Remember when a shopping trip to Birmingham looked like this?
It’s hard to imagine how much it’s changed.
We need pictures like these in our gallery above to remind us of the Brum we once knew as it becomes more and more of a distant memory.
Do you remember when you had to dodge the traffic in the heart of Birmingham as you darted across the road to and from all the shops in Corporation Street?
The New Street station ramp is still there but almost everything else has changed.
Once that ramp led up into The Pallasades – with the city’s Woolworths just at the top offering pick ‘n’ mix sweets, Ladybird clothing and affordable homeware. Today’s it’s been transformed into glossy Grand Central.
And at the bottom of the ramp, pedestrianisation has paved over much of the city centre’s past.
On Saturdays, hordes of teenage girls and young women made a beeline for C&A, Etam, Chelsea Girl and Mark One to find the latest fashions at bargain prices.
For the rest of us, it was probably an opportunity for music shopping – and it was easy to spend a whole day flicking through rare vinyl at Reddington’s, the hottest new imports and white-label dance tracks at Tempest and all the CDs you could ever want at HMV and Virgin Megastore.
Walking from Tempest Records in Bull Street to the Virgin Megastore on the diagonally-opposite corner of Corporation Street could be achieved with an underground stroll that just isn’t possible today.
That’s because back then, Birmingham didn’t just have underpasses for vehicles, it had a whole network of city centre subways.
Many were full of kiosks and shops – some opened out into daylight like the one at Old Square, while others were entirely under cover.
They’ve all been filled in now, leaving no trace of this once-thriving subterranean world.
The Bullring was very different too.
In its previous life, it was the Bull Ring Centre – a mass of grey concrete with fibreglass bull sculptures stuck on the outside and a maze of shops and market stalls on the inside.
It might not have had the sparkle of today’s mall but it had a cheap charm that you could lose yourself in for a couple of hours.
And perhaps you can remember the days before Brindleyplace and the ICC were even a twinkle in a planner’s eye?
Before the skyscraper of Broad Street Tower was built, that exact spot was home to Tramps nightclub – one of the many clubs where we drank and danced in years gone by .
Yes, so much has changed. What are your memories of Birmingham in the 80s and 90s?
Source : BirminghamMail