This category contains 6 posts

Birmingham Education

Reflections on schools and education in Birmingham.

Birmingham Central Library – Chamberlain Square

With its £193m replacement being constructed a mere few hundred yards away, the present incarnation (the third in total) seen above of Birmingham’s much-maligned Central Library’s days are numbered. Designed by Moseley-born architect John Madin and completed in 1974 the structure aesthetically has somewhat divided opinion with attempts being made in recent years to have […]

Tinkers Farm School / Northfield Comprehensive

With the rapid expansion of Council housing during the inter-war years, a commensurate school building programme was set in motion in Birmingham. In South Birmingham, the children of the sprawling Allens Cross estate in Northfield were to be accommodated by schools at Trescott Road and Tinkers Farm Road, the latter of which is the subject […]

Birmingham City Council Museum Collections Centre – Dollman Street

As you would expect, over the years Birmingham City Council has built up some ‘overspill’ from its museums that it needed to put into storage.  However, with the closure of the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry in 1997, considerable storage space was required for a large proportion of its exhibits as only some made […]

Birmingham & Midland Institute – Margaret St/Cornwall St

The Birmingham and Midland Institute was founded in 1854 with a mission “for the Diffusion and Advancement of Science, Literature and Art amongst all Classes of Persons resident in Birmingham and the Midland Counties” and operated from a purpose built building in Paradise Street – a short distance from its present-day location – which was […]

Birmingham School of Art – Margaret Street

A striking and impressive structure, the Birmingham School of Art building in Margaret Street was commissioned in 1877 to house the then-independent School in a purpose built environment designed, with typical Gothic overtones, by John Henry Chamberlain (a contemporary of, but no relation to, celebrated Mayor Joseph Chamberlain). During the 1970s the building became co-opted […]

Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry – Newhall Street

One of  the single greatest losses to the heritage of Birmingham occurred in 1997 when Birmingham City Council closed the Museum of Science and Industry which occupied part of the former Elkington Silver Electroplating Works in Newhall Street and had operated since 1951. The Museum was a fascinating Aladdin’s Cave of industrial heritage exhibits crammed […]