Wednesday, 14 October 2015



It's official!  We leave Bearwood!

 After 20 years in Bearwood we've decided that the countryside's calling and we're moving to pastures new in Devon. 

We’ve really enjoyed living here, met lots of lovely Bearwoodians over the years and relished from being involved in the local community.

We would like to thank everyone who’s contributed to the welovebearwood blog, we’ve loved working with you, promoting your event/business etc and being able to ask your interview questions such as what makes Lightwoods Chippys’ chips orange. 

A big thank you also goes out to all our readers we hope we’ve informed you about what’s happening in Bearwood and put a smile on your faces.

It’s been good in the wood. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Thimblemill Library Calendar October 2015

Knowing me knowing you! 
Thimblemill Library have got it just right for their events which are taking place next month, there's something for everyone.   

Find your inner dancing queen, get your platforms on and get down at Thimblemill Music Club ABBA night on Thursday 1st October, bring your popcorn to the film nights (Cinderella for the kids on 3rd October, Malcolm X as part of Black History month on 17th October and then Nosferatu for their Halloween special on 31st  October) or even take your pop up tent along to their Thimble Size Camp on Not So Fright Night Saturday 24th October . 

If you fancy a FREE (our favourite word) cuppa and a bite to eat Thimblemill Library will cater for you every Monday morning starting from 5th October. 

And then from November they’re holding FREE (there it is again!) computer classes.  If you want to surf the net, keep up with your children's computer skills or learn the basics pop along to Bearwood's no 1 library and sign up today.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Bearwood Art With History


Local illustrator, Joshua Whitehouse, contacted welovebearwood with the exciting news of his exhibition which takes place next month on 3rd October at Oops Gallery on Sandon Road.
Joshua explained that his ‘Bearwood – Art with History’ exhibition “will re-tell the untold historic stories of Bearwood using research from local historian Mary Bodfish” and will include “a collection of illustrations showcasing this history, a large A2 print capturing the whole of Bearwood and postcards depicting landscapes and elements of the town.”


We love the fact that Joshua’s exhibition mixes old Bearwood with new Bearwood and reckon he's definitely a Bearwood All-Star.

You can find out all about Joshua’s artwork via his website (right here!),  his blog (right here!), his Facebook page (right here!) and his Twitter account (right here!).

Monday, 21 September 2015

Warley Woof Talk

One for all you dog lovers out there! 
We've heard tickets are selling first so if you want to find out more please contact Warley Woods Community Trust on 0121 420 1061 or pop into the Pavilions today.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Bearwood’s got talent: Caroline Jariwala

We’ve featured Bearwood’s Mosaic Maker, Caroline Jariwala, on welovebearwood before so it was mosaic-tastic to see her crafting away on our fellow Bearwood bloggers, We Are Bearwood (check it out right here for everything Bearwood) website too.

"Mosaic has a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece; mosaics with patterns and pictures became widespread in classical times, both in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

Bearwood mosaic artist Caroline Jariwala and ten young people who helped design and create Birmingham City Council’s owl for the city’s Big Hoot event have received recognition from the High Sheriff for their efforts. Caroline Jariwala was commissioned by Birmingham Children’s Services to create a mosaic Owl for The Big Hoot. A fundraiser for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The Big Hoot is presented by creative producers Wild in Art working in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The Big Hoot has brought businesses, artists, schools and the local community together to create a public art trail of stunning owl sculptures on display across Birmingham.  The Owls are on public display from July to the end of September 2015.

Her artistic career started in the 1980s when she studied Fine Art. 2014 was a big year for Caroline – started with a trip to the 1st International Urban Mosaic Intervention in Santiago, Chile, which Caroline was especially selected to take part in.  In April she had a major exhibition at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester which was incredibly well received."

There is also something magically about mosaic-making with broken, chipped, discarded, rejected and second-hand crockery.  Using the unwanted and making it desirable; transforming ‘ugly’ into a thing of ‘beauty’.” - Caroline Jariwala

To view more of Caroline’s work go to:

Caroline Jariwala with the mosaic Owl created for The Big Hoot.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Bearwood's Best Mum!


Welovebearwood caught up with Khakan Qureshi who's hosting Bearwood's Best Mum competition.  The competition closes on Friday so you need to get your nomination forms in very quickly.

Khakan told us that you can "nominate yourself, your own mum or someone else. All you have to do is pick up a nomination form from Mad As A Hatter (28 Abbey Road Bearwood) or email me at  and state on the form (within 25 words) why you think the nominee deserves the title of Bearwod's Best Mum."

There are wonderful prizes for the best entries to treat your Mum which include:
A wash and dry from Vangelis
High Tea at Mad As A Hatter
A Bouquet of flowers from Eros
A Gift Voucher worth £25 from Beauty Works
A Hamper from Co-op
A handmade, home baked cake from QT Cakes
A toiletry hamper

The closing date is this Friday 11 September so you haven't got long. The winner will be announced on Saturday 12 September at Mad As A Hatter.

This is a community competition independently organised by Khakan to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Well done winners!

It’s official…Bearwood has award winning front gardens. 
We’ve mulched the details of this year’s We Are Bearwood Front Gardens Competition green fingered winners from our fellow bloggers, We Are Bearwood, (check out their website our for everything Bearwood right here)…..
“Well done winners! In fact, congratulations to everyone who entered the We Are Bearwood Front Gardens Competition.  The judges had such a difficult time judging.  For a start, we were overwhelmed with all the fabulous entries right across Bearwood, including traditional gardens, quirky gardens, sustainable gardens and large & small gardens.

On Saturday 29th August the judges, entrants and sponsors gathered in Warley Woods for the prize giving with a social cuppa provided by our lovely Committee Member Marian Hills. Us organisers had a lovely time and we hope everyone else did – many of you seemed to have enjoyed being part of the competition and the spirit of the day was one of lovely, friendly competitiveness!

We were joined by staff representatives of our main sponsors, Robert Oulsnam & Co Estate Agents. Becky and Ben were there to hand out the Gold (£300), Silver (£150) and Bronze (£50) prizes.  We’re very grateful to their support and to the other supportive local businesses who have provided category prizes (see below).

We’ve really enjoyed exploring different parts of Bearwood and seeing how green and beautiful it can be thanks to green fingered residents – as seen in this video made voluntarily by Jamie and Jake of BCM media.

So who scored the highest in our criteria and won the generous sponsors’ prizes?  Here’s the list.  Congratulations all!  If any readers take a little tour of the winners’ gardens, do let us know what you think! And don’t forget you can find out all the entries from our competition map.

Gold: 7 Pargeter Road
Silver: 198 Park Road

Bronze: 76 Ethel Street

Best Design: 10 Katherine Road, with thanks to prize sponsors Bearwood TSB

Most Sustainable: 43 Richmond Road, with thanks to prize sponsors BBC Wildlife Trust

Most Improved: 138 Park Road, with thanks to prize sponsors Webbs Walled Garden & Gift Shop

Judge’s specials: 194 Park Road, with thanks to prize sponsor Deborah Yuill

The Bearwood Vote!: 259 Barclay Road, with thanks to prize sponsors Abbey Road Post Office.

Well done everyone, and thank you for participating!

From all the We Are Bearwood volunteers.”


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sunshine On Pete

Bearwood’s finest and one of welovebearwood’s favourites, Pete Williams, is busy getting ready to go on tour with The Proclaimers (Sunshine on Leith, (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles, Letter From America, I'm on My Way, Life With You, Lets Get Married). 

The tour starts on October in Newcastle and stops off at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre on November 8th
Tickets are rapidly selling out so get yours quick!  You can pick them up right here!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Warley Woofs!

Along with the All About Dogs’ favourites of the dog shows and stalls which cater for everything for our four legged friends this year’s event on Sunday 6th September sees return visits from dog psychologist Hannah, demos from those super sniffer dogs the Border Force team, agility demos, Warley and District Training Club and the Kennel Club.
There’s even more for Bearwood’s dog lovers this year too including the exciting new attraction of  grooming advice and a dog wash van (wow can we have a go!).
For more details please contact Warley Woods via their website, just wag your mouse here! 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Bearwood Jumble Trail!

It was such a success last year that there’s going to be a second We Are Bearwood Jumble Trail next month. 
This year it’s on Saturday 5th September and as it’s organized by Mad as a Hatter Tea Room prepare to be amazed!  You’re in for a real treat!   
Over on the wonderful We Are Bearwood website (check it our right here!) they explain more...

“Bearwood will be transformed into a wonderland of crafts, entertainment and down-right bargains at the second We Are Bearwood Jumble Trail on 5th September, organised by Project Champions Mad as a Hatter Tea Room.

What’s a Jumble Trail?

It’s like a jumble sale but instead of carting all your stuff to a hall, you register on the Jumble Trail Website to set up a stall in front of your house.  And on the day of the Jumble Trail, you soak up the atmosphere as you share stalls with your neighbours, barter for goods that they no longer need, or just get to have a natter with your fellow Bearwoodians. Last year’s trail was great with over 30 stalls but this year promises to be a whole lot more. Here’s why:

·        Hayley Albright from Mad as a Hatter Tea Rooms on Abbey Road is our project champion for this trail, so she’s organising much of the trail and has lots of Wonderland-themed treats in store for you.

·        The more stalls that sign up the better the trail, the atmosphere and cameraderie.  So what’s stopping you? You could sell refreshments, bric-a-brac or even treat punters with your musical talent.

·        Don’t have a garden? No worries, just get in touch with Thimblemill Library and set up a stall there! Julie and her team are keen to have you – give them a call on 0121 429 2039 to arrange.

·        The Bearwood Wonderland Jumble Trail is going to be on 5th September, the same day as the Mad as a Hatter Craft Fair on Abbey Road, so there’ll be plenty to browse through.

·        There’s a cupcake in it from Hayley for anyone who dressed up in an Alice In Wonderland themed outfit – make sure you send in your pictures to or post to @wearebearwood #BearwoodJumbleTrail on the day!

Set out your stall!
So clear out your attic, declutter your life and offer up your preloved items to others in Bearwood.  It’s all free to take part,just sign up and enjoy wondering the trail or chatting to the people that stop by your stall (take it from us, last year’s was a lovely feel-good day, especially if you had a kettle on the go!).

How can you help?
We’re designing flyers to help with promotion so please get in touch at if you’d be able to help by doing  a leaflet drop nearer the time on your street (or more!).”

Friday, 14 August 2015

42nd Street at The Alex

Check out the show-stopping review  on Bearwood's no 1 music blog, The Hearing Aid, of 42nd Street at The Alex which features Bearwood's very own Amelia Wallace .  We've always thought that Amelia's got a great future ahead of her!

Take around 100 hopefuls, give them the chance to train with the Alex’s creative team and then let them experience the full on ‘smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd’ that you only really get in a professional theatre. That’s what the New Alexandra Theatre’s Stage Experience offers and I’ll admit it, I was expecting enthusiasm and smiles but not the kind of polish you usually get at The Alex. Well, colour me three shades of wrong, every blister, pulled muscle and strained vocal cord that this cast may have suffered over the past two weeks that they spent honing their moves and learning their lines was well and truly worth it.

Of course 42nd Street’s pretty much the perfect choice as it’s all about new talent getting its big break and there’s certainly plenty of that on offer in this full scale production. Caprice Lane was perfect as the fledgling star in the making Peggy Sawyer, a role that’s certain to be reflected in her real life career, and Matt Pidgeon out-tapped...well...pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen...playing opposite her as Billy Lawlor.

Playing roles designed for much older actors and actresses is always a huge challenge but Mollie-Anne Riley nailed the fading star Dorothy Brock and Mark Shaun Walsh impressed as the producer on the edge, Julian Marsh. The full cast numbers were a particular delight as well. It’s all too rare these days to see dozens of dancing feet on a stage and, despite the youngest being just 9 years old, the synchronisation was remarkably good, presumably due to some pretty intensive training and endless rehearsals (I’m guessing that the choreographer and director Pollyann Tanner will need a good lie down after these past few weeks). There’s no skimping on the production values anywhere in fact. I’m sure I heard someone say that this show uses a washing machine bustin’ 450 different outfits, the set’s been used in the West End and even The Alex's regular orchestra were used to provide the music. To quote Julian Marsh in the show itself, “Congratulations kids, that was damn good!”
42nd Street is on at The New Alex Theatre until Saturday August 15th. Tickets right here. See the stars of tomorrow (seriously, I bet my bottom dollar some of these will make it to full on West End starring roles), today!       

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Faggots and Paes!

Bearwood Food Festival’s back and this time it’s going to be bigger and bolder with particular emphasis on traditional Black Country fare! 

There will also be stalls celebrating Bearwood’s diverse community and championing great quality, affordable food with a range of stalls offering cuisine from Asia, the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.

Jo Capper, founder member of Bearwood Pantry, hosts of the event, explained to welovebearwood: “This festival is going to be even bigger and better than the last. The first one was us testing the water and people came in droves with many stalls selling out by lunchtime. This time, we’re expecting the big crowds and we’ll have a wider range of food and produce, food based talks and more community involvement.
We’re especially looking for producers of traditional Black Country fare, like faggots, gray paes, leaf scratchings and grorty pudding. We’d love to hear from you if you’re still making these traditional foods. We’re proud of the Black Country’s heritage and we’d love to support local producers at this event.


Bearwood’s answer to foodie heaven is on Saturday 19th September (11am – 4pm) at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall on Rawlings Road.  

 You can obtain further details by contacting Jennie Sandford from the Bearwood Pantry. or M:07748 988 429

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Thimblemill Library August 2015 Calendar

‘Pearls of Wisdom’ from Birmingham and Black Country's all female choir on Friday 14th, the showing of ‘Testament of Youth’ on Saturday 15th, the Health Walk during the morning of Wednesday 19th and Bright Hope Clairvoyance every Saturday from 10am  - 3pm, you could safely say that Thimblemill Library want to enlighten us this month with their calendar of events. We have to admit it’s won us over!
Thimblemill Library are calling all FIFA games players for their championship event taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Prizes for the winner and runner up too.  Give it a go and show Ronaldo how it's done!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Keep The Green Flag Flying!

Warley Woods have done it again! They’ve been awarded the very prestigious Green Flag Award for the seventh year running.

The award is handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy who recognize and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country and it’s official Warley Woods is one of the very best in the UK.

Watch out for the new 2015-2016 Green Flag flying over the Pavilion in the next few days.

One of the other reasons why we love Warley Woods is the plethora of different events which take place in the park.  This Thursday Heartbreak Productions make a return with their adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.  

We caught up with Viv Cole, Warley Woods Trust Manager to find out more “Our theatre event is proving to be one of the highlights of our year with everyone who has been before, really looking forward to seeing the next year’s offering. . Heartbreak is a fantastic company that it is a joy to host and everyone loves their style and the way they adapt productions for the open air and a small cast. Bookings are going well, but we still have room for more. We are really grateful to Derek Spires Estate Agents for sponsoring this event again for us.”

Only a few tickets left so get yours today from the Pavilion or online from here! 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Get ready to shuffle!


Whoa!  Get ready to shuffle this Sunday as the line-up's been confirmed!
Here's a few of the acts playing just to get you in the mood..


Viva The Difference!

This coming weekend Bearwood Chapel are holding an event with a real difference.  They’re holding a 3 day Latin Fiesta!  Arriba!  Arriba!

 Intrigued?  We were so we caught up with Pastor Dave to find out more….

 “Saturday 1st July will be extremely special.  Many people will remember the Jubilee Party that we held in 2012. Well we'd like to recreate that community atmosphere but with a twist.  This will be a "Latin Fiesta" organised by our Spanish speaking congregation Nueva Vida. It will run from 2:30pm-7:00pm  and will include food, Latin American games, music from the Raglan Road Church band and Mexican and Ecuadorian folkdance.  We're excited to be joined by two Latin American Folklore troops who are coming up from London, Mestizo Folklore Group and Renacer. 

 We will also be opening a  Festival Café throughout the week (Thursday 30th & Friday 31st July  7pm -9pm, Sunday 2nd July 6:00pm-8:00pm). This will be in the Chapel building and will include music, drama, art, South American cooking demonstrations, storytelling etc.  Entry and food and drink all  free.

The Festival Café on Friday 31st July is being billed as a Bearwood's Got Talent event.  The evening will be open mike with opportunity for people to come along and showcase their talent.  If anyone is interested in taking part, please get in touch via the contact form on our website or by twitter or face book.

By the way, we've chosen the title "The Difference" because some of the story-telling will include real life stories as some of our church members tell their own stories about "The Difference that Jesus has made in their lives"

Pop down to Bearwood Chapel, you’ll find them just off Bearwood High Street near TC Hayes, to find out more!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Lucky no 7!

Photo Credit: Ken Harrison Photography
The Bearwood Shuffle’s back and this Sunday it’s for the 7th time.

The Shuffle’s moved from its usual home in Lightwoods Park whilst the bandstand’s having a makeover and it’s now taking place at Warley Woods Glade. 

Just walk down the path from the Pavilion towards the kids play area and you’ll see where all the fun’s happening. 

With live music, stalls and yummy food it’s going to be a great afternoon. 

Get there for 2pm and check out the Bearwood Shuffle Facebook page right here for more exciting news!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

It's coming home!

Photo Credit:  The Bearwood Blog

This very time-ly announcement comes courtesy of Bob Piper's Bearwood Blog (read it here!)...thanks Bob!
Via Derby, where it's gone to be lovingly restored, the Chamberlain clock will be returning to its rightful home in Bearwood in the next few months.  It's been outside Marks and Spencers in Birmingham for the last 30 years or so.
The clock has a very interesting history and via Bob's blog we found out that the the clock was
"one of Birmingham’s prized “Chamberlain clocks”, installed outside the Kings Head coaching station in 1900.
With its gas-lit dials and horse trough, the clock helped to service and monitor first the trams, and then the buses, plying the routes through Bearwood and Harborne. When the King’s Head became a major stop-off point on the Outer Circle bus route in the 1920s, such a clock was much in demand.

In 1971 it was removed for road widening, and for the last few decades has stood looking slightly forlorn and out of place in a shopping mall in the City centre."
Thankfully it's now coming home!

Photo credit: The Bearwood Blog

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Picnic in the Park 2015

Ok…so there were showers and then a huge thunderstorm but for those Bearwood folk whowent along to this year’s Picnic in the Park it’s safe to say that everybody had a great time. 
The performers, Bearwood Promoters and Stuart Maconie entertained everyone on The Shuffle Stage, the stallholders made sure that there was plenty of goodies for us to buy and the dog show kept Bearwood’s dog lovers very happy. 

This year’s Picnic was another great success so the biggest round of applause has to go to Warley Woods and its team of volunteers.  Thank you for a really 'wood' afternoon! 
We think Ken Harrison’s brilliant photos sum up the afternoon perfectly…




PS.  Check out more photos from Bearwood's finest, Ken Harrison, right here!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Shuffle Stage!

The Bearwood Promoters team (those lovely folk behind the Bearwood Shuffle) have announced their fantastic line-up for this Sunday’s (5th July) Warley Woods Picnic in the Park Shuffle Stage. 
Bearwood resident/BBC 6 Music DJ Stuart Maconie will be compere for the afternoon and the acts are (Whoop!  Whoop!  Drum roll…):
1pm - 1.15pm Jennie Sutherland Dance Act  – Riven Productions

1.25pm - 1.50pm Brandhall Community Choir


2.05pm - 2.30pm Colin Hall’s Gypsy Blood

2.40pm - 3.05pm Holloway Head

3.10pm - 3.35pm Caballo Blanco

3.55pm - 4.25pm Jnr Blue Notes

4.35pm - 5.05pm Strumtroopers

 5.15pm - 6.00pm The Coopers

 Please note that all timings are approximate! 

 With not long to go now we’re very excited.  See you there!