Monday, 13 September 2010

Vintage postcards of Birmingham, England

I've only ever come across a handful of vintage postcards of Birmingham, and whilst I don't expect them to be as abundant as places like London, Edinburgh, or seaside resorts, I'm always surprised at how few I find. The three I've included below have been chosen for their spectacular architecture and feeling of spaciousness. Only the last of the three postcards below has been posted so I can date that one to 1907. The one of the art gallery is, I suspect a little later, but probably not much, whereas the one of Victoria Square I'm not sure at all ... 1940's perhaps? This one is also a little curious in that the red car looks far too small compared to the surrounding buildings and almost as though it's been added in as an afterthought.

I must confess that Birmingham is not somewhere I've visited for many years now, and that's mainly to change trains or go to the exhibition centre. I wonder if any of these buildings are still standing, or if they are whether they are still clearly visible or crowded out by more modern buildings.

Art Gallery and Congreve Street, published by Valentine

Victoria Square, Birmingham, a Valesque postcard published by Valentine

Town Hall, Birmingham, c.1907, published by Milton

As always, 100's of postcards like these can be found on my vintage postcards web site - be sure to check back regularly as I have a batch of about 300 waiting to add when I can find the time


  1. Some fine buildings, like you I wonder how they look today. I've enjoyed the BBC4 two-parter on civic architecture, but that concentrated on the north, however the grandeur of Birmingham town hall certainly competes with the other cities of the industrial revolution.
    It is years since I have been to Birmingham, or should I say in daylight, my stepson lived for a few years on the outskirts and took us into the city at night.

  2. They were always better at focusing on the buildings back in those days, partly, I suppose, because there weren't so many distractions such as traffic, advertising, lights etc. But they do give you a feel for the building which is so difficult to achieve these days.


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