Heritage Week: Birmingham on Sea and other events still available

Birmingham city centre canalsBirmingham city centre canals
Birmingham city centre canals | JPI Media
For the first time Birmingham Heritage Week has introduced active events where you can see the city while cycling, running, swimming or kayaking!

It’s Birmingham Heritage Week - and its another fantastic line up of some of the best Brummie treasures along with some special new features.

This year there’s a range of ‘active’ events where you get to experience the city while cycling, running, swimming or kayaking.

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There’s a series of guided heritage walks on offer too offering an opportunity to see the city centre and suburbs in a new light.

It could be just the tonic after being cooped up in lockdown in previous months.

But if you’re not ready to be outdoors, there are a series of online events you can join too.

The 11-day festival, supported by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Museums, features exhibitions, workshops, talks - with heritage buildings that are not usually open to the public, admitting visitors for a limited period.

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A number of events are booked out already, including the Bustling Birmingham by Night canal tour and the National Grid Windsor Street Gasholders site tour.

But don’t be disappointed, because there are loads of other events to choose from. Here are 9 of the best.

Woodcock Street Baths: Guided Tour & SwimWoodcock Street Baths: Guided Tour & Swim
Woodcock Street Baths: Guided Tour & Swim | JPI

1. Woodcock Street Baths: Guided Tour & Swim

Woodcock Street Baths – now known as the Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre – is the oldest operational swimming pool in Birmingham. This guided tour will show how Aston University, who took over this grade 2 listed building in 1980, have refurbished and redeveloped the building into a modern sports centre available for staff and students of the University but also the local community.

The building tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and after the tour there will be an opportunity for a free swim afterwards.

Taking place on September 10, 11, 13 and 17.

Selly Manor MuseumSelly Manor Museum
Selly Manor Museum | JPI

2. Selly Manor Museum

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On this tour you can explore the Tudor manor and medieval hall, saved from demolition by chocolate manufacturer George Cadbury, and rebuilt in the heart of historic Bournville.

The museum is full of hands on experiences including a chance to dress in replica Tudor costumes for both old and young alike, as well as games to play and a children’s trail.

The event takes place on September 11. Booking is not required.

The Bournville ExperienceThe Bournville Experience
The Bournville Experience | JPI

3. The Bournville Experience

The Bournville Experience focuses on the Quaker ethics of the Cadbury family and how Bournville Village came to be built.

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Permanently open as part of Cadbury World is The Bournville Experience; a joint initiative between the chocolate factory and Bournville Village Trust.

Free to enter on September 11.

From Africa to BritainFrom Africa to Britain
From Africa to Britain | JPI

4. From Africa to Britain

This film explores Significant changes in the Commonwealth Act and key shifts in global politics during the late fifties, sixties and seventies impacted hugely on migrants already resident in the UK, as well those wanting to move here.

This documentary recounts personal stories of those who made new lives in Birmingham and the Black Country.

The event takes place at The Hive in the Jewellery Quarter on September 16.

Oratory Catholic ChurchOratory Catholic Church
Oratory Catholic Church | JPI

5. Oratory Catholic Church

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Here is your chance to visit Birmingham’s own ‘Little Rome’ while on a guided tour of the church of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.

Built in 1903 in the Baroque style, it contains fine examples of Italian mosaics and marble work. Particular points of interest are the Shrine of Saint John Henry, the Shrine of Saint Philip and the alter containing the bones of the Martyr Saint Valentine.

Taking place on September 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19. Booking is not required.

Jack – Victorian theatre with a bite!Jack – Victorian theatre with a bite!
Jack – Victorian theatre with a bite! | JPI

6. Jack - Victorian theatre with a bite!

Join Inspector Frederick Abberline of Scotland Yard as he examines theories surrounding the true identity of the infamous Saucy Jack, the Whitechapel Horror himself. Adapted from classic stories based around the Ripper theme, including “The Lodger”.

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Taking place at The Coffin Works Museum, the outside event will be hosted in the atmospheric Victorian courtyard. The performance will last approximately 1.5 hours with a 15-minute interval.

The event takes place on September 9.

Co-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport MuseumCo-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport Museum
Co-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport Museum | JPI

7. Co-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport Museum

140 years ago, a group of Midland Railway workers formed the Birmingham Industrial Co-operative Society to supply themselves with good food at fair prices. Today that business forms part of Central England Co-op, the largest independent co-operative society in the UK, but one that is proud of its deep roots in local communities.

This event will use the collection of historic Co-op vehicles at Wythall Transport Museum, together with archive film screenings, a photographic exhibition and stalls, to explore how the Co-op’s impact on economic, social and cultural life has touched almost every household in the city.

The event takes place on September 11 and 12.

Co-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport MuseumCo-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport Museum
Co-op Heritage Weekend at Wythall Transport Museum | JPI

8. Birmingham on Sea

This is a unique heritage walk round Birmingham’s city centre canals, illuminating their history. Led by a Tour Guide, it will feature dramatic scenes and significant characters form the past. Now is your chance to meet Mattthew Boulton, Thomas Telford, and James Brindley. The walk will feature canal songs from the past, accompanied by Peter Churchill with his piano accordion.

Booking is not required.

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Born in Birmingham Born in Birmingham
Born in Birmingham | JPI

9. Born in Birmingham 1914-1924; lifting the lid on untold stories

This unique event in the Wolfson Centre in the Library of Birmingham is a free exhibition, screening of archive film footage, and original material (both images and text) from Birmingham’s Archives and Collections, presented by the Born in Birmingham 1914-24 NHLF research group.

Items on show will offer a glimpse into the history of the city of Birmingham and infant welfare and maternity services during the First World War and its aftermath.

The event takes place on September 17. Booking is not required.

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