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Elliott Brown History & heritage
15 Aug 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Shakespeare Express in 2022 and 2023

Vintage Trains and Tyseley Steam Trust continue to run the Shakespeare Express and the Polar Express between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham Snow Hill stations. Here's some photos taken between 2022 and 2023. Steam locos used include 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and 7029 Clun Castle.

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The Shakespeare Express in 2022 and 2023





Vintage Trains and Tyseley Steam Trust continue to run the Shakespeare Express and the Polar Express between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham Snow Hill stations. Here's some photos taken between 2022 and 2023. Steam locos used include 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and 7029 Clun Castle.


The 2018 Shakespeare Express post. Shakespeare Express and Polar Express.

The 2019 Polar Express post: Polar Express 2019.

 

7029 Clun Castle

For the 2022 Polar Express season, I first spotted 7029 Clun Castle, with the Polar Express at Birmingham Moor Street Station on the 27th November 2022. This view below taken from the no 35 bus.

dndimg alt="Clun Castle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Clun%20Castle%20VT%20Polar%20Xpress%2027112022.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After various attempts to see the Polar Express between November and December 2022, I finally got a photo of 7029 Clun Castle with the Polar Express at Birmingham Moor Street Station, platform 4 on the 11th December 2022.

dndimg alt="Clun Castle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PE%207029%20BMSS%2011122022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

I next saw 7029 Clun Castle, this time with The Shakespeare Express passing Solihull Station at speed on the 12th February 2023. Usually I'd expect The Shakespeare Express to run in the summer, not winter! Was a bit unexpected, as was going to Birmingham Moor Street one way that day (I did not see it at Moor Street, as by then it was at Birmingham Snow Hill).

dndimg alt="Clun Castle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/TSX%207029%20CC%20Solihull%20Station%2012022023%20(1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Clun Castle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/TSX%207029%20CC%20Solihull%20Station%2012022023%20(2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Clun Castle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/TSX%207029%20CC%20Solihull%20Station%2012022023%20(3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Carriages at Birmingham Snow Hill Station

On the 31st July 2022, I spotted these carriages of The Shakespeare Express at Birmingham Snow Hill Station, but did not see the steam locomotive. Initially from the Jewellery Quarter near Lionel Street, then from Great Charles Street Queensway, the car park near Ludgate Hill (the Great Charles Street construction site in 2023) and from the top of Snow Hill Car Park. They stretched to the end of platform 2. Was during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, so the station had wraps all over for the event.

dndimg alt="Shakespeare Express" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2031072022%20(1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Shakespeare Express" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2031072022%20(2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Shakespeare Express" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2031072022%20(3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Shakespeare Express" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2031072022%20(4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe

For a few Sunday's I kept thinking of seeing The Shakespeare Express again. There was one Sunday when I spotted a steam locomotive at Birmingham Moor Street, platform 1 before it returned to Birmingham Snow Hill (from the top of a bus). Then another Sunday, I was waiting for a bus in Solihull, when I saw The Shakespeare Express whistle at speed past Solihull Station.

So this time I kept checking Real Time Trains, and it said it would be at Birmingham Snow Hill on the 13th August 2023 around 13:40.

 

The view from platform 3, as 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe leads The Shakespeare Express into platform 2, through the Snow Hill Tunnel.

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe had decoupled from the carriages, heading to the Jewellery Quarter end from platform 2, then passing platform 3, then through the Snow Hill Tunnel to Birmingham Moor Street. Was a West Midlands Metro tram nearby at St Paul's Tram Stop.

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One of the carriages, Charter Train Coach E, shows the route: Birmingham - Tyseley - Henley-in-Arden - Stratford-upon-Avon - Tyseley - Birmingham. Although it does also go via Dorridge, as well as via Shirley and Whitlocks End.

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After waiting for a West Midlands Railway Class 172 to come out of the Snow Hill Tunnel to platform 1 at Birmingham Snow Hill, shortly after, 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe emerges from the tunnel to re-couple onto the other end of the carriages waiting at platform 2.

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/5043%20EoME%20Shakespeare%20Express%20BSHS%2013082023%20(12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

See 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe with The Shakespeare Express on my YouTube Channel: Shakespeare Express 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe at Birmingham Snow Hill Station

Or on my Facebook page: Shakespeare Express 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe at Birmingham Snow Hill Station

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Elliott Brown Food & drink
14 Aug 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

At The Flapper for the Westside BID Brummie Photography exhibition launch

Some general views around The Flapper on Monday 7th August 2023. Was there for the launch of the Westside BID Brummie photography exhibition. Featuring my photo used in the 2023 calendar, as well as Jack, Damien, Peter and others. Was several music related pictures on the wall inside.

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At The Flapper for the Westside BID Brummie Photography exhibition launch





Some general views around The Flapper on Monday 7th August 2023. Was there for the launch of the Westside BID Brummie photography exhibition. Featuring my photo used in the 2023 calendar, as well as Jack, Damien, Peter and others. Was several music related pictures on the wall inside.


On the evening of Monday 7th August 2023, was the launch of the Westside BID Brummie photography exhibition at The Flapper. These were the 12 photos used in their Westside BID 2023 calendar, and this was the event to see the photos on display for the first time. Images below are just a general look around The Flapper inside and out on the evening.

 

From the balcony of The Flapper, a view of Cambrian Wharf and Farmers Bridge Locks. With the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal on the left, as well as the Lockside Wharf development. And you can also see the BT Tower from here.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Cambrian%20Wharf%20Flapper%2007082023.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There is a lower drinking area to sit at overlooking the canal, with these Beavertown parasols. This was where I met up with Jack.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Inside The Flapper. They gave us beer tokens to get a free drink (was added to Westside BID's tab, I think they were going to pay).

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some posters of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and David Bowie. Plus a skull of a bull.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A pool table with The Flapper bags on it. The exhibition was on the walls in this corner of the pub.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading out, saw this mirror with the Flapper & Firkin name on it (established in 1993). Plus more posters.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Outside the entrance to The Flapper.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Seating area inside close to the entrance.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One last look inside before I left.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Saw a Beavertown head-in-the-hole thing below. 'Destination Planet Summer'. 'Wish you were here!' If only it wasn't raining so much in summer 2023!

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading out with Damien before we parted ways.

dndimg alt="The Flapper" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Westside%20Flapper%2007082023%20(10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Elliott Brown Food & drink
14 Aug 2023 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Meal at The Canal House thanks to the Westside BID in July 2022

At the end of 2021, I was one of the winners for the Westside BID photography calendar competition for their 2022 calendar. My prize at the time was a voucher to use at The Canal House. Which I eventually used on the 13th July 2022. A year on, had another photo in the 2023 calendar, and had been to The Flapper for their photography exhibition. Those photos in a separate post.

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Meal at The Canal House thanks to the Westside BID in July 2022





At the end of 2021, I was one of the winners for the Westside BID photography calendar competition for their 2022 calendar. My prize at the time was a voucher to use at The Canal House. Which I eventually used on the 13th July 2022. A year on, had another photo in the 2023 calendar, and had been to The Flapper for their photography exhibition. Those photos in a separate post.


I didn't use my Westside BID prize for the 2022 calendar until the 13th July 2022. I first won it around November 2021, but that was not the right time to use it, coming out of restrictions from the pandemic. It was much better though to use it last summer. My voucher code was for The Canal House on Bridge Street in Birmingham, near Gas Street Basin.

It was also called the James Brindley.

 

We got a table on the balcony overlooking Gas Street Basin, here you can see what was Jurys Inn (now Leonardo Royal Hotels). There was also a outdoor drinking area on the level below outside.

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After finishing the meal, on leaving I took these photos on my phone camera on the way out.

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some views to The Canal House from Gas Street Basin, close to Regency Wharf. Old Wharf was formerly to the left, where Arena Central is now.

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Canal House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Canal%20House%2013072022%20(8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
10 Aug 2023 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Gothic on Great Hampton Street between 2016 and 2023

The Gothic was built originally as a public house at the corner of Great Hampton Street and Great Hampton Row in Hockley, Birmingham in the late 1870s. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1982. Cordia Blackswan restored the building from 2019, this was completed by 2022. King Kong Park was next to the building from July to around October 2022 (the King Kong recreation is gone).

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The Gothic on Great Hampton Street between 2016 and 2023





The Gothic was built originally as a public house at the corner of Great Hampton Street and Great Hampton Row in Hockley, Birmingham in the late 1870s. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1982. Cordia Blackswan restored the building from 2019, this was completed by 2022. King Kong Park was next to the building from July to around October 2022 (the King Kong recreation is gone).


The Gothic dates to the late 1870s, built of polychrome brick and Ruskinian dressed stone. The Gothic public house included two shops. A prominent corner site looking down Constitution Hill. The building has an octagonal turret. The building was Grade II listed in July 1982. It remained a pub until it closed down around 2001-02.

Cordia Blackswan took over the building and restoration work took place from 2019 to 2022.

 

The Gothic seen back in September 2016, a few years before restoration. The previous owners thought it was a good idea to paint the ground floor units in pink! Looking on Google Maps Street View, it has been like this since the 2000s.

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Sep%202016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By February 2022, all of the scaffolding had come down and restoration of The Gothic and the other buildings was almost complete. I was heading up Great Hampton Street to check out The Blue Orange Theatre at the time. Was wet rainy weather. The Quality Works buildings to the far left.

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Feb%202022)%20(1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Feb%202022)%20(2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

March 2022, and I saw this view of The Gothic from Birmingham Snow Hill Station, waiting for my train at platform 3. That modern building to the right is Hampton by Hilton Birmingham Jewellery Quarter (next to St Paul's Tram Stop).

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Mar%202022).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Gothic and King Kong Park, July 2022. The recreated statue of King Kong was next to The Gothic from July 2022, at the beginning of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, on Great Hampton Row. I'd caught the tram that day up to St Paul's Tram Stop.

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King%20Kong%20Returns%2023072022%20(1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King%20Kong%20Returns%2023072022%20(16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The last we saw of King Kong at King Kong Park was during October 2022. This view from The Orelle at 103 Colmore Row, with The Gothic seen on the left.

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King%20Kong%20Orelle%20103CR%2008102022%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King%20Kong%20Orelle%20103CR%2008102022%20(2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Early August 2023, and I approached The Gothic from Kenyon Street to Great Hampton Street. It looks like all the buildings renovations are now complete. It looks good! Also King Kong Park is long gone, and Great Hampton Row is once again open to local traffic.

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Aug%202023)%20(1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Aug%202023)%20(2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Gothic" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The%20Gothic%20GHS%20(Aug%202023)%20(3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
07 Aug 2023 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A look inside St Chad's Cathedral

I went on my first Igers Birmingham UK photography meet at St Chad's Cathedral on 5th August 2023 at 11:30am. Plenty to see, was there over an hour and a half. We were also taken downstairs to the rooms underground. Always wanted to go inside of St Chad's, but kept missing those Birmingham Heritage Week open days. So this was a good opportunity.

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A look inside St Chad's Cathedral





I went on my first Igers Birmingham UK photography meet at St Chad's Cathedral on 5th August 2023 at 11:30am. Plenty to see, was there over an hour and a half. We were also taken downstairs to the rooms underground. Always wanted to go inside of St Chad's, but kept missing those Birmingham Heritage Week open days. So this was a good opportunity.


A selection of photos I took at St Chad's Cathedral on 5th August 2023. More from me and others can be seen at this hashtag on Instagram IGBUK Meet St Chads.

 

First view inside of St Chad's after arriving for the meet.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Under the large organ.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View to the large organ.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This chapel contains relics of St John Henry Newman.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The relics of St John Henry Newman along with a picture of him.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

St Edward's Chapel. The chapel was built from 1931 and opened in 1933.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One of the stained glass windows.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(14).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Archbishop's throne on the alter.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(19).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Statue of St Chad, holding a model of the three spired Lichfield Cathedral. His relics were saved from Lichfield after the Reformation, and hidden, then moved to St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham 300 years later, once it was safe to do so.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(27).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One of many places to light a candle. But don't light them during a mass as they will be a distraction! Also donate below.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(33).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Monument of Bishop Thomas Walsh (1776 - 1849).  The founder of St Chad's Cathedral, he is buried in this Crypt. It was designed by A.W. Pugin, carved in Bath stone by George Myers and exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20int%2005082023%20(37).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

And now for some photos taken in the rooms underground.

 

The robe of Pope John Paul II. He was the first Pope since the reformation to visit the UK in 1982. While he didn't visit Birmingham, he did go to Coventry. But he met the then new Archbishop of Birmingham Maurice Couve de Murville.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20crypt%2005082023%20(4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Robe of Pope Benedict XVI. He came to Birmingham in 2010, and held mass at Cofton Park, and also beautified John Henry Newman, and visited the Birmingham Oratory on the Hagley Road in Edgbaston.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20crypt%2005082023%20(8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This room is called the Sacrament of Confirmation.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20crypt%2005082023%20(12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Another interesting looking room with yellow walls and ceilings.

dndimg alt="St Chad's Cathedral" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St%20Chads%20IGB%20crypt%2005082023%20(15).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

More photos in the gallery.

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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