Walking the walk around Uncertain Eastside

The other Sunday I went for a walk around a part of the boundary of the Eastside regeneration area in Brum. No, really.

It was a part of Nikki Pugh‘s Uncertain Eastside project and turned out to be less of a “walk” and more of a “people clamber around a bit and take photos”. Only I don’t take photos. Sometimes I have pretensions and imagine that what I take qualify as snaps.

Anyway, ambling along Watery Lane we went by Birmingham City Mission. Here’s the view coming up to it.

Birmingham City Mission

Birmingham City Mission

You can see in the photo that there is also a sign for the Archway Academy, which you can get to through the gates on the left.? Archway is an independent school which specialises in

re-engaging troubled students in learning through well planned, individualised learning programmes and through high levels of adult support.

A bit further along I took this photo here

Birmingham City Mission - Front Door

Birmingham City Mission - Front Door

And yes, I know it isn’t straight, I was standing in the middle of the road, and even though it was a Sunday I was still dicing with death. And as I said, I’m not a very good photographer.

Anyway, City Mission have been in Birmingham for 40 odd years and are a Christian group who originally handed out food to the poor and now run a number of shelters for the homeless. This isn’t one of them though, it’s their offices.? The shelters look a bit nicer than this.? I think it’s pretty safe to say that Birmingham City Mission make sure a high percentage of donations go to the people they are trying to help rather than spend them on fripperies.

Now, there’s a whole load of twaddle that I could write here about the edge of a regeneration area housing two organisations that try and rehabilitate (regenerate) people either in danger of being excluded from society or there already.? I’m not going to do that.

Instead, here’s a bit of information that I found out from Alan Cutler, who works for City Mission; he’s a lay preacher and the father of my pal, Ben, which is how I found out this :-

We (BCM) are still there in Watery Lane. We have been there for 15 years or so, I would guess, and originally occupied the whole complex – i.e. both sides of the gateway and courtyard (the Archway Academy you mention kind-of sub-let their half from us.

The property was empy for about two years before we took it on. I think it was used by a local government department before that? I seem to remember talk for 2 or 3 tenants before that. Originally it was the headquarters of Piper Construction, who still own the building. They also own, I understand a number of properties at the back of ours – I think that is Glover Street. Piper were based in Widney Lane, Solihull. It could be under the name D.W.Parkin Ltd.

So there you go.


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