NHWN Newsletter – March 2014

Dear members & supporters,

Please find the March 2014 edition of ‘Our News’ (the NHWN 6 weekly e-newsletter) below.

This edition includes:

Birmingham Connectivity Voucher Scheme


When: Thursday 10th April 2014, 10:30-15:00
Where: The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB
Free event – lunch and refreshments provided

The Connectivity Voucher Scheme aims to help businesses, charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations to take advantage of faster broadband connections. It is funded by the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

Digital Birmingham will cover up to £3,000 of the connection costs for eligible organisations (usually enough to pay for all the work), and as it’s a grant not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back.

Full details of the grant process and the benefits of the connection scheme will be explained at the launch, which features key presenters, case studies and an exhibition. Suppliers and experts will be on hand to provide advice and discuss your specific requirements.

Clearly, the Digital Economy is an important part of Digbeth’s development. We therefore welcome this event, and encourage all local organisations who are able to attend to do so.

To register your attendance at this free event, please click here.

Birmingham Bazaar Expansion!

When: Saturday 5 April, 10:00-16:00
Where: The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B4 9AA

The Birmingham Antiques & Vintage Bazaar just keeps getting bigger!

This April will see the second of six planned free events for 2014, which feature an array of vintage and antique treasures, cafés and pop-up vintage tea shops, along with live independent music on the Lakeside stage.

The full-day event will now take over most of the Custard Factory, including the newly extended Lakeside Gallery, allowing regular traders to use the same pitch at every bazaar throughout the year (dates below):

  • Saturday 21 June
  • Saturday 9 August
  • Saturday 18 October
  • Saturday 13 December

For more information, click here to visit the B2B website, or call 01636 676 531.


Thursday is Blues Night

When: Every Thursday from 20:00
Where: The Spotted Dog, 104 Warwick Street, Digbeth, B12 0NH
Free Entry

From tonight, every Thursday will be Blues Night at The Spotted Dog.

Following from the success of their jazz nights on a Tuesday, which attract a crowd from across the city, the team at The Spotted Dog have cracked open their little black book of blues music contracts to put on a veritable weekly feast of aural pleasure.

Featuring sets from DJs Dylan and Dave Le Moderne, this is sure to be a welcome addition to the vast and varied music scene in Digbeth.

Digbeth Photowalks

When: Saturday 29th March, 10:00
Where: Meet at the corner of Bradford Steet by the Adam & Eve pub
Tickets: £6 (available online)

We here at DRA know Tracey Thorne as she is a regular poster of Digbeth photos on Twitter. Now Tracey is hoping to share her passion for Digbeth and photography with others through two photowalks she is organising in March and April.

I am a big fan of Digbeth and really want to use photography as a way to engage people in looking more closely at urban areas.

The first of these photowalks takes place on Saturday from 10:00; click here to visit Facebook to learn more, or here to purchase a ticket.

To learn more about Tracey and her work, click here to visit her website, or call 07967 696171. If you can’t make this photowalk but would still like to take part, there will be another one on Sunday 27th April at 14:00.

Imaginary Poland

In a collaboration between Polish Expats Association and Flatpack Festival 2014, PEA presents Imaginary Poland. A series of events taking place in Digbeth, featuring an exhibition and events from artist Brendan Jackson, exploring darker subject matter in 1970s Polish cinema and television:

Imaginary Poland – exhibition
When: Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th March
Where: Flatpack Kavarna, Spotlight, Unit 2, Lower Trinity Street, Birmingham B9 4AG
Free entry

An exhibition exploring Calling 07, a crime series broadcast by Polish television between 1976 and 1987 and inspired by the James Bond character, who was considered to be anti-socialist.

Calling 07 – performative lecture
When: Sunday 30th March, 13:00
Where: Flatpack Palais, Spotlight, Unit 2, Lower Trinity Street, Birmingham B9 4AG
Free entry

The exhibition will be accompanied by a multi-faceted performative lecture from Dr Iwona Kurz (Director of Film and Visual Culture, Institute of Polish Culture, Warsaw), who will look at the reasons why evil did not exist in Poland under communism, or at least, not in the movies.

The Dark House – film screening
When: Sunday 30th March, 14:15
Where: Flatpack Palais, Spotlight, Unit 2, Lower Trinity Street, Birmingham B9 4AG
Tickets: £7.50/£5.50 (concessions)

Directly following Iwona Kurz’s talk, there will be a screening of director Wojciech Smarzowski’s film The Dark House. The story switches between the murder of a family on a remote farm in 1978, and an investigation which takes place during martial law four years later. Please note that due to adult content, the film is Certificate 18.

Grand Union Events – March 2014

St Patrick’s Parade 2014

If you look closely, you can see the DRA banner in the bottom right corner of this picture! Image: BBC News

It’s been seven days since St Patrick’s Day, and eight days since the accompanying parade, and what a difference a week makes! No one would have believed the gorgeous summer weather we had in Digbeth, no doubt pre-ordered by the parade organisers.

As tradition dictates, Digbeth Residents Association took part in the parade, along with other community groups such as the Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham, who are pictured along with DRA Chair John Gordon and Secretary Pamela Pinski below.

There was a fantastic turn out for the parade, and an even better atmosphere, with lots for all the family to do, including the inauguration of the Emerald Village in the Custard Factory. If you weren’t able to make it, don’t fear, as local filmmaker Didier Soulier has created a fitting video tribute to the day, along with some musical help from Digbeth regulars, The Father Teds:

Here’s hoping that next year’s parade will be even better! One things is for sure, DRA will be out in force continuing to support the Irish community in Birmingham.

Sunday Sunday

Urban Village is now open on Sundays!

Frankie and the team at Urban Village have listened to customer feedback, and will now be opening seven days a week to ensure that everyone, regardless of their working pattern, can now enter their little slice of vintage shopping heaven!

Their new (and improved) opening times are now:

Monday-Friday 10:30–18:00
Saturday 10:30-17:30
Sunday 11:00–16:00

For more information, click here to visit the Urban Village website, or pop into the shop at the Custard Factory to speak to the team.

10 Years of The Rainbow Venues

When: Saturday 19 April – Monday 21 April
Where: The Rainbow Venues, 160 Digbeth High Street, B12 0LD

Having unquestionably changed the Midland’s clubbing landscape over the last ten years, The Rainbow has hosted some of the biggest names from the worlds of house, techno, bass and everything in between. It has been the site for huge festivals and has continually evolved and adapted, changed and improved, to keep ahead of the times.

To celebrate their first decade, The Rainbow will be hosting a weekend packed full of events from Saturday 19th to Monday 21st April. Along with the expected parties, there will be road closures, and even Secret Walls will be hosting a live ice cream van illustration battle!

A number of films championing The Rainbow’s contribution to clubbing are being released on a weekly basis via their YouTube channel.

During this extraordinary weekend, Digbeth Residents Association asks for the support and patience of our members as it is likely that The Rainbow and its patrons will be emitting more noise than usual. As ever, if you have any questions you’d like to ask ahead of the event, please contact Scott on scott@therainbowvenues.co.uk or 0121 753 1818.

For more information about the weekend, click to visit The Rainbow’s website or Facebook page.