On the 9th September our Art Club celebrated local legends as part of Balsall Heath Second Saturdays, bringing our local legends to people at the Market to discover and chat about their local legends.
The event followed much research and preparation – Savhanha Nguyen worked with our Art Club, leading workshops, researching local legends with Moseley Road Baths, writing poetry, collecting wild flowers and creating around 100 bouquets with poems and stories of ‘Local Legends’.
Here’s our picture gallery, thanks Sepanta Razi our photographer:
Our Local legends:
‘You may have seen me in -‘
a question he’ll never have to ask.
Because characters speak louder than questions, actions are stronger statements than words,
With roots in the Youth Theatre, expanding into branches of comedy,
to blooming on the stage and the screen, a beard flourishing alongside his career!
You may have seen him, but we know him –
treading the same earth, Balsall Heath through and through.
a neighbour, a friend
a world from her own, creating homes for those in need,
bonds cemented with support of love, time, stability.
In death, a memory that carries through the bloodline of a family that wasn’t born but created
FRIENDS OF MOSELEY ROAD BATHS
There’s a power in numbers,
a community merging, uniting, fighting, in holding heritage.
Voices striving, standing tall, colliding,
reconciling a past with a future, converging into a present – this present
a moment in a future history where their rallying contributed to the Baths we see today
For Kishor – A leader, a pillar, of strength, of commitment
steering through uncertain waters
who kept the flame burning,
when the Baths were drowning in the throes of a questionable future
and a council that never knew how to care.
To celebrate the present, we must reconcile with the past, of turmoil and worry,
and give our flowers to those who navigated the storm,
the anchor holding out for the calm.
‘Saheli’ means ‘friend,’
and she’ll be there for you, for the women, and whenever needed, for the men,
No questions asked but a comrade in peace, in talks,
In hikes to the peak and those moments when you’ve just fallen short,
A powerhouse of joy, a hand to lend, a voice to lead, the safety of knowing that nobody is too hard to reach.
Without research, it’s easy to forget the pain that society tried so hard to repress.
But it’s not the collective that bears the wound, but the families ripped apart or missing links that so easily could’ve been healed.
And it seems ironic that there’s ‘Hart’ in her name, or maybe it’s fate.
It’s the power of helping families heal from their past, of the research and reconciliation of history.
It’s the care and the bravery it takes to uncover the parts of our lives others have glossed over, the loss of local history and appreciating the person leading the way in recovering it.
DR ANITA HALIDAY
Take a breath and see –
a lady who lived and breathed for her community.
A fierce advocate for those ‘who didn’t quite fit’, eagerness mistaken for trouble and judged on a background that they had no part in
Who created spaces for children to thrive,
bridging the gap between society and their lives
It’s her legacy that lives on till this day,
with those who otherwise would’ve been forgotten, failed or misplaced.
A warden, a protector
guided by the strength of belief in Balsall Heath.
A patron of real care and awareness,
of the people and the place that surrounds him.
Approaching each role with the spirit of community regeneration
and the strength to make that change happen.
If I could manifest Balsall Heath, it would be you.
Although he’s moved onto pastures new, it’s his legacy that thrives.
In memories of carnival, and the foundations of theatre
Allowing the youth to find their feet in the community and their voice in the arts.
And in the image of 100 swimmers, still lining our walls today.
You may remember her as ‘The Woman Who Taught Birmingham to Swim,’
or maybe you were there, taught by doing,
those unconventional methods
getting lost in the deep end, flailing, floundering,
but surfacing, striving, saturated in the pride that Yeah, you did it, you made it!
But it’s more than that,
it’s the leap of faith and the knowledge that there’s someone beside you, behind you,
giving that little push
Because she knew you could it, even before you could.
Thanks to Lord Mayor’s Community Fund and to #NationalLottery players for making this event possible.