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★ Birmingham

Birmingham: see Gangs UK: Birmingham & England & Great Britain & United Kingdom & Industry & Engineering & Business & Economics & Manufacturing

Rory Bremner & John Bird TV - Arthur C Clarke TV - Penny Woolcock TV - Gary and Martin Kemp TV - Telly Savalas - jquarter online article - Promises & Lies: The Story of UB40 TV - Peaky Blinders TV - Exposure: The Hunt for the Birmingham Bombers TV - A Very British History TV - The Station: Trouble on the Tracks TV - Britain’s Biggest Dig TV - Mark Williams TV -   

 

 

 

‘I could be in a completely different world  Birmingham.'  Rory Bremner’s Coalition Report, BBC 2015 John Bird

 

 

Thornton Road, Birmingham: It’s not the quiet suburban neighbourhood it seems.  Five of these houses are under siege.  Night after night rocks rain down on them.  The bizarre bombardment has lasted six years ... The stones seem to come from nowhere ... The stake-out goes on in Thornton Road night after night.  Arthur C Clarke’s World of Strange Powers        

 

 

B21 Burgers [Handsworth Park] v B6 Johnsons [Aston Park] divided by Birchfield Road.  Penny Woolcock, One Mile Away, Channel 4 2013

 

This cannot be living ... there’s more to it than this.  ibid.  geezer

 

This is a war over nothing.  ibid.

 

The government’s having a party – and they’re calling it Illuminati.  ibid.  rap lyric

 

This is a black holocaust.  ibid.

 

Handsworth Riots 1985: v Police & National Front.  ibid.  caption

 

We’re arguing over post-codes that don’t belong to us.  ibid.  geezer

 

The tragic killing of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis on New Year's Day 2003.  ibid.  news

 

Four days of violence ... shooting and a two-year-old child was trampled on.  ibid.

 

Handsworth Riots 2011.  ibid.

 

A generation of youth that is lost.  ibid.

 

 

A Birmingham gang called The Brummagems were the top dogs and built up a criminal network reaching far beyond their city.  The Brummagems made fortunes from race-track extortion.  Gangs of Britain with Gary and Martin Kemp: Birmingham, CI 2013

 

Over eighty years later in 2003 another Birmingham gang kills innocent bystanders and shocks the nation.  ibid.

 

One of the oldest and bloodiest feuds in recent years has been between two black gangs the Johnson Crew named after a cafe in Johnson Street and the Burger Bar Boys.  ibid.

 

In the south the Brummagems faced tough competition from a major Italian crime family called the Sabinis.  ibid.

 

The murder of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare was so shocking it created a stand-off between the citys gangs.  ibid.

 

 

I was told to get there before it all blew away.  It was spectacular cherry blossom in Birmingham’s Bournville.  Ride the express elevator to the top of one of the city’s highest buildings, this is the view that nearly took my breath away.  Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham, narrating Harold Baim’s 1981 tour

 

Another way in is by multi-carriage-way-motor-way.  ibid.

 

I found the city exciting.  The modern buildings reflect its position as the nation’s industrial powerhouse.  You feel as if you’ve been projected into the twenty-first century.  ibid.

 

It’s my kind of town.  ibid.    

 

 

The Lunar Society was a remarkable grouping of gifted polymaths who met every month in and around Birmingham on the Monday nearest the full moon (when there was most light to travel home by) from 1765 until 1813.  To begin with, they called themselves the Lunar Circle, the more formal title Lunar Society being adopted in 1775.

 

It has been written that, ‘The Lunar Society was second only to the Royal Society in its importance as a gathering place for scientists, inventors and natural philosophers during the second half of the eighteenth century’.  In fact, it was more than that.  These men were interested not merely in science, but especially in the application of science to manufacturing, mining, transportation, education, medicine and much else.  They were, if you like, the revolutionary committee of that most far reaching of all the eighteenth century revolutions, the Industrial Revolution.  Supremely confident, they were changing the world forever, and they knew it.  They firmly believed that what they were doing would better the lot of mankind.  They believed, as Jacob Bronowski put it, that ‘the good life is more than material decency, but the good life must be based on material decency’.  They believed that by raising productive capacity they would be able to deliver material decency for all, and to a large extent, as far as the developed world is concerned, they have been proven right.  Historians today talk of the ‘Midlands Enlightenment’, which was contemporaneous with the Parisian and Edinburgh enlightenments, but distinguished by its emphasis on going beyond thought, putting theory into practice and translating ideas into action.  The Lunar Society was the heart of that Midlands Enlightenment.  jquarter online article  

 

 

One of the most commercially successful bands of all time.  Over 70 million records sold.  30 years of sold-out world tours.  Still performing after four decades as two separate bands.  Promises & Lies: The Story of UB40, BBC 2016

 

‘The music on the streets was reggae.’  ibid.  lead singer  

 

‘Seeing Bob Marley live: he came to Birmingham.’  ibid. 

 

With their own record label the band release their second album, ‘Present Arms’ and the single ‘One in Ten’.  ibid.   

 

 

I’ve heard very bad bad bad things about you Birmingham people.  Peaky Blinders s2e2, Solomons, BBC 2014

 

 

44 years ago Britain was at war with the IRA.  In their deadliest attack on the mainland, 21 people were murdered in Birmingham after bombs exploded in two pubs.  Six Irishmen were wrongly convicted of mass murder.  Since then the police have investigated without success.  Exposure: The Hunt for the Birmingham Bombers I, ITV 2018

 

At 8.17 on November 21st 1974 drinkers in the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham say the lights suddenly went out.  Minutes later, 300 yards away, drinkers in the Tavern in the Town recall a blue flash followed by total darkness.  ibid.

 

And [Chris] Mullin did just that concluding that four men were really responsible for the bombings.  They agreed to talk to him providing he didn’t name them in the book.  ibid.  

 

The identity of the bombers will not be considered by the [new] inquest.  ibid.     

 

In the mid-70s there were three trials leading go sixteen convictions.  Those cases have left a trail of names, witness statements and police interviews.  ibid. 

 

The informant gave up a fresh name: Michael Reilly.  ibid. 

  

Former British soldier turned IRA terrorist: Francis James Gavin … We believe Gavin is the prime suspect for ‘the older planter’.  ibid. 

 

Another member of the cell  Mick Murray.  ibid.     

 

 

Life in England hasn’t always been easy for the Irish.  For some, it was a shock.  And integration wasn’t always the done thing.  But the English weren’t always keen on us.  In the ’70s the Troubles brought inconceivable horror and suffering to the streets of Birmingham: there were consequences for the local Irish.  A Very British History I: Irish, BBC 2020

 

Most would agree that the Birmingham Irish community we see today started in the years following the Second World War.  ibid.  

 

According to the 1951 census there were about 36,000 Irish-born people living in Birmingham; 10 years later that number had increased by more than 20,000.  ibid.  

 

Despite discrimination, there was work, especially in construction.  ibid.  

 

 

At the heart of Britain’s vast rail network is Birmingham New Street station.  This is Britain’s busiest interchange.  A train departs every 37 seconds, serving over 40 million passengers a year.  All human life is here.  The Station s1e1: Trouble on the Tracks, ITV 2020

 

With parts of the line under water it’s time for the dreaded bus replacement service.  ibid.

 

‘To lose Platform 1 during rush hour, I can’t think of anything worse really.’  ibid.  customer service lady

 

 

If you’re travelling across the UK, chances are you’ll go through here on your way.  For the network to function across the country, New Street has to be running on time.  The smallest delay has a ripple effect all over the UK.  The Station s1e2: Trouble on the Tracks   

 

Across its 25 platforms, Birmingham New Street must despatch 1,000 trains a day safely.  ibid.  

 

 

Summer of 2018: Next to the City’s famous Bullring, the Fox & Grapes pub, once part of a vibrant working-class community, is being demolished after it is being surveyed by archaeologists.  Across the road lies the giant Park Street burial ground, where archaeologists face another huge task … excavations will range over five hectares … making way for the next 7-platform terminus of HS2.  Britain’s Biggest Dig II, BBC 2020

 

At the start of the eighteenth century Birmingham was a market town of just 15,000 people.  ibid.     

 

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