This venue like all the others was unique and the #keytothecitybrum takes you to places that you would never normally visit. Green Lane Mosque is in Small Health Birmingham not far from the Birmingham City Football ground. It is an easy venue to find and parking in the supermarket car park, I made my way over to the Mosque. It once was a swimming pool and the red brick architecture stands out against the modern supermarket buildings.
This is Anna who is a Key to the City participant, and I met her whilst I was waiting to enter Green Lane Mosque in Small Heath Birmingham. She was with her friend Myrtle who I met previously when I went to pick up my Key at New Street station. Anna picked up my Manchester accent. These days I forget about my life in Bolton and Manchester and even though I have lived in Birmingham since 1985, my original accent still comes through. Anna is from Birmingham but left during her teenage years and then returned. She is dressed up modestly with long hem and scarf for her visit to the mosque. We are by door G for key holders. We found that the electronic key did not work, and we chatted as we went around to the main office. I also learnt that Anna had lived in North Wales as well.
Salim, the centre manager for Green Lane Mosque, met us and introduced himself. He explained that the full name is Green Lane Masjid and community. As a Key to the City holder, we are invited to observe the Dhuhr (noon) prayer. The exact time of prayer changes each day, so I checked the time on the website and found it was 1.30pm. I arrived 15 minutes before prayer time and Salim greeted myself and the other Keyholders. He was very patient with us and explained what would be happening at prayer time and then showed us to our viewing area. Once prayers had finished, he gave us a tour of the mosque.
The history of the building was fascinating as it was once a public swimming bath. I put some pictures of my visit up on Facebook and one of my friends came back saying she remembered her swimming lessons at Green Lane. We were shown different parts of the mosque including the library, the activity area and the area leading to the tower. At the end of the visit, we were given a bag with a copy of the Koran in English, a keyring, and some chocolates. Overall Salim and the community extended wonderful hospitality to us and I left with some wonderful memories.
My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.
- Three keys in Birmingham
- Key to the trains and the football
- My key opens another three locks
- Keys to the Blyden’s Garden and the Legacy centre
- Time to reflect with my key
- Key to Green Lane Mosque
- Route 61 and two more keys
- The popular key – 103 Colmore Row
- Open all hours with my key
- More to follow!