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October 2021

HOLLYWOOD MONSTER TIM ANDREWS BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL

COREY WEEKES

LIGHTS FANTASTIC MAKE YOUR HOME GLOW

BOX YOURSELF FIT

GLYNN PURNELL BOOT CAMP TOP WINTER FOOTWEAR

ROCK & ROLL WITH THE YUMMY BRUMMIE


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EDITOR’S VIEW

W

ho’s your favourite comedian? Mine was Sean Lock, a stand-up legend and star of TV’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, among others, who passed away recently at the ridiculously young age of 58. A true genius with a style that seemed like he always had a wasp in his mouth, he never failed to have me in stitches. It’s an ironic coincidence then, that unbeknown to me he was also one of the first two acts on the bill, along with a fresh-faced Peter Kay, when Birmingham Comedy Festival launched 20 years ago. At the time, the city had a number of small, grass-roots comedy venues, but as festival founder and the perfectly named Dave Freak told us this month, hardly anyone knew about them – even though some of TV’s best-known faces performed here. As an avid live comedy fan, Dave thought a festival would raise the city’s profile – and he was right. This month, the event celebrates two decades which has seen it become the second longest running comedy festival in the UK. The list of comics who have appeared in Birmingham over the years reads like a who’s who of comedy. Local legends including Lenny Henry, Joe Lycett, Jasper Carrott and Guz Khan as well as the likes of Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre and Jimmy Carr. Even Joanna Lumley and the late Ken Dodd came to town. I could go on, because the list of A-listers is endless. Birmingham Comedy Festival is now a huge date on the calendar – and it’s great that this year’s laugh-in sees the return of live audiences. Comedy is the greatest antidote to hard times – and let’s face it, we all deserve a darned good laugh after what we’ve been through!

ns h o J d i v a D

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Glynn Purnell

EDITOR: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk FEATURES EDITOR: Shelley Carter shelley@brumliving.co.uk DESIGNER: Tracy Duffy

CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Lisa Melvin, Hywel Davies ACCOUNT MANAGER: Jane Morris jane@brumliving.co.uk PHOTOGRAPHY: David Morphew, Andrew Llewellyn PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Jonathan Carter

Rock Hopper Media Limited Burleigh House, 23 Tagwell Road, Droitwich WR9 7BN tel 01905 771110 © Rock Hopper Media Ltd. Birmingham Living is published monthly by Rock Hopper Media Ltd and printed by Buxton Press. Views and opinions expressed by authors and services and products offered by advertisers are not specifically endorsed by Rock Hopper Media Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part of the contents of Birmingham Living without written permission is strictly prohibited.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscription rate (post paid) is £24 for one year (12 issues). Subscriptions 01905 771110 ISSN 2051-8560

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Glynn Purnell

Yummy Brummie’s ready to rock and roll with the Love Island generation

Twenty years of comedy Birmingham Comedy Festival celebrates two decades of making people laugh

Food & Drink Chef’s Corner, awesome autumn fare, plus news, reviews and top wine picks

Health Olympic tips and tricks to get in shape, plus how to spice up your glove life!

Style It’s time to break out the boots! We’ve nailed the top buys – from basic to bling

Homes Amazing lighting transforms the mood of a home, so put it centre of your interior plan

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

50 52 56 59 64 66 october 2021

Motoring

Sue Cooke puts Castle Bromwich’s new hi-tech Jaguar E-Pace through its paces

Young, Gifted & Brummie Actor and writer Corey Weekes explains his Vision to give underprivileged kids a break Business Feature Hollywood Monster boss Tim Andrews talks about bouncing back, LoveBrum and an MBE

Business News News, views, comings and goings in the commercial community, plus Social Special

What’s On Our round-up of events, both live and virtual, due to take place this month

Up Close Indi Deol, founder of DESIblitz and shining light for British Asians in media and the arts

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NEWS

BRUM JOINS SPACE RACE

Birmingham City University is teaming up with NASA and other international space agencies this month for a global ‘hackathon’ which will see data from the US space program used to develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. The Space Apps Challenge will include participants from the university’s STEAMHack programme which serves as a platform to boost inspiration and collaboration in science, technology, arts, medicine, engineering and maths.

NEWS

IN THESE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES, WE BRING YOU STORIES TO INSPIRE AND ADMIRE FROM ACROSS THE CITY

RSC’S JUMBO RE-OPENING

The world premiere of a new musical about a magician conjuring an elephant from the sky will mark the reopening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the return of live audiences to indoor performances this month. The Magician’s Elephant by Nancy Harris (book/lyrics) and Marc Teitler (music/lyrics), pictured, is based on the novel by prize-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo. The musical runs from 14 October to 1 January.

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CHARITY SINGLE An award-winning singer songwriter and a Balsall Common woman are behind a new single to raise funds for three local charities. My Darling was written and recorded by MOBO-nominated Coventry musician Sandra Godley, pictured, in aid of Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly’s Wishes and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind. In collaboration with Surviving Bereavement founder Tracey McAtamney, the project draws attention to post-pandemic mental health problems. My Darling is available to download from: https://ditto.fm/my-darling-sandra-godleyfeaturing-matt-cossey

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NEWS

BECKY ON SONG Hit singer songwriter and Birmingham Living cover star Becky Hill is bringing her UK tour to the city this month. The Bewdley artist will appear at the O2 Academy on 16 October following the release of her acclaimed debut album Only Honest On The Weekend. She said: “I’ve been waiting nearly 10 years to be able to say this! Finally, I get to introduce my first complete body of work that I’m so in love with, proud of and excited to be putting out.”

JASON’S CHRISTMAS CRACKER

VIRTUAL MARATHON Birmingham City University lecturer Jacqueline Taylor created a novel fund-raising fitness challenge asking people to donate kilometres as well as money to complete a virtual marathon across Europe in support of Cancer Research UK. The sponsored online trek was in memory of her mum who passed away from the disease. It was from her mum’s home city of Aachen in Germany to Chester where Jacqueline grew up and raised more than £1,000. Jacqueline’s summer move-a-thon JustGiving page remains open and money can still be donated.

Panto lovers are in for a treat after Birmingham Hippodrome revealed the Yuletide favourite is coming back to Brum after a year out due to the pandemic. Jason Donovan will headline the cast of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which opens on Saturday 18 December. The production will also feature a line-up of circus acts, including magician Phil Hitchcock, motorcycle act Peter Pavlov and The Globe of Speed and the aerial DeathDefying Gemini Sisters.

CLASSIC REBIRTH

Jaguar is bringing one of its classic models back to life. A limited run of new C-Type Continuations is being hand-built at Jaguar Classic Works in Coventry to celebrate the iconic car’s motorsport heritage, 70 years after it first raced to victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team at Jaguar Classic painstakingly researched the C-Type’s history to recreate the historic car using modern technology and engineering expertise, including the use of authentic techniques and build methods as in the original.

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NEWS

WE’RE ACTIVELY UK’s NO.1 Birmingham has been named the most active city in the UK in a new report. Fitness education providers Origym analysed how accessible fitness facilities, sports clubs and healthy eating options are for residents in cities nationwide. Brum racked up 457 points in the study, thanks to its 182 gyms, 89 swimming pools, 79 tennis courts and 83 cycling clubs. The tally was enough to help beat Leeds and Manchester into second and third places.

LEGENDS ROCK ON Birmingham legends Jasper Carrot and Bev Bevan may be sitting it out in our picture, but they are ready to Stand Up & Rock in a great new show. Comedian Jasper and Electric Light Orchestra founder Bev are bringing their successful collaboration to the Forum Theatre, Malvern and Dudley Town Hall over the coming weeks, with more Midlands dates scheduled for 2022. More details: Jasper Carrott/Stand Up & Rock highfieldproductions.com/ jasper-carrott/

LITTLE MIX VISIT

MARLON’S MISSION Former football star Marlon Harewood has been named an official ambassador for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to help raise awareness of the organisation’s life-saving work across the region. The 41-year-old ex-Aston Villa and Wolves striker said: “I have always admired the work of the charity and now as an ambassador, I look forward to officially supporting the organisation. No one knows when they could need the assistance of the incredible life-saving air crews.”

Leigh-Anne of girl band Little Mix talked racism and discrimination facing female and male music artists when she visited Birmingham City University. The pop star met sociologist and black studies lecturer Dr Dionne Taylor, with recordings of their discussions published online, complementing Leigh-Anne’s Race, Pop and Power BBC Three documentary, in which the singer-songwriter embarks on a personal journey to understand how she can use her platform and privilege to combat racism in society.

THRILLER ON STAGE Comedy thriller The Cat and the Canary takes centre stage at The Alexandra between 4 and 9 October. The new adaptation of the murder mystery stars Anthony Costa from Blue and Coronation Street’s Tracy Shaw and Gary Webster, who played opposite George Cole in ITV’s Minder, both pictured. The Cat and The Canary is directed by Roy Marsden whose other credits include the West End premieres of Agatha Christie’s A Daughter’s a Daughter and Noel Coward’s Volcano.

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NEWS

CYCLE SAFETY FIRST Ground-breaking research conducted over thousands of miles in Birmingham has revealed the potential for pre-emptive identification of collision risk areas for cyclists. The six-month RoSPA and See.Sense study, funded by the Department of Transport, saw more than 200 city-based bikers pedal 26,000 monitored miles, generating billions of lines of life-saving data as part of the Cycle Smart Brum project. The findings will give authorities a greater insight into where proactive safety measures are most needed.

AINSLEY’S DISH OF THE DAY TV celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott headlined the return of Solihull’s Food & Drink Festival. Organised by Solihull BID, the festival featured more than 80 food and drink traders and a live Rum and Reggae music zone. Ainsley entertained the crowd in the demo kitchen before signing copies of his new cookbook in Touchwood. He was joined by a line-up of great cooks including Michelin star Yummy Brummie Glynn Purnell and Laura Adlington, finalist in TV’s Great British Bake Off 2020.

BALLET ART SHOW

Special artwork commissioned by Birmingham Royal Ballet from recently graduated artists and post-graduate arts students from Birmingham City University and De Montfort University, Leicester, will go on show in a free public exhibition from 4 to 17 October. The works on display in venues around the city centre, including Symphony Hall, Birmingham Library, the Bullring and Grand Central, were commissioned as part of the Wherefore ART Thou? project celebrating the company’s premiere of Radio and Juliet at Birmingham Hippodrome.

NICKY’S WILD WALK A local woman teamed up with TV celebrities, including presenter Emma Willis and former Strictly Come Dancing star Gemma Atkinson, to take on a 100km, five-day trek to raise money for a cancer charity. Nicky Lowe, founder of Wisdom for Working Mums, from Wolverhampton faced some of the most challenging sections of the Rob Roy Way and climbed to the summit of one of Scotland’s highest mountains, Ben Lawers. She was supporting Coppafeel cancer awareness charity which educates young people on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

HISTORY IN STITCHES

GOT ANY NEWS? Email your news and pictures to editor@brumliving.co.uk

october 2021

A set of 350-year-old embroideries is back on display at Birmingham’s Aston Hall after 10 years of painstaking restoration. The ornate items adorn the 17th century bed in the room where King Charles I stayed in 1642, thanks to the careful restoration by a team of conservators at Birmingham Museums with help from volunteers from the Arts Society in Arden, Solihull and Friends of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The embroideries had rotted away so badly that they had been in danger of being lost forever.

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COVER STORY

READY TO ROCK!

MICHELIN-STAR YUMMY BRUMMIE, GLYNN PURNELL, IS TARGETING THE LOVE ISLAND GENERATION IN A NEW CAMPAIGN TO FIND TALENTED YOUNG CHEFS OF THE FUTURE AND GIVE THE FOOD INDUSTRY AN

ADDED DASH OF ‘CELEBRITY COOL’. HE REVEALS ALL TO DAVID JOHNS ock ’n’ Roll. That’s what we need more of, says Glynn Purnell with an extra note of enthusiasm in his voice. Not that he’s thinking of slicking back his hair, donning those blue suede shoes and picking up a Fender. We mean, come on, he’s got enough on his plate as chef, restaurateur, children’s book author – and now a leading light in a new initiative in the Midlands to uncover the next generation of great chefs. Today’s Glynn searching for tomorrow’s Glynn, you could say! But to be successful, the Michelin-starred Yummy Brummie believes it’s vital to speak the same language as a new generation and push their motivational buttons to inspire them to want to go into the food industry as a career choice, rather than as an after-thought. And to do that Glynn is

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convinced the image of working in a pro kitchen needs tweaking. “We’re talking to the Love Island and computer gaming generation,” he said. That means they want to be excited, challenged and work in a business that is perceived to have a big helping of ‘celebrity cool’. Glynn adds: “Of course working in this industry is hard, but so is every job. The problem is we don’t sell the hospitality industry very well to young people. We tend to bang on about the hard graft and working all hours and having no life outside the kitchen. FISHING IN NORWAY “Well, I’ve been in the business for 32 years now, left school with no qualifications, and it’s been fantastic. I have a great life, great family and have

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COVER STORY

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been to some amazing places around the world – like fishing in Norway and seeing the Black Mountains of Morocco. For goodness sake, I’ve even met the Queen – and Paul McCartney. How cool is that! We need to show youngsters what you can achieve with commitment and motivation and give the business some real rock and roll. It’s not a case of being a bottle washer in a kitchen for life!” Glynn is teaming up with fellow high-profile chefs Aktar Islam of Opheem and Alex Claridge of The Wilderness as key members of a new working group launched with West Midlands mayor Andy Street and University College Birmingham to tackle the jobs and skills shortages facing the hospitality sector and encourage youngsters to come into the business.

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Glynn said: “We are going to be getting youngsters to come to our restaurants, look around and explore, talk to all the staff. Go into the kitchens and see what a restaurant really does. Get them to see what happens front of house because that is another very important, exciting and different side to the industry.” SATURDAY KITCHEN While all businesses have suffered in the pandemic, the impact of lengthy lockdowns on hospitality has been particularly brutal. During that period, Purnell’s produced home meal boxes to keep things ticking over. In ‘normal’ times, Glynn would be busy at his restaurant but also touring the country attending food festivals and making appearances on

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The Magical Adventures of Whoops the Wonder Dog, published in 2018. Arnold the Alpaca is aimed at primary school aged children and tells the story of a brave alpaca who mistakenly gets chosen by a shorted-sighted farmer for his sheep farm. Arnold has to learn how to fit in with the rest of the flock at the farm by using his differences to his advantage. Glynn says it was hugely enjoyable process to write his second children’s book. “I still remember the vivid images from the magical worlds of my favourite authors when I was younger. Having three children of my own, aged between 10 and 16, I have learned what enthralls and engages children. I got very involved in Arnold’s adventures even though I was writing them!” Glynn started penning the book in March 2019 after being inspired by watching a short film on Saturday Kitchen about a turkey farm in Berkshire which had a herd of 10 alpacas protecting 24,000 free range turkeys from being attacked by foxes.

TV cookery shows such as BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. The shows and TV dried up with the pandemic – his appearance at last month’s Solihull Food Festival was only his second event in 18 months. Glynn will be making his ‘comeback’ as a guest on Saturday Kitchen this month. “I really missed all the festivals and it was really hard to have to sacrifice them.” He adds that the pandemic presented other opportunities though. “We did the food boxes from the restaurant and I had time to look at lots of ideas for menus. I was also a volunteer delivering NHS prescriptions for 15 weeks to people on what was my old paper round as a kid.” He also recently released his second children’s book, Arnold the Alpaca, following the success of

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SUPPORT INDEPENDENTS Back at his restaurant, Glynn says bookings and life is returning to normal. “People want to mix and meet and go out for meals together, so we are seeing things picking up.” His concern is what happens once the initial surge to eat out again passes. “It’s where we are come January and February. I would ask people who want to spend money to support the independents – because unlike the big chains, once the independents have gone, they’re gone for good.” Glynn says he is excited about the prospect of finding and developing new young stars for the future as part of the mayor’s scheme. “I can tell you for sure there are definite opportunities for young people to come and work at Purnell’s with new sites planned to open.” He revealed he is aiming to open a pub in Henley-in-Arden in February. “I want to help people create a good life of their own. If I can do it, they can do it,” he says. I

CATCH UP WITH ARNOLD Arnold the Alpaca is available from Amazon and all good book shops. It can also be bought directly from Purnell’s Restaurant, Cornwall Street, Birmingham.

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YOU’VE GOT TO LAUGH WHO KNEW WHEN BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL LAUNCHED WAY BACK IN 2001 IT WOULD GO ON TO CELEBRATE 20 YEARS – BECOMING THE UK’S SECOND LONGESTRUNNING LAUGH-IN – AND WELCOME A VERITABLE WHO’S-WHO OF COMIC LEGENDS OVER THE TWO DECADES… ave you heard the one about Birmingham Comedy Festival? What started out as one man’s dream to bring together the city’s small grassroots comedy clubs and provide a mega-showcase for the best comics in the country is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Running from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 October this year’s ‘post-pandemic’ festival features more than 40 shows across a number of venues, including Symphony Hall, Town Hall, the Glee Club and the Old Rep, with an awesome mix of big-name acts such as Russell Brand, Chris Ramsey and Jenny Éclair coming to town, along with a host of emerging newcomers. After being forced to an online-only format last year due to the pandemic, the festival’s founder Dave Freak said: “It’s great to be back – you just can’t beat seeing comedy with a roaring audience. The laughter is infectious!”

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STARS GALORE: Some of comedy’s most famous names have appeared at Birmingham Comedy Festival over the years

Two decades ago, Dave couldn’t have imagined that his idea to put Birmingham firmly on the comedy map would result in the second longest running comedy festival in the UK which has seen all the big stars come to the city over the years. The arts consultant and project manager who works across the creative, culture, heritage and media sectors, said: “Back in 2000, I was aware that there were a fair few small, grassroots comedy clubs dotted all around the city, and they regularly booked acts you’d recognise from the TV and Radio 4. But unless you lived in the area, there was a fair chance you wouldn’t know who they had on as they didn’t have big marketing budgets, and the Internet was really only just starting to break into the mainstream. STAR BILLINGS “A festival seemed like a good way to highlight what was going on in the city. So, I approached

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some of the local clubs and they thought it was a no-brainer. Everyone was so enthusiastic and supportive. When we held that first festival the response from audiences and the venues was incredible, so we had to do it again, and again…” The inaugural star billing featured Peter Kay and Sean Lock. Alongside a vast range of new local acts, the festival has welcomed such A-list heavy-hitters as Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, the cast of The Fast Show, Ross Noble, John Bishop, Miranda Hart, Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr, Al Murray The Pub Landlord, Sarah Millican, Jack Whitehall, Stephen Merchant, Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe, Harry Hill, Greg Davies – and Brum heroes Joe Lycett, Lenny Henry and Jasper Carrott. Phew!! It has even included performances from legendary Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley and the late Ken Dodd. “Stand-up comedy wasn’t as popular as it is today, you didn’t see it all over the TV like you do now, and there was no social media,” said Dave. “The festival really succeeded in highlighting the vibrancy of the city’s comedy scene. That first festival was phenomenal. Getting that off the ground, and the enthusiasm of everyone involved, was amazing. Today, there are hundreds of arts festivals in Birmingham, but then there were only a few by comparison – jazz, books, a film festival, ArtsFest … then us.” VOLUNTEER-LED While stand-up comedy forms the core of the festival, there’s also a range of other activities, such as theatre, cabaret, burlesque, improv', sketch comedy, folk, classical music, DJ/ club nights, pub quizzes, puppet shows and film screenings. Right from the outset, the festival has been unfunded and volunteer-led. “It is not run to make money, but to simply celebrate comedy,” said Dave. “The festival’s a firm and well-established fixture in the region’s events calendar now, but we’re always looking to see how we can improve and tweak it,” he said. “Looking ahead, we were busily working on several projects we had for 2020 and early 2021 which we had to postpone, due to the pandemic. So, once the festival’s done this month,

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we’re aiming to go back and revisit those and see what’s still possible in the current climate. And next year we hope to bring back our Breaking Talent Award for emerging artists from the West Midlands – that’s something we see as central to the festival, as it really sums up our regional ethos.” Every festival has had its highlights. The largest in terms of audience was 86,000 in 2009, thanks to a run of arena shows by Michael McIntyre. The largest in terms of number of events was 2012, when the festival had well over 100 performances. “The first festival was remarkable and we’re very proud of the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award and enjoy our Free HalfDayers, which include back-to-back shows in (nearly) adjacent city centre venues,” said Dave. SPIKE, THE GOONS & HANCOCK “Personally, being the first professional company to adapt radio series The Goon Show for the stage was amazing – Spike Milligan’s estate had consistently declined the rights, so to do that not once, but twice was remarkable. Also selling out the British Library with The Lost Hancocks: Vacant Lot – a lost BBC Tony Hancock script – was something special, too. “The Charlie Chaplin soundtrack last year for our online edition, our first such commission, was also great ... as the pandemic hit, we were tempted to take a year off, but were glad we pushed through, and the response from people was really positive and encouraging. Hard work, but glad we marked the occasion, and didn’t let 2020 slip by.” As for any budding would-be comedians out there, Dave has some tips: “Start small. Do fiveminute open spots and build up your confidence and material. Find out what works. Find your voice, who are you, what’s your story? Be prepared to fail. Everyone has died on stage. The secret is learning why and building on that. And listen — to other acts and to the audience.” I Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 October at venues across the city. For more details, including the full programme, see: www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

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FOOD & DRINK

SHANE MOYNE

The man behind Stackz has had a whirlwind couple of decades in Michelin-star kitchens and on private yachts, but he’s found his culinary home in epic burgers with a big heart right here in Brum

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Tell us about your cooking Burgers! It’s what we do. It’s casual, relaxed eating, but don’t expect a filthy burger. We’re all about ingredients and quality. We use local suppliers where we can, so the buns are from Garrett’s Green and the beef is from Aubrey Allen. We smoke our own brisket, we make our own mayonnaise and bacon jam. Everything’s made from scratch and you can now find us at The Flapper. The ethos and the passion of the people behind the pub really appealed to us. It’s small, family run and I just thought that when so many people care about what they do, it can’t fail. They care about the bar, I care about the food and it all works. How did you become a chef? I was working in a restaurant in Ireland while studying, but the course wasn’t great. Back home, it’s fairly remote and not very foodie, so I moved to Birmingham to study Culinary Arts Management at BCU. Then in 2009, I worked at Marcus Wareing. Life in a kitchen was a bit different in 2009 – it’s all a bit more PC now, but then it was pretty god-damn rough. I wouldn’t change it though. It set me up well and gave me a hard skin. I went back to uni to finish my studies, but realised the books were not for me. I just wanted to be in a kitchen. In 2011, I worked at Purnell’s before moving back to Marcus followed by a stint with Sat Bains. I then worked on private yachts which was amazing. We travelled SE Asia, Sri Lanka, the Komodo Islands and thankfully had enough down-time to go out and experience the food which was incredible. What do you eat at home? I BBQ even in the winter, but not on the grill. I wrap stuff up and put it in the coals using them as a cooking vessel.

Share a cooking tip Always work tidy. It changes the end product and makes you feel more organised and in control. What was your favourite food as a kid? My mum’s roast dinner. Every Sunday growing up surrounded by family and friends. It’s what food’s all about. It was roast beef. Food heaven and food hell? Food heaven is pork belly. I tried it aged 19 at Marcus Wareing and I thought, ‘holy shit this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten’. We didn’t eat pork belly growing up, we were a bit sheltered from a food point of view, not very adventurous. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Lamb’s brain in Sri Lanka, which was okay, and pig’s intestines in Thailand which was not appetising.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s A carpenter or an architect. I was training to be a the best in Brum? carpenter at 16 before I fell into cooking. Bjorn Frantzen of Frantzen in Stockholm and sister restaurant, Zen in Singapore. The food’s incredible, but What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? it’s not just about that. It’s the whole experience. In The OG Stack which is a dry aged beef patty, Birmingham, it has to be Glynn Purnell. smoked bbq brisket, cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce and Stackz burger sauce in a brioche bun. I Is the customer always right? Discover Shane’s awesome Stackz Burgers at The Flapper, Kingston Row, Sometimes, not always. It depends how they conduct Birmingham, B1 2NU and follow them on Instagram, @stackzbirmingham themselves. If they’re rude they’re immediately wrong.

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NIBBLES and SHORTS

BIRMINGHAM’S BARS, RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS ARE ROARING BACK IN STYLE. HERE’S

OUR INSIDER GUIDE TO THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE CITY’S EATERIES AND DRINKING DENS

JAPANESE FIRST TASTY STACKZ FOR ‘B&B’ FANS

Great news we hear for all lovers of Japanese cuisine! It’s been a long time coming… but Redditch finally has its first Japanese restaurant. Edo Japan opened in the town’s Quadrant offering an extensive specialist menu with authentic Japanese dishes. Edo is the sister restaurant to the traditional Tsukiji Japanese Cuisine eatery in Birmingham city centre’s Station Street.

Two independent hospitality businesses have joined forces to bring ‘epic burgers and beers’ to Brum. Stackz Burger Shack has permanently taken over the kitchen at The Flapper in the collaboration which sees owner Shane Moyne moving the Shack into the re-opened pub to provide hungry punters with his signature street food, including burgers, fries and fried chicken. All the top sellers loved by fans of the burger joint will remain, plus new additions created especially for its new home.

OPENING NEW CHAPTER

BRUM TOPS VEGAN CHARTS

CAUSING A FLAP!

Wingstop, the award-winning chicken wings concept with more than 1,500 locations worldwide, has opened a new restaurant in the Bullring. The outlet is Wingstop’s fourteenth UK location and its first restaurant opening in the Midlands, having operated a delivery-only kitchen in Brum. Wingstop prides itself on its quality product and bold flavours which include Mango Habanero, Hawaiian, Louisiana Rub, Spicy Korean Q, Hickory Smoked BBQ and Brazilian Citrus Pepper.

Experienced local restaurateurs As well as being a hotspot for Michelin-star Ann Tonks, Irene Allan and Ben food and restaurants, Birmingham is also setting Ternent are cooking up a new the pace for vegans. Brum has just been named culinary landmark for the city among the world’s top cities for vegans in a new with the opening in December Love your cod and chips? The UK’s best fish and chip travel survey. The research by luxuryhotel.com of a kitchen, bar and terrace in restaurant is proving a big hit since opening last month in rated cities across the globe on the percentage Edgbaston Village. Chapter Harborne High Street. The Cod’s Scallops chain, which was restaurant in Greenfield Crescent of vegan options on offer, placing our city in founded in 2011 by owner and chef John Molnar, was will focus on quality, combining the top 10 – in tenth place. named Fish and Chip Shop of the Year in the industry’s produce and products from national awards in 2020. John said: “We have been independent suppliers with top looking for the right site in Birmingham for some time. We class service. Joining chef love the city and Harborne ticks all the right boxes.” director Ben will be head chef Nathan Swift and a top team of A new canal-side piano bar has opened its doors beneath the Utilita Arena. Jukeboxers brings non-stop live music, chefs, including apprentices in the kitchen. including two back-to-back duelling grand pianos and an in-house band. Playing everything from the Jackson Five and Justin Bieber to the Beatles and Beyonce, guests can create their perfect party playlist by requesting songs via the Jukeboxers app. The bar is open Wednesday to Sunday until 2am.

FRYING UP A STORM

PIANO BAR HITS RIGHT NOTES

BEST TAKEAWAY NAMED

Indian takeway Lime Pickle has been named the best takeaway in the West Midlands at the industry’s ‘Oscars’. The accolade came at the British Takeaway Awards and followed a public vote and judging process led by TV chef and restaurateur Nisha Katona and Asma Khan from Netflix’s Chef's Table. The awards recognised takeaways which have been a lifeline for local communities during the pandemic. Lime Pickle, part of Castle Bromwich’s community for 11 years, sent more than 400 meals to Stoneham Housing Association during the pandemic.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

SPICED RUM MOJITO Try this great twist on a classic using spiced rum produced by local specialists at the Shakespeare Distillery

ocal independent artisan spirit producer and gin specialist Shakespeare Distillery has added another cracking spirit to its award-winning range with the recent launch of Jester Spiced Rum. The 100 per cent British-made white rum has been distilled with Tudor-inspired fruits and spices. Sweet mace and cinnamon, aromatic nutmeg and warming clove make for a light-bodied dry rum boasting fruity notes. It’s great on its own but why not try it with Shakespeare Distillery’s recipe for a delicious spiced rum twist on the classic mojito! I

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INGREDIENTS: I 3 Lime wedges

I 2tsp Caster sugar

I 50ml Jester Spiced Rum I 25ml Pineapple juice

I 8 Mint leaves

I Ground nutmeg

I 4cm Fresh ginger

I Soda water

I 2 Pineapple slices

METHOD: Muddle the lime wedges, fresh ginger and sugar in a julep cup. Bash the mint against the top of the cup (to release oils) and add into the cup with the spiced rum and pineapple juice. Add crushed ice and stir. Top with soda. Garnish the mojito with caramelised pineapple slices* and mint. Enjoy responsibly! *To make the caramelised pineapple garnish, brush slices with ground nutmeg and fry on both sides in a pan until golden. For more recipes and details on Shakespeare Distillery visit: shakespearedistillery.com

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

ALL’ANGELO

21 Queen Street, Droitwich, WR9 8LA. Tel: 01905 798982 allangelorestaurants.co.uk ot strictly Birmingham, as in not at all, but firmly in swift commuter territory we went out out in Droitwich. Yes, you read that right. Now the home of Droitwich Dining Club and with a couple of eateries to shout about, the town is definitely on a culinary upward trajectory. We thought we’d pop along to all’Angelo’s second restaurant in the Midlands (the other is in Alcester) for some Italian grub. Firstly, the historic building the restaurant is housed in is as cute as a button – all wonky angles, beams and low ceilings. Secondly, the owners have been hit with a double whammy of setbacks – the opening date was set to be in the heart of lockdown number… ah forget it, who’s counting at this point? Then when the restaurant did finally open it flooded while full of diners and the chef had to carry customers out into the soggy street. Cue a lengthy and expensive cleanup. It’s been a rough trot, but happily they’re open and busy. It took three attempts to book a table. Don’t they know who we are? The vibe is rustic and cosy and the staff are all smiley and welcoming with, my mother-in-law noted, ‘amazing teeth, American teeth’ whatever that means. Some of the staff are new and there were a few nerves, but thoroughly charming. From an extensive wine list

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we chose to slurp a delicious mid-priced Gavi. We feasted on punchy bruschetta – one with tomatoes, black olives and bags of basil and the other, rich with a mixture of mushroom and ricotta baked in the oven. We followed that with melt-in-the-mouth slow cooked duck ragu tagliatelle and a winning carbonara that tasted fresh and authentic with a generous amount of smoky pancetta and a good thwack of black pepper. Dessert consisted of more alcohol. With hospitality still striving to get back to some form of pre-pandemic normality, this homely familyrun place gave us hope and warmed the cockles. Of course, that could have been the grappa… I

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FOOD & DRINK

BLAST FROM THE PAST WE BRITS FIRST FELL IN LOVE WITH WINE BACK IN THE DISCO DAYS OF THE 70S AND 80S. BUT, AS GARY CARTER OF BIRMINGHAM WINE

SCHOOL REVEALS, OUR TASTES TODAY COULDN’T BE MORE DIFFERENT

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hose of us ‘of a certain age’ can vaguely recall when wine culture first arrived in the UK. Historically, due to our climate most Brits drank beer rather than wine, and not being a significant wine producer ourselves, many wine-producing countries started to promote their wares in the 1970s and 1980s to the unsuspecting British drinker. However, today’s choice of styles and quality is lightyears away from the ‘first wave’ of wine to wash up on our shores, where the novelty of wine – any wine at all – took preference over quality. Anyone under 50 will not remember this, but when venturing out to places like a Berni Inn to enjoy your prawn cocktail, steak, and Black Forest gateau, the wine list to go with it wasn’t something that would be recognisable today.

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BLUE NUN As well as a selection of very basic wines from behind the Iron Curtain from countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, we had mass-produced semi-sweet German wines with labels such as Blue Nun and Black Tower. Many German wines are indeed off-dry or mediumdry, but the great wines of Germany are made with the Riesling grape, have a beautiful floral and fruit nose and combine racy acidity with the sweetness to create a beautiful balance. German Riesling is a unique style of wine, made nowhere else in the world. Because of the history of German wine in the UK, it is a very difficult sell and many retailers have either given up or stock only a very small range. The good news is that because it’s a hard sell, it’s amazingly good value. Seek out those long-tapered bottles, but make sure the word Riesling is on the label to avoid revisiting the 1980s! Moving on down the list, we also had some semisweet rosé wines such as Mateus Rosé. This wine is from Portugal, is produced in huge quantities and was allegedly the favourite tipple of Saddam Hussein. The finest rosé wine is produced in Provence in France, is bone dry and is today incredibly popular. OLD VINE South Africa in the 1970-80s was still an isolated apartheid regime, desperate for international trade. The country’s winemaking business suffered from obsolete equipment and a focus on quantity rather than quality. Today, South Africa is one of the most dynamic of wine-producing countries and their Old october 2021

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GARY’S

FOOD & DRINK

TO TRY

Doctor L Riesling (Germany) – This wine embodies the elegant and racy style of the steep, slate-soil vineyards in the Mosel valley. It is fruity and low in alcohol with a refreshingly crisp taste that cools the palate. Drink on its own or with lightly spiced Asian dishes. Available from Asda for £7. Château Pigoudet ‘La Chapelle’ Rosé 2020 Coteaux d'Aix-enProvence AC – Super-light and the colour of bright pink petals, the nose boasts red apples and ripe cherries and flower petals. Fresh and citrussy, this aromatic rosé lingers on a beautiful mineral finish. Enjoy with Salade Niçoise. Available from Majestic for £12.99 Darling Cellars Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, Darling, South Africa, 2019 – This dry Chenin Blanc displays a medium light straw hue in the glass. It’s made in a ripe style; elegant, serious and bold. Tropical flavours of ripe yellow peaches, white pear, a touch of vanilla blossoms, toast, butterscotch, orange skin and pineapple. Great with rich fish or cream-based chicken dishes. Available from Frazier’s wines for £16.99. Chateau Des Jacques, Moulin-a-Vent AC – A very different style of Beaujolais. It is barrel aged to create a wine with rich and succulent red Gamay fruit as well as having the concentration and structure to develop in bottle. Enjoy with grilled and roasted meats. Available from Sainsbury’s for £16.

Vine Chenin Blanc can be truly stunning. Finally, Beaujolais Noveau, a wine made from the fruity Gamay variety, is made and bottled by the middle of November. It was accompanied by a huge amount of hype but was almost undrinkable. Beaujolais suffers from association with the Nouveau style to this day. However, a well-kept secret is that certain specific villages in the Beaujolais region produce a very different style of wine indeed. Still using the fruity Gamay grape but treated with real respect, wines from Fleurie, Brouilly, Morgon and most especially Moulin-a-Vent are like mini Burgundies but without the price tag. These wines are some of the best-value French red wines available. If you want to revisit the 1980s, but with MUCH better wines, I’ve picked out four great choices for you to try… Enjoy! I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses online, in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, and Warwick. More information at info@birminghamwineschool.com or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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HEALTH

STAY STRONG LIKE AN OLYMPIAN

PHYSIOTHERAPIST PHIL EVANS HAS WORKED WITH SOME OF TEAM GB’S TOP ATHLETES AND SAYS HOW THEY TRAIN CAN BENEFIT US ALL AS WE AGE IN EVERYDAY LIFE

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HEALTH

trength, both mental and physical, was vital for all our medal-chasing athletes at the recent Tokyo Games, and staying strong will help us all as we age. After we hit 40, we naturally lose muscle mass (sarcopenia) and this can have a dramatic effect on the quality of our lives. Urban Body’s lead physiotherapist, Phil Evans, has worked with Team GB athletes and says by challenging our muscles we can maintain and increase strength for the long term and also reduce the risk of injury. Here he gives his top tips:

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Weight training Lifting weights is not only good for you, but perfectly safe when done correctly. Just like an elite athlete, it’s important that your workout is customised and also takes into account any ailments you may have. Arthritis in your joints, bulging discs and even meniscus tears are all normal in the ageing process. They don’t mean you can’t exercise, but you need to make sure your strength training routine reflects this. The two priorities to consider when I’m examining someone’s strength routine are posture and loading strategies. Good form is critical to protect your joints and back while loading refers to how much weight you lift and how often (reps). This changes because the integrity of your soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) alters during the ageing process. Loading strategies also need to be adapted if you’re injured or in pain. A strength coach and physiotherapist can ensure you have a strength training routine that is not only safe but perfect for your age and ability. Core strength After the age of 40, things like balance and reaction times start to become more compromised and the likelihood of back pain increases. Maintaining good core strength helps with all of this and becomes more important than ever. The biggest problem I see with people trying to strengthen their core is that they just don’t know how to do it properly. They may be doing all the right things but with all the wrong muscles. If you’re new to core strengthening, or perhaps you’ve been doing it a while but your core strength still isn’t where you want it to be, consider trying Pilates. Having proper control

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over your breath, body and movement are the cardinal signs of a truly functioning and strong core. Intensity and variety If you are performing high intensity exercise for every session there is very little chance for recovery. Exercise intensity should vary from 35 per cent up to 85 per cent of your maximum capacity. However, the majority should be done at lower intensities. Feeling chronically fatigued and very hungry are classic signs of over-training and are signals that it’s time to slow down a bit. Even elite athletes don’t push themselves to the limit at every training session. No matter your workout of choice, it’s essential to mix it up from time to time. Cross-training can improve your overall performance and also work on all muscle groups. Varying exercises can help you avoid overuse injuries and obviously it keeps your mind a bit more interested too. Mental focus It’s no secret that the majority of Olympic athletes utilise mental training as an essential component of their regime, especially in the final stages before an event. Elite athletes ensure their body and mind are running at optimal levels during intense competition. Success, in sport and in life, begins with having a goal to focus our energy on. Athletes visualise themselves winning the highly desired gold medal, surrounded by their coach, teammates and loved ones celebrating their victory. It is key to establish your own goal and plan how you will achieve it, step by step. You might want to work towards a big event such as a half marathon, or want to build up your training so you can achieve a certain target. Remaining positive and optimistic, even in the face of adversity, can make all the difference. I Phil Evans is lead physiotherapist at Urban Body, an award-winning clinic based at the West Warwickshire Sports Club in Olton. He has spent the last 10 years treating elite athletes and been involved with the GB bobsleigh and judo squads as well as Leicestershire County Cricket Club. For more information visit www.urbanbody.co.uk or call 0121 2706045

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HEALTH

SPICE UP YOUR

GLOVE LIFE NON-CONTACT BOXING IS A GREAT WAY TO BOOST YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS, SAYS LOCAL EXPERT TIM EXETER

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HEALTH

raditionally seen as a sport for boys, men and competitive fighters, boxing has often struggled in the past with its perceived inaccessibility. A rise in popularity among women and the elderly however has gone some way to opening up the ring to a whole new generation of boxing enthusiasts. Tim Exeter, owner of a new Leamington Spa-based gym Megabox Fitness, is on a mission to show how taking up boxing exercises without contact at whatever level or intensity can do a lot for your overall health and wellbeing. Given its popularity with supermodels such as Gigi and Bella Hadid, it perhaps comes as no surprise that boxing is a great way to stay physically fit. From having to assume the signature boxer’s stance to the very act of punching the air or a pad, boxing helps tone and shape a myriad of muscles within the body.

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CORE MESSAGE When you assume the boxer stance, with your knees slightly bent, then start punching with various combinations, you engage your core and work every muscle in the body, building endurance and strength. The very act of punching forces many of your muscles to contract at once, making your heart work extra hard in order to pump blood and oxygen to them. Recent studies have shown a link between boxing and improved cardiovascular health. With benefits that range from blood pressure control to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, cardiovascular fitness is essential when it comes to maintaining overall physical health. Boxing is also shown to have a positive impact on bone mass density. As an exercise which forces you to put weight on your legs and knees, boxing encourages your bones to enlarge and thicken. With research showing a decline in bone mass

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after the age of 30, bone building exercises such as boxing are crucial in strengthening your bones and slowing the rate of bone loss over time, ultimately preventing the on-set of degenerative diseases like osteoporosis. The good news is that all these benefits come into play regardless of your level of intensity or ability. Start at a level you’re comfortable at and remember, consistency is always better than intensity. The key is to get the body moving in multiple directions as it was designed to do. Combining boxing with athletic type exercise really balances out the whole circuit. STRESS BUSTER Furthermore, boxing is shown to vastly improve hand-eye coordination and consequently boost your body’s reflexes. By constantly changing your position and engaging your core muscles, boxing further helps strengthen your back muscles and core, thus improving the body’s posture and balance. Like all forms of exercise, boxing also helps reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and low mood. As research has shown, the process of working out helps simulate endorphin production and the creation of chemicals like serotonin which induce feelings of happiness. The act of punching further helps relieve muscle tension and thus mitigate the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety. Boxing can also instil a sense of achievement and mental strength which not only builds confidence and self-esteem but gives you the fighting spirit you need to tackle life’s problems. I Megabox Fitness provides workouts which uniquely synthesise boxing and fitness exercises. Its mission is to encourage all ages and abilities to try their hand at this great combination of boxing and fitness. For more details visit: megaboxfitness.com or follow @megabox_fitness on Instagram or MegaBox Fitness on Facebook

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ing livSTYLE

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BOOT CAMP EASY, CHIC, COMFORTABLE – BOOTS

ARE THE FASHION WORLD’S DREAM PIECE AND WE ARE COCK-A-HOOP TO BE SLIPPING INTO OURS AGAIN

CUTE QUILTING

Pampas boots £155, Dune

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STYLE

BACK TO BLACK Acacia boot £99, Office

GREAT HEIGHT

Valentino Garavani Uniqueform leather knee high £980, Harvey Nichols

BUCKLE UP Pasha boot £150, Dune

GOT SOLE

Gum sole hiker £20, Matalan

MADE FOR WORKING

Grenson Nanette boots £325, Selfridges

uch of summer has felt like autumn, but now we’re actually in falling leaves territory it’s safe to wheel out our absolute favourite footwear. A gorgeous boot can elevate an outfit from ordinary to outrageously sassy, so we’ve been scouring the shops to bring you the best from £20 to just shy of £1,000. While no-one’s saying it’s an elegant look, this season’s penchant for a chunky sole is the ultimate in comfort dressing while still managing to pull off edgy and cool. If you’re investing, check out Stella

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HEAD TO TOE

Jumpsuit and boots, Barbour

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STYLE

McCartney’s Emilie Chelsea boot, while on the high street, Primark’s high leg chunky khaki is worth a look (pictured). Grenson is always a winner in the hiking boot style stakes and this season is no different. The thick soled leather version (pictured) will inject some serious style points. While we’re on the subject of hiking boots and if it’s not too early for shearling, seek out the stunning and toasty Valentino Garavani Trekkgirl boot (pictured). Ankle boots in all their guises are seriously useful – probably one of the hardest working pieces of footwear in your wardrobe. From casual everyday looks like the Acorn boot at FatFace to shimmering gold twinkle toes at Oliver Bonas, they are easy and stylish. If you’re in the market for a knee-high boot, the versatile camel stiletto from Dune will go with every item in your wardrobe, while the silver Ancuta Sarca vision from Harvey Nichols screams, ‘look lively, I’ve arrived’. On the pricey side? Yes, but in fairness metallic is practically a neutral that will last and last. That’s our story… I

HEAVY METAL

Silver heeled boot £79.99, TK Maxx

I’VE ARRIVED

Ancuta Sarca 90 silver leather knee high boot £905, Harvey Nichols

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TWINKLE TOES

Metallic gold Western boot £110, Oliver Bonas

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STYLE

COOL KHAKI

High leg chunky Chelsea boots £20, Primark

WHITE OUT

Chunky sole Chelsea boot £28, TU at Sainsbury’s

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STYLE

CASUAL VIBE

Acorn boot £79, FatFace

CHUNKY HEEL

Nude leather boot £95, Office

TANTASTIC

Chunky sole Chelsea boot £28, TU at Sainsbury’s

RODEO VIBES

Matilde boot £129, Barbour

EVERYDAY

Suede ankle boot in coffee £145, Aspiga

NOT AS WE KNOW IT

Stella McCartney Emilie 75 brown faux leather Chelsea boot £695, Harvey Nichols

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HIKE IN STYLE

Valentino Garavani Trekkgirl shearling ankle boots £780, Selfridges

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STYLE

COOL CAMEL

Spice Camel boot £195, Dune

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BEAUTY

BEAUTY NEWS

This month we’ve discovered some winning products to add to our regime for the colder months plus an uber indulgent moodboosting advent calendar 1. JO MALONE ENGLISH PEAR & FREESIA, NOW AND FOREVER, SPECIAL-EDITION COLOGNE 30ML RRP £52, JOMALONE.CO.UK This is gorgeous. I thought it sounded a bit sickly when I received the press release which declared it like ‘just ripe pears wrapped in a bouquet of bright white freesias’, however, I was wrong. It’s fresh, delicate and easy in a good way. There’s also hand and body wash and a candle, so fill your boots. It’s a winner.

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2. AVEDA BOTANICAL KINETICS SERUMS, £43, AVEDA.CO.UK Aveda has brought its customary organic, plant-based vibes to a new botanical kinetics skincare range which includes three serums – there’s Intense Hydrator, Instant Luminizer and Pore Refiner to target your skin’s particular issues. The clever R&D team at Aveda has captured the power of plant regeneration at a cellular level, giving your skin a botanical boost.

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3. ZI CAO DAN PI SHUI GAO PEONY CREAM £48, DERMATOLOGY-M.COM If you have hyper-sensitive skin this is a winner. Gentle enough to be used on the face as well as body, it’s packed with soothing, nourishing goodies such as peony root extract, vitamin E and organic safflower seed oil. It also combats pigmentation and eczema. 4. LA MER ADVENT CALENDAR ‘12 MAGIC MOMENTS’ £435 (WORTH £586), CREMEDELAMER.CO.UK It’s a bit early for advent calendars – we’ll be giving you a round-up of the best next month – however, the La Mer version launches this month and judging by previous years will sell out fast. Obviously, it’s an investment, but if you’ve ever experienced a beauty advent calendar, they really are a brilliant way to try all of a brand’s range – we’re still using some Kiehls minis from last advent. Treat yourself or someone you like very, very much. The dilemma is can we wait until December…

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STYLE FOR MEN

JUST FOR KICKS? FAR FROM MERELY FUNCTIONAL, BOOTS

ARE HAVING A BIG MOMENT THIS SEASON – AND WHEN WE SAY BIG, WE MEAN IT!

Picture courtesy of Dune

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STYLE FOR MEN

DRY SPELL Dries Von Noten suede desert boot £430, Harvey Nichols

GREY DAYS Cloudy grey boot £150, Dune

et’s face it, this season’s chunky sole is a bit Marmite. Branded ugly by some, edgy by others, we’ve picked out examples that cover all the bases from vertiginous to gently tapered. The big guns such as Alexander McQueen and Gucci are in for a penny, in for a pound with statement footwear that’s super cool. Dune has some cracking examples too – check out the soleful Cloudy – but if you’re less high fashion, there are plenty of tamer versions from the likes of Bass Weejuns and Barbour. Whatever your jam, get in on the act. I

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GROUNDED Alexander McQueen Hybrid leather boots £490, Harvey Nichols

MADE IN CHELSEA Bottega Veneta Tire Chelsea boot £905, Selfridges

A CLASSIC Numbat boot £99.95, Barbour

SPORTY VIBE Volunteer boot £110, Dune BIGGER THE BETTER Gucci Frances chevron quilted boot £660, Selfridges

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LACE UP Bass Weejuns Camp Moc III Ranger mid top moccasin £160, Selfridges

RIGHT STRIPES Flat Chelsea boot £59.99, TK Maxx

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ng il viHOMES

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LIGHTING UP TIME AMAZING LIGHTING CAN TRANSFORM THE MOOD AND SET THE TONE OF YOUR HOME, SO PUT IT FRONT AND CENTRE OF YOUR INTERIOR PLANS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SCHEME

AGAINST THE WALL Woud Mercury wall light £632, Nest

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HOMES

MODERN MAYHEM Spider chandelier pendant £69, Cult Furniture

ark nights mean we’ve started to reassess the lighting in our home and question whether it’s fit for purpose. A cosy snug requires different treatment to your home office so start looking at the function of a space before you make choices. As well as looking pretty, lighting needs to do the right job, so while an antique chandelier might be stunning to look at, it might prove to be a disaster above a workspace from a practical point of view. Specific task lighting to illuminate a space where you might be doing close-up work, preparing food or reading should be bright enough to prevent you from straining and also be free from a distracting glare. Lamps, recessed lighting or pendants all work well in this scenario. Some rooms are multi-functional and they need special treatment. The trend for turning kitchens into

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READING CORNER Tadek rattan lamp £175, Oliver Bonas

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HOMES

HEAVY METAL Industrial metal ceiling light £235, Cuckooland

DRAMA QUEEN Moooi Plant chandelier £3,682, Nest

sprawling living spaces means that the dimmer switch and some well positioned lamps are your best friends allowing you to transform a space from homework zone to dinner party ready in seconds. We’ve pulled together some design inspiration for you here, but it’s also worth considering eco options such as motion sensor lighting so that lights go out automatically when you leave a room and checking the green credentials of the bulbs you’re using. LEDs are more expensive than bog standard light bulbs, but they last on average 100,000 hours and use 90 per cent less energy. I

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HOMES

GOLDEN HOUR Aston table lamp £1,370, Fritz Fryer

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HOMES

PENDANT POWER Lighting from HomeSense

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HOMES

COLOUR POP Lighting and furniture from Habitat

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HOMES

SMOKIN’ Nuura Apiales 18 chandelier £3,419, Nest

RUSTIC CHARM Corinium table lamp £75, Neptune

FINISHING TOUCHES

MELLOW YELLOW Catalina table lamp £145, Soho Home

CABIN FEVER Cabin enamel cream lampshade £16.99, HomeSense

STAND ALONE Madden metal standing floor lamp £99.99, Cult Furniture

LAMPS AND PENDANTS ARE A GREAT WAY TO ADD WONDERFUL LIGHTING AND TRANSFORM YOUR HOME EASILY AND MESS FREE. HERE’S OUR PICK

GOLD RUSH Le Six table lamp £300, Nest

YEE HAW Cowhide lamp £99.99, HomeSense

MAGIC TRIO Pacific lifestyle Asterope pendant light £119.95, Cuckooland

VINTAGE VIBE School House pendant light £290, Fritz Fryer

THINK PINK Cordelia lamp £59, Cult Furniture

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MOTORING

HOME PRIDE

JAGUAR CASTLE BROMWICH IS A WORLD LEADER IN DESIGNING AND PRODUCING INNOVATIVE, STYLISH CARS – NONE MORE SO THAN THE LATEST E-PACE, SAYS ‘LOCAL’ GIRL, SUE COOKE

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Jaguar E-Pace MHEV R-Dynamic S Price: From £42,610 otr Engine: 2.0-litre 249PS AWD Auto MHEV Combined: (WLTP) 31.8-29.2mpg Performance: 0-60mph in 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 142mph CO2 emissions: (WLTP) 200-218g/km

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MOTORING

live just a 10-minute drive away from the Jaguar Castle Bromwich plant and daily pass the huge advertising boards showing off the latest gorgeous model. I feel proud to live in a region which continues to startle the world by manufacturing, designing and engineering the most innovative and stylish cars. Cars like the new Jaguar E-Pace. The compact SUV has a refreshed exterior giving it a more assertive stance. There is a new grille mesh design with diamond details influenced by the Jaguar heritage logo. There are new all-LED headlights and double ‘J’ daytime running lights. I like the Jaguar graphic which is displayed on the tarmac as I open the driver’s door. When I engage reverse the door mirrors dip to give a better view of the tarmac which is useful.

I

HI-TECH INTERIOR The enhanced interior has the latest technology with software that continually updates over the air. I like the curved glass HD touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard which Jaguar says is three times brighter and 48 per cent larger than the previous screen. The glass screen has two coatings, one of which is anti-glare and the other resists fingerprints! This would be useful on my iPad! Soft touch materials and the metallic finish speaker, vent and rotary dials enhance the premium feel of the interior. A new steering wheel has many features and there are metal gearshift paddles. I like the 3D surround camera view which is very detailed and there is a useful front and rear parking aid. For drivers who have to work in their car, apps include Google and Microsoft Outlook calendar integration so the driver can view work diaries and join important calls using the hands-free system. I think all cars should have a head-up display which shows the speed of the road and the speed that the car is achieving on the display in the windscreen. It doesn’t get in the way of vision of the road ahead and yet the information can be seen instantly without

moving your eyes from the road ahead. Cabin air ionisation improves interior air quality through Nano technology, which removes allergens and unpleasant odours. There is even technology which is able to detect if the driver is beginning to feel drowsy and alerts them to take a break. HYBRID HARVESTER To fire the ignition there is a push button start. A new selector engages D for Drive. When the journey ends, the driver presses the P button on the selector and the gears and handbrake automatically engage. I had the good fortune to road test the E-Pace powered by a 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine that combines with a mild hybrid system which harvests energy usually lost when slowing and braking. This energy is stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery which is located beneath the rear load space. There is a choice of other powerful and efficient engines and a plug-in hybrid powertrain which uses a 1.5 litre Ingenium petrol engine and a motor which together produce CO2 emissions of 44g/km. There is so much to admire about this Jaguar. First and foremost are the exterior looks, but also the luxurious interior and all those technological features which help make driving safer and more efficient. I

SHOWROOM

Listers Jaguar, 639 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4BA. Tel: 0121 745 0777 www.listers.co.uk/jaguar/solihull

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

COREY WEEKES

THE TALENTED ACTOR, WRITER AND FOUNDER OF VISION IS ALL ABOUT GIVING BACK AND BOOSTING THE CHANCES OF UNDERPRIVILEGED YOUNGSTERS 52 birmingham living

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

orey Weekes is a writer and actor who trained at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts on a DADA scholarship. He’s worked in TV – Coronation Street and Doctors among others – as well as the West End and is about to open Rapsody at Coventry Belgrade theatre as writer and artistic director. Coming from a background of financial hardship that could have hampered Corey’s dreams, he was lucky to have had a chance meeting with an experienced actor who offered to mentor and coach him for free. Recognising that not all budding actors are as fortunate, Corey decided he wanted to help change things for young kids like him and give them a foothold in an industry that is notoriously tough to crack without connections and/or money. Like many actors, Corey hasn’t had an acting job since the pandemic began and has thrown himself into helping talented youngsters get ahead.

C

ACTING UP Corey launched the Vision Centre for Actors last year, initially offering acting lessons at a hugely reduced rate (£5 per lesson) which still proved a struggle for some. Now, thanks to a partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome and youth community interest group Bouncing Statistics – and with funding from the National Lottery and Arts Council England – Corey is offering a programme of free tuition, workshops and mentorship to talented 16 to 30-year-olds suffering from financial hardship. Corey explains his motivation: “When I initially wanted to get into acting, I had all the passion and drive to learn but unfortunately none of the money to afford the classes on offer in Birmingham. I was lucky enough to be blessed with mentorship of a great teacher in Philip Hedley, but I couldn’t help wondering how many young people give up on their dreams because they aren’t so fortunate. I started Vision to provide hope to young people from humble

october 2021

beginnings that they can make their dreams materialise.” Vision will take a cohort of 32 actors over the next year with auditions being held at the beginning of this month. They’ll enjoy access to free workshops with drama schools thanks to links with organisations like ALRA, LAMDA and RCSSD, there’ll be talks and workshops with industry professionals like casting directors and agents and they’ll leave Vision with show reels and headshots. WELL-BEING As well as honing acting skills and boosting opportunities, Corey is keen to prioritise wellbeing and good mental health, so there’ll be a big focus on that too with coaching from Bouncing Statistics. He is keen to make sure students understand the reality of the industry and are resilient. He says: “There’s down time when you’re an actor and we need to give youngsters the foundations to survive and find fulfilment in other ways too.” The funding for Vision was crucial and a lengthy process. Corey brought a bid writer on board as the application was 68 pages which meant a lot of late nights and stress and thankfully it was successfully. He said: “This was only made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Arts Council England and we are so grateful. New research has found that only 27 per cent of actors come from a working-class background. It’s time young people from underprivileged backgrounds can truly be able to follow their dreams. Financial strain should not make anyone’s aspirations feel unreachable and that’s what we look to change here at Vision.” I

ACT SMART For more check out www.visionacting.co.uk and if you’re interested in auditioning email contact@visionacting.co.uk

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GROWING PLACES

CHARISSA’S A LEGEND We’re singing the praises of Charissa Brobbey-Sarpong of Bromsgrove School after she successfully auditioned with the British Youth Music Theatre, earning the chance to perform in their musical, Legend of White Bear Lake. Charissa has also recently become a chorister at Worcester Cathedral.

TEACHERS ON THE BALL Teachers had a taste of one of Millennium Point Trust’s small grants projects when they attended Aston Villa Foundation’s STEM Through Football event. The foundation’s STEM Stars project is a new programme in six schools, all within a three-mile radius of Villa Park. Funding from the Trust’s

SCHOOL REPORT

small grants has been used to purchase a Sphero Bolt robot ball package that uses football to engage young people in coding. At the event, teachers were treated to an interactive experience, steering and programming the Sphero Bolts on imitation pitches.

BOOT CAMP JOY A former care assistant has secured a job with global activewear brand Gymshark after graduating from the University of Birmingham Coding Boot Camp. Sumaya Hassan is now a junior frontend developer at the brand’s headquarters in Solihull. The university launched its Boot Camp programme last year and has since welcomed 135 students to its 24-week intensive Coding and Data Analytics courses which are designed to deliver the knowledge and skills they need to tap into today’s technological economy.

WONDER WOODLAND

A special school in Birmingham will be able to develop a woodland area after scooping the £1,250 second prize in a national competition. Wilson Stuart School in Perry Common was one of 12 finalists in the Selco Stars contest, organised by builders merchant Selco Builders Warehouse – which has a branch in Chester Road in Tyburn. Executive headteacher Simon Harris said: “We’re delighted to secure this funding which will open up exciting new learning opportunities for our children.”

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GROWING PLACES

GOING GREEN Green-fingered pupils from across the region have packed wheelbarrows full of home-grown produce, representing a country of their choice, in the Around the World in Barrows competition led by the Health for Life programme. The finished wheelbarrows were on show at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live Special Edition. Working with local schools and communities across Birmingham and funded by Mondelez International, Health for Life has reached more than 225,000 children and adults in the region over the decade.

TOP SCIENCE GRAD Principle Estate Management has rewarded a top science graduate with a full-time position after she excelled during a temporary contract. Esme Williams was initially employed at the residential management company for just two weeks to fill in for a colleague who was off work. Esme impressed so much that she was kept on and has now taken on a full-time position as a business integration assistant.

WALKING THEIR WAY TO £60K

A team of 18 Solihull School pupils and staff, past and present, tackled the 53km Cotswold Way Challenge raising £60,000 to help save the sight of 2,000 of Sri Lanka’s poorest people by funding Cataract Camps with the support of two charities, Assist RR UK and IMHO USA. Team Solihull led by Mark Penney, head of Solihull Prep School, took on the Action Ultra Challenge, completing the course in 15 hours.

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ing livBUSINESS

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MONSTER MISTAKE (ALMOST!) When Hollywood Monster boss Tim Andrews binned what he thought was a spam email, it nearly cost him an MBE

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FEATURE

s boss of global signage company Hollywood Monster, Tim Andrews receives hundreds of random emails every day. “If they’re spam or email addresses I don’t recognise, I just delete them,” he says. Which is exactly what he did when one with an address starting with the prefix BD21 dropped into his inbox. A few hours later, Tim was searching through his bin when as chance would have it he clicked on the message – and discovered it was the Cabinet Office informing him that he was to receive an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and would he please complete the attached form as his acceptance! “I don’t know what would have happened had I not come across that email again,” says Tim. “Maybe it would have been a bit like losing your lottery ticket and I would have lost the MBE?” Tim was awarded the Honour for his services to local charity LoveBrum which has a mission to raise awareness, support and make cash awards to Birmingham’s unsung local volunteers and causes. The MBE was a bright spot in what has been an otherwise difficult 2021 for Tim as he has met the challenges to his business from the pandemic. Ironically, it should be a time of celebration for Hollywood Monster as it marks 30 years since Tim and his late father set up the business from the loft of the family home.

A

HIGH PROFILE CLIENTS “I always wanted to have my own business,” says Tim. “And always wanted to go into some kind of printing. We started doing signage for building contractors. Back then, we used to have to physically paint signs. Then as the technology developed, it moved to vinyl and then digital printing. We are more of a digital printer now, having invested more than £4million in a state-of-the-art digital printer. We can produce anything from an exhibition stand to a huge wrap around a major construction site.” High profile clients include the likes of Aston Villa and Birmingham City football clubs, McDonalds fast food restaurants, the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, ProLogis Developments, IM Properties and Centrick Properties. During the pandemic, Hollywood Monster adapted by taking on projects such as signage for social distancing and the multi-coloured banners used to cover seating in football stadia. “They were all short-term projects,” said Tim, “not repeat work as we would normally hope to get.” Just keeping things ticking over has felt like an achievement in itself.

october 2021

With exhibition and events as one of the core pillars of the business, Tim has had to take some tough decisions to streamline the business and get it leaner and fitter to capitalise on the much-awaited ‘bounce back’. “The rebound is beginning to happen,” he said when we spoke in late August. “But I believe that it is going to take at least two, maybe three, years to get back to the level we were at before Covid. The only thing you can say is that we are in a healthier state as we have had to take a long, hard look at our overheads.” Like everyone, Tim just hopes the worst is over – another lockdown would likely spell the end of not just his business but hundreds of others. The charity sector has been hit especially hard during the pandemic with hard-pressed businesses being forced to rein back their support. This has made the role of LoveBrum, which Tim co-founded in 2014, all the more vital in trying to help ‘hidden gem’ community projects and volunteers keep going. “The idea for LoveBrum came out of a seven-countriesin-seven-days charity bike ride which I took part in,” said Tim. “We met up after talking about what the charity world looked like and what Birmingham needed. It felt like Birmingham lacked a bit of civic pride compared to other cities.” REBUILDING PRIDE Tim said the best way to help the city get that pride back was to help showcase the incredible people who run the huge number of small charities and organisations. “For years as I grew up, I was always being ridiculed by people because I’m from Birmingham,” he said. “It’s nowhere near as bad now as it was, but it’s still not where it needs to be. Maybe people have a down on the city because of the football teams! We want LoveBrum to help people celebrate our great city.” All of LoveBrum’s giving is raised from membership fees and fund-raising, with 100 per cent of what is raised going to the good causes. Costs such as overheads and admin come from corporate sponsorship, and Tim says LoveBrum is always in desperate need of more support in that direction. LoveBrum picks three different causes each month, with the 7,000 members deciding which cause receives the most money. Tim has raised well over £750,000 for local causes by organising and hosting charity events. “To receive a royal honour for my involvement with LoveBrum was a massive surprise,” said Tim. “When I received, deleted and retrieved the email, I thought it was a wind-up. I got my two lads, who know a thing or two about this kind of thing, to check it out for me – and I was amazed when they said it was genuine.” I

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GREEN GYM MUSCLES IN A new Green Gym and food growing space has opened in Bournville. Funded by Mondelēz International and delivered by The Conservation Volunteers, the community Green Gym at Rowheath Pavilion gives local people the chance to take part in free outdoor sessions where they can be active and get involved in growing fruit and vegetables. Mondelēz’s Health for Life programme encourages people of all ages and abilities to take part and is designed to inspire a healthier lifestyle.

CITY GEMS

PET PROJECT Solihull Merry Hill and Wolverhampton are sponsoring dog kennels at Birmingham Dogs Home for the coming year. “More than three million homes in the UK have got a new pet during the pandemic and we recently launched pet insurance to help dog owners but we wanted to do more to help,” said Metro Bank local director Lee Currier. Bank staff will also be volunteering to

NEWS

BUSINESS

Two Brum businesses picked up top honours at the UK Jewellery Awards. Domino Jewellery, which is owned by WB Group, won in the Jewellery/Watch Supplier of the Year category while Sonny’s Jewellers picked up the award for Retail Sales Team of the Year. Both businesses are based in the Jewellery Quarter. The UK Jewellery Awards are the country’s longest-running and most prestigious trade awards event, recognising the achievements of those working in the jewellery and watch sectors.

Metro Bank stores in Birmingham,

BUSINESS

CHARITY’S NEW HEAD A children’s heart charity based in Birmingham has appointed a new fund-raising head. Husne Begum will lead the team looking to develop initiatives to support Little Hearts Matter – the only UK charity that specifically supports families affected by a diagnosis of half a working heart. Husne has worked in a range of charities, including in the health and medical, social care and arts sectors. She previously managed the funding development team at Birmingham Museums Trust.

help at the dogs’ home.

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BUSINESS

GRAND DESIGNS MOVING UP

Two members of Lodders’ family law team, based at St Paul’s Square, are among new promotions at the firm. Family law specialist Vivienne Middleton has become a partner, while Christine Williams is senior

The nation’s top architects have named the best new buildings in the region. Winners of awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects include City South Phase 3 at Birmingham City University, pictured, Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Product Creation Centre, Gaydon and Moss House, University College Birmingham. Regional jury chair Nicola Rutt said: “The shortlist was strong this year, with the prevalent theme being connectivity and collaboration within the building itself and beyond to the wider community.”

real estate and private client teams. Managing partner

THE NEGOTIATOR

Paul Mourton said: “The promotions come as we

Davidson Estates has appointed Daniel Miles as head

launch our ambitious expansion plans across the

sales negotiator to lead the company’s growth in

region which are on the back of a very positive 12

homes sales across Birmingham as the property

months for the firm.”

marketplace continues to return to normal. He

associate. The firm has also made promotions in its

previously worked at James Laurence Estate Agents, Dixons Countrywide and Tonks & Firkin. Ben Davidson, managing director of Davidson Estates, said: “While the economy has had its challenges due to Covid, we’re now seeing healthy growth in property sales.”

MEET REBEL KATIE

SNOW HILL FACELIFT

Entrepreneurs of the future are being offered free support from a Queen’s Award-winning organisation dedicated to starting businesses for free. Rebel Business School is coming to Solihull with an online event between 4 and 15 October. Entrepreneur Katie Coombes, pictured, will lead the session showing how anyone can launch a business no matter what their circumstances. She built her multi-million-pound business by running a face painting stall at football matches and then moving into bigger events. Book

DEVELOPING TALENT

a free place at: https://therebelschool.com

Colmore BID is looking for volunteers to join a new Community Station Partnership to give Snow Hill Station a fresh lease of life. One of Birmingham’s three main city centre stations, Snow Hill opened more than 160 years ago in 1852 and the new Partnership will lead plans to adopt the station, leading to a series of enhancements aimed at making it feel more local and welcoming to the 5.5million passengers who use it every year. Contact chris.brown@colmorebid.co.uk for more details.

Birmingham-based property developer Cordia Blackswan has strengthened its team with five new appointments. Andras Karpati is the new deputy CEO and capital markets director, while Marika Lawrence becomes projects director and will be responsible for new site acquisitions and pipeline projects. Jessica Vincent joins as marketing manager, Kaniz Khan as finance assistant and Louise James as personal assistant to CEO Marcus Hawley. The Jewellery-quarter based developer is seeking to deliver a £600million development strategy over the next five years.

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BUSINESS

BITES FIONA’S FAREWELL BUSINESS ECO GARDEN Birmingham Hippodrome is looking

The first phase of a new eco garden has been

for a new artistic director and chief

unveiled at the Jewellery Quarter Railway

executive after Fiona Allan’s decision

Station by the Jewellery Quarter BID, funded

to take up a similar role at Opera

by a community grant from West Midlands

Australia. Fiona joined the

Railway. Entitled Greening a Grey Station, it

Hippodrome in 2015 and has overseen

features 12, two-metre seasonal planters.

MERRY MILLIONS

a significant period of development for the independent charity. During her time the organisation has doubled the

Merry Hill has unveiled a £50million

number of people it reaches through

improvement scheme to boost the shopping

live performance, education

and leisure centre over the next four years.

programmes, festivals and visual arts

The plans include a complete design overhaul at

ROAD TO SUCCESS to more than one million annually.

the shopping centre, a new family entertainment Leisure District and improved signage and wayfinding.

HOME OPENING

Pegasus Group has appointed Karen Evans as transport director at its Birmingham office. She was previously at

Exemplar Health Care, a leading provider of

Wood Group UK, Birmingham as technical director and

specialist nursing care for adults living with complex needs, has officially opened its fifth care

head of transport of Resilient Environments International.

home in the West Midlands. Situated at Blackmoor

Karen is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction. Craig Rawlinson, senior transport director at Pegasus, said: “Transport is one of our most rapidly growing areas and bringing Karen’s expertise will enable us to provide a more streamlined national service.”

WINGING IT Four legal eagles took to the skies to help the region’s homeless. Tom Johnson, Karen Allen, Lee Ward-Poulton and Janice Perkins from Birmingham law firm Pinsent Masons lifted off on a wing walk to raise money for LandAid Midlands-backed Live and Work Village which is being developed by youth homeless charity St Basils. The quartet was strapped to the wing of a plane performing acrobatics at 1,500 feet. To make a donation go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/legal-eaglesonthewing1

Croft, the home supports 30 adults living with a range of complex needs, including brain injuries, neuro-disabilities, spinal injuries, physical disability or mental health conditions.

GROWING FAMILY A Midlands law firm has expanded its family division due to rising demand for its services, including advice around cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements. mfg Solicitors appointed newlyqualified lawyers Amy McGowan-Docherty and Katie Banks to its family team where they will work across the firm’s offices in Birmingham, Worcestershire and Shropshire. The growth of mfg’s 13-strong family division comes as the team is responding to rising numbers of enquiries for their specialist advice. NEW FACES: Katie and Amy are welcomed to the law firm by partner Katherine Tippetts, centre

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SOCIAL

1

2

3

STARS TO THE FORE AT PAR 3 GOLF FEST Nailcote Hall hosts on-course action and evening entertainment as championship comes to town et and blustery conditions tested golfers competing in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall. PGA EuroPro Tour winner Andrew Marshall scooped the €50,000 first prize and said: “Hit the green, make a three, that was my plan really – and I’ve ended up winning. I’m delighted to take home the title.” Other winners included Mark Mouland and Peter

W

4

5

6

1 Overall winner Andrew Marshall 2 John Inverdale, Inci Mehmet, Len Goodman, Keith Dyer, Gary Wolstenholme 3 Norma C Herd winner William Bailey 4 Rick Cressman and Lee Hendrie 5 Derek Redmond 6 Alan Mcanally

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SOCIAL

7

8

9 Fowler in the Super Seniors pair event, William Bailey in the highly-contested Norma C Herd trophy and former Aston Villa ace Lee Hendrie who lifted the celebrity title on the final day of play. This year’s tournament played host to a number of famous faces, including ex-England football star Teddy Sheringham and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Len Goodman, alongside golfing legends Ian Woosnam and Paul Lawrie. I

12

10

11

13

7 Barry Lane 8 Craig Phillips 9 Super Senior winners Mark Mouland and Peter Fowler 10 Ian Woosnam 11 Paul Lawrie 12 Inci Mehmet 13 Dean Ashton

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WHAT: Paul Hill: Prenotations Remastered

WHEN: Now until 29 October WHERE: Argentea Gallery, argenteagallery.com A new exhibition presenting a limited edition set of platinum-palladium prints by the acclaimed British photographer, produced at a larger-scale to truly celebrate his remarkable compositions.

WHAT: Fireworks Extravaganza WHEN: 29 and 30 October WHERE: Drayton Manor Park, draytonmanor.co.uk/fireworks This show-stopping fireworks event will be returning in style with a special theme to celebrate the ‘Best of British’ and the pride of the nation pulling together throughout the pandemic. A rousing soundtrack is packed with iconic British music.

WHAT: Creeping Jean WHEN: 22 October WHERE: The Dark Horse, darkhorsemoseley.co.uk Putting a modern twist on the vintage 60’s and 70’s sound, Creeping Jean is a Brighton

WHAT: CBSO: Fauré Requiem

six-piece offering up huge

WHEN: 6 November

Indie-Rock tunes to cut

WHERE: Symphony Hall, bmusic.co.uk

through the haze.

Mirga Gražinyté Tyla leads the orchestra and chorus in a moment of remembrance and reflection with this stunning requiem, full of calm and peaceful melodies that are perfect for these difficult times.

WHAT: Great British Model Railway Show WHEN: 30 and 31 October WHERE: British Motor Museum, britishmotormuseum.co.uk This family-friendly show is one of the biggest model railway events around. Dedicated to model trains and layouts, for enthusiasts this offers a rare opportunity to come and see more than 30 top-quality railway layouts in a variety of scales across the eras. *All information accurate at time of going to press, but please check in case of changes or cancellation

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Paul Foot WHEN: 15 October WHERE: Glee Club Birmingham, glee.co.uk

WHAT: Baby Queen

The award-winning comedian presents

WHEN: 11 October

his new show, Tired of the goose? Swan Power is here. Paul opens

WHERE: O2 Institute,

his beak and explores topics including Nanna on the rack, murdering

academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham

Santas and interfering ambulance drivers.

The 23-year-old South Africa-born, rising anti-pop star is touring the UK in support of the Sea Girls. Having arrived on the pop sphere barely a year ago, she is already carving her name deep into its fabric with her crooked sceptre.

WHAT: Derren Brown: Showman WHEN: 26 to 30 October WHERE: The Alexandra, atgtickets.com/birmingham The multi award-winning master of mind control and psychological

WHAT: Steve Harley

illusion returns with his first brand

WHEN: 21 October

new theatre show in six years. The

WHERE: Town Hall, bmusic.co.uk

content may be a closely-guarded

Considered one of the most charismatic live performers

secret but you know you’re in for a

around and lauded for hits such as Sebastian and Make Me

powerhouse treat!

Smile (Come Up And See Me), the original Cockney Rebel celebrates his 48th year in music with a new tour featuring his full six-piece rock band.

WHAT: What’s New Pussycat? WHEN: 8 October to 14 November WHERE: Birmingham Rep, birmingham-rep.co.uk Get ready for music, mods and rocking romance in this new musical comedy inspired by the classic Henry Fielding novel, The History of Tom Jones. Written by Tony Award-winning Joe Di Pietro and featuring the iconic songs of Sir Tom Jones.

WHAT: John Lydon: I Could Be Wrong, WHAT: Tim Minchin

I Could Be Right

WHEN: 23 and 24 October

WHEN: 1 November

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome,

WHERE: Town Hall, bmusic.co.uk

birminghamhippodrome.com

An icon, a revolutionary and a legend. The

Tim Minchin has been celebrated globally for writing

man better known as Johnny Rotten helped

the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical, and now

change the face of music and sparked a

the comedian, actor and composer returns with a new

cultural revolution as the frontman of the Sex

stage show that has received rave reviews.

Pistols. He’s in Brum to talk about his unique and extraordinary career.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

INDI DEOL

The founder of DESIblitz Arts was told by his teacher at school that he would ‘never amount to much in life’ – which only spurred him on to become a shining light for British Asians in media, literature, and more BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I was raised in a working-class environment by my parents who came over to England in the early 70’s from Punjab, India. At primary school I was often in special classes where the kids who were slow starters were taught how to read and write properly. I remember being told by one teacher that I would never amount to much, but as those words echoed in my mind they spurred me on to work double hard and persevere to succeed in my life. My favourite subject at school was art and at college I decided to combine that with fashion design. At De Montfort University, I graduated with an honour’s degree in Fashion and Textile design. In Birmingham, like most other places outside of the capital, fashion design jobs were virtually nonexistent and so I found myself moving to London to work but I disliked the move and after a year I was back in Birmingham and now on the scrap heap! I started working in retail and then sales or for anyone who would take me on but my creative side would not let me stop there and so DESIblitz.com was born in 2008. IT’S WHAT I DO I try and empower other people to tell their stories and try to create a fairer representation of British Asians within media, literature and many other sectors. Last year I launched DESIblitz Arts to provide a platform that supports and introduces new authors, spoken word artists and poets. Our literature festival is an annual event – this year it’s run from the middle of September until 1 October – with a series of online and in-person events. We have been working with emerging writers and also with more established authors and artists from British Asian

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backgrounds who act as role models. DESIblitz Jobs was formed four years ago to provide a service for employers to reach out and recruit from our audience, which mainly comprises of young British Asians and numbers in the hundreds of thousands each month. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE I would like to help as many people as I can achieve their dreams of working in the media sector or in the creative arts. Through our work with DESIblitz Literature Festival I aim to highlight the quality writing of authors from a South Asian background, bring them to the attention of a wider audience, and to support the publishing industry as it searches to diversify its catalogue of published authors. BIGGEST SUCCESS Personally, it’s being the fittest version of myself. Professionally, it’s growing DESIblitz to be the largest online British Asian lifestyle magazine in the UK. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED What goes up must come down, so be kind to everyone you meet along the way! WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM Where do I start? The people, humour, diversity and how no other place I have visited or lived in gives me the same homely feeling. DOWNTIME To relax I like to go for long fast-paced walks, to the gym or listen to some good reggae or hip-hop music. I

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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

Birmingham Living October 2021 (issue 105)  

Birmingham Living October 2021 (issue 105)  

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