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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

UPDATE: #023 O'Neills, Curzon Street, Birmingham : 1998 to 2017 (RIP)

Back in 2011 when I first wrote this entry, I didn't know what was going to happen with this site. Below, you can see the final fate of this junction.
When I toured around the Digbeth area of Birmingham, O'Neills was a completely new place to me and, to be honest didn't look too appealing. This is the tenth in my 'Birmingham Eastside' series.
 However, as I've been doing some background research I've discovered that, in a previous life, this was the Old Railway, a popular music venue. More information is to be found here.

Moving on to 2011, and the title gives it away somewhat, this was the scene that presented itself to me.

Gone completely, yet the Give Way and street signs remain in exactly the same places! This was the sort of scene I expected to find when I set out on this project, but it is still quite a shock to find no trace of the pub. The building on the left, in the distance, is Moby Dick's which will feature later on in this series.

What the future holds for this area is still unsure. To the left of where the picture was taken is the Thinktank and behind me is the now defunct Curzon Street Station. If the HS2 High Speed Rail ever gets built, the Birmingham branch will terminate at Curzon Street, so maybe there will be more pubs opened/reopened in the environs. Well, we can hope!
So, here we are in 2017 and this is the current view of the corner of Curzon Street and Cardigan Street.
Now the Curzon Building of Birmingham City University stands proudly where once stood The Old Railway pub/O'Neills - I suppose that's progress!
Much work is still ongoing and I can report good news regarding Moby Dick's that was visible in 2011 from this position. It has survived and is now the student union bar. I couldn't get a photo as there is still a lot of construction work going on around it.
Progress has also been made on the HS2 Project and the new station will be directly behind where I was standing for this photo


  1. There's an irony with these buildings. In 1978/9 I was playing keyboards in a support band called Cyanne (can't remember the main band) most Sunday evenings at The Railway. I now work in the building that is there (BCU).

    1. Thanks for the's a funny old world!!