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Birmingham focal points 2013 - 2019

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Radiorails

master brummie
A rainy day here - well, it has been dry and sunny for a week or so and the ground need some refreshment. I thus took the opportunity to look at some of my Birmingham Transport books. I chose one of the two part tramway books by David Harvey:part two, the southern routes.

This deals with Nechells, Bolton Road, Rednal, Rubery, Alcester Road, Moseley and Balsall Heath districts. The routes are described from various starting points in the City Centre and lead you out along the routes to the outer termini.

Seeing photographs of the Bull Ring, Moor Street, Digbeth and nearby places reminded me that as a youngster (early to mid teens), who made a pilgrimage into the City as often as possible, I always believed the heart of Birmingham and its citizens were in the Bull Ring area. After all there was so much going on, particularly outdoors and entertainment cost little or nothing there. St. Martins also being a spiritual reminder of their passage through life. The Town Hall, Council House and Stephenson Place were another centre of importance but personally it did not rank anywhere nearly as high in my thoughts as the Bull Ring area. If I have to choose a second place then it would be Colmore Row/Snow Hill and Corporation Street: that's was another area where the action seemed to be.

Not having been to Birminghaam since 1980 I pose the question: where are the present focal points for most citizens (not just the young)?
 

brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
The Bull Ring is still a focal point but the area around St Martins is in my opinion a little quiet. There always seems to be quite a bit of action around the sq under the Rotunda and there's always someone posing for pictures with the Bull, also around Nelson and the main passage between the two sides of the BullRing.Across town i would choose Brindley Place and the Mailbox. For the young it's around the Cathedral..

https://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2007/04/13/emo_feature.shtml


_the_bull_ring_birmingham.jpg nelson.jpg View attachment 86363
 

brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
At entrance to BullRing near the Bull outside Waterstones which was Times Furnishing..
 
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brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
Around the fountain in Victoria Sq, this was a quiet day..
 
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brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
The rear of the Mailbox which was the old Royal Mail sorting office can get very busy..
 
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brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
New Street up to the station is still very busy and there's often buskers about, these are very good I've seen them. Not been to Brum since 1980! you don't know what you're missing!..
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
Many thanks for posting these videos; quite informative. Apart from the Town Hall and Council House I recognized nowhere else. :friendly_wink:
 

brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
Many thanks for posting these videos; quite informative. Apart from the Town Hall and Council House I recognized nowhere else. :friendly_wink:
You're welcome, actually I've just been in town for work purposes and as i stated the main focal points would be near to the entrance to the BullRing at New Street, High Street up to Marks and Spencers and along New Street to the junction with Corporation Street. you'd probably find Corporation Street a little quiet now as most of the better known stores have been sucked into the new BullRing which is always rammed. You would still recognize New Street and Corporation Street i should think.
 

Simon4130

master brummie
I only get to visit about three times during a year so there is so much of the city that I haven't seen yet. Focal points for me are the Bull Ring area(i'm not a shopping fan but like walking through it!), Victoria & Chamberlain Squares, New Street, Corporation Street, Colmore Row, Centenary Square along with the canal at Gas Street & Brindley Place (see I still spell it with two words!). Anywhere where there are buses you will also find me hanging about. I have explored a lot of the suburbs to the north, south and west but haven't explored the east at all yet, nothing against this part of the city just haven't got around to going there......

Simon
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
Amazing how times HAVE changed! Not only the city its self BUT the ethnic mix of the people. Progress I guess. Same thing happening over here in the States. By the way I often think about WHY the term UK is NOW used, First off it should be UQ (United Queendom ?) but then some things NEVER change. Womans lib HUH! When I think back the almost 80 years I have lived? on this earth I wonder what the next 80yrs will bring. John Crump OldbutyoungBrit. Parker, Colorado USA. PS Still as Brummie in my heart!
 

brumgum

Proud to be a Brummie!
Some good footage of the BULLRING, this is the west mall and the Debenhams store end. The basement floor goes underneath the middle pedestrian street and there's the same amount of shops in the East Mall which is the Selfridges store end:bi_polo:..
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
I have to say that the shopping complex looks magnificent and is a paradise, I am sure, for those who are shopaholics. The vids were enjoyable to watch. Having lived in the edge of a small town for most of my life I find cities and crowds a little overwhelming. I avoid the busier parts of places like Plymouth, Exeter and Torquay for the same reasons. :peaceful:
 

lesr1

master brummie
Interesting to see the photo footage.Three years ago on a visit from Oz to home I took a photo for sentiment of the Bull Ring from just about the same spot as that in post #12. I was promptly swooped upon by 2 and later a 3rd security guy, saying photography is a big no no.A sign of the times I suppose.
 

Simon4130

master brummie
Amazing how times HAVE changed! Not only the city its self BUT the ethnic mix of the people. Progress I guess. Same thing happening over here in the States. By the way I often think about WHY the term UK is NOW used, First off it should be UQ (United Queendom ?) but then some things NEVER change. Womans lib HUH! When I think back the almost 80 years I have lived? on this earth I wonder what the next 80yrs will bring. John Crump OldbutyoungBrit. Parker, Colorado USA. PS Still as Brummie in my heart!
The UK term confuses me too especially when people substitute it for England, Scotland, Wales etc. If i'm addressing a letter I would always put Birmingham, England or Cardiff, Wales etc but some online sources like Ebay only give the United Kingdom option. Like the UQ reference Oldbrit:courage:

Anyway getting back on topic, I first visited Birmingham in 1991, the first major city I had been to outside of Ireland also the first multi-cultural city as well. Back then of course we still had the 1960's Bull Ring etc but the focal points for me anyway have remained much the same since then although it took me a while to discover the joy of the canals (Gas Street Basin in one of my favourite places now).

Simon
 

MWS

master brummie
In the eighties and nineties I didn't think there was much of a focal point, all parts of town seemed busy to me - corporation st, martineau sq, oasis market, high st, New St, the pallasades and the bull ring - never went much to colmore row. Now though, I think it's definitely the Bull Ring and to the detriment of other areas. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people just go to the Bull Ring and that's it. On a side note I'm always surprised how quiet Broad St seems when I go, mainly daytime but a couple of times at night - I guess weekends are busy though.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I've just spent a couple of hours watching various modern videos of Brum and in this one I managed to get totally lost, mainly because the majority of modern buildings look much the same and the shopping malls too.

Where is Grand Central in relation to the streets & buildings I knew in the 1950s? And what was the huge market area that I was walking through? I couldn't find a single reference point, i.e. old building or pub that I recognised in the last 20 minutes of this film. And for the last 5 minutes of the film, I was in a very lifeless area that I certainly wouldn't want to walk down at night. What have they done to the city that I spent the first 24 years of my life in?

Maurice o_O
 

wendylee

master brummie
I've just spent a couple of hours watching various modern videos of Brum and in this one I managed to get totally lost, mainly because the majority of modern buildings look much the same and the shopping malls too.

Where is Grand Central in relation to the streets & buildings I knew in the 1950s? And what was the huge market area that I was walking through? I couldn't find a single reference point, i.e. old building or pub that I recognised in the last 20 minutes of this film. And for the last 5 minutes of the film, I was in a very lifeless area that I certainly wouldn't want to walk down at night. What have they done to the city that I spent the first 24 years of my life in?

Maurice o_O
Hi Maurice, I sadly can hardly recognise the birmingham of my earlier life, it has changed so much in 36 years, its what they call progress I guess
Wendy:(
 

rosie

brummie
Hi Maurice, I had a quick look at the video, thanks for posting, here are a few answers!
Grand Central is the shopping area above the station, do you remember "the ramp" ? (Stephenson St.) It's at the top of that as they rebuilt the Palisades, and re-named it.
The dark area at the end of the film is what's left of the markets they rebuilt and are about to demolish again! They took away our pretty little market stalls and did this. Also they are filming inside the replacement Rag Market, it doesn't have the same atmosphere anymore.
Did you notice the huge Poundland on the left as they are going down Corporation St.? That's where C&A used to be!!
I think the market-type area at the start is where Oasis? and Midland Educational used to be? I wait to be corrected!!
I hope some of this makes sense, I'm trying to remember as I type.
Best Wishes.
rosie.
 
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