History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter

There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.

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Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter





There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.


 

Happy New Year 2021! 

Vittoria Street

A pair of letterboxes at 85, 87 and 87a Vittoria Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Seen in late November 2009.

This black one with LETTERS at the bottom is located to the right of the door at 85 and 87 Vittoria Street. It was a purpose built brickworks dating to 1870.

Further to the left is this rectangular letterbox with LETTERS written in the middle. I'd say that this is at 89 Vittoria Street.

The next one is at the Unity Works at 36 - 46 Vittoria Street. The letterbox was for Henry Jenkins & Sons Ltd (their registered offices). Also Masefield & Co and Beverley Hall Ltd. It was built in 1865 as a toolmaker works. The architect was J P Osborne for  Henry Jenkins and Son.

 

Caroline Street

Seen on New Years Day, 1st January 2013 was this letterbox on Caroline Street at what was the Registered Offices of Pickering & Mayell Limited. At the Reliance Works at 42 Caroline Street. Was a Manufactory built in the early 19th Century. With workshops to the rear.

Vyse Street

This letterbox was originally for H. Aston Ltd, but this building on Vyse Street is now the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Formerly two jewellery manufactories. 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore. While 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. 79 Vyse Street was replaced in 1990. The site was converted into a museum in 1999.

Spencer Street

Three letterboxes on Spencer Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The first one was originally for T. Hirschfeld.

The next blue one, the name had been painted over.

One more painted in black. If it had a name at the top, it was painted over so was unreadable.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
22 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Jewellery Quarter festive lights in St Paul's Square and The Golden Square

Christmas lights seen after dark seen around the Jewellery Quarter on the evening of the 17th December 2020. Mainly to see the festive lights around the Quarter as well as in St Paul's Square and The Golden Square. Was nice and dark. Although by the time he got to The Golden Square it started to rain. Never the less they looked nice. Plenty to see lit up around the Quarter.

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Jewellery Quarter festive lights in St Paul's Square and The Golden Square





Christmas lights seen after dark seen around the Jewellery Quarter on the evening of the 17th December 2020. Mainly to see the festive lights around the Quarter as well as in St Paul's Square and The Golden Square. Was nice and dark. Although by the time he got to The Golden Square it started to rain. Never the less they looked nice. Plenty to see lit up around the Quarter.


The Christmas lights in the Jewellery Quarter are always unique. As they look like jewellery (of course). More of the standard fairy lights to be found in St Paul's Square and The Golden Square. But the JQ's famous streets have their unique take on Christmas lights on lampposts.

 

St Paul's Square

This was the first time I've been able to see the Christmas tree up close in St Paul's Square after dark, as I usually walk around here in the daylight hours. St Paul's Church was just about visible with the street lights here.

The Christmas tree in St Paul's Square with a look down Ludgate Hill towards Snow Hill and the Colmore BID areas.

 

The Golden Square

Approaching The Golden Square from Warstone Lane, saw this tree covered in white fairy lights.

Jewellers on the right had this clock, that looks magical lit up after dark with it's own fairy lights!

Onto the actual Golden Square with multicoloured fairy lights above the square and on the Christmas tree.

Close up zoom in of the Christmas tree.

Zoomed out, and you can also see the lights on the ground of the square.

Next up was the Diamond Ring next to The Big Peg.

The only reflection was from the giant Diamond Ring!

One last look at the Diamond Ring and the coloured fairy lights before walking up Vyse Street to catch a train.

 

Christmas lights around the Jewellery Quarter

Fleet Street near Summer Row. With a view of the Library of Birmingham. Jewellery box.

 

Caroline Street on the walk up from St Paul's Square. Bow tie and bells.

 

This pair seen on Hall Street, just beyond Caroline Street. Christmas tree and earrings.

 

Turning onto Warstone Lane. Saw this Christmas tree.

Some more down Warstone Lane close to The Golden Square.

 

Turning onto Vyse Street as it started to rain. Pair of earrings near Newey's Jewellers.

A diamond ring on Vyse Street.

This necklace on Vyse Street opposite Jewellery Quarter Station.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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50 passion points
Transport
23 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Car2Go all over Birmingham back in 2013 to 2014

Car2Go was a car hire scheme in Birmingham during 2013 to 2014. Using SmartCar's. With slogans on the doors such as "Brum Brummie" or "Free Parking" etc. Users could use an app which they would pay for the use. Use the GPS to locate one and drive around the City. Didn't last more than 12 months though. From May 2013 to May 2014. Was based on was on Fleet Street.

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Car2Go all over Birmingham back in 2013 to 2014





Car2Go was a car hire scheme in Birmingham during 2013 to 2014. Using SmartCar's. With slogans on the doors such as "Brum Brummie" or "Free Parking" etc. Users could use an app which they would pay for the use. Use the GPS to locate one and drive around the City. Didn't last more than 12 months though. From May 2013 to May 2014. Was based on was on Fleet Street.


Car2Go

Coming to Birmingham in May 2013, all of a sudden, there was these Car2Go SmartCar's parked all over the City. They were available all over the City. No fixed designation bays, just jump in and drive off. Free parking on any street pay and display bay (but sometimes parking wardens wouldn't know and would put yellow parking tickets on them). One off registration fee was £29.90 (at the time). Register once, drive anywhere. All inclusive price plans. There was different prices depending on how long you used them.

They were based in offices on Fleet Street, close to the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. But this scheme wasn't to last, and by the late spring of 2014, Car2Go pulled out of Birmingham, never to return.

 

JUMP IN DRIVE OFF

Date: May 2013.

Location: Woodcock Street outside of Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre at Aston University.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Gas Street.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Alcester Road, Moseley Village.

Date: February 2014.

Location: Reservoir Road, Ladywood, on the walk towards Edgbaston Reservoir.

 

BRUM BRUMMIE

Date: May 2013.

Location: Woodbrooke Road, Bournville near The Valley Parkway.

Date: June 2013.

Location: Fleet Street outside of the then Car2Go offices.

Date: September 2013.

Location: Floodgate Street, Digbeth. Note the yellow parking ticket. Was it really free parking then?

Date: May 2014.

Location: Edmund Street. The last ever photo of a Car2Go SmartCar that I would take before they left Birmingham for good.

 

FREE PARKING

Date: May 2013:

Location: Corporation Street, in the Steelhouse Conservation Area near the courts.

Date: June 2013.

Location: Hazelwell Fordrough, Stirchley.

Date: July 2013.

Location: Lionel Street, Jewellery Quarter. Near the Great Charles Street Queensway car park.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Brunel Street. Near Brunel Street Car Park (now called Town Hall Car Park).

Date: September 2013.

Location: Bissell Street, Highgate.

 

HELLO BIRMINGHAM

Date: May 2013.

Location: Aston Street on the Aston University Campus.

Date: July 2013.

Location: Newhall Street, Jewellery Quarter near Newhall Square and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Date: September 2013.

Location: Bromsgrove Street, Southside. Was close to Bristol Street.

Date: October 2013.

Location: Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston at Five Ways.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Squares and public spaces
28 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Dayus Square a little known gem in the Jewellery Quarter

Most people would be aware of St Paul's Square and The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter. But there is one more little known square in the area called Dayus Square. Developed in 2011 to 2012 from what was previously called Albion Square. Named after a late local author Kathleen Dayus, who wrote about the area in her books. The Old Fire Station and The George & Dragon are here.

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Dayus Square a little known gem in the Jewellery Quarter





Most people would be aware of St Paul's Square and The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter. But there is one more little known square in the area called Dayus Square. Developed in 2011 to 2012 from what was previously called Albion Square. Named after a late local author Kathleen Dayus, who wrote about the area in her books. The Old Fire Station and The George & Dragon are here.


DAYUS SQUARE

There is a square in the Jewellery Quarter that is little known. Located at the junction of Legge Lane, Albion Street and Carver Street. It was formerly called Albion Square. It was redeveloped between 2011 and 2012, reopening as Dayus Square in the Spring of 2012. Named after the late local author Kathleen Dayus (born in 1903, she died in January 2003 a few days short of her 100th birthday).

Notable buildings located at Dayus Square include a pub formerly called The George & Dragon (later renamed The Pig & Tail after it was restored). There is also The Old Fire Station Children's Nursery.

 

Back in December 2012, Elliott took a series of photos around Dayus Square after hearing in the news about it. Despite going around the Jewellery Quarter many times over the years with his camera, he only popped back to this area in January 2018, when The George & Dragon reopened as The Pig & Tail. He's not been back to Dayus Square since.

 

The Dayus Square sculpture unveiled in 2012, was sculpted by Peter Walker. It contains extracts from Kathleen Dayus's book "The Girl from Hockley".

General view below of Dayus Square, with The Old Fire Station on the left. At the time the white building on the right was occupied by One 2 One. But the use of it has changed over the years. In 2019 it was Ultra Hair Clinic.

Below was the Dayus Square road sign.

To the other corner with The Old Fire Station on the right. Modern offices on the left. The Orb at 15A Albion Street. The sculpted book quote is on that side.

Then the general view from the square of The Old Fire Station.

Panoramic of the two photos as it was at the end of 2012. Still looks like this now.

THE OLD FIRE STATION CHILDREN'S NURSERY

These buildings are on the corner of Albion Street and Legge Lane.

First up is 62-65 Albion Street (not actually in Dayus Square but adding for completion). A Grade II listed building. Built in 1833. The architect was W Tadman Foulkes. Jewellery Quarter works built of red brick in Italianate style with hints of Queen Anne revival. In 2012 it was occupied by Saunders and Shepherd Ltd. It was the Albion Street Works. In 2019 the building was up for sale.

The Old Fire Station starts from here from James House at 66 Albion Street.

But The Old Fire Station was listed from 67, 68 and 69 Albion Street. A Grade II listed building, now a Children's Nursery. It was built as the Corporation Fire Station from 1909 to 1910. The architect was T G Price. It combines the Edwardian Wrenaissance with Birmingham Arts and Crafts. Built of red brick with stone detailing.

Panoramic of the last two photos on Albion Street.

The former fire engine doors. Now with children's toys inside.

The Birmingham Forward coat of arms.

The corner view of The Old Fire Station at Albion Street and Legge Lane.

 

THE GEORGE & DRAGON / THE PIG & TAIL

Seen under scaffolding at the end of 2012 was The George & Dragon pub. Now called The Pig & Tail, this pub is at the corner of Carver Street and Albion Street, with Pope Street. The George & Dragon is a Grade II listed building. It dates as far back as perhaps 1820, with a rebuild of around 1860 to 1870. There was a one storey extension of 1922 by local Birmingham pub building legends James and Lister Lea. It was quite derelict when Dayus Square was redeveloped.

The George & Dragon was restored in 2016 and reopened as The Pig & Tail. Seen below in January 2018. It was originally a Mitchells & Butlers pub, it also inspired the novels of the late Kathleen Dayus.

It would be nice on future Jewellery Quarter walks, to perhaps pass through here again, if I can head in the general direction, as I'm always ending up at St Paul's Square, then heading back into the City Core. The last JQ walk took me along the pop up cycle lane down Graham Street towards Newhall Street.

Whether the Council had plans for a Kathleen Dayus heritage trail or not I'm not sure. And plans may have changed when the Con-Dem Coalition went out of power to the current Labour council. Or maybe one of the local Jewellery Quarter groups would do one.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
History & heritage
26 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Removal of the Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter on the 22nd August 2020

On the 22nd August 2020, the Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter, was carefully being dismantled with the clock faces removed, so that workmen could remove the clock tower. It is heading for Smith of Derby who are clock specialists. It is expected that it will return in full working order by early 2021 (fingers crossed). The clock dates to 1903 and was last restored in 1989.

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Removal of the Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter on the 22nd August 2020





On the 22nd August 2020, the Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter, was carefully being dismantled with the clock faces removed, so that workmen could remove the clock tower. It is heading for Smith of Derby who are clock specialists. It is expected that it will return in full working order by early 2021 (fingers crossed). The clock dates to 1903 and was last restored in 1989.


Removal of the Chamberlain Clock in the Jewellery Quarter, 22nd August 2020

On Saturday the 22nd August 2020, workmen were on site in the Jewellery Quarter to remove the Chamberlain Clock. It will be taken care of by Smith of Derby who are clock specialists. It is expected to be back on the roundabout at the junction of Frederick Street, Vyse Street and Warstone Lane in early 2021. There will also be a new information panel.

For my last post on the Chamberlain Clock follow this link: Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock. It is over 117 years old, having been made originally back in 1903. The Grade II listed clock tower was last repaired and restored in 1989 (over 30 years ago).

Views below seen from Frederick Street:

Views below seen from Warstone Lane:

Views below seen from Vyse Street:

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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