Stirchley Park in the sunshine


I don’t know much about Stirchley Park, but I have been visiting a lot over this odd lockdown. I usually wander in after a trip to the supermarket or via the entrance between the baths and the library. It’s tucked away and hidden quite well – I’m always surprised by how many people I come across that don’t know it’s there.

Apparently, Stirchley Park was originally created from land donated by William A Cadbury in the early 19th century. Which makes sense as there’s a little plaque in the corner of the grass near the Bond Street entrance (straight ahead from this photo).  According to Wikipedia, the park once had a competitive bowling club with a green and pavilion for the players too.

Now there’s a strange black wooden box in the corner of the park, confusing visitors who don’t know what it is. Sorry if this ruins the mystery but it’s a camera obscura, installed by local artists Hipkiss & Graney as part of their Dead Shrines Project. Find the eye-hole and see the park in a different way.

Friday 20 March update

As expected, changes are coming in thick and fast. I’m trying to update the master list over on the coronavirus page, but this is largely from things I’ve spotted online.

  • Artefact are doing takeaway only for the foreseeable
  • Brum Brew brewery & tap room are now closed to visitors, but beer is available from their online shop
  • Cork & Cage are only opening for the Monday cellar sale, but closed otherwise
  • Couch are takeaway tonight only too, from 5-9pm and then closing until it’s safe to reopen
  • Eat Vietnam are going into hibernation due to ingredients / produce supply drying up
  • Isherwood & Co are open, but serving at the door

If there are any more that I’ve missed, please feel free to email me on and I’ll update the master list as much as I can.



The coronavirus edition

Correct, as of Wednesday 18th March

Like a lot of you, I’ve watched the news and been worried for all sorts of reasons. And I’m not going into that, but one thing that did worry me with social distancing/isolation is how this would affect all the stores and events in Stirchley. For me, shops in Stirchley aren’t just about where I buy things, they’re also full of a lot of people I care about. I want to see their livelihoods survive and having watched the high street thrive, I want to believe it will weather the storm.

So below you will find a rather long list of all the places I (and many others) could think of and what they’re doing in light of the coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak. And also, mentions of any voucher schemes I’m aware of. It’s very rough and ready, so any typos are mine, and it is done to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. Things are likely to change rapidly over the next few days so I wanted to get it out ASAP.

The challenge of how to support businesses, the community and stay safe is a decision that everyone will need to make individually (unless the government calls a lock down). I’m not going to tell you what to do, other than to say that if you’re feeling unwell, please stay home and get yourself better. 

All the places I could think of…

  • Akrams – open, dining in, takeaway – collection and delivery. See here.
  • Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse – still open, you can sit in, take out and they do delivery within 3 miles. 
  • Anjuna Lounge – remains open 
  • Another Space Yoga at Stirchley Baths – cancelled but are looking to do online.
  • Artefact – events cancelled but open as normal and have spaced tables further apart. Some interesting rumours about the quiz. Keep an eye out on @artefact_bham.
  • Ash Tree Pharmacy – open as normal
  • Attic – operating at a reduced capacity. They’ll also be bottling 660ml bottles of Ocean Drive and Blunt Spurs for takeaway and imminently delivery. Cans, bottles, merch and vouchers will be available through their new online shop. 
  • Bakery 30 – aka the cake bit of caneat, but you can order cakes
  • Bike Foundry – ‘solidarity in separation’ aka continuing to do repairs and sell bikes and parts for as long as they can but greeting customers at the door and taking the bike in. 
  • Brum Brewery Co – open as normal. Statement here. Also they do cans and gift vouchers online
  • caneat – open from 10-2pm and offer takeaway food from the front door. There will be a mixture of hot and cold food available and a range of cakes and baked goods. Roast hogget (lamb) for delivery or collection on Sunday. 
  • Cork & Cage – Reduced opening hours: Tue – Thurs 6-10pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm. Plus this Monday they’ll empty their cellar and all bottles will be available; mostly lambic/sour, lots of rare and special stuff up for grabs, no limits, and 30-50% off most of it. 
  • Cotteridge Wines – Until further notice the tap room will be closed, but shop remains open for take outs and Growler fills. 
  • Couch – Currently open as normal with take away options. ‘Coucher’ vouchers available at the bar and will be online soon.
  • Dave’s (Newsagent) – seems to be open as normal
  • Eat Vietnam – takeaway option only from today and the restaurant will be shut until further notice
  • Enamel Shades who are based on Stirchley Industrial Estate are still selling lightbulbs, flex, shades online.
  • Fruit and Nut Village’s event at Umberslade Nurseries is cancelled on Saturday – but if you still wanted a fruit tree, they can provide rootstock or scionwood. @fruitnutvillage on twitter
  • Glasshouse – can delivery system in Birmingham this week, for the foreseeable future
  • Isherwood & Co – vouchers, online ordering for bouquets and a very nice tote bag. 
  • Joshuaa Shaun – remain open for appointments, but also sell vouchers for future hair appointments. Statement here
  • Loaf – open as normal but have gone ahead with a re-jig of the shop which will keep the number of customers inside at any one time to a minimum. Statement here.
  • Mirror Image hair stylists – Lisa is working with a booking system but she wants to stress, please don’t call to book if you feel at all ill. Call on 0121 459 9831.  
  • The Old Post Office – currently closed until at least the end of March. Are selling future day passes.
  • PrintiGo – still open and can post orders. 
  • Quietude – For the time being will continue to operate usual working hours
  • Rice Chamberlains – are doing virtual viewings and valuations
  • Stirchley Baths – open as normal until the council tells them otherwise. Check if events are still happening though. They also have a food bank donation point.
  • Stirchley Bloomers – tbc on the meet ups, but we’re working out how to distribute sunflower seeds to grow over the next few months
  • Stirchley Community Market – April market cancelled, but check out this list of sellers that would’ve been there and support them if you can.
  • Stirchley Library – events are cancelled and Friends Of cover hours too, but library remains open at this point Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.
  • Stirchley News – seems to be open as normal
  • Stirchley Wines – Change to opening hours. Monday – Saturday from 12pm – 8pm, Closed Sundays. 
  • Stir Stores – closed until further notice 
  • Sweetmeat – they’re open and they also sell vouchers which are empty bags to be filled up later. 
  • Ten Four Bakehouse – offering minimal contact home delivery of sourdough and cinnamon buns to the B30 postcode starting from Friday.
  • Vacuum shop – open as normal.
  • Venture Bikes – open for business as usual unless otherwise advised. 
  • Wards – seems to be open as normal and I hear it’s going a roaring trade
  • Wildcat – open as normal, also serving takeaway in 750ml bottles and cans from brand new fridge. 
  • Yoga Borne – Most classes will be live streamed, but there will be three classes each week face to face from the studio 

Considered Mischief aka online creative actives for all

Considered Mischief is a new initiative which planned to launch later in 2020, but have brought things forward to run online creative activities for all ages whilst we’re stuck at home.

Inspired by Noel Fielding’s Twitter art club, Heidi Murphy (from The Old Post Office), Jonny and Dale (from Hipkiss & Graney and Artefact) have been planning workshops that you can take part in at home with whatever materials you have to hand. These will include small creative challenges which could be as simple as ”draw something green”, to a workshop series where all digital attendees will work together to create a new world full of weird and wonderful characters.

Follow them on Twitter @LocalMischief and @ConsideredMischief on Instagram