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Unique Acocks Green

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Three years ago, the Acocks Green Village in Bloom team decided that it would be a good idea to create a sculpture to commemorate all the hard work on a voluntary basis that we carry out in the area, and have done since first entering the Urban category of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘Britain in Bloom’ campaign in 2012.

However, in order to provide Acocks Green with its own identity, we wanted something completely different from anywhere else – something unique.  We wanted the sculpture to portray both the numerous flowers that we have planted around the village and the fruit of the orchard that we have created on a derelict piece of land, as well as showing a little of the history of Acocks Green itself.

Because our area is reputed to have more trees than any other constituency in Birmingham, we decided to base the design on that of a tree, with the trunk at the centre of the sculpture and branches radiating out in four directions, representing not only leaves, flowers and fruit but also illustrating the ‘raison d’etre’ of Acocks Green.

A canal, built in the late eighteenth century, brought goods to the area; this was followed by the railway, which ensured that the affluent business people of Birmingham could easily access Acocks Green and afford the construction of a number of large properties in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.  These two important modes of transport, which served to bring prosperity to the area, are represented in the sculpture by a horse-drawn narrow boat and a Great Western Railway locomotive.

We are fortunate to have in our team an excellent qualified designer in Veronica Treadwell, who very skilfully combined of all these ideas into a beautiful design.  She liaised with the manufacturer Collins who is local to the area being based in York Road to achieve the pleasing end result.

The Business Improvement District and the Council’s Highways Division endorsed our design and facilitated its production by securing the funds and arranging its installation.  Excellent team work we think!

Furthermore, over the past two years, thanks in no small way to the support of the Business Improvement District and our very  active local  councillors, we have managed to gain a Gold award in the ‘Britain in Bloom’ campaign.  In recognition of this, the sculpture is topped off by the image of a flower with its gold-coloured petals and the word ‘Gold.’

Ian Jeffries, the Chairman of the BID has added his comments:

‘Many congratulations to all involved in getting this completed.  Going back for nearly twenty years, there has always been a keen interest in having a ‘Welcome to Acocks Green’ sign of some description on our island.  This had never gone past the early discussion stages until recently when the Bloom team put their heads together and pushed the idea forward.  So finally thanks to the efforts from Bloom, the BID, the AGVP and not forgetting our valued Councillors, it has finally happened.’

We have used the term many times ‘Acocks Green is our Garden’ – so what symbol would be better to emphasise this than a tree, and one which is unique to our village?

Fran Lee

Co-ordinator – Acocks Green Village in Bloom

e.mail:  fran.lee47@yahoo.co.uk

Telephone:  0121 706 0076