The thank you’s

I don’t like doing this because I always miss someone out and they feel unappreciated, so can I preface it by saying that I know I won’t cover everyone who contributed, but  hope you are captured here somewhere. So, in no particular order…

  • Thanks to all of the Sandwell Council and Sandwell Leisure Trust staff who put in a shift-and-a-half on the day and ensured everything went even better than we hoped. Particular mentions to Tony Potter and Wendell Deacon who came to the planning meetings and contributed so much, as well as staffing the real ale area and Strongest Man competition respectively all day. And of course, Cherie O’Sullivan who did much of the organisation on top of her day job in transforming our local park.
  • A giant thank you to Enville Brewery and Kinver Ales for virtually organising the bar area for us. Jerry from Enville came over from Stourbridge 3 or 4 times to advise, help and encourage us, and we just could not have run the real ale festival without him. His Lightwoods Ale is now legendary.
  • Thanks too to the stallholders who put on a great show. We were especially pleased for those who stuck with us through the lousy pre-Christmas weather at Bearwood on Ice, made a loss on the week without complaint, and hopefully atoned for it somewhat yesterday. Andrew’s Plants, Webbs of Bearwood and Chocolate Dreams are all in this category, but the friendliness and warmth of so many of the stallholders was commented on everywhere.
  • The musicians, and Dennis ‘Musical Youth’ Seaton, blew everyone away on the main stage and the bandstand, such quality was difficult to believe at a free concert, and the variety of musical genres complimented each other so well and meant there was something for everyone.
  • Now to a group without whom, this event really could not have taken place without… the volunteers. Team Bearwood did us proud. Superbly ‘Marshalled’, they ran the bar – Keith Bracey, an eight hour plus stint, and still as cheerful at the end as he was when he arrived, deserves a special mention. But the small army of purple-bibbed Team Bearwood volunteers, setting-up and taking down, stewarding, litter picking, giving out advice, all with fantastic smiles and glad to be helping, were just brilliant. Staffing an event like that with paid employees would cost a small fortune. They did it… because they wanted to! (Oh…and the volunteers took time out to wipe the floor with all-comers in the tug-of-war!)
  • As so often, so much thanks to Richard and Team Marshall. What many don’t know is they have had a terrible bereavement and a serious illness in the family over the last couple of weeks, and it has been a really difficult time for the family. But Richard carried on, day after day, working away at the event, answering even the daftest, most frustrating obstacles and enquiries with courtesy, working 12-15 hours on his day job and organising this May Day event. On behalf of the councillors, and hopefully each and every one of those at the event yesterday, we salute you Richard, Marie and the family. Without adding a sour note, there are some mealy-mouthed folk on Facebook who hint that Richard does what he does for money. Nothing could be further from the truth, this lot costs him time away from his work and his family, and he has never received one penny in remuneration. As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”…
  • Finally, to the people of Bearwood, the Black Country, Birmingham and beyond, who came in such massive numbers, enjoyed our park and the sunshine, showed that we can behave impeccably, with or without a drink…and who had so much damned fun! We know there are lessons to learn, but thank you all for being part of a great bank holiday in OUR park.
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10 Responses to The thank you’s

  1. Teresa Nikolic says:

    Well said Bob!! The day was brilliant, the weather was brilliant, everything that a Bank Holiday should be, well done to everyone involved, you did Bearwood proud !!!

  2. Myshieldsandwell.org says:

    It was a fantastic day. Well done and thank you x

  3. carol goult says:

    it was such a fantastic day i had the job of being in the beer tent and enjoyed myself so much, roll on next year

  4. Nicole says:

    As a local I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone mentioned above, it was a brilliant event and I felt a real part of the local community. Bearwood is the best place to live!

  5. Mark Beulah says:

    Oh and tbanks to the Warden Service wouldnt go a miss on site for over 10 hrs dealing with lost children
    Alcohol issues , Supervision of Beer Tent
    Policing the Venue, and oh dealing with a major sentitive issue .
    I myself a Warden gain much app from the Public when they thank us for our Help .
    Hope eveyone enjoyed their Day .

    • Bob says:

      Mark, I think I included them in the thanks to the staff, but yes, you’re right, their willingness to help everyone was greatly appreciated.

      • Mark Beulah says:

        Thank you
        Although the Day was extremely busy and Hot
        It was A Fantastic Success .

  6. Janet says:

    It was a brilliant day-well done all!
    the weather was also on your side which helps tremendously. But wasn’t it fantastic to see the park so full of people of all ages…….long may it continue!

  7. Victoria says:

    Bob, you missed some people out. I live in just in Birmingham, and we never hear anything from our councillors but you guys seem to keep everyone informed and get the council on board to support all of these events. When Birmingham had the park it was a mess and nothing happened and now we get all these things like this and the skate park. I know you won’t blow your own trumpet, so I’ll do it for you, well done Sandwell, well done Bearwood and well done Bob.

  8. keithbracey says:

    Bob, Many thanks for the kind words…..as a ‘Bearwood Bloke’ through and through (I grew up in Willow Avenue) it gladdens my heart to see what is happening in my home town, largely thanks to the involvement of you the local councillors who have embraced social media to keep us all informed. and involved giving a sense of ownership to Bearwoodians like me. A special mention from me for Bearwood Councillor Ann Jaron who ‘manned the pumps’ in the Beer Tent (should that be ‘personned’ in these PC days….?) with me for 3 hours on Monday afternoon…..not many Councillors would have done that in my opinion…..one thing as a Brummie Bearwoodian rather than a Black Country one ( I had an Edgbaston address when we lived in Bearwood) could I issue a plea that next time we involve a Birmingham-based Heritage Brewery: The Two Towers Brewery based in Mott Street in the Jewellery Quarter just off Constitution Hill about 3 miles away from Bearwood……they produce some fantastic local beers like the BSA Bitter, The Jewellery Quarter Porter (a porter is like a stout for the uninitiated!) Baskerville Beer etc etc…..All of Two Towers beers are ‘Birmingham and Black Country-themed’. The brewery is named after Tolkien’s ‘Two Towers’ in Edgbaston which appear in Lord of the Rings. Also a guy I know called Angus McMeeking with whom I played rugby for over 20 years for Dixonians RFC (the former pupils club from George Dixon Grammar School in City Road, Edgbaston, which I attended) runs a company called Black Country Ales and owns ‘The Wellington Real Ale Pub in Bennetts Hill in Birmingham City Centre….maybe we could involve them too……? Just a thought? Two Towers are more local than Enville Brewery who were brilliant on the day. Another plea can we order 10 times the amount of cider as we ran out of cider in the first hour…..I know, I know its a BEER festival in Beerwood (see what I did there……?) but the amount of people wanting cider was astronomical! I know as Richard Marshall said to me a number of times on Monday that this is very much the first event with a beer festival so it is a ‘see what works, and what doesn’t’ and build upon those strengths and improve upon the weaknesses……All in all….a Brilliant Bearwood Day….well done ‘Team Bearwood’!

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