Vintage postcards from bygone days…
This summer I went to a vintage bazaar at the Custard Factory in Digbeth which was selling all manner of weird and wonderful vintage pieces from homeware to jewellery to fashion. There was a stall there selling old postcards depicting scenes of old Birmingham in particular the grand civic buildings such as the Town Hall . I purchased several of these postcards to make a collage and thought I would share them over several blog posts with you. Apparently there is another vintage bazaar planned for November so I shall hopefully pop along and find some more bargains.
Postcard #1- The Hall of Memory
The Hall of Memory is a war memorial located in Centenary Square in front of Baskerville House. It was part of a larger civic centre scheme which included Baskerville House and a Memorial Colonnade (now relocated) all built out of striking white Portland Stone. The rest of the scheme which would have consisted of several other major civic buildings and offices was abandoned due to the start of WWII.
Next time you pass if you haven’t already have a look inside; it has a wonderful domed roof with stained glass, a art deco stained glass window and smooth marble floors. There is a shrine in the centre where two books rest in a glass casket: the First World War and Second World War Roll of Honour- with all the names of the fallen soldiers of the region. It has a peaceful and reflective atmosphere and looks like it hasn’t been altered since it was completed in the 1920’s. There are also a number of bronze cast sculptures around the outside on the raised plinth by Albert Toft and each one represents a different branch of the armed forces.
Baskerville House & The Hall of Memory are reminders of the grand municipal schemes of the early 20th century and the plans for the abandoned civic centre scheme are typical of Birmingham’s habit for constantly redeveloping itself, which is why I think it is such a interesting city in terms of it’s urban design history.
- Architect: S.N. Cooke and W.N. Twist
- Builder: John Barnsley & Sons and John Bowen & Sons.
- Year: 1925
- Use: War Memorial (built originally to commiserate the fallen of the First World War)
- Style: 1920’s, Art Deco
- Material: Portland Stone
- Status: Grade II Listed
More details at http://www.hallofmemory.co.uk/