Concrete fish sculpture

On Fox Hollies Road there are three tower blocks, each one 12 storeys tall. A stretch of parkland called Curtis Gardens lies between the blocks and the road, with trees and a playground. A gate with two pillars marks the entrance to what was the site of a Victorian manor house called Fox Hollies Hall. The hall was demolished in the 1930s. Near to the gate is a concrete play sculpture of what I used to think was a bird’s head, but is actually a fish. It was made by the sculptor John Bridgeman, whose play sculptures for children were common on Birmingham’s council estates that were built in the sixties as part of the city’s post-war regeneration. Sadly it is the only one to have survived. Play sculptures were a popular innovation from the mid-twentieth century through to the late seventies. Urban planner Gabriela Burkhalter describes them as “art that could be touched, climbed on and crawled through.”

Concrete fish play sculpture, Curtis Gardens, Acocks Green (Image source: The Guardian)

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