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Green open spaces
10 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Newey Goodman Park off the Stratford Road in Hall Green

Previously this was just a recreation ground off the Stratford Road in Hall Green. But Birmingham City Council developed it into Newey Goodman Park by about 2012 after a new housing development was built around Newey Road and Goodman Close. Named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on Robin Hood Lane. They made hairgrips and pins. The site was sold for housing in the 1980s.

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Newey Goodman Park off the Stratford Road in Hall Green





Previously this was just a recreation ground off the Stratford Road in Hall Green. But Birmingham City Council developed it into Newey Goodman Park by about 2012 after a new housing development was built around Newey Road and Goodman Close. Named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on Robin Hood Lane. They made hairgrips and pins. The site was sold for housing in the 1980s.


Newey Goodman Park

A relatively new park in Birmingham, Newey Goodman Park only opened sometime after 2012 on what before was just the Newey Goodman Open Space. Located near the Stratford Road in Hall Green, the park has a play area and a basketball court. The park is quite small. Nearby is the housing estate around the following roads: Newey Road (which leads to the Robin Hood Lane), Goodman Close, Longfield Close, Oldhouse Farm Close, Bissell Close and Glover Close.

The park and the nearby roads were named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on the site of the park and where the houses are now on Robin Hood Lane. The company was sold in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After that the site was sold for housing to be built.

 

2010

On a walk around Hall Green in the snow during December 2010 (on Christmas Day - a rare White Christmas), I saw this recreation ground or open space from the Stratford Road. I did not go in, nor did I know that it was named after Newey Goodman Ltd.

There was nothing there at the time, so the snow just covered the entire field.

So much fluffy white snow on the Newey Goodman Open Space. Not that I knew what it was called at the time.

Some trees close to the Stratford Road. Even then you could see the houses around Newey Road and the cul-de-sac's around it.

I would have continued on from here down Robin Hood Lane and up Highfield Road. Didn't think about this space again for years, although did used to pass it on the bus.

2020

The rest of the photos were taken on lockdown walks. I first went in at the end of March 2020. I did consider going in before lockdown, but too many people going in there. This time though was hardly anyone in there.

Welcome to Newey Goodman Park the sign seen from the Stratford Road.

Bright sunshine and clouds over the play area.

Due to the pandemic / lockdown, at the time the playground / play area was closed from the public.

This play area had a green tree sign, instead of those elephant signs I've found in other Birmingham parks.

Some of the play equipment out of use, seen over the fence. A seesaw, and some kind of tyre swing.

It was all quite modern with the children's play equipment that they have here. Looking towards the Stratford Road.

There was also a basketball court, but it didn't look sealed off. In April 2020, I later saw people in there exercising or something.

Still daffodils to see at the end of March. The view towards the houses around Newey Goodman Park.

The furthest path goes towards Goodman Close.

Looking back into this small park.

Trees at the far end of the park.

I just walked down Newey Road and re-entered the park at Longfield Close. Daffodils near the closed play area.

Bollards at the end of Newey Road. It looks like the road used to continue onto the Stratford Road, so that means cars can't go into the park from here.

Popped in again in June 2020 to see what had changed. Dark clouds over the park, and the grass looked cut from the Stratford Road entrance.

Was some long grass behind the cut grass, for social distancing.

Walking up the grass cut in the park, while you can see the long grass to the left.

There was daisies growing in the long grass.

Close up look at the daisies.

Continuing up the cut grass path.

Another look at the basketball court. Seems like the grass had been cut for routes towards it.

Getting near the top end of the park again.

Longer grass in the middle with all the cut grass either side of it.

One last look at the park before I left via Goodman Close and Newey Road. This time I exited onto Robin Hood Lane.

A few more photos from early July 2020 taken from a walk up the Stratford Road. Saturday evening was the last time that I saw the National Express West Midlands Platinum bus on the 6 before they were replaced on that route the following day by brand new National Express West Midlands Electric buses. It was passing Newey Goodman Park.

I also noticed that the play area is now open again. Mothers with their kids on the swings, having fun. Playgrounds and play areas have been allowed to reopen again.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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Green open spaces
10 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Dingles in the Shire Country Park

Another section of the Shire Country Park on the Millstream Way is The Dingles in Yardley Wood. Entrances near Robin Hood Lane (from Coleside Avenue) or Trittiford Road or Highfield Road. The River Cole runs through and the Chinn Brook joins it. Suitable for walks, walking your dog, running and cycling. Runs alongside Cole Valley Road.

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The Dingles in the Shire Country Park





Another section of the Shire Country Park on the Millstream Way is The Dingles in Yardley Wood. Entrances near Robin Hood Lane (from Coleside Avenue) or Trittiford Road or Highfield Road. The River Cole runs through and the Chinn Brook joins it. Suitable for walks, walking your dog, running and cycling. Runs alongside Cole Valley Road.


The Dingles in the Shire Country Park

The Dingles is part of the Shire Country Park runs alongside the River Cole from Robin Hood Lane (not far from Brook Lane) towards Trittiford Road and Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. There is at least three main ways to walk through it. The main path is now like a raised cycle path. There was also a rough path in the middle between the River Cole and the Chinn Brook. The final route was just an open field of grass that you can walk on. The parkland runs alongside Cole Valley Road. If entering from Robin Hood Lane, you have to walk down Coleside Avenue to enter. There is also a couple of bridges that cross over the River Cole or the Chinn Brook.

The Dingles is the halfway point between the John Morris Jones Walkway and the Trittiford Mill Pool.

 

Over on Bill Dargue's History of Birmingham place names from A to Z on Yardley Wood he has a lot of useful information about The Dingles which I will summarise here.

The Dingles is also called The Dingles Recreation Ground. There was formerly fords at both ends of the river here, but they were replaced with road bridges. The original bridge at Highfield Road was called the Titterford Bridge. The Four Arches Bridge in The Dingles is close to Coleside Avenue. It dates to at least 1822. The bridge was maintained by the Yardley Great Trust. The bridge was almost in ruins in 1956, but was restored in 1980, and is now pedestrianised.

2012

First visit was during March 2012. Starting at Robin Hood Lane in Yardley Wood. A look at the River Cole.

View of the River Cole from the Four Arches Bridge.

The open field in The Dingles you can walk through. No paths on here though.

One of the bridges you can cross over in The Dingles.

View of the footbridge further back.

Trees bare of leaves near the River Cole.

Another close up view of the River Cole.

Contiuing on the walk up the grassy field.

The gate that exits to Trittiford Road. There is also entrances on Highfield Road.

More views of the River Cole.

And another view of the River Cole. By the looks of it from the rough path between the River Cole and Chinn Brook.

The gate at the exit to Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. The River Cole continues beyond here passing the Trittiford Mill Pool.

2016

Back in The Dingles for another walk during May 2016. It was the May Day Bank Holiday walk that started from the Sarehole Mill car park. First up a look at the bridge on Robin Hood Lane, which replaced the ford that used to be here historically.

Fingerpost in The Dingles pointing the way to the John Morris Jones Walkway (left) and the Trittiford Mill Pool (right). Near the historic Four Arches Bridge.

A look at the Four Arches Bridge that crosses the River Cole in The Dingles.

A tree had been cut down near the River Cole at this point.

Another fingerpost in The Dingles. This one alongside the raised cycle path. The Chinn Brook Recreation Ground to the left (also called Chinn Brook Meadows). Sarehole Mill and Cole Bank Road to the right.

Must have taken the walk between the River Cole and the Chinn Brook at the time.

It looks like a bike crossing into the river at this point.

Sign for the 7 Wonders Walk.

After leaving The Dingles this time, saw a fire engine from Billesley Community Fire Station, before going into the John Morris Jones Walkway again.

2017

Snow from December 2017. I didn't enter The Dingles at that time. Only popped into the Trittiford Mill Pool while it was snowing.

White stuff (snow) everywhere.

Even the River Cole from Highfield Road was surrounded by snow at the time.

Not sure what it would have been like to walk through The Dingles covered in snow. But was best to stick to Highfield Road and walk back up to Hall Green.

2020

The first lockdown walk through The Dingles was in March 2020. I took the grass route from the Highfield Road entrance. The man running ahead of me in the Trittiford Mill Pool ran far ahead of me in The Dingles.

See the running man go way ahead of me, while I caught him with the River Cole.

The grass was bit wet to walk on and would be no paths until I got to the bridge to cross over the River Cole.

Saw a magpie on a branch.

Trees were bare as I saw this River Cole view.

Had a blue sky that day in March.

The River Cole from the footbridge.

Looking back at the footbridge I'd crossed over. Same one I used 8 years earlier.

Now on the path towards Coleside Avenue, running alongside the River Cole.

The exit to Coleside Avenue, which was also near the main path in The Dingles.

In May 2020 had another walk through The Dingles. First up saw some ducks near the River Cole from the bridge on Robin Hood Lane. Had just come from the John Morris Jones Walkway.

Another look at the Four Arches Bridge.

Another view of the River Cole from the Four Arches Bridge.

Grass near the main cycle path has been cut for social distancing walking.

Was a lot of long grass apart from the grass mown for the 2 metre social distancing rule.

Gate to Trittiford Road. Briefly exited here before going into another gate on Highfield Road.

On the rough path between the Chinn Brook and River Cole, I found this stump of a tree with all these plastic toys! Some kind of memorial to a child or something?

View of the toys from the top. I hope it was not classed as littering or flytipping.

Still on the rough path between the Chinn Brook and River Cole, in the middle of The Dingles.

View of the River Cole from an alternative route back towards Coleside Avenue and Robin Hood Lane.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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Green open spaces
07 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The "new" Austin Park at Longbridge Town Centre

This plot of land at Longbridge Town Centre was opened in 2013. Austin Park was where the Austin later MG Rover works used to be until 2005. There was also a former Halesowen Railway. The park is boarded by Bournville College, and the Town Centre buildings with Premier Inn and The Cambridge pub. Entrance on Bristol Road South. You can also see the River Rea here.

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The "new" Austin Park at Longbridge Town Centre





This plot of land at Longbridge Town Centre was opened in 2013. Austin Park was where the Austin later MG Rover works used to be until 2005. There was also a former Halesowen Railway. The park is boarded by Bournville College, and the Town Centre buildings with Premier Inn and The Cambridge pub. Entrance on Bristol Road South. You can also see the River Rea here.


Austin Park

at Longbridge Town Centre

Austin Park is at Longbridge Birmingham. Located between College Street and High Street. St Modwen started the development of the new Austin Park in the winter of 2012/13. On one of my visits to Longbridge in February 2013, they were already digging up the land and preparing it. On a later visit in August 2013, the park was looking more or less complete, but it was not yet open to the public. The decking had been laid out, as well as the landscaping around the River Rea. It was only by November 2013 that I was able to have a short walk around Austin Park. Getting in from the Longbridge High Street and walking to the Bristol Road South entrance / exit. I first went to the then new Costa Coffee  (my first visit, I've been a few times in the years since then) at Longbridge Town Centre before going around the park.

The park is served by many bus routes on the Bristol Road South and Longbridge Lane, such as the 63, 45, 47 and the 49. More recently the X20, X21 and the X22 go nearby. The park is also in walking distance of Longbridge Station (which had a new station building built in 2019).

2013

First views of the almost complete new Austin Park back in August 2013. I've been travelling down to Longbridge since 2010 getting many updates of the developments here. The new decking seen from the Bristol Road South, with the River Rea in the middle.

To the left is Bournville College, and where College Street would eventually be. It opened there in September 2011.

The site to the right has yet to be developed on, even 7 years on.

But to the far left a new Marks & Spencer store would be built, as well as other retail units (as well as a car park). Also a retirement village would be built a little bit up the Lickey Road.

Straight ahead is the new Sainsbury's on the High Street. Also built was a Premier Inn. A pub called The Cambridge, and there is also a Costa Coffee on the High Street. These all opened later in 2013.

Between Bournville College and the park would be built a car park for the college.

On another visit in November 2013, I was able to walk around Austin Park. After my first visit to the Costa Coffee at Longbridge Town Centre (on the High Street), I finally got to go around the new park.

A path curves around the River Rea. Trees were quite new at this point.

The River Rea curving towards Bournville College (seen on the left).

Below the Premier Inn at the time was a Beefeater, next to The Cambridge pub (run by Hungry Horse).

A metal footbridge crosses over the River Rea. Bournville College on the right of this view (below).

A close up look at the metal footbridge in the direction of Bournville College.

The bridge over the Bristol Road South is a reminder of the former Halesowen Railway which used to link Halesowen to Longbridge. There used to be another Longbridge Station on the other side of the bridge (it was demolished by 2013). There was also a signal box on this side of the former railway that I saw in 2010 (but demolished by 2011 or 2012.

A lot of new trees planted by the path in the view towards Bournville College.

There was another footbridge at the Bristol Road South end of the park. There is now also another entrance / exit close to Bournville College.

There is an open gate to the pavement onto Bristol Road South. Not far from the roundabout. Lickey Road to the left leads to Cofton Hacket and Cofton Park.

2016

Just the odd photo of Austin Park in the years since it opened. This one from January 2016. A view of the River Rea towards the construction site of the Extra Care Retirement Village, in the bright sunshine. To the far left, the new Marks & Spencer had just opened, along with the other retail units (the then purpose of this particular visit).

On another visit to Longbridge Town Centre in November 2016 I saw this sign (a reminder of the Austin / MG Rover past and it's former workers):

IT WASN'T ABOUT CARS

IT WAS ABOUT PEOPLE

2017

On my first visit to the inside of Marks & Spencer in Longbridge during October 2017, I popped into M & S Cafe for a coffee and toastie. I sat at a table near the window. There was a balcony outside, but think it was closed at the time. Saw this view towards Austin Park.

Also visible was the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine Accommodation, which was completed at the time. The car park here was mainly for M & S and for the new retail units to the left of here.

2018

In January 2018, I returned to Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park, and while there got a zoom in of Longbridge Town Centre. Austin Park is a bit hard to see from here, but you can see Bournville College, Premier Inn and M & S from up here. Birmingham is clearly a city of trees! And beyond into Worcestershire.

Some views in April 2018 of the daffodils in Austin Park.

These yellow flowers were growing at the time on both sides of the River Rea. Possibly Marsh Marigold if Google Lens is to be believed.

Some more daffodils near some dry grass near one of the new trees.

2020

Views of Longbridge Town Centre seen from the Waseley Hills Country Park near the end of June 2020. While Austin Park isn't visible from up here, you can see the buildings that surrounds it, such as the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine Accommodation, Premier Inn, Sainsbury's and M & S.

Also got Bournville College in this next view from the Waseley Hills. So many trees up here, and beyond into Birmingham. The trees in Austin Park would have been there for around 7 years now.

For a similar post relating to Sir Herbert Austin, go to this post: Herbert Austin: making cars at Longbridge and the Austin Village.

If you want to check out my Cofton Park post it is here: Cofton Park in Rednal and near Longbridge.

If you want to see my views of Beacon Hill, go to this post: Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park.

I plan on doing a post soon on my recent visit to the Waseley Hills Country Park so watch this space!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
07 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Olton Jubilee Park, a Recreation Ground opened in the Silver Jubilee year of George V

This was another park that I spotted on Google Maps, and wanted to check out a short walk around during May 2020. Olton Jubilee Park is located in Olton, Solihull. It was opened in 1935 during the Silver Jubilee year of George V. Two years later in 1937 the gates on Lyndon Road were unveiled in time for the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The Hatchford Brook also flows here.

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Olton Jubilee Park, a Recreation Ground opened in the Silver Jubilee year of George V





This was another park that I spotted on Google Maps, and wanted to check out a short walk around during May 2020. Olton Jubilee Park is located in Olton, Solihull. It was opened in 1935 during the Silver Jubilee year of George V. Two years later in 1937 the gates on Lyndon Road were unveiled in time for the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The Hatchford Brook also flows here.


Olton Jubilee Park

Welcome to Olton Jubilee Park. This park is surrounds the Hatchford Brook which flows through the park in Olton, Solihull. The main entrance gates is on Lyndon Road. There is also entrances and exits from Ulleries Road, Brackleys Way and Dene Court Road. Originally called Olton Recreation Ground, it was opened to the public on the 6th May 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V by the then Solihull Urban District Council. It was also called the Olton Jubilee Recreation Ground originally.

Two years later the gates on Lyndon Road were opened to celebrate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on the 12th May 1937 (the date originally reserved for King Edward VIII before he abdicated in December 1936). Today you can call the park either Olton Park or Olton Jubilee Park.

The park also features the Solihull BMX Pump Track, a Play Area, football pitch, basketball area and a wet woodland.

My visit was during May 2020. During the lockdown the play area and basketball area were closed. Although there were people on BMX bikes at the time of my visit.

The gates seen from Lyndon Road. This view was after we exited via Ulleries Road and walked back to the car.

First view of the gates as we headed into the park from Lyndon Road. There is a pair of plaques. One details the opening of the park in 1935 (Silver Jubilee of George V) and the other from 1937 when the gates were unveiled (Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth).

On entering the park saw this Olton Jubilee Park noticeboard near the main path.

The BMX Track is on the right. And there was a group on BMX bikes there to do tricks. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be open at that part of May 2020 (was on the 5th).

First look at the playground / play area which was closed off to the public due to the pandemic / lockdown.

Inside saw this metal wheel thing.

Of course the outdoor gym equipment and the basketball court was out of use.

Another look at the playground on the way out. Swings and slides out of use.

The park is a Green Flag Park as can be seen by the Green Flag flying near the play area.

A footbridge that goes over the Hatchford Brook.

Lots of trees surrounding the Hatchford Brook, near the footbridge.

Heading into the wet woodland area. People walking their dogs, and mothers pushing pushchairs.

This part of the park is near Brackleys Way.

Saw a path that leads to Dene Court Road.

Now on a path in the wet woodland area that goes around the Hatchford Brook.

Now for a proper look at the Hatchford Brook.

Beyond the Hatchford Brook were people keeping a social distance, other than those in their household.

Looking back at the path alongside the Hatchford Brook.

Kept seeing these yellow flowers around this area of the park. They might be Gorse. Running alongside the Hatchford Brook.

Taking the path to exit the park to Ulleries Road, for the walk back to the starting point on Lyndon Road.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
03 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Bandstand and Drinking Fountains at Lightwoods Park

It wasn't just Lightwoods House that was restored in Lightwoods Park. Other historic monuments were restored including the bandstand and two drinking fountains. They look as good as new now. In this post we will look at them from before restoration, during restoration and what they are like after restoration. A new Rest House was built in 2016-17.

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The Bandstand and Drinking Fountains at Lightwoods Park





It wasn't just Lightwoods House that was restored in Lightwoods Park. Other historic monuments were restored including the bandstand and two drinking fountains. They look as good as new now. In this post we will look at them from before restoration, during restoration and what they are like after restoration. A new Rest House was built in 2016-17.


Bandstand

The Bandstand at Lightwoods Park is Grade II listed and dates to the late 19th century. In an Octagonal plan. It was made of Cast Iron on a brick base with a sheet iron roof. The Bandstand was presented to the City of Birmingham by Rowland Mason Esq. J.P. of West Mount, Edgbaston. It was erected in April 1903. It is now in the care of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (since they took over the running of the park from Birmingham City Council in November 2010). The Bandstand was restored between 2016 and 2017.

The first time I saw the Bandstand in Lightwoods Park was in March 2011. So it was about 4 months after Sandwell took over the running of the park from Birmingham. It would be another 5 years before restoration work began on it (same time as Lightwoods House).

There was scaffolding all over the Bandstand at Lightwoods Park during January 2016. Also some hoardings, so couldn't get too close to it at the time.

In September 2016, restoration of the Bandstand in Lightwoods Park was almost complete. But was still barriers around it at the time.

The Bandstand in November 2017 after restoration was completed.

At the beginning of June 2020 I was back at Lightwoods Park for a lockdown walk around the park. Saw a man doing press ups to the left of the Bandstand.

Drinking Fountain

There is at least two drinking fountains in Lightwoods Park. There is one near Lightwoods House, that was given to the City of Birmingham, by Sydney Edwards of Moorfield Beech Lanes, on behalf of the Subscribers in December 1903. The other drinking fountain is near the entrance to the second half of the park from Galton Road. Both are of an identical design. There is a third drinking fountain of this design in Warley Woods.

I originally saw the first drinking fountain when I first visited Lightwoods Park in March 2011. And it was in a state of disrepair. It was about 4 months after Sandwell took over the running of the park from Birmingham. It would be another 5 years before Sandwell Council started to work on restoring it, and the other drinking fountains.

Scaffolding around the drinking fountain close to Lightwoods House during January 2016. The old tiles on the roof had been removed. There was also hoardings around the area as Lightwoods House was also being fully restored at the time.

I first found the second drinking fountain, near the Galton Road entrance during September 2016, when I walked around the rest of the park for the first time. You could see the tiles in the original colour, and it was missing the tip that was added after the restoration was completed.

The second drinking fountain near the Galton Road entrance to the second half of Lightwoods Park, seen during early June 2020. We were heading to the Warley Woods from here. There is a quote on here (a bit unreadble) from William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens Act I, Scene II.

Those healths will make thee and thy state
look ill, Timon. Here's that which is too weak to
be a sinner, honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire

In comparison to the two Lightwoods Park drinking fountains, a look at the drinking fountain in the nearby Warley Woods. It was made in 1906-07, and was restored in 2009.

The first time I saw the Warley Woods drinking fountain was during July 2017, while I was on the Big Sleuth bear hunt. Bentley the Bearwood Bear was close by (it is now outside of Lightwoods House).

The Warley Woods drinking fountain seen during early June 2020 on a full lockdown walk around the woods.

Rest House

I first saw The Rest House in November 2017, not far from Bearwood Bus Station. It looks relatively new. But the roof looked like it was from the 1900s. It had benches around a central area with noticeboards. It's possible that they reused the roof from another building. It was a completely new build. 

The Rest House seen in early June 2020, as I was looking towards a view towards Bearwood Bus Station. There used to be a section in the middle with benches and notice boards, but it seems to have been removed due to vandalism. 

I'll probably next cover the Shakespeare Garden at Lightwoods House. So watch this space!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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