Bank Holiday at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

'Easter Bonet' winners with the Mayor & Mayoress of Solihull- CB Hall Gardens Trust

The beautiful Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens played host to their ‘Easter Event’ this bank holiday weekend which proved to be a great success.

The sun was blazing on Saturday 23rd April as locals met to wander around the gardens, picnic in the shade and take part in the children’s activities provided.

The event included a ‘Festive Hunt’  and a children’s ‘Easter Hat Parade’ with children’s entertainer Ronnie Crackers perfoming. Children ran around excitedly looking for hidden clues around the gardens.

The Gardens also raised well needed funds by holding a raffle. The grand prize, however, was taken indoors in fear of melting. Those seeking more shade gathered in the coffee shop where volunteers served cake, tea and some well needed cold drinks.

Press Officer Graham High was very pleased with the day itself:

“I would just like to thank all attendees for their valued support, and it was great to see so many happy and smiling faces enjoying the day.”

View B36Bloggers snapshots of the event here:

Spring time at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

For those of you who aren’t able to make it there yourself, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens have begun to put together slide show images. The first is a selection of images from the gardens in early spring, listen carefully and you will hear the birds whistling in the background.

Don’t forget Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens ‘Easter Event’. Saturday 23rd April- 1-4pm. Free car parking. Click here for more information. 

West Midlands Police ‘Tweeting’ live today

Five members of West Midlands Police press office are in Birmingham Magistrates Court today, tweeting live from the court rooms.

Starting from around 10 am, the tweets are planned to run throughout the morning. All tweets are tagged with the hash tag #wmpcts.

So far they have broadcasted live results of crimes associated with drugs, drink driving and theft. Click here to start following the live feed.

Castle Bromwich library introduces ‘Book Doctor’

Image by Jason Brackins

When was the last time you visited the library? Did you know that even if your local library doesn’t have the book you want you can still order it in?

Castle Bromwich library is the latest of  Solihull Council’s Libraries to take part in the Book Doctor scheme in a bid to get more people reading. The scheme aims to target people who haven’t read for a while or may be stuck on which book they should read next.

Book Doctor works by filling out an online form that analyses you reading interests, whether it is a short read or a large print book, the Book Doctor scheme aims to help a variety of book requests and needs.

But will it work with in the community? Local resident Jessica Hood says:

“When I’ve finished a book I’m often stuck as to which I should read next, so the scheme will really help with suggestions that suit my taste. Knowing that I can then borrow these books from my local library will save a lot of money.”

For more information about the scheme, please click here.

Are you registered to vote?

Birmingham City Council are urging members of the public to ensure they are registered to vote by April 14th 2011.

Anyone from the age of 16 can be registered to vote, but you must be 18 years old to make a vote.

Once registered you will recieve your poll card a few weeks before the vote which is for you information purposes only- the next election for Birmingham City Council is Thursday May 5th.

For more information or to register to vote, click here.


INHABIT finale today

The INHABIT pop up arts tearoom project has reached Ladywood, Handsworth, Pavilions, Stirchley and Bromford, but it comes to end today as they are to celebrate with a final event- Bromford Dreams.

From 5-7pm, the tearoom and it’s visitors will be releasing lanterns in to the sky to represent their dreams, followed by a cup of tea of course.

Support the final event of this successful project by coming along to The Hub, Bromford Drive from 5-7pm tonight.

Welcoming our new contributor

B36Blogger would like to welcome our new contributor David Parker. David teaches sociology at the University of Nottingham. When not working there he continues to live in Hodge Hill in the house his family has owned since it was first built in the 1920s.

David’s first article can be found below. Please contact b36blogger(at)rocketmail(dot)com to contact David directly.

A common cause?

Hodge Hill Common- David Parker

by David Parker

The spaces of our childhood never leave us even if we move away from them. Yet more than the nostalgic afterglow of youthful sun-drenched summers spent on Hodge Hill Common makes me lament at the Common’s present state.

The Southern expanse between Coleshill Road and Stechford Road which previously played host to countless games of cricket and football, dozens of dog-walkers and strollers is being left to grow wild. Clumps of unkempt trees, tangles of Japanese knotweed, branches jutting onto the footpath are all evidence of a cycle of neglect – the more overgrown the Common gets the fewer people walk on it, the taller the grass, the trees and the weeds become, the less safe it becomes for children to play.

The larger Northern sections of the Common have occasionally played host to traveller caravans undeterred by the tokenistic fence posts and verge trimming which are the only traces of City Council care and attention. The demise of St Phillips and St James Church adds to the sense of relative abandonment.

Site where St Philips & St James Church once stood- David Parker

Hodge Hill Common deserves better. It is both the heart of the area and a much-needed pair of green lungs. A 2005 Wildlife Trust report noted the Common’s value as a rare example of dry acid grassland in an urban area and called for its designation as a Site of Importance for Nature Conversation. At that time the Common provided a favourable environment for the house sparrow and supported a number of floral species rare for Birmingham such as Harebell and Small Timothy. In practical terms the Wildlife Trust recommended the removal of some of the sprouting trees and shrubs and a concerted effort to eliminate Japanese knotweed.

Hodge Hill Common- David Parker

Given current public spending constraints such measures are unlikely to be a priority for the City Council, so perhaps the residents of Hodge Hill should take matters into our own hands and organise ourselves into a band of gardeners, seeking funding and tools, for example from Groundwork?

Unless something is done to correct the neglect, the current generation of children will be denied the simple pleasures of a precious open space on our doorstep.

More about the history of Hodge Hill Common can be found at William Dargue’s History of Birmingham Places and Place Names.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens launches its first blog

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Blog

The beautiful Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens has launched its very first blog in hope that contributors and volunteers will come forward to help preserve this special part our history.

Already responsible for their successful Twitter account (@cbhallgardens) and Facebook page, press officer Graham High is extremely passionate about the gardens and hopes the blog will help to promote, inform and create opportunity for contributors.

“I wanted to open up the site to serve as an outlet for the many creative and knowledgeable people I have met, worked, and corresponded with during my limited acquaintance with the gardens. Volunteers, staff and visitors have quite an astonishing breadth of knowledge and experience, and I feel that it is a real shame that this resource remains largely untapped. It is open to anyone in the world who would like to contribute,” says Graham.

Grahams hopes that contributors will bring ‘knowledge, creativity and fun’ to the blog and that it will offer something different to any other heritage website.

“Our official website and Twitter takes care of the Trust’s news, so the blog has an opportunity to step out a little from the beaten track.”

The blog provides local residents with a great opportunity to get involved and help to preserve the history of Castle Bromwich. Contributors can be of any age group and articles can be about history, natural history, science, horticulture, stories, poetry, photography or arts. Graham also hopes that volunteers may also come forward to help in the running of the gardens as a direct result of the blog.

“I would like the blog readers to also occasionally take a moment to think of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, what an incredible asset it is to the community and for them to help preserve this miniature wonderland by visiting or offering their services as volunteers.”

For more information about how you can contribute please click here.

Follow Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates.

Who is your Hodge Hill Avon representative?

Sophia's blog 'Avon Lady in Birmingham'

Many of us may have seen, heard or ever ordered from cosmetics brand Avon in the past. If you don’t already have a representative, then you may be wondering who they are and how you can get in contact.

Sophia Palmer is our local Hodge Hill Avon representative and is pushing her work further by maintaining her own personal blog and opening her own Twitter page.

Sophia has been working for Avon for 5 months and like many women who choose to work for companies similar to Avon, it fits around her busy life style.

“I have been a self employed Avon representative since November last year, one of the main reasons for doing this is because I wanted to work hours that would fit around my family.”

However, Sophia has opened up many new options by making Avon more convinient to her customers through her blog and social networks. Sophia opened up her own blog as an extension to her work, and uses it to interact with her customers.

“I find that this is a good way to interact with my existing customers, in terms of passing out information such as the latest brochures, order & delivery dates dates, any problems that might arise, they can also see my reviews on products that I have used myself and other bits of information.It is a good way to also widen my customer base, as my blog is also linked to other social networks, such a Facebook, twitter &  blogging networks,” says Sophia.

By expanding her work through social networks, contacting and ordering from her is even easier, but don’t think you can’t still contact her in the traditional ways, as she still covers many raods in Hodge Hill.

Sophia’s allocated territory in Hodge Hill is:

Thirsk Croft 1-33 odd

Reynoldstown Road 1-39 odd and even

Redcar Croft 1-39 odd

Sprig Croft 1-20 odd and even

York Drive 1-8 all

Bromford Drive 51-117 odd

Drews Lane

If your area is not listed above, Sophia is happy to represent residents living near these roads who do not already have an Avon Representative.

Sophia supplies both paperback and ebrochures, so can accept orders via email(24hrs)/Facebook/text or the traditional doorstep collections.

Find Sophia on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates.