A Conversation for Birmingham, The Midlands, UK

The edges of Birmingham (UK)

Post 1


The city of Birmingham (UK) was, until a few hundred years ago, a largely insignificant place. Not only that, it was a largely insignificant place surrounded by other largely insignificant places - many of which had not even had the good sense or motivation to come into existence yet. What changed all that was the Industrial Revolution. It is generally accepted that the "Start" of the Industrial Revolution happened when somebody built a bridge out of iron to the west of what is now the city of Birmingham. What followed was a rapid expansion of not just Birmingham, but also the villages around Birmingham. As time progressed, they all merged and if one looks at a map today, you will find the city of Birmingham being represented by a lop-sided grey mass, indicating urban conurbation.

What is curious is that some of the inhabitants of this mass, despite being able to travel to the centre of the city of Birmingham without once having to go through anything that even remotely resembles country side, still point blank refuse to allow anyone to refer to them as being from Birmingham.

"I'm from Solihull", or,
"Wim from Quarry Bonk!" They protest.

The government have, over the years, compounded the problem by placated these residents through diplomatic naming their regional authorities. For example, rather than create a "Greater Birmingham" they appended Coventry and called it the "West Midlands". The Birmingham conurbation is now made up of Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Warsall. Arguments abound over all manner of border issues: "Is Wolverhampton in the 'Black country'?", "Why does Dudley get a different phone code when Sandwell has to use Birmingham's '0121'?", "Why is Birmingham airport in Solihull?", not to mention: "Why does Halesowen (strictly speaking in Dudley) have Birmingham post codes when the rest of Dudley doesn't?"

Most people from outside the Birmingham area are frankly baffled by these issues and have taken to referring the whole damn lot as "Birmingham".

The edges of Birmingham (UK)

Post 2


With regard to the question "Is Wolverhampton in the 'Black country'?", the answer is 'yes and no'.

The eastern parts of what is now the City of Wolverhampton are considered to be in the Black Country but were not ORIGINALLY part of the (then) Borough of Wolverhampton. At this point, none of Wolverhampton was in the Black Country. However, with local government reform these areas were integrated with Wolverhampton, causing a part of the redefined Borough to be in the Black Country.

It is not right to say that Wolverhampton IS in the Black Country (in spite of the signs that the City Council continues to display), nor is it right to say that it ISN'T. It just depends on which part you are talking about.

As for Wolverhampton being part of Birmingham, it is like saying that Bristol is part of Cardiff!

The edges of Birmingham (UK)

Post 3


Hi, Harpo!
Could you please write something on your user page (press Edit Page button smiley - winkeye).

smiley - angel

The edges of Birmingham (UK)

Post 4

Quasi-Anonymous Entity (2x(3+(9x(5-5)))x7=42)

Ah, Bilston... the wonderful place where its former border with Wolverhampton lay straight down the middle of the road between to two for quite some distance. Is there still the ridiculous phenomenon that houses on one side of the A41 have adresses on Wolverhampton Rd and the other side on Bilston Rd?

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