Go West! The Bearwood Question

The Bearwood Question is an idea I coined a while back when writing about local media policy – but bear with me it’s much more interesting than that! Bearwood is a lovely area of the West Midlands that I’ve lived

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Look, up, look East

We feel rather sorry for Solihull. It’s much maligned as a bastion of the middle class, of “small ‘c’” conservatism, and of big ‘C’ (and big ‘U’, ‘N’ etc, am I right, kids?) Conservatism too. But more than that we

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South, pacific

A place of civilisation needs symbols, it needs to have masculine and feminine sides, it needs to be fertile to reproduce. In ancient times the mother earth was worshiped for her bounty, but the patriarchy would fight to have the

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North by North West Midlands

History has a habit of repeating itself. Patterns and ideas recur throughout civilisation not as part of a linear progression, an evolution of thought, or postmodern callbacks and pastiche – time and time again we see freestanding memes experience convergent

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Nr. Birmingham

My wife’s great aunt* was born and raised in Sutton Coldfield. Growing up between the wars she and her siblings saw Sutton grow and change a great deal, eventually becoming officially part of Birmingham in the 1970s. The last letter

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Five things that I miss now that I don’t live in Birmingham

Two years ago this week we lost the vote (Birmingham lost if I may be so bold) on giving the city an elected mayor,  I got on a train to Bristol that night and haven’t really been back since for

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How Brummie are you? Quiz

There are physical limits on the city, but what are the limits to being counted as her son or daughter? Londoners negotiate their rights to belong through the soundscape of their districts: born within Bow Bell’s peel and you’re a

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City Limits

How do you find the edges of a city, the limits on its space and imagination? You could draw a map and give it borders, put one thing in, one thing out (and shake it all about). You could give

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