Old Brum Burns
In the three month period from November 2006 to January 2007,
three of Birmingham's listed buildings were ravaged by fire.
Having seen the destruction inflicted on the city by the introduction
of the Inner Ring Road, the further loss of any of the city's old
buildings is a cause of great sadness.
In early November 2006, the first of the fires took hold. While
taking pictures for my Inner Ring
Road East page
I had found and photographed the splendid factory
building on Belmont Row. This was what it looked like in December
The fire destroyed the right hand side of the building. This
shows the extent of the damage. The building was
Locally Listed Grade A. Local listing provides no real protection
other than to ensure that Statutory Lisiting is applied for as soon as
a building is threatened. In this case the old factory was
threatened by the Ventureast development, part of the Eastside
regeneration scheme. I'm not suggesting that the fire in this
building, a building that had stood unused for many years, had anything
to do with overcoming objections about its destruction, I'm just
pointing out what an amazing coincidence it is...
Just a few days later in the early hours of November 12 2006, a second,
historic building was gutted as this
story tells. Edwards No.8 club was housed in a Grade
II listed building on John Bright Street. This was the scene
several days after the fire:-
Now Edwards No.8 was a rock nightclub opposite the site of a huge
development of expensive apartments. I'm not suggesting that the
fire in this building had anything to do with this development, I'm
just pointing out what an amazing
coincidence it is that this potentially noisy neighbour is noisy no
I was very concerned about the future for 81-91 John Bright Street when
Coleman & Company, a demolition business, surrounded the site with
hoardings. I was delighted to see metal support structures
applied to the facade in April 2007 - the future now looks more
promising! Unless you are a rock fan, of course.
The third, and I hope final, fire occured on January 23 2007.
Part of the HB Sale die-sinking company in Summer Lane was the victim
this time. Grade II listed 394, 395 and 396 Summer Lane were
affected. When I visited the site on April 2 2007, I was pleased
that the damage didn't look too bad, at least from the outside.
What the future holds, though, is another question entirely.
Here's what I found:-
Let's hope that's it for now. And let's hope at least two of
these buildings survive for many years to come.
You may be interested to know that the council provide PDF files of Statutory
(1.2Mb) and Locally
(224Kb) buildings in Birmingham.