The forgotten of the Forgotten


More than 100,000 Chinese men volunteered for the Chinese Labour Corps with the first arriving in the West in 1917 often doing the most dangerous tasks, moving ammunition, clearing bodies, trench digging. They were contracted to work for three years, 10 hours a week for 7 days a week with only 3 days off a year. A significant number died and are buried in commonwealth war graves. In France one such cemetery has inscribed on headstones the proverb ‘Faithful unto death’, ‘A good reputation endures forever’, ‘A noble duty bravely done’ and ‘Though dead he still liveth’.

Not heard of them? You are unlikely to be alone. Their contribution is rarely recognised in Continue reading “The forgotten of the Forgotten”

Sutton Coldfield Residents say no to Building on the Green Belt


An overwhelming number of Sutton Coldfield residents are opposed to plans by developers to build on the Green Belt. With the consultation period drawing to a close, Project Fields, local Councillors and residents associations came out on one last push to demonstrate clearly this feeling.

Britain’s Green Belt areas are entrusted to us for future generations. They were designed to check urban sprawl and to place pressure on developers to be innovative in their use of Continue reading “Sutton Coldfield Residents say no to Building on the Green Belt”

All the world is a stage. And all the men and women are merely players..


Former Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy died at his home aged just 55.

Events like this often from shock and surprise begin a large outpouring of tributes from family, friends, colleagues and past political opponents. Complements and sharing from friends and foe alike that he will never know compound the tragedy of his passing; that he will never know the esteem with which so many held him in. A dedicated politician, like so many devoted his life and purpose to making the country a better place. We may differ in direction but not in the purpose. The sudden and untimely passing of Charles, stirs up such reflection and inspection of his life and it’s legacy upon us all, also for us stirs up feelings of what we ourselves have accomplished, how we will be remembered, what we too will inevitably leave behind.

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Brave New World


Walking ahead of my parents, sister and girlfriend towards the Town Hall on the night of the count, was a very odd feeling. A degree in politics, seven years as a school governor, six as a magistrate, had sold my stable family businesses, hours of walking, and thousands upon thousands of leaflets, committing to this direction, was all for a decision that was now completely past any control and in the hands of others. Anyone who has stood in an election will be very familiar with this feeling whether the seats are safe or not. There is always the niggling ‘what if it was not enough’. I thought of Schrodingers cat.

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“So much universe, and so little time”

Terry Pratchett (col) c Robin Matthews.JPG

March 12th saw the death of one of my favourite authors Terry Pratchett OBE. I have spent countless hours of my life flicking through already well thumbed paperbacks looking for that one witty turn of phrase that summed up my feelings perfectly, or recounting those story plots of such imagination and ingenuity amazed how anyone could put together a world so weird, so impossible, and yet so utterly believable and somehow rooted in reality.

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Wheelie informative!

wheelie bins

At the New Hall AGM in Walmley Community Hall, local officials in charge of the rollout scheme bravely fought off the fears, concerns, questions, frustrations and at times anger of local residents.

How can a second floor maisonette flat be suitable for two wheelie bins? Where can I possibly store them? how do we get assisted collections? Why has my reassessment been declined? What if the bins are not big enough for my guests or during Christmas? Its an eye sore! What about the elderly, infirm, disabled? Its unwieldy, not suitable, an obstacle!

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Boldly go..

leonard nimoy

Star Trek is a wonderful part of my life and Leonard Nimoy was a very rich part of my idealistic youth. It represented everything that I hoped the world would be- united in peace and exploration, as one Mankind in search for knowledge and understanding, where war, money and greed was a thing of the past.

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