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The Phoenix would like to wish all of our readers and advertisers a very happy new year

Bollywood mourns the death of the ‘Adonis of Indian cinema’

Now for the next step... Sir Albert Bore has been an instrumental figure in the transformation of Birmingham

Bore ‘pride’in Brum regeneration


ew people have had quite as big an impact on the transformation of Birmingham as former City Council leader Sir Albert Bore. But the councillor who has represented the Ladywood ward since 1980 is not content to sit on his laurels. “The transformation of the city due to the regeneration is one of my proudest achievements,” said Sir Albert. “Birmingham has become a great place in which to live and work, but we have to look to the future and how we move this city on.” Sir Albert, who was knighted in 2002 for services to local government, will be leading Labour into

this year’s local elections although her does so against a background of council cuts. “The cupboard will be bare in the very near future so we will be running policies to benefit our communities today, for the benefit of our communities tomorrow,” he explained. “This city is built on its diversity, so we have to do much more for the young.


“We have to try and preserve this within the budget cuts which will have a massive effect on the likes of the Handsworth Carnival, St. Patrick’s Day, Vaisakhi, Eid Mela, plus other events that will suffer.” Sir Albert has been a leading pro-

tagonist of devolution and localism agendas in local governance since entering politics and has published and lectured widely internationally on the subject of city building, urban renewal, and local governance. In his roles as chair of Economic Development and leader of the City Council, he was responsible for shaping the social and economic regeneration of Birmingham during the 1980s and 1990s. He was involved in the creation of the NEC, ICC, the NIA, Symphony Hall, Brindleyplace, Mailbox and the Bullring. “This has become a great city where people who come here, just can’t leave the place,” said Sir Albert.

Inside your new-look Phoenix


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Bollywood is coming to terms with the death of one of its most famous and successful sons. Dev Anand’s recent death at the age of 88 marked the end of an era for a cinematic great who was a legend both in front and behind the camera. The actor/director/producer passed away after suffering a heart attack during a visit to London to check up on chest pains he was complaining about. Dubbed the ‘Adonis of Indian Cinema’ for his good looks and romantic roles, he had appeared in countless films such as ‘Guide’, ‘Paying Guest’ and ‘Jewel Thief’ during his colourful 65-year career in movies.

In his career, Anand also managed to introduce some of the most now famous actresses to Bollywood, including Zeenat Aman. One of his proudest moments was winning the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2002, the highest honour anyone could achieve in Indian cinema.


Anand’s most popular film will always be the RK Narayan adaptation ‘Guide’. “Dev Anand leaves a void never perhaps to be filled again. He never gave up belief, his joy of life,” tweeted Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Bollywood icon Dev Anand



Tornado blows at Chamber

Branson signs up for Misal

The whistle which will be used at the 2012 Olympic Games will be on display at the Chamber House, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Until February 29, the Tornado 2000, manufactured by Birmingham company, Acme Whistles will be displayed with a range of other whistles made by the company, some of which have made their fame in the dramatic historical film, the Titanic.

The Tornado 2000 is a penetrating official referee’s whistle used by officials in the NFL, FIFA and FIBA games. Acme, the world’s largest and most famous producer of whistles, based in the Jewellery Quarter was established in 1860 by Joseph Hudson, who was a Birmingham trained toolmaker. The Tornado 2000 is just one of 83 authentic and genuine Acme whistles which include many world firsts. Simon Topman, MD says there is no whistle available today, from any source, that doesn’t owe its existence to a concept or design pioneered by Acme.

Airport is backed for take-off

l Birmingham Airport has the potential to grow further, according to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce


usiness leaders in Birmingham have hit out at plans to increase aviation capacity in the south-east and urged the government to “look north” for an immediate solution. David Cameron was facing new calls for an entirely new hub airport in the Thames Estuary - dubbed “Boris Island” after the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. But Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group (BCCG) said there was an immediate solution at Birmingham Airport to the problem of air traffic congestion in the southeast. President Mike Ward said: “There is no logic in building a new airport in the Thames Estuary or anywhere else in the south-east. “This hugely expensive and faroff solution to the UK’s aviation ca-

l Michael Ward pacity issues would do little to boost the UK’s business in the decades before its completion. “The Chamber believes that the

Government should look north to boost the capacity and expansion plans of the UK’s regional airports. “The Chamber has suggested that Birmingham Airport has the spare capacity to double its passenger numbers overnight and with the Secretary of State giving the goahead for HS2 Birmingham Airport will be 38 minutes from London Euston – making it much quicker to travel from vast swathes of London to Birmingham Airport than it would be to travel to the Thames Estuary. “Spending £50 billion on an already prosperous part of the country when cheaper solutions exist now that would benefit the North and the Midlands is the wrong approach and we will be stating that in our response to the Government’s consultation,” he said.

Young Midlands-based Indian Entrepreneur Vishal Misal is living his business dream and hiring his hero, Sir Richard Branson, as a keynote speaker for Business 2012. The three-day programme includes seminars and workshops in business expansion, developing sustainable businesses, policy making, internet marketing and funding. It also includes talks by top business leaders and entrepreneurs. There is no charge to come to Business 2012 and all entrepreneurs and business owners whether a sole trader, SME or mid-market business are invited to come along. Vishal has done what his hero Sir Richard Branson has always inspired him to do, think big and Sir Richard is to be the cornerstone of what should be a tremendous event. Speaking about Business 2012, Sir Richard Branson said: “I can confirm that I will be at Business 2012, being interviewed live on stage and answering questions and tweets. “No-one has a monopoly on good ideas and events like this can open the door to greater connections and business opportunities.” “I hope the audience will be full of people who run their own businesses, hopefully together, we can come up with some ideas to make our businesses even stronger,” he added. l Business 2012, is on March 18-20 at the O2 in London.

Sri Lanka mission The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with UK Trade and Investment is planning its first official visit to Sri Lanka. The visit is beiong conducted in conjunction with the British High Commission, whose contacts and standing confer very considerable benefits on participants via UK Trade & Investment. This opportunity will provide an informative insight into the benefits for businesses seeking to expand their operations into Sri Lanka, and potential partnership opportunities.

Welcome to The Phoenix Feeding the nation with good news Published by InTouch Media UK Fort Dunlop, Fort Parkway Birmingham B24 9FE To Advertise call 0121 629 7728 Newsdesk: 0121 629 7729

Thankyou very much for picking up the very first edition of your new-look Phoenix newspaper. Over the past 12 months The Phoenix has established itself as a vital vibrant read enjoyed by people from all corners of the West Midlands’ diverse multi-cultural community. Now, we have developed our

content further to bring you more music, travel, motoring, business, sport and health stories – along with news on the issues affecting your life in the West Midlands. If you have a story that you would like to see us feature in The Phoenix then please get in touch and we will be happy to talk to you. Paul Castles, Editor Tel: 0121 629 7729

Fears over BBC plans for Brum By Steve Williams


irmingham is the UKs second largest city yet the ‘Save BBC Birmingham’ campaign remains in full swing to fight the massive cuts made to the level of top quality productions in the city. The BBC’s proposal to move national TV and radio programmemaking teams out of the city to Cardiff, Glasgow, Northern Ireland and Manchester means programmes like the Sky at Night, RHS Garden Shows, Countryfile, See Hear, Hairy Bikers and Gardeners World will no longer be made here. Members of broadcasting union, BECTU, staged 24-hour strikes with the Save BBC Birmingham urging Birmingham license fee payers to make their feelings known about the effect these measures will have on the Midlands’ economy. The Factual Unit – the only department that makes TV programmes for the national networks at the BBC Mailbox – is to move to Bristol with the loss or transfer of up to 150 jobs. The ‘Delivering Quality First’

Sue leading fight against arthritis The UK’s fourth largest medical charity, Arthritis Research UK, is announcing the support of a new patron who lives in Birmingham – Sue Arnott, a rheumatoid arthritis patient and former Trustee of the charity. Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive of Arthritis Research UK commented, “We’re delighted to have the support of Sue, who has made a huge contribution to our charity as a Trustee. We warmly welcome her contribution to our work in leading the fight against arthritis.” In her role as patron of the charity, Sue Arnott will be working with the fundraising team, as well as policy and communications, to help raise awareness of Arthritis Research UK. Sue became a Trustee of Arthritis Research UK in 2002, having had rheumatoid arthritis for most of her adult life. She said, “Over the years I’ve taken numerous drugs, been in

l Sue Arnott and out of hospital, and had three knee replacements, a new hip and other surgical repairs to my damaged joints. “I’ve nearly died from septicaemia twice. And people say ‘arthritis is just aches and pains!”

Cheaper fuel bills help l Popular BBC shows such as Countryfile and Hairy Bikers may leave the area review, published by the station’s management to highlight the future of the corporation, is seen, by BECTU in the West Midlands as getting rid of all the talented people who

work from their Mailbox base. “The Midlands has already seen many cutbacks at the BBC in the last 11 years and many staff have already gone. “It’s unfair and inequitable for a publicly-funded broadcaster to scale back its presence in the second largest conurbation in England,” said one local employee. “The BBC has produced many excellent programmes at both Pebble Mill and the Mailbox. Birmingham is still the second city in this country, it should reflect that.” Whilst factual programming is moving to Bristol and Cardiff, network television drama productions, such as ‘Doctors’ and ‘Land Girls,’ plus classic radio drama, ‘The Archers,’ will continue in Birmingham alongside the BBC’s local and regional services.

Increase in graduate interest with Jaguar Jaguar Land Rover has received 10,632 applications for its graduate recruitment places this year as it continues its recruitment drive to support a multi-billion pound investment plan for new product creation. Applications are 61 per cent higher than in 2011 and are five times higher than they were just three years ago. For 2012, graduates will be hired for a variety of roles across the business – from Product Development Engineering, Manufacturing, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Sales, IT and Purchasing. Jaguar Land Rover HR Director, Des Thurlby, said: “Seeing the


number of graduate applications increase five-fold in three years reflects the increasingly positive perception graduates have of our business. “The recruits will be joining us at an exciting time, and once onboard, we will work hard to ensure that their careers with us will be both challenging and exciting. “In addition to the graduate milkround, Jaguar Land Rover continues to recruit for hundreds of positions

from shop floor to senior management, across a wide range of business functions. “In 2011, the Company handled more than 45,000 applications from candidates wanting to join us on our exciting journey. I am delighted that we continue to receive so many applications from such high quality candidates.” The long-term investment Jaguar Land Rover has been making in its people has also been recognised. Successful applicants will be working for one of the UK’s top graduate firms after it moved up 27 places in the influential Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list in 2011.

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Hundreds of council houses are to benefit from warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills as part of a major energy initiative. Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton Homes have joined forces with energy supplier E.ON to

implement energy saving measures in around 900 homes in Bilston and Low Hill. Councillor Peter Bilson, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership scheme that will help some of the poorest people in our city.”



NEWS New fare is just the ticket on the buses National Express West Midlands has reduced bus fares on its City Hop service to £1 fare for any single journey around Birmingham city centre including travel to Digbeth, Broad Street and Aston University. Peter Coates, managing director of National Express said: “The aim of the City Hop is to encourage more people to use the buses, which travel frequently within minutes of each other around the city centre. “With ever-rising petrol and car parking costs, we believe the £1 fare initiative is a real opportunity to increase the number of people that use the buses. “The start of the year is a time when we look at our lifestyle, consider changes and economise,” he added. “National Express West Midlands has invested in improving the quality of its buses and we now have our new hybrid buses in service, providing environmental benefits along with a truly comfortable and enjoyable travel option.”

Bullring is to ‘Spice’ it up

l Bullring diners will enjoy some special entertainment with their meals when the colourful Cirque du Spiceal arrives in the city this month

Circus acts heading to the city


magine a circus like no other. A twisted circus some might say. Include a handful of peculiar performances and then add eight divine restaurants to the mix for good measure. Cirque du Spiceal is heading to Spiceal Street, at the Bullring. From January 23-28 visitors to Birmingham’s new dining destination, Spiceal Street, will be able to experience a unique phenomenon – a twisted circus – whilst enjoying the city’s ultimate socialising hotspot. Think gentleman chimps hosting an unusual tea party, killer clowns on the loose and spectacular fire perform-

ers, whilst a twisted ringmaster takes centre stage as Spiceal Street is transformed into the setting for Cirque du Spiceal. During the whole week diners at the eight restaurants at Spiceal Street – Browns Bar and Brasserie, ChaoBaby Thai Restaurant, handmade burger Co., Jamie’s Italian, Mount Fuji, Nando’s, Pizza Hut and wagamama – will be treated to an array of eccentric teaser performances before the grand finale on Saturday January 28. The ‘Caravan of Lost Souls’ will be unleashed on St Martin’s Square between 8pm – 10pm with an array of twisted circus acts, including fire breathers, contortionists and a one man band, performing tricks and illusions. Louise Hamer-Brown, Head of Marketing at Bullring, commented: “Spiceal Street is the city’s new social dining hotspot so we wanted to do something really special to welcome in the New Year and in true Bullring tradition something that is spreading the ‘Fit and Active Bodcompletely unexpected. ies in Sandwell’ message. Cirque du Spiceal will offer shopCabinet member for children and families Councillor Bob Badham pers and diners a completely unique commented: “It has been proved experience and a programme of atthat eating good, healthy food mospheric night time entertainment enambles children to stay more alert right in the heart of the city.” Cirque du Spiceal is hosted in at school and stops them from getconjunction with Kerrang! Radio. ting unfit. l To find out more about Cirque “This is a marvellous scheme and I hope it is well supported,” he du Spiceal and how you can book a table at the restaurants during the added.

Healthy eating tips on menu for parents

Parents at a Sandwell infants school are being urged to learn more about keeping themselves and their children fit and healthy. A new six-week course starts on Thursday January 26 at Victoria Infant School in Tipton. It is aimed at nursery and reception parents and is being run by trained healthcare staff. There will be a series of healthy breakfast mornings with the aim of

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Asian footballers set for a showcase at Wembley


he Asian Football Awards has been launched to recognise the outstanding contribution made by individuals and groups across the UK with South Asian heritage. The Awards (AFA) are to be held at the home of English football, Wembley Stadium, on January 24 and is being supported by the FA and Kick It Out. A number of exceptional UK Asian footballers and those from the South Asian Diaspora will be honoured at the first ever high-profile event which is expected to attract an exceptional list of guests in support and celebration of Asians in football. The awards will ensure that those working or investing in the professional game or community sport have the opportunity to receive acclaim for their achievements in developing Asians in football. Initial nominations include Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town), Zesh Rehman (Muang Thong Utd), Anwar Uddin (Barnet FC), Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool FC), Rimla Akhtar (MWSF), Permi Jhooti (FIFA Ambassador), Lakshmi Mittal and Tony Fernandes (QPR FC). Imran Hassan, co-founder of the Asian Football Awards said: “We’ve seen positive

moves within the development of Asians in the game and feel that recognition and acknowledgement of individuals and organisations is a fundamental part of developing more individuals on a professional level. “I’m delighted to be involved in the Asian Football Awards and look forward to celebrating all aspects of the game from investors, players, coaches and those involved behind the scenes,” he added. FA Equality Manager, Funke Awoderu, said: “The FA is delighted that the inaugural

Asian Football Awards will be held at Wembley Stadium. “We are committed to football for all and look forward to welcoming the Asian football community to one of the world’s most iconic stadiums for an evening that will not only celebrate success and high achievement across all areas of the game but act as an inspiration to younger generations.” Danny Lynch, Head of Communications for ‘Kick It Out,’ said: “Initiatives like the Asian Football Awards encourage greater

l Queen’s Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes involvement from groups and individuals that have sometimes been marginalised from the game in the past. “Kick It Out are proud supporters of the Asian Football Awards.” Baljit Rihal, co-founder (AFA) also said: “This promises to be a fantastic opportunity to network with influential personnel from

the football industry. We are proud to be hosting this event and are sure that Asian participation in UK football will benefit its inception.” l To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Asian Football Awards or book your tickets to attend the event simply visit

About Asian Football Awards A number of exceptional UK Asians from the world of football will be honoured at the first ever Asian Football Awards. The event will take place at the home of English football, Wembley Stadium on January 21st 2012. The high profile event is expected to attract an exceptional list of guests to support and celebrate UK Asians in football. The AFA is set to become a momentous event in the awareness and development of Asians in Football. The AFA is a great opportunity to bring together decision makers and the people who we expect to make an impact in football, further complimenting this ever popular sport within the UK. The AFA will be aired in the UK and exposed worldwide via the net and press, and will play host to both professional and amateur football players, as well as sports, business and media celebrities. The promotion and marketing activities will take place from October 2011 to January 2012. This high profile awards ceremony will ensure that it has a national feel to the marketing and promotion campaign. The Asian Football Awards is set to become another significant event in the development and growth of Asians in Football. We believe your organisation and brand can significantly benefit from this high profile event and all the associated marketing and sponsorship benefits on offer.

Aims of Asian Football Awards



- Build an Outstanding Event - Contribute to Growth of Asians in Football - Increase Asian Participation Levels - Strengthen Community Links - Increase Awareness of Asians in Football - Build Sporting Personalities - Encourage Sporting Investment - Support AFA Foundation - Create Awareness of Sponsors - Build Short & Long Term Benefits for Sponsors

- 4 Months Marketing Campaign - TV and Media Program - Grass Roots Campaign - Digital Campaign - Community Partnership - Celebrity Endorsement - Champagne Reception - Awards Ceremony - Dinner - Private Exhibition

- Title Rights - Premium Sponsorship - Award Sponsorship - AFA Partner - Product Program - Community Partnerships - Advertising Brochure - Media Partnership - VIP Reception Sponsor - Foundation Partner

Asian Football Awards is owned and operated by Asian Football Awards Ltd. Company No 0523425

for table bookings and media: for sponsorship and partnerships:




How Africa became a life’s work for Nicholas


eople with big hearts will always be rewarded in big ways. For Nicholas Foster however, his reward is seeing people he helps get the due rewards for their endeavors with the blessings from God above. For over 50 years now Nicholas has been dedicating his life to setting people free from poverty and illness in places which otherwise would be desperately short. Since he was in his 20s, he has been making regular visits to Nigeria and Kenya in order to open schools and medical centres to give the very least fortunate the opportunity to educate and tend properly for themselves. A devout Christian, he has a missionary in Nigeria and has set up schools in some of the most remote parts of the country. Through sending fund-raised money and equipment, he gave them the best possible chance of learning and fending for themselves and their families. He sees this as an anointment by God to help the most deprived people in the world and give them the

l Health product sales help to support the fundraising kind of head start which is afforded to people in the UK. It was as a 21-year-old that Foster found he had the ability to buy and sell jewellery throughout the country at a profit: “The Lord gave me the skill and the strength to make money that way.” he says. Foster originally set up a business consultancy for people with

both business and financial problems, problems which he saw as a being due to a lack of vision and guidance. After a chance meeting with a Pastor Washington, he supplied him with books, equipment and money to open a computer school in Nairobi, Kenya. This subsequently ‘drove’ him to open a clothing factory making T-

shirts, from which the workers and their communities pay for their education and also maintain their local church. Now in his 70’s, Nicholas is nowhere near stopping his good work. In fact, he’s looking to spread his great deed for some time to come, as he says with great determination: “With no shortage of willing workers, I want to do the same in other African countries and, at the same time, spread the Word of God throughout the continent. “Before too long, I want to set up base there and develop things for those wonderful people. I know that with the right people behind them, they’d have the right chance to benefit from the true richness of the continent they live in.” Nicholas himself knows that with the best will of God, his tireless work will be rewarded with blessings from Him and those he’s ‘touched’. l Nicholas would welcome any charitable donations. Please contact him on 0121 681 1083

l Dedicated fundraiser Nicholas Foster

Chaps living it up as real hair-raisers! There was a marked change in many a man’s facial appearance in November. Whilst for some, December 1 couldn’t come fast enough, for a select few the added features proved too good to get rid of. Certain TV and sporting personalities made marked differences to the way we’ve come to know them, with some revisiting the way they were in times gone by. For Mo-Bros, who included football pundits Gary Lineker and Mark Lawrenson, comedian Ricky Gervais and Garrick Hurter, a Senior Customer Service Representative, it was a venture into a very uncommon angle for them by way of that daily, morning prep in front of the mirror. That said, for ‘Lawro’ it was a return to those ‘frightening’ days of the very thick tache favoured by a number of his Liverpool teammates in the 1980s. The four weeks of growth were of course all in the name of charity, helping to fight Prostate cancer which effects a lot of men but up until recently has rarely been talked about in public. So, with thousands of usually clean-shaven guys ‘giving it large’ by way of a moustache and beard, it was worth every bristle raised. For Birmingham-based Garrick, he saw it as a runway to help raise the awareness of men’s health issues.

l Garrick Hurter “I think it was a great way to get involved and once I was given permission by my employers, Regus at Fort Dunlop, I decided that I could make the small sacrifice of looking different and maybe a lot stranger to some people but that if I could get just one person to donate and maybe 10 people to know what it was all about I had done my part. “Women have the Race For Life and I think this is perfect for guys to try and do.”

Students so grateful for intern kings Ten Birmingham organisations have just been presented with awards and named intern champions by business studies students from Birmingham Metropolitan College. More than 50 students, who are part of the college’s Met Enterprise Academy, have benefited from six-week internships with employers including Fleet Milne Residential, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Glide Utilities. Jane Smith, head of the Met Enterprise Academy said: “Without the enthusiasm and support of our Academy champions, our students’ careers would not have been kickstarted to such heights.” Other Met Enterprise Academy business champions were Digital Birmingham, Telereal Trillium Ltd, ALS UK Ltd, Rewired PR Ltd, Birmingham City Council and Branch Martin Spicer Marketing Ltd. For further information about the BMET Enterprise Academy and their internship scheme for Summer 2012 contact Jean Pittaway on 0121 355 5671 or email jean.pittaway@

Stomp to it! After touring the globe almost continuously for 20 years, setting feet stamping, fingers drumming and adrenalin rushing for over 15 million people in 48 countries across five continents, STOMP is returning to Birmingham Hippodrome from February 14-18.


A festive success story


irmingham’s famous Frankfurt Christmas Market celebrated its 10th anniversary in style over the festive season. The seasonal event is now seen as the centrepiece of the city’s annual Christmas calendar with the city’s own traders offering a selection of beautiful hand-crafted items at the Christmas Craft Fair created by local artisans as well as cultural arts and crafts imported from all over the world. Thousands of visitors were able to enjoy the delights of some German mulled wine (Gluhwein), grilled sausages, vegetarian options, pretzels, German beer, and for those with a sweet tooth, gingerbread, crepes and marzipan sweets. Other traditional stalls offer the usual array of beautiful handmade toys, Christmas decorations, original jewellery and craft goods as well as a carousel to keep younger visitors entertained. At the heart of the market was the traditional bandstand, where musicians performed every lunchtime and evening. Groups of local school children and carol singers also staged special performances throughout the festive period. The Frankfurt Christmas Market covered Victoria Square and the length of New Street, and is a truly unique, international shopping experience. One of the most popular stalls, was the ‘Original German Frankfurt Sausage’.

l Birmingham’s German market was once again a sparkling success among Christmas shoppers

“The Market here in Birmingham is fantastic. It’s an opportunity to meet and speak to all the different communities here,” said stallholder Claudia. “In 2010 we came over and had seven stalls. This year we had eight, which is all down to the great products that we provide.”

For Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby, in continuing such great achievement for the city, it’s another proud moment in his tenure. He said: “We always expected this to be a fantastic 10th anniversary birthday party for our Frankfurt Christmas Market.

“Other cities have tried, understandably, to emulate Birmingham’s success, but none have been able to reproduce the size, scale, diversity and quality of our market.” Mr Whitby added that the benefits will continue to be felt around the city centre for some time to come.

Inflation drop wins approval at Chamber City Business leaders have welcolmed the drop in inflation figures to 5% and say it is a step in the right direction. Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group says that in the face of faltering growth, low interest rates are also important for exporters. With poor employment figures contuinuing to cast a cloud over the economy, all eyes are on the Autumn Statement. The Chamber is supporting businesses by urging the Chancellor to take immediate action to reduce red tape and to consider tax cuts, including the 50p income tax rate. Michael Ward, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: “If introduced, such a package of measures would provide a much needed boost for the economy. “Investment will help create jobs if we can unlock burdensome regulations and an uncompetitive tax system.”



l Andy Hamilton

l Annette Fagon

The Drum beat is getting louder.... l Mummy Mafia

T l 70s Retro Night

l Make it a Date!

l Donna Spence

l Fursan

he Drum is the UK’s premier Black-led arts centre dedicated to the development, celebration and presentation of African, Asian and Caribbean arts and cultural activities, for the benefit of all. Join The Drum as we celebrate a new season and a new year this spring. 2012 is an important year for the UK, as host nation for the Olympic Games, and also for Birmingham in that our city will house two of the world’s most accomplished track and field teams, Jamaica and Team USA. As the city’s premier Black-led arts organisation, The Drum will be hanging our flags out early, with advance activities and events building up towards our very special summer season. However, we are putting together our artistic programme in a period of unprecedented public sector cuts and widespread austerity and widening inequality. Nevertheless, we continue to thrive and play a key strategic role in the creative sector nationally and regionally. In real terms, this value of arts to the city and the region is actualised through our programming. The Drum is committed to a genuine, deep-rooted model of diversity, providing opportunities for artists, communities and audiences that do not exist elsewhere. With almost 60 different events gracing our stages this spring there really is something for everyone. Over the next few months The Drum will play host to a variety of leading musical events, national

and international theatre productions, witty and stylish comedy sets, thought-provoking literature sessions and awe-inspiring films & exhibitions. This spring we really have searched the four corners of the earth to bring you something new and vibrant. You can also get involved in a wide range of workshops and educational projects though our arts development initiatives, whilst our vibrant young people’s department, Young Gifted Brum, are planning to tour their recent stage production of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman nationally. We look forward to seeing you in Aston this Spring!

l Theatre

Our theatre strand promises to be thrilling. Uprising is the one man show written Alex Wheatle MBE which chronicles his life from the brutality of children’s homes to award winning author. Mummy Mafia pokes fun at the trials and tribulations of motherhood in a postcode war with a hilarious twist. From side-splitting writer and director Ricky Rowe comes Jamaican comedy play Dutty Money featuring favourites such as Charles Tomlin, Olive Miller, Ricky Rowe and Lovena Brown. A Moment of Mishearing is dynamic combination of music and drama by acclaimed Indian writer Amit Chaudhuri. Chaudhuri will also be interviewed for an ‘In Conversation’ event as part of our literature season.

l Kat Francois

l Music

When it comes to music we have something for everyone. In January we were captivated by the renowned Sufi singer Qari Waheed Chisti. We also have David Rodigan and DJ Mistri as well as Sir John Holt and Freddie McGregor headlining the Valentine’s weekend dance. They will be supported by Jamaican super-group L.U.S.T. Nu Century Arts returns with the regular Live Box series with an extensive set of performers covering jazz, soul, gospel, dub poetry and hip hop. We are excited to continue to host legend Andy Hamilton for his monthly Sunday lunchtime free family jazz sessions. And new this season: Cobweb Collective brings us fresh jazz every month.

l Comedy

To kick off the season local girl done good, Annette Fagon, will be presenting her first solo show in a double-bill with comedian Kwaku, who you may have seen in the sold out film screenings of the documentary-film The Story of Lover’s Rock. To celebrate International Women’s Month we have an all-female show featuring host ‘big sister’ Donna Spence, award winning comedienne Glenda Jaxson, razor sharp circuit veteran Susan Murray and making her Drum stage debut Kayleigh Lewis. The final Upfront Comedy performance in April will be headlined by ‘the don’ Curtis Walker, along with the hilarious Brooklyn Mike (Def

l Sir John Holt and Freddie McGregor

l Susan Murray

Comedy Jam) and south London’s Nigerian wit Victor Daniel.

l Film

Our upcoming films deal with hard-hitting issues. The Nine Muses is a history of mass migration to post-war Britain told in the style of an epic poem. The Interrupters is based on a true story of three young people who work to ‘interrupt’ the spread of violence in Chicago. One Way is a story if four young men on a journey from recklessness to the straight and narrow path. Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin is a documentary about an American Civil Rights leader. He stood next to Dr Martin Luther King Jr but his work was largely ignored due to a prejudice of another kind. The Real Film Season is a series of topical features from India and Pakistan which cover clashes of culture, class and gender. So don’t delay, check our brochure or website for more information and with tickets now on sale, early booking is recommended. We also offer a concessionary rate on most performances to senior citizens, registered unemployed, registered disabled and u18s. Students are entitled to a 10% discount on standard tickets for the majority of our events. l Keep updated with our events, via our Facebook page: http://www. and our Twitter feed: www. – Looking forward to seeing you at The Drum soon...

l Cameron Pierre

l Zara McFarlane

l Glenda Jaxson

l Kobo Town

To book your tickets call The Drum Box Office on 0121 333 2444 or book online at

Thu 2 Feb, 8pm Word Up!

Fri 3 Feb, 7pm Upfront Comedy - Annette Fagon & Kwaku

Fri 3 Feb, 10pm Reggaebaby Lounge

Sat 4 Feb, 10pm Inna Big Tunes Style – Feat David Rodigan & DJ Mistri

Sat 14 Jan, 5pm A Celebration in Honour of Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Sun 15 Jan, 1pm Bangla Food Journeys

Sat 21 Jan, 7pm Qari Waheed Chisti Qawwal & Party


Sun 29 Jan, 1pm The Andy Hamilton Sessions

Fri 27 Jan, 7.30pm The Nubian Readers’ Book Club

Wed 25 Jan, 4pm Kalaboration - Launch

Every Sat from 14 Jan Capoeira classes

Mon 9 Jan-Wed 29 Feb, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Exhibition - Per Forms

Every Sun from 8 Jan Identity Drama School

Every Thu from Jan 5 Vocal Training


Sat 2nd Mar, 10pm The Valentines Reggae Showcase

Fri 17 Feb Cobweb Collective Greyish Quartet

Sun 26 Feb, 1pm The Andy Hamilton Sessions

Sat 25 Feb, 7pm Dutty Money

Sat 25 Feb, 7pm One Way

Fri 24 Feb, 7.30pm Uprising

Wed 15 Feb, 7pm Nine Muses Every Thu from 16 Feb, 6.30pm West African Drumming

Fri 24 Feb, 7.30pm The Nubian Readers’ Book Club

Fri 10 Feb, 8pm Kobo Town

Thu 23 Feb, 6pm The Interrupters

Sun 19 Feb, 7:30pm (Town Hall) Roy G Hemmings’s Motown & Philadelphia on Tour

Fri 24 Feb, 10pm Sound System Fridays

Mon 6 Feb, 6.00pm – 7.30pm Revival: West African Drumming for Dance Classes

Sun 5 Feb, 1pm Love to Dance - Dancehall Rebellion

Sun 4 Mar, 12pm Brit Idol 2012

Sat 3 Mar Live Box - Zara Mcfarlane

Fri 2 Mar, 10pm Reggaebaby Lounge

Fri 2 Mar, 7pm Upfront Comedy – Sisters wid Gags

Thu 1 Mar, 8pm Word Up!

Thu 1 Mar, 7.30pm (Town Hall) Sierra Maestra


Wed 29 Feb, 7pm Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

spring 2012

film music dancee theatr y d e m o c s n o i t i b i exh arts

% 0 1

off m* ru D e h IX T t N a E ts PHO e k tic ote: qu

Sat 17 Mar, 2pm (Library Theatre) Amit Chaudhuri - In Conversation with Siddhartha Bose

Thu 15 Mar, 7pm Khuda Kay Liye (In the Name of God)

Fri 9 Mar, 7.30pm Mummy Mafia

Fri 9 Mar, 8pm Cobweb Collective Matt Ratcliffe Trio

Mon 5 March – Sat 5 May Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Exhibition - 16 Cowries – Erindinlogun

Sun 4 March, 1pm – 4pm Love to Dance - Salsa & Merengue Mash Up

Sun 4 Mar, 4pm Spring Sabha

Fri 30 Mar, 10pm Sound System Fridays

Fri 30 Mar, 7.30pm The Nubian Readers’ Book Club

Sun 25 Mar, 7pm Anhey Ghorhey da Daan (Alms of the Blind Horse)

Sun 25 Mar, 1pm The Andy Hamilton Sessions

Sat 24 Mar, 7pm Bol (Speak)

Tue 20 Mar, 8pm (Town Hall) Kulvinder Ghir

Sat 17 Mar, 7.45pm Live Box - Cameron Pierre

Sat 17 Mar, 7.30pm A Moment of Mishearing

Sat 17 Mar, 5pm & 8.30pm Single Mother

Sun 8 April, 1pm – 4pm Love to Dance - African Beats

Sat 7 Apr, 9pm 70s Retro Night

Fri 6 Apr, 10pm Reggaebaby Lounge Sat 7 Apr, 7.45pm Live Box -Yazz Ahmed

Fri 6 Apr, 7pm Upfront Comedy – Curtis Walker + guests

Thu 5 Apr, 8pm Word Up!

Sun 1 Apr, 7.30pm (Town Hall) Roberto Fonseca & Ayanna


Sat 31 Mar, 6.30pm ACE Dance and Music - Easter Gala Performance


10% offer must be booked in advance, before March 16 2012, standard tickets only, not valid on tickets for ‘Valentine’s Reggae Special’ discount on a maximum of 5 standard tickets.

Thu 3 May, 8pm Word Up!

Wed 2 May, 6pm Raising Lazarus


Fri 27 Apr, 10pm Sound System Fridays

Fri 27 April, 7.30pm The Nubian Readers’ Book Club

Sat 21 Apr, 7.45pm Live Box - Stuart McCallum

Fri 13 Apr, 6.30pm Make it a Date, Lucky for Some

The Drum | 144 Potters Lane | Aston | Birmingham | B6 4UU Box Office 0121 333 2444




Sheikh rattle and roll at Six Ways...

l Six Ways Pizza owner Sheikh Shazad (right) at work with a member of staff


t’s not difficult to see why so many people are already creating a massive stir about Six Ways Pizza, a typical chippy in the original sense. Serving the freshest of chipshop fare, owner Sheikh Shazad knew exactly what to serve and who their target market would be. After looking at the menu, service was brisk and efficient. Six Ways Pizza serves up a variety of styles of food to cater for so many individual tastes. From the already mentioned traditionally fried fish and fresh potato chips menu, you can also feast on kebabs, curries, burgers, pakoras, masala fish, southern fried and tikka dishes and, of course, a variety of freshly made pizzas to order. The choice here is a great one.

l Place your order

l Some like it hot It’s an inviting spot, on the Birchfield Road just off Aston’s Six Ways Island which, for the 28-year-old Mr Shazad, was an exciting venture and as such he made sure that everything, from kitchen to customer service, was of the highest standard. All staff members are always smiling a genuine smile, which puts you at ease as it makes you feel you’ve known them all your life. Having only very recently opened, Sheikh and the other guys, Yassar and Hamza Zaman, Javed Hussein plus Sunny and Hamza Yousaf, are keen for people to try out the new eatery – that’s if you can get past the already large queue which has made Six Ways Pizza one of the best places to eat in the area.

l Another couple of satisfied customers at Six Ways Pizza in Erdington

Simon passes his screen test!


Advertising Feature


ith vision a dab hand, Simon Brade is imprinting his name on big business. In just eight years, Simon has managed to accumulate a customer database that would be the envy of many a multi-national business. From his office/workshop in Birmingham, his company, Inprintz Silk Screen Printers, has been supplying logo emblazoned T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, hi-visibility jackets for some of the biggest companies and organisations in their respective fields.


Using specially advanced silk-screen machinery, he is able to produce top quality print. With his considerable depth of knowledge and versatility in the printing trade, he’s able to take on a vast number of orders, whether they be big, small, or anywhere in between. Since doing his first big order supplying T-shirts for Aston Pride – at the time one of the second rounds of New Deal for Partnerships – Inprintz has been the first port of call for an overwhelming number of people who, on reputation alone, know full well

l Another top job by Simon

might be snowed under with existing orders. “That though doesn’t mean to say that I’m too busy to take on new work, far from it! I’m always willing to listen to company’s inquiries.” Inprintz’s customer file reads like a who’s who of business. The likes of Virgin, Cadburys, the BBC, Midland Heart, South Birmingham College, Sandwell Visually Impaired, Pathfinder, Birmingham City and Aston Villa football clubs, West Midlands Police Force, The Drum Arts Theatre, HRT Foundation, Tesco and the CBSO are all clients

that there’s no better company to use. For Simon, his success to date is a culmination of incredible determination and a single-minded attitude towards providing the very highest quality service time after time. Simon is also very much part of Birmingham’s vibrant Chamber of Commerce and as such, there alone he’s in regular, heavy demand. That, however, is just how he likes it. “I’m getting calls from a lot of big businesses and it has to be said, sometimes I

Simon is hugely proud of his achievement so far, but knows that there’s much more to come, such as the recent order to supply T-shirts for last year’s X Factor finalists. He’s always willing to open his doors and help young people with their designs and offer advice in showing them the best way forward for their own career. The multi-award winning Inprintz Silk Screen Printers also does transfers, embroidery and design to order, so what are you waiting for?

Silk Screen Printers


l Simon Brade at work in his studio

Whether you are looking for promotional clothing, staff uniforms, corporate branding, retail or sportswear we can supply the merchandise and create the image you are looking f o r.

Fast & Efficient Services at Competitive Prices Please contact:

Simon Brade 07818 070519

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Worshipping at the Flame Pentecostal T

he Flame Pentecostal Church of Cherubim & Seraphim Movement on Monument Road in Edgbaston was the venue for a praise and worship service. Both myself and my sister were kindly collected from our doorstep by Apostle John Okundaye, a senior minister of the movement, together with other members for what proved to be an enjoyable experience of church – Nigerian Style! The service was special in that additional members from London had travelled to Birmingham for the day. A variety of songs and choruses were sung by both choir and congre-

gation initially, followed by an open invitation to members of the congregation to testify of God’s power at work in their lives. Next, an in-depth intercessory prayer session took place led by various officials. This was followed by a sermon given by a senior minister from London who emphasized the importance of giving tithes. Finally, an inordination ceremony took place for the initiation of ‘prayerists’ which was concluded by final hymns and the Lord’s Prayer. Socialising among members and visitors brought the day to an enjoyable end. By Butterfly





Law could change on inherited diseases


he public are to be asked if they think the law should be changed to allow science to move a step forward so a cure could be found for potentially fatal inherited diseases. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has been asked to lead a public discussion to ask if a new scientific procedure, which could prevent women with mitochondrial disease from passing the illness to their children, should be introduced. This will be launched later this year.


Mitochondrial disease is a genetic condition that affects an individual’s mitochondria – the part of the body’s cells that produces the energy they need to function. The disease affects everyone differently, but symptoms include poor growth, loss of muscle coordina-

tion, visual and hearing problems, mental disorders, heart disease and liver disease. The condition affects approximately one in 5,000 adults. One in 6,500 babies are born with a severe form of the disease that can lead to death in early infancy. There is no cure. It is estimated that around 12,000 people live with a mitochondrial disease in the UK and scientists estimate that the treatment could save the lives of around ten children affected by severe forms of the disease a year. A proposed procedure would use IVF to fertilise the egg of a woman affected by mitochondrial disease with her partner’s sperm. The genetic material of the fertilised egg that determines the characteristics of the potential child would then be transferred to the

shell of an egg donated by a woman who has healthy mitochondria. This procedure would not be allowed under the current law. Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: “Mitochondrial disease, such as muscular dystrophy, can have a devastating impact on the people who inherit it. “People who have it live with debilitating illness, and women who are affected face passing it on to their children.


“Scientists have developed a new procedure to do research to stop these diseases being passed on,” she said. “But such a procedure would not be allowed in treatment under current law, so we are consulting the public as to whether we should change the law.”

Family day arranged at children’s hospital Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Retinoblastoma Team is hosting an event on Saturday, May 14 for patients and families who have been affected by the rare eye cancer. It will provide a social event for patients and their families to allow them to meet other families and members of the team in a relaxed setting. Two families will be presenting the team with cheques from fundraising activities. Birmingham Children’s Hospital is one of only two centres in the country who treat patients with retinoblastoma. The team sees around 30 newly diagnosed patients every year. Maureen McCalla, a Specialist Retinoblastoma Nurse, said: “This type of eye cancer is very rare and families who have recently been diagnosed can often feel very alone. “By giving families an opportunity to meet each other they can see that they are not alone and may be able to strike up new friendships.”

Show pride in your skin l Public Health Minister Anne Milton


HERE are many characteristics of people that makes us all unique. Many black people that you know look younger than they actually are, which is a similar situation within people of European or Asian backgrounds. Perhaps it’s not so much of a race issue as it is genetics, or maybe simply just one of those things passed on from generation to generation. It is probably more of a family thing than a race thing. However, these days it seems that many people are of cross-purposes. There’s for instance Jamaican dancehall star, Vybz Kartel, and Celebrity Big Brother winner, Shilpa Shetty, who, it’s been widely noted, have both bleached their originally dark skin tones for…well only they themselves know why. On the other hand, there are people like Katie Price and Alex Reid who’ve gone to great lengths to have a dark, sultry skin tone which, invariably, have opened a few doors for them, the kind of which those of a naturally dark hue can only dream about. Generally most people of color have oily skin which means they produce more sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin and prevents lines/ wrinkles etc.

l Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty Also they have more melanin production than Caucasians which also serves as a really high sun block. This is also another prevention of premature aging, lines/wrinkles and sun damage. Lastly, their collagen growth rate is higher. This makes a black person’s skin more “keloidic” but it also sustains the “plumpness” (so to speak) of their skin, which in turn results in younger looking skin. Whilst a large number of British

and Asian women especially go out of there way to get that dark appearance, people like singer Sophie Ellis-Bexter have flouted their naturally north European appearance to their own, unrivalled level of success. Not a single sun lounger in sight for them. So, whether it’s super-model, Alex Beck, or Hollywood-based Brit, Robert Pattinson, just love the skin you’re in.

To advertise call 0121 629 7728



Focus is on healthy eyes


oots have launched the ‘Great Big Eye Check’ initiative to encourage people in Birmingham to look after their vision and eye health. Fifty per cent of sight loss is avoidable1, a fact that almost eight in 10 people in Birmingham (78%) are unaware of according to latest research. With four in 10 people in Birmingham not having their eyes checked on a regular basis2, Boots Opticians, supported by RNIB and Action for Blind People, have launched the Great Big Eye Check. The idea is to help raise awareness of eye health and encourage more people to have their eyes checked regularly. Supporting the initiative, Optometrist, and RNIB’s Eye Health Development Adviser, Sonal Rughani, said: “RNIB and Action for Blind People support any initiative that encourages people to get their eyes checked and highlights where to find additional advice and support.

see; it can also pick up early signs of other conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma. However, nearly six in 10 of adults surveyed in Birmingham did not know that an eye test could detect diabetes, and almost a third were unaware it could detect glaucoma, conditions which can cause vision loss. David Cartwright, Optometrist and Director of Professional Services at Boots Opticians, said: “We hope that by widening the meaning of an eye test by calling it an eye check we will help people understand that this is not just about what they can or cannot see, it is also a check-up for their overall eye health that can be sight-saving, and in some cases, even life-saving.


Early signs

“It’s a sad fact that 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight every day; and many people lose their sight because early signs of eye disease go undetected. “We hope that Boots ‘Great Big Eye Check’ will help encourage everyone to get their eyes checked and benefit from better eye health.” New research shows that three in 10 peo-

l Regular eye checks can help to detect the early warning signs for conditions such as diabetes ple in Birmingham said they would be more motivated to have their eyes checked regu-

larly if an eye test was called an eye check. This shift in language to eye check is also

designed to help people understand that the eye check is not just about how well you can

“The consultation remains the same comprehensive eye examination we have always provided, which includes both checks for vision changes and overall eye health. “With 630 Boots Opticians on high streets across the UK, 92% of customers are only a 20 minute drive from one of our practices,” he said. “We hope to help make an impact on the eye health of the nation and encourage everyone of any age to help keep their eyes healthy.” l To join the Great Big Eye Check people can go online at and print a £10 eye check voucher.



First lady of rap will never be forgotten

Magical Malawi prove inspirational for Bever Beverley Knight returned to her Wolverhampton home to perform at the Civic Hall recently and despite her excitement at appearing in front of a sell-out home-time crowd, her main focus during her visit was highlighting her unforgettable trip to Africa. She travelled to Malawi in the south of the continent where she works as an ambassador for the Christian Aid charity. In her role, she helped to both provide essential medicines to

Almost lost amongst the high-profiled deaths of 2011 was that of the ‘founder’ of Hip-Hop. Sylvia Robinson, the first lady of rap, passed away at the end of the year without as much as a whimper, but as hip-hop continues to strive, give respect to the late Mrs. Robinson. As the co-founder of Sugar Hill Records, her label pretty much introduced us in Britain to this musical style by bringing us The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rappers Delight”, the first crossover rap hit on these shores.

the impoverished nation and educate the local communities on how to both avoid and manage the threat of HIV and AIDS. During her visit, the British Queen of Soul was struck by the spirit of the Malawi people despite many of them severely suffering from the deadly disease, a spirit of which she says: “I was taken aback by the incredible spirit of the Malawi people. “Everywhere I went, I was

greeted with singing and dancing by them all. It was as if they used music as a weapon against their personal sufferings. It was like a weapon of hope.” On her return to the UK, the multi-award winning songstress packed a lot of positivity into her luggage, from her experience in Africa and will use it as material and inspiration whilst working on her latest album, as she explains: “My trip to Malawi was awe-

some, in m nitely be influences next reco nitely from music.” Miss K worker in the threat she’s equa ing her po soul singe to be at th to come.


Robinson, who initially found fame as an R&B singer in the 1950s, co-wrote and produced Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s most successful single, “The Message”, which is credited as the rap song that brought socially conscious lyrics into hip hop, persuading the group to record the song while it was still a demo recording. Regarded as the mother of modern hip-hop, she revolutionized the music industry by introducing the invention of sampling, as well as introducing all-female rap/ funk group The Sequence, featuring a teenage Angie Stone (recording as “Angie B”), who had a millionselling hit in early 1980 with “Funk U Up”.

l Sylvia Robinson Later success saw her discover Naughty by Nature, and their hugely successful “Down With O.P.P” on her Bon Ami Records label, in 1987.


Without doubt, Sylvia Robinson opened the doors for the likes of Jay-Z, Professor Green, Eminem, Tinie Tempah, Misha B. and the likes to make their marks on the sound of an entire generation, worldwide. She died at the age of 75.

Carmen is c

By Steve Williams


armen Wright has a wealth of experience that anyone, in any of our vast communities, will do well to feed off in their own search for inspiration and

success. A highly-respected theatre technician, she has worked on some of the biggest venues and with some of the world’s leading businesses and individuals which she now uses to inspire a new generation of young people, especially women, to choose a path which perhaps has never been in their career plans.

The Birmingham-based Ms. Wright has been a leading light in the industry for many years and, up to date, is always called upon when a major event is happening either here or in many other major towns and cities throughout the world.


She has accumulated great experience as a lighting designer which allowed her the knowledge to work with stars like Steve Windwood, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare as well as the pioneers of afro-pop, Soul-2-Soul, her first job. Carmen gained valuable experience whilst

working for record label and his Crysalis organiz It was whilst there tha with Jazzy-B and the g part in the production Moving”. It was during that mos life in London where sh ciation of British Theatr very hard earned Distinc Her time in London a Wright play an integral rave scene, directing and nical part of the rigging

To promote your business in T


es rley

many ways. I will defitaking a lot of African s and use them in my ord and that will defim their spirit and their

Knight is a relentless n educating people in of HIV and AIDS and ally tireless in maintainosition as Britain’s No.1 er. Either way, she aims he front for some time

l Beverley Knight, singing legend and Christian Aid ambassador

The legendary Stranglers return to Birmingham in March with their eagerly awaited new album, Giants. Thirty-five years on from the release of their debut, Rattus Norvegicus, ‘Giants’ is the Stranglers’ seventeenth album and, just as the latter day successes of the group’s last two titles, ‘Norfolk Coast’ (2004) and ‘Suite XVI’ (2006), this more

centre stage

l mogul Chris Blackwell zation. at she got her big break guys, playing a valued of their hit: “Keep On

st exciting period in her he studied for the Assore Technician, gaining a ction. also saw the young Ms. part in the ‘birth’ of the d setting the whole techg at the often secretive

Stranglers looking for a ‘Giant’ step forward

venues. She says of that time: “It was, for me, one of the most exciting periods in my life. To be a part of the rave scene back then was fantastic and then to work with Soul-2-Soul was the best, especially working with singer, Wummi, their lead singer in Japan.”


Carmen loves light and with a Post Grad. (MA) in Advanced Theatre Practice and work with over 92 theatre and dance companies, including Birmingham’s own The Drum Arts Theatre, already under her belt, she’s proving to be the ‘first name’ to contact whenever the big shows come to town.

In addition, she’s also successfully ventured into music management, by way of managing reggae super-star, Skibu, in addition to one of the biggest D’n’B DJs and her own son, Anthony. “Its hard work what I do,” says the amiable Carmen, but, as she continues: “it’s very rewarding. That’s one of the things I would tell young people, especially women. I want them (young women) especially to show an interest in the technical side of things.” Under demand, Carmen Wright is all the inspiration you need when looking for a leading light.

The Phoenix call 0121 629 7728

recent return to the studio has once again produced another collection of sterling Stranglers tracks. Quirky and diverse, the music presented on ‘Giants’ avoids the formulaic and the stale: for the first time since 1980, there is an instrumental and the group, better known for their waltzes, also reveal their take on another dance form, the tango!

It’s a few years since the last album release but the Stranglers have been keeping extremely busy on the live circuit. They have appeared at most of the the major festivals in the UK in recent years, including Glastonbury, T in the Park and V Festivals. l The Stranglers are playing Birmingham Academy on Saturday, March 10.



ENTERTAINMENT Los to look forward to at Rainbow Following the release of Los Campesinos!’s fourth album, Hello Sadness, in November last year on Wichita to an accompanying heap of critical praise, the Cardiff-based band are now heading to Birmingham. Recorded in Girona, Spain, Hello Sadness is ten songs of love, loss and heartbreak nail-gunned to a back-drop of broken, tangled bodies, creeping, dead-eyed animals, suffocating, looming shadows and World Cup exits.


It is an honest, bare-bones documentation of breaking up and trying not to break up in the process. At just ten songs and 40 minutes, Hello Sadness is perhaps the first Los Campesinos! album that sounds lean and pruned, indulgence shorn away and filler ruthlessly excised. The youngsters that made debut You! Me! Dancing! are long gone. The band they’ve grown into, though, are something to fall for all over again. Hold tight for news on a single in March and check them out in Birmingham at the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth on Saturday, March 24.

These boys are Red hot Hailed as ‘One of the best the UK has to offer’ by Kerrang!, Falling Red fire straight back into action in 2012 with several major announcements. Since their outstanding live performance at Hard Rock Hell V just before Christmas the band has been busy planning for this year. With their focus mainly on touring in 2012

the band is delighted to confirm they’ll play the Lancashire Rock & Bike Show at Blackpool on June 2 hosted by Satans Slaves MC. This year will also see a new look to Falling Red. After lengthy discussions towards the end of 2011, Falling Red was extremely saddened to accept the fact that the band would need to continue without both Matty Penn &

Shane Kirk. Shane Kirk, a founding member, and in many ways, the heartbeat of the band and Matty Penn both felt they now needed to concentrate their time on their personal lives for the present. Falling Red will be forever indebted to both of them for their contribution to creating a

band that stands for what it believes in, and not what others expect them to be. Rozey & Dave are really pleased to announce that Dann Marx (ex Slip) will take on Bass duties, while Jade Starr (ex Fallen Mafia) completes the new line up on Guitars. Catch them for yourself at Scruffy Murphys in Birmingham on Saturday February 11.

Biohazard are set to turn up the heat B By Paul Castles

iohazard are heading back to the UK to promote the release of their first album with the original line up in 18 years. Reborn in Defiance hits the streets this month on the Nuclear Blast label. “Absence makes even the coldest of hearts grow fonder so after realizing we’ve been cheating on the UK with slutty Europe for so long, we’ve all pitched in and collected enough pounds for a Chunnel ride over for some Urban Chaos. “We’re infecting the UK once again this winter with our “In Your Face tour!” “Keep up with our biohazarddfl page for some updates, news, ticket giveaways, contests and some cool freebies coming your way! See you in the pit!” - Billy Biohazard has sold over five million albums worldwide since their formation in the late eighties in Brooklyn, New York. They achieved international success with their albums Urban Discipline on Roadrunner in 1992 and 1994’s State of the World Address on Warner Bros. Over the years, Biohazard has collaborated with Onyx, Cypress Hill, Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, Pantera and Type O Negative amongst others. The band has continued to tour nationally and internationally, sharing stages with the likes of House of Pain, Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Danzig, Fear Factory, Sepultura and

l New York metal giants Biohazard play the HMV Institute Agnostic Front. The trio performed a blistering early morning set at Download in June but you can now enjoy Bio-

hazard at their meanest, alongside Suicidal Tendencies at Birmingham Institute (Library) on Thursday, February 2.

To promote your event in The



January 16 The Black Dahlia Murder, Skeletonwitch, Fleshgod Apocalypse 20 Never Shout Never 20 Silent Filter ft. Bonnylou Dutch Cousin, The Session, Illusion 21 Novana (The UK’s only Tribute to Nirvana) 22 Lower Than Atlantis Sights and Sounds, Marines 24 Husch 26 Catapult Club ft. Post Descartes, Catapult Club, Post Descartes, VeXXen, Kissing Lieutenant, My Haunting Revenge, 8 Bit Monster 27 All Time Low Reel Big Fish 27 Propaganda, The Maccabees (DJ set) 28 Emma Scott Presents... The Ki, Guns for Girls, Arcade Parade, Fantastik 4, Your Best Enemy 29 Panic! At The Disco 31 Lindi Ortega + Fields Of Ypres + Kristy Gallacher. February 2 Catapult Club ft. Grey Goes Down Catapult Club, Grey Goes Down, Barefoot Runners, The Formula, The Cavalier Attitude, Oscar Denihan 3 Kaiser Chiefs 4 Emma Scott Presents... Open to Fire, Escape Avenue, Weatherbird, Red Method, The Crooked Empire 6 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 7 CASH (Johnny Cash tribute) + Pan And The Poets CASH (Johnny Cash tribute), Pan And The Poets 7 James Morrison - The Awakening Tour 8 The Devil Wears Prada 9 Catapult Club ft. She Screams Murder Splintertone, Insolito, Wrapped In Plastic, Hallway District 10 Silent Filter ft. The Great Western, John J Presley, Bowen & The Tide, Dale Hanson 11 NME Awards Show ft. Justice 14 Ivyrise plus Franko Ivyrise 16 New Found Glory, Sum 41, LetLive, While She Sleeps, Kerrang! Relentless Tour 17 Big Country 18 NME Awards Tour 2012 Two Door Cinema Club, Metronomy, Tribes, Azealia Banks 18 Silent Filter ft. Claustrophobique, Lucid Uprising, The Variables, Billie Richards 19 The Skrillex Cell - Grey Daze Tour 20 Dog is Dead 22 Silent Filter ft. Call Atlantis Silent Filter, Call Atlantis, Brains For Breakfast, Imogen’s Kiss, The Kerensky Offensive, The Nortons 23 Nicole Scherzinger, Angel, Mindless Behaviour 24 Simple Minds 5X5 Live 25 Little Dragon 25 Silent Filter ft. Naked Remedy 27 Norma Jean The Chariot, Dead & Divine, Admirals Arms 28 The Static Jacks

January 21 Diamanthian, Sarpanitum 28 La Dispute February 3 Valous, Hellbound Hearts, The Perfect Crime 4 Curvature, Hypothesis, Fern Palmer 8 Ulcerate, Svart Crown 11 Rockabilly 54 14 Darksite, Chemically Abused, A Vulgar Picture 18 9xDead, Warlord UK, Black Wednesday, Black Star Bullet


l Ed Sheeran will be performing for two nights at Wolverhampton Civic Hall Hall) 20 The Circus of Horrors - The Ventriloquist 20 Asking Alexandria (Wulfrun Hall) 24 Chinese State Circus 25 One Night Of Queen 26 An Evening With Danny & Ben From Thunder (Wulfrun Hall) 27 Thin Lizzy February 2 Colin Fry - Higher Senses Tour 3 Sarah Millican: Thoroughly Modern Millican 17 Organ Concert 17 Wolverhampton Soul Night Out (Wulfrun Hall) Parade, Wed 15th Feb 23 Kate Rusby (rescheduled from December 15) 25 Ben - A Tribute to Michael Jackson (Wulfrun Hall)


January 15-30 Katherine Jenkins in concert 20 CBSO Schools Concerts for

January 31 Rumours of Fleetwood Mac February 3 Jazz Legends Acker Bilk & Chris Barber 4 Suggs: My Life Story in Words & Music 5 Khatia Buniatishvilli 18 Max Boyce + guests 19 Roy G Hemmings’ Motown Philadelphia on Tour 22 Julian Lloyd Webber & Orchestra of the Swan 23 Fascinating Aida 25 Joe Brown in concert

January 20 Ben Ottewell (Gomez) 21 M83 27 Maccabees 30 Roots Manuva 31 Boyz II Men

l Nicole Scherzinger

23 Jezabels, Arcadian Kicks 24 Decapitated, Aorted 25 Napalm Death 27 Theory of a Deadman



WOLVES CIVIC HALL January 17/18 Ed Sheeran 19 Henry Rollins (Wulfrun

Key Stage 3 Students 21 Anton & Erin (Strictly Come Dancing) 25-26 CBSO Winter Dreams 27 Rush Hour Blues: Nick Jurd Quartet 28 Sax in the City February 5 Martin Simpson Trio 8 Transatlantic Sessions 23 An Evening with David Hasselhoff 26 Lee Mead Mar 1 Rebecca Ferguson

January 20 Jaccals 26 A Pale Horse Named Death 27 Soley Mourning 28 My Ruin February 2 Canterbury 4 Puressence 8 Robin Ince - Happiness Through Science 9 The Treatment (Rescheduled Date) 16 Richard Herring: What Is Love Anyway? 17 Alestorm 22 Comedy Store presents Steve Hughes 23 Your Days Are Numbered 29 King Charles

February 2 Biohazard 3 Edguy, Voodoo Six 4 Laura Veirs 6 Alesana, We Came As Romans, I Wrestled A Bear Once, Glamour of the Kill 9 Awolnation 10 Mastodon 20 Kylesa, Circle Takes The Square, Ken Mode 22 The Mobo Tour 2012

Phoenix call 0121 629 7729

l Rebecca Ferguson has a date at the Symphony Hall

Atlantic ride the waves at Wulfrun

2011 was one hell of a year for Twin Atlantic and 2012 shows no signs of them slowing down! Since the release of their spectacular debut album, “Free” - the biggest selling record by a UK rock band in 2011 - the pedal has been to the metal. From gracing the covers of Kerrang! and Rock Sound magazine, to performing in front of thousands of people at festivals all over Europe and headlining venues such as Glasgow Academy, this hard working quartet have catapulted themselves into the new year already. Recently named as the iTunes Rewind Rock Artist of The Year and currently on the BBC Radio 1 A list with their blistering single “Free” - Twin Atlantic are heading out on the road this April on their biggest UK and Ireland headline tour!


“Our tour at the end of 2011 was incredible but we feel like we still have room to grow. “It’s been a slow and steady race for us over the last few years and this tour will mark our fiveyear anniversary. “The fans we have gathered over that time is something we are really proud of and we can’t wait to have you all, along with new intrigued human beings, in the same room again so we can experience the feeling that makes being in this band so damn exciting. “Perhaps new music? Perhaps a bigger show? Perhaps exploding planets and flying cats dressed like babies? “It’s all a work in progress to make this our best tour yet! Ridiculous tour name to follow,” he said. l Twin Atlantic play the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton on Friday, April 20.




Let’s Spring into action

l Floral bloom blouse, £12

l Blue graphic floral blouse, £12 l Ditzy floral top knot, £12

If you want to stand out this spring then just look at some of these exciting bright colours and floral prints at George with accessories and clothes from as little as £5.

l Floral print tunic, £14

l Gold leaf cuff, £5

l Gold metallic laser cut-out pumps, £10

l Green jeans, £14

l Multi-stripe pumps, £7

FASHION l Green jeans £30, floral shirt £22, bralet underneath £12

l Bag £20, dress £22, hat £12, waistcoat £30

l Shirt £28, jeans £30, top underneath £22

l Top £16, shorts £25, blazer £28 l Denim jacket £35, pink shirt £25, skirt £30

This brand new sassy and cool range of casual clothing from Republic is sure to get you noticed on a sunny day l Pink top £18, shorts £30, waistcoat £25, bag £18




Enjoy the Sun-shine


five-star Cumbrian Inn has created a quirky way to escape the post-Christmas blues and kick start those New Year good intentions. The Sun Inn in the picturesque town of Kirkby Lonsdale is offering a Blues Busting Break package for guests wishing to gently shed those Christmas calories whilst indulging in some much-needed TLC. Perfect for those left feeling less than sprightly after Christmas, but without the frightening prospect of early morning circuits and lettuce leaf lunches.


The package combines gentle walking routes with a relaxing two night’s luxury accommodation at the Sun Inn and plenty of thoughtful treats which will leave guests ready to emerge feeling rested and revived. The package includes a refreshing 10 mile guided walk led by Sun Inn owner and experienced walker Mark Fuller, taking in the moderate routes over the stunning Barbon Fells or the beautiful River Lune walk to Arkholme. After a good dose of fresh air to awaken the senses, walkers will be provided with a hearty soup and

The four-star Langdale Hotel and Spa in the picturesque Langdale Valley, the Lake District, has launched its first ever family package which launches just in time for Easter. The multi award-winning hotel, renowned for its excellent eco-credentials, has devised a convenient week-long break for families. Langdale’s offer families flexibility with a week’s accommodation in one of its self catering properties, all of which have been given a five-star rating by Visit England.

l For more information on The Sun Inn’s Blues Butsing break visit sandwich lunch, followed by a rewarding tea and crumpet snack on their return to the inn. A pre-run bath using gorgeous Bath House Bubbles can also be arranged. Following a rejuvenating soak, guests can indulge in a three course meal in the Sun Inn’s cosy candlelit restaurant, offering a delicious selection of seasonal dishes made from high quality local ingredients – with no turkey leftovers or sprouts in sight! The Blues Busting Break costs £130 per person based on two people sharing a double room, including a tasty breakfast and all of the above. Boasting stylish interiors, individually designed rooms, outstanding food and exceptional service, the Sun Inn is full of thoughtful touches. Homemade biscuits, snuggly bathrobes and fresh milk are included as standard, and guests are also able to enjoy fresh tea and coffee down in the welcoming bar throughout their stay.

The Lakes is perfect for Easter



The Sun Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale is a Cumbrian treasure

Each of the stunning on-site properties sleeps up to 6-8 guests and comes complete with home comforts like Freesat TV, and complimentary WiFi. Nestled within 35 acres of mature woodland, children will love Langdale’s fairytale footpaths and streams, along with the adventure playground. l For further information visit


Full steam ahead to the Yorkshire moors T

here are few things more bracing in life than a hike across the wild, windswept and wonderful North Yorkshire Moors. Comprising over 1400 miles of natural beauty, this enchanting region is home to heather moorland, pine forests, rolling hills and shimmering coastline, not to mention badgers, roe deer, red squirrels and hawks. Look closer and you’ll discover historic abbeys, castles and priories, traditional pubs and ‘hidden’ villages and hamlets.


If you prefer to let the train take the strain then why not step back in time with Britain’s most popular heritage steam railway. Enjoy stunning scenery along 18 miles of railway through the National Park. And if it’s a special occasion, why


The North Yorkshire Moors Railway delivers a journey back to a bygone era

l For more information on breaks in Yorkshire go to www.yorkshire. com & not celebrate in style aboard the magnificent Pullman dining service. Serving hearty meals prepared by an on-board chef, passengers can sit back and relax, it’s time for a taste of indulgence in an elegant setting. There are plenty of attractive villages and towns in this area. Malton is located on the north of the River Derwent while Helmsley is another gem with its bustling market square, dramatic castle ruins, charming tea rooms, and inviting inns. And of course there is the historic city of York nearby, with its quaint cobbled streets, colourful Viking history and towering Minster. With so much to see and do the only problem will be fitting it all in!

Offers at Eurostar Eurostar is offering special, limited prices of £59 and £149 return for Standard and Standard Premier travel to Paris, Brussels or Lille until March 29. With plenty of the special £59 return Standard class fares available for midweek travel this is the perfect time to book a reviving day trip or a relaxing long weekend. ‘Winter blues busters’ can also treat themselves to a more luxurious journey for less as Eurostar is offering Standard Premier fares from only £149 return for travel during the same period.


What’s more, when passengers arrive in their chosen destination their Eurostar ticket gives them much more than travel alone with a range of enticing ‘Eurostar Plus’ offers such as 2-for-1 entry into exhibitions at selected top museums and galleries in Paris, Brussels and Lille, simply by showing their Eurostar ticket. l For more information visit or telephone 08432 186 186.




l Pedal power with the family on a Center Parcs break

Center Parcs doing its best to buck the trend Despite industry predictions of a tough year ahead, Center Parcs, the UK’s leading short break holiday operator is reporting significant bookings growth for the early part of 2012. With overall bookings 2.2% up on last year’s record year, Center Parcs is seeing particularly strong demand for the main summer holidays, with bookings for peak breaks up 19.1%. Short breaks for Christmas 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday are also performing very well, suggesting that families are still opting to

stay in the UK for main school holidays. Colin Whaley, Sales & Marketing Director, said “There has been a lot of uncertainty about how the market would behave in 2012 and what effect the Olympics and the Eurozone crisis would have on holiday bookings. “However, here at Center Parcs we are seeing some very encouraging booking numbers for the year ahead. We are very optimistic for 2012, and expect another strong year.” l For latest offers visit:

Dublin is to step it up a gear! l Dublin attracts bookworms from all over the world due its reputation for great writers such as James Joyce


ith over 100 small festivals held across the region annually, visitors to Dublin are invited to join the party. Dublin’s unique spirit of fun and entertainment is evident in the many festivals and events organised throughout the year. Headline festivals such as the inimitable St. Patrick’s Festival every March, attract and enthrall visitors in their thousands. Dublin also has a wealth of smaller, quirky festivals & events that take place throughout the year with festivals celebrating everything from arts, architecture, music, film, to food, puppetry, sport and literature. This year is set to be an exciting year for culture seekers as Ireland’s capital prepares for a host of festivals and events. St. Patrick’s Festival in March will celebrate Dublin, City of Science as the capital prepares to welcome Europe’s top science conference, ESOF Dublin, in July. A month long celebration of James Joyce’s ‘The Dubliners’, April’s One City One Book initiative invites visitors to explore Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature and a place that has inspired some of the world’s best loved literature. Dublin’s iconic streetscape will be transformed when Bavaria City Racing brings Formula 1 to the streets of Dublin next June! More than 100,000 spectators are expected to gather for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon with Superbikes, Super cars, Touring cars, Formula 2, WRC, Drifters,

l Formula One comes to Dublin in 2012 l For more information on Dublin go to or call the Tourist Information Centre on 00353 1 437 0969 and the star attraction; demos from internationally celebrated F1 cars and drivers. Dublin’s River Liffey first brought the Vikings over a thousand years ago and in August 2012 will welcome a host of majestic Tall Ships as Dublin takes its place as the final port of the 2012 Tall Ships Race. Dublin Festival Season will bring culture to the masses with theatre, music, comedy, literature, architecture, Guinness and much more throughout September and October. Dublin’s most popular visitor at-

traction, The Guinness Storehouse unveiled a superb new food experience following a €2 million investment which has resulted in an entire floor dedicated to Guinness and Food. Situated on the 5th Floor of the Home of Guinness in the heart of St. James’s Gate, the new food experience is aptly named “Five. Guinness and Food Experience”. Dublin has also just launched a Smartphone app with geo-directional search functioning. It can be downloaded for free for both the Apple and Android market. The Visit Dublin app (pictured inset) uses innovative technology to allow visitors to use directional search to move about Dublin and explore their interests. The Visit Dublin App also presents the visitor with a Daily Bulletin providing timely information on events and special offers.

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Ten reasons to visit Bath N

ew events, enticing exhibitions and an enduring appeal of architecture, history and spa culture ensure that the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath continues to be a tempting place to visit in the new year. Here are just a few reasons why Bath should be on anyone’s list of must-see places in 2012…

1. Picnic in the Park For those looking to make the most of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, join in the festivities on 5 June at Royal Victoria Park in the centre of Bath where a free ‘Picnic in the Park’ event will be held. Two giant screens will show all the Jubilee celebrations. 2. Bath in Fashion The third Bath in Fashion is gearing up for an action packed week from Sunday 25 to Saturday 31 March 2012, with plenty of events, fashion shows, talks and workshops that will appeal to fashionistas young and old. The event will also have a local flavour with designers from Bath’s independent boutiques showcasing their collections. 3. Independent Bath Unlike other cities with cloned high streets, branded hotels and chain restaurants, Bath offers something really different, making it an exciting place to explore. Independent shops and boutiques line the

l Take a step back in history at the ancient Roman Baths city’s shopping streets and restaurants unique to Bath serve a delicious choice of international cuisine. 4. Holburne Museum After several years of major development, the Holburne finally re-opened its doors in 2011 following an impressive restoration of

the original museum building and a glittering new and modern extension. The building now houses major exhibitions, more of its wonderful collection of 9,000 extraordinary objects and artwork founded by Sir William Holburne. 5. Art at the Edge

Public Notice

l Leroy McLean who died a year ago, aged 42

Friends and family thinking of Leroy Leroy Reginald McLean passed away a year ago in the Q.E Hospital in January 2011 at 42 years of age. In his early teenage years Leroy was afflicted with Ulcerative Colitis which then developed to Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis, an autoimmune disease still under research. Leroy was very creative and loved animals. He was well known for breeding rabbits in his youth. He also became a master in the

martial art of Kung Fu. In his adult years he became a glasscutter and engraver for Frazer Crystal. He did painting and decorating with carpentry. He then moved on with the times and achieved a diploma in Personal Computer Repairs and was renowned in his community of Spring Hill for building and repairing computers. He was a comedian and always kept his family and friends cheerful

despite his illness. Leroy is deeply missed by his mom Winnifred and dad Fred, his four sisters, Joy, Rosemarie, Jackie, Elizabeth and Karen, his two brothers Derrick and Tony and his nephews and nieces. Leroy is also still missed by close friends Clive, Quann and Michael and all his friends that he met at Brookfield Primary and Ladywood Comprehensive schools.

Art at the Edge is an exciting and brand new exhibition coming to the Victoria Art Gallery in the summer of 2012. The collection will feature 30 bronze sculptural statues of different Olympic sports. 6. 2,000 years of spa culture Blessed with the only natural hot springs in the UK, Bath’s story has been shaped by its waters, and it has had spa culture at its heart from its very humble beginnings. With Bath being home to a number of top spa facilities, this is the city in which to indulge. 7. A new way to discover Bath Bath Tourism Plus are launching their first mobile application for the city. The free app will be available on both iPhone and Android handsets and will provide an interactive and useful source of information about Bath. 8. Classic Bath One of the reasons Bath was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status was thanks to its incredible architecture. The best way to see all the highlights is by joining an organised tour, and there are plenty of ways to explore in Bath – bus tours, boat trips, walking tours and even chauffeurdriven options are just some of the choices available. 9. Roman Baths Re-discover one of the UK’s top attractions at the Roman Baths in 2012. Even

visitors who have been before will be fascinated by the new interpretation and displays following a recent £5.5 million investment. Around the heart of the World Heritage Site and using Britain’s only hot springs, the Romans built an impressive temple and bathing complex with much remaining to this day. 10 Pulteney Bridge Take a stroll over the famous Pulteney Bridge, together with the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. Like the Ponte Vecchio it is one of a handful of historic bridges in the world with shops built into it. Built for William Pulteney by Robert Adams, the bridge was an attempt to connect central Bath to land on the other bank of the River Avon and make Pulteney’s fortune. In spite of its practical origins it is surely the most romantic bridge in the world, best viewed from Parade Gardens park by the crescent weir. Whether it’s a romantic weekend away or a family holiday with the children there will be plenty to keep you occupied from breakfast until dinner. l For more information on Bath go to or call the Tourist Information Centre on 0906 7112000




Tributes pour in for a ‘hero of industry’

l Michael Ward

Chamber wants more apprentice schemes The government needs to be more creative to encourage businesses to take on apprentices which will be a timely intervention to reduce the region’s unemployment, which has risen by 10,000 to 234,000 say West Midlands business leaders. Michael Ward, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said the Government must look at making it easier for SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) to take on 16 to 24 year olds by introducing more tax breaks and giving golden handshakes.


Mr Ward said: “Businesses also need to be convinced of the benefits of taking on apprentices who will usually work harder and stay longer. “Unemployment could well be long-lasting and youth unemployment, which represents 50% of today’s unemployment figures, needs addressing. “Job Seekers Allowance claimant levels in the West Midlands are 1% above the national average and for every vacancy on their books, there are 7.1 applicants. “The Coalition (Government) needs to make it easier for companies to employ apprentices who will play a critical role in tackling unemployment.”

ISO double for Citybase Citybase Apartments, the UK’s serviced apartments booking agency has been awarded ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Standard) certification. Managing director Davor Parker said: “Everybody likes to think they provide clients with a quality service but it’s important to have independent verification. ISO certification gives us just that. “It also helps us constantly review and improve what we do, so we’re always meeting our clients’ needs.”


he former President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce passed away recently leaving the group paying tribute to one of the region’s ‘industrial heroes’. David Grove, who was 63, was president of the Chamber in 2003 and died suddenly last month at his Warwickshire home. Current BCCG president Michael Ward said: “We have lost one of our great industrial heroes. David famously led Hill & Smith to great success both in the UK and globally and his passing is a great loss to UK business. “He has similarly led all the individual manufacturing businesses that operate under the banner of Grove Industries to leadership in their sectors. “David’s passing leaves a massive gap. His passion for manufacturing and his conviction about the rising potential of Midlands manufacturers was infectious. He leaves a legacy of achievement that Midlands manufacturers will benefit from for decades.” Jerry Blackett, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Chamber Group, also paid tribute: “David’s passion was his belief in the potential for local manufacturing businesses to never stop improving their productivity while at the same time improving quality.” As President of Birmingham Chamber in 2003, Mr Grove spoke up tirelessly for manufacturing at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. He had the vision to realise that the UK would again appreciate the importance of making things and he made sure that governments understood this.

have a word to say about manufacturing as this year I am celebrating 30 years of working in the manufacturing sector. Despite some reports, manufacturing is still alive and innovating. It contributes £150 billion to the UK’s GDP and accounts for 60 % of all exports from the UK. “Manufacturing is striving to improve its products, processes and service to its customers, but we must continue to lobby hard alongside other business organisations against all legislation which makes UK industry less competitive and hands the benefit to our overseas competitors.”


l David Grove was a firm supporter of manufacturing in the Midlands In his year as Chamber President, he oversaw a number of significant achievements including promoting unity among Birmingham’s business community and leading on issues like transport. David ran Hill & Smith for more than 10 years from the late 1990s during which time the company saw its share price rise from about 40p to 356p.

His reputation for turning around businesses with his associates attracted Lord Digby Jones to the company two years ago. Mr. Grove was made an OBE for services to business in 2009 and was the current High Sheriff of the West Midlands. When he took office at the Chamber, Mr Gove returned to his passion for manufacturing. He said: “You wouldn’t expect me not to

He was also dedicated to the well-being of Birmingham and in his speech to the Chamber banquet in front of the then Leader of the Opposition Michael Howard in 2004, he suggested that the challenge for the business sector, the public sector and indeed, the citizens of Birmingham is to secure Birmingham’s place as one of the top business destinations in Europe. A former winner of the Birmingham Post’s Dealmaker of the Year award, David Grove was educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and Nottingham University, where he obtained a 2nd Class Honours Degree in Economics. In 1973 he qualified as a chartered accountant following three years with Ernst & Young in Birmingham and launched his career in manufacturing by joining Johnson & Firth Brown PLC (now named Firth Rixson PLC), a steel-related engineering conglomerate. Mr Grove leaves his wife Jane and two sons.

Business chiefs must not get left on their starting blocks!

Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena and IC have teamed up to launch a fitness challenge for the region’s professionals. Taking place on February 22, the ‘Birmingham Bolt’ will see local businesses compete in a series of sporting challenges to encourage people to get fit and help raise money for a great cause. Businesses from across the West Midlands are invited to enter teams of 10 people and compete in a series of events; including jumping, sprinting, long distance running, throwing and relays.

Staff at South Birmingham College are now equipped with the skills and equipment to provide emergency first aid and CPR if it is ever needed at the college or in the surrounding area. Staff received training from charity Central Rescue UK, which is registered with the British Heart Foundation to teach the ‘Heart Start’ programme. Over 2.3 million people have been trained through the Heart Start initiative to date.



It costs £250 to enter a team of 10 and the money will go towards the Birmingham Civic Society’s next generation awards, which encourages 11-14 year olds to consider what kind of city they would like to be living in, the issues that are important to them and how life in the city might be improved. You’ll get the chance to compete at the NIA on the professional ath-

College staff given CPR training

l Midlands business people are being encouraged to get their running shoes on letics track used by some of the world’s best athletes. The day will end with a closing ceremony and drinks / networking session in the ‘NIA’s Olympian Suite’ where both the team with the most points after the competition

and the team who have raised the most amount of money for charity will be awarded the use of one of our swish hospitality boxes at the NIA for any event of their choice (subject to availability). All of the £250 entry fee will go

to The Birmingham Civic Society’s Next Generation Awards. Each team will be encouraged to collect sponsorship for their team before the big day. l For more imformation visit

The vital training ensures that there is always a staff member on hand across the college who can give emergency CPR to adults and children from the age of 6 upwards, as well as being able to deal with choking and bleeding. Although the course was provided for free, the college has donated £1000 to the charity in thanks to giving staff these important skills which might one day save the life of a student or member of staff.

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Barcelona on menu for Enterprise Midlands Enterprise Europe Network is organising a trade visit to Alimentaria in Barcelona. Alimentaria is one of the most important food and drinks trade shows in the world. This fact is recognised by the major international operators in food and drink manu-

facturing, distribution and trade. From March 26-29, Alimentaria will once again become an international business centre for all professionals with ties to the food and drinks industry. More than 140,000 international individuals from the food and drinks industry visit

the show every year to meet with suppliers, network and find new products to entice their customers. Those attending will be able to participate in the EEN B2B Networking Session, find the best suppliers and distributors and learn about new products and solutions.

l To find out more about the event visit: Contact Sunny Claire / Craig Biffen on 0121 607 1895 or email The deadline for applications is February 15

Doors opening in India Retailers in the Midlands stand to gain as India relaxes its rules on inward investment but care is still needed to ensure that local compliance requirements that vary from state to state are met, says Shakespeares. In a highly significant move, the Indian Government is allowing single brand retailers such as M&S, Debenhams and The Body Shop, which already operate in the country, to do so without an Indian partner for the first time.


Existing players and new entrants will be able to acquire, invest or increase their shareholding up to 100 per cent - beyond the previous limit of 51 per cent on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector, which has been in place since 2006. This presents an excellent opportunity for UK retailers already operating in India to increase their investment and also presents an opportunity for retailers such as Next, Ikea, Tesco and John Lewis to enter the market. Viplavi Mahendra head of the India team at Shakespeares, said: “India ‘s decision to open the door wider to retail investors is a significant opportunity.”

Tables call for charity fundraiser

Nasir Awan, President of the Institute of Asian Businesses, presents awardss to Manjeet Kumari Lal (Walsall College), Nadim Iftikar Choudary (Business Person of the Year) and keynote speaker, City financial advisor, Malik Karem

Double topping for pizza king Nadim!


Northampton-based pizza entrepreneur has scooped two of the three awards up for grabs at this year’s Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) annual dinner. Nadim Iftikar Choudary was named ‘Business Person of the Year’, and his company, Nas Manna Ltd, won ‘Business of the Year’. Nas Manna operates 11 Pizza Hut franchises in the Midlands, Nottingham and Greater Manchester, and employs 450 staff. The company began life when it opened its first franchise in 2005, in Stourbridge, when Nadim was just 18. Nas Manna’s real growth has come in the past year, during which time it has acquired 8

sites, with turnover rising from £1.4m to £4m in the same period. The third award winner, ‘International Trade’, was won by Walsall College, for its impressive efforts in building up the number of overseas students it has attracted since 2006.


Back then, it had 100 overseas students, compared to 322 in 2010/11. Runners-up in the three categories were Sukhdev Bajwa and Anita Champaneri (‘Business Person of the Year’), Electro Centre and Chana Catering (‘Business of the Year’) and Perfection Foods Ltd and Firstpress Plastic Moulders Ltd (‘International Trade’).

IAB president Nasir Awan said: “We had an overwhelming number of entries this year which we were quite surprised about. “We were slightly disappointed that some potential winners didn’t give us sufficient data and proof to support their applications, but on the whole the quality of entrants was high,” he said. “Nadim Iftikar Choudary was an inspiring winner in two categories – when you take on a franchise you still have to make quite an outlay and franchisors can be quite demanding, and we were impressed by how he met those conditions. “Walsall College made an impression on us because they have been prepared to look

outside a small area of the West Midlands to attract students and they are an inspiration to other businesses to look outside their locality and country.” Special guest speaker at the awards function was leading City financial adviser Malik Karim.


During his career, Mr Karim has advised leading financial institutions and governments on more than 50 transactions worth 40 billion US dollars. In 2004, Mr Karim was appointed as independent investment banking corporate in relation to Ernst & Young’s successful defence of a £3.6 billion claim from Equitable Life.

A charity dinner on February is set to raise funds for Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby. Hosted by former England winger David Duckham, the event at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens on the eve of the Six Nations Rugby tournament promises a packed evening of food and lively entertainment. Local chairman Phil Pemble said: “We’ve put together a very affordable event to encourage the corporate sector in particular to come along and learn what Spoon is all about. “Enjoyment and a feel good factor will be the order of the day, tables are still available so the invitation is there for anyone to join in.”


Wooden Spoon, founded almost 30 years ago, raises money both locally and nationally to invest in capital projects that benefit disadvantaged children and young people. Last year the West Midlands region built a sensory room for a special school and donated money for a major refurbishment in support of Harborne based Focus Birmingham accommodating school leavers with sight loss. l For more information about the Wooden Spoon dinner email

If you have a business story for The Phoenix call 0121 629 7730




Drivers endure years of gridlock Motorists in the UK will spend 58 working weeks, or more than a year, of their lives not moving in traffic on their daily commute, according to a recent study by Continental Tyres. This adds up to over 100 million lost working days every year for the more than 18 million workers who commute by car. Covering an average round trip of 28 miles the typical journey to work and home again takes 41 minutes, with 12 minutes lost every day in jams and delays. Even with annual leave, bank holidays and sick days this means 5½ working days lost every year or 58 working weeks during a lifetime. The study of 2,000 motorists for Continental Tyres established the routine and habits of commuters as well as their preferences. Tim Bailey, head of safety at Continental Tyres said: “People are clearly concerned about congestion and rising fuel costs, but using the car remains the preferred option for most. “With 63 per cent of workers using their car on at least four of five days in the working week, planners and government need to recognise that the morning and evening rushhour is going to be a feature of life in Britain for some time to come.


“For individuals it means frustration but for the economy as a whole it means lost productivity and increased emissions, so it remains a key issue to tackle.” The research also reveals that 14 per cent of commuters car-share. The environmental impact of motoring is a factor when workers decide how they commute however it only ranked as the fourth most important consideration. The biggest concern that prompted people to find an alternative was the volume of traffic and the lack of available parking. Half of all Brits say they will leave their car at home if fuel costs rise further, however 45 per cent of those using public transport now would switch to their car if petrol prices drop. Tim Bailey of Continental added: “What is clear is that people still appreciate the freedom and flexibility of driving and that sets a challenge and an opportunity for manufacturers. “Three-quarters of us want more fuel efficient cars and nearly half would consider buying a hybrid motor. “Car makers have invested considerable time and effort into technologies for bio-diesel engines and electric powered vehicles and as a result these are becoming a more popular consideration.”

Aston Martin are feeling Hai and mighty After significant investment and growth in China, Aston Martin continues its bold expansion, with the recent opening of the luxury British marque’s largest flagship showroom, in the Pudong district of Shanghai. With space for up to eighteen new Aston Martins, the showroom offers a truly unique and comprehensive luxury experience including a café, lounge, Aston Martin merchandise display and sales area, fully equipped service centre, Jaeger-LeCoultre time-pieces and Bang & Olufsen audio/visual displays. Opened in conjunction with the existing Aston Martin dealer group, owned and managed by Mr Zheng Ting, the new appointment marks the seventh dealership for Aston Martin in China. Dr Matthew Bennett, Asia Pacific Regional Director said: “We are excited with

Aston Martin’s ongoing development and performance in China. This wonderful new dealership sets the benchmark for luxury car showrooms across Asia and the experience each and every visitor should expect. “With our existing China network of experienced Aston Martin dealerships, further future growth earmarked across the coming year and a number of exciting product developments to be announced during 2012, our China business is expected to continue growing strongly.” After entering China in 2008, Aston Martin now has dealerships in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Showrooms will open shortly in Chongqing, Shenyang and Ordos. The market will continue to spearhead the company’s future growth in Asia with sales in 2011 up 103 per cent on the previous year.

Flagship: The impressive new Aston Martin showroom in Shanghai.

Skoda sales figures hit record heights


koda continued on its successful course, achieving a new sales record last year. The brand’s sales increased by 15.3% to a new all-time high of 879,200 vehicles. Deliveries to customers rose by around 116,000 units in 2011, translating into a rise of more than 1.4% in world market share (2010: close to 1.3%). Between January and December 2011, ŠKODA sold 879,200 vehicles worldwide (2010: 762,200). As the world market grew 5.1% (almost 62 million vehicles), ŠKODA outpaced the industry, advancing by 15.3%. The brand made significant progress in China, India and Russia. In many European markets as in the rest of the world, ŠKODA achieved a new record for the year. In the UK the overall total of 45,061 means ŠKODA’s share of the UK new car market has grown from 2% to 2.3% in a single year. ŠKODA also succeeded in expanding deliveries in all sales regions worldwide. In Central and Eastern Europe, for example, deliveries rose to 231,600 units (2010: 194,800, +18.9%), and in Asia/the Pacific to 256,100 vehicles (2010: 203,300 +26%) in FY 2011.


“In 2011, ŠKODA sold more vehicles than ever before,” said Jürgen Stackmann, ŠKODA’s Board Member for sales and marketing. “We improved in every region and strengthened our position in the markets. “This was the year in which we first implemented our 2018 growth strategy, and we did so impressively,” said ŠKODA CEO Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “We clearly picked up speed and set a new sales record. We also greatly improved our production, sales and international market presence and once again gained significant ground in both our European home and growth markets.” ŠKODA’s next goal is defined clearly: by 2018, worldwide sales are to rise to at least 1.5 million per year. “The company has laid some excellent foundations for this in 2011. In 2012, we will continue to expand ŠKODA’s model range sig-

The impressive Skoda model range has enjoyed record sales around the world nificantly and further strengthen our activities both in Europe and in international markets,” said Prof. Vahland. ŠKODA set a new record in Russia, too, in FY 2011: 74,100 cars sold (2010: 45,600) is equivalent to an increase by 62.5%. In China, sales continued to show a clear upward trend, rising by 21.9% to 220,100 units in FY 2011. The Rapid, introduced in India in November, had a good start in the market and was immediately chosen the country’s family car of the year.

The Indian market, an important pillar for the brand’s growth strategy, showed a very positive development throughout FY 2011, with ŠKODA boosting sales by 49.9%, to more than 30,000 units. At VW Group’s Russian plant in Nizhny Novgorod, VW Group Russia will manufacture the ŠKODA Yeti with Russian partner GAZ. In China, both of VW Group’s joint ventures will be investing around 14 billion Euros in new plants and products by 2016. Currently

the ŠKODA Fabia, Octavia and Superb are manufactured in China, with the Yeti to be added in 2013. These investments are to pave the way for the company’s growth in the coming years. “We are very confident regarding our positive future development. This is why we are investing further in our factories both at home and abroad as well as in the expansion of our sales organizations in all regions. And of course, we want to outdo our competitors,” said sales board member Stackmann.

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Jaguar take to the road in New Delhi

Rover trip has funding support Calling all expedition enthusiasts! With only weeks to go before the Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary 2012 application draws to a close, now is your chance to apply for funding and the loan of a Land Rover Defender 110 to do a journey of a lifetime. For the fifth consecutive year, the Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary, run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is one of Land Rover’s six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners. The award is aimed at those who want to take a journey beyond their limits and boundaries, offering challenges for the team and using a Land Rover Defender 110 as an integral part of the expedition. Mark Cameron, Global Brand Extension Director for Land Rover said; “It’s brilliant to see such a wide and exciting variety of expedition enthusiasts applying for the ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary 2012 this year. “For the first time ever we have also trebled the total amount of Land Rover funding to £30,000, enabling the winning team to adventure further afield than ever before.”


Jaguar stake a claim for the growing Indian market by taking the C-X75 and C-X16 to the New Delhi Auto Expo


wo award-winning Jaguar concepts, the groundbreaking C-X75 and C-X16, made their Indian market debuts at the New Delhi Auto Expo. Jaguar’s current range comprises the XF, XJ and XK models - each being world-class competitors in their respective sectors - and the stunning C-X75 and C-X16 concepts clearly indicate the company’s continued commitment to innovation and investment in future technology.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director, said: “Both the C-X75 and C-X16 won best-in-show awards following their global debuts, and today we’re proud to introduce these exciting concepts to the Indian market here at the New Delhi Auto Show. “In May of 2011, following an incredibly positive reaction to its launch, we announced that the C-X75 concept would be developed into production form, and that process is welladvanced.

“The C-X75 is destined to be one of the world’s most desirable, exclusive, efficient and advanced supercars.


“Reaction to the C-X16 coupe has been equally positive following its debut in Frankfurt during September of last year, and as a vivid evocation in aluminium of Jaguar’s future sports car design language, it points to very exciting times ahead,” he added.

“Shown alongside the C-X75 and C-X16 in New Delhi will be XF, XJ and XK models, the latter in 550PS, 186mph XKR-S form,” he added. The most powerful production car Jaguar has ever built, the XKR-S was recently acclaimed ‘2011 Sports Car of the year’ by the respected German magazine Autobild Sportscars. To date, the XF and XJ have jointly received more than 200 global awards.

Toyota are on a Hi! The Toyota Hilux has received another accolade, taking top honours in the pick-up category of the Total 4x4 awards. Renowned for its rugged goanywhere performance, Hilux was the first car to be driven to both the South and Magnetic North Poles and has been tested in the world’s most extreme environments. Famed for its ultra-tough quality, Hilux is much more than just a workhorse. Today’s sixth generation of Toyota’s pick-up

combines traditional robustness and excellent load-carrying capacity with comfort, safety and equipment features to make it a vehicle that ably bridges the divide between work and everyday driving needs. Alan Kidd, Editor of Total 4x4 magazine said, “Hilux has always stood out in what is a very fiercely fought category. It’s incredibly capable in every area and comes at a very appealing price. “The updates Toyota has

made to it are subtle, but they’re enough to nudge it back in front of the pack. In particular, its interior is much more modern and, without sacrificing anything in the way of refinement, the vehicle is tougher than ever. There’s a lot of talent in the pick-up market, but once again Hilux is the one to beat.” The latest version of Hilux is available in three bodystyles, single, extra and double cab, with a choice of 2.5 or 3.0-litre D-4D turbodiesel engines.

The award-winning Toyota Hilux 4x4

Paul Rose, Vice President of Expeditions & Fieldwork, RGS-IBG added; “The Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary offers recipients an amazing opportunity to take a journey to promote a wider understanding and enjoyment of people, places and environments. “With the use of a Land Rover Defender 110, you can really get off the beaten track and make the most of the vehicle’s capabilities in remote terrain and in demanding environments, helping to turn ideas for challenging and inspiring geographical journeys into a reality.” The journey may connect the team with schools, local communities or projects but, whatever its aim, the team will be expected to inspire and engage others, both from the field and on return. A bursary of £15,000 is available and in addition applicants can apply for a discretionary fund of up to £15,000 to support expeditionrelated costs. The application deadline is February 3 and interviews will take place in March 2012, in London. To apply, please visit; www.rgs. org/GoBeyond. The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is one of six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners with Land Rover which forms part of an integrated approach to sustainability and sits within Land Rovers’ Our Planet.

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l Barry McGuigan with Patrick McCann

McGuigan support is a knockout for Patrick The Jaguar Academy of Sport has announced that its Special Recognition Award Winner Patrick McCann will receive one-to-one mentoring from boxing legend Barry McGuigan. At the 2011 Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards, Patrick was provided with a Special Recognition Award. In winning this award Patrick will receive a year’s one-toone mentoring from boxing legend and and Jaguar Academy of Sport Ambassador Barry McGuigan. This one-to-one help and support from Barry will be invaluable for a young athlete and something that will allow Patrick to develop further and achieve his sporting goals. Patrick, a 15 year-old boxer from Market Harborough, started boxing at the age of 10.


He is a very dedicated athlete who trains six times a week in order to fulfill his aspirations and ambitions to make it and stay at the top in one of the most physically demanding of sports. Patrick has been a model Rising Star this year and has taken full advantage of the Mentoring and Education Programme by attending all the workshops. The Jaguar Academy of Sport has also organised for Patrick to attend Loughborough University to receive a four-week strength and conditioning programme in order to give him the best possible chance to make his dream of competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio come true. Patrick has had various achievements including winner of the 2011 National Schoolboy Championships (66kg). He also captained England and was gold medalist at the 2011 Great Britain Junior Championships (66kg), and was later awarded the 2011 Schools Boxer of the Year Award by Amateur Boxing Association of England. Patrick said: “I am delighted my mentor is Barry McGuigan, he is a legend in my sport and to be given the opportunity to have one-to-one mentoring from him is just fantastic.”

D’Oliveira’s impact will not be forgotten By Steve Williams


he death of cricketing legend, Basil D’Oliveira in November proved a huge milestone not only within the game itself, but in race relations on international, sporting and political grounds. The former Worcestershire and England star was the catalyst who brought a segregated South Africa to its knees by way of sporting and economical boycotts put upon them by other countries. Dolly, as he was affectionately known, became a famous figure in 1968, when he was banned from touring the place of his birth because of the despised apartheid regime which meant that blacks, indians and ‘coloureds’ were forced to live and play separately from the ruling, white minority population. Because of the draconian measures, the tour was called off and for over 20 years, the country was isolated in the sporting wilderness and, along with the great Nelson Mandela, he became the figurehead and hero for the oppressed majority. Basil was a star cricketer for Worcestershire after joining them in 1965 which, in the early years, proved to be a total shock to the system for him after what he went through back home. To be a regular in the first 11 was a shock enough, but to play alongside another person of colour was overwhelming for him. To be playing in the same team as West Indian opener, Ron Headley, in English county cricket was almost unnerving for him. Together, they formed a great relationship between each other during their time at New Road and that, above almost anything achieved on the field of play, is probably the greatest memory for Ron in sports in particular and life in general. “I have nothing but immense admiration for Dolly,” he says. “His determination to play top class cricket was a sheer joy to witness.” he continued. “What he did for us was truly fantastic. By his very presence, he lifted the profile of Worcestershire to levels never seen there before and his grace and perfection of strokes with the bat was something to behold.” His skills and consistency were such that an England call-up was beckoning and once he got into the team, he looked destined to be a

l The legendary cricketer Basil D’Oliveira was a hero to many both on and off the field of play regular for years to come. Playing the game with controlled aggression, he was lovingly known as the ‘Bradman of non-white cricket’. Scoring 158 in his maiden Ashes series, it was inevitable that he would be a ‘given’ for the tour to South Africa. But, with racism in South Africa accepted by many white-run countries, to include D’Oliveira in the Tour party was a ‘sticky wicket’ for the M.C.C.

The tour was cancelled and thereafter, Dolly would be at the forefront for positive change in his country. He was at the gates of Robin Island prison when Mandela was finally released from his 27 years of forced exile and has been an advocate for equal rights and justice on and off the ‘square’ throughout his life. He was 80 when he died.

Golf show gets ready to tee off at the NEC Visitors to this year’s National Golf Show will be able to experience the complete world of golf, all at Birmingham’s NEC from 20-22 April 2012. This year’s show will give a comprehensive insight into both the technical and lifestyle sides of the sport, with a wide range of exhibitors displaying everything from equipment to clothing to travel destinations. There will be tuition packages, PGA coaches and even designated chipping and putting practice areas. As well as this, help and advice will be given by experts on the health and nutrition aspects of the sport, custom fittings

and club testing, and the latest golf gadgets. If it is entertainment that you are looking for there will be a number of trick show displays, competitions and prizes, the latest fashions, exclusive offers and plenty of fun for golfers of all levels. Supported by some of the biggest and best household names in golf, you’ll also be able to test and buy the newest equipment on the show’s 16 driving bays, including Callaway, Taylor Made,

Cleveland, Yonex, Wilson Nike and Mizuno. Finally, visitors will also be given the opportunity to watch and interact with a number of expert speakers, PGA pros and some special, celebrity guests. l Tickets are now on sale priced at £12 per adult, £18 for two. One Junior (Under 14’s) will also be admitted free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Tickets are available at www. or 0844 338 8000. For a group of 6, the cost is £48 available on 0800 358 0058 (subject to booking fees).

l Golfers will be driving to the NEC in April

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Talking Sport


ace has reared its ugly head both at home and abroad in recent weeks which begs the question: Just how far have we really gone in eradicating racism on and off the football field? You see, whilst the relevant people in the English game are making the right noises in their disgust at Sepp Blatter’s ‘frightening’ views on racism in the game, it’s interesting to see how reticent they are in their opinions on matters of race, here in our own country. Blatter, the controversial president of FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, is rightfully vilified for his comments saying that racism isn’t a problem in football and if it was an issue in the game, the person receiving the abuse should just shake the hands of the racist protagonist as though it’s all part of the game.

In trying to clarify his position on the matter, Blatter just dug the biggest hole for himself. To make matters worse, FIFA fined the Bulgarian FA a derisory £38,000 for their fans’ racist behaviour directed towards the black members of the England team who played against them in the recent Euro 2012 qualifying match. Here of course the FA showed their disgust with their wide condemnation of the beleaguered FIFA boss and went further in tackling the race issue by charging Liverpool striker, Luis Suarez, with racially abusing Manchester United’s Frenchman, Patrice Evra. Questions are still being raised about the level of racism still in existence in the game, especially after the Liverpool players sported T-shirts in support of Suarez, who was subsequently found guilty of racial abuse by an Independent

with Steve Williams

Regulatory Commission and given an eight-match suspension. The Anfield club seemingly showed little remorse for their man’s actions and was rightly vilified by people in and out of the game for their actions. Suarez did finally issue a public apology for racially abusing Patrice Evra but stopped short of saying sorry to the Manchester United defender. Former Aston Villa favourite, Paul McGrath, a victim of racism himself when he was a player, made his feelings known, saying: “I would have been much happier if the Liverpool players had worn anti-racism T-shirts.” The Kick It Out campaign has done some fantastic work in ridding our terraces of racist abuse but just exactly how far have we gone in ‘kicking it out’ on the pitch as well?

l FIFA chief Sepp Blatter dug himself into a hole over the racism debate

Pupils tie colours to the Olympic mast


ondon 2012 will soon be with us and schools across the West Midlands are joining in the fun by attaching their colours to one of the competing na-

tions. Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), launched the initiative at Perryfields Primary School in Oldbury to help celebrate how sport can bring different nations together. The ‘Support a Team’ programme will give children the chance to learn about other countries whilst they cheer on Team GB and Paralympic GB. LOCOG is encouraging every school in Britain to become a supporter of at least one Olympic and Paralympic team from elsewhere in the world. Perryfields chose the powerful Ethiopian Olympic squad along with the Zambian Paralympic Team.


In offering the opportunity for schools and colleges across the UK to join in its network, ‘Get Set’, the official London 2012 education programme, they will be able to gain lots of rewards and recognition. Perryfields headteacher, Terry Jones, said: “We were incredibly honoured for the school to be chosen to launch the ‘Support a Team’ intiative, with special activity already taking place. “We already have links with a school in Zambia and we’re looking forward to celebrating our exsisting links, with Zambia, over the coming months and developing sporting opportunities for the school wherever possible.” Coe said: “We’ve always said that we want every Olympic and Paralympic team to feel welcome on their arrival in the UK, while cel-

l Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie, and right, Seb Coe at Perryfields Primary School in Oldbury ebrating the multi-culturalism and diversity of the UK. “This is a fantastic example of how we plan to do that. “The ‘Get Set’ programme inspires and engages young people across the UK and I am delighted to think that through ‘Support a Team’ we gain a knowledgeable, interested and excited group of young supporters to welcome our athletes in 2012.” Legendary Ethiopian Olympic gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie, commented: “I‘m


delighted to hear that young people will be learning about and supporting my fellow Ethiopian athletes in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games. “Knowing that there are young people following your preparations and cheering you on is hugely motivational for an athlete.


“Thank you to the young people at Perryfields Primary School, and to all of the other young people planning to follow Ethiopia, for your support.”

Councillor Bob Badham, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for children & families, said: “It’s wonderful to see Sandwell not only on the Olympic Torch route but also our schools taking such an active role. The Olympics is all about nations coming together.” l ‘Get Set’ is a comprehensive learning resource that offers a range of opportunities to schools in the United Kingdom. Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick in Sandwell will all be on the Olympic Torch Relay route on June 30.

Muhammed Ali

Ali still the king at 70

Muhammed Ali marked his 70th birthday with a knockout bash in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky. The former World Heavyweight Champion boxer was at his brilliant best as family and friends made sure they were part of the celebrations. Ali lifted the heavyweight crown on three occasions, drawing the biggest crowds and famous admirers wherever he was, in or out of the ring, during the 1960’s and 70’s. Ali first won the title as Cassius Clay in 1964 defeating Sonny Liston. He was stripped of the belt after refusing to sign up for the US Army’s war against Vietnam. Among Ali’s defining career highlights were defeating his great adversary Joe Frazier – who died last year – in the ‘Thrilla in Manilla in 1970 and his epic win over the fearsome George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire in 1974. For more than two decades he has lived with Parkinson’s disease.

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Tribute to a sporting legend

Airport rings the changes

Olympic symbol to welcome Bolt


irmingham Airport is to host a London 2012 ‘welcome spectacular’ to give athletes – including Usain Bolt (pictured) – and fans flying in a special Midlands welcome. On approach to the airport, passengers will see the five giant Olympic Rings on the airport’s new air traffic control tower. The airport will also feature the London 2012 pictograms along the taxiway. Games supremo Seb Coe, said: ‘The Olympic Rings are an iconic symbol, inspiring athletes and uniting people around the world. “To athletes they represent the culmination

of thousands of hours of training and reaching the highest level in sport. To visitors travelling from around the world and arriving in Birmingham they will excite and inspire them about the Olympic Games taking place in the UK.” Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s CEO said: “With both the American and Jamaican track and field teams training in Birmingham prior to the games, plus the City of Coventry Stadium hosting a number of football games, the region will play a major part in this amazing occasion.” Birmingham airport will also feature further bespoke items to dress the site and give a high-impact welcome for the Games.

l An artist’s impression of how the Olympic Rings will look at Birmingham Airport

About Asian Football Awards A number of exceptional UK Asians from the world of football will be honoured at the first ever Asian Football Awards. The event will take place at the home of English football, Wembley Stadium on January 21st 2012. The high profile event is expected to attract an exceptional list of guests to support and celebrate UK Asians in football. The AFA is set to become a momentous event in the awareness and development of Asians in Football. The AFA is a great opportunity to bring together decision makers and the people who we expect to make an impact in football, further complimenting this ever popular sport within the UK. The AFA will be aired in the UK and exposed worldwide via the net and press, and will play host to both professional and amateur football players, as well as sports, business and media celebrities. The promotion and marketing activities will take place from October 2011 to January 2012. This high profile awards ceremony will ensure that it has a national feel to the marketing and promotion campaign. The Asian Football Awards is set to become another significant event in the development and growth of Asians in Football. We believe your organisation and brand can significantly benefit from this high profile event and all the associated marketing and sponsorship benefits on offer.

Aims of Asian Football Awards



- Build an Outstanding Event - Contribute to Growth of Asians in Football - Increase Asian Participation Levels - Strengthen Community Links - Increase Awareness of Asians in Football - Build Sporting Personalities - Encourage Sporting Investment - Support AFA Foundation - Create Awareness of Sponsors - Build Short & Long Term Benefits for Sponsors

- 4 Months Marketing Campaign - TV and Media Program - Grass Roots Campaign - Digital Campaign - Community Partnership - Celebrity Endorsement - Champagne Reception - Awards Ceremony - Dinner - Private Exhibition

- Title Rights - Premium Sponsorship - Award Sponsorship - AFA Partner - Product Program - Community Partnerships - Advertising Brochure - Media Partnership - VIP Reception Sponsor - Foundation Partner

Asian Football Awards is owned and operated by Asian Football Awards Ltd. Company No 0523425

for table bookings and media: for sponsorship and partnerships:

The Phoenix Newspaper - January 2012  
The Phoenix Newspaper - January 2012  

The Phoenix Newspaper - January 2012