The Brummie of the Year is…

John Tighe.

Congratulations John!

As landlord of The Spotted Dog pub in Digbeth, John has battled against a noise abatement order served against the pub, after live music at the venue (which has been going for 20 years) affected some of the residents in a new apartment block built nearby.

A campaign website related to his plight (set up by a resident from the very same apartment block) tells more.

Also congratulations to runner up and mentor to the Birmingham blogworld, Pete Ashton.

Birmingham’s immigrant communities

On Tuesday a new five-part series started on Radio 4 looking at different immigrant communities in Birmingham and at the centres in which they gather.

Centre of our World is, of course, presented by uberBrummie Carl Chinn. The first episode focuses on Digbeth’s Irish Centre. It’s a place that, when I worked in the Custard Factory, I passed every weekday without a thought.

It’s wonderful to hear the history and the personal stories of those that use it:

“It wasn’t easy getting a job. I walked from Balsall Heath almost to the Dunlop before I found a job. I tried at every factory the whole way out. I walked out, all the way out there, through Aston onto the Tyburn Road and I got a job in this little factory and then I got into the Dunlop where I worked for five years making bus tyres.”

It’s only 16 minutes, but also covers the effect on the community of the Birmingham pub bombings and the current decline of the West Midland Irish population. If you missed it you can listen again.

This Tuesday will be the Polish community centre.