If you have been to Stirchley recently you may have noticed a couple of new artworks in the area. The pieces are part of Place Prospectors‘ Stirchley Prospects project and aim to add beauty and highlight the industries and former prosperity of the area. I love history so it’s a fascinating insight into Birmingham past.
The first piece, located above the International Supermarket (1240 Pershore Road – previously Westprint and Glen’s Café) references the local willow beds on which locals earned a living, bees representing the resident’s industrious nature and the beautiful Stirchley clock which hangs in Stirchley Library. The piece also shows pigs, kept by locals for the Co-operative which has had a presence in Stirchley for many years, and a crucial ingredient in Jewells award-winning pork pies, popular in the 1940s.
Located in the window of Stirchley Prospects, Place Prospectors headquarters (1427 Pershore Road), another piece references Cox Wilcox – local lamp makers and Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, famous manufacturers of nuts, bolts, and screws. The piece also features cocoa plants in reference to the Cadbury’s factory nearby as well as horseshoes, a symbol of good luck for the future of the area.
Another piece, yet to be installed shows the older factors in Stirchley’s prosperity, the millstones of nearby Hazelwell Mill and the bridging of the River Rea.
The pieces will be located along the Pershore Road until April.