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Working together to make Birmingham a better place for everyone

Annual Leaders’ Breakfast

Have you booked yet? Join us for our Annual Leaders' Breakfast on Friday 20 September, 7.15 – 9am, with our keynote speaker Councillor Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council. This year the Breakfast is kindly hosted by Park Regis Birmingham in their Level 16 Sky Loft, which enjoys spectacular panoramic views across the city centre. Booking is now live for this event, which is for Civic Society corporate members and your guests. It includes coffee during the networking reception and a full English breakfast.

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BTfL welcomes Justine to the team

Birmingham Civic Society and Birmingham Trees for Life are delighted to welcome new team member Justine Marklew to BTfL. Justine will be responsible for communications, and liaison with schools and community groups. She will be looking after BTfL’s Twitter, Facebook and (new) Instagram accounts, and is looking forward to talking to all their followers. With a background in journalism, Justine will bring new skills to BTfL’s communications and social media.

Blue Plaque to Emmy Bridgwater unveiled

This month we unveiled a Blue Plaque to Emmy Bridgwater alongside one of her paintings at BMAG. Thanks to all the BMAG staff that made the event possible, especially Emalee Beddoes-Davis, modern & contemporary art curator, who told us about the importance of Emmy’s work. The plaque was unveiled by Andrew and Jaqueline Kelly, the current owners of her birthplace in Lee Crescent, and Jane Darnton, Chairman of the Lee Crescent Residents’ Association, who nominated her to receive a Blue Plaque. We would also like to thank the Kelly family for their kind and generous donation to the Society.

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Birmingham Heritage Week

Birmingham Heritage Week, 12 – 22 September: 11 days and over 200 varied and fascinating events, from exhibitions and walks to open days and workshops. Take the opportunity to discover parts of the city you’ve never seen before, or rediscover popular places and see them from a new perspective. In addition to our film screenings at Stirchley Baths, and BTfL at Return to Nature, both on Saturday 14th, we will be unveiling a Blue Plaque to James Watt at the gatehouse lodge of his former home, Heathfield Hall, in Handsworth on Friday 20th and our 2019 Renaissance Award at Mary Street in the JQ, on Thursday 19th. These unveilings are at private homes and will be by invitation only.

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Return to Nature festival

On Saturday 14 September, Forward Arts are holding a ‘Return to Nature’ Arts and Wellbeing Festival at Holders Lane Woods in Moseley – a woodland celebration of the natural world! There will be lots of activities and entertainment to enjoy and participate in, such as an environmental arts trail through the woodland, live music, free workshops and activities, spoken word, story-telling, delicious food and inspiring talks. BTfL will have a stall where you can join in with creative activities related to trees and nature – collect tree seeds and make a seed pot, or help to create a Poe-tree!

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Pride in our city, our city’s pride

Join us on Saturday 14 September, 2 -4pm, at Stirchley Baths for a Birmingham Civic Society, Stirchley Baths and Stirchley Open Cinema collaboration event showcasing young people and their films about Birmingham’s heritage, people and places. All our centenary young people’s films will be screened alongside other youth-led short films, and as the event is taking place during Birmingham Heritage Week, there will also be an opportunity for guided tours of the Baths.

Blue Plaques of the Jewellery Quarter tour

As part of Birmingham Heritage Week, join the Jewellery Quarter Research Trust on Monday 16 September, 12.30 – 2pm, for a walking tour of the Blue Plaques that can be see in and around the Jewellery Quarter. Discover the places and times; the artists and visionaries, who have shaped our history. The JQ was at the heart of Birmingham trade in the 19th century but who were the inventors, creatives and characters that lived and worked there? The Blue Plaques installed in the Quarter commemorate many of them.

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The Lost Children

Balsall Heath Local History Society’s exhibition at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, 14 – 22 September, 10 -4pm, tells the story of c.6,000 children emigrated to Canada through Birmingham's Middlemore Homes between 1873-1948. Around 6,000 destitute children were sent from the Birmingham Children’s Emigration Homes in Highgate, to live with farmers in the backwoods of Canada. Some were only two years old, the majority were aged seven to eleven. Described at the time as “gutter children or street Arabs” they lived in truly desperate conditions in the slum streets of the city and faced a bleak future.  

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Life’s Journey: The art of Katherine Fryer

A retrospective exhibition at the RBSA, 2 - 21 September, traces the fascinating life of Katherine Mary Fryer, 1910 – 2017, through her paintings, prints, and ephemera. Kate was a longstanding member of the RBSA and became the Society's first Professor of Painting in 1991. She was also a respected tutor at the Birmingham School of Art, working alongside fellow influential artist, Bernard Fleetwood-Walker. The RBSA invites Civic Society members to join them at a private view on Tuesday 3 September, 6-8pm, to celebrate Kate’s life and work over a glass of wine and with speeches by those who knew her.

 

Support for Austin Village

Back in 2017 the Society objected to the proposed de-designation of Austin Village’s Conservation Area status, and again in June this year, when the Council announced that it would be going ahead with its cancellation. This week, our Planning Committee Chair, Matt Vaughan met with Ian Ward, local councillors, local MP Richard Burden and local residents to work out how best to protect and preserve the special status and character of the Village that is so important to Birmingham’s industrial and social history.

…and finally

It’s taken us a while, but we’re delighted to announce that our 2016 Renaissance Award to the Pig & Tail is finally, and proudly, in place! We’re grateful to John Gale for installing all our plaques. He’s had a busy month as this is the third plaque that he’s put up, and that’s in addition to designing two new Blue Plaques, visiting the possible site for one of them, rejuvenating a 1982 one and collecting two others from our manufacturer near Buxton!

The Birmingham Civic Society

9 Margaret Street
Birmingham B3 3BS

07780 976928

editorbirminghamcivicsociety@gmail.com
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Birmingham Civic Society · 9 Margaret Street · Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3BS · United Kingdom