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Spoider Bloke
June 25, 2007 1:32 AM   Subscribe

Birmingham’s iconic, 200 foot high Selfridge’s building has been scaled by an anonymous teenage equivalent of Alain Robert (previously). A friend filmed the feat and posted it to YouTube, although local (text) news (YouTube) claims it has now been removed. But has it?
posted by MrMustard (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Augh, me babber. He's as mad as a hatter.

Thanks for posting this. After my whole 'Second City of the UK' flopped the other day, it's nice to see this iconic (and controversial) building in an FPP. It's way cooler than any building in Manchester [insert ;-) here]
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:42 AM on June 25, 2007


Breaking news: Idiot show-off climbs building.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:48 AM on June 25, 2007


'e's up there like a rat up a drainpipe.
posted by Abiezer at 2:01 AM on June 25, 2007


Yew mean tah tell me this hyere post ain't about Birmin'ham Alabama? Sheeeee-it, who thah hell cares about some young fool over in England climbin' up some gaddam funny lookin' buildin'?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:30 AM on June 25, 2007


ASBO!
posted by srboisvert at 2:57 AM on June 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


flapjax--
this American did the exact same thing and I wondered "wow, Birmingham (AL) must be getting pretty progressive if they've got a building like that!"
posted by zardoz at 3:11 AM on June 25, 2007


"uk" tag added for flapjax and zardoz. "secondcity" tag added for chuckdarwin.
posted by MrMustard at 3:13 AM on June 25, 2007


Thank you, MrMustard. We can't have any Mancunians thinking that their city can be designated as Second based on football and the fact that Oasis are from there... it should be based on population, surely.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:17 AM on June 25, 2007


zardoz raises a fair point, here. Why is modern American architecture so staid and conservative?
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:33 AM on June 25, 2007


Just keep quiet about the rest of Birmingham's architecture.
posted by srboisvert at 3:36 AM on June 25, 2007


srboisvert, I haven't lived here long, but I understand that old Bullring was monumentally ugly and universally despised. I can't even find any good photos of it...

On a recent episode of Britain in Pictures (great show, btw) one of the photogs went back to Brum for the first time in years and was bowled over by the new look of the place.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:44 AM on June 25, 2007


Any why is it instantly "Yah, boo, sucks Manchester! You're NOT the second city!"? Manchester isn't mentioned in the post. You don't defiantly call out Leeds or Glasgow or Belfast. Why single out Manchester?

Because it is the second city, and you know it. It's the city outside of globalised not-really-England London against which all other British cities measure themselves.

Though I really like Glasgow, many of my friends have settled in Leeds, and my wife is from Birmingham. So I think we should all join forces against the Real, South-Eastern Enemy. But that isn't as much fun!
posted by alasdair at 3:49 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


...I understand that old Bullring was monumentally ugly and universally despised. I can't even find any good photos of it...

There aren't any good photos of it. There ought to be some that accurately depict how it looked though.
posted by vbfg at 4:26 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Strange thing about Birmingham: The women all look like Sharon Osbourne. So do the men.
posted by Optamystic at 4:31 AM on June 25, 2007


Americans: Birmingham and Manchester are both HORRIBLE, despite what their supporters proclaim. When you come for a holiday, don't waste any time in either. Instead, spend more time in any of: London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cambridge, Bath, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and the Lake District. HTH.
posted by dickasso at 4:51 AM on June 25, 2007


Dublin, dickasso? You might as well recommend Paris too if you're mentioning foreign cities in the general area.
Pembrokeshire of course has the great city of St. David's (Tyddewi, pop. 2,000).
posted by Abiezer at 4:59 AM on June 25, 2007


Love the title! (It's not a spelling mistake)

Love Birmingham! It's misunderstood. Kind of like your elderly uncle that sits in the corner swearing and making small children cry at family gatherings. Turns out, he did some cool stuff in the war, and a lot of Britain's industrial and manufacturing heritage was built on the work he did. And he's now into arts and media and stuff.

Ok, maybe not quite like your elderly uncle, but you get the idea.

Bostin'
posted by Helga-woo at 5:02 AM on June 25, 2007


More people need to take control of their habitats instead of giving it up to a small minority of boring uninspired people. This is good.
posted by saturnine at 5:07 AM on June 25, 2007


Here is the old bullring. Here is the even older bullring. I jest about birmingham's architecture. It can be a very cool looking city as long as you are looking in the right direction. The less attractive parts are still interesting as historical monuments to architectural brutalism. The sad part is that Brum seems sort of embarrassed by its industrial legacy and there really isn't any serious tourist type preservation and display of it. I'd love to see some early industrial sites and equipment like what they have out in Ironbridge Gorge.

Just for the Cliffs in the crowd some trivia: The rotunda (the tall cylindrical building in the first picture ) was the site of England's worst terrorist attack before the recent subway/bus bombings. The Birmingham Six were imprisoned for 16 years before their convictions were overturned.
posted by srboisvert at 5:17 AM on June 25, 2007


I love the Selfridge's building.

So much so that if I was a teenage bloke, I wouldn't be climbing it, I'd be having sex with it.



Yeah, you heard me.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:25 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


[local humor] Americans: dickasso is Welsh, so don't believe a word he says about England. [/local humor]
posted by alasdair at 5:38 AM on June 25, 2007


Because it is the second city, and you know it.

I believe Manchester is the largest urban area outside of London...

posted by humblepigeon at 6:49 AM on June 25, 2007


I grew up near Birmingham. I went back there last year, and literally couldn't find my way round the Bull Ring area, it's changed so much.
posted by salmacis at 6:58 AM on June 25, 2007


People think Manchester's the second city. They're wrong.

Although, I have a feeling that it a lot to do with where you draw administration boundary lines, and Manchester looses out because it's lines enclose a smaller population than Birmingham's does. But you didn't hear that from me, ok?

And yes, it does seem anyone who thought they knew their way around the city now gets lost. My mum included.
posted by Helga-woo at 7:11 AM on June 25, 2007


srboisvert - we need to meet up at the thinktank... they have an IMAX, and the bottom floor is completely full of old engines and such.

alasdair - I'm only brought up Madchester because of a BBC poll which had the majority of Brits responding that it is now the Second City, despite the fact that Birmingham has more than twice as many inhabitants (no matter what humblepigeon says about urban areas [again with the :-P).
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:20 AM on June 25, 2007


backstory link
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:21 AM on June 25, 2007


And yes, it does seem anyone who thought they knew their way around the city now gets lost. My mum included.

And that's why I have a sat nav. It's a must-have accessory for us dirty foreigner types.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:24 AM on June 25, 2007


If it's a question of where bright young things would rather live in the UK, if they had to live in a city, I suspect the list would be something like this:

London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Birmingham
Cardiff
Leeds
Sheffield
etc

Seriously, no young person wants to live in Birmingham. It's up there with Newcastle as an impenetrable fortress of weird accents and industrialisation.

I don't think anybody would live in Birmingham if it wasn't for the fact they were born and grew-up there, or moved there to work/study. Seriously. It's just not a "destination city". Those who live there might think different, but then they would, wouldn't they?

London and Manchester are destination cities. Places to go and have fun. Places with things to see. Interesting places. Fun places.

Birmingham...? Are you serious?
posted by humblepigeon at 7:27 AM on June 25, 2007


Manchester has the music and what not, but Birmingham is where The Archers is recorded. I'm torn.
posted by vbfg at 7:48 AM on June 25, 2007


The criteria which determine a city's Secondness are unclear, hence the controversy.

Population: Brum
Hipness: Brighton
Tourism: York
Footy: Manchester
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2007


Tourism: York

Pft.

Footy: Manchester

Double pft.
posted by ninebelow at 8:12 AM on June 25, 2007


Brighton = London's hip overflow.
posted by humblepigeon at 8:12 AM on June 25, 2007


Population: Brum
Hipness: Brighton Brum
Tourism: York Brum
Footy: Manchester Brum (Only the Blue half mind)

Fixed that for you chuckdarwin.
posted by MrMustard at 8:40 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Brighton = London's hip overflow.

Bournemouth = Brighton's hip replacement.
posted by MrMustard at 8:41 AM on June 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is this one of those threads I would need to be a filthy limey to understand?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:42 AM on June 25, 2007


I love how the tv news report says they "mysteriously" took the video down, when it's clear they took it down because you can see the climber's face clearly at 2:00 into the news bit and one of his buddies' at 2:47. Duh. I didn't watch the whole reposted video, but assume they cut out the bits with their faces this time.

Too bad, but it seems pretty clear they're gonna be busted.
posted by mediareport at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2007


Is this one of those threads I would need to be a filthy limey to understand?

No, anybody can take the piss out of Brummies.
posted by humblepigeon at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2007


humblepigeon: "Is this one of those threads I would need to be a filthy limey to understand?

No, anybody can take the piss out of Brummies.
"

I'm guessing that I'd have to be a Limey to understand that sentence.
posted by octothorpe at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2007


anybody can take the piss out of Brummies.

Except humblepigeon. He's not very good at it.
posted by MrMustard at 11:43 AM on June 25, 2007


vbfg wrote Manchester has the music and what not, but Birmingham is where The Archers is recorded. I'm torn.

Bands from Brum: Black Sabbath, Duran Duran, The Spencer Davis Group, Wizard, The Move, Traffic (Steve Winwood later forming one third of supergroup Blind Faith), E.L.O., The Beat, The Specials, Selecter, Musical Youth, the Moody Blues, Dexys Midnight Runners, GBH, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy and the The Bureau, Napalm Death, Pop Will Eat Itself, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The WonderStuff, The Charlatans, Birdland, Dodgy, Denim, The Lilac Time, and Ocean Colour Scene... Most recently: The Editors
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:08 PM on June 25, 2007


Even more recently, The Twang.
posted by MrMustard at 2:57 PM on June 25, 2007


I'm sure the Wonderstuff and PWEI are from some place near Brum where they burn you alive if you say it's in Brum.

I'll grudgingly concede the others though. ;)
posted by vbfg at 12:39 AM on June 26, 2007


Bands from Brum: Black Sabbath, Duran Duran, The Spencer Davis Group, Wizard, The Move, Traffic (Steve Winwood later forming one third of supergroup Blind Faith), E.L.O., The Beat, The Specials, Selecter, Musical Youth, the Moody Blues, Dexys Midnight Runners, GBH, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy and the The Bureau, Napalm Death, Pop Will Eat Itself, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The WonderStuff, The Charlatans, Birdland, Dodgy, Denim, The Lilac Time, and Ocean Colour Scene... Most recently: The Editors

You're not making a good case.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:55 AM on June 26, 2007


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