Yesterday I was on family "chauffeuring duties" and found myself at 10.00 in the morning in Birmingham City Centre. Now I have to admit I never visit the City Centre unless going to the Theatre, Museum or Symphony Hall, so I decided instead of sitting in the car reading for an hour or so, I would take the camera and explore.
Whilst walking to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the past I have noticed a hidden garden located behind the Theatre and this was my first port of call.
It was really lovely to see the effort that had been made to plant so many "pollinator friendly" plants - Cosmos, Buddleia, Red Hot Pokers, Nasturtiums, Calendula or Pot Marigold, Verbena bonariensis etc. etc.
A view of the rear of the new Birmingham Library - more on this later!!
The gardens were beautifully maintained and it was wonderful to find a beautiful garden buzzing with insects slap bang in the middle of a City Centre. A very tranquil haven.
Centenary Square was just a short walk away and at that time in the morning was fairly quiet. It was named in 1989 in celebration of Birmingham achieving City status in 1889.
Today dominating the Square is the new Birmingham Library which is estimated to have cost 188.8 million pounds! Once open it will be the largest library in the UK and the largest public cultural space in Europe.
When I've driven past in recent years during its construction I have to admit I was not at all impressed with the architecture and thought it was a complete eyesore. However, now its more or less completed and looking at it more closely I can see some beauty in its shape and design. Would be really interested to know what everyone thinks!
The library is due to open on 3rd September this year but it looks as though there might still be some work in progress!
Symphony Hall and the International Convention Centre
Birmingham Repertory Theatre - the theatre has recently celebrated its centenary - it was founded by Barry Jackson in 1913 and originally based at the Old Repertory Theatre moving to this building in 1971.
This building has been closed since 2011 due to the building of the new library and a few changes to the interior of the theatre although plays have continued at various other locations. It re-opens on 3rd September.
I do rather like Martin Shaw and am hoping to go and see this play
I was very pleased to see that Birmingham City Council had, in addition to more formal flowering displays, planted a meadow in the Square. Unfortunately, it did seem to have suffered probably from lack of rain during the hot spell we had.
It was lovely to see metal sculptures of two Towers located close by in Edgbaston - Perrott's Folly and a Victorian Tower which is part of Edgbaston Water Works. JRR Tolkien lived in the area for several years as a child and it has been suggested that these two Towers were his inspiration for "Minas Morgul" and "Minas Tirith" - The Two Towers after which the second volume of "Lord of the Rings" is named.
I visited these two Towers last year and here are a couple of photos
The Tower at Edgbaston Water Works and
I thought this deckchair (also in the meadow) was a brilliant idea.
The Hall of Memory - a War Memorial built 1922 - 25 out of Portland Stone from the Isle of Portland, Dorset.
The four bronze statues are allegorical figures by a local sculptor (Albert Toft) representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Women's Service. For some unknown reason I only took photos of three of them!
Statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch opposite the Square
Clouds reflected in the Hyatt Hotel
A Tower of Flowers
Baskerville House - originally the home of John Baskerville (1706-1725) a printer and type designer. The building was once used as offices by the City Council.
Statue of Edward VII
For more information on the ICC, Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Library please visit the following websites
The Battle of Naseby
5 hours ago