Digbeth Institute (Institutional Church), plus several outlets plus café (O2 Institute), High Street, Digbeth, Birmingham
Designed by Arthur Harrison, it was officially opened January 16, 1908 as a social and religious centre. by the wife of the Pastor of Carrs Lane Church, John Henry Jowett, as an Institutional Church attached to Carr's Lane Congregational Church.
In 1954, the building was put up for sale by the trustees as they felt the building was not needed for its originally intended use. It was bought by Birmingham City Council in 1955 for £65,000 and was used as a civic hall.
People known to have made speeches at the Digbeth Institute include Neville Chamberlain, Henry Usborne, Florence L. Barclay and Herbert Hensley Henson.
From the late 1950s and early 1960s it started its now long history of becoming a place for live music event housing the Midland Jazz club.
In its time, it has gone though many owners in it time and changed its name, but without a doubt it is Digbeth place to go for up & coming bands to play for a small audience holding maximum of 2,000-capacity in the main auditorium called "The Institute” out of three room venue which has a seated upper balcony, the downstairs room which holds up to 600 people called 'O2 Institute
Love the photos taken in 1908 which inspired me to paint this view, not much has apparently has changed but if you look closely, the far end is a Tudor black & white building has gone to be replaced with the Vintage Clothing store, I have tried to find more photos of the High St to show this building in more detail. However, since 1908 it is a delight to see this historic stretch of Digbeth High St remains.
This painting is named after Victor Louis Johnson (10 May 1883 – 23 June 1951), Vic Johnson, born in Aston Manor and his family moved to Erdington his father John T Johnson, was a bicycle maker. No doubt gave him advantage to get on his bike. was a British track cycling racer who, in 1908, won a gold medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics; became 'World Amateur Sprint Champion' and the 'British National Quarter-mile Champion'.
In September 1909, he set three world records at Herne Hill Velodrome, London, for quarter-mile, three-quarter mile and one mile. His quarter-mile time (28 seconds) stood as the world record for 21 years and as the British amateur record for 'at least 39 years'
It’s a damp day the folk are out shopping with the family, the ladies are chatting catching up with the gossip and while the chatting a way a cheeky little lad is messing around with Our Lady’s grandma dress, and poor little teddy is just been forgotten.
While mum inside the store sorting her husbands’ order, the children are playing outside have you spotted them?