Wednesday, 26 November 2014

All I Want For Christmas Is...

With less than a month  to go it is definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. 
Thimblemill Library think so too as they are holding their Christmas Craft Fair this Saturday evening, 29th November.  We’ve been assured that there will be plenty of pressie solving solutions to buy!


Then on Saturday 13th December Santa makes a visit to our favourite library followed by a Christmas Carol Concert in the evening held by Brandhall Community Choir. 

There'll be mulled wine and mince pies too to get everybody in the festive spirit.
For more details please pop into the library or contact them on 0121 429 2039 or email them at

Friday, 21 November 2014

Urban Herbs...jolly Good (Food) Show!

 Urban Herbs has always had strong roots in Bearwood, in fact the business was started right here!

Last Saturday they were at Webb’s Wintry Party and tomorrow they’ll be selling their wonderful range of herbs at the Bearwood Handmade Winter Fair at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall.

A small family run business they put the emphasis on quality rather than quantity and they’re specialists in some particularly scrummy and unusual varieties too including Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Sage and Vietnamese Coriander, all regularly sold through Warley Woods Pavilion Gift Shop and soon to be at Webb’s Gift Shop.

We’re also chuffed to announce that they’ve got a stall at the prestigious BBC Good Food Winter Show next weekend at the NEC, so pop along for a chat and a pot or two. 

The show’s on from Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th  November  (in other words next week!) and along with Urban Herbs (who’ll be at stand G66) you’ll be able to visit dozens of other wonderful independent producers along with all the usual big names.

 Tickets available in advance right here or on the door on the day.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Proof that there's nowhere 'batter'!

It's official! Drum roll.....
At the Food Awards on Monday night Chamberlains Quality Fish and Chip Restaurant on Hagley Road won the award for the BEST Takeaway in England & Wales!

We are so pleased for them, well and truly deserved and a great achievement.

Chip Chip Hooray for Chamberlains!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bearwood Handmade Winter Fairs 2014

Not just one but two opportunities to buy lots of handmade loveliness for your loved ones this Christmas. 
The first fair is this coming Saturday 22nd November at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall (Rawlings Road) and then the fair's on again on Saturday 6th December.
Along with lots of arts and crafts and scrumptious edible treats to tempt us, the Bearwood Pantry will also be serving lots of culinary delights all day long.
Don't miss it!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Webb's Wintery Party

Hate the mad Christmas rush that you get in December?  Welovebearwood say start your Christmas shopping early at Webb's Walled Gift Shop's Wintery Party tomorrow.
Sam from Webb's told us that "all day there will be mince pies filled with The Time For Company's mince, mulled wine, vodka Caramel and apple shots and of course Charlie's Moms Chocolate factory chocolate anyone? The original local Hot Shots? Nothing better on a chilly day."
Webb's will have the fires going and the gazebo up in the garden to take care of the winter chill and we've been informed that the shop will packed to the rafters with Christmas goodies. 
Much more fun than the Bull Ring, The German Market or Merry Hill (or as we like to call it Hell during the build up to Christmas!) and you'll be supporting a Bearwood business too!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Other Half @ The REP, Monday 10th November 2014

In this brand new collaboration between crime writer Mark Billingham and Americana/Country duo My Darling Clementine (all of whom have roots in Brum) the love lives of various regulars in a backstreet Memphis bar come dribbling out like a leaky beer tap.

The set up for the first half of the show’s an interesting concept, with Billingham reading the story (inspired by My Darling Clementine’s music) on one side of the stage pausing from time to time for My Darling Clementine to deliver a suitable song from their back catalogue, making this part gig/part play/part Jackanory (albeit a Jackanory influenced by Jim Jarmusch).
Billingham did a fine job of evoking the atmosphere of the bar and sketching out its inhabitants, positioning a washed up showgirl turned waitress called Marsha at the centre of the piece and you can tell he is/was an actor as he’s perfectly capable of tossing off a fairly authentic southern accent. Not sure that the occasional faded archive photos projected onto the screen added much to proceedings.
 Part of the joy of fiction is that the reader (or in this case the listener) can use their own imagination to ‘see’ the characters (it’s a minor quibble but it has to be said that the Marsha image looked considerably older than the 50 something woman that was being described too.). Given that the story was based on the band’s music the chopping and changing from spoken to sung word worked particularly smoothly though and the only gripe was that there could have been more of it. Who knows, could there be a movie in there somewhere? Hmmm...not ‘alf.

The second part of the evening was a more traditional gig from My Darling Clementine (real life ‘other half’s’ Lou Dalgleish and Michael Weston King of course) featuring a dozen or so tracks including a spirited cover of a Ray Price song called Heartaches By The Number which saw Mark B return to the stage for a little warbling. He can sing as well as write, act doubt...make a pretty decent Victoria Sponge too. Damn him.
Happily some of The Clementine’s self penned material’s every bit as strong as the classic artists they’re influenced by, with both I Bought Some Roses and 100,000 Words in particular capturing one of Country’s favourite themes...specifically relationships going down the tubes. Dalgleish and Weston King did their best to reflect this in some suitably bitchy in between song banter, the likes of which you can generally only get away with when you’re either totally comfortable with your other half or on the verge of a messy divorce (I’m fairly sure it’s the former!).

All in all it’s an interesting mash up between two worlds that ends up being more than the sum of its two halves.      
The Other Half is on at The Islington in London tonight (11th November) and Crossing Border Festival in The Hague on Friday 14th November.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sort Out A Sack For Santa And Help Children’s Charity This Christmas


 Help fill the Toy Box!
Val Hammond from Acorns Children's Hospice needs donated toys.

Being big fans of Bearwood's Acorns Children's Hospice charity shop we would love it if you can help this very worthy cause.

Acorns Children’s Hospice is appealing for donations of children’s toys to sell at its shop in Bearwood Road, Bearwood.

With Christmas not too far away when toys sales peak, the charity is asking for unwanted items to help raise vital funds to continue its work supporting children with life limiting and life threatening conditions and their families.

The network of Acorns shops across the West Midlands raises around £1.5million per year, which helps to meet the running costs of the charity’s three hospices, which stand at £750 per child per day.

Retail area manager at Acorns, Val Hammond, said: “The run up to Christmas is typically a busy time for us as people start to shop for toys to give as presents. To meet that demand we rely on the public’s generosity.

“We need to build up our stock of jigsaws, books, board games, dolls, action figures or soft toys so why not have a clear out of any unused toys and help life limited children this Christmas.”

Anyone who would like to donate toys can take them along to their local Acorns shop. To find out where the nearest is to you, use the shop locator tool right here.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sing Yourself A Merry Christmas

Practice starts tomorrow for Bearwood Chapel's Community choir and they are looking for new members.

The choir is open to all members of the community of all ages and abilities.  It is run by Jonathan Girling, a local composer who has worked with The Globe Theatre, RSC and Channel 4.  He has just finished touring The Kite Runner for a second time, which enjoyed an excellent run at the Birmingham Rep in October.

If you love singing pop down to Bearwood Chapel tomorrow night at 7.45pm to start practising for the performances at Bearwood Chapel and Lightwoods Park this Christmas.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sunday Acoustic Sessions

The Sunday Acoustic Session at Samba Lounge is back on again this Sunday afternoon, 9th November.

Professor Firestick told welovebearwood that the line-up features "the full Kate Gee Band with myself on Viola, Bob Wilson on Electric Guitar (ex Steve Gibbons Band, played on their hits, Tulane, Tupelo Mississippi Flash etc) and with full drum kit. Other acts on the bill are Pete Holder from Mr Apollo doing a solo set and Mariah and Amelia, featuring the wonderful Amelia Wallace, who, as anyone who has seen her perform, is excellent....Take it from me, this will be very good indeed!"

All for FREE as well (we do love that word!) so samba on down to the Samba Lounge this coming Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Thimblemill Library November 2014 Events Calendar

Ooooh!  We couldn't hide our excitement when we received this month's event calendar from Thimblemill Library, so much good stuff happening.

The Flashlight presents JamFace event on Thursday 20th November got our attention first.  With promises of fantastic storytelling, and delicious treats, it's no wonder Utter Bearwood's storytelling events are so popular.
Then there's Sally Barker who was runner up The Voice (Team Tom's finalist) performing live on Thursday 27th November and then only a couple of days afterwards on Saturday 29th it's an evening of festive cheer at the Christmas Craft Fayre. 

For more details and tickets to these events please pop into the library, phone them on 0121 429 2039 or email them at

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Dangerous Corner at The REP, Monday November 3rd 2014

Starring Bearwood’s very own Colin Buchanan (okay so he was born in Dundee but he used to live here...we’ll take that) J B Priestley’s Dangerous Corner is set in the glorious 1920/30’s so, if nothing else, you’re certainly guaranteed some rather gorgeous costumes and sets to drool over. Happily the team behind this new production has done a fine job on both counts and we had to be physically restrained from nicking the wooden panelling and vintage wireless. Centred around a glam get together things aren’t quite as pretty as they appear on the surface though as the truth behind the mysterious death of the host’s younger brother starts to unravel as fast as a ball of wool in room full of excited kittens.

Given that it was written way back in 1932 the mere mention of sex and drugs must’ve been pretty daring at the time. Even now the various revelations unveiled throughout the evening would give the cast on one of those dreadful ‘reality’ TV shows a run for their money (The Only Way Is Priestley anyone?). We wouldn’t want to give the plot away but suffice to say that the deceased was a bit of a ‘lad’...ahem.  

The cast really evoke the era with Rosie Armstrong (who appears relatively briefly) in super form as the gossip loving Miss Mockridge. Matt Milne as the edgy Gordon Whitehouse and Michael Praed as the louche lizard Charles Stanton also merit a special mention...he makes the ultimate cad Terry-Thomas seem like a bit of a choir boy.

As a fine piece of period escapism with more twists and turns than a year’s worth of soap scripts this is one corner that’s well worth spending an evening in.  

Dangerous Corner is on at The REP until Saturday November 8th. Tickets right here

All photos courtesy of Robert Day