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  2. All of the moderators are working very hard to tidy up the Forum posts, as you can imagine 15 years tidying takes a lot of time. Quite a bit of this is taken up with off topic posts It would be helpful in future if members could keep their posts relevant to the thread Title,those that are not will be deleted. Thanks.

Dunlop Building

Discussion in 'Old & New Brum Pictures' started by Wendy, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Wendy

    Wendy Guest

    Here's a picture of the Dunlop building taken on Monday from the M6 its now known as The Urban Splash. I think its now mainly offices and a hotel.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2014
  2. Alberta

    Alberta Super Moderator Staff Member

    And apartments Wendy,good that they have left the building looking somewhat like the original Fort Dunlop.

    A nice touch by the developers is that it has a 'green' roof so that wildlife will make their home there,this includes bird boxes and bat boxes.
  3. Buckley

    Buckley Guest

    I work in Fort Dunlop for the Council's IT services on the 5th floor. To be honest, if it wasn't named Fort Dunlop, you wouldn't realise what it used to be. The only really obvious concession to its previous life is that the staircases have ceiling to floor photos of tyres and a slight 'car tyre smell' from the rubber flooring... Lots of orange and white to compliment the Urban Splash corporate branding as well.

    I've been trying to find a good website about Fort Dunlop but have been unable to find anything which details its history. I'd very much like to know exactly happened on the floor I now work on all those years ago. But I've been unable to find anything.

    There's no apartments, only shops on the ground floor and commercial lettings up to the 4th floor. We've got the 5th floor and apparently the Evening Mail are due to move into the sixth floor shortly. They've also attached a Travellodge to it...

    The roof is fun on a summer's day. Watching the planes coming into land and thinking you can grab their landing gear as they fly seemingly only a few feet above your head...
  4. jennyann

    jennyann master brummie Staff Member

    Hi Buckley: Do you mean a web site something like Lucas's has where it is more personalized with regard to the staff who worked there, some for
    all of their working life? That would be great if someone who worked there could start a site similar to Lucas's. There seems to be a lot about the History of Dunlop Tyres, etc. around the Internet but not a personalized one.

    I did a six week stint at Dunlop as a Temp in l963 just before I left to live in Canada. I worked on the second floor for the International Marketing Department for Tyres. I knew quite a few people who worked at Fort Dunlop and it sounded like a good place to work although some of the factory jobs were horrendous due to the fact that it's main production was rubber tyres.

    I remember that the Computer Division as it was known then was on the ground floor and newly installed with huge information collecting computers that had to be manned 24 hours a day.

    I went to a couple of Sports Days in the early l950's with friends who were employees and had a great time. I know the company had several clubs you could join, etc.

    Thanks for posting the photo Wendy. Last time I saw the building it was sporting a very large advert which was wrapped around the whole building.
    A friend of mine has moved his architect practice from the Jewellery Quarter into the newly renovated Fort Dunlop. It would have been sad for Erdington to lose Fort Dunlop.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  5. Buckley

    Buckley Guest

    Hi Jennyann.

    Yes something like that would be brilliant. Since moving into the Fort, I've trawled the internet for pictures of Fort Dunlop as it was up until the time everyone moved out. But seemingly, there's not all that many out there. I find that very strange as surely it is one of the most iconic factories in the world.

    Like I said, I'd love to be able to see a photo of what the fifth floor was like back in the day. Just so I could place myself into the history of Fort Dunlop... Maybe, Fifty years ago, someone was sat in the location where my desk is now, at his drawing board and designed something using paper and pen. I doubt that person would have imagined that fifty years later, I'd be able to fix something at the Central Library without leaving my desk at Fort Dunlop.

    Do you remember what was on the various floors of Fort Dunlop when you were there?

    It's quite sad I suppose that I walk around the Fort looking at the walls and the ceilings trying to find something from its illustrious history. Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven't found a thing.
  6. Alf

    Alf Our Resident Diplomat

    What you doing to me this time of night? my ex worked in that building in 1958
  7. mikejee

    mikejee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Have you seen the article Carl chinn wrote in "Brum and Brummies" pt 2 pub 2001. It;s quite short, but you might find it interesting
  8. jennyann

    jennyann master brummie Staff Member

    Hi DaveM: Thanks for posting the photos of Fort Dunlop. The view from the roof is great and the fact that it is a roof garden and environmentally
    safe is also a good idea. I think these type of roofs are becoming "the thing to do now". Our new convention centre in Vancouver which will be the media centre of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has a huge roof garden with thousands of plants on it.

    It really is unfortunate that there doesn't seem to be any photos or memories on the Internet of Fort Dunlop in it's hey day. There must be some photos somewhere. I realize that building was basically abandoned for 25 years and that doesn't help. One of our neighbours worked there for over 35 years and was in the Theatre group for a very long time. She's long gone now.

    I was only at the Fort for six weeks in two temp positions and I spent some time at another branch somewhere else but I can't remember where. I can remember the very large offices with the Manager's or Supervisor's glass
    offices that looked out over all the workers. I also remember someone telling me that if you came to work there you started at the back of the room with a small desk and not much else. If you stayed over the years you were moved up and the amenities such as more comfortable chairs with cushioned seats were available. This was very noticeable when you walked into these large offices.

    The second temp place was a good walk from the main gate and the
    fellow who had ordered the temp was angry with me when I was a few minutes late getting there. It took me l5 minutes from the Main gate to walk to this office. No one had told me exactly where this office was and I had to ask one of the people on the Main Gate.
  9. mikejee

    mikejee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Environmentally friendly roofs do seem the "in thing", but they are far from new. In 1792 Marshalls mill, built in the form of an egyptian temple and later to become Kays catalogue warehouse, had grass on the roof with sheep grazing - really green! Unfortunately the sheep had to be removed after they kept falling through the glass skylights, but they had the right idea. Perhaps appropriately, considering the sheep's demise, I understand that part of the mill is, or has been, the local office of the health and safety executive.
  10. jennyann

    jennyann master brummie Staff Member

    Great story Mike. The sheep part is interesting but I imagine they chewed the grass and keep that part of it down. There is a shop on Vancouver Island which has had goats grazing on its sloping grass roof for years. It's funny to see them up there when you drive by. As you say there isn't much that's really new.
  11. BernardR

    BernardR Guest

    Not sure if someone has already mentioned it but it is the company that developed it and (and the Rotunda) that are 'Urban Splash' not the building which still seems to be called 'Fort Dunlop'.
  12. Di.Poppitt

    Di.Poppitt master brummie

    If you follow the link and scroll to the bottom of the page under Commision Report it includes early history to 1955. My dad worked at Fort Dunlop all of his working life from a young lad in 1914 until retirement in 1966. His days were long, he left the house at 7am and was home just about in time to listen to the Archers, at 6.45pm.

  13. Astoness

    Astoness TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR Staff Member

    fort dunlop..rocky lane aston...


    Attached Files:

  14. OtherHalf

    OtherHalf posher half

    another old view of the fort

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  15. Bazaston

    Bazaston knowlegable brummie

    Surely this is Holly Lane Erdington.
  16. Astoness

    Astoness TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR Staff Member

    hi..the caption says rocky lane...thanks for correcting it....

  17. davidfowler

    davidfowler Exiled Brummie

    It's been on before, I bought on ebay, and says on the back 18/6/53. More of a nostalgic look at the trams picking up the workers in Holly Lane rather than the building itself. It seems a bit of a quiet time 'though with the lack of people. The Sports Field is on the right and the Dunlop Club is somewhere on the left I think.
  18. Frothblower

    Frothblower Lubrication In Moderation

  19. Astoness

    Astoness TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR Staff Member

    thanks froth..seems like it is dunlop rocky lane then....

  20. gingerjon

    gingerjon master brummie

    you where right Astoness as you said Rocky Lane there is a similar photograph but it as Hercules where it says Dunlop my father worked at Dunlop Aston as a rubber worker the frontage is only a small part of the factory it took up quite a bit of that block

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