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Found 36 results

  1. Just digging through some older photos, am sitting on thousands at the moment I've not posted up! Quite sure this site has been covered when it was in much better condition already on these forums and quite a few buildings had been knocked down when we dropped in. Scared a few kids off on our entry. . None the less I took some nice grabs of the oldest building on-site which is being retained apparently.. Some of the others were in a very precarious state, especially the one that seems to have been a chapel at one point, floor was caving in below us. Visited with Rawski and Sentinel after having some fun trying to sneak into another spot, alas that was a no-go in the end. ;/ I've pulled some history from t'internet. Not my wording, but FYI. Apols for my laziness. "In 1846 the Chance family started evening classes in science and art at their glassworks in Spon Lane for the benefit of their workers. In 1852 an education institute was formed which existed for almost twenty years. By 1885 Most classes were being run in the envening at the higher grade school in Crocketts Lane. In 1910 a permanent Smethwick Technical School was opened next door. It served as a Junior Technical School for school-age pupils during the day and an adult further education school in the evenings. The school became Smethwick Municipal College in 1927 and was renamed Chance Technical College in 1945 and A block of engineering and building workshops was opened in 1950. Between 1952 and 1966 major extensions were built and they enabled the college to accommodate 3,500 students by 1966. In 1968 the college was merged with Oldbury College of Further Education to form Warley College of Technology, with the buildings in Crockett’s Lane (Chance Building) housing the main administrative centre of the new college and six of its eight departments At some point it merged again and became Sandwell College – Smethwick Finally closing in stages between 2011 and 2012 as the college moved to a new campus." The old Chance Building. Some admin documents. Remains of the piano, it was fawked. ;( Gordy was a character it seems. Editing/sound booth. Shame all the decks were ripped out by local kids it seems. Seen pics of this in a much more complete state. HND project presentation. The road facing buildings, apart from the modern extension further down, are all that remains. I'd say 60% is demo'd at this point.
  2. The History Typhoo Tea Factory, founded by John Summer in 1903, was known as one of Birmingham's most prominent landmarks. The factory was used for tea production from the 1930's, surviving bombing by the Luftwaffe in WW2. Typhoo merged with Schweppes in 1968 and the following year merged with Cadbury to form Cadbury Scweppes. The factory eventually closed in 1978. The site, which is currently being used as a 148-space pay and display car park, has been granted planning permission as part of a £14 million project to be turned into a university campus for Birmingham City University. The Explore So after months and months of constantly checking this place, access finally popped up during a Birmingham trip with @plod and some other users from 28. We started the day off with the usual quote of "lets check typhoo again even though we won't get in", followed by our customary perimeter check for access and another visit to the boiler room, and surprisingly we managed to find an access point which had evidently come up fairly recently so our timing was spot on there. We spent a good 3 or 4 hours exploring the tea factory as well as S Rose & Co; there was a lot to look around (and we did get lost a few times, we had more trouble finding our way out than trying to find a way in!) although sadly nothing much was left there which was a bit disappointing as nobody would have guessed what it was by looking at the place, but it was still definitely worth the trip. Despite the failures it was a pretty successful day.
  3. Whilst searching for a way into Alfred J. Parker's gun shop we came across this petrol station down some back streets in Highgate, Sparkbrook. Not much to see here but it was a nice find.
  4. How to post a report using Flickr Flickr seems to change every time the wind changes direction so here's a quick guide on how to use it to post a report... Step 1 - Explore and take pictures Step 2 - Upload your chosen pictures to Flickr like this.. Step 3 - Once your images are successfully uploaded to flickr choose a category for the location that you have visited... Step 4 - Then "Start New Topic".. You will then see this screen... Step 5 - Now you are ready to add the image "links", known as "BBcodes", which allow your images to display correctly on forums.. Step 6 - Then click "select" followed by "view on photo page".. Now select "Share" shown below.. Step 7-13 - You will then see this screen... Just repeat those steps for each image until you're happy with your report and click "submit topic"! You can edit your report for 24 hours after posting to correct errors. If you notice a mistake outside of this window contact a moderator and they will happily rectify the problem for you
  5. The HistoryAlfred Gray Parker founded a rifle manufacturing company in 1890, and his nephew, Alfred Hale became a partner in the company in 1910. The Parker-Hale Arms Company; a United Kingdom air rifle, firearms and firearms accessory manufacturer, was later founded in 1940.With a fall in production contracts and no permanent premises, the company invested in a small factory unit, and was transferred to the Birmingham Proof House. The ExploreI didn't take any pics from the outside so here's one from google maps.We had originally planned on going into the white building as we didn't think we could realistically get inside the gun shop, I came up with a possible route which didn't entirely work, however it did lead us to an abandoned petrol station which was a nice find. As we were walking along the back streets we came across an entry to the train track (luckily the gate didn't have a padlock on it), so we walked along there towards the building and eventually found a way in.We didn't explore the entire thing because we figured that if we did have an unlucky encounter with any druggies that would be the end of us, being in such a rough area and having no quick or safe escape route. These crates were everywhere; they were full of these little wax-coated boxes and we were unsure of what they were at first, so we cut one open and found loads of little metal cylinders inside. Not entirely sure what their purpose was.
  6. History The Kingsway building in Kings Heath was designed as a cinema in 1925, but later reopened as a bingo hall in 1980. It closed in 2007 and was burned down in September 2011. The Explore It was interesting to see how much things had changed since the 28DL 2012 report and the pre-fire reports from 2010; the majority of the side rooms had been stripped almost bare and the back half of the hall was covered in rubble, the ground was very unstable to walk on in some areas however I did manage to make it to the roof. It was interesting being able to watch people go by completely obliviously. The view from the roof
  7. I wasn't too sure what to expect about this place, I thought it was worth a quick explore when I noticed it was abandoned. Not the best explore we've ever done, we spent less than 5 minutes here however we did manage to get some good pics so I thought it was worth posting. I'm assuming this place was a garage, it seems a popular place among druggies- we made a swift exit upon discovering tonnes of heroin needles stuck into the ground. Very dodgy place.
  8. History: The Grand Hotel is a Grade II* listed Victorian hotel in the city centre of Birmingham, England. The hotel occupies the greater part of a block bounded by Colmore Row, Church Street, Barwick Street and Livery Street and overlooks St Philip’s Cathedral and churchyard. Designed by architect Thomson Plevins, construction began in 1875 and the hotel opened in 1879. Extensions and extensive interior renovations were undertaken by prominent Birmingham architecture firm Martin & Chamberlain from 1890 to 1895. Interior renovations included the building of the Grosvenor Room which boasts rich and impressive Louis XIV style decoration. The hotel closed in 2002 and due to the risk of crumbling stonework it has been under scaffolding and protective covers since. In 2012 planning permission was granted for plans to restore the building into a luxury 152-bedroom hotel. Works to the exterior began in October 2012. Before the 1870s, St Philip’s churchyard was surrounded with Georgian terraces. However, as a result of the Second Birmingham Improvement Act of 1861, the buildings were to be cleared for the redevelopment of Colmore Row. As the leases on the buildings on Colmore Row began to end in the late 1860s, demolition began. Barwick Street was constructed in 1870 and several plots of land bounded by Colmore Row, Church Street, Barwick Street and Livery Street were acquired to create the site of the hotel. Isaac Horton, a major Birmingham land and property owner and his architect and builder, Thomson Plevins, were very active in the acquisition of the land and developing it in line with the 1861 Act. Plevins issued three separate contracts for the Colmore Row range of the hotel and construction work started in 1875 on the corner of Church Street. The hotel opened on 1 February 1879, with 100 rooms and a further 60 unfinished at the time of opening. Other facilities included a restaurant with an entrance fronting Church Street, two coffee rooms and stock rooms. The stock rooms were an exhibition space where businessmen could demonstrate their new products and were built as the hotel aimed to attract most of its clients from commercial visitors from out of town. The hotel was let to Arthur Field, a hotel operator from Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1880 the hotel was extended, when the corner of Church Street and Barwick Street was built. The Explore: So we took a spontaneous trip up to Birmingham to check out a few rooftops and we then remembered that the grand hotel was in fact, 2 roads away from where we were planning on going. So we decided to pull an all nighter and find this room; anyway we got in at around 4am and spent a good hour looking for the ballroom (actually it was a nightmare to find); anyway, once we had found it a few of us fell asleep leaving just 2 of us to enjoy its architecture! I find it shocking that this kind of building hasn’t been restored, my photos do it no justice. Anyway we spent about 3 hours taking our photos before stumbling to McDonalds for a well earned bagel and coffee. 100% would revisit. Being tired and hungry we didn't bother checking out the whole site and instead just went straight to the ballroom! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Thanks for looking!
  9. Explored with Lost Explorer, The Stig and a non-member History The original buildings on the site of the Selly Oak Hospital were for the King’s Norton Union Workhouse. It was a place for the care of the poor and among many workhouses constructed throughout the country following the introduction of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. The rising costs of poor relief had become a national problem and the new act sought to address this. Throughout the country, parishes were formed into larger unions with the power to raise money from rates on property to pay for the poor. King’s Norton Poor Law Union was formed from the parishes of Harborne, Edgbaston, King’s Norton, Northfield and Beoley. Each of these five parishes had individual workhouses. These were replaced in 1872 by the new, much larger one at Selly Oak. It was built to accommodate 200 inmates. Central supervision by the Poor Law Commissioners in London ensured that all workhouses were administered similarly by a set of rules and regulations. How humanely these were interpreted depended entirely upon each local board of Poor Law Guardians, who were local worthies. They were elected annually and gave their services voluntarily. The aim of the Poor Law Amendment Act was to deny any form of relief except through admission to the workhouse. Generally it was assumed that the able-bodied poor could find work and if they did not then they should be forced to work within the confines of the workhouse. It was thought that if conditions in the workhouse were really bad then the poor would be deterred from seeking relief. However, by the late 18th century it became apparent that the majority of workhouse inmates were the most vulnerable people in society; the young, the old, the chronic sick and the mentally ill. Various Acts of Parliament ruled that separate provision should be made for children and the mentally ill. The sick poor were to be accommodated in separate infirmary blocks. These were often built adjacent to the workhouses and were the forerunners of many great hospitals of today. King's Norton Union Infirmary, 1897 At Selly Oak, a separate infirmary was built in 1897 at a cost of £52,000. It was the subject of much heated debate as the original estimate had been £18,000. It was a light, clean and practical building, and generally a source of much pride. The Guardians took great care and gathered information from other infirmaries to ensure that the final design, put out to a competition and won by Mr. Daniel Arkell, was up-to-date and modern. The Infirmary accommodated about 250 patients in eight Nightingale wards and smaller side wards and rooms. There was also provision for maternity cases. Between the two main pavilions were a central administration block, kitchens, a laundry, a water tower, doctors’ rooms and a telephone exchange. There was no operating theatre or mortuary and, in the workhouse tradition, the internal walls were not plastered, painted brick being considered good enough for the sick paupers. The workhouse and infirmary were separated by a high dividing wall and were run as separate establishments. In the early 1900’, the population of the King’s Norton Union increased dramatically. In 1907, extensions to the infirmary and the workhouse made provision for the growing numbers of poor people. This doubled the size of the main hospital building. The Woodlands Nurses’ Home was built at the same time to accommodate forty nurses. A small operating room was added to the infirmary. There was a resident nursing staff of eight trained nurses and nineteen probationers who were supervised by the Matron. In 1911, King’s Norton, no longer a rural area, left Worcestershire and became part of the City of Birmingham. The Birmingham Union was formed from the unions of King’s Norton, Aston and Birmingham. The King’s Norton Workhouse Infirmary was renamed Selly Oak Hospital. Over the next two decades facilities improved with the addition of an operating theatre, plastering of internal walls, and the introduction of physiotherapy, pathological and X-ray services. Children's Ward, date unknown Attitudes to the poor changed gradually and measures to relieve poverty, such as old age pensions and National Insurance, were introduced before The Great War. By 1930, the administrative structure of the Poor Law was finally dismantled. Selly Oak Hospital and the Workhouse, renamed Selly Oak House, came under the administration of Birmingham City Council. Selly Oak House was administered separately and used for the care of the elderly chronic sick. Selly Oak Hospital continued to grow, new operating theatres were added in 1931, and the biochemistry and pathology laboratories opened in 1934. Nurses had been trained at Selly Oak since 1897, but it was not until 1942 that the School of Nursing was opened. In 1948, when the National Health Service was introduced, Selly Oak Hospital and Selly Oak House were amalgamated. The hospital closed in 2012 upon completion of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Relocation of the first services from Selly Oak began during the summer of 2010. On the morning of 23 May 2010 a 'Service of Thanks' was held at Selly Oak Hospital to celebrate a century of caring and this was followed by a fun fair at which staff and patients were invited to "Take a Trip Down Memory Lane", sign a memory wall and contribute to an online memories website. It was announced on 24 February 2015 that contracts had been exchanged for the sale and redevelopment of residential housing on the site. The site already had outline planning permission for 650 homes. Iraq Veterans at Selly Oak, 2009 Selly Oak Hospital was well renowned for the trauma care it provided and had one of the bestburns units in the country. It was also home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which cared for injured service men and women from conflict zones, as well as training service medical staff in preparation for working in such areas. In March 2007, the Hospital was alleged to be not properly treating Iraq war veterans.The hospital has also appeared in national newspapers with stories of servicemen being verbally abused in the hospital by members of the public opposed to the war. A report published by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee blamed the allegations against the hospital on a smear campaign and praised the clinical care provided to military patients. Explore With Stig and his Mrs visiting the Midlands again, this was an oppotuntiy not to be missed. In the morning we heading straight to Selly Oak. We started in the morgue, which to my astonishment still had two of the three slabs. After the usual escapades, we continued to the main block. After the Out-patient and X-Ray Departments, we entered the A&E waiting room. After a few snaps, myself and Lost Explorer headed forward ahead of the other two. As we approached some double doors to continue down the corridor, a hi-viz jacket came flying through the doors. The 'security guard' then tried to wrestle LE to the ground and take his camera. LE obviously objected to this request and held his camera towards me, then a second guy(looking like your typical Saab owner) came running in and tried to grab my camera. I politely told him that I would not adear to his request. At this point Mr and Mrs Stig came through wandering what the fuck we were shouting about. We all agreed to place our cameras on opposite side of the corridor from where we were instructed to stand. After a breif chat with mission control, the 'security guard'(who had a hilarious lisp) marched us towards the main entrance. As they took our details, Stig requested to see our lipse-stricken security guard's ID. "I left it at home". Following Stig informing him on the fact that he is legally required to wear his ID, we were ordered to go. Really narked off with myself about getting caught, again. But I'm glad I was with people who could keep their cool. If anyone wants to visit here, be wary. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) Cheers for Looking
  10. Longbridge Tunnels Visited during an interesting nights exploring in Brum with Lenston. Here's some history shamelessly lifted from from his excellent report: Here's the iconic shot of ladies building the engines during the war And on with some shonky pics. Lenston doing what he does best Some sections had been painted and were really well preserved That bin...... Thanks for looking
  11. Visited with Wellingtonian. Done a good few times before but a good mooch for an hour or 2. Some History The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are the remnants of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were hatched to bolster British military might in the face of German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War. This was where munitions workers produced the Merlin engines that powered the Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes used to regain control of the British skies during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The Shadow Scheme involved two parts - building nine new factories and extending existing factories - including the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin - also the founder of Austin Motors - had already contributed to the war effort in the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production. After the war, the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were abandoned. By the late 1960s, the Longbridge plant was the second largest car plant in the world. But since the collapse of MG Rover, part of the site was redeveloped for housing and commercial purposes Thanks for looking
  12. Sandwell College, Smethwick, Birmingham – Nov ‘15 So I was incredibly late to this one! The what was once gorgeous and lovely has been turned to crap by a bunch of people who quite frankly this world could do with out. Wastes of spaces and wastes of mine and yours money. There we go, I digress. Visited with SouthSide after a whole day of pure fail in the City of Birmingham. This place was superb a number of years ago but has suffered horribly and has little, but some redeeming features left. Some has been bulldozed. It all started when The Chance family began running evening classes in 1846. The Science and Art studies took place at their glassworks in Spon Lane to benefit their workers. By 1852 an Education Institute was formed which ran for nearly two decades. Come 1885, most classes were being run in the evening at the higher grade school in Crocketts Lane. In 1910 ; neighbouring Smethwick Technical School was opened. This served as a Junior Technical School for young pupils during the day and a further education school for adults in the evenings. This became a Municipal College by 1927 and the name was changed to Chance College in 1945. A block of engineering and building workshops were opened in 1950 .Between 1952 and 1966 major extensions were built which enabled the college to accommodate 3,500 students. In 1968 the college was merged with Oldbury College of Further Education to form Warley College of Technology, with the buildings in Crocketts Lane (Chance Building) housing the main administrative centre of the new college and six of its eight departments. The demise was on the horizon many years later and Sandwell College was closed in stages between 2011 and 2012 as relocation to a new state of the art campus in West Bromwich was on the cards. Many fires and vandalism has forced parts of the college to be demolished and what is left is in a hell of a state. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 ] #10 #11 #12 More At: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157661142704586
  13. The Visit Having tried this place a few times over the past six months we managed to get into the technical centre a few weeks back and returned determined to finish what we had started and see the office buildingds as well. After some tricky access we managed a nice 3 hour explore but missed secca by a mere 30 seconds. Literally as we got in the car outside the secca van arrived and opened the gates! Quite a lot of pics in this report as it covers both the office and technical factory sites The History Cincinnati Machine Tools was a world renowned manufacturer of milling machines. In the 1950's a large factory and modern headquarters was built alongside the canal at Erdington. The buildings are a striking post war modernist statement running along a traditional section of Birmingham waterway, with a single curved span concrete bridge connecting the main entrance to the opposite bank. The design has a particularly modern transatlantic feel when compared to many other contemporary industrial headquarters. So the office areas first The Directors HUGE office and attached penthouse apartment (even had a roof terrace BBQ) Conference Area Very creepy basement locker rooms and auditorium The Technical Factory Areas
  14. The Visit Visited with redhunter on a lovely summers evening... on reflection I cant believe I actually got in there with the crazy things required to get in and get to the ballroom... Apparently lots of areas internally have been sealed now which made our path to the ball room very dangerous, anyone that attempts this in the future will know what I mean when they meet a big locked gate inside.. but once in I was literally speechless, what an incredible room that is !! The History The Grand Hotel is a Grade 2 listed Victorian hotel in the city centre of Birmingham. Designed by architect Thomson Plevins, construction began in 1875 and the hotel opened in 1874. Extensions and extensive interior renovations were undertaken by prominent Birmingham architecture firm Martin & Chamberlain from 1890 to 1895. Interior renovations included the building of the Grosvenor Room which boasts rich and impressive Louis XIV style decoration. The hotel closed in 2002 and due to the risk of crumbling stonework it has been under scaffolding and protective covers since. In 2012 planning permission was granted for plans to restore the building into a luxury 152-bedroom hotel. Works to the exterior began in October 2012
  15. The Visits Each explore of this place has been very different, ranging from really tight security and tricky access back in May to far easier in September and then now the place getting more and more trashed by the day. Only one building I've never been managed to get into was the Centre for Defence Medicine building which has been very tightly sealed every time I've been but never say never I suppose. Hope you like the pics. The History In 1911, King’s Norton – no longer a rural area – left Worcestershire and became part of the City of Birmingham. The Birmingham Union was formed from the unions of King’s Norton, Aston and Birmingham. The King’s Norton Workhouse Infirmary was renamed Selly Oak Hospital. Over the next two decades facilities improved with the addition of an operating theatre, plastering of internal walls, and the introduction of physiotherapy, pathological and X-ray services. By 1929 there were seven full-time members of the medical staff, and the medical residence was built at this time. Attitudes to the poor changed gradually and measures to relieve poverty, such as old age pensions and National Insurance, were introduced before the First World War By 1930, the administrative structure of the Poor Law was finally dismantled. Selly Oak Hospital and the Workhouse, renamed Selly Oak House, came under the administration of Birmingham City Council. Selly Oak House was administered separately and used for the care of the elderly chronic sick. Selly Oak Hospital continued to grow, new operating theatres were added in 1931, and the biochemistry and pathology laboratories opened in 1934. Nurses had been trained at Selly Oak since 1897, but it was not until 1942 that the School of Nursing was opened. In 1948, when the National Health Service was introduced, Selly Oak Hospital and Selly Oak House were amalgamated. Since then many changes to the site have resulted in the institution we see today.
  16. The Visit Another evening explore with redhunter I couldn't believe that this place would be accessible with it being so public on the ground floor but redhunter found a way The actual building has been completely stripped ready for demolition but the roof and that strange greenhouse area are incredible! Spent a good while on the roof watching the sun go down! The History Birmingham Central Library was the main public library in Birmingham, England from 1974 until 2013. For a time the largest non-national library in Europe, it closed on 29 June 2013 and was replaced with the Library of Birmingham. The existing building was due to be demolished early in Summer 2015 after 41 years, as part of the redevelopment of Paradise Circus by Argent Group. Designed by architect, John Madin in the brutalist style, the library was part of an ambitious development project by Birmingham City Council to create a civic centre on its new Inner Ring Road system; however due to economic reasons significant parts of the masterplan were not completed and quality was reduced on materials as an economic measure. Two previous libraries occupied the adjacent site before Madin’s library opened in 1974. The previous library was opened in 1883 and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain featuring a tall clerestoried reading room, this was demolished in 1974 after the new library had opened Despite the original vision not being fully implemented the library has gained architectural praise as an icon of British Brutalism with its stark use of concrete, bold geometry, inverted ziggurat sculptural form and monumental scale. Its style was seen at the time as a symbol of social progressivism. Based on this, English Heritage applied and failed twice for the building to gain listed status. However, due to strong opposition from Birmingham City Council the building gained immunity from listing until 2016. In 2010–11 Central Library was the second most visited library in the country with 1,197,350 visitors.
  17. Just one of those places i had to go and see for myself... copy n' paste history courtesy of historic england HISTORY: The Second Birmingham Improvement Act of 1861 cleared the way for the redevelopment of Colmore Row. The Great Western Railway had built Snow Hill Station in 1853, close by, and this was rebuilt in 1870. Leases on the Georgian properties in Colmore Row began to fall in by the 1860s and demolition started in 1870. A new road, Barwick Street, behind Colmore Row, was constructed in the 1870s with frontages which were mostly of brick and stone. Several separate plots of land were acquired to create the site of the current hotel which takes up the greater part of the block bounded by Colmore Row, Barwick Street, Church Street and Livery Street. Isaac Horton and Thomson Plevins, who was to become his architect, were both active in acquiring land and developing it in line with the improvements in the 1861 Act. The Colmore Row frontage was theirs by 1875, although the right hand portion came fully into their hands a little later. Thomson Plevins was architect and he issued three separate contracts for the building of the Colmore Row front and work started with the pavilion at the corner with Church Street. Next it extended to the right as far as the central pavilion. Lastly the balancing range and corner pavilion completed the symmetrical composition. The hotel opened in 1879 and a contemporary advertisement referred to "Commercial rooms, stock rooms and every convenience for commercial men... large rooms for dinners, weddings, breakfasts, meetings, arbitrations etc." There were 100 bedrooms, with 60 more unfinished at the time of opening, a restaurant with separate entrance in Church Street and 2 coffee rooms. The inclusion of Stock Rooms, where businessmen could demonstrate their products to each other, shows that the hotel was directed towards this market. Placed near to Snow Hill Station, the hotel aimed to attract commercial visitors from out of town. In the early 1880s the corner site on Church Street and Barwick Street was added to the hotel with a building of four storeys plus basement which was extended in 1894 by another 3 storeys. Also in the 1880s another large plot of land facing on to Barwick Street and Livery Street and turning the corner to connect with the Colmore Row facade was developed with a 5 storey block, called Great Western Buildings, of which a 4-bay section now survives on Barwick Street and is part of the hotel. In 1890, before the end of the lease the hotel appears to have failed and the building was handed back to the landlords. Hortons' Estates decided to re-order the interior of the Grand and newspaper reports spoke of £40,000 spent by the prominent Birmingham architects, Martin and Chamberlain. The Birmingham Daily Post recorded the hotel as "entirely reconstructed, decorated and furnished" and the Midland Counties Herald wrote that "although the external walls are retained, there is practically a new building on the old site, and all that remains of the old building is the facade on Colmore Row". The contractors were Barnsley and Son of Ryland Street North and the building was furnished and decorated by Norton and Co. of Corporation St. There was electric lighting to the public rooms and gas in the bedrooms. As well as the Stock Rooms and an arbitration suite there was a series of reception rooms called the Windsor Suite and a banqueting and ballroom. The grandest of all the reception rooms was built in 1894 when Martin and Chamberlain were asked to fill the remaining gap along the Barwick side of the site. They built a large new ballroom called the Grosvenor Room, together with a Drawing Room, arched internal colonnade and crush hall. The architects' drawings show that the ballroom was designed as a shell and the elaborate decoration was entrusted to decorators [perhaps Norton and Co. once more]. Five upper floors contained 75 new bedrooms. Other alterations at this time included 2 additional billiard rooms in the hotel basement. In the 1970s the architects Harper and Sperring undertook a modernisation of the interior and the exterior stone work on the Colmore Row and Church Street fronts was painted with a cement wash. The inclusion of rooms designed to appeal to businessmen was paralleled at the City Terminus Hotel, Cannon Street, London and the Caledonian Hotel, Glasgow. Amongst listed hotels in London, the Grosvenor, Buckingham Palace Road, the Russell, Russell Square are comparable in date and in their provision of grand public spaces, as is the former Midland Grand Hotel, Euston Road [grade I]and the Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester [grade II*]. The Grand Hotel block forms one of the largest C19 buildings in central Birmingham. Within the overall urban context, and most particularly within its immediate neighbourhood, it makes a very positive and well-mannered contribution to the townscape. Placed in close proximity to James Archer's magnificent Church of St Philip [now the Cathedral], it achieves the difficult task of not dominating its smaller neighbour but still retaining individuality, most particularly by its distinctive skyline. The Barwick Street façade of the block designed in 1894 by Martin and Chamberlain is a fine work by this noted practice and shows an assured and interesting handling of masses. Inside are some especially fine original interiors including the principal staircase and, most notably, the rich and impressive French style decoration of the Grosvenor Room, Grosvenor Drawing Room and Crush Room. Elsewhere there is evidence of the Stock Rooms, which were an essential part of the original commercial accent of the hotel, as well as the rare survival of the shop interior at the Anatomical Boot Co.,25 Colmore Row. The special qualities of this building merit its listing at II*. oooh how original, a corridor with lots of light/dark contrast Even the building work that was never seen was cooler back then! seriously awesome studwork and this was the main reason for being here - The Grosvenor room needless to say the black and white below isnt my shot! these however are mine. one last look on the way out thanks for looking, take it sleazy kids.
  18. So 2014 ended rather well exploring wise for me. Last day exploring of the year and I cracked this, the fails later didn't really matter History blatantly stolen from Wikipedia: The Grand Hotel is a Grade ii listed hotel in the city centre of Birmingham. The hotel occupies the greater part of a block bounded by Colmore Row, Church Street, Barwick Street and Livery Street and overlooks the cathederal and churchyard. Designed by architect Thomson Plevins, construction began in 1875 and the hotel opened in 1879. Extensions and extensive interior renovations were undertaken by prominent Birmingham architecture firm Martin and Chamberlain from 1890 to 1895. Interior renovations included the building of the Grosvenor Room which boasts rich and impressive Louis XIV style decoration. I had come up with a couple of rather nice leads one you may of already seen on here a few weeks ago. I felt that my luck was in so I gave this lil beauty a shot. 3 am on my own I took the long drive to Birmingham. Upon arrival I wandered round and realised this was certainly no walk in!! Eventualy I was in unsure if I had full access as the heating was still on I went for a wander. I couldn't believe it I was in!! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. I am wandering around and for the life of me can't find what I came for, stripped room after stripped room. I take a seat on the stairs I need some help. Who else to ask but Google. I work out where the room is only to find padlocks and boarded up doorways. Eventually going up and down stairs I reach my goal. I give you the Grosvenor Room. 7. The problems not over yet. This is a tiny balcony and I am unsure on the strenght of the metal decoration. I have another wander and have no luck on finding any access. Heading back to the balcony I find some rope. I tie a few hoops into it and tie it to the balcony. Finally I am on the floor and I can enjoy this stunning room properly. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
  19. Evening all, hope everyones all gravy, had a lovely couple days of urban and rural exploring over the weekend. Couldn't really be bothered with a big drive on saturday so stayed pretty local, been meaning to pop in here for ages but havent got around to it for one reason or another. Visited with my mate jane and thanks to some help from raz we were in without a hitch. Cool place, awesome just how much stuff is still there, which was good cus i was only really using my 35mm lens as i'm still without a wide on, borrowed janes for a couple but for the most part its a set of details and things that caught my eye about the place as opposed to the space as a whole. The explore As i mentioned before thanks to raz for the heads up, big help mate especially the info on the bells, jumped in there and could hear some voices so kept quiet and then saw a couple of people, they'd seen us aswell and it was that moment of, right are they explorers or do these guys work here.....-oh cool they got cameras, golden was another group of explorers-with their very young puppy cradled in one of them's arms no less!, they told us about another access point which tbf was easier on the way out. Was a nice mooch wouldn't say chilled out as knew there were bells in certain parts and people do come and go down here so tried to keep quiet. All in a pretty enjoyable mooch around a cool bit of brum industry, lots to rummage through and get your fingers dirty on which is always interesting n fun, bailed out in our own time without causing anyone any grief so all in a successful little wander. Bit of history shamelessly pinched of HT, cheers dude:grin2: In West Bromwich is the West Bromwich Spring Co. Ltd, also known as Helical Works. The West Bromwich Spring has been at the forefront of precision manufacturing since 1896. Their website boasted a claim Precision springs made to order: Any Design. Any Quantity. Any Time. Found it difficult to find a lot of history on the place online for some reason, just loads of links to yell.com etc giving details of the business as if it was still up and running, which makes sense I suppose as the site is roughly 25% live with only the rear areas falling into dereliction. Found some disjointed info about the owner legging it from the site and not returning after a large quantity of his machinery failed safety checks in 2007 and it would've been too expensive to bring the equipment up to satisfactory standards. The company was valued by an independent body around this time at £-110,892. The unknown owner currently rents parts of the complex out to private businesses. aaaand the picywicks WARNING Hand tool geek alert, Woden was a sheffield tool maker back in the glory days of sheffield steel tool making, they primarily made planes and various edge tools but as you can see vices were not beyond the realms of possibility, that said it could be a vice made after the company was taken over by record sometime in the late 50s, i think woden became the record budget range (still be better than the chinese shite getting passed off as record these days!) eventually the woden TM was discontinued in the late 60s. thanks for looking dustbin lids
  20. Moseley Road Baths, located in Birmingham, opened in 1907 and still operates to this day. Very little has been done to alter the layout of the building which means that almost all the original features remain including the private wash baths or ‘slipper’ baths which date to the pre-war era. The building now benefits from Grade II* listed status and is one of only 3 remaining operational baths of its kind in the UK. The 46 Slipper baths, whilst still present at the premises, are no longer in use and the Gala pool also had to close in 2003 due to safety reasons. Complete with a 3 sided spectators gallery the Gala pool was the primary reason for our visit to the baths but we were also fortunate to see the original 45,000 gallon cast iron cold water storage tank in the loft space and one of the only surviving steam-heated drying racks in a British swimming baths. In 2007 The building featured in the Victorian Society’s ten most at risk buildings in Britain and it is expected that without intervention, the Birmingham Council will close the building completely by January 2016. Despite the closure of the Gala pool, Pool 2 is still used frequently but the local community and nearby schools and I can confirm it appeared to be quite busy during our visit. Visited with Baron, Lowri, Katie and David. Thanks to Baron I think who arranged the visit! We had about 40 minutes to an hour shooting the main pool before being taken upstairs to see the Steam racks and the water storage tanks. The pool was great, loads of original features but shame about the scaffolding which had been put in place to prevent any further movement of the pool and balconies. The steam drying racks were really cool, I had come across some elsewhere but these were in such good condition and according to the staff at the baths still functional despite no longer being in use. The water storage tank was huge, the construction of it was really quite something and given its age it was in remarkably good condition. Again this feature is no longer in use but holds great historical value in respect of the technology used to run a place like this back in the early 1900’s. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Thanks for checking out the report, higher resolution copies of the above photos and a few more from this place on my blog: Moseley Road Baths
  21. Explored with FatPanda, Raz & Jord Bit of History; Birmingham Central Library was the main public library in Birmingham, England from 1974 until 2013. For a time the largest non-national library in Europe, it closed on 29 June 2013 and was replaced with the Library of Birmingham. The existing building was due to be demolished early in Summer 2015 after 41 years, as part of the redevelopment of Paradise Circus by Argent Group. Designed by architect, John Madin in the brutalist style, the library was part of an ambitious development project by Birmingham City Council to create a civic centre on its new Inner Ring Road system; however due to economic reasons significant parts of the masterplan were not completed and quality was reduced on materials as an economic measure. Two previous libraries occupied the adjacent site before Madin’s library opened in 1974. The previous library was opened in 1883 and was designed by John Henry Chamberlain featuring a tall clerestoried reading room, this was demolished in 1974 after the new library had opened. Despite the original vision not being fully implemented the library has gained architectural praise as an icon of British Brutalism with its stark use of concrete, bold geometry, inverted ziggurat sculptural form and monumental scale. Its style was seen at the time as a symbol of social progressivism. Based on this, English Heritage applied and failed twice for the building to gain listed status. However, due to strong opposition from Birmingham City Council the building gained immunity from listing until 2016. In 2010–11 Central Library was the second most visited library in the country with 1,197,350 visitors. The Explore First stop of the day, and things didnt look promising as we walked around the edges of this derpy monster and we were very surpised that we actually got a preview in the form of a public walk way through the middde of the courtyard Noting weaknesses in the defence as we went, one thing lead to another and soon we were taking a leisurely stroll through the workers equipment room. No need for torches in this one, in the areas where the walls aren't glass, the demolition company have kindly assisted with lamps to guide the way... How thoughtful of them Structually it is a great building, in terms of the little nick nacks inside its a shell, a building site. However here are a few snaps of our time here; Thanks for looking
  22. Seems as if the tour bus is in town, and I'm the last off:D The History: I'm sure everyone knows already, and most people won't bother reading (I wouldn't blame you) but have some history anyway.. The hospital closed in 2012 upon completion of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Relocation of the first services from Selly Oak began during the summer of 2010 when its A&E department moved to the new Q.E.Hospital on 16 June and over the next 7 days Critical Care and other departments moved step-by-step the 1.5 miles to the new hospital. On average one inpatient was moved every 5 minutes between 7 am and early evening On the morning of 23 May 2010 a ‘Service of Thanks’ was held at Selly Oak Hospital to celebrate a century of caring and this was followed by a fun fair at which staff and patients were invited to “Take a Trip Down Memory Laneâ€, sign a memory wall [3] and contribute to an on-line memories website. The reorganization was first planned in 1998 though it was not until October 2004 that planning approval was given by Birmingham City Council, with construction beginning during 2006. Selly Oak Hospital was well renowned for the trauma care it provided and had one of the best burns units in the country. It was also home to the Royal Center for Defense Medicine, which cared for injured service men and women from conflict zones, as well as training service medical staff in preparation for working in such areas. In March 2007, the Hospital was alleged to be not properly treating Iraq war veterans. The hospital has also appeared in national newspapers with stories of servicemen being verbally abused in the hospital by members of the public opposed to the war. There were also difficulties when Jeremy Clarkson went to the hospital to give gifts to the wounded serviceman. A report published by the House of Commons Defense Select Committee blamed the allegations against the hospital on a smear campaign and praised the clinical care provided to military patients. The Explore: Now it's not often I get to say this, but I actually got a lay in on an explore - 7am! But we were up and out sharpish, and heading over to Selly. We got there, and after pondering several entry methods for a while, we finally decided. Except, it involved a hell of a lot of bushes, brambles and a few stinging nettles, but eventually we were in! We were heading towards the morgue when we heard voices.. had we been spotted already?! Thankfully not, and it was other explorers. Quick introductions were made, and after a stupid climb through a very awkward entry point we were in! Decided to have a look round the main hospital after, and eventually to the other buildings.. big mistake! Within about 3 minutes we'd tripped 4 alarms. We snapped a few quick pictures, and made an exit. Good timing really, as by the time we'd got back to the car and were heading home, police were all over it.. lucky escape:thumb Better get on with some pictures.. As always, thanks for taking the time to view this. Cheers guys
  23. Selly Oak Hospital The Explore An early start as always, setting off from Lincoln about 04:45am and arrived at the first location of the day a couple of hours and a lay-by poo later. Met with Fatpanda and Raz and made for our access, good to meet you guys. Narrowly avoided a couple of secca men who either seen us and decided to ignore us or didn't spot us hiding in the bushes. We'll never know... The History Selly Oak Hospital was well renowned for the trauma care it provided and had one of the best burns units in the country. It was also home to the Royal Centre for Defence medicine, which cared for injured service men and women from conflict zones, as well as training service medical staff in preparation for working in such areas. In 2007 the hospital appeared in national newspapers with stories of servicemen being verbally abused in the hospital by members of the public opposed to the Iraq war. There were also difficulties reported when Jeremy Clarkson went to the hospital to give gifts to the wounded serviceman. A report published by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee blamed the allegations against the hospital on a smear campaign by a bunch of so-called 'British' scumbags and praised the clinical care provided to military patients. The hospital closed in 2012 upon completion of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Relocation of the first services from Selly Oak began during the summer of 2010 when its A+E department moved to the new Q.E. Hospital on 16 June and over the next 7 days Critical Care and other departments moved step-by-step the 1.5 miles to the new hospital. On average one inpatient was moved every 5 minutes between 7 am and early evening each day... The Pictures 1. 2. We used this to navigate around... 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9/10. 11. Small Chapel Area.. 12. Body fridges.. 13. Pathology Room or Morgue Area... 14. 15. Very much enjoyed my visit here. We went in the main hospital area and the pathology building, however there are multiple other buildings and areas which we didn't explore. I think the location still has a bit more to give so get your asses over there! As always thanks for looking and feedback always appreciated
  24. Lovely art deco cinema tucked away in sunny south brum, this was the second time i tried this place, first time was a fail but its not too far from me so it was only a matter of time until it happened. pain in the bum of a place to light up, light comes tearing through the few windows that are in this place and makes for very uneven lighting, should really learn to layer different exposures but hey ho. bit of history The Royalty Cinema was opened on 20th October 1930 with Maurice Chevalier in "The Love Parade". It was built for and operated by the local independent Selly Oak Pictures Ltd. The Royalty Cinema was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in March 1935. ABC closed the cinema on 2nd November 1963 with Cliff Robertson in "P.T.109". It was converted into a Mecca Bingo Club, and in 2010 it is operating as a Gala Bingo Club. In the summer of 2011, the Royalty Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage. n 2012 police raided the cinema and discovered that the attic was being used as a cannabis factory. 40 plants were found, together with 10-15 kilos of dried cannabis leaves. the royalty has been empty since the raid. picture time thanks for looking, have fun and stay safe kids.
  25. Hi all, Here's my second report on this page, Trip to selly oak who I explored with a couple of members. Lets start it off with some history of theplace. History. The first buildings on the site of Selly Oak Hospital were those of the King’s Norton Union Workhouse. It was a place for the care of the poor and was one of many workhouses constructed throughout the country following the introduction of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. The hospital closed in 2012 upon completion of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Relocation of the first services from Selly Oak began during the summer of 2010 when its A&E department moved to the new Q.E.Hospital on 16 June and over the next 7 days Critical Care and other departments moved step-by-step the 1.5 miles to the new hospital.It was announced on 24 February 2015 that contracts had been exchanged for the sale and redevelopment of residential housing on the site. The site already had outline planning permission for 650 homes The visit One very early Sunday morning, after been filled with coffee and a bacon sarnie, and meeting up with a few members we got into the hospital, we firstly started in the outer buildings, which where very plain and boring, So we quickly moved onto the main hospital, soon as we got in we bumped into Perjury Saint , scared the crap out of us lol, sound bloke though. This was my second visit within selly oak and I still can't believe how much i'd missed on my last trip. Place is just so big, so many corridors and wards to go to. We went a good 5/6 hours in there and I still don't think we explored it all, Unfortunately we didn't get into the morgue, even though rumours say it's been knocked down and sealed up. Hope you enjoy! flooded with pictures lol, I couldn't decided.
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