Monday, 29 September 2014

Cash For Your Community!

You can help Warley Woods Community Trust win a slice of £30,000 (wow!) just by cutting tokens out of the Express and Star newspaper. Simples!

The Cash For Your Community initiative runs from today to 1st November so keep an eye out for the tokens, especially the bonus ones and take them up to Warley Woods' drop off points when you've finished reading the paper.  

The more tokens Warley Woods receive the bigger their share of the money so get reading Bearwood!

You can find out more on the Express and Star website right here!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Calling all Bearwood Foodies!

Very exciting news!  Bearwood Pantry have just announced that Bearwood's getting its FIRST EVER Food Festival on Saturday 25th October.

This festival for all Bearwood Foodies will be held at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall (Rawlings Road and Bearwood Road).

The Bearwood Pantry explained to welovebearwood that "We’re hoping to have a full range of stalls offering everything from fresh organic produce to pickles and preserves, savoury bites to sweet treats, home bakes to street food. Plus there’ll be plenty of room at our communal table to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy something yummy."  Along with cool tunes, a food and recipe swap (yes please!), a food bank point and a raffle it sounds like it's going to be foodie heaven!   Spread the word too and get all your family and friends to come along.  

This is a first for the Bearwood Pantry so they've decided to keep the cost of having a stall low and it's a Bearwood Bargain at £10 for the day.  You can find out all the details about applying for the stall on the Bearwood Pantry website, just click here.  The cut-off date is Friday 10th October.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Two Not To Miss!

Thanks to Bearwood's no 1's music blog, The Hearing Aid (we are seriously NOT worthy!) for the latest additions to our What's on in Bearwood calendar.

Bearwood finest (yes we do think so!) Miss Halliwell are playing upstairs at the Bear on Saturday 4th October along with Is I Cinema and The Prodigal Scum.   Only £4 entry so make sure you don't miss this!  


The other event which definitely deserves a mention as it's happening only a short distance from Bearwood is Folk in the Forest on Thursday 24th September at Sandwell Valley RSPB Reserve. 
Lots of acoustic loveliness from Tom Peel (or as we like to call him Top Peel), Mike Molony and Rick Wellings, a fire pit AND a moth trap lined up!  Wow!  You can find out more details right here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Charity Support Will Shine Through At Lantern Event

Shujea Khatun and Ed Thomas of Acorns Children’s Hospice in front of Old Joe.

When local resident and PR & Communication Manager for Acorns Children's Hospice, Chris Bentley sent us the press release about the Acorns Lantern Walk we couldn't wait to a shine a light on it.

Chris told us that Acorns Children's Hospice is a charity that provides care for life-limited and life-threatened children is urging its supporters to let their loyalty shine through at a special fundraising event that returns this autumn.

The Acorns Lantern Walk will take place on Saturday, October 11, at the new venue of Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham and promises to be a day of fun-filled family activities followed by a 10km or 5km sponsored walk.  

The charity hopes the event, which is in its second year, will raise more than £25,000 to boost the vital care and support Acorns provides for its children and their families across the West Midlands.

Acorns Children's Hospice events manager, Ian Carr, said: “It’s going to be a magical event and we need hundreds of people to join us for it to be the success we are hoping for.
Acorns is encouraging people to sign up and let their support shine through to help us raise vital funds for local life limited children and their families.
“We rely on fundraising and income from events like this one to provide the care our children need, which can cost up to £750 per day per child.”

As part of the registration fee of £5, each participant will be given a battery operated orange lantern that are all turned on as the walk begins at 3pm. Starting and finishing by the bandstand in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, the area will be filled with stalls, games, refreshments and entertainment to mark the occasion.

The 10 km route will incorporate a visit to Acorns Children’s Hospice in Selly Oak and return to Cannon Hill via University of Birmingham whose clock tower will be glowing orange for the event. There is also a 5km route that incorporates two laps of the park and will include family friendly games that everyone can play along the way.

“Hundreds of walkers carrying bright shining lanterns will provide a spectacular sight as the sun sets and will be a fitting tribute to the selfless support we receive at Acorns,” added Ian.

One team taking part will be colleagues from recruitment firm, First Personnel, which is generously sponsoring the event.

Acorns Children’s Hospice aims to help to provide palliative care to the 2,000 plus children in the region living with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and support for their families.

So if you want to find out more about the walk or to register please visit: or contact: or 01564 825037.

To find about more about Acorns and how you can help raise vital funds call 0845 120 6892 or visit

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Rudy’s Rare Records @ The REP, Tuesday 9th September 2014

I dread to think how many hours I have spent in record shops over the years. In Brum we had...deep breath...Swordfish, The Diskery, Plastic Factory, Reddington’s Rare Records, Highway 61, Tempest, Second City Sounds, Frank’s Wild Records plus a Virgin Megastore, and at least two branches of HMV. Bearwood had its own record shop too, if you went there we would love to hear your fond memories of the place.

There were probably others that have now faded into the memory, along with regular record fairs (one or two a month). Of course that was pretty much the only way you could hear a wider range of music back in the day, often under the gentle guidance of the record shop owner. Radio stations pretty much revolved around the top 40 and barring the odd maverick...step forward Mr John Peel for’d only hear a limited amount of what was out there. Now of course some Nigerian dubstep is just a click away (I actually made that genre up, or so I thought, and within 2 seconds I’d found some online). Anyway this waffle has a point. Sort of. 

Set in an imaginary record shop in Brum this stage adaptation of a Radio 4 series sees Dudley’s finest, Lenny Henry, play Adam the son’s owner who reluctantly moves home to look after his aging father, the titular Rudy. It’s the sort of setup that’s spawned some of the best sitcoms in history, Steptoe and Son and Frasier among them, and Rudy’s Rare Records clearly follows in their footsteps. Once again the son is pretty straitlaced compared with the father, in this case we have a third generation too though in the shape of Adam’s son, who clearly takes after his granddad. Sensible chap.  

Lenny Henry as Adam and Larrington Walker as Rudy

So much for the setup then, how does it translate on stage? For starters it’s blessed with a great cast. Fresh from recent dramatic triumphs (Othello and Fences) Henry has a more subtle edge to his performance (although he can quickly turn on the old Lenny comedy tap) and there are some touching moments of pathos between him and his onstage father brilliantly portrayed by Larrington Walker. If you’re not used to a broad Jamaican accent Walker’s can take a moment or two to get used to but it’s the real deal and both writer and actor have clearly had some fun coming up with some wonderfully amusing lines and verbal mash ups. 

Lenny Henry as Adam, Jeffery Kissoon as Clifton, Larrington Walker as Rudy and Lorna Gayle as Doreen

Keep an eye open for Larrington’s dance routine too, boy that dude can move. Joivan Wade is perfect as Adam’s son, I won’t reveal the plot twists but again it creates some neat moments for intergenerational bonding.  Speaking of the plot it’s a fairly simple tale of a record shop under pressure from developers, practical Adam wants to sell up whilst Rudy won’t even consider it. There’s a great line early on in the show that perhaps sums up why he feels that way, “This place is an art gallery” he explains gesticulating at the rows of records on the shelves. With that broad Jamaican accent though he places an ‘h’ in front of the word art...I could be imaging all this but doesn’t that just sum up the difference between record shops and downloads? There’s a real h(e)art and soul to the former that you just can’t replace with a click or two.

Lenny Henry as Adam and Natasha Godfrey as Tasha

An entertaining support cast add some extra spice to the whole thing with Natasha Godfrey as that rare subgenre, “a black goth”, Lorna Gayle as the subject of Rudy’s affections and Jeffrey Kissoon as his oldest friend and partner in crime...mainly card playing, rum drinking and chasing the ladies. Having a live band onstage is a great idea, they could’ve skimped on this and used pre-recorded stuff but this makes the production a bit more of a cross between a play and gig, especially during the second half of the show which sees the cast perform some old school classics. Put it all together and it adds up to a proper feel good night out with plenty of chuckles along the way. Any music fans over 40 will recognise places like Rudy’s from their teenage years, anyone much under this age will hopefully get some sense of what they’re missing and seek out the few remaining record stores still left (happily in Brum Swordfish and The Diskery are still alive and well). If this particular Rudy could send a 'message to you' I guess that would be the best of all...

Larrington Walker as Rudy and Lenny Henry as Adam

Rudy’s Rare Records is on at The REP until September 20th before moving on to the ‘ackney Empire. Cor blimey guv, apples and pears etc. 

All photos copyright credit: Robert Day

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Women's Self-Defence there's a tongue twister!

Phil Gibbs is going to be holding women's self defence classes at the Thimblemill Library. 

Phil is offering a free taster lesson on Monday 15th September and the classes will then start on 22nd September.

For more details please contact Thimblemill Library on 0121 429 0497 or email them at

Friday, 5 September 2014

September Samba Sounds

Already added to welovebearwood's What's on in Bearwood calendar is this coming Sunday's Afternoon of Acoustic Music courtesy of Professor Firestick and the Samba Lounge on Three Shires Oak Road.

Entry is FREE (yeah...our favourite word!).  Here's a taster of why you shouldn't miss this....

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rudy's Rare Records Competition!

We've linked up with The Birmingham REP to offer welovebearwood readers the chance to win tickets to see Rudy's Rare Records starring Lenny Henry.  We thought you might like that!

Set in the colourful world of an old Birmingham reggae record shop, Rudy’s Rare Records is an hilarious and poignant production following the story of irrepressible owner Rudy Sharpe (played by Larrington Walker) and his long-suffering son Adam (Lenny Henry), who moves back home in the throes of a mid-life crisis.

A classical music fan in a reggae shop who prefers Waitrose sea bass to Jerk chicken, Adam struggles to cope with senior-citizen lovebirds and Rudy's lifelong friend Clifton dropping in to chat music, women and rum. Soon Rudy’s love of chaos and Adam’s need for order collide and the record shop becomes a battleground – but when the threat of developer’s looms, father and son must put their differences aside as they battle to keep the music alive.

Featuring a live band and music by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker and more, Rudy’s Rare Records is a feel good story about how families draw together in times of need.

welovebearwood and The REP are delighted to offer a pair of tickets to see the show on Sunday 14 September at 4pm. 

This is a special performance as part of The REP’s Open Day, so come along earlier and explore backstage, browse vintage stalls and discover their brand new Sound Of Memories exhibition. 

All you have to do is answer the following question and email the correct answer to by Tuesday 9th September.  

The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified how to collect their winning tickets after the competition closing date.

What is the name of Lenny Henry’s character in Rudy’s Rare Records?

a)      Rudy
b)      Adam
c)       Clifton