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Your Place Your Space People & community
23 Mar 2022 - Your Place Your Space
News & Updates

Ghost signs found at Lamp Works site on Great Hampton Street

During site preparation works at Codia Blackswan's Lamp Works on Great Hampton Street, old painted shop signs often referred to as "Ghost Signs" were found.

Wow, isn't uncovering hidden gems just wonderful!

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Ghost signs found at Lamp Works site on Great Hampton Street





During site preparation works at Codia Blackswan's Lamp Works on Great Hampton Street, old painted shop signs often referred to as "Ghost Signs" were found.

Wow, isn't uncovering hidden gems just wonderful!


Whilst the signs are slightly hard to decipher, they are believed to mark the former home of J.R. Stevens, a tailor, hosier, and general outfitters store which traded on Great Hampton Street around 100 years ago.

On the other side of the building, two further ghost signs were also revealed during the demolition. The ghost sign in view is the home of ‘Strawbridge Painter & Glazier’ at 30 Great Hampton Street, estimated to be at least a century old.

These are believed to showcase the former home of a business involved in ‘glass, china and all kinds of Earthenware’. Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that is normally fired below 1,200 degrees celcius.

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The Lamp Works will be a residential led mixed-use scheme of 148 apartments, with the industrial heritage of the site reflected in the design of the building, its form and materials used.

A steel frame from one of the original buildings will be retained in memory of the original central factory space, referencing the sites key history in Jewellery Quarter.

Construction of the Lamp Works will begin in August 2021 with apartments ready for occupation in 2023.

Connect with us HERE.

Become part of our Great Hampton Street community HERE

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Your Place Your Space People & community
23 Mar 2022 - Your Place Your Space
News & Updates

Ye Olde Engine Tavern uncovered and rediscovered!

Wow! Look what was found by Cordia Blackswan at 184a Great Hampton Row, the former site of Nightingale Knitwear - does the Engine Tavern or names Thomas and Annie Rose ring any bells with anyone?

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Ye Olde Engine Tavern uncovered and rediscovered!





Wow! Look what was found by Cordia Blackswan at 184a Great Hampton Row, the former site of Nightingale Knitwear - does the Engine Tavern or names Thomas and Annie Rose ring any bells with anyone?


When undertaking a recent removal of the shop frontage, Cordia Blackswan discovered an old mosaic façade for the ‘Ye Olde Engine Tavern’.

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According to the Birmingham History Forum and Midland Pubs, the Engine Tavern was trading from the 1830’s originally as a beer house. In the 19th Century, it was believed to be a homebrew house along with other pubs in this throughfare including the Balmoral Inn, Saint George’s Vaults and the Star and Garter.

The electoral roll shows the Engine Tavern occupants in 1930 were a couple by the name Thomas and Annie Rose. Does the name sound familiar? We'd love to hear from anyone that has any details. 

Cordia Blackswan will be transforming The Nightingale into a small number of New York loft-style apartments as a future phase of The Gothic. The apartments will be sold as individual units for buyers to design and bring to life in their own personal style. For more information about any of these exciting developments or to share in uncovering more hidden history, we'd love to hear from you. 

Connect with us HERE.

Become part of our Great Hampton Street community HERE

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
17 Mar 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Theatre Royal on New Street (1774 to 1956)

If you ever visit Superdrug, Bella Italia or Boots on New Street, were you aware that they are on the site of the Theatre Royal? It existed from 1774 until it was demolished in 1956 (with a couple of redevelopments in it's almost 200 years of existence). It was replaced from 1958 to 1964 by the Woolworth / Charters Building (refurbished in 1990) and Platform 21 (from 2020-21).

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The Theatre Royal on New Street (1774 to 1956)





If you ever visit Superdrug, Bella Italia or Boots on New Street, were you aware that they are on the site of the Theatre Royal? It existed from 1774 until it was demolished in 1956 (with a couple of redevelopments in it's almost 200 years of existence). It was replaced from 1958 to 1964 by the Woolworth / Charters Building (refurbished in 1990) and Platform 21 (from 2020-21).


Theatre Royal - New Street, Birmingham (1774 - 1956)

What is now Platform 21 (formerly the called the Charters Building, and previously the Woolworth Building) was built on the site of the Theatre Royal, which existed on New Street from 1774 until 1956. It was rebuilt a couple of times following fires. A pair of plaques of William Shakespeare and David Garrick were saved (during the 1956 demolition of the theatre) and are now at the Library of Birmingham. The only indication on New Street now of the theatre existing is a blue plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society (between Superdrug and Bella Italia).

dndimg alt="Theatre Royal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Theatre Royal 1774 1956.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Details below taken from the Arthur Lloyd webpage on The Theatre Royal, New Street, Birmingham.

There has been four theatres in total on the site of 102 New Street between 1774 and 1956 (a period of 182 years).

 

New Theatre, New Street (1774 - 1792)

The first theatre opened in June 1774, was called the New Theatre. Built for Richard Yates, the architect was called Saul. A new façade added in 1780 and portico designed by Samuel Wyatt, which survived until 1902, despite the rest of the building being destroyed by fire twice.

 

Theatre Royal, New Street (1794 - 1820)

There was a fire at the theatre in 1792. After the fire, the theatre was completely rebuilt by 1794 by George Saunders and Charles Norton, except for the Wyatt façade which survived the fire of 1792. This would be the second theatre on the site. The theatre changed it's name to the Theatre Royal in 1807 when a Royal Patent was granted to the theatre.

dndimg alt="Theatre Royal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1965V22141 Theatre Royal New Street Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Lithograph - Theatre Royal, New Street, Birmingham, 1805. Lithographer: T Woodfall. Birmingham Museums Trust

 

Theatre Royal, New Street (1820 - 1902)

Sadly the Theatre Royal, New Street was destroyed by another fire, this time during January 1820. The theatre was rebuilt again by 1820, making it the third theatre on the site, this time designed by the architect Samuel Beazley, who replaced everything behind Samuel Wyatt façade.

The only changes after this was in 1875 with alterations to the stage and auditorium, and then in 1885 there was more alterations to the building. Then a refurbishment in 1898 by the architect Frank J. Bill.

dndimg alt="Theatre Royal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1965V22132 Theatre Royal Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Engraving - Theatre Royal, New Street, Birmingham.1820 rebuild.  Artist: Thomas Radclyffe. Birmingham Museums Trust

 

Theatre Royal Plaques

In 1902 the third Theatre Royal was completely demolished, to make way for a new theatre on the same site. A small part of the 1820 theatre survives in the form of a a pair of plaques of William Shakespeare and David Garrick. They were at Birmingham Central Library (until 2013) but are now located at the Library of Birmingham.

The Theatre Royal Plaques were on display at the Library of Birmingham, in the Gallery back in 2016, during an exhibition called Our Shakespeare, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Garrick was on the left, while Shakespeare was on the right.

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Theatre Royal, New Street (1904 - 1956)

The fourth theatre opened in December 1904, it was the last Theatre Royal to be on the site. This one was designed by Ernest Runtz with a new frontage designed in the Adam Style. It was built for Theatre Royal Birmingham Ltd. The building was five stories in height. The New Street façade was built in Monk's Parkstone in the semi-Classic style of George III. Above the upper story was a series of bronze figures representing Comedy, Industries, Charity, Justice, Science and Tragedy. The Theatre Royal closed it's doors for the last time in December 1956. Demolition began shortly after it closed for good.

dndimg alt="Theatre Royal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/City Theatre Royal New St.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Theatre Royal" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/City Interior Theatre Royal New St.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />The Theatre Royal, New Street, early 20th century (date unknown). Photographer unknown. Public domain.

 

The Shakespeare Tavern (1774 - 1904)

Underneath the theatre was a bar called the Shakespeare Tavern, also known as the Brags' Vaults. This was in existence since the very first theatre on the site (1774) and remained until the rebuild of 1904 (at one point known as the Pit Bar of the Theatre Royal). It later moved to Lower Temple Street, where a Neo-Georgian pub called The Shakespeare was built. This was built from 1910 to 1911 by the architect Arthur Edwards. Before it was built, the theatre ran to Lower Temple Street. At one point The Shakespeare was run by Mitchells & Butlers, later by Nicholson's.

dndimg alt="The Shakespeare" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Shakespeare Lower Temple Street old facade (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Woolworth Building / Charter Building (1962 / 1964 - 1990 / 2020)

An office building called the Woolworth Building was later built on the site. It was  designed by Cotton, Ballard & Blow, and built in two parts. The east side from 1958 to 1962 for Woolworths. The west side from 1962 to 1964 for Jack Cotton & Partners. It was made of Portland stone, mosaic cladding and green slate. The building was up to ten stories high. In 1990 there was a refurbishment by Temple Cox Nicholls. This included a glass lift. It is now known as the Charters Building. Retailers on the ground floor include Superdrug, Bella Italia and Boots. The Birmingham Civic Society blue plaque is located between Superdrug and Bella Italia.

dndimg alt="Charters Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Charters TR (Mar 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Charters Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Charters TR (Jan 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bella Italia" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bella Italia Theatre Royal (Aug 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Platform 21 (2021 to present)

The offices at 102 New Street were renovated again, this time during 2020 to 2021 at 23 Stephenson Street. The development was called Platform 21. Grade A office space up to 112,000 Square Ft.  HM Government Civil Servants moved into the building near the end of 2021. It was renamed from Charters to Platform 21 in 2016. Workers will probably not be aware that they are at the former site of the Theatre Royal or a Woolworths store (which moved off site at one point into the Pallasades until it closed for good in 2008). Architects was Associated Architects. The client was Evenacre and LaSalle Investment Management.

dndimg alt="Platform 21" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Platform 21 (Sep 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Platform 21" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Platform 21 (Dec 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Platform 21" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Platform 21 (Dec 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Historic images of Theatre Royal from the Birmingham Museums Trust Digital Image Resource.

Early 20th Century photos via Phil of the Birmingham History Forum (2011).

21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
15 Mar 2022 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

Refurbishment of The Gothic as part of wider regeneration of Great Hampton Street

In glorious Birmingham sunshine, we give you the magnificent architectural gem that is The Gothic, both a masterpiece and masterclass in historical regeneration located on Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Having had its exterior scaffolding removed, this refurbishment project is rapidly nearing completion.

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Refurbishment of The Gothic as part of wider regeneration of Great Hampton Street





In glorious Birmingham sunshine, we give you the magnificent architectural gem that is The Gothic, both a masterpiece and masterclass in historical regeneration located on Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Having had its exterior scaffolding removed, this refurbishment project is rapidly nearing completion.


All photography taken on 14th March 2022:

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

AND HOW THE GOTHIC WILL LOOK ONCE COMPLETE:

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All artist's impressions are the property of Cordia Blackswan.

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100 passion points
Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
06 Feb 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

ODEON Birmingham New Street - the second oldest cinema in the City Centre, used to be the Paramount Theatre

There has been a cinema / theatre on New Street in Birmingham for around 85 years. Originally the Paramount Theatre from 1937 to 1942. And then ODEON for the last 80 years and counting. The brick building has survived on the railway side from Birmingham New Street Station. Now has around 9 screens and a Costa Coffee. Built on the former site of King Edward VI High School for Girls.

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ODEON Birmingham New Street - the second oldest cinema in the City Centre, used to be the Paramount Theatre





There has been a cinema / theatre on New Street in Birmingham for around 85 years. Originally the Paramount Theatre from 1937 to 1942. And then ODEON for the last 80 years and counting. The brick building has survived on the railway side from Birmingham New Street Station. Now has around 9 screens and a Costa Coffee. Built on the former site of King Edward VI High School for Girls.


The Paramount Theatre

After King Edward VI High School for Girls relocated to Edgbaston Park Road, vacating their former New Street premises in the mid 1930s (following the boys school - King Edward's School). The site was cleared and a theatre was built on the site, designed in the Art Deco style by Frank Verity & Samuel Beverley, and built from 1936 to 1937. The distinctive brick building at the back can still be seen from Birmingham New Street Station (either at road level or platform level).

The Paramount Theatre opened on the 4th September 1937. It was one of seven Paramount Theatres built in major UK cities by the American owned Paramount Theatres chain. It used to have a Compton 4 Manual / 10 Rank theatre organ. The Paramount had a large stage, dressing rooms and a café / restaurant. 

 

ODEON

On the 25th August 1942 it was sold to Oscar Deutsch's Odeon Theatres Ltd (about 9 months after his death). It was renamed to Odeon on the 29th November 1942. In the 1960's the Odeon was used for many 'One Night' concerts by pop groups, including The Beatles. In April 1965 the cinema was closed for a major modernisation, removing most of the original Art Deco style decorations, it reopened on the 24th June 1965. 

The Odeon closed on 25th May 1988 for a conversion into a six screen cinema, it re-opened by August 1988. But at this point the Compton organ was dismantled and sold. In 1991 two extra screens were opened in the former restaurant area and in a former bar in the basement. The last major refurbishment was carried out in 1998 when another screen was added. Costa Coffee opened up at Odeon in the foyer in the summer of 2015. 

Tickets can be purchased now either at the Minibar, or online via the website or app. You could collect you tickets at the Automatic Ticket Machines (using your card). As of 2021 onwards, you can present an E-ticket on your smartphone in the app, or in your email.

 

 

ODEON from New Street

Views of the main entrance to ODEON on New Street, seen at the end of December 2009. The Art Deco column above used to have PARAMOUNT on it from 1937 to 1942. But has had the ODEON name since November 1942 onwards. The phrase "Fanatical About Film" is still there now.

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The (then) new Costa Coffee, opened up on the left hand side of the foyer of ODEON Birmingham New Street by August 2015. In the years since, I have been to this Costa, if I'm seeing a film at this cinema. Also somewhere to sit if you arrive to early for your film, as there is no seats outside of the screens.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Costa Odeon New St (Aug 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of the ODEON Minibar from Costa Coffee, during January 2017. This was where you used to be able to buy tickets, as well as snacks. The ATM's for collecting or buying tickets are on the far right (close to the exit doors to New Street). After all the lockdown closures and reopening, by mid 2021, the ODEON app had changed, and you can now have an E-Ticket with QR code to present to staff instead (of putting your card into the ATM to print off your paper ticket). Although I've only experienced this at ODEON LUXE Birmingham Broadway Plaza in Ladywood a couple of times in 2021. And I've been mostly going to Cineworld (Broad Street or Solihull) and using my E-Ticket (in the app or email) in recent years.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon Minibar New St (Jan 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Zemeckis Cube standee from Ready Player One, seen at the top of the stairs from the foyer, taken while I was in Costa Coffee during March 2018. Up the stairs is screens 3, 4, 5 and 6. The layout of the cinema is a bit weird with all the corridors, and stairs. Probably a relic of the layout from the Paramount Theatre. The screens as they are now are a bit small. And the lights go up during the end credits, so maybe a bit hard to see any mid or post credits scenes here. One year I watched the Tolkien biopic here, thinking that J.R.R. Tolkien went to King Edward's School close to where the cinema is now (the site that is now King Edward House). Ready Player One itself was filmed around Birmingham in places such as Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter back in 2016.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Zemeckis Cube Odeon New St (Mar 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

When Covid hit, ODEON like other cinemas in the country closed shortly before the start of the first National lockdown in March 2020. Costa was closed as well. Birds of Prey was one of the last movies I saw in this cinema around February 2020 (I think).

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Mar 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

ODEON, like other national chains reopened in July 2020. But there wasn't many new films on. So they showed previously released films. And when No Time to Die was postponed into 2021, ODEON once again closed by the middle of October 2020. This was the view of ODEON on New Street during the second lockdown in England (I was heading to work at the time) in December 2020.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2020).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Most cinema chains reopened by the Spring of 2021, this included ODEON. In August 2021, there was a photography exhibition around the City Centre. It was called "Celebrating Britain 70 Amazing Years", for the Queen's up and coming 70th Anniversary in 2022. The Beatles performed a concert at the ODEON on New Street in the mid 1960s. So this photo was of The Beatles posing with local policemen, wearing their helmets. Seen on the morning walk up to the office.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Aug 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

ODEON from Birmingham New Street Station

Before the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street, I got these views of the back of ODEON near St Martin's Queensway, at the end of December 2009. You could still see the old Victorian dark brown brick railway wall below the cinema.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of the back of ODEON take during October 2010. Scaffolding had gone up the brickwork, and early signs of building the Moor Street Link Bridge. The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station had begun.

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In March 2012, on a train for a day out in Tamworth. A view of the back of ODEON, with scaffolding for the building of the Moor Street Link Bridge. While another photographer was on a platform that is my spitting image (but is not me of course).

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Mar 2012).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During September 2012 at Birmingham New Street Station. The Moor Street Link Bridge was forming under ODEON. I was getting a train to Witton (for more photos around Villa Park in Aston at the time).

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The Moor Street Link Bridge was more or less almost complete by February 2013, in these views of it below ODEON, from St Martin's Queensway. The Pallasades wouldn't become Grand Central for another two years at least.

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By April 2013, the Moor Street Link Bridge (below ODEON) was almost ready to open to the public. Half Time Switchover took place at Birmingham New Street at the end of the month, where half of the new station opened, while the other half, yet to be rebuilt closed to the public. This included opening up the Moor Street Link Bridge between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Moor Street station's for the first time.

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It is now August 2013, and ODEON had their own billboard in use above the Birmingham New Street Living Wall. Back when Orange Wednesday's still existed. They also had Film Fan Monday and Bargin Tuesday at the time.

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On the train during April 2014, leaving Birmingham New Street for a day out in Coventry with my camera. Views out of the train window of ODEON and the Moor Street Link Bridge from below.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Apr 2014) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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In May 2014, returning to Birmingham New Street from Erdington on the train. Above view of the Moor Street Link Bridge and ODEON.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (May 2014).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Around September 2015, from the Bullring link bridge (later Link Street). A view of ODEON and the Moor Street Link Bridge. This was the last few weeks before Birmingham New Street Station would fully reopen. This view would later go when they installed the pop-up shop retail units on the bridge, so it's no longer possible to get this view.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Sep 2015).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of ODEON from Grand Central Square taken during April 2016. The billboard on the right had been taken over by Costa Coffee.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Apr 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A September 2017 view to ODEON and the Moor Street Link Bridge, with a London Midland Class 323 train. I was on the Cross City Line at the time on another Class 323 heading towards Aston, to attend the Civil War Siege event at Aston Hall, during Birmingham Heritage Week. The London Midland franchise ended in December 2017, being taken over by West Midlands Trains (West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway).

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Sep 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

An October 2021 view towards ODEON from Grand Central Square in the rain. The Birmingham New Street Station sign on the wall had been changed into Birmingham Pride colours.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Oct 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A look at ODEON on Boxing Day, December 2021. Near the end of the year it had been quite foggy / misty. This view taken from St Martin's Queensway.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St 26122021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A late January 2022 view of the back of ODEON from near Grand Central Square, in this view with the Rotunda, Living Wall and Moor Street Link Bridge. The red brick reflecting the sunlight, the sunshine even bounced off the ODEON sign.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St 27012022.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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