Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Brummie’s Guide End of Year Summary!

Hello Everyone!

Looks like we all survived the apocalypse eh? Well done us :-)

I thought I would take some time to write a blog post about the blog, to restate its aims and intentions, to share some stats, to give my thoughts and thanks and all that, and then to maybe write a bit about the future of the blog.

The support, feedback, comments, tweets and words in person have been overwhelming – I never thought I would get this response. It really was just an idea that I just fancied doing out my own interest, to pursue my own interests in my local area in South Birmingham and to increase my own knowledge of the history of the area. I started blogging it purely so it was stored away somewhere, but secretly hoping someone would stumble upon it and make it go viral. I mentioned it to a few people and they gave their thoughts on it; my mother was and still is a massive supporter of the blog and she often appears in my bedroom to give me titbits of information and suggest new places for me to visit. Pete Ashton also, for giving me the e-nudge via twitter to just go for it – look what you started.

I love this City, I love all the secrets and I love uncovering them. There’s so much more to this place than most people know, and if I can begin to make a dent in showing off this other side to Birmingham, then I will try my best. The aim of this blog was and still is to show off what else there is here aside from the usual tourist attractions and shopping plazas. I hope this blog has inspired some of you to take a walk along the river, or to explore the towpaths of the canal network. Despite writing over 70 blog posts, I’ve only covered a small percentage of what there is to do here. I’ve only really visited 4 wards in South Birmingham and even they have more to be written about. I realise that there’s so much for me to cover, and I’m sure some of you sit at home wondering why I haven’t been to x place or the other – I’m only one person, and the weather hasn’t exactly been great photo taking weather. I would be out all day every day if I had the weather (and boots that didn’t blister my toes!) – but I am getting there. I want to blog about everything! I want to explore everywhere! I want to know everything there is to know about this City and to share it and show it off to the world.

This year, the blog may slow down, and may even stop for a short while over the summer – I took a leave of absence from my undergraduate degree last spring, and now the time has come for me to go back and start attempt number two at getting a degree, and this will have to come first. I have a list of articles ready to be written and another list of places to explore, so when I get a free moment I will get them all written up. If things seem sporadic, they probably are! In the summer I will be off gallivanting somewhere in the British Isles in the name of geological mapping for my dissertation. I will try (I am intending to!) get some blog posts written and auto-scheduled to go live while I am away, but we’ll wait and see how that one turns out.

There has been a bit of a blog silence for the past month or so – I didn’t realise/knew but completely forgot about the photo limit on blogger, and it seems I have hit it. I dislike blog posts without pictures, so until I can pay to upgrade (which will hopefully be soon – c’mon payday!), there will be no posts. I am working on a few though at the moment which require more background research, and they’re coming along nicely.

So! I said I would mention some stats. They’re not really that impressive, but I think for a little blog that I did for my own pleasure it’s something to be proud of.
  • ~7000 blog views since I started it, which was at the end of May 2012. So that’s 1000 views a month for seven months? Well done to you guys, and thank you for returning whenever I post a new write-up! (I realise lots of these are probably me checking the formatting, typos, pictures etc.)
  • I also have 159 followers on Twitter, which isn’t bad really considering its main use is to tweet links to the blog posts!
  • Four of my posts have also had over 200 views! They are TheCoat of Arms, King’s Norton Railway Bridge, the guest post from Rhys, Exploring Birmingham’s Heritage and Old Joe.

I’m not entirely sure how a lot of you find the blog – is it word of mouth? Do you google it? Did you get talking to me at Stirchley Stores and I couldn’t shut up about it? Whatever way you come across my blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have – I don’t think I would keep writing if the figures had dropped off, so please keep coming back!

I hope that this year I will be able to continue this blog to the best of my ability and keep up with regular posting. I hope you all keep coming back and reading and sharing and telling your friends and family about it. I hope I keep discovering new places to visit and write about! Though I think for a City such as this, this blog will never run dry. It’s been good fun writing it, and it’s also been really good therapy for me in terms of my illness that made me drop out of uni. It’s given me a reason to get out and explore, and to write. It’s been a productive use of my time! It’s also helped me reconnect with parts of Birmingham I had neglected, mainly the river. I spent so much time playing down by the river when I was younger, or paddling in it in wellies at the ford, or on bike rides with my brother, or causing trouble as a teenager in the fields.

That’s enough ramble – thanks to everyone for the last seven months! And here’s to 2013!



  1. Hi Laura
    Good luck in 2013 and I hope you achieve all you desire.
    PS Thanks for the mention!

  2. I came accross your blog whilst looking at places from my youth.
    I have lived in Sydney , Australia ,for 40 years and your site brings back many memories , especially around West Heath, Turves Green, Kings Norton and Northfield.
    Wish you every success with your renewed studies