Archive for March, 2009

Edward’s No.8 Night Club – The Rock Complex Remembered

As was noted elsewhere in this section, my youthful pubbing and clubbing experiences were based around the ‘Rock’ scene of the mid-1980s, such as it was in those days. This consisted of shuffling from the Costermonger at the back of the Oasis Market to Mr Bill’s on Needless Alley on a Sunday and Wednesday night […]


Eastside Development – City Centre/Aston

The Eastside development is a phased regeneration project aimed at revitalising a 420 acre tract of land immediately to the East of the City Centre, largely encompassed within a triangle formed by Curzon Street, Lawley Middleway and Jennens Lane at a cost of £6bn. One of the first signs of the development, Millennium Point on […]


BBC Pebble Mill – Edgbaston

The BBC’s Pebble Mill complex opened in 1971 on a 6 acre site and was the hub of regional programming – including the popular Pebble Mill at 1 show which ran from 1973 to 1986 along with regional news programmes and Gardening Today for which the BBC also ‘annexed’ part of Kings Heath Park. However, […]


Wychall Farm Estate – Kings Norton

The Wychall Farm development seen above is phase II of a £40m regeneration project replacing 500 council properties – a mixture of high-rise blocks (demolished in phase I) and Smiths houses, as seen here. The houses, some of which have had to be repurchased by the Council as they had been bought by the residents, […]


Ley Hill Estate – Northfield

The Lay Hill Regeneration Scheme, begun in 2000, is another prime example of the gradual erosion of Council housing in favour of Housing Associations. Whilst, in the long-term, this saves the cost of repairs for the Council it also, in this case at any rate, removes 750 sub-standard constructed houses built by Wimpey in the […]


Egghill Estate – Northfield

Recently described as ‘resembling Beruit’, the Egghill Estate near Frankley Beeches, Northfield, was built during the 1950s/1960s and encompassed many types of poor quality housing from the tower blocks which once lined Lower Beeches Road, to the prefab, concrete housing elsewhere on the estate: demolition and a fresh start was the only economically viable option. […]


Cadbury – Bournville

Amongst the doom and gloom that is usually associated with Birmingham’s ever-shrinking industry it is nice, for once, to report a success story and there are currently none better than that of Cadburys. Beginning in a small shop in Bull Street in 1824, John Cadbury’s fledgling business began to rapidly expand and by 1847 brother […]


Alstom (Metropolitan-Cammell Ltd) – Washwood Heath

Opened under the Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, the works at Washwood Heath operated hand in hand with, and eventually absorbed the work of, Joseph Wright & Sons works at Saltley. Developing stock for the railways of the Empire and the flourishing rail industry at home, the company enjoyed great susccess and in 1929 […]


Birmingham Battery & Metal Co – Selly Oak

The Birmingham Battery & Metal Co opened a new rolling mill in Selly Oak in 1871 to equip them for their new venture into rolling and tube production. Incidentally, to dispel a popularly held local misconception, the company did not make ‘batteries’: ‘battery’ was a term for hammering, or battering, ingots of metal into various […]


HP Sauce – Aston

Another example of a British institution being sold to a company from abroad and later to be closed is the stalwart of the British breakfast table, HP Sauce of Aston. The recipe for HP brown sauce was bought from its creator, Nottingham grocer Frederick Gibson Garton, by Edward Samson Moore, owner of the Midland Vinegar […]


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