It’s 2017 and the world is continuing to change. Every day we are seemingly more and more reliant on technology, like you are now reading this on your must have iPhone 7 or your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (check you out). With all this change it’s so easy to forget what an important part of the world the Midlands is. This is a short article on why you shouldn’t be so quick to judge a Brummie or a proper Black Country mon.
It seems like the further away from the West Midlands you go the less important the area is to people. It’s an area of the world which people who aren’t from here quickly turn their nose up to it and its inhabitants would rather move north to nearby Staffordshire or south towards Warwickshire or Worcestershire. It’s a shame because the West Midlands has a lot to offer everybody, no matter your age, gender, race or religion. There’s something here for every single one of you.
Birmingham, the second city, seems to be even more busy today than it was yesterday and it’ll be even busier tomorrow than it is today. It attracts businessmen, businesswomen, shoppers, bloggers, retail workers, entrepreneurs and students alike. Now with its brand spanking new “Grand Central” and the rebirth of the tram going into the city centre it’s even more likely you’re going to think about going there. Birmingham is not for everybody but it’s a good thing for the Midlands. A very good thing. It brings tourism, school trips, 18 year olds from all around the world to university and it offers so much.
Now with Birmingham so popular and a lot of people working there you find you end up with an overflow into nearby towns such as Great Barr, Walsall and West Bromwich. These are the places you are most likely told to avoid but why should you? After all, if you go to West Bromwich you’re a stones through from Sandwell Valley and you’ve got a new shopping centre that’s always busy. If you’re around in Walsall you’ve got the Arboretum and, if you fancy it, you’re only 30 minutes away from Cannock Chase or you can go the other way and you’re just 30 minutes from Birmingham. You’re at the centre of the country and there’s plenty to see and do.
- Bantock House, Wolverhampton
- Banks’s Stadium, Walsall
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- Bullring, Birmingham
- Birmingham Hippodrome
- Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
- Cadbury World, Birmingham
- Coventry Cathedral
- Dudley Zoo
- Dudley Castle
- Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham
- Merry Hill Shopping Centre, Dudley
- Molineux (if you’re into that kind of thing), Wolverhampton
- NEC, NIA, Sea Life Centre, Birmingham
- St. Andrews, Birmingham
- The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
- Villa Park, Aston
- Wolverhampton Civic Hall
- Universities – Aston, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Birmingham, Newman University, Wolverhampton University and University College Birmingham.
But if that’s not enough to tempt you let me just show you what this gloomy little area gave the world:
- The photocopier was designed by Birmingham based James Watt.
- Joiner Jon Heard invented a standalone cooking stove – the modern oven.
- 1896 saw John Hall-Edwards become the first person to use x-rays for medical reasons and was the first to use x-rays clinical conditions
- Birmingham born Conway Berners-Lee was part f the team which unveiled the world’s first every commercially available computer. Not bad.
- For over 60 years the black cabs were manufactured in Coventry.
- JCB has been making its famous heavyweight machinery in Staffordshire wince 1945 and is expanding year-on-year.
- Jaguar Land Rover, MG and Aston Martin have used the Midlands as a base for it’s car manufacturing.
- The balti. No more said on that.
- We all know the words to “Merry Christmas Everybody”, don’t we? We gave the world Slade as well as other famous musicians – Ozzy Osbourne, Duran Duran, UB40, ELO, Ocean Colour Scene, Wizzard and recently made 4th in the Radio 1 Sound of 2017 shortlist Jorja Smith from Walsall. Not too shabby.
- And finally, we gave the world the Jaguar E-Type for Christ’s sake!
It might not be the prettiest place to live but I’m proud to be from the Midlands. There’s so much to be proud of and I know if you think about it enough I’m sure you’re proud of living here, too, even if you won’t admit it to anybody. After all, it’s home.