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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.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Dec 2009) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Oct 2010) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Oct 2010) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Odeon New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Oct 2010) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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).

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Sep 2012) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Sep 2012) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Feb 2013) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Feb 2013) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Apr 2013) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Apr 2013) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Aug 2013).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Aug 2013) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Aug 2013) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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%;" />

dndimg alt="ODEON New Street" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Odeon New St (Apr 2014) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
25 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Longbridge Colours: a series of five steel sculptural barriers under Bristol Road South, near Austin Park

From Austin Park in Longbridge, a path has been opened up under the Bristol Road South Bridge on what was originally the Halesowen railway line, and there used to be a station on the other side of the bridge. Local artist Stuart Whipps has designed five steel sculptural barriers in the archways separating the bridge from the River Rea. Based on the 1979 'Mini City' upholstery.

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Longbridge Colours: a series of five steel sculptural barriers under Bristol Road South, near Austin Park





From Austin Park in Longbridge, a path has been opened up under the Bristol Road South Bridge on what was originally the Halesowen railway line, and there used to be a station on the other side of the bridge. Local artist Stuart Whipps has designed five steel sculptural barriers in the archways separating the bridge from the River Rea. Based on the 1979 'Mini City' upholstery.


Starting from Austin Park in Longbridge on Saturday afternoon, 22nd January 2022. Instead of going to the exit gate on Bristol Road South,  I headed down to the footbridge over the River Rea.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

River Rea view towards Longbridge Town Centre, with South & City College Birmingham (Longbridge Campus) {formerly Bournville College} on the left.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The River Rea under the Bristol Road South Bridge. The water looks a bit dirty under here.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This used to be the Halesowen railway line. Heading under the Bristol Road South Bridge in Longbridge. On the left is the five sculptural panels by Stuart Whipps (born in 1979).

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Information sign all about the artwork located here called Longbridge Colours (2015). Unveiled in March 2021 by local Northfield MP Gary Sambrook. There is also thoughts on the former factory from Colin Corke, Vicar of Longbridge.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Longbridge Colours based on the upholstery of the 1979 'Mini City' made here at Longbridge. Designed and made by Stuart Whipps in 2015, but installed in 2021.

Colours used include: Vermillion Red, Ermine White, Pageant Blue, Snapdragon Yellow, Russet Brown, Demin Blue, Reynard Bronze, Java Green, Champagne Beige and Black.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exiting onto the other side of Bristol Road South. Approximately at the former site of the Longbridge (Halesowen railway) Station site. The building was derelict by 2010 to 2011, and was demolished by 2012 or 2013.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The River Rea from the other side of the Bristol Road South Bridge.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

First time exiting from this path. This used to be a British Rail gate that was locked. Area overgrown. Site was cleared by 2018, but it was only opened up to pedestrians and cyclists in 2021.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
24 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Garden of Memory at Warstone Lane Cemetery

Did you know that there used to be funerary chapel at Warstone Lane Cemetery? Dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, it was built from 1847 to 1848, but was badly damaged during WW2 and was demolished in the 1950s. During the 2019 to 2021 restoration works, the site was found again, and was turned into a Garden of Memory. Railings and gates removed during the war was also replaced.

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Garden of Memory at Warstone Lane Cemetery





Did you know that there used to be funerary chapel at Warstone Lane Cemetery? Dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, it was built from 1847 to 1848, but was badly damaged during WW2 and was demolished in the 1950s. During the 2019 to 2021 restoration works, the site was found again, and was turned into a Garden of Memory. Railings and gates removed during the war was also replaced.


Garden of Memory

Warstone Lane Cemetery Chapel was dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, and was the funerary chapel, which once dominated the landscape. It had stained glass windows manufactured by the Chance Brothers. It was built around 1847 to 1848. It was demolished in the 1950s having been damaged by bombing of the Jewellery Quarter during WWII. The cemetery was already in decline, and damage can still be seen on many memorials in this part of the cemetery. Restoration work took place from 2019 to 2021, and the footprint of the chapel was recreated as a Garden of Memory, so it can once again be served as a space for the community to congregate, contemplate and celebrate life.

Photos below taken during January 2022. Headed into the cemetery via the open gate on Pitsford Street on Saturday 15th January 2022, while checking out Hockley Mills near Jewellery Quarter Station.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Vyse Street Gate

The cemetery was originally surrounded by cast-iron gothic railings which were removed in the post war period, when the chapel was demolished. The railings and gate posts were replaced during the 2019 to 2021 restoration works. The Vyse Street frontage has new cast-iron railings which were matched to the original design using archival drawings and confirmed by small pieces found during the restoration work.

Photos below taken during January 2022.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View below of the new painted railings and stone pilars on Vyse Street, seen during August 2020.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem Vyse St (Aug 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View below of the new painted railings on Warstone Lane, seen during November 2020.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem Vyse St (Aug 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Transport
15 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Royal Navy 692 - WT 723 at SCC Technology Campus in Tyseley

On the no 4 / 4A bus route on the Warwick Road in Tyseley. There is now a decommissioned Hawker Hunter at the SCC Technology Campus. After the Shoreham air crash, it would never fly again. But was placed here on a pole stand around September 2021. A short walk up from Tyseley Locomotive Works and Tyseley Station, not far from Greet and the River Cole.

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Royal Navy 692 - WT 723 at SCC Technology Campus in Tyseley





On the no 4 / 4A bus route on the Warwick Road in Tyseley. There is now a decommissioned Hawker Hunter at the SCC Technology Campus. After the Shoreham air crash, it would never fly again. But was placed here on a pole stand around September 2021. A short walk up from Tyseley Locomotive Works and Tyseley Station, not far from Greet and the River Cole.


If you catch the no 4 or 4A bus from Carrs Lane in the City Centre towards Tyseley and Acocks Green, you might spot something unusual. This decommissioned Hawker Hunter Royal Navy plane has been mounted on a pole stand at the SCC Technology Campus between Greet and Tyseley. The Warwick Road junction with Battery Way. Also near the Cole Valley Business Park, Burbury Brickworks Nature Reserve (Shire Country Park) and the River Cole. People in cars or other transport might also spot it on their journey up and down the Warwick Road.

First flew in 1955. Retired in 1993. Various owners since. Since Shoreham crash it has been de-registered, and from September 2021 was moved to Tyseley pole-mounted at the SCC premises. All major components removed.

 

Royal Navy 692 - WT 723 - Hawker Hunter

Gallery of eight photos below. Taken on Saturday 15th January 2022.

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Royal Navy 692" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/RN 692 SCC Tyseley 15012022 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Transport
12 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Perry Barr Station in 2012 and 2022

Since May 2021, Perry Barr Station has been closed to passengers for redevelopment ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The last station building was built in the 1960s and was very tired and dull looking after 55 years. Outside roadworks after the Perry Barr Flyover was pulled down in 2021. Should be complete by May 2022. Only time Elliott got a train here was August 2012.

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Perry Barr Station in 2012 and 2022





Since May 2021, Perry Barr Station has been closed to passengers for redevelopment ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The last station building was built in the 1960s and was very tired and dull looking after 55 years. Outside roadworks after the Perry Barr Flyover was pulled down in 2021. Should be complete by May 2022. Only time Elliott got a train here was August 2012.


Perry Barr Station history

The first station was built by the Grand Junction Railway in 1837, and is one of the oldest continually served stations in the world (until the 2021-22 redevelopment).  The GJR became part of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), later the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), who all owned the station in turn, before the nationalisation of the railways in 1948 under British Railways in 1948 (later British Rail). The station was rebuilt in 1966 when the line was electrified towards Walsall. After privatisation in the 1990s, the station was run by Central Trains (from 1997), then London Midland (from 2007), and now West Midlands Railway (from 2017).

 

The station is on the Birchfield Road in Perry Barr, near Walsall Road and the One Stop Shopping Centre.

 

The visit of August 2012

The only time I got a return train journey to Perry Barr was in August 2012, for my then first photo walk around Perry Barr. Arriving on London Midland 323220.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

First view of the 1966 station building, with a pair of steps up to the exit.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The train I got off continues towards Walsall.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There used to be a ramp exit on both sides.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View from the steps towards platform 2.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The old British Rail Station Perry Barr sign was there for a long time.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Plus at the time the Network West Midlands station sign for Perry Barr.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There used to be a subway under the road here which you could use to get to Birmingham City University's City North Campus.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later after my walk, heading down the steps to platform 1, to catch a train on the Chase Line back to Birmingham New Street.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Waiting for my train.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Time to leave Perry Barr on London Midland 323202.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station (Aug 2012) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2nd January 2022

Been so busy over the last 6 months, that I've had no time to travel up to Perry Barr. Traffic always seemed busy, if you were going to the cemetery at Witton.

 

On the second day of the new year, I caught an X51 bus to Perry Barr. An express bus service towards Cannock. First wanted to check out the Alexander Stadium / Perry Park, and the stop was near Perry Avenue. Bit hard to see the stadium or proper park access, so walked down Walsall Road past the One Stop to check out the new station building.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The new station building is partially complete / cladded. But at least five more months work to complete it, ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Temporary bus stops on the Birchfield Road.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I went down Wellington Road at one point, so much traffic, and realised that there wasn't a distant bridge view of the station, so crossed over and headed back up to the island.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading up Wellington Road, behind the new station building was the construction site of what was formerly going to be the Athletes Village for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After crossing at the temporary lights over Birchfield Road (subways and footbridge have gone). Got this view from near Aston Lane.

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading onto the other side of the Birchfield Road, for one last view of Perry Barr Station, before waiting to catch a no 51 bus back to the City Centre. I wonder how they will deal with the crossing of this busy road, no subways, no footbridge!

dndimg alt="Perry Barr Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Perry Barr Station 02012022 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It is a bit of a walk from here to Perry Park, for visitors going to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from July - August 2022. A lot of roadworks are still unfinished. Hopefully they will finish everything here on time, fingers crossed.

 

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

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