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Creatives We Are is community of passion that recognises that creativity is in all us. Here we provide a space where people can share their passion, showcase their creativity and inspire others to explore their creative self.

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Travel & tourism
12 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Enterprise bridges at Destination Star Trek at The NEC in 2016 and 2018

I went to Destination Star Trek Europe at The NEC in October 2016, and two years later as Destination Star Trek Birmingham in October 2018. Both times they had the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 and NCC 1701-D. I didn't go in 2019. Star Trek turned 50 back in 2016.

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Enterprise bridges at Destination Star Trek at The NEC in 2016 and 2018





I went to Destination Star Trek Europe at The NEC in October 2016, and two years later as Destination Star Trek Birmingham in October 2018. Both times they had the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 and NCC 1701-D. I didn't go in 2019. Star Trek turned 50 back in 2016.


Destination Star Trek Europe was held during the weekend of the 7th to 9th October 2016. I went on the Sunday, the ticket cost about £30 online. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek which started on NBC in the USA on the 8th September 1966. This was the first time an official Star Trek convention was held in Birmingham (technically within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull).

Fans could get their photos take on the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 from Star Trek: The Orignal Series (1966-69) or the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94). They could also be in shot with some of the stars (for a price). I of course wasn't going to pay for that.

 

Captain's Log Stardate 77854.6. We have arrived in the City of Birmingham, but it seems like we are in a Borough called Solihull. Never the less, The Birmingham NEC is located here. Plenty of fans in cosplay, plus recreations of the bridge and other sets. I speculate that these halls are large enough to film episodes of Star Trek, if CBS Paramount wish to film the shows over here.

 

TOS BRIDGE

TNG BRIDGE

Marina Sirtis played Counselor Deanna Troi.

 

Destination Star Trek Birmingham was held at The NEC during the weekend of the 19th to 21st October 2018. The second time in Birmingham. It would return once again a year later in 2019, but I didn't see the point of paying another £30 for a third time, and didn't find the second visit as good as the first.

TOS Bridge with Tribbles

TNG Bridge returns

I've got plenty more photos from both events for future possible posts. I couldn't take the classic props at the 2018 convention as photography was not allowed for that (private collection). But was able to get the costumes / props in 2016.

Plus I once went to MCM Birmingham Comic Con back in November 2016 (didn't go back to it in the years since).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
08 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Bill & Ted Face the Music at Cineworld

I've seen Bill & Ted Face the Music twice. First time at Cineworld Broad Street Birmingham on 16/09/2020. Second time at Cineworld Solihull (Touchwood) on 02/10/2020. As it was £4. At the time didn't know that Cineworld was closing down again. The movie is amazing. Even got the book on the Trilogy and the soundtrack! Excellent!

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Bill & Ted Face the Music at Cineworld





I've seen Bill & Ted Face the Music twice. First time at Cineworld Broad Street Birmingham on 16/09/2020. Second time at Cineworld Solihull (Touchwood) on 02/10/2020. As it was £4. At the time didn't know that Cineworld was closing down again. The movie is amazing. Even got the book on the Trilogy and the soundtrack! Excellent!


I'm back, kind of. Been having a minor rest from this site for a bit. The break may continue. Until then all I've been thinking of is Bill & Ted, as Bill & Ted 3 just came out in cinemas (that are open). I have ran out of ideas for Birmingham related posts, and wont be doing those architecture ones.

 

Going to the cinema now is so different under pandemic conditions. As usual with Cineworld I book my ticket online or on the app. And use the e-Ticket that gets scanned at the cinema. You have to wear a face mask in the foyer and in the screen. Go to the numbered seat you chose online. The screens I've been in have been almost empty. First time wasn't too bad. Second time in Solihull was hardly anyone there. No wonder cinemas are struggling right now.

 

The doors at Cineworld Broad Street in July 2020. The cinema reopened at the end of July.

The view in August 2020 of Cineworld with the Westside Metro extension to Hagley Road.

A few weeks later I went back to the cinema to see The New Mutants. Bill & Ted Face the Music wouldn't open until the middle of September 2020.

 

Spoilers below if you haven't seen the movie.

The movie is 90 minutes long plus the adverts and trailers. There is a new CGI Creature Discomforts advert from Aardman Animations. Was a trailer for James Bong 25: No Time to Die (sadly postponed again until April 2021).

Bill & Ted Face the Music is well worth seeing if you are a Bill & Ted fan. I've been waiting the best part of the last decade for it. Bill & Ted are now in their 50s with families but haven't written the song that will save reality and time as we know it. They now have daughters in their 20s called Billie & Thea.

I missed Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) in the cinema. I think I first saw them on VHS rental, probably in 1992. Loved them straight away.

The excellent duo decide to travel into their future to steal the song from themselves. But it gets worse further into the future they go. Including Prison Bill & Ted.

At the same time Billie & Thea use Kelly's time pod to get historical musicians to form a band.

There is also a robot called Dennis Caleb McCoy. He later zaps everyone and sends them to hell.

The group later finds Death (the Grim Reaper) and convince him to take them back to the real world.

They arrive at MP46 to perform the song at 7:17pm in San Dimas, California. They realise that Preston / Logan is their daughters, who DJ the band to play instruments, while Bill & Ted time travel across realities to get everyone to play an instrument.

There is a funny post credits scene at the end.

 

Cineworld is closing again due to a lack of blockbusters coming out due to the pandemic. Many movies have been pushed to 2021 or 2022. So is nothing much else coming out in the next few months.

 

I've not been back to Odeon since the lockdown began. Sounds like Odeon is going to a weekend only model.

 

Follow Bill & Ted 3 on Twitter. Follow Bill & Ted Face the Music UK on Twitter.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

AND ...

PARTY ON DUDES!

 

RIP to Eddie Van Halen. There is a memorable scene in the first Bill & Ted movie where the excellent duo discuss making a music video and wanting Eddie Van Halen on guitar. Watch it here on YouTube Bill & Ted Wyld Stallyns. EXCELLENT!!!!!!

 

Bill & Ted Face the Music is © Orion Pictures 2020. Distributed in the UK by Warner Brothers Pictures. The franchise is now owned by MGM under their Orion Pictures label.

 

Photos of Cineworld Broad Street taken by Elliott Brown.

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30 passion points
People & community
15 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges

It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!

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Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges





It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!


In 20th place ....

Photographer: Daniel Tonks

In 19th place ....

Photographer: Maria Reaney

In 18th place ....

Photographer: Fiona Probert

In 17th place ....

Photographer: Joy Batchelor

In 16th place ....

Photographer: Karen Elizabeth Bucknall

In 15th place ....

Photographer:  Jay Mason Burns

In 14th place ....

Photographer:  Damien Walmsley

In 13th place....

Photographer: Liam Nicholls

In 12th place....

Photographer:  Mac McCreery

In 11th place....

Photographer: Rachel Dean

In 10th place....

Photographer: Stephanie Jackson

In 9th place....

Photographer: Julia Moyse

In 8th place....

Photographer: Sylwia Ciszewska Peciak

In 7th place....

Photographer: Goodfella

In 6th place....

Photographer: TellyVision

In 5th place....

Photographer: Phil Hook

In 4th place....

Photographer: Tony Mayo

In 3rd place....

Photographer: Kevin Maslin

In 2nd place....

Photographer: Charlie Tomlinson

And the winner is:

Photographer: Jack Crook

Our Judges

Many thanks to our judges who helped with the extremely difficult task of selecting our top 20 photographs.

  • Nicola Beckford, Presenter/Journalist, BBC News
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Limited
  • Councillor Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Rebecca Woods, BBC Online
  • Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Earl Falconer, musician, UB40
  • Robin Campbell, musician, UB40
  • David Furmage, Creative & Cultural Lead, GBSLEP
  • Ruth Millington, art historian, critic & blogger
  • Albert Wallace, owner, the bmag

Exhibition and video of photography

When restrictions ease we hope to run an exhibition of the photography.  With the wonderful UB40 providing the backing music, we will also be pulling the brilliant images together in a video and memory of times during Lockdown. 

Competitions, programmes and initiatives and celebrations of Creativity, Culture and Community

To find out more about our ongoing initiatives and our forthcoming events and festivals, please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07432 637322 or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com 

 

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
02 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside

The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.

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Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside





The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.


The Southside BID was able to get Birmingham City Council to agree to road closures over the last couple of weekends of August 2020. So Hurst Street, Bromsgrove Street and Kent Street were closed (no cars allowed). Tables and chairs were set up, and barriers placed at both ends. You will also find recent installations of rainbow stripes. First was on Hurst Walk at The Arcadian (above the second rainbow crossing) and more recently above Kent Street.

Hippodrome Square

Thursday 20th August 2020 (not at the weekend). A few more views of the Cross with Pride rainbow crossing, and people sitting on the picnic benches on Ladywell Walk. Between the Mapstone Building and The Arcadian.

Hurst Walk, The Arcadian

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, in The Arcadian. There is now rainbow multicoloured stripes above Hurst Walk. Between Las Iguanas and The Dragon Inn. It was raining that day.

Bromsgrove Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Heading up Bromsgrove Street from Pershore Street. Then onto Hurst Street near the Missing Bar.

I later got these views of Bromsgrove Street, while crossing from Essex Street to Lower Essex Street to get to Kent Street. Road closed, drivers had to find an alternative route.

Safety barriers for pedestrians on Bromsgrove Street, and in the car park on the right.

Hurst Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. The Missing Bar on Hurst Street.

Looking towards the (closed) Hippodrome past The Arcadian. Tables and chairs outside.

Later after checking out Kent Street, got this view towards Tesco Express and the Missing Bar.

Then down towards the Village Inn. With these security barriers.

Saw some new rainbow banners at The Village Inn near Skinner Lane.

Kent Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Kent Street was closed between Lower Essex Street and Hurst Street. Seen near the Nightingale Club.

Rainbow ribbons / stripes had been installed over the last week, just in time for the Bank Holiday Weekend. Looks nice.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
27 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter

One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.

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The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter





One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.


THE GOLDEN SQUARE

In Birmingham's World Famous Jewellery Quarter is now The Golden Square. It is located between Vyse Street and along Warstone Lane in front of The Big Peg. Originally the space was parking for the office tenants, it was developed into a public square during 2014. At one corner is The Rose Villa Tavern, and until August 2020, the Chamberlain Clock stood at the roundabout near Frederick Street (it's been removed to be fully restored off site at Smith of Derby). See this post here. The square was one component of Birmingham's Big City Plan.

The square combines three spaces: the Orchard, the Promenade and the Plaza.

 

Jewellery Quarter Festival, July 2015

My first time visiting the Golden Square since it was completed was on Saturday 18th July 2015, while the Jewellery Quarter Festival was on.

There was this Lighthouse Helter-Skelter that kids could slide down.

Some excited kids probably climbed up it multiple times to ride it again and again!

New building on Warstone Lane. Part of the Diamond Quarter.

The Stage Bus, providing musical entertainment for the day. For more info about them, go to www.thestagebus.com

The bus had the licence plate no of D920 NDA. Was a former Metrobus last used by Travel West Midlands in 2004. It had previously been a West Midlands Travel Timesaver bus.

I mainly popped to the Golden Square to see The Big Hoot owl. Jewellery Owl, by the artist Sue Guthrie. Sponsor was Birmingham City University.

The Jewellery Owl was quite close to the railings up the steps.

There was also a Dalek from Doctor Who wondering about! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Kids and parents alike followed the Dalek around.

On the green was Circus Mash. With a juggler.

The square was full of people enjoying themselves at the time.

July 2017

Two years later, I was back in The Golden Square to find The Big Sleuth bear there. A look at the refurbished entrance to The Big Peg.

A Ballerina from Cofton Nursery. There used to be an annual Floral Trail around the City Centre, but once The Big Hoot and Sleuth were on, didn't feel like they had a trail any more. Non the less, they still put pieces out in the summer.

The reason for my visit. The Big Sleuth bear known as Gummy Bear, by the artist Deven Bhurke. Sponsor was Jewellery Quarter BID.

Gummy Bear was much further back and close to an ice cream shop called Scoop.

Davenports was going to open where Jewellery Quarter Police Station used to be, but don't think it ever happened. Instead the proposed Davenports space became the Diamond Factory in 2019.

A view towards The Big Peg from the path in the Golden Square to Warstone Lane.

2019

In January 2019, the side of the Rose Villa Tavern was painted with a You Are Birmingham advert from HSBC UK, who had recently opened their regional HQ over at 1 Centenary Square. This wall painting has since been removed / painted over.

Later that year in July 2019, the Ballerina Floral Trail feature had returned to The Golden Square.

As you can see below, the Diamond Factory was where Davenports would have been.

The view over to Lunchi and Urban Coffee.

August 2020

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, while I was in the Jewellery Quarter to see the Chamberlain Clock come down, took advantage to get some new photos of the Golden Square.

This view of the Rose Villa Tavern and The Big Peg from Warstone Lane. The Diamond Quarter is on the right.

The square was empty and a bit wet. Evidence of the earlier rain.

The Diamond Quarter from the other side.

The view back towards Vyse Street with the Rose Villa Tavern on the left and The Big Peg to the right.

Some of the The Big Peg was under scaffolding. Also appears that they had installed new wooden cladding in parts.

Further back, a view of The Golden Square from Warstone Lane. Most people were watching the Chamberlain Clock come down near the Rose Villa Tavern (to the left).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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