Social History | 1960 | Sound | Colour
The 1960's re-development of Birmingham and the Bull Ring Shopping Centre
Prints of Birmingham when it was just a village. At the heart of this village was the Bull Ring where the country folk sold their cattle and produce
The Parish church of St.Martin’s built in the early 19th Century. At this time the Battle of Trafalgar had been won and a Statue of Lord Nelson was erected close to St.Martin’s. An aerial view of the church today. The site plan followed by explanation given by Mr. Sodeki? Stating it was not that easy to build a town within a city with a restriction of a 4acre site. Site plan shown with three separate sections connected by two bridges. A model of the Project that was completed in 29months. During the construction in the heart of a big city all roads and services were kept working, not an easy task .Bridges were built overnight across the busy Ringway.
The old Retail Market carried on trading during the construction despite having lost its roof during the war. It was later transferred into the new Bull Ring S.C. The Old Market Hall with traffic flowing all round it and still working as usual albeit without a roof. Back to the model where Mr.S. explains the different locations of the facilities. The finished Bull RingS.C. With customers arriving every day by bus, train & car and it is changing the buying habits from Birmingham and beyond. They arrive daily at New St Station and go straight into the shops. Buses go straight into the Bus Station.Escalators take shoppers direct to the shopping mall. Car arrivals come directly off the Ringway into the reception area where an attendant takes it by lift to the Multi Storey C.P. And returns it to you when you are ready to leave. For people arriving on foot a subway is provided taking you under the Ringway and into the shopping mall . View of traffic with people bustling along against a noisy background making for a rather uncomfortable way to shop. Now shopping in the Bull Ring is a much more pleasant way to shop. No traffic, no noise and protected from the weather. A Supermarket located on one of the bridges and above a Woolworth store.Some of the many items that can be bought in the Bull Ring S.C. Delivery Vans arriving in the loading bays where their goods are transferred by lifts to all levels. Outside cold and wet whilst inside is an “eternal spring” the internal air conditioning provides warmth in winter and coolness in summer. The Centre Court is the focal point of the Bull Ring S.C. A meeting place and a somewhere for special exhibitions to display their goods. B.O.A.C. Are there today. Harry Wheatcroft is also there with his roses on display. Much Baking Halt is there to provide some amusement before mounting the escalators. Gino’s Continental Café a place to rest and enjoy some refreshment before pressing on to more exploration. The Aviary with exotic birds showing off their bright plumage. Youngsters Corner and the Bull Ring’s Security Force on hand to find and return any children that wander off. Demonstration of child’s mother alerting the S.F. Several Banks are available should you run out of money. One Bank even has three different entrances on different levels of the complex. The Matador or The Wandering Minstrel are among the bars with their modern design and atmosphere always ready to provide Aperitifs or Beer. There is also an Outdoor Terrace serving drinks in a continental style.
Mother and child are reunited thanks to the S.F. A wander round the outside and a chance to admire the landscaping and a statue of Lord Nelson. Open Air Market near St.Martins church also undercover markets where you can buy everything from Fish to Wellington Boots. A busy scene with bargains for everyone including a good view of the many different fish sold on one of the stalls. Plenty of restaurants provide food for all tastes. Chinese Restaurant featured for something a little more exotic.
Lights after dark and when the shops close there are still plenty of cafes and restaurants open for you to choose from. The stairway of mirrors leading to one of the finest dance floors in Europe, an overview of couples dancing to the music of a popular dance band. The Official Opening of Bull Ring Centre, Plaque – Opened 29th May 1964 by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG. KT. GBE. PC. Who made a tribute to all concerned with the project. There followed a walkabout by HRH and his entourage. A final overview of the Bull Ring S.C.
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