HRH The Earl of Wessex unveiled the Platinum Jubilee Walkway in Birmingham interpretation panel at The Exchange, Centenary Square.
The panel provides a summary of the 20 points of special significance to the people of Birmingham that are connected by the walks 22km (13 mile) circular path around the city.
Some of the key places on the walk that are interpreted on the panel include the Bullring, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Chamberlain Clock on Warstone Lane, Pen Museum in the Jewellery Quarter and Highgate Baptist Church where Birmingham’s first black minister presided in the 1880s.
All 20 of the Walkway points have now been marked permanently with distinctive bronze ‘medals’ which contain the Queen’s personal EIIR royal cypher and crown. The Earl walked part of the new Walkway today and experienced the route in advance of the panel unveiling.
HRH was welcomed to The Exchange – the University of Birmingham’s city centre community hub, which is located at the start of the Walkway – by the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff and Professor Deborah Longworth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education at the University of Birmingham.
Other guests included representatives of the 20 points of significance and those locally who have helped design, implement and complete the route in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands said:
“I’m delighted that His Royal Highness was able to come and walk part of the Birmingham Platinum Jubilee Walkway with us today. The Walkway is a terrific new asset for Birmingham, which is now open and free for every resident and visitor to enjoy before, during and after the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games”.
Hugo Vickers, Chairman of the Commonwealth Walkway Trust, said:
“This is our 100th Walkway in the Commonwealth and I’m so pleased that The Earl of Wessex was able to support us, as His Royal Highness has with other Walkways in Ghana, St Helena and Canada. This one is particularly special as it celebrates The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which is how we started 45 years ago with a Walkway along the Thames in London for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee. Congratulations to the city of Birmingham for this permanent Platinum Jubilee celebration route”.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham Council said:
“This new Walkway shows both Birmingham’s heritage and modern architecture, with sites including the Chamberlain Clock, the Coffin Works, the Black Sabbath Bench and the University. We are really excited to be chosen as the location for the Platinum Jubilee Walkway, and will be producing a supporting leaflet and activity trail for visitors who want to walk the route in time for the Commonwealth Games this summer”.
Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust said:
“We’re really proud that The Queen’s Platinum Walkway follows parts of the Birmingham & Fazeley and Worcester & Birmingham canals. Our canals in Birmingham tell a really important story as part of the city’s heritage and continue to provide valuable green spaces for people to spend time by water, right in the heart of the city”.
Professor Deborah Longworth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education at the University of Birmingham said:
“The University of Birmingham is committed to helping to make our city a better place to live, work and learn. We are delighted to welcome The Earl of Wessex to The Exchange as we mark the unveiling of this fantastic Walkway which links people and communities in a journey of discovery through Birmingham’s shared heritage.”
The Platinum Jubilee Walkway in Birmingham is supported by Birmingham City Council, the University of Birmingham, the Canal and River Trust, West Midlands Combined Authority, and the Commonwealth Games Federation. The Trust is very grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Band Trust for their generous support for this initiative.