Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

December 08

ELLIE'S MBE SUCCESS - FOR WALES

31-12-2008

Walsall teenager Eleanor Simmonds has become the youngest person to win a gong in the New Year Honours List after winning an MBE in recognition of her achievement in winning double gold at the Beijing Paralympics. Now the battle is on between the West Midlands and South Wales to claim her as their own. more


AWM CHARTS IN “NON JOBS” TOP TEN

31-12-2008

Regional quango Advantage West Midlands offered one of the Top Ten “Non Jobs” of the Year according to the Taxpayers Alliance pressure group . Their latest report also suggests that public sector pay is outstripping wages offered by private firms by more than 3%. more


Last Night's Footy

VILLA'S PENALTY CLAUS

31-12-2008

Referee Steve Bennett turned from hero to Villan when he awarded Hull City a last minute penalty at the KC Stadium - but then rescinded the decision after consulting a linesman. His remarkable turnaround allowed Martin O'Neill's team to nick the points courtesy of Kamil Zayatte's 88th minute own goal. more


VILLAGE PEOPLE LEFT OUT OF INVESTMENT PLAN

31-12-2008

Plans for a major City Council investment in Birmingham's Gay Village have attracted criticism - because the proposed expenditure seems to be focussed in and around Hurst Street. Now business owners elsewhere are wondering why they've been left out. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

"WE'VE DONE IT BEFORE..."

31-12-2008

The new theme tune ringing around The Hawthorns is, “We’ve Done It Before, We’ll Do It Again” as fans rekindle memories of the Great Escape. Terry Will reflects on a season of goodwill at The Hawthorns following Sunday's defeat of Spurs. more


BIRMINGHAM VIGIL FOR ISRAEL’S GAZA VICTIMS

30-12-2008

Hundreds of protestors staged a candle-lit vigil in Birmingham City Centre last night in protest at Israel’s bombing of Gaza. more


Last Night's Footy

HENNESSY MISSES THE POINT FOR WOLVES

30-12-2008

Wolves goalie Wayne Hennessy cost his team the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to nine points when his late clanger allowed former Molinuex star Rob Edwards to scramble an equaliser for Blackpool. more


Doc Dave’s Blog

THE WRONG KIND OF MISCONDUCT

30-12-2008

Remember the old British rail excuse about “the wrong kind of snow”? Well now, as Dr David Nicholl reports, it has an equivalent in the medical world – “the wrong kind of misconduct”. more


STILL WAITING FOR THE BUSWATCH

30-12-2008

Bus passengers still lack an effective lobbying voice says Barbara Panvel. And after her recent experiences she’s adamant that they need one. more


Get Out More................................Gig Review

THE HOLD STEADY (Wolves Civic)

30-12-2008

They’ve been getting oodles of play on 6Music of late, but our reviewer Steve Beauchampe was underwhelmed by their recent Wolverhampton show. Loyal Hold Steady fan Paul Samuels took the band’s advice to “Stay Positive”. more


Sunday Footy Round-up

THE GREAT ESCAPE - PART TWO

29-12-2008

Albion fans are starting to believe that The Great Escape - The Sequel is now showing at The Hawthorns following their second successive home win. But there was less seasonal cheer for Blues who were jeered off after being outplayed in a goal-less draw by Swansea. more


Boxing Day Footy Round Up

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER FOR VILLA

27-12-2008

Villa maintained their assault on the monopoly/montony of the self-proclaimed Big Four with a spirited fightback against Arsenal. Zat Knight's late equaliser completed their recovery from 2-0 down - a result which leaves Martin O'Neill's side occupying a Champions League position. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

LITTLE BRITTON

27-12-2008

Robert Napper’s conviction for the murder of Rachel Nickell finally forced the police to apologise for their hounding of innocent misfit Colin Stagg. But Laurence Inman wonders about the profiler whose “evidence” out the finger of suspicion on Stagg in the first place. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

AIRPORT’S SKY HIGH PARKING CHARGES

27-12-2008

Thousands of families are heading off from Birmingham International Airport this week, and as Richard Lutz discovers they’ll be paying sky high parking charges before they even get off the ground. more


MERRY XMAS

25-12-2008

The Stirrer wishes all contributors and readers a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy yourselves, one and all...


CALL FOR REVERSE ON BUS FARE "STEALTH" RISES

24-12-2008

Transport campaigners are calling on bus operator National Express to delay “stealth” price rises which are due to come in on January 2. The increases were only announced a week ago and attracted scant media attention. more


CHIEF PLOD’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS

24-12-2008

Former West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Paul Scott Lee is in the running for the job of Metropolitan Police Commissioner – but in an open letter, gay rights campaigner Philip Rolle wonders about his unfinished business closer to home. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (Part 17)

24-12-2008

She’s got a dilemma about where the step-daughter’s boyfriend should sleep. And there’s news of a date with the mysterious Ian…

more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

THE GREAT ESCAPE – PART TWO

24-12-2008

Arsenal's Jay Simpson is coming to The Hawthorns on loan - another Christmas present for Baggies fans still celebrating a long overdue success against Manchester City. Now Terry Wills is eyeing another Great Escape. more


“WHITE ELEPHANT” PUBLIC IS “WORST NEW BUILDING”

23-12-2008

The Public Arts Centre in West Bromwich – which last week received another £1million of public money from Sandwell Council - has been dubbed “the biggest white elephant in the arts” by a leading national commentator. It has also scooped a “worst new building award”. more


BRUMMIE SOLDIER IS LATEST AFGHAN VICTIM

23-12-2008

The latest victim of Britain’s campaign in Afghanistan is a Brummie soldier, Corporal Robert Deering, who was killed when his armoured personnel vehicle was blown up by a Taleban bomb in the early hours of Sunday morning. more


WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION

23-12-2008

The sale of Britain’s remaining stake in its nuclear bomb making factory at Aldermaston has been sneaked out reports Barbara Panvel. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

SOFA, SO GOOD

23-12-2008

Have you stopped crying yet? Richard Lutz brushes away a teardrop and examines the legacy of Fiona Phillips’ years on the GMTV sofa. more


ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

23-12-2008

Lynn Hawthorne tests her theory that the standard of written English is declining by trying to string a sentence together. more


Get Out More..................................Panto Review

ROBIN HOOD (Birmingham Hippodrome)

23-12-2008

Pete Millington loved John Barrowman’s turn when he reviewed it yesterday – but what did Terry Wills make of “Britain’s biggest panto?” more


SURCHARGE THREAT OVER AXON AXE

22-12-2008

Wolverhampton councillors who vote in favour of scrapping the controversial business transformation deal with Axon are being warned they could be personally surcharged for misuse of public funds. more


BRUM “CALL IN” DEMAND ON POOLS AND CHARGES

22-12-2008

Birmingham councillors are demanding that two recent controversial Cabinet decisions – to approve in principle a new 50 metre pool, and increase leisure charges above the rate of inflation - be “called in” for further scrutiny. more


DIAGNOSING DAD

22-12-2008

Christmas is a family time and this one is a bit more special for Stirrer blogger and neurologist Dr David Nicholl. more


Get Out More..................................Panto Review

ROBIN HOOD (Birmingham Hippodrome)

22-12-2008

It's billed as "Britain's biggest panto" - but is it the best? Pete Millington checks out John Barrowman at the Hippodrome. more


THE NUMBER 11 - "A LAW UNTO ITSELF"

22-12-2008

Waiting for No. 11 bus has left Birmingham's former Cabinet Member for Transport John Tyrrell pondering alternative modes of public transport. more


Poet's Corner

BELLA NIGELLA

22-12-2008

Phwoooarrr! It's a Christmas cracker. Nigella Lawson gets a good stuffing - and other innuendoes courtesy of The Stirrer's poet laureate Brendan Hawthorne. more


THANKS, U.S.A. Ltd – FOR BUYING OUR NUCLEAR BOMB-MAKER

21-12-2008

The UK’s final 1/3 of the Aldermaston bomb factory has been sold to a US company. This, it seems, is to avoid more borrowing in propping-up recession hit UK banks and businesses. more


Kingy’s Saturday Footy Roundup

20-12-2008

CHRISTMAS CHEERS

Christmas cheer for Villa (away to West Ham) and Wolves (away to Doncaster) both grinding out late 0-1 winners. Blues suffer a hangover losing 1-3 at home to Reading. more


ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ‘UNFIT MOTHERS’?

20-12-2008

Dutch mothers deemed ‘unfit’ may be prevented from having further children. And there’s a suggestion that mothers and children here be placed in residential homes. Brendan King is unhappy at such notions. more


Get Out More.............................Gig News

THE BEAT - IN BEARWOOD

20-12-2008

Legendry Ska band, The Beat, make two special homecoming appearances. Catch them while you can. more


Stay In More..................................Do Some Reading

BOOKS WE SHOULD READ AS AND WHEN WE GROW UP

20-12-2008

Amazon, Internet Book Supplier, has published a list of books suggested that we should read after we’ve reached ‘Year Nine’. Have you read any upper-teen appropriate literature? If

so what’s your opinion? more


LADYWOOD PUZZLE AS ENQUIRY DRAGS ON

19-12-2008

The long drawn out enquiry into Shabana Mahmood’s selection as Labour candidate in Ladywood shows no sign of coming to a conclusion anytime soon – but we’ve been given an insight into one of the lines of enquiry. more


POLICE AUTHORITY: TURKEYS WELCOME CANCELLED XMAS

19-12-2008

Like turkeys welcoming the news that Christmas has been cancelled, members of West Midlands Police Authority have praised a government U-turn over proposals to replace them with directly appointed officials. more


Get Out More...............................Film Reviews

CHANGELING/LAKE VIEW TERRACE

19-12-2008

Two movie recommendations for the price of one by Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg, who catches the latest releases starring, respectively, Angelina Jolie and Samuel L Jackson. more


AUDREY MILLER - RETIRING BUT NOT SHY

19-12-2008

One of the great figures of West Midlands civic life Audrey Miller retired this week from her role as co-ordinator of the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Her successor Revd John Nightingale pays tribute. more


Get Out More......................Club News

EDITORS DJ AT BLAST OFF (Wolves Civic, Sat 20 Dec)

19-12-2008

Here's a coup for Blast Off at Wolves Civic on Saturday - Russ and Ed from top-selling Brummie band Editors will be handling duties on the wheels of steel. more


CLEARED TERROR DOC MUST GO FREE

18-12-2008

Stirrer blogger and Birmingham doctor David Nicholl has accused the Home Office of smearing his fellow medic Dr Mohammed Asha, who remains in custody despite being cleared of involvement in a terror plot this week. more


GOVT AID CALL FOR MOTOR FIRMS

18-12-2008

Government aid to car firms is essential to save thousands of jobs in the West Midlands and beyond claims Northfield MP Richard Burden. more


200 FIRMS IN LIMBO AFTER SUMMER ROW COLLAPSE

18-12-2008

Around 200 businesses in Wolverhampton have been left in limbo after the collapse of the city’s new Summer Row shopping development. A funding gap of £150million has left the scheme in jeopardy. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

THE LESSONS OF EDUCATION

18-12-2008

Wading into the age-old row about nature versus nurture, Laurence Inman argues that too many youngsters are sacrificed to academic tomfoolery. more


Get Out More..............................Theatre Review

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (Alexandra Theatre)

18-12-2008

It’s the Grease of a new generation, packing them in at venues around the country. Terry Wills finds out what all the fuss is about. more


Barbara's Blog

A NASTY SMELL FROM DEODORANTS

18-12-2008

Barbara Panvel gets a whiff of something nasty from her deodorant. more


THE BLACK COUNTRY ALPHABET SONG

18-12-2008

We don't know a lot about this song - but we know we like it. It's the Black Country Alphabet Song. 'Nuff said >>> youtube.com


Get Out More............................Gig News

THE HOLD STEADY (Wolves Civic, Monday)

18-12-2008

American rockers The Hold Steady brought their tales of excess and debauchery to Wolverhampton on Monday night. Steve Beauchampé tries to stay positive… and just about succeeds. more


GOLFERS CLUBBED BY NEW BRUM FEES

17-12-2008

Golfers at Birmingham’s municipal courses face inflation-busting increases in green fees in the New Year – and families visiting the popular Nature Centre will also face significant price rises. more


BIRMINGHAM CHILD PROTECTION "INADEQUATE"

17-12-2008

Birmingham Council’s child protection record has been slated in the latest Oftsed inspection – but opposition councillors say they’ve been kept in the dark about the latest development. more


Dave Price’s Rant

THE HAPPY MEDIUM

17-12-2008

Is the media to blame for the depth of the current recession. Not ‘arf reckons Dave Price. more


Exclusive

CLEARED MIDLAND DOC “SHOULD GO BACK TO WORK”

17-12-2008

Midland doctor Mohammed Asha – cleared yesterday of involvement in a plot to blow up hundreds of people in London and Glasgow – should be allowed to return to his former job as soon as possible according to a colleague who testified on his behalf in court. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

17-12-2008

Albion’s worst performance of the season has left some fans questioning manager Tony Mowbray’s future. Terry Wills stands by his man. more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

17-12-2008

THE CREME DE LA PREM

With Wolves sitting pretty atop the Championship, Brendan King assesses what they'd need to survive in the Premier League. more


RUNWAY EXTENSION GROUNDED BY SOLIHULL

16-12-2008

Green campaigners were claiming a “good result for the environment” after Solihull Council surprisingly deferred a plan to extend the runway at Birmingham Airport. more


ALBERT BACKS 50 METRE POOL – IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT

16-12-208

Birmingham’s opposition Labour leader Sir Albert Bore has backed Council plans for a 50 metre Olympic sized pool – but only if it can be paid for without cuts to other leisure services. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

16-12-2008

From Woolies to The Wire, Richard Lutz muses on the best gifts to give and get in 2008. more


Get Out More....................................Gig News
THE EAGLES (NIA, July 7 and 8)

16-12-2008

Top American West Coast pioneers The Eagles have now announced a second date at the NIA - proving that some acts are recession proof. Tickets for the latest show - priced between £50 and £100 - go on sale today. more


Martin Longley's Music Blog
JAZZ GUITAR SOUNDS: New York (Part 1)

16-12-2008

Lou Reed with John Zorn, James Blood Ulmer and Mark Isham are among the latest clutch of left-field eclectica surveyed by our Big Apple critic. more


SWIMMERS HOPES SUNK BY OLYMPIC POOL

15-12-2008

Plans for a new Olympic-sized pool in Birmingham are expected to be rubber-stamped by the city’s Cabinet today – but as Steve Beauchampe argues, the cost will be paid by leisure swimmers at other public baths. more


WELL DONE ELLIE!

15-12-2008

Congratulations to Eleanor Simmonds, the 13-year old Walsall swimmer named Young Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC last night. more


STAND AND DELIVER

15-12-2008

Richard Hooper’s independent report into the future of Royal Mail is being considered by ministers ahead of publication later this week, and he’s likely to recommend radical action to preserve our postal service. Lynn Hawthorn offers a punter’s eye view. more


SQUATTERS SEE OFF FIRE... AND POLICE "TRICKS"

15-12-2008

Social housing campaigners currently squatting the Firebird pub in Balsall Heath claim West Midlands police attempted to trick them into leaving the building after a fire last Wednesday. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (Part 16)

15-12-2008

A chance encounter with her Book Club admirer Ian leaves the Brummie Mummy in something of a daze. Esecially as he considers her to be “quite something.” more


ALL ABOARD THE REGIONAL EXPRESS

15-12-2008

Manchester's rejection of roads charging highlights the gap between politicians and the public when it comes to spending on major transport initiatives. Former Birmingham Cabinet Member John Tyrrell looks across the Atlantic in the hope of inspiration. more


VOTE FOR A MOVIE PREMIERE

15-12-2008

West Midlands moviegoers are being invited to vote for the chance to watch “the world’s first user generated film” at a local cinema when it’s released next month. more


WRITING IN THE SKY

15-12-2008

The death of Oliver Postgate – creator both Bagpuss, The Clangers, Pogles’ Wood and Noggin The Nog – has Brendan Hawthorne reaching for the tissues. more


Get Out More.........................This Christmas

POGUES AT THE CARLING ACADEMY (15 December 20087.00 pm)

14-12-2008

The Pogues, including legendry alcholic, brillaint songwriter and performer, Shane MacGowan, re-formed in 2001 and have been named, by ‘Q’ magazine, as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". more


Kingy’s Weekend Footy Roundup

A FESTIVE MIX OF FORTUNES FOR OUR TEAMS

14-12-2008

Villa Mostly Terrific After Poor Start; Albion Mostly Poor Throughout; Wolves Mostly Poor But Win; Birmingham Mostly Good But Lose. more


JOB SEEKERS TO ‘WORK FOR BENEFITS’

13-12-2008

James Purnell, Work and Pensions Secretary, Says Long-term Jobseekers Will Have to “Work For Their Benefits”. Notions as Proposed by Labour Right-Winger Frank Field When Labour First Came to Power in 1997. Brendan King thinks that it’s mere electioneering rhetoric. more


THE 4 MILE PER HOUR WINGED POSTY?

13-12-2008

Brendan King, Weekend Editor, is in Support of Posties Claiming ‘Onerous’ New Targets Being Demanded of Them in Delivering to Their Customers. more


Mick Temple's Blog

ACROPOLIS NOW

12-12-2008

Our political blogger arrives in Athens - and the riots begin. Professor Mick Temple sends a despatch from Europe's hottest hot spot. more


COUNCIL HAS TO POOL RESOURCES

12-12-2008

Yesterday we asked the question - just how is Birmingham City Council planning to pay for the new 50 metre Olympic-sized pool in the city? And now we’ve had an answer – sort of... more


PUBCO PUNCHES BACK OVER PRINCE BAILOUT

12-12-2008

One of Britain's major "pubco's" Punch has hit back at criticisms by the publican of the Prince of Wales in Moseley, who needed a £20,000 bailout from his regulars to stay open. more


WOOLIE THINKING

12-12-2008

While ministers were falling over themselves to save the banks, it seems they're quite content to let Woolworths go to the wall. Kevin Chapman advocates a more determined rescue package. more


UNDERHILL CLOSURE PROTEST

12-12-2008

The latest phase in the campaign against £40million Conservative/Lib Dem cuts in Wolverhampton begins on Monday, with a protest against the closure of Underhill House - home to 27 residents, including a 105-year old woman. more


JUSTICE NOT CRISIS FUNDRAISER

12-12-2008

Squatters from the social housing campaign group Justice Not Crisis are holding an open day and fundraising car boot sale this Sunday (December 14) at the Firebird pub, in Balsall Heath, starting at 8am. They are currently occupying the old Firebird with the hope of turning it into a community centre.


Callum's Blues Blog

BOARD MOOOOVE TO HELP CASH COWS

12-12-2008

The St Andrews board have finally woken up the fact that thousands of fans have stopped turning up regularly at St Andrews. Callum O' Connell welcomes a change of heart. more


"MORE TRAINS" CALLS AS WOLVES-WALSALL ROUTE AXED

12-12-2008

Transport campaigners are demanding the reintroduction of the Walsall to Wolverhampton rail route which (barring one train per day) will cease to operate this evening. There are calls for a new station at Willenhall to improve train use in the Black Country. more


Sammy's Music Blog

BLACK AND WHITE RIOT

12-12-2008

A recent TV screening of a documentary about Joe Strummer has Paul Samuels coming over all misty-eyed. Must be the mace from the "White Riot" van. more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

IS MICK A TRANSFORMER?

12-12-2008

The transformation of Wolves from mid-table mediocrities into table-topping terrors has left Molinuex regulars puzzled and delighted in equal measure. Brendan King ponders the reasons for the change. more


Exclusive

REGULARS £36,000 WHIPROUND SAVES PUB

11-12-2008

The landlord of Moseley’s popular Prince of Wales pub has been telling The Stirrer how his business was saved by a £36,000 whipround among his regulars. more


BIRMINGHAM AIMS FOR 2012 OLYMPIC POOL

11-12-2008

Birmingham Council has officially confirmed the site of its proposed 50metre pool – and says it intends to open the facility in time to host visiting teams preparing for the 2012 Olympics. There are still no details about how it will be funded, though. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

CHARITY BEGINS…AT THE BOOKSHOP

11-12-208

Laurence Inman ponders all those books he’ll never read. He also has a delightful metaphor about knitting fog. more


Get Out More...............................Gig News

THE EAGLES (NIA, July 7, 2009)

11-12-2008

Country rock superstars head into town next year as one of only three UK dates. It ain't cheap, mind, with top whack tickets priced at £100. more


Barbara's Blog

NON STOP DRIVERS

11-12-2008

It's not a new phenomenon, but that doesn't make it any less annoying - bus drivers who don't stop! Barbara Panvel wonders if the time has come for an organisation to represent the needs of passengers. more


Get Out More..........................Gig News

THE HOLD STEADY (Wolves Civic, Monday 15th Dec)

11-12-2008

The band's "Stay Positive" is getting oodles of airplay on 6Music right now - and justly so. It's like Springsteen meets The Redskins, which can only be a good thing. Here's Paul Samuel's appreciation of the band from a few months ago ahead of Monday's re-scheduled show. more


ASSISTED DYING IS HERE - SO WHY NOT DIGNITAS, TOO?

10-12-2008

The decision not to prosecute a Midland couple over the suicide of their son at a Swiss clinic has all but legalised assisted dying in Britain argues Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg. In which case, why not just have a Dignitas clinic here? more


LIBRARY DEAL NOT SEALED

10-12-2008

So Birmingham is going to have a new Central Library in 2013, and the old one in Victoria Square will be bulldozed to make way for offices? That’s what we’re told, but Alan Clawley reckons there are plenty of grounds for caution. more


PURCHASE STICKS THE BOOT INTO SHAMED ACADEMY BOSS

10-12-2008

Wolverhampton MP Ken Purchase has wasted no time sticking the boot into Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross - forced to resign from the company's board for failing to declare that he had used most of his shareholding as security for personal loans. Purchase wonders if, in the circumstances, the businessman is a fit sponsor for one of the government's flagship Academies. more


WOLVES, BLUES SET THE PACE

10-12-2008

Wolves breezed to a 3-0 win against Derby to maintain their lead at the top of the Championship. Blues remain in hot pursuit with a 1-0 defeat of Plymouth. more


Barbara’s Blog

HELICOPTER BEN

10-12-2008

With the threat of deflation looming, could we soon see the world’s leading economies printing money? Barbara Panvel sees a one heretical view become the new orthodoxy. more


Get Out More...............................Gig News

WOLVES CIVIC LISTINGS

10-12-2008

Here’s the full listing for the Wolves Civic Halls in the weeks ahead, with new shows for Paul Weller, Magnum’s Bob Catley, Mick Green and the Spencer Davis Group, and Stourbridge indie kids Midas. Oh, and Starsailor too. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

PILING ON THE AGONY

10-12-2008

Failure to secure three points in another "must win" game has a pessimistic Terry Wills checking out next season's opposition in the Championship. more


£3 MILLION, MATE? NO PROBLEM

09-12-2008

Regional development agency AWM has confirmed a £3m grant towards the upgrading of the LG Arena at the National Exhibition Centre. Now there’s a surprise… more


MUSEUM LOCKOUT CONFIRMED

09-12-2008

Willenhall’s historic Lock Museum will close next month, closing a sad chapter in Black Country life. Now there’s a danger that this lovingly restored Victorian treasure trove could be sold off to a developer. more


Get Out More.............................Gig News
WILL YOUNG (Symphony Hall, Sun and Mon)

09-12-2008

One of the few winners of TV talent show to actually sustain a worthwhile music biz career, Will Young has been playing two nights at Symphony Hall. Victoria Grainger loves the voice - but has reservations about the show. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

THE FIVE RING CIRCUS

09-12-200

The Olympic Games could soon be restricted to viewers of subscription TV channels, leaving those of us who aren't prepared to pay extra for our telly locked outside of "the greatest show on earth". Richard Lutz wonders whether we'll notice. more


Get Out More................................Gig Review

THE FRATELLIS Wolves Civic, Sat Dec 6th)

09-12-2008

They stormed to the top of the charts with Chelsea Dagger, a tune which has become a modern indie standard. But how did the Scots trio fare live in concert? Well, Steve Beauchampe enjoyed it. more


Sports Award 1

ELLIE SCOOPS GONG – IN SPITE OF BRUM

08-12-2008

Walsall schoolgirl Eleanor Simmonds scooped the BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year Award last night – prompting blushes all round for Birmingham Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure Ray Hassall. more


Sports Award 2
BLIND DAVE’S ‘SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT’ TAKES HONOUR

08-12-2008

West Brom marathon runner and Stirrer blogger Blind Dave Heeley won the Special Achievement Award at last night’s BBC Midlands Sports Awards for his amazing feat of running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. more


MAKING A NOISE OVER THE RAINBOW

08-12-2008

As revealed on The Stirrer last week, The Rainbow pub is now in the front line of Digbeth's ongoing battle against suburban peace and tranquility. Spotted Dog landlord John Tighe, himself the victim of the noise police, has even taken the unusual step of urging late night drinkers to support a rival establishment. more


Doc Dave’s Blog

QUESTION TIME COMETH

08-12-2008

Radio 4’s Question Time is heading for David Nicholl’s local church later this week. The hunt is on for that elusive “perfect question”. more


Get Out More.................................Opera Review

TWEEDELEEDEDEEDEE AND FRIENDS

08-12-2008

A new "folk opera" performed by top Birmingham musical collective The Destroyers was premiered at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday - and Pete Millington was there. more


Poet's Corner

GOOD SPIRITS AND INNOCENCE

08-12-2008

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market moves Brendan Hawthorne to waxlyrical. He observes a place where belief has to be suspended whilst wallets get thinner, waistlines expand - and adults behave like kids. more


Kingy’s Weekend Footy Roundup

ASTON VILLA AND CITY THE ONLY WINNERS

07-12-2008

Villa achieve a fortunate win at Everton; Albion, unfortunately, fail to win at home against Portsmouth; Wolves deservedly lose at QPR; whilst close rivals Birmingham deservedly win at St Andrews against Watford. more


BACK TO BASICS FOR THE BANKS

06-12-2008

Leader of Birmingham Council, Mike Whitby, in the aftermath of the world and national Banking crises has proposed to reintroduce the Neville Chamberlain inspired, 1916, creation of a Birmingham (Municipal) Bank. more


Get Out More.............................Gig News

BOB DYLAN (NIA 29 April 2009)

06-12-2008

The legendary singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan, is to play The NIA on Wednesday 29 April 2009. more


MAKING 'ENDS MEET' WITH A RECESSION DIET

06-12-2008

The Stirrer weekend editor Brendan King harks back to the first post war recession and remembers how folks managed during that time – with similar food price inflation and rising unemployment to that we’re experiencing at the present. more


DIGBETH NOISE ROW GOES OVER THE RAINBOW

05-12-2008

The threat to Digbeth’s vibrant nightlife has spread from The Spotted Dog to The Rainbow pub, which has been warned that environmental health officers are ready to pounce with their rapid response unit to clamp down on any alleged breaches of noise regulations. more


WOLVERHAMPTON – THOSE TORY CUTS IN FULL

05-12-2008

Full details of the impact of £41 million savings in Wolverhampton have now emerged – even if they haven’t been widely circulated. They include major reductions in facilities for elderly and disabled people. more


Last Night’s Footy

VILLA LOSE…BUT GO THROUGH

05-12-2008

Aston Villa slipped to a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to MSK Zilina …but they are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup thanks to Hamburg’s victory against Slavia Prague. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

PUB'S CLUBBED

05-12-2008

Laurence Inman reflects on the decline of the British boozer - and asks "what makes a good pub?" more


Get Out More.............................Gig Review

COLDPLAY (NIA)

05-12-2008

Soppy bedwetters or sensitive souls with great hooks? I think we can safely say Dr David Nicholl puts Coldplay in the latter camp. more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

MY BLUENOSE BROTHER

05-12-2008

Have you ever watched a match from the "wrong" end of the ground, or been in the stadium with a rival supporter? Brendan King knows the feeling. more


Get Out More......................Film News
THE ELECTRIC (Station Street, Birmingham)

05-12-2008

Clint Eastwood's latest movie Changeling starring Angelina Jolie is on at The Electric this weekend, while in January Italian Job producer Michael Deeley visits for a Q&A. His other porduction credits include The Deer Hunter and Blade Runners. Here's their full up n' coming list. more


MEALS ON WHEELS ADMISSION OVER VOYAGER

04-12-2008

Birmingham Council has finally admitted that its controversial Voyager IT system caused a backlog in payments from Meals On Wheels clients – leaving elderly and vulnerable service users owing hundreds of pounds. more


Exclusive

VISITORS’ SLUMP AT BOTANICALS

04-12-2008

Following The Stirrer’s revelations that Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens is making redundancies, we’ve received new information highlighting an alarming fall off in membership, visitor numbers and revenue. more


POST AND MAIL “GRAND LARCENY"

04-12-2008

Journalists’ union the NUJ has accused the owners of local newspaper groups – including the Birmingham Post and Mail - of “grand larceny”. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY - Part 15

04-12-2008

Putting all thoughts of the mysterious Ian behind her, Brummie Mummy has to deal with her teenage daughter's awkward underwear dilemma. more


Get Out More............................Film/Event News

THE LIGHTHOUSE (Wolverhampton)

04-12-2008

There are some choice arthouse delights in the New Year listings for The Lighthouse, including the wonderful Waltz With Bashir and Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial outing Changeling, tipped to win an Oscar for its star Angelina Jolie. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

THE BLAME GAME

04-12-2008

Now what did I say before visiting fog-shrouded Wigan to see what was reputedly expected to be one of the ‘easier games’ following the battles against the big teams? more


Get Out More..........................Theatre Review

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE

04-12-2008

Birmingham Rep’s Christmas Show, based on the novels of C.S Lewis runs until January 17. Paula Elenor gets into the festive spirit. more


PUBLIC MEETING KICKSTARTS WOLVES CUTS FIGHTBACK

03-12-2008

The fightback against Conservative plans to slash £41million from services in Wolverhampton begins in earnest today, with a public meeting against one of the old people’s homes threatened with closure. more


Get Out More..............................Exhibition

BARBER GOES ON THE ROAD

03-12-2008

Birmingham’s Barber Institute has pulled off a coup – from today, they’re showing the original 120 feet long manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s seminal beat novel On The Road. It’s being displayed for the first time in Europe. more


CENTRAL LIBRARY: DEMOLISHING THE ARGUMENTS FOR 'FITTING IN'

03-12-2008

While the Culture Department dithers on its decision on whether or not to list Birmingham Central Library, campaigner Alan Clawley is cheekily pursuing all the correspondence between the local authority and the Minister in the last year. Good for him. In the meantime, he re-assesses the arguments for demolition. more


JACKSON AWARD FOR MAXI HAYLES

03-12-2008

Birmingham civil rights campaigner has been telling The Stirrer about his pride in being presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by former US presidential candidate, Revd Jesse Jackson. more


BIRMINGHAM COUNCIL REACTS TO OFSTED CLAIMS

03-12-2008

Birmingham Council has defended itself against Ofsted claims that it’s Childrens Services department put vulnerable children at risk by failing to carry out satisfactory reviews when youngsters known to them had died or come to serious harm. more


Get Out More..........................Gig News

NINE BELOW ZERO/DR FEELGOOD (The Robin, Bilston)

03-12-2008

Two British R n’ B giants for the price of one on a rocking night at The Robin. Dave Woodhall was there. more


VULNERABLE KIDS – BRUM FAILING TO LEARN LESSONS

02-12-2008

Vulnerable children are being put at risk in Birmingham according to an Ofsted review which says the City Council is one of the worst in the country for failing to learn from its mistakes in cases of serious abuse. more


LEGS AKIMBO RIP

02-12-2008

One of the most engaging characters of Birmingham’s 1980s indie scene, Legs Akimbo, has passed away. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg pays a personal tribute. more


WOLVES-WALSALL LINE AXE “LIKE BEECHING”

02-12-2008

Birmingham’s former Cabinet Member for Transport John Tyrrell has described the axing of the Wolverhampton to Walsall train line this month as a throwback to the Beeching era of the mid 1960s, when hundreds of local rail routes were decommissioned. more


Martin Longley's Music Blog

JOHN OTWAY

02-12-2008

Clear all pointy objects from the stage! John Otway is bringing his Big Band to The Robin in Bilston tomorrow (Wednesday December 3) but Martin Longley's already witnessed him laying waste to The Duchess in York... more


SANDWELL: PARKING UP THE WRONG TREE?

02-12-2008

Lynn Hawthorne questions proposals to scrap free parking in Sandwell. more


LEGAL THREAT TO PLAYING FIELDS UNDEVELOPER

01-12-2008

Birmingham City Council has confirmed it’s taking legal action against a private developer for failing to deliver on a promise to create new playing fields in Handsworth – a pledge made in return for permission to bulldoze historic allotments. more


COUNCIL "SORRY" AFTER CABBIE COCK UP

01-12-2008

Birmingham’s private hire taxi drivers have been sent individual letters of apology by the City Council after last week’s chaotic scenes at Villa Park, were hundreds were locked out of a consultation meeting. more


Mick Temple’s Blog

GAUNTY’S CONVERSION TO FREEDOM

01-12-2008

Sacked Talksport presenter Jon Gaunt has a won an unlikely ally in the form of Liberty’s Shami Chakrabarti – who he once described as “the most dangerous woman in Britain”. Mick Temple comments on the strange bedfellows. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

THANKSGIVING MYTHS

01-12-2008

Exiled Yank Richard Lutz has just been celebrating Thanksgiving weekend - but what was he celebrating? more


Poet's Corner

THE SWITCHING ON OF THE LIGHTS

01-12-2008

Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg switched on the Christmas lights at Wednesbury on Friday, prompting Brendan Hawthorne to put pen to paper. Brendan's still waiting for his drink, mind. more

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer