Tuesday, 29 April 2014

An Urban Wander around Birmingham, part 1

With a lunchtime meeting in Birmingham, this theoretically gave me an opportunity for a bit of a lie-in. Did I take it? No, of course not. Instead I took an earlier train and spent some time before my meeting doing a bit of Urban Wandering. I can't remember the last time I went to Birmingham, probably as a spotty youth when we used to travel up there from Cheltenham for concerts. I certainly had not discovered the delights of Urban Wandering or Psychogeography by then. 

As seems to have happened more and more recently, I ended up with a lot of pictures that I had trouble selecting from to form a single blog post, so this post will be split into separate installments to make it more digestible.

Having previously seen some pictures from Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, I decided to pay a visit there to see for myself. I was quite pleased with my haul for the day, starting off with this canal scene. With more time on my hands I would have tried to walk along the towpath, but I had other intentions. 

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Birmingham
Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Birmingham

Of course my ultimate goal was to find as many ghost signs as I could, and to seek out urban abandonment. I was not disappointed.

First up we have a ghost sign for

DERWENT FOUNDRY

Ghost sign, Mary Ann Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
Ghost sign, Mary Ann Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

and just further down the same road, another ghost sign for

TAYLOR &
CHALLEN 

who were apparently lathe makers with quite a presence in the city.

Ghost sign, Mary Ann Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
 Ghost sign, Mary Ann Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Heading towards the western edge of the Jewellery Quarter I came across scenes of urban abandonment, urban decay, and urban regeneration in Legge Lane. Whilst many of the surrounding buildings have disappeared, what is left seems like it is being maintained and will thus be hopefully (tastefully) restored.

Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham
Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham

Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham
Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham


Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham
Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham

Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham
 Urban abandonment, decay and regeneration in Legge Lane, Birmingham

Derelict building, Legge Lane, Birmingham
Derelict building, Legge Lane, Birmingham

Derelict building, Legge Lane, Birmingham
Derelict building, Legge Lane, Birmingham

Amongst the derelict buildings there was still plenty of signs of life, both past and present, including this ghost sign for

MANTON
SILVERSMITH & CUT GLASS
MANUFACTURER


Ghost sign, Legge Lane, Birmingham
Ghost sign, Legge Lane, Birmingham

Given the number of pictures I still have to post, I think this will almost certainly extend to another three part series, so keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3.


    

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