Tag Archives: 1990’s

Being born a Brummie – Birmingham an Evolving City

December 2015 sees me turn 40, eeek. I arrived here 40 years ago on December 10th at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.  Although my parents were living in Cheltenham at the time my Dad had insisted his first born arrive in Birmingham so the story goes that my parents decamped to my Grandfather’s house in Birmingham.

Birmingham, UK - January 30, 2013 - Night scene in downtown Birmingham, UK on January 30, 2012 with the parish church St. George in the Bullring and the Selfridges Department Store.

Birmingham, UK – January 30, 2013 – Night scene in downtown Birmingham, UK on January 30, 2012 with the parish church St. George in the Bullring and the Selfridges Department Store.

This picture of the 22 Bus evokes so may memories for me of growing up in Birmingham!

no 22

When I was 9 years old I moved to Birmingham, living in Harborne and started going to school in Edgbaston. I would say this was when I became a ‘proper Brummie’. Growing up I have always loved history and one of my favourite books to look at my Grandpa John’s house was a book full of old pictures of Birmingham.

Butchers shop Birmingham Soles

This photo is a picture of my Great Grandfather  (in white ) and my Great-great Grandfather on the doorstep of their butcher’s shop in Birmingham probably taken around 1912.

I have always been really proud to be a Brummie and have grown up in such a vibrant and amazing city. Today when I go back though I feel like a stranger in my Birmingham of the 1990’s as there has been so much redevelopment and change that I haven’t been around to see happen gradually. Travelodge have put together a really comprehensive destination guide to Birmingham on their blog which is really helpful to find some of those off the beaten track gems that I no longer know about!

Another feature on the Travelodge site are some fascinating interactive photographs of Birmingham in a now v then format called EVOLVING CITIES. You can see how familiar Brummie landscapes have changed over time. My favourites are the Jewellery Quarter picture and the Bull Ring Picture. I still can’t get over how the Bull Ring has regenerated and become such a smart shopping destination. When I was a teenager we were allowed into Birmingham as long as we didn’t go to the Bull Ring!

So in the month I turn 40 I am pretty sure that a visit to my home city will be on the cards but let’s not mention The Villa………



Hollyoaks turns 20

Can you believe Hollyoaks was first aired 20 years ago today? It feels like only yesterday that I was at university and started watching the escapades of Tony, Jambo, Kurt and Ruth in the fictional suburb of Chester.


(Jambo was clearly the style inspiration for Eminem)

I feel like one of those people that hasn’t seen a child for 15 years and then is surprised that they have become an adult. I tuned into an episode of Hollyoaks not long ago and recognised very little from those early days of the first British soap aimed at the ‘teen’ market. Maybe I don’t like Tony looking older as it reminds me how I am getting on a bit too!

Life was simpler in 1995, we didn’t have mobiles, we didn’t have Facebook or dating apps. If you arranged to meet someone you generally turned up as you had no way of getting hold of them to cancel at short notice. So maybe that is why Hollyoaks seemed a much less complicated soap ‘back in the day’. But I am a total child of the 90’s so I would say this. I sound like my parents discussing the 60’s and 70’s!

I love this infographic covering the last 20 years of Hollyoaks produced by the people from Great British Bingo  who are clearly big Hollyoaks fans and  know their stuff when it comes to this Great British soap.


The great thing about Hollyoaks is that it does seem to tackle many issues faced by young adults today (if in a somewhat over exaggerated manner) and this is part of it’s enduring success. There are always going to be young people who can relate to the trials and tribulations that happen to the beautiful people of Chester.

Hollyoaks is a fantastic piece of social history of growing up over the past 20 years in Great Britain. Although I am no longer glued like I was back in the 90’s,  I take comfort from knowing it is still on Channel 4 at 6.30pm after.