Working together to make Birmingham a better place for everyone

We are 100 years old...'s to the next 100 years!

Dear members,

It was great to celebrate our 100th birthday at the Civic Picnic on Sunday 10 June at Soho House Museum. The sun was shining, the choir were singing and we had a birthday cake that marked so much of what the Society has achieved over the last 100 years! We were really pleased to be joined by so many people from the local community. 

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A perfect day for a picnic

Our 100th birthday civic picnic in the grounds of Soho House Museum on 10 June was practically perfect in every way! The weather was glorious, the Handsworth Community Choir and a string trio from Birmingham Conservatoire entertained us throughout the afternoon, Museum Manager, Samina, and her staff and volunteers made us very welcome, and we had the most splendid birthday cake, which Shabana Mahmood MP cut for us. Thank you Jane and Rachel, from Mrs History, for organising such a perfect celebration!

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Young people’s film projects update

The young people of Ladywood, Balaam Wood secondary school in New Frankley and Chandos Primary school in Highgate are busy filming with our project co-ordinator Suzanne Carter and film maker Scott Johnson. What makes #TheCityBeautiful for a young person living in Birmingham today? Our film crew of 16-18 year olds from Ladywood are creating their own narrative through a film capturing the places, people and stories of the city which matter to them and their peers.

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History Plaque unveiled at Northfield Library

Our unveiling of a History Plaque to the Suffragettes and Suffragists of Birmingham at Northfield Library this month proved to be a very jolly event thanks to the staff and Friends of the Library and the very supportive Northfield community. We heard from historian Dr Nicola Gauld on the suffragette movement in Birmingham, including the burning down of the original library and we were entertained by rousing suffragette songs and moving short films. Theresa Stewart, the former, and currently only female, Leader of Birmingham City Council jointly unveiled the plaque with Nicola.

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City Heritage Trail

A huge thank you to Chris Rice, who has produced a fantastic new City Heritage Trail as part of our centenary heritage programme. It features a city centre and an out of town trail, and visits many of the places in the Society’s one hundred years’ history. You can pick up a copy from many of the places featured, at our events throughout the rest of the year, or download it from the website. A full list of places where it is available is on the website too.

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Divine Beauty Concert

The talented choristers of Birmingham Cathedral perform a musical treat on Saturday 7 July, 5-7pm, celebrating the remarkable Burne-Jones stained-glass windows, as part our centenary celebrations. A programme of great cathedral anthems inspired by each of the four windows, includes Parry's I Was Lost, Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer and O For the Wings of a Dove, Ireland's Greater Love, music by Finzi and Wesley and several pieces written for Birmingham Cathedral Choir. This concert supports Divine Beauty and fundraising efforts to conserve the stained-glass windows.

Book here

Civic Voice Annual Conference is coming to Birmingham!

We are pleased to be welcoming Civic Voice's Annual Conference to Birmingham on 19-20 October. The two day conference, held at The REP, will attract civic societies from across the country. It will be a great opportunity for us to welcome them to our city in our centenary year, and to share with them what makes Birmingham such a great city to live, work and play in.

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Vintage Trains Open Weekend

Tyseley Locomotive Works is opening its doors on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July, 10 - 5pm, for a rare ‘backstage’ open weekend to celebrate 110 years of continuous service. Several steam locomotives will be working around the depot, steam shuttle train rides will be available, Pullman cars will be open for all day breakfasts, steam rollers will be working, there will be several fascinating demonstrations during the day and the workshop gallery will be open to view progress on the various restoration projects underway.

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Civic Voice Design Awards shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual Civic Voice Design Awards. 12 schemes, in the categories new build, historic buildings, housing and public realm, have been shortlisted by the expert judging panel for their high quality design and positive impact on the local community. You can see the schemes and vote, by clicking on the ‘More info’ box below and selecting the ‘heart’ on all of your favourites. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Leadenhall Building in London on 12 July.

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Centenary Events this month

As the Society was founded in June, it is befitting that this has been a busy month. In addition to our fabulous birthday civic picnic and the unveiling of our History Plaque at Northfield Library, there have been a series of tours, walks, talks and family activities as part of our programme of heritage events, brought together by Jane and Rachel of Mrs History. Read the full round up of events here.


Welcome to new personal members Alexander Taylor, Christine Tipping and John Dexter, and to new corporate members Savills and Speller Metcalfe. We look forward to seeing you at our events throughout the year.

Centenary activities in July
City Water Way to Go
A look at the past and future of the pools and surrounds of Brookvale Park and Witton Lakes
Divine Beauty Concert
A concert of great cathedral anthems inspired by the Burne-Jones windows in support of the Divine Beauty restoration project
Birmingham Civic Arms
A talk by armorist Adrian de Redman looking at the history and both legal and illegal uses of the Birmingham Civic Arms
Civic City Centre Walking Tour
An informative and enjoyable walking tour of Birmingham City Centre with guide Ian Jelf, starting in front of St Martins in the Bullring.
Full listings

The Birmingham Civic Society

9 Margaret Street
Birmingham B3 3BS

07780 976928
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Birmingham Civic Society · 9 Margaret Street · Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3BS · United Kingdom