Facts about Birmingham
Many people I teach don’t come from Birmingham but I’ve lived around here all my life so I thought I’d make this page of fun facts about the city. It’s a wonderful place to live, work and learn to drive.
This page was made many years ago when I first started my driving school. No doubt some of these things are no longer true but this page is just here for fun.
- Cluedo was invented by a Birmingham man who lived on Brighton road, about two miles south of the city centre. There’s a plaque up on the wall of the house where he used to live and invented the game.
- Birmingham is home to 1.1 million people and is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK. We’re proud that we have poeple living here from Ireland, Africa, China, Poland, Russia, America….Birmingham is a shining example of how people from different backgrounds can all live happily together.
- JRR Tolkien wrote Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit in Birmingham. The twin towers from the book were inspired by Edgbaston water works!
- Reverend Wilbert Awdry wrote the Thomas the tank engine books here
- Famous musicians from Birmingham include UB40, Duran Duran, Musical youth, Roy Wood, Jamelia and Ozzy Osbourne. One of the members of Musical youth who died at a young age is buried close to Kings Heath test centre
- Other famous people from Birmingham include Nigel Mansell, Murray Walker, Jasper Carrot, Cat Deeley, Tony Hitchcock and Toyah Wilcox
A song by Toyah Wilcox from Kings Heath, Birmingham
- The name Birmingham comes from followers of the Inga’s of Birm in the year 700 A.D who formed a hamlet, hence Birm-ing-ham
- Birmingham has the highest proportion of parks of any European city
- It has the most lap dancing clubs of any UK city
- It has more canals than Venice and is the centre of the UK’s canal network. The canals range from taking you high above houses in the suburbs to deep below the buildings in the city centre and offer some wonderful views. The photo below shows the clock tower at Birmingham Uni as seen from the canal.
- Birmingham has the 5th busiest Mcdonalds in the world and one of the few in the UK to open on Christmas day.
- Cadbury’s chocolate is made in the city, not far from Birmingham Uni.
- Birmingham is the most landlocked city in the UK. The nearest beach is around 120 miles away from the city centre in Weston-super-Mare which is known locally as Birmingham-by-the-sea due to the large number of Brummies that go there each year.
- Birmingham hosted the 1998 Eurovision song contest which was the first ever to be won by a transsexual.
- An area called next to Birmingham called Solihull got it’s name from it’s original name “Soily Hill”. It was a hill where the people of Birmingham dumped soil
- Birmingham used to be the biggest producer of guns in the UK and part of the city close to the centre is called “gun quarter”
- Birmingham city council is the largest council in Europe.
- We have one of the largest and best hospitals in the UK, the Queen Elizabeth II. Birmingham hospitals specialise in burns and treat almost all soldiers that are injured while on duty abroad in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. We also have a leading and world famous children’s hospital.
- The Bull ring shopping centre is one of the largest in Europe and houses the famous Birmingham Bull, the symbol of the city.
Birmingham driving facts
- Birmingham is one of the most congested areas of the UK
- If you drove every road in the city you’d have covered more than 2000 miles
- Birmingham has the highest number of uninsured drivers in the UK
- Birmingham has the highest number of personal injury claims from road accidents in the UK
- It’s the crash for cash capital of the UK
- Birmingham was the first place in the UK to have a hydrogen fill up point for cars. It was at one point the only hydrogen fill up point in the UK.
- Birmingham’s Spaghetti junction is famous around the world. People travel here from across the globe just to drive around it!
- From 1986 to 1990 Birmingham held the Halfords superprix, a car race held on the city streets. It helped launch the careers of several Formula one drivers such as Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Some of the old circuit can still be driven around today and you can tell it used to be a racing track because of it’s layout. If you go there late at night you’ll see huge meetings of car enthusiasts who show their modified cars. You can see some action from one of the last races held here in the video below.