“Commonwealth People ” a poem for the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games


Birmingham poem for the recent Birmingham Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay inspired by Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey https://www.facebook.com/groups/471194117471294/permalink/571311560792882

This is a poem that I wrote in October after being inspired by Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey whose poem for the Queen’s Baton Relay celebration and party at Buckingham Palace I heard. 

Here goes:

Birmingham Games Baton Relay Poem entitled: “Commonwealth People” with apologies to the Great Jarvis Cocker & his 1990 hit: “Common People”

“Commonwealth People”

Commonwealth people come to Brum

To celebrate 🍾 youth with sport and fun

Brummies, Villains, Bluenose too….

Baggies and Saddlers, Yam Yams though The Black Country & BrummaGEM’s 

People are all United in their common ground

Wolves, Moors and Glassboys Pitmen rough 

This region’s appetite for sport has no end for you……

Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, 🏉 Bournville Rugby Club as well,

The coming Rugby Club at Avery Fields Sports & Events it’s said!!!!

Harborne Hockey 🏒, Bournville as well, Edgbaston’s

The place for many a well-$erved Ace….

With lawn tennis invented there in 1858……

Edgbaston’s 🐻 Bear’s T20 Cricket 🏏 for the England women….

Along with Archery 🏹 under the Cricket club’s lights….

My word what a great inspirational sight!!!!

The Cricket 🏏 is so very fair if you happen like me to be a 🐻 Warwickshire Bear!!!

Rugby 🏉 at Coventry where the Sky Blues played……

Now it’s Wasps with the Ovoid leather  Ball….

Coventry City were soooo dismayed!!!

No longer The Ricoh Football Stadium

It’s now the Coventry Building Society Arena

SISU Cov’s owners were issued with a slapped up Subpoena!

To the Courts it went as The Sky Blues fought ….

To stay at their home….or so they thought?

Wasps dug their well heeled Rugby players heels 👠 in…

After all they’d bought it….

It could easily end up in a messy Court bid!!!

So the Sky Blues went to St Andrews where they played two seasons

Without a home to play home games in….!!!!

Now Coventry City are looking to the University of Warwick

To build ’em a Super Soccer Stadium…..

That’s fit for a Wayward Wandering Prince!

That’s William whose the Aston Villa’s Kingpin!

Chair of the FA and Vital Villa Fan……

Historians Football Club ⚽️ do they cry from The Holte End?

As The Vile Fans all bow down with bended knee to Prince William….no ordinary Fan!

One day in the future he’ll be “King of this Island England”!!!

So Birmingham hosts the Polyglot Games…..

The Queen’s Baton Relay was such a great lark….!!!

Not merely just a “Walk in the Park”!!!

The Baton’s 🪰 flying here there and everywhere, not just in England and Brum….

But also to Cyprus and our Indian chums….Africa, 🇨🇦 Canada, Australia, the Caribbean too

The Baton’s travelling all over this Wanderful World…..

96000 miles it’s a great long run….

So I can’t wait for the Games next July & August 2021….

I hope to volunteer 🙋‍♂️ at The Aquatics Centre in Sandwell…

Let’s hope they finish it so Adam Peaty can Lord it over The Commonwealth’s swimmers….?

Not just Breaststroke but Medley Relays too!

And Dear Tommy Daley swims, dives and knits at the same time what a sport…!

So BrummaGEM’s Song has been a treemendously Long One!

We all us BrummaGEM’s get our Brummie Day in the Sun…..!!!

By hosting the Great Games ….oh what a lark….!!!!

Let’s hope that it’s not just a 50 kilometre walk in Sutton Park…???

Some serious Sport is what our Youth want….

So come to Brum and watch as all us BrummaGEM’s shine ….

Like the 💎 Gems in The Jewellery Quarter….oh what a place!!!

Where the Gold 🏅 Medals, rings, necklaces & bracelets are made….

And the Queen’s Baton too…96000 miles taken by a British Airways Crew to Cyprus the first point of frantic departure….

Why don’t we all just sit and relax & wait for next July & August…

When there’ll be lots of facts about #Brum: “More Canals than Venice!”….”More Trees 🌳 than Paris”….

Brum’s such a young City with sooo much talent to offer….

Can’t wait for The Birmingham Games to begin!

And see 👀 our great Diverse City of Birmingham prosper!!!!!


Queen’s Baton Relay celebration Poem by Birmingham Poet Keith Bracey AKA the Brummie Bard Birmingham and Black Country history writing poet journalist and broadcaster on Sports Radio Birmingham please read my Birmingham and Black Country writing at

https://keithbracey.wordpress.com Ends

Yours in Birmingham

Keith Bracey….Commonwealth Games Volunteer (hopefully 🙋‍♀️???)

Birmingham and Black Country poet AKA @BrummieBard

07552 758710
Email keithbracey1@gmail.com
Twitter @1truclaretnblu @brummiebard
Instagram @brummiebard

Please read my Birmingham and Black Country poetry history heritage and sports blog posts on my Bracey Blog at:


The Black History Collection  – Black and Asian Histories in printed resources

Birmingham as a Multicultural city is trying to make its history more inclusive and diverse by examining attitudes to slavery amongst those @Lunar Society men who created the Modern World with their Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The study day outlined in my previous post instigated by Legacy WM aims to redress the balance in favour of Black History related to slavery. The Black History Collection in Birmingham Archives is an important starting point in any reappraisal of Black History in Birmingham in Black History Month

The Iron Room

Front cover of the programme for Black History Month 2002

Black History Month is now an annual event marking and celebrating the achievements, contributions and challenges of Asian and Black people throughout history. It’s an opportunity to express the diversity, culture and heritage of Asian, Black and Caribbean diaspora communities in all areas of life – including the cultural, economic and political.

Black History Month in Britain is, of course, in October after the first celebration was held in October 1987 – the event in London was part of African Jubilee Year. Birmingham’s first Black History Month celebrations appear to have taken place in the late 1990s.

Whilst it’s important to continue to mark the month, it’s equally significant to look at the efforts made throughout the year as part of an ongoing effort to provide a platform for diversity and make Asian and Black history part of the mainstream…

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The Birmingham Lunar Society and attitudes to slavery in the eighteenth century – a more inclusive and engaging Birmingham history

What’s next after “Watt’s Next?”            October 2021

Notes on ways forward following the Watt’s Next event, delivered as part of Birmingham Heritage Week on Saturday 18th September 2021. The inspiration for the Watt’s Next study day was the work of Legacy West Midlands heritage walking tours, particularly ‘Roots, Rights and Resistance’, which examines more challenging aspects of Handsworth’s history. The work of the Black Heritage Walks Network has also been a key influence, which looks at celebrating influential black figures, and giving them rightful prominence during heritage walks. The work of BRIG (Birmingham Race Impact Group) has also been an important inspiration for the study day, and it is hoped that the session was the beginning of a broader conversation about Birmingham heritage. 

The study day looked at the links between the Lunar Society and slavery in the eighteenth century, but also discussed wider issues regarding how inclusive Birmingham’s heritage offer currently is, and the next steps in order to move forward in a positive way. 

Before the study day: a pre-planning meeting took place to examine key themes for the day. The meeting was attended by Dawn Carr, Marcia Dunkley, Raj Pal, Nathaniel Coleman and Malcolm Dick. Although Rachel Gartside from SAMPAD Arts was not able to attend, she submitted her some notes on the session, which informed the direction of the meeting. 

Points raised during the pre-planning meeting included:                                                                                    – The study day should not pre-empt any conclusions of the day, and the direction of the discussion should be dictated by participants.                                                                                       – The connection of some members of the Lunar Society with slavery should be set within the context of the eighteenth century.                                                                                                               – There should be acknowledgment of difficult aspects of Birmingham’s history, along with the amplification of migrants’ stories from across the world whose history has been marginalised up until now.                                                                                                                                                 – Removal of pieces of art from public display may be a possible consequence of an open discussion regarding Birmingham’s history                                                                                           – We should be careful that though these discussions, one particular narrow version of history does not replace another narrow version of history.                      

The structure of the study day: The study day’s structure looked at the past, present and future of Birmingham arts and heritage offer. The schedule of the day is included overleaf:                                                                                                                            

10.00 – 10.30: Refreshments                                                                                                                           10.30 – 10.45: Welcome, housekeeping, overview of day Dawn Carr                                                        10.45 – 11.30: Raj Pal overview of Birmingham’s history and links to slavery and empire            11.30 – 11.45: Break                                                                                                                                                   11.45 – 12.45: Lunar Links to slavery tour around Soho House Rachel West                                               12.45 – 13.15: Lunch                                                                                                                                                       13.15 – 13.45: Discussion                                                                                                                                       13.45 – 14.30: Marlene Smith                                                                                                                                  14.30 – 15.15: Don’t Settle- Amirah Harvey Head and Tia Horton                                                                 15.15 – 15.45: Discussion                                                                                                                                 15.45 – 16.00: Closing remarks

Following an introduction by Dawn Carr, a member of Black Heritage Walks Network, Raj Pal set the context for the study day, showing that developing a more nuanced understanding of Birmingham history does not diminish it, but rather enriches it, and makes it more inclusive and welcoming to all. Rachel West delivered a guided tour around Soho House which looked at different members of the Lunar Society, showing the wide range of attitudes to slavery which were included in the group. After lunch, Marlene Smith, the noted Birmingham artist, discussed her work and inspiration. The final part of the day included a discussion with Amirah Harvey Head and Tia Horton, which included their experiences of being taught history, and their experience of Birmingham’s cultural offer. 

What’s Next? Following a positive and constructive day, it was agreed that there was much more to do to achieve a more inclusive and open heritage offer in the city. All participants during the day agreed that they wished to be included in future planning to make this inclusive vision a reality. 

Short term: Pogus Caesar to deliver a further study day focussing on his photography (possible date 26th October)

Short term: Black Heritage Walks Network to deliver a programme of Roots, Rights and Resistance walks, also to receive training to deliver the Lunar Links walking tour

Short term: Black Heritage Walks Network to deliver a Gun Quarter walk for Raj Pal and any other interested participants

Short/Medium term: Black Heritage Walks Network to set date for consultation on the Underground Railroad project. Possibly to be delivered at Soho House. 

Short / Medium term: Marlene Smith to liaise with Black Heritage Walks Network regarding a further project

Medium/Long term: Modern day Lunar Society and Legacy WM/Black Heritage Walks Network to liaise regarding a Commonwealth Games project. 

@BrummieBard is my alterego as a Birmingham & BlackCountry poet @1truclaretnblu AKA Keith Bracey p

Please read my Birmingham and Black Country poetry history heritage and sports blog posts on my Bracey Blog at: https://keithbracey.wordpress.com

We’re 10 years old!

I was at the #IronRoom on Saturday researching into the #History of Bournville RFC and had a great time going through the catalogue online and the many local History books on Bournville on the shelves…..I can thoroughly recommend a visit by any budding #Birmingham #Historians like me @BrummieBard….Many thanks to Eleanor for her help in navigating everything so easily Keith Bracey AKA Birmingham and Black Country poet writer historian journalist and broadcaster on Sports Radio Birmingham Please read my Birmingham and Black Country history heritage and sports blog posts on my Bracey Blog at


The Iron Room

Here at the Iron Room, we’re proud to be celebrating our 10th birthday!

The Iron Room blog was launched in October 2011 and over the years, we’ve covered a lot of topics reflecting the changing times in the world of Archives & Collections.

The first blogs that we posted covered topics such as Preparing to Move – the countdown had begun for moving to the Library of Birmingham and collections were being prepped ready to go. We also published an article on the Birmingham Pageant, including what may well be my favourite photo from the ones we’ve published!

An image of the man made dinosaur, Egbert
Misc Photographs-Pageant of Birmingham

In 2012 we set up a schedule for blog posts and highlights of that year include promos for Our Next Lunchtime Lecture, the series of talks that we used to offer in the old library theatre. The Iron Room gave us the opportunity to showcase our outreach…

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Brummagem Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

#BrummaGEM Song 10 #Birmingham and #Black Country #Poems


My latest Brumthology of #Poems including my first @BrummieBard #poem #BrummaGEM Song and 10 further #Birmingham and @keithbracey @blackcountry inspired #Poems including: #BaltiBeltnBracers #PlayedinBirmingham #GoldenRingsfromtheJewelleryQuarter and #TheBattleofBirmingham about the time #Birmingham town was 🔥 burnt to the ground by Prince Ruperts marauding #,Royalist #Cavalry in 1643 when Earl Denbigh a Royalist Commander was shot and […]

Brummagem Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

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Brummagem Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

My latest Brumthology of #Poems including my first @BrummieBard #poem #BrummaGEM Song and 10 further #Birmingham and @keithbracey @blackcountry inspired #Poems including: #BaltiBeltnBracers #PlayedinBirmingham #GoldenRingsfromtheJewelleryQuarter and #TheBattleofBirmingham about the time #Birmingham town was 🔥 burnt to the ground by Prince Ruperts marauding #,Royalist #Cavalry in 1643 when Earl Denbigh a Royalist Commander was shot and […]

Brummagem Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

Brummagem Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

My latest Brumthology of #Poems including my first @BrummieBard #poem #BrummaGEM Song and 10 further #Birmingham and @keithbracey @blackcountry inspired #Poems including: #BaltiBeltnBracers #PlayedinBirmingham #GoldenRingsfromtheJewelleryQuarter and #TheBattleofBirmingham about the time #Birmingham town was 🔥 burnt to the ground by Prince Ruperts marauding #,Royalist #Cavalry in 1643 when Earl Denbigh a Royalist Commander was shot and killed by #Parliamentarian forces in the Shireland Skirmish in Smethwick as the murderous Royalist forces fled to The Commandery at Worcester a #Royalist stronghold and City for King Charles I. My final poem of the one’s I want to showcase is “Birmingham:The University of Life about my #Fresher year at Birmingham University in 1976……#Enjoy #Poetry for what it is and for #NationalPoetryDay yesterday……I must admit that I was inspired to get MY BIRMINGHAM INSPIRED POETRY out there by @MrCaseyBailey Birmingham Poet Laureate whose #Poem yesterday for the Launch of the #QueensBatonRelay for #Birmingham #Commonwealth Games 2021 was #TRULYINSPIRATIIONAL @1truclaretnblu AKA Keith Bracey AKA the @BrummieBard #Birmingham and #BlackCountry #poet

Soho House Library Loan Book

I am fascinated by the #LunarMen these Friends that made the Future and created the Modern World with their Industrial Revolution based on steam power with Boulton and Watt’s steam engines made at the Soho Foundry in Smethwick just to the west of Birmingham…….these #NaturalPhilosophers shared ideas with one another including a #Library of #Books to be found @SohoHouseMuseum https://keithbracey.wordpress.com

The Iron Room

As Libraries Week 2021 is 4-10 October, it seemed fitting to celebrate the library at Soho House by taking a look at the Soho House Library Loan Book, purchased by Archives and Collections in 2009.

Soho House was the home of Matthew Boulton (1728 -1809), businessman, manufacturer of fashionable metal goods and partner of James Watt in the commercial development of the steam engine. After his death, the house was occupied by his son Matthew Robinson Boulton (1770-1842), until 1815-1816, when he bought an estate at Great Tew in Oxfordshire. In 1817 he married Mary Anne Wilkinson (1795-1829) and their son Matthew Piers Watt Boulton (1820-1894) also lived at Soho House until he sold it in 1850.

Soho House Library Loan Book [MS 3782/21/27]

The volume is a list of books borrowed from the library at Soho by family and friends of the Boulton’s from 1814 to 1845. It…

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