Archives for category: Recreation

 

 In February Pat Thomas wrote an articleLet’s get UK chefs talking about GMOs’.

San Carlo is ahead of the game. 

Outside its restaurant in Temple Street, Birmingham San Carlo’s menu sheets open with the declaration (photographed in driving rain): “We are advised by all our suppliers that all their products are GM free”

 San Carlo is one of the restaurants founded by Carlo di Stefano which have won more than thirty regional national awards – to read more go to: https://sancarlo.co.uk/our-story/. There are sixteen in Britain and a growing number overseas. Not only is it ‘GM wise’ but – as visitors from Mumbai last Wednesday all agreed – lunch there was delicious.

This year ‘Beyond GM’ is introducing ‘GMO conversation’ to chefs, caterers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and others in the British food service industry.

Pat Thomas (below left) noted in March that in the US, chefs like Alice Waters and Tom Colicchio are leading the public discussion on GMOs. But in the UK our chefs, caterers, hoteliers and restaurateurs are largely silent – and possibly not well-informed. She adds that concern in Europe is already growing. In France, an open letter about GMOs and the corporate takeover of the food has been signed (so far) by 330 chefs, hoteliers, restaurateurs and others in the food industry. The letter was launched on gastronomy news website Atabula and initiated by its founder and editor, Franck Pinay-Rabaroust, a former editor of the Michelin Guide.

A survey (now closed) was organized which focussed on preferences and informed choice when eating out and its early results will be brought to a roundtable on provenance hosted by Chef Cyrus Todiwala. It will also inform a report being produced on GMOs in the restaurant and catering food chain and this, in turn, will form the basis of talks planned for later in the year.

 

 

 

 

Theresa May has announced that the Conservatives will renew a pledge to hold a free vote on overturning 2004 ban on the blood sport. During a visit to a factory in Leeds, the Prime Minister said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote”.

Is anyone surprised? What are the lives of a few foxes and the welfare of our least fortunate citizens to a person prepared to press the nuclear button?

Nicola Stavrinou writes about this repeal in Redbrick* (accessed via the Brummie aggregator):

She asks why: as 84% of British people are opposed to fox-hunting, would the Conservative Party back such an unpopular repeal?

Her answer: “Theresa May is using this repeal to gain back the hardliner Tories who wish to see the ban lifted once and for all. She is going for an electoral majority which could potentially remove Labour and SNP from the equation. The anti-hunting Labour and SNP MPs who voted to ban fox-hunting could potentially be replaced with Conservative MPs who are pro-hunting. May knows that she has the power to pass unfavourable laws because of the Conservative’s recent surge in popularity, most recently seen in the Mayoral elections from the beginning of the month”.

Wryly she concludes: “I have no doubt that if there is a potentially high Conservative majority win in the snap election, this ban will be lifted. Not that it has actually stopped anyone from hunting since then anyway”.

*Redbrick is the student publication of the University of Birmingham, established in 1936 under the original title Guild News

It has evolved to include eleven sections covering wide areas of student life, and expanded into the world of digital journalism. All content is produced by student journalists, including reporters, commentators, photographers and editors. As a student society, any student of the University of Birmingham can join and contribute to the publication.

The hard copy is published fortnightly and its website is updated continuously with regular content, videos, audio clips and photography. Events are covered through live blogging, providing a platform for readers to get directly involved with the debates. The website currently receives approximately 40,000 unique views per month.

Other recent articles:

The One Show: It May Never Get Cringier Than This

Labour Party Broadcast: A New Peake?

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On Saturday 13th May (12pm – 6pm), the inaugural Independent Birmingham Festival will be taking place at The Bond, Digbeth, showcasing the very best of Birmingham’s independent restaurants, bars, pubs, street food traders, local retailers and artists, designers, producers, in a day-long celebration. There will be an ‘ace programme’ of music and other entertainment.

Independent Birmingham has created the Independent Birmingham Membership Card. The IBcard is now owned by over 15,000 people, acting as a key to the city and entitling cardholders to fantastic discounts and deals at over 95 of the very best independents in Birmingham. The website and the Independent Birmingham Membership Card both act to encourage the people of Birmingham to support local, celebrate the unique and to Believe In Birmingham. Only those independents included on the Independent Birmingham Membership Card will be trading at the event.

Around 70,000-80,000 different people visit the Independent Birmingham website a month, along with a large social media following so we decided that the time has come to celebrate Brum’s marvellous independent culture in a way we’ve never done before.

More news as it comes on our events page.

Tickets cost just £8 (children under 12 go free – no ticket required) and can be purchased here.

 

 

 

 

 

gavin-2-stamp“To give so much to a grand country house (Wentworth Woodhouse) and nothing to Moseley Road Baths (or other neglected listed buildings) suggests a snobbery about “heritage”. Municipal baths are as important a part of our history – social and architectural – as aristocratic seats”.

So wrote architectural historian.Gavin Stamp (right) this week.

He asks if Birmingham City Council is happy to contemplate the loss of the fine and well-used swimming pool at Moseley Road Baths (below) – one of only three swimming pool structures still in operation listed at Grade II* and well-supported by an active and enterprising ‘Friends’ association.

Country: United Kingdom Site: Moseley Road Baths Caption: Second Class Pool Image Date: April 20, 2007 Photographer: Vivienne Harrison/World Monuments Fund Provenance: 2016 Watch Nomination Original: from Watch team

Professor Stamp points out that Birmingham city council had for years ’run, neglected and threatened to shul the complex’. Moreover, in 2012 the Heritage Lottery Fund offered £5m towards its restoration, but the council to refused to contribute the matching £3m – which Stamp finds ‘particularly reprehensible’’.

Our readers from further afield (yesterday coming from UK, USA, Mexico, Germany, Azerbaijan, India and Ireland) may read more about this in the Birmingham Post.

Stamp describes the Baths as one of the finest Edwardian bath buildings anywhere, with two fine swimming pools covered by arched iron and glass ceilings and two ‘unique survivals’, an intact set of private washing baths and a set of steam-heated drying racks.

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The first class men’s pool above – considered by Simon Inglis, historian of swimming pools, as “the mosl dramatic Edwardian pool hall in Britain” – closed in 2003 but survives intact.

Stamp concedes that historic baths are expensive to run and maintain, but can be restored to stay in use, as the pools in Camberwell and Kentish Town demonstrate.

In the words of the World Monuments Fund, if Moseley Road Baths were restored, it “would continue to serve a diverse urban community in the 21st century and would join other destinations in Birmingham that proudly recount the social history of the city.”

Main source: Gavin Stamp as ‘Piloti’ in Issue 1436, Private Eye.

 

 

 

Kopfkino & Stirchley Baths

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Friday, 10 February 2017 from 19:30 to 22:30

Bournville Lane, Birmingham B30 2JT

0121 464 9072

Suggested donation £5. Pay what you will. Refreshments will be available.

I, Daniel Blake will be preceded by a short film, ‘To Be Home, Stirchley’ by Geoff Broadway

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to local charity SIFA Fireside. The venue is wheelchair friendly. Unfortunately the film does not have sign language or support for the hearing impaired at this time. There is parking, though this is limited whilst work is being done on the Friends Meeting House.

Please visit us by public transport where possible.

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This is a free screening so that it is accessible to all. If you can afford to pay, proceeds from ticket sales will go to local charity SIFA Fireside who improve health and inclusion for the homeless.

There is also a collection box year-round at Stirchley Baths for the B30 Foodbank. We encourage you to bring along donations.

Those who did not see the acclaimed 2016 film “I Daniel Blake” at MAC, other cinemas and the Birmingham Co-operative Film Club, may see it at St Francis Church Hall, Bournville, on Saturday 21st January at 7 p.m. It is a British film by award-winning director Ken Loach in which a 59-year-old joiner, unable to work due to a recent heart attack, befriends a young single mother as they both struggle with the benefits system. At the latest Cannes Film Festival it received the highest award – the Palme d’Or.

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“Homeless Sunday” is on January 22nd, and profits from the showing will go to the charity “Shelter”, a charity that emerged from the production of the  BBC film (1966) “Cathy Come Home” also directed by Ken Loach.

 

 

 

 

npw-coverAllan Leighton, Chair of the Canal & River Trust, in his foreword to the C&RT’s Northern Powerhouse Waterways prospectus (cover, left), outlines the potential of the region’s waterways as a resource for all to use, a contribution to competitive, resilient and congenial cities and routes to sustainable growth.

There are proposals to provide an alternative to road freight by upgrading fifty miles of commercial waterways to the EuroClass II standard and developing the inland Port of Leeds to create a corridor from the Humber to Leeds.

With relatively low levels of investment our waterways could be brought back into use as an essential part of our freight transport network.

CRT also recognises that waterways have a significant role to play in building energy and environmental resilience and supporting the transition to low carbon economies.

Waterways can contribute to the low carbon economy. The water flowing through the City Regions via the Northern Powerhouse Waterways contains enough thermal energy to produce around 200MW of energy. This energy can be extracted using water-sourced heat pumps to provide an incredibly efficient form of heating and cooling, reducing electricity demand and balancing electricity supply.

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A number of businesses now use this low carbon energy source to heat and cool their buildings. The Hepworth, Wakefield (above), on the waterfront of a length of the Calder which has been ‘canalised’, is using this energy source to heat and cool its art gallery building.

Waterways provide an important wildlife route and mitigate habitat loss, also assisting the genetic exchange of plants.

With careful design waterways can provide sustainable options for drainage from future developments that would otherwise not be viable due to flood risk concerns. The managed nature of canal water levels, and the ability of waterways to accept surface water run-off, could also assist flood mitigation measures.

Will the Midlands Engine work with C&RT to Increase the use of our waterways for commercial purposes by waterborne freight and of our towpaths and riverside paths for recreation or travelling to work? Such a partnership could make a valuable contribution to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions – a key consideration as air quality in Birmingham is exceeding legal limits, causing chronic ill-health, loss of productivity and substantially increasing the NHS’ workload.

 

 

 

Two readers report that the “grape-vine” says this is due to a problem with Birmingham Council. They have contacted BBC Midlands Today, Solihull Observer, Solihull News and the Birmingham Mail.

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The well-visited Wonderful World of Trains & Planes in Mary Ann Street switched on its Christmas lights and decorations on Saturday 19th November.  The main lights were dipped and the model houses, shops, trains and model railway layouts were illuminated, ‘creating a whole new dimension’ to their detailed, mini countries (above, Holland at twilight).

jq-2Our readers wrote: “For any enthusiast of trains and planes, this is the place to visit. It is a recent addition of “places to visit” in Birmingham, having started about 3 years ago. It is an on-going project, having additions all the time.

We had visited about 12 months ago when it was in its infancy and were very impressed and had hoped to visit it again in the following week to see what was new.

People have come from all over the world to visit the attraction and many people, including ourselves, have donated items to it.  Ours was a picture of the “Brick Train” at Darlington, which we had visited earlier this year.

Apparently there have been thousands of hits on Face Book https://www.facebook.com/wonderfulworldbirmingham/ from people wanting to know what is going on and when it will re-open.

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Can readers, who include at least four councillors, shed any light on the sudden closure of this museum?

 

 

 

 Photographer: Patrick Willcocks

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Christmas is fast approaching and the pressure is on to find original, interesting or unusual gifts. If you either make or want to buy quality locally-made items, come to The Old Print Works on Saturday 3rd December for our Christmas Market – at 506, Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 9AH.

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 To book a £10 or £20 stall either phone Mel on 07887946885 or book directly here.

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See Blakesley Hall dressed for a Tudor Christmas and meet Tudor characters preparing for the Yuletide festivities.

Part of the lively traditional dance and song scene in Birmingham and the Midlands, Tudor Entertainers – commonly known as Gryphon Tailes, play on keyboard, recorders, lute, etc. Their instrumental performance is in costume with some humorous themes. They have performed at

  • Anne Hathaway’s cottage
  • Blakesley Manor

Jessie Brinklow (events organiser) writes: ”A new Renaissance entertainment group has been set up. The costumed group aims to delight the audience by creating the spirit of the bygone age – to awake the ghosts of yesteryear- with live music and dance both stately and comic. As a completely voluntary organisation Gryphon Tailes is available free of charge for public events and also for private parties for a contribution to charity. Come and see us when we appear at Blakesley Hall on 10th December this year to recreate a Tudor Christ Tide”.

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Professional historical reenactors, the 1635 household, will be at Blakesley Hall recreating a traditional Tudor Christmas. See what domestic life would have been like for a well-to-do family, their friends, servants and visiting tradesmen at Christmas time. Festive sounds with the St Barnabas Handbell ringers, Choir Divertimento and costumed Tudor musicians.

Home made mulled wine and festive food available. Pre booking is essential as places are limited. To book tickets call 0121 348 8120 or book online.

See http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blakesley/whats-on/tudor-christmas