Environment & green action
Displaying until 17 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

GreenSpacesAndUs - a FreeTimePays Community of Passion and digital portal for people who want to make a difference!

With a combined reach of 100,000, FreeTimePays launches a unique digital space and portal for people to promote and share their passion for green spaces and a healthy and clean environment.

Take the full post to find out more and see how you can get involved.

Connect with us and help promote the passion that is green spaces and a clean environment!

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GreenSpacesAndUs - a FreeTimePays Community of Passion and digital portal for people who want to make a difference!




With a combined reach of 100,000, FreeTimePays launches a unique digital space and portal for people to promote and share their passion for green spaces and a healthy and clean environment.

Take the full post to find out more and see how you can get involved.

Connect with us and help promote the passion that is green spaces and a clean environment!


GreenSpacesAndUs is a Community of Passion that utilises FreeTimePays digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

GreenSpacesAndUs is a digital space for people who are passionate about green spaces and want to do whatever they can to help maintain a clean and healthy environment.

At GreenSpacesAndUs, we help connect people where passions are shared; we give people FREE access to their very own digital space where they can promote their passion; and we recognise people for the contributions they make through the allocation of Passion Points. Interested? Connect with us HERE.

The reach of FreeTimePays is huge and is growing with Communities of Passion being rolled out across the UK. 

Companies and organisations keen to support People with Passion play an essential role and we have a range of partnership, sponsorship and advertising packages available.

We can even go as far as to set groups and networks up with their own portal so they can grow their own branded Community of Passion linked to their own website or social media account.

View our Partnership arrangements or connect with us HERE.

Now let's show you what you get with FreeTimePays. 

FreeTimePays

FreeTimePays is an impact focused digital platform and social media channel specifically for people who want to make a difference and create a positive social and economic impact.

FreeTimePays is the social media of choice for 'People with Passion'.

With FreeTimePays, we help people take their passion to the next level by giving them access to a suite of digital tools and applications.

There are three components to FreeTimePays.

There’s Community Passport, Community Workspace and Community Matchmaker. Operating right across the platform in recognition of the valuable contribution being made by users is FreeTimePays gamification. This takes the form of points and rewards for passions shared.

FreeTimePays is here for people who really want to become involved in their community or with their particular passion and for those people who are really serious about making a difference. It’s our job at FreeTimePays to provide the tools and functionality that helps bring together those who create the great ideas with those who have the potential to turn an idea into something that really does make a difference.

Community Passport

Passport is a personal space which registered members can make their own. With a passport, members can choose to get involved with their passion and participate in many different ways.

They can view regular content and posts; sort and save this content by type or by passion; they can collect points for giving their views through polls and surveys, attend events or even join a discussion.

With a FreeTimePays Community Passport, members can follow inspiring people and they can learn more about their community and their passion by following regular ‘Did you Know’ features. And the more they decide to do and the more they get involved, the more points they collect and the greater the opportunity to take up offers and win prizes.

Community Workspace

With their unique Community Workspace, FreeTimePays is able to help those who are inspired and serious about taking things to the next level. FreeTimePays will give these people their own access rights environment where they can work on their idea or project.

In this digital space they can work alone, or bring in others to share in building evidence, acquiring knowledge and developing plans. This is the ideal space for working on the business; working on the idea; working on the initiative.

A range of facilities and tools can be found in workspace and users can effectively utilise this space for collating documents, photos, videos and web links, for opening up discussion and chat with others, or for running surveys and analysing results.

Community Matchmaker

The whole focus and rationale for FreeTimePays is MAKING A DIFFERENCE. It’s our job at FreeTimePays to provide the tools and functionality that helps bring together those who create the GREAT IDEAS with those who have the potential to turn an IDEA into something that really does MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Matchmaker is where the dreamers can join with the dream makers – with those who are more than happy to put their support, their resources, their connections, and their wealth of experience behind the idea and behind the passionate people responsible for coming up with the idea.

These are the community drivers, the investors, the philanthropists, the funders of great initiatives, the Lottery, and those from local government and the public sector who are responsible for the provision of public services.

These are the people and the organisations who are in positions of making things happen for those who are passionate and inspired to want to make a difference.

For more detail on what is provided by FreeTimePays connect HERE.

GreenSpacesAndUs

GreenSpacesAndUs will grow as a shared space for the many individuals, communities and businesses that will want to connect and share in their passion for a clean and healthy environment.

Their work, their ideas and their proposals can be pulled together in the one collaborative space giving them access to a huge resource bank for sharing images, documents and web links. 

In this space people can chat in a secure environment if they wish; they can set up and promote events; or they can communicate with any of the FreeTimePays Communities through creating and submitting posts. 

We would be delighted to tell you more.

Contact Jonathan Bostock at jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com or connect HERE with FreeTimePays for more information on sharing your passion for green spaces.

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50 passion points
Environment & green action
Displaying until 16 Aug 2019 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Are you passionate about protecting Green Spaces? Join Us!

Green Spaces And Us is a FreeTimePays Community of Passion that utilises digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

‘People with Passion’ are given the digital space and the digital tools so they can promote their passion for parks and open spaces and connect with people who share their passion.

 

Related

Are you passionate about protecting Green Spaces? Join Us!




Green Spaces And Us is a FreeTimePays Community of Passion that utilises digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

‘People with Passion’ are given the digital space and the digital tools so they can promote their passion for parks and open spaces and connect with people who share their passion.

 


Green Spaces And Us is all about engaging people in the promotion and of a healthy and clean environment and the recognition that our green spaces are there for us all to enjoy, including our wildlife.

GreenSpacesAndUs is a Community of Passion that utilises FreeTimePays digital engagement and social media to deliver real change and positive social impact.

FreeTimePays is an impact focused digital platform and social media channel specifically for people who want to make a difference and create a positive social and economic impact.

FreeTimePays is the social media of choice for 'People with Passion'.

With FreeTimePays, we help people take their passion to the next level by giving them access to a suite of digital tools and applications.

With Passion Points and with the support of our FreeTimePays partners, we recognise people for the difference and contribution they make and the positive impact they collectively deliver. 

Connect with us HERE and take your passion to the next level.

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40 passion points
Environment & green action
22 May 2019 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

Brilliant! Birmingham wins Gold for the 8th year running at RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

Take our post and wonderful gallery to see how this year's Chelsea Flower Show display from Birmingham City Council and sponsored by Veolia secured Gold. This year's display focuses on the need for Action on Climate Change.  

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Brilliant! Birmingham wins Gold for the 8th year running at RHS Chelsea Flower Show!




Take our post and wonderful gallery to see how this year's Chelsea Flower Show display from Birmingham City Council and sponsored by Veolia secured Gold. This year's display focuses on the need for Action on Climate Change.  


A partnership with Baroness Floella Benjamin, this year's garden from the City Council focuses on four key themes: air quality, water conservation, reducing waste and community involvement.

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council said, “I am delighted that we have again achieved Chelsea Gold for Birmingham while simultaneously being able to highlight the importance of our local environment. This is the first year that we’ve been in the ‘Discovery’ area at the show and so it’s fantastic to be recognised for more than just the incredible flora but also the future vision for sustainability in Birmingham.

“However, none of this would have been possible without the support of Baroness Floella Benjamin and our brilliant sponsors, Veolia, who have paid for this year’s display. A big thank you to both who have helped us reach this great achievement.”

Donald Macphail, Veolia’s Midland Director, said: “Veolia are pleased and proud to support Birmingham City Council's commitment to promote resource management, as part of the circular economy. Our on-going partnership with the Council will deliver recycling and composting services to the city, which this wonderful exhibit demonstrates. To win an eighth successive gold is a brilliant achievement - I congratulate everyone involved with this project."

This is a wonderful achievement and the people of Birmingham should be rightly proud of the importance attached to Action on Climate Change right across the City.

 

Well done on another great win! 

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40 passion points
Environment & green action
21 May 2019 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

When Puffin and plastic meets - We must make a difference!

We must make a difference, before it's to late....... Plastic polution affects all our beautiful wildlife on land & sea, and there very exsitence. When Puffin meets plastic on the Welsh Island of Skokholm, on the Pembrokeshire Coast, an example, of the affect plastic waste is having on all our wildlife & their environment around the world. 

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When Puffin and plastic meets - We must make a difference!




We must make a difference, before it's to late....... Plastic polution affects all our beautiful wildlife on land & sea, and there very exsitence. When Puffin meets plastic on the Welsh Island of Skokholm, on the Pembrokeshire Coast, an example, of the affect plastic waste is having on all our wildlife & their environment around the world. 


One parent bringing back sand eels to the burrow for it's baby puffin.

The other a bundle of plastic waste........

They usually keep the same mate every season and use the same burrow as in previous years.

All photography Courtesy Sorcha Lewis 

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50 passion points
People & community
08 May 2019 - The Friends of Kings Heath Park
Gallery

April in Kings Heath Park.

Fresh spring leaves, spring blossom, and Easter Egg hunting in the park.

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April in Kings Heath Park.




Fresh spring leaves, spring blossom, and Easter Egg hunting in the park.


April brought new colours to Kings Heath Park as the buds opened to reveal fresh green leaves and spring blossom. The spring weather brought more people to the park, and the Friends of Kings Heath Park Litter Pickers were out, making sure that the park was tidy for all to enjoy.

The highlight of the month was the Easter weekend, with sunshine and warm temperatures making the park the perfect place to go. The Friends of Kings Heath Park put on a children's Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Saturday. Each child had to find one of the many wooden discs that had been hidden in the area of the park around the big horse chestnut tree, then exchange it for two eggs - a wooden one to paint, and a chocolate one to eat. The keen painters could also decorate rocks to hide in the park, continuing the 'Kings Heath Rocks' craze that has been keeping children and families entertained for well over a year now. 

The evenings are getting longer still, and the park is enjoyed by walkers of all ages, nature lovers, runners and sports groups, dog walkers, and families and children. A wonderful open space in our community of Kings Heath!

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60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
04 May 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Cannon Hill Park, the Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims - April 2019

In March the memorial to the 31 British victims of the 2015 Sousse Terror Attack in Tunisia was unveiled by Prince Harry in Cannon Hill Park, here's a small gallery of photos of this amazing sculpture called 'Infinate Wave' created by George King Architects.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Cannon Hill Park, the Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims - April 2019




In March the memorial to the 31 British victims of the 2015 Sousse Terror Attack in Tunisia was unveiled by Prince Harry in Cannon Hill Park, here's a small gallery of photos of this amazing sculpture called 'Infinate Wave' created by George King Architects.

Photos by Daniel Sturley


There are 31 stainless steel tubes creating this sculpture, one for each of the 31 British victims.

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Environment & green action
23 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Kings Heath Park over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend 2019

It's been a hot four days over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend in late April 2019. I popped along to Kings Heath Park on Easter Monday, the 22nd April 2019 to check out the bluebells, the pond and flowers around the park! A walk down Vicarage Road into the park, then when I left, headed up Cartland Road towards Pershore Road, Stirchley (instead of Avenue Road).

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Kings Heath Park over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend 2019




It's been a hot four days over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend in late April 2019. I popped along to Kings Heath Park on Easter Monday, the 22nd April 2019 to check out the bluebells, the pond and flowers around the park! A walk down Vicarage Road into the park, then when I left, headed up Cartland Road towards Pershore Road, Stirchley (instead of Avenue Road).


Entering from the Vicrage Road entrance near the corner of Avenue Road, saw this yellow flower near the gatehouse.

Heading up the path parallel to Avenue Road, having a look at the bluebells growing in the grass, with a few zoom ins.

You don't have to go far to see bluebells it seems! Just catch the 11A or 11C to Kings Heath (or the 35 or 50). The High Street is in walking distance of the park.

Not as far zoomed in with this group of bluebells. Was also buttercups growing in the grass near the Avenue Road side.

Thought about leaving at Avenue Road, near one of the car park exits, but decided to check out the ponds instead! The trees around the pond was looking lush and green.

Even more lush and green around the pond here. Noticed some barriers to the left of here (not in the photo). The water jets were not turned on.

Lots of colour with the yellow and red flowers around the four pots and the flagpole.

A zoom into the four pots in the middle.

On the other side of the path heading back to the other Vicrage Road entrance / exit, saw these flowers planted on the left.

More yellow and red flowers around this small tree on the right.

My usual 10 minute walk in and out of the park. Headed past King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools (closed for the Easter holidays). Wasn't going to wait 20 minutes for another 11C, so walked up Cartland Road towards the Pershore Road in Stirchley. And the wait for the no 45 bus was 10 minutes.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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60 passion points
Green travel
17 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A look at the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to Leamington Spa

The Grand Union Canal links Birmingham to London, but here we will just look at the areas from Birmingham towards Leamington Spa. Made up of smaller canals bought by the Regents Canal Company in the 1920s. Many locks were widened for double sized barges, although they ended up being used by pairs of narrowboats instead! Through Acocks Green, Olton, Hatton, Warwick and Leamington Spa.

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A look at the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to Leamington Spa




The Grand Union Canal links Birmingham to London, but here we will just look at the areas from Birmingham towards Leamington Spa. Made up of smaller canals bought by the Regents Canal Company in the 1920s. Many locks were widened for double sized barges, although they ended up being used by pairs of narrowboats instead! Through Acocks Green, Olton, Hatton, Warwick and Leamington Spa.


Starting at Spaghetti Junction, below the M6 motorway is Salford Junction. This is where the Grand Union Canal starts in north Birmingham (unless you count Bordesley Junction as the start). At Salford Junction is the Salford Junction Bridge. The canals going left and right is the Tame Valley Canal and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Above is the concrete and graffiti carrying the M6 motorway at the Gravelley Hill Interchange aka Spaghetti Junction. The canal was formerly called the Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal until it was bought in 1929 by the Regent's Canal company to form the Grand Union Canal. It goes down to Bordesley linking up with the Digbeth Branch of the Grand Union Canal.

This April 2018 view of the Grand Union Canal from near the Bordesley Village. Near the Garrison Lane Bridge. Towards The Village Bridge. Graffiti street art for the Canal & River Trust and Phoenix Hall below Bordesley Village. Not far from here is St Andrew's home of Birmingham City FC.

Near Bordesley Middleway the canal locks that leads onto the Grand Union Canal. The railway bridge of the Snow Hill lines and to the right was the Holy Trinity Church in this view from October 2009. The canal lock is labelled "Bordesley Middle Way no 1". This direction towards Small Heath. Digbeth is back around the loop to the right of here. Time to head off to the suburbs!

Seen near the Westley Vale Millennium Green in Acocks Green. A look at the Grand Union Canal during May 2015. So lush and green at this time of year! The canal down here was the Warwick & Birmingham Canal before becoming part of the Grand Union Canal. Seen from bridge no 86, dating to the late 18th century. Also known as the Woodcock Lane Bridge. This area is not that far from Acocks Green Station.

Now the canal heads through Solihull. First a look at the canal in Olton, not far from Olton Station. Seen from the Richmond Road Bridge during January 2013. There had been a bit of snow at this point of the year, but mostly melted. The towpaths can get quite muddy in Solihull!

An April 2018 walk from Solihull to Catherine-de-Barnes started at the Damson Parkway Bridge and ended at the Hampton Lane Bridge in Catherine-de-Barnes, a village in Solihull Borough. The towpath was very muddy! Mud on my jeans and shoes! Later took a path back via some fields back to Solihull. A pair of narrowboats seen near the Hampton Lane Bridge, where I got off the muddy towpath to have a look at the village! Yes, it's possible to walk from Solihull Town Centre to Catherine-de-Barnes via the Grand Union Canal!

Down to Warwickshire now, and the Hatton Locks. This was from a visit to Hatton during March 2017, getting the train from Solihull to Hatton. After exploring the area, I made it eventually to Hatton Locks, what a sight to see from the top! This photo was from around lock 42. The locks are known as the "Stairway to Heaven". This was close to the Hatton Wharf.  St Mary's Church in Warwick was visible from this point. I returned to the Hatton Locks two years later during April 2019 (during my Warwick Station to Warwick Parkway Station walk). That ended near the Hatton Bottom Lock. The canal here was still formerly part of the Warwick & Birmingham Canal, only ending at Budbrooke Junction, near the Saltisford Arm.

In Warwick from the Coventry Road Bridge. This view of the Grand Union Canal, Kate Boats in Warwick is on the right. Many narrowboats were moored here. My April 2019 walk along the Grand Union Canal in Warwick started from the Coventry Road Bridge, but first a look at the side that I didn't walk up. Got the train to Warwick Station with the intention of walking towards Warwick Parkway Station. The walk takes you past many bridges. The canal here was formerly the Warwick & Napton Canal. It leads to Budbrooke Junction. I got off the canal at the Birmingham Road Bridge and saw the Saltisford Arm, but had to get back on the other side, towards the Hatton Bottom Lock, before getting off again near Warwick Parkway Station!

The Grand Union Canal was looking lush and green during May 2016 in Leamington Spa. Train down from Solihull to Leamington Spa. I got onto the towpath at Old Warwick Road and got off at Tachbrook Road. I think at the time I was thinking of getting on at the road I got off, but plans never go to plan when you get to a location to take photos! Here a narrowboat was going at a leisurely pace along the canal, while a man was jogging along the towpath. The canal here is not that far from Leamington Spa Station. Both the canal and the Chiltern Mainline run quite close to each other in Warwickshire!

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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70 passion points
Green travel
16 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

New blue cycleway open up the A34 towards Perry Barr

Starting from James Watt Queensway, opposite Aston University, this new blue cycleway has opened during April 2019. Going past Lancaster Circus, it then goes up Lancaster Street, then up New Town Row. Continuing on towards Perry Barr on the Birchfield Road. My most recent photos of the route are only the sections close to the city centre, so James Watt Queensway to New Town Row!

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New blue cycleway open up the A34 towards Perry Barr




Starting from James Watt Queensway, opposite Aston University, this new blue cycleway has opened during April 2019. Going past Lancaster Circus, it then goes up Lancaster Street, then up New Town Row. Continuing on towards Perry Barr on the Birchfield Road. My most recent photos of the route are only the sections close to the city centre, so James Watt Queensway to New Town Row!


Seen during August 2018, on James Watt Queensway, this was my first glimpse of the new blue cycling surface, close to Birmingham Children's Hospital and opposite Aston University. The helipad used by the Midlands Air Ambulance is to the left. Quite close to the Steelhouse Conservation Area (where Dalton Street, Ryder Street and Corporation Street meet at the end of the Methodist Central Hall).The route continues down the ramps to the subways of Lancaster Circus, as a no 51 bus was waiting to turn left. This is one of the buses that you can catch up to Perry Barr or Walsall.

I heard via Twitter from Birmingham Cycle Revolution that the A34 Cycle Route had opened the week starting 9th April 2019. They were posting various photos on their Twitter feed, so I wanted to take some myself. I'm just a walker, not a cyclist, but like to see cycle routes around the city! The last time I walked down to Lancaster Circus, I did notice that the cycle route down to the subways hasn't been painted blue (just the old white lines painted on the pavement).

For a lunchtime walk, I left the Aston University Campus and headed over towards Lancaster Circus, and got onto Lancaster Street to see a section of the newly opened blue cycleway on the A34. This section is opposite the student accommodation blocks of Staniforth House, Bagot Street 1 and Bagot Street 2. The only cyclist I saw was from Uber Eats. I headed up towards the Shazam! billboard where I would get off the road at the Lancaster Street Bridge, so I could get onto the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (where most cyclists would currently ride their bikes!).

The bus stop is placed on the right and the blue cycleway curves around it. Bagot Street 1 and 2 opposite. You would see many National Express West Midlands Platinum buses along the A34 corridor towards Perry Barr and Walsall.

The blue cycleway continues to curve around up New Town Row towards the Birchfield Road. Just about enough room here for a bus lane! Beyond here, the route would head up the Newtown High Street, then past Six Ways Aston, and up the Birchfield Road.

I have yet to check out the section beyond Newtown Middleway / New John Street since the full route was completed! Reckon that I'll need to catch a bus up to Perry Barr, and get photos out of the window at the front of the top deck (on the left), as long as it doesn't rain, and is dry. Previous attempts from a bus window, weren't too great when the window of the bus was covered in condensation from the rain, so best to go up on a dry, sunny spring day!

Check out this video on Facebook, posted by George Everett! The A34 route to Perry Barr is finally open!. A time lapse of the entire route.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me here or on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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80 passion points
Architecture
15 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A Tale of Two Hampton Courts (don't confuse them!)

You've all heard of the world famous Hampton Court Palace in London, but have you heard of the other Hampton Court in Herefordshire! Hampton Court Castle is in the West Midlands Region, and is closer to Birmingham, than the former home of Henry VIII in the capital! Some people may even get sent to the wrong one on their SatNav! Both are well worth a visit. I visited both in 2016.

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A Tale of Two Hampton Courts (don't confuse them!)




You've all heard of the world famous Hampton Court Palace in London, but have you heard of the other Hampton Court in Herefordshire! Hampton Court Castle is in the West Midlands Region, and is closer to Birmingham, than the former home of Henry VIII in the capital! Some people may even get sent to the wrong one on their SatNav! Both are well worth a visit. I visited both in 2016.


Hampton Court Castle

A visit on the August Bank Holiday Weekend of 2016 to Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire. This was only a month or so after my visit to the other more famous Hampton Court down in London! It is located in Hope under Dinmore, south of Leominster and is a Grade I listed building. It dates to 1427 and was built by Sir Rowland Lenthall, on land that was a gift of King Henry IV. It's been beside the River Lugg for 600 years. The Lenthall's stayed here for 300 years. In the 19th century it was bought by Richard Arkwright. His descendants lived here until 1912. In the 20th century it went through various owners until the American millionaire Robert Van Kampen bought it in the 1990s. It was sold again after his death. The postcode for your SatNav is . Distance from Birmingham around 58 to 61 miles, via the M5.

 

First up a look at the Gatehouse, this would be the first and last thing you would see if arriving by car (or coach if one would be able to fit through the archway). The gatehouse is a Grade I listed building, and it listed with the main castle building. Hampton Court, Hope under Dinmore. It dates to the 15th century, with 19th century remodelling. There is two small towers either side of the entranceway.

First view of the castle itself at the end of the drive. This Hampton Court is a castellated country house built between 1427 and 1436. It was altered in the early 18th century by Colen Campbell for Lord Coningsby and remodelled and restored in the early 19th century by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville for Richard Arkwright.

On this side was the Orangery Tearoom, where we had some lunch. Some picnic tables outside.

The view of the castle from the lawn. It was from near here that you could watch the falconry display on the Bank Holiday Weekend in late August 2016. The grounds are also used for various other special events, such as outdoor theatre productions, small concerts and family days out.

A look at the castle round to the right side from the lawn. The Orangery Tearoom was to the far left. The building itself is much smaller than the other Hampton Court. There has been many owners of the building over the centuries. It was owned by the noble Coningsby family from 1510 until 1781. John Arkwright grandson of Richard Arkwright purchased it in 1810. John Stanhope Arkwright sold it in 1910. It was the seat of the Viscount Hereford from 1924 and 1972. American businessman Robert Van Kampen bought it in 1994, but he died in 1999. The Van Kampen family sold the castle and grounds in 2008. The house was last for sale in January 2016.

Now a look inside. There was not a problem with taking photos inside of the castle (as long as you don't use flash).

In this corridor was suits of armour and deer heads. Saw lots of suits of armour on the ground floor over various corridors / rooms.

Suits of armour and a chandelier in this room. Also on the wall was an armoured horse with a suit of armour (on the left). And half a deer on the right side!

Another corridor with more suits of armour (on the left) and deer heads (on the right). A tapestry at the far end.

Shields and more suits of armour around this staircase. Also heraldic flags. A chandelier hanging on the ceiling.

This dining room with a long dining table and chairs, looks like to be from the 19th century. Was a dress on a dummy to the far left. Paintings of flowers on the wall either side of the mirror.

For more photos, please check out my album on Flickr: Hampton Court Castle - the castle.

Hampton Court Palace

This was a group visit during July 2016 (went on a mini coach). A nice day out, where you could see the Tudor palace of King Henry VIII and the late 17th century palace of King William III & Mary II. As well as watch jousting displays and explore the vast gardens. It's next to the River Thames, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Postcode for your SatNav is . Distance from Birmingham approximately 130 miles, if you go via the M40 and M25.

The palace is a Grade I listed building Hampton Court Palace. This view from the main entrance looking up to the Tudor Palace. Built from 1514 onwards, originally by Cardinal Wolsey. King Henry VIII  took it over from the Cardinal, and became one of his main palaces. He made alterations from 1529 to 1540 including the building of the Great Hall. Lots of tourists about in a busy hot summer!

Entering into the next courtyard. This is The Base Court. It's the entrance to Henry VIII's Apartments. The palace is now managed by Historic Royal Palaces. No Monarch has lived here since George II. From here you can visit Henry VIII's Kitchens. There was busts of Roman Emperor's around this court.

The Baroque palace was built from 1689 until about 1694 for King William III by the architect Sir Christopher Wren. This are is the Fountain Court. From here you can access The Georgian Story and William III's Apartments. But I think that you couldn't take photos inside of those galleries unfortunately. I think there was a tea room around here somewhere!

Heading out to the palace's gardens. This view was taken from The Wilderness (near the Rose Garden) and is a view of the Great Hall. That was rebuilt from 1532 and the Chapel was remodelled in 1536, including the building of the Chapel Court. We were heading to the River Thames.

View of the palace from the River Thames. There is a park on the other side of the Thames called Cigarette Island Park, and it has nice views of the palace, the further you go down the path! The boat was called Connaught and was at Hampton Court Landing Stage, Pier No 3. Tudor Palace seen on the left. Baroque Palace to the right!

Kitchen's - seving place. There wasn't many interiors where you could take photos, but it was ok in the Henry VIII's Kitchens

The Queen's Staircase.  Decorated in 1734 for Queen Caroline by the architect and designer William Kent. Nice looking Royal ceiling! Taking photos in the King William III apartments was not allowed, so I had to respect that, so was not much that I could take up here! That led to the The Georgian Story, but wasn't much to take photo wise when I got there (at the time).

The Great Hall - stained glass window - Henry VIII. Not as much restrictions in King Henry VIII's Apartments though (for taking photos). This stained glass window has the Royal Tudor Coat of Arms, with an image of King Henry VIII in the middle of it.

Henry VIII and Katherine Parr married in her Privy Closet at Hampton Court on the morning of 12th July 1543. This was seen in a room off a corridor. Nearby was a portrait of Henry VIII on the wall.

The Clock Court. Part of the Tudor Palace. Some benches here for people to sit down. At this point we were on our way to have a quick look at the Young Henry VIII's Story exhibition. The entrance to the Henry VIII Apartments was further to the left. This was just after exiting those apartments (probably from the door behind me).

For more photos, please check out my album on Flickr: Hampton Court Palace.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
12 Apr 2019 - FreeTimePays
News & Updates

Robert the Cat "gets the cream" at Walsall Road Allotments, Birmingham

New images have been released of how Perry Park and areas around the Alexander Stadium including Walsall Road Allotments will look both during and after the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Take the full post to read this great example of how Community can connect and can influence decision making. Great to see the Council listening to Community.

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Robert the Cat "gets the cream" at Walsall Road Allotments, Birmingham




New images have been released of how Perry Park and areas around the Alexander Stadium including Walsall Road Allotments will look both during and after the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Take the full post to read this great example of how Community can connect and can influence decision making. Great to see the Council listening to Community.


Following a well-run campaign led by Betty Farruggia, site manager at the Walsall Road Allotments, Birmingham City Council has announced that the allotments will play a key part in the legacy of Perry Park as a result of holding the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The decision has been taken that relocation of the Allotments will not be necessary, much to the delight of one of the Allotments residents, Robert the cat.

In fact, the focus is on protecting the heritage of the allotments and it will form part of a public space that promotes and supports wellbeing and leisure in and across Birmingham.  

Birmingham City Council Leader, Cllr Ian Ward, said:

 "I'm delighted to reassure Robert the cat and his friends that the Walsall Road Allotments will be protected.

"The residents, businesses and community groups of Perry Barr should be at the very heart of Birmingham 2022 and we want to ensure that they feel the benefits of the Commonwealth Games.

“So, before making any final decisions about the wider Alexander Stadium site, we’ve spent a number of weeks listening to the plotholders and other interested parties about the current and future use of the allotments and the surrounding area.

"They are clearly passionately committed to Walsall Road allotments and that's the type of community spirit that we'd like to see replicated right across the city in 2022 and beyond."

Betty Farruggia, Site Manager of the Walsall Road Allotments said:

“I am elated to hear that the allotment site will be retained.

“We will work closely with the council in the months and years ahead to facilitate the smooth running of the Games and further develop the strong feeling of community that we have here and in the wider area.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support and the council who have listened to our comments and concerns.”

The Masterplan for the Games and for how Alexander Stadium fits into the plan for redefining green space in Perry Barr will be put to the City Council’s Cabinet later in the year. Early ideas and thoughts, however, including a naturescape, promenade and running trails.

Council Leader, Cllr Ian Ward, has added:

“Engaging local communities and improving the health and wellbeing of our citizens, as well as attracting multi-million-pound investment and improvements in housing, transport infrastructure, and community facilities, are key drivers to us hosting the Commonwealth Games and shaping the legacy beyond.

“We are very excited by these early plans and drawings showing us what could be possible to make this area one that is focused on not just a sport but also wellbeing and health living. It truly will be a destination venue that I hope the citizens of Perry Barr will be benefit from and be proud of for many years to come.”

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
09 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Two events with animated creatures at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. Jurassic Kingdom was held during May 2017, while Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom was held during April 2019. A gallery of 10 photos of the dinosaurs from 2017. And 10 photos of the extinct ice age animals from 2019. They make noises with sound (see my YouTube links for examples).

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Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens




Two events with animated creatures at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston. Jurassic Kingdom was held during May 2017, while Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom was held during April 2019. A gallery of 10 photos of the dinosaurs from 2017. And 10 photos of the extinct ice age animals from 2019. They make noises with sound (see my YouTube links for examples).


Jurassic Kingdom

This event was on at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens from the 20th May to the 4th June 2017. There was loads of life sized animated dinosaurs here to see! A selection of 10 photos below.

T-Rex in the car park near the entrance!

Carnotaurus

Small Triceratops.

 Pterosaur

Tyrannosaurus Vs Spinosaurus!

Velociraptor Vs Apatosaurus!

Brachiosaurus

Spinosaurus

Parasaurolophus

Euoplocephalus

Video here on my YouTube Channel. Jurassic Kingdom, YouTube.

Full album of Jurassic photos over on my Flickr (with some video clips) Jurassic Kingdom, Flickr.

Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom

This event was held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens from the 6th to 28th April 2019. I think from the same organisers as Jurassic Kingdom from 2 years before. I got in on the first morning on a 40% off early bird ticket! A selection of 10 photos below.

Smilodon populator (Sabre-Toothed Cat)

Coelodonta antiquitatis (Woolly Rhinoceros)

Mammuthus (mammoth)

Mastodon (being hunted by cavemen)

Miracinonyx (American Cheetah) and Elasmotherium (Siberian Unicorn)

Daeodon. Meaning 'dreadful tooth' also known by Dinohyus ('terrible pig')

Marcrauchenia patachonica

Doedicurus clavicaudatus

Teratornis merriami

Glyptodon

Video here on my YouTube Channel Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom, YouTube.

Full album of Ice Age photos over on my Flickr (with some video clips) Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom, Flickr.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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Environment & green action
08 Apr 2019 - The Friends of Kings Heath Park
News & Updates

Spring has clearly arrived at Kings Heath Park!

With lighter evenings, spring flowers, and many more people using our lovely park, Spring has most certainly arrived at Kings Heath Park.

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Spring has clearly arrived at Kings Heath Park!




With lighter evenings, spring flowers, and many more people using our lovely park, Spring has most certainly arrived at Kings Heath Park.


March heralds the beginning of spring, and early spring flowers have started to blossom in Kings Heath Park. Daffodils and forsythia have brought bright splashes of yellow, and the huge magnolia near the Park House has been magnificent this year. The sunny days have brought more people to the park, and the lighter evenings have meant that more people can fit in a run or a walk with the dog after work. It is still cold though, so the children in the playground and the dog walkers are still wearing warm jackets! The pool, which had almost dried up during last year's hot summer, is filling up from the rain, and the heron has started visiting again.

The park staff have been busy maintaining the park throughout the winter, and March saw the second volunteer wood clearing event of the year, led by Dean the Ranger.

 

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Environment & green action
02 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

From Birmingham to Worcester on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal

A look at the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Starting near the Mailbox, heading down Edgbaston, Selly Oak, Bournville, Stirchley to Kings Norton. Also at look at the other end of the canal down in Worcester. Between Five Ways and Bournville, the canal and railway run almost parallel. There is also the Ariel Aqueduct in Selly Oak! At Kings Norton you can leave this canal for Stratford!

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From Birmingham to Worcester on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal




A look at the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Starting near the Mailbox, heading down Edgbaston, Selly Oak, Bournville, Stirchley to Kings Norton. Also at look at the other end of the canal down in Worcester. Between Five Ways and Bournville, the canal and railway run almost parallel. There is also the Ariel Aqueduct in Selly Oak! At Kings Norton you can leave this canal for Stratford!


We start at The Cube. In this August 2013 view near The Mailbox. Directly ahead is Gas Street Basin, where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal ends at Worcester Bar, and near the start of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (through the Broad Street Tunnel). I normally do the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in small sections. I usually see cyclists on the towpath, and occasionally dog walkers. The Salvage Turn Bridge (as it is called) aka the Love Lock Bridge. It was recently repaired.

In this January 2011 view from the Granville Street Bridge. Head down the steps, and you can walk towards Bath Row, then onto Islington Row Middleway. Student halls on the left are for University College Birmingham (UCB). You may also see an abandoned railway line on the right (usually full of litter). Could do with restoring somehow!

View from April 2014 near the IQ student accommodation. From Bath Row towards Islington Row Middleway. The exit near here is on the other side of the Bath Row Bridge. In recent years, a new exit to Islington Row Middleway and Five Ways Station was installed. As that is the last exit for a while before The Vale at the University of Birmingham!

In this view from February 2012, from the Islington Row Middleway Bridge, you can see a pair of narrowboats, including the Sherborne Wharf tourist trip boat, on the left. While Five Ways Station with a London Midland Class 170 passing (it does not stop there on the way to Hereford). Abandoned railway line in the middle, that used to go to about where the AXIS building is now (the tunnels are still there, but are blocked off). The St James Road Bridge does not have steps, so if you are on the towpath and want to get off, you have to walk towards The Vale! Beyond here it is very leafy and tree lined, to keep the Calthorpe Estates of Edgbaston looking pretty!

The Edgbaston Tunnel seen from near the north portal, during April 2016. Running on the right is what is now the Cross City Line. The lost Church Road Station used to be around here. A narrowboat is seen going through the tunnel. In 2018, the towpath in the tunnel was widened, so this section was closed for a few months (it is now open again). I regularly see cyclists down here when I walk this section. Hallfield School is on the other side of the tunnel.

Also April 2016. If you want to get off after a walk from The Mailbox, take this bridge at The Vale, near new student accommodation blocks for the University of Birmingham. The road / path leads to Church Road in Edgbaston, near the number 1 bus route! The bridges around here normally get tagged!

Another set of steps at Somerset Road in Edgbaston to get onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towpath. Near the University of Birmingham. On the Cross City line during January 2018, West Midlands Railway 323203, is seen cruising towards Longbridge and Redditch (is always nice to be sat on the train, when passing the canal down here). The totem pole was heavily vandalised at the time.

Next up is this February 2013 view from the Pritchatts Road Bridge in Edgbaston, around the University of Birmingham. On the Cross City line around to the right is University Station. No towpath access here, the next one up is next to University Station at the Westgate (or University Road West).

The Selly Oak New Road opened in 2011 and that including building an aqueduct for the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and a railway viaduct for the Cross City Line. This view from February 2013. The road below is called the Aston Webb Boulevard, after the architect of the original University of Birmingham buildings. From the canal you can see the railway. You can also see th aqueduct from a train passing over the railway viaduct! Beyond here is the Battery Park redevelopment site, where the new Selly Oak Shopping Park opened in late 2018. While the Life Sciences Park for the University of Birmingham has yet to be built!

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal switches sides with the Cross City line between the Bristol Road and Raddlebarn Road bridges in Selly Oak. In this March 2018 view, a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train is seen heading towards Selly Oak Station. The Bristol Road entrance to the canal is via The Dingle. But is also access near some of the new housing developments.

March 2018 between Bournville Station, Mary Vale Road towards Raddlebarn Road in Bournville. As a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train headed south towards Longbridge, I was approaching the Cadbury Railway Wharf Bridge. It is no longer used. Was the former Cadbury private railway that led to the chocolate factory! But the bridge remains!

An October 2011 view of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from near Mary Vale Road in Bournville. London Midland 323215 was at Bournville Station, while a cyclist and some joggers were heading up the towpath! On a nice autumnal day! I hadn't started to use the Cross City line at that point! If you get on the canal in Stirchley (on the Pershore Road near Lifford Lane), you can get off here, and head down Mary Vale Road to the Pershore Road. Or head in the other direction to Cadbury World and Bournville Village.

An unexpected site during March 2015 from the Pershore Road Bridge in Stirchley. A club of canoeists on the canal! The road on the left, is another section of a lost railway line. Lots of industrial units up this way.

The Camp Hill Line railway bridge seen during April 2016 in Stirchley. This part of the towpath is part of the Rea Valley Route. There is various paths along the River Rea that goes through Stirchley, then joins the canal near here, and goes down to Kings Norton and beyond.

The view from March 2012 in Kings Norton. This part of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Kings Norton Junction, near the start of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Not far from here is the Guillotine Lock on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. This building was the Lock Keepers Cottage, also known as Junction House, a Grade II listed building. It has been empty for a long time, and was sadly a victim of an arson attack. It was built in 1802. Hopefully the Canal & River Trust / Birmingham City Council can restore it, and give it a use. Maybe a canalside cafe / tea room. It can't be left empty forever (and hopefully it won't be demolished!). It might even date to as early as 1796!

The furthest south in Birmingham on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal that I have explored was from Parsons Hill in Kings Norton, near Wharf Road. From here in March 2012, I would have walked up to Kings Norton Junction. I have yet to cover the section south of here. Anything further south in Worcestershire, I covered by getting a train to Alvechurch or Worcester!

A February 2016 train trip to Alvechurch in Worcestershire. Near Alvechurch Station is the Alvechurch Marina on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. A useful place to start a boating holiday. Seen from Scarfield Hill

Now a look at some parts of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in the City of Worcester!

My last visit to Worcester by train was during August 2018 to check out their Giraffe sculpture trail, Worcester Stands Tall (similar to the Big Hoot / Big Sleuth in Birmingham). This view from the bridge on Lowesmoor Place in Worcester.

November 2011 in Worcester. Converted factories and Albion Mill in the Diglis area of Worcester. New buildings and old being converted into flats / apartments, like in Birmingham.

Diglis Basin and the Dry Dock during November 2011 in Worcester. Like with Birmingham, they have converted old factories into apartments, and built new buildings up the canal. Many narrowboats here.

The end of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at the River Severn in Worcester. Seen November 2011 at the Diglis Bottom Lock. I acutally walked down the River Severn path, then up the towpath from here towards Worcester Shrub Hill Station! The lock here is Grade II listed Barge Lock No 1 Adjacent to River Severn, Worcester.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
History & heritage
24 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham more miles of canals than Venice

I went to Venice in July 2010 and had a ride on a gondola. We were also taken around the lagoon. A comparison of Birmingham's canals with those in Venice, Italy. Gondolas vs narrowboats. We have more miles of canals in Brum compared to Venice. 35 miles of canals with the City of Birmingham, with most of that navigable. Around 26 miles in Venice. Venice first then a look at Birmingham!

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Birmingham more miles of canals than Venice




I went to Venice in July 2010 and had a ride on a gondola. We were also taken around the lagoon. A comparison of Birmingham's canals with those in Venice, Italy. Gondolas vs narrowboats. We have more miles of canals in Brum compared to Venice. 35 miles of canals with the City of Birmingham, with most of that navigable. Around 26 miles in Venice. Venice first then a look at Birmingham!


This post will mostly be a comparison of the Dragon Boat race near Brindleyplace and the narrowboats within the city centre on the Birmingham Canal Navigations near Brindleyplace. With the world famous gondolas seen on the canals in Venice.

We start off with Venice. After the long boat ride to get to the city we got straight onto a gondola for a ride around the famous canals of Venice! The journey starts from the Bacino di San Marco.

I was on one gondola back in July 2010 and saw this gondola in front! This canal was the Rio di Palazzo. The gondolier's were having a chat with each other!

Both gondolas were heading for this footbridge. Many interesting looking buildings on the way!

A view of the Hard Rock Cafe in Venice. I can't even recall there being a Hard Rock Cafe in Birmingham! More recently saw a Hard Rock Cafe in Lyon, France and in Florence, Italy. Seen at the Orseolo basin (Bacino Orseolo). The canal might be the Rio del Cappello.

More tourists enjoying a ride on a gondola, like I did earlier that day (a roasting hot 12th July 2010 over 35°C!). This canal was the Rio del Scoa Camini. The Bacino Orseolo (Orseolo Basin) is around the corner.

The view from the same footbridge as above, so still the Rio del Scoa Camini. A footpath running alongside the shops. More tourists riding on gondolas. One gondolier on a brake (on the right).

Another Venetian canal. Several boats moored on the left. Seen from a footbridge on the Riva degli Schiavoni. This canal is the Rio di San Lorenzo. The bell tower on the right is of the Church of San Giorgio dei Greci (Chiesa di San Giorgio dei Greci in Italian).

If you want a taxi around Venice, then this is the way to travel, by a speedboat! Seen from another footbridge on the Riva degli Schiavoni. This canal was the Rio della Pieta. At this point we were heading to catch a boat for a Lagoon cruise! This might be almost 9 years ago but this day in Venice is still quite memorable!

OK enough with Venice, and back to Birmingham!

Flowers on the Brindleyplace Bridge over the Birmingham Canal Navigations in this view towards the Broad Street Tunnel. The ICC on the left, Brindleyplace to the right. Flowers out for the 4 Squares Weekender which was held in the city centre over the weekend of the 6th to 8th September 2013 (around when the new Library of Birmingham had opened). The red Waterbus seen behind. And the Sherborne Wharf tourist boat in front!

Not something you see on the Birmingham Canal Navigations every day. Canoeing on the canal. Saw this in May 2015 close to the Barclaycard Arena (now Arena Birmingham). This view the corner close to the Sealife Centre.

This view close to the Sheepcote Street Bridge. I also once saw canoes on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from the Pershore Road Bridge in Stirchley!

What you are more likely to see around here is a service boat! Seen passing the Waterbus and the Sherborne Wharf tourist narrowboat. It was heading past the Brindleyplace Bridge towards the Broad Street Tunnel during early April 2018. Behind was Arena Birmingham, The Malt House and the Brewmasters House!

See my post on them here The Brasshouse, The Brewmasters House and The Malt House - historic canal buildings around the BCN and Brindleyplace.

About a week later (still April 2018), saw this man on a surfboard and a lady on one (might be a canoe)? Well they weren't surfing on the Birmingham Canal Navigations, as they headed under the Brewmasters Bridge. Probably rowing on their boards! This was round about when the BSAVA Congress was on at The ICC (probably not related).

OK here's the promised Dragon Boat Race photos. First one from June 2017 outside of the Sealife Centre Birmingham, close to the Brewmasters House and the Brewmasters Bridge. These boats are probably the closest thing we would have in Birmingham to the gondolas in Venice!

The Dragon Baot Race  seen during June 2018. Packed full of spectators around the Birmingham Canal Navigations. This was also close to the Sealife Centre Birmingham.

Now a building at Brindleyplace that wouldn't be out of place in Venice. Three Brindleyplace is seen to the left of the Sealife Centre. Teams at the race getting ready to race up and down from the Sealife Centre to the Broad Street Tunnel and back. I was only passing through, so didn't see much of the race in 2017 and 2018.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. The day trip to Venice was during July 2010.

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80 passion points
Environment & green action
22 Mar 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Moseley Bog from my December 2012 and September 2016 visits

Moseley Bog is not that far away from me, just catch the 11C up the Swanshurst Lane and get off the bus on the Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park. The main entrance to Moseley Bog is on Yardley Wood Road. This photo gallery ahead of a proposed Birmingham We Are group visit to the bog! Part of the Shire Country Park. Another entrance / exit is on Pensby Close.

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Moseley Bog from my December 2012 and September 2016 visits




Moseley Bog is not that far away from me, just catch the 11C up the Swanshurst Lane and get off the bus on the Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park. The main entrance to Moseley Bog is on Yardley Wood Road. This photo gallery ahead of a proposed Birmingham We Are group visit to the bog! Part of the Shire Country Park. Another entrance / exit is on Pensby Close.


A gallery of 20 photos. The first 13 from my visit in December 2012. The last 7 from my visit in September 2016. It is easy to get lost in here! Best to start from the main entrance on the Yardley Wood Road in Moseley.

The bus routes here are the 11A / 11C (bus stops on Yardley Wood Road near Swanshurst Park). Or the 2 or the 3 from the city centre or Yardley Wood. You could also get the 5 to Wake Green Road, close to where JRR Tolkien used to live as a child, when Sarehole was a hamlet.

You could also get the train to Hall Green Station and then walk down Cole Bank Road past Sarehole Mill (or catch the 11C down the hill if you want to). Trains from Birmingham Snow Hill / Moor Street or Shirley down to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Birmingham City Council sign for Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood Local Nature Reserve seen on Yardley Wood Road.

The sculpted entrance gate to Moseley Bog from the Yardley Wood Road entrance. Small car park here.

Welcome to Moseley Bog - this sign was near the Yardley Wood Road entrance, with a map of the area.

Decking all around now, so your shoes are less likely to get muddy, but it could still be wet if it's rained!

More decking to walk around.

Around to the right past the trees.

Which way, left or right, it's up to you!

Narrow planks if you go this way.

A sign to stop and read close to this corner decking stop point.

There is steps here to go down to the dirt track.

Heading down the steps.

Take these steps to the exit onto Pensby Close. A cul-de-sac. Head out via that road then onto Thirlmere Drive, then you get to Wake Green Road near Sarehole Mill.

Not all the routes are decked out. Are some dirt paths to follow as well.

The next 7 photos from a return visit in September 2016.

Somehow didn't get photos of the bog itself until 2016! Different conditions in different seasons.

Can see other members of Birmingham We Are enjoy taking photos of this from different angles!

Someone had made a camp site in Moseley Bog. Perhaps Cubs or Scout groups or school parties use the bog?

Several fallen trees. Was looking a bit muddy underneath.

Another fallen tree, this one above a pool of water.

A muddy stream with logs in it.

Those steps again that I used in 2012. In 2016 I entered via Pensby Close, and had hoped to find my way to the Yardley Wood Road entrance / exit. But it is easy to get lost, and ended up going back to the Pensby Close entrance / exit again instead! Would GPS / a compass help me / us find a route out?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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40 passion points
Open spaces
12 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend

The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.

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Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend




The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.


The redesigned area of University of Birmingham’s campus, known as the ‘Green Heart’, is the result of two years work redeveloping the area to open up the campus in the way that the Founders imagined it would be.  The new parkland in the centre of the University’s historic campus measures over over 12 acres, providing a multi-use space for performances, events and markets, as well as bringing wild flowers and native plants to campus.

The Green Heart will also open up new pedestrian and cycle routes, allowing students, staff and visitors to move across campus with ease.  This will improve air quality, provide shade and create a place of peace, whilst developing zoned lighting to balance campus safety with minimising light pollution.

The Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend will bring a range of outdoor music performances, with music from University of Birmingham musicians and range of street food and drink on offer.  There will also be the opportunity to explore hands-on exhibits which highlight the recent research from the University.

To read more about University of Birmingham’s Green Heart, visit their website at https://uobgreenheart.com/

And for more information on Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend, visit the University of Birmingham’s website.

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50 passion points
Green travel
06 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Think blue, let cyclists through

Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.

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Think blue, let cyclists through




Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.


Birmingham Connected, which covers all transport planning activity for the council, are making drivers aware of some new road layouts, ahead of the new cycle routes opening soon on A34 and A38.  The blue surfaced routes show the new cycleways, which are separated from other traffic where possible.  At areas where the blue routes cross central reservations or side roads drivers need to give way to cyclists.

From Monday 25 March planned access changes to Priory Road from Bristol Road will be implemented, where there will be no right turn into Priory Road, whilst travelling out of the city centre.  Travelling into the city there will be no access (left turn and right turn) into Priory Road from Bristol Road. The left turn towards the cricket ground will remain open. Signage will be installed and information will also be provided about alternative routes.

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50 passion points
Green travel
27 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March

Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.

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National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March




Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.


The charity, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, originally started campaigning to introduce the UK’s first zebra crossing and the introduction of speed limits, aims to get the country walking.

Their annual National Walking Summit, a highlight in the street planning calendar, will bring together leaders, decision-makers and campaigners, to inspire and shape debate on how to create towns and cities that are fitter for walking.

Held at Birmingham’s Council House, the summit will include input from Cllr Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council; Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands; Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Transport, Travel and Public Space; and a series of lightning talks from grassroots campaigners.

To book a free place at the National Walking Summit, visit the Living Street website at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/walking-summit 

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50 passion points
Air quality
26 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Birmingham City Council Launches Website for Drivers in Birmingham

The website provides information for businesses, particularly self-employed drivers and fleet managers using vehicles in the city, who may be affected by the Clean Air Zone.

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Birmingham City Council Launches Website for Drivers in Birmingham




The website provides information for businesses, particularly self-employed drivers and fleet managers using vehicles in the city, who may be affected by the Clean Air Zone.


Business Breathes provides useful information on low emission vehicles that will comply with the Clean Air Zone requirements, as well as information about where they can be refuelled (or recharged) in and around Birmingham.  

The site also includes information about why the Clean Air Zone is being implemented within Birmingham and which areas it covers.  Users can also find advice and guidance on grants and incentives available for businesses to support them to do their bit to improve Birmingham’s air quality. Taxis, both Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, can avoid paying the Clean Air Zone charge by switching to a vehicle which meets certain criteria, which are explained on the website.  Each car or van that does not meet the criteria or have approved retrofit technology fitted will incur a daily charge for entering the Clean Air Zone (amount to be confirmed around April 2019). 

Birmingham has a growing network of refuelling options for drivers of low emission vehicles, and the website directs drivers of electric vehicles to charging points, as well as Fleet Refuelling Hubs, dedicated to providing businesses with refuelling.  Drivers of vehicles which require hydrogen, gas or LPG are also pointed to places where they can refuel too.

Business Breathes is part of Birmingham City Council’s overall ‘Brum Breathes’ campaign, which includes the Clean Air Zone, to reduce air pollution in Birmingham, including harmful pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and particle matter in the air.

If you are a self-employed driver, fleet driver or professional driver in Birmingham, please visit https://businessbreathes.co.uk/.

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50 passion points
Photography
23 Feb 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Italian Lakes

A selection of photos from the Italian Lakes (also going over into Switzerland). Lake Garda was an amazing lake to visit with many towns around it. Lake Como was also nice with many towns and places to visit. Lake Maggiore had a palace on an island that you can visit. Lake Lugano goes between Italy and Switzerland. Many of these lakes have ferries and boats that you can go on.

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Italian Lakes




A selection of photos from the Italian Lakes (also going over into Switzerland). Lake Garda was an amazing lake to visit with many towns around it. Lake Como was also nice with many towns and places to visit. Lake Maggiore had a palace on an island that you can visit. Lake Lugano goes between Italy and Switzerland. Many of these lakes have ferries and boats that you can go on.


Lake Garda

The following photos were taken during July 2010 in Northern Italy.

Boats seen from the town of Garda, this was where we were based during that week on Lake Garda. World flags.

Bardolino was not too far from Garda. More boats and more world flags. The visit to this town was on a free day.

Boats seen in the town of Castelletto. That day we went all the way around Lake Garda on the coach and we had certain stops at certain points, to have a look around.

You could get ferries across Lake Garda, and one day we went past Salo on a ferry. A few days later we headed to this town. Boats seen on the coastline. The day of this visit was during the coach tour of Lake Garda. We were following the holiday rep towards the main square in Salo.

The view from the Apponale Tower at Riva del Garda. This town is at the top tip of Lake Garda. The visit during the day of getting the coach all the way around the lake. The cost to go up the tower was €1. In Italian it is called La Torre Apponale. The tower dates to at least 1273 or earlier. It is 34 metres high.

Castello Scaligero is a 13th century castle in the town of Sirmione. It is at the bottom tip of Lake Garda. It was built by the Scaliger family. Construction started in 1277 by Martino della Scala. The town was an important military centre until the 16th century. Sirmione was a part of the Republic of Venice from 1405 until 1797 when the Austrians took over. Sirmione became a part of a unified Italy in 1888. The visit to Sirmione was by a car ferry, a journey which started at Garda, then went over to Salo, then down to Sirmione.

This is one of the views from Castello Scaligero di Malcesine in the town of Malcesine. You get amazing views of Lake Garda from up here. It was built by the Lombards during the middle of the first millennium, and destroyed by the Franks in 590. It was rebuilt by 806. It became property of the Scala family from 1277 until 1387. Over the centuries it has been occupied by various different powers such as the Republic of Venice, later the French and Austrian Empires. The Austrians had it until 1866 when it was handed to the Italians after reunification of Italy. The visit to Malcesine was also on a free day.

The car ferry called Brescia seen arriving at Garda. This was the boat that we travelled over one of the days on Lake Garda. This view below was during our final morning on the lake before we returned to Verona Airport. The usual thing with these holidays is that you have to wait around at the hotel for hours before your coach comes to pick up up to take you back to the airport.

This view from the car ferry we were on was of the hydrofoil boat named Goethe. The day we headed to Gardone Riviera to visit a garden. The boat was probably named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer and statesmen. Goethe was caught doing drawings in Malcesine and was arrested as a spy during his visit in 1786.

Lake Como

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Northern Italy.

We arrived at Bellagio on a small boat (seen below) from Villa del Balbianello (after a tour of the villa). Was a wet day, but had stopped raining by the time we got to the wonderful town of Bellagio on Lake Como.

Bellagio's splendid architecture seen with Lake Como. Plenty of restaurants and shops here. We got the car ferry Adda later back to our hotel at Cadenabbia from near here.

View of Cadenabbia from the car ferry Adda we travelled on from Bellagio back to our hotel. You can see the dock where the boat will eventually stop. Plenty of hotels and bars along that coastline in Cadenabbia. Many mountains around too!

On our free day, we travelled down to the City of Como on a hydrofoil boat from Tremezzo (after a morning at Villa Carlotta). It was very fast. The boat was named Citta di Como.

Arriving at the City of Como on the hydrofoil boat. Not far from Piazza Cavour. Wonderful historic architecture here. Lots of fountains. Plenty of restaurants and shops. They also have a railway station here. We later left not by boat, but by bus (much slower journey) to return to the hotel at Cadenabbia.

Tremezzo was a short distance away on foot from the hotel in Cadenabbia. Plenty of bars down here. Plus lake side swimming pools! You can also visit Villa Carlotta down here, or get the ferry.

Kept seeing this road train around the towns of Lake Como. The Trombetta Express seen not far from outside of Villa Carlotta near Tremezzo. At this point it was outside of the Oratorio Sommariva (The Sommariva Oratory). While we didn't ride this road train, did days later on a visit to Lugano in Switzerland go on the road train there, while near Lake Lugano.

A visit to Villa Carlotta. It is between Cadenabbia and Tremezzo on Lake Como. It was built for the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in 1690. It was completed in 1745 and remained in the hands of Marquis Clerici until 1795.

Stunning views of Lake Como and the mountains around it from the balcony at Villa Carlotta. Was also some nice gardens to explore during the visit here as well.

A visit to Villa del Balbianello for a guided tour of the villa. I did not take any photos inside (not sure if that was allowed). The villa was built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery for the Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini. There was wonderful gardens here. On our visit there was a torrential rain storm, so wasn't much chance to fully explore the garden before leaving on the boat to Bellagio.

A few days later on a day with beter sunny weather, got this view of the villa from the hydrofoil boat we got down to the City of Como. Plenty of mountains and trees on both sides of Lake Como.

Lake Maggiore

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Northern Italy.

A couple of boats on Lake Maggiore seen from the town of Stresa. Earlier that day we had got a boat from Stresa to Isola Bella to visit Borromeo Palace. We didn't go onto Isola Madre like some people did, and instead returned for a look around Stresa in the afternoon.

A road train seen in Stresa.This one was called The TourisTic Tour. From DottoTrains. It was on the Corso Umberto I at the time near the Hotel Milan Au Lac.

A view of Lake Maggiore from the coach heading towards Stresa. Mountains around this lake too!

Isola dei Pescatori seen from the boat on Lake Maggiore. We were heading towards Isola Bella. It's name means Fishermen’s Island. We did not visit that island. There is restaurants on the island providing fish caught by the local fishermen.

Approaching Isola Bella for a visit to the Borromeo Palace. From this view the Teatro Massimo (Theatre Maximum) is seen to the left. The palace and the gardens was well worth a visit, at such a unique location!

Exterior of the Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella after our visit. The entrance was round to the right. It dates to the 17th century and was built by members of the House of Borromeo.

A view of the Teatro Massimo (Theatre Maximum) from the gardens of the palace.

Lake Lugano

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Switzerland.

The coach journey from Italy into Switzerland along the coast of Lake Lugano. This lake is in both countries. Lots of tall mountains along the way. Was tunnels at the border control.

The approach to the city of Lugano on the coach, with Lake Lugano to the left. Architecture was very Italianette here.

One of the first things we did in Lugano was ride on the Lugano City Tour (road train). They accept Euros or Swiss Francs. A nice tour around this Swiss city. The tour starts near to the Piazza Manzoni. This view from the road train I was on, the Red Arrow. View of the starting point, also where it later ended.

Boats on Lake Lugano seen from the Lugano. Didn't go on a boat trip while we were here though. Went to an art gallery while we were there.

Would assume that you could hire these boats? The walk along the lake front towards a park. They have a lot of nice pieces of public artwork here too. Many of these lakes have small beaches. There was a beach here to the right of this view below.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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40 passion points
History & heritage
20 Feb 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

More National Trust properties around the West Midlands Region

Here we take look at Upton House in Warwickshire, Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire, Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire and Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton.

All National Trust properties that you can visit from the spring onwards. They might be open all year around, but I think it's best to visit in the spring, summer or early autumn. Especially for the gardens and grounds.

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More National Trust properties around the West Midlands Region




Here we take look at Upton House in Warwickshire, Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire, Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire and Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton.

All National Trust properties that you can visit from the spring onwards. They might be open all year around, but I think it's best to visit in the spring, summer or early autumn. Especially for the gardens and grounds.


For my previous National Trusts posts follow these links:

National Trust properties in Birmingham: Back to Backs and The Roundhouse

National Trust properties in Warwickshire

Now on to this selection of National Trust properties!

Upton House from a visit during May 2016.

This visit to Upton House in 2016 was while the house and grounds was set up for an event called "Banking for Victory! A Country House at War". Like it could have been in the 1940s during World War II. At this time it was used as a bank.

It is a country house located northwest of Banbury in Oxfordshire in the areas of Ratley and Upton in Warwickshire. It was built in 1695 for Sir Rushout Cullen, Bt and might have been designed by one of the Smiths of Warwick. Possible alterations in 1710 and again in 1735 for William Bumstead. Remodelled in 1927 to 1929 by Percy Morley Horder for Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted. It's a Grade II* listed building. Built of Ironstone ashlar.

 

This view at Upton House during May 2016 from the rear lawn area. This was a big lawned area, and at the far right side was an outdoor swimming pool! It leads down to the gardens on the lower part of the grounds. The house has a 16 window range. From here it looks quite wide! There is a small terraced garden just in front of the back of the house. Bunting from the houses time as representing as if it was during wartime. Inside there was more examples of what the house may have looked like during the 1940s.

A look around the inside of the house. This view from a balcony on the first floor looking down at the library. In wartime most of the furniture would have been under white sheets. In 2016 they were projecting a film onto the sheet between the pair of portraits. "The pre-war heyday of the country house party never returned."

Another room, I think the lounge or living room. How it could have looked during the 1930s or 1940s. A pair of comfortable chairs with a fire in the middle. I assume that there must have been a wireless (radio) in this room? Also old books on the shelves. Was also a desk near the window, which I assume is where Lord Bearsted may have worked, or read his newspaper?

If you fancy a bite of lunch and a hot drink, then the Wartime Pavilion Restaurant is the place to come! That was temporarily renamed to "Wartime" in 2016 while Upton House was in it's 1940s wartime representation mode. Now just the Pavilion Restaurant again. Other place for tea is Iris's Tea Room and the Tea Window.

Hanbury Hall from a visit during June 2018.

During this visit in the summer of 2018, they had Falconry on display in the grounds. We got a guided tour of the house, but only on the ground floor. After I went back outside, I didn't go back in to have a look around upstairs.

It is a large stately home built around 1701 in the Queen Anne style by William Rudhall for Thomas Vernon. Red brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings. It is a Grade I listed building. Located in Hanbury, Worcestershire. The nearest town is Droitwich Spa. It has been a part of the National Trust since around 1953. The last baron Sir George Vernon took his own life here in 1940. And their were no further heirs and the Baronetcy which became extinct.

If you are a bit early for your guided tour of Hanbury Hall, then head towards the Long Gallery. This view from The Sunken Parterre. Inside was a small art gallery featuring the art of local artists. The building is a Grade II* listed building. Built in 1701 and had alterations in the mid 19th century. Red brick in Flemish bond; hipped plain tiled roof. In the Queen Anne style. Inside are two Jacobean overmantels and also frames a funerary hatchment with the three Vernon wheatsheaves. Prince of Wales feathers inside believed to have originally come from Tickenhill House, Bewdley.

The Orangery at Hanbury Hall. Also known now as The Orangery & Mushroom House. It is a Grade II* listed building. Built around 1750. Red brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings and hipped plain tiled roof behind parapet. There was orange trees outside. And a large field. Which was behing used by many families on the day of our visit. One area was roped off for a falconry display (I think we kept missing it). Although I did see the handler with a bald eagle on his special glove!

The interior of the house on the ground floor. Seen during a guided tour. This was the Great Hall. We were taken in and out of the various rooms. The main entrance to the house lets you into this room. Above the fireplace on the left was a marble bust of Thomas Vernon. Behind (not in this photo below) was the staircase with the Life of Achilles wall paintings. Unfortunately I did not go upstairs as it was not part of the tour, and I didn't later return to go back inside of the house.

The Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. Quite grand. Family portraits all round the room and a painted ceiling above. I believe that the papers on the table was representing a Suffragette meeting in 1918 (as 2018 was the 100th anniversary of Women gaining the vote).

Shugborough Hall from a visit during August 2008.

I hadn't fully taken up photography in 2008, and started using my then compact camera in 2007 - 2008 when we went to various stately homes or on holiday to various places.

The hall is located in Great Haywood, Staffordshire, not far from Cannock Chase. It was the seat of the Earls of Lichfield and the estate was in the possession of the Anson family for three centuries. When the 4th Earl of Lichfield died in 1960, the National Trust was allocated the hall and it was leased to Staffordshire County Council. Management returned to the National Trust in 2016. The hall is a Grade I listed building. Was built from about 1695. Was enlarged from 1760 to 1770. Samuel Wyatt remodelled it in the late 18th century. More specifically it is in Colwich, Stafford.

The rear view of Shugborough Hall seen in the summer of 2008. I recall that we did go inside of the house, but I only got a handful of photos from outside of the house and around the grounds. Some steps down from the French windows that Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield (1939-2005) might have enjoyed the view of his garden. Also known as Patrick Lichfield he was known as a photographer and he took official photos of the Royal Family. He lived at Shugborough Hall after his grandfather's death, but he gave the estate to the National Trust in 1960 in lieu of death duties.

The Doric Temple at Shugborough Hall. It is a Grade I listed building and was designed by "Athenian" Stuart, circa 1760. It was identical to one that he had built at Hagley. Made of stone and plastered brick. With 6 Doric columns. It has been recently restored (the listing was from 1968 so perhaps restored in the late 1960s?).

A Chinese style bridge. Grade I listed as the Garden Bridge. Probably dates to the late 18th century. It is on the River Sow. The Chinese House is next to it (not in the photo below). That was erected by Admiral Anson circa 1747 after his voyage round the world.

Outbuildings at Shugborough Hall, not far from the Vegetable patch. Which is a Grade II listed building dating to the early 19th century, although I'm not sure the building in the photo is part of the same listing. This might be the Orangery. I've not been back in over 10 and a half years now. Seems like that there is now the Mansion Tea Room somewhere around this location. Also known as the Shugborough Hall Cafe.

Wightwick Manor during a visit in April 2018.

On this visit we became members of the National Trust. Eventually received a card that can get scanned whenever you visit any National Trust property around the UK.

It is a Victorian manor house located on the Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton. Built in 1887, the National Trust has owned it since 1937. The house was built by Edward Ould for Theodore Mander, of the Mander family. They were successful late 19th century industialists who owned the company Mander Brothers. The house was only 50 years old when the National Trust acquired it from Geoffrey Mander (a Liberal MP who was son of the original owner). A Grade I listed building. Interiors by William Morris and and C.E. Kempe. Built of brick with ashlar dressings and timber
framing. The house was built in the Aesthetic movement and Arts and Crafts movement. And the house is half-timbered, Mock Tudor style.

A look around the house at Wightwick Manor. The house is very much as the Mander family left it in 1937 and the National Trust has preserved it. A look at the library. There is a desk close to the window on the left with papers and books probably used by Mr Mander. Stained glass window is in this room and in other rooms. Some parts were done up in 2018 to represent the Suffragette movement who finally gained the vote in 1918!

View of The Great Parlour from the Gallery above. Plenty of period seating inside. A lady (a National Trust volunteer) seen playing the piano. While a man sitting on the bench takes a rest (I think he had his dog with him). A stags head seen at the far end of the room above the entrance to the room.

Some of the buildings on the estate. This is now the Malthouse Gallery. Head up the steps to see the art inside. A Grade II* listed building. It was the Old Malt House. At the time of listing was used as an Education Centre. Was built either in the late 16th or early 17th century. It was restored for Theodore Mander in the late 19th century. Brick with red brick dressings; tile roof. The De Morgan collection is inside on the first floor of the malthouse. Various ceramics and paintings around the room. Before the Mander's bought the buildings and land, it was the site of a farm. The Hinckes family owned it from 1815 but leased it to the Moore's until the 1880's. The Malthouse was originally used for malting barley and brewing.

The gift shop and plant sales are in this building (with the plants available to pick up from outside). This was the Old Manor House and it is a Grade II* listed building. Built for the Wightwick family in the late 16th or early 17th century. Theodore Mander has it restored in the late 19th century. Roughcast with brick dressings; tile roof with brick stacks. There is a coat of arms above the entrance to the gift shop. Also on one side is a sundial that resembles a black lion. The Old Manor House is a short distance away from the manor house that the Mander family had built in the late 19th century.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

 

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60 passion points
Reducing waste
20 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Government wants your views on recycling and waste

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking to gather views on household and recycling collections.

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Government wants your views on recycling and waste




The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking to gather views on household and recycling collections.


Household recycling rates in England have increased significantly from 11% in 2001 to 45.2% in 2017, but have remained fairly consistent ever since, despite new services implemented.  Some local authorities, who collect waste in the UK, have even seen a drop in recycling rates despite these new services and public consciousness about the harm of single-use plastics to the environment.

Despite these concerns, and willingness to reduce reuse and recycle, people seem keen to recycle more but are increasingly confused about what they can and can’t recycle - and what goes in what bin.  Many people are calling for better waste management including better recycling, but there are few incentives to encourage local authorities to expand recycling services or for businesses to invest in recycling services. This has become more important, given last year’s ban by China on the import of post-consumer contaminated plastic and paper.

People have called for greater consistency in what can be collected for recycling and how it is collected. There have also been calls for investment in separate food waste collection to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill.

DEFRA would like to gather views from people via an online consultation.  The consultation is live now and can be found here.  It will close on 13 May 2019.

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30 passion points
Reducing waste
19 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Join the Jewellery Quarter for the Great British Spring Clean

Fancy making the Jewellery Quarter sparkle? The JQ BID team are taking part in the national Great British Spring Clean and are looking for volunteers.

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Join the Jewellery Quarter for the Great British Spring Clean




Fancy making the Jewellery Quarter sparkle? The JQ BID team are taking part in the national Great British Spring Clean and are looking for volunteers.


Meet at 1pm on 22 March on the Golden Square outside the Big Peg (postcode B18 6NF) for an introduction and safety briefing. The group will be litter picking around the Jewellery Quarter for approximately 45 minutes before returning to the square.  All equipment will be provided by the team, just turn up willing and ready to litter pick.  There will also be free refreshments available for volunteers.

The Great British Spring Clean is part of a campaign by Keep Britain Tidy. It aims to inspire 500,000 people to join forces with community organisations, businesses and the government to collect and dispose of single-use plastic from streets and parks, recycling as much as possible.

The JQ BID, or Business Improvement District (BID), is a geographically defined area where local business pool their resources to invest in projects and services that improve the business environment and experiences of people using the area - workers, shoppers, residents and visitors.  The Jewellery Quarter BID commenced in September 2012 and was renewed for a second term in 2017. 

For more information on the JQ clean up visit: https://jewelleryquarter.net/event/great-british-spring-clean/

And for more information on the Great British Spring Clean, visit: https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean 

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50 passion points
Reducing waste
18 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Recycle Crisp Packets at Boldmere Library

If you enjoy a bag or two of crisps, but wish you could recycle the packets, then a library in Sutton Coldfield might have the answer.

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Recycle Crisp Packets at Boldmere Library




If you enjoy a bag or two of crisps, but wish you could recycle the packets, then a library in Sutton Coldfield might have the answer.


Sutton Coldfield’s Boldmere Library has teamed up with TerraCycle to provide free crisp packet recycling.

Whilst crisp packets would normally be thrown in general waste, Boldmere Library are able to collect the empty packets and pass them on to be recycled - and earn more for the library for doing so.  For every kilogram of crisp packets sent to TerraCycle, the library will receive a small amount of money which they can then use to buy new items for the library, based on Boldmere high st.

This is part of the UK's first nationwide recycling scheme for crisp packets, where any brand of crisp packets are able to be donated, but sadly popcorn bags, crisp tubes and meat snack bags are not able to be accepted.

For more information, pop into Boldmere Library, call them on 0121 464 1048 or visit https://www.terracycle.co.uk/en-GB/brigades/crisppacket 

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50 passion points
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