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

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Rivers, lakes & canals
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal

One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.

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The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal





One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.


Brandwood Tunnel

The Brandwood Tunnel is on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal in Birmingham. In September 2018 I had a walk of the canal, starting at Alcester Road South near Kings Heath and Alcester Lanes End, and walking towards Kings Norton Junction. It was Birmingham Heritage Week at the time, although my walk here was nothing to do with that.

There is no towpath in the tunnel, so you have to walk up the towpath ramp towards Brandwood Road. And make your way to Shelfield Road for the other end. It was not signposted, and had to check Google Maps at the time (at one point I walked up Monyhull Hall Road in the wrong direction before I turned back and consulted Google Maps).

 

East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

Located on the walk between Alcester Road South and Monyhull Hall Road, is the East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel. It is a Grade II listed building. It was built from 1793 until 1796 of brick and stone. The canal engineer was probably Josiah Clowes. In an age before motorised narrowboats, the narrowboat would have been pulled by a horse. But the horse would have been taken up to road level, while a pair of men legged it through the tunnel. The towpath leads up to Monyhull Hall Road. You have to walk down Brandwood Park Road to Shelfield Road to get to the other part of the canal, and the West Portal.

Was a nice reflection in the water of the tunnel entrance at the east end.

Sign about the Brandwood Tunnel at the East Portal. Canoes can go through, but they must check that the tunnel is clear and have a forward facing white light on.

From this point, the towpath starts to go up the hill.

Both ends have a portrait, but the East Portal seems to be missing a portrait (maybe it eroded due to weather over 220 plus years?). There was unsightly tags at the top of the East Portal brickwork.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign looked like it was in need of a repair.  It's hard to tell who this portrait was of.

The Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres in length.

Steps down for someone in a narrowboat to use. Such as the person with the key to the locks.

Last look at the East Portal before walking up to the road level. Some more graffiti tags on the right.

West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

This portal is located near Shelfield Road in Brandwood End. Easy to miss as it was not signposted at road level, so had to check Google Maps to find the towpath. The West Portal is also a Grade II listed building and was built from 1793 to 1794. The north section of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal opened in 1802. This side has a portrait of William Shakespeare (as people in narrowboats will most likely be heading for Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon). Beyond here the canal leads to Kings Norton Junction where it meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Kings Norton (just after a guillotine lock).

Heading down the towpath next to the West Portal. More graffiti on the brickwork to the left.

First proper glimse at the West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel, as I headed down the towpath.

A view of the portrait of William Shakespeare.

This portrait of Shakespeare has survived the centuries, but looks weathered around the edges.

Even this side mentions that the Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres long.

One last look at the Shakespeare portrait.

A proper look at the West Portal before continuing the walk towards Kings Norton.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign at the West Portal at the time was heavily vandalised with graffiti tags. Hopefully the Canal & River Trust has cleaned it up since. But the canal down here always gets tagged, even at the guillotine lock at Kings Norton a bit further down.

 

There are other tunnels that you can walk through. Such as the Edgbaston Tunnel and Broad Street Tunnel on the Worceser & Birmingham Canal, which I can cover in future posts.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
10 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Southside Theatres: The Alexandra

The Alexandra Theatre located in the Southside area of Birmingham. The main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway, running along Suffolk Place. The original building, opened in 1901 is on Station Street and John Bright Street. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street, but was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway in the late 1960s. This was rebuilt in 2018.

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Southside Theatres: The Alexandra





The Alexandra Theatre located in the Southside area of Birmingham. The main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway, running along Suffolk Place. The original building, opened in 1901 is on Station Street and John Bright Street. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street, but was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway in the late 1960s. This was rebuilt in 2018.


The Alexandra Theatre

For another theatre post in Southside currently closed due to the pandemic go to the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The Alexandra Theatre is the second main theatre in Southside Birmingham. Located on Suffolk Street Queensway (the current main entrance is not too far from Holloway Circus). It is also on Suffolk Place, John Bright Street (formerly the main entrance) and up Station Street.

The theatre has gone by many names over the years. Either known as The Alexandra, The Alex or more recently the New Alexandra Theatre (before going back to just The Alexandra Theatre).

Construction of the theatre began in 1900 and it opened in 1901. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street. The original architects was Owen & Ward and was built by William Coutts. It's original name was the Lyceum Theatre. After low ticket sales, it was sold in 1902 to Lester Collingwood and renamed to the Alexandra Theatre. Collingwood died in road traffic accident in 1910 and he was replaced by Leon Salberg, who died in his office at the theatre in 1938. In 1935 the theatre was rebuilt in the Art Deco style to a design by Roland Satchwell. After Leon Salberg's death, the running of the theatre was taken over by Derek Salberg. The Salberg family ran the theatre from 1911 until 1977.

The main entrance was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway with a concrete bridge. This was built from 1967-69 from a design by the John Madin Design Group. The Art Deco interior of Satchwell was refurbished in 1992 by the Seymour Harris Partnership.

In the last 25 years the ownership of the theatre has changed hands a few times. In 1995 it was taken over by the Apollo Leisure Group. Who brought many West End productions to The Alex. In 1999 they were bought by SFX Entertainment. In 2001 they merged with Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2006 it was taken over by Live Nation, then in 2011 it was taken over by Ambassador Theatre Group who renamed the theatre New Alexandra Theatre after a minor refurbishment. The main entrance on Suffolk Street Queensway was rebuilt and modernised in 2018 and the theatre was renamed back to The Alexandra Theatre.

 

Live Nation: The Alexandra Theatre

My earliest photos of The Alexandra was taken from Suffolk Street Queensway during April 2009. Island Bar was next door to the right.

In February 2010, I got photos from Suffolk Place, John Bright Street and Station Street. Main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway. Then over the bridge. At the time the theatre was showing Porridge starring Shaun Williamson as Fletcher (originally played on TV by the late Ronnie Barker). You could see the former main entrance on John Bright Street (from 1901 until the late 1960s).

New Alexandra Theatre

Under new ownership. And now called New Alexandra Theatre as seen in January 2011. A World Class Theatre. At the time the theatre was being used by Britain's Got Talent for auditions. Main entrance building seen on Suffolk Place and opposite from Suffolk Street Queensway.

My only nightshot of the New Alexandra Theatre was taken during December 2012, when the theatre had 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton on at the time.

In May 2017 the New Alexandra Theatre was advertising Arthur Miller's Crucible, from the 5th to 10th June 2017.

The Birmingham Weekender was held during September 2017. And there was inflatable Sky Dancers on the roof of the New Alex. This was held over the weekend from the 22nd to 24th September 2017. Meanwhile the theatre was advertising Cilla The Musical and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Alexandra Theatre 2018 refurb to present

In August 2018, scaffolding went up on the main entrance building on Suffolk Street Queensway of what was then the New Alexandra Theatre. Boogie Nights The 70s Musical was to be shown in the theatre from the 22nd to the 25th August 2018. Scaffolding by Gorilla Scaffolding.

By September 2018 they had stripped the old late 1960s concrete facade off. And was all these exposed wooden boards at the front.

In October 2018 you could already see the new facade on the Suffolk Street Queensway entrance, and it had gone back to The Alexandra name. They also had a digital billboard advertising what they had one. Such as David Walliams Awful Auntie and Benidorm Live.

Another look in December 2018 from Suffolk Place and John Bright Street. They had recladded the late 1960's building by John Madin. So not as much exposed concrete as there had been for almost 50 years. There was also shiny new red steps at the Suffolk Street Queensway main entrance. Beetham Tower and one of The Sentinels towers behind.

One of my last photos of 103 Colmore Row before lockdown was above The Alexandra Theatre on Suffolk Street Queensway during early March 2020. I wouldn't see the theatre again until the beginning of August 2020.

Closed since the lockdown began in late March 2020. As of August 2020, The Alexandra Theatre remains closed due to the pandemic. It is unknown when the theatre will be able to reopen, or even if they will be able to do social distancing with less seats available. The Shows Will Go On. Suffolk Street Queensway main entrance, then views a week later from Station Street, John Bright Street and Suffolk Place.

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Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Classic Architecture
05 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers: Perrott's Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower

Welcome to another Ladywood related post. This time looking at The Two Towers that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Perrott's Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower. Both are located on Waterworks Road in Ladywood, Birmingham. And are close to Edgbaston Reservoir. In the area that used to be called Rotton Park. Edgbaston Waterworks is managed by Severn Trent.

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J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers: Perrott's Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower





Welcome to another Ladywood related post. This time looking at The Two Towers that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Perrott's Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower. Both are located on Waterworks Road in Ladywood, Birmingham. And are close to Edgbaston Reservoir. In the area that used to be called Rotton Park. Edgbaston Waterworks is managed by Severn Trent.


Previous Tolkien posts here:

The Two Towers

Lets take a walk down Waterworks Road in Ladywood. If you leave Hagley Road, head up Plough & Harrow Road. Cross over Monument Road and you will get to Waterworks Road. One way to get back to Ladywood Middleway from Waterworks Road is via Harold Road and Noel Road, where there is some more views of the towers.

The first tower on your right will be Perrott's Folly. If you walk further down the road, you will get to the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower (which is within a Severn Trent faciliity so you can only see it from the road). If you are on Reservoir Road nearby, you might be able to spot the towers down the side roads, and it is even possible to see at least one of the towers from Edgbaston Reservoir. Further out in the City, there is views of The Two Towers from the top of Brindleyplace Car Park. Both of these towers (it has been suggested) may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien for his book The Two Towers (the middle installment of the famous The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, later adapted into a movie trilogy by Peter Jackson, of which The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was released in 2002).

 

Side by side comparison of The Two Towers from my original photos taken during June 2011. For the gallery of these, have a look further down the post.

In July 2013, the models of The Two Towers was in Centenary Square, around 2 months before the Library of Birmingham was opened. With a backdrop of the Hyatt Hotel and Symphony Hall.

Model of The Two Towers seen at Sarehole Mill during August 2015. They were moved here and is now their more permenant home (due to the Tolkien links).

View (below) of The Two Towers as seen from the car park behind the Birmingham Oratory during September 2019. Clearly Perrott's Folly (to the right) is taller than the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower (to the left).

In a June 2020 walk around Edgbaston Reservoir (below) I was able to get The Two Towers in one picture. But here, Perrott's Folly (on the left) looked shorter than the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower (on the right). Must be the different perspective.

Went back to Waterworks Road on the last day of July 2020 during a heatwave. Got this view of The Two Towers. Then also one from Noel Road around the corner off Harold Road.

 

Perrott's Folly

Located on Waterworks Road in Ladywood not far from Monument Road. Perrott's Folly was also known as The Monument or The Observatory. It was built in what was then Rotton Park by John Perrott in 1758. The land at the time was open countryside. He built it either to view his wife's grave from afar or to entertain guests or survery his land. He actually lived in Belbroughton. The tower was used from 1884 until 1979 as a weather recording station for the Birmingham & Midland Institute. The Perrott's Folly Company was formed in 1984 to restore the tower and open it to the public. But the company eventually closed in 2009. There was periods in the late 2000s when they opened it to the public. It is a Grade II* listed building. Built of red brick. Octagonal on a square base with a round stair turret. It was listed in 1952, and the listing was last amended in 1982.

 

My earliest series of photos of Perrott's Folly was taken back in June 2011 from Waterworks Road, which you can see below.

In July 2013, you could see the model of Perrott's Folly in the garden outside of The Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square (around 2 months before it opened to the public). But the area was fenced off until the end of August 2013.

The model of Perrott's Folly (seen below) at Sarehole Mill during August 2015. Was moved to it's now permenant home.

View of Perrott's Folly (below) seen during April 2018 from the top of Brindleyplace Car Park.

The view taken during February 2020 (below) of Perrott's Folly as seen from Reservoir Road (leaving Edgbaston Reservoir). Could see it over the chimneys up Reservoir Retreat.

On the last day of July 2020 I travelled to Ladywood, and while there headed down Waterworks Road from Plough & Harrow Road for a blue sky update!

 

Edgbaston Waterworks Tower

The Edgbaston Waterworks is located at the bottom end of Waterworks Road in Ladywood. It was also called the Edgbaston Pumping Station.  The buildings were designed by John Henry Chamberlain and William Martin during 1870. The buildings are Grade II listed. The site is run by Severn Trent Water. While it is close to Edgbaston Reservoir, there is no current or historical connection to the water here. The listing includes, the Edgbaston Pumping Station, store room, generator room and the ornamented chimney stack. The water pumping station apparently dates to about 1862. The tower was built of red brick with blue brick details. You can see how the tower influenced Tolkien for The Two Towers. Especially in the details at the top. First listed in 1979, the listing was amended in 2015.

 

My earliest series of photos of the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower was taken during June 2011 from Waterworks Road, which you can see below.

In July 2013, there was a model of the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower in Centenary Square, in the garden in front of the Library of Birmingham (two months before it would open to the public).

By August 2015, the model of the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower was now at it's now permenant home of Sarehole Mill (due to it's link with Tolkien).

There was a view (below) from the top of the Brindleyplace Car Park on my visit during April 2018 of the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower.

During February 2020, after leaving Edgbaston Reservoir via Reservoir Road (seen below), I spotted the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower down Mostyn Road over the chimneys.

I saw the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower from my June 2020 walk around Edgbaston Reservoir (below). I was hoping to get an individual photo of Perrott's Folly, but only got the pair of them together earlier on (see the photo further up this post). You can see how it inspired Tolkien in it's design.

Also got some last day of July 2020 photo updates of the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower. I noticed that one of the window shutters on the left hand side was damaged, and is in need of a repair. Also visible from Noel Road in Ladywood.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Green open spaces
30 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Dorothy Round and Priory Park in Dudley

In the second Priory Park, Dudley post, we will look at other areas of the park other than the Priory Ruins (see my previous post). Priory Hall is also in the park and is used for weddings. Built in 1825 for the Earls of Dudley. There is a blue plaque here for Duncan Edwards (Manchester United player died in Munich crash of 1958). Also Dorothy Round bronze statue. Dudley born tennis player

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Dorothy Round and Priory Park in Dudley





In the second Priory Park, Dudley post, we will look at other areas of the park other than the Priory Ruins (see my previous post). Priory Hall is also in the park and is used for weddings. Built in 1825 for the Earls of Dudley. There is a blue plaque here for Duncan Edwards (Manchester United player died in Munich crash of 1958). Also Dorothy Round bronze statue. Dudley born tennis player


PRIORY PARK DUDLEY

Priory Park is located in Dudley, West Midlands. A 19 acre site it opened in 1932. The park includes the historic grounds of Dudley Priory. The park has a wood, playing fields and a lily pond. There is also tennis courts, basketball courts, a bowling green, a cricket area and a football pitch. The park was restored in 2013.

My visits were during January 2011 and October 2016 (usually an hour long bus ride from Birmingham to Dudley). Hopefully in the future when the West Midlands Metro line opens here, journey times from Birmingham will be faster.

January 2011

For my last Priory Park post on the Ruins of Dudley Priory click this link: The ruins of Dudley Priory in Priory Park, Dudley.

Continuing on from my Priory Ruins post (above) with Priory Hall and it's gardens.

Priory Hall is a Grade II listed building, built in 1825 in the Tudor Style. It was formerly the seat of the Earls of Dudley. Built of Ashlar. The Earl never lived here but allowed it to be used as a residence and offices for his principle agent of his Dudley estates. This view from the snow covered lily pond.

These days, Priory Halll is used as a training and conference centre and is also used for weddings held by Dudley Register Office.

One last look at Priory Hall before I left the park and walked back into Dudley Town Centre.

The road in the park from Priory Hall towards the roundabout at The Broadway and Priory Road.

This is the lily pond surrounded by an old stone wall. Frozen over by the snowfall at the time. The walls have been built a little bit like a castle.

To the back of the gardens was this shelter. It was built in the 1950s and re-built in the 1990s after suffering from vandalism. The roof suffered badly and this was not re-built. Although it does reduce it's usefulness from sheltering from the rain.

Wooden sculpture in the Priory Hall gardens. It was designed by Jonathan Mulvaney in 1992 and stands close to the lily pond. It is called People Group.

Another view of the wooden People Group sculpture from the back, looking towards the lily pond.

October 2016

More than 5 years after my last visit. This time mainly to see the statue of Dorothy Round and to find the blue plaque of Duncan Edwards.

Since my last visit, the park had been restored and these new sculpted gates installed. This was near the entrance at Priory Road and The Broadway. The decorative gateway was designed by Steve Field and installed in 2013.

Another angle of the same gates. By the looks of it, they illustrate Dudley's medieval history.

Looking back through the gates to the roundabout. Directions to Dudley Zoo and Castle. Also to the Black Country Living Museum.

One more view of the Priory Park gates.

It was autumn, so there was a lot of leaves on the ground. Was a view from here towards Dudley Castle.

This was the zoomed in view of Dudley Castle from Priory Park. In ruins now, it was built from 1070 and in use until at least 1750. Built of limestone. Dudley Zoo is now located in those grounds. It's a Grade I listed building. For my West Midlands Castle post click here: Castles within the West Midlands region.

Trees in the park with the leaves all over the lawn. Priory Park is the start of the Limestone Walk.

That day, there was a wedding on at Priory Hall. And saw a pair of wedding cars.

The wedding cars look old, but are probably modern builds to look like they are decades old. Didn't stay around here long as the wedding group was having their photos taken and didn't want to disturb them.

Heading past the tennis courts as I started to look for the Dorothy Round statue.

And now to the Dorothy Round statue. It was called The Return of Dorothy Round and by the sculptor John McKenna, unveiled in 2013. She was a World Number 1 British female tennis player. She was born in Dudley. It is near the tennis courts.

Close up view of the statue. Born in 1909 in Dudley, she died in 1982 in Kidderminster, aged 73. She won the Women's singles title at Wimbledon in 1934 and 1937. She also won the Australian Championships in 1935.

Wide view of the Dorothy Round statue with the tennis courts.

This is The Pavilion. It is where you would find the blue plaque in memory of Duncan Edwards.

A front view of The Pavilion. There are public toilets to the left and right. It was originally built in the 1930s but was renovated around 2013. It now includes the rangers offices, toilets and an educational space.

Here's the blue plaque for Duncan Edwards. A Footballer of genius. Born in Dudley in 1936, died in the Munich air disaster of 1958. He played for Manchester United and England. He grew up on the Priory Estate and attended Priory Primary School. The plaque was from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

 

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70 passion points
History & heritage
28 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Shakespeare Memorial Room at the Library of Birmingham

Since September 2013, the Shakespeare Memorial Room has been located on Level 9 at the Library of Birmingham (near the Skyline Viewpoint). Did you know that it was orginally built in 1882 to house the Shakespeare Library and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain. It was later dismantled and placed in the 1974 Central Library in the School of Music Complex, before it was moved again.

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The Shakespeare Memorial Room at the Library of Birmingham





Since September 2013, the Shakespeare Memorial Room has been located on Level 9 at the Library of Birmingham (near the Skyline Viewpoint). Did you know that it was orginally built in 1882 to house the Shakespeare Library and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain. It was later dismantled and placed in the 1974 Central Library in the School of Music Complex, before it was moved again.


The Shakespeare Memorial Room

On the 28th September 2013, I returned to the Library of Birmingham for my second visit. Also to go up to the floors that I had no time for the first time around. I went up the lift. Some lifts only go has far as Level 7, so you need the lift to Level 9. This would take you to the Skyline Viewpoint and to the Shakespeare Memorial Room. Or you can walk up the stairs.

In the first month of being open, the library was very busy and full of tourists, including many from overseas, so it was packed! There was a lot of people in the Shakespeare Memorial Room on my first visit. Although in the years since, I've had the room to myself.

Click here for my last post on the Library of Birmingham for an interior tour.

Now located inside of the Golden Cylinder at the top of the Library (looks like a Nescafe Gold Blend coffee jar lid).

The Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library was founded by George Dawson and some of his closest friends, as they decided that Birmingham should be the home of the greatest collection of Shakespeare's books in the world. They insisted that a room be built for them, and that it should be free and open to everyone.

It was originally created for the much loved (and missed) Victorian Central Library (opened in 1882 and demolished in 1974). The first Central Library of the Victorian era was built in 1866 but was partially destroyed by a fire in 1879. John Henry Chamberlain was given the task to re-build the Library and this included a room to house Birmingham's Shakespeare Library.

Sir Barry Jackson, the founder of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1913, later became a Director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during the late 1940s. There is a gavel given to him in 1936 in the room.

The next Central Library was designed by John Madin and was built from 1969 until 1974. The Shakespeare Memorial Room was dismantled from the old Victorian library and put back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Being placed in what was the School of Music complex. Which included Adrian Boult Hall and the Birmingham Conservatoire. This included the Library Theatre Birmingham and the William Shakespeare Memorial Library and the Library Exhibition Hall.

It remained there until it was moved to the new Library of Birmingham in 2013 (built from 2010 until 2013).

The roof was reconstructed by in plaster by A E Edwards & Co, a Birmingham based company dating to the 1870s.

I'd only ever got close to the outside of the old complex (during 2011), so never stepped foot in the room until it reopened at the Library of Birmingham in 2013.

 

View of the Library Theatre Birmingham on the 2nd January 2011. This concrete bridge was in front of Woktastic. There was also an entrance to Adrian Boult Hall at the time.

What was the entrance to the William Shakespeare Memorial Library and Library Exhibition Hall. I never went in. Wasn't sure if I could open the doors as they were self locking doors. After the last Central Library closed down for good in 2013, I had to wait for the new Library to open before I could see the room for myself for the first time.

On the 31st August 2013, I was getting my last views of the Library of Birmingham before it opened to the public in Centenary Square 3 days later on the 3rd September 2013. This view of the golden cylinder seen from Suffolk Street Queensway. The windows at the front is the Skyline Viewpoint and the Shakespeare Memorial Room is behind that.

On the 21st September 2013 during my first visit to the inside of the Library of Birmingham I took the photo below. At the top of the library on Level 9 is the Shakespeare Memorial Room inside of the Golden Cylinder. Below on Level 7 is the Secret Garden. The view was from the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line (near the Turnover Bridge No. 2 close to what was at that point called the National Indoor Arena). Overlooking the ICC Energy Centre.

On the 28th September 2013, arriving at the Shakespeare Memorial Room on Level 9 for the first time. There was a lot of people in there.

Looking up at the ceiling. It is remarkable that this has survived since the late 19th century (unless it is a recreation).

Looking to the wooden panelling on one side of the room.

It more or less looks the same to the right.

And to the left near the door.

One of the corners with the bookcases.

Looking down at the doors of the lower cabinets.

Looking up to the ceiling to the ornate detailing at the top.

Out of the door, and there was comfy red sofas at the Skyline Viewpoint.

Ornate glass windows in the upper cabinet doors.

The views outside the room are spectacular. There is also a couple of busts and plaques / tablets, including ones saved from the old Central Libraries. If the lifts are busy walk down the stairs (if you can).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points

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