Birmingham’s tourism sector sees most successful year on record

#Birmingham’s Tourism sector grows apace

Leader of Birmingham

The figures released today by the West Midlands Growth Company* and research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS), reveal Birmingham welcomed 41.8 million visitors in 2017, with subsequent visitor spend reaching £7.1 billion – an increase of over nine percent in the space of a year. Average hotel occupancy stood at 75%, matching the previous record set in 2016, whilst RevPAR (revenue per available room) was £51 in value, the highest figure ever recorded.

The city welcomed the most tourists during September, a month that included major events such as the Natwest T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston Stadium and Birmingham’s largest outdoor festival, the Birmingham Weekender. The region’s literary heritage was celebrated as 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel The…

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Secret Garden and Shakespeare’s memorial room.

The #SecretGarden and #Shakespeare Memorial Room at the Library of Birmingham


I was in the City Centre yesterday with a friend and we were a bit early for our event so he took me to Birmingham Library to show me the roof top gardens and Shakespeare’sMemorialRoom.

I didn’t even know this was here and it’s all free to enjoy. There is a lift to take you up to the secret garden and it’s well worth checking out. The views are amazing, that’s assuming you have a head for heights. The gardens are a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of street level.

Then up a little higher and there is a room that has come, not from the last old library, but from the library that was there before that!

The Shakespeare’s Memorial room.

It’s breathtaking.

I could have spent ages in here, but we did have a lunch to attend. I’ve promised myself I will take…

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Board of Ordnance, Gun Barrel Proof House, The Tower, Bagot Street, Birmingham

My Dad Leslie Bracey who lived in the back to backs of Little Shadwell Street in #Birmingham’s Gun Quarter, carried shotguns to the #Birmingham Proof House before the Second World War when he worked for a #Birmingham gun maker in the Gun Quarter.

The Iron Room

Sandstone block which was part of a wall that once marked the extremity of the Tower site. Author’s image.

For most of the 18th century, muskets ordered from Birmingham contractors by the Ordnance Board were either proof tested to the Tower standard, within the grounds of the gun maker by an Ordnance Board inspector, or taken to London to be proved.1

In 1755, Board of Ordnance viewers were stationed at Birmingham to gauge and view barrels made by contractors for the Ordnance. Those that passed the test were then sent to London for proof. In 1777, with the increase in demand caused by the American War of Independence, the Ordnance in Birmingham established a warehouse to try to ease the selection process, but this caused the Ordnance viewers to become even more discriminating, which made the process even slower. Those barrels that passed selection faced a nine-day journey…

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Lunch at Itihaas, Birmingham

I have myself eaten at Itihaas and it is truly a top notch curry house

#BrumHour Archive 2015-2018

By Dave Massey

Lunch at Itihaas, Birmingham

It’s my first time at Itihaas. It is an upscale Indian Restaurant based just past the business district of central Birmingham. This strikes me as a venue where business deals are done. The staff are friendly and welcoming as you’d expect.

It’s exactly Noon when we arrive and the venue is totally empty apart from the Staff, the venue has two floors and we are seated in the rear area of the ground floor. We are offered a welcoming glass of Champagne and as its noon, I try and protest a tiny tiny amount about this before pretending not to accept the offer too quickly.

We take a look at the lunch menu, I pretend I’ve not looked online already at it. There’s burgers, wraps and and dosas on the menu. Which I didn’t expect to see at all.

Inside Itihass Inside Itihass

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#Birmingham Industrial Timeline from 1700 until the present day – Birmingham the ingenious city producing more patents than any other UK city

#MadeinBirmingham #Birmingham has a fantastic #Manufacturing #History and has produced more patents than any other #British #city

Keith Bracey the Brummie Bard Birmingham & Black Country poet & writer

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10 of England’s Best Post-War Pubs

Post war Britain saw more pubs built in the country than at any other time in history……here’s a canter through 10 of the best…….@CAMRA

The Historic England Blog

More public houses were built in the years 1945-1985 than in any other period in English history, yet pubs of these years are now highly threatened.

Dr Emily Cole, Senior Investigator in the Historic Places Investigation Team, has been leading a project on post-war pubs since 2015, with the aim of increasing understanding and appreciation. Recently, she has been responsible for proposing a group of pubs for listing, and five buildings have been successfully protected.

Here, Emily selects ten of her favourite pubs from across the ‘golden age’ of post-war pub building, in date order.

1. The Festival Inn, Grundy Street, Poplar, London

Exterior of The Festival Inn, designed by Frederick Gibberd along with the market buildings of the Lansbury Estate. The Festival Inn, designed by Frederick Gibberd along with the market buildings of the Lansbury Estate. DP170360 © Historic England

The Festival Inn was the earliest major post-war pub in England. It opened in May 1951, and formed part of the Live Architecture Exhibition of the Festival…

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An Accident Waiting to Happen? The Whittall Street Explosion of 1859

My dad’s family the Braceys lived in back to backs on Little Shadwell Street in the shadow of Saint Chad’s Cathedral in #Birmingham’s Gun Quarter and me dad Leslie Bracey worked at a gunsmiths carrying the shotguns to the #BirminghamProofHouse near Curzon Street Station, the oldest Railway Terminus in the world built in 1838 as the terminus of the London to Birmingham Railway.

The Iron Room

Memorial Card to the victims of the Whittal Street Explosion, 1859 [Ephemera Collection LE/Cards/1]

Come and hear Liz Palmer share the account of the explosion at the Percussion Cap Manufactory, which tragically which took the lives of eighteen young women and one young man.

Birmingham has long been associated with the gun trade, with the gun quarter being focused on the area on the Weaman Estate around Whittall Street. Innovations in the industry in the early mid-19th Century saw the establishment of several percussion cap manufactories as percussion cap weapons replaced flintlocks. The manufactories employed mainly girls and young women whose nimble fingers were suited to the many processes involved in the production of these tiny items.  But the work was extremely dangerous involving several explosive substances including fulminating mercury. Explosions involving loss of life were not uncommon; one of the worst of these was in 1859 at the…

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