HISTORIC COAT OF ARMS REACHES NEW HOME
Contractor Speller Metcalfe, who is working on the demolition of the building on Tyburn Road, was astonished to uncover the vast Portland stone piece after being made aware of its existence during the works by local resident Chris Kilmister.
The coat of arms was installed when the site was constructed as the Birmingham Bus Garage in 1921 but had been boarded over 40 years ago, when Birmingham City Council moved its location. Palletline took up residency in 1998, but the building has stood empty for several years, since the pallet network moved its headquarters to Starley Way in October 2008, and It is now being transformed into a new car dealership for Colliers Motor Group.
Chris Kilmister explains: “I lived near to the depot when the buses moved out and have kept an eye on the building ever since, aware that the coat of arms was hidden there. When I heard that the building was about to be demolished I contacted Site Manager Lee Mallett and we were able to rescue the piece – and it’s thanks to a team effort between Palletline and Speller Metcalfe that it will be safely removed and transported to its new home at the Wythall Motor Museum.”
Global Logistics Central Ltd, has given its time free of charge to move the coat of arms, which is currently in storage across seven pallets, ready for its move to the Museum, which specialises in bus transport.
Its design is unique, in that the man and woman pictured to the left and right of the image, are standing in the opposite places to the recognised Birmingham Coat of Arms.
Martin Rantle, Sales and Marketing Director for Palletline said: “Palletline and Global Logistics are only too happy to help in moving the coat of arms to its new home at the Wythall Motor Museum and are only disappointed that we were unaware of its existence when we were in residency at the Tyburn Road site. It’s a fantastic piece of Birmingham history.”
Steve Turner, Depot Principal for Global Logistics said: “The story behind the coat of arms is fascinating and it’s amazing that such a large and important piece remained hidden for so long. We’re pleased to be part of the next stage in its history and are very much looking forward to seeing it take up residency in its new home very soon.”
Lee Mallet, Site Manager at Speller Metcalfe said: “This was a fantastic and significant find on site with the help of local resident Chris Kilmister and the site team who have worked hard to ensure its safe removal, with Palletline offering their services free of charge in order to help transport and preserve such a historic piece of local history.”