Friday, 7 January 2011

William Bloye

I've long been fascinated by some of the older civic buildings on Gt Charles Street -- such as the old Birmingham Chest Clinic. They have a sort of pea-souper, inter-war atmosphere about them.

I thought the relief work on the chest cliic might be Eric Gill, but it isn't -- it's by William Bloye, who was born in 1890 and died in Italy in 1975. But until that time, and especially in the 30s, 40s and 50s he was Birmingham's unofficial civic sculptor, working on an extraordinary range of civic and commercial commissions from his studio on Golden Hillock Rd in Balsall Heath.

And interestingly, he did study lettering under Eric Gill.

Anyway, this is how I see the chest clinic -- in grainy monochrome, the light failing. If I turn around I know that men will be hurrying past in trilbys and tightly belted overcoats, pre-war Austins and Humbers creeping along Charles St in the rush hour traffic.

No comments: