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Leasowes Park

Leasowes Park
B62 8DH


This park is truly an oasis of beauty and tranquility in a very built up area.

The park covers 141 acres and has many very pretty features with woodland, grassland, streams, waterfalls and large ponds which attract a variety of wildlife.  Dragonflies, toads, kingfisher and newts can be spotted  in the wetland areas and woodpeckers, tawny owls and badgers in the woodland.
The park was designed by the poet William Shenstone between 1743 and 1763. William inherited the land as a dairy farm and  remodel the estate on scenes inspired by pastoral poetry.

Now all that is left of the estate is this wonderful park/nature reserve. The house and grounds around the house are now golf course and club house.

The Leasowes is considered one of the most significant parks in the country because it to be thought to be one of the first natural landscape gardens in England.

In resent years the park as undergone a bit of a renovation to try to bring it back to the way it would have looked in Williams day, there are well marked walking routes some of which are steep. Fantastic views from the top of Clee Hills and Clent and a nice touch are the benches dotted around with parts of William’s poems etched into them.

There is also a gem within the gem ‘The Walled Garden’ few people know about this walled garden and it history. It can easily be found on the red route walk and is open to the public on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday Mornings. It’s run and maintained by volunteers. We walked to route on Sunday and were lucky enough to run into one of the volunteers as he was locking up. After asking the opening times he kindly offer to give us a quick look around, it is in the process of being renovated, but what has been done is beautifully and you can imagine what it will be like after completion. I don’t want to say too much about it in this post because we intend to go back when it is open to take advantage of time to really get the feel of the place, then I shall do a little blog for it all of it’s own. Trevor explained a lot of the garden to us and the fact that they rely on donations to keep the place going, so there is a donation box if you wish to donate. All they ask is for you to sign their book, just name, date, time you arrived and the time you left, and a comment. The amount of people they get through the gate is directly linked the amount of funding they get. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask people to do. I really hope this walled garden is kept going.

A big thank you to Trevor for taking time out for us.




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The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth

Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Sutton Coldfield (for 10 weeks)


The big sleuth is this years charity event run for the Birmingham Children’s hospital. (The last one was the Big Hoot, owl sculptures). Local companies and organisations sponsor the sculptures and local schools, artists and companies decorate them. 230 of them are ¬†dotted around the city, Solihull, Sandwell and Sutton Coldfield ¬†in shops/museums and parks all to be found. Great fun to be had by young and young at heart, and good exercise. After 10 weeks they are collected up and put on display in one place so that you can see them all for a small donation. They are then auctioned off for the hospital.

The big sleuth so called because a sleuth is the name for a group of bears, so you are sleuthing around while looking for the sleuth. Bears have also been picked this year to help raise awareness of the Sun Bear who’s numbers are sadly declining.

I found a few of the bears, my favorite had to be Ursa Minor The Little Bear. Hidden on the bear is a smaller bear, you need a magnifying glass to see it, I found it with the help of the security guard (it’s in the bears right ear, and it really is tiny). Some of the bears were not there, but they kindly left messages to say they were at the vets and would be back soon :), you have to love Birmingham.

I may go on a bear hunt and find some of the others, when I have time, and if I do I will do another blog post and photos.


Photos  of some of the bears.

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Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul

Moseley Jazz, Funk and Soul
Moseley Park

Weekend tickets £99, Friday tickets £48, Saturday tickets £48, Sundays £48

A yearly event held in Moseley Park. A weekend of music, food and drink. The line up interesting and rather than type it all out here’s a link, but for me it was Chaka Khan that made my weekend. She is in her 70’s and still looks good.

Moseley Park and Pool is part of the former estate of Moseley Hall, which was rebuilt in 1792-1796 for John Taylor who was a Birmingham manufacturer. The Hall was been burnt down in the Birmingham Riots of 1791 when the mob rampaged around Birmingham setting fire to the residences of many landowners.

As well as the rebuild of the Hall Taylor commissioned a plan for the parkland from Humphry Repton who described himself as a landscape gardener, the first person to do so.

In the 19th century a lot of the land was let and the Moseley Hall estate started to be broken up for housing development. In 1896 the parkland was divided into two by the cutting of Salisbury Road which joined Moseley with Edgbaston. This separated the park from the land surrounding the Hall, which Richard Cadbury brought and later donated it to the City of Birmingham as a children’s convalescent hospital.

The Park was formally opened by Mr Austen Chamberlain MP on September 29th 1899. The Park and Pool Co. was managed by unpaid directors and access to the Park was for key holders and their households on payment of a small annual subscription, initially one guinea (£1.05). The lease on the Park was later extended and the freehold was purchased from the Taylor Estates in 1958.

In 2006 the limited company was converted to a charitable trust The Moseley Park and Pool Trust and is still a private park with access permitted to key holders only. The park is open a couple of days a year to the general public and for festivals and performances.



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The Chainmakers Festival

Chainmakers Festival

Cradley Heath

Admission free

11am – 5pm

A yearly event held now in the high street. Many years ago it was held at the Blackcounrty museum, then at Bearmore Park. The festival is jointly organised by the Midlands Region of the TUC and Sandwell council.
The festival celebrates the achievements of 800 women Chainmakers who in 1910 fought to establish a minimum wage for their labour. The local employers sought to deny them their rights but were met with forceful opposition, They were led by Mary Macarthur, who founded the National Federation of Women Workers and later stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate.

The day follows much the same routine every year now that it is in the high street. Music followed by unionist speakers, a re-enactment of the chainmakers strike, Mary Macarthur speech, more music, a brass band who then lead the banner procession to Macathur park where there is a worker picnic, music and more speeches. Every year Billy Spakemon sings strong arms and every year Stacey Bylthe sings the chainmakers song.

For the little ones there is a small funfair, normally two rides and face painting, ice-cream van, and what are bravely called stalls. Most of which are trade union bags and buttons, some pretty grotty looking raffle prizes and I think this year jam, but I wouldn’t swear to that.

Every year I go expecting it to be better that the year before and every year I am disappointed. ¬†Still as a one off it is very interesting, its just a case of once you’ve ¬†been that’s it you need never go again.


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Tatton Park

Tatton Park
WA16 6QN

Admission, car parking £6.00 but this gives you access the one thousand acres of parkland, pools and deer parks.

Admission to gardens £6.00

Tatton garden is set in 50 acres so it’s not too difficult to get around in a couple of hours, the paths being relatively flat and well kept means its accessible to all. Over 200 hundred years each generation of the Egerton family have added their own designs and ideas to the gardens, which has given the garden quite a few different stiles to appreciate.

I particularly liked the Japanese garden which can only be seen from the perimeter, it is opened up at high season for a couple of days a week and can be entered for a small charge, however our visit was not high season so we couldn’t partake in that pleasure. Another fun part is the maze, if you manage to find the middle (without cheating, there were an awful lot of people squeezing between the trees and under the wire on our visit), you can greet the Green man who stands at its centre. He is beautifully carved from wood.

The gardens also contain a few very pretty bridges, a walled kitchen garden, rose garden with a very relaxing pool for bathing, Tower garden which contains the Tower which was used to watch for sheep stealing, inside you can see the skull of one of the watchers. There’s a conservatory, fernery, Italian garden which is beautifully, Mercury’s pool, An African hut, american garden which was very over grown, several pools, and Choragic Monument.

It seemed a bit unkept in parts, although we did see gardeners around tidying.  Not one of the prettiest gardens we have been to but still a nice place to visit.



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Summertime in Southside

Summertime in Southside.
17th/18th June 2017


Birmingham is really good at putting on a free  event/festival and this years Summer in Southside was no different. Southside was turned into countryside for two whole days. There was loads of entertainment to be had including dancing sheep, sort of, it was very hot, sheep shearing, sheep races and sheep dogs herding ducks, or in this case not, the ducks getting the better of the dogs, all courtesy of The Sheep Show I will admit that this was my favourite part of the day, I just loved everything the Sheep Show put on.

Along with that there was Farmer Giles wandering around with his gate saying ‘ooh arr’ and ‘ger orf me land’ the Birmingham Royal Ballet did La Fille mal gard√©. There were acrobatics and dancers, I really enjoyed The Lions of Punjab bhangra dance, and Folk dance Remixed Step Hop House which they describe as Folk meets Hip-Hop, just think Street-breakin Morris dancers and your not far off. There were little plays for the kiddies and Cardboarida, a cardboard farm. Roots by Highly Sprung and Taking Flight by Rouge Play both told stories, using aerial theatre both very good. The Destroyers also played a set, one of my all time faves.

All in all a really fun filled family day and all free.

The sheep shuffle

The Destroyers

Ready steady goooo it’s the sheep race

Duck herding, well sort of. Stick with it, it was the only place I could find to stand.

Sorry about the filming on this last one, but it was the only place left to stand, stay with it, this is when the ducks win ūüôā



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