Millennium Mural

This month has seen a drab brick wall transformed in Westley Vale Millennium Green by local graffiti artist Hoakser with funding from Arts in the Yard.

Mural by local artist Hoakser, Westley Vale Millennium Green

Mural by local artist Hoakser, Westley Vale Millennium Green

A whole array of native wildlife can be spotted on the mural which you can see from The Avenue entrance. Now it is officially spring and the days are longer than the nights and the lighter evenings will be with us shortly, its a great time to visit our Millennium Green. Listen out for the birds singing, (can you hear the woodpecker knocking?) Spot the ducks on the canal too. If anyone has captured photos of the nature in Westley Vale then contact us and we can arrange for you to send us photos which we can put up a gallery here. Recently seen on the canal were 3 tufted ducks, noticeable by their black and white colouring and funny little pony tail on their heads. Look out for herons too and if you are lucky a kingfisher – on the mural, but also in real life!

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Friends of Fox Hollies Park – Easter Litter Pick this Saturday

Our near neighbours – Friends of Fox Hollies Park are organising this great event this Saturday, see below. Fresh air, exercise and doing something really worthwhile for the community. Its a lovely green space – here is a little history:

Fox Hollies Park - In 1929 Birmingham City Parks Department acquired Fox Hollies Park, some 40 acres of beautiful park land which was valued then at £250. Winding through the middle of the park is Westley Brook, on which once stood Broomhall Mill, one of a string of mills that ran through the area.  A main feature of the park is the large pool, which boasts a great variety of fish. There are some small wooded areas throughout the park, enhanced in 1989 by the planting of some 3,000 trees.

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St Mary’s Delight – Bach by Candlelight

A wonderful evening of Bach music organised by the Kimichi School took place on Sunday 1st March. The famous Brandenburg Concertos were performed in full by a talented orchestra from the Northern College of Music, in the impressive surroundings of St Mary’s Church with added atmospheric candlelight. The audience were treated to a rousing performance and it was obvious the orchestra were enjoying playing the music too. This was a rare musical treat for Birmingham and especially for Acocks Green. We were very honoured.  This was all thanks to the exciting new musical addition on the cultural landscape that the Kimichi School is bringing to our area.

Royal Northern College of Music perform Bach's Brandenburg Concertos at St Mary's Church

Royal Northern College of Music perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos at St Mary’s Church

The concert was the culmination of a weekend of music hosted by the orchestra’s lead violinist Charlotte Moseley, in aid of the Kimichi School who are based in the historic Eastbourne House, Yardley Road. The school need people to support them and you can even help by ‘buying a brick’ or two for £5 each to help secure its future. Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheKimichiSchool or check out their website to find out more: Kimichi School.

Hopefully there will be lots more musical events to enjoy, we try to keep our What’s On in the Community Page up to date, and you can sign up to our email alerts to receive updates.

 

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Fresh Food, Fresh Air and Exercise

Acocks Green has allotments available for this year, and this is a great time to get stuck in and start growing your own fruit and vegetables.

One day's pickings in July

One day’s pickings in July

Some of the benefits to having your own allotment:

  • Healthy Eating
    There are a wide number of crops which can be grown on an allotment and these can be of a high quality and free of the unwanted chemical sprays and artificial methods associated with bulk commercial growing. Vegetables often taste better and can be picked and eaten fresh.
  • Good Company
    Many friends are made at an allotment, you can meet like minded people and you don’t need to be an expert gardener to be successful.
  • Relaxation
    The cultivation of crops and the tending of plots in general can be a very satisfying way to relax and forget about the stresses of everyday life.With the introduction of new strains of fruit trees, apples, plums and even cherries may be grown on dwarfing stocks in a limited space. The growing of soft fruit for jam making, grape vines and a wide variety of flowers and herbs is also now possible.
  • Healthy Exercise
    Many people find allotment work quite vigorous and, as such, a useful and rewarding way of keeping fit and healthy.
  • Money Savings
    Allotment produce, in addition to being fresh, can normally be grown at a cheaper cost than equivalent shop goods.

There are vacant plots available on our allotment sites. Sizes and costs vary and they are half price for Over 65s. Gardening on an allotment gives you lots of space to dedicate to growing your favourite produce and the advice and experience of other local gardeners is also close at hand.! This is a good time to start an allotment so that you can prepare the land for spring planting. It might be an idea to get family and friends involved too and then you can share the rewards.

If you would like to rent an allotment in the Acocks Green or South Yardley area please contact The Allotment Committee using the email address

claylaneallotments@gmail.com or phone/text 07773716555

website http://www.southyardleyallotments.btck.co.uk

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Bach by Candlelight in Acocks Green

Kimichi School who opened their doors in 2013 are enlivening the musical culture of Acocks Green with the development of a community choir, music workshops and concerts. They are a very welcome asset to our area. It is also great to see life being breathed back into the well-preserved Eastbourne House, built in 1858. It has been a school since 1948 and the word on the street is that Nigel Mansell CBE is a former pupil (Have any other locals heard this?) It closed as a private Infant and Junior school in 2007 and was worryingly empty until Kimichi School purchased it and opened it as a school for children 11+ with a passion for music.

Thanks to Acocks Green History Society for photograph.

Thanks to Acocks Green History Society for photograph.

The school were also very pleased to find the beautiful St Mary’s Church in easy walking distance from the school and so a perfect venue to put on concerts. Everyone is invited along to their first concert of the well known Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos by candlelit. Tickets are available on the door (children are free!) takings go towards the upkeep and promotion of the school. candlelight bach

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Help the NHS – Give Blood

The Neighbourhood Forum have been contacted by the NHS Blood Service with a request for local people to give blood. They will be collecting in Acocks Green at the end of the month (see below). Blood stocks have dropped significantly over the Christmas period and there is a need for them to build stocks back up. All blood types are needed, but particularly O Groups to maintain their life saving supplies. With heavy demand for blood and many people taking extended holidays over this Christmas and New Year period they have seen falling stock levels. Perhaps you can help? They will be at the Westley Hotel between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 31st January. Phone in advance to make an appointment.

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The Birmingham Cycle Revolution – Free Big Bike Giveaway

To encourage more people to take up cycling in Birmingham, the city council has been given funds to purchase 5000 bikes in 2015. Some will be used in a bike hire scheme similar to the ‘Boris Bike’ scheme in London, others will be put into a draw for Brummies to apply to own. Some postcode areas around Acocks Green are eligible for the free bikes. Fill in the application form on line or pick one up from the Leisure Centre. You can also telephone the project on 0121 464 1020. Click on picture below for all the information.

cycle revolution

There will be two draws – one on 1st February and one on 1st April. You must reside in Birmingham and be over 16 to apply. You MUST also have a valid Birmingham City Council Leisure Card. These are FREE and easily available from your local leisure centre, our nearest leisure centre is:  Fox Hollies Leisure Centre. To take part in the first draw you need to submit your form by 30th January 2015. If you do not qualify then there will be loads of bikes available on FREE short tem hire and lots of FREE cycling activities for you to get involved in. There will also be Learn to Ride, Bikeability and Bike maintenance sessions available at the 20 Cycle Centres opening in January including centres at Sheldon Country Park and Ackers Centre

If you are interested in cycling and would like to pursue your interest with the Birmingham Cycle Revolution there are also lots of volunteering opportunities. You could qualify as a National Cycling Instructor, become a qualified Ride Leader and Learn new skills whilst becoming an important part of your community, boosting your career prospects. It is also a great opportunity to meet new people and get fitter.

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