Lost Birmingham archive

88546368_picfive23There’s a nice piece in the BBC local news for the West Midlands this week: hundreds of photographs of Birmingham from the 1950s and 60s have been rediscovered.  The pictures were lurking in a cupboard at the University of Birmingham and were only found when staff started clearing out.

This is an intriguing period in Birmingham’s history, when post-war and modernist development was just starting to take hold in the city, and as far as I know it’s not one that’s particularly well documented in other sources.  The photos from the late 50s and early 60s look surprisingly quaint and ‘period’ now, and shots of the Rotunda and old Bull Ring being built must be just about priceless.

There’s a small selection of the photos on the BBC web page and more are apparently available at the city’s Reuben Colley gallery.  Must admit I’ve never heard of that, but will look it up and make a note to visit next time I’m in the area.  The last exhibition of photos I saw (of Birmingham’s hidden spaces, at the Curzon Street Station building) was absolutely fascinating and I’m sure this one will be the same.

The picture above, which I’ve nicked from the BBC website, is of Harborne High Street in 1960.  I wonder how much has changed?


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