Birmingham means home (ham) of the people (ing) of the tribal leader Birm or Beorma. The de Bermingham family founded Birmingham and in an excerpt from the Doomsday book of 1068, commissioned by William the Conqueror after his invasion of Britain in 1066, the settlement of Birmingham is listed as comprising only 9 houses. Things have moved on a little since then and today Birmingham is a thriving, cosmopolitan, global city that continually evolves and develops.
I first moved to the West Midlands as a relatively naive post-graduate in 1997, and the one thing that struck me most about the locals was just how friendly they were. Mind you, I had moved from a somewhat parochial market town in the East of England where you were lucky if you could spell your own name, let alone understand the complexities of transactional relationships. There was something else, though - a warmth that you rarely see south of the border, a sense of humour drier than a mouthful of Jacob's cream crackers, and a relaxed temperament reminiscent of the Gallic shoulder shrug - "life is full of unpredictable events, so let's just deal with it, eh?"
Right, let's deal with the accent. Get over the fact that you don't like the accent and that its monotonicity seems to make Brummies sound unintelligent (as proven in studies). Do not let this fool you - their acerbic wit will tie you in knots. People with Liverpudlian accents are not untrustworthy any more than folk with Glaswegian accents are as dimwitted as Brummies. Do not prejudge - it is just an accent.
The old, concrete Birmingham is now history. Massive development projects over the years, some still ongoing, have turned Birmingham into a stunning, global city. The recently completed rebuild of New Street Station and the addition of the Grand Central shopping centre directly above it is the most recent project that has changed the face of the city. I never thought I would ever refer to Birmingham as beautiful but since I set up home here it has improved in so many ways. A recent walk through the new Grand Central and the city centre around the Colmore Business District and Bullring made me feel proud to be living in this region, even though I'm not originally from here.
If your organisation is looking for a new home, Birmingham is the ideal choice. With business costs and cost of living significantly lower than that of London, Birmingham is an efficient and attractive location for both organisations and individuals. Birmingham enjoys an exceptional transport infrastructure via road, rail and air. Its central location means that half of the UK’s population lies within two hours and 90% within a four-hour travel time of the region. On top of that, Birmingham has one of the UK's largest catchment pools for its labour force - 4.3 million people of working age within an hour’s drive of the city. Drawing on advantages such as its central location, national and international connectivity and access to a substantial labour force, Birmingham is a location of choice for business.
One of Celsium's Co-founders, Shelley Lloyd, has lived in Birmingham all of her 34 years and she is very proud to be a Brummie - although her accent does sway slightly in meetings or when she puts on her "corporate telephone voice" - but the true Brummie comes out when she is in mid-flow, chatting to her family or friends.
Shelley grew up in north Birmingham, where she still lives today and remembers fondly the trips to the rag market (now the Bullring) with Mom on a Saturday morning as a child, playing in Sutton Park (the seventh largest urban park in Europe and the second largest outside a capital city) with her childhood friends and little brother, and the pop (fizzy drinks) man coming round on a Sunday afternoon selling bottles of pop - you had to return to bottle to him the following week and you'd get 20p back.
Shelley went to school in Kingstanding and Great Barr and has worked for companies throughout the city, so has excellent knowledge of all the inner boroughs of this marvellous place and is still a regular to its famous nightclubs - despite her age and the additional recovery time now needed...
Shelley adds, "Birmingham is simply great and its only going to get better. The Brummies are brilliant and the baltis are a must. Up the Villa!"