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365-121 Sunrise over Birmingham Gasholders, looking towards Nechells, England UK | by @HotpixUK -Add Me On Ipernity 500px
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365-121 Sunrise over Birmingham Gasholders, looking towards Nechells, England UK

Hard to see in this light, but these are painted in the colours of Aston Villa, just a stones throw down the road. Behind is part of the Birmingham skyline of tower blocks.


Nechells became a densely populated area during the 19th century, with mass development of houses and factories taking place. Mass immigration occurred from Ireland.


After World War II, further immigration occurred from parts of the Commonwealth, mostly the West Indies and the Indian Sub Continent.


By the 1950s, however, many of the homes in Nechells had been reduced to "slums" and were unfit for human habitation. People were living in homes without electricity, running water, bathrooms or indoor toilets. The Gas Works caused a continuous unpleasant smell.


The face of Nechells changed dramatically during the 1960s, with the decaying Victorian terraces being cleared and the area redeveloped with new houses and tower blocks. Some families remained in the new homes that had been built around Nechells, but there weren't enough new homes to rehouse all of the area's original residents, and as a result some families moved to new housing estates like Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood. The new homes were certainly a big improvement on their predecessors, but if anything the Nechells area became worse as unemployment and crime soared.


The development of high rise flats in Neachells had actually started in the 1950s, and it was the home of Birmingham's very first tower block - Queens Tower - which was completed in 1954 and is still standing today. However, many of the tower blocks in the Neachells area were demolished in the 1990s to make way for new low rise private and rented housing.


Another shot down the road


(c) Hotpix / HotpixUK Tony Smith - WDCC

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Taken on October 20, 2009