Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fun Facts about Birmingham

I wanted to do another post about why Birmingham is such a great city, but found so many interesting facts that I might just link to the sites themselves and summarise my top 5:

1) Birmingham has more trees than Paris, more miles of canals than Venice and more parks than any other European City. Concrete Jungle my arse.

2) Birmingham City Council is the biggest local authority in Europe, and employs twice as many people as the European commission.

3) Birmingham is the UK’s largest manufacturing and engineering centre and accounts for 25% of the country's exports. F.W Lanchester built the first four-wheeled petrol driven car in Birmingham, hence the nickname Brum.

4) The Jewellery Quarter is the largest concentration of dedicated jewellers in Europe. Half of all jewellery made in the UK comes from Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, with a third of jewellery manufactured in the UK made within one mile of the city centre.

5) The City's annual St. Patrick's day celebration is the third biggest outside Dublin and New York and the largest Vaisakhi celebration outside Asia. Eat your heart out "cosmopolitan" London

For more reasons why Birmingham is great, please see this post. The inspiration for this article came from here, here and here.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anywhere that can inspire something like this:-

http://www2.b3ta.com/birmingham/

has got to be bloody great!

GaZ said...

Hiya Louis,
I sent an email to Dr. Carl Chinn, a professor of modern history at the University of Birmingham, to see if he could shed any light on the "Brum" matter. Apparently his book "Proper Brummie" [1] contains the following definition:
Brum n. Birmingham; abbreviated form of Brummagem, also n. a citizen of Birmingham EG "Some of the old Brums round here say it's a ghost, but we are paid to catch thieves, not ghosts" (Palmer, 1976). Used commonly both within and outside Birmingham. In the nineteenth century, Brummies were called Brum or Brums by outsiders. Charlie Mitchell was a renowned boxer borm in Summer Lane in 1861 and in The Life of Charlie Mitchell. (Triple Champion of the World) compiled by A.G. Hales, Mitchell states that he was, "what is so well known in ring parlance as a 'Brum'." Also a live action comedy series for 3-8 year-olds, filmed in and around Birmingham and featuring the adventures of a toy car.

[1]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Proper-Brummie-Dictionary-Birmingham-Phrases/dp/1858582075

Louis said...

To be honest, I suspect you are right Gaz, I was not sure off this when I posted it but it is a great way to remember that the first four-wheeled petrol driven car was built in the city so it is a pity it is not true!

Maybe the sound of the car comes from the nickname of the city..!

FF said...

Hi there, have you got a copy of the Charlie Mitchell book?

Louis said...

I can't say I have.

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luke said...

As a travel writer I am very intrigued in finding out interesting things about different cities in Britain and found some of the information here very enlightening.

Such a pity then that the author of this suffers from the usual Birmingham paranoia of feeling inferior to London. It must be out the umpteenth time I've heard someone extolling the city virtues by blabbing "we're better than London about this" or the equivolent. How deeply boring. Grow up. When I think of reasons why Bristol or Cambridge or London are great it is not along the lines of "wahoo, this is better than Birmingham." A resident of a truly cosmopolitan city would not feel the need compare their place of residence favourably to other cities in this way. Sad, because it makes me not want to read on if this website is dedicated to highlighting attractions via pathetic oneupmanship like this.