Blossoming Brum

A recent photo taken of the blossom in Oozells Square.

It's literally a blossoming time for Birmingham with the blossom of Brindleyplace's Oozells Square both lighting up Brindleyplace but also being the focus of a photography competition.  Meanhile two local photographers have been recognised for their skills at capturing the beauty of Birmingham and helping to show this to a wider audience.

Brindleyplace has launched a photography competition inspired by the traditional Japanese festival of Hanami.  In partnership with Ikon and cafe Opus at Ikon amateur photographers are being encouraged to submit a photograph that captures the beauty of the cherry blossom in Oozells square.

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of 'enjoying the transient beauty of flowers' and the celebration coincides with the flowering of cherry blossom across Japan,

The winner will have their photo displayed in Cafe Opus and also win a meal for two at the cafe.

The competition began when the first cherry blossom flowers opened in Oozells Square but the photos must be submitted by Sunday 13 April to be judged by Stuart Tulloch, Ikon Curator, Amy Secretan, manager of the Cafe, Pete James, curator of the photography collections at the Library of Birmingham and Dan Morrissey, regional network presenter of Free Radio. 

How to enter
Send your picture as a jpg file which must be at least 1Mb but no more than 3Mb in size, along with a brief description, your name, address, telephone number and the date of the photo to
Terms and conditions
  1. Photographs must be submitted by 11.59pm on Sunday 13th April.
  1. An element of Brindleyplace must be visible in order to authenticate the location.
  1. By entering this competition, participants are granting Brindleyplace permission to use the submitted photo, licence free for marketing purposes.

Meanwhile two local photographers and Birmingham itself have been blossoming with articles in the Daily Mail and Birmingham Post on the city and their respective photographs of it.  Two of the many photographers and others such as bloggers helping to record and celebrate the city, it is great to see their work highlighted and championed as Birmingham continues to see recognition for it's renaissance.

Verity Milligan, originally from Northamptonshire, has been extolling the beauty of Birmingham in photographs that capture the hidden splendour of the city,  The Daily Mail sadly notes the oft cited comments about Birmingham getting the award for ugliest UK city but for those of us who live here or those who've visited and actually seen the place, Verity's photos and our own experiences can lay testament to the much changed city and to the hidden gems and beauty to be found if you look around you which she captures so well.  Birmingham has rich cityscapes, green corners and tranquil water and while like any city you can turn a corner and go 'what is that' it has not been stuck in the so called ugly reputation it's often labelled with for decades and can assert a continued renaissance which these photos only serve to prove.  

You can see Verity's work on her facebook page,, and also her flickr,

Complimenting Verity is another great photographer, Tim Cornbill, whose eye for a good picture as the Birmingham Post described it has helped him highlight Birmingham's beauty and showcase the city, 

“I wouldn’t say it is the most beautiful city – you have to look for the beauty. But maybe that is why there is such a big photography movement – people want to show Birmingham in a different light.”He added: “We have a lot of really great architecture in Birmingham that people don’t recognise, like the Town Hall and Council House. There is lots that people by and large don’t see.”

Tim exhibited a retrospective last year,, in which he compared historical photographs with the modern day locations and led a series of tours as part of Love Architecture Festival showing the sites of these comparisons and asking what we make of the changing face of Birmingham and the architectural gems demolished and replaced in the name of progress. 

You can see more of Tim's work on his website,

A few more photos of Oozells Square I took recently are shown below.  Even if you don't fancy entering the competition seeing the square lit up in pink by the blossom is a must.


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