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Watch this video of the Bull Ring as it was in 1964

Written by
Jon Cook

These days, with its shimmering, light-filled walkways and flashy designer shops, the Bull Ring (we refuse to write it as 'Bullring' as the marketers request) is one of the UK's most visited shopping centres and a thing of pride to any self-respecting Brummie.

And way back in the annals of history, it was the ancient marketplace where traders and farmers from around Birmingham came to sell their produce and livestock, helping our city grow from a tiny hamlet into one of Europe's biggest metropolises.

However, in the Bull Ring's 900-year existence, there's one period of its history those of us unlucky enough to live through would probably rather forget. Yep, we're talking about the Bull Ring of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

A cold, mosaic-and-concrete clad mess of crap shops and dirty market stalls, you'd be hard pressed to find a Brummie alive who wasn't happy to see the 1960s-built 'Bull Ring Centre' razed to the ground before reopening as we know it today in 2003.

However, as the video below shows, when it was first opened in 1964, the old Bull Ring was a modernist architect's wet dream. Hopes must have been so high - on paper, its design looked like something straight out of the future; all geometrically precise straight lines, automated car parks, outdoor escalators and multiple subways and flyovers.

Shame it turned into such a massive shit hole, eh? 


Like this? Check our gallery of 22 retro pictures of Birmingham in the '80s.

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