I love old buildings and the way in which they make me feel as if I am connecting with the past. And I am fascinated with why old buildings look like they do and the questions they pose. Why was one style chosen over another? And what do these choices tell us about the people who made them? These questions are triggered everyday as I walk through Birmingham City. Having grown up in the area, I took it all for granted but in recent years I have started to appreciate the richness of the Cityscape.
Every morning I leave New Street station via the Navigation Street exit and walk through the Arcade, emerging on New Street, almost opposite to Bennetts Hill. And every evening I make the return journey, often pausing to look in the windows of the shops that line the arcade. There was a time when I used to imagine how they might have looked a hundred years ago or more, but having gone, many years ago, on a guided walk around Birmingham, courtesy of Spice, I now know that until 1926 there weren’t any shops because the site was in fact home to a cinema which was built in 1910. This then explains the slope of the arcade which echoes the stepped seating plan. So now, as I make my daily pilgrimage to the office, I can imagine stars of the silver screen dancing before my eyes.