Friday, 28 May 2010

The museum of curiousities

Except this isn't a museum. It's where Birmingham keeps the stuff there isn't room for in its museums...

It's called the Museum Collections Centre and I mentioned it in the previous post. Here's a couple more taken there -- it was a weirdly atmospheric place, all the more so for the utter unpredictability of what one would see next.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Ghost fountain

Tom Lomax's Spirit & Enterprise is the beautiful fountain which graced Centenary Square until construction began recently on the new library. It now lies amongst piles of other street furniture and storage containers in the grounds of Birmingham Museum's storage facility in Nechells.

'Ghost signs' is the term used to refer to fading hand-painted advertising signs on buildings, typically painted on the gable-ends of shops and houses. 'Spirit & Enterprise' is currently a kind of ghost fountain. I hope it will be given a new life elsewhere in the city. This is how it used to look.

The museum's storage centre was recently thrown open for a public Open Day -- more of that in the next post.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Big Wheel

Another from shortly after Christmas. I spent ages trying to get a half-way decent picture that captured something of the size and scale and beauty of the big wheel when it was here in Birmingham. I must have taken dozens of pictures around and about there -- but all of them looked tacky rather than elegant, a mess rather than the clear geometric formalities I thought I was looking for. And then one evening shortly before the wheel was due to come down, I saw this juxtaposition and just about managed to squeeze a couple of very slow shots off before my bus came.

Oddly, it subsequently turned out to be exactly what I had been looking for.

Still moment

Just for a split second it seemed people had forgotten why they were there, then, as quickly as this mood descended, it vanished and the crowds surged onwards.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Vaisakhi marks the beginning of the Sikh new year and also commemorates the founding of Sikhism in 1699. On Sunday 25th April 2010 two processions set out for Handsworth Park for one of the largest Vaisakhi events in the UK -- one from Smethwick, and the other from the Ramgharia Gurdwara in Graham Street in the Jewellery Quarter, where this was taken.


I haven't posted anything for a little while so I'll try and catch up. This was shot just after Christmas, I think. I like it because on this bitterly cold wintery Sunday morning these fishermen on the canal looked more like survivors foraging for food after some kind of apocalypse rather than blokes out enjoying the fresh air.