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Birmingham origins

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
This is a bit cheeky, but i am amazed by how many members now live away from Birmingham and I see Australia Texas, Colorado, Spain and Canada mentioned with members living on Foreign shores, but I know that there are citizens of the greatest city in the world scattered around the UK, including some like me who live in Gods wonderful county Devon, but are there more members who still live in Birmingham than those of us who have left for one reason or another. If this is forbidden territory or outside the scope of BHF then I will withdraw the question. I do know that after the Cornish, Devonians and those from Somerset who pass through our training centre, the next biggest territorial group we see if Brummies who gave moved to the South West. Yes we have Scots, Irish a few Welsh, Londoners and those from the home counties, but in the main the major outside accents are from the Midlands
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
Good question Bob.( all the people mentioned will always be Brummies) but it would be interesting to see how many people live in Birmingham or have a B postcode.
I pay my council tax to Solihull , but as I live in B37 I say I live in Birmingham.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
I was born in Shirley. Married a Brummie (born Dartmouth Street). Now lived in Birmingham (B13) longer than I did Shirley.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Pedro,

Unless you're an actor or someone who really needs to lose their Brummie accent, I think the answer is no. I was born in Aston (B6) in 1937 and left B13 at the age of almost 24. Lived mainly in Dorset for the next 40 years, but almost everyone I met recognised me by my accent. I moved to Crete in 2005 and still get almost instantly recognised as being from Brum by stranger Brits. Yesterday. I had an appointment with a Greek gastroenterologist whose grasp of English was at best only average. "Do you speak Greek?" he asked, and when I responded "Some, but my partner, who is not deaf like me, speaks it much better". She was with me and is a North Londoner. "Let's use English", he said. "but I will speak to her as I can't understand your accent!".

I think that answers your question, Pedro, but all my children were born in Bournemouth, a place with no discernible accent and one year during the school holidays, they went to stay with their Brummie cousins for a couple of weeks. They came back with broad Brummie accents and it took them several weeks to lose them. So it is easy to acquire a Brummie accent, but not so easy to lose it! :)

Maurice
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Do those who leave Birmingham gradually loose their accents?
Pedro
Yes and no, there are Brummies who have been in the West Country years and are still as broad as when they left and there are those who seem to have morphed into quasi westcountry men. It is only when you hear me on the phone that you know where I come from and because my jobs have meant mingling and being able to talk to all classes of West Country Folk, that I find myself using local expressions. I was a rep on the road for many years and when I moved into management and sales training, I realised that one had to be a chaemelion and adapt to the people you dealt with, it was no good going suited and booted to a farm, nor did you carry a briefcase into a car showroom (they thought you were Inland Revenue). The West Country was very insular when I arrived in 1962 and what annoyed me most of all was the fact that they always had to mull things over....in Birmingham the decision was made while you were there, but interestingly enough go in with a Birmingham accent and they would talk to you and tell you much more than if you had any other accent or a posh London voice, why I never knew but I often thought it was because so many second city people had moved down here, the accent was as acceptable as their own but they knew you had no local relations etc.
By the way thank you all for replying, I was B23.
Bob
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I was born in B23 and now live in B73 (which isn't as far as it sounds - only about a mile) I haven't moved far have I? I suppose I've stayed in the same area for various reasons. One of these was that Mom was widowed early and luckily lived to be 93 so I wanted to stay quite close. She was a great help to me when the children were growing up and I tried to repay her in later years. The other thing is that living here is quite handy for transport, hospitals etc. It's also very accessible in that we can get to Wales and the Peak District in no time at all.

My friend has recently married a man from the Isle of Wight and when I expressed surprise that he should want to leave such a place to come to Birmingham he said that there was so much more going on here. Concerts, Art Galleries, groups to join, to name but a few.

Regarding the accent, my brother and I spend a couple of weeks together every year. He lives in London but 'lapses' very quickly into Brummie. Anyway, as I once said to someone who was taking the mickey out of my accent 'I don't have an accent, this is normal, it's you that's got one!'
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Yes, I too was born in B6, but exiled in the Black Country due to marriage. I try a bit of acting while mingling with the locals, but many times they ask “what part of Birmingham do you come from?”

I have more acting success when speaking Portuguese, many remark that I must have learned in Brasil.
 

Smudger

master brummie
I was born in B23 in`42. All my kin have Brummy accents except me, though i don`t know why i haven`t got one. My brothers` accent is so broad the words come out of his mouth sideways! Bob Davis, did you have a brother named Tony?
 

tim eborn

master brummie
Born in B12 of mixed parentage ( father from Bucks, mom from Solihull ).
Emigrated to Oz in 1961.
Recently in the foyer of a large Melbourne hospital I was picked for a Brummie and my wife as a Glaswegian much to our surprise as we both thought as we were not allowed to speak common as children we didn't have an accent. Not that we were posh but I guess you know what I mean.
In our defense
the gentleman who "Ousted us" was also a Pom and had been stationed in our respective fair cities during WWII .
So guess the answer is you can loose it if you want to but guess in our case we haven't.
Cheers Our Kid from Tim
 

Dave89

master brummie
[QUOTE="Alberta,
I pay my council tax to Solihull , but as I live in B37 I say I live in Birmingham.[/QUOTE]

Hi Alberta
But Tamworth and Redditch also have B postcodes, but I'm sure they don't call themselves
Birmingham residents.
B37 was never part of Birmingham,nor indeed Smiths Wood (B36) where I lived for 48 years.
I wonder how many who have lived in Birmingham all their lives but were born at Marston Green Hospital
call themselves Brummies, - all of them I bet! (my kids do)
So the real question is how do you define a Birmingham resident or a Brummie?

Kind regards
Dave
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
[QUOTE="Alberta,
I pay my council tax to Solihull , but as I live in B37 I say I live in Birmingham.
Hi Alberta
But Tamworth and Redditch also have B postcodes, but I'm sure they don't call themselves
Birmingham residents.
B37 was never part of Birmingham,nor indeed Smiths Wood (B36) where I lived for 48 years.
I wonder how many who have lived in Birmingham all their lives but were born at Marston Green Hospital
call themselves Brummies, - all of them I bet! (my kids do)
So the real question is how do you define a Birmingham resident or a Brummie?

Kind regards
Dave[/QUOTE]

An interesting question. I suspect that Brummies are a lot more accommodating than Black Country people when accepting areas into their clan. Some Black Country persons are very territorial!
 

tim eborn

master brummie
My Dad, In the pre PC climate used to quote " You can always tell a Brummie by the way he wears a shamrock in his turban " . please believe me that my father did not have a prejudice in his entire body and was one of Natures Gentlemen.
Cheers
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I was born in Five Ways nursing home, but we lived on the posh side of Court Lane in Sutton Coldfield. My mother was a sort of Hyacinth Bucket person, liked living in Sutton, would have loved to have lived in Solihull (so upmarket) or better still one of those Warwickshire villages around the southern fringe, they moved to Water Orton eventually in the late fifties and finished up in Yoxall, heaven for mother, but regrettably the remnants of malaria and other tropical diseases gathered during four years in India put paid to my Dads life very early, mother moved back to Water Orton and saw her final days out in a nursing home near Nuneaton. My wife was of mixed race half Devon and half Cornish, we married and in 1962 I took her home. Actually dropped £7.00 per week in earnings!!! I am very fond of Birmingham, still an anorak on their transport, every David Harvey, Malcolm Keeling et al book on the subject and I have to admit when we come back, my wife goes to the NEC for an exhibition/show, I take a bus/train to wherever, remembering childhood adventures, daydreaming and wondering..what if, what if I had not moved away? We will never know, but you can take the boy out of Birmingham but you cannot take Birmingham out of the boy. Thank you all for your comments and answers to my nosey question, I suppose you have all shown the true spirit of the forum which can be summed up as...Enquire, discuss, Question which all lead to result and in the words of the late, great Kenny Everett...all done in the nicest possible way......disappearing out into the torrid tropical sun-scorched landscape of North Devon I'll bid ee all good day.

Sorry Smudger I had no brothers, but as an American Security guard on the mezzanine floor of the world trade towers told a bereft American women as she stopped her from joining her family in the lift to go to the top.....Ma am, I know they are your family but then please remember we are all part of one big family....smile...now wait over there! That was the same guard who as we waited, saw people w leaning on the rail that was on the edge of the waiting area and shouted out' Hey you there git yore goddammed arms offen the goddammed baloostrade(phonetic spelling as she said it) so much for family love.
Bob
 

MWS

master brummie
I was born in Marston Green (as was mentioned not Bham) but apart from however long it took for me to be sent home I've always lived in Bham. Some years less than most of the posters her it seems but approaching 50 years.

And probably only a mile or so from where my great grandfather lived when he first moved here in 1875.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
Although I know most of the suburbs of Birmingham I have not translated this to a knowledge of postcodes. B28 is the only one I know (Hall Green) because I lived there. Dave.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
No postcodes where I lived. The final line of the address, from memory, was usually 'near Birmingham' or 'near Solihull'. On the way to the city B28 would be the first district we passed through.
 
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