Until November 2010 our park was run by Birmingham City Council.This was a rather anomalous situation as the park is not in Birmingham and made it an easy target when government imposed spending cuts bit, as they have done at various times over the last three decades. There were no votes at stake. The park was allowed to decay as was the Grade Two listed Lightwoods House which ended its Birmingham days as a ruin. For many years the house had been leased , most recently to a stained glass producer, but the money received was paid into Birmingham’s coffers and never seen again, despite the park and the house belonging to a trust and not to the Council. By the early part of this century discontent was mounting and early in 2005 I took advantage of new legislation to make a Freedom of Information request. More on this next time.
The weekend’s football started another round of referee bashing. A caller to Talk Sport even claimed that Bolton Wanderers have lost 9 out of the last 10 games not through playing poorly but becasue referees have been beastly to them. Players can make mistakes, it seems, but the man in the middle cannot. We are told about the huge amounts of monry at stake about this about that about the other. But isn’t this missing the point? Sport is about human beings, in all their fallibility and it is the errors that make the human drama that makes good sport so compelling. Sport without mistakes is sport that wouldn’t be worth watching. It’s so much better anyway to kid yourself that your teamm lost because of the so and so in black not spotting that youir opponents’ goals was yards offside than to admit you were beaten by a better team. Long live mistakes!
The view is dark and dreary but that will change when the ice rink is opened for a week before Christmas. A year on from the transfer of Lightwoods Park from Birmingham City Council to Sandwell things are happening. It will take a long time to recover the damage done in 40 years of culpable neglect by the country’s largest Local Authority but a start has been made. I will return to the history of this in future posts (in between commenting on other matters) but our park is a wonderful facility, in fact the best thing about living here what with he dearth of decent pubs and the dreadful state of Bearwood Road. But for now I’m going to get my skates on (metaphorically anyway!)