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13th October 2014

Your favourite Stratford Road building – voting extended to Monday 27 October by popular demand!

A publication based on My Route will be produced next year and in order to help to bring the stories and landmarks to life, Sampad will be using ‘augmented reality’ technology to create digital 3D models of some of the iconic buildings found along Stratford Road, allowing people to explore the building’s architecture, history and character. The augmented versions of these buildings could be used as a historical record for buildings under threat or simply as a way of seeing how certain buildings have changed over time, which may be of particular interest to people who once lived near Stratford Road and have since moved away.

This is where we need your help!

We need to select three buildings to undergo this 3D process. Please note that they must be located on Stratford Road, and we must be able to get photos of the buildings from different angles. As several new buildings have been nominated, we have extended the deadline for voting until Monday 27 October. We’ve posted further details about the buildings that are in the running below which may help you to decide which buildings will win your vote! To vote please click here —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 Muath Trust/Bordesley Centre

This grade II listed building was designed by Martin & Chamberlain and opened in 1883 as King Edward VI Grammar School Camp Hill. The Camp Hill School offered places to both boys and girls, with the boys moving in when it opened and the girls following in 1893 once their separate building was completed. The boys moved to new premises at King’s Heath in 1956 and the girls’ school moved two years later. The Camp Hill site then became home to a teacher training college and to the City of Birmingham Polytechnic. It is now the Bordesley Centre, an educational, religious and advisory centre for Birmingham’s Yemeni community, run by the Muath Trust. Muath Bordesley   Image by Michael Westley 

Shakespeare Pub

This iconic pub at the start of the Stratford Road used to be one of many Irish pubs situated around Stratford Road. At present we don’t have much information about it (our volunteers are researching as we speak!), but many of the residents we spoke with have fond memories of it and suggested that it should be included on this shortlist as it is often considered as the ‘the gateway of the road’. The building no longer functions as a pub or a B&B and its future is currently uncertain. If you have any more information about it please let us know! Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

St Agatha’s Church

This grade 1 listed building was designed by W.H. Bidlake and built between 1899 and 1901 to replace the former Christ Church building in the city centre. It is an Anglo-Catholic Church which is designed in the later Gothic style, with its iconic tower standing about 120 feet high. For many is a key orientation landmark on the Stratford Road. You can find further information about the history of the church  here. St Agatha's from front

St John’s Church

This grade 2 listed building was built in 1888, making it one year older than Birmingham City Centre. In the 1860s when Sparkhill’s population rose dramatically due to the industrialisation of Birmingham, Mr Thomas Lloyd of The Grange provided a Day and Sunday School centre for local children, before a temporary iron church was built in 1878 to represent the Church of England in Sparkhill. The current building was designed by the well-known Birmingham architects Martin and Chamberlain, with its exterior architecture being a Victorian version of the early Early English Gothic style. However, due to 19th century engineering advances, it displays no similarities to the medieval style in its interior arrangement, making it unique in style. Small St John's

Hajee’s Spices/ The Antelope 

This popular public house was frequented by many who lived in the area from its opening in 1924 until its closure.  It was designed by Holland W. Hobbiss, with the iconic Antelope sign on its exterior sculpted by William Bloye, who also designed several other signs in the area such as the bear on The Bear Pub further south on Stratford Rd. The Antelope was considered as a flagship pub by owners Mitchells & Butlers, who ran many of the pubs in the Midlands. From around 2009 it was redeveloped into an Indian and Kashmiri restaurant, though many of the building’s original features have been maintained and kept. Antelope 2 800px150dpi

Sparkhill Library

Built between 1898 and 1902 and designed by Arthur Harrison, this building’s original function was as a council house for the former Yardley District Council, before the boundaries changed in 1911. It was then converted into Sparkhill Library on 19 January 1923 and is one of the earliest examples of a public building having double-glazed windows. Well-used by local residents since its opening, it still has many visitors, and along with the police station and Adult Learning Centre it forms another striking architectural feature of Stratford Road. 031

Sparkhill Swimming Baths

Sparkhill Swimming Baths was opened on 29 July 1931 and was regarded as being one of the finest public pools in Europe. Before it was built, councillors went as far as Germany to view examples of modern constructions of swimming baths that they could base it on, before deciding on a final design which was created by the architect Hurley Robinson. The pool was modernised after WW2 and was used by many of the local residents until its closure in 2009. It has been announced that a new swimming pool will be opened in 2015 to replace Sparkhill Baths. swimming baths Image taken by David Stowell


This grade 2 listed building was formerly the Sparkhill United Church which was built 1932-33 and  was designed by William Bidlake in a Romanesque style that was quite different to his other buildings. The building was the second home to the Sparkhill Congregational Church, who moved there when it opened to cater for the increasing attendance levels. In 2008, due to problems with this building, the Sparkhill United Church began to share the Hall Green Methodist Church in Hall Green, and in 2011, after an extensive refurbishment, the building opened as a Pakistani restaurant based on the Mughal style of cuisine. Mughal-e-azam

Hall Green Parade

Built in 1913 this parade was the main stretch of shops for Hall Green. Though the parade has not changed significantly, noticeable differences do exist between how it looks now and when it was originally built. One of the main changes is the loss of awnings that used to dress the shops, providing shelter and branding opportunities. However, the architecture is still very similar and is very typical of the time it was built. Hall Green Parade

Hall Green Library

This building which opened in 1962 is the the local library for Hall Green and is immensely popular with local residents, who helped to save it from major budget cuts and possible closure in January 2014. Its striking murals representing scenes from Lord of the Rings pay tribute to author J.R.R. Tolkein, who borrowed from his memories of living in Hall Green to influence certain landscapes in his books. Though some may say it is not the most architecturally stunning building in the area, for many it evokes memories and a social significance that make it a historical landmark in its own right. Hall Green Library

China Garden

This building was originally known as Rose Cottage and had front gardens that ran into what is now the Robin Hood Island. It subsequently became a police station and since it stopped functioning for this purpose in the 60s/70s, it has been taken over by several different owners, being used as an Italian and Indian restaurant and now a Chinese Restaurant. China Garden 2

021 Stratford Road for buildings vote


One Response to “Your favourite Stratford Road building – voting extended to Monday 27 October by popular demand!”

  1. Verity Montague-Smith

    From the age of three I attended Arnside House school which was only a short distance away from this building. At that time it was a police station and I quickly learned to collect my things together as we drove past it and to be ready to jump out of the car ( no seat belts in those days – 1939 -45) Later it became a restaurant called The Blue Lamp. I always thought that it was a funny squashed up building for which I had a great affection.


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