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History & heritage
16 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Spitfire and Hurricane at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

It's the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, so Elliott is taking a look back to his 2013 visit to Thinktank where he saw a Spitfire and Hurricane hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Sptifire's were built at Castle Bromwich, while Hurricane's over at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940.

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Spitfire and Hurricane at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum





It's the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, so Elliott is taking a look back to his 2013 visit to Thinktank where he saw a Spitfire and Hurricane hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Sptifire's were built at Castle Bromwich, while Hurricane's over at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940.


September 2020, marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain. Which took place over the English Channel between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. The official dates of the battle was the 10th July until the 31st October 1940. Did you know that many of the planes that fought in the battle were built right here in Birmingham!

The Supermarine Spitfire were built by Vickers Armstrong in Castle Bromwich. While the Hawker Hurricane at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge.

 

Photos below taken on a visit to Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum during April 2013.

Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX

The Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX was built in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham. The planes were built between 1938, and throughout the Second World War of 1939 to 1945. Vickers Armstrong had built over 11,000 planes there. The Spitfire was the most famous British fighter plane of the Second World War.

This plane was labelled HK A and ML 427. And could be seen above the Move It section of the museum (at the front) from the balcony views of We Made It.

Behind the Spitfire was the Hurricane.

 

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV

To the back was a Hawker Hurricane Mark IV. This plane was known for shooting down over 60% of enemy aircraft during the 1940 Battle of Britain. Around 300 Hurricane's were built at the Austin motor car factory in Longbridge in Birmingham. The Hurricane ended up being overshadowed by the more famous Spitfire. They were built from 1937 until 1944.

This plane was to the back and wasn't as easy to see as the Spitfire. Labelled JX R. With 395 at the rear end.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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80 passion points
Travel & tourism
24 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

We Made It on The Balcony at Thinktank

On Level 1 at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum was from about 2013 an exhibition on the mezzanine floor called We Made It. "What's a Cow got to do with a Car?" asks the leaflet from 2013. You could see a dissected Riley Elf (a bit like a Mini). Birmingham was known as the Workshop of the World. Gadgets used at home. Nuts and bolts. Tins and things.

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We Made It on The Balcony at Thinktank





On Level 1 at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum was from about 2013 an exhibition on the mezzanine floor called We Made It. "What's a Cow got to do with a Car?" asks the leaflet from 2013. You could see a dissected Riley Elf (a bit like a Mini). Birmingham was known as the Workshop of the World. Gadgets used at home. Nuts and bolts. Tins and things.


We Made It

The official Thinktank Website has info on We Made It here. Located on Level 1 at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum (the mezzanine floor).

Information below courtesy of the Birmingham Museums Trust:

We Made It features more than 20 interactive exhibits that show just how and why Birmingham became known as ‘the workshop of the world’. Visitors are taken on a journey from raw materials to finished product, demonstrating how everyday goods are produced.
The journey is illustrated by around 1200 intriguing objects from Birmingham’s world-renowned manufacturing and natural science collections, and contemporary products made or designed in Birmingham. Find out what links a car and a cow, what makes treasure like jewellery valuable, why we use certain types of packaging, and how products are held together.
 
The gallery contains four distinct areas, each focussing on an area of manufacturing for which Birmingham is renowned: 
  •  Nuts and Bolts - Learn about Birmingham’s role in making iron and steel goods for the world.
  • Treasure - Precious possessions made from precious metals and gemstones.
  • Tins and Things - Discover why the West Midlands is the home of aluminium production and decorative glass.
  • Gadgets - Come and uncover inventions that have changed everyday life, from cameras to mobile phones; and find out why wood and plastic have been used to produce these items.

 

The following photos taken from a visit to Thinktank during April 2013.

The pink we made it logo with a subtitle of nuts, bolts, gadgets and gizmos on a yellow background.

What has cow got to do with a car? You could also see this cow on the leaflet back in 2013.

This is a dissected Riley Elf (a bit like a Mini). I had previously seen it at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre.

Build a Mini. Showing you how to build a Mini. The wheels off and the doors off. Think Michael Caine in The Italian Job: "You only had to blow the bloody doors off!".

Licence plate at the front and back of the Mini read: TH1NK T4NK.

Another Mini, this one at least was fully entact and not cut up like the other ones. Licence plate was XFW 583.

Bike art. Made out of a Honda 750cc motorbike engine. Exhaust pipes used as tubes and the sculpture features them bent into extravagant shapes. Custom Chrome, Nuneaton, 1994.

Making silver goods. In a typical Silversmith workshop in the Jewellery Quarter.

Electricity for silver plating. Made in Birmingham. Was the first industrial electrical machine in the world. Even Michael Faraday was delighted when he first saw it (putting his discoveries into practical use).

Etch. Here was a machine that was used to etch glass. You could even press a green button to operate it in the museum.

A machine used for Bending wire. Curtain hooks used to be made of metal, but are now made of plastic. Wire in, cut and bend, bend and shape, curtain hooks out.

A variety of old cameras made during the 20th Century. Included here in this collection was: Camera by Polaroid, late 1960s, Brown camera by Kodak, about 1905, Cine camera by Kodak, 1950s, Cine Camera by Pathe, 1920s and Cine Camera by Bell and Howell, about 1930.

Next up we have a Magic lantern projector. It looks like it could be used in a cinema to show films, but it actually projects magic lanterns.

This violin was made in France by Thibouville Lamy. Some people who emigrated to the UK in the Inter War period, might have taken a violin over with them. Like a family heirloom.

Glass sculpture. Possibly made out of recycled materials. Looks like it could go in a lighthouse. You could step inside of it on the other side.

One of the Lightweight Bicycles hanging from the ceiling. This bike was made from steel. There was other bikes hanging up as well.

Slinky childrens toys. The one below like the Slinky dog toy from the Toy Story movies.

A typical Slinky walking spring toy. You can play with them in your hands, or push them down the stairs. Still got one myself (but is multicoloured).

 

More of We Made it from the next visit to Thinktank during April 2014.

This is an aluminium sail. It is an extruded aluminium yacht mast. Made in the Midlands by Sapa Profiles, Derbyshire, for Selden Masts, 2012. Lent by Sapa Profiles. It was next to the Bike Sculpture (which was to the right).

A colourfully designed area with green hearts, blue and pink plastic flowers. Thinktank was now calling this floor, The Balcony. Not sure of the purpose of this area, other than for children to play, and adults to sit down.

A collection of old mobile phones. From 'brick' to pocket-sized. Mobile telephones left to right: Sendo, designed in Birmingham in 2002, NEC, United Kingdom, 1995 and for British Telecom, from about the late 1980s.

The Chad Valley Co. Ltd was a toy manufacturer that was based in Harborne. Founded in the early 19th century. When they moved to Harborne, they named their company after the nearby Chad Brook. Which in turn gave it's name to the nearby Chad Valley. Was bought by Woolworths in 1988, but is now owned by Sainsbury's.

A Chad Valley classic car toy. Of an open topped car with a spare wheel at the back.

Guinness Stout. Toy of a classic green car. With people painted onto the side.

A toy of a Midland Red bus. Also a sign for The Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Ltd Builders Smethwick, England 1924.

A Chad Valley toy of a red Fire Engine.

Another Chad Valley toy car, of a clockwork model of a racing car.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Transport
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Railway 196 101 test run through Yardley Wood Station

I got a tip off where I could see West Midlands Railway 196 101. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station. This Spanish built CAF train would pass through at about 10:17 on 13/08/2020. Stopping for a moment before resuming it's journey back to Tyseley TMD.

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West Midlands Railway 196 101 test run through Yardley Wood Station





I got a tip off where I could see West Midlands Railway 196 101. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station. This Spanish built CAF train would pass through at about 10:17 on 13/08/2020. Stopping for a moment before resuming it's journey back to Tyseley TMD.


Click here to see the Class 196 mock up at Tyseley post.

WEST MIDLANDS RAILWAY 196 101

I'd like to thank my Flickr friend and fellow train enthusiast Geoff Dowling for this tip off. He said that I might see the test run of West Midlands Railway 196 101 between 10:15 and 10:30 on the 13th August 2020. So I walked down to Yardley Wood Station to see it. Thought I might as well buy an E-ticket to Birmingham Snow Hill on the app as I walked down Highfield Road.

This Class 196 is currently the only full train that West Midlands Railway has, apart from that mock up I saw in Tyseley. Since arriving, it's been regularly doing test runs down to Stratford-upon-Avon or towards Worcester Foregate Street or Worcester Shrub Hill.

In this case, it was returning from Stratford-upon-Avon, probably going back to Tyseley TMD. It arrived around 10:17. Simulating a stop for a few seconds before moving on. I had another half hour wait at platorm 2, for the 10:45 to Birmingham Snow Hill.

Made by CAF in Spain, there is 26 trains of this Class on order. When the full fleet arrives in the UK, West Midlands Trains plans to replace the fleet of Class 170/5 and 170/6 Turbostar's and their Class 153's with the new Class 196's.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followe

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50 passion points
Transport
10 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

West Midlands Railway Class 196 section at Tyseley

West Midlands Railway will soon have a fleet of Class 196 Civity diesel multiple unit trains. There is a section of one at the Tyseley DMU depot of West Midlands Railway. I saw it behind the metal fences from the Warwick Road. They will replace the old Class 153's and Class 170's. It might be there for testing or driver training, as it's in the car park.

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West Midlands Railway Class 196 section at Tyseley





West Midlands Railway will soon have a fleet of Class 196 Civity diesel multiple unit trains. There is a section of one at the Tyseley DMU depot of West Midlands Railway. I saw it behind the metal fences from the Warwick Road. They will replace the old Class 153's and Class 170's. It might be there for testing or driver training, as it's in the car park.


West Midlands Railway Class 196

There is a section near the Warwick Road in Tyseley of a West Midlands Railway Class 196 train. Near the entrance to West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley. Outside was a sign about VE Day 75 (which was in May 2020) and an NHS Rainbow. Thank you to our NHS staff and Key Workers.

Gallery below of five photos of a new Class 196 train (I couldn't see another one from Tyseley Station, but noticed one in July 2020 from a train).

It might be there to be used for training, as it is on a car park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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50 passion points
Transport
28 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Vintage red London Transport Routemaster spotted in Highgate, Birmingham

I was getting the no 50 bus into town, when I saw this vintage red ex London Transport Routemaster bus. I later had a long walk back to Highgate just to see it, before getting the 50 back to Kings Heath. Possibly last used as a Burrito Bus.

CUV 291C

RML2291

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex.

 

 

 

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Vintage red London Transport Routemaster spotted in Highgate, Birmingham





I was getting the no 50 bus into town, when I saw this vintage red ex London Transport Routemaster bus. I later had a long walk back to Highgate just to see it, before getting the 50 back to Kings Heath. Possibly last used as a Burrito Bus.

CUV 291C

RML2291

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex.

 

 

 


Spotted this bus from the no 50 bus heading into Birmingham City Centre while it was on Upper Conybere Street in Highgate. I stayed on the bus until the Bullring. And later had a long walk to Highgate via Westside and the Middleway's.

Located on a site near Highgate Middleway and Upper Conybere Street.

Last used as a "Burrito Bus".

 

HOP ON-BOARD THE BURRITO BUS

 

Route 64: Wivenhoe Park via the University of Essex

CUV 291C

RML2291

London Transport

Remember to wear a face covering on a bus (or train or tram). I usually find that I get warm air under mine, and my glasses or sunglasses steam up. Also remember to use hand sanitser (and take some with you in your bag).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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50 passion points

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