Tuesday, April 22, 2008


In fact this was a re-opening after restoration work. The building was originally opened in 1834 albeit in an unfinished state.
Today Their Royal Highnesses Charles Prince of Wales and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visited Birmingham to officially re-open the building. After a walkabout in Victoria Square they entered the Town Hall for a concert which included a mixed dance performance by 200 students from the Elmhurst School for Dance - of which the Duchess is a patron, the Ex Cathedra Choir and organist Thomas Trotter. During this concert the Town Hall was officially re-opened and the Prince spoke highly of it's architectural value. After leaving the Town Hall they had another walkabout to greet spectators and a great number of school children who had turned up for the occasion.
A bonus for the day was the weather... the sun actually shone!
On the downside, a huge television screen which had been set up to relay the concert to the people outside was drowned out by a certain local radio station which had it's own idea for entertainment... they only stopped when they realised they were babbling away during the National Anthem!!!
But it was a great day and many people went home with unforgettable memories of chatting to members of the Royal Family, including myself.
The photograph above shows the Town Hall in all it's glory and that revolting bit of tat called the Iron Man.

 A huge television screen displays a welcome to the Royal Couple.

Crowds start to line the route in front of the Council House. 

 A view between the Town Hall and the Council House, 'Big Brum' rising up in the background.

 The press preparing their equipment. I bet they ignore the barriers and get in my way.

 Crowds lining the route to the entrance to the Town Hall.

 The Royal visitors appear at last. You can see how difficult it is to get a good photograph with all the security men, dignitaries and press getting in the way.

 Prince Charles talks to the Lord Mayor Cllr Randal Brew OBE...

 ...and heads towards the Town Hall, sadly missing out our corner.

 Ray Egan (Birmingham's John Bull) in a patriotic mood.

 There are two sides to every sign. Ray's personal welcome.

 The giant television screen displaying the concert in the Town Hall.

 After the concert, the mayor appears to suggest that the Royals check out our corner
  which they previously missed on their way in.

 The Duchess of Cornwall approaches us while the Prince wanders further along.

 Handshakes and the exchange of pleasantries with the Duchess, one of my hands is now typing  by Royal Appointment.

 Prince Charles meets people further along the line.

 Dignitaries leaving the Town Hall after the concert.

A friendly wave from Carl Chinn MBE as he approaches the Council House.