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2012 Issue, ÂŁ2.00

in Birmingham? Fashion: Has it changed? Religion: Synagogues, A dying community Architecture: John Hardcastle Dalton Madin Film: Slinky Productions interview with Scott Ledbury the co-founder.

Soul Magazine 2

About the team

Sean Sundarajoo, 19, First year student studying animation and moving image. He is interested in the film and moving image around Birmingham.

Gabriella Brick, 18, First year student studying photography. She is interested in the religion aspect around Birmingham

Laura Doyle, 18, First year student studying photography. She is interested in the fashion aspect in Birmingham.

Samuel Burns, 18, First year student studying illustration. He is interested in the architecture around Birmingham.


Contents SOUL


Features Fashion

6-9 Fashion through the years 10-17 WASTED YOUTH editorial


18-21 A fading tradition - Tefillin article 24-25 A dying community - Synagogue


28-31 The pasting of a visionary - John HD Madin 32-33 From old to new - Birmingham New Street 34-35 Archives of Birmingham - Library of Birmingham 36-37 Tolkien’s world - Porrett’s Folly


38-41 The Mailbox - BBC 44-45 An Interview with Scott Ledbury


FASHION THROUGH THE YEARS Laura Doyle delves into the depths of fashion throughout the ages, includes; Wasted Youth fashion editorial.




FASHION through the

Photographer: Laura Doyle

Fashion plays a huge part in our society here in Birmingham, all you have to do is walk around the city and you’ll walk past hundreds of people with different fashion sense. In the 21st century especially from 2011 till now, a huge trend on the high-street has been recycling old trends from different era’s and putting modern day twists on them. So where are all these fashion trends coming from? Well in this article I am going to show you!

1950’S After World War II Women were in high demand to get back into the kitchen and doing her womanly duties. The fashion in 1950s was a fundamental part of this demand. And so femininity is underlined in the form of wrist length gloves, stilletos, bright colours and big full billowing skirts. All you girls with the hourglass figures, you are made for 1950s fashion, where the aesthetic tight waists and full skirts emphasise the curves. The main women’s hairstyle in the 50s was long, curly and very high maintenance.


Hello mini skirts, coloured tights and hot pants! 60s fashion was very much a preppy, art and music inspired Mod movement. Bold geometric shapes and bold colours were at the height of fashion in the 60s and of course the trendsetter Twiggy became the


poster girl for this era with her pixie hair and almost cartoon like make-up. This era was also home to fashion trends such as PVC dresses and go-go boots, a very space age trend.


Ah, the 70s...we were gripped with Disco Fever, with bell-bottoms and miniskirts a trend carried through from the hippie-influenced 60s. There was never enough metallic, glitter and sequins that was inspired by Glam Rockers such as David Bowie. The 70s was very dance-fuelled filled with leotards and spandex, nowadays it is common to see snippets of 70s fashion in the nightlife of Birmingham.


One of the main fashion trends I have seen incorporated in fashion today is the 1990’s fashion. This era was notable for the grunge look, this included flannel shirts, skullcaps, doc martens. The hip-hop movement inspired baggy, colourful clothes, there was lots of denim and leather.


WASTED YOUTH Photographer: Laura Doyle Model: Amanda Humphries Photography assistant: Lizzie Romich Styling and MU: Amanda Humphries

SOUL 2012



A FADING TRADITION Gabriella Brick looks into

the fading Jewish tradition Tefillin and the Jewish community and synagogues





FTefillin ading Tradition

t is important that Tefillin are put on properly carefully following all the steps correctly in order for the whole exercise of laying Tefillin to be counted. According to our sages, “He who carefully observes the commandment of Tefillin daily, merits long life and the World to come.”Putting on Tefillin is a Jewish tradition and is one of the most important precepts of the Torah, which has been observed by orthodox Jews for thousands of years. The practice of binding or ‘laying’ Tefillin is meant to elevate a man’s own consciousness and the whole material world to a higher level of spirituality.


O “You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they should be for a reminder between your eyes.”

ne boxes is placed on the left arm wrapping the leather strap down the arm and hand and the other box is placed above the forehead. This sequence is to show how one devotes their lives to G-d in terms of the way we think, feel and do and the importance of using our heart and head when making decisions. Yet at the same time it teaches us to use both our heart and brain and not to be dominated solely by one aspect in order to avoid life’s regrets. The wearing of Tefillin implies recognition of G-d. By wearing Tefillin a person confirms their desire to worship G-d.

Author: Gabriella Brick

Photographer: Gabriella Brick


Photographer: Laura Doyle Model: Gabriella Brick Photographers assistants:

Ben Moon and Lizzie Romich


D ying C ommunity Synagogue



he original Jewish congregation was established in the 19th century in 1881, which was set in what is now known as the Chinese quarter in Birmingham after immigrants came from after the war. Singers Hill synagogue was then established in 1856, which was a well-established anglicised community, which goes back to the 1700’s. The Jewish community in Birmingham was at its biggest through the 50’s, however it has always been quite small.


he Ashkenazi orthodox was established in 1883, and then in 1961 moved to Pershore road where Birmingham Central synagogue opened. 50 years ago people were much more committed to their communities and more observant. Over the years the Jew-


ish community has faded out and Birmingham Central synagogue now only holds a community of only about 60 members of which many are old and throughout the whole of the midlands there are now less than 200 Jewish people.


esources suggest that the Jewish community is rapidly declining. One source referred to the synagogue as the ‘university synagogue’ as he said that children grow up attending the synagogue, but when they go away to university they do not return. The synagogue however also attracts those who practice their Judaism whilst learning a degree at university. The Birmingham Central Synagogue is now closing down and descaling, as there are not enough members due to the fact that the Jewish community has unfortunately faded and they do not need the space of the current synagogue anymore.

Author: Gabriella Brick

“ A Jew is never alone... A

Jew is forever surrounded by his community - visible and invisible”

Elie Wiesel Photographer: Gabriella Brick


Jake, 20, doesn’t live in Birmingham and is not religious and when we asked him about his views on religion he answered “There is a large variety of religions within Birmingham, it’s very multi-cultural place as Birmingham is considered the second capital of the UK so there is bound to be many different religions.” When questioned about the future of Birmingham he replied “The expansion is good for tourism however the place still seem the same as I’m very familiar with it, feels like the city is going backwards and not forwards.”

After being asked whether the new city plan constructions were a good idea, Akbar an 18 year old replied, “I thinks it’s a good idea, however it’s a waste of time as it’s a waste of money. The city is moving forward and is bringing in more tourists and tourism but still feels like the same old Birmingham I have always lived

Heather is an 18 year, studying at George Dickinson College. “I enjoy living here, I think the construction and improvements are a bad idea, and that it doesn’t make much difference to me as it’s the same place I’ve always lived in.”

58 year old Isanal, male, is a Muslim living within Birmingham and upon asking him about whether Birmingham’s growth was a good idea he said “Some is good, for example the University expansions and housing developments are definitely moving forward. We then asked him about his views on whether there is a big religious community within Birmingham and he replied “There is a big religious community in Birmingham. It is a place for all religion.”

Janett Newell is retired, has lived in Birmingham all her life and is not religious. We asked her thoughts about Birmingham and her reply was, “Birmingham is definitely changing, it’s good for tourism and a very friendly place with friendly people. The place is definitely moving forward as a city and there are lots of new buildings creating jobs, however I fear only for older people.”

She continued to say “I fear for my grandchildren as there isn’t anything for the youths, there are no jobs being created for them, and nowhere for them to go as everything is expensive for them.”

A Look into Birminghams Architecture Samuel Burns looks into the ever changing Architecture in the city of Birmingham.



JAohn H.D.Madin rchitecture


ohn H.D Madin was a english architecture and planner for the central library in birmingham. Head of company known as John H.D Madin & Partners from 1962, this company was active within the birmingham area for over 30 years.most ofcompany buildings are now demolished. for this my bulidings protection companies such as 20th Century Society and the English Heritage have campaigned to have certain architeture to be listed, but could not achieve it, one of the buildings was the Central Library. John was born in Mosreley, birmingham on 23rd March 1924 and later died on the 8th January 2012, he served time in the military in the World War II as a Royal Engineer. after the war ended John started out on his own company which specialised in post-war birmingham architecture. however much of john’s work was neglected and was not highly regarded by the current political leadership with birmingham which still stands today.


live Dutton, birmingham’s former director of planning and regeneration of the city, has described Madin’s Central Library as a “concrete monstrosity”, this was due too mardin’s original plans were to have the library to be covered in marble. however was later denied from the political leaderships due the amount of bill, so mardin chosen to have a concrete finish instead. Described Madin’s Central Library as a

“Concrete Monstrosity”

On a later date, in replacement, the library of birmingham is now currently being built within the Centenary square. which will soon result in the current library building being demolished. However, certain members of the political leadership saw potential in mardin and gave in planning permission. so the John Madin design group were responsible for the early designs for Dawley New Town, which later became Telford. Author: Samuel Burns

John H.D Madin Architecture

Portrat Illustration: Samuel Burns






Birmingham New Street Station




Archives of Birmingham Library of Birmingham


hat is the future plans for a mayjor Birmingham inheritance?


fter John Madin’s original design of designing the Central Library, Birmingham city council was looking into relocating the library for many years now. The original design plans were to build a new library within the eastside district, which had been cleared up to the council following the demolition of the Masshouse Circus. However for financial reasons and reservations about the location the plans were later shelved. Next, the council had suggested to plan the library to be spilt between Centenary Square and a section at the Millennium Point. Illustration: Samuel Burns

Illustration: Samuel Burns


Illustration: Samuel Burns

“ The estimated cost is up to £188.8 million ”

Birmingham City Council


n august 2006, the Council confirmed that the area between the Rep and Baskerville House as the future site for the new library. however, after debate within the council the two site designs was scrapped and the archives and special collections of the library will be move to the site at Centenary Square. the council’s intention was to create a ‘world - class” landmark civic building within the area. the estimated cost is up to £188.8 million and completed in spring 2013.

Author: Samuel Burns


Porrott’s Folly


nyone who has seen the films will be struck by the similarity between the 96ft Perrott’s Folly, a lighthouse-like brick structure on Waterworks Road Birmingham, too the orc infestive fortress of Isengard, home of the evil wizard Saruman and his secrets. The same applies to the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower, just a couple of hundred yards down the same road. A century ago, Tolkien would of seen this churning out sinister black smoked plumes from the engine down below, which later inspired the smoked riddled barren wasteland, Mordor. Perrott’s Folly Illustration: Samuel Burns

“ He use to look out of his

bedroom window, and there Perrott’s Folly would be towering over him”

Tolken’s Schoolteacher


errott’s Folly wasn’t built to inspire Tolkien of black towers of Middle Earth, it was built by a local landowner so he could sit at the top of his tower and survey his estate for miles around. Because a century ago all the surrounding area would have been fields. It is also said that Tolkien was shocked by the extent of industrialisation when, in 1933, he returned to his childhood haunts. Yet nothing could uproot the image of rural perfection left by his childhood.

Author: Samuel Burns

Birminghams Involment in Film Sean Sundarajoo explores the presence of film in Birmingham City, Includes; Exclusive interview with Slinky Productions



The Mailbox BBC

The BBC is the biggest TV network provider currently on TV stations, and as well as having large broadcasting stations in both London and Manchester, Birmingham has 40

its very own BBC station right here in the centre of town. Previously found at Pebble Mill, the BBC has now been relocated to The Mailbox, up in the centre of Birmingham. Here they air shows such

as, Doctors, The politics Show and Late Kick Off. However none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the initial founder of celluloid, Alexander Parkes, who founded the

first use of celluloid as a way of making woven fabrics waterproof. However Parkes did not realise the full potential of this newfound substance. A few years down the line and George Eastman, founder of Eastman

Kodak, now known as Kodak, had invented roll film, a vital element for creating motion pictures, in 1888 and then obtained patents in 1889 for photographic film. This discovery, starting with

Alexander Parkes, and following it to George Eastman lead to three big names in the industry; Michael Balcon, Oscar Deustch and Victor Saville



An interview with Scott Ledbury

How did you get started with Slinky Productions? Me and Steve, this is my partner who worked at freelancing at the time this is about 2008/9 and recession was kicking in and the freelance market was a up and down, through contacts we had we just had to start a small scale production for community channel called Union TV in order to do that we sort of had to start up a production company in order to get cash flow to insure us, so we didn’t set out to start a production company, so it started not by design really.


How many people are currently working for Slinky? We’ve got 3 full time, and like any production company we constantly engage with freelancers, for example if we need a film that needs scoring then we call people that compose music, so there is a team you can create around you, so full time there are 3 and then in the family there are about 20

So what kind of work do Where do you see Slinky you do then? Productions in five years time? We started off doing small broadcast, concerts for television for example Kaiser chiefs, we’re very realistic that television productions is very difficult to get, 80/90% of our work these is days is corporate. TV commercials is an area where trying to get into, so 20-25% broadcast. The one thing we don’t is weddings to be honest because it’s a different market.

Its hard to say to be honest, we’d like to be keeping our head above the water with the current financial climate. Creative companies grow organically, we knew from day one that we were going to grow slowly. Five years maybe adopt a dog, I’d like us personally to be doing maybe documentary features.

Sean Sundarajoo Interviewer

Scott Ledbury, Co-founder of Slinky Productions 45


Home is where the soul is

Soul Magazine  

Laura Doyle Samuel Burns Sean Sundarajoo Gabriella Brick

Soul Magazine  

Laura Doyle Samuel Burns Sean Sundarajoo Gabriella Brick