Then and Now – Birmingham

This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart.

I quite like those Then and Now comparison photographs that you see in books or on the Twitter or Facebook.

I always think I should give them a go. However what I have started to notice is that I have been doing Then and Now photographs unintentionally over the years and have been taking photographs of the same thing or place from the same view or perspective years apart.  The first instance of this that came to my attention was last year in May when I went to Manchester.

It only really came to my attention that I was doing this a lot, when checking the Places function on the Apple Photos Mac App that I could see I had taken the same photograph of the same thing just years apart!

Next door to the ICC in Birmingham is a canal and there is a bridge across there from Brindley Place, and it would appear quite often when crossing the bridge I would take a photograph down the canal looking towards the what was the NIA (National Indoor Arena) and is now known as the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

This was the view in May 2011 in the early evening.

In the preceding years the NIA had undergone refurbishment and renovation and had had a glass facade added. It was renamed the “Barclaycard Arena” in November 2014 after Barclaycard won the naming rights. This was the view in March 2015 over lunchtime.

Here we are four years later in October 2019 in the morning.

Finally on my most recent visit to Birmingham in March 2020, also in the morning.

It’s quite surprising how little has changed over the nine years between the photographs.

It would also not surprise you that I have a similar set of photographs looking the other way…

No Christmas markets this year!

That’s not surprising and probably a good thing too. What with Covid-19 most if not all Christmas markets that I have visited in the past years have been cancelled for 2020. 

On this day ten years ago I was in central Birmingham for a meeting. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a Christmas Market, it looked so much nicer than anything I had seen before.

After my meeting and before I headed home on the train I had a good look round. They had a wonderful range of stalls selling toys, Christmas ornaments and a range of delicious looking food.

If I recall I didn’t actually buy anything, but had been sorely tempted.