About keithbracey

Brummie poet, historian, writer and blogger AKA #BrummieBard Please read my Birmingham Blog from downtown Bearwood at https://keithbracey.wordpress.com Twitter: @1truclaretnblu and Facebook: Birmingham: The City of Enlightenment Villa and Bears fan and Moseman through and through although my fave AVIVA Premiership team is Wasps @Ricoh

Call for papers for Watt conference

The bicententenary of the death of Scottish engineering genius James Watt at his home Heathfield House in Handsworth is to be commemorated with a conference at the University of Birmingham in August 2019

James Watt

The University of Birmingham is hosting a three-day conference about inventor James Watt.

“Rethinking James Watt (1736-1819): Innovation, Culture and Legacy” will run from the evening of Friday, August 30 and conclude on Sunday, September 1.

It will start just a few days after the 200th anniversary of Watt’s death.

Full details, including conference fees, have still to be finalised. However, the University has now issued a “call for papers”, for speakers interested in taking part in the conference.

Download early conference information in Microsoft Word format here.

Dr Malcolm Dick from the University said: “This conference seeks to consider the diverse influences that shaped Watt’s experiences in Scotland and Birmingham. One underlying theme is to look at Watt the innovator in new ways and explore the idea of innovation at different times and in different localities – an issue that will be explored by a panel of historians and…

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Highbury features on BBC2’s Great British Railway Journeys!

The Chamberlain political dynasty of Highbury Hall Birmingham consisted of its scion Joseph Chamberlain a Liberal Colonial Secretary and his sons Sir Austen Chamberlain a Foreign Secretary whose work on the Locarno Pact of 1925 which paved the way for the League of Nations earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain whose Munich meeting with Adolf Hitler is most remembered as the precursor to the Second World War and who died a broken man in 1940 thereby ending Birmingham’s Chamberlain political dynasty

BCC budget cuts 2019: an important question – asked to great effect in 2011

Birmingham City Council cuts are a blight on this city and their handling of the bins dispute has been nothing short of shameful….and I sued to work for Birmingham City Council and was made redundant, like the other 20000 employees thanks to the council’s mismanagement of the City of Birmingham….the ‘Brummie Bard’ AKA Keith Bracey

Our Birmingham

Why aren’t we, the electorate, consulted about the whole Council Budget, not just the proposed cuts?


 A recent BATC article asked this question and continued:

“The Council’s Budget Consultation is not a consultation about the whole Budget, only about the Council’s planned cuts. On 19 December the Council held a public Budget Consultation meeting.  But it was a rigged consultation because we weren’t given the full Budget plans, only the proposals for the cuts that the Council leadership wants to make.

“The cuts the Council has decided on amount to £50 million this year. But the Council’s total Controllable Expenditure is £1.1billion. The planned savings amount to just 4.5% of the total Council Budget.

  • Where are the plans for the remaining 95.5%? There isn’t a word about them in the consultation document.
  • Why are they kept secret and not spelled out in the report?

“(Of course the Council will…

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Ones to watch in 2019

I like the look of Adam Stokes second Birmingham restaurant: The Oyster Bar on Temple Street, specialising in seafood…..what’s not to like…..Michelin stars and fish…….#BrumIsBrill

Midlands Gourmet Girl

Instead of my usual weekly round up of news, today I thought that I’d share with you a flurry of exciting new openings that I am looking forward to.

ones to watch in 2019

There is a restaurant on a country estate in Herefordshire, a seafood restaurant in Birmingham, a gin distillery in Warwickshire and hotel dining in Stratford upon Avon that I predict will be the restaurants to watch in 2019.

lee westcott chef pensons at netherwood estate

The Netherwood Estate on the Herefordshire / Worcestershire borders will be the picturesque setting of the new Pensons restaurant.  The countryside setting will give Head Chef Lee Wescott (formerly of The Typing Room in London) the opportunity to farm, forage and grow ingredients bringing to life his ethos of eating locally, seasonal and sustainably.  Pensons will be open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch from Thursday to Sunday from the 24th of January.

the oyster club birmingham

Over in Birmingham city centre, Michelin…

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New Year, new events

What’s on the #Birmingham and West Midlands culinary scene in early 2019

Midlands Gourmet Girl

January 2019

Happy New Year! If you head over to the Events page you will find my recommendations for what’s on in January and here are some highlights to whet your appetite:-

  • enjoy a wine tasting with Connolly’s Wine and a selection of tapas at The Hive’s new Saturday Sessions
  • tuck into a delicious Talton Mill home- reared pork and cider stew at their Pork & Cider Wasseil
  • the Dining for Sight supper club kicks off the New Year with an Asian inspired menu
  • celebrate the Californian wines of Orin Swift at the Hyatt Regency hotel
  • join a brigade of past and present Simpsons chefs for a special one-off dinner.
  • toast the haggis at Warwick Castle’s Burns’ Night supper and
  • step back in time for a Heritage Afternoon Tea, based on 18th century recipes, at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.

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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

Heritage Calling

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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