Author: Nick Booth

Stirchley (and much wider) – Investing in neighbourhoods and communities.

A day for 150 community activists, public servants and others to get the know each other better started with the cacophony of 75 simultaneous chats.   The speed dating started the morning by filling the main hall at the baths with a cacophony of conversation. What a racket….

Later the morning switched to feedback from a range of projects which had support from the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership Small Grants fund.

A number of people there talked about what they do and where they do it… simply to help people recognise what’s going on….

What does Springfield Project do?  Listen to Sarah Robbins on youtube.

Birmingham Community Matters runs surgeries to help small community groups and active citizens in the city – as Rhidi Kaleria explains…

Patricia Watson and Angela Field talk about the Brandwood Centre.

Birgit from Change Kitchen CIC Birmingham.

Ann Harkin and Dr Asha Patel of Innovating Minds CIC talk about their work supporting women and children who have experienced or witnessed.  This clip ends with a quite a wide range of how people can get involved – including volunteers.

Subah Rasab is chair of Balsall Heath Forum and talks here about their work.

Rebecca Debenham of the Northfield Community Partnership in South Birmingham on how starting with employment skills give them scope to provide a much wider range of help.

Sheila Hall of Allen’s Cross Community Association Birmingham on why they are their and what they do.

Oli Armstrong from Northfield Arts Forum.

Helga Edstrom works for the Office for Civil Society – here she talks about finding better ways for funders, public servants and local people to work together.

John Grace recently set up Youth Work Europe in Birmingham, although he is starting in Bartley Green.


Who taught you to swim? Heather Clarke and Stirchley Baths 1975 – 1976

Heather Clarke visited the refurbished building recently. She first worked here in 1975 and went on to teach generations of children to swim at various pools – including Tiverton Pool.

Below is a video of heather and some photos from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Do you remember Heather? Did she teach you to swim?

Heather in 1981, photo taken by Paul Jones
Heather in 1981, photo taken by Paul Jones


Winni Shaw inside the ticket booth – photo taken in March 1988 by Paul Jones
A photo of the ticket booth – taken in Match 1988. Not sure who the person in the booth is. It isn’t Kathy Fracoviac, who Heather mentions in her video.
A black and white photo of a group of people seated in rows.
This is what Heather said of this picture. “l recognise them all but not everyone’s name, At the top man wearing glasses was George Rawlings ( Supervisor) l think next to him was Alan Wallings other two not sure, Below wearing the glasses lifegaurd Pat Byfield, and Joan Butters ( Area Supervisor )
not sure of others names
Bottom row David Teale (Area Supervisor ) myself and Paul Jones7
The event for this photograph was our lnterdivisional Swimming Gala between all of the Baths in Birmingham There were 3 Divisions all competeing against each other”