Another walk through Birmingham

This might develop into an occasional series as and when I take it upon myself to use my legs to get me from meeting to meeting rather than use the car or public transport.

This walk is from Jewellery Quarter to Fazeley Studios, Digbeth: 1.9 miles, allow 30 – 40 mins.


View Larger Map

You can track the walk on the map which has some pics I took along the way attached. Here are some additional observations:

  • I actually started the walk from my workplace, B1 building but as it’s opposite the lovely Spring Hill library. I’d recommend the casual walker to begin there. It’s on the number 8 circular route or numbers 82, 87, 88 from the city centre.
  • Be careful where Legge Lane meets Frederick street. There’s no traffic lights and the road is quite busy to cross. Note the blue plaque to Joseph Gillott, pen maker, on the building on the left after you’ve crossed.
  • Don’t go stopping at some city centre Starbucks for a break, try Pickwick’s cafe on Newhall street. Good value sandwiches, soup, jacket potatoes etc. Tell ’em Dave sent you. They won’t have a clue what you’re on about but if enough of you do it it’ll get them thinking.
  • After you go through St Philip’s Cathedral you’ll find yourself on Upper Bull street. Pop into Tempest records. Take time to browse and purchase a record or two. Are they and Swordfish Records on Upper Temple street the only independent record shops left in Birmingham city centre? Are there any other ‘Upper’ streets left in Birmingham on which one could open another?
  • After the scruffy area behind the shops it opens out to the under-development Masshouse area but look to your right to see St Michael’s Church. Services in Polish every Sunday.
  • As I’ve said to many people, Fazeley street is a far more preferable way to get to Digbeth. I like it in its current under-developed state. I’m not sure that the Warwick Bar proposals will ever see the light of day now will they?
  • Even if Fazeley studios isn’t your final destination do peek inside – they won’t mind (tell ’em Dave sent you….). It’s a lovely reception area and even better when you’re there to meet Pete Ashton who’s already got the kettle on.

My journey ended here but for the return route you could get on to the canal or return via Digbeth High street and the city centre. I’ll keep the routes coming as and when I have reason to walk them.

My new workplace

This is what’s oppostite my new workplace in Camden street, Jewellery Quarter. I believe it’s a former GKN works (due for redevelopment – item F on this map) but is now where the smokers from where I work hang out.

Having trumpeted my return to working in the Jewellery Quarter I actually find myself in a rather undeveloped corner of it which still has large empty factories and small, usually busy, warehouses. That’s  fine as I like undeveloped corners of the city and walking from the centre to here takes you through the back of the library – now there’s a nice messy undeveloped bit.

I work in the B1 building which has the following benefits:

  • It sells okay Starbucks coffee for half what it costs on the high street.
  • The cafe doesn’t understand portion control for cakes.
  • It is close to the canal networks for pre, during or post work runs.
  • It has shower facilities for the above.

Working in the Jewellery Quarter generally has the following benefits:

  • Banks (and therefore cashpoints).
  • A supermarket.
  • Newsagents that stock newspapers.
  • People – both work people and customers for shops.
  • Lots and lots of place for lunch.
  • A train station
  • A diverse population of blue and white collar workers.

In a fight between Digbeth and Jewellery Quarter I wonder who’d win?

The Custard Factory needs a train station

Today I did lunch over at the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. Given how tricky it is to regain a parking space on the streets surrounding the Custard Factory once you’ve given it up ( I work on Bromley street), I decided to use the train. 

As I walked up to Moor Street it occurred to me that what the Custard Factory really needs to stop it having that ‘slightly too far from the centre of town’ feel is a train station. Okay so the station would only be 500 yards from the centre of Birmingham but imagine how convenient it would for the growing population of workers located at the Custard Factory and the many more who will follow once Devonshire works are complete as well as the new units on Fazeley street. 

The recent train crash (see report from Alex Hughes) showed us where the possible entrance might be:

(pic by H4NUM4N)

As well as linking our two creative quarters by rail the killer reason for a Custard Factory station is the fact that at some point all the talk about reopening the line from Moseley/Kings Heath into Moor Street is bound to happen. And where do all these creative types who work in the Custard Factory live? I rest my case.

Dave