Ten more Birmingham Poems

Birmingham Miscellany – 10 More Birmingham Poems






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…..

Did Volunteer…..

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…..


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…..


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…..







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,




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

Beauty indeed

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.








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’


Every Christmas……..


David’s ‘Glittering Show’


Adorns Chinatown


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’


Stir-Fried Noodles


And Chicken Feet


Fed to me by Miss Chan


What a Fantastic Feat!


To attract the Chinese


To assemble MG’s


At Longbridge


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’……..


This @BrummieBard……..


“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……..








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……..


From CHINATOWN……….!!!!!!!!!







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

1 thought on “Ten more Birmingham Poems

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s