For all those who think Harborne is nirvana… via the brilliant Simon Lea




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Lots of great ideas…

Lots of people, with lots of good ideas for Bearwood Road improvements this evening. The impressive thing was that there were so many people with such a positivity and enthusiasm for the area, keen to discuss the proposals in the consultation document, as well as coming up with ideas of their own.

If you couldn't make it tonight, do try to pop in and see us at the Baptist Church on Saturday morning.

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Tonight, between 6pm and 8pm there is a drop-in session to give you an opportunity to take a look at some draft plans for improvements along Bearwood Road

It isn't a 'meeting' in the sense that you turn up, sit quietly during a presentation, and then maybe get a chance to ask a question. You can pop-in anytime during the two hours, take a look at the plans, have a talk with a planner or councillor if you want, and let us know what you think of the suggestions, or make some of your own.

We've already had some good feedback online, and if you can't make it to St Mary's Church Hall tonight, there will be another opportunity on Saturday morning at Bearwood Baptist Church in Rawlings Road.

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Bearwood Road improvements

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.14.37Over the next few weeks we will be consulting on some proposals for improvements along the length of Bearwood Road. The initial proposals are based on various suggestions we have received over the last few years, and include items like improving the physical environment, making things easier and safer for pedestrians, and some items like new waste bins, street lighting and general maintenance improvements. These are outline proposals are designed to kick off the consultation and some may not even be practical or affordable in the financial package – but we want to start the conversation.

The draft of proposals can be downloaded here and there is some more detail on some maps here and here which may not reproduce too well on all computers, but if you would like a copy by e-mail, let us know via There is also a response form to enable Abbey Ward residents to comment on the existing proposals and submit ideas of their own, that can be downloaded here.

We are holding two public consultation sessions at:

St Mary's Church Hall

Wednesday 17th September

6pm – 8pm


Bearwood Baptist Church

Saturday 20th September

Rawlings Road

9am – 12 noon

Abbey Ward councillors and Sandwell Council Officers will be present to discuss the issues and hear your views and with some larger scale maps.

Again, for people unable to get along, fill in the feedback form or e-mail us your views and suggestions to


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Vote for the People’s Park!

Around 1902 William Henry Jones, owner of factories and quarries, bought Warley Abbey and the estate. Mr Jones saw profit in building on the farmland and was planning to build up to 3000 homes to meet a rising demand.

Happily, a committee of local industrialists stepped in to save the Abbey and the surrounding grounds. Headed by wealthy glassmaker Alexander Macombe Chance, the committee gained the backing of the Birmingham City Council leader Joseph Chamberlain. An appeal for funds was launched. Money poured in from the public to add to the funds provided by the council, and the estate was bought by Birmingham Corporation in 1905.

At the official opening Alexander Macombe Chance addressed the crowds. Chance said, ‘I want it known as the ‘people’s park’, for there never was a park in the Midlands before that was paid for directly by the money of the people’.

Today, Warley Woods is still a park run by the people, with a group of local volunteers helping to maintain it as a place to be enjoyed as a place of leisure, entertainment, recreation and exercise.

Every year there is a popular vote across Britain where people can vote for their favourite Green Flag park.

You can vote here today.

Vote for the People’s Park and ask your friends and e-mail contacts to take part too!

(photograph of the meadow at sunset by the wonderful Simon Lea)


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On Sunday 14th September the free Bearwood jam event will take place at Lightwoods Park skate park from 10.00am – 4.30pm.

Sandwell Council and Bearwood's Mr Tom Naylor are working together again in hosting the Bearwood Jam which is a free to enter / watch extreme sports competition being held at Lightwoods Park Skate park in Bearwood. The categories for each competition are Scooter, Skateboard and BMX with prizes going out to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, plus more prizes up for grabs thanks to a host of sponsors.

So come along and join us, and if you can ride a skateboard, scooter or a BMX, then why not show off your skills at the jam. Anyone can enter but entrants will only be able to use the park at certain time depending on what competition entered. Just arrive 15 minutes before the competition start time to register, the times for each competition are:

· SCOOTERS 10.00 – 12.00

· SKATEBOARDS 12.00 – 14.00

· BMX 14.00 – 16.00

We have live music throughout the day with a headline act of DANTANNA who have recently been doing a lot for the Bearwood scene and will be performing from 4.00pm – 4.30pm. Other acts include DJ Craig Goodall, DJ Estee, DJ Nash and beat boxing extraordinaire SID FX.

We are looking for volunteers to help steward the event, register competitors for each competition at the registration desk and help to collect litter during the day. If you are interested in getting involved please come down to the skate park in Lightwoods Park between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm to sign in.

For further information please contact: Cherie O’Sullivan, Lightwoods Park Project Officer on 0121 569 4740 and

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Luvvely grub – we could do this!

The Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival is a terrific example of something we could consider in Lightwoods Park, particularly in front of Lightwoods House when it has been restored.

The Leamington Festival is promoted in conjunction with their local Business Improvement District, (BID), a traders organisation where local businesses pay a small amount of additional business rates, but which they then have total control of how it is spent – which is something we would also like to encourage in Bearwood. The Food and Drink Festival has over 140 stall holders, and it attracts many of the local businesses, giving them an opportunity to display their produce. Also there are stallholders from surrounding districts, selling drink – alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and foods and food related products from every corner of the world.

It attracts thousands, if not tens of thousands of people in to the town, very many of whom go on to spend money in the local shops, bars and restaurants. They also have music on the bandstand and a mini-fair for younger children.

(Incidentally, the lads with the BBQ were from West Bromwich…)


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