Brummies and Baltis: The Commonwealth Games begin on Thursday in the central English city of Birmingham. AFP Sports picks five things to know about Birmingham:
- steam along –
In the late 18th century, Birmingham was described as “the first manufacturing town in the world” and earned the title “City of a Thousand Trades”.
Scottish inventor James Watt’s revolutionary steam engine was built there in 1776.
Letters may be a bit dated now, but it was Birmingham schoolteacher Rowland Hill who is widely credited with introducing the first postage stamp and laying the foundations for what became the modern postal service.
playing blinders –
Birmingham was represented on television in the long-running soap opera “Crossroads” about life in a motel on the outskirts of the city. It was much mocked but the audience was huge.
Television historian Hilary Kingsley said “Some of the actings would have disgraced the humblest of village halls.
The recent hit crime drama series “Peaky Blinders” changed all that and helped put Birmingham on the global map.
“A total winner internationally,” said a local tourism chief.
- curry flavor –
Birmingham has an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants, but its most famous culinary experience is Bucket Curry.
Balti made its UK debut in Birmingham, introduced to the city in the 1970s by Pakistani immigrants who adapted it to a more Western palate than Kashmiri recipes.
Its popularity has grown so much that there is a Balti Triangle and even a Balti Mile with 12 restaurants serving the curry.
Cadbury chocolate for those with a sweet tooth started life in Birmingham.
- ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ from Chamberlain –
Perhaps Birmingham’s most famous son is former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
His proclamation of “peace in our time” backfired — within months World War II had broken out and he was eventually forced to step down to be replaced by Winston Churchill.
The rest is history.
Other notable “Burmese” include Jeff Lane and Roy Wood, co-founders of the Electric Light Orchestra, whose song “Mr. Blue Sky” was used in Birmingham’s handover ceremony at the end of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. was
- ‘Second City’ Derby –
Premier League side Aston Villa and second-tier Birmingham City have a fierce rivalry, with their matches titled the “Second City” derby.
Villa was one of the founding members of both the Football League and then the Premier League and won the European Cup in 1982.
Although Birmingham is not a sporting city.
Edgbaston regularly hosts Test and other international cricket matches and former England batsman Dennis Ames and current international Moeen Ali were born in the town.
Formula One’s 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell grew up in Birmingham and although he was often bullied at school, he looks back on these days with a certain fondness and calls himself “a proud Brummie”.