Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Monday, 14 November 2011

West Midlands

.......or to be more precise, Birmingham

Just a quick trip to Birmingham, in the early run-up to Christmas, to visit the annual Classic Motorcycle Show at the NEC.

One of my favourite places in the centre of the city, is Centenary Square. Lying as it does, in the heart of the city, surrounded by such admirable buildings as Symphony Hall, the Birmingham Rep, the International Conference Centre, and the soon-to-be-new Central Library, it really is the heart of the West Midlands cultural life.

This weekend was not only Rememberance Day, with the War Memorial building and the square itself liberally sprinkled with poppies, but they were also preparing for the Christmas festivities. The Lights had been turned on............

the huts were being erected for the Frankfurt-style Christmas Market, and a huge artic was delivering the temporary skating rink.

On the edge of Centenary Square, is the Sports Hall, and outside stands a magnificent memorial to three men who made Birmingham and the West Midlands great - James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch.
The gilded bronze statue by William Bloye and Raymond Forbes-Kings stands on a plinth of Portland stone, outside the old Register Office on Broad Street, now the Sports Hall. It is known locally as The Golden Boys after its colour, or The Carpet Salesmen after the partially-rolled-up plan of a steam engine which they are examining.
All three men were members of the Lunar Society.
Sponsored by an £8,000 bequest from Richard Wheatley in 1939, and £7,500 from the City Council, it was unveiled in 1956, from preliminary designs drawn up in 1938.
The statue was restored and re-gilded, and replaced in its old position in September 2006.

Birmingham has many fine statues, including an important work by Antony Gormley, outside City Hall, but for me the best, is also the most symbolic. This is the bull that stands in the centre of the recently redeveloped Bull Ring

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