Photo By D J Norton

The New Birmingham c. 1964

Project 5

Smallbrook Ringway/Queensway
1964 Status
2014 Status
Ringway Centre/SBQ1-4

I think the Ringway Centre sums up what might have been for the Inner Ring Road more than any building in the city.  Its 750ft sweeping frontage along Smallbrook Queensway was one of the longest shopping frontages in the country when constructed.  A change of council policy, however, meant later sections of the Inner Ring Road were designed with the seperation of cars and people in mind.

Another James A. Roberts building, it was completed in 1961 and contained a ballroom with one of the largest floors in the Midlands.  While I am not great fan of 1960's concrete buildings, I have a fondness for this one that I can't explain but, perhaps, is partly justified by this photo I took one sunny June day back in 2010...

Close up of SBQ features

In 2014, the offices, shops and restaurants continued to be used as designed, despite fierce competition from elsewhere in the city.

Ringway Centre construction, Jan 1959

Ringway Centre, Jan 1959.  Photo by D. J. Norton.

Ringway Centre, Nov 1960

Ringway Centre by night, November 1960.  Photo by D. J. Norton.

SBQ, September 2005

Ringway Centre, now SBQ, September 2005.