Although Birmingham has been a city from the time when Queen Victoria granted city status in 1889 most citizens (Brummies) still refer to Birmingham as a town. When visiting Birmingham city centre from the suburbs the journey is generally known as 'going up town' never down or across, always up. Various attractions have drawn people to Birmingham over the centuries however the most consistent has been to the area of St Martin's Church that includes, following its establishment in 1166 by Peter de Birmingham, the markets. Buildings and venues that change any city centre are recorded in the memory of those that have experienced them. Now a number of changes made to the centre of Birmingham over the last 100 years are also recorded and through the medium of photography, illustrated in this book, providing a permanent history of Birmingham (up town).
Ted Rudge is a well-known local figure in the area. He has recently completed a dissertation at Birmingham University under another well-known man - Carl Chinn. He has a deep interest in the area, and devotes much of his time to studying and writing about local history. He lives in Shirley with his wife, and runs a Winson Green website.