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HistoryAndUs – A FreeTimePays community

History And Us is a community of passion for people to engage with their history and heritage. Here we provide a space where people can contribute articles and share historical facts and thoughts with others. In this space people and organisations can showcase their own work and inspire others to explore history.

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History & heritage
23 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Fox & Grapes, another Eastside pub demolished by HS2 back in 2018

Of the three pubs on the site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station only The Woodman survives and is open. The Eagle & Tun was demolished in October 2020. We have to go back to about September 2018 for the demolition of the Fox & Grapes. This former Mitchells & Butlers pub had been left derelict for a long time, on the Freeman Street corner with Park Street. Was also a fire in 2014.

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The Fox & Grapes, another Eastside pub demolished by HS2 back in 2018





Of the three pubs on the site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station only The Woodman survives and is open. The Eagle & Tun was demolished in October 2020. We have to go back to about September 2018 for the demolition of the Fox & Grapes. This former Mitchells & Butlers pub had been left derelict for a long time, on the Freeman Street corner with Park Street. Was also a fire in 2014.


The Fox & Grapes was a Grade II listed building. It's origins might have gone back to the late 17th or early 18th centuries. So there had been a pub on this site for well over 200 years or more. The pub had alterations in the mid 19th century. It was originally listed back in 1982. I'm not sure if Historic England is aware that it was demolished back in 2018.

Before HS2 was even thought of, the pub was originally saved for the now cancelled City Park Gate scheme (which would have been on the land of the now future HS2 Curzon Street Station). But by the early 2010s the pub was boarded up and derelict. Then in 2014 arsonists targeted the pub and burnt it down, leaving it in ruins, and there was no effort at all to restore this historic building.

Sadly the decision was taken by HS2 to knock this listed building down, and it was reduced to rubble in September 2018.

The Eagle & Tun would survive for another 2 years until it to was demolished in October 2020. But it was able to reopen as a pub between 2016 and early 2020.

 

 

The views below of the Fox & Grapes from June 2010 as seen on the corner of Freeman Street and Park Street. It was near the entrance to the surface car park that was on the land between Moor Street Queensway and Park Street. Showing all the signs of it being a Mitchells & Butlers pub in the past.

 

A bit of sunshine on the Fox & Grapes during March 2011, as seen from Park Street. Hotel La Tour was under construction to the far right. Island House was still standing, but would itself be demolished by 2012.

 

A March 2013 view of this Thomas Caffrey's Irish Ale sign. Perhaps the Fox & Grapes later years was as an Irish pub until it closed down?

 

After a series of fires / arson attacks to the Fox & Grapes in 2014, the pub was in ruins, and the roof was exposed, as I saw in April 2015. No effort by any organisation to fully repair the pub, not even by the Council or HS2.

 

The Journey Starts Here. HS2. Sadly that didn't include the Fox & Grapes, still visible (below) in January 2018. This view from Eastside Green. The trees would be cut down as well to make way for the station.

 

Perhaps my last indirect photo of the Fox & Grapes during March 2018. In this view of Millennium Point and Curzon Street Station, with The Woodman. It was the day that Prince Harry and Meghan visited Millennium Point (before they tied the knot and became the Duke & Duchess of Sussex). View from a train.

 

In September 2018, HS2 performed an act of cultural vandalism by demolishing the Grade II listed Fox & Grapes pub. I was walking back from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre at the time from another open day. 200 years of history down the toilet.

 

The view from a bus of the HS2 site from Moor Street Queensway. The car park had been closed down by this point. But you could still kind of see the site of the Fox & Grapes at the corner of Park Street and Freeman Street during November 2018.

 

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

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
22 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Reinvention

Birmingham’s famous Repertory Theatre is set to undergo dramatic new works that’ll see a new striking new entrance on the iconic façade - and in turn securing the long-term future of the company!

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Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Reinvention





Birmingham’s famous Repertory Theatre is set to undergo dramatic new works that’ll see a new striking new entrance on the iconic façade - and in turn securing the long-term future of the company!


The remodelling of its front of house areas aims to produce a more permeable façade and open plan layout internally – one that engages with the outside public and ultimately increase footfall.

Approved in December 2019, The REP are aiming for a 2021 completion date to coincide with the celebration of its 50th anniversary on Centenary Square. 

EMBRACING CHANGE

The REP, like many arts organisations, has suffered against the backdrop of untimely funding cuts, meaning that this project is absolutely vital as it strives to become financially sustainable; the remodelling has been designed to increase footfall, which in turn will help increase revenues.

What a time to re-invent given the other significant regeneration projects within the area -namely Centenary Square, the Arena Central redevelopment, and Symphony Hall. 

In addition to the new entrance, works will see the introduction of external balconies, two free-standing feature structures, illuminated signage, digital screens, and enhanced forecourt landscaping works.

Internally, alterations to public areas will see the creation of informal performance spaces, improved orientation, an upgrade to the current bar and catering, as well as the introduction of a new restaurant on the first floor and other such units.

Existing floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)

Approved floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)

DID YOU KNOW?

The architects behind the scheme, APEC, consulted in-depth during the planning process, and even contacted the buildings original designer, Graham Winteringham, 92, who pointed out that a central entrance was originally considered but was ultimately ruled out due to the location of a pool of water in a civic square that was never realised. Second times a charm!

Words by Stephen, with RIBA 3 images (subject to change) from APEC Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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60 passion points
History & heritage
21 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside

The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.

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The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside





The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.


The Eagle & Tun was a pub in Digbeth (later Eastside). Close to the viaduct of the West Coast Mainline (also used by the Cross City Line and other routes in and out of Birmingham New Street). It was located on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street. But HS2's plans changed, and it was decided that the pub would have to be demolished.

Originally HS2 had planned to incorporate the pub into the new Curzon Street HS2 Station, but for some reason this changed. This was in 2014, when it was then thought construction on the station would start by 2017 (it didn't).

There has been a pub on this site since at least the late 1850s. The Eagle & Tun originally closed down in 2008, and was derelict for many years. Only to get new landlords in late 2015. It reopened in 2016. Only for HS2 to change their minds again, and the pub closed down by January 2020. By October 2020, demolition was well under way on the pub. It would be gone by the end of the month.

The council had locally listed the pub as Grade B. It never received a Grade II listing from English Heritage (now Historic England).

 

My first photo of The Eagle & Tun, taken during January 2010, from what was then Albert Street. At this point at had been closed for about 2 years.

 

I took more photos of The Eagle & Tun back in February 2010. These shots originally came out dark (on my old camera). And I have just fixed them in Photoshop Elements 2020. You can see that a derelict building was still there on Banbury Street next to the pub (it would be demolished within a few years and become a temporary car park).

 

Below, The Eagle & Tun in late March 2016 after the pub had reopened to the public.

 

The Eagle & Tun in late December 2019. Within the next couple of weeks, HS2 had it closed down for good. See my post from January 2020 when I visited the inside of the pub for the first and only time.

 

A couple of days before the National Lockdown came into force in late March 2020, I got my last full photo of the Eagle & Tun on New Canal Street before it would be demolished. In the months that followed the roads would be closed by HS2 for Enabling Works.

 

By October 2020, I was aware of The Eagle & Tun undergoing demolition. I took this series of photos from New Canal Street on Sunday 4th October 2020. Until then, I wasn't sure if I could walk up New Canal Street, what with the road being closed to cars. But it seems it is open to pedestrians. At this point only the ground floor remained.

 

One more walk past on the 20th October 2020. Heading from Eastside City Park. Nothing left now. HS2 workers were putting up new hoardings around the site of the pub. I found that you could also walk onto Fazeley Street (the road is closed for roadworks as well but there was access for pedestrians).

 

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

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Van Gogh Alive The Experience at the Birmingham Hippodrome

The Birmingham Hippodrome has reopened for the first time since it closed back in March 2020, due to the pandemic / lockdown during October 2020. Not for a play, panto or ballet performance, but for something called Van Gogh Alive The Experience. It opened on the 8th October 2020, and could be on until the end of January 2021. Digital projections on the stage of Vincent Van Gogh's art.

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Van Gogh Alive The Experience at the Birmingham Hippodrome





The Birmingham Hippodrome has reopened for the first time since it closed back in March 2020, due to the pandemic / lockdown during October 2020. Not for a play, panto or ballet performance, but for something called Van Gogh Alive The Experience. It opened on the 8th October 2020, and could be on until the end of January 2021. Digital projections on the stage of Vincent Van Gogh's art.


VAN GOGH ALIVE THE EXPERIENCE

 

Go to Van Gogh Alive to book tickets. This is the UK Premiere in Birmingham. But it has been all around the world. 6 million visitors worldwide, over 50 cities visited, in over 5 continents. It is powered by Sensory 4 projection technology. It is safe and Covid compliant. Wear a mask inside and regularly sanitise your hands.

 

You can book up to 6 tickets per household (Rule of Six). You get a QR code on a PDF. Show on your phone or print out. It will get scanned in the Birmingham Hippodrome about 4 times. Main entrance from Hurst Street. You later exit via the Dance Xchange building on Thorp Street.

 

The digital projections of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings is on the stage. You head down the stairs. The show lasts around 45 minutes to an hour (I think). Classical music accompanies Van Gogh's famous paintings, with some animations, and his life story in France after he left the Netherlands.

 

From Paris (1886-88) to Arles (1888-89) to Auvers-sur-Oise (1890). Including his time in hospital and at an asylum. Vincent famously cut one of his ears off later in his life. Born in 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands, he died in 1890, aged 37 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France (suicide by gunshot).

 

It opened on Thursday 8th October 2020, and if all goes to plan (depending on the latest lockdown restrictions) it could stay open until the end of January 2021.

 

Birmingham We Are's person with passion, award winning Elliott Brown paid a £20 ticket and went on Sunday 11th October 2020. Hopefully inspiring other people to go (depending on the new Covid Tier 2 restrictions).

There is timed slots, so hopefully not too many people in the theatre at one time. I'd advise you to not take a large bag, as the cloakroom is closed, and they do a bag check when you first arrive.

 

Van Gogh Alive - outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome in Hippodrome Square, Hurst Street.

Queue outside, put your mask on, get your QR ticket ready on your phone (or print it out at home and take it along).

Down the stairs, then before going to the stage, was this area with reprints of Vincent's famous art with descriptions. One way in and out, stay apart, wear a mask at all times.

 

Vincent's artistic story in France in the 1880s.

Starting with Paris 1886-88.

Arles 1888-1889

Starry Night.

Auvers-sur-Oise 1890

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, France, a recreation.

Visitors on their way out can stop to have their photos taken with their family. Sit on the chairs, or on the bed.

After this, exit by heading up the stairs. Leave via the gift shop that was selling Van Gogh merchandise. There was also a coffee shop open (I think). The exit was past the toilets towards the Thorp Street exit (the Dance Xchange building).

 

Van Gogh Alive The Experience was created by Grande Exhibitions and Sensory 4 Immersive Experience.

 

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

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
28 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visitor for King Edward VII, his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, in Centenary Square on the 23rd September 2020

In Centenary Square next to the statue of King Edward VII is a temporary statue of his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria. It is a publicity stunt from Netflix to promote their new film Enola Holmes, which starts on Netflix on the 23rd September 2020. The Princess was a founder member of the British Red Cross and President of the Royal British Nurses Association.

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A visitor for King Edward VII, his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, in Centenary Square on the 23rd September 2020





In Centenary Square next to the statue of King Edward VII is a temporary statue of his sister Princess Helena Augusta Victoria. It is a publicity stunt from Netflix to promote their new film Enola Holmes, which starts on Netflix on the 23rd September 2020. The Princess was a founder member of the British Red Cross and President of the Royal British Nurses Association.


There was a temporary statue in Centenary Square until Wednesday 23rd September 2020 of Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, the sister of King Edward VII. This is to promote the new Netflix film Enola Holmes starring Millie Bobbie Brown (Stranger Things) and Henry Cavill (Superman in the DCEU).

Princess Helena was born in 1846 to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She died in 1923. She was a founder member of the British Red Cross and was President of the Royal British Nurses Association. She was a lifelong champion of healthcare workers. She also campaigned for better working conditions, rights and pay. Which led to nurse registration.

Netflix had placed other statues around the UK next to other statues. See this article from Screen Rant.

 

Gallery of 10 photos below in a wet Centenary Square.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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