Friday, September 16, 2005

Birmingham is Glorious 

So says Maureen Lipman in the Guardian. And OK I have to confess some of my ancient prejudices have to give way. Through gritted teeth ... she has a point.

Having lived in Warwick for a quarter-century I have some of the prejudices of that place and one of the is that 'we' were not 'near Birmingham' . Apart from the notion that everywhere else around us (except possibly Stratford-Upon-Avon) should be defining themselves as 'near Warwick' the feeling very defininitely was that our Big City was Coventry and that we sympathised with the unfortunate folk of Solihull who had to put up with the innuendos arising from being in the circulation area of the Birmingham Mail. And sixties Birmingham redevelopments, Bull Ring and all, really just reinforced that. What a dump!

But the modern rebuild of Brum is something else. And looking now from the distance of Milton Keynes I can say ... yes .. perhaps not Glorious, but something good coming up there.

Mind you Milton Keynes is sometimes seen as the modern reincarnation of (old style) Birmingham by its neighbours. The habit of the company that owns the MK City Shopping Centre of plastering towns like Northampton and Bedford with billboards saying 'Milton Keyenes - a better place to shop' does not really win friends. maybe MK and Birmingham should get together and talk about the problems and opportunities of being regional commercial centres...

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