VirtualBrum: Photographs of Birmingham and the West Midlands - Past, Present and Future
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Virtual-Brum Site Information

This is an unofficial Birmingham website that is the personal website of Peter Gamble. Views expressed are not those of Birmingham City Council or any of it's agencies. The official council website can be found at



10-March-2000 Visited the Antique Postcards of Birmingham website by Arnar Thor Oskarsson  Inspired by the guestbook to take digital photographs from the same places as they are today.
17-March-2000 Taken most of the pictures on Arnars page from the same place in most cases. Uploaded to BT Internet webspace
24-March-2000 Registered virtual domain name.
30-March-2000 bought 45 old postcards of Birmingham.
07-April-2000 More photos added exceeded 10Mb of available webspace
14-April-2000 Many pages and photos added site moved to 50Mb available. Navigation improved
16-April-2000 More photos added. 31Mb now uploaded.
17-April-2000 Under Construction signs removed. Pages are now regarded as 'under continuous improvement'
21-April-2000 More old postcards added, Message Board (forum) added, More books added to books page list and other minor changes.
23-April-2000 More photos added to Hall Green, Kings Heath and Moseley and other minor changes.
27-April-2000 Online Bookstore added.  New start page.
29-April-2000 Meta Tags added, 14 more old postcards and more photographs. New Stats counter. Now >40Mb
06-May-2000 2Gb Webspace on BT Server. All files uploaded
10-May-2000 Registered with Search Engines and UK banner
18-May-2000 Pages on old server replaced to point to BT server.
21-May-2000 School Reunion list has first entry.
26-May-2000 Domain registered.
02-May-2000 >55Mb
03-May-2000 Site mentioned in the Birmingham Evening Mail.
24-Jun-2000 More photos contributed by Colin Hickman and Mac Joseph All links verified so no dead links on this site! now >65Mb.
03-Jul-2000 New banner created. Site listed on UK topsites
06-Jul-2000 Listed on Rootsweb Sites to visit. >620 visitors on first day.
07-Jul-2000 No 1 on UK Topsites.
10-Jul-2000 Site still 'under continuous improvement'
13-Jul-2000 now >500 Pictures. Pubs page added.
01-Aug-2000 now >600 Pictures. Canals and Churches pages added.
10-Aug-2000 Advertising and Search pages added.
13-Aug-2000 Removed URL masking.
28-Aug-2000 Site search changed to
30-Aug-2000 now >700 Pictures over 100Mb webspace used.
08-Sep-2000 Sitemap page added. The navigation links on on every page will be removed so the right border is not so long. This will reduce the need for scrolling down pages and me having to fill empty space on short pages with adverts. It will also allow me to increase the number of links and pages yet still keep easy navigation about the site. Graphics on the sitemap will be very limited for speed when returning to the page.
15-Sep-2000 Navigation on right of each page removed. Some areas moved to newpages. Solihull page added. now over 70 pages and >110Mb used.
October-2000 Hits counter changed to display total hits to reflect the number of visitors not using the home page. Aerial Photos (Links to Ex-Pats Forum added. Local History pages with contact details for local societies and events. Hosting of Acocks Green History Society website. Now over 90 pages and 130Mb used. Over 20,000 visitors,


20-November-2000 Featured Website on BBC Birmingham Online
28-December-2000 More history pages added including Selly Oak and St Martin's over 120 pages, 1000 pictures and 160Mb used.
05-January-2001 Near disaster struck! Every page corrupted by an error in the shared borders. I spent hours and hours trying to fix it. I ended up reformatting the hard drive the recreating the web without the right hand border. Everything seems back to normal and the PC is running a lot better in general.
22-Jan-2001 Featured readers website in Internet Advisor magazine Issue 23 Feb 2001
26-Jan-2000 BTinternet launched BTanytime service. Webspace must be reduced to 10Mb.
03-Feb-2000 Links to Pubs and Canals pages removed. These pages have not been updated for some time so a large numbers of new photographs were missing. New pages will be made soon.
22-Feb-2001 Files uploaded to new server. New URL is the main URL. Existing URL's still point to BT Webspace these will be redirected at a later date. All existing Email addresses will stay the same for the time being.
24-Mar-2001 A change in my day job has meant I am now working in Europe some of the time so I have had less time for working on the site so updates have been less frequent.
June 2001 Updated now posted on Home Page



I would like to thank all who have contributed to this site in various ways including sending in photographs, writing, other material and with publicity. I may have missed some out here so please forgive any omissions here. 
Colin Hickman, Peter Ralley, Carl Chinn, John Essex, Colin Scott, Mike Byrne, Mac Joseph, Terry Shakespeare, Ian Bachelor, Ed Doolan, Alton Douglas, Tricia Mason, Steve Sidaway, Rod Birch, James Hyland, Jane Green, Keith Martin, Tony Chew, George Lovegrove, Robert Deloyde, Derek Harte. Malcolm Boyden.



Wythall Postcards Archive.
Most old postcard pictures of Hollywood, Wythall, Maypole, are from the Libraries collection. The collection was kindly made available to me.

Wythall Library
May Lane, Hollywood,
Birmingham, B47 SPD


Old Black and white Postcards of Birmingham where shown as Birmingham Public Libraries are reproduced by permission. Some of the cards are no longer available from the library.

Birmingham Central Library
Local Studies And History
Local Studies and History Service
Sixth Floor
Central library
Chamberlain Square
B3 3HQ

Tel: +44 (0)121 303 4549 or 303 4220 Fax: +44 (0)121 233 4458




Digital Photographs

Contributed By Colin Hickman
using a Nikon Coolpix 700.

Mac Joseph for Photographs of the Bull Ring

Terry Shakespeare and Ian Bachelor for photographs of the Black Country.


Colin Scott

For the loan of a wonderful postcard collection. The cards were the collection Eva Berry of Eversfield, Solihull. Most were posted to her by her brother between 1904 and 1920. 


Dr Carl Chinn. MBE

For having us on his afternoon Radio WM show in July and September 2001 and his kind permission to use material from his books and Brummagem Magazine


Peter Ralley

For kind permission and supplying 'Our Kid' cartoons 




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Virtual Brum is an unofficial Birmingham UK website about the city which is also known as Brummagem or Brum.
Views expressed are not those of Birmingham City Council or any of its agencies. The official council website can be found at

© 2018 All digital photographs (unless otherwise stated) taken by VirtualBrum using a Fuji digital camera
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don't sue me! Just produce evidence of copyright ownership and I'll delete it right away.