‘Community Routes’, Roundhouse, Edgbaston Reservoir
Our first walk as part of ‘Community Routes’ was around Edgbaston Reservoir. The first place I lived in Brum looked out on the res. It was luxurious to have this beautiful place to walk on the doorstep. We walked with local community members to hear their stories and find out what they love most about this amazing place. It’s not hard to see ! It’s a beautiful oasis only a couple of miles from Birmingham city centre. Designated a wildlife reserve for it’s great range of birdlife and unique mussels found in the reservoir bed, it’s a place where people of all ages find a little bit of calm and escape. Midlands Sailing Club and Rowing Club have been here for many years too and offer a range of water based activities. Not only is it a great place to visit today, it has a very rich heritage. It was a glamorous place to visit in the 1800’s with it’s Zoological Gardens and bandstand. The Tower Ballroom on site has been an important Birmingham venue, hosting many different events since the 1930’s. Please visit a great arts project ‘Dreaming Tower Ballroom’ where you can find out more, as they’ve been documenting the many memories people are sharing. There’s a short film about the Reservoir from Carl Chinn too. Unfortunately, this beautiful place is under threat from development, to find out more about this and show your support, please visit Save Edgbaston Reservoir.
The research and stories we’re gathering on our project “Community Routes’ will form self-guided audio tours co-created with community members and should be available in the spring of 2021. The wealth of archival photography The Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir have shared with me has been inspiring, I’ll be using all these stories to create new artworks for our exhibition at Roundhouse too, so much material to work with !
If you’re local to Birmingham and haven’t been before, I really recommend it, let us know if you do !