Historian Ben Waddington is offering a tour of sights and buildings inspired by his article Invisible Architecture

“Take a walk down New Street. The challenge is to get where you need to be without being waylaid by market researchers, religious groups, animal rights zealots, charity collectors in pincer formation, personality testers, Big Issue sellers on their last copy, or the unlucky folk needing just 20p towards their train fare. Even if you successfully run this gauntlet, you are never out of the magnetic field of every shop window display, carefully arranged to take your attention and unfold your money. One direction you cannot afford to look is upward. The impression is that it [the city centre] is a modern arrangement of concrete blocks put up in the sixties at the expense of Victorian splendour. The reality is very different: certainly there are some recent buildings but above the ground floor is mostly rich Victorian brickwork, colourful faïence, terracotta, sculpture and ornate ironwork.”

Saturday 25th September 2010. £5.

Above: Newton Chambers, Cannon Street, Birmingham City Centre.