Category Archives: Birmingham

Readers to beat a path to Walsall bookshop this Saturday!

Southcart Books' last event was a splendid Steampunk Day!
Southcart Books’ last event was a splendid Steampunk Day!

To end their Walsall Town Festival festivities, Southcart Books in Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, are having a little bookshop party showcasing some of their local and regional author friends’ talents on this Saturday 25th July.

And there’ll be quite a variety of writing talent on offer, all of whom will reading from their work in crime fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror and more!

The Master of Ceremonies will be the Editor of The Bloxwich Telegraph, A. Stuart Williams, who is himself a local author.

The programme for Saturday’s event  is as follows:

10.00am Southcart Books Opens

  • 11.00am WELCOME by Scott & Amy, proprietors of Southcart Books
  • 11.05am INTRO by MC and author A. Stuart Williams
  • 11.10am  Adrian Middleton
  • 11.35am  James Josiah
  • 12.00pm  Anthony Nick Britt
  • 12.25pm – 1pm Lunch Break for Mingling and Browsing
  • 1pm-1.25pm  Janet Edwards
  • 1.25pm-1.50pm  Mike Chinn
  • 1.50pm-2.15pm  A. Stuart Williams
  • Mid-Afternoon Break 2.15pm-2.35pm
  • 2.35pm-3.00pm  Don Melbourne
  • 3.00pm-3.25pm  Rob Cartwright and Theresa Derwin
  • 3.25pm-3.50pm Rob Grimes
  • 3.50pm Thanks & Chucking Out by MC A. Stuart Williams

Shop Closes 4.30pm

Works by these authors will be on sale, subject to availability, and may be signed on request.

All are welcome, and ADMISSION IS FREE! Light refreshments will be available. Get there early if you can, as these events are always highly popular!

If you are on Facebook, you are invited to sign up to the Event Page, where you can find out more about the authors who will be reading on Saturday:

Southcart Books is the area’s ONLY independent bookshop, and is located at 20 Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, WS1 1RL.

You can also find them on Walsall Market today with their mobile bookstall, as part of the special Walsall Town Festival market!

Countdown to TV station launch in Walsall

The Goldmine Centre, Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)
The Goldmine Centre, Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)

A brand-new television station is all set to launch in Walsall this Saturday evening – and it plans to cover Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull from its studios in the heart of the town!

Big Centre TV will broadcast digitally to an estimated 2.3 million viewers across the region, from the Goldmine Centre in Lower Hall Lane, where it has joined forces with Walsall Studio School to get a full programme of local and regional news, light entertainment, comedy, cultural and music shows, children’s programming and nostalgic TV including re-runs of the much-loved West Midlands-based ATV soap ‘Crossroads’, all ‘on the air’ via Freeview Channel 8.

Ofcom’s broadcast licensing committee awarded the TV licence to Kaleidoscope TV, which is the holding company for Big Centre TV, following the failure of City TV in 2014.

The auditorium in use as a studio at Big Centre TV in Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)
The auditorium in use as a studio at Big Centre TV in Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)

The new station is the brainchild of enthusiastic co-owners veteran ATV and Central newscaster Mike Prince and ex-teacher Chris Perry, who is the channel director at Big Centre TV.  Their enthusiasm is shared equally by Peter Stack, creative director and head of Sixth Form at Walsall Studio School, Dan Parkes, the school’s principal, and Kevin Davis, CEO of the Vine Trust Group, which runs the Goldmine Centre.

A wealth of experience as well as the latest  technical expertise is behind this new breed of local broadcaster.  Well-known ex-Central TV sports broadcaster Bob Hall is head of news and sport while Shropshire journalist Jennifer Meierhans and Birmingham broadcaster Marverine Cole are senior news producers.  Technical, production and studio staff and a team of roving video news journalists provide the skills needed to get the show crackling across the digital airwaves to homes across the region.

Legendary radio DJ and broadcaster David ‘Diddie’ Hamilton also has a regular chat show with some fascinating guests already ‘in the can’ and more to come.  Audiences are invited to selected shows, with notifications on the station’s Facebook page and presumably via their website, which is also launching on Saturday.

The David Hamilton Show being recorded last Saturday, with guest actress Madeline Smith (pic: Stuart Williams)
The David Hamilton Show being recorded with guest actress Madeline Smith (pic: Stuart Williams)

The station is sharing a media studio, presentation suite and four hundred seat auditorium – which also doubles up as a studio – with the school, and as a result students will benefit from valuable professional experience gained through the partnership.

As well as lighting and sound equipment, the station has the use of broadcast-quality cameras and a ‘TriCaster’ green screen production system, allowing the use of virtual backgrounds for factual programming and news.

A preview is already being shown on Freeview 8. Viewers will probably need to re-tune their Freeview boxes or TVs to pick up the channel initially.  It is not currently on Sky or Virgin.

Regular scheduled programmes will be broadcast by Big Centre TV seven days a week from 6pm on Saturday 28 February 2015, and the station also plans to make programmes viewable online.  Check out their website and Freeview’s programme guide for scheduling.

For more information see: and

Plus on Social Media:

Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee – Victorian style!

Ta ra ra Brum de Ay

Our good friends at theatre company “Don’t Go Into The Cellar!” – best known in Bloxwich for their popular past production of ‘Holmes Alone’ and the forthcoming play ‘Jekyll the Ripper’ at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre – are to bring a slice of vintage entertainment to Birmingham this June, to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

Chamberlain Square’s Library Theatre will play host to “Ta-ra-ra Brum-de-ay!” on Friday June 1st at 2.30pm and 7:30pm, and the performance will feature star turns from Victorian and Edwardian music hall stars such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Tod Slaughter and Le Petomane – or at least, actors impersonating them!

The fun interactive show will feature many well-known music hall songs and comedy skits, and audience participation will be actively encouraged! The vintage variety show, in the style of the BBC’s much-loved series “The Good Old Days”, will be the first in a proposed series of performances across the West Midlands region.

The Birmingham theatre company has already established itself as the UKs only professional troupe that specialises in original Victorian ghost and horror tales, Music Hall revivals and Sherlock Holmes shows. 

The theatre company’s Director, Rachel Green, is delighted that Cellar is able to help Birmingham celebrate the Jubilee in traditional style, the way that Brummies would have done 100 years ago or more.

Rachel says “We are thrilled to present this traditional theatre show and re-introduce audiences to the Victorian Era’s very own stage superstars!”

Tickets are available to purchase at the company’s website, However, two lucky winners can each win a pair of free tickets, either to the matinee or evening performance, by answering this simple question.

Which of the following is a famous Music Hall song?

a)     Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside

b)     Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Motorway

c)      Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Seal Sanctuary

Email your answer to, with your name and a contact telephone number. Closing date for entries is 5pm Monday 21st May 2012.

Spooky theatre company auditioning in Birmingham!

Don't Go Into The Cellar

Great news if you’re a local thespian looking for a challenge that’s both fun and frightful – professional theatre company Don’t Go into the Cellar! is holding auditions for West Midlands-based actors and actresses at Birmingham’s Central Library Theatre on 7 February!

The acting troupe which chilled and enchanted visitors to the Black Country Living Museum and other regional venues late last year with their unique and original production The Legend of Spring-Heeled Jack, and is already lined up for two spooktacular shows at the Bookmark Theatre in Bloxwich this year, is famed for their performances across the UK.

And with thrilling adaptations of Victorian chillers, mysteries, Sherlock Holmes and Steampunk adventures as well as Music Hall evenings, this remarkable theatre company has already established itself as the UK’s only professional troupe that specialises in original Victorian ghost and horror tales, Music Hall revivals and Steampunk shows.

So if you have a flair for Victorian gothic and would like to be considered for the Company’s forthcoming shows throughout 2012, please email your CV and headshot to Company Director Rachel Green at or telephone 0777 2 572 060.

For more on Don’t Go into the Cellar!, check out their terribly scary website!

Free Victorian Superhero Show in Birmingham for Families this Christmas!

Spring-Heeled Jack in action!
Spring-Heeled Jack in action!

Professional Theatre Company “Don’t Go into the Cellar!” is bringing a FREE interactive family theatre show to Birmingham’s Library Theatre next week with the Steampunk superhero adventure, “The Legend of Spring-Heeled Jack”.

The original piece is based on the urban myths surrounding the Victorian bogeyman – superhero figure who gripped the imaginations of Britons across the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jack was even sighted in parts of Birmingham and the Black Country during the 1880s!

The theatre company has already established itself as the UKs only professional troupe that specialises in original Victorian ghost and horror tales, Music Hall revivals and Steampunk shows.

The theatre company’s Artistic Director Jonathan Goodwin is delighted that Cellar Theatre is giving families across the region an opportunity to see exciting and fun filled theatre for free in these cash-strapped times.

Jonathan says, “We are very proud to present this family theatre show and re-introduce children to the Victorian Era’s very own superhero! Audiences can expect villainous scoundrels, feisty heroines and death-defying acts of bravery this season!”

This project has been funded by Awards for All/The National Lottery

“The Legend of Spring-Heeled Jack” will be performed at Birmingham’s Library Theatre on December 19th. Performance times are 2pm and 6pm. Further details can be found on the Company’s website,