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Birmingham Town Hall

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
how strange viv...wonder what happened and why they were removed..i was there round about 62 singing in the school choir but my memory is very vague about that

lyn
 

BazzM

master brummie
This interior photo shows panels of paintings or murals on the walls above the side balconies and either side of the organ. I certainly don’t remember these when I visited the TH in the 1960s onwards. And they’re not there today. Viv.

View attachment 140814
This is how i remember the TH when i sang there a couple of times, with the pupils from Loxton Street School. Fabulous building.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
There was little or no decoration on the panels in the 1800s except for a little floral pattern to the side of the organ in 1850. I think the panels must have been painted in the 1900s. Perhaps it was part of a major refurb in the early 1900s. From what I can make out from the photo in post #439 the panels have a classical look to them. By the 1930s there were no decorated panels,

In the 1840s there were sconces (for candles I assume) attached to the the places where the later painted panels appeared. By the 1850s these have gone as there seems to be gas light installed. Viv.

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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Anthony Peers book on the town hall gives the story of these paintings, which were suggested in 1891 dedecoration scheme. the canvases were painted by students of the College of Art, and represented periods of Birmingham history. They were also considerably cheaper than the Madox Brown murals originally suggested at £375 each. They were hung over the next 10 years , the last being "in the first three years of the 20th century".They were removed in advance of a scheme or works 1926-7. Iti sis commented that although supposedly abut Birmingham history, events in the mercentile world were omitted (ie Watt, Boulton), as were the reform movements of 1831-2. The paintings titles are listed by Peers. They were rehung in the historical museum in Cannon Hill Park , and last seen 1939. Present position or fate unknown
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Mike. I thought there surely must have been a mention of them somewhere ! There were a lot of them too. I thought they must have been movable, if they’d been painted onto plasterwork they’d have probably been in place for longer. I suppose with a refit/upgrade of the Hall they were considered unsuitable or outdated. The fact that they omitted manufacturing and reform history must have been disappointing too.

That’s really helpful. Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Looking at Ell’s photo in #444, the ceiling plasterwork is different now. The curved side panels look partly original, but the central piece looks to have been wholly replaced. It’s all much less detailed than the original. Viv.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
I can't remember any in the late 50s, Viv, but I haven't been in there since.

Maurice :cool:
I remember going in the late 50's to concerts jazz, trad and modern and to the CBSO. i saw the MJQ somewhere not sure it was the town hall. For students day we had a/the barb (If i can remember)
 

guilbert53

master brummie
Some videos on YouTube about the Town Hall.

First a video showing how the Town Hall exterior has changed over time (a series of still photographs)


Next a video of the history of the Town Hall (and the famous painting of the Town Hall)


Finally Humphrey Lyttleton remembering his jazz concerts at the town hall. a few brief shots of Birmingham in the 1950s

 

Richarddye

master brummie
Some videos on YouTube about the Town Hall.

First a video showing how the Town Hall exterior has changed over time (a series of still photographs)


Next a video of the history of the Town Hall (and the famous painting of the Town Hall)


Finally Humphrey Lyttleton remembering his jazz concerts at the town hall. a few brief shots of Birmingham in the 1950s

guilbert.............Great videos, thank you for sharing!
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I was at the MJQ concert(s) too Richard, and I am quite sute it was at the Town Hall, and chatted earlier in the day to John Lewis & Percy Heath in the Firebird in Carrs Lane

Maurice :cool:
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Richard,

The guy who ran the Firebird was an Hispanic American, Chris Padan, and knew all the American jazz stars including Basie, Ellington, Brubeck & the MJQ. Some of the member of the bands would go there for lunch before the evening concerts. I used to frequent the place for lunch quite often as well as play downstairs occasionally, as did Roy Castle if he was in Brum, and Chris would give me nod when he expected the visiting musicians to call. Chris moved down to Richmond, Surrey, with the intention of opening a similar place. I don't know whether he did or not, but I know that he passed away in 1996.

Maurice :cool:
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Richard,

The guy who ran the Firebird was an Hispanic American, Chris Padan, and knew all the American jazz stars including Basie, Ellington, Brubeck & the MJQ. Some of the member of the bands would go there for lunch before the evening concerts. I used to frequent the place for lunch quite often as well as play downstairs occasionally, as did Roy Castle if he was in Brum, and Chris would give me nod when he expected the visiting musicians to call. Chris moved down to Richmond, Surrey, with the intention of opening a similar place. I don't know whether he did or not, but I know that he passed away in 1996.

Maurice :cool:
Maurice,
I was never that lucky but you have my juices flowing........Just listened to a couple of Dave Brubeck Quartet songs (off topic, sorry). Between the MJQ and DBQ they were the VERY best!
Thanks for the memories!
 

tim eborn

master brummie
Went to see Trad Jazz there in the 50's saw Stan Kenton , Dutch Swing Colledge and we were introduced to a young Cleo Lane. Happy Times ! Cheers Tim
 
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