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Squares and public spaces
10 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years

It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq

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Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years





It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq


Previous related posts: Coca Cola Christmas Truck and Festival of Light.

Seen in St Martin's Square during May 2015 was this old London Routemaster bus with a livery for the animated movie Minions. The buses licence plate no was JJD 573D. The film came out on the 26th June 2015. I have never seen it or any of the Despicable Me films either!

View from the side, as a little boy was by chance wearing a Minions backpack and a yellow top. How cute!

They had a screen on the right, probably showing a trailer of the Minions movie.

Minions on Tour was brought to Birmingham with Capital FM. You can still see the little boy in his Minions backpack.

Another former London Routemaster bus, this one seen during March 2016 for Virgin Holidays. Licence plate no VVS 373

They had added thinkings to this bus with the Dream Bigger hashtag. At the time advertising holidays to Mexico and Jamaica.

There is always good views from the balcony above, hence why I always go up there for views like this.

It looks like most people were just ignoring this one, and walking past, not much interest by the looks of it.

It is now July 2016 and during the height of the summer in St Martin's Square was Vita Coco.

Fake palm trees, a sky blue pick up truck and a Coconut Grove bar.

Some sand near the Vita Coco pick up truck.

It was about Coconut Oil mainly. "Eat it, Wear It, Swear By It" what ever that means?

Winter again and it is now during February 2017 in St Martin's Square. The Hunter's Lodge (a wooden looking lorry) was in town with the Cadbury Creme Egg.

It was for the Cadbury Creme Egg Hunting Season. Beware of Poachers.

The best view from one of the balconies from above. A contrast to the Coca Cola Christmas Truck that used to go in the exact same spot.

I try to get as many views as I can from up there.

This view from the balcony on the far side near Selfridges. Hope people liked their Cadbury Creme Egg's! Used to have them, but not for years. Anyway since they introduced the white Creme egg, people keep unwrapping them and re-wrapping them in store, so not worth buying. Although sometimes buy Mini Eggs, but not recently. Not good for your (or my) teeth.

Bud Light was in town during April 2017. They had these 4 Toyota Hilux pick up trucks in blue.

Each one had boxes in the back.

Was also signs saying Dunk Responsibily.

This one was parked close to St Martin's Church.

This one near to where Hand Made Burger Co used to be. The path leading down to Park Street and Digbeth.

One more view of all four trucks. Most people walking past, showing little interest in the drinks on offer.

One year on to April 2018 with BJ's Bingo on this bus. Licence plate no W866 PNL. With a reflection of Selfridges.

The bus had this digital screen on the side and a slogan: Everyones a Winner, and Your 1st Time is Free.

So basically gambling then. Only a few people stopping to talk to the assistants.

Brew Dog during July 2018, was the last major thing like this with a lorry that I've spotted in St Martin's Square.

So another beer truck then. Beer without Borders. Punk State is Here.

Looks like people could try the drinks in the trailer of the lorry. Taste the Revolution.

Standard side view from one of the balconies towards Selfridges. Visitors could sit on those crates and have a drink.

One last view before I left and headed up St Martin's Walk, or into one of the malls.

I could do a similar post to this, but from Rotunda Square, as they have those lorries or buses up there too. Usually Formula 1 simulators. Cars on display etc. 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Transport
02 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Trams at the Black Country Living Museum (August 2011)

Some old tram photos of mine taken from a day out at the Black Country Living Museum during August 2011. Tram 34 and tram 49. We actually had a ride at the time on tram 49 on the top deck, which was in the open air. The museum is located in Dudley in the Black Country. The museum opened in 1975. I'm sure it's probably changed since my visit including Peaky Blinders filming.

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Trams at the Black Country Living Museum (August 2011)





Some old tram photos of mine taken from a day out at the Black Country Living Museum during August 2011. Tram 34 and tram 49. We actually had a ride at the time on tram 49 on the top deck, which was in the open air. The museum is located in Dudley in the Black Country. The museum opened in 1975. I'm sure it's probably changed since my visit including Peaky Blinders filming.


From a day out at the Black Country Living Museum, on the 14th August 2011. There was plenty to see on my first (and so far) only visit to this open air museum. So my visit precedes the filming of episodes of Peaky Blinders by a few years.

Tram 49

This is a Wolverhampton Corporation double decker tram, built in 1909. It is a typical Edwardian tramcar with a lower saloon and open upper deck. It was withdrawn in 1921. It was restored by the Black Country Living Museum and put into service in 2004.

 

I first saw tram 49 before we headed to have a look in the museum full of vintage cars and other vehicles. It was passing the war memorial. Which was passing these umbrella looking shields.

In this view the tram is seen heading to "Penn Fields" (well not really) and had an old Express and Star advert on the side.

Seen from the other direction getting close to the end of the journey. There was stairs at both ends, and they have to manually move the overhead pantograph, so that the tram can go in the other direction.

Again seen here, passengers are getting off the tram.

A lady seemed to reverse backwards down the steps.

Adverts also at the front and back. Here you see "Gray's Herbal Tablets".

The tram driver and the ticket inspector have a chat, or hand over the keys?

They only had two volunteers, we had to wait for the tram to get back before we could ride it. By then they had 3 volunteers and we went up to the top deck of the tram.

Seen here, visitors are seeing heading down the steps and getting off the tram. It was the stop close to the village, and wasn't too far from where tram 34 was. This was after my tram ride, so I took this photo after I got off.

A few hours later, saw tram 49 again. This time passing the Underground Mine. This side was an advert for the Co-op.

Tram 34

This tram was built in 1919 for operation on Wolverhampton District Tramways. It was an enclosed single decker tram that could accommodate 32 seated passengers. It was withdrawn in 1928.

 

Saw this model of tram 34 in the exhibitions rooms which were housed in the former Rolfe Street Baths building. It was the second exhibition in this room.

Now onto the real tram 34. We did not ride it, and I'm not sure if it was in use on the day of our visit. It's destination was Dudley.

It was positioned at the time next to the tram depot.

They have other trams in the collection at the Black Country Living Museum, Horse Drawn Tram 23 and Tram 5 although I didn't see them at the time (almost 9 years ago now). More details here: Tram Collection.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Transport
02 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

West Midlands Metro tram 24 has a new sponsor: Resorts World Birmingham

I unexpectedly saw a West Midlands Metro tram with purple Resorts World Birmingham adverts on Corporation Street in the morning. At lunchtime on Friday 28th February 2020, saw it again and it was tram 24. It is also for Birmingham International Station and probably The NEC Birmingham. Seen heading between Corporation Street and Bull Street tram stops. Seen passing Martineau Place.

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West Midlands Metro tram 24 has a new sponsor: Resorts World Birmingham





I unexpectedly saw a West Midlands Metro tram with purple Resorts World Birmingham adverts on Corporation Street in the morning. At lunchtime on Friday 28th February 2020, saw it again and it was tram 24. It is also for Birmingham International Station and probably The NEC Birmingham. Seen heading between Corporation Street and Bull Street tram stops. Seen passing Martineau Place.


West Midlands Metro Tram 24 from OLA to Resorts World

Seen at Library Tram Stop on Saturday 18th January 2020, was West Midlands Metro tram 24.

At the time that tram 24 was departing, they were still dismantling Ice Skate Birmingham on the Reflective Pool (the water jets are now back on). See my latest Centenary Square post here Centenary Square lit up after dark with the Water Jet fountains.

Seen at Grand Central Tram Stop on Friday 21st February 2020 was West Midlands Metro trams 24 and 27. Both with OLA adverts, I think the first time I got both in one photo. At the time the batteries on tram 24 was still externally white.

On Friday 28th February 2020, seen in the rain on Corporation Street, tram 24 again, but this time in brand new Resorts World purple adverts. Also featuring Birmingham International Station. Possibly also The NEC. I let the tram pass me before I took this photo in the rain. Going past Martineau Place. I also saw it unexpectedly in the morning (on Corporation Street) but couldn't see the tram number.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Transport
02 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton

I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020

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Ending 2019 with a West Midlands Metro tram ride to Wolverhampton





I wanted to check out the new Wolverhampton Station building, and it had been over 2 and a half years since I got the tram all the way to Wolverhampton (not counting when I went to Wednesbury and Bilston). Also the trams have all gone blue since I last saw them in Wolverhampton. Checked out the Wolverhampton Metro extension then walked to Priestfield Tram Stop via the City Centre. HNY 2020


First up on Sunday 29th December 2019, needed to catch a tram in Birmingham City Centre. They seemed more frequent than they usually are on a Sunday. I always prefer to head to Grand Central Tram Stop. But this time had to catch the tram from the platform near The Burlington Hotel, since the Westside Metro extension opened to Library Tram Stop in Centenary Square several weeks ago (with testing before that).

Grand Central Tram Stop

While waiting for a tram to Wolverhampton, saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 Comet arriving at th platform near Birmingham New Street Station.

The pantograph was lowered from the overhead wires, before heading up Stephenson Street under battery power towards Pinfold Street.

Heading past the Guildhall Buildings and the modern part of Victoria Square House. It would turn up right towards Pinfold Street and Victoria Square. A street cleaning vehicle to the right.

Passing Costa Coffee in the Guildhall Buildings (corner of Navigation Street and Stephenson Street) was tram 29 Cupid. Which I would catch to Wolverhampton St George's. A 45 minute journey. The pantograph was probably raised while I was inside of this tram.

Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop

45 minutes later I arrived in Wolverhampton. Getting off at Wolverhampton St George's Tram Stop. Only one platform here now since it was rebuilt several years ago.

I was first heading to check out the Wolverhampton Metro extension to Wolverhampton Station. As you can see the former platform at the existing terminus is now for buses. Pipers Row has a tram stop with platforms but no shelters. And since they are still re-building Wolverhampton Station, the extension currently stops on the bridge on Railway Drive.

Bilston Road, Wolverhampton

The last time I walked down here in May 2017, the Urbos 3 trams were pink, and I walked up the canal. Ended up that time catching a tram from The Royal to West Bromwich. This time it was a walk down to Priestfield Tram Stop.

After a quick walk around Wolverhampton City Centre, I crossed over Ring Road St George's as West Midlands Metro tram 19 headed between Bilston Road and Bilston Street to the Wolverhampton terminus at St George's. Passing Novotel.

I later saw it heading down the Bilston Road. This was after it had left The Royal Tram Stop. Not sure if it was in service as it did not say "Birmingham" on the front or back digital display.

Tram 19 passing a Vauxhall car dealership on the Bilston Road.

Heading over the Bilston Road Bridge that crosses over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (Wolverhampton Level).

Next up was West Midlands Metro tram 18 (one of the trams with Just Eat adverts in red). Seen here going under the railway bridge that carries the West Coast Mainline between Wolverhampton and Birmingham (and London). Saw a couple of Avanti West Coast Class 390 Pendolino's up there (weird not saying Virgin Trains any more).

Passing various car showrooms. Wolverhampton Volkswagen to the left.

Passing a Toyota place on the Bilston Road.

Passing me next was West Midlands Metro tram 32. This was near Ettingshall Road near the boarded up The New Inn (which used to be an Oriental restaurant until it closed down).

Seen continuing up to Wolverhampton St George's. I later got this tram back from Priestfield.

Priestfield Tram Stop

Arrived at Priestfield Tram Stop too late to catch Tram 18 back to Birmingham. But only had to wait another 7 minutes for the next tram. It is here that the trams leaves the Bilston Road and goes back onto the old railway trackbed.

There is paths on both sides of the tracks that leads to the platforms at Priestfield.

I wasn't going to run for the tram like the man ahead of me. Priestfield has it's own car park.

Saw West Midlands Metro tram 30 arriving at Priestfield on it's journey towards Wolverhampton St George's.

I don't think tram 30 has a temporary reindeer name at Christmas time.

There is crossover track here, incase the line beyond here is closed for whatever reason.

Tram 32 arriving at Priestfield. I caught it all the way to Bull Street Tram Stop in Birmingham City Centre.

On Sunday afternoon many football fans of West Bromwich Albion got on board heading to The Hawthorns to watch their team in the Championship. Many of them had scarfs, hats and Baggies football shirts on.

If this is my last post in 2019, then I'd like to say Happy New Year 2020!

One last tram photo on the 31st December 2019. New Year's Eve. Tram 18 with Just Eat livery seen from Victoria Square at Town Hall Tram Stop.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Check out my brand new Facebook page Ell Brown Photos.

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Transport
27 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro tram in and out of Town Hall Tram Stop on the last weekend of the Birmingham FCM (December 2019)

The all blue West Midlands Metro trams are now running every day between Library and Wolverhampton St George's. Monday's to Saturday's every 6 minutes, and every 15 minutes on Sunday's. Heading up Pinfold Street as a tram heads down from Victoria Square. Also a pair of trams stopping at the new Town Hall Tram Stop. On the last weekend of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

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West Midlands Metro tram in and out of Town Hall Tram Stop on the last weekend of the Birmingham FCM (December 2019)





The all blue West Midlands Metro trams are now running every day between Library and Wolverhampton St George's. Monday's to Saturday's every 6 minutes, and every 15 minutes on Sunday's. Heading up Pinfold Street as a tram heads down from Victoria Square. Also a pair of trams stopping at the new Town Hall Tram Stop. On the last weekend of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.


Starting with West Midlands Metro tram 19 at Grand Central Tram Stop, on the early evening of Wednesday 18th December 2019. The tram with the 20 Years livery (1999 - 2019). Passing here again on Saturday 21st December 2019, it was a bit too crowded for me. Noisy football fans coming out of the Burlington Arcade, and protesters walking past with placards on the opposite platform.

Heading up Pinfold Street nad I have finally managed to get some photos of a tram heading down the hill. West Midlands Metro tram 21 in Just Eat livery, now all blue, but still with the red adverts.

The last weekend of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, it closes on Monday 23rd December 2019.

You can see the Big Brum clocktower from down here which is behind the Council House. It is completely pedestrianised up here.

Tram 21 turns left from Pinfold Street onto Stephenson Street, passing La Galleria and Yorks Cafe in the Guildhall Buildings.

Heading to the end of Paradise Street, as far as pedestrians are supposed to go, saw tram 29 with the reindeer name Cupid coming round Paradise Circus. With Centenary Square behind. Including the Birmingham Big Wheel and ice rink at Ice Skate Birmingham. The REP, Library of Birmingham, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. HSBC UK at Arena Central on the left, while the site of One Centenary Way to the right.

Pedestrians are not supposed to walk beyond here, but some have ignoring the signs (can they not read?). Tram 29 continues to go round the corner with HSBC UK and the Birmingham Big Wheel seen behind.

Tram 29 Cupid heads onto Paradise Street. As a man with shopping walks beyond the point of no return for pedestrians. Behind you can still see the Big Wheel, Library, Hall of Memory and Baskerville House. Only trams are allowed to enter Paradise Street here. Not cars.

Heading past the Town Hall as tram 29 arrives at Town Hall Tram Stop. The Christmas tree at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is visible to the right.

Tram 22 Dasher arrives at platform 1 for Birmingham (Library) while tram 29 Cupid comes into platform 2, bound for Wolverhampton (St George's).

A view not possible a few years ago. Big Brum at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery with the Birmingham Town Hall. Seen from Paradise Street while the pair of trams were at Town Hall Tram Stop. And as a bonus, the core of 103 Colmore Row. Paradise Birmingham is to the left. That was where Fletchers Walk and the old Birmingham Conservatoire used to be until a few years ago. And there used to be a road that was part of Paradise Circus that is now long gone.

Another new view from the tram stop is of Colmore Gate and the dome of Birmingham Cathedral. Never expected to get those with a pair of West Midlands Metro blue trams.

Tram 22 Dasher continues it's journey towards Centenary Square. You can see it's destination in the background, the Library of Birmingham. The Alpha Tower is usually visible from the end of Paradise Street.

Tram 29 seen leaving Town Hall Tram Stop. Going through Victoria Square, then down Pinfold Street. As visitors to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market pass in and out of the square.

I will add to this post as it was not published on the 23rd December 2019.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was dismantled between the 24th and 25th December 2019, and trams were running apart from on Christmas Day of course.

On Boxing Day, the 26th December 2019, at least two trams were broken down meaning no trams could go beyond Bull Street until they were removed.

On a miserable wet Boxing Day, tram 30 had broken down at Corporation Street. It was on the platform bound for Wolverhampton, but couldn't go anywhere.

Heading round to Bull Street Tram Stop, saw tram 28 Jasper Carrott with no destination on the board. This one on the Wolverhampton bound platform. Was it broken down to / not in service?

Then tram 22 arrived heading to Birmingham. But I'm not sure if it headed down to Corporation Street, or if all the passengers got off here, and it returned in the other direction.

Back to normal on the 27th December 2019. Saw at least one tram from Victoria Square.

After popping through the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station, I saw tram 18 in the Just Eat livery arriving. I saw the pantograph rising up and connecting to the overhead wires when it got to the tram stop from the newly opened extension.

Saw tram 34 arriving at Grand Central Tram Stop, but tram 18 had started to depart before I was able to get two trams in one shot, so I took this one instead. Looks like the pantograph had been lowered, before it started the journey up to Town Hall and Library.

Merry Christmas 2019 and a Happy New Year 2020. Oh and Happy Hanukkah as well! (Will all be over when this gets published). More tram posts and photos in 2020. I'm hoping to ride the tram again perhaps all the way to Wolverhampton.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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