As I’ve grown up and matured over the years I’ve watched a city transform, regenerate and modernise. The changing face of Birmingham is something to admire. I would have visited Birmingham for the first time in the early ’80’s with my mum on shopping trips to the Bullring.
Birmingham was the home of my favourite band, Duran Duran, so I’d go on a pilgrimage to find the Rum Runner nightclub and walk in the steps of my heroes. the city was home to my first concert experience, Villa Park in 1983, again to see Duran Duran and Robert Palmer. I’d have been donning my trilby hat and thinking I was the bees knees. Clearly I was deluded and thankfully there are no digital images available.
But I really fell in love with the metropolis in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s when I discovered the clubs with my ex. He knew the city centre well and we’d catch the train to New Street on a Saturday morning, tour the shops looking for a new outfit, get changed at our hotel and head out for a night of drinking and dancing. We lived in a sleepy market town, no one really dressed up to go out, and the highlight of the weekend would be a disco in the back bar of a pub. Birmingham was a different world. Everyone got dressed up, people chatted and it was all about the music. We loved dancing and we’d found a home from home.
Roll on to 1994 and I had my hen do in the heart of John Bright Street. Our wedding rings came from the Jewellery Quarter, a part of the city would always be with us.
As my life changed I left Birmingham behind, too many memories to face. But over the years we both went through changes, adapted to a new world and moved forward. It was time to revisit my old friend, to see the changes to the city centre.
Selfridges, Gas Street, Brindley Place. So much had changed. Another wedding, but this time a trip to the city for fabric for a wedding dress, lunch and shopping. Then before long it was time to show my son the sights of the city. A new generation and new experiences to share. A first of many trips to the Sealife Centre, to the theatre and walks along the rejuvenated canal area of Brindley Place. I was amazed at the difference. What was once a run down and neglected part of the city centre was and is now, a vibrant, thriving area. The life has been brought back to the canal, and it’s very family friendly.
We have friends in Birmingham now, so get to see more of this city, I attend blogging conferences here and one of my nieces attends the University. So we both may be a little older these days, but our relationship is still growing, changing, adapting and the bond is still there.
I love the changing face of Birmingham, it’s wonderful to see the regeneration and I look forward to seeing it evolve as my son grows up. Travelodge have created a great interactive map showing how different areas of the city have changed over the years, some of the areas I’ve mentioned are featured, it’s definitely worth a look. Of course,at Christmas time the city transforms yet again.
Has the town or city where you live changed much in your lifetime?
disclaimer: we are being compensated for this post, but the views and opinions expressed are still very much my own.