Talk:Birmingham/Archive 12

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Archive 11 | Archive 12 | Archive 13


Does the Flag of Birmingham have any legal precedent in its offical use? If so, an image should be included in the article.

--Charlie Huang 【遯卋山人】 08:56, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


No mention of this in the article? (B'ham is joint 55th) Matthew (talk) 16:09, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Introduction wording

Does anyone else think the introduction reads a bit weirdly? I was thinking something more along these lines:

"Birmingham (pronunciation (help·info), /ˈbɝːmɪŋəm/ BIRR-ming-əm) is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands county of England. Birmingham is the largest of England's core cities, and is the second largest British city after London, with an urban area population of 970,892 (2001 census). Often considered to be the second city of the United Kingdom[2], the City of Birmingham forms part of the larger West Midlands conurbation, which has a population of 2,284,093 (2001 census)[4] and includes several neighbouring towns and cities, such as Solihull, Wolverhampton and the towns of the Black Country."

Asdfasdf1231234 (talk) 00:02, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

"Often considered to be the second city of the United Kingdom" is a dubious statement; if you watch the BBC's summary of the national weather, it focuses on Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London - i.e. in North to South order - which puts poor old Birmingham firmly in its place! (talk) 15:22, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes it is a dubious statement but this has been discussed at length with a number of factors considered. The wording has been specifically chosen to reflect this. The fact that the BBC's national weather forecast programme focus on the capital cities of the nations of the United Kingdom and omits Birmingham means very little in such a discussion.
Personally, I think the opening paragraph is fine in comparing Birmingham to other areas of which it is comparable against and has an affect on. - Erebus555 (talk) 15:44, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry to say that Birmingham's rather spurious claim to be the "second city" (of England, Britain, or the United Kingdom or whatever?) is somewhat contradicted by reality of living here; quantity of population is NOT a meaningful measure of quality of life I'm afraid! This is a city which put up Raymond Mason's original sculpture "Forward" in 1991 for it to be burnt down in 2003! You cannot imagine - as the current council leader does - that Birmingham will ever join the top 20 'world' cities; a recent book called "501 must-see cities" (available at "Sainsbury's") does not even include Birmingham, other than with a side reference under Manchester! Birmingham itself has yet to recover from the awful "Crossroads" TV soap series. (talk) 16:11, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

That's all very well but this is not the place to discuss it. You can talk about it on the talk page for the Second city of the United Kingdom article. - Erebus555 (talk) 17:40, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Population has clearly got to be one of the key things in defining a 'second city'. It is the second largest city, after all. But alas, this has already been discussed at length, so stop editing the article and removing content which has been agreed-on. I'm afraid we can't reference your personal opinions of the city to substantiate your claims. Asdfasdf1231234 (talk) 16:03, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Casualty (talk) 13:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

From which: "may follow". Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:09, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I note that, despite the above, you have again removed the cited text with which you seem to disagree. The fact that (per your edit summary) Pebble Mill has been demolished is irrelevant; the BBC still maintains a drama production facility in Birmingham. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
It is true that Casualty will move to Cardiff, see here. That source is much newer than the old one which was on the article. Joshiichat 23:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Amritsar & Birmingham - twin cities?

Insertion, removal, followed by reversion and warning. Is Amritsar a twin city? FYI: google search. Mr Stephen (talk) 00:50, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Isn't Amritsar twinned with Sandwell rather than Birmingham? Fingerpuppet (talk) 09:43, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
It appears so [1]. Fingerpuppet (talk) 10:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Second most populous British city?

Can we get a grip on the facts please? [2]

Either Birmingham is the UK's most populous city or it isn't. Urban Area, conurbation, metropolitan area, city-region could all be used to present the facts as they are. London is not a city, as it does not have city status (that would be the City of London). There's no point having articles saying it is, then others that it isn't. --Jza84 |  Talk  18:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

It all depends on how you define "city". Birmingham is the largest local government district holding City Status in the UK. London is a city, but not a City, as "city" can easily be defined as "a large or important town". It has a single Mayor, has London Boroughs (i.e. Boroughs that are part of London) and is functionally a single city. It's not uncommon for this to be an issue - there are loads of cities that have the opposite problem: City of Leeds isn't a city in any meaningful sense (unlike Leeds), it's just a large local government district that holds City Status, just like City of Carlisle/Carlisle.
Conurbations aren't really anything to do with the size of individual cities within (just as the Greater London Urban Area isn't entirely London, or the Greater Manchester Urban Area isn't entirely Manchester - and the West Midlands conurbation isn't Birmingham to an even larger extent). Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) data (or city-region) is also another method of measurement, and in that definition Birmingham is the fourth largest in the UK (after London, Manchester and Leeds-Bradford), and Travel to Work Areas could also be used to define the size of a city. Even the Government gets confused sometimes - Primary Urban Areas are referred to as "cities" in the State of the English Cities Report - even though they contain PUAs like Rochdale or Aldershot which aren't even particularly large towns, and the "Birmingham" PUA contains the city of Wolverhampton and the "Manchester" PUA includes the city of Salford!
Different definitions give different results - as you well know! Clearly therefore, Birmingham is anywhere from first (district) to fourth (LUZ) in size, but the most meaningful placing on population size terms is second behind London. Fingerpuppet (talk) 18:41, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Can't the issue of whether London's lack of a Royal Charter means that it isn't a city be neatly side-stepped by stating that Birmingham is the largest British city outside London, which is true either way? JimmyGuano (talk) 17:14, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Good work

This article has come on in leaps and bounds since I last looked at it a while ago and now looks very professional. i would just like to say good work to all those involved. Gem (talk) 00:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm a bit new and am unsure of how best to complete/remove it, but there's some unfinished editing at the very bottom of the page. Is anyone able to finish/remove it? I'd probably end up messing the whole lot up!

{{Navbox |name = Areas of Birmingham |title = Areas of Birmingham, West Midlands |group1 = Suburbs |list1 =

Willdow (talk) 10:45, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

 Done. This required editing Template:Areas of Birmingham. Someone mistakenly removed the end brackets there a few days ago. Station1 (talk) 21:01, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Ethnicity Breakdown

Currently the ethnicity breakdown is erroneous in that it does not add up to 100%. Visiting the citation shows this to be because the percentage of the population classified as "mixed race" was simply omitted from the list. Either it should be added to the list, or added to the figure for "other." Does Wikipedia have any policy on which approach should be taken? (talk) 15:21, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


It seems like Birmingham's been attracting some attention recently for its apostrophe fiasco with its street signs. Worth mentioning in this or a related article?

rʨanaɢ (formerly Politizer)talk/contribs 00:06, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

No it's a trivial non-story, blown out of proportion by the press (and by the gratuitous use of words like "fiasco"). Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:15, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


The image used is of Birmingham, Alabama and not Birmingham, United Kingdom but says it is a view from Bartley Green which is a place in Birmingham, United Kingdom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

It's definitely Birmingham UK. That's Bartley Reservoir, with Harborne, Five Ways and the back of Alpha Tower. I should know - I took it! JimmyGuano (talk) 19:28, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Without doubt: Birmingham, England. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:50, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the main image is taken from Edgbaston Reservoir (1 mile south west of city centre), rather than Bartley Reservoir, at least 5 miles South West of city centre. Edgbaston Reservoir is reknowned for its views of the city centre, and that view looks far too close to be Bartley.

It is Bartley Reservoir,I lived two minutes walk from it for three years.If you have any doubts ask Bill Oddie,it`s where he did his first birdwatching. (talk) 20:33, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

New images

Wenceslas Hollar - Birmingham.jpg

I recently uploaded the image to the right of Birmingham, engraved in the 17th century by Wenceslas Hollar. Feel free to use or not use. Dcoetzee 11:07, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


I've been discussing nicknames over on the Talk:Manchester page and have come over to the opinion that they need referencing as nicknames. As I mentioned on that talk page, there is a difference between stating, for instance, that 'many consider {city} to be the second city' and that '"Second City" is a nickname of {city}' - I may be male, but that doesn't make 'Male' my nickname. There is one reference, for instance, for 'city of a thousand trades', and that comes from a newspaper headline - so what? I feel that more is needed. Matthew (talk) 16:55, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

As there has been no objection in, what, nearly 3 months, I've gone and removed "Workshop of the World", "City of a Thousand Trades", and "Canal City" from the nicknames section as they are historic, unreferenced, or both. Matthew (talk) 23:24, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Workshop of the World is a phrase used about so many areas that I agree that even if Birmingham is one of those areas it hardly constitutes a nickname. "City of a Thousand Trades" is quite a specific phrase used for Birmingham though, even if primarily from a historical standpoint - I don't see why that should be a problem. Never come across "Canal City" in my life. JimmyGuano (talk) 01:10, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I've restored "City of a thousand trades" as it has a reference from quite a recent source in the text JimmyGuano (talk) 06:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Second City (ad nauseum)

As has been observed by a few of the more disinterested editors on the Talk:Manchester page, the concept of a "Second City" is really little more than a meaningless bit of hype.

Birmingham can probably legitimately claim that "Second City" is a fairly widely used nickname, but this is hardly one of the three or four most important things for anybody to know about the place, and the endless attempts on this page to try and create the impression - implicitly or explicitly - that this establishes as a fact that Birmingham is more important than cities x, y or z (or even "widely thought of as such") are just as tiresome, logically flawed and unencyclopedic as the similarly turtuous attempts on the Manchester page to do the same thing in reverse.

The current wording on this page ("Often considered to be the second city of the United Kingdom") manages to be a particularly blatant example of both WP:Weasel and WP:Peacock at the same time, and the "Second City" section further down seems to be just a long-winded statement of the fact that the concept is subjective and doesn't really mean very much (thus rather begging the question as to why is there a section about it in the first place).

Can't we just leave "Second City" sitting quietly in the nicknames section of the infobox, focus the article on a balanced representation of some properly referenced and useful encyclopedic facts, and let anybody who really is desperately driven to wikipedia to find out which is the "True" "Second City" to make their own mind up?

JimmyGuano (talk) 22:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I fully agree. Matthew (talk) 23:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
If you leave it in the nicknames section without any explanation it'll look like a statement of fact. I think there needs to be explanation that its claim to be the country's second city is disputed. BEVE (talk)  00:37, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Surely the only fact it would be stating would be that it is a nickname? Sheffield is nicknamed the Steel City, but nobody actually suggests that is made of steel. Southampton F.C. are The Saints, but they don't claim that this gives them actual sainthood. JimmyGuano (talk) 01:08, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Crime and policing

I have just reverted out a change to the table in this section, but while investigating it the reference points to data for 2007-08 and not for 2006-07 as stated at the head of the table. The table figures do not match the detail in the reference so it is not just the header which is wrong. The referenced page also does not give figures for Manchester where are these figures from and why are they not referenced? Keith D (talk) 20:41, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Further to this, why are the crime figures for Manchester and Bristol included at all? Matthew (talk) 21:45, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Description 'Massive' removed

The Hindu population (standing at a mere 2 per cent) has been given the label "massive". It's been removed, unless anyone contests it. No references cited for the temple descriptions either. ~Skye (talk) 20:49, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

X-ray operation

Can we have a citation please, since this [3] and many others say it was Oliver Lodge in Liverpool in Feb. 1896. RodCrosby (talk) 21:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


Re: The founding of Birmingham. The name of the founder of Birmingham is uncertain, and is most commonly thought of as Birm, Birma, Beorm, Beorma or Beornmund. This is reflected in the Birmingham City Council website link at the end of the article, and is also confirmed in the History of Birmingham and Digbeth articles. The name Breme is a possibility, but is more commonly associated with Bromsgrove. Also is there any evidence for Birmingham being founded in the 6th Century rather than the 7th? Although the BCC website mentions the 6th Century, and I have seen other sources mention the 8th Century, more specific timelines tend to say around or after 600AD, which is technically the 7th Century Metabaronic (talk) 21:31, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

This is covered off now in more detail under the History of Birmingham article. Metabaronic (talk) 18:05, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable Source

A more relable source is needed for the dispute between John Dudley and Edward de Birmingham. The current reference source at is not reliable. For example, it states that "In the year 585 the Saxon Cridda, a military adventurer who founded the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia, gave the Manor of Birmingham to one of his lieutenants named Ulwine" which is patently incorrect as, according to the Domesday Book, the Manor of Birmingham was held by the Saxon Ulwine prior to the Norman conquest, and Ulwine was made a reeve by Richard de Bermingham, which means he existed at the time of the conquest, not 500 years earlier. Metabaronic (talk) 18:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Birmingham

I know we have a WikiProject for the West Midlands, but given as there is also one for Coventry I was wondering whether anyone would be interested in helping to start a Birmingham WikiProject. I recently founded WikiProject Edinburgh and am looking to start a few others so we can get better coverage of some of the UK's major cities. As Birmingham is generally considered to be Britain's second city and has a lot of interesting history I think it could be a useful collaboration. Any thoughts? TheRetroGuy (talk) 12:05, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Judging from the RM, I think if you use that name, there's going to be hell to pay from American editors. (talk) 20:19, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Reckon you could be right, although WikiProject Birmingham, England is going to be a bit long-winded. I suppose we could name it WikiProject Brummagem if the worst comes to the worst. :) TheRetroGuy (talk) 20:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia says be bold, so I say we just get people to sign up to the proposal as is, over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Birmingham.If there's significant objection once its up and running, deal with it then. Metabaronic (talk) 09:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move (2009)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was not moved. Jafeluv (talk) 07:57, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

BirminghamBirmingham, England — Between Birmingham, England and Birmingham, Alabama, whereas the British city is larger, the Alabama city is more likely to host a Summer Olympic. (Sources: the 2020 Summer Olympics article says the Alabama city might host the Olympics; it appears almost definite that the British city never will; no British city but London ever will. Georgia guy (talk) 16:15, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Support For different reasons though. The city in Alabama is just as notable as the UK city and IMO just as likely (maybe more likely) of a search target. Either this page (Birmingham) should be for the Alabama city, or a disambiguation page. TJ Spyke 16:36, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Birmingham in England is clearly the wp:primary topic. Evidence for this includes:
    • According to [4], the article about the English city gets over twice the traffic of the one about the US city
    • The UK city is the second largest in its country (in fact the largest if you make the pedantic point that London isn't strictly a city), while the US city is only the 83rd largest in its country.
    • The US city was named after the UK city.
    • There are only 44 articles on the US city on non-English language wikipedias, compared to 75 for the UK city.
    • To illustrate the global perspective: of the 75 non-English language articles on the UK city, all but 4 (Tamil, Dutch, Georgian, Esperanto) feel the name "Birmingham" to be sufficiently unambiguous to not need qualifying with the country.
Three more practical considerations:
    • This page links directly to the Birmingham, Alabama article from the hatnote. Making this page a disambiguation page wouldn't help people looking for that article, who would still need two clicks to get to that page. It would however, considerably inconvenience the large majority of people who visit this page, who the statistics above show are looking for the article on the UK city.
    • According to WP:PLACE the canonical name for an article on a US city is "City, State", the naming convention for UK cities is "Where possible, articles on places in the United Kingdom should go under [[placename]]". Both articles are currently at their preferred canonical names according to the naming conventions and should not be moved.
    • "Birmingham, England" is definitely wrong as a name. If the UK city did need disambiguation, (despite the very strong evidence that it doesn't) then the correct name according to WP:PLACE would be "Birmingham, West Midlands" (which is likely to be far more confusing to most users who aren't intimately aquainted with post-1974 UK metropolitan counties than the existing situation). JimmyGuano (talk) 17:54, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support a dab page should live at the primary name. Birmingham, Alabama is certainly equal usage, since from the "usage" stats, everyone who accidentally went to Birmingham would need to click again to get to the right one, so for a 2:1 advantage, you can subtract most of that difference away, since there will be frustrated users, and there will be people who clicked through. Otherwise, it's just UK bias that favours UK placenames over the rest of the world. (talk) 18:23, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for most of the reasons cited by User:JimmyGuano. (Pageviews do need to be discounted slightly for click-throughs to Alabama, but certainly not "most of the difference". And if Birmingham, Alabama is awarded the summer Olympics in 4 years, we should reopen this discussion at that time.) Station1 (talk) 21:50, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the reasons above. The nominator also offers no justifiacton for the crystal ball assertions about summer olympics. Time this was documented as a FAQ to discourage further repetition of this debate. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:16, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. I almost want to oppose just because of the argument used in the nomination. The Alabama city may hold the Olympics, the English one probably won't. As arguments go it's an incredibly poor reason to move an article - we need to consider much more than just the Olympics. Anyway I'm undecided on the wider issue. I think the English city is the primary topic but by the looks of things it falls into that middle ground where I'm still undecided whether an article is enough of the primary topic to clearly be the primary topic and so at the main article title. If it looked like searchers were looking for one article in a ratio of 3:1 to other articles I'd contend it was clearly the primary topic, 3:2 in my opinion it clearly wouldn't be but this appears to fit in the middle at about 2:1 and I'm undecided on that case. Dpmuk (talk) 23:41, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - for all the reasons already listed, plus this one: the American city is about one quarter of the size of the British one, and its metro area about one half the size of the British one's. ðarkuncoll 08:23, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose – The Olympics argument of course relies on reasoning discourage by WP:CRYSTAL that is unacceptable as justification for a move. The page hit counts and statistics from other wikis do not by themselves seem strong enough for a strong oppose, however. Sswonk (talk) 14:32, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, although move should be to Birmingham, West Midlands per WP:NCGN. West Midlands is the ceremonial country in this case. Yes, the English city is larger, but it isn't massively larger, nor is there evidence it is the primary meaning. Comparissons between the status of both cities in the UK and US are meaningless, as the US is by far the larger and more populous country. YeshuaDavidTalk • 15:06, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Umm ... the population of the US is 4.6 times the population of the UK. According to you this makes the US "by far the larger and more populous country". The population of the English Birmingham is 4.4 times the population of Alabaman Birmingham - an almost identical proportion - but according to you this '"isn't massively larger". All in the space of two sentences. You don't think you're possibly being slightly inconsistent here? :) JimmyGuano (talk) 19:06, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment The British city is massively larger - four times as large, in fact. ðarkuncoll 15:13, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Is this a can of worms? I note here that population is not a factor in the similar naming protocol for Cambridge (pop. 2001: 108,863) and Cambridge, Massachusetts (pop. 2000: 101,355). The Massachusetts city is an education, technology and publishing center very similar in nature to the UK city, tempered by the fact that it is located across the Charles River from the much larger and unambiguous Boston. If this move is supported, might a similar move also be indicated for Cambridge? Sswonk (talk) 15:34, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Boston is unambiguous? How about Boston, Lincolnshire? The British Boston is tiny compared to the American one, hence the primacy of the American one here. ðarkuncoll 16:45, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Yeah, unambiguous like Hell vs. Hell, Michigan. The hamlet in Michigan is sometimes what is meant by "Hell", but usually Boston means the one next to Cambridge, Massachusetts, not the one in Lincolnshire. Let's modify my comment from "unambiguous Boston" to what I really meant to say, "not disambiguated by en:wikipedia Boston" and call it a Wash! Sorry for making an ambiguous statement. Seriously, I do weakly oppose this move, I am just musing on the two Cambridges as a similar pair. There is an odd controlling section of the guidelines that covers this particular request, where, after listing cities not requiring a state modifier by the AP Stylebook, WP:NCGN#United States says: "No other American city may have its article named [[City]]". I call it "odd" because no such list exists for major U.K. cities, they just get primary topic clearance by, well, what? Instead, WP:NCGN#United Kingdom says "Where possible, articles on places in the United Kingdom should go under [[placename]]." I don't know why that isn't the convention everywhere else, except that it may have been hashed out in the very lengthy discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements)/Archive 17. It seems a bit tilted toward British editorial preference, although as I say I don't know how the two countries came to be treated so differently. Birmingham, as the second largest city in the U.K., and well known as such throughout the Commonwealth, should win out here vs. Birmingham, Alabama, à la Boston vs. Boston, Lincolnshire. I don't think anything more needs to be said about that. I am curious about how the decision over the two Cambridges was made, however. Sswonk (talk) 19:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • This guideline is not relevant here. --Una Smith (talk) 19:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment The proposed change would have a massive net disbenefit to wikipedia's users (who surely should be the primary consideration here?). Of the 78,637 users who went to Birmingham in August 2009, only 1,310 (1.6%) would appear to have really wanted to visit Birmingham (disambiguation) - the page that's proposed to replace it. JimmyGuano (talk) 19:03, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Birmingham has a hatnote at the top to send readers to Birmingham, Alabama without going through the dab page. This is a known problem of long standing, with one article "squatting" on an ambiguous page name. --Una Smith (talk) 19:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Exactly, so the change proposed here wouldn't make any difference to the (reasonably numerous) people looking for Birmingham, Alabama, which would remain one click from Birmingham, just as it is now. The proposed change would however cause considerable inconvenience to the (considerably more numerous) people looking for the page on the English city. The only people who would be better off would be the (extremely few) people looking for Birmingham (disambiguation). You say this is a well-known problem. I'd suggest that, on the contrary, the current arrangement is the optimal response to the situation: of all the available options the current arrangement inconveniences the fewest users and gets the largest proportion directly to their desired destination. It would serve well as a model of best practice. JimmyGuano (talk) 20:18, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Would you say the same thing if the situation was reversed? If the Alabama article were sitting at the primary name? By principle, you should... (talk) 04:55, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Only if the Alabama city was significantly more widely recognised and its article significantly more visited, which isn't the case. If the situation was exactly the same as it is, but the US article was at Birmingham and the UK city at Birmingham, West Midlands, then there would be a large net benefit to users from moving the UK article to Birmingham and the US one to Birmingham, Alabama, because that would double the proportion of people who could find what they wanted straight away and half the number who needed two clicks. Having Birmingham as a dab would still be the worst possible outcome though, as that would inconvenience everybody except a tiny fraction of users. This isn't about who nabbed the page first, which clearly ought not to be a consideration, it's about helping as many of our users as possible find the articles they're looking for as easily as possible. JimmyGuano (talk) 05:34, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. The city in England is clearly larger and consistently shows about twice the traffic as the city in AL. As JimmyGuano points out, with the hatnote currently in place, there would be no benefit whatsoever to those looking for the AL city and a disservice for those looking for the city in England. olderwiser 02:06, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. As this UK city is the original Birmingham the article should stay at Birmingham. As for the Summer Olympics thing, that seems to be a moot point since the British Birmingham was a candidate for the 1992 Olympics, but lost out to Barcelona. Considering the olympics argument, however, if Birmingham, Alabama does become a candidate for 2020 the two cities are only on an equal footing. Using the other arguments - size, population, etc - Birmingham in the UK still remains the primary city. TheRetroGuy (talk) 14:17, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • strong oppose- Someone doesn't know the most commonly used name for a thing, which is what we always use on wiki. It is not correct, factually not the correct usage, to say 'Paris, France' as far as I know the oldest version of the cities/towns with the same name never have a suffix, as the American or whatever cities of the same name are younger, so they are the ones that need to explain that they're not the city that originally had that name. Sticky Parkin 17:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. What about Birmingham's historical significance? I refer to the article's third paragraph which reads "The city was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution in England, a fact which led to Birmingham being known as "the workshop of the world" or the "city of a thousand trades"." In terms of which city is of greater notability, that sentence says it all really. TheRetroGuy (talk) 18:44, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Birmingham, England is not how we disambiguate UK place names. Slightly less strong oppose to Birmingham, West Midlands. The possible Olympics argument is very unconvincing as others have stated. MRSC (talk) 19:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As noted by JimmyGuano, the English city seems far more notable than the us one evidenced by the fact that there are 75 non-English language articles on the English city compared to 4 for the American. Also area and population of the English city are much larger and thus should be the primary topic. Pahari Sahib 15:59, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - it seems clear that Birmingham in England is the more significant in terms of age, historical importance, population and size. The "possible Olympic venue of the future" argument is feeble. (How many times have we been round this now?) HeartofaDog (talk) 17:14, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - reasons inadequate, and proposed name does not comply with WP:NCGN#England. Birmingham, West Midlands would be more acceptable if there's consensus that the primary meaning of "Birmingham" is ambiguous. Tevildo (talk) 00:56, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support move to Birmingham, West Midlands. There is no primary use and this discussion makes that very clear. Several of the oppose opinions are concerns about the proposed name and not the move. I think it is clear that the discussion is centered on two of the cities that share this name. We have ignored the fact that they are not the only articles that are referenced by the disambiguation. So I'll argue that the discussion makes the very strong case that there may not be a primary use between the two cities mentioned. Add to that all of the other uses and it is clear that the disambiguation page belongs in the main name space. I'll add that by doing this, we can stop having this discussion in the future. Vegaswikian (talk) 06:26, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Please see my points above regarding Cambridge. If this is done, the entire WP:NCGN#England section should be rewritten to support it. The U.S. cities are restricted by the list of cities that don't need a state qualifier from the Associate Press, which is somewhat sensible. For example, there are at least a dozen Quincy's in the U.S. It is better to force all of them to include the state name than to suffer constant arguments over primacy. But the English guideline is to use the single name, such as Cambridge, whenever possible. It is possible for most cities and towns in England thanks to the rule that requires state names at WP:NCGN#United States. That is where the issue is forced, please see links and statements above. Sswonk (talk) 13:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose as Birmingham will be understood worldwide as the English city. If a disambiguation was necessary I would support "Birmingham, England" for simplicity over "Birmingham, West Midlands", unless there are already other examples of a major British city that is disambiguated only with a non-British place. Sussexonian (talk) 08:02, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per User:JimmyGuano. Asdfasdf1231234 (talk) 10:52, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

It's actually the first

The line Birmingham being "the second-most populous British city" is not just unsourced and linked to an article that doesn't verify it, but it is plainly incorrect. It is actually the most populous city in the United Kingdom. London is a Government Office Region containing a metropolitan area; the City of London is one of the UKs smallest cities. Can we fix this please? --Jza84 |  Talk  16:07, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I take your point, and agree that you could argue that the existing line is incorrect according to some readings. The problem is that the unadorned line "Birmingham is the biggest city in the United Kingdom" would be even more misleading without qualifying it with extensive explanation, but such explanation would require a breakdown of the history and status of the various compenents of London that really bore no relevance to Birmingham and would thus be completely inappropriate to this article - anybody wanting a detailed explanation of the extent to which London is or isn't a city should be (and probably is) on the London article. Within the scope of this article would the best thing to do be to sidestep the issue by simply saying "Birmingham is the most populous UK city outside London", which, though a fudge, is true on every level? JimmyGuano (talk) 19:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
"Birmingham is the most populous local government district in England" is more factually accurate. Comparing cities in England is meaningless because some correspond to districts, others to parishes and then we have the City of London (although I know people like to do it!). MRSC (talk) 20:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
People don't just like it, they expect it, and quite reasonably too. A sense of the size of a city compared to other cities must be pretty high up anybody's list of requirements of an encyclopedia article on a city. There are a few anomalies (among them as the unusual status of London) that mean the situation in the UK isn't conmpletely straightforward, and needs to be explained in the relevant places, but there are many subjects that have quirks and complications, or where what is strictly true and what is actually true aren't identical (almost the entire Constitution of the United Kingdom, for a start). To conclude from this that these entire subjects are meaningless and shouldn't be discussed would be failing in our duty as an encyclpedia .
That Birmingham is a local government district is true and important, and the implicit comparison with Kirklees is a meaningful one worth including in the article, but the fact that Birmingham is smaller than London but bigger than Coventry is still both meaningful and one of the most significant facts the page has to impart. JimmyGuano (talk) 05:41, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't this open up a can of worms in that every UK city would need to be bumped down a place? (The Glasgow introduction page mentions that Glasgow is the third-largest UK city, etc. That said, if it's a real issue, then JimmyGuano's suggestion works for me. Matthew (talk) 23:42, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree entirely with point that Jza84 is making. If we want Wikipedia to be an accurate and sourced encylopedia then we need to be clear and specific in what we state. Using solely the population of government districts as indicators as city populations and boundaries, as seems the preferred approach when lloking at cities, especially in the UK, then I think that the approach given by MRSC may be the most suitable. If that means changing other cities lead paragraphs for the benefit of accuracy, that seems no reason not to change it. GRB1972 (talk) 10:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

If your problem is with using political definitions of cities at all, then that's a different issue entirely, and one that would mean rewriting whole swathes of wikipedia. The lead already makes it clear that Birmingham itself is only a part of the built-up area, whose population is a lot bigger. JimmyGuano (talk) 05:50, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Birmingham is the largest local government district in the UK. Factually correct. London is the largest city in the UK. Factually correct, in the most natural definition of 'city', which will be understood worldwide. London now has a city government (GLA) and a mayor, and although it has sub divisions (boroughs) so do many other cities. The only problem causing dispute is the anomalous anachronism of the name 'City of London' for the ancient core. Sussexonian (talk) 08:00, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Getting into arguments about City of London isn't something we want to do. City of London is a division sui generis. The commonly-understood meaning of "London" is the metropolis of some eight million people, which people (albeit incorrectly) refer to as a "city". (talk) 18:15, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Request to place an external link to our site

We would like to request permission to place a link to our site on the external links section of the Birmingham page. We are an information site which provides community news and info, local events, etc to the local Birmingham community. We also offer a variety of other localised detail which is of use to residents and visitors to the City alike.

We are not looking for 'free' advertising but merely feel that our site may be of use to people visiting the Birmingham page. We also do not stand to make any significant financial gain from the link, as we only get a minimal amount per visit regardless of how many pages are viewed.

Please consider our request as we are only asking for the right reasons.( - please take a look)

Regards Activ Birmingham (talk) 20:08, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Please take a look at our external links policy and I think that you will find that this site together with a number of other www.activ<place>.com sites fall well short of this in that they provide far too little real content and consist of a significant amount of advertising. Keith D (talk) 23:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll be honest, it does seem to me as well, a bit thin on the ground in terms of helpful information, and a bit heavy on the advertising front - every page appears to consist in some shape or form, of adverts, albeit local adverts. Willdow (talk) 09:26, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

It has now been some time since our initial request to place a link on the birmingham page to our site. Comments were made that our site did not provide any real information or content relevant to Birmingham. The site is now some 6 months older and the number of articles and information has increased considerably. Local history of Birmingham landmarks and personalities as well as events, news, etc. Please take a look at the site as it is now and see if it is worthy of consideration of our original request. (talk) 19:15, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

In my experience, all the "activ" sites, be it activbirmingham, activsheffield, activnottingham etc etc are all the same; heavy on adverts, and low on unique content that hasn't already been found on other sites. A very brief look at the activbirmingham site and my eyes are drawn to, "Sponsored Links", "Featured Advertisers", "Recommended Businesses" etc etc. I think this may come under "objectionable amounts of advertising".
You can read about the specific External Links policy here. I think points 1 and 5 are relevent. Thanks, WillDow (Talk) 08:29, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Olympic Swimming Pool

This now has planning permission although it's not going to get built for a while as the council is strapped for spare cash (would love to see Mike Whitby in Victoria Square selling Big Issue!) Worth a mention though? [5]
And if yes, would it go under Sport or Leisure? Willdow (Talk) 14:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Anybody...??Willdow (Talk) 11:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


I've removed this as the sources do not back up the info. The source only listed five consuls whereas about 14 were in the list here. The source didn't back up that Birmingham has the most consuls in the UK outside of London - I presume this is the editors own research(?). Also, the source given for Jamaican Passport office clearly states this is in London rather than Birmingham, although once a month, there is a drop in session in Birmingham for people living in the West Midlands. Willdow (Talk) 09:20, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


An anonymous addition of "Brummieland" as a nickname for Birmingham has been reverted by User:Jamesinderbyshire, but the question remains: is this nickname a term in common usage? A google hit shows about 62,000 hits for "Brummieland" and 20,400 for "Brummie Land" going back to before 2004, and I have heard the expression - not often in conversation (then again in the circles I mix I don't hear Brummagem much either), but quite a bit in online fora.

In my experience "Brummie Land" seems to be used by people from outside the city, or by newcomers from other parts of the country, either to refer to the centre of England generally, or specifically to Birmingham, but on nowhere near the same scale as the term "Manc Land" is used in relation to Manchester (which comes in at nearer 28 million hits), despite that phrase not appearing as a nickname on the Manchester entry.Metabaronic (talk) 18:34, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Were you the anon poster Metabaronic? I see you edit other Midlands-related articles. On the subject itself, I've heard it too, but I think "Manc-land" or "Mancieland" is better attested - however, I'm not adamant about it, but would prefer some kind of sourcing for slang terms, otherwise the floodgates open to various types of sillies. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 20:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
No, it wasn't me. I just thought that you were a tad quick to revert and that it might warrant some discussion. Don't like to scare new posters away - they might switch to become established editors if engaged and debated with.Metabaronic (talk) 21:23, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Just being defensive of the quality of WP articles and if a sentence is not good, as it wasn't, it doesn't make sense to leave it in, surely? I didn't take it to talk as I thought it was a fairly minor issue. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 22:11, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not being judgemental. Just that if the term is well-used, it's a valid inclusion. Metabaronic (talk) 07:31, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


On a slightly more important point, the sentence in the intro: People from Birmingham are known as 'Brummies', a term derived from the city's nickname of 'Brum'. This comes in turn from the city's dialect name, Brummagem,[11] which may have been derived from one of the city's earlier names, 'Bromwicham'. Is there any evidence for the "Bromwicham" point? I have read for example that "Brummagem" meant "cheap" or "faked" (referring to the 18th C manufactures there). I can't quickly find a source to back up the Bromwicham point. It also seems unconvincing that "Brum" is derived from "Brummagem" - and the provided source seems a bit thin. Has Carl Chinn written anything specifically on this? Surely "Brum" is just a shortening of "Birmingham"? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 22:30, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

In one of his talks I've certainly heard Chinn say that Brummagen was derived from Bromwicham. According to Sir William Dugdale and later William Hutton, the original name for Birmingham was "Bromwycham", which was later spelled "Brumwycheham" and, by the seventeenth century, "Bromwicham". Hutton's translation was something like "home on the descent where the broom grows", referring to the steep slope from the Bullring down into Digbeth High Street. The assumption was that Birmingham was a 'Normanisation' of an Anglo-Saxon word. This etymology seems to be rejected by modern academics. I mentioned it to Mike Hodder recently and his view was the Bromwicham name came from the adjacent settlement now known as West Bromwich. I'm less certain, because Castle Vale to the East of Birmingham was originally known as Little Bromwich, which suggests that Birmingham may have been the principle settlement using that name. Certainly the Brom- prefix is common across the area, and Birmingham is its focus. What I'm not certain of is how the Dugdale/Hutton view came to be superceded by the later Beorma etymology. I've touched on this on my Beorma article.Metabaronic (talk) 08:31, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Is there any written source we can refer to for backup on the Brummagen / Bromwicham connection? Has Chinn referred to it in one of his books? I've also heard this but haven't read it anywhere. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 08:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I haven't any sources for Chinn, but Hutton's book is online It is mentioned under "Some Account of the Derivation of the name of Birmingham" Metabaronic (talk) 09:14, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen the Hutton thing before - sadly, it doesn't really confirm the origins of "Brummie". I think we have to rewrite this sentence This comes in turn from the city's dialect name, Brummagem,[11] which may have been derived from one of the city's earlier names, 'Bromwicham'. There is a distinctive Brummie dialect and accent, both of which differ from the adjacent Black Country. at least a bit, as there appear to be no supporting references that I've been able to find, unless someone else can help? I would suggest
This may derive from the city's dialect name, Brummagem,[11] which may in turn have been derived from one of the city's earlier names, 'Bromwicham' (insert ref to Hutton). There is a distinctive Brummie dialect and accent, both of which differ from the adjacent Black Country. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:23, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Looks fine - I've added the Hutton reference. Metabaronic (talk) 11:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The references don't prove the assertion in the sentence that "it comes from it", so I've modified it to my proposed sentence. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 13:07, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Apologies, I thought you had already made your proposed changes. Metabaronic (talk) 18:02, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Lead photo

The license for the lead photo was incorrect and has since been deleted. Are we able to find another good landscape shot of the city with the correct license to replace it? WillDow (Talk) 08:16, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Are there still no good landscape pics of the city available to use as lead pic?? WillDow (Talk) 14:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Birmingham

FYI, there is an effort to create a WikiProject for the city in England, under the name "WikiProject Birmingham", see Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Birmingham. (talk) 01:50, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Ghamkol Shariff Masjid

Is really a valid reference for the claim that Ghamkol Shariff Masjid "is claimed to be one of the largest in western Europe". Does such a vague claim really need to be mentioned? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't particularly believe that this source satisfies "Reliable Sources" criteria. "This is my directory of mosques..." on the cited page pushes me to think self published source at the very least. I'll remove the source and add a citation needed template. If it is one of the largest in Western Europe, then there is bound to be more reliable sources to back it up. If not, then it could be removed per WP:Verifiability. WillDow (Talk) 15:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

aston villa

in this article it is stated that both aston villa and birmingham have won throphies. i believe that this should be alterd as birmingham have only won one throphy. villa should be stated as the more successful team?? as this is clearly a true fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Whilst that is correct, it's not fair to define one team against another on an independent article.-- (talk) 20:23, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm having trouble reading the map: There doesn't seem to be a Bristol Channel on it. Kdammers (talk) 11:31, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

aha, now I see. Wales is excised, and only England is shown. It would be more helpful if we had a map that showed the natural boundaries of the island (i.e., included Wales). Kdammers (talk) 11:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Castle Bromwich / Jaguar

This article states that Jaguar's plant (in Castle Bromwich) is located in the City of Birmingham, yet the linked article on Castle Bromwich states that that suburb is located in the (adjacent) Metropolitan Borough of Solihull.

So, is the Jaguar plant not in Castle Bromwich, or is Castle Bromwich not in Solihull? Petecollier (talk) 21:44, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Good question. Castle Bromwich is right on the border of Birmingham and Solihull. The historic centre of Castle Bromwich is just on the Solihull side, and gives its name to one of the wards of Solihull borough. The Jaguar factory is north of the M6 and firmly within the City of Birmingham.
You could therefore make the argument that the plant isn't actually in Castle Bromwich. It certainly isn't in Castle Bromwich Ward, though its main entrance is less than 500 yards from Castle Bromwich Hall and St Mary and St Margaret's Church, Castle Bromwich - the centre of the historic settlement. If you asked the residents of the houses over the road they would refer to themselves as living in Castle Vale, but that's an estate developed in the 1960s (and redeveloped in the 1990s) on the site of Castle Bromwich Aerodrome, so not really a counter-example. The factory has a history that long predates its role in Jaguar and opened at a time when Castle Bromwich would have been the only significant settlement nearby; it's universally referred as being the Castle Bromwich factory; and its official name within Jaguar is Castle Bromwich Assembly, so I don't think the current wording of the article is particularly problematic, and the details of the administrative geography are a bit obscure and tangential a level of detail for a short subsection on Birmingham's economy. The introduction of the linked Castle Bromwich article explains some of the boundary changes over the years that have created the current confusion for any readers that want to delve in a bit further.
JimmyGuano (talk) 01:26, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Broad st

Woefully misrepresents Birmingham. This is not the main place for night life! There have been established clubs and other venues in Birmingham since before Broad st opened - so why is that there?

I wouldnt go down broad st, I wouldnt wish it on an enemy - to have it blazoned across an international disseminator of knowledge so that everyone who comes here goes there for a drink.

Never send someone from out of town down broad st! they stand a good chance of getting battered - come on thats just the way it is... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree, i think the first sentence needs rewording as i don't think nightlife does not centre on Broad St any more, over the last ten years it is much more largely spread around the city, and a lot of Broad St bars now lie empty. It would never be my first choice for a night out with tourists to the city. User:Bs0u10e01 12:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

I reiterate - Broad st lets birmingham down in a big way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I work in the hotel trade and am surprised by how many people come back from a nigh out saying how rude brummies are - until they say they went to broad St! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your opinions, but WP isn't about opinions. You clearly have something against Broad Street, but please don't let that bias affect anything you write in this article, as this is meant as an unbiased source of factual information. WillDow (Talk) 09:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Economy - GDP in local currency please

This Birmingham being in England, may we have the figure for GDP in pounds sterling and not in dollars, please, as being the currency of the country in which it is situated. If the American readership would like the dollar equivalent, this can be included in brackets using the appropiriate conversion template. I thought it was a Wikipedia policy to have spellings, currency, and other details in the local versions for each article. I haven't time now to research the relevant data, but I'm sure one of our Wikipedia contributors knows where to find it. Thanks, folks. -- Robert of Ramsor (talk) 01:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

The GDP figure is given in the same terms as the source (converting it would be WP:OR - what exchange rate should we use?) and to enable international comparisons such as that made in the article to be possible. It's not a piece of American cultural imperialism. JimmyGuano (talk) 19:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Political influence

I've reverted this edit [6] to the previous form. The source - the summative conclusion of a recent scholarly work by a serious academic historian, not a throwaway line from a bit of civic boosterism - is quite unambiguous: "No provincial city had a greater influence on the shaping of British democracy and on the governance of the British state than Birmingham."

Ward's thesis expanded over the book is that Birmingham was able to exert an exceptional influence compared to the other major industrial cities of the era, because its small units of production meant that its class divisions were relatively small, so the working and middle classes tended to present a united front, that made the city an unusually effective powerbase. This isn't undue weight being given to the one-off theory of a renegade: it's very similar to the classic account of Asa Briggs in his book "Victorian Cities" and his earlier paper "Thomas Attwood and the Economic Background to the Birmingham Political Union". It's all pretty standard and mainstream stuff.

The Lead is supposed to summarise the rest of the article though - and the history section doesn't really make the extent of the city's influence clear - Birmingham was pivotal to all three Reform Acts, not just the first one. I'll try and add a bit more in there so that it all hangs together better.

JimmyGuano (talk) 19:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't dispute Birmingham has had a key political influence, but I am not convinced about the term "unparalleled", that is why I changed it to "key". I'm sure the historian who is quoted is respectable, but one historian's opinion does make it truth. If you have three respected historians who were along the same lines I'd be more sympathetic to the idea of "unparalleled". I was always taught History was a matter of opinions and interpretations, rather than it being accepted fact anyway.
I have reservations with Birmingham's political influence is "unparalleled outside of London" when off the top of my head I know Manchester has had Peterloo Massacre, Emmeline Pankhurst. You only have to compare the Pankurst article with Thomas Attwood, or the Peterloo Massacre with the Birmingham Political Union to see what I mean. I'm sure Birmingham has a key political influence yes - but "unparalleled" when comparing to other British cities? No. It is an issue of due weight. You can keep it that way, but it sounds as if you're blowing your own trumpet, and - as an honest reader of the page - it sounds untrustworthy. Stevo1000 (talk) 22:20, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Arguing over historical influence based on the quality of wikipedia articles is just silly - that would make The Simpsons (a FA) more important than The Bible (not even a GA).
Pankhurst is just a (fairly) influential individual who came from Manchester. That's different to Manchester itself being influential on the country's political development - the suffragette movement was not a distinctively Mancunian phenomenon. Hitler came from the small town of Braunau am Inn - but that doesn't make it the 20th centruy's most influential community. Quite apart from the fact that the Peterloo gathering was replicating a series of earlier meetings in Birmingham, it is anyway a poor example of historical influence (as distinct from historical significance) - it didn't result in reform, but in repression. The Peterloo protesters were on the losing side, not the winning side.
If its influence on Britain's political development was relatively slight, Manchester did have a huge influence in economic matters, much more so than Birmingham. The Manchester School of economy dominated Victorian economic policy, while the Birmingham School was just treated as an oddity at the time, even if with hindsight it was ahead of its time. Even at the point when Joseph Chamberlain's Birmingham base made him arguably the most powerful man in Britain, he didn't manage to get Fair Trade established over Free Trade. There is a common argument that the very thing that made Birmingham an unrivalled power for political reform - its distinctive economic and social structure - made its economic interests only a marginal significance.
There's not really a lot of point you or I arguing over this though. Our opinions don't matter here - it is reflecting the view of the reliable sources that is the task at hand.
JimmyGuano (talk) 19:46, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
How about making it clear that it is Ward's opinion? Nev1 (talk) 22:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
A fair suggestion except that it's not really just Ward's opinion - it's been pretty much the standard historical interpretation since Asa Briggs put it forward in the mid twentieth century. In fact it was even quite widely remarked upon as a contemporary phenomomenon in the 19th century - it wasn't an accident that Cobden and Bright achieved the repeal of the corn laws from Manchester, but moved their base to Birmingham when they started campaigning for Political Reform. Ward is just the most explicit because his his book is written about precisely this aspect of Birmingham's history over the full period since the industrial revolution - most other writers have just concentrated on the particular period they're writing on. Maybe we should add some more supporting references to show that this isn't just one individual's interpretation. JimmyGuano (talk) 19:32, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
That's fair enough. I'm sure many other writers hold the same view and didn't mean to imply that Ward is on his own in that regard. That's a pretty handy quote you used at the start of this section and it might be nice to use it in the article, but if you think that highlighting Ward suggests his opinion is not shared by others then I respect the current wording. Nev1 (talk) 19:44, 1 October 2011 (UTC)


Excuse me as I'm new around here so if there are any errors I apologise now! On the subject of Birmingham, I herard last night that this used to be the Capital of England. I've not heard this before and wondered if anybody else knew this. Due to the history, it wouldn't surprise me ... if anybody can shed any light on this please let me know. --BusySuzi283 (talk) 14:21, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Birmingham has never been the capital of England. Nearby Tamworth has a better claim, in fact (it was the capital of Mercia at the point that Mercia dominated what is now England) JimmyGuano (talk) 20:17, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
It's considered a population epicenter and an industrial and technological capital of England, but no, it's not the capital of English. That would be London. Which a lot of people forget. :) --Nutthida (talk) 00:05, 24 December 2011 (UTC)