Yo u r m o n th ly c o m m unity m agazine
MO SELEY B 1 3 £1 Inside... Ne primw scho ary ol?
The ‘J. G. Ballard of Birmingham’ - Pages 4 and 5
Inside Moseley’s mosque with Saifer as our guide - Page 20
Police kick the drink
Follow the move to strike drinking from our streets - Pages 10 and 11
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Good ne ws! Well done to all! ¬ A.M.
Really brilliant. What a coup to get Benjamin - fantas tic! ¬ S.
ta 3. [...] will seek ou t] about the new B1 [ou 3! d B1 fin of to d ss hte cce su lig I am de the future Very best wishes for copy on Saturday. ¬ HB.
Village News (38 St. Mary’s Row) Nima Delicatessen (103 Alcester Rd) Moseley Post Office (149 Alcester Rd) Indigo Wholefoods (25 St. Mary’s Row) Acupuncture & Chiropractic Centre (26 Wake Green Rd)
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[...] above all thanks very much for taking on the worthwhile task of producing B13! ¬ Pam R.
Select & Save (Alcester Road) Moseley Exchange / CDT (Alcester Road) Kings Heath Library (Kings Heath High Street) Kitchen Garden Cafe (York Road KH)
Editor’s comment The Americans have an adage that those who don’t get involved have no right to complain about the actions of their elected representatives. Well the same could be said about the police’s call for community support to tackle the problem of street drinking (see this month’s article “Last orders”). Anyone who fails to take the police at their word and does not provide the evidence they claim they need to gain the legal leverage to drive out the street drinkers loses the right to complain about it. With increasing police cutbacks, the community has been asked to help tackle a problem the police cannot face alone, and those who wish to see the problem resolved should act. Police have asked that anti-social behaviour be catalogued by residents and traders in statements, photos and by CCTV footage and presented to our councillors and police. Street drinking in Moseley is nothing new. Some of us remember how choirboys in the 1980s used to collect discarded bottles from St Mary’s churchyard in an attempt to reclaim the 5p bottle deposit from the off licence. However, many have noticed the problem intensifying to the point where the village’s traders and the residents of King Edward Road are giving off a tangible sense of rage. We all want this situation resolved but we must be part of the solution, including helping those who are addicted to alcohol. Elsewhere in the magazine we cover an author event in Kings Heath library which inspired children to use their library and read more. Libraries are a hugely important part of a civilised society and now is the time to support them. We shouldn’t be grateful for the situation just because there are no current plans to close individual libraries in Birmingham. Library provision is going to be seriously reduced; opening hours will be cut in the majority of the city’s libraries; many staff who are vital to the running of an effective library service will lose their jobs and are unable to speak out against the cuts. There are things we can do to support our libraries. Fortunately, the best way to support your local library is also the most enjoyable: use it. We also talk with award-winning Birmingham author Catherine O’Flynn, take a look at Moseley’s mosque with Saifer Rehman, cover local launches, Moseley Society’s Fiona Adams, who’s just been awarded an MBE, and report on the possibility of a new primary school for Moseley/Kings Heath. Have we missed any stories? You are the community and we want to hear what’s going on in our area. Please contact us with ideas for stories or articles and with any comments about this issue, and help make this the best community magazine it can be. We hope you enjoy the Moseley Festival (8th to 17th July), we’ll be there getting photos and reviews so if you see us, come and say hello! Go to www.moseleyb13.com or www.moseleyfestival.org.uk for more information. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who contacted us about the re-launch. We’ve had some lovely comments and we’re trying to iron out any difficulties that have come up (for example, we’ve increased the print size for this edition). We will keep things as cost-effective as possible and we hope you’ll agree that the magazine (which, starting next month, will also have an exciting listings for pubs, clubs, gigs, films and much more) is worth supporting. Happy reading...
Come and see us online at www.moseleyb13.com B13-July-2011-v1.indd 3
Homage to Moseley Acclaimed Moseley author Catherine O’Flynn is just finishing her third book about economic decline in Catalonia. But she tells Juliet Clare Bell that she is deeply rooted in her hometown.
Catherine O’Flynn has been described by Faye Weldon in the Guardian as “the JG Ballard of Birmingham ... finding poetry and meaning where others see merely boredom and dereliction”. What Was Lost (published by Birmingham’s own highly regarded Tindal Street Press) won the 2007 Costa First Novel Award, and was longlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker and short-listed for the Guardian first novel prize. The News Where You Are (Penguin, 2010) has been highly praised by reviewers, and Catherine is currently writing her third novel, set in Spain, but dealing with issues of class and immigration in Britain. We meet in Moseley’s Maison Mayci and chat about
Catherine and her books – and laugh, a lot – over lunch. It’s local to where she writes now, in a tiny, bare office (no distractions, in contrast to writing at home) on George Street in Balsall Heath. “I like other people around me, doing completely different things. It feels like a proper job,” she says. In the past, she’s worked round the corner in Woodbridge Road at the City X listings magazine; at the Job Centre (now Moseley Exchange) and the Mac. Catherine’s recently back from a research trip to Sitges in Catalonia to see some of the ghost towns that have emerged over the past few years as a result of the economic downturn. She describes towns, built recently for thousands of people but with only a couple of hundred residents. She drove round one which she says was really eerie, like a film-set. The trip was very useful for getting a feel for the setting of the book. And what about research for her previous novels?
here. Ian Francis from 7 Inch Cinema also sent over some really interesting films from 1965.” With Birmingham’s development so central to The News Where You Are, and a character with a vision of the city not unlike that of the 1960s Moseley architect John Madin, I ask about her thoughts on the new central library project. “I’m interested in how it’s so cyclical. I remember my mother lamenting the loss of the Victorian library, which was demolished for the John Madin one. There was lots of protest against that. Birmingham is a crazy combination of vision and insecurity. I think it should have more confidence in itself and stand by its decisions. John Madin is more appreciated now. It’s unwise con-
“I didn’t do any for What Was Lost. I’d worked in shopping centres so the book came out of that. It’s like the most extreme aspects of Merry Hill and The Pavilions. With The News Where You Are [centred around fictional local news presenters in Birmingham], I spent one day with Midlands Today and spoke to the team there quite a bit, but the Birmingham developments I already knew about as I grew up
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stantly trying to erase your past. But I do also love that Birmingham’s always dreaming of this better thing. It chimes with a lot of things I’m interested in, about loss, what gets left behind. I’m a bit hung up on writing about loss.” And was Catherine’s childhood in Birmingham at all like that of Kate Meany, the protagonist from What Was Lost who one day just disappears? “We lived in Nechells, where my dad had a sweetshop and my mum was a teacher at my primary school … Until I was about 11 or 12 I wanted to be a detective like Kate. I loved books about detectives … urban and contemporary. I could never identify with The Famous Five. I used to stake out the local bank, taking down registrations,” she says. And did you get the bus into town on your own when you were young, like Kate? “From about eight or nine I went alone. I loved it. In fact, we’re very similar, except she had the office I always wanted.” As a teenager, Catherine didn’t read much fiction. “We had all the magazines and papers in the shop. There were five brothers and sisters then me. So I was really into music because they were. I remember when Face magazine came out when I was a teenager. I was totally obsessed with it.” So what’s next? Whilst busy preparing for a move to Kings Heath over the summer, she’s writing the third novel, which will also be published by Penguin. “If I lost my inspiration, I’d do something else. Writing’s not that central to my sense of self-esteem.” And that comes across throughout our meeting. Her writing feels like her, written down (from now when I read her books, I will hear her voice throughout). For our sakes, I hope that Catherine O’Flynn, who’s always been suspicious of any career, just keeps on choosing to write that next book. Juliet Clare Bell www.julietclarebell.com
No ‘orcward’ moments Photos: William Baldwin
Swords clashed, wizards told stories and Ents rustled for thousands of visitors at May’s Middle Earth Weekend at Sarehole Mill. Organiser Vivienne Wilkes said the event near the childhood home of JRR Tolkien had became stronger each year. “We’ve had superb feedback. It’s not just Tolkien fans who came. Families are increasingly realising it’s a really nice, safe event. “I struggle to pick a highlight for the weekend. There’s the wonderful Pibau Planed Celtic Band, Alchemy with their baby dragons who tell stories and the Vikings, of course. It all adds to the overall atmosphere.”
She reserved special praise for the volunteers who made the event happen. “Many people think it’s put on by the council but without the volunteers it wouldn’t happen. They all worked above and beyond what could have been expected.” Numerous poetry readings, walks led by Birmingham author Bob Blackham and archaeologist Mike Hodder, along with activities and treasure hunts with the University of the First Age, ensured all ages could find something of interest. Vivienne said there was talk about trying to tie in next year’s events with the 2012 Cultural Olympics but the dust would have to settle from the recent weekend before any strategy was adopted.
A summer to remember Parents scrambling to keep their children busy this summer could keep an eye out for the Highbury Cluster’s Summertastic 2011 events offering an impressive range of events to ensure youngsters acquire new skills and sleep soundly at night. The holiday activity programme is run by the Village Cluster, the University of the First Age and the Highbury Cluster and is open to school-age children with a B13, B14 or B30 postcode at a cost of £10 a day per person. There are sports, arts and crafts, drama, writing, music, circus skills, dance, photography and film-making sessions, along with activities for whole families and youngsters with special educational needs. The events, running from July 25 to August 31, normally begin at 10am and finish by 3pm. Kings Heath Park Rangers will be holding three-day forest skills courses in Highbury Park where families can make dens and encampments from natural materials. A summer cricket camp will run at Kings Heath Cricket Club on the Alcester Road South under the stewardship of professional coaches. The spectacular Highbury Hall will host a jewellery workshop and classes in paper engineering to make 3D, pop-up cards and books.
The MTV (make that video) workshop on writing lyrics, music and recording a pop video will also be held at the historic hall. A five-day art history course will take place at Highbury Hall for teenagers, taking inspiration from the house to demonstrate examples of the Art Noveau and Arts and Crafts movements. There will be photography classes in lens-work and photo manipulation on Photoshop at Windsor House in Kings Heath High Street. Fox Hollies School will stage a week of workshops teaching drama, music and circus skills, culminating in a performance for family and friends. Moseley’s Riverside House is the location for courses in juggling, plate spinning, feather balancing and diabolo with the Great Raymondo, who will also teach modelling balloons and ride the clown bike. Numerous sports, including a football camp, are being taught at Queensbridge School and at the Hub in Vicarage Road there is a three-day course on creating and recording a radio programme at a professional sound studio where CDs of the show will be burned as a souvenir. There are also daytrips to Barry Island near Cardiff and Telford Town Park for £10 for a family of four. For more details ring 0121 212 9838, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.highburycluster.org.uk.
Uffculme School to relocate
Uffculme School on Queensbridge Road could be converted into a single-form entry primary school now the open-air school is no longer big enough to house the centre for autistic children. Councillor Martin Mullaney told the Moseley Forum that Uffculme School was urgently looking to relocate, as it could no longer cope with the volume of pupils
since its age range had expanded to four to 18 years.
Hall, which was formerly a social services training college.
He added that the building was not particularly suited to autistic youngsters, who often responded best to somewhere very ordered, while the Edwardian-era openair school was rather rambling. The school was planning to move to the vacant Chamberlain House, next to Highbury
Plans for the primary school overlooking Highbury Park were currently working their way through the cityâ€™s education department, he said. It would also relieve pressure on Kings Heath and Moseley primary schools, which were straining as the birth rate rose in the area. Meanwhile, residents were given a narrow window to make their views known on the plans for a 324-seater Indian restaurant in the old Jug of Ale site on the Alcester Road. The plans for Akbarâ€™s would almost double the existing floor space to 1,467 square metres and take a two-storey extension to the back wall of 10 and 12 Park Hill. The curry chain has branches across the country, including a large restaurant on the Hagley Road. The Moseley Forum committee asked how the 60-space car park could serve a 324-seat restaurant and expressed concern that the enlarged building would overlook neighbouring homes.
Innovative or barmy? Views sought on “shared” road scheme The Moseley Forum committee is trying to gauge support for a "shared space" system for traffic management that would involve removing most road signs and the barriers between pedestrians and drivers. The system, which has already been introduced across the continent and in Southampton and Kensington, is credited with reducing accidents. The Forum committee insists residents should research the issue before dismissing it. Shared space would involve raising the level of the road to match the
pavement using a surface more like pebbles to limit speeds, with the cost of the scheme estimated at around £2-£3 million. Funding for similar projects has come from the European Union and average speeds had been found to be around 12mph, reducing congestion. The Forum’s newly elected chairman David Isgrove advised the public to watch videos on YouTube for working examples of shared space schemes, stressing that drivers would be forced to behave as they would on a campsite, taking more care of pedestrians.
Different coloured bays would mark parking spaces and surfaces of altered textures would mark the pavement’s edge for guide dogs. Councillor Martin Mullaney said: “Don’t go down the path of pushing this and then find you don’t have the public behind you.” The Forum agreed to set up a subgroup to look at ways to publicise the issue. Email your thoughts to editor@ moseleyb13.com or drop them in at the Moseley Exchange.
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LAST ORDERS Moseley’s police claim they are moving to exclude street drinkers from the area as residents said raucous sex, defecating, aggressive begging and drug taking were running out of control.
Residents of King Edward Road detailed the offences they witnessed inside St Mary’s churchyard. “It’s got worse each year we’ve been there. There are people having sex behind our garden wall, they’re taking drugs, throwing stuff over into our garden and defecating. They’re abusive if you ask them to move and there are loads of aggressive beggars,” said one resident on the road.
At a heated Kings Heath and Moseley Neighbourhood Tasking Meeting, Sergeant Tracie Wharton said a twopronged approach would either steer drinkers into care or enforce a dispersal order that would expel persistent “[The bookmakers] William Hill is the offenders from the area. worst problem. They hang out there, drinking all day, spitting at you and She said many of the Moseley’s drink- giving you abuse if you won’t give ers were keen to receive care and them a cigarette.” charities like Aquarius could provide treatment. A churchgoer said disabled parishioners were forced to use the lychgate “And for those who don’t, there and were often exposed to abuse and are Asbos. It will take a lot of work. foul smells. We need statements, which can be anonymous, and other evidence,” Sgt Christine Williams, head ranger of the Wharton said. private park, said membership was Diaries detailing the times of offences falling because people were unwilling and photos would help the police en- to walk past the drinkers gathered by force a dispersal order around an area the main gates, which was also used that the community could be involved by nursery groups. in defining. Anger against the church is growing After an offender had been asked with the police and residents calling to leave the zone, any return in 24 on the Birmingham Diocese to tackle hours would be a criminal offence, Sgt behaviour on its property. Wharton said. Cllr Mullaney said: “The diocese has to take some responsibility for its She said traders, who had fallen vic- property. If the council owned that tim to aggressive begging inside their land people would be contacting their shops, were also being asked to gather councillors.” evidence and provide CCTV footage. A warden at St Mary’s Peter Jupe deCouncillor Martin Straker-Welds tailed the church’s ambitious plans added that a dispersion order in to install solar panels this year and Billesley had been highly effective employ landscape architects to open at tackling pitched battles between up the area to the public, unlocking rival gangs over the course of a few the back gate to allow people to cut months. Councillor Martin Mullaney through the churchyard. said Moseley’s current wave of street drinking was partly caused because a “It’s a great opportunity for Moseley number of Asbos were expiring simul- to tell its history through the church,” taneously, meaning faces that had not he said. been seen in years were returning to their old haunts. But PC Chris Gordon, who is the officer with principal responsibility for
the issue, replied: “I’m very concerned about this… No one’s getting to enjoy that heritage and it’s being damaged.” Cllr Mullaney added: “If you open it up, the word will go out that there’s an oasis for all Birmingham’s drinkers.” The police and councillors called on residents to write to the diocese to call for a fence and fob system, similar to that at the private park, to prevent drinkers from getting in. Meanwhile, a resident of Alcester Road asked if gates could be fitted at the Victoria Parade arch to prevent drinkers cutting through on their way to the park entrance. Residents complained that calls to Moseley Police Station were going unanswered, voicemails were often disconnected and they had been told to try calling Stechford instead. “Hands up, we’ve got a problem with communication at the station,” Sgt Wharton said, explaining that a recent reorganisation had meant many phone lines were now mixed up and voicemails were not being received. But the upbeat sergeant said the phone system was being reorganised and now that PC Gordon was dedicated to the problem, real progress would be made. “Work with us and we will get it sorted out,” she pledged. Sgt Wharton called on the public to attend the police tasking meetings that take place on the last Wednesday of each month opposite Lidl in Silver Street, Kings Heath. Anyone with information about street drinkers can email Sgt Wharton on firstname.lastname@example.org or Cllrs Mullaney and Straker-Welds. William Baldwin
Tracie Whaton and Chris Gordon
hate him for being this good if it wasn’t for his gentle mannerI’d come not sure what to expect isms and warm sensibilities. I and was worried it was going to have nothing but goodwill and be one of those school hall af- affection for him. fairs with uncomfortable chairs and no slouching in the aisles. I As well as a skilled pianist, he is couldn’t have been further from a songwriter, with a good half of the truth. There were comfort- his music performed with lyrics, able chairs and a chilled atmo- although it is not as impressive sphere with Moseley promoter musically as his solo piano work. and musician Rich Batsford hap- I can see how it could be difficult pily sitting in the stalls taking to to fully incorporate his complex people. melodies and vocals without having to sacrifice something of On comes the support act, a one or the other. Though it kept straggly haired man by the name the event fresh and interesting. of Jules Craig. This man, who is a bit eccentric, played six of his If that wasn’t enough he recordown songs and some Dylan cov- ed a live improvisation starting ers accompanied by his guitar. in a key of the audience’s choosThe music was interesting, but ing, which, despite his initial middle of the road. With a bit display of apprehension, was of tidying up vocally and a more pulled off beautifully without obvious structure to the tunes, a hitch. It was then offered via this guy wouldn’t be funnier email to the audience. We’ll try than his songs are interesting. to get it online at moseleyb13. com. After a short interval, we were treated to a video from Rich You can tell Rich loves what Batsford’s new album, and if you he does and it mainly comes like subdued and moderately through while in mid-improvisapaced close vocal harmony, then tion, finding a chord he likes, it’s certainly worth a listen. and deliberately going back and playing it again. You I think part of this man’s charm can see the interest and is the fact there is nothing flam- fascination in what he boyant about his act or any at- does on his face. tempt to impress the audience with anything other than his Rich’s improvisations music. But you must be willing will he appearing on to forgive the shameless, funny disc between albums and aptly timed plugs for his two and three, though three albums and improvised there was no hint of releases, two of which are yet a name for it. In just to come out. However, I can- 90 minutes this not stress enough how talented man earned my this man is. You could almost
complete respect as an artist, and I hope he continues to write for years to come. Rich Batsford’s second album ‘Mindfulmess’ is available for £8 at www.richbatsford.com. John Northam Photo: Mike Cummins
Rich with talent
Rich Batsford at MAC
Carina Round @ The Hare & Hounds
It’s two years since Carina Round performed in Birmingham, filling the mid week H&H main room with wall to wall anticipation. The crowd murmurs, did someone say ‘homecoming’? Or was it another loudly whispered ‘I used to know her when…’ commentary coming from the bar. ‘I’m sorry for my pseudo American accent,’ Carina apologises, the aftershock of living and recording in LA apparently following her on stage. Dressed in a bright blue dress with bright red shoes she looks like a confident Dorothy. One preparing to fight her way home with an acoustic guitar.
Carina Round’s debut album, ‘The First Blood Mystery’, has been re-released on limited edition vinyl, celebrating the 10th anniversary of her first studio recording. For more information visit www.carinaround.com Review by Ed King Photograph by Paul Ward
Opening with the relatively new ‘You & Me’ and following with ‘Motel 74’ from her 2003 album ‘The Disconnection’, the old/new gauntlet is thrown down immediately. Lyrics like ‘you and me in a park in Kings Heath’ raise a conspiratorial laugh, whilst anger, Americana and what I’m calling acoustic punk, prevent anything too twee and comfortable. The chronological hop scotch continues with currently unreleased ‘Girl & Ghost’ and ‘Pick Up The Phone’ paving a return to Carina’s first two records in the shape of ‘How I See It’ and ‘Paris’. Despite the decade of difference, all Carina’s material is relevant, powerfully delivered and surprisingly fresh. But the first I-was-there moment arrived when Carina’s instructs the audience to ‘sing the last lines with me’ during Backseat, the beautiful lead track off her ‘Things You Should Know’ EP. Audience participation can be awful, embarrassing and even a little narcissistic. But sometimes, like this time, they’re a moment of magic. The second was a duet with Miles Hunt, singing ‘Four To The Floor’- a song originally written by Hunt ‘a gazillian years ago’ before Carina added a female retort to the ‘piss poor male’ lyrics. Apart from the rare chance to see two of the Midland’s finest play together on hallowed home ground, with Hunt on guitar it allowed Carina to do nothing but sing. Something she does frighteningly well. MOSELEY B13
LOCAL CHILDREN ‘SHAKE IT’ IN MUSIC VIDEO The crowds are gathering and the paparazzi are jostling for position. The atmosphere is electric as the stars begin to arrive in their chauffeur driven cars. But this isn’t Leicester Square; this is Kings Heath. Tonight is the premiere of a music video by dance project Humans v Chimps for their track Shake It For Me. And the megastars emerging from their limousines? Fifty children from schools across Birmingham, including Kings Heath Primary where the premiere is taking place. The chauffeurs are also invited - they are the parents! Humans v Chimps is the concept of Birmingham-based music producer, Simon Duggal. Simon, who has worked with artists including Shania Twain, Erasure, Maxi Priest and Steele Pulse, describes this latest project as ‘super-funky-electro-disco-pop’. Shake It For Me is a definite foot tapper; when Simon played a demo to his own children they started throwing shapes that would make Lady Gaga jealous. It was then that Simon had his epiphany: “I realized that it would be largely kids who would download the track, so why not put them in the video?” Local video production company Shuut Films was commissioned, and in no time they had a diverse list of over fifty children keen for their four minutes of fame. The brief was specific: the video had to be diverse, and above all fun. As an Asian aspiring musician growing up in Handsworth, Simon was heavily influenced by the sounds surrounding him – reggae, bhangra, rock, jazz, funk, hip hop and pop – and he soon realized the power of music to transcend cultural boundaries.
music is a common language. I think it’s really important to keep reminding people of this, starting with the younger generation.” So with the cast signed up, filming took place at The Drum in Aston where choreographer Michael Tulloch (who trained with Diversity and Flawless) put the children through their paces. One of the stars, seven-year-old Taron Toor said: “I think we did really good dance moves and we might be famous!” Of this Simon Duggal is convinced: “I think we may have found some future stars!” The video was unveiled to a rapturous audience at the Kings Heath premiere. One of the parents attending - Anne Harris, mum of Katie and Tom Pilkington from Kings Heath Primary – said: “A huge thank you to Simon for giving the children the chance to be part of this project – it has been a magical experience, one they will never forget!” Shake It For Me by Humans v Chimps can be downloaded now from iTunes at http://bit.ly/ humansvchimps and Amazon at http://amzn. to/shakeitforme The video can be seen at: www.youtube.com/ humansvchimps or go to the Moseleyb13 website: www. moseleyb13.com and click on the link. Ruth Duggal
“Birmingham is a diverse city, but 14
LOCAL CHILDREN ‘SHAKE IT’ IN MUSIC VIDEO
Robert Geoghegan - www.robspaintings.com
What’s On this month...
July 2011 Date
Friday Folk. Andre Hobro calling. A lively mixture.
0121 770 6098 - activityexchange.com/FridayFolk
Moseley Record & Book Fair. Home-made food/drinks. St. Columba’s Church Hall Live music
07866 237094 - email@example.com
The Over 50s Club – Outing
0121 443 3413
Traditional Song Session
(KH) Kitchen Garden Café
The Magnets in Concert in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. MAC in Cannon Hill Tickets £18 (£15 concessions)
0121 446 3232 - www.macarts.co.uk
Friday Folk. Neil Franklin calling. Expect a mixture.
St. Anne’s Church Hall
St. Anne’s Church Hall
0121 770 6098 - activityexchange.com/FridayFolk
8 (Fri) - 17 (Sun) Moseley Festival – Programme of events to suit all.
0121 693 1214 - myspace.com/notsoyoungband
Moseley Street Fair
The Not So Young Band redefine the Neil Young sound- Moseley All Services Club, scape. Tickets £5 (£4 in advance from Moseley Violins) Church Rd. 11 (Mon)
Living well with Pain, Illness or Stress. Free taster.
Heart of England in Bloom Judging of Moseley in Bloom Moseley Village
Birmingham Buddhist Centre. 18.30-20.30 13.30-16.00
Birmingham Voices, storytelling at Martineau Gardens £5 Martineau Gardens entry (£3 concs) Bring a picnic.
www.tradartsteam.co.uk 247 3856
Friday Folk. Stephen Woodcock calling. Expect a fun evening. Bring and Share supper.
0121 770 6098 - activityexchange.com/FridayFolk
St. Anne’s Church Hall
Submission deadline for August issue of Moseley B13 Magazine.
Buddhist Centre Open Day with tour, meditation taster session and introduction to Buddhism. Tea & cake.
Birmingham Buddhist Centre, 14.00-17.00 Park Road
0121 449 5279 - birminghambuddhistcentre.org.uk
Traditional Music Session.
Prince of Wales
0121 247 3856 - www.tradartsteam.co.uk
Living well with Pain, Illness or Stress. Free taster.
Birmingham Buddhist Centre. 18.30-20.30
Storytelling Café. ‘Greetings from Dubrovnik’ - Jasna Held. Tickets £7.
(KH) Kitchen Garden Café
19.30 (18.30 food)
0121 443 4725 - www.tradartsteam.co.uk
The Over 50s Group – Strawberry Tea
St. Agnes Church Hall
0121 443 3413
Farmers’ Market / Arts Market
Village Green/Victoria Parade 09.00-15.00
0121 449 3156
Meet your Muslim Neighbour
0121 449 8585
Moseley Hall Dovecote and Ice House in Moseley Park open
Chris Upton’s Magical Literary Bus
B’ham Museum & Art Gallery 11.00
0121 464 2193 - www.bmag.org.uk
Car Park Clean Up Session
Village Car Park
Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism course starts. (3 Tuesdays) Donation £7 (£3.50 concs)
Birmingham Buddhist Centre 19.15-21.15
0121 449 5279 - birminghambuddhistcentre.org.uk
Tales and Ales – storytelling session.
Lamp Tavern, Barford St. B5. 20.00
0121 247 3856 - www.tradartsteam.co.uk
Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism course starts. (3 Thursdays) Donation £7 (£3.50 concs)
Birmingham Buddhist Centre 19.15-21.15
0121 449 5279 - birminghambuddhistcentre.org.uk
‘WHAT’S ON’ Moseley B13 Magazine www.moseleyb13.com Contact Jan Miller at
Mynette & Co.
Incorporated Financial Accountants Established 1976 personal tax - business tax/accounting - payroll admin. A local, personalised service.
0121 449 7322 - firstname.lastname@example.org
To get your free listing call 0121 449 8585 or email Jan Miller on email@example.com Date Mondays
Mother & Baby Yoga (4 mths - Crawl) Mother & Baby Yoga (Under 4 mths) Pregnancy Yoga Ashtanga Yoga (Basic drop-in class) £6 per class
Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange St. Columba’s Church Hall
10.00-11.25 11.35-13.00 18.00-21.00 18.30-20.00
Find Your Voice - Community singing group all abilities.
St. Columba’s Church
Tree of Life Inspiration Network - Uplifting talks (£5) Local Councillors’ Surgeries
B’ham Buddhist Centre. Moseley Exchange
Active Birth Yoga for Pregnancy - Booking essential.
12 Wake Green Road
Moseley Forum Open Committee Meeting Local people welcome. Music Shakers. Classes for infants, toddlers and carers. Active Birth Yoga for Pregnancy - Booking essential.
St. Mary’s Church 12 Wake Green Road
St. Anne’s Church
09.30 & 11.00 10.00-11.00 19.30-21.00 19.00-20.00
Drama 13 - New Members Welcome. Self Defence Class Meditation Drop-in. Sug. donation £7 (£3.50 concession)
(KH) New Life Baptist Church Moseley Exchange Birmingham Buddhist Centre.
19.30 19.30-20.30 19.15-21.45
Music Shakers Music classes for infants, toddlers and carers. Free Silent Meditation - (please contact if attending)
St. Mary’s Church
09.30 & 11.00 12.30-13.00
Meditation Drop-in - Suggested donation £4 (£2 cons)
Moseley Holistic Centre 99 Blenheim Road Birmingham Buddhist Centre.
Iyenger Yoga for adults (Graham) Tree of Life Social Evening. Free.
Moseley Exchange (KH) 48 Poplar Road.
Neighbourhood Police Tasking Meeting
(KH) Silver St.
(tbc) Mosele Exchange St. Mary’s Church Dowells Close Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange St. Columba’s Church Hall St. Columba’s Church Hall
19.00-21.00 10.30-12.30 12.00 14.00-16.00 19.30-21.30 19.00-20.30 20.30-21.45 19.30-21.30 19.30 20.00-21.30
Meditation Drop-in - Suggested donation £7 (£3.50 cons)
Birmingham Buddhist Centre
Bhangra Jamm Class, learning basic dance movements.
Dance W’kshop - 132 AlcesterRd 19.45-20.45
Ashtanga Yoga (self-practice drop-in class) £7 per class.
St. Columba’s Church Hall
Riverside Church Youth Event
(1st Mon) Tuesdays
(4th Wed) Thursdays
SusMo Meeting Philosophy Discussion Group Prayers for Peace in Palestine/Israel Knit & Natter Magenta Female Close-Harmony Chior (1st Thu) Highbury Park Friends (Fortnightly Thu) Tindal St. Fiction Group (2nd Thu) Labour Party (2nd&4th Thu) Moseley Village Band Rehearsal Moseley Morris - New Dancers Welcome
Meditation Drop-in. Sug. donation £7 (£3.50 concession)
Riverside House, 21 Alcester Rd 19.00 (11-14) 20.30 (15-18) Birmingham Buddhist Centre 10.00-12.15
Sundays 1st Sunday
Coffee & Company Christian Congregation Cannon Hill Poets
St. Mary’s Chirch Moseley Exchange Moseley Exchange
10.30-12.00 15.00-18.00 13.00-17.00
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Beyond green streets Now that SusMo’s Green Streets project is officially finished, we have spent £140,000 of British Gas funding on energy efficiency and micro-generation measures the Hamza Mosque, Moseley C of E School, St. Marys Church and Madahal allotments. We are very pleased to report that, after many complications during the process of obtaining planning permission and signing agreements, all projects are going ahead. We have learnt a lot about the council planning system, the church’s buildings council and many other unforeseen participants in the journey towards our goal of bringing clean energy to the community. We have been greatly encouraged all the way by the support and enthusiasm from the community. We can usually be found at the community stall at the farmers market, and can now proudly boast 146 followers on twitter and 51 facebook friends, thanks largely to our Chair and cyber-communications expert Claire Spencer. As so many Moseley residents have accompanied us on this journey, I will resist the temptation
to provide a full recapitulation of the project. We were given the chance to summarise and analyse our work on the 1st of June, when eight SusMo members were invited by British Gas to go to Leicester to present our project and achievements to a panel of judges who will then award an extra £100,000 to one of the 14 groups around the country who have been part of the 2010 Green Streets programme. The day gave us an insight into what other groups have been doing around the country and how all our carbon reductions fit into a much bigger picture.
One of the highlights of the event was an award presentation in which individuals from the various groups were recognised for outstanding achievements particular to their project. Our own Esther Boyd won an award for ‘Overcoming Obstacles’, a very appropriate category and deserving winner. Esther has been battling behind the scenes, keeping track of a complicated operation and applying pressure relentlessly where it was needed to ensure that we could go the extra mile and complete all parts of the project. Congratulations Esther!
So what next for SusMo? Whether or not we win the extra £100,000 we will be setting up a Community Energy Company to fit micro-generation measures to local community buildings, and use the income from the Feed In Tariff to fund more measures. This time we will extend the project to include Kings Heath and Balsall Heath. Taking a project of this size seriously means taking advantage of all the local expertise and opportunities for projects that will create the profits that can then be reinvested. Alongside this we will be continuing with our regular activities, such as promoting iMeasure to encourage people to track their energy usage online as part of a SusMo carbon club - and we have various energy saving gadgets left over from the project with which to reward regular participants. If you would like to find out more follow @Sus_Mo on twitter, befriend Sustainable Moseley on facebook, email us at Sustainablemoseley@ gmail.com or come along to our next open meeting on Wednesday 22nd June at Madahal pavilion at 7pm. Maggie Fennell
Succeed at school This article follows on from last month’s article about supporting your child with the early stages of reading through talk. There are lots of wonderful ways that you can make reading together fun and enjoyable. Here are some of our ideas: Make Reading Fun! Reading aloud can be a lot of fun, not just for parents but for all family members. Here are some ways to get the most out of reading to your young child: Read with drama and excitement! Use different voices for different characters in the story. Use your child's name instead of a character's name. Make puppets and use them to act out a story.
Re-read your child's favourite stories as many times as your child wants to hear them, and choose books and authors that your child enjoys. Read stories that have repetitive parts and encourage your child to join in. Point to words as you read them. This will help your child make a connection between the words he or she hears you say and the words on the page. Read all kinds of material – stories, poems, information books, magazine and newspaper articles, and comics. Encourage relatives and friends to give your child books as gifts.
Take your child to the library and look at interactive CD-ROMs and the internet, as well as books. Subscribe to a magazine for your child. He or she will love receiving mail! The more you enjoy the reading experience, the more your child will enjoy it. Look out next month for further ideas on how to encourage your child to read a little every day. Please feel free to comment as we will happily reply to any queries that you have about reading or writing with your child. You can also contact us at info@ best-chance.co.uk Siobhan and Natasha
Lindsay Jane Brown
Look out for the brand new events listing in next month’s edition. Detailing the month’s events in pubs, bars, cinemas, art galleries and more, there will be something for everyone in Moseley, Kings Heath and beyond. To add an event to our August edition, email events@moseleyb13. com with the following details: Name of event, date and time, type of event (eg. live music, exhibition, etc.), brief description of event, your contact details and price. B13-July-2011-v1.indd 19
Exploring Moseley’s mosque Saifer Rehman is the community liaison officer for the Masjid-e-Hamza and Islamic Centre, also known as the Moseley mosque. Over a drink at the Moseley Dance Workshop Cafe, he educated me on all the things I have been missing out on, despite living just around the corner. The mosque on St Albans Road has recently received SusMo funding to allow them to put solar panels in the roof. This pot of cash is also funding similar developments at St Mary's Church, Moseley C of E Primary School and The Pavillion. Saifer is delighted that the mosque is also able to save energy in this way. Moseley mosque and its community have an interesting history which Saifer shared with me. The £3.5 million mosque has been built entirely by donations and loans from the local Muslim community. Muslim culture does not permit the use of banks but borrowing from friends and family is acceptable practise.
Saifer explains that the mosque is “owned and built by the people”.
The Muslim community is exactly that: a community, in every sense of the word. Between 90 and 95 per cent of the Moseley mosque community originate from the same town in Pakistan. “They were neighbours 'at home' and now they are neighbours here.” Saifer tells me that Gourgushti is similar to Birmingham in that it is also about as far from the sea as possible. However, inhabitants of Gourgushti are renowned seamen. When the first Gourgushti immigrant came to the area in 1957 “nobody wanted to live in Moseley”, Saifer explained, “but now, Moseley is top”. He spoke about how fortunate the community had been to settle in an area which has now become so desirable. Originally only the men came over to live and they often lived in shared houses. However, gradually families settled and so more and more houses were
bought, and the community expanded. That very first visitor back in 1957 is the founding member of the Interfaith Group.
With Ramadan approaching the mosque will be busier than usual. At all times of the year, Muslim men are expected to pray five times a day, ideally within a mosque. As with all religions, not everyone is quite that orthodox in their practice. Saifer tells me: “All the parttimers come to Ramadan!” Ramadan is the holy month, starting towards the end of July and lasting into August. From sunrise until sunset for 30 days fasting is observed for all except the very young, the very old, the ill and anyone who is pregnant. Everyone who is physically and mentally capable is expected to fast. Saifer points out, with his gentle sense of humour, that everybody eats more during Ramadan because they are shopping hungry, buying more food, and eating more after sunset because they
have been waiting to eat all day. The exact start date of Ramadan is different each year because the first day is always when the moon is first sighted in the sky. This rarely happens first here but, thanks to modern technology, there is instant contact with Mecca and dates can be confirmed much faster than would have been the case in the past. Saifer is keen to welcome people into the mosque. He assures me that “anybody is welcome who is interested in learning”. I asked him about dress code and access and he told me: “We are very strict, but only for Muslims!” However, he did request a certain amount of modesty, particularly from any female visitors. The recommendation is to arrange a guided tour with Saifer, who will happily show you around himself and answer any questions. I can't recommend this enough – Saifer is fascinating to talk to with lots of stories. It is also worth knowing that there are spaces such as meeting rooms within the mosque that can be booked free of charge for local meetings and events. We are hoping to use one for some of our B13 meetings. The mosque is such a fascinating part of our Moseley culture, with many stories to be shared. I look forward to finding out many more of them, and to sharing them with you over the coming months. To find out more about the mosque, or to contact Saifer and arrange a visit please go to www.masjidehamza.co.uk. Lindsay Jane Brown www.lindsayjanebrown.co.uk
I’m often asked the question ‘What’s the best exercise to lose weight?’ Not quite the simple question it appears. For me it’s a question with two potentially completely different answers. But essentially it’s about the two ‘E’s: efficiency and enjoyment. Let’s break it down then. If we look at a range of the most popular calorieburning activities, I’m sure most would include jogging, walking, circuit training, Zumba, cycling... I could go on, but you get the drift. Now let us look at the estimated amount of calories you can burn in one hour doing some of these activities: Jogging – 654 (10 min mile pace) Walking – 198 Circuit training – 756 Zumba – 546 Cycling – 612 (average 13 mph) Housework – 246 Golf – 324 Swimming - 288 (front crawl 20 yards per minute) Swimming - 522 (front crawl 45 yards per minute) *Hourly estimates based on values calculated for calories burnt per minute for a 150 pound (68kg) person. www. thecolumn.org/exercise-calories.asp As you can see, the most efficient calorie burning activity for an hour of exercise is likely to be circuit training. However, do you enjoy it? If not, is it really the best for you?
As a personal trainer, the most important aspect of fitness for me is to enjoy whatever you are doing. So if you hate running, but love Zumba, for the sake of 100 calories surely it’s a no-brainer?! Or better yet, if you love housework, I have a hoover (that I’ve been told works) and you’re more than welcome to push it around my house for an hour. Another question you have to ask yourself is are you an individual trainer? Do you need a partner with you? Or even, are you more of a social performer? If the latter, I suggest finding yourself a club to join, be it a running club, golf club, exercise class, or sports club. If you want to try something new, my housemate plays korfball and I understand they are always looking for new members! If you take only one thing from this article (an increasingly optimistic prospect), it should be this; the best exercise is the one that you enjoy doing, that raises your heart rate and gets a bit of a sweat on. So take a step back from the humdrum constraints of calorie counting and get out there and enjoy yourself! Darran Law is a personal trainer with At Home Fitness (www.athomefitness. co.uk) working in Moseley.
Annika keeps her cool at book launch Moseley author Juliet Clare Bell celebrated the launch of her first picture book, Don’t Panic, Annika!, with a little help from her daughter Annika at Waterstone’s Birmingham High Street. The story, illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris, tells of a little girl who panics about the smallest things, until something big happens that sends everyone else into a frenzy. Clare, 40, uses her full name professionally because there is another children’s author called Clare Bell. The launch was packed with children, running around happily or making their own books; authors and illustrators from Birmingham and from as far afield as Devon and Newcastle; parents, teachers, members of the public, family and friends. Clare has children at Kings Heath Primary School. The highlight of the evening was the reading by sevenyear-old Annika, who was wearing a specially made outfit to match Jennifer’s illustrations of the main character, but who certainly didn’t panic. Clare said: “It’s been brilliant. I’m overwhelmed by all the people who made it and the children have made it such a happy, noisy occasion. And the reading was amazing. It feels really fitting having the launch in this branch of Waterstone’s. We’ve been holding our SCBWI [Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators] critique groups here for quite a few years now and Waterstone’s gives us the space for nothing, and this is the first book to come from that group. They’ve been incredibly supportive and it’s lovely to celebrate Don’t Panic Annika!’s release with them. I can’t wait for the next one.” Clare explains how the idea for the book arose from the exhaustion of parenting. “I kept thinking about how babies resembled different animals. I was almost hallucinating with tiredness as my daughter had terrible colic. The idea wouldn’t go away so I started writing down ideas and phrases and I got the bug. No one wanted the first book but publishers said nice things about it, which encouraged me to keep at it. I joined SCBWI and wrote lots more stories in tiny chunks: on a park bench if a baby had fallen asleep for a few minutes; in the middle of the night while I was feeding. That’s the beauty of writing picture books. They’re so short that you can carry the whole story around in your head and do lots of your planning while you’re hanging nappies out on the line. I spend a lot of time editing and trying not to waste a single word since there are so few of them, but they’re really portable.
“And I’ve always been a huge fan of picture books. I love the way things happen in the pictures that are never mentioned in print. Children feel really excited when they spot them in the pictures because they’re telling part of the story that the adult hasn’t read to them. So they add to the storytelling, too.” Clare, who spent most of her childhood in Essex and most of her adulthood in Bristol before moving to Moseley eight years ago, got her break in 2010. “I’d been writing picture books for six years before I got a contract and then two came at once. It’s been a really exciting time.” Don’t Panic, Annika! is published by Piccadilly Press in the UK. It’s also out in Australia, the Netherlands (as Geen Paniek, Anniek!) and is shortly to be available in a duallanguage edition in Taiwan. Clare’s next book, The Kite Princess, a rhyming story about a frustrated princess who has to come up with a crafty plan to set herself free, will be out next spring, published by Barefoot Books.
Watch Annika read Don’t Panic Annika! at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6uj3Vc7jGM
Kings of the shrub Kings Heath children are getting introduced to the wonders of gardening at an early age through regular visits to Kings Heath Community Centre on Heathfield Road. Community art worker and father-of-three Marcus Belben has been involved since 2006 when his children’s stay and play group, which is held at the community centre, got funding to develop a garden at the site. “Since then, we've slowly moved things on with a bit of help from Real Time Community Change and Highbury Cluster, working with Queensbridge School, Kings Heath Primary’s play scheme and other schools with events like 'tree love' and 'harvest Halloween',” Marcus said. “Now the garden has been extended by Alys Fowler; Robert Kornreich, Bob Prew and Osman Philip of Clean and Green; KH in Bloom; the residents’ forum and BBC Gardener last year.” The group has just started a Garden Club looking to work with parents, carers and under-fives. There are also evenings for adults roughly once a month organised by Alys, with the next meeting
on July 4 at 6pm. Bring a trowel and cash for a drink in the Hare and Hounds afterwards. “The Garden Club is not just about gardening but more widely about doing things in the garden,” Marcus adds. Visitors over the summer are due to include Adam Bates from OPAL West Midlands to talk about bugs, butterfly conservation specialist Nick Williams, forest school practitioner Clare Chapman and the Park Ranger Service (TBC). “The kids loved the strawberries. We meant to collect some for children to take home, but we ate the lot,” Marcus said. Visits are also planned to Highbury Park and Martineau Gardens. Other activities will be music making, bubbles, wind and clouds, map making (using bodies and other stuff), planting and a bit of gardening. The Garden Club runs from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesday. Bring a sandwich, join the group or visit the “KHCCgardenclub” blog. Photos: John Hill-Daniel
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Community activist gets MBE after 31 years Moseley Society secretary Fiona Adams was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in recognition of the 31 years she has spent as a key member of the community. A familiar face around Moseley, Fiona, 64, said the award should stand for “mum’s busy everyday”, in reference to her efforts to grapple with the area’s litter problems and intricacies of planning decisions. She helped establish the Moseley Exchange, which is behind the Post Office, was instrumental in getting the village’s Special Licensing policy enacted and helped set up Warstock’s detached youth work project, Youthwise, in the 1980s. She is still the group’s secretary. The project funds youth workers to approach youngsters on the streets and persuade them to take part in positive activities. But Fiona admits it was probably picking up litter in the car park once a month since 1979 that won her the award. “Plenty of people have said that I deserve an MBE over the years when they’ve seen me filling bin bags in heavy rain,” the mother of two children and the grandmother of two says. “The award is a wonderful tribute to the work of so many of us in the Moseley Society.” She explains why the Moseley Society was established in 1979 and why its work is relevant to today’s village. “No one was taking an interest in planning in the shopping centre so Tesco had come along, pulled down a row of shops that looked like the present Maison Mayci building, and put up the eyesore now occupied by the Co-op. Although there were strong residents’ associations in neighbouring
roads, no one was looking at the planning applications for the shopping centre. “One of our main objectives was to clean up the car park. An initial clean up in 1979 led to a huge skip and 50 black bags full of rubbish; and we’ve been keeping it from ever getting so bad. The next clean up will be on Sunday, 26 June, 10 am, followed by 24 July,” she says, never missing an opportunity to recruit volunteers. Fiona came to Moseley as a Birmingham University student in the mid-1960s, living in an Oxford Road bedsit. She studied social work and took the “British Towns” course with David Eversley and Graham Lomas, which started her interest in planning. She returned to Moseley in 1973 when her first son was 10 weeks old and became involved in the PTA at Moseley C of E before becoming secretary of the Moseley Society in 1980. Her interest in the police led her to be one of the first independent members of the civilian West Midlands Police Authority when the system was introduced in 1995. She has helped push for the Non-Retail Uses Policy to try to prevent the remaining shops in Moseley becoming pubs and restaurants.
The Moseley Action Plan Implementation Group, of which the society was an active member, led to the formation of Moseley Forum. “The first chairman of the Forum was Peter Lee and he kept telling us that what Moseley needed was a community development trust and the result was the Moseley Exchange,” Fiona says. “The society also maintains the dovecote and ice house and publishes walk leaflets and organises guided walks. The next will be on Thursday, 14 July as part of the Moseley Festival. Since 1976, Fiona has been a ‘home teacher’ to a Pakistani woman who wanted to learn English. “Like me she moved to Birmingham with a baby son, but she’d come from Ghourghushti in Pakistan. And I’ve discovered that she and her family helped in the letter writing campaign that led to me being awarded an MBE. I would like to thank the people who nominated me. It takes a really long time.” Fiona is yet to find out when she will be invited to Buckingham Palace to receive the MBE from either the Queen or Prince Charles.
Food for life by Marketa Rozsypalova
Research is now also proving that eating more raw foods can improve your wellbeing and increase your vitality. Raw living foods are fresh organic plant-based ingredients which have been prepared below 118 F (43C). They are whole and unprocessed. The more raw living foods we eat, the healthier our bodies become. Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic action, including digestion. All fresh raw and living foods have the enzymes necessary to help digestion. Heating food destroys enzymes, so it is more difficult to digest and stays in our bodies longer. Raw food digests in less than half the time it takes similar cooked food to break down. All nutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes are heat sensitive. Cooking removes at least a half of the available protein and antioxidants, and up to 80 per cent of vitamins and minerals. It is magical how energy levels increase. It also helps to reduce blood pressure and boosts the immune system. Eating more raw food is also a preventive medicine that can increase longevity. It maintains healthy hair, skin, fingernails, optimal body weight and both inner and outer beauty. I love surprising people with how creative and delicious raw foods can be. Try this tasty, quick recipe: “Apri-goji” Angel’s Balls 1 cup apricots (dried) ½ cup goji berries (dried) 1 cup cashew nuts 1 tbsp maca powder
Juice from half a lemon with 2tbsp of water Blend in a food processor until it sticks together then with your hands make small crunchy balls. Roll the balls in cacao powder, maca powder or dried coconut. Marketa is a natural nutritionist and raw living food chef. She runs workshops and classes throughout the Midlands. Call Marketa on 0121 449 4086 or visit www.treeoflifemagazine.co.uk
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Laughing all the way to the library Author Ian Beck gets children excited about books on his visit to Kings Heath Library as part of Birmingham’s Young Readers festival. Juliet Clare Bell says it was an inspiring event. Ian Beck, author and illustrator of countless books for children, from picture books, like “Winston the Book Wolf”, to his current Tom Trueheart novels, visited Kings Heath Library as part of Birmingham’s annual Young Readers festival. The audience was made up of two Year 6 classes from Kings Heath Primary School, and he quickly got them onside, making silly jokes and declaring loudly: “They think I’m a bearded woman!” to Deborah, the library assistant hosting the event. Whilst the teachers liked his description of the importance of planning when writing a story, the children were more excited to hear about when imagination takes over and “planning goes out of the window”. He told them about a crow from his books that started out as an incidental character and ended up talking to him. Ian answered lots of questions put to him by the children. Q: How long does it take to write a novel? A: 18 months, writing almost every day. Q: How many books had he written? A: Approximately 70. Q: Where does he write? A: In a shed. Q: How much money from every book sold in the shop does he get? A: Publishers get the most, then bookshops, then him. Q: Does he base characters on people he knows? A: “People do sneak in, definitely …Tom’s mother [who shocked the Turkish publishers] is a bit like my mother.”
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Q: His favourite subjects at school? A: English and art. He talked about being seen by a teacher copying comics at his secondary modern school and was pushed in the direction of a Saturday morning art club. When Ian talked about visiting the library once a week as a child, there was a gasp from someone in the audience when he pointed out that “no one had televisions in their houses”. But the children were even more shocked when he reeled off all the famous authors that he knew and told them how he’d bumped into Jacqueline Wilson in a cinema queue. After the event, I talked to pupil Peter Whitehouse, who is a big fan of the Tom Trueheart books. He didn’t realise who Ian Beck was until “we walked into the library. I saw all the books and it clicked … I don’t normally look at the author’s name,” he says. “It was really exciting. I wasn’t expecting it and he looks a lot different to what I would have imagined.” Was it good talking to
him? “It was really good and I think I’ll get even more out of the story now because of the way he explained it.” Peter described the Tom Trueheart books as mythical and exciting, like an adventure from a really good dream, and thinks that they would appeal to children who also like comics, although it’s not a comic or graphic novel. “It’s got the same kind of feeling as comics … exciting, adventurous.” More Year 6 children sent me some thoughts on their visit. Shaana Toor said “he encouraged us to read more” and Asif Hussain wrote: “[I met] a real author. Ian Beck makes me want to come to the library more often and read his books.” Georgia Wheatley said: “I think it was very kind of him to come to Birmingham to see us.” Maryam Rafiq agreed: “I’ve learnt loads about authors. He made us all laugh … I really enjoyed the visit.” Many pupils said that meeting a real-life author had made them want to visit the library more often and to read more books. Juliet Clare Bell www.julietclarebell.com
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At the risk of repeating myself (as if I ever) everything’s going festivaltastic. From Lichfield to Harborne; balloons are being blown up, tombolas are being tumbled, main stages are being wired to the mains and revellers of all ages, shapes and economic sizes are getting frisky in wellies. Or Birkenstocks, if you’re on the Art Trail in Eastnor. But look… outside the Harris fencing, some escaped musicians are playing regular gigs. Quick, stop them before Vince Powers wakes up.
a special concert at the MAC on July 8th. Birmingham 13 covered this in our last issue, so I won’t repeat… hold on, anyway, it’ll be a lot of fun and all the ticket money goes to the Teenage Cancer Trust. So go or be guilty. And now, with the will power of a recovering alcoholic I avoid the Hare & Hounds listings to tackle the beginning of festival season head on. First off, Birmingham has two major Jazz festivals happening this month, rather curiously at the same time. Mostly Jazz takes over Moseley Park from 1st – 3rd July, bringing a bounty of artists including the Cinematic Orchestra, Alice Russell and the legendary Booker T, whilst the 27th Birmingham International Jazz Festival takes over a splattering of city centre venues from July 1st – 10th. I could double my word count listing the acts appearing throughout the BIJF, but here are some names a Brummie might recognise: King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, The Notebenders, Steve Ajao and Andy Hamilton.
Headbanging rocker and rumoured Marilyn Manson muse, James Taylor, is bringing his cutting edge nupunk to the LG Arena on July 9th. As Bill Hicks once explained, that man has a lot of the ‘70s pent up frustration to answer for. American college rock trio Blink 182 follow him less than a week later on July 15th, bringing their three ages of man tattoos and safe bad boy punk tantrums to the arenas of Birmingham. So lock up your daughters. Or not. My five-year-old niece would fancy her chances in a straight fight with If jazz is not your thing then there the drummer. are alternatives, namely the Latin American Festival in Victoria Square In the city’s other big rooms, the on July 4th, the National Youth HMV Institute presents the ethere- Music Organisations festival at the ally sexy Alexis Jordan on July 2nd, Town Hall on July 11th and the Birwith the O2 Academy answering mingham Belly Dancing festival at back in the form of trailer park deb- the Dance XChange on July 23rd. Alutant Ke$ha on July 3rd. Neither art- though really these are just one-day ist is the cancer cure of music, but events, but if you want a festival in dear God, Ke$ha… there has to be the proper sense of the word… an easier way. Global Gathering is back at Long On a more intimate note Lucy Wain- Marston Airfield on July 29th – 30th. wright Roche brings her acoustic What started as a one night 15,000 American folk to the Glee Club on person rave in a field is now a monJuly 17th. The third in the Wain- ster of a festival. Pendulum, Tinie wright trilogy, Lucy only joined the Tempah, Underworld, Case & Stafamily business full-time in 2007 tus, the list is pretty much endless. after being a school teacher. You Plus at £99 for a weekend ticket it’s can kind of see it too, and she’s defi- not a bad bullet to bite. Enjoy. nitely well worth a ticket to listen to as well. Ed King is the Music editor for the Birmingham Observer. Follow him Closer to B13, six-piece a cappella at www.twitter.com/edking2210 advert sensation The Magnets play
Innovative scheme aims to boost eco-development Environmental group Kings Heath Transition Initiative has launched a scheme to encourage shops to “go green”. Shops and pubs are upgrading to low-energy appliances and installing solar panels in return for the “carrots” of free publicity and extra customers. Customers simply mention the scheme as they pay and receive a “9carrots receipt” to show that their purchase has been counted. The participating businesses are investing at least 10 per cent of these purchases in an eco-upgrade to their premises. Businesses have been keen to join the scheme, with five selected for the first phase. The Hare and Hounds and Buywise Express are both saving towards eco-fridges, Thyme Out and Cafe Latte are putting 10 per cent towards low-energy lighting. Meanwhile, the Station pub will put 10 per cent towards solar panels, whenever customers ask for a 9carrot receipt. Tom Tierney, from the initiative, said: “We think the 9carrots scheme is a great way to connect businesses with their community and allow them to work together towards a sustainable future.” With the Tesco development fast approaching and many small businesses already struggling, Claire Spencer, chair of Sustainable Moseley, said the scheme could be extended to the village. She said: “Shopping locally is a key part of living sustainably, and 9carrots is an innovative way to use that to encourage energy efficiency. If we get Moseley businesses involved, it will be an important tool for building the resilience of our vibrant independent shops.” If you’re interested in bringing 9carrots to Moseley, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07724 103945.
Griddled asparagus and rocket salad Though the sun isn't exactly shining down on us (was that it then? Summer in April and we've skipped straight to autumn.) It is still English asparagus season and so, with fond imaginings of sitting in the garden on a balmy evening my recipe today is a delicious griddled asparagus salad. A bundle of local asparagus Extra virgin olive oil A couple of free range eggs A splodge of grain mustard A tablespoon of balsamic syrup Zingy fresh rocket Parmesan shavings First cut off the woody ends of your asparagus and toss them in half a tablespoon of olive oil, then get your griddle pan really hot and lay the asparagus on it. If you can stop yourself, try not to fiddle with them so that they get those nice charred bits.
Turn them halfway (they should only need about 5 mins as you want them to have a bit of bite to them). Put your eggs into boiling water and cook them for 4 mins, a slightly gooey middle is what you're after here, then drain and run them under cold water to cool, cut them into halves. Mix together the rest of the oil, mustard and balsamic in a bowl toss the rocket with half of the dressing. Now pile your asparagus onto your plates, arrange the eggs and top with rocket and a good amount of shaved parmesan. Drizzle over the remaining dressing Serve with good rustic bread and maybe some more lovely fruity olive oil to dip into. Oh, and of course, a glass of something chilled!
Karen Kemp www.kempandkempcatering.co.uk
Rogue Play and the new Arts Forums Arts Forums are a new council-led initiative designed to promote positive partnerships between Lead Arts Organisations, Arts Champions and the council. RoguePlay are the Hall Green Constituency Lead Arts Organisation. As a theatre company, RoguePlay are known for their innovative and progressive pieces and have a reputation for creating cutting edge physical theatre in unexpected
locations. Pete Hobbs, the Hall Green Constituency Senior Manager, is the local council representative and The Drum is the arts champion for the project. Kim Charnock, the director of RoguePlay, is keen to ensure that the Arts Forums find their own identity. “This is not going to be just another meeting,” assures Kim. They will be artist led in content and in structure. The meetings will be open to everyone working in the arts sector, from emerging artists to established organisations. The meeting venues will be chosen to promote interesting and underused spaces around the local area.
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To find out more about the Arts Forum take a look at the RoguePlay website or call Kim on 07746327284. http://www.rogueplay.co.uk/ Lindsay Jane Brown www.lindsayjanebrown.co.uk MOSELEY B13
“Give me a Debenhams’s sale any day” It’s amazing how conveniently Moseley is located in Birmingham. Just 15 minutes from the largest retail floor space outside of London (ignoring Glasgow), theatres, over 50 screens of three cinemas, loads of pubs/clubs in Broad Street and fantastic eating places both in the city and here in our ‘village’. Buses are almost ‘on tap’ or easy parking (if you don’t mind walking). The list goes on.
I was walking a group of Birmingham students down from Snowdon in glorious July weather (a few years ago). Pausing at an aweinspiring view, I commented: “Isn’t it fantastic? The majestic mountains, the lakes, the colours: it’s breath-taking. To which a 14-yearold girl replied: “It’s just a load of rocks – give me a Debenhams’s sale any day.” It was her first time away from home.
Yet, living in a city can be stressful: we’re also cut off from our natural environment, sometimes with greater consequences than we realise.
We need space – to be alone in the natural world, to let it impinge on our souls, to see the awesome array of stars at night, the wind scouring your face, to
feel the spray of the waterfall, to let natural beauty delight your innermost being. There’s something special about experiencing the natural canvas of this world that de-stresses us, that enables us to think more clearly. This incredible beauty and amazing order is down to the finest detail and for us to enjoy and feel at home with. So this summer, take time out – and get out there, away from the sales and bargains… and be too awe inspired to be stressed. David Isgrove
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Roman spa break A regular guide to the heritage of the Midlands (with lunch), as seen through the eyes of archaeologist and interpreter of the past, Richard Kemp.
It is not easy to see how this works as a hotel since over the years it was in use, doorways and spaces became blocked up, walls were re-built or removed.
The Romans invaded Britain conquering disorganised warring Iron-Age tribes, establishing a series of fantastic roads. These meant that their armies could cover huge distances. The Watling Street remains as the A5, a straight line from London to Chester. Romans loved to bathe and built heated bath-houses all over their empire.
Slightly easier to understand is the bathhouse down the slope. Look out for the four or five large, flat, worn stones which show where the doorway was. Enter and cross a corridor and through another obvious doorway into a large open space. This was for travellers to exercise before they had a bath. Continue down the slope to see the hot and warm rooms with a few traces of the tiled hypocaust heating system.
The Midlands has few visible remains but near Lichfield is the ‘Letocetum’ (now Wall) on the A5 with the remains of a hotel and a bathhouse. It was built near the crossroads with the Icknield Way (the A38). This central location enabled military travellers to rest, find fresh horses and break their journey to the frontier. Wall is best reached from Junction 12 of the M6. Pass Cannock and keep on the A5. It is mostly as straight now as it was when the Romans laid it out. Look out for brown Wall Roman Site signs off the A5, or for satnavs WS14 0AN. When you arrive bear left and up the slope towards the church and around the first set of buildings into the space between the two sets of remains. This open grassy space is a Roman road laid out at right angles to Watling Street. To the right is the bathhouse, to the left the hotel.
You can see evidence of blocked doorways and entrances and new walls added against old walls. It’s worth remembering the Roman were here for 400 years. That’s like arriving in the Tudor age and leaving today. As for lunch, go back to the street through the village. Turn left up the hill and head for the excellent Trooper. The pub has great beer and sandwiches with superb views. The distant M6 serves to connect one with history as one imagines the clattering of relentless Roman military traffic 2,000 years earlier. Check the pub at www.thetrooperwall.co.uk or call it on 01543 480413. Richard Kemp excavated in York for many years and then ran the Shugborough Estate. He now runs Kemp & Kemp Catering with his wife Karen. See www.kempandkempcatering.co.uk
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Moseley B13 - July 2011 - Issue 409