Today: July 20, 2024

Birmingham Leonardo da Vinci

February 16, 2012 @ 2:58 pm
posted by skyline

Birmingham’s exhibition of Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci has been a huge success according to official figures from Birmingham City Council. Over 30,000 people have visited the exhibition held at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery since it opened on January 13th. They are the highest attendance figures since the Staffordshire hoard.

The exhibition features ten drawings that have been selected to show the extraordinary scope of Leonardo’s interests: painting, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics, anatomy and sculpture.

Amongst the works included in the exhibition is The head of Leda (c.1505-6).  The work, which is based on Greek mythology, is a preparatory drawing for the painting Leda and the Swan which was destroyed around 1700.

The drawing, which was  acquired for the Royal Collection by Charles II shows Leda with a modest downward glance which characterises most of the women in Leonardo’s paintings.  The artist has devoted minute attention to her complicated hairstyle of braided and interwoven plaits.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, said of the exhibition  “I am delighted by the huge public response to this magnificent show at Birmingham’s world class Museum and Art Gallery.

“This exhibition, which marks the start of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, is further evidence of the city’s reputation for attracting high profile exhibitions that will bring both local people and visitors to the city.”

The exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery runs until March 25th with free admission for all.


Christmas German Market 2011

November 22, 2011 @ 12:48 pm
posted by skyline

This years Christmas Frankfurt German Market aims to be bigger and better and it will run the full length of New Street and has over 180 stalls.  

Visitors can sample food and drink such as grilled sausages, vegetarian options, pretzels, German beers, and for those with a sweet tooth, gingerbread, crepes, German Chocalates and marzipan sweets.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market has now run for 10 years and is the biggest in the UK.

Location: Victoria Square – New Street
Date: Thursday 17 Nov– Friday 23 Dec 2011

Opening Times: 10am – 9pm



Fireworks Bonfire Night,Pype Hayes Park

November 4, 2011 @ 12:21 pm
posted by skyline

The skies will light up with a spectacular display of fireworks on Saturday 5 November 2011 at Pype Hayes Park, Erdington, organised by Birmingham City Council. 

The council is urging people to attend safe, organised displays, such as this Pype Hayes event.

When the gates open at 4pm, visitors will be able to experience the thrills and spills of the funfair, and warm up with some snacks.  The fireworks will start at 7.30pm.

As always, safety is highest on the agenda and visitors are asked to leave their pets and fireworks at home. Any alcohol or fireworks (including sparklers) brought on site by visitors will be confiscated and destroyed. No dogs, except guide dogs, are permitted.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said, “We all know the safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a professionally organised event and this fantastic free evening will once again be the most spectacular firework display in Birmingham.  The fireworks draw huge crowds every year and I’m sure this family event will be as popular as ever this year.”

Steve Vincent, Head of Community Safety for West Midlands Fire Service, added: “West Midlands Fire Service always recommends, where possible, that people visit organised firework displays as this reduces any potential risk of harm.”

Event sponsored by Bob Wilson Funfairs.  For further information, call 0121 303 3008 or visit



GCSE Success for Birmingham

August 26, 2011 @ 12:23 pm
posted by skyline

The proportion of pupils gaining five or more good GCSEs in Birmingham has more than doubled since the millennium, provisional figures show.

Early indications show that 84 per cent of pupils gained five or more A*-C grades, compared to 81.9 last year. In 2000 the figure was 41 per cent. Last year’s England average was 75.6 per cent.

Including English and maths, early figures show that 58 per cent of pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared to 54.9 per cent last year.

Last year Birmingham had six schools below the expected level of performance of 35 per cent achieving five or more A*-C including English and maths. In 2011 provisional results are showing only three schools remain below this threshold. In 2009 there were nine schools below the 30 per cent floor target.

Councillor Les Lawrence, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “It is great news that once again we appear to be on course for another record set of results. We have built a reputation for educational attainment in Birmingham and have consistently been the best performing large urban authority in the country.

“I would like to congratulate all the children, parents, teachers and other school staff who have worked so hard to make this happen.”

Notable achievements:

• Holy Trinity – one student with 15 A*-A grade GCSE and A* in media at A-level, plus 16 students passed A-level in media with grades A*-C
• Park View – one student with 17 A*-C grades of which 11 were A*-A
• Golden Hillock – two pupils achieved 7 A* and 1 other achieved 10 A*-A
• John Wilmott – one pupil with 9 A* and 1 A
• Cockshut Hill – five pupils with 10 or more A*-C
• Cardinal Wiseman – over a third of their pupils achieved 10+ A*-C
• KE Camp Hill Girls – one pupil taking GCSEs a year early achieved 12 A* and 2 A, plus 18 pupils achieved 11 or more A*-A
• Hodge Hill – 19 pupils with 14 or more A*-C, 111 with 10 or more A*-C

Great Birmingham Run

June 29, 2011 @ 2:39 pm
posted by skyline

Today was launch day for the new Bupa Great Birmingham run.  Organisers are hoping that the run can become one of the countries great running events to rival the “Great North Run” and the London Marathon.

Organised by nova and sponsored by Bupa the event replaces the Birmingham Half marathon and takes place on October 23rd 2011. The race will have 15,000 competitors and will be the first  half marathon in Birmingham to be televised.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council Member for Leisure said, “We are delighted that Nova are looking to take the event to the next level and we know that it will be become an event that the people of Birmingham will be very proud of. It provides a marvelous opportunity to celebrate all that is good about Britain’s second city”

Helen Clitheroe, European indoor 3000 meter champion and also the winner of the  Great Manchester Run last month said, “It’s too early for me to be certain about my autumn race schedule, but this event is certainly on my radar. The atmosphere at the Bupa Great Runs is phenomenal and I am still buzzing from winning in Manchester a few weeks ago.”

The course will be similar to previous years however the start and finish areas are being modified to improve the runner experience and extra on-course entertainment is also being provided around the 13 mile route.

Entries are open now at the following web site on a first come, first served basis.



Take That Travel Advice Villa Park

June 22, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
posted by skyline

Event Details

The’ Take That’ concert is being held at:
Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham, B6 6HE
The main doors will open at 5pm and will close at 10.45pm.
The entrances will be located at the Trinity, Holte and Doug Ellis stands.
Your ticket will indicate which stand and door you will require.
We recommend that you plan your journey to Villa Park to ensure that
your experience is as enjoyable as possible. Below we have provided
some travel information to help you organise your journey. Villa Park isonly a short 10 minute bus or train ride form Birmingham City Centre
which hosts a wealth of public transport options.
Signage will be provided at car parks and within the surrounding area to
direct you to your designated gate.
Please plan your journey using train services very carefully. If your return journey involves using a connecting train from Aston or Witton Station to Birmingham New Street, please check with your train operator that you will have time AFTER the concert to access your return service. There are two train stations within walking distance of Aston Villa Football club, Witton and Aston Station. Aston Station can be reached form Birmingham New Street and is on both the Birmingham New Street to Walsall and the Longbridge /Redditch to Lichfield Trent Valley lines. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes until 20:13 when a half hourly service runs until 23:26.

Witton Station can also be reached from Birmingham New Street station
and is located on the Birmingham New Street to Walsall Line (station after Aston). Trains run every half an hour until 19:57 and then hourly with the last train arriving at 23.28pm.
For further information please visit: or contact 0871 200 2233
There are two main bus services which service Villa Park, these are:
Number 7 from Birmingham City Centre on Colmore Row by
Birmingham Cathedral and travels through Witton to Perry Common
every 5-10 minutes until 8pm and then every half hour until the last bus at 00.15am. Numbers 11A and 11C (Birmingham Outer Circle) which runs from Acocks Green, through Erdington, Bearwood, Harborne, Kings Heath and completes its loop in Acocks Green. This runs every 5-10 minutes until 19.26pm and then runs every 20 minutes until the last bus at 23.06pm. The bus stop closest to Villa Park is located at Witton Square. For further information please visit: or call 0871 200 2233.



Aston Villa has 100 cycles spaces available located near the Trinity Stand.
By Road
If you choose to travel by car please plan your journey carefully to locate the most suitable car park. Satellite Navigation systems: Please do NOT use Villa Park’s address or postcode as your destination point. Plan your car journey to the nearest relevant car park as your starting point. The postcodes for each of the official car parks are provided to help with navigation.
Directions from the North West or South West
We recommend you exit junction 7 of the M6 and follow signs for
Birmingham A34 and follow the map to the nearest car park.
Directions from the North East or South East
We recommend you exit junction 6 of the M6 and follow signs for the
A38 (not the A38M) and follow the map to your nearest car park.
Motorway signage will be provided to these junctions.


People should be aware that there is NO parking available in side streets
near Villa Park. A strict residents parking scheme will be enforced within 2km of Villa Park. Dedicated parking facilities will be available which are shown in the car park map on the reverse of this leaflet.
For information and to book disabled parking, please call
0121 326 1518 or email
National Express will be providing dedicated coach services for the Take That concert from a variety of locations please see for further details.
If you are organising your own coach transport to the concert then please contact Lee Preece in advance of your travel arrangements -
Taxi and Pick up and Drop off points
There will be taxi and public drop off and pick up points near to Aston and Witton train stations. For more information please contact: Lee Preece.
Call 0121 327 2299 or email

Parking Details


Take That Villa Park Car Parking

June 21, 2011 @ 2:42 pm
posted by skyline

Villa Park have released parking details for the upcoming Take That concert on Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th of June 2011.  Take That fans attending are urged to arrive with plenty of time to spare. The main doors to the event open at 5pm and close at 10.15pm.

The address of the event is Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham, B6 6HE. Car drivers are advised to plan ahead rather than to turn up at the event in a car hoping to park.

Officials are predicting widespread disruption on the roads around villa park and the surrounding arterial routes in and out of the city.

All 48,000 tickets have been sold for each event and organisers are hoping to avoid congestion by giving out the advanced parking information prior to the event.

A map of the parking for the event can be found below.




Take That Villa Park Birmingham

June 20, 2011 @ 5:07 pm
posted by MBailey

Traffic Chaos has been predicted for brummies during the sell out Take That concert at Villa Park on Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th of June. 

Commuters and residents have been urged to avoid the area around Villa Park if possible and also major routes  such as the Aston Expressway.

48,000 tickets have been sold for each night of the concert and organizers are predicting major disruption to some of Birmingham’s main arterial routes in and out of the city.

A travel guide has been produced by Villa Park especially for the event. This can be downloaded here.

take that birmingham villa park travel guide


Business Leaders Back HS2

June 15, 2011 @ 12:40 pm
posted by MBailey

More than 400 business leaders have given overwhelming support in backing plans for the Birmingham to London HS2 High Speed rail line.  Opponents to HS2 could only muster a handful of business backers.

The glowing endorsement for High Speed rail leaves the no campaign in tatters and with the leaders of the campaign labelled as “nimbys”.

The proposed High Speed rail line will run into a new Curzon St Station in Birmingham and will be vital for attracting growth to the West Midlands. It will slash journey times to the London and its claimed will cement Birmingham as the UK’s second city.

The transport secretary, Philip Hammond described the petition backing the scheme as a “huge vote of confidence in our plans” as he launched a campaign in favor of the project on Tuesday at Nomura’s headquarters in the City of London.
Mr Hammond said the 400 signatures on the petition showed business believed that better transport links were “vital” to the country’s economic health.

“A new railway was always going to create opposition from the people who live closest to it, but this shows the level of national support . . . for more and quicker trains between our major cities,” he said.

“A vocal minority are determined to block our ambitious proposals to create a railway fit for the 21st century. It is important that all those who are in favor make themselves heard.”


International Food Fair

June 14, 2011 @ 4:19 pm
posted by skyline

Brummies can sample the delights of the International Food Fair that runs from the 3rd of June to the 19th of June.  The fair takes place in and around Victoria Square in the city center.  The food fair has doubled in size this due to the huge success of last years event.

The fair is open daily from 10am to 9pm. Over 120 stalls will showcase food and drink from all around the world. Seating is available in Victoria Square as are toilets and disabled facilities. A huge German themed beer tent has been erected should the weather take a turn for the worse.

Councillor Mike Whitby hopes the international food fair can develop into a regular event in the cities calendar in a similar way to the Christmas market.

“The International Food Fair was a big success last year as visitors enjoyed cuisine from around the world, including the best of British.

“The feedback was extremely positive for an event that perfectly showcased our multicultural city to visitors from across the globe, enhancing Birmingham’s reputation as a destination city.

“Last year’s visitor figures showed a definite appetite for a summer sister to our now world famous Frankfurt Christmas Market and that event has grown from 200,000 visitors in 2001 to a massive three million last year.

“So, building on a successful start, we promised to further develop the event and this year we’ve doubled the number of stalls. The plan is to continue growing the international food fair over a number of years.”