Wednesday, 9 March 2011


I have just come across a 'well-known' acronym for neighbourhood planning-"PARK"-advises those who participate in planning to identify …

P (things we have and value and so want to protect)
A (things we value but don't have and so want to acquire)
R (things we have but don't like and so want to remove)
K (things we don't have and don't like and so want to keep out)

(taken from

Thought this was very similar to the Thought Exchange questions... never seen it written down as PARK before!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Over 50 thoughts for contemplation

Stirchley Happenings' 'Flicks, Infusions and Vintage Tunes' night was a great success last night! The mound of tea bags (for composting) sums up the popularity of the evening - with free tea and cake, and some fantastic films, it was not to be missed!

Carefully placed in the centre of the front table throughout the evening was a folder of comments gathered from our two previous Thought Exchanges, for punters to read and reflect upon. The folder will be left there for the final week of the pop-up art tea room's time in Stirchley. It will be open this Thursday 3pm - 8pm if you would like to dip in and read the 50something thoughts that have been gathered so far - and in exchange for free tea, please do leave your own thoughts too.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Thought Exchange at the Artea shop, Stirchley

You may have noticed a new tea shop pop up on Stirchley High Street, on the corner of Pershore Road and Ivy Road. It is part of 'Inhabit', a visiting community art project under the 'Arts in Empty Spaces' scheme. Commissioned by the council's arts team and run by Hybrid Consulting, the tea room acts as a space for artists, both from the local area and across the region, to engage with Stirchley residents, community groups and local businesses.

Prior to landing in Stirchley, the Inhabit project visited Ladywood and Handsworth. It took some encouragement to get the tea room to visit Stirchley, but now it's here, it's good news!

The are a lot of exciting discussions happening about the use of the tea shop: Stirchley Happenings are looking to use it for a film night on Friday 25th February - I will keep you posted!

Stirchley Thought Exchange will have an appearance in some format too: we're thinking of exhibiting some of the thoughts from the two exchanges to date in a photo album that we can leave on the tables in the tea room, so people can read through at their leisure and drink free tea and eat free cake. There will also be an opportunity for you to contribute thoughts on the area. I'm hoping to exhibit some of the photos that were taken at both events too, and try and invite those people who have contributed so far back for a tea drinking evening, to reflect on recent change in the area.

I am awaiting a full programme of activities, but the shop will be there until the end of February. Every Thursday is late night tea drinking, so if you're free I recommend checking it out - from 6pm - 8pm.

Linking back to August's Thought Exchange at the Community Market, there were themes of having a tea room in Stirchley, or more cafes. With the Artea shop happening, as well as Cakes for Life's schedule of cafe based events, Stirchley is, more so than ever, an exiting place to be!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cakes for Life Event - Stirchley Community Cafe!

Verdah and Emma are two nice local people who like to bake tasty cakes and biscuits. At the moment they sell from Stirchley Community Market and Stirchley Community Church Cafe.

They will be hosting community nights at the cafe - the first of which is next Wednesday 9th February 3.30 - 10pm. It will be a games night, and a book exchange - so bring your books to swap! Hope to see you there.

For more info get in touch with Verdah and Emma!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Friends of Hazelwell Park Bird Watching event Saturday 29th Jan

Friends of Hazelwell Park (Stirchley) are holding an event as part of RSPB's bird watching weekend... from 10.30 - 12.30 on Saturday 29th January. Activities will include birdwatching (bring your binoculars), making nest boxes for the park (don't think decorating is part of the plan - but I liked the picture), and other things mentioned on the poster...

I can't make it sadly, but hope you can!

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 29th and 30th January

Exciting things happening over the weekend...

It's the annual RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch, where hundreds of thousands of people across the country count the birds (or lack of) visiting their garden.

RSPB say:
"If like us, you love birds and want to help them, then the Big Garden Birdwatch is your chance to do something that really counts. All you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of our handy bird ID sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden on either Saturday 29, or Sunday 30 January 2011.

Then simply record the highest number of each bird species seen in your garden, or local park (not flying over) at any one time, and come back to these page to tell us what you saw.

For over 30 years, we've been asking our supporters to count the birds in their garden. During this time, more than 3 million hours have been clocked up watching and enjoying the birds that visit our gardens (that's more than 380 years!), and every year, some 6 million birds are spotted by people like you.

With results from some 280,000 gardens helping us create a 'snapshot' of bird numbers in each region, we've been able to see that some of our birds are disappearing in scary numbers.

We've lost more than half our house sparrows, and three-quarters of our starlings, and your results have certainly helped highlight these dramatic declines.

However, it isn't all doom and gloom - these surveys might help us spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step to help aid a species recovery."

As an RSPB member, I will be out in the garden on Sunday morning counting the birds!

Steve McCabe MP completes Thought Exchange

It's nice when an MP takes an active interest in the community they represent. So we were pleased when our MP for Selly Oak Constituency turned up at the Community Market. And left us some general thoughts of how he wants to improve the area...

Unfortunately we didn't get a snap of him looking at the market... let me know if you did!