Birmingham Blipmeet (Thursday 13th August 2015)
Birmingham is a city that seems to be in a state of permanent reinvention and for some time I have been wanting to visit the city centre to have a look at the most recent changes, so when I heard, via JohnH1989, of a Blipmeet there, it seemed an ideal opportunity for me.
The Blipmeet was being organised by hildasrose, who I had contacted for the details of the meeting place and I duly drove up, parking in a cul-de-sac in Bordesley that I had found via Google Earth, and travelling in to the Bull Ring by bus. I'd recently been issued with a bus pass and this, rather scarily, was the first time I had ever used it or even been on a bus in many years.
I found hildasrose and some other blippers without difficulty and had time for a coffee as there were more blippers still due to arrive, some from a train from Milton Keynes. We set off as a party of twelve, the additional nine comprising BlackTulip, Igor, Anniemay, LooseCanon, Technophobe, chantler63, Brian1943 and two non-blip partners, Rob and was it JJ or SHH? As everyone was referred to by their actual names I've rather lost track of exactly who was who in some cases.
The purpose of the blipmeet was largely social but involved looking at examples of recent architecture, so after a lunch in the Cosy Club restaurant (a converted bank) in the Temple area of the city, where we were very well looked after by the staff, we passed many imposing buildings and made for the new Library of Birmingham.
The Birmingham I knew was the one from the sixties, when I lived in Sutton Coldfield and made frequent trips into New Street by train or through it when I commuted to art college in Wolverhampton at the turn of the decade. The 'new' library then was a rather ugly brutalist building that was very well populated with books and work spaces inside.
Its replacement is a staggering piece of architecture that cost £189 million pounds but has apparently left the library in need of funds for new books. It was huge and cavernous and had nine levels, also with work spaces and computer rooms. I made it to the top and a roof garden, where some of our party made straight for the glass edges and leaned over the top, but not me. I have no head for heights and soon felt giddy and wobbly and got a lift back to the ground.
I was much happier with the walk along the Birmingham Canal Old Line on Canalside that began at Brindleyplace, and so have chosen a shot from there that shows Birmingham old and new for my blip. We also visited The Mailbox development and ended up at New Street station, still in the middle of a major renovation, where some headed for their trains and the blipmeet came to a successful conclusion. Thanks to hildasrose for arranging it all.
I made my way back to the bus via the Bull Ring Shopping Centre and had a look at the new Selfridge's, hidden behind hoardings the last time I had been there. I also enjoyed a stroll through the Rag Market, winding up for the day, and may have chosen one of the shots (see Extra) for blip had it not been taken after the Blipmeet proper.
After finding my way back to the car I had a slow drive through Sparkhill in the rush hour but revived over a coffee at the Waitrose in Hall Green and had a speedy non-motorway drive back home via Evesham and Broadway ring roads, Stow On The Wold and the Fosse Way, getting home at 2100 hr.
22.8.2015 (1511 hr)
Blip #1635 (#1885 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #000
LOTD #869 (#990 including archived blips)
From A Birmingham Blipmeet, 13 August 201 (Flickr album)
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Port Sulphur - Fast Boys And Factory Girls (2015)
6 Music accompanied my journey home. I'd heard Steve Lamacq's Roundtable will having my cappuccino at Waitrose, and these motorik beat sounds fitted nicely, played by Marc Riley as I whizzed along the A44 dual carriageway.
One Year Ago:
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