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Elliott Brown Education
22 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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King Edward VI Five Ways School - from Five Ways in 1883 to Bartley Green in 1958

In the second of our posts on the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (that was founded in 1883). This time we take a look at King Edward VI Five Ways School. Originally located at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways. They moved to a site on Scotland Lane in Bartley Green in 1958, near Bartley Reservoir. Was a boys only Grammar School until girls joined in 1988.

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King Edward VI Five Ways School - from Five Ways in 1883 to Bartley Green in 1958





In the second of our posts on the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (that was founded in 1883). This time we take a look at King Edward VI Five Ways School. Originally located at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways. They moved to a site on Scotland Lane in Bartley Green in 1958, near Bartley Reservoir. Was a boys only Grammar School until girls joined in 1988.


King Edward VI Five Ways School

Today at Five Ways Island there is little evidence other than a plaque to tell you that a Grammar School used to be located at this busy traffic island. That school was King Edward VI Five Ways School, and it still exists today, although they have spent the last 63 years based in Bartley Green, on a site on Scotland Lane (next to Bartley Reservoir). The school is about 5 to 7 miles away from where they were originally located.

 

History of King Edward VI Five Ways School

The school was founded in 1883 as part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. The school building was originally the former Edgbaston Proprietary School, at the junction of Ladywood Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways, Birmingham. The building was designed by J.A. Chatwin and opened in January 1883 by A. J. Mundella. At first the school had room for 350 boys. The first headmaster was E.H.F. MacCarthy, who remained in the post until his retirement in 1916. A building at the Bartley Green site was later named after him in his honour.

Public domain photo below dated to 1888 of the old King King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old KEVIFW.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

During the Second World War, the school evacuated to Monmouth, and the boys attended Monmouth School. After the war, the school was getting a bit too overcrowded, due to the development of land around Five Ways, and there was no room to expand. So the decision was taken to relocate the school to Bartley Green. The land was formerly Bartley Farm next to Bartley Reservoir, and the Foundation purchased it. The school opened there at Scotland Lane in April 1958.

After the school moved away from Five Ways, eventually the old building was demolished, and Five Ways Island was developed during the 1960s. Ladywood Road was renamed to Ladywood Middleway. Meanwhile an underpass was built under the island from Broad Street to Hagley Road in Edgbaston. Islington Row became Islington Row Middleway, while Calthorpe Road and Harborne Road remained with the same road names.

In January 1983, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school, this plaque (photo below below taken in 2009) was unveiled by Councillor P. Hollingworth (when Lord Mayor of Birmingham). It records King Edward VI Grammar School Five Ways from 16-1-1883 to 2-4-1958. The plaque was unveiled on 16-1-1983. It is below the Tubular Steel sculpture in the middle of Five Ways Island.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Five Ways plaque (Jul 2009).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

When the Westside Metro extension to Hagley Road opens at the end of 2021, passengers will have little idea that they are travelling under the site of a former grammar school!

The site of Five Ways Island today in May 2021, as seen from the top of Calthorpe Road. The school would have been approximately where the Stainless steel sculpture is today, although I suspect part of it could have been where Metropolitan House is now (built 1972 to 1974, refurbished 2015-16).

dndimg alt="Five Ways Island" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Five Ways Island (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

King Edward VI Five Ways School today in Bartley Green

The site at Bartley Green has been developed ever since they moved from Five Ways in 1958. This includes the Eyles and Chowen Centres, the former and current home of the Sixth Form Centre. A music block and technology block have been added, as well as a Sports Hall and the MacCarthy Block. The Science Wing was also expanded. In recent years, a sports pavilion was built, as well as an astro turf playing field, a mobile classroom and an Observatory was built. The Eyles building was renovated into the Eyles-Music Block, as the old Music block had become too small.

It was one of the first schools to get computer technology in 1978. This was achieved with links to Aston University. Girls have been admitted to the school since 1988. The school today is the largest co-educational grammar schools in the West Midlands and one of the top five co-ed grammar schools nationally.

 

I took these photos (below) of King Edward VI Five Ways School, back in early March 2021, during a return visit to Bartley Reservoir. The views of the school all taken from Scotland Lane in Bartley Green.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The view of the modern school buildings taken through the gate on Scotland Lane.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This road is the exit from the school. The entrance road is to the left.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This sign welcomes you to King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

An old King Edward's Royal Coat of Arms. I suspect they saved it from the old building at Five Ways in 1958. I'm not sure what else survived from the 1883 to 1958 building.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Zooming in to a modern Royal Coat of Arms sign of the school. Probably the Royal arms of King Edward VI?

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is plenty of signs here you let you know that this is King Edward VI Five Ways School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later saw a tractor on the walk back fro Bartley Reservoir (before walking to Senneleys Park).

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Five Ways School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVIFW Bartley Green (Mar 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Walking past the school, was my first time back since around 1993-94 when I was looking at Secondary Schools to go to. I even put it at as my number one choice for a Grammar School to go to in Birmingham (ahead of Camp Hill). Unfortunately I failed the 11+, and ended up at my local Comprehensive school (which was in walking distance). Then again King Edward VI Five Ways was too far to travel on two buses each day. And I now think I should have put Camp Hill as number one (too late now 28 years later of course). King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys was much closer to get to on the 11C (my late brother went there). The journey to Bartley Green would have taken well over an hour (including the no 18 bus). I only ever did that journey once in 2015 when I first went to Bartley Reservoir.

 

Go here for the post on King Edward VI Aston School.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
19 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
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The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street

The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.

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The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street





The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.


The Pen Museum is located on Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The building was originally built as the Argent Works of 1862-63 by JG Pollard. It was a pen manufactory for Q E Wiley. They also installed Turkish baths here! Built of red brick with stone and gault and buff brick dressings. Now known as The Argent Centre, the building runs to Legge Lane, which had a refurbishment (completed in 2020).

The Argent Centre, seen here in early April 2021, fully restored at the Legge Lane and Frederick Street corner. The Pen Museum is a short walk away. A Grade II* listed building, it was reopened earlier in 2021. And The Pen Museum is lucky to be in such a historic building.

dndimg alt="The Argent Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exterior of The Pen Museum

An early view of The Pen Museum, also called The Pen Room, in this view from Frederick Street during December 2012. I wouldn't go inside until the Birmingham Heritage Week visit of September 2016.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Dec 2012).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

In September 2016, the view of the archway of The Argent Centre. Entrance to The Pen Museum via a door to the right.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of The Pen Museum during early April 2021. By now closed due to the lockdown. The gate and doors were closed. Getting closer to the 20th anniversary of the museum, which opened in late April 2001. They are not yet quite ready to reopen, that depends on the roadmap, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased. At the time I was there to check out the restored Chamberlain Clock.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The middle of May 2021, and I saw a 101 NXWM Platinum bus (to Handsworth) waiting outside of The Pen Museum, as I walked up to the new Costa Coffee at 32 Frederick Street. The day before indoor dining, but they had an outdoor space at the back where I could have my coffee.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/101 Pen Museum JQ (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Birmingham Heritage Week visit to The Pen Museum, September 2016

That day, The Pen Museum was free to visit, but normally you would have to pay an entrance fee. The museum is based in a former pen factory in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. If you wanted to, you could make a pen nib or write your name in Braille. The museum opened in 2001. They also have early typewriters.


In the main room of The Pen Museum, you could see all the cabinets with all the pen nibs, bottles of ink and machinery used to make the pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bottles of ink for all kinds of fountain pens.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Boxes of various different pens. Such as pencil pens, crown pen diamond brand, red ink pens, telephone pen, the swan pen and so on.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Macniven & Camerons Pens "Pickwick". They used to cost 6d & 1'-per box.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portraits of the late Prince Albert (In Memoriam), Queen Victoria, King George V & Queen Mary. As well as King Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works

There was an exhibition of Joseph Gillott, who was a pen maker to the Queen (Victoria). A display of Gillott pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (1) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They also had a display cabinet to look at from the Victoria Works (which is opposite the museum on the corner of Frederick Street and Graham Street).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (2) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was a 1001 Spring Ground Mammoth Quill Circa 1845 - The Largest Pen Made. Made by Joseph Gillott of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (3) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More on Joseph Gillott here, plus women working in the factory.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

For more on Joseph Gillott go to this post.

 

George W. Hughes

Steel pen nibs made by George W. Hughes in this cabinet display.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They were quite cheap to buy, a sample card for 1d, or sample boxes for only 6d.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

William and John Mitchell

Display cabinetts of pens and steel pen nibs made by William Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (21).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the next cabinet is the steel pen nibs made by John Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (22).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens

Cabinet displays here of pens and pencils. One of them was Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens. Fountain pens made at various locations around Hockley in the 19th century (now the Jewellery Quarter).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here we see School Slates and Quill pens. Also various printed certificates.Also a set of Royal portable quills.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Boons & Blessings

The Boons & Blessings - The Pickwick - The Owl - The Waverley.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These cabinets all about the Waverley pen nib.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another sign on The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen. Also Brandauer.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Presses

A press in the corner. Now it can only be operated by museum staff only.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to one of the presses near something about Workmen's Compensation Acts 1906 and 1923.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the presses near the window, looking out onto Frederick Street. Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works is opposite, it opened in 1840.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The presses are only used to make hardened nibs which are to be slit. A delicate "push" is all that is required on the handle to achieve this.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Childrens's Classroom

A children's classroom to the back of the museum.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portrait of Queen Victoria and certificates on the wall.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
17 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

King Edward VI Aston School - founded in 1883

Welcome to our first post of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. We are starting with King Edward VI Aston School. Which is between Albert Road and Frederick Road in Aston, and close to Aston Hall & Park. Founded in 1883, it is a Boys Grammar School. The Girls Grammar School moved to Handsworth in 1911. The architect was J A Chatwin. They are on the same site today,

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King Edward VI Aston School - founded in 1883





Welcome to our first post of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. We are starting with King Edward VI Aston School. Which is between Albert Road and Frederick Road in Aston, and close to Aston Hall & Park. Founded in 1883, it is a Boys Grammar School. The Girls Grammar School moved to Handsworth in 1911. The architect was J A Chatwin. They are on the same site today,


King Edward VI Aston School

In 1883, 5 new Grammar Schools were founded as part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. One of them was King Edward VI Aston School. Located on a site between Albert Road and Frederick Road, it also goes down Upper Thomas Street. Not far from two entrances to Aston Hall & Park. This is the only school from the 1883 creation to remain on the same site to this day. It became a boys only school in 1911, when the girls school was moved to Handsworth, forming King Edward VI Handsworth School. The school is for boys aged 11 to 18. The architect was J A Chatwin.

Another building was opened in 1963 called Douglas House (after a Victorian villa had had been on the same site). It has since been extended, and was named the Watcyn Thomas Wing, after a former Welsh Rugby International who taught at the school for 37 years. It was opened in 2008 by Bob Simpson, and Aston Old Edwardian (what former pupils are called).

I noticed some building work going on near Upper Thomas Street (May 2021).

 

The photo of King Edward VI Aston School below was taken in September 2003 by Wikimedia Commons user Mdsalih. I only ever once went into the school around 1993-94, looking at Grammar Schools. I never put Aston as a choice, but ended up at my local comprehensive school after failing the 11+.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/King Edward VI Aston School.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

All photos below are mine, taken on my most recent visit to Aston Hall & Park during May 2021.

Wasn't much to see from Upper Thomas Street, what with the building works, and double fences.

These views taken from Albert Road.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Suprisingly the building isn't even Grade II listed. I didn't see a sign saying King Edward VI Aston School.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Car parking from the residents of the houses opposite.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is some modern houses built to the left of the school on Albert Road.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading onto Bevington Road, a quick look at Frederick Road. I once took this entrance to Aston Park about 5 years ago, although didn't really notice the school. The building below is probably Douglas House (of 1963), near the Aston Park Play Area.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The 1883 buildings by J A Chatwin seen from Frederick Road. More modern houses, and cars parked by local residents.

dndimg alt="King Edward VI Aston School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KEVI Aston School (May 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Look out soon for posts on King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools (Boys and Girls) and King Edward VI Five Ways School. Both schools which are no longer on their original sites. Camp Hill moved to Kings Heath, while Five Ways moved to Bartley Green.

See also my post on King Edward's School.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Civic pride
06 Apr 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Return of the Chamberlain Clock to the Jewellery Quarter

Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021, the Chamberlain Clock was reinstalled at the island at Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Once restrictions were changed to "Stay Local", I got the train up to the JQ, to start a walk around the City Centre. First target was the newly restored clock. Smith of Derby have done an amazing job.

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Return of the Chamberlain Clock to the Jewellery Quarter





Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021, the Chamberlain Clock was reinstalled at the island at Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Once restrictions were changed to "Stay Local", I got the train up to the JQ, to start a walk around the City Centre. First target was the newly restored clock. Smith of Derby have done an amazing job.


The Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock via the JQ BID.

 

Previous Chamberlain Clock posts here:

 

It was probably best that I was unable to travel up to the Jewellery Quarter over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021. As at the time we were still under "Stay at Home" restrictions. This changed on Monday 29th March 2021 to "Stay Local". Working at home, I was unable to travel up to the Jewellery Quarter until the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. So got the train to Jewellery Quarter Station on Saturday 3rd April 2021 in the morning. For the start of a walk around the City Centre (which would end at Selfridges and Birmingham Moor Street Station).

 

A new sign about The Chamberlain Memorial Clock was installed close to The Golden Square and Vyse Street (just behind the Rose Villa Tavern). It's mentions Joseph Chamberlain's roll in what is now called The South Africa War (formerly The Second Boer War of 1899 -- 1902). Chamberlain's tour of South Africa led to this clock being erected near here in 1903. QR code on the sign, leads to the Chamberlain Clock website (link at the top of this article).

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

First view of the newly restored Chamberlain Clock from Vyse Street, on the walk from Jewellery Quarter Station. The other clock to the far right is at Three Brindleyplace. Jurys Inn was also visible from here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

It was now possible from Vyse Street to see the restored Chamberlain Clock with The Mercian and The Bank Tower 2. As well as the clocktower of Three Brindleyplace behind it. The Bank Tower 1 and Eleven Brindleyplace visible to the right.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Mercian 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of the Chamberlain Clock, now working from Vyse Street, with Warstone Lane to the left and right. Frederick Street is straight ahead.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The clock was previously restored during 1989 - 90 by Octo Welding. This time from 2020 - 21 by Smith of Derby. Greggs at the Chamberlain Building to the left.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

As well as repairing the internal mechanisms, Smith of Derby also repainted the clock and the plaques from 1903 and 1990. This view to the HSBC UK bank.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A close up zoom in of the clock. It looks amazing now. Lets hope it lasts more than 30 years before they have to restore it again.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Now looking from Frederick Street, with the Chamberlain Clock. Vyse Street is behind. Not far away is Warstone Lane Cemetery.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading down Frederick Street towards Newhall Hill, one more view of the clock. Since this lockdown began, Costa Coffee opened up a new coffee shop at 32 Frederick Street. Somewhere to stop for coffee in the future (when we can sit inside again, and not just have a takeaway).

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
30 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog, named in honour of the late Joy Fifer MBE

On my one weekend walk during this third lockdown, I walked towards Moseley Bog, via Swanshurst Lane in Moseley. I got into Joy's Wood at the gate on Yardley Wood Road. It is a nature reserve that was formerly a tip. Named after local environmentalist Joy Fifer MBE, who campaigned between 1980 and 2002, to preseve the wood from building development. Sadly she died in 2003 aged 64.

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Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog, named in honour of the late Joy Fifer MBE





On my one weekend walk during this third lockdown, I walked towards Moseley Bog, via Swanshurst Lane in Moseley. I got into Joy's Wood at the gate on Yardley Wood Road. It is a nature reserve that was formerly a tip. Named after local environmentalist Joy Fifer MBE, who campaigned between 1980 and 2002, to preseve the wood from building development. Sadly she died in 2003 aged 64.


Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog

There is a couple of gated entrances for pedestrians from Yardley Wood Road in Moseley. This leads to Joy's Wood, which in turn leads onto Moseley Bog.

 

The Wood named after the late Joy Fifer MBE

The wood is now a nature reserve and was named after the late local environmentalist campaigner Joy Fifer MBE (which she received at the end of the year 2000 in the New Year's Honours List, then aged 61). Until the 1980s the land was a tip (or landfill).

Joy first became involved in Moseley Bog around 1980, when she heard that planning consent had been given for building on the land at the time. She and other volunteers were concerned about the wildlife here that might be affected. With them she co-founded the Moseley Bog Management Trust. Their first goal was to convince the council to buy the land on which the Bog was situated, and making sure that nothing was built on the site. After six years the goal was reached. She first got diagnosed with her illness in 1985. But continued to campaign until 2002.

One project involved preserving a bronze-age site which had been found in the rural woodland. Also the link to J. R. R. Tolkien as a child when he lived nearby on Wake Green Road. In the early 2000s they hoped to set up a Tolkien Centre (I don't think that happened, possibly due to the Tolkien Estate rights holders refusing permission). Sadly Joy died of her illness around 2003 (aged 63 or 64).

You can find an archived interview with Joy Fifer here: Your Honour: It's in her nature to keep campaigning; Joy Fifer MBE talks to Peter Rasmussen

 

As of 2021, there is a small bit of land near Moseley Bog being built on at Wake Green Road. This will be Extra Care flats. From Michael Blanning Housing Trust Association. The site has been behind hoardings for about 10 years (since the previous properties on that site were demolished). It would have been ideal to create a new entrance here to Moseley Bog, and a Visitor Centre, than yet another retirement village. A sign for the Wake Green Centre (from Birmingham City Council) is still visible from the roadside. At least one of the former properties looked like a Victorian townhouse, they were all demolished in 2015 (by the looks of Google Maps Street View).

 

Entering Joy's Wood from Yardley Wood Road

Back to my visit to Moseley Bog on Sunday 28th March 2021. I walked up Swanshurst Lane, with the aim of getting in the main entrance of Moseley Bog on Yardley Wood Road. But then saw this gate and entered Joy's Wood at this point.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Leaves have mostly not yet grown back on the trees, there is a dirt path leading into the wood.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some daffodils line the dirt path alongside the trees.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Paths in two directions, I took the one leading close to the main Yardley Wood Road entrance of Moseley Bog.

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It was a little bit muddy down here, but wasn't slippy. Daffodils on the left.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some of the daffodils seen growing to the left of the path.

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There is a large open field here, following the dirt track towards Moseley Bog.

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The path leads to the main entrance of Moseley Bog at Yardley Wood Road.

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There is now a plaque erected in Autumn 2014 about Joy's Wood and the late Joy Fifer MBE. It was funded and erected by the Moseley Society, The Friends of Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood and the Saint Agnes (Moseley) Residents Association.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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