Aston has a few quirky spots that are mostly hidden from the students and staff at the university – and a couple of interesting ones that aren’t hidden, but you need to know where they are.
The Woodcock Sports Centre used to have two swimming pools.
The ground floor-up was revamped to be part of what is now the weights and gym section of the sports centre, but the original site of the pool was not filled-in. The former pool structure is still intact, complete with tiling and scaffolding to support the structure above ground. There are even remains of the original glass windows where spectators could watch divers. The basement of the sports centre has many open spaces, like this: As well as this funky drainage underneath the showers. That’s a lot of wristbands: The basement of the Main Building used to have a room housing shooting range equipment:
Apparently security put ditched bikes in there now, instead.
Astronomy society used to have a meeting room in the basement. Although it’s been emptied, they forgot a phone and a machine used to press glass lenses (which was where they were made in the late 90’s)
The Uni’s post room is hidden at the bottom of the building, just near the underpass that leads towards Penworks / The Heights. They have ways of sprucing up the office, such was their quirky Christmas trees (kept up year-round):
The roof is much more interesting.
Aside from the amazing views of Birmingham and the campus (with UNITE students’ green rooftop visible in the second photo) The roof has solar panels that generate enough energy to run about 5 houses for a year, but it’s just for the University’s consumption:
More peculiarly is the observatory on the roof, and the 7th floor corridor that leads up to this area – and a small living quarters that is rented out to science institutions, although the quarters do not look interesting.
The view from UNITE students’ accommodation rooftop is not so bad, neither:
Not so-hidden is the Paternoster lift (like a belt that keeps on revolving round)You can find this on South Wing’s 4th floor.