Friday, 16 January 2015

Being brave in Birmingham.

I was booked to deliver a lecture in the city of Birmingham on Wednesday. My previous visit to the city had been for a three month stay in 1984 so I was looking forward to seeing the changes. And then that 'journalist' on the American news channel Fox News warned everybody that Birmingham was totally Muslim and non-Muslims feared to tread the pavements.

I am a non-Muslim. Did I have the courage to enter the Caliphate of Birmingham? Then I decided that he must have confused the second city of England with Birmingham, Alabama, US of A. and so I set off for the Midands.

The New Library of Birmingham.

Well, Birmingham has changed.

For a start, I thought that I had been booked to speak in the brutalist concrete monolith of the Central Library but when I asked  at the hotel reception for the best walking route I was proudly directed to a brand new building, Birmingham New Library.

But Birmingham had not finished with me. When I set off on the following morning on my walking route to the venue I discovered that it was more a sliding route -- overnight snow had fallen and frozen hard.

Reflections on the Symphony Hall windows.

Happily for me, Centenary Square had been salted and the air was clear and bright and the International Conference Centre and Symphony Hall building next door was creating a trompe l'oeil effect with the reflections in its glass.

All in all I was very pleased that I had been so brave as to venture into this dangerous non-Muslim no-go city.


  1. What a hero you are. But! After all you are British. The Reeve.

  2. Good to hear from you Barry. Have you got yet to the bit in my book, 'Neither Civil nor Servant,' about my previous visit to Birmingham? It's hilarious.