People & community
30 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Halloween Decorations around Kings Heath on the 31st October 2020

We are closer to a Covid Christmas now than Halloween. But on the afternoon of the 31st October 2020, I had one last walk around Kings Heath before the 2nd lockdown announcment. Mainly to see those flower planters on closed roads. But also saw Halloween decorations in front of houses, in windows etc. Pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs!

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Halloween Decorations around Kings Heath on the 31st October 2020





We are closer to a Covid Christmas now than Halloween. But on the afternoon of the 31st October 2020, I had one last walk around Kings Heath before the 2nd lockdown announcment. Mainly to see those flower planters on closed roads. But also saw Halloween decorations in front of houses, in windows etc. Pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs!


HALLOWEEN KINGS HEATH, 31ST OCTOBER 2020

A month late, but Happy Halloween! The Nightmare Before Christmas! It was heavily raining on the morning of the 31st October 2020, and with a dry spell in the afternoon, I got the 11C bus to Kings Heath. Mainly to see the Low Traffic Neighbourhood around Kings Heath. But couldn't help notice some houses had Halloween decorations out at the time. It was rumoured that another lockdown was coming, but it wasn't confirmed until later that day.

 

Halloween bunting spotted on a hedge on Colmore Road in Kings Heath.

 

Passing Vicarage Road and Kings Heath Park and onto Avenue Road. Saw this window with these decorations inside. The Day of the Dead!

 

Then onto Highbury Road. Social Distance Trick or Treaters Welcome Here! Skeleton on the wall.

 

Later after seeing the last of the LTN flower planters went down Springfield Road to get the 11A bus home.

Various Halloween decorations around this tree plus a hand!

Cobwebs around this telegraph pole and on the bushes.

More Halloween decorations in this window with the blue plaque for Miss Minnie May (who was a Teacher of Dressmaking that lived here in 1939).

Near the end of the road was this pair of carved pumpkins. Looks like a bat.

A more traditional scary Halloween pumpkin carving!

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

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Art; Culture & creativity
24 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Christmas lights around the Retail BID past and present

The Christmas lights as seen after dark around Birmingham City Centre in the Retail BID area past and present. The last Frankfurt Christmas Market was in 2019. The 2020 market was cancelled due to the pandemic, but to brighten things up, the Council still had lights put up around New Street and other roads. Gone from blues of 10 years ago to the yellow and white lights now.

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Christmas lights around the Retail BID past and present





The Christmas lights as seen after dark around Birmingham City Centre in the Retail BID area past and present. The last Frankfurt Christmas Market was in 2019. The 2020 market was cancelled due to the pandemic, but to brighten things up, the Council still had lights put up around New Street and other roads. Gone from blues of 10 years ago to the yellow and white lights now.


A comparison of the Christmas lights in Birmingham City Centre over the last decade ago with now. Merry Covid Christmas. And enjoy! 

All around the Retail BID area. So the likes of New Street, High Street and Corporation Street etc. 

NEW STREET

The majority of the Christmas lights are up New Street. Most years seen above the Birmingham Frankfurt Christma Market. Starting from Corporation Street up towards Victoria Square.

November 2010

From the top end of New Street near Victoria Square, after the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market had closed for the night.

Between Pret a Manger and the Piccadilly Arcade.

They were reused from the year before, all blue and white.

November 2020

Seen past the Piccadilly Arcade up to New Street.

Not far from the Piccadilly Arcade and Bennetts Hill.

Usually the Frankfurt Market would be here by now, but it's been cancelled due to the pandemic and the lockdown etc.

Heading up Stephenson Place, past Apple towards Lloyds Bank, saw this Christmas lights on the left. Even got the Lloyds black horse in shot!

CANNON STREET

January 2012

After Christmas 2011 was over, the lights were still on in early January 2012, as seen on Cannon Street.

Was the usual blue and white lights that was used in the late '00s to the mid '10s.

I think they went all the way down Cannon Street at the time.

Seen outside of Slater Menswear and White Stuff, towards New Street.

November 2020

Cannon St at Christmas from New Street. Only the bottom half of Cannon Street has the lights this time around.

Reverse view of Cannon ST at Christmas towards New Street and the Burlington Arcade.

The Christmas lights close to Slater Menswear and White Stuff.

Brightens up the bottom half of Cannon Street towards New Street. All non essential shops down here are closed until the 2nd lockdown ends.

 

HIGH STREET

November 2012

The Christmas lights on the High Street from near Marks & Spencer towards the Rotunda. The blue and white design towards Rotunda Square. They even had some over the bus stops outsid of DEICHMANN.

November 2020

The same yellow and white designed Christmas lights on the High Street, as they have now on New Street, seen outside of Marks & Spencer, from my bus stop. These lights have been put up from here towards Rotunda Square, but don't go over the bus routes.

UNION STREET

December 2012

The Christmas lights here seen at the bottom of Union Street towards Marks & Spencer on the High Street.

November 2020

I was suprised to see three sets of Christmas lights on Union Street between Argos, Boots, Burger King and WH Smith.

Heading to the bus stop it was nice to see them in the evening. But the lights are on all day.

CHERRY STREET

January 2012

On Cherry Street at the time was these red and white Christmas lights. Near Cannon Street and Corporation Street.

The GAP was at Martineau Place at the time (that's now Poundland). House of Fraser on the left, near Corporation Street.

November 2020

Heading up Corporation Street, towards Union Street, saw this Christmas lights on Cherry Street between the EE shop and House of Fraser (which doesn't have the usual fancy lights up).

BEST OF THE REST

In December 2009 they had the Merry Christmas lights at the bottom of Corporation Street near New Street.

They used Merry Christmas again at the bottom of Corporation Street when I saw it back in November 2010.

Seen on New Street near Corporation Street was Christmas in Birmingham during December 2014.

They also had Shopping in Birmingham.com on the other side. It was the last time they had Christmas lights on Corporation Street, before the first Midland Metro extension opened in 2015 and 2016.

Seen during November 2020 at the bottom of Lower Temple Street near Stephenson Street, between Caffe Nero and Ladbrokes was this Christmas lights.

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

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50 passion points
People & community
12 Nov 2020 - FreeTimePays
Did you know?

Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury

You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.

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Cadbury Brothers: George and Richard Cadbury





You may have heard about Bournville, and Cadbury chocolate, but do you know about the Brothers behind the company? We take a look at George Cadbury and his brother Richard Cadbury. They were the sons of John Cadbury who founded the original Cadbury company. They aquired land south west of Birmingham in 1878, in what is now Bournville.


George Cadbury lived from 1839 until 1922.

With his brother Richard, they acquired land to the south west of Birmingham in 1878 and built their factory there in 1879. He helped start the development of the Bournville Village from around 1900 onwards. There is no pubs as the Cadbury's were Quakers.

George lived at 32 George Road in Edgbaston from 1872 until 1881. There is an English Heritage blue plaque on this house

The Bournville Village Trust was established in 1900 by George Cadbury.  We take a look at some of the buildings built during George Cadbury's lifetime in the early part of the 20th century.

The Bournville Carillon was built in 1906 by W Alexander Harvey. It is now part of Bournville Junior School. You can sometimes hear the bells ringing if you are in Bournville, it is quite a unique sound!

A bust of George Cadbury is outside of the Quaker Meeting House. That was built in 1905 by W Alexander Harvey. The Cadbury's were Quaker's.

The Rest House in Bournville Village Green. Built in 1914 by W Alexander Harvey to mark the silver wedding of George Cadbury and his then wife. It is now a visitor centre for the Carillon.

If you enter Bournville from the Cotteridge end or the Selly Oak end, you might see this sign. It has a photo of George Cadbury at the top welcoming you to Bournville!

Richard Cadbury lived from 1835 until 1899 and was and elder brother of George.

With his brother George, he took over the family business in 1861, and they eventually acquired land four miles to the south west of Birmingham by 1878 and built the Cadbury chocolate factory a year later. He dontated Moseley Hall to the City of Birmingham, and it is now a hospital.

Richard lived at 17 Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston from 1861 until 1871. There is a English Heritage blue plaque on this house.

Richard Cadbury bought the Moseley Hall estate in 1889. He then gave it as a children's home. It was built in 1795. Is now known as Moseley Hall Hospital.

Another property in Moseley, this one on the Queensbridge Road is the Uffculme Centre (not far from the Highbury Estate). Built for Richard Cadbury in 1890. It was his last home from 1891 until his death in 1899. His family lived there until the death of his widow in 1906. The house was later gifted to the City of Birmingham in 1916 when it became a hospital until around 1999. Now used as a conference centre.

Almshouses built in Bournville by Richard Cadbury for the benefit of the Cadbury workers. The railings were removed during the Second World War, but new ones were installed in 2008 by the Bournville Village Trust.

 

You might be familiar with this building if you pass through Bournville, either on the train or walking along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The Cadbury Factory building, on this site from 1879 onwards. Cadbury World has been inside part of the site since the early 1990s.

View from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal over looking the Cross City Line South.

The famous Bournville sign.

The famous Cadbury sign.

Post & Photos by Elliott Brown.

 

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50 passion points
Food & drink
26 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Parklets around the Colmore Business District

In these troubling times, the Colmore BID with Cofton Nursery have installed Parklets outside of various bars and restaurants, so that people can eat and drink outside, but sticking to the current restrictions. Households are not allowed to mix inside and there is the Rule of Six and the 10pm curfew to think about. They are on Colmore Row, Waterloo Street, Church Street and Barwick Street.

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Parklets around the Colmore Business District





In these troubling times, the Colmore BID with Cofton Nursery have installed Parklets outside of various bars and restaurants, so that people can eat and drink outside, but sticking to the current restrictions. Households are not allowed to mix inside and there is the Rule of Six and the 10pm curfew to think about. They are on Colmore Row, Waterloo Street, Church Street and Barwick Street.


These Parklets were out and about around the Colmore BID from late August until at least early October 2020. I'm not sure if they are still there now, what with the weather getting colder. They were located on Colmore Row, Waterloo Street, Church Street and Barwick Street (that I found of them).

 

COLMORE ROW

Located on Colmore Row in front of the Grand Hotel and opposite Birmingham Cathedral. It was outside of the Liquor Store, Crockett & Jones and 200 Degrees Coffee. Seen on the 29th September 2020.

BARWICK STREET

To the back of the Grand Hotel on Barwick Street was this Parklet. It was on a car parking spot outside of Primitivo Bar & Eatery. Also close to Barclays Bank. You can approach it from Livery Street. Seen on the 9th October 2020.

CHURCH STREET

This Parklet was located on Church Street outside of the Hotel du Vin & Bistro. It was opposite Urban Coffee and Home Cafe Deli. Seen on the 18th September 2020.

WATERLOO STREET

The first Parklet to be installed on Waterloo Street was close to Victoria Square and outside of Christchurch House near Purecraft Bar & Kitchen. Also opposite Adam's Restaurant. Seen on the 22nd August 2020.

 

The second Parklet on Waterloo Street was located outside of Theatrix at 130 Colmore Row, close to Victoria Square. Seen on the 29th September 2020.

 

There might be a sixth Parklet somewhere in the Colmore BID, but I've not seen or found it yet. So I apologise in advance.

 

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

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60 passion points
People & community
15 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges

It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!

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Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges





It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!


In 20th place ....

Photographer: Daniel Tonks

In 19th place ....

Photographer: Maria Reaney

In 18th place ....

Photographer: Fiona Probert

In 17th place ....

Photographer: Joy Batchelor

In 16th place ....

Photographer: Karen Elizabeth Bucknall

In 15th place ....

Photographer:  Jay Mason Burns

In 14th place ....

Photographer:  Damien Walmsley

In 13th place....

Photographer: Liam Nicholls

In 12th place....

Photographer:  Mac McCreery

In 11th place....

Photographer: Rachel Dean

In 10th place....

Photographer: Stephanie Jackson

In 9th place....

Photographer: Julia Moyse

In 8th place....

Photographer: Sylwia Ciszewska Peciak

In 7th place....

Photographer: Goodfella

In 6th place....

Photographer: TellyVision

In 5th place....

Photographer: Phil Hook

In 4th place....

Photographer: Tony Mayo

In 3rd place....

Photographer: Kevin Maslin

In 2nd place....

Photographer: Charlie Tomlinson

And the winner is:

Photographer: Jack Crook

Our Judges

Many thanks to our judges who helped with the extremely difficult task of selecting our top 20 photographs.

  • Nicola Beckford, Presenter/Journalist, BBC News
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Limited
  • Councillor Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Rebecca Woods, BBC Online
  • Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Earl Falconer, musician, UB40
  • Robin Campbell, musician, UB40
  • David Furmage, Creative & Cultural Lead, GBSLEP
  • Ruth Millington, art historian, critic & blogger
  • Albert Wallace, owner, the bmag

Exhibition and video of photography

When restrictions ease we hope to run an exhibition of the photography.  With the wonderful UB40 providing the backing music, we will also be pulling the brilliant images together in a video and memory of times during Lockdown. 

Competitions, programmes and initiatives and celebrations of Creativity, Culture and Community

To find out more about our ongoing initiatives and our forthcoming events and festivals, please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07432 637322 or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com 

 

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