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barbarajoy | profile | all galleries >> Home Exchange in England 2014 -7 galleries >> A Day in Birmingham tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

A Day in Birmingham

On a bitterly cold day in 2012 we took a train from our nearby town of Wolverhampton to the city of Birmingham. Having lived close to Birmingham for the duration of our home exchange, we felt the city warranted a day trip at the very least.

We revisited this city with friends in 2014 on a slightly brighter day and saw the canal area for the first time. We also visited a National Trust site, a reconstructed set of "Back to back" homes on their original site - crowded housing displayed as they were in 1830, 1870 and 1930.

Birmingham has architectural features which bring to mind other cities I know - Melbourne, Glasgow and Edinburgh's New Town. We began in the Jewellery Quarter, a unique area dating back over 250 years and still home to over 400 jewellery-related businesses - goldsmiths, silversmiths, dealers in gold bullion and outlets for bespoke jewellery of high quality. The streetscape is Georgian with the attractive St Paul's Square a pleasant public space and the rambling old tree-filled Keyhill Cemetery another feature of the area.

Birmingham became a hub of specialized trades during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. We visited the Pen Museum. "Birmingham was the centre of the world pen trade for more than a century, employing thousands of people and the availability of cheap pens enabled the develpoment of education and literacy throughout the world." - guide

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, well known for its collection of pre-Raphaelites and a significant collection of old masters, is a beautiful building both inside and out and was staging a special exhibition "Children's Lives". Birmingham is a recognised city of the arts and culture, being home to several more worthy art galleries, plus the Birmingham Repetory Theatre, the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Company and the Royal Ballet Company.

Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Armored guard, Jewellery Quarter
Armored guard, Jewellery Quarter
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Corner pub, Jewellery Quarter
Corner pub, Jewellery Quarter
The Jewellers Arms
The Jewellers Arms
St Paul's Church, Jewellery Quarter
St Paul's Church, Jewellery Quarter
St Paul's Church, Jewellery Quarter
St Paul's Church, Jewellery Quarter
Keyhill Cemetery, Jewellery Quarter
Keyhill Cemetery, Jewellery Quarter
Pen Museum
Pen Museum
Wondrous creation with pen nibs, Pen Museum
Wondrous creation with pen nibs, Pen Museum
Inkwell display, Pen Museum
Inkwell display, Pen Museum
Inkwell display, Pen Museum
Inkwell display, Pen Museum
Birmingham architecture, old and new
Birmingham architecture, old and new
Victorian decor
Victorian decor
St Philip's cathedral
St Philip's cathedral
St Philip's Cathedral
St Philip's Cathedral
St Philip's Cathedral
St Philip's Cathedral
Blossom, St Philip's Cathedral
Blossom, St Philip's Cathedral
Diamond Jubilee banner
Diamond Jubilee banner
Restaurant in the business area
Restaurant in the business area
Diamond Jubilee bunting
Diamond Jubilee bunting
Fountain and Council House
Fountain and Council House
Sculpture in Victoria Square
Sculpture in Victoria Square
Sculpture in Victoria Square
Sculpture in Victoria Square
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Tourist in Victoria Square
Tourist in Victoria Square
Council Housel detail
Council Housel detail
A mix of old and new
A mix of old and new
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Children's Lives exhibition
"Children's Lives" exhibition
Outside the Museum and Art Gallery
Outside the Museum and Art Gallery
Cold tourists, 2012
Cold tourists, 2012
Piccadilly Arcade
Piccadilly Arcade
Great Western Arcade
Great Western Arcade
... and again
... and again
The Mailbox, a new look for Birmingham
The Mailbox, a new look for Birmingham
Inside The Mailbox
Inside The Mailbox
Diamond Jubilee accessories!
Diamond Jubilee accessories!
A train bus (rail and road) at the Stourbridge Junction
A train bus (rail and road) at the Stourbridge Junction
Our friends on the train to Birmingham
Our friends on the train to Birmingham
 Birmingham Art Gallery
Birmingham Art Gallery
Birmingham Art Gallery
Birmingham Art Gallery
An intriguing mirror box, created by a skilled craftsman in the 19thC
An intriguing mirror box, created by a skilled craftsman in the 19thC
Capturing the mirror box
Capturing the mirror box
Birmingham Art Gallery cafe
Birmingham Art Gallery cafe
On a terrace at the new Birmingham City Library
On a terrace at the new Birmingham City Library
The new birmingham City Library
The new birmingham City Library
Birmingham Canal system
Birmingham Canal system
City transport in Birmingham
City transport in Birmingham
Sightseeing on a canal boat
Sightseeing on a canal boat
Canal boat and the city
Canal boat and the city
A canal junction, admirable engineering from early 19thC
A canal junction, admirable engineering from early 19thC
Canal boats at rest
Canal boats at rest
Courtyard in reconstructed Back to Backs Nat Trust
Courtyard in reconstructed "Back to Backs" Nat Trust
Inside looking out, Back to Backs Nat Trust
Inside looking out, "Back to Backs" Nat Trust