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.
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
THE BATTLE OF BIRMINGHAM
Brum is Burning, Brum is Burning
Charles Prince Rupert
Throughout the Town
Throughout the Town
Brum was Roundhead
Not for Royalists….
Ride them down…..
Ride them down…..
Rupert killed them
Torched their houses
NOT the Crown
By Rupert’s Cavalry
Cut them down
Yet at Shireland
Was a Skirmish
Where Earl Denbigh
Met his end
Shot him down
Shot him down
Brum is Burning
Brum is Burning
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……..
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……..
PLAYED IN BIRMINGHAM
Blues, Bears, Barons
Villains, Wasps and Wolves
Harriers, Saddlers, Bullets
Baggies, Bees and Bulls
Four Football grounds to visit
Four home team strips to buy
Colourful scarves round cold necks
Or for Fans to hold up high
The oval ball pulls in the crowds at Moseley RFC
For mucky rucks and scrums so tough
Such spectacular tries to see
Their followers stand together
With drinks held in their hand
They roar and sing to urge their boys
Uniting Rugby in their stand
Against violence in the land
It’s cricket in the summer
To Edgbaston Fans will go
Watching men in white in a crease with bat
A five dayer seems oh……so slow
The Twenty Twenty is much more fun
The Ball flies everywhere
There are wickets, sixes and catches
As we cheer on Birmingham Bears
Birmingham has produced the Biggest Bands
With Fabulous Songs and Adoring Fans
Famous in Europe and the USA
Outstanding Music here to stay
Rock from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest
Was Heavy and Loud, to say the least
The Move had ‘Flowers in the Rain’
First Record on Radio One, they claim
Dexy’s sang: ‘Come on Eileen’
The Dance Floor Anthem for Love’s Young Dream
UB40 had a Kitchen with a Rat
While Sabbath’s Ozzy bit the Head off a Bat
The Dutchie was passed by Musical Youth
Duran Duran: ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’
Led Zeppelin climbed a ‘Stairway to Heaven’
The World’s Greatest Band in ‘77
Electric Lights inspired Jeff Lynne
Moody Blues dressed in White Satin
Would Christmas be the same without Wizzard and Slade?
Performing the Music Midlands’ Bands Made!
BIRMINGHAM: THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE
Back in Nineteen Seventy Six
When the Hot Sun baked the broiling Bricks
And Denis Howell MP for Small Heath
Was ‘Minister for Drought’ in the searing heat
He urged us all to bathe together
And not run round ‘Hell for Leather’
I went from Birmingham Grammar School Boy
To the University in Edgbaston with Unbridled Joy
This Bright but Callow Brummie Lad
Became a Birmingham Undergrad
Studying B.Com in the Muirhead Tower
Where The Paternoster Lifts ran Hour after Hour
Perpetual Motion taking ‘Tortured Souls’
To jump off this Brutalist Muirhead Coil
When Exams in Accounts became too much to Toil
Doctor Peter Cain my ancient Tutor
Urged this Fresh man to use the first Punch-Card Computer
This Student donned a Great Coat and Scarf
And would do anything for a ‘Belly Laugh’
Like Read the Communist Manifesto
At Peter Cain’s educated behest….Oh!
Marx and Engels to the Fore
As all us Students fought ‘The Class War’!
David Lodge’s ‘Nice Work’ if you can gerrit…..?
Made University Life seem so decrepit
To study Accounts was my Forte
Or so I often thought…..Eh….?
But when The Doubts began to creep in
And my ‘Number Blindness’ started to seep in
To my youthful callow consciousness
With such dire unfortunate consequences
My exam time worry started to show
And I was struck such a Mortal Blow
When I failed my Exams in Statistics and Maths
But Tutor Cain set me on a Different Path
To study Law and forget the Math
Peter told me I still had a Bright Future
No longer for me the Statistical Torture!
For this Rugby-Playing Muddied Oaf
On the Bournbrook pitches…. I used my Loaf
And played for the University First Fifteen
As an Eighteen Year Old Flyaway Flanker
I made my debut for my Alma Mater
Where my Rugby defined me as a Young Man
Without any sort of discernible plan
The First Fifteen I played in October ‘76
Before I even made my debut for The Old Dix!!!!!
Julia Honeychurch was my squeeze
Back in Strathcona we ‘Shot the Breeze’!
Mick’s Café’s Race and Carnival
Was what defined me as a pal
A ‘Belly-Buster Breakfast’ and a pint of Guinness
The aim not to throw up at the Breathless Finish
A Two Mile Run from the Student’s Union
Down to Heeley Road and a date with Oblivion
Where Bacon and Egg were downed with Glee
Before running back to ‘The Mermaid in The See’
That’s when it all went ‘Pete Tong’ for me
As I threw up and my Salad Days
Became Carrots and Peas
And I was in an Alcoholic Daze
While on my knees
All good fun to raise ‘Cash for Carnival’
I was no longer a ‘Freshman Virgin’ in High Hall….!!!!!
FOR REBECCA TERESA WOODLOCK
To Darling Dear Rebecca
A Poem just to say
That Santa won’t forget You
When He’s on His Merry Way
A Bright Light will be shining
To Light His Way Above
He will find you in The Stars
Surrounded by God’s Love
You changed my Life in Many Ways
Although our Time was Brief
From Autumn into Winter
I’ve struggled with my Grief
Now this Sad Year is Ending
A New One soon to Come
I know that you are Peaceful
My Duty has been Done
So ‘Merry Christmas’ to You
And a Happy New Year too
From All of Us at Hallfield
Who Are Deeply Missing You……..