Monday, 31 October 2011

Bearwood Shuffle: future line-up

If I got asked all of the bands I’ve seen recently who I would want to be on the line-up for the next Bearwood Shuffle it would definitely have to be Man Like Me.

We saw them on Friday and OMG they were good! Have a read of The Hearing Aid’s amazing review to see why. I haven’t boogied so much in a long long time!

You may recognise Man Like Me from the recent IKEA ‘You’ll always find me the kitchen at parties '. Watch out for Jona Lewie who wrote the song.

Unfortunately Man Like Me are based in Camden so it seems unlikely that they’ll be playing at the next Shuffle. Boo!

However, Bearwood Promoters are busy planning their next event and would love to know who would you like to see play. If you’re in a band or would like to see your favourite local band please email with the details.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bearwood Trades: Hang in One Interiors

Brendan, owner of Hang in One Interiors, has fitted curtains in dozens of homes in Bearwood and the surrounding areas.

He used to fit for Nightingales and Dee Muir Interiors. Both of these shops have since closed down and he no longer has shop front access for the people of Bearwood.

Hidden away in Barclay Road,where he has lived for 20 years, Brendan’s business has expanded since those early days. He provides a complete curtain and blind supply and fitting service including custom made curtains, blinds, roman blinds, tie backs, cushions, pelmets, alterations, upholstery and carpet supply and fitting and he often works throughout the UK working with Mitchells & Butlers Harvesters, Ember and Vintage Inns and Whitbread.

His real passion is working in homes and his unique rearrangement and redesign service working with customers to re – vamp their homes without the hassle and expense of purchasing new and expensive soft furnishings or furniture.

His wonderful design ideas are endless and he transforms living space to look new and refreshed using existing furniture and accessories and sourcing a few inexpensive fabrics extras.

Brendan is avid collector of weird and wonderful things and loves the challenge of searching for the hard to find particularly his special interest vintage interiors.

You can catch up with Brendan via Twitter, Facebook or his website.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Bearwood All-Star: Bearwood's Charity Shops

Yeah! It’s almost the weekend! This Saturday afternoon I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything so I’m going to be able to do one of my favourite things....have a good old rummage through all the charity shops in Bearwood.

I think there’s roughly 10 in total and they definitely all deserve to be a Bearwood All-Star. I can’t say I have a favourite as it changes all the time depending on how well my bargain hunting has gone. Whether it’s a summer dress for a couple of quid, a Harris tweed jacket for a fiver or a chick lit novel for £1 I never come home disappointed.

I have to be honest and say that’s it only been in the last couple of years that I have really discovered the joys of charity shops. Much more fun than high street shopping where the same clothes are on the rails all over the country, much cheaper than designer gear, more exciting as you never know what you’re going to find, much better for the environment – reduce, re-use, recycle and most importantly, your pennies are going towards a good cause.

I’ve always loved having a good old mooch around the vintage shops in town but it’s recently dawned on me that they get a lot of the stock from ....yes you’ve guessed it charity shops!

I know that some people think there’s too many charity shops on our High Street but I’d much rather see charity shops than empty units. What do you think? Do you love them or hate them? Please email us at as we would love to know.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Bearwood Mums: Meena and Angela

We’re Meena and Angela, two local bearwood mums, and we’ve been asked to do a blog following on from our involvement in the recent Bearwood Shuffle.

This is the first time either one of us has blogged so bear with (Miranda fans will get the joke!?!)

Well first off, a massive thanks is due to the organisers and volunteers of the Shuffle. It’s brilliant to know that local people are willing to go out of their way to set up a community event and what a brilliant day it was! We had a great time listening to the music (how good was the girl who sang with Mr Norton???) and meeting so many local friends whilst sitting at our craft stall.

Here’s a bit about us – we began crafting just over a year ago just as the monthly Bearwood Tapestry at the Bear Tavern began. (Another example of great community spirit set up by the local crafty mothers). We started with card making

and then started to get a bit more ambitious and have ventured into making sewn items such as cushions, keyrings, hair accessories and bags.

We really enjoy spending any spare minute crafting and taking part in craft fayres…we’re looking forward to the Tapestry Christmas Craft Fayre at St Mary’s Church Hall on 3rd December.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of our crafting…

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity Gig!

Fancy a good night out next Friday, 21st October?

Well, get yourselves down to O'Neill's on Broad Street (Birmingham) for a charity gig.

4 Flights Up are headlining with support from Boomshadow (if you saw them at Bearwood Shuffle#1 fingers crossed they'll wear fancy dress again!), Fang Rock and The Old 49ers.

The gig is to raise money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital and tickets are only £3.50 each - amazing value to see four great bands! Tickets are available through Richard Sanders (07831 421 241) to reserve for pick up on the night, or on the door if there are any left!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Bearwood All-Star: Mary Bodfish

Keith B would like to nominate Mary Bodfish as a Bearwood All-Star.

Mary has been an active local historian for many years with a keen interest in the history of Bearwood and Smethwick and is the chair of the Smethwick Local History Society.

As Keith puts it "Mary leads the way in trying to keep the history of Bearwood in the old county borough of Smethwick alive."

Keith has explained that Mary takes a real interest in local Bearwood issues and has been involved in discussions about the restoration of Lightwoods House in Lightwoods Park.

Who is your Bearwood All-Star? Which Bearwoodian makes you smile? Please email with the details and we would love to post it for you.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Dexys and Bearwood

Have a good listen to This Is What She’s Like by Dexy’s Midnight Runners (the talky bit at the beginning) and you’ll hear Kevin Rowland mention The Little Nibble which, if you remember, was a cafe on Bearwood High Street. It seems that the band used to love popping in there for a cup of tea.

Sadly The Little Nibble is now yet another greasy chicken joint, but Dexys’ links with Bearwood still remain strong as Pete Williams (Dexy’s original bassist and now in the reformed line up too) lives here. Local legend Colin Hall’s Rebel Soul collective regularly cover Dexy’s tunes too and, by a stroke of luck, they’re playing a gig at Thimblemill Recreation Club tomorrow night!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Bearwood All-Star: Unique Promotions

Keith B emailed welovebearwood to tell us that his Bearwood All-Stars are the husband and wife team (we would love to know their names!) who run Unique Promotions on Bearwood High Street.

Keith has been going to the jewellery and curio shop next to the Bear for over 15 years to get jewellery and watches repaired.

He told us that " they always have time for their customers and the advice they give is always knowledgable, fair and honest. The gentleman who runs the business always has time for elderly customers and makes a special effort to deal with them in a courteous and caring manner. In the past the proprietor has even delivered jewellery repairs to our home when we have not been able to get to the shop."

Please email us at and tell us which shop you think should be a Bearwood All-Star.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Bearwood All Star: Neelams Kebab House

There’s nothing better on a Friday night after a hard week at work than a Neelams Chicken Kebab and chips. It’s become such a large part of our weekend routine that we don’t even have to give our order when we get there – they just know!

Neelams Kebab House has been going for about 14 years now and I think we were one of their first customers. We’ve seen the place grow from a tiny corridor to enough room for tables and chairs and now there’s a family room upstairs.

Whether you’re after masala fish or vegetable pakora Neelams never seems to disappoint. You always know you’ll get friendly service, fresh ingredients and good value for money. I know I’m biased but Neelams Kebab House definitely serve the tastiest, fattest chicken kebabs in Bearwood.

If you disagree, please email and tell us which local takeaway is your Bearwood All-Star.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Why just throw a party.....when you can throw a Just Jewellery party?

In the words of Kath, the party hostess with the mostess, “Just Jewellery has been going for 6 years and people rebook with us on a regular basis. We do travel to do parties but most of them are local to Sandwell and Birmingham.”

Get 10 friends round to your house and Kath will do the rest. All the sales are on the night - so you don’t need to worry about ordering or collecting money after the party - and you can even earn commission to buy some of the jewellery yourself just by holding the event.

If you want more info please email and we’ll forward her contact details to you.