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34154.  Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:17 pm Reply with quote

Sorry to snap, by the way, Celebailin

Immense amounts of work have gone into creating these threads and, as the site has become more popular, much of one's time seems to be taken up with defending attacks on our veracity – rather than advancing the work itself.

As has been said frequently before on these boards, we don't claim to be flawless but we are doing our level best to be as accurate as the technology (and our diligence) allows.

And thank you for your pacific post.

Pax, I hope, eh?

34161.  Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:23 pm Reply with quote

Firstly, sorry, OK the three-letter shortcodes are there.

But secondly, sorry but no, you placed the Brummagem comment sandwiched between two pieces of information taken from the government report.

Not only that but the report you reference is at pains to point out at an early stage that

The Birmingham General Cemetery Company was founded in 1832 and the Cemetery at Key Hill was opened to all creeds and denominations in 1836, although in practice it was used mainly by non-conformists.


In England, the first urban cemetery was established in Liverpool's Derby Road, in 1825; followed by Kelsall Green, in 1833, in London. Thus Birmingham was very much at the forefront of the movement.

Whereas what you chose to reference was:

Conditions were crowded and unsanitary and typhoid and cholera were rife. The churchyards rapidly became overpopulated and sextons resorted to the use of "boring rods" probing the soil to find space for one more body.

This despite the fact that what the report actually says is that the new graveyard was built because:

Cholera and typhoid endangered the lives of all classes. The church yards of six Anglican burial grounds in the town centre and those for the Jews, Quakers, Baptists and Congregationalists and Methodists were overflowing. The sexton had to have recourse to the "boring rod" to find space for one more body.

as was the case, or effectively so, in all the cities mentioned.

Last edited by Celebaelin on Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

Mostly Harmless
34178.  Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:59 pm Reply with quote


Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total

34208.  Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:31 pm Reply with quote

So be it. With pleasure, back to the matter at hand.

Birmingham, Burne-Jones, The Birmingham School, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts movement.

Edward Coley Burne-Jones was born at 11 Bennetts Hill on August 28 1833. Within days his mother, Elizabeth, died and the child was raised by his father, also Edward, a gilder and frame maker.

Chiefly associated with the second generation of Pre-Raphaelites, Burne-Jones also worked closely with designer William Morris throughout his life.

In 1853, he went up to Exeter College, Oxford, and it was here he met William Morris.

Apart from a few informal lessons from Rossetti, whom he met in 1856, Burne-Jones was largely self-taught, his early work consisting of pen and ink drawings and watercolours - all of romantic or literary subjects. He took part in the Oxford Union mural campaign in 1857, joined the Hogarth Club in 1858, and in the following year made the first of four lengthy trips to Italy.

Burne-Jones habitually reused preparatory drawings and designs for projects in different media, from decorated tiles and pianos to jewellery and theatrical costume, many of which are in Birmingham's collection. Two final collaborations with Morris led to outstanding designs for tapestries, dating from the late 1880s - the finest being the Holy Grail series now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where they are exhibited occasionally - and a plethora of illustrations for the Kelmscott Press, whose greatest achievement was the folio Chaucer of 1896. Reluctantly, Burne-Jones accepted an Associateship of the Royal Academy in 1885, but exhibited only once and resigned in 1893. In 1894, Prime Minister Gladstone offered him a baronetcy.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones died in Fulham on 16 June 1898 and was buried in the churchyard at Rottingdean, Sussex, where he had a country home.

Excerpts from

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Royal Birmingham School of Art became the envy of the world. Its teachings were centred on the Arts and Crafts movement, the very epitome of an apprenticeship to Morris & Co.

Sidney Meteyard was a member of the second generation Pre-Raphaelites and the follower of Burne-Jones. Meteyard belonged to the Birmingham school of painters, from which group many interesting Pre-Raphaelite artists came from 1890 to 1920.

136410.  Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:55 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
One year and 4 months ago, jenny wrote:

Fascinating facts about Birmingham:

A massive system of canals was built to cope with the influx of traffic that resulted from the Industrial Revolution, so that Birmingham now has a more extensive canal network than Venice.

This is technically true:

According to Wikipedia Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, Venice only 26. However Venice’s area is 7.6 square kilometres compared with Birmingham’s 267 sq km. So Brum is 35 times bigger than venice, yet only has 1.3 times its canal length - not quite as impressive as you may think.

A quite interesting fact about this claim.

I can't find the source, but I'm pretty certain of this:

The original "claim" that Birmingham boasts more canals than Venice was said as an unverified and off-the-cuff remark, possibly as some sort of tourism boast.

When later checked, it was indeed found to be true.

Of course Birmingham and the surrounding areas have only a tiny fraction of the canals that were present in its heyday. Dissuse, abandonment, infill and building works have left their mark, and what used to be a huge network, with branches, wharves and all manner of canals is now barely recongnisable.

Other interesting "B(irmingham) facts - the village of Bournville, founded by the Quaker Cadbury family to house workers, was rather ahead of its time in many ways. However, according to Quaker condition, remained "dry". I think it probably has a pub or 2 now, but considering some of the excellent pub buildings around other parts of Birmingham, such a watering hole was notably absent there.

Spaghetti Junction - not just the largest road junction in the UK, but also the meeting point for numerous other bits and pieces, including some local roads, 2 rivers (the Tame and the Rea), 3 canals (Grand Union, Tame Valley and Brimingham & Fazeley) a couple of railways (Birmingham Cross-City and the Walsall lines).

136450.  Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:44 am Reply with quote

J.R.R Tolkien based alot of his ideas for Lord of the Rings on different areas of Birmingham. Where he lived, people had surnames that sounded like that of a hobbit, such as 'grimmit'. Also, there were two small towers by his house, one relating to a description of Orthanc. People living in caves on the outskirts of Birmingham may have given him the idea of a hobbit hole and the grassy area where he lived had a windmill, just like Tim Sandyman's mill.

Yes, yes, I know, I am a nerd.

136451.  Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:47 am Reply with quote

Oh, and Bournville was created as an area for the workers of Cadbury's factory to live in. It was originally a seperate village, but Birmingham expanded around it.

And Birmingham city thrashed Newcastle 5-1 the other night.

Reading, here we come.

157333.  Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:52 pm Reply with quote

Reading, there we go.

There being out of the FA cup.

167990.  Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:43 pm Reply with quote

jampott wrote:
Other interesting "B(irmingham) facts - the village of Bournville, founded by the Quaker Cadbury family to house workers, was rather ahead of its time in many ways. However, according to Quaker condition, remained "dry". I think it probably has a pub or 2 now, but considering some of the excellent pub buildings around other parts of Birmingham, such a watering hole was notably absent there.

This has been a news item recently. There still is no pub in Bourneville and no off licence either and plans to open an 'outdoor' there are being opposed by residents as they fear a moral decline amongst the yoof.

The closest I can think of used to be The Breedon Cross at, erm, Breedon Cross but that closed a while back I think (by which I mean about 20 years ago when I was still a student in Brum). The Breedon Cross should be circled on the map here. Come to think of it there was one at or near the roundabout on the Pershore Road in Stirchley IIRC. Going North the closest might well be The OVT (originally called The Brook) on the Bristol Road by the University and going West I think you probably have to go as far as The Bell in Northfield. Interestingly although the halls of residence of Birmingham University are all built on land donated (owned?) by the Cadbury family they all have bars except Manor House and University House I think and University House is 20 yards from the Guild building which has plenty of bars; 4 when I was there. Students and academics knocking back the booze? Who'd have thought!

181308.  Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:01 pm Reply with quote

Tescos recently lost a battle to sell alcohol in their new petrol station shop in Bournville. There was a resident's petition, and the town coucil eventually refused to grant permission. So Bourneville is still dry. Hurrah! It's hardly very far to other pubs if people want a drink ( I live very close by).

Other interesting ish facts. All the houses in Bournville have quite large gardens - the Cadbury brothers wanted their workers to be able to grow their own veg. Also, the architect who designed a lot of the houses was fresh out of architecture school when he got the Bournville job, and deliberately made all the houses in the streets slightly different so as not to create uniform houses. The houses are designed in pairs (semi detatched) with eah pair slightly different from the rest.

Bournville junoir school also has the Bournville Carillon on top of it, one of the largest in Europe and housing 48 bells. It's played every Saturday at midday and 3pm for about an hour each time.

393910.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:19 pm Reply with quote

Has anyone pointed out yet that neither Noddy Holder who Stephen Fry mentions in series B nor Aynoch and Aylie to whom Barry Cryer referred, are from Birmingham? Noddy was born in Walsall (which is almost in Wales as far as us Brummies are concerned)! Aynoch and Ali are fictional Black Country characters. Brummies and Black Country folk are very different and are always being wrongly referred to as being the same.
I would have thought that as Q.I. are in the business of dispelling myths and ignorance, they might have done so in this case instead of helping to propogate it more?

394039.  Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:25 pm Reply with quote

Welcome Mo - :-)

396912.  Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:25 am Reply with quote

Council chiefs in Birmingham were left red-faced when they mistakenly used a picture of their U.S. namesake in Alabama on thousands of official leaflets.

More here

403034.  Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:06 am Reply with quote

Stapes wrote:
Firstly, "yay, Birmingham's great!"


4022 - much as regional accents should be celebrated as part of our rich and varied culture, I'm sure the Brummie accent is not the most aurally pleasing. However, Shakespeare probably had one, didn't he? Also, although outsiders might not realise the difference, the Black Country accent is very different from the BIrmingham accent, with different vowel sounds, especially 'o's.

thought i'd chime in on this one,

One thing i have noticed in particular being a black country lad myself is birmingham folks tendency to pronounce laugh as "Larf", black country on the other hand is quite abrupt and we often use loff.

Even living in wolverhampton though i'd love to know where "yo bin" and "yo bay" ( meaning you are and you're not) came from as they are completely dissimilar from the original words

403531.  Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:48 am Reply with quote

The use of "bin" as the first or second person singular of the verb "to be" has been recorded in quite a few English dialects, mainly in the Midlands and the north west of England.

Verbal -n forms like this are a survivor from Middle English, and were common enough before the twentieth century. Most of those which do survive are used in the plural rather than the singular - for instance a previously unrecorded -n form was noted in Bolton as recently as 1999 (Shorrocks).

The singular "bin" where standard English uses "I am / you are / he/she is" is largely confined to Shropshire and the area around Wolverhampton. A bit further south in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, some use "I be" instead, while in Yorkshire "I is" is found.

As for the origin of the "I bin" form, well it comes from the infinitive "be"; and note that the Standard German for "I am" is "ich bin". The negative form "bay" isn't mentioned in the literature immediately to hand, but I imagine its formation was something like "bin not" leading to "bayn't" and hence "bay".

One source which covers the matter in some detail is Kortmann, Hermann and Pietsch (2005), A comparative grammar of British dialects, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.


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