Wilnecote’s World War 2 Bomb

AN INTERESTING STORY, to me a very accessible one. I have watched as houses expand into hitherto under-utilised spaces, and roads, and the M42, and the Toll Road, and soon the HS2.

Folk will argue over details but these projects march on.

As for the bomb; a new generation of midlanders are awakening to the reality of what the city of a thousand trades, and it’s environs, endured during the bombing of the Second World War. Played down for many years a considerable toll of death and destruction was visited on this conurbation which provisioned the war effort; from tyres for Spitfires and Hurricanes to the munitions and explosives to automotive components, trucks and tanks.

Around the city and wider environs, UXBs are unearthed from time to time and, decades after their deployment, bring chaos to road and rail.

Of course the counter to this is that this, or that, device was uncovered during renovation or development; not a situation the Luftwaffe had in mind when they dropped their payload!

Attempts were made to place false waypoints for the bombers. Fields flooded and sheds filled with searchlights to encourage pilots and navigators to believe they were bombing factories along the Tame, not fields in Tamworth, Minworth or Shenstone.

Thank you for this enjoyable read, which I am sharing on Gogwit’s Blog.

Site Title

One morning in the spring of 1984 the wooden windows of Tamworth’s newly built Manor Hill estate were rattled by the sound of an explosion. It was ten past eight on a Saturday morning and my wife and I, who had been up most of night with our four month old baby, looked at each other in horror.

“What on earth was that?” we said.

In those pre internet days we had to wait until the following Friday, when the Tamworth Herald arrived to find out. There, on the front page was the explanation to our mystery explosion. The men constructing the M 42 had unearthed a German WW2 bomb right where the bridge at the junction of Trinity Road and Overwoods Road was being built. It reported, workmen had discovered an unexploded bomb at around lunchtime on the Friday and immediately sent for the army engineers while construction work…

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Rally Against School Cuts, Birmingham.

The venue is Victoria Square, the date and time: 1pm, Saturday 28 April 2018.

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“Schools in this country are under threat. Across the West Midlands, 1,887 schools are still facing Government cuts. This is simply not acceptable. Together we need to create a noise so loud that no one can ignore what’s happening to our schools and children’s education.

Join parents and teachers coming together on 28th April to rally against school cuts in the heart of Birmingham. We’ll be dropping a massive banner to showing the schools facing cuts. Rally and speeches will follow.

Speakers confirmed:
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington
Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

Other speakers TBC. Bring banners, your home-made signs, and tell every parent you know in our community. This is a family-friendly event. Everyone welcome!

This action is organised in collaboration with Save Our Schools West Midlands.”

The above text was reproduced from the Facebook Event page.

This rally is set within the context of growing popular disquiet spilling over into activism – increasingly from people with no history of engagement – targeting the attacks upon our system of universal educational provision by the state, whether this be though savage cuts which force schools to shed subjects, resources and loyal, loved and well-regarded members of staff; or perhaps being subject to cherry picking, asset stripped by rapacious multi academy trusts.

Yet others are withdrawing children from stressful and meaningless key stage testing, or questioning the need to baseline pupils from their first day in school.

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Gogwit is going, if you are thereabouts on Saturday why not come along.  Whatever you do, please wish for warm, sunny weather!

Links of Relevance:

Event Facebook Page

School Cuts

SOS – Save Our Schools

Let Our Kids Be Kids

Sajeda & Ashiq

I reblog this piece, by Injeanious, on Gogwit’s Blog because I enjoyed reading it and I was intrigued by it.
So many threads and so many layers.
Our lives are like baskets woven from sticks rooted in our many experiences; some touch directly, some tangentially and others connect but tenuously. All contribute to the integrity of the basket.
Perhaps we could all bear closer analysis of our motivations.
Or, perhaps not.

Injeanious

It’s Saturday morning.  Sajeda and I are lying on our backs in the front room.    I’m demonstrating some simple exercises to strengthen her core.   These had been given to me by my trusty physiotherapist just four weeks ago, when my back was so sore I could hardly move.    I’m sharing them with Sajeda this morning – hoping that by modelling the process with her it will help.   So I’m  demonstrating the leg slide and trying to explain the importance of tightening up her core muscles as I’m doing it.   So to explain further I kneel up beside her and feel her either side of her pelvis, deep into her muscle.  This isn’t too easy because Sajeda is rather on the large side.  Small and round.  I explain that she has to tighten her muscles and keep feeling until she does this.   Good, I praise her – she smiles.  I place…

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St Paul’s Square, B3.

This is the first sustained creative work I have delivered since 2015, I believe.

It came to life on the X14 bus on my way to visit my dentist, Dr Jalif, and was finalised on my return journey, by train, from Selly Oak to Sutton Coldfield.

I hope that you enjoy reading this work. I enjoyed writing it.

St Paul’s Square, B3.

Open field hemmed in by buildings
Workshops, forges, manufactories.
Parts of these turned into houses
For the owners wealth and riches,
For the craftsmen leather breeches,
Tools and ale and most of all
A bed and roof over their head.

Simple people with religion
Men and women all of God.
They raised a splendid place of worship
Visible from house and workshop,
Visible from home and tavern,
Reminding them of place and duty
By then the open field was gone.

Wooden box pews, songs of praise
Hymns ancient and modern.
Blight and blitz and times of plenty
Baptise, confirm, marry, bury,
Offices of life and death,
The churchyard is a garden now
To take the place of field and heath.

Ben A Harvey
24 March 2018

(C) 2018, All rights reserved.

The Council plans closures of Children’s Centres and Nurseries – Have your say at the consultation meetings

An opportunity for concerned parents, professionals and Council Tax payers in Birmingham to lend their voices to the children of Birmingham.
While the Council may have sparse room for manoeuvre, they can register the displeasure and dissatisfaction of the people of Birmingham.
It is true that children cannot vote; however, the adult population can, at parish, municipal, regional and national level; and in Birmingham there was elected a council opposed, in principle, to cuts of this nature that are being enforced by a divisive and hostile UK Government.
The Education, Health and Welfare provision of the United Kingdom only work when predicated on an understanding that the economy serves society, not the other way round.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

They say:

The way that we deliver children’s centres, health visiting services and parenting support services in Birmingham is changing. Have your say on our proposals for a new service model that will bring these services together, for you, in your local area.

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22/7/14: The Day in Trojan Horses.

The ‘Report into allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter’ authored by Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM was published today, Tuesday 22 July 2014, and can be found here.

Also published today on this theme:

• Trojan horse: teachers may face misconduct hearings, says Morgan (The Guardian, 22/07/14)

• Trojan Horse probe shows ‘clear evidence’ of ‘deliberate action’ to introduce ‘intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos’ (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• Watch: Oldknow Academy principal: ‘I was forced out by Trojan Horse plotters’ (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• Trojan Horse: Undercover report reveals school governor was racist bigot (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• ‘Disturbing’ Trojan Inquiry Findings (BBC News, 22/07/14)

I am grateful to The Guardian for their live online coverage of the Statement by Nicky Morgan on the Trojan Horse Letter debated in the House of Commons today, Tuesday 22 July 2014. The Telegraph and The Sunday Times, neither of which would sit on gogwit’s coffee table, should also be mentioned for running this story when it was being written off as right wing, Islamophobic, racist fiction.

I have used the local press as a source of many stories offered today on Gogwit’s Blog, I make no apology for this.
Local parliamentarians have spoken out on the “Trojan Horse” issue today Birmingham Hodge Hill (Birmingham schools ‘feel like the Balkans’ – The Guardian, 22/07/14) and yesterday Birmingham Perry Barr (Stop pretending Trojan Horse plot is fake, urges Birmingham MP – Birmingham Mail, 21/07/14).

The output from three news sources on one sunny July day. The content requires no further comment from gogwit at this time.

Other local news: Today many students are graduating from local universities and many local school children have begun their summer break. I wish them all the very best.

Church Street

Are you going to Ibiza?

Smart-casual bar disgorges
Tall, summer frock well-filled
And heels click-clack on to
The pavement.  Loud, confident,
Cultivated big girl’s voice, as fake
As her tan, as real as
The extra height her shoes afford.

Indistinct low muddy voice lost
In reply; no-one of importance.

Why not?” incredulous, contemptuous,
Supercilious, arched interrogatory
With plucked brows and painted
Expression of perpetual surprise.

Indistinct low muddy voice lost
In reply; no-one special, outclassed.

I do not need to stop, to look
Behind but laugh out loud
And continue on my walk.

Ben A Harvey,
July 2013

(c)

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved