Friday, 29 May 2015

Thimblemill Library June 2015 Calendar


Next week we've been promised hot, hot, hot with a summer heatwave on its way.  About time that's what welovebearwood say.  Mrs B wants to wear her summer dresses!
Activities and events remain aplenty at Thimblemill Library and there are some scorchers (summer scorchers yes please!) happening next month. 
The ones which got us excited include Thimblemill's Music Club 80s Night on Tuesday 2nd June.  Elvis Costello's  'Everyday I Write The Book' has to be on the playlist.   1983 classic pop fans!  Don't miss We Are Bearwood's interview with Music Club organiser Lilly Kaur (right here folks!)
The Children's Film Club showing of family animated adventure 'Boxtrolls' is on 6th June and then tragicomedy 'Goodbye Lenin' on 13th June for the parents and Bearwood's older folk.
Bargains galore are promised at the Top Table Sale on 14th June and then Utter Performance are back on 20th June.   Make sure you don't miss Sally Tonge's 'Stories from here, there and everywhere in-between'.  You won't want to be anywhere else!


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bearwood Bake-off Baker


Thanks to a fellow Bearwood blogger We Are Bearwood (check them out here!) for this bakealicious article.

After the success of local resident Khakan’s Bearwood Bake Off, we thought we’d catch up with one of the participants to see what it was like for them.

Local school student Ammaarah Samuel, from Lordswood Academies Trust, tells us all about her experience on the day of the Bake Off – from last minute nerves to her pride and a determination to take part again.

"The Bearwood bake-off competition was a very exciting event which gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent and to be rewarded for it.

On the morning of the competition, I spent several hours baking my cake and throughout the whole process I wondered whether I could get it done in time. Especially because it was a 2 tiered, 2 flavoured cake with completely different decorations needed. And may I say, that all the flowers were handmade, taking me forever to make!

Towards the end of my decorating the cake, time became scarce and all I was thinking about was how I wasn’t going to get this cake done in time!

I finished off decorating the cake and began to put it into my contained so that I could safely transport it to Coffee Junction. However, me being my clumsy self didn’t bother to measure how tall my cake was going to be and therefore, as I tried putting the lid over the cake, BAM! The lid was abruptly stopped by the top of my cake before the lid could completely shut. Now you’re all probably thinking, oh so what! I can find another container. Well, no. I couldn’t. I was already in a rush to get there and I had no other containers which I could use.
So for about 10 minutes, I’m panicking thinking, what do I do??? So my father suggests that I transfer the cake onto a metal baking tray and carry the cake like that – assuming the metal tray would be stronger than the flimsy piece of plastic it was already on.  Now, instantly I’m thinking Hell No! If that cake drops, my heart will drop with it! But, that’s not even the worst of it ! I would have to catch a 15 minute bus ride to get to Coffee Junction and walk for a short distance in order to get there.  That’s a LARGE window of opportunity for this cake to fall! So, after thinking about my different options, I decide to go with the suggestion my father offered. You know what they say, “Daddy knows best!” Anyway, I’m already late so I’m rushing around looking for clothes to wear, looking like a frantic lunatic shoving on anything which I can find. Finally, I come back to the cake and I’m praying that this cake does not fall!

On my journey from my house to the bus stop, you can probably already assume that I got A LOT of attention, which I wasn’t sure if I should be happy or worried about.
I didn’t know whether people were staring at me because they thought I was some crazy girl carrying a tall 2 tiered cake around on a metal baking tray or whether they were amused at the sight of cake! Anyway, I end up waiting another 10 minutes for the bus that was supposed to be there much earlier. Typical bus times! During my bus ride, I got some more unusual conversations, one of which someone asked me if I had baked the cake for a wedding!

So, when I finally arrive at coffee junction, a “couple” of minutes late, I put my cake down onto the judging table and sit with my Food Tech teacher and wait for
the judges to judge the cakes and deliberate. I received a certificate and card for taking part in this event and afterwards we had the opportunity to taste the cakes in which people had baked.

Overall, my experience was wonderful and I hope to enter this competition again next year!"

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Share The Bearwood Love!

Hot off the press this one!
We've got some exciting news for you!  welovebearwood (that's us...yeah!) and the We Are Bearwood websites are teaming up!
We’ll be publishing articles on both sites so that means double the amount of Bearwood coverage.  It's good in the wood!

It also means that whichever blog you follow, you’ll get to hear more about what’s going on locally, more frequently.  And by sharing the work out, we’re hoping that we’ll be able to bring you more good news about Bearwood to more people!

If there’s anything Bearwood themed you would like us to help promote, publicize or shout from the (terrace!) roof tops about just let us know.  

You can contact the the welovebearwood team at and the We Are Bearwood team at

Go on Bearwood...share the Bearwood love!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Here, there and every-bear!

We always love it when Bearwood has a starring role in the local press (especially when it's good news!) and this week We Are Bearwood's The Bear Trail received lots of well deserved glory.

Just in case you haven't seen it already here's the video from the Express and Star coverage...

And if you've not taken the Trail yet the Bearwood Bears will be here, there and every-bear until 31st May 2015.

Paw-fect for this bank holiday weekend!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice @ The Rep 19th May 2015

Part musical, part kitchen sink drama and part comedy The Rise and Fall of Little Voice tells the tale of a young woman known to all as LV who seeks escape from her somewhat unstable mother through her dead dad’s record collection. Alone in her room she learns to mimic some of the stars she’s listening to and when one her mum’s boyfriends, who just so happens to be a local talent agent (handy that eh?), overhears her singing he spots her potential...and his own way to the big time.

If you’ve seen the film version starring Jane Horrocks (the play it was based on was originally written for her too) you’ll know how things work out, you’ll also know that the lead role is one heck of a challenge for an actress. 

Happily, with a decade’s experience under her belt, this production’s Little Voice, Nancy Sullivan, has both the skills and experience (I’m guessing this is a killer on the old vocal chords) to pull it off remarkably well. Her Piaf was particularly strong (you’ve got to love a bit of Piaf) and the contrast between the different voices coupled with the speed at which she switched from one to the other was pretty dazzling.
The rest of the cast is every bit as strong. Despite having few lines Joanna Brooks got most of the laughs as Sadie, trust me you’ll never listen to the Jackson 5 in the same way again. 

Genuinely hilarious.

Gloriously OTT Vicky Entwistle dominates the whole thing, swigging and swearing her way through the entire performance, just as her character Mari (LV’s mum) rules her daughter’s life, Chris Gascoyne is delightfully greasy as her boyfriend and LV’s ‘agent’ Ray Say. 

Add Brendan Charleson as the archetypal cheesy club MC Mr Boo and Tendayi Jembere who’s touchingly gentle as LV’s love interest Billy and you’ve got a cast that really brings out the highs and lows in the script. Even the set’s a gem, a cut away house that revolves and lets the audience see what’s going on in every room, it’s suitably grim, grimy and claustrophobic. There’s an impressive bit of pyrotechnics in Act II as well that’ll have you checking out the fire exits!

Ultimately great theatre’s meant to stir up the emotions and the closing scenes do just that with more than one audience member nearby visibly shedding a tear or two during Sullivan’s moving closing solo. There’s no doubt about it, this particular Little Voice has a lot going for it. Highly recommended.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is on at The REP until Saturday May 30th. Tickets here!

 P.S. All photos courtesy of Keith Pattison

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

If you go down to the (Bear) wood today....

Bearwood Scouts Bear Photo Credit: James Marks

If you go down to the (Bear!) Wood over the next few days you really are in for a big'll see bears popping up all over the place.  

The 30 bears are in residence until Sunday 31st May so you've got plenty of days left to take The Bear Trail.  Each bear has been decorated by a local community group or business and you'll also get to learn lots of exciting Bearwood facts on route too.

Don't forget you can also decorate your own cub too to display in your own home so you can take part in the Trail.  The workshops will be at Corks Club on Bearwood High Street on 23rd May and Thimblemill Library on 24th May at 1.30pm and 3pm.
For more details about the workshops visit We Are Bearwood's website right here!
Bearwood Promoters Bear Photo Credit: Esther Titchen


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Bearwood in Bloom!

The We Are Bearwood Team are holding their front garden competition for its second year and would love to know if "you have a gorgeous garden or one you want to make bloom"!

With a big thank you to estate agents Robert Oulsnam and Co and Webbs' (who sell everything imaginable for the green fingered) they've got some great prizes on offer for the best front gardens in the Bearwood area. 

The different categories include most improved garden, most sustainable and wildlife friendly garden,best garden design, postman's favourite and the Bearwood vote!

You can find everything you need to know and the online entry from the We Are Bearwood website right here.  Details are also available from Thimblemill Library and Warley Woods Pavillion.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

On The Bear Trail!

Bearwood Promoters 'musical bear'

The phrase ‘Follow that bear’ used to be synonymous with the beer guzzling Hofmeister Bear who appeared on our TVs way back in the 80s (ask your parents about the adverts if you’re too young!) but this May it's the turn of Bearwood folk to be in on the act.

We caught up with the We Are Bearwood team to discover more….“We are delighted to let you know that hidden around Bearwood from 17th May to 31st May 2015 will be 30 very special bears.  Each one has been decorated by a local community group, school or business and is waiting to be found. Follow the trail map, which will be available to download here at in time for 17 May.”

Thimblemill Library's Bear designed by Jack

Bearwood Promoters(our favourite Bearwood Shufflers!), BUDS (Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell)  and Thimblemill Library have got involved (check out their very colourful bears) and you can create your own bear to display in our own home as part of the trail at one of We Are Bearwood’s workshops.  The workshops are entirely FREE (our favourite word!) along with all materials you’ll need to decorate them.

The workshops will be at:
Corks Club, High St, 23rd May at 1:30 or 3pm
Thimblemill Library on 24th May at 1:30 or 3pm

BUDS WW1 Remembrance Bear

It’s suitable for all ages so email to reserve your place and just let them know how many of you to expect.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Thimblemill Library May 2015 Calendar

Happy May Day!  May's always been one of our favourite months. 
Two bank holiday weekends (oh yes!), the sun's out so you can wear your summer wardrobe (fingers crossed!) and it's one of the welovebearwood's team's birthday Yeah!
You can tell Thimblemill Library agree from their What's on for May listings and they're not disappointing us with their plethora of events which are taking place over the next few weeks.

Some of the (many!) highlights include an evening of jazz, swing and popular music with local supremo Tony Rome on Saturday 9th May

and then on Friday 15th May Utter Bearwood are back at the library with their story telling performance of Badlands, Stories from Central India by Gauri Raje.   
If you've seen Caroline Jariwala's work before you'll know she's Bearwood's Mosaic Master.  At her Mango Mosaics workshops on Friday 22nd May you'll have the unique opportunity to create an original work of mosaic art which will be on permanent display at Bearwood's no 1 library.  Mosaic-tastic!
Don't forget that All That Jazz (the local talent show for over 19s) is on Saturday 23rd May!  Thimblemill Library are on the look out for beginners and professionals to enter.
This year the theme's jazz and blues so if your family and friends have told you that you're the next Michael Buble or Nina Simone make sure you pick up your application form from the library.
There's nothing like a good rummage at a Table Top Sale and on Sunday 14th June Thimblemill Library are holding their own sale. 
It only costs £5 to hire a table (cheap as chips!) so if you've had a good spring clean and found lots of items which you want to sell please ask the staff in the library for details.