#11bus A celebration of Birmingham’s famous 11 bus

11112009142On November 11th every year, a group of people meet, and ride on the number 11 bus in Birmingham. It’s the circular route, and the man behind the project, Jon Bounds, claims its a great introduction to the “real city”.

Hashbrum reporter Caroline Beavon caught up with Jon at the start of today’s journey:

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Events, Feature Stories, Highlights

Help me develop my Birmingham Cyclist Map

Posted by Dan Davies On November – 9 – 2009

Since summer I’ve cycled as often as I can around Birmingham. I genuinely love it, but a few close scrapes have led me to looking into how safe Birmingham is for bicyclists.

I recently requested statistics for fatal road accidents involving bikes over the last three years in the West Midlands. It was returned but I’d like to go further than these statistics. I will send another FOI request to see if I can find out more details, but in the mean time, I’d like to push on with my investigation and find out where in the West Midlands these accidents occurred.

This is where you come in – I need you to find any newspapers online or access any record statistics you can find that correlate with those listed below. When you find an accident that tallies up, can you either post the link in the comments box below, or pinpoint the accident on the Birmingham Cyclist Map.

  1. Oct 2006 310 Cyclist entering Road from Pavement age 32
  2. Nov 2006 310 Cyclist entering Road from Pavement age 71
  3. Mar 2007 405 Driver/Rider failed to look properly age 59
  4. Apr 2007 302 Driver/Rider disobeyed give way or stop sign age 14
  5. Feb 2009 602 Driver/Rider careless or in a hurry age 81
  6. Apr 2009 309 Driver rider travelling along pavement age 42
  7. June 2009 310 Cyclist entering road from pavement age 13 (Found)
  8. Sept 2009 310 Cyclist entering road from pavement age 15 (Found)

£12m plan to redevelop Harborne pool

Posted by Andrew Brightwell On November – 5 – 2009

A brand new, £12.5m swimming pool is to replace Harborne’s ageing baths.

Birmingham City Council announced that a two-storey leisure centre would be built on the site of the old pool, which was opened in 1923.

The council says it will start building the new facility in February or March next year and aims to complete it by ‘late 2011′. It will include:

Harborne Pool, opened in 1923.

Harborne Pool, opened in 1923.

a 25m pool;

a learner pool;

an adult fitness suite;

a junior gym;

a dance aerobics studio.

The council believes Harborne’s 23m pool is ‘in danger of closure’ and there is a clear need for a new facility in the west of the city.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: “I recognise our swimming pool strategy is extremely ambitious and we don’t just want to talk about a strategy, we want to deliver for the people of this city. This is a significant stage in delivery of the strategy.”

Hashbrum reporter, Andrew Brightwell, has written a report on Harborne Pool.

This map shows all of the local authority swimming pools in Birmingham. While the pool is closed, residents in Harborne, or those living to the west of the city centre, will face long journeys for a swim.

View Swimming pools in Birmingham in a larger map

Do you have any memories of Harborne pool or opinions about the council’s plan? Please tell us what you think.

Endangered Moseley Road Baths ‘of international importance’

Posted by Andrew Brightwell On October – 31 – 2009

Historian Simon Inglis has told Birmingham City Council it must act to save the historic Moseley Road Baths or risk losing a landmark of international significance.

Speaking at the Memories and Memorabilia event, organised by the Friends of Moseley Road Baths, the author laid out the case for preserving the Edwardian building, which has fallen into disrepair and now has only one of its two pools in use.

At a talk at the Methodist Church opposite the baths, he said: “There are only six pre Second World War baths that are Grade II-star listed, and Moseley Road is the only one that is still in use. It is no exaggeration to say that the building over the road is of enormous importance internationally.”

He explained that, due to its intact fittings, splendid architecture and remarkably preserved pools, it served as a unique example of how public baths had transformed health and hygiene in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Since the UK had led the way in the development of modern swimming pools, Moseley Road was not just significant here, but in the rest of the world.

Designed by William Hale and opened in 1907, it has been the subject of huge debate since its main (Gala) pool was closed in 2003. While the Friends hope the Gala pool can be refurbished at a cost between £3million and £4million, Birmingham City Council is struggling with a funding black hole of £2.2billion and is yet to announce its plans for the baths.

The writer, born opposite Sparkhill pool, said it was time city planners took note of local feeling by doing everything they could to save the Moseley Road Baths and warned that handing it over to a not-for-profit trust – as the council is considering – might not be enough to save the facility. “It doesn’t free the local authority from bringing it up to scratch,” he said, adding that the full figure for its complete restoration could be in the region of £20million.

Pictures and video, including a tour of the baths and an interview with Simon Inglis, to follow shortly.