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Open spaces
29 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Park: the park on Raddlebarn Road of the suburb with the same name

This park is on the no 76 bus route between Solihull and the QE Hospital and is not that far from the University of Birmingham. Selly Park shares it's name with the suburb of the same name Selly Park. The park takes is name from Selly Hall, a Tudor-style 19th century mansion that was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1864. The Roman Catholic Church of St Edward is nearby.

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Selly Park: the park on Raddlebarn Road of the suburb with the same name





This park is on the no 76 bus route between Solihull and the QE Hospital and is not that far from the University of Birmingham. Selly Park shares it's name with the suburb of the same name Selly Park. The park takes is name from Selly Hall, a Tudor-style 19th century mansion that was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1864. The Roman Catholic Church of St Edward is nearby.


A visit to Selly Park during the beginning of October 2019. Getting off the no 76 bus on Raddlebarn Road, I entered via the corner path at Raddlebarn Road and Warwards Lane. This old rusted bollard at the start of the path.

The path leads to this playground up ahead. Sometimes Selly Park is also called a Recreation Ground.

Near the playground, saw this blue wind pipe thing. There is a similar one over at Selly Oak Park (will do a post on that park soon probably).

Always prefer taking playgrounds when they are empty.

There is a large football field and outdoor gym equipment. But on the day of my visit, found many gulls on the goalpost!

Above the gulls on the goalpost, you can see the Beetham Tower.

Saw this coach from Swan Street Coaches. Parked near St Paul's Convent on Selly Park Road. Now owned by the Roman Catholic Church I think this was what was Selly Hall. Built in the 19th century in the Tudor style.

General look at the playing field not zoomed in. I have been to Selly Park before, walking past this park, but this visit was my first time going in. And looking at my old photos from Raddlebarn Road of December 2014, didn't seem to have taken any photos of this park before now (I think boys were playing a football game back then?).

Another look at a goalpost with gulls on top as well as the outdoor gym equipment.

Zooming in to the outdoor gym equipment near Selly Avenue.

Pair of goalposts, gulls on the field and a lady walking over the field.

From here it is an easy walk to the University of Birmingham down the Bournbrook Road towards the Bristol Road. I then walked around the Aston Webb Boulevard (Selly Oak Bypass) towards the new Selly Oak Shopping Park. On the way saw a #Selly sign near The Pavilion at the University. From Selly Park to Selly Oak.

 

For more photos see my album on Flickr Selly Park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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24 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Highgate Park: inner city park where the statue of Edward VII used to be

By the time I first had a look around Highgate Park in 2010, the statue of King Edward VII had been removed for restoration (it was later installed in Centenary Square near Baskerville House). Not many people visit this inner city park, on the no 50 bus route (Moseley Road), but it has nice views of the skyline, a playground and a sports pitch. The gatehouse was burnt down and demolished.

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Highgate Park: inner city park where the statue of Edward VII used to be





By the time I first had a look around Highgate Park in 2010, the statue of King Edward VII had been removed for restoration (it was later installed in Centenary Square near Baskerville House). Not many people visit this inner city park, on the no 50 bus route (Moseley Road), but it has nice views of the skyline, a playground and a sports pitch. The gatehouse was burnt down and demolished.


Highgate Park

This was the last inner city park (within the middle ring road) to be open for over 130 years before Eastside City Park opened in 2012.

A few details from the Wikipedia page.

The park opened in 1875 on land originally owned by Elizabeth Hollier. When she died it was to be used by a charity. The Trustees of Elizabeth Hollier's Charity wanted to develop the land for industry, but the Birmingham Corporation bought it to develop it as a park. The area near Alcester Street was later asphalted to be used as a playground.

The statue of King Edward VII was in the park from 1951 after being moved from Victoria Square. Various bronze parts were stolen in the 1970s and 1980s and were never recovered. The Victorian Society was able to get Birmingham City Council to move the statue out of the park in 2009 for restoration. The statue was repaired and installed in Centenary Square in late 2010, and the missing bronze pieces recast and replaced.

 

June 2010

First up a look around Highgate Park during my first look around in June 2010. I was heading to see the Edward VII statue but it wasn't there any more!

A path and trees.

More trees and a slope. I'm not entirely sure where the statue used to be, could have been up there somewhere, but all the grass had grown back.

Quite possible that this was the site of the Edward VII statue looking at the disturbance of the grass. It had only been taken out of the park a year before sometime during 2009.

A path heading around and down to the playground.

A look at the playground close to Alcester Street.

When you head down this way, there is a good view of the Birmingham skyline. In June 2010, you could see The Cube (completed that year). The Sentinels (Cleveland Tower and Clydesdale Tower) and the Beetham Tower. The Hyatt Hotel could also be seen from here.

Interesting climbing frame on the playground for kids.

Also this S shaped snake like bench.

Statue of King Edward VII

The following photos of the statue of King Edward VII taken in Centenary Square (not Highgate Park). Seen in November 2010 in front of The Copthorne Hotel. They had just installed it here, but the new bronze parts (to replace the stolen and never recovered parts) were not yet added.

By December 2010 they had finished the restoration of the statue, and it was looking as good as new! The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was being advertised on the Birmingham Central Library (above the entrance to Paradise Forum).

Another view from about July 2011 it was looking nice and clean.

The statue stayed here for the duration of the Centenary Square renovation works (2017 to 2019). But the statue had got quite weathered over the last 9 years. Seen here during June 2019, before they had fully reopened Centenary Square. At one point was portacabins around this site. The Copthorne Hotel is still there (but expect it to go in the 2020s).

Gatehouse

OK now back to Highgate Park and sad news about a building close to the Moseley Road. The gatehouse seen during March 2011, boarded up and empty for decades (probably).

This plaque confirms that it was built in 1876. I wonder if this plaque has gone to the Birmingham Museums Collections Centre?

By April 2018, the gatehouse had been covered in graffiti and was severely damaged from a fire (arson).

The door doesn't look too good. Graffiti either side of it. And looking damaged from the fire.

Sadly the gatehouse was demolished in September 2018. And in the year since, this area has been grassed over. This is what happens when the Council abandons a park gatehouse and leaves it to rot. Hopefully the surviving gatehouses in other city parks will be protected?

April 2018

Heading towards the back of The Rowton Hotel from the Alcester Street entrance of the park. On the way to see the fire damaged gatehouse.

Just outside of the sports pitch. I'm not sure what that green and red structure is for.

New flats built at the back of a Moseley Street site near St Anne's Hostel. Park View.

The back of The Rowton Hotel. Formerly called the Paragon Hotel. A Grade II listed building. Parkview House. Built in 1903-04 as the Rowton House hostel.

August 2019

My last visit to Highgate Park was when I got off the no 50 NXWM Platinum bus on the Moseley Road. For some reason National Express West Midlands call the stop Camp Hill Middleway (it's the bus stop after Highgate Middleway). This view walking up a road called Chandos Road. It leads to Salop Street. So the view through the railings.

A homeless persons tent set up in Highgate Park. Was close to the wall on the Moseley Road.

The main path from the Salop Street entrance towards the Moseley Road entrance.

Skyline update during August 2019. As well as the Beetham Tower, you can also see from here: the Library of Birmingham, Orion Building and The Forum. Big Brum at BM & AG was also visible from here. Above the playground. The new Arena Central buildings was also visible from the park.

For more Highgate Park photos, please check out my album on Flickr Highgate Park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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22 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Calthorpe Park: the park named after the Calthorpe Family

You have probably heard of the Calthorpe Estates which manages the land and what can be built in Edgbaston. They gave their name to Calthorpe Park which opened on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston in 1857. The park is between Speedwell Road and Edward Road. The River Rea is to the back of the park. The statue of Robert Peel used to be here, but just the plinth survives here now.

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Calthorpe Park: the park named after the Calthorpe Family





You have probably heard of the Calthorpe Estates which manages the land and what can be built in Edgbaston. They gave their name to Calthorpe Park which opened on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston in 1857. The park is between Speedwell Road and Edward Road. The River Rea is to the back of the park. The statue of Robert Peel used to be here, but just the plinth survives here now.


First up the information taken from the Wikipedia page: Calthorpe Park.

The park opened in 1857 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. The parks name comes from the Calthorpe family whose Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe  provided the land for it's creation in 1857. His son Augustus Gough-Calthorpe, 6th Baron Calthorpe signed over the freehold of the land in 1894. The park was formally opened by Prince George, Duke of Cambridge on the 1st June 1857.

An 1855 statue of Robert Peel used to stand in the park, but all that remains here is the original plinth. The statue was moved further down the Pershore Road to outside of Tally Ho! (now the West Midlands Police Training HQ).

 

December 2010

I've not been into Calthorpe Park much with my camera, but the first time was during December 2010.

A look at the empty plinth that used to have the statue of Robert Peel above it.  Like many old statues / plinths this plinth had graffiti on it (at the time) and the pair of L's were damaged. (You should see the old plinths at the Birmingham Museums Collection Centre for more examples).

The statue of Robert Peel seen in front of Tally Ho! on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston during November 2009 (it is still at this location). The statue used to be on Congreve Street, then it was moved to Council House Square in 1873 (now Victoria Square). In 1926 a gas lamp knocked it off it's pedestal (it was hit by a lorry) and it was moved to Calthorpe Park. In 1963 the statue was moved to the Pershore Road on top of a new plinth, leaving the old plinth where it was. The Victorian Society had opened to move the plinth and statue to a suitable location in the city centre, but that never happened. The statue was erected to commemorate the Repeal of the Corn Laws and not his involvement in setting up the Metropolitan Police.

Trees in Calthorpe Park seen from the Pershore Road side. There is football pitches behind with many goalposts.

One of the paths and a line of trees.

Looking back to the Pershore Road. Towards Birmingham Central Synagogue (the 1960s building was demolished in 2013 when the congreation moved into their refurbished building on Speedwell Road). That is now the site of a retirement home (Gracewell of Edgbaston).

The paths were looking a bit tired in late 2010. Edward Road seen to the far right.

I think the paths have been done up in the following years.

A plant close to the Pershore Road. The gatehouse lodge to the left on the corner of Speedwell Road.

From the Pershore Road looking at the path in the middle.

Close up look at the gatehouse. I don't think anyone has lived there in decades.

This column used to have council advertising around it. Now it is bare, but has plants growing out the top of it.

October 2019

I returned to Calthorpe Park with my camera while the Great Birmingham Run was on, up the Pershore Road. Trees looking very autumnal and the paths looking as good as new.

The tree lined path to the centre of the park (well heading along the path towards Speedwell Road / Alexandra Road).

Now near Speedwell Road. There are bollards close to here which separates Speedwell Road from Alexandra Road, as well as Princess Road in the middle.

The path alongside Alexandra Road leads to a bridge over the River Rea.

One of the goalposts on the football fields as well as a view of Edgbaston Cricket Ground with it's floodlights. The cricket stadium was redeveloped in 2011.

Looking to a spire in Moseley. It is of St Anne's Church, which is located on Park Hill in Moseley. Below a small brick building with graffiti all over it.

Looking to the football field with Edgbaston Cricket Ground in the distance.

Some of my photos from the Great Birmingham Run 2019 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. For more photos follow this link Great Birmingham Run 2019: runners on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston.

This is close to the corner of Edward Road and Pershore Road (where I entered the park this time around).

The runners continue to head up the Pershore Road and back into the city centre. Heading past Gracewell of Edgbaston and the Edgbaston Dental Centre.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Open spaces
21 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Malvern and Brueton Parks: from Solihull Town Centre to the M42

Two parks in one that are in Solihull Town Centre. Well Malvern Park is closer to the shops in Solihull. While Brueton Park is closer to the M42 (not far from the A41 and Junction 5). Over the years I've been to Malvern Park multiple times. Brueton Park only twice (it is much further away from the centre). Lots of paths to walk, also a lake and the River Blythe in Brueton Park.

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Malvern and Brueton Parks: from Solihull Town Centre to the M42





Two parks in one that are in Solihull Town Centre. Well Malvern Park is closer to the shops in Solihull. While Brueton Park is closer to the M42 (not far from the A41 and Junction 5). Over the years I've been to Malvern Park multiple times. Brueton Park only twice (it is much further away from the centre). Lots of paths to walk, also a lake and the River Blythe in Brueton Park.


First up details from the Wikipedia page Malvern and Brueton Park.

This pair of parks is located in Solihull.The park is over 130 acres in size and opened in 1944. The parks are a Green Flag Award winner.

Malvern Park was laid out by the then Solihull Urban District Council in 1926, on land that was formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The Statue of Horse and Horse Tamer was sculpted in 1874 by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. It was purchased at auction by Captain Oliver Bird, of Bird's Custard for his garden at Tudor Grange, but he donated it to Solihull Council in 1945. It was placed in the park during the coronation year of 1953. The statue was damaged in 2012, and restored later that year.

Brueton Park is a Local Nature Reserve. The parkland was given to Solihull by Horace Brueton in 1944. This land was also formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The two parks were linked in 1963. A lake runs through the park near the River Blythe. There is many species of Oak trees in the park. It is hard to tell when you are leaving Malvern Park as you enter Brueton Park as they merge into one.

 

I'm not putting all the photos I've uploaded into this post, please see them in the gallery. Alternatively in my Flickr albums Malvern Park and Brueton Park.

Malvern Park

The Prancing Horse statue seen during January 2010. This was when the bronze was looking quite green and before metal thieves damaged it in 2012 (before it was later restored).

The gates into Malvern Park. Seen in the middle of January 2010. They are the main gates from New Road in Solihull Town Centre. And not  far from the Warwick Road. They date to 1954-55.

Saw this wooden frame not far from the playground in the park during December 2012. A few years later I saw that they had installed a rope that children could climb on and walk along, like something from an obstacle course.

Near the New Road gate entrance. Saw this plaque in December 2012. From the "Rotary Club of Solihull. Presented to the people of Solihull in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, 2012, Sixty Glorious years". It was donated by Earlswood Garden & Landscape Centre and was made of mid Wales stone.

A path in Malvern Park seen during February 2014. Sometimes the pedestrian and cylist paintwork on the path can become quite faint, so sometimes you maybe walking on the cyclists side.

This canopy seen in Malvern Park during October 2014. Some kind of gazebo. Possibly somewhere that a band could play music, not that I've ever seen that myself here.

This wooden walkway seen in March 2016, going off the path to the right.

Ice cream van in the car park seen during March 2017. Super Whippy. I usually take the entrance from Park Road as it is the closest entrance from the Solihull High Street.

There was a lot of snow in the park during December 2017. A Winter Wonderland. This view looking to the spire of St Alphege's Church. It was freezing!

Mr Blue Sky was in Malvern Park during January 2019. Looking this way to the tennis courts.

The main gates to the park if you are coming in from the Park Road entrance. But there is also a path to the right. The October 2019 visit which I took on the walk to Brueton Park again. These gates date to the opening of the park in 1926.

Brueton Park

I've only been into Brueton Park twice. The first time was during October 2018. That time I walked all the way to the Warwick Road and then back into Solihull Town Centre. The Second time in October 2019 to cross a footbridge over the M42 (on a rather long walk to Widney Manor Station).

The path that leads from Malvern Park into Brueton Park.

Here the paths diverge, but you can really only go right past the evergreen trees. This is near the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (I've been past them but not gone in).

The lake in Brueton Park. It is quite large and runs along side the River Blythe.

A swan in the Brueton Park Lake.

Some gulls standing on branches of a tree, near the lake.

Heading into Brueton Park during October 2019 and the leaves on the trees are going yellowy orange. Quite autumnal.

This time I took the right path around the lake heading to a footbridge that crossed the River Blythe.

Here the Brueton Park Lake flows into the River Blythe. I was on my way to cross that footbridge.

Following the path alongside the River Blythe. The lake is on the other sides of the trees to the left.

Another footbridge crossing the River Blythe in Brueton Park. A quick look before I left the park for the footbridge over the M42.

Not only is it possible to walk from Solihull Town Centre over the M42, but you could probably also walk to Knowle and Dorridge if you wanted to. The Warwick Road is cut in half by the motorway. So the Solihull Bypass replaces that section of the A41. The footbridge can only be used by pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists (while they are not riding there bikes). I took a route towards Widney Manor Station.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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16 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sheldon Country Park: from the Coventry Road to Old Rectory Farm and the Airport viewing area

Only in Sheldon Country Park can you see a farm and then plane spot! There is several paths from the Coventry Road. One leads to Old Rectory Farm. The quicker route leads to the Airport viewing area near Marston Green Station. There are benches where you can sit and see planes taking off or landing. Get your train from or to Marston Green Station (or the bus).

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Sheldon Country Park: from the Coventry Road to Old Rectory Farm and the Airport viewing area





Only in Sheldon Country Park can you see a farm and then plane spot! There is several paths from the Coventry Road. One leads to Old Rectory Farm. The quicker route leads to the Airport viewing area near Marston Green Station. There are benches where you can sit and see planes taking off or landing. Get your train from or to Marston Green Station (or the bus).


Follow this link to my full Sheldon Country Park album on Flickr.

February 2015

This was my first walk in the Sheldon Country Park. Getting on at the Coventry Road in Sheldon, running alongside the Westley Brook. Not far from Barrows Lane and Horse Shoes Lane. This sign welcomes you to the park. An ALDI supermarket is almost directly opposite this entrance.

Trees in the park not far from the Coventry Road in Sheldon.

The path from the Coventry Road. Following the route of the Westley Brook it ends at Church Road in Sheldon.

A look at the Westley Brook from a footbridge.

The footbridge that crosses the Westley Brook.

At the time the paths were quite muddy. Walked from the Church Road entrance and went past Old Rectory Farm. Here was a couple of horses.

One of the horses eating grass.

Several sheep here as well.

A pair of sheep.

Beyond Old Rectory Farm was a football pitch. Boys were playing a game that day as I walked past on the muddy paths.

Airport viewing area first few visits

In March 2016 at Easter, I returned to the Sheldon Country Park, taken several buses towards Marston Green Station as I heard via social media that the Emirates Airbus A380 would be landing at Birmingham Airport with passengers for the first time. Obviously other people had heard this aswell (thanks Birmingham Updates!).

Just about caught the Emirates Airbus A380 landing as I got close to the Airport viewing area. What a sight! It was then given Birmingham Airport's traditional hose down! See the post here Emirates Airbus A380 : the super double decker plane from Dubai in Birmingham and the Midlands.

Loads of people here during March 2016 to see the Emirates Airbus A380 (and other planes) but mainly the Emirates.

Panoramic, was a nice day weather wise.

In November 2016 for a bit of plane spotting. While there saw this London Midland Class 350 Desiro train heading over the viaduct near Marston Green Station.

Was also a Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino going past. Best views usually from the platforms at Marston Green Station (but Virgin don't stop there, so go past at 100mph).

Another plane spotting session during March 2017. That day mainly waiting to see the Emirates Boeing 777 take off. Meanwhile saw this Virgin Trains Super Voyager Class 221 (I think).

Also heading over the brick viaduct was an Arriva Trains Wales Class 158 train. They usually go as far as Birmingham International, and then head back to North Wales (Holyhead). Since that franchise ended it is now run by Transport for Wales (I have yet to get photos of their trains since the new franchise started, but have seen some in this area but missed getting a photo of one).

Chinese State Circus

The Chinese State Circus was on in the Sheldon Country Park on a strip of land near the path that was close to the Westley Brook, during May 2017. See my circuses post here for more photos Circuses in Birmingham.

It was on from the 9th to 14th May 2017. There was signs lining the Coventry Road at the time letting people know about it, and elsewhere in Birmingham.

October 2019

Just when I thought I'd walked all the paths in the Sheldon Country Park, while I was checking out the Sheldon Retail Park, I knew that there was another entrance to the park nearby, so headed there after leaving Morrisons. Is also a new M & S Food in the Sheldon area. This path follows the Hatchford Brook. Getting on close to The Arden Oak (Harvester), which is near Arden Oak Road.

The path and the Hatchford Brook. Nearby to the right of the park is the Hatchford Brook Golf Club. But a bit hard to see the golf course over the fence and shrubbery.

A footbridge seen crossing the Hatchford Brook.

One side of the Hatchford Brook from the footbridge.

Also a small waterfall, or weir. Before you know it, you are walking past Birmingham Airport.

Newly laid paths in the Sheldon Country Park that runs up towards the Birmingham Airport perimeter.

The path now goes past the fence of the airport, and the Hatchford Brook enters the airport grounds.

Members of the public are not allowed to climb over the fence onto the airside area of the airport, or even use a drone here. It is forbidden!

An emergency exit gate from the airport onto the path in the park. It must be kept clear at all times.

I ended up at Marston Green Station again. Missed the first train to Birmingham New Street, and that was before buying a ticket (this was on a Sunday afternoon). After I bought my ticket had a half hour wait for the next London Northwestern Railway train that was heading towards Rugeley Trent Valley (now that the Chase line has been electrified). Got this view of the park when I finally left the station. Shows the airport viewing area. Benches and the path are to the left.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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