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Art, culture & creativity
07 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Magical Lantern Festival 2017 at Kings Heath Park

The Magical Lantern Festival returned to Birmingham for the Christmas 2017 season, but this time at Kings Heath Park, having been at the Botanical Gardens the year before. I only really saw it in the daylight hours. Looked "magical" with the snow of December 2017. Did return once more at Christmas Eve, but didn't book a ticket to see after dark.

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Magical Lantern Festival 2017 at Kings Heath Park





The Magical Lantern Festival returned to Birmingham for the Christmas 2017 season, but this time at Kings Heath Park, having been at the Botanical Gardens the year before. I only really saw it in the daylight hours. Looked "magical" with the snow of December 2017. Did return once more at Christmas Eve, but didn't book a ticket to see after dark.


See also my Magical Lantern Festival post on the 2016 event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

After getting some initial daylight photos from the 11A or 11C buses on the Vicarage Road in November 2017, I went to Kings Heath Park on the 8th December 2017 after it had snowed. Tickets to go after 5pm would have been anywhere between £15 to £17. But Kings Heath Park was open as normal before then for free.

A pink canopy of roses surrounded by snow.

Santa with his reindeer near the entrance.

Would assume that at nightfall you would walk under this archway.

Snow covered presents, Christmas trees and a house with a boy.

Snow covered elf.

I wan't sure if this was Angry Birds or Rio?

Santa clock lamppost.

Red boot with presents.

Reindeer covered in snow looking sky blue in colour.

2017 "Merry Christmas" and Santa on a relaxing armchair reading a list of kids present wishes. Why fly to Lapland when you could go to Kings Heath Park (2 years ago that is).

I last came back on Christmas Eve 2017, by then the snow had melted, so looked a lot less Christmasy.

Fun fair rides under wraps. They probably open them up just before it gets dark. In the day they were covered over.

Polar bears. Now if only I got them with the snow.

Some kind of flowers I would guess.

Polar bears again from another angle.

Oh look it's the red boot with presents again, but no snow this time.

Giant butterfly on a tree.

More flowers along side a path, on the leaf covered soil area.

In the pond was a frog (I think). Or some kind of pond monster?

These swans look real, but they are jusr Magical Lanterns!

The Birmingham skyline. I would guess this would look nice lit up after dark.

Link to the Botanical Gardens post Magical Lantern Festival 2016 Birmingham Botanical Gardens .

More photos here on my Flickr Magical Lantern Festival including photos from 2016 to 2018.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Art, culture & creativity
04 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Magical Lantern Festival 2016 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

I booked a evening ticket to see the Magical Lantern Festival on Saturday 10th December 2016. After a lot of waiting around town, I got the bus to Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. Was there between 4:50pm and 5:30pm. It was raining on my visit, so I got quite soaked going around the trail of colourful lit up Magical Lanterns. I've not been back since (apart from the dinosaurs / ice age)

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Magical Lantern Festival 2016 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens





I booked a evening ticket to see the Magical Lantern Festival on Saturday 10th December 2016. After a lot of waiting around town, I got the bus to Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. Was there between 4:50pm and 5:30pm. It was raining on my visit, so I got quite soaked going around the trail of colourful lit up Magical Lanterns. I've not been back since (apart from the dinosaurs / ice age)


The Magical Lantern Festival first came to Birmingham at Christmas 2016 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. It was on from the 25th November 2016 until the 2nd January 2017. They returned to Birmingham for the Christmas 2017 season at Kings Heath Park (I only saw that in the daylight) and back to the Botanical Gardens a year later at Christmas 2018 (I only saw them from the bus or walking past on the Westbourne Road). I'm not aware of if it's returning for the Christmas 2019 season.

You book your ticket online, and get it on Eventbrite with a QR code (or print it out - but the paper version would get wet in the rain).

My visit on the evening on the 10th December 2016 just after 5pm. But it was raining, but I did manage to get around the trail (my camera got wet).

"Merry Christmas". A welcome from Santa.

2016 with penguins and a snowman. Also presents.

Colourful birds and flowers.

A jug of water and flowers.

A reindeer.

The Chinese Pagoda that you would find in the middle of Holloway Circus in Birmingham City Centre.

A Bug's Life. A mushroom and a giant ant.

A peacock. I've seen real peacocks here in the daylight hours (in the years after this visit).

Santa Claus in his sleigh.

The world famous Bullring bull in Magical Lantern form.

A Christmas tree Magical Lantern style.

I think this is supposed to look like the glasshouses of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

One of the clowns.

Canopy over the fountain.

Frog on a lily.

Green ant from A Bug's Life. Or Antz?

Mushrooms and flowers with water droplets.

Pearl in an oyster.

Reindeer and a snowman near the entrance canopy.

Exiting back onto Westbourne Road, giant teddy bear and presents.

I've also got daylight photos from Kings Heath Park from December 2017. I will put some of those in another post soon.

For a similar post on the Jurassic Kingdom and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events follow this link to this post: Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

More photos here on my Flickr Magical Lantern Festival including photos from 2016 to 2018.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Open spaces
31 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Swanshurst Park through the seasons through the years

Swanshurst Park is a park that I regularly return to and have been taking photos there for almost 10 years. Visited in different seasons. In the autumn or winter, spring or summer. Sometimes when a circus is on, or even a fun fair! Located on the border of Moseley and Billesley. The park is not in Kings Heath. On the World Famous no 11 Outer Circle bus route (also the 2 and 3).

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Swanshurst Park through the seasons through the years





Swanshurst Park is a park that I regularly return to and have been taking photos there for almost 10 years. Visited in different seasons. In the autumn or winter, spring or summer. Sometimes when a circus is on, or even a fun fair! Located on the border of Moseley and Billesley. The park is not in Kings Heath. On the World Famous no 11 Outer Circle bus route (also the 2 and 3).


Usually the first park that I pass on the 11C bus heading up Swanshurst Lane and up Yardley Wood Road, I have been around this park a lot. Swanshurst Park. Follow this link for my album on Flickr Swanshurst Park. Find the full gallery here Swanshurst Park gallery.

December 2009

It was Christmas Eve 2009 when I headed up to Swanshurst Park for the first time with a camera. The park was full of snow and looking quite "Christmasy". Was also freezing. A White Christmas indeed!

The lake was frozen with a layer of snow on it.

Was also quite misty, hard to see the trees in the distance.

A lone swan with several Canada geese. They were able to get a swim in the freezing cold water.

The corner of the Moseley New Pool. All iced over with a layer of snow on it.

March 2011

This visit to the park on a wonderful sunny spring day was to see Zippos Circus on the other side of the Moseley New Pool. They seem to return to the park every year. A pair of Canada geese on the south bank of the pool.

Looking towards Zippos Circus. See my circuses in Birmingham post here Circuses in Birmingham.

Daffodils, a sight you usually see in March or April. Some years in February.

Up the path towards Swanshurst Lane.

The path leads to the Moseley New Pool. The circus seen in the distance.

March 2012

On a hot March afternoon in Swanshurst Park. The field near Brook Lane in Billesley. With this park, you can also do walks to the nearby Shire Country Park in Hall Green and Yardley Wood.

The playground is access from Yardley Wood Road. There is also a car park on that side.

Plenty of trees up here. In recent years the council has had to protect the park from travellers, who seem to set up a camp on the park near here.

This was during May 2013, passing on the 11C bus on the Yardley Wood Road in Billesley. On the right is the Billesley Community Fire Station. That graffiti mural has long since gone, since someone sprayed graffiti on top of it!

Now June 2014, and Bob Wilson's Fun Fair was on in the park. Again seen from the passing 11C bus on the Yardley Wood Road in Billesley.

November 2015

It's now autumn, and there was a canopy of brown leaves on the ground near the Swanshurst Lane entrance of the park. Days after Halloween, and the day before Bonfire Night.

The path down from Swanshurst Lane to Moseley New Pool. Looking quite autumnal.

You always see Canada geese at this end of the park. Yellow and brown colours all over.

Gulls in the Moseley New Pool. The colours of autumn were everywhere.

The corner of the pool close to Swanshurst Lane.

December 2017

After the snow had melted. Leaves on the lawn near Yardley Wood Road. Trees line the park, and the Moseley New Pool in the distance.

Canada geese and swans in the Moseley New Pool.

The middle of December 2017, and saw the gulls flying about above the Moseley New Pool with the Canada geese below.

Is quite the sight to see! There are signs around the park advising people to not feed bread to the birds, yet they still do it any way.

The playground seen on a Christmas Day 2017 walk. No buses run on this day (they never do).

In July 2018 during a summer heatwave. All throughout the UK, the green grass had gone yellow, and it was the same here at Swanshurst Park. This view from Brook Lane in Billesley.

It is now December 2018 and after getting off the no 2 bus on Yardley Wood Road, I walked down Swanshurst Lane as it was getting dark. (Had to change buses from the 5 in Sparkbrook). Still leaves on the lawn, and the park seems different after the sun has gone down.

February 2019

The end of winter with signs that spring was upon us. A man fishing in a tent near the Moseley New Pool. Was a sunny day. Headed along the path from the Yardley Wood Road to Swanshurst Lane.

Purple and white crocuses. A sign that it was almost spring. But was only the middle of February!

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Open spaces
31 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Muntz Park: the little known park in Selly Oak

There is another park in the Selly Oak area near Selly Park called Muntz Park. You probably haven't heard about it. It is between Gristhorpe Road and Umberslade Road. The park was named after Frederick Ernest Muntz. The Muntz family originally came from Lithuania. His grandfather George Frederick Muntz was the inventor of 'Muntz metal'. Park formed around 1907.

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Muntz Park: the little known park in Selly Oak





There is another park in the Selly Oak area near Selly Park called Muntz Park. You probably haven't heard about it. It is between Gristhorpe Road and Umberslade Road. The park was named after Frederick Ernest Muntz. The Muntz family originally came from Lithuania. His grandfather George Frederick Muntz was the inventor of 'Muntz metal'. Park formed around 1907.


To be fair, I wasn't expecting to find Muntz Park on my walk around Selly Oak in late December 2018. This was after I saw some nice Selly Oak Police ladies going around the area on patrol (seeing me with my camera). Told them about Birmingham We Are (I think). My idea originally that day was to get to the 11A bus stop on Oak Tree Lane, but I went a bit off route. The walk ended in Stirchley (including passing through Stirchley Park for the first time) and the Fordhouse Lane bus stop for the 11A.

Entering the park on Gristhorpe Road near Raddlebarn Primary & Nursery School. Here we see the modern Nursery building.

The Muntz Park playground seen from Gristhorpe Road.

Close up of the slides and climbing frames in this small park.

This sign tells you all about the history of Muntz Park. Named after Frederick Ernest Muntz, grandson of George Frederick Muntz, who invented 'Muntz metal'. George became one of Birmingham's first MP's in 1840. Frederick inherited the Muntz estates in 1898.

The Muntz family came from Lithuania, then later moved to France. Phillipe Frederic Muntz settled in Birmingham after the French Revolution. The park was formed from land that was part of Selly Farm. The Council bought the land between 1907 and 1909 and developed it into a park. Birmingham Civic Society got a grant to re-landscape the park in 1923.

The park also has a big hollow in the ground. It was the remains of a marl pit. They were common in the 19th century. In 2005 the Friends of Muntz Park was formed to celebrate the centenary of the park and to make it more attractive for users.

Nearby parks to Muntz Park include: Selly Park (up Raddlebarn Road), Hazelwell Park (along the River Rea Route in Stirchley), Stirchley Park (behind the Co-operative Food in Stirchley) and Cotteridge Park to name a few.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Open spaces
30 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Stirchley Park: the park hidden behind The Co-op

If you went past The Co-operative Food and Farmfoods in Stirchley, you wouldn't know that it is there. Stirchley Park is a small park hidden behind those supermarkets near The Bourn. Got into the park via a path near Ribblesdale Road and Bond Street. Exited near the Friends Meeting House. The visit during December 2018.

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Stirchley Park: the park hidden behind The Co-op





If you went past The Co-operative Food and Farmfoods in Stirchley, you wouldn't know that it is there. Stirchley Park is a small park hidden behind those supermarkets near The Bourn. Got into the park via a path near Ribblesdale Road and Bond Street. Exited near the Friends Meeting House. The visit during December 2018.


Follow Stirchley Park on Twitter (run by Pierre).

This walk during late December 2018 started at Selly Oak. Just trying to get to an 11A bus stop. After I passed Muntz Park, I continued going down Gristhorpe Road and then turned onto Ribblesdale Road. Went past the car park of The Co-operative Food when I saw this sign for Stirchley Park. The entrance was near Bond Street and Ribblesdale Road, and passes over a bridge that crosses The Bourn (same brook in Bournville Park)..

This path leads you into the small park past the noticeboard.

The Bourn seen from the footbridge. Car park for The Co-operative Food to the left, Stirchley Park to the right.

A wall to the back of The Co-op with the street art as of December 2018 (I think it's changed since then).

New trees have been planted in the park and it has been tidied up. Paths on both sides.

This path leads to the back of The Co-op.

Another look at the mural.

The graffiti street art was by Graffiti by Title.

A few more panels to the right. The artist has also done pieces around the Digbeth and Southside areas of the city. Go check them out if you can. He has been a graffiti artist since 1985.

I exited to Hazelwell Street near the Friends Meeting House. Which is also near Stirchley Baths (now a community centre) and Stichley Library. Bournville is a short walk away (Bournville Station can be accessed from Bournville Lane). Just had to walk down the Pershore Road to my bus stop on Fordhouse Lane.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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