You know Birmingham as the city playing host to BlueLightCamp in June 2015 (tickets still available, book now).
But Birmingham has other claims to fame.
- Birmingham became a city in 1889
- Much of its drinking water comes from Wales (the Elan Valley dams)
- Birmingham is home to Cadbury’s Chocolate. In fact Bournville Station in Birmingham is painted the colour of Dairy Milk packaging. Also Bird’s custard, Typhoo tea and HP sauce are from the city.
- Officially Spaghetti Junction is known as the Gravelly Hill Interchange (who knew that?)
- The first x-ray ever was taken in Birmingham in 1896.
- Gas lighting was invented in Birmingham. The first domestic building to be lit by gas was also in Birmingham (in 1798). This wasn’t too much of a coincidence: it was the home of the inventor William Murdock.
- James Watt was from Birmingham, he invented the steam engine as we understand it and the photocopier. He is immortalised in the measure of energy: the Watt.
- Sir Alec Issigonis lived in Birmingham. While he was there he designed both the Morris Minor and the Mini. Either one of which would have been career defining.
- Birmingham is bigger, better and less rainy than Manchester.
- Birmingham is the most culturally mixed city in the UK. Sorry London.
- And it has more parks than any city in Europe.
- Balti may, or may not, have been invented in Birmingham but Birmingham Balti is a unique and distinctive cultural phenomenon.
- Lawn tennis was invented in Brmingham (in 1859 by Harry Gem since you ask).
- Gandalf was a Brummie. Or at least JRR Tolkien was and Birmingham landmarks inflect his work, not necessarily in a very positive manner.
- The FA Cup was made in Birmingham (in case you’re wondering the original and the replacement made when the original was stolen were both from the city).
A mostly truthful collection of 15 facts about Birmingham