Learn something new about our great city at Birmingham Heritage week
Learn something new about our great city at
Birmingham Heritage Week

Birmingham Heritage Week organisers are encouraging local people and visitors to explore and learn something new about the city as the countdown to over 200 events begins.

Whether people are new to the city or have lived here their whole lives, Birmingham Heritage Week (8 to 18 September) features a wide range of events, many of them free, that offer the chance to see and learn things about Birmingham they may never have known before.

Birmingham’s buildings, culture, history and people will be celebrated this year, with something for people of all ages.

Visitors will be able to learn about everything that makes the city great including hidden gems like Highbury Hall in Moseley, the former residence of Joseph Chamberlain, its musical heritage - visit where Robert Plant would jam with touring bands - and what it was like to live and work on Birmingham’s waterways.

Birmingham is one of Europe’s youngest cities and this year’s programme aims to inspire young people to learn more about its history. Beatfreeks will be hosting a collaborative art showcase event at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, while people shopping in John Lewis can visit the Birmingham Lost Communities interactive exhibition, created with help from pupils from five city schools. It features the old Italian Quarter in Digbeth and the Jewish Quarter on Hurst Street, which have now disappeared.

The city’s diverse population and culture will also be celebrated across various sites and events. These include Birmingham Museums Trust’s Collecting Birmingham exhibition, ‘Extraordinary lives of everyday people’, which will open at Soho House in Handsworth on 10 September with a free family fun day. The exhibition includes a suitcase and objects from Mrs McGhie-Belgrave to reflect her arrival in Birmingham from Jamaica and her life and work in the city. On the same day the Handsworth and Lozells heritage trail will be taking place, showcasing 10 inner-city architectural sites, including Georgian and Victorian architecture.

For full listings please visit here.

Other highlights include:

  • A celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary at Selfridges
  • A chance to hear the story of Black Sabbath on a tour which encompasses much more than music
  • An illustrated talk by Birmingham’s well known historian Professor Carl Chinn at KPMG
  • The Pride of Longbridge Heritage day at MG Longbridge
  • See the world’s most famous steam locomotive, ‘Flying Scotsman’ at Tyseley Loco Works
  • Discover more about J.R.R. Tolkien with talks, tours and beers ending at the Two Towers Brewery
  • Continue the Tolkien discovery and find out how he was influenced and inspired by Sarehole Mill
  • And learn more about the ‘ghost signs’ of the Jewellery Quarter on a tour which celebrates the city’s once thriving sign-writing trade
Birmingham Heritage Week coincides with this year’s Heritage Open Days celebrations, which run from 8 to 11 September, and is the UK’s biggest festival of history and culture.

See a video from Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Chair of Birmingham Heritage Week, about the events on offer this year here.
For full details about Birmingham Heritage Week please visit www.birminghamheritageweek.co.uk

Speeches that changed Britain - Andrew Reekes Speeches that changed Britain
By Andrew Reekes

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Birmingham provided the platform for many of the most important political speeches made outside Parliament. In this fascinating new book, historian Andrew Reekes discusses the impact of some of these speeches, the charismatic orators who delivered them and the mercurial relationship between orator and audience. Reekes also explores the importance of Birmingham as a platform at times of great social and economic change when the town - and later the city - was a centre of radicalism which challenged the establishment thinking of London.

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