Following the Brummie link to Birmingham’s Conservation Trust post about Birmingham’s Award Winning Parks, referring to the city’s historic parks and gardens and those granted a Green Flag Award came news of Carl Chinn’s latest book: Free Parks for the People. The content of the flyer is below.

Carl’s message: Birmingham’s parks are a gift that has been passed on to us thanks to the efforts of four distinct groups:

  • The first comprises generous upper class and upper middle class philanthropists of a variety of backgrounds and beliefs.
  • The second embraces preachers of the Civic Gospel like George Dawson and Robert Dale.
  • The third is the Council. In its early years and with a few honourable exceptions like Alderman Cutler, it was dominated by councillors with a miserable attitude to civic life. Thankfully they were eventually replaced by dynamic councillors who enthusiastically took up the Civic Gospel so as to provide municipal facilities for Birmingham’s people.
  • The fourth group was a hardy and resourceful band of working-class activists who were resolved to improve life for their fellows. Together these groups succeeded in providing free parks for the people. They have left us a wonderful legacy that we should cherish.


The Big Society in action then – and now?