Birmingham Miscellany – 10 More Birmingham Poems
EDGBASTON – THE HOME OF TENNIS
Edgbaston is the place
Where they serve up many an Ace
Invented by Major Harry Gem:
A game for lithe athletic men
At 8 Ampton Road: ‘Fairlight’
You’d see rubber balls in flight
Men and women both
They’d hit balls with all their might
In clothing… Oh so bright!
A game played in Lilywhites
As played on a manicured lawn
In the summer of 1859
Young men and women courting
Eating, drinking, laughing
Eligible bachelors and young maidens
Playing on a mown green grass court
‘Good shot sir!’… they’d shout
With many a lascivious thought
The young women they did ‘Glow’
As they knocked balls to and fro
Over a rudimentary net
With strawberries and cream…..you bet!
Lawn tennis started to grow
Into the game that we now all know
Fred Perry, Bunny Austin,
Ann Jones, Virginia Wade
Andy Murray and Sue Barker
Grand Slam Champions were made
So next time you’re in Birmingham
Recall Edgbaston’s Major Gem
And the Great Game that he gave us:
‘Game, Set and Match: Amen!’
Apologies to South African Folk Singer Whistling Roger Whitaker and his 1970’s Christmas hit: Durham Town: This is my #BrumPoem about my home town Bearwood
I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..
I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..
I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..
COZ it aye tha sorta place ter gemme darn…..
Councillors Piper, Eling n Jaron
Do soo much fer are Bearwood Mon
Loike Billy Spake
Does fer thee ‘ole Black Countray
Smerrick is Richard Marshall’s patch…..
This local Councillor does Sooo Mutch…..
Fer Bearwood n Smerrick…..
Smethwick in a Stew n Lightwoods Park……and House…..
Juss two of ‘is projects……Ooh worra lark……!!!
I, and others from ‘is Bearwood Crew…..
Fer Smethwick in a Stew…..
As a fantastic reward fer uz all…..
Who Volunteer fer are Bearwood…..
‘N’……What’s more…..We did Volunteer…..
Fer tha Beer on tha Black Countray Buzz…..
Juss a few yers agoo the Sandon Road “SIX”
Did trundle too n fro…..
With thee ‘Aglee Rowd crowd
From the 6 Terminus on Sandon Rowd…..Tha Buzz
Past Saint Chad’s….where I was was barn
Way back in ’58…..
Lookin’ All ferlarn…..
As “A Babe in Arms”…..
I wuz taerken,’Ome…..
Ter live in a Flat…..
Above 67…..Three Shires Oak Road…..
The CHOP SUEY BAR…..
Chinese Food…..MADE IN ‘EAVEN…..!!!!
ME Mom n Dad Dot n Lez…..
Did scraerpe tergether enough CASH
Ter raise a Deposit fer BRUM MUNICIPAL BANK
At the top of Willow Ave…..
It wuz their prank…..
Ter buoy an ‘Owse…..
In Willow Ave…..
The first thee ‘ad with an indoor LAV…..
ME BRACEY FAMILY…..
Did scrimp n save…..
Me Mom n Dad did werk sooo ‘Ard…..
Me Mom Dot at the Midland Red…..
In Rutland Road doin’ overtime on a’ addin’ machine…..
Werkin’ till she fell in ter ‘er bed…..
Ter buoy this ‘Owse…..
THEY WERE SOOO BRAVE THA BRACEYS…..!!!!!
ME MOM N DAD THA BRACEYS DOT N LEZ….!!!!!
THE STORY OF ADAM AND EVE
GOD made Adam from a ‘Handful of Dirt’,
GAVE him Animals to name……not to Hurt,
PLACED him in a Garden that was PARADISE,
ADAM said EDEN was very NICE,
THE problem was……he was SOOOO Alone,
SO GOD made EVE from HIS rib bone,
THE couple Loved GOD and did obey,
THEY listened hard when HE had HIS say,
THE food in EDEN is good to eat,
EVERYTHING is ripe, fresh and sweet,
THE fruit from THAT tree shows GOOD and BAD
IF you eat THAT fruit, IT will make me MAD,
EVE went walking in THE GARDEN one day,
WHEN SATAN, The Serpent came and had HIS say,
THE fruit from THAT tree will make YOU wise,
TRY IT and share some, he did advise,
EVE and ADAM both ate the FRUIT,
THEN realised they were in their BIRTHDAY SUIT,
WHEN GOD called they were SOOOO ashamed,
EVE and The Serpent were BOTH blamed,
GOD was SAD and gave HIS command,
From this PARADISE you BOTH are banned.
THISTLES and WEEDS will grow from the EARTH,
EVE you will suffer, when you give BIRTH.
SNAKES and HUMANS will always FIGHT,
FEET will STAMP and FANGS will BITE,
ADAM and EVE were banished to their FATE,
GOD placed ANGELS to guard EDEN’S GATE,
NOT allowed to forget what they had DONE,
THE COUPLE worked HARD and HAD two SONS,
A FARMER called CAIN and HIS BROTHER ABEL,
BUT the LIVES of these TWO MEN is another SAD FABLE.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Does it diminish as the eye gets older?
Is it a catwalk model, size ten or sixteen?
Or a holiday-camp teenager crowned Pageant Queen?
A thoroughbred horse
Or a Kennel Club hound?
Beauty like our Faith
Is indeed all around
A faceted diamond
Or a late vintage wine
The food on a table
Set ready to dine
A clear coastal view
Or the prettiest flower
The image of beauty
Can change by the hour
A newborn baby
Or a bright blushing bride
Looked at by a husband
With love and such pride
A beauty spot here
Or a fine freckle there
The glint of an eye
Or the colour of hair
With clear skin or wrinkles
As a face gets older
Is in the eye of the beholder
Balti Belt n Braceys
Ladypool Road or Stoney Lane
No two Curries are the same
Sizzling Tandoori, Tikka too
Balti ‘Buckets’ or Vindaloo
Kashmiri Spices, Herbs and Veg
Chapatis, Roti or Naan Bread
Adil, Imran’s, where will you go…..?
It’s the ‘Taste of Birmingham’ you know
The Colourful Shops in vibrant Streets
Window displays of cut-up Sweets
Silky Saris, Shalwaar Kameez
Bags and Jewellery that will please
Wedding venues for Love’s Celebration
Attended by Guests from every Nation
For Flavours tasted and beautiful odours smelt
I’ve often visited Birmingham’s Balti Belt……..
For ‘Grand Designs’ or ‘The Motor Show’
Where in Birmingham does one go?
The NIA or NEC?
Look around: So much to see!
The Hippodrome for Pantomime
The Alex for Musicals with Song and Rhyme
Orchestral Music at Symphony Hall
Or a Play at The Rep, which is just next door!
For Concerts performed after dark
Visit St Andrew’s or Villa Park
Cultural Events at Aston’s ‘Drum’
Or Birmingham Royal Ballet for Dance and Fun
Art Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum
Join Long Queues to go and see ‘em
The Magnificent Organ in Hansom’s Town Hall
Played for the ‘Three Choirs Festival’
Venues to View, Places to Stay
Birmingham’s THE City to visit TODAY!
If you’ve never been to Birmingham then you ought ta……….
It’s a grand city made up of many a quarter………
There is jewellery to be sold, diamonds, platinum and gold
Boulton’s silver to assay, precious gems from far away.
Guns were made nearby, helping soldiers fight and die
In the English Civil War we made musket, cannon and ball
A more powerful Lewis gun helped the British beat the Hun.
Mr Webley made a revolver fired by many a pitiful soldier
On a lighter note in The Theatre Quarter
The stage is set for talented daughters
The Rep, the Alex and Hippodrome…..
Encourage performers to make Birmingham their own
Chaplin, Burton and Olivier
Travelled here to perform their plays
Musicals, ballets and pantomime
Ensure cultural visitors have a good time
The NEC and NIA have changed their names along the way
The Good Food Show, Crufts and fashion galore
Ensure our visitors come back for more
In the Symphony Hall there was often a battle
Between the CBSO and Sir Simon Rattle
The Chinese Quarter is colourful and bright
A fantastic place to go out at night
Stir-fried noodles, a tantalising odour
A grand Dragon Parade from Wing Yip’s Pagoda.
The Balti Belt, full of saris and spices
Tasty Asian food cooked with different rices
An area to visit to sample a curry,
At Adil’s or Imran’s there’s no need to hurry
Bring your own beer, share various starters
Poppadoms, Pakoras, Aloo with tomatoes
A ‘curry in a bucket’ naan size of a table
Mild, medium or hot, eat it all, if you’re able.
Our City has Cadbury, Jaguar Land Rover too,
Speedway, rugby, and cricket for you
A passion for sport, you can hear the roar
For a goal scored by Blues or Villa football.
Indoor and outdoor, The Bull Ring Markets
Sell everything from cheese to carpets
The Germans come at Christmas time
Bringing Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Gluhwein
Birmingham has ‘More Canals than Venice’
We also invented the game of lawn tennis.
The Botanical Gardens and Cannon Hill Park
Have flowers and lawns, hosting shows: ‘What a lark!’
An airport, coach and New Street Station
Make us the “Centre of our Nation”
To travel by car to any function
You may have to negotiate Spaghetti Junction!!!!!
The ‘Stroll from St Philip’s to St Paul’s’
Where Boulton and Watt occupied the pew stalls
Pugin’s St Chad’s, the Roman Catholic Cathedral
Anglican St Martin’s, on the steps to the bronze Bull
The Kennedy Memorial near Digbeth’s Custard Factory,
Healed the wounds of the Irish after the Birmingham atrocity
The Rotunda stood proud, tall and round
Blown to pieces with ‘The Tavern in the Town.’
The City recovered, no flags at half mast
Brummies look FORWARD, don’t dwell on the past
Our mixture of cultures live well together
Our heritage, our history will go on forever.
BIRMINGHAM: THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE
Southside Johnnies and Chinatown Jinks
Down ‘Olloway ‘Ed
To Wing Yip’s Pagoda
Leading the Way
To Chinatown’s lovely odour
A tasty meal cooked in a Wok
At Chung Ying Garden
We’re ‘Ready to Rock’!
Ming Moon Buffet
All you can eat
As you stroll down the Sidewalk
To Brummagem’s Beat!
The Fox, The Hip
The Back to Backs
All open their Doors to
Johnnies in Slacks
Southside’s Silver Rhino
Surveys…… all she can see
From the slate grey roofs above
The many Theatre-goers with Glee!
David Bintley’s Royal Ballet
Formerly Sadler’s Wells
Puts on ‘The Nutcracker’
For many well-heeled ‘Swells’
David’s ‘Glittering Show’
With lots of fake Snow!
The young Bucks from Elmhurst School for Dance
Apprentice lithe ‘Dancers’ preen and prance……..
The Hip’s huge Stage
The Largest in the Land
Welcomes the UK’s biggest Pantomime
And Plays, Musicals and Bands
That Adorn Chinatown
On ‘Golden Pond’
And Chicken Feet
Fed to me by Miss Chan
What a Fantastic Feat!
To attract the Chinese
To assemble MG’s
Premier Wen Jiao Bao
He came to Brum
In Twenty Eleven to visit the Chinamen
After MG Rover went ‘Belly-up’
In Twenty Oh Six…….
Mike Whitby and Dutton
This ‘Marvellous Man’
‘Mister #Birmingham Development’
SUCH a sad loss…….
As Clive Dutton reported to Mike Whitby: ‘The Boss’
They Launched Brum’s ‘Big City Plan’…..
In Shanghai…..near ‘The Bund’
Hoping to attract Chinese Yuan
To invest in England
To build MG’s in our land……once again!
To save the jobs of many a Brummie man
In October Twenty Fifteen……
Another Chinese Premier came……
Li Xing Ping was his name…….
This Time Georgie Osborne took ‘im oooooop North……
No visit to Longbridge……
This Time for ‘The Man’……
For Brum…..that wasn’t quite in ‘The Big City Plan’……..
I recall in Twenty Ten on Adrian Goldberg’s Radio WM Show…….
Talking with Paul Kehoe of BHX ‘Fame’ about……..
Birmingham’s ‘Twin City’ of Guangzhou……..
About ‘Marketing Birmingham’ to the Chinese……
Using ‘Dear Old Bill Shakespeare’ whom the Chinese love……
As they fly high into Brummagem
High ‘Up Above’…….
Using ‘Whitby’s new runway’…….
To come to the region……
The Chinese Love William Shakespeare…….
His Chinese fans are sooooo ‘Legion’……..
“The Greatest West Midlander”………
Has the ‘Power to Attract’…….
More Investment to ‘Brummagem’!
Paul Kehoe poo-pooed mine and Ducker’s idea……
But in Twenty Fourteen
It became CLEAR…….
A ‘No-Brainer’ for ‘BILL’ to Market Birmingham to the Chinese…….
More Money for Brum!!!!!!
DONE IT!…….With Ease…….
NI HAO from this Brummie…….
XIE…..XIE…..on our Lips
Welcomes Chinese to our supermarkets……..Wonderful WING YIPS!
This ‘Man of Fujian’
Came to Brum in The Fifties……
Made it His Home……..
Brum’s Chinese sooooo ‘Thrifty’……..
So it is ‘ZAIJIAN’ from me……..The New @BrummieBard…..
HEY……!!!!!!!…. Paul Kehoe…..IT wasn’t SOOOO hard…….
To Market ‘Dear Birmingham’……..
To The Chinese………
Using ‘Bill Shakespeare’……..
WHAT A MAN from these Shires…..!!!!!!!
The World’s GREATEST Playwright……..
A “MAN FOR ALL SEASONS”………
OUR “BIGGEST ATTRACTION”……
FOR SOOOOO MANY REASONS…..
As “Bill’s” Plays are about…….
Our Common Humanity……..
MACBETH’s ‘Vain Death’…….
And LEAR’s ‘Huge Vanity’……..
THE PLAYERS Do ‘Strut the World’s Stage’…….
In Stratford Town……….
Just Twenty – Five Miles……..
GOLDEN RINGS FROM THE JEWELLERY QUARTER
The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter
Is present in our Home
Enclosed in the Engagement Ring
I am pleased to call my own.
Twelve Diamonds round a Ruby,
Lovingly set in Gold
Handmade by Excellent Craftsmen
To wear till I grow old
Hannah Hill from Dodd & Co
Watched our Love flourish and grow
This Beautiful Ring she designed for us
For a Proposal made with minimal fuss,
Two Circles of Gold followed soon after
Made by her brilliant Jewellery Crafter
After 25 years of Married Life
These Rings bind us together as Man and Wife