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Thursday, 26 March 2020

Stirchley in The Time of Coronavirus - Part 1

Yesterday I ventured out for the first time in a few days and I thought that I might as well take my camera with me and take some photos as I got my 'exercise'! (As an aside - is the Great British weather mocking us? When we were free to roam anywhere it was continually pissing down and everywhere was we're under 'house arrest' it gloriously mocks us with unbroken sunshine and warmth!)

Back in 2013, at the beginning of Photo Digital Art, I wandered around my home suburb of Stirchley with the express aim of - "If I can make Stirchley look good, I can make anywhere look good!" I think I managed that (although I'll let you be the judges of that!) and so here begins my follow up to "Paean to Stirchley" (Part 1 and Part 2).

Stirchley in The Time of Coronavirus - Part 1 (and I don't yet know how many parts there will be!) begins at my favourite place in Stirchley...the cafe!
Shuttered up with no chance of reopening for the foreseeable future - I now have to make my own breakfast! (At least I've managed to obtain plenty of far!)

Moving on to a sight which must be very worrying for the owners. The Three Horseshoes pub had been in (terminal?) decline for many years, when it suddenly closed and became a hive of activity. A complete refurbishment and transformation into The Bournbrook Inn was almost finished, the opening was imminent...and then coronavirus happened!

I'm not sure where the 'Established 1836' comes from, so I may need to do a bit more research!

Moving along the Pershore Road and past the British Oak we come to this little selection of shops/businesses.

Caspian used to be my go-to pizza place, but there's now so much more choice in Stirchley. If I hadn't done this picture I wouldn't have noticed that Elite Letting Solutions has been replaced with Yoga Borne! But my main worry is Phull Watch Co. I am a regular visitor - once every five years - when I need a new battery in my watch! It is a proper 'old school' watch/clock shop and the turban wearing Mr Phull is always on hand to efficiently replace the battery in my watch. I don't know how many years he's been there, but I do hope he returns when this is all over!

A little further along the Pershore Road, and on the other side, we reach Loaf; Stirchley's very own bakery and cookery school.

Stirchley Stores is no more, but Loaf has expanded to fill the void. Akash and Midland Computer are still going...hopefully! The masked couple (sign of the times!) buying bread from the 'outdoor' are people I occasionally see in the café and we had a brief chat (staying 2 metres apart!). Then Tony moved his van out of the way for my final picture of this little tour.

Although the shop is closed for the duration, it is protected by King Kong who appeared five years ago and is now one of the landmarks of the city!

I'll follow up with more images and observations from Stirchley in The Time of Coronavirus in the coming days/weeks.


  1. Love this, Pete. Interesting to read about a real village and see how gradually it changes.

    1. Thanks...and it is interesting for me to see things that I hadn't noticed over the past 7 or so years!

  2. Always will be kñown as the three horseshoes.I thought bournbrook was an area of selly oak???

    1. There was a Bournbrook pub in Selly Oak when I was a student, but it was demolished years ago.
      However,the stream that flows through Cadbury's, under the Co-op car park and close to the rear of the Three Horseshoes is called The Bourn (not to be confused with the Bourn Brook which does flow through Selly Oak!
      But, it will still be the Three Horseshoes to me!