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Emett’s Birmingham

Frederick Rowland Emett (1906-1990) was a Punch cartoonist who, uniquely, turned his drawings into reality. He built a series of amazing machines in the post-war decades, the most famous of which appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Birmingham was Emett’s hometown so this walk – led by Tim Griffiths from the Rowland Emett Society – visits some of the buildings associated with him in the city centre, finishing at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where you can see many of his ingenious contraptions in action.

The 1.5 mile walk will visit the now derelict drawing office of Turner Bros. in Cliveland Street where he worked on Frank Whittle’s jet engine during the war, to see a film of the space as it appeared in 1947* (see image above, a painting by Emett himself). The walk also takes in the Siviter Smith buildings in Ludgate Hill and Great Charles Street and the Birmingham School of Art where he studied.

This event is a collaborative project between Flatpack and the Rowland Emett Society and runs in conjunction with Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett, the largest ever exhibition of the work of Rowland Emett which runs at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until 21st September 2014. All those with tickets for the walk can gain entrance to the exhibition at a discounted price of £4.

*Please note that the screening will last approximately 20 minutes midway through the walk, and will take place on the fifth floor of the old Turner Bros. building. It should be noted that there is no lift access and some of the flights of stairs are quite steep. Customers with access requirements are advised to contact Flatpack Film Festival (info@flatpackfestival.org.uk / 0121 771 1509) prior to booking.

The walk runs at 11am and 2pm on 21 June, and places are strictly limited.
Please meet at the entrance to St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter (B3 1QZ).
Total duration: Approximately 90 minutes

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See also: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Electric Cinema, 22 June, 12:30pm.

This event is part of Love Architecture Festival, a programme of events taking place across June by RIBA West Midlands. The festival aims to celebrate architecture and the built environment whilst inspiring, informing and exciting people of all ages about the built environment. Festival activities will celebrate the amazing architecture and the buildings, streets and neighbourhoods all around us. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun through a range of action-packed events.


Date :
June 21, 2014 @ 11:00 am - 12:45 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Love Architecture, Rowland Emett, Tim Griffiths
This event was part of One-offs


St Paul’s Church
St Paul's Square
Birmingham, B3 1QZ
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