IgersbirminghamUK invited by Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir to hold an Instameet.

Birmingham Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.

Edgbaston reservoir started life in 1827 as a water supply to top up the local canal network around Birmingham and the Black Country.  Originally called β€œRoach Pool”, it was enlarged by Thomas Telford, the influential engineer between 1824 –1829, to become the large expanse of water that it is now.   Whilst the place still does this important function for the canal network, it is now much more than just a reservoir.  The area is a haven for wildlife, walkers, and joggers.  The reservoir is also the home for the Midlands Sailing club and Birmingham rowing club which are very active on the water.  

IgersbirminghamUK was invited by the Friends of Birmingham Reservoir to hold an Instameet to highlight the natural beauty on and around the water.  Nearly, 20 photographers met at the Reservoir Road entrance and were greeted by Chris and Carol from the Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir. 

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Midland Sailing Club in action on the reservoir.

The Instameet was organised by Lena, one of the IgersbirminghamUK team.  Lena made the introductions, and then we heard from Chris and Carol who gave us lots of information about the reservoir.  The first discussion point was the area of waste ground next to the Reservoir entrance.  We were next to the site of the former Tower Ballroom.  I remember going to many student functions at the Tower, but the building fell out of favour in recent years and was demolished.  Now the plan is to build luxury flats on the site.  This is very much out of keeping with the area which is a natural wildlife reserve.  Also we are adjacent to Ladywood which is an area of high deprivation.  Do we really need luxury flats in this area?  A debatable point and the friends of the reservoir are keen to see that the council enters a meaningful engagement about the future of the reservoir.  They wish to see all options discussed including re-purposing the Tower site for community use.  If you wish to know more about this ongoing story, then visit the Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir Facebook page.  

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Chris, friends of the Edgbaston reservoir, standing against the Birmingham Cityscape.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Carol, Friends of the Reservoir, surveys the site of the former Tower Ballroom.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
A lone poppy.

Chris and Carol provided much of the historical information and brought us right up to date with life on and around the reservoir.  After lots of questions and answers, we set off to take photographs as we walked the 2.8 km (1.75 miles) path around the reservoir.  

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Photographers on the move. This could be a scene from Reservoir Dogs.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
The reservoir dam with the two towers in the background.

The main dam provided good photographic opportunities as we looked over towards the Birmingham Cityscape.  The Canal and River Trust base was below the dam wall.  The old machinery that is still present for regulating the water flow was very photogenic with a combination of chains and cog wheels.  Looking back the two towers which are said to have inspired Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings may be seen. (A previous blog on the area has more on the two towers). On the water, the Midlands Sailing Club was active with a teaching session and several boats were out and about.  The sailors came close to the edge of the dam allowing for several action shots of the boats.  

Then the rain arrived, and we sheltered next to the Midlands Sailing Club buildings.  We were able to admire the artwork of the local Street artist @icreatenotdestroy

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Photographers sheltering from the rain.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Details from the mural on the wall behind the Midlands Sailing Club
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
The emblem of the Midlands Sailing Club is similar to the Swiss flag. I wonder why πŸ™‚

The mural depicts the  history associated with the reservoir and highlights two influential people.  Thomas Telford is the Scottish Civil Engineer who enlarged ‘Roach Pool’ and created Edgbaston reservoir and William H Ward, Earl of Dudley was the first club commodore of The Edgbaston Sailing Club in 1895.  

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Boats and masts.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Details of the reservoir shore line.
Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
The lonely life of a photographer.

The next stretch of the perimeter walk includes much of the natural wildlife area of the reservoir.  There are places from where to explore nature in the woodlands and then there are places to get close to the water.  At the turn of the reservoir near to Gillott Road, there is a bridge and there is a nicely framed view of the Birmingham skyline which provides further picture opportunities. Further along is the Birmingham Settlement – the Red Shed – sits back from the path near to Selwyn Road and is an area for well being projects.

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
The Birmingham Settlement at the Reservoir.

The Reservoir then stretches further westwards and then the path turns 180 degrees heading back to the reservoir entrance.  The walk takes you by the back of St Paul’s School of Girls.  The area is peaceful and wildlife is abundant at the water’s edge where there is semi marsh land created by a mix of trees, shrubs and water.  We pass by the Birmingham Rowing club and then finally complete a full circuit of the reservoir.  Thanks were given to Chris, Carol and Lena for arranging the Instameet and we said our goodbyes.  Some of us remained to chat over a cup of coffee in the reservoir cafΓ© before heading home.

If you wish to know more about the Reservoir then please visit “The Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir” Facebook page and sign up for further information.

Edgbaston Reservoir, Instameet July 2023.
Father and son look out over the reservoir.

If you are a photographer then please follow the IgersbirminghamUK instagram feed and look out for our Instameets. Examples of previous meetings are on my blog.

Latest products

Brighton Beach fun

Brighton Beach fun

I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

Latest Products

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Spread the love
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x