Picture of the Week – St. Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

St. Paul’s Church

St. Paul’s Church is located in St. Paul’s Square.  It is the focal building of the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.

The church was consecrated in 1779.


Pictures of the Week – Wembley Stadium, London

Wembley Stadium – England v Belgium 02/06/2012

With Euro 2012 currently taking place in Poland and Ukraine this week’s picture is of Wembley Stadium.  The home to English football (soccer).  Originally opened in 1923, the new stadium was opened in 2007.  Capacity is 90,000.

It is the home venue to the England football team.  It also hosts the FA Cup final and semi finals, the League Cup final and all the play off finals.  Wembley is used by other sports such as Rugby League, and the NFL have played a regular season since 2007.  It is also used to stage music concerts.  The most famous being Live Aid in 1985.

Famously, Wembley Stadium was home to English sport greatest hour when England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup.

Plaque to celebrate England’s 1966 World Cup victory

You can take an organised tour of the stadium.  It costs £16 for an adult and £9 for a child.  There is also a family ticket available for £41.  The tour itself lasts for 75 minutes.

If you attend a match or concert at the stadium be prepared for delays in leaving.  It is out-of-the-way from the centre of London.  Make sure you allow yourself enough time if you are catching a connecting journey.

The nearest tube station is Wembley Park Station which on both the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines.

Bus services 83, 92, 182 and 224 stop 0.25 mile away from the stadium.

Finally, Wembley Stadium is home to the English Football Association which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.

The name soccer is an abbreviation from the word association.

Until my next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.


Steve is currently listening to Terminal Jive by Sparks

A Month Blogging

I established the blog in April.  This is going to be my ninth post.  So what have I learned so far?

  • Establishing a blog is harder work than I initially thought.  Those people who have been working their blog for a long time I take my hat off to you.
  • Planning time is key.  You cannot work on the blog on the spur of the moment.  Make time for the blog.
  • Proof read before posting.  A couple of the posts have errors that could have been easily corrected if I had bothered to read it first.
  • Make sure the material is interesting to you.  If I am not interested in what is being written then nobody else will.  The biggest pleasure I have taken from reading blogs is the enthusiasm that is shown by the authors.
  • Keep posting whenever you can.
  • Do not postpone your posts.  If you think of a reason for not working on the blog then you will never do anything.
  • Be grateful for any views and do not be disappointed by the lack of comments.  Rome was not built-in a day.
  • Always look for a way of improving. Ask for feedback and take on board advice given to you.

I have enjoyed working on the blog.  It has given me a good sense of purpose in life.

I have a trip Madrid at the end of the month to look forward to.  This will give me more content to post.  When I get back I will be looking to upgrade to Pro.  This will give me more options to improve the blog.

Finally, I would like to thank those of you who have viewed the blog so far.  Please take time to comment.  Your advice will help me to improve.

Until the next time.  Stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.


Photo of the Week – Karl Marx’s Grave

Karl Marx’s Grave

The final resting place of the founder of communism is located in Highgate Cemetery in North London.  Marx spent a lot of his life in London.  The cemetery is split into two, the East and West.  It is famous for the people who are buried there.

Some of the people buried here include:

East Cemetery

Douglas Adams (spot in the pens in the grave), George Eilot (under the name of Mary Ann Cross), William Friese-Greene (cinema pioneer), Malcolm McLaren and Sir Ralph Richardson.

West Cemetery

Beryl Bainbridge, The family of Charles Dickens (Charles Dickens in buried in Westminster Abbey), Michael Faraday, Lucian Freud, Jean Simmons and Christina Rossetti.

Entry to the East Cemetery costs £3.00 and the West Cemetery costs £7.00.

The nearest tube station is Archway on the Northern Line

http://www.highgate-cemetery.org for more details

Jewellery Quarter

Last Sunday I took advantage of some good weather in Birmingham.  As I had mentioned in a previous post about the Jewellery Quarter I thought I would check it out.  First thing to mention is that Sunday is not the best day to visit as a lot of the attractions were closed.  Still the good weather allowed me to explore the area.

To get to the Jewellery Quarter you either take the 74 bus or the metro.  The journey takes about ten minutes but it could easily made on foot too.

The Chamberlain Clock

The area is the largest containing businesses involved in the jewellery trade in Europe, hence the name.  Nearly 40% of all jewellery manufactured in the UK comes from this area.

The first place I visited was the Warstone Lane Cemetery.  It looks run down and may not appeal to everybody.  However, I feel that cemeteries and graveyards are great places to visit if you wish to get a feel of the history in a area.  This cemetery is no exception.  The main area to go and see are the Catacombs.  A two tiered building that used for interring bodies.  This practice stopped when the smell became too much and the local law was changed to ensure that bodies were sealed with lead.

The Catacombes

The striking feature of the cemetery are the family plots.  When you read the inscriptions you can only feel touched by what went through.  Nearly everyone I read included a family member who died at a young age.  It is food for thought when we consider the advantages of modern life.

Rest in Peace

From the cemetery I moved down Warstone Lane and I soon reached St. Paul’s Square.  This is the last example of a Georgian square remaining in Birmingham.  It has become a hub for modern city living.  There are several bars and restaurants in the area.  It is particularly popular with students and young professionals.

At the centre of the square stands St’ Paul’s Church.  This church dates from the 18th century and is based in appearance to St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.  Despite looking like it has seen better days the church is still popular.  As well as services and organ recitals there is a shop were you can purchase homemade produce such as jams and cakes.  While I was there a lot people were taking advantage of the hot weather and sunbathed on the grounds.

St. Paul’s Church

As it was so hot I needed refreshment and I stumbled onto the Pomegranate coffee shop.  It is located in Warstone Lane and I can particularly recommend the white chocolate milkshake and the cooked breakfast sandwich.  As well as food and drink the shop also sells accessories for the home.

To conclude the Jewellery Quarter is an excellent way of spending a couple of free hours.  I would visit during the week or Saturday. You can visit the workshops, order bespoke jewellery or even sell your gold to fund your travels.  It is a great place with a lot of history.

Currently reading The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

Currently listening to Firefly by Uriah Heep

Stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.


Photo of the week

Apologies for the lack of a post this week.

The photo for this week is of The Chamberlain Clock which is to be found in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.

The Chamberlain Clock

The clock was erected to celebrate the visit of Joseph Chamberlain to South Africa in 1903.  Chamberlain was one of the most important figures in the history of Birmingham.  An influential statesman of the late Victorian era Chamberlain was Mayor of Birmingham, member of Parliament and campaigner for improved living conditions and healthcare.