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Art, culture & creativity
10 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

NHS Angel by Luke Perry at Lightwoods Park

Recently had a chance to return to Lightwoods Park in Bearwood (in the car, not allowed to travel on the bus at the moment). And while on my walk I found Luke Perry's temporary NHS Angel sculpture. It is near Hagley Road West. It has a message "Thank You NHS & Care Workers". It is called Wings and Scrubs.

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NHS Angel by Luke Perry at Lightwoods Park





Recently had a chance to return to Lightwoods Park in Bearwood (in the car, not allowed to travel on the bus at the moment). And while on my walk I found Luke Perry's temporary NHS Angel sculpture. It is near Hagley Road West. It has a message "Thank You NHS & Care Workers". It is called Wings and Scrubs.


The Winged sculpture was unveiled early in May 2020. It was a tribute to the NHS and Care Workers 'angels' who have been treated people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Country sculptor Luke Perry created it using steel and other metals in his factory in Cradley Heath.

He worked with Sandwell Council and it was installed at Lightwoods Park near the Hagley Road West in Bearwood. It is a temporary installation called Wings and Scrubs. It has the inscription THANK YOU NHS & CARE WORKERS.

More details at the link above from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

You can see it on your daily walk around Lightwoods Park and the Warley Woods.

Saw it myself on the 2nd June 2020.

I will do a proper Lightwoods Park post soon, from my various visits over the years from 2011 to 2020.

My post on Lightwoods House is here: The restoration of Lightwoods House in Lightwoods Park.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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70 passion points
Green open spaces
10 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Trittiford Mill Pool in the Shire Country Park

There is many satellite parks within the Shire Country Park. One of the most popular for walks or cycle rides is the Trittiford Mill Pool in Yardley Wood. Trittiford Park has been built up since the late 1920s. The pool is fed by a millrace cut from the River Cole approx 20 yards south of Slade Lane. The park covers 15.34 acres of which 8 acres is covered by the pool itself.

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The Trittiford Mill Pool in the Shire Country Park





There is many satellite parks within the Shire Country Park. One of the most popular for walks or cycle rides is the Trittiford Mill Pool in Yardley Wood. Trittiford Park has been built up since the late 1920s. The pool is fed by a millrace cut from the River Cole approx 20 yards south of Slade Lane. The park covers 15.34 acres of which 8 acres is covered by the pool itself.


Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park

The Shire Country Park covers a four mile section of the River Cole Valley, Chinn Brook Valley, Moseley Bog and other satellite parks. The unique landscape is managed by the Birmingham Park Ranger Service and other local volunteers.

The parkland around Trittiford Park has been developed since the late 1920s. The River Cole nearby feeds the pool via a millrace close to Slade Lane. It is part of a vital chain of habitats that runs along the Cole Valley and is a S.I.N.C. Site of importance to Nature Conservation.

The Trittiford Mill Pool was created to supply water to Titterford Mill, which is known to have existed since 1779. The mill used to be at Trittiford Road where there are now buildings at Mill Gardens. The mill was advertised in 1784 as a new water corn mill. By the mid 19th century a steam engine was added. The mill was demolished after a fire in 1926.

The pool is home to a variety of wetland wildlife, including the Moorhen, Mute Swan, Black-Headed Gull and Pochard. Grey Heron can be regularly seen here.

Beyond the Trittiford Mill Pool to the south is the Scribers Lane Site of importance to Nature Conservation (usually just called Scribers Lane). The Dingles is to the north, and Chinn Brook Meadows to the west. It is in Yardley Wood.

The parkland is surrounded by Highfield Road to the north, Priory Road to the west, and Scribers Lane to the south.

I have been visiting the Trittiford Mill Pool multiple times over the years starting on Christmas Day 2013.

2013

Early on the morning of the 25th December 2013, sometime after 10am in the morning, we went for our first walk around the Trittiford Mill Pool.

Approaching the mill pool from the entrance near Highfield Road and Priory Road in Yardley Wood.

It was quite early in the morning so was a lot of bright sunlight over the mill pool.

Saw a Coot swimming in the mill pool.

The tarmac path was a bit old at this point. It would be replaced in the years to come.

This was still quite near the beginning of the walk around the pool in a clockwise direction.

Most trees without leaves apart from the evergreen ones.

The trees made nice reflections in the pool.

Sunlight was still a bit too bright.

Now saw a gull in the pool.

Swans and ducks.

Lots of gulls perched on this branch in the mill pool.

Quite a lot of Canada Geese here.

A lady in a Christmas hat as they fed the swans, geese and ducks. Was a lot of "Merry Christmas" greetings around the pool that morning.

All the swans, geese and ducks on the bank of the pool as they were eating bread. Please do not feed the birds bread. It is not good for them.

More Canada Geese and gulls around.

At the end of the fist walk, the way in or out near the bollards from Priory Road.

One of the signs that Welcomes you to the Shire Country Park and the Trittiford Mill Pool. It appears to be in the Selly Oak District at the time.

2016

The second walk into the Trittiford Mill Pool was during May 2016. It was the May Day Bank Holiday walk in the Shire Country Park, starting at the Sarehole Mill car park via John Morris Jones Walkway, The Dingles, Trittiford Mill Pool and Scribers Lane and back. At the time the Council was having new paths and wooden fences installed.

A new wooden fence near the new path. At a section where water from the River Cole goes into the Mill Pool.

There was containers with graffiti on them and bags of building materials.

The grass was looking like they had just relaid it or something.

Fresh new tarmac paths to walk over the new bridge.

Another Coot in the mill pool.

First time seeing a Great Cormorant, perched on a tree branch.

Near the end of the Mill Pool a new footbridge going over the link from the pool into the River Cole.

Beyond here, the River Cole splits into two as it goes into the Scribers Lane S.I.N.C. area.

Back in the Trittiford Mill Pool saw this Greylag Goose.

More Greylag Geese plus Canada Geese and some ducks.

Another walk in December 2016. The new footpaths were now complete. Nearby is a small field where horse riders can go around with their horses. This area is off Brookwood Avenue in Yardley Wood.

Wasn't much leaves on the trees, so could see a lady riding her horse around.

This time I spotted a Little Egret perched on a branch.

The usual Canada Geese swimming around the mill pool.

A gull in flight and other gulls around. One also perched at the bottom of a branch.

2017

The snow of December 2017. This was during the none stop snowfall of the 10th December 2017. Was was so cold and freezing that day!

Snow on the River Cole as I approached the Mill Pool from Highfield Road.

A winter wonderland in Yardley Wood.

Even the fingerpost was covered in snow. Directions to The Dingles and Scribers Lane.

Snow every where, only a quick look, as the snow was so thick.

Still there was some people around the mill pool.

Saw this dog near the mill pool which was frozen over.

There were birds in the pool but was a bit hard to see in these blizzard conditions at the time.

This was the only time I've seen this area covered in snow.

There's not been December snowfall since.

2020

My first lockdown through here was in March 2020 as social distancing measures had started. Got on from Scribers Lane near the River Cole.

Shadows on the footbridge as I only did half of the mill pool this time around.

Was a blue sky, trees hadn't quite yet regrown their leaves.

Saw another Little Egret as I headed towards the main part of the Mill Pool.

Lots of people ahead, hopefully socially distancing. It was on the 26th March 2020, so people were still getting used to the lockdown restrictions at the time.

Saw an island in the middle of the lake where the birds usually are.

Quite a lot of ducks and Canada Geese close to the path. People walking their dogs, people having a walk. Some sitting on benches.

I think some ducks were flying over the mill pool there.

This swan made a nice reflection in the mill pool.

A man in blue running ahead of me, he would next go into The Dingles, as would I. Although he went well ahead of me at the time.

Another walk around in May 2020. Starting from the Priory Road entrance. We walked half way around the Mill Pool, then into the Scribers Lane S.I.N.C. before completing the second half, and exiting at Priory Road.

Saw a few people going around on their bikes.

Seagulls perched on branches.

Saw a Coot with her baby Coots. Look how cut they were!

There was also a Coot nest nearby.

Later after coming back from Scribers Lane, back on the path towards Priory Road, as other people walked ahead. If we got close, we went onto the grass, trying to be 2 metres apart from them (if possible).

I also saw this black Great Cormorant perched on a branch.

Leaves on the trees fully grown back. May was a dry, hot month.

After leaving the Trittiford Mill Pool, one last look from Priory Road before going home.

More posts coming soon from the Shire 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
05 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Selly Oak Park on the Late May Bank Holiday Monday

It's been quite warm for quite a while now, and not popping out much on lockdown other than the odd walk. On the Late May Bank Holiday Monday we headed to Selly Oak Park for a walk towards Weoley Castle and back. The grass has been cut here in stripes for social distancing. Went in the morning before it would get too hot. Even found a path along the former route of the Lapal Canal.

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Selly Oak Park on the Late May Bank Holiday Monday





It's been quite warm for quite a while now, and not popping out much on lockdown other than the odd walk. On the Late May Bank Holiday Monday we headed to Selly Oak Park for a walk towards Weoley Castle and back. The grass has been cut here in stripes for social distancing. Went in the morning before it would get too hot. Even found a path along the former route of the Lapal Canal.


On the 25th May 2020 sometime after 10am in the morning, we started this Late May Bank Holiday Monday walk around Selly Oak Park from Gibbins Road. Was the first time back in Selly Oak in well over 2 months.

The first thing I saw this time was the back of this sculpted wooden bench simply saying Selly Oak Park.

The bench was made in 2011 probably by the local wood sculptor artist Graham Jones. Sadly there was some litter under the bench, including what looks like a bottle?

Already I could see that the grass had been cut into stripes for social distancing.

The sky was a perfect blue, not a cloud in the sky. It hasn't rained all month.

The striped grass was more visible here, with the longer grass not looking as dry as the cut grass.

The playground was closed, although I'm not sure if the tape was broken as a man was inside (not sure if he was a park cleaner or not?). Please stay out of play areas until they are safe enough to reopen again.

Also out of use during lockdown was this tyre slide ride thing.

More cut striped grass for social distancing.

The trees were lush and green, paths leading in different directions.

More social distancing striped grass.

And more, with this young tree.

After checking out the Lapal Canal site again, found this grass path around the side towards the exit we would take to Weoley Castle.

Not many people around at this time of the morning other than the odd walker or runner. Best to get there when it's early and not too hot.

One last look before we took the wooded path to Weoley Castle.

Later coming back from Weoley Castle past the gatehouse.

It was built in 1899 as the park keepers lodge.

There was a bit of thick grass near Gibbins Road, but also some cut grass. What wonderful weather we have been having, but we need some rain!

 

More Birmingham park posts coming soon, so watch this space!

Expect posts from:

  • Old Yardley Park
  • The Vale Village
  • Summerfield Park
  • Daisy Farm Park
  • Cofton Park

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
04 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Take the wooded walk in Hillfield Park

Second visit to Hillfield Park in Solihull. This time in mid May 2020. Took a different path around the park this time. Both car parks were closed. Found a wooded walk that takes you from Brick Kiln Lane back towards the path near the stream. Light not too bad on the lake this time.

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Take the wooded walk in Hillfield Park





Second visit to Hillfield Park in Solihull. This time in mid May 2020. Took a different path around the park this time. Both car parks were closed. Found a wooded walk that takes you from Brick Kiln Lane back towards the path near the stream. Light not too bad on the lake this time.


For the post on my previous walk around Hillfield Park, click this link: Hillfield Park in Monkspath, Solihull

This visit was on Tuesday 12th May 2020.

Starting with the lake at Hillfield Park. There was Canada Geese and Domestic Ducks here.

Close up of a pair of Domestic Ducks.

The Domestic Ducks later moved to the back of the lake.

Now heading up again the path past the car park and playground. Both of which were closed due to the pandemic.

Some views of the Hillfield Park Play Area that I wasn't able to get on my first visit. As it was closed, was able to get photos without anyone using the equipment.

To the back was a slide and monkey bars. And other equipment that usually children could climb all over (but not now).

I'm not sure of the purpose of these blue hoops. Are children supposed to climb through them or something? (before lockdown of course).

Saw this clenched fossil sculpture not far from the playground area.

From the back you can see the fingers and thumb clenched into a fist.

This time I took the path to the left towards Brick Kiln Lane.

The paths continues. If people walked near you, we went onto the grass to stay 2 metres apart from them (if possible).

The path curves round to the left.

There was this football field with goalposts, but not in use.

After reaching Brick Kiln Lane, got to a car park where Solihull Council had left the gate closed due to the pandemic concerns. But at the end of the car park was a path through the trees.

Most of these wooded paths have the roots of the trees growing into the path, so you have to be careful where you step.

Some leaves on the path here. This would have been two paths between a grass verge, but most of the grass has gone from people walking over it so much.

I stopped at one point when I saw this painted rock with a smiley face resting on a tree branch. Smile. Hopefully this lockdown won't last for to many more months, but who knows when life will get back to normal?

At some points on this walk, you could see the rest of the park down below. The wide open fields in the park, the paths and trees.

Getting close to the end, saw this wooden decking on the path.

Then there were dirt steps to take you down to the next path below.

After this followed the path back into the park, and went around the side of the lake I didn't go around last time. Then just back around the lake to the starting point.

 

Since lockdown, I have discovered two new parks in Solihull I wasn't aware of:

  1. Langley Hall Park
  2. Olton Jubilee Park

Project, photos and posts for those parks coming soon.

Also look out for more Solihull park posts on Dorridge Park and Knowle Park, coming soon.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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50 passion points
Classic Architecture
03 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A tour of Highbury Hall, the home of Joseph Chamberlain from 1880 until 1914

While Highbury Hall is closed now during the pandemic, you can still go for walks around Highbury Park, and get up and close to the back of the hall from the gardens. I last went inside during the September 2018 open day, and then went around Chamberlain's Gardens before leaving the park. Designed by J H Chamberlain (no relation to Joe) and built in 1879. The hall is on Yew Tree Road.

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A tour of Highbury Hall, the home of Joseph Chamberlain from 1880 until 1914





While Highbury Hall is closed now during the pandemic, you can still go for walks around Highbury Park, and get up and close to the back of the hall from the gardens. I last went inside during the September 2018 open day, and then went around Chamberlain's Gardens before leaving the park. Designed by J H Chamberlain (no relation to Joe) and built in 1879. The hall is on Yew Tree Road.


Highbury Hall

Highbury Hall is located on Yew Tree Road in Moseley (the Moor Green area), and was built as the home of Joseph Chamberlain between 1878 and 1879. Old Joe moved in during 1880 and lived here until his death in 1914. It took it's name from the Highbury area of London where he lived as a child. The architect was John Henry Chamberlain (who was of no relation). The house is a Grade II* listed building, and now run by the Chamberlain Highbury Trust (who took over from Birmingham City Council).

While Highbury Hall is closed during the lockdown / pandemic, they are restoring the house, and there is scaffolding inside, and I saw some to the right from the back of the house.

 

Previous Highbury Hall and Chamberlain family posts here:

Various views of Highbury Hall over the years.

My first full visit to Highbury Park was during December 2009 when the park was covered with snow. I was given advice on Flickr of where to find Highbury Hall from the back.

For some reason I only took the photos from the bottom of the hill, so got these big bushes in the way.

I also can't remember if there was a path leading all the way up to the hall or not like there is now.

The snow was in patches on the hill up to Highbury Hall. Was quite impressive, but didn't see this view in person again for another 9 years (from the back).

 

View of Highbury Hall from Yew Tree Road during April 2011. At the time it was still being managed by Birmingham City Council. This is the left hand side view of the house. The main entrance is to the right of here.

There is a gate on this side of Highbury Hall but it does not lead to the car park. Usually used for service vehicles and vans.

This is the main gated entrance to Highbury Hall. On this visit the gate was locked.

At the time the Council ran the hall so all the signs here had Birmingham City Council on them.

 

About a month before the Open Day at Highbury Hall in August 2018, had a walk around Highbury Park, then checked out the hall from Yew Tree Road. The gate was open, so I walked up for some views from the car park.

View of Highbury Hall from the car park, about a month before the Open Day. There is a blue plaque on he left hand side of the house.

The blue plaque unveiled in 1990 by the Birmingham Civic Society reads:

HIGHBURY

Home of

Joseph Chamberlain

Distinguished Statesman and 
Civic Leader

That day in August 2018, it was a bit cloudy, but it does look impressive from the car park side.

This view of Highbury Hall from Yew Tree Road, as a green City Council van was parked outside to the left.

 

From the back of Highbury Hall during the September 2018 open day. There was a small tent up relating to the Open Day to the right.

 

Views of Highbury Hall during May 2020. Chamberlain's Gardens are still open to the public, as is the paths to the back of the hall. At the time was some men sunbathing on the lawn.

This is probably the best photo I have taken of Highbury Hall from the garden, with a blue sky and not obscured by any other object.

Got a nice shadow on the side of Highbury Hall.

This view and the light and shadows hitting the hall looked especially nice from the car park. The gate was closed on Yew Tree Road.

Also zoomed up to this date stone with the year 1879, the year the building was completed.

 

Now for a look around the inside of the hall. These views were during the September 2018 open day.

The Main entrance doors. Volunteers inside to welcome you on your visit to the open day.

You can tell immediately that this is a late Victorian house with all the details around the double doors as you head in. Highbury Hall was also used for Weddings.

This room had been set up for a presentation by History West Midlands. You could exit the house through the French Windows into the garden at the back. Weddings would also take place in this room (not on the open day of course).

The main staircase leading up from the main hall area up to the first floor landing.

The first floor landing area

View of the chandellier from the ground floor hall, looking up to the first floor landing.

On the first floor landing, which leads to all the bedrooms. On the Open Day, the Trench Choir was preparing for a performance later (that I missed as I left early and headed on to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre that day).

On the left was The Remembrance Altar Cloth. Portraits of the male members of the Chamberlain family around the landing. Open doors leads to the bedrooms.

On the left hand side of the wall (to the right) was a portrait of Joseph Chamberlain MP by Nestor Cambier.

To the right was a portrait of Neville Chamberlain MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1933 (he later served as Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940).

The West Room

This room had good views over the formal garden. Was later used as a ward for ten beds and then as a bedroom of the Superintendent in charge of the home for the elderly.

There was a pair of chairs and a table in the West Room near the window. Somewhere to sit, or a good spot for looking out of the window at the garden and park.

Mr Joe's Room

This room was Joseph Chamberlain's bedroom after he married his second wife Mary. Known as Mr Joe's Room, it was connected to Miss Hilda's Room. It later became a sitting room for Beatrice, the daughter of Joseph.

Miss Hilda's Room

This was initially Joseph Chamberlain's bedroom but following his marriage to Mary Endicott, it became the bedroom of Beatrice Chamberlain, Joseph's eldest daughter. It was connected to Mr Joe's room, which became Beatrice's sitting room.

I had earlier seen ladies in period WW1 costumes, preparing. They were probably playing Suffragettes. 100 years since women got the vote. World War 1 ended in November 1918 and women got to vote for the first time in a General Election (during December 1918 after the Armistice the month before).

The Carnegie Room

This room was designed as the principal master bedroom at Highbury, and was initially occupied by Beatrice Chamberlain, Joseph Chamberlain's eldest daughter. When Joseph Chamberlain married his second wife in 1888, Mary Endicott, this room became Mary's bedroom.

At this end was a table and chairs, the room was refurbished in 1984, so not necessarily the original furniture.

When Highbury was used as a hospital, The Carnegie Room was used as a ward with ten beds, and later became a committee room for the managers of the home for the elderly.

A typical Carnegie style bed to the far left hand side of the bedroom. But this was part of the furniture purchased by the Council in 1984 for this room.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Highbury Hall. Next time we could have a look around Chamberlain's Gardens.

 

For more views from Highbury Park in late May 2020, go to this post here: A sunny day in May at Highbury Park and Highbury Hall.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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