Posts labled: recording

What colour is the 11 route?

This year I decided to see what colour the outer circle was. I’ve been fascinated with an iPhone app called Color Identifier that does nothing else but read out the colours it detects in the centre of the camera’s sensor — based first on RGB values and then this list of colour names.

Here’s what it looks like:

I sat on the top deck of the bus and angled the camera so the colours it was reading were around eye-level for someone on the pavement. A bit like this (it hurt my arm to hold it in one position for two and a half hours, but I’m hard):

The headphone output of the phone was linked up to a recorder, recording it in real-time. The app reads a new colour about every three seconds.

I got on the 11C at around 11:20am, on Vicarage Road in King’s Heath, but it took around one stop to set up the iPhone and Zoom H2 to record. So, the circuit started here, opposite King’s Heath Park. The circuit took around 2 hours 20 min — the driver had a fag break in Ward End and popped in to a house opposite Acock’s Green Garage for a minute or two.

So here’s what colour the outer circle is:

A beautifully relaxing two-plus hours of spoken word (please feel free to download and make your own interpretation).

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Nicky Getgood’s 11-11-11

“It was the first time I’d ever traveled on the 11 Bus, and I stupidly misread the timetable and thought a full circuit took about an hour, so thought my Flip’s memory of 60 minutes would pretty much cover it.”

11 Bus on 11th Nov 2009 from Nicky Getgood on Vimeo.

Not quite, Nicky — but a full circuit is always worth it (even if it’s too dark outside to see).

Friends of the 11

Birmingham Friends of the Earth (probably promoting public transport) took an evening circuit:

“Given that we had taken up most of the back half of the top deck, it seems we also confused quite a few seasoned back seat dwellers by occupying their preferred spot, and hence forcing them to sit in unfamiliar territory further towards the front.”

Laura McDermott’s 11 word 11-11-11 ’09

Eleven word texts from the number 11 bus route, November 11th (2009)
- Halfway down Vicarage Road, the demographic shifts dramatically.  No more bohemians!
- Coterill.  Home of Party Shops.  Five of them, actually.  Glitter everywhere.
- Bourneville.  Quaker territory.  Speech punctures silence.  A good way to remember
- Officially outside ‘City of Birmingham’.  Bearwood the name of the ‘wilderness’.
- Independent shops line the high street.  The rent must be cheaper.
- ‘White flight’ made Dudley different to 20 years ago.  All change.
- ‘God bless you Michael’.  Flowers on the side of the road.
- Short back and sides, a shave, record and Summit to eat.
- Another bus, not participating in psychogeography today, apologises.  Front display: ‘Sorry…’
- Jamaican building society, Universal Foods, Polski produkt, Shaandar Food Store.  Handsworth.
- Watt and Murdoch, Lunasoc founding members, buried nearby.  ‘Proper Birmingham history’.
- Ozzy’s house.  It’s not black and no bats circle the roof.
- ‘Be a Star in Perry Bar’.  Every scrubland needs a poet.
- Bridge painted maroon and blue by Villa team.  Untouched since 1984.
- Two Yew Trees and two Hares and Houndss.  On opposite sides.
- Some people who live in King’s Standing decide never to leave.
- Richard from Erdington did the 11 bus orbit as a kid.
- Navigation by pubs.  Ward End’s Fox and Goose is a goodun.
- The number 11 buses sleep in the garage at Acock’s Green.
- Washington Irving wrote Sleepy Hollow in Stirchley.  American Gothic in Birmingham.
- The suburbs filled the gaps between villages.  Birmingham got big.

11 Bus – the song

The gorgeous Mark Steadman (trading as Moxy Park for comic song-writing)  produced this fantastic bit of work. A song which lists every stop on the 11 route. Why he started in Acock’s Green is a mystery…

Omnibuses 2.0 — an 11-11-11 ’09 from outside the city…

Omnibuses 2.0  is a site that “aim[s] to reflect in bite-sized pieces, the many facets of the UK bus industry.” They came to Birmingham to take part in 11-11-11, and very interesting to read an account from people without emotional or historical attachment to the area. They blogged hard:

An Outer Odyssey:

“It’s 30 years to the year since I last boarded Birmingham’s iconic 11C Outer Circular. And it’s time for something completely different blogwise, today.”

11C: Acocks Green:

“In seemingly tranquil suburbia, here is an odd place for a bus garage but its design is in keeping. Incoming is a short 11E, terminating. My 11C leaves a Metrobus at the bus stop. Fittingly, the shelter has a small reminder of the days when Birmingham buses were blue and cream, just visible to the right.”

11C: King’s Heath:

“totally dominated by a threatening NXWM driver whose aggressiveness was shameful and whose understanding about photography pitiful”

11C: Bourneville:

“There’s a smell in the autumn air from Cadbury’s. It seems as if wood’s burning with a slightly bitter scent though this is undoubtedly chocolate. Bourneville village itself is like a “chocolate” box and I can’t believe I’ve spent over half an hour here, including a small fortune in the Cadbury’s World shop. Stocking up for the rest of the journey, you know…”

11C: Selly Oak:

“the only landmark near my stop is a public lavatory peculiarly emblazoned with the words ‘Selly Oak’, as if it’s a civic monument”

11C: Bearwood:

“The 11C leaves Birmingham at this point, for a brief excursion into adjoining Sandwell borough. Another mobile phone, and it’s becoming an epidemic, this time with its owner tunelessly moaning along to the music as if he was in the privacy of his bathroom. I punch the uninspiring lyrics into my smartphone search engine to discover it’s a song by O-Town.”

11C: Winsom Green [sic]:

“The city hospital has two queues, one of smokers sat on a low wall, excluded leper-like from within; and a decent number awaiting the bus.”

11C: Handsworth:

“Asian restaurants, shops selling bright Asian clothes from brightly lit windows, a Sikh bridal shop, a Polish supermarket, Halal foodshops. Incongruously, among them is a branch of award-winning butcher Walter Smith, established 1885.”

11C: Perry Barr:

“The A34 dual carriageway forces its way, forming an impenetrable north-south barrier negotiable on foot only via grim 1960s-designed underpasses, with over-bright tiles.”

11C: Erdington:

“You get the feeling Erdington’s seen better times. I suppose it’s difficult to get a feel for the place in 10 minutes but that’s all I have. Once a lower middle class suburb, this area seems less diverse. Out of centre retailing & the recession have resulted in random units closed or to let. Charity, cheap & pound shops prevail. Compare this to Handsworth and I know which I’d prefer.”

11C: Yardley:

“You get the impression that we’re moving upmarket and this is perhaps demonstrated by a ‘no cold calling’ zone. Verges are wider and trees mature. The Swan shopping centre is preceded by a work-in-progress, with mountains of hard core.”

11C: Ward End:

“The 11C crosses the Birmingham & Fazakerley canal at Heartlands. Passengers witness sheds, warehouses, industry, brownfield dereliction and strange, modular, pre-cast concrete structures prophetically labelled ‘Waycon’.”

11C: And back towards Acocks Green:

“The leafy road to Acocks Green continues the middle class trend, something confirmed by a road sign acclaiming Acocks Green as a ‘village’. No doubt this alone adds £10,000 to the value of every house. Pity about the music emanating from yet another mobile phone speaker.”

11C: The Final Post:

  • “Buses used: 11 on the Outer Circle 11C plus a return trip on the 11A/C between Perry Barr & Handsworth.
  • All bar one was a Wrightbus body, the other being a Plaxton.
  • Total journey time on the bus: 2hr 28mins
  • Favourite spot: Handsworth
  • Least favourite spot: Perry Barr
  • Concerned about: NXWM driver at King’s Heath
  • Pleased about: good loads on nearly all buses”

GPS – 11-11-11 ’09

11C by Nikki Pugh

11C by Nikki Pugh

Nikki Pugh is an artist with a fine obsession with GPS and mapping, she took one of her gismos on a circuit of the 11C and this is the result.

11-11-11 ’09 — Through the viewfinder

Pete Ashton took 69 photos — one every other stop on a circuit of the  route. He had to do it by bike, there simply aren’t enough elevens to get you round in a day if you’re going to get off every other stop. As you can see it took all day, Brum gets eerie and then frightening — the stops a focal point for a shot you’d probably never chose to take.

Here’s the contraption that Pete used to take them:

The Trap by Pete Ashton

The Trap by Pete Ashton

Mike Cummins’s 11-11-11 ’09

Mike did a circuit of the 11C from King’s Heath to King’s Heath
— in the dark.

DP’s 11-11-11 ’09

On Its Side

A maverick takes the 11A — plenty of stuff here.

Photos here are tagged 111111c on Flickr.
Outer Circle Bus Stops 67 Outer Circle Bus Stops 68