquiry regarding pools in Swanshurst Park. The second pool identified on the website relates to a pool/boggy wetland area located in the bottom portion of the park. During winter this is quite a large body of shallow water but in drier months tends to dry out and become more boggy.

Hope this answers your question


05 July 2008

Salvation Army: A moment of reflection

Another photo of the Salvation Army in the city centre

04 July 2008

Radisson SAS, Holloway Head

It's a hotel, apparently - that Radisson SAS hotel to be specific. It's a good example of a building which looks modern now but will probably look terribly dated in a few years time.

It's situated opposite the pagoda on Holloway Circus and has thirty-nine stories comprising 211 bedrooms. It also has free broadband (including wireless), a health and fitness centre, conferencing facilities, an Italian cuisine-inspired restaurant and a bar.

03 July 2008

Telephone boxes: No. 1 in a series

An unusual black and yellow specimin on Ladywell Walk in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham city centre.

02 July 2008

No respect for the dead

I thought I'd just return to All Saints Church just to show you the bus stop outside. The church has a graveyard around the front and side (I don't know about the back), with a low wall bhind the bus stop. People waiting for the bus sit on this wall and as Kings Heath has its fair share of rather unsavoury characters, the gravestones are often spat on and covered with litter and chewing gum. Many of the gravestones are flat ones embedded horizontally in the ground, but graveyard or not, spitting and littering is disgusting. But that's Kings Heath for you...

01 July 2008

Hedges Buildings

I expect that most people walking along Kings Heath High Street don't look up at the buildings they are passing - they probably see a row of shops, but if they look above the shiny windows and illuminated signs, they might just see a hint of what the buildings were before.

Look up...

...a bit higher...

...and a bit closer...

And at the corner...

These are, obviously, known as the Hedges Buildings. They are Victorian Buildings, but other than that I don't know much about them, so I will try to find something out.

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