Funeral details of great community leader in Yardley

I had some sad news given to me recently of the death of a wonderful lady that I had the pleasure of knowing and working with for many years. This lady is Brenda Capener who I’m sure many of you will know. Please find the details of her funeral arrangements in the poster below from the Yarley Neighbourhood Forum. (click on the poster to read all of the details)

Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26

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My concern on local crime in Sheldon

I have been very concerned for some time on how low level crime has started to increase in Sheldon. I have always been a big supporter of West Midlands Police, in fact it was West Midlands Police and Birmingham safety Partnership that was the instigator and the initial funding provider of B26. There idea was to get social media to be more inclusive with West Midlands Police and the local community, informing them as to what was going on.

However, we have seen huge cuts to police budgets. The Prime Minister says there will be more money to fight the threat from Islamic State, which at the moment is very concerning. The Prime Minister didn’t tells us that that money would come from the present budget, hence less money for neighbourhood policing.


I sat on the Independent Advisory Group with the local Commander for West Midlands Police, Birmingham east. This at that time included community leaders from Yardley, people who knew each other. It then changed to Independent Advisory Group with community leaders from areas such as Balsall Heath, Small Heath, Moseley, Hall Green etc. The problem with was that each area had different problems, also nobody knew each other. Our policing areas have also changed, Birmingham east amalgamated with Birmingham north, Sheldon lost its police station and the NW Co-ordinator based at Stechford was move to another position.

As you can see from what I have said so far, it very much appears to that contact with local policing is moving further and further away from local communities. I used to have contact on a regular basis with a local PCSO, however, he moved to pastures new. Since this PCSO moved, I have had no contact what so ever with our local police.


A couple of days ago I had a phone call from a community leader who works with the friends group at Sheldon Country Park, she was most concerned that her son had been attacked in the park in the early evening. Please see what she has to say:

On Wednesday evening around six o’clock my son (aged14) was sitting with friends next to the play area in Sheldon Country Park/farm. Families were enjoying the sun and a local football coaching session was just about to start. He was approached from behind by 2 young males in hooded tracksuits who then demanded his property then proceeded to take with force those items, a phone, bag, and cap were stolen amongst other things. 

I would urge you all to be aware and vigilant when out and about in that area, these thugs have no regard to whom they target and obviously do not seem to care that they will be witnessed or indeed challenged for their behaviour, this incident took place in a busy area of the park with many onlookers so anyone of them could have been targeted, please be mindful when out of people around you or approaching you from behind, even when in a area where you would normally feel quite safe.

The 2 thugs were white males aged about 16 wearing black tracksuits and hoods and small cross body bags, if you have any information or have been offered any of the following items (Armani cap, Armani cross body bag, Samsung gold mobile phone) please contact the police or let someone at the park rangers office know.

Just over a week ago I was contacted by a neighbour who was very concerned that kids were throwing handfuls of stones from the path in Sheldon Country Park that runs along the rear of the bungalows in Fulford Grove/Chaffcombe Rd.

Last Saturday a friend of mine also informed he had had some large heavy pots with trees planted in them had been stolen from his garden in Tallington Road.

I rest my case on how I think we are progressing with regards to crime, this I feel will only get worse.

 Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26


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West Midlands Police news update

Charge of Julian Blake

A 39-year-old man has been charged with three counts of possession of a sharp or pointed article in a public place, following an arrest made last night (Tuesday 23 May) in Birmingham city centre.

Officers conducted a search of a man at a vigil held in support of the victims in Monday’s Manchester attack.

Julian Paul Vivian Blake has also been charged with one count of resisting or obstructing a constable in execution of his duty and one count of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

The man, of no fixed address has been remanded into custody and is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court Thursday morning 25 May.


It must have been very frightening for those people who attending the vigil in Birmingham on Monday night in support of the victims of the Manchester attack. The news this week has been almost too much to take in. My heart and I’m sure the hearts of all Brummies are with all the Mancunians as they try to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.                           Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26  

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New Lord Mayor to support Dementia UK and Whizz Kidz

Birmingham’s new Lord Mayor – Cllr Anne Underwood – has taken up office after the Mayor Making ceremony which took place at the Council House on Tuesday (23 May).

She was elected as a councillor for Four Oaks Ward in 1982 and then elected as the first female leader of the Conservative Group of the council in 1993.  She has been spokesman or chairman of many portfolios, most recently as Chairman of the Vulnerable Children’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and has served the Conservative Group as Leader, Group Whip, Treasurer and Secretary.

As a member of Sutton’s Business investment District Board, she worked with council officers and the BID management to build a close working relationship that helped to build the BID’s success.  She also chaired the Steering Group that laid the groundwork for the establishment of a Town Council for Sutton Coldfield.

Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Anne Underwood said: “I am proud to serve Birmingham as Lord Mayor for this great city.  I care deeply about people who suffer with dementia and for that reason, Dementia UK is one of the charities that I will be supporting this year.  I will also continue to raise funds for the Whizz Kidz Charity which provides specially adapted wheelchairs for children with mobility issues.

“I already have a packed diary – my first duty will be to open a new retirement village in Edgbaston on Wednesday and then I’m opening Pride at the weekend.  In June I’ll be welcoming Brummies to the Lord Mayor’s Show which this year celebrates sport with lots of free sessions and activities throughout the day.”

During her year as Lord Mayor she will be supported by two Consorts – her daughter Caroline Underwood and her son Philip Underwood.

The Lord Mayor’s Show takes place on Sunday 11 June, 11am – 4pm, at Cannon Hill Park.  For further information see –

 keeping you the readers updated

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Birmingham brings back sixth Gold from Chelsea

Birmingham City Council has scooped Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show for the sixth year running, in the floral category, with a display that celebrates the work of Birmingham* artist, cartoonist and inventor Rowland Emett OBE – famous for his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang inventions.

Darren Share MBE, who led the team for Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m delighted that we have achieved our sixth Chelsea Gold for Birmingham but it was with mixed feelings that I received it this morning as everyone was waking up to hear about the Manchester attack.  The mood here is reflective and sombre today.

“I would like to thank the Rowland Emett Society for helping us to celebrate the achievements of another wonderfully creative artist taught in Birmingham.

“I would also like to thank my team who have worked so hard to bring Emett’s work to life with the power of plants.  And of course our sponsors who have paid for the display and all the plants and moving features within it.”

The 10m x 10m island display in the Floral Marquee – GPG214 – is called A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley.  It has been sponsored by Greenspace Leisure, Rowland Emett Society, Veolia, Akamba Heritage Centre, Pentland Plants, Certis, and individuals who have bought panels.

Background –

*Rowland Emett OBE, was born in North London, 22 October 1906 and moved to Small Heath, Birmingham at the start of WW1.  He went to Waverley Grammar School in Small Heath and studied at Birmingham School of Art, then known as Central School of Arts and Crafts.  He later worked at Siviter Smith as a process engraver in Birmingham before becoming a cartoonist and inventor.  Emett created mechanical machines to amuse and excite the people who saw them. The display incorporates elements of Emett’s work into a floral display and depicts a quiet afternoon in Cloud Cuckoo Valley.

Two pieces of work have been allocated to the display – the first is a bather taking a dive into a pool from a bathing hut and the second is the locomotive ‘Wild Goose’. This is a working train and carriages.

The Display

The train moves above the display on a track three metres off the floor. The track starts at the edge of the display and sits on top of a floral tunnel running through the display. The entrance to the tunnel is planted to look like a rail tunnel and displays pictures of Birmingham.

One side of the display is an ivy wall of metal and wicker moving cogs and gears. In the middle of the wall there is a water feature moving water buckets up to a river.  The river continues in a waterfall, landing on the perspex roof of the tunnel.  Water is then taken through planted valleys to a beach area with a diver and bathing hut.

The valleys are at one end of the display, over the tunnel and down to the beach. Wicker animals will be used to add movement and will be situated in the bedding scheme.

 congratulates Birmingham on its 6th Gold Medal

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What’s on in Sheldon this Bank Holiday weekend?

Due to the great success at Sheldon Country Park on May 1st of Moo Music, which was brilliant. All the children had a wonderful time and absolutely loved it!                                         The sessions were fully booked so don’t miss out on the next one this coming Bank Holiday Monday.  Early booking discount available at                     Please see the poster below for all of the details.

(click on the poster to read all of the details)

 keeping Sheldon & Yardley updated

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Manchester attack was “beyond words”

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray responds to last night’s attack:

We remain deeply shocked following last night’s tragic incident in Manchester and all our thoughts are with those affected.


Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray

We have provided some support to Greater Manchester Police to assist in the policing of the incident in the early stages.

Greater Manchester Police continue with their investigation − at this stage there are no known links between the perpetrator and the West Midlands. We continue to liaise with GMP to establish if there are any victims from our area.

Here in the West Midlands, our focus is on providing an appropriate policing response over the coming days.

We have a variety of tactics available to us on a 24/7 basis − we have teams of local neighbourhood officers, response officers, specialist firearms officers and traffic officers on duty around the clock.

Looking forward to the weekend, Birmingham plays host to Pride which is a large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender event and we’re expecting tens of thousands of visitors to the city. This is an annual event with a parade, music and festivities which is enjoyed by many.

I appreciate that people planning to attend may feel a sense of nervousness − I would like to take this opportunity to give you some reassurance that a full policing operation is in place and is subject to ongoing reviews.

We will have a large number of police officers, specials and police staff on hand to keep the public safe − this isn’t only for the Pride event, but also for anyone visiting the city to enjoy all it has to offer.

I must stress that the threat level nationally remains severe meaning an attack is highly likely. Tragic events like last night’s explosion in Manchester remind us that attacks can occur at any time or place without warning. 

Everyone needs to be vigilant − be alert not alarmed. As ever, we ask the public to be our eyes and ears. If something doesn’t feel right, call us. We act on every piece of information, no click or call will be ignored, we will only take action after appropriate checks have been carried out.

As we saw last night, terrorists wait for those moments when we’re not looking − that’s why vigilance and awareness of everyone is key to combating terrorism.

There are many ways you can report − through local police on 101 or in an emergency 999, via the Anti Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 and online you can click on the red button on the West Midlands Police website to report online terrorist and extremist material.

Locally our West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit continues to work with national security services to keep our region safe. This includes playing a key role in stopping people getting drawn into terrorism and violent extremism in all forms. 

It is really important for us all to remember that acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people and those people do not represent the public. This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson added:

Last night’s events in Manchester are simply beyond words. It took place in a city and a venue I know well and have many happy memories of.

The response of the emergency services and specifically colleagues at Great Manchester Police has been exemplary as has the community who have rallied around. As the casualty list becomes public it will be simply unbearable. It is an attack on families, children and young people.

We will support Greater Manchester Police in any way we can across the next days, weeks and months.

  supporting Alex Murray ACC West Midlands Police

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