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11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter

There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.

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Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter





There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.


 

Happy New Year 2021! 

Vittoria Street

A pair of letterboxes at 85, 87 and 87a Vittoria Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Seen in late November 2009.

This black one with LETTERS at the bottom is located to the right of the door at 85 and 87 Vittoria Street. It was a purpose built brickworks dating to 1870.

Further to the left is this rectangular letterbox with LETTERS written in the middle. I'd say that this is at 89 Vittoria Street.

The next one is at the Unity Works at 36 - 46 Vittoria Street. The letterbox was for Henry Jenkins & Sons Ltd (their registered offices). Also Masefield & Co and Beverley Hall Ltd. It was built in 1865 as a toolmaker works. The architect was J P Osborne for  Henry Jenkins and Son.

 

Caroline Street

Seen on New Years Day, 1st January 2013 was this letterbox on Caroline Street at what was the Registered Offices of Pickering & Mayell Limited. At the Reliance Works at 42 Caroline Street. Was a Manufactory built in the early 19th Century. With workshops to the rear.

Vyse Street

This letterbox was originally for H. Aston Ltd, but this building on Vyse Street is now the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Formerly two jewellery manufactories. 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore. While 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. 79 Vyse Street was replaced in 1990. The site was converted into a museum in 1999.

Spencer Street

Three letterboxes on Spencer Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The first one was originally for T. Hirschfeld.

The next blue one, the name had been painted over.

One more painted in black. If it had a name at the top, it was painted over so was unreadable.

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

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70 passion points
History & heritage
05 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Remaining buildings of Kings Norton Workhouse at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital

You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.

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Remaining buildings of Kings Norton Workhouse at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital





You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.


If you go to Selly Oak now, you will find a housing development called The Oaks, from MIA Property Group. The houses are built on (and more are still being built) at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital. Located between Oak Tree Lane and Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. You will find that many Victorian red brick buildings have survived (some dating to the early Edwardian period).

The site was originally opened in 1870 as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse, which was designed by Edward Holmes. It was to be a place to care for the the poor. In 1897 a new Workhouse Infirmary was built (this was the start of Selly Oak Hospital). At the time it was known as Kings Norton Union Infirmary at Selly Oak.

An entrance block was opened on Raddlebarn Road in 1902, plus a large nurses home in 1908 (known as Woodlands). The workhouse became a home for the sick known as Selly Oak House. When the NHS was formed in 1948, the whole site was renamed to Selly Oak Hospital.

In later years there was an Outpatients building near Oak Tree Lane (probably dating to the 1960s or 1970s).

In the years before the Birmingham Super Hospital opened in Edgbaston (now Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham), many injured soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan were treated here (in the 2000s).

Selly Oak Hospital began transferring over to the QEHB in 2010, and this process was completed in 2011.

The site lay derelict for years, until the hospital Trust exchanged contracts with developers to build houses on the site in 2015.

But many of the red brick buildings have survived, while many others were demolished to make room for the houses.

 

2nd January 2012

I first got photos of the red brick buildings from Raddlebarn Road back in 2012. By this point was a green fence around the site.

A first look at the red brick entrance block dated AD 1902.

View of the AD 1902 sign.

The ornate gates were closed. Private Property signs on both sides.

There was red brick house to the right.

It was demolished by 2018 to make way for a new road called Arkell Way.

Raddlebarn Road was lined with these ornate railings, probably dating back to the late 19th century I would guess.

These modern extensions to the older red brick block were demolished in 2018. Used to be Therapy Services there.

There was quite a lot of old red brick blocks on site. Many of the NHS signs were still around at the time.

They were advising, "Don't go to Selly Oak if you have had an Accident, go to the QE!". Or something along those lines.

 

14th December 2014

By this point, there was already signs of demolition having taken place on site from this view on Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. This was from Elm Road near Bournville. The view today is of a line of houses (built in 2016). Most of these buildings have been demolished, apart from the tower in the middle.

First view of the tower to the back. I think the red brick buildings at the front were demolished in 2015.

 

2nd May 2017

View from the 11A bus on Oak Tree Lane of the red brick building behind the fence. While new houses were going up behind it at the time, it wasn't clear what would happen to this building. It would later be restored and opened as nursery in 2020.

 

18th January 2018

An early 2018 update from Raddlebarn Road in the sunshine. The 1902 entrance block was looking good, was some cars parked in front of the gates. By this point many new houses had been built around The Oaks.

Surprised to see many of the old red brick buildings here, plus the old Victorian railings were still in place.

Most the surviving buildings were hidden by trees.

The building with the fire escape (on the left) was still there a couple of years later.

I saw this building again on my last walk past (with the octagonal roof).

One of the main Victorian landmarks is this tall red brick tower. Possibly a water tower (although I'm not sure of it's use in the past).

One last look at this 20th century extensions to the Victorian or Edwardian blocks.

The Therapy Services extension blocks would be knocked down later in 2018.

Close up zoom in of the tall red brick tower. Is it water tower, or what was it used for at the Workhouse?

I can imagine that the surviving workhouse buildings will be converted into flats and apartments.

There was another building being restored. This was probably the Woodlands nurses home originally. It's near Willow Road in Bournville. Woodlands Drive on the right leads to a new housing development. There is also a green to the far right.

 

12th October 2019

Work was finally under way to restore the red brick building on Oak Tree Lane. Scaffolding going up. When finished it would get occupied by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery by the following summer. This view from 11C bus.

 

14th December 2019

Another view of the red brick tower, this time seen behind the new houses from Elliott Road in Selly Oak.

 

3rd August 2020

One of my first visits back to Selly Oak while restrictions were eased, I'd gotten off the 11C on Oak Tree Lane. Saw the fully restored red brick building now as a nursery. Was heading for bit of a walk on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

It is being operated by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery.

 

29th December 2020

When Birmingham was still in Tier 3 restrictions (Tier 4 wouldn't start until 31/12/2020), and when it was snowing that day, I headed to Bournville for a short walk. I ended up on Willow Road and saw the Woodlands again.

The old house in the middle was surrounded by scaffolding, as seen from Raddlebarn Road. It wa surrounded by new housing all around, plus the old red brick tower was behind.

The Oaks sign and a MIA Property Group banner on the remaining workhouse building. Hopefully they will restore it for use in 2021. The 20th Century extension blocks had been knocked down a few years before.

One building remaining but without windows was the one with the fire escape.

On a closer look, it looked a bit derelict. All windows had been removed. Hoardings next to the old brick wall.

The octagonal building to the right. After this the snow started to get a bit heavier. So by the time I got back to Oak Tree Lane, got the 11A home.

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

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50 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
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
History & heritage
10 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Lickey Monument

If you are walking to or from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Monument Lane, you might spot an obelisk in a field. This is The Monument. Erected in memory of Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834. He was their Colonel Commandant. From a distance the monument is visible from far and wide.

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The Lickey Monument





If you are walking to or from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Monument Lane, you might spot an obelisk in a field. This is The Monument. Erected in memory of Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834. He was their Colonel Commandant. From a distance the monument is visible from far and wide.


The Lickey Monument

I first saw the obelisk behind some gates off Monument Lane in Lickey back in May 2013. I took some zoom ins over the fence at the bottom, but didn't enter the field at the time. I've seen it again close up at least one more time since, but didn't take more close up photos.

 

Some history.

The monument was erected by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in memory of their late Colonel Commandant, Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1789-1833). He lived in a house in nearby Barnt Green for some time.

 

It is Grade II listed. It dates to about 1834. It was made of Anglesey marble.

Located in a field off Monument Lane, it is also close to Old Birmingham Road. Beacon Hill is to the north west, while Bilberry Hill is to the east.

 

In October 2020, I was walking down the Bristol Road South in Northfield, when I zoomed into this view of the Lickey Hills. The Monument was clearly visible from here. At the bottom of the picture is Longbridge.

I unexpectedly went down to Longbridge again at the end of October 2020, after getting a bus down Bristol Road South from Selly Oak Triangle. Got off the bus and got this view. The Lickey Hills seen in the distance, but not zoomed in far enough to see The Monument. Bournville College on the corner of Longbridge Lane and Bristol Road South is now part of South & City College Birmingham (either the Bournville or Longbridge Campus).

 

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

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