Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Bearwood's Need For Beads

It was really exciting when Bead Savvy opened in Bearwood’s Indoor Market earlier this month, so many gorgeous things to buy.

Realising the true extent of our need for beads Bearwood Savvy now have an online store and they are going to be holding workshops in November too. Perfect timing for Christmas.

Welovebearwood dragged Stefan away from making wire rings to find out more......
"The Bead Savvy website is now online selling almost every bead and accessory that we offer in the shop. That's over 1500 different beads, charms, findings, accessories and assorted chains, cords and threads. 

We offer just about everything that the beader needs, and if there's anything that we don't have, we'll be only too happy to obtain it for you. The website reflects the stock in the shop, so if it's on the website we have it available!

In addition to posting out orders, there's the great store pickup service for all local beaders. This allows you to browse and place an order online, and then everything is packaged up ready for you to collect a couple of hours later. You can choose to pay securely through paypal when you place the order or pay cash on collection. It's a great time saver and saves on postage too!
For more details please just click on this link.

We have also scheduled our initial selection of Workshops for November. These run in the evenings from 7:30pm lasting about an hour and a half. They are fun and informal and are held in a private room just a couple of minutes walk away from the shop.

The workshops range from introductory courses for complete beginners, through to intermediate and advanced techniques covering more specific subjects and types of jewellery.

All courses are priced at £10 and you get to take what you make home with you so it's a great way of producing some Christmas presents with the personal touch. There are limited places for each so book early using this link!

We are holding a competition to win a £10 voucher to spend on absolutely anything in the Bead Savvy Shop or online store, including the Workshops, so why not give it a go?  Here's the link fellow beadsters!"
Website: Bead Savvy
Facebook: Bead Savvy
Twitter: Bead Savvy

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Don't happy!

Is work making you stressed?  Do you want to fit into your favourite little black dress for your work Christmas do?  Are your kids nagging at you to give up smoking? 

Well.....welovebearwood hopefully have the answer you're looking for!   

Philippa Carr, trained hypnotherapist from Violet Hypnotherapy, contacted welovebearwood with how she can help.

You are feeling very sleepy… Perhaps you have wondered what it would be like to be hypnotised and would like to try it for yourself.

Starting from Monday 12th November, group hypnotherapy sessions by Philippa Carr from Violet Hypnotherapy will be available at the function room in The Bear Tavern.

The sessions will focus on general relaxation beginning at 7pm and weight management at 8pm. The group hypnotherapy sessions will then run on a fortnightly basis.

Philippa Carr said, “Hypnotherapy is currently experiencing a resurgence in its popularity. Despite popular perceptions, there will be no pocket watches or Derren Brown style stunts involved. You are in control of yourself at all times.

The general relaxation sessions provide you with some time to slow down and focus on you. This session provides an introduction to hypnotherapy and can be useful if you need to lower your stress levels.

Weight management is targeted at finding a balanced approach to your eating habits and fitness. There are no diets and you get the support of a group. They can help you to increase your motivation and body confidence over a long term period”.

Philippa Carr from Violet Hypnotherapy is a qualified Hypnotherapist and member of The General Hypnotherapy Register. She is experienced at facilitating group sessions in the community from her previous experience working for community based third sector organisations.

The sessions are operating on a drop- in basis and no bookings are required. Sessions take place for up to one hour and cost £5 per session. For more information, please contact Philippa Carr at Violet Hypnotherapy on 0121 532 1352 or

Monday, 29 October 2012

Shed Heaven!

With Birmingham’s German Christmas Market opening in just over a fortnight’s time (seriously...where does the time go!) and Bearwood On Ice confirmed to take place this year in Lightwoods Park, welovebearwood have to give a big thumbs up and a Bearwood All-Star to Rutland Sheds!
From the small but perfectly formed shed in our back garden to the hundreds of cosy log cabins you'll see in town and in Bearwood for the Christmas festivities, we’re really proud that they’re all made by a business based on Sandon Road.
This year we’ll definitely be raising our pint (or two – hic!) of mulled wine to Rutland Sheds – shed heaven!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Smethwick At War

Here's a must on welovebearwood's calendar of events for next month.

Smethwick Heritage Centre's Smethwick At War Roadshow is coming to St Mary’s Church on 10th November. You'll be able to find out more about what life was like living in Bearwood during World War II.

Chris Sutton’s book, “From Smethwick to St Nazaire – the Life of Bill Savage VC" will also be launched at the roadshow. Bill Savage originated from Smethwick and was awarded the Victoria Cross, for his gallantry during World War II.

The Mayor will be opening the Roadshow with a memorial service organised by the British Legion.


If you're feeling brave and like things that go bump in the night get yourselves down Warley Woods this Hallowe'en.

Viv Cole, Warley Woods Trust Manager, explained to welovebearwood that "our Hallowe’en event this year is a spooky trail through the Woods (if you dare!). It will take place on Wednesday October 31st. Come along any time between 6 pm and 7.30 pm and start the trail. PLEASE BRING TORCHES. Do come in fancy dress if you want, as it all adds to the atmosphere. Drinks will be available in the Pavilion afterwards. Cost is £1.50 per person (child/adult)."

Thursday, 25 October 2012

'Remember's nearly Movember'

If you’re a regular reader of welovebearwood you’ll know that we’re very partial to facial hair (handlebar moustaches, big beards, muttonchop sideburns, whiskers etc etc.. you name it.....we love it!).

We would love for the menfolk in Bearwood to take up the Movember challenge. That’s when for the month of November, men, both young (not too young.....mind!) and old, start sprouting moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

We think men look more diginified with moustaches, giving them more character to their faces and helping them to find their inner chap.

If you are or you know someone who’s going to register for Movember we want to hear from you.

Please send us your clean shaven photos before 1st November and then your moustached photo when you look like a proper gentleman at the end of the month.

If you're interested but not sure where to start here's the link for Movember or if you're already registered please send your photos to

We can't wait to hear from you!

Website: Movember

Facebook: Movember

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

We love Webbs!

Welovebearwood and Webb's of Bearwood have joined forces to give you a Christmas Shopping Bearwood All-Star Bonzana Deal! We don’t think anyone in Bearwood should miss out on this one.

If you pop into Webb's on Three Shires Oak Road on Saturday 17th November and say......wait for it...."We love Webb's Winter Wonderland " you'll get a 10% discount off everything you buy. Yep, that’s right...10% discount off EVERYTHING!

WOW! Easy peasy. Make sure you get down there early on 17th November to avoid all the queues. Who needs the nightmare of Christmas shopping in town, anyway!

We think the photos tell you why this is one shopping trip not to miss!  Our favourites are definitely the Christmas Gingerbreadmen decorations

Website: Webb's Walled Garden

Facebook: Webb's Walled Garden Gift Shop


Friday, 19 October 2012

Does Your Guitar Gently Weep?


Guitar Man has to be welovebearwood's favourite Elvis song! Pure Presley! He was so damn sexy especially when he did his '68 Comeback Special!

Unfortunately the welovebearwood team don't have a musical bone between us but if there's an instrument we'd want to master it would have to be the guitar.

Thank goodness for Thimblemill Library then!  Make It Click Music are bringing their group acoustic lessons aimed at players who already have a guitar which is maybe getting lonesome tonight (see what we did there...clever, eh?) in the cupboard, under the bed or maybe even hidden away in the wardrobe (it wouldn't fit in ours...far too many clothes!)

Make It Click's tuition is very user friendly and they're always very professional and patient. As they see it "no two students are alike and want to help you fulfil your dreams!"

The classes will be running are from 30th October - 13th December between 1-2pm. It only costs £10 for a single session and you can make block bookings too.

Now how cool would it be to play in front of the family this Christmas time!

For more details, please visit the Make It Click website - right here folks!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Be Bear or Be Square

Welovebearwood have noticed over the last few months that The Bear Tavern on Bearwood High Street seems to be getting busier and busier.  Since its recent facelift the pub is proving to be even more popular and the function room upstairs is regularly used for different functions.  The Club Mojo nights sound mod-tastic.

Victoria Carr who plays a big part running the Tavern told us what she thinks of The Bear.

"I find that the pub can be a very varied place so we are able to offer a little bit of everything to everyone!

We serve breakfast and Costa coffee, so mornings and day times are great for families, friends having a catch up, or anyone looking for a chat really.

Lunch times are often busy as lots of people come to use our free wi-fi facilities.

On Thursday night we have 'curry-oke' which as it sounds is a curry night and karaoke combined, Fridays and Saturdays, we have a DJ and also over the weekend we show football matches or any other sport that's requested!

On Tuesday we  launched our new menu, which has offers on food everyday of the week as well as drinks offers. We serve cask ale and have something new to try every week, as well as a good selection of wine and cocktails.

Upstairs the function room is always busy it's often used by community groups in the week, except on Wednesday when we have Zumba(7pm), Tango(8pm) and Salsa (9pm) and on weekend is often booked for various occasions including a monthly Mojo night with 60's and 70's original vinyl being played.

Its available to hire for private or public use and has hosted everything from craft fairs to all day gigs, we can offer catering for parties and will always offer the room free for charity events.

The best way to find out what’s coming up is to check out our notice board or on facebook."

Facebook: The Bear Tavern Official Facebook Page
Website: Club Mojo

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bearwood's Community Cafe Progress Report!

Following our posting last week about Bearwood Chapel's Community Cafe project we just knew we had to find out more. 

Fortunately, Dave from Bearwood Chapel pointed us in the right direction and we were able to get in contact with Bearwood resident and architect Bob Sharples for an update on the High Street Presence Project.

Bob was involved in Thimblemill Library extension and the two recent extensions at Bearwood School, he has been the spokesperson for Sandwell Library Users and has been on the front page of the Guardian Education Supplement.

This is what Bob told welovebearwood....

"The concept came about about 18 years ago when I ran an architectural workshop on how to improve the chapel and its impact on the locality.

The opportunity to acquire the building at the top of the drive came up earlier this year. I carried out an initial survey followed by a full dilapidation survey. When the all the facts were known around the technical bits - what are our chances for planning, what are building regulation issues and are there any party wall issues, I was instructed to carry out a drawing survey and come up with solutions.

The building is a wreck and is small. To demolish and rebuild was not economically viable. The solution was to make it work for say 10 -20 years by creating an extension for a kitchen and disabled WC and open up the inside and outside."

So are there any issues which may affect your progress?

"There is insufficient power in the building; the heating system leaked causing raising damp in a couple of areas; the artificial timber floor was warped and dangerous, when it was lifted, there was evidence of dry rot; Once of the cellars had been filled in and there other suffers from ground water. And the list could go on."

Have you found any original features?

"We found an original tile floor on 1/3 of the shop and there are a couple of original cast iron columns. I am intending we restore these.

Upstairs there was some original stain glass windows from the original chapel which we will remove and restore."

Wow!  They sound beautiful.  Are you going to involve any local artists in the project?

"The flak wall facing down Bearwood Road to Smethwick is blank and unattractive - we are planning to open it up be inserting a new shop front which will open up during the one or two days of sunshine and allow the cafe to spill out on our drive. One of the mums whose daughter comes to the chapel and the mum is an artist comes has designed a mural for this wall which we are considering."

So what happens next?

"At present we are carrying out the internal demolition with volunteers and preparing the site for construction.

The construction will be in two or three phases, with the first phase will be sorting the roof out, followed by the initial work tot he inside of the shop unit.

The extension at the back will then be built, followed by the new side shop front.

It is expected that this work will be carried out by two different contractors, a specialist shop fitter for the front of the building and a general contractor for the rest of the work.

The work upstairs to the flat will be carried out by volunteers under supervision. We are fortunate that we have a lot of qualified people internally in the chapel.

We will be going out to tender for the roof in the next few weeks."

What would you like to see the Community Cafe used for?

"The cafe will be used on a wide range for activities including having a good cuppy!

Advice is need on financial matters for those feeling the pinch - we are hoping to get people trained to deliver this - we are involved as a church withe Smethwick food bank.

I did work with planning aid before the government screwed it over (This my own personal view). There is a real need to help people understand the planning process and I can see this sort of advice being very useful.

We also have some trained counsellors as chapel members who may also get involved.

Our strapline is seeking to share the love of Jesus. We want to do this in away that makes a difference to our local community, if that means providing a good cup of coffee to advising on how to submit a planning application, or how to make the money stretch we will do it if we can. But we will always always pray for and with people if they want it."

Bearwood Promoters AGM

One for the diary....fellow music lovers.......Bearwood Promoters are having their AGM next week.

Bearwood Promoters are the lovely team behind the Bearwood Shuffles which have taken place at Lightwoods Park Bandstand and St Mary's Church Hall.

Everybody's welcome so please come along to The Bear Tavern (Bearwood High Street) on Tuesday 23 October.  The meeting starts at 8pm.

P.S. Here's their promo film for the last Bearwood Shuffle. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Silvershine Jazz Club


When Andy Hamilton sadly passed away this year and there were mentions of the arts cuts affecting Bearwood Jazz, welovebearwood were really concerned about the future of the jazz scene in Bearwood. 

But no....we needn't have worried because on Sunday morning an email popped up in the welovebearwood google mail from Paul and Kim Foad to say that jazz was back in Bearwood to stay.

"The late Andy Hamilton's regular Thursday evening jazz nights at the Corks Club in Bearwood is now up and running. As a tribute to Andy, the Bearwood Jazz club is going to be renamed after his first album, Silvershine.

Andy Hamilton

There will be an official launch of the Silvershine Jazz club on the 20th December, but in the mean time, we've got a programme of excellent local jazz artists, who have all been associated with Andy over the years. As part of Andy's legacy towards educating young musicians, we also intend to have regular jam sessions for anyone who would like an opportunity in playing in front of an audience."

The first Silvershine Jazz Club jam session is this week so to kick it off style why not bring your instrument and show off your talents down at Corks (558 Bearwood Road ) on Thursday night (18 October).  Everybody's welcome.

Paul and Kim also mentioned that "One not to miss on the 25th October is Graeme Hamilton, one of Andy Hamilton's sons, and a superb trumpeter, who has played with some of the world's top pop and jazz musician. Graeme Hamilton will be playing with a special guest band."

Graeme Hamilton playing his trumpet with Fine Young Cannibals

Here's the list of The Silvershine Jazz Club's future gigs:

18 Oct – Jam night with The Blue Notes

25 Oct – Graeme Hamilton with a special guest band

1 Nov – Henry Newman Band

8 Nov – The Blue Notes

15th Nov – Fred Webb Quartet

22 Nov – Out Of The Blue Jazz Orchestra

29 Nov – David Lloyd Henry & The Flat 5 Band

6th Dec – The Blue Notes

13th Dec - Definition Of Magic

20th Dec – The Blue Notes (Christmas Party / official relaunch)

Monday, 15 October 2012

There's no taste like home...

Back in the summer (although we're not sure if we had one of those this year - boo! hiss!) welovebearwood received a lovely email from David Lewis saying that he had just moved to Bearwood and started a new catering business, Home to Home Cooking.

David caught up with us to let us know how he was settling in and to tell us how things are going.

  "The home cooking side is starting to pick up with pace, with my Moroccan Lamb proving very popular. " 

"The Sunday Brunch at the Food Emporio is very weather dependent but on the sunnier days, we sell out and at £2 a brunch, you can see why."   

My artisan bread making and my home made chocolates are becoming much sort after, with the orders for Christmas starting to come in."

"I have put in a bid for a cafe/bistro with a difference at Lightwoods Park where two days a week, I would dedicate to free cooking lessons for low income families with any produce they make that day, being on offer in the Bistro those nights, maybe have them as a Senior Citizens night and all the profit, the families keep. I would also look to employ between 4-6 apprentices/waiting staff from the unemployed in the area."

"Fingers crossed & let's make this a Better Bearwood. "

P.S.  Talking about foodie heaven.....have you entered our Win Tickets to the BBC Winter Good Food Show  Competition yet?  There are only 14 days left to go until we pull the winning tickets out of our magic colander so make sure you get your answer in quick.  Here's the link to enter!

Meet The Dalek!

Next week it's half term week (it will be Christmas before we know it - yikes!). Please don't worry about how to keep your kids amused though...get them to pop down to Thimblemill. Our favourite library has the answer! 

Music workshops, games sessions, talent competition, crafts session AND you can meet one of the Daleks too! Can welovebearwood come too please?

For more details please visit Thimblemill Library's website - here's the link!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bearwood’s The Ritas in Oxjam Takeover

Tomorrow Oxjam’s taking over Birmingham! 12 hours of live music, djs, spoken word, art, comedy in over 7 venues!

It’s going to be exhausting but well worth it as all the money raised goes to Oxfam.

Welovebearwood are really excited too because one of our favourites The Ritas are going to be djing at the Island Bar (Suffolk Street Queensway). 

Their set’s from 9pm – 11pm so don’t miss it!

For more info, please check out the Oxjam website – here’s the link and The Ritas Facebook page - right here!

Website: Oxjam
Facebook: Oxjam Brum Takeover
Website: The Ritas
Facebook: The Ritas
Website: Island Bar

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bearwood's Bead Savvy!

Welovebearwood are big fans of Bead Savvy's Facebook page and we're really excited that they're going to be opening their shop in Bearwood's Indoor Market.
Their first day of trading is this Saturday so please make sure you pop along, there's going to be so many pretty beads and crafty goodies that you will be spoiled for choice.
If you want to see more of the gorgeous things you'll be able to buy, please visit their Facebook page. Here's the link for their grand opening too!

Facebook: Bead Savvy

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Come Along....Drop In.....Speak Out!

For a while now there’s been talk on the Bearwood grapevine that Bearwood Chapel's going to be opening a community cafe.

We decided to look on the Chapel’s website and get in contact with Dave from Bearwood Chapel to get the latest update.

Planning permission’s been granted (well done – one of the main struggles overcome!) so 445 Bearwood Road (it’s that building at the top of the chapel drive) is on its way to becoming a coffee shop and community advice centre. What a brillant idea, a community drop-in centre is somewhere Bearwoodians are always going to need.

Dave told welovebearwood that “the aim is to turn the ground floor into a community cafĂ© which would include internet access facilities -including links to be able to order Christian books and resources. We would also provide advice. That would be partly through having volunteers able to give basic advice and provide contacts for specialised advice where necessary or to refer people to myself or trained counsellors within the church. We'd also aim to have pop up surgeries for specific advice where specialists would come in and be available on a range of issues. The aim is both to provide something for the community (there's been much talk about the need for a "hub" and perhaps this will help) and also much needed additional facilities for the church. We would like it to be a place where people can come to relax, to get help where needed and also to find out about Christian faith.”

You can get regular updates by keeping an eye on the Bearwood Chapel’s website and their Twitter page.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Photo courtesy of Birmingham Mail 02.10.12

Welovebearwood popped into town on Saturday afternoon to do some window shopping (like you do!) to find that our favourite Floozie in the Jacuzzi know the one in Victoria Square....was wearing a bright pink bra. BRA-VO!

We came back with all our bargains (including loads of amazing meal deals from Chilli Billys – thanks for the tip Stevie Maiden and Keith Bracey!) and put our Google hats on to see if we could find out some more details.

The pink bra was made in 3 days (wow!) by Leigh Pipkin from Bearwood (go girl!) and it’s to mark the launch of a £1 million Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer campaign to buy a mammogram trailer, which is vital for the early detection of breast cancer.

If you would like to find out more about this very worthy cause please click on this link and if you know Leigh please ask her to get in contact with welovebearwood. We would love to know more about the pink bra.  Our email address is

Website: Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer

Friday, 5 October 2012

Bearwood’s Boogie Dave Says Bye To His Beard!

The welovebearwood team have got a big thing for facial hair. We love the Baron’s gentlemanly handlebar moustache (we’re not biased of course – hee! hee!), Jake Redfern’s fine whiskers and Boogie Dave’s mammoth beard so when we heard that Boogie Dave was going to shave off his beard we know that we just had to find out more.

Boogie Dave explained that the beard dates back to the start of 2012....”So I started growing this beardy thing on New Year's Day, just to see how long I could do it for more than anything else. But as 2012 has progressed I have had more and more comments about it....the latest being "Are you a Jew?" :O) I've been asked if I have converted to Islam, am I an extremist, am I a I mad???? But none of the above apply, I just wanted to test myself.”

So when are you going to be shaving it off we cried!

“On New Year's Eve I will finally be shaving the hairy bugger off. I thought it would be a grand opportunity to raise some much needed money for a charity and have decided on Acorns Children's Hospice Trust."

"As many of you know, I have a large clan of my own with Boogie Baby Number 6 arriving sometime in November. My heart goes out to all those children and families that find themselves requiring the assistance of Acorns Children's Hospice, what Acorns provide is immeasurable. So let's help out in some small way.”

Welovebearwood would love everyone in Bearwood to get behind Boogie Dave shaving off his beloved beard for such a worthy cause.

You can do this by donating whatever you can through his JustGiving page – here’s the link. All the donation collected will be counted on New Year's Eve and Boogie Dave has promised to tell us how much raises.

Facebook Page:  Just Giving Boogie Dave

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

World Wide Webb's!

Exciting news! Webb's of Bearwood has gone national! Not only has the shop been in Bearwood for over 90 years but now you can buy their lovely things from as far and wide as Bognor Regis to Bangor to Blackpool courtesy of their wonderful new website.

Samantha Davis who runs Webb's Gift Shop told welovebearwood all about it.

"Well...I've launched our online store!" "It's all up and running...important features include a 'collect in store' option, which would hopefully be of interest to locals who wouldn't necessarily need items delivered (£3.95 UK wide)." (Collect in store - what a brilliant idea!) "Adding a Christmas section this week and much more!!"

Webb's have always look after us so well at Christmas. Their stall at last year's Bearwood On Ice in Lightwoods Park was full of so many gorgeous Christmas goodies.

Get yourselves down to Webb's for their late night Christmas opening every Thursday & Friday night throughout December, 6th & 7th, 13th & 14th and 20th & 21st, when the shop will stay open until 8pm and there will be free (yes free!) mulled wine and mince pies for customers.

We reckon everyone should join their Facebook page too. Samantha mentioned a discount day and cupcakes when they get 300 likes!  

No wonder Webb's of Bearwood are on our Bearwood All-Star List!

Twitter: Webb's Gift Shop

Facebook: Webb's Walled Garden Gift Shop

Website: Webb's Walled Garden

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Another dimension returns to Bearwood!

in3d put on such a great show the last time they played Bearwood that they're making a return to Bearwood Chapel on Saturday 13th October.

If you fancy an acoustic blend of folk, jazz, improv and spiritual songs this is the night for you.

Tickets are only £5 each (£4 each for concessions) and proceeds raised go towards Bearwood Chapel's great community cafe project.

For more details, please visit the Bearwood Chapel website - here's the link folks!

Bearwood Wordy Rapping Hood!

Fingers tightly crossed that this Saturday Bearwood finds its place firmly on the rapping map!

Bearwood Shuffle star, Tom Naylor, who grew up on Pheasant Road, (we loved it when he sang with his mum at Bearwood Shuffle II) has made it through to the Open Mic UK regional heats which take place this weekend at the NEC. Tom has said if he wins that he will use the winnings to invest it in a music video and recording time.

Welovebearwood will be rooting for you, Mr Naylor!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lightwoods Park Wants You!

Welovebearwood love Lightwoods Park so we think it's great that Sandwell Council want to hear your thoughts and opinions about the future of the park.

Please get yourselves down to one of their roadshows which are taking place this week where you'll be able to see the plans, drawings and proposals for the £4.5 million lottery bid.  The improvements they've got planned will make such a difference to Lightwoods Park.

The roadshows will be at:

Thimblemill Library, Thimblemill Road, Smethwick, B67 5RJ.
Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Road, Quinton, B32 1AP.
Harborne Library, High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QG.
The Dog Public House, 8 Hagley Road West, Warley, B67 5EU.
Smethwick Heritage Centre, Victoria Park Lodge, High Street, B66 3NJ.
St Mary’s Church, Bearwood Road, Smethwick, B66 4BX.
Lightwoods Park, Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick, B67 5DP.

If you find that work or school (boo!) gets in the way and you can't make it to the roadshows you can see the proposals online via this link.

For more details please visit the brillant Lightwoods Park blog or Bearwood blog.