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Protecting our green open spaces

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Green open spaces
14 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Rookery Park in Erdington: once the site of Erdington Town Hall

I initally went past Rookery Park in Erdington back in January 2019 on Wood End Road, and have only just got around to having a look round the park in November 2019. Was very autumnal on my visit. Rookery House is derelict and under scaffolding. Hopefully the house is being restored. There is also a couple of derelict toilet buildings in the park, boarded up covered in graffiti.

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Rookery Park in Erdington: once the site of Erdington Town Hall





I initally went past Rookery Park in Erdington back in January 2019 on Wood End Road, and have only just got around to having a look round the park in November 2019. Was very autumnal on my visit. Rookery House is derelict and under scaffolding. Hopefully the house is being restored. There is also a couple of derelict toilet buildings in the park, boarded up covered in graffiti.


Rookery Park is a small park located in Erdington between Wood End Road and Western Road. You can catch the no 11A or 11C buses to the park. The park is bounded by Kingsbury Road to the east and Rollason Road to the west.

Some history taken from Rookery Park and House, Birmingham, which by the looks of it was taken from Bill Dargue - Erdington's page.

The house in Rookery Park was originally known as Birches Green House. Built in the early Georgian period around 1730 by Birmingham ironmaster Abraham Spooner. He moved to Elmdon Hall in 1760 and his son Isaac and family lived here until Abraham's death in 1789 when they moved to Elmdon. William Wilberforce planned his antislavery campaigns in this park. He married a member of the family Dorothy Spooner. Later Birmingham's first Tory MP, Richard Spooner was born here in 1783.

The glass manufacturer Brueton Gibbons lived in Rookery House from 1816. From 1871 the house was leased by William Wiley. Rookery House became Erdington's Council House after 1894 until 1911 when Erdington became part of Birmingham.

The Council had used it until about 2008 for council services, but in recent years it's become derelict. Now under scaffolding, the house is being converted into flats.

 

I first passed the park on Wood End Road in January 2019, but a Asian wedding party was there for their photos, so I didn't enter at this time. Took me until November 2019 until I actually travelled back to Erdington.

January 2019

Just passing the park as I walked up Wood End Road towards the Erdington High Street. A wedding car was on the road, and was an Asian wedding party there for their photos, so I didn't want to disturb them, so carried on up the road.

Saw this derelict gents building behind fences, the doors boarded up. The window frames rotten. I don't think it's changed condition in the last year or so.

November 2019

Entered the park via the gate on Wood End Road in Erdington, I had just seen an Emirates Airbus A380 coming into land at Birmingham Airport (missing getting the photo by the time I entered the park). I took the right path towards Rookery House.

Leaves on the lawn, trees shedded their leaves. Not too bad at this point as it was before the forecast rain.

Looking very autumnal as I headed round the path.

Another old toilet block. All the doors and windows were bricked up, and covered in recent graffiti.

First look at Rookery House. I was hoping to see it looking like it's former self. Maybe after the restoration is complete.

A formal garden in front of the house. But nothing much in the flower beds at this time of the year. Like Pype Hayes Park, I hope that the house is fully restored, and perhaps given a use to the public. As flats it would be for private residents.

Then I saw this playground to the left.

Heading up the path towards Western Road. Car park to the right.

Looking back at the field of leaves and trees. My path taken was on the left.

Just before exiting at Western Road, pair of paths. I used the one on the left. Another path on the right also leads back to Wood End Road.

From here, checking Google Maps, left Western Road via Rollason Road and Church Road. Leading to the Erdington High Street. After a coffee stop, I went towards Erdington Station, but the rain started by then. Another possible park to visit it Witton Lakes Park, if the weather is better.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Photography
12 Nov 2019 - Karl Newton
Gallery

The wonderful colour changes of Autumn

Karl 'people with passion' shares his wonderful Autumnal photography. The beautiful rich vibrant colours of Autumn.

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The wonderful colour changes of Autumn





Karl 'people with passion' shares his wonderful Autumnal photography. The beautiful rich vibrant colours of Autumn.


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Swanshurst Park, Birmingham

 

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Grand Union Canal, Acocks Green, Birmingham

 

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
12 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield

I first went to Manor Farm Park in June 2010. Thought there would be views of the skyline (but there weren't). The park has a large pond that runs near the Merritt's Brook. The Bristol Road South runs past (at White Hill). Always thought it to be in Northfield, although Bournville isn't that far away. The Cadbury's used to have a house on the land of Northfield Manor House.

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Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield





I first went to Manor Farm Park in June 2010. Thought there would be views of the skyline (but there weren't). The park has a large pond that runs near the Merritt's Brook. The Bristol Road South runs past (at White Hill). Always thought it to be in Northfield, although Bournville isn't that far away. The Cadbury's used to have a house on the land of Northfield Manor House.


Manor Farm Park is a 50 acre open space with woodlands, meadows and a lake. The park opened to the public in 1951 and was originally the grounds of Northfield Manor House.

My first full visit to the park was back in June 2010. I never did find the manor house at the time. But then there was probably no public access. Looking on Google Maps Street View, there is security barriers on the roads that I think probably led to the house. Sadly arsonists burnt down the house years ago and it is now demolished.

George and Elizabeth Cadbury lived in the house that they called Manor Farm. George Cadbury bought the house in 1890, moving in there in 1894. They lived there together until George's death in 1922. Elizabeth continued to live there until her own death in 1951. It was acquired by the University of Birmingham in 1953. The fire happened there in 2014, and there was a partial demolition in 2015. It was located up Manor House Drive.

 

June 2010

My first full walk around the park near Northfield. Getting on from the Bristol Road South in Northfield (shows up as White Hill on Google Maps). At look at Whitehill Lane which curves around past the park.

No paths on this section, so had to walk over the field part of the park past the trees.

In the lake / pond was some Canada geese.

They do have paths in the park, this one near the trees and shrubs.

Also saw a swan in the lake at the time.

The lake / pond in the park. A path does go around it on both sides. They lead to the roads that probably led to the Cadbury's old house.

I took the exit to the road that leads to the car park near White Hill. Before I left saw this old wooded barn.

Glad that I got photos of this barn, as arsonists sadly burnt it down in 2017. Historic Cadbury park set for revamp after £250,000 barn fire payout.

The barn was built by the Cadbury's in 1895. The Friends of Manor Farm Park had hoped to restore the barn before the fire. It was hoped that the building could be restored, but it's future is uncertain at the moment.

Saw these old farm buildings on the way out.

Hopefully they could be restored and turned into a cafe, toilets and a public space.

I'm not sure if they were in use back in 2010 or not. Looked derelict. The park and the buildings have been owned by the City Council since the 1950s.

June 2011

Since I initial visit, I have not been back to the park that much. This is actually a recreation ground in Northfield, taken during a walk down to Longbridge. Coming up on Google Maps as Hilltop Park.

A playground in this recreation ground, just seen in passing at the time. Google Maps calls this a Play Park.

March 2012

I can confirm that this is from or near Manor Farm Park. This was during a walk from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to the demolished former Bournville College. A squirrel on the leaf covered lawn.

This was near the Bristol Road South / White Hill in Northfield (I did not actually enter the park at this time).

Purple crocuses growing out of the grass at the beginning of Spring.

Another squirrel.

April 2017

My last actual visit to Manor Farm Park was during a walk on the Merritt's Brook Greenway. Probably starting at the new Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield, I headed up towards Ley Hill Park, then across the Merritt's Brook Greenway, until I crossed over the road on Shenley Lane, and into the park.

Newly laid paths takes you into the park from here.

Footbridge over the Merritt's Brook.

A look from the footbridge at the Merritt's Brook.

I was now heading through the park up Whitehill Lane. Daffodils lining the roadside.

Up Whitehill Lane back to the Bristol Road South / White Hill.

Saw this man with a metal detector. Did he find anything?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
12 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Cotteridge Park: the park near the Cross City Line

Getting off the 11C bus on the Pershore Road in Cotteridge. I usually head up Breedon Road past Cotteridge Junior & Infant School. Crossing into the park over the Cross City Line. There is many paths to take. Last couple of times I ended up at Bournville Station. The bridge over the railway still has the mural painted in 2012.

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Cotteridge Park: the park near the Cross City Line





Getting off the 11C bus on the Pershore Road in Cotteridge. I usually head up Breedon Road past Cotteridge Junior & Infant School. Crossing into the park over the Cross City Line. There is many paths to take. Last couple of times I ended up at Bournville Station. The bridge over the railway still has the mural painted in 2012.


Cotteridge Park dates to the Victorian period. The park is near Franklin Road and not far from Bournville. One way into the park is over the railway bridge that you can cross from Breedon Road. The No 11 Outer Circle bus route (11A and 11C) passes nearby on the Pershore Road and Linden Road. The Friends of Cotteridge Park  was established in 1997 and they celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2017.

 

December 2013

Approaching the bridge from Breedon Road. Vehicles can't go over it so there are bollards there.

Painted in 2012 on behalf of the Friends of Cotteridge Park, Birmingham City Council an Network Rail.

Welcome to Cotteridge Park.

Path into the park. Not sure what used to be on that stone plinth in the middle.

A look at the skate park.

The path leading to Franklin Road.

Playground view probably seen from Franklin Road.

August 2018

The view from the bridge crossing the Cross City line. A pair of West Midlands Railway Class 323 trains passing each other. By this point the electrification to Bromsgrove was complete and you can get electric trains all the way there on the Cross City Line.

Another view of the playground. Trees lush and green.

Logs on the lawn. Trees and a path. On the way to Bournville Station.

This tree has been sculpted to read Cotteridge Park.

September 2019

Heading over the bridge from Breedon Road again. There is this view of the skyline towards Five Ways / Broad Street. From Park Regis Birmingham to The Bank Tower Two. Didn't see a train until I entered the park again.

Took a different path this time. Saw a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train passing by. It wouldn't be long before I found myself at Bournville Station yet again.

A container covered in graffiti.

Curved benches, looks like some kind of school camping area?

Noticeboard from the Friends of Cotteridge Park.

Squirrel on a tree.

Playground again and the skating ramps.

A wider look at the camping area.

Feels like a forest in Cotteridge.

Or a wood.

Path up to Franklin Road.

More photos on my Flickr here Cotteridge Park.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
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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