The Any Book Bookclub

Bearwood’s Any Book Book Club at Thimblemill Library on the second Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm

The Bearwood Blog

In January, the Any Book Bookclub will be meeting for the fourth time. We normally meet on the second Tuesdayof the month, at 7.30pmat Thimblemill library.As the name suggests, instead of having a single book that everyone reads and which is then discussed, I would like to invite you to come along and share one book you read recently that you really loved.There are no rules as to what that could be, any genre is allowed and indeed welcomed. So whether you like to curl up with some romance, the latest spy thriller, the most lauded award winning book, memoir, science fiction, fantasy…. it does not matter. Share it with us, you may hold to key to someone else’s next favourite read.

I truly believe that every book has its reader and I love hearing people talk about the books they love. There are no good and bad books, just…

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Top blogs of 2018

Heritage Calling top Blogs of 2018…….give them a read if you are interested in the heritage and history of this Great country……..#Heritage #History

The Historic England Blog

In case you missed them, here are our most-read blogs of 2018. Thanks for following, we’ll be back with more great reads in the new year.

Tell us in the comments section which subjects you’d like us to explore. 

1. 8 Ways Yorkshire has changed the world

Hint – it’s more than tea and puddings

George Street, Saltaire Titus Salt’s model village had an international influence on the development of town planning and as a result Saltaire was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. © Craig McHugh

2. 5 Things you didn’t know about prefabs 

These much-loved little homes have more to them than meets the eye

A Uni-seco prefab on the Excalibur Estate A Uni-seco prefab on the Excalibur Estate, 2003 – © Elisabeth Blanchet

3. 7 Reasons to love historic Norwich

It’s not all medieval

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk. © Historic England DP162463

4. 5 Unusual endings for London’s…

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Victorian postcards from the #LibraryofBirmingham’s archives and collections…….

The Iron Room

In Archives & Collections we hold several volumes of Victorian postcards. Some of the volumes are scrapbooks and include examples of Valentines and Easter greetings, plus general cuttings from printed material and magazines. A few of the volumes are dedicated to Christmas and New Year cards alone.

[Ref. A 741.68/674516] The cards shown here come from a volume of mainly Christmas and New Year cards collected by a Gertrude Tomkinson. The album they’re housed in was a gift to her from her parents in August 1883. Inside she assembled the cards she received over the next few years. Gertrude recorded who they were from, and seems to have given a lot of thought as to how to arrange them as they are often grouped either by card series or by subject. This series here show a comical conductor:

[Ref. A 741.68/674516] There are many cards in the volume which open…

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Heritage Lottery Fund update

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has for the third time failed in its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore Highbury Hall to its former glories in a celebration of Birmingham’s first and foremost political family the Chamberlain’s, Joseph and sons Austen and Neville…….keep on keeping on, we will succeed eventually in this #BidforBirmingham

Unfortunately, for the third time, our application for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has failed. On this occasion ours was one of 47 applications, of which only 7 were successful.The HLF had just £16 million to distribute amongst these applicants at its Board meeting in December; the sum of all the applications amounted to £123 million!

As Joseph Chamberlain himself said, “If we fail, let us try again and again until we succeed.”

The trustees are setting aside a day in January to consider a range of alternative options for taking the project forward.We’ll keep you updated….

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Home from the war: what happened to disabled First World War veterans

Home from the Great War……how disabled veterans of the Great War coped with their disability when they came home…..

The Historic England Blog

The terrible global human cost of the First World War was an estimated 9.5 million dead and 20 million injured.

In Britain alone, almost one million soldiers, sailors and airmen had been killed. Around two million came home with some level of disability: over 40,000 were amputees; some had facial disfigurement or had been blinded. Others suffered from deafness, tuberculosis or lung damage caused by poison gas. There were thousands of cases of shell shock from the horrors of warfare, diagnosed today as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Header image: A group of recovering disabled servicemen. © C.E. Morton 

A man sits on a hospital bed with his prostetic leg at his side Amputee with his prosthetic leg, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, London.  © Historic England Bedford Lemere Archive BL24278.

There was a national debate about how best to care for disabled veterans. The majority were young men who had their whole lives before them. To avoid a future of misery and hopelessness, and an enormous…

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Christabel Pankhurst and Smethwick

Suffragette leader Christabel Pankhurst and @SmethwickMuseum

The Iron Room

Less than a fortnight after the Armistice of the Great War, a Bill was rushed through Parliament which allowed women to stand for election to Parliament on equal terms with men, ‘ironically allowing those women aged between twenty-one and thirty years to stand for a parliament they could not elect’.[1] The previous year, after disbanding the Women’s Social & Political Union, Emmeline Pankhurst and her eldest daughter Christabel formed the Women’s Party. This new organisation represented their political views which now conflated the winning of the war with the women’s cause. Emmeline explained that women needed a party of their own because ‘men had grown so accustomed to managing the world in the past that it had become rather difficult for women in politics to hold their own if they were associated with men’.[2] Emmeline declined the chance to run for election in favour of her daughter and eventually it…

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RTM adds to report on plans for the Camp Hill rail line

#Birmingham’s Camp Hill rail line is to be reopened with new stations at Moseley, King’s Heath and Hazelwell……#BrumIsBrill

Our Birmingham

David Lowe draws attention to theRailway Technology Magazinewhich adds to the reportin the Birmingham Mailabout the plans to reopen the Camp Hill rail line from Birmingham city centre to Kings Norton to passenger services, discussed for decades. The line was last used by commuters in 1941 and the stations bulldozed. But the tracks remain in use by freight services.

As the Mail comments:

“Congestion from this part of the city into the city centre is one of the huge drawbacks for what are otherwise thriving areas – undoing the rail closures seven decades ago will be a huge step in tackling both congestion and the clean air challenge we all face.”

RTM explains that the key obstacle to a fully functioning passenger service is that New Street is already operating at full capacity. There is no room for extra trains.

Proposals in the Midlands Rail Hub…

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

90th Anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh the great Scottish artist, designer and architect……

The Iron Room

This blog is to remember the 90th anniversary of the death of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who died 10 December 1928.

There’s a wonderful illustrated letter [1] in Archives & Collections in the Gaskin collection, MS 2945, from Joseph Southall about a visit he and Arthur Gaskin made to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald in about 1905.

Dearies, [2] both of you

Tis so pleasant to get your letters in the morning & to hear that you feel better. Well I am having a busy time here but very interesting & of course it is flattering to hear that one is well thought of including you my dear — all this in fact we seem looked upon as one.

We went for a game this morning such pretty links I did not shine with borrowed clothes & club tho’ I put my man 5 down.

Well last night we…

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Emma Archer – Botanical Works

Emma Archer art exhibition at Lightwoods House in Bearwood……

The Bearwood Blog

Lightwoods HouseDecember 9th – 22nd
Artist Emma Archer left her native Birmingham nearly a decade ago to immerse herself in a new life in the Italian countryside. By that time she’d spent a decade on the front lines of the British art scene and was ready for something else entirely. Her lifelong passion for Italy led Emma and her partner to acquire a derelict farmhouse, which they lovingly and painstakingly restored using traditional methods and materials.
Emma took a break from her artwork to start a family and cultivate the land attached to the farm. Finally, Emma developed a beautiful studio overlooking her olive grove, where she returned to drawing and painting. It’s as idyllic as it sounds and the beauty of Emma’s surroundings inspired her new work. Gone are the urban cityscapes of her post art-school Birmingham days, replaced with the languid-cool, lazily-listless, vibrantly-vivid watercolours and acrylics of…

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