Vote for your favourite Brindleyplace Memory
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Brindleyplace has been busy collating people’s top memories of the estate and now, following a tough judging process, Brindleyplace is asking you to vote for your favourite story. The five shortlisted memories belong to Emily Bell, Miles Drew, Linda Guest, Matt Oakley and Emma Morgan. Their memories range from falling into the fountains at Central Square to gaining the inspiration for a career in planning and celebrating their graduation.
Caroline Young, on behalf of the Brindleyplace team, said: “We laughed, empathised and even cried whilst reading everyone’s stories. It’s an absolute joy to know that Brindleyplace has provided the setting for so many amazing memories and events, from proposals to enjoying time with friends and even giving people the inspiration to do things that they didn’t previously think was possible.
“We’re also delighted that so many of you listed our World Record Attempt, food festivals and outdoor screen as your top memories of the estate and hope that you’ll all come back again this summer to create new memories with your friends and family.
“We now need your help to decide which of the shortlisted stories deserves to be named the best memory of Brindleyplace so please take your time to read all of the stories and vote for your favourite.”
The winner of the competition will receive Brindleyplace’s biggest prize ever, made up of 20 individual rewards from across the estate. The prizes include feeding the turtles and a family ticket for the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, an overnight stay at both Hilton Garden Inn and SACO serviced apartments, £50 to spend at Ethos, a cocktail class for six at All Bar One, spa day and treatments for two at Bannatynes and four tickets for a performance of the winner’s choice at the Crescent Theatre, as well as free food and drink from a selection of the restaurants, cafés and bars at Brindleyplace.
Caroline said: “Brindleyplace has helped transform Birmingham city centre and this year, as it’s the 20th anniversary of the estate, we have the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything that has been achieved over the past two decades, as well as look to the future of Brindleyplace and how it will continue to be a favourite amongst Birmingham residents, the business community and visitors to the city.”
Recognised as one of the most influential city centre regeneration projects in Birmingham, Brindleyplace is home to more than 10,000 employees and has in excess of four million visitors each year.
Formerly a site of factories at the height of Birmingham’s industrial past, the site now occupied by Brindleyplace lay derelict for many years following the decline of Britain’s manufacturing industry. In July 1992, planning was granted for a new business and leisure destination on the site and, in 1995, the first phase of Brindleyplace was opened to the public.
People can vote for their favourite memory online at brindleyplace.com or via Twitter @Brindleyplace and Facebook at facebook.com/brindleyplace. The deadline to vote for your preferred winner is Monday 15 June.
“My best Brindleyplace moments happened almost a decade apart.
“In 1996, I was sitting by the fountain in Brindleyplace with my small son and I started a conversation with another mom. While our sons played she told me about studying with Open University. This lady told me how easy it was to sign up and that it was for everyone. I’d always thought university was for ‘clever’ or ‘posh’ people, not for ordinary Brummies. We went for a coffee together and later, I couldn’t forget the conversation that took place. I signed up to Open University the next year.
“In 2005, I collected my first degree at Symphony Hall at the age of 48. The first person in my family to ever get a degree. My mom, husband, son, sister and nephew and niece came with me and we celebrated at a restaurant in Brindleyplace afterwards. It was life changing. After always working in low paid jobs I was given the confidence and qualifications to achieve.
“In 2007, I gained a Masters degree at the age of 50. Now, I have a well-paid, responsible job that I love.
“I still love Brindleyplace and come here whenever I am in town. I sit by the fountain and consider the fact that a chance meeting, in the right surroundings, changed my life. It’s not only the beautiful buildings and the lovely surroundings that are important, it’s the people, the interaction and the spirit of Birmingham that is captured by Brindleyplace that make it so special.”
“I was walking through the fountain path daydreaming when all of a sudden I found myself in the fountain itself, having fallen in. My now fiancé laughed at me sweetly, stepped into the fountain to pick me up and kissed me on the forehead. At that moment, I realised he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
“My favourite moment at Brindleyplace has been the open air film screenings, I can’t wait every year to see what films will be shown and my fiancé and I always make the effort to go and see at least one. It’s such a British feeling at the events and gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling. Although it won’t look like a happy memento, my photo for this was taken of me by my fiancé during the Top Gun screening, I’m sure you can guess the part but basically Goose has just bit the dust.”
“Exactly a year ago, we had a wonderful day at the National SEA LIFE Centre in Brindleyplace, which was the perfect place to take our daughter Emily on her first birthday.
“We’ve been many times but what made this visit even more memorable was that my wife Jennie was due to give birth to our second child on that day! Yes, despite waiting almost seven years to have kids, we now found ourselves in the unusual situation of becoming parents twice within a year.
It had all been a huge surprise to us and Jennie was obviously very tired but, not wanting Emily to miss out on a birthday day out, she managed to make her way around the National SEA LIFE Centre despite her huge baby bump. Emily loved it, staring wide-eyed at all the fish and animals.
“The most memorable moment of the day came when we reached the highlight, the stunning underwater tunnel. My sister had joked about how funny it would be if Jennie’s waters broke at an underwater attraction, so imagine how amused we were to see two “Caution Wet Floor” signs in the tunnel. We took a photo and sent them to my sister, joking that her prediction had come true!
“Anyway, Emily’s little sister Molly actually arrived safe and well (in hospital) four days later and she is one year old herself this Monday. And, as she also absolutely loves turtles and penguins, guess where we’ll be going this Monday?!”
“I work in Three Brindleyplace, which overlooks both Central Square and the canal. I remember the views being very different 20 years ago when I was a young child. I have very fond memories of regularly walking down Broad Street with my grandmother and watching with excitement and fascination as the expanse of derelict land was transformed into Brindleyplace.
“I sometimes feel that watching that construction had such an impact on me that it led me to my interest in town planning. It now seems very appropriate that I work on the estate as a town planning consultant advising developers on many exciting projects.”