I can predict the future


Long ago, in the days before the AEHarris venue even a twinkle, Stan’s Cafe were resident on the top floor of an abandoned factory building on New Canal Street in a largely derelict part of Digbeth. There was a vibrant alternative cultural scene here, not to mention activity of the established giants; UB40’s studio round the corner, Birmingham Opera’s memorable Candide performing in the Chuckworks…

But Brum had grander schemes in mind. Amid much talk of Eastside Regeneration, hopes of a successful City of Culture bid and the proposed relocation of the Royal College of Organists to Curzon Street, the New Canal St. factory was bulldozed and the ground prepared for a series of building schemes which would include Richard Rogers’s iconic New Library.

Some seven or eight years on, this is what the site now looks like (pic). Even UB40 have given up here and the once excellent pubs are now boarded up. A completely different Library building is currently being constructed “Westside” and here in Digbeth’s abandoned wastes, nature is reclaiming its own.


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