People & community
15 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges

It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!

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Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges





It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!


In 20th place ....

Photographer: Daniel Tonks

In 19th place ....

Photographer: Maria Reaney

In 18th place ....

Photographer: Fiona Probert

In 17th place ....

Photographer: Joy Batchelor

In 16th place ....

Photographer: Karen Elizabeth Bucknall

In 15th place ....

Photographer:  Jay Mason Burns

In 14th place ....

Photographer:  Damien Walmsley

In 13th place....

Photographer: Liam Nicholls

In 12th place....

Photographer:  Mac McCreery

In 11th place....

Photographer: Rachel Dean

In 10th place....

Photographer: Stephanie Jackson

In 9th place....

Photographer: Julia Moyse

In 8th place....

Photographer: Sylwia Ciszewska Peciak

In 7th place....

Photographer: Goodfella

In 6th place....

Photographer: TellyVision

In 5th place....

Photographer: Phil Hook

In 4th place....

Photographer: Tony Mayo

In 3rd place....

Photographer: Kevin Maslin

In 2nd place....

Photographer: Charlie Tomlinson

And the winner is:

Photographer: Jack Crook

Our Judges

Many thanks to our judges who helped with the extremely difficult task of selecting our top 20 photographs.

  • Nicola Beckford, Presenter/Journalist, BBC News
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Limited
  • Councillor Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Rebecca Woods, BBC Online
  • Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Earl Falconer, musician, UB40
  • Robin Campbell, musician, UB40
  • David Furmage, Creative & Cultural Lead, GBSLEP
  • Ruth Millington, art historian, critic & blogger
  • Albert Wallace, owner, the bmag

Exhibition and video of photography

When restrictions ease we hope to run an exhibition of the photography.  With the wonderful UB40 providing the backing music, we will also be pulling the brilliant images together in a video and memory of times during Lockdown. 

Competitions, programmes and initiatives and celebrations of Creativity, Culture and Community

To find out more about our ongoing initiatives and our forthcoming events and festivals, please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07432 637322 or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com 

 

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
02 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside

The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.

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Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside





The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.


The Southside BID was able to get Birmingham City Council to agree to road closures over the last couple of weekends of August 2020. So Hurst Street, Bromsgrove Street and Kent Street were closed (no cars allowed). Tables and chairs were set up, and barriers placed at both ends. You will also find recent installations of rainbow stripes. First was on Hurst Walk at The Arcadian (above the second rainbow crossing) and more recently above Kent Street.

Hippodrome Square

Thursday 20th August 2020 (not at the weekend). A few more views of the Cross with Pride rainbow crossing, and people sitting on the picnic benches on Ladywell Walk. Between the Mapstone Building and The Arcadian.

Hurst Walk, The Arcadian

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, in The Arcadian. There is now rainbow multicoloured stripes above Hurst Walk. Between Las Iguanas and The Dragon Inn. It was raining that day.

Bromsgrove Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Heading up Bromsgrove Street from Pershore Street. Then onto Hurst Street near the Missing Bar.

I later got these views of Bromsgrove Street, while crossing from Essex Street to Lower Essex Street to get to Kent Street. Road closed, drivers had to find an alternative route.

Safety barriers for pedestrians on Bromsgrove Street, and in the car park on the right.

Hurst Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. The Missing Bar on Hurst Street.

Looking towards the (closed) Hippodrome past The Arcadian. Tables and chairs outside.

Later after checking out Kent Street, got this view towards Tesco Express and the Missing Bar.

Then down towards the Village Inn. With these security barriers.

Saw some new rainbow banners at The Village Inn near Skinner Lane.

Kent Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Kent Street was closed between Lower Essex Street and Hurst Street. Seen near the Nightingale Club.

Rainbow ribbons / stripes had been installed over the last week, just in time for the Bank Holiday Weekend. Looks nice.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
27 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter

One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.

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The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter





One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.


THE GOLDEN SQUARE

In Birmingham's World Famous Jewellery Quarter is now The Golden Square. It is located between Vyse Street and along Warstone Lane in front of The Big Peg. Originally the space was parking for the office tenants, it was developed into a public square during 2014. At one corner is The Rose Villa Tavern, and until August 2020, the Chamberlain Clock stood at the roundabout near Frederick Street (it's been removed to be fully restored off site at Smith of Derby). See this post here. The square was one component of Birmingham's Big City Plan.

The square combines three spaces: the Orchard, the Promenade and the Plaza.

 

Jewellery Quarter Festival, July 2015

My first time visiting the Golden Square since it was completed was on Saturday 18th July 2015, while the Jewellery Quarter Festival was on.

There was this Lighthouse Helter-Skelter that kids could slide down.

Some excited kids probably climbed up it multiple times to ride it again and again!

New building on Warstone Lane. Part of the Diamond Quarter.

The Stage Bus, providing musical entertainment for the day. For more info about them, go to www.thestagebus.com

The bus had the licence plate no of D920 NDA. Was a former Metrobus last used by Travel West Midlands in 2004. It had previously been a West Midlands Travel Timesaver bus.

I mainly popped to the Golden Square to see The Big Hoot owl. Jewellery Owl, by the artist Sue Guthrie. Sponsor was Birmingham City University.

The Jewellery Owl was quite close to the railings up the steps.

There was also a Dalek from Doctor Who wondering about! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Kids and parents alike followed the Dalek around.

On the green was Circus Mash. With a juggler.

The square was full of people enjoying themselves at the time.

July 2017

Two years later, I was back in The Golden Square to find The Big Sleuth bear there. A look at the refurbished entrance to The Big Peg.

A Ballerina from Cofton Nursery. There used to be an annual Floral Trail around the City Centre, but once The Big Hoot and Sleuth were on, didn't feel like they had a trail any more. Non the less, they still put pieces out in the summer.

The reason for my visit. The Big Sleuth bear known as Gummy Bear, by the artist Deven Bhurke. Sponsor was Jewellery Quarter BID.

Gummy Bear was much further back and close to an ice cream shop called Scoop.

Davenports was going to open where Jewellery Quarter Police Station used to be, but don't think it ever happened. Instead the proposed Davenports space became the Diamond Factory in 2019.

A view towards The Big Peg from the path in the Golden Square to Warstone Lane.

2019

In January 2019, the side of the Rose Villa Tavern was painted with a You Are Birmingham advert from HSBC UK, who had recently opened their regional HQ over at 1 Centenary Square. This wall painting has since been removed / painted over.

Later that year in July 2019, the Ballerina Floral Trail feature had returned to The Golden Square.

As you can see below, the Diamond Factory was where Davenports would have been.

The view over to Lunchi and Urban Coffee.

August 2020

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, while I was in the Jewellery Quarter to see the Chamberlain Clock come down, took advantage to get some new photos of the Golden Square.

This view of the Rose Villa Tavern and The Big Peg from Warstone Lane. The Diamond Quarter is on the right.

The square was empty and a bit wet. Evidence of the earlier rain.

The Diamond Quarter from the other side.

The view back towards Vyse Street with the Rose Villa Tavern on the left and The Big Peg to the right.

Some of the The Big Peg was under scaffolding. Also appears that they had installed new wooden cladding in parts.

Further back, a view of The Golden Square from Warstone Lane. Most people were watching the Chamberlain Clock come down near the Rose Villa Tavern (to the left).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
19 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Cross with Pride in the Southside Business District

In the middle of August 2020, two rainbow crossings were painted in the Southside BID. The first in Hippodrome Square, where Hurst Street meets Ladywell Walk. The second on Hurst Walk in The Arcadian. Part of Cross with Pride. Sharing the Chinese Quarter with the Gay Village.

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Cross with Pride in the Southside Business District





In the middle of August 2020, two rainbow crossings were painted in the Southside BID. The first in Hippodrome Square, where Hurst Street meets Ladywell Walk. The second on Hurst Walk in The Arcadian. Part of Cross with Pride. Sharing the Chinese Quarter with the Gay Village.


CROSS WITH PRIDE

 

Click here for the renamed Twitter account of the Southside BID. Now Southside District Birmingham (formerly Enjoy Southside, so links to their old Twitter handle no longer works).

 

Delayed due to the pandemic / lockdown, two sets of rainbow crossings have been painted in Southside. One on Hurst Street near Ladywell Walk (Hippodrome Square), and the other one in The Arcadian, located on Hurst Walk.

According to our friends over at Brum Hour they were painted the artists James Gavina Cowper and Matthew Stephens. The 2020 Birmingham Pride Festival should have taken place in May, but was cancelled for obvious reasons. Hurst Street will be closed for 6 weekends from the 15th August 2020, so that local businesses can put out tables and chairs, so people can eat and drink outside.

Hippodrome Square

The Rainbow Crossing seen on the 11th August 2020 in Hippodrome Square. At the time still behind barriers, but they were removed later that day. Located at the end of Ladywell Walk at the junction with Hurst Street. Traffic no longer goes around here since it was closed off years ago and bollards installed.

Popped back to Southside on the 13th August 2020, now that I was aware that the Rainbow Crossing wasn't behind barriers any more. They also put picnic tables on Ladywell Walk in Hippodrome Square.

The hashtag #CrosswithPride was painted on the crossing towards the Hippodrome and The Arcadian.

#CrosswithPride has much interest and is already a focus on some inspired photography in a similar way to Abbey Road became with the help of The Beatles. 

Photo courtesy Southside BID. 

Photo courtesy Rewired PR

Photo courtesy Birmingham City Council 

The Arcadian

The second rainbow crossing was painted on Hurst Walk at The Arcadian. You can get onto it from Hurst Street. Seen on the 13th August 2020. Remember this is still the Chinese Quarter, so many Chinese businesses around here.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown unless where acknowledged. 

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70 passion points
History & heritage
10 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Southside Theatres: The Alexandra

The Alexandra Theatre located in the Southside area of Birmingham. The main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway, running along Suffolk Place. The original building, opened in 1901 is on Station Street and John Bright Street. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street, but was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway in the late 1960s. This was rebuilt in 2018.

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Southside Theatres: The Alexandra





The Alexandra Theatre located in the Southside area of Birmingham. The main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway, running along Suffolk Place. The original building, opened in 1901 is on Station Street and John Bright Street. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street, but was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway in the late 1960s. This was rebuilt in 2018.


The Alexandra Theatre

For another theatre post in Southside currently closed due to the pandemic go to the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The Alexandra Theatre is the second main theatre in Southside Birmingham. Located on Suffolk Street Queensway (the current main entrance is not too far from Holloway Circus). It is also on Suffolk Place, John Bright Street (formerly the main entrance) and up Station Street.

The theatre has gone by many names over the years. Either known as The Alexandra, The Alex or more recently the New Alexandra Theatre (before going back to just The Alexandra Theatre).

Construction of the theatre began in 1900 and it opened in 1901. The main entrance was originally on John Bright Street. The original architects was Owen & Ward and was built by William Coutts. It's original name was the Lyceum Theatre. After low ticket sales, it was sold in 1902 to Lester Collingwood and renamed to the Alexandra Theatre. Collingwood died in road traffic accident in 1910 and he was replaced by Leon Salberg, who died in his office at the theatre in 1938. In 1935 the theatre was rebuilt in the Art Deco style to a design by Roland Satchwell. After Leon Salberg's death, the running of the theatre was taken over by Derek Salberg. The Salberg family ran the theatre from 1911 until 1977.

The main entrance was relocated to Suffolk Street Queensway with a concrete bridge. This was built from 1967-69 from a design by the John Madin Design Group. The Art Deco interior of Satchwell was refurbished in 1992 by the Seymour Harris Partnership.

In the last 25 years the ownership of the theatre has changed hands a few times. In 1995 it was taken over by the Apollo Leisure Group. Who brought many West End productions to The Alex. In 1999 they were bought by SFX Entertainment. In 2001 they merged with Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2006 it was taken over by Live Nation, then in 2011 it was taken over by Ambassador Theatre Group who renamed the theatre New Alexandra Theatre after a minor refurbishment. The main entrance on Suffolk Street Queensway was rebuilt and modernised in 2018 and the theatre was renamed back to The Alexandra Theatre.

 

Live Nation: The Alexandra Theatre

My earliest photos of The Alexandra was taken from Suffolk Street Queensway during April 2009. Island Bar was next door to the right.

In February 2010, I got photos from Suffolk Place, John Bright Street and Station Street. Main entrance is on Suffolk Street Queensway. Then over the bridge. At the time the theatre was showing Porridge starring Shaun Williamson as Fletcher (originally played on TV by the late Ronnie Barker). You could see the former main entrance on John Bright Street (from 1901 until the late 1960s).

New Alexandra Theatre

Under new ownership. And now called New Alexandra Theatre as seen in January 2011. A World Class Theatre. At the time the theatre was being used by Britain's Got Talent for auditions. Main entrance building seen on Suffolk Place and opposite from Suffolk Street Queensway.

My only nightshot of the New Alexandra Theatre was taken during December 2012, when the theatre had 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton on at the time.

In May 2017 the New Alexandra Theatre was advertising Arthur Miller's Crucible, from the 5th to 10th June 2017.

The Birmingham Weekender was held during September 2017. And there was inflatable Sky Dancers on the roof of the New Alex. This was held over the weekend from the 22nd to 24th September 2017. Meanwhile the theatre was advertising Cilla The Musical and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Alexandra Theatre 2018 refurb to present

In August 2018, scaffolding went up on the main entrance building on Suffolk Street Queensway of what was then the New Alexandra Theatre. Boogie Nights The 70s Musical was to be shown in the theatre from the 22nd to the 25th August 2018. Scaffolding by Gorilla Scaffolding.

By September 2018 they had stripped the old late 1960s concrete facade off. And was all these exposed wooden boards at the front.

In October 2018 you could already see the new facade on the Suffolk Street Queensway entrance, and it had gone back to The Alexandra name. They also had a digital billboard advertising what they had one. Such as David Walliams Awful Auntie and Benidorm Live.

Another look in December 2018 from Suffolk Place and John Bright Street. They had recladded the late 1960's building by John Madin. So not as much exposed concrete as there had been for almost 50 years. There was also shiny new red steps at the Suffolk Street Queensway main entrance. Beetham Tower and one of The Sentinels towers behind.

One of my last photos of 103 Colmore Row before lockdown was above The Alexandra Theatre on Suffolk Street Queensway during early March 2020. I wouldn't see the theatre again until the beginning of August 2020.

Closed since the lockdown began in late March 2020. As of August 2020, The Alexandra Theatre remains closed due to the pandemic. It is unknown when the theatre will be able to reopen, or even if they will be able to do social distancing with less seats available. The Shows Will Go On. Suffolk Street Queensway main entrance, then views a week later from Station Street, John Bright Street and Suffolk Place.

Follow The Alex Theatre on social media:

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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