There are 30 cities around the world named Birmingham. There’s even a Birmingham crater on the moon. But the one in England is the true original and the one we, at The Mighty Shed, call home. But we raised a lot of eyebrows when we chose to open our doors here.
“What about the traffic? It’s horrendous. There’s a reason they call it ‘Spaghetti Junction’”
“How can you understand (or even stand) Brummie?”
“But it’s not London?!”
These were just some of the concerns from mostly skeptical London-centric dwellers all justifiably in love with the big smoke and largely ignorant to the authentic charm and genuine value of their second city to the north. The fact is that Birmingham’s got a lot to offer and I’m in love with it. Let me count the ways:
Deliciously spicy Baltis that are second to none
Unpretencious Michelin starred restaurants where I can actually get a rezzie
A legendary music scene that’s alive and pumping
Wandering canals with Warwickshire, Wales and the Cotswolds at my doorstep
A vibrant creative and digital community of the Custard Factory
In fact, when I first walked into Fazeley Studios (part of the Custard Factory scene) I thought, ‘this is it. this the right place to start our agency’. It’s a beautiful and inspirational setting chock full of creative energy, entrepreneurial spirit and talented people committed to creating great work. The Shed doors have been open a few months now and my love for our new home continues to grow. The warm welcome from the Custard Factory, the Birmingham Post, Business Birmingham and all of our neighbours has been amazing.
So, for my skeptical friends out there, here’s what I think about your eyebrow harrowing questions.
First of all, I’ve lived all over the world, and trust me, traffic is bad everywhere. Take the train or suck up and deal by starting out at different times and let the music blare.
Secondly, ‘Brummie’ takes some getting used to but once you’ve tuned your ear it’s an authentically grown National Treasure and should be appreciated versus stereotyped as an IQ indicator for your second cousins. I predict that with the premier of next season’s Peeky Blinders hipsters everywhere will be giving it a go. Be warned, this accent crafted by time takes skills. It’s a hard one to master, just ask Cillian Murphy.
And lastly, you’re right. Birmingham’s not London. Nowhere in the world is like London. It’s not even a fair comparison. What is fair to compare is that Birmingham offers 45% less cost of living, no congestion charge and a little less attitude. And London, one of the truly great cities on the planet, is only an hour and twenty away by train. Something I try to take advantage of at least once a week by working out of the Hospital Club.
So, thank you Birmingham. I’m proud to call you home. And thank you neighbours, we’re all proud to be a part of your community.