News that the New World Trading Company has put in a planning application to renovate the dilapidated James Brindley, off Bridge Street, closed in 2008 (pictured here in 2001), recalls readers’ interest in the Fox & Grapes post on this site.


This now derelict listed Eastside pub was intended for incorporation into the City Park Gate development project but shelved when it was announced that the proposed HS2 station would be situated there. However, the December 2011 Eastside Masterplan does say “There is also potential to incorporate the Fox and Grapes within the new station concourse to enhance design quality” . . .

Peter Allen wrote about James Brindley, Birmingham:1986 to 2011: “James Brindley built the very first British canal, the Bridgewater Canal in 1761. He then went on to the Trent & Mersey Canal including the feat of constructing Harecastle Tunnel which opened in 1777. In all he was responsible for building 365 miles of canals and also for the design of the narrow lock that is the feature of many canals. He also built the original main line canal from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. The pub was built at the starting point of this canal. I’m not sure exactly when it opened, but our first canal visit was in 1986″.


H. Davies in his book ‘Birmingham Canal Navigation Through Time’ has a wealth of photographs, including this one of the Severn and Canal warehouse, which was on the site before the James Brindley pub was built. Other interesting information is given in Culture 24.

The Business Desk reports that New World Trading Company (NWTC) has appointed P4 Planning to design a brief for the scheme and to submit a planning application to the city council to transform the dated, vacant and now derelict appearance of the pub, described as ‘something of an eyesore on the city centre’s otherwise popular canal quarter’: Duncan Tift continues: “The James Brindley was built in the 1980s replacing a former canal side warehouse. With its canal side frontage and outdoor terrace the venue was initially popular but the development of the Mailbox and its waterfront bars lured trade away to the point where it was forced to close in 2008”.

The brief ends:“Overall, the proposal will rejuvenate and bring a long derelict building back into productive use, generating employment opportunities and enhancing the character of the canal basin and setting of surrounding listed buildings”.


And the Fox and Grapes?

Recorded here by Elliott Brown some time ago – looking far worse now.