Tag Archives: centenary square

The Bull in the Car Park, Ladywood, Birmingham, October 2022

The Bull enjoyed an intense period of adulation during the Commonwealth Games as the Birmingham Public took the Bull to their hearts.  Standing tall next to the Central Library, the Bull became the main attraction in Centenary Square.  I visited the square several times with the family.  Whether you were young or old everyone loved the Bull.  However, rumblings about its future began to surface as we learnt that it was not going to be a permanent fixture.  There was an open debate what would happen after the Commonwealth Games were over.  My blog account of that first day when the bull was moved to Centenary Square after that amazing opening ceremony, shows how much it was loved.  There was much discussion about the future and the decision was to keep the Bull on show till the end of September.  

The Bull at the peak of its powers during the Commonwealth Games

On the hour during the games, there was an amazing display from the Bull. The animatronics included leg movement, shaking of the head and smoke coming out of the nostrils.  All this ceased as the team who operated the internal levers and controls moved onto other contract work in the UK.  The Bull remained standing proud and was admired by the many visitors who came to Birmingham.  Then not quite at the end of September, the Bull was moved from the square.  It quickly transpired that its new home was a piece of waste ground in Ladywood near to the Birmingham canal navigations.  There were coverings over the structure to protect it from the elements.  Protection is needed as the Bull is of mixed construction with a metal outer skin, but internal organs made of foam and electronics.  Within its centre was a telehandler, a type of tractor that enabled the bull to be moved around.

The Bull in the Car Park, Ladywood, Birmingham, October 2022
The Bull behind barbed wire

So how is the Bull these days?  My pictures reveal life as a Bull in Birmingham after the Commonwealth games.  The Bull stands alone by the canal behind barbed wire, covered with a tarpaulin. There is a single security guard on duty.  My pictures show it is lonely and that people do not know it is around.  My picture of the lonely bull with the couple passing by captured the imagination of Instagram and it was featured by BirminghamLive bringing its plight to the attention of the whole of Birmingham.

The Bull in the Car Park, Ladywood, Birmingham, October 2022
Behind bars and do not touch.
The Bull in the Car Park, Ladywood, Birmingham, October 2022
The lonely Bull in the Car Park

The Birmingham Bull. Centenary Square, Commonwealth Games 2022

The star of the commonwealth games is the mechanical bull that was revealed at the opening ceremony. It stands 10 metres tall and sits atop a motorised vehicle that allows it to be manoeuvred. Both the head and the legs move and there are numerous working clogs and gears. When viewed close up, the details are astounding.

The Birmingham Bull. Centenary Square, Commonwealth Games 2022
The Bull fenced in with emblems of the Commonwealth countries.

The Bull wowed the world at the opening ceremony and then immediately afterwards was escorted to centenary square in the City Centre. The public response has been amazing and as soon as news leaked out that it would be dismantled after the games, there have been a multitude of calls for it to stay. A petition has been set up and Birmingham City Council is being lobbied to keep the bull. The difficulty is that it is not easy to find a place to display a 10 metre high mechanical bull but a lot of thought is being given on how to achieve this. Meanwhile the Bull is attracting large crowds and everyone wants to have a selfie taking in the backdrop of Birmingham. Here are some pictures including intricate details of the bull for you to enjoy.

The Birmingham Bull. Centenary Square, Commonwealth Games 2022
A man in the bull
The Birmingham Bull. Centenary Square, Commonwealth Games 2022
The bull casts a majestic pose

At the start of the week, the plan was to dismantle the bull at the end of the games. Now the City Council are planning to keep it due to the popularity of the structure. Fingers crossed people far and wide will be able to enjoy seeing this remarkable metallic puppet for many years to come.

Read these articles from the BBC to find out more.
Commonwealth Bull” A tourist attraction
Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Council considers keeping bull in the city

The Birmingham Bull. Centenary Square, Commonwealth Games 2022
The Bull has become a tourist attraction and a sensational one as well.

Having done Digbeth, I felt brave enough to go into Birmingham again and look around both Gas Street Basin and Centenary Square.  My first difficulty was parking as car parks and on street spaces were either shut or there were traffic cones preventing you from parking.  I found a place and wandered down into gas street.  What I noticed was how many runners there were out and about plus cyclists using the tow path.  It is wide enough to do social distancing and it was being patrolled by two police officers as well.  

Some parts are locked up
The basin is still colourful
Many runners around

After Gas Street I went to Centenary Square and I had brought along my lensball as I thought it might give me some different and creative photography.  Sometimes the lensball is frustrating as it just does not add anything more to the picture.  In this situation, the shallow pool of water allowed you to place the crystal at the water’s edge and then lie low to line up a picture.  I was pleased with the result and it was well received on the social media.  I also noticed that whilst Broad Street is undergoing changes for the metro tram, there are social distancing notices all over the pavement.  The virus is still around and although walking around the streets of Birmingham has a normality about it, you do realise that we are sill in a state of crisis.

Work on the tram makes for lockdown pictures of the Library
The lensball likes being reflected
When will the Rep open for performances?
Centenary Square is quiet
Evidence of neglect on Broad Street
Changes and more Changes on Broad Street
It is a difference world
Social distancing on Broad Street

Centenary square has a new water feature and it is a very large reflecting pool. It offers photographers the chance to take some beautiful pictures. Whilst it has been opened there is still work taking place on the square and it will be even more spectacular when it is completed. If you search Instagram there have been many pictures already taken with children splashing in the fountains or late night shots with sparkling lights. I am sure that I will return with even more pictures over the year to come. When I posted my pictures on Twitter, some one suggested that it could be a ready made advert for Birmingham in a similar mode to the Thames TV iconic reflected picture. I rose to the challenge and made one with Birmingham on the picture. If you are reading this then you must visit Birmingham!!

The library
Reflections to the cube
The ICC and the Rep
A lovely looking reflection
The Rep theatre
Doing the walk with your reflection