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Sneaks&Peaks #5

When: Saturday 6th September, 12:00 onwards
Where: Boxxed Workspace, Floodgate Street, Digbeth, B5 5SR
Tickets: £5 VIP tickets in advance (including queue jump and free raffle); £3 on the door

Edition 5 of Sneaks&Peaks will be taking place on Saturday 6th September at Boxxed in Digbeth, coinciding with the City of Colours festival.

Once again they’ll be bringing you the hardest to find kicks and leading fashion brands, supported by street art, live music, and a host of street food vendors, courtesy of Scoff Street Food.

Taking advantage of the new look yard plus the additional secret warehouse space, this edition promises to be the biggest and best yet!

Confirmed traders on the day include:

Advanced VIP tickets are £5, which includes first entry/queue jump and free entry in to the raffle; standard entry is £3 on the door on the day. For more information, see the Facebook event page.

Ward Meeting Feedback

Birmingham City Council’s Districts and Public Engagement Overview and Scrutiny Committee are undertaking a public city-wide consultation into Ward Committee Meetings.

Committee Meetings are regularly held for 40 wards across Birmingham, offering local residents the opportunity to meet with Councillors. Digbeth Residents Association regularly attends the Nechells Ward Committee, which is often held at Stanhope Hall Community Centre in neighbouring Highgate.

The Council is interested in hearing your views as to whether these meetings fulfil the needs needs of residents, or if you don’t attend, why not. Please take the time to complete this short online survey to feedback your experience of Ward Committees.

The consultation is open until the 30th September 2014; please click here for more information.

Gin Festival

When: Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September, 12:00-17:00
Where: The Bond Co, 180-182 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE
Tickets: £5 (+£1 booking fee) available online here

Birmingham’s first gin festival is coming to the Bond on Saturday 6th September, with an additional date planned for Sunday 7th September due to popular demand.

Coinciding with an already jam-packed weekend (City of Colours festival is happening on the same day), the festival will showcase over fifty of the UK’s finest gins alongside entertainment and expert masterclasses.

After your entry fee, all gins (including tonics and garnishes) at the event will cost £4. Tickets for Sunday’s event are still available online here – the Saturday session sold out in record time!

For more information, click here to visit the website or visit the Facebook page.

Old Crown New Garden

When: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 August 2014, from 18:00
Where: The Old Crown Garden, Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, B12 0LD

Today sees the launch of the Old Crown’s new garden!

The team at the Old Crown have been working day and night to finish their work in the garden. The revamped space will include a retractable awning to ensure the British weather doesn’t rain off play, along with some old favourite pub games, as well as some more modern ones (table tennis anyone?).

With live DJs on rotation from 6pm every Friday and Saturday night, the new garden is bound to be the next top place to head to at the weekend. And considering Digbeth Dining Club is literally a ping pong ball throws away, you wouldn’t be blamed for setting up camp for the whole evening.

For more information, visit the Old Crown’s Facebook page or website.

City of Colours – Volunteers Needed!

When: Saturday 6th September, 10:30-20:00
Where: Various locations across Digbeth

We’re delighted that City of Colours will be partnering with a fantastic local charity, St Basil’s, with the festival raising funds and increasing awareness of this deserving organisation.

With a 42-year track record, St Basil’s works with over 5,000 people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness every year. Offering a range of advice, accommodation and support services to help young people regain the stability they need to rebuild their lives, gain skills, training and employment, with the aim of successfully breaking the cycle of homelessness, so that they can realise a brighter future.

St Basil’s will need a team of 60 dedicated volunteers to support City of Colours, who will play a crucial role and allow the event to actually happen. Volunteer marshals’ tasks include handing out maps and giving directions, supervising the art areas, distributing evaluation forms, holding collection buckets, and maybe a little bit of tidying up at the end of your shift.

Help is needed for two shifts: 10:30 to 15:30, and from 15:30 to 20:00. In return, volunteers will have their travel expenses covered, be offered car free parking, and get a warm fuzzy glow from supporting this event and indeed St Basil’s.

For more information or to register your support, please click here to visit the St Basil’s website, email fundraising@stbasils.org.uk or call 0121 772 9614.

Many thanks in advance to all the generous souls supporting City of Colours – Digbeth is proud of you!

Beach Party in Digbeth

When: Sunday 24th August, 15:00-18:00
Where: Digbeth Community Garden, Shaw’s Passage (close to The Warehouse), Digbeth, B5 5JG
Tickets: Free entry (suggested donation of £2)

This Sunday, Birmingham Friends of the Earth are hosting a beach party in the beautiful Digbeth Community Garden, which was recently opened by Councillor Yvonne Mosquito and John Gordon, Chair of DRA.

Originally a warehouse which was demolished in the 1980s, the patch of land has been lovingly transformed by volunteers and members of the community.

Along with seaside-themed activities such as ocean fact fishing, a sea quiz, and a making (things out of) rubbish competition, there will also be prizes for the best beach-themed fancy dress outfits. If you play an instrument, why not bring it along and have a jam?

A small BBQ and refreshments will be available, but feel free to bring your own food and drinks. For more information please visit the Birmingham FOE website or email campaigns@birminghamfoe.org.uk.

Robert Pass, a representative from Birmingham Friends of the Earth with Councillor Yvonne Mosquito and John Gordon, chair of Digbeth Residents Association.

Digbeth Dining Club is two!

When: Friday 22nd August, 17:30 onwards
Where: Spot*light, Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, B9 4AG
Tickets: £1 entry fee

With numerous accolades and a British Street Food Award under its belt, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Digbeth Dining Club was older than a toothing toddler, but this Friday sees DDC close down Lower Trinity Street and celebrate turning (a terrible?) two in style!

Utilising Lower Trinity Street and Spot*light to accommodate a dozen of the nation’s best street food traders, live bands and DJs, along with an afterparty at Next▢Door courtesy of Blackdot (free entry before midnight), the DDC birthday bash promises to be the best way to start the bank holiday weekend!

And we’re not the only ones excited about the event; the Birmingham Mail have whetted the appetites of the region with their article entitled Food Heaven, with photos of what to expect from the confirmed traders:

  • Original Patty Men
  • Deli at Edgbaston
  • Vegan Grindhouse
  • Esmie’s
  • Bournville Waffle Company
  • Savanna Grill
  • Canoodle
  • Low ‘N’ Slow
  • Big Daddies Diner
  • Pietanic
  • Buddha Belly
  • The Bean Stall

For more information, visit the DDC website or Facebook event page. We’ll see you there!

PCC Elections 2014

Digbeth residents meet with the PCC candidate. L-R: Pamela Pinski, John Gordon, Robert Brooks, David Charles Jamieson, Joe Holyoak, Yvonne Mosquito.

When: Thursday 21st August

This is a reminder that the elections for the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner will take place this Thursday 21st August. All residents should have by now received a hard copy booklet in the post with information about all candidates standing for election. For information, the candidates are:

  • David Charles Jamieson (Labour Party Candidate)
  • Keith Alexander Rowe (UK Independence Party Candidate)
  • Les Jones (The Conservative Party Candidate)
  • Ayoub Khan (Liberal Democrats Party Candidate)

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are elected to hold the police to account, with the aim of cutting crime and ensuring our police force is effective.

PCCs are required to swear an oath of impartiality when they are elected to office. This reflects the commitment police officers make to serve every member of the public impartially and makes clear that they are there to serve the people, not a political party or any one section of their electorate.

Last week, DRA met with PCC candidate David Jamieson and Acting PCC Yvonne Mosquito, over tea and cakes in the Old Crown. David listened to residents’ concerns and learned more about issues affecting Digbeth and its neighbouring areas.

For further information about PCCs and about the elections please see www.choosemypcc.org.uk.

Social Enterprise Quarter Walking Tour

When: Wednesday 27th August, 09:30-13:00
Where: iSE, Avoca Court, 23 Moseley Road, Digbeth, B12 0HJ
Tickets: £10 + VAT

Following the launch of the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter, iSE have devised a walk to showcase the talents and opportunities available in this growing sector.

Join them for a tour of selected social enterprises in Digbeth next Wednesday. For more information, see the flyer below or visit the iSE website.

Odd Bite: Alfie Bird’s Gourmet Eats and Beats in Digbeth

Image: Birmingham Mail

Where: Alfie Bird’s, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA

The Birmingham Mail’s Graham Young recently visited Alfie Bird’s in the Custard Factory, and had nothing but praise for the recently reopened venue:

Once known as Digbeth’s Medicine Bar, the four-storey building with different themed floors overlooks the Custard Factory’s inner quadrangle.

It is a multi-purpose destination, and one of the potentially most exciting eating, drinking and rocking venues that Birmingham has seen for years. The indoor music venue has a capacity of 350, but there’s the potential to develop a 2,500 capacity warehouse rock venue too.

Luckily, the gas-fired wood-burning pizza oven was well ablaze when we visited, and soon, we were tucking into four pizzas shared between five of us – veritable bargains. All of the pizzas were mighty tasty, along with a side portion of top quality fries, complete with skins.

On a warm, summer’s evening this was the perfect family place to be. Somewhere different, somewhere good, somewhere cool.

And yes, they’re working on custard cocktails.

Great stuff and two thumbs up for the team at Alfie Bird’s! We understand that the guys are regularly working on developing their menu further and have recently added home-made garlic and chilli oils to complement their pizzas. For more information or to have a gander at the menu, visit the Alfie Bird’s website here.