Music at the ‘Mill

With the very talented Ruth Theodore


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The Russians are coming….

Thimblemill Library are launching a lending service for Russian books in particular but would like Polish and other central/eastern European books. They would like people to come to their event for Russian music and dancing and just have some fun and to ask for donations of books from people who might have a few cluttering up the place.

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Open Mic at The Mill

The first time that I visited the Open Mic at the Mill I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, every time I visit Open Mic at the Mill I don’t know what to expect, and that is the glorious nature of the event. It is an open mic night arranged for the sole purpose of providing a platform for local talent to perform, collaborate and grow.

It’s a space where musicians and performers of all ages and abilities can pitch up and try out their skills whether it is playing singing, reciting or sitting on the carpet and chanting “Omm”. Performers need an audience though and so it is also a space for people to come and appreciate and support the talent that is out there.

The night is held bi-monthly in the art-deco arena of Thimblemill Library on the first Sunday of the month between 6pm and 8pm. This library is a hub of the community and they provide the venue and technical gubbings at no cost to the organisers and so there is no cost to come and perform or to watch. It’s two hours where you can forget that you have work or school the next day and to be part of something a bit different and special.

This isn’t an open mic night that requires you to be seasoned and polished; although you can be if you want. I’ve seen local poets, ten year olds covering Oasis, newly formed bands testing out themselves and a local police sergeant with hisextraordinary rendition of Chumbawamba; accompanying himself on the ukulele. It is eclectic, it is enjoyable and everybody is welcome.

There are only a few rules of the night:

If you want a slot turn up by 5.30pm as it is first come first served and it gives a bit of time to sort out technical bits.

If you’re using a backing track bring it with you on a device.

Whether performing or spectating enjoy.

You can follow the Open Mic Page on Facebook by following this link and you can find their latest event for March 5th here; but even better turn up in person and give them your support and have a good time.

Patrick Redmond


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On the mARTch

A month-long roadshow of workshops and sessions to get artists of all ages being creative and talking about the future of the arts is coming to Sandwell.

‘mARTch’ – art in March – will give artists, dancers, photographers, poets and writers the chance to tell the council what more can be done to help them.

They will also be able to add their own creativity to a piece of community art, which will go on display later this year.

Family-friendly workshops and consultation events are planned for all six towns throughout March.

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “mARTch is a great opportunity for local artists – whatever their talent – to get involved in shaping the future of arts in Sandwell.

“We want to know what more we can do as a council to help creative people and groups.

“As well as giving their views, artists can help us create a really special piece of community art, building on the success of the Ceramic Garden project last year.

“I would encourage all local artists – and anyone who’s interested in getting creative – to join one of our upcoming, family-friendly workshops.”

During the workshops, artists can decorate a white tile (6×6 inches) which will be mounted alongside other tiles from their town.

They’ll also have chance to glaze a ceramic flower for the Ceramic Garden, which is going on display at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Show in May.

The Sandwell event is: Saturday, 4 March 10am-4pm, Brasshouse Community Centre, Smethwick – workshop runs from 11am-3pm


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Learn Spanish….

Spanish lessons at the 'Mill


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Tell us what you want from leisure services

Over the past five years, Sandwell Council has invested millions of pounds in the upgrade and renewal of sport and leisure buildings in the borough. This began with the opening of Tipton Leisure Centre and Portway Lifestyle Centre in 2013, followed by West Bromwich Leisure Centre in 2014, and Wednesbury Leisure Centre in 2015.

These state of the art facilities offer great provision in which the people of Sandwell now enjoy a wide range of leisure activities, whilst they are also more efficient to run than our older leisure centres. This investment has been made despite the fact that funding available to the Council from central Government has been very significantly reduced.

The council remains committed to the provision of high quality leisure facilities for the people of Sandwell and now wishes to consider the future of its other venues and to seek your views about the nature of what we might be able to provide.

This survey includes a series of questions upon which we would like your comments plus any other suggestions you might wish to make.

The outcome of this consultation will be considered during 2017 and will help us determine what we are to do with regard to our older leisure facilities.

It would therefore be greatly appreciated if you could complete and submit this online survey. It should take no longer than 5-10 minutes.


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Work in progress…

Lightwoods House is nearing completion, and Richard Marshall has been inside for a sneak preview…


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