Talk:Birmingham/Archive 7

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Archive 6 | Archive 7 | Archive 8


We seem to have had yet another visit from Mr excisionoffundamentalredundancy (and before we get into the realms of paranoia once more, that's not me). G-Man, can we please leave the disambiguation link alone now? There is no support for changing it from anyone other than you. Birmingham, Alabama is significantly smaller than Birmingham UK, less important as a part of its own nation, and (obviously) postdates the city in the UK. Birmingham UK is clearly the right place for Birmingham to point to, even if the decision were made to rename this article (see the way Boston is organised, for example). I can't find any other example where the link at the top of an article to a disambiguation page specifically mentions one of the alternatives. --Brumburger 15:46, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Here's one. Mars. Morwen - Talk 15:47, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Touché! I should have specified articles about cities (and you'll no doubt find one of those now). The point stands, though - it's not the usual thing to do, and there doesn't seem to be any real reason to do it here. --Brumburger 16:17, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

On the contrary the Birmingham AL link has been consistantly part of the article for nearly three years See here and in all that time, nobody (including Pigsonthewing) has objected to it. So why you have suddenly started making a fuss about it now I have no idea.

Moreover the important point here is what people will be looking for when they look up "Birmingham". And the fact is that a substantial proportion of the people looking up 'Birmingham' will be looking for Birmingham, Alabama, as this is easilly the second most well known place in the world called Birmingham, and is what Birmingham means to most Americans.

So if were going to have the article about Birmingham about the city in England (which I agree with by-the-way) then it is IMO only fair that we make it as easy as possible to find the link to B'ham Alabama, rather than directing people through an obscure disambiguation page. G-Man 20:38, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's not obscure, there's a link to it at the top of the page, clearly labelled "other places called Birmingham". If people can't work out that Birmingham, Alabama will be one of those other places, there really is no hope for them. The fact that something has been wrong for three years doesn't mean it shouldn't be put right now (like the population figures). --Brumburger 21:03, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Which is completely missing the point, the point is there are two very important and well know places in the world called Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama is one of them. If you look at the other Birmingham's you'll see that they're all tiny and insignificant. But Birmingham, AL is the largest city in Alabama and one of the most important cities in the American south. It is also world famous for its association with the Civil Rights movement. A large proportion of the people looking up 'Birmingham' will be looking for Birmingham, AL. Surely therefore it deserves special treatment. Unless of course you believe that consistancy should be placed above common sense.

Regarding the population figures, the 2003 figures on the City Council website put the population at 992,100. G-Man 22:31, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't agree that it is "common sense" to put a specific link to Birmingham, Alabama at the top of the article, and nor it seems does anyone else. I'm aware of the city council website figures, and I trust the ONS more (the council will have got its figures from the Population Estimates Unit of the ONS in the first place, so if the two figures are different the council's are going to be wrong). --Brumburger 23:22, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I must say I agree with G-man on this, how remarkably arrogant and anglocentric of you to assume that Birmingham must mean the city in England. I dont believe your Boston analogy works here, as there are not two very famous cities called Boston, although there are two famous cities called Birmingham. I certainly agree with G-man's point that this is a special case. Gem 21:53, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. I lived in Birmingham for five years, so I'm not exactly on some weird anti-Brum rampage. But I've put an Alabama link back in at the top (again, after User:Pigsonthewing deleted it), and I think it makes a lot of sense to have it there. The other places called Birmingham is fine, but it does no harm whatsoever to have a direct link to Birmingham, Alabama. The only reason I can see for not wanting it there is some kind of petty inferiority complex. Proto t c 5 July 2005 10:11 (UTC)
I don't see why there should be a link at the top of the page to Birmingham, Alabama when the link is already on the disambig page simply because the majority of Americans will be looking for Bir, Alabama. There are no other specific top page links on other major city pages there there are also cities in the USA with the same name (Cairo,Athens, Memphis). It really isn't a great inconvenience to click on the disambiguation link to find the link to the city in Alabama & we should try to ensure consistency with other pages of this type. I've reverted to the last version by User:Pigsonthewing AllanHainey 5 July 2005 10:39 (UTC)
Aha! You've proved my point. Please click on that Memphis link. Does it go directly to a page on Memphis, Egypt? It does not. Perhaps you should have looked at your examples before citing them. Memphis goes to a disambiguation page. If you wanted the Memphis in the US, you must go to Memphis, Tennessee. If you wish to follow that precedent and retain consistency, then technically Birmingham should be a disambiguation page. As far as Cairo goes, not one of the Cairos in the US is a particularly large town, let alone a city. Athens, Georgia, similarly, is not a particularly large city (pop about 100,000). I think Birmingham is unusual, in that there are two major cities with the same name. I don't think that situation exists anywhere else, and therefore I don't think it's unreasonable to have a direct link to Birmingham, AL on the top of the article. There was a link to Birmingham, Alabama on the top of the Birmingham article for nearly three years. By my count, opinion is fairly divided; perhaps there should be a consensus. Reverted for now (but reworded, in a hope that you won't find this way so shockingly offensive to your sensibilities). Proto t c 5 July 2005 11:28 (UTC)

Describing others' views as some kind of petty inferiority complex is *PoV and contrary to Wikipedia's policies on Civility and Personal attacks. Andy Mabbett 5 July 2005 14:00 (UTC)

Please show where I directed that comment at an individual. But, if someone did take it as uncivil, I apologise. Also, Andy, thanks for your edit on the main page, the Alabama link needed a further disambiguation, so it should now be fine (now says 'large city'). I didn't realise little places with 423 people counted as cities in America. You learn something every day. Proto t c 5 July 2005 14:09 (UTC)
"others'" is plural. Andy Mabbett 5 July 2005 14:19 (UTC)
And? Proto t c 5 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)
  • A mention of this discussion was recently placed in the (much less active) discussion page for Birmingham, Alabama. I am a Birmingham, Alabama native and resident. In my opinion (supported, I think, by the WP Manual of Style), a single-sentence notice with a link to the disambiguation page at the top of the article is quite sufficient. Furthermore I do not support making the disambiguation page the main article. Birmingham is the most important use of the term by a wide margin. Dystopos 5 July 2005 14:23 (UTC)

I'm rather baffled by the example you've given. But I dont see anywhere where it says that a specific link should not be put on the main page. I dont see anywhere where this "convention" that we should not use specific links is written down or agreed upon by anyone. Either way, every convention should have sensible ecceptions, and this is clearly IMO one of those cases. G-Man 5 July 2005 19:14 (UTC)

The Style reference is admittedly indirect. I guess the point is that a very small dose of dab is enough of a distraction. Anything more than one short sentence is too much. How would this strike you:
For other uses of "Birmingham" see Birmingham, Alabama or Birmingham (disambiguation).
Dystopos 5 July 2005 23:13 (UTC)

Thats OK I can live with that. G-Man 6 July 2005 18:02 (UTC)

This discussion borders on the wikiridiculous. Having said that i like Dystopos's formulation. Leonig Mig 6 July 2005 10:24 (UTC)
Yes, that's a good compromise. Proto t c 7 July 2005 08:34 (UTC)

Led Zeppelin

This citing of sources is new to me but I am finding it quite entertaining at keeping info I have written.

Taken from Zeps first press release in 1968.

"John Bonham comes from the industrial town of Birmingham. It is not the hub of British music, but in order to get his experience he played with as many groups as he could in the area and eventually joined one of the top local outfits, The Band of Joy. The Tim Rose jaunt brought John well deserved national acclaim and opened the door to the next chapter in his success story.

Married, and still living in Birmingham, John is, according to Jimmy Page, "The champion beer drinker in England'"

"Like John Bonham, Robert hails from Birmingham and was a member of the Band of Joy, now defunct. He also played on several occasions with Alexis Korner, who fathered the blues revival in England. It was singer Terry Reid, a friend of Jimmy Page's, who suggested Robert for Led Zeppelin, and there was no need to look further."

Now we know that both musicians were actually born in 1. west bromwich 2. Redditch.

West Brom sprawls into Brum or vice versa? and Redditch (as we know today) was populated as an overspill of Birmingham. Regardless both musicians evolved out of the Birmingham scene which at the time was less prominent in the media due to bands such as the infamous Beatles and various London based acts.

Also from here:

"Jimmy Page had also received a tip from Terry Reid on a great, young blues singer from Birmingham. Page was impressed by the singer, Robert Plant, and his vocal range. He invited Plant over where they explored each other's music tastes by playing their favourite records."

Also from here:

"Page met bassist John Paul Jones while the two worked on Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" in April of 1968, and the two discussed the potential of joining forces. That summer, Page traveled to Birmingham to see and potentially recruit a young singer named Robert Plant, who was fronting his own group, Band of Joy. The trio was now lacking only a drummer, and Plant recommended his Band of Joy bandmate John Bonham. In September of 1968, the four played their first rehearsals in London,..."

Also from here:

"...the shorter, more muscular sounds of "What Is And What Never Should Be", which is alternately taut rock and electric folk, and the dizzying, tripped-up riff of "Dancing Days" that recalls Plant's pre-Zeppelin days in the dance halls of his hometown of Birmingham."

And that was from a quick search on the net, Led Zeppelin and Rob Plant/John Bonham should remain, the press often mistakingly suggest that Led Zeppelin are from Brum, in actual fact two of the most important musicians of the band learned their trade in brum and were born within a few miles of the city. Nick Boulevard 22:20, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In my experience of living especially in the south. People are generally ignorant of geography and dont often understand the distinction between Birmingham and the Black Country, and often incorrectly describe the entire West Midlands conurbation area as simply "Birmingham". In rather the same way people ignorantly refer to the entire greater Manchester area as "Manchester". So I'm not sure your links prove anything other than ignorance of geography. Gem 21:59, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Metropolitan area

The page G-Man cited to support his preferred wording includes As in the rest of the world, metropolitan areas in Europe are much debated, and widely different figures are given for the same place by different sources. These figures should be seen as an interpretation, not as conclusive facts.; it also links to Metropolitan area, which says A metropolitan area is a large population center consisting of a large city and its adjacent zone of influence, or of several neighboring cities or towns and adjoining areas, with one or more large cities serving as its hub or hubs. and does not support his narrow, central government, definition. Andy Mabbett 23:02, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So what definition would you like to use exactly. As I have pointed out already no other official definition exists other than the WM county, which is recognised as being the West Midlands metropolitan area and is used in government statistics as such.
In my version I pointed out that Birmingham was the economic centre of the WM region. G-Man 23:17, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't want to use a definition; nor do I wish to use any definition "exactly", since there appears to be no standard definition to use. Andy Mabbett 23:28, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well surely we should give prominance to the official definition, as there doesn't appear to be any other. Using the definition of metropolitan area above, It could be argued that much of the West Midlands region is effectively within the "zone of influence" of Birmingham. That's what I tried to point out. G-Man 23:36, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well surely we should give prominance to the official definition Yes - and the wording I reveted to (and have just clarified) does just that. Andy Mabbett 23:40, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I have to say this article has improved quite a lot since I was last here. It is far better proportioned regarding the obese culture section. I had a go at getting the culture section to a sensible size and improving the proportions of the article some weeks ago. But was rather disheartened to find my changes had been largely reverted a few days later. I note that the current revision is similar to my version. Well done to all involved. Gem 21:30, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Anonymous Threat

As webmaster of an independent Birmingham Website I have received an anonymous threat by Email from someone that is obviously policing this article. I do not respond to these childish anonymous threats so I will leave it up to the regular contributors to sort out who is sending threats! IP address of sender was User:Vbrum

That address resolves to a German host (see also [1]); it is them you should complain to. What do you think anyone here can do for you, especially as you provide no details and no evidence? Andy Mabbett 28 June 2005 20:43 (UTC)
I am extremely sorry VBrum, I think the target is actually me, I have emailed you and I should point out the following which other users can use to make their own minds up about this: Andy or someone with his interests at heart ;) used this IP address to edit my work some time ago. Here is the IP address discussion User talk:, the user was blocked for reverting and vandalism. Thanks Nick Boulevard 29 June 2005 17:21 (UTC)

The IP address resolves to, an ISP devoted to providing anonymous email forwarding, so it is as likley to be someone in England as it is someone in Germany. The use of such a masking facility suggests that the sender is a malicious coward and, having now read the email, I can confirm that the threats are without substance.—Theo (Talk) 30 June 2005 16:13 (UTC)

More deletion

Ok, Andy Mabbett...

Please, why have you just deleted my short inclusion of the popular music intro here when you will have seen that it exists already on the arts page (you edited the page not long aftre me) It was discussed there to avoid exactly this kind of behaviour, unfortunately you have also removed my inclusion of a new band and reference to Jimmy Page in his early years in a Brum band, I would like to stress that I have been out ALL evening and within five - ten minutes of me editing here you have jumped on what I have written and now its exits no longer? I am fed up with this and to be honest you are close to driving me away. Nick Boulevard 5 July 2005 23:23 (UTC)

For the reason stated in my edit summary. If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it.. Andy Mabbett
Andy:That caution is not an instruction for you to delete and revert wholesale. Your persistent reversion of changes is discourteous and unconstructive. You have been told this repeatedly by several editors. Please stop. —Theo (Talk) 6 July 2005 11:03 (UTC)
I've just dealt wth a copy of the same comment, which you posted on my talk page. Andy Mabbett 6 July 2005 11:27 (UTC)
Several things: On your talk page you told me that I was wrong. I stand by every part of what I said but I cannot imagine that citing diffs will be enough to dissuade you from your stance. Let me rephrase it to make it incontrovertible: I find many of your edits and their associated summaries discourteous and unconstructive. To take the most recent example: why is Three of the four members of Led Zeppelin played in Birmingham rock bands. "exagerated trivia" (as per your edit summary when you deleted it) while the subsequent sentence In the 1970s members of the Move and the Moody Blues formed the Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard. is acceptable to you? I accept that it would be too detailed to mention Band of Joy in the main article, but are the Birmingham associations of Led Zep any more trivial than the others? —Theo (Talk) 8 July 2005 08:56 (UTC)
To answer your last point first: yes. The Move and Idle Race were Birmingham based, with all or nearly all members from Birmingham. ELO played up their Birmingham connections, writing songs about the City. The bands referred to in connection with Led Zep may have had some members from Birmingham, but there is no evidence that they were Birmingham-centric. As to your personal feelings; I'm at a loss to explain their distance from reality. Andy Mabbett 8 July 2005 18:04 (UTC)
I do not wish to jump on you here Andy but we have had this discussion before about Nick Mason, how do any of us know that Robert Plant and John Bonham were specifically not Birmingham-centric? Robert Plant used to live in my old village and many of the locals refered to him as a Brummie from his accent which he seemed not to mind? Besides we are not basing the wikipedia article on Birmingham bands or musicians that are/were Birmingham-centric? I am sure that there are many musicians world wide that either love or loathe their home towns but that has no bearing whatsoever on where they come from, and one thing that you seem to have forgotten, If you were familiar with the lyrics of Robert Plant you would know of the many links in his songs to JR Tolkien, mordor etc, and as I recall you seemed to battle quite ferrociously over keeping Tolkien closely linked to Birmingham. See your own talk page. :) Nick Boulevard 8 July 2005 18:48 (UTC)
So please can we include what exists on the arts page re: Led Zeppelin, they were after all one of the most successful rock bands ever. Nick Boulevard 12:24, 10 July 2005 (UTC)