I have lived in Birmingham or Wolverhampton for most of my life. Birmingham was where my family were, somewhere I spent a lot of my time growing up and somewhere I have seen change dramatically over the last few years. I remember going to the rag market with my mum, it wasn’t like it is now either. The stalls were filled with leathers, beautiful material, the smell of incense sticks filled the air. My parents were punks you see (that could be a brilliant book title). They’d arrive and head to the stalls of their friends, and friends of their friends. DMs, leather jackets, mohawks and serious eye makeup. I remember going there once with my parents, going to the stall of one of their friends and getting to choose something small. I was with my friend and her mum too. After a long time, (probably about 15 seconds) we picked these small gold Buddha statues. I mean teeny. I loved him, though, I have one now almost the same. It reminds me of a very different time in Birmingham.
Those memories I have, the places I saw and spent time in during my childhood have changed a lot. Some of it completely unrecognisable, but my girls have started building their own memory banks and Birmingham is a big part of that, they’ve already seen the huge transformation of Grand Central Station and Spiceal Street, and the iconic Selfridges bubbles.
The thing about Birmingham is that it’s always been a hub of culture, innovation, a place to go and an attraction itself. It’s great to look back on how much as changed and get excited about how much more is left to come. If you want to take another look at the changes in Birmingham, check out the Evolving Cities interactive map.
*In exchange for this review I get to pick something cool do to in Birmingham.