It’s amazing to discover how many people are passionate about their local history and built heritage. Why is it that some of us are so bothered about old buildings when others would say that they are just bricks and mortar? Is it because buildings link people to places and places give people a sense of identity?
Organisations like the Birmingham Conservation Trust can help conserve and restore some of these old buildings. However sometimes it can be local communities or just like minded groups of people who club together to fight for our ‘at risk’ architectural heritage.
I feel a top 5 coming on……………….
1) Island House – Part of the Birmingham East Side development plan (or is it?). Local people want to make sure it stays where its been for the last 100 years.
2) Northfield Manor – A bit further afield the former home of the Cadbury family (chocolates, yum, yum!!). A 1701 building encased in a much later house
3) Great Barr Hall – Lovely old hall now land locked in a housing estate. It had links with the Lunar Society.
4) Some good news – The Grand Hotel, Colmore Row. Beautiful and vast, it finally looks as though there may be a positive outcome after many years.
5) A personal one to end with. The Waterloo Hotel in Smethwick, where my Great Grandfather drank when he wasn’t washing windows. Grade II* listed and struggling to find a future use!