Thursday 13 January 2011

Birmingham 1968

We're staying in the Midlands for the second part of our trip back to 1968, this time going to Birmingham. Or rather, a particular part of Birmingham city centre.

C.E. Fudge found this part of town to be 'cluttered', which is something of an understatement. The air seems to hang heavy as the pensioners trek up and down the concrete stairs. I like the rococo roundabout in the background though.

It had to be here, really.

The jogged, blurry style is great on the escalator here. Check out how little Mothercare have changed their branding since 1968, although the ceiling is a little too 'Summerland leisure resort fire' for my liking. This picture actually puts me in mind of the start of 'Scanners', if it had been filmed by Michael Reeves in 1968.

Taken on the hoof in the middle of the thoroughfare, this picture gives us a type of fast food outlet that has now died out. Again slightly Michael Reeves-y, only this time it could be a still from that one where Boris Karloff and his wife take over Ian Ogilvie's mind.

Everyone on the go here except for the gentleman in the brown suit on the left, an oasis of calm in a bustling neon arcade. C.E. Fudge doesn't like the Bull Ring all that much and you can tell by his / her photos - taken quickly with little care for composition or detail. We're going down south next time. See you there!


  1. How that bit of Brum has changed (not necessarily an improvement). I think The Rotunda is now a block of flats. Thanks for coming over to my blog and 'following'. Cheers.

  2. The Bullring shopping centre has since been rebuilt as this weird space insect thing.

  3. lord cornelius plum14 January 2011 at 05:04

    Yeah, all of this has gone i recall seeing all the members of Napalm Death circa 1988 walking up those stairs in the first picture....samosas from a small cafe at the end of the walkway next to a sex shop ,buying Spacemen 3 albums from " Franks Wild Records", the sheer stench of the place (rotting fruit mixed with exhaust fumes).Such bucolic memories of Olde England......

  4. I'll bet there's nowhere to buy a Spacemen 3 record in the new Bullring. And the Samosas will be from Selfridges or something.

  5. Used to work in 'Franks' till it shut in the tough times of 91'. Sadly it was never the best situated record store in Brum, if you knew you knew, otherwise, not much in the way of passing trade. Still, enjoyed it while it lasted.
    Yeah, that cafe did the best samosas' in Brum, fresh fried while you waited.
    Tim Felton from Broadcast used to hang around 'Franks' and occasionally make the tea along with Mike from Bentley Rhythm Ace. Had some good nights out with them all after closing time.
    The weird building on stilts to the above right of the market place photo was a pub called 'The Ship Ashore' was a bit of a stronghold for mods and scooter boys right up until it closed (think it was a fire?) along with a pub not to distant called 'The Royal George'.
    In the photos' you can't really make out the 'concrete collar', the ring road, which encircled the whole city center till it's redevelopment. It wasn't a very pedestrian friendly town that's for sure. Piss smelling underpasses seemed to link everything together.

  6. Thanks David - I only know the place from photos taken in 1968! It's good to hear about more recent times.