NEWS: Man arrested for midnight stabbing on Fern Road leaving victim with “potentially life changing injuries’

Words and pics by Ed King

A 35 year old man has been arrested for wounding, following an alleged stabbing on Fern Road at around 12am on Saturday 7 January.

As revellers on nearby Erdington High Street enjoyed the first weekend of the New Year, a man in his 40’s was fighting for his life following the vicious assault – with police cordoning off Fern Road in a midnight investigation.

Blocking off the suburban street from the entrances on Church Road and Moor End Lane, uniformed officers and sniffer dogs were deployed in the early hours to search for evidence.

Initially searching the undergrowth, bushes, and gardens surrounding the corner of Fern Road and Church Road, police then continued their search down Church Road towards Spring Lane – checking front gardens and knocking on the doors of house to near to the crime scene.

A Police Incident Support Unit was also in attendance, isolating two parts of Fern Road and covering potential evidence with small tents.

A vehicle recovery truck was also called to the scene, although it was unclear which vehicles it was removing from the investigation site.

One local resident, who lives on Church Road and saw the first squad car arrive, told Erdington Local: “You hear sirens and see blue lights all the time around here, being just off the High Street, but they don’t usually stop on Church Road. This time they did.

“I never heard any noise or fighting, and the first police car just sat on Fern Road for about quarter of an hour before anyone else turned up – it didn’t feel like a dangerous scene.

“But the roads were fully closed and the police were searching the front gardens nearby, so they must have been looking for something. Or someone.”

Another Church Road neighbour, who came out of her door opposite from the police cordon, told Erdington Local: “I’m was just coming to see what was going on, we were worried for our neighbours.”

Whilst a passer-by also quizzed police at the scene, asking: “how bad is it down there (Fern Road)?”

West Midlands Police issued a statement about the incident on Saturday 7 January.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police told: “A man has been arrested after another man was stabbed in Fern Road, Erdington just before midnight.

“The victim, in his 40s, was taken to hospital with serious and potentially life-changing injuries. A 35-year-old man remains under arrest for wounding.

“Anyone who witnessed what happened and hasn’t spoken to us should contact us via Live Chat quoting log 4757 of 6/1.

Video of police at scene, blocking off Fern Road

 Video of small tents being erected on Fern Road

 

NEWS: Police tape off Fern Road in midnight investigation on first weekend of New Year

Words & pics by Ed King

Police responded to an incident near Erdington High Street at around midnight on Friday 6 January – cordoning off Fern Road from the corner of Church Road to Moor End Lane.

On the first weekend of the New Year, the first squad car was seen arriving by local residents at around 12am on Friday night/Saturday morning – parking on the corner of Church Road and Fern Road.

One officer was seen searching the surrounding bushes by flashlight, whilst another established police tape blocking off Fern Road to pedestrians and traffic from the entrances on Church Road and Moor End Lane.

A further two more squad cars were parked to prevent traffic from entering from Moor End Lane, with officers advising pedestrians on Church Road to cross over and walk on the opposite side of the street.

One local resident, who lives on Church Road and saw the first squad car arrive, told Erdington Local:

“You hear sirens and see blue lights all the time around here, being just off the High Street, but they don’t usually stop on Church Road. This time they did.

“I never heard any noise or fighting, and the first police car just sat on Fern Road for about quarter of an hour before anyone else turned up – it didn’t feel like a dangerous scene.

“But the roads were fully closed and the police were searching the front gardens nearby, so they must have been looking for something. Or someone.”

A police sniffer dog and handler were later seen coming out of one of the neighbouring gardens, then preceding to search more gardens down Church Road towards Spring Lane.

Officers were also seen knocking on doors of houses next to the crime scene. A further two squad cars were also positioned on the corner of Church Road and Deakin Road but were not preventing vehicle access.

One local resident, who had just come back from the Charlie Hall pub, was surprised to see blue lights flashing near his home.

Whist another Church Road neighbour, who came out of her door opposite from the police cordon, told Erdington Local:

“I’m was just coming to see what was going on, we were worried for our neighbours.”

After nearly two hours of the road closure and ongoing investigation, a police incident van arrived and small triangular tents were erected in the middle of Fern Road, although it was confirmed to Erdington Local: “they are not for bodies.”

A passer-by also quizzed police at the scene, asking: “how bad is it down there (Fern Road)?”

A recovery vehicle arrived at the scene some minutes later, seemingly to remove at least one of the vehicles that appeared parked on Fern Road.

Police at the scene were not able to comment further on the incient or identify if there was any threat to public safety.

Erdington Local has contacted West Midlands Police for an official statement.

Video of police at scene, blocking off Fern Road

 Video of small tents being erected on Fern Road

NEWS: Church Road almshouses to be sold and residents given orders to vacate by March ‘23

Words & pics by Erdington Local editorial staff

Church Road’s distinctive almshouses, which were built in 1930 to give the needy a place to live, have been put on sale for £1.6 million. Residents who thought they had a home for life have been told they have to vacate the premises by March 2023.

The ten almshouses were built by The Sir Thomas Holte Trust in 1930 but ownership switched to the Sir Josiah Mason Trust in 2019.

Tommy Swaine, aged 71, has lived in his almshouse for 13 years.

He told Erdington Local: “I thought I had a house for life but then get a letter telling me I have to be out by March. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve not even had anyone round to talk about it. There are about seven of us here who are in the same position.”

He added: “These lot (Josiah Mason Trust) have only had the almshouses for three years and now they are selling them from beneath us, it’s shocking.”

Paul Cunningham, aged 77, has lived in his almshouse for 17 years. He said: “I could not believe what I was reading. Everywhere we have been offered is way more expensive and as far away as Solihull.

“I pay £128 a week and do not have to pay bills, but the places they have offered me are over £160 and will have to pay bills. I don’t know what I am going to do; I don’t want to move to Solihull.

“I’ve been here for 17 years and thought I was here for life, we all did. These houses were built to give people a safe and secure home.”

He added: “They are trying to say the almshouses are not up to their standard, but I am perfectly happy with my home.

“As they are listed, I cannot see what their plan is because they cannot build on the gardens or mess with the front of the houses – and there is no space in the back. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just left to rot and then demolished. It’s such a shame as they were built for a reason, to give people a home.”

Almshouses date back to the 10th Century when churches and local landowners began building homes for needy parishioners to live in. Many of the 1,600 almshouses in the UK now date back to the Victorian era when prominent industrialists began building them for the poor of rapidly growing cities like Birmingham and Bristol.

The Church Road almshouses, just of Erdington High Street and near St Barnabas Church, were built in 1930 by the Bracebridge and Holte Trust, to replace almshouses built from the proceeds of the will of Sir Thomas Holte, who built Aston Hall, in 1650. Sir Holte, who lived on Church Road, was the former Sheriff of Warwickshire wanted to provide homes for ‘ten poor, old people, including five men and five women’ in the then Aston parish.

Ownership of the almshouses changed in July 2019 when the Sir Josiah Mason Trust took over the Bracebridge and Holte Trust. Sir Josiah Mason was a prominent Victorian industrialist who built further almshouses and an orphanage in Erdington, with a trust founded in his name in 1868.

After taking over the Church Road almshouses three years ago, the new owners Sir Josiah Mason Trust posted on Facebook when the deal was done.

They said: “The Trust is delighted to welcome Holte and Bracebridge Charity in Erdington to our family today. The charity was founded in 1650 as instructed by the will of Sir Thomas Holte, the founder of Aston Hall. The charity provides 10 almshouses, just half a mile from our original site and one mile from Mason Cottages and our former orphanage and is also a relief in need charity.

“We look forward to supporting residents and to continuing the valuable work of this very old charity.”

Estate agents Knight Frank is selling the ten Church Road almshouses on behalf of the Sir Josiah Mason Trust together as one sale, for £1.6 million.

The online listing said: “The development comprises 10 individual Almshouses set within communal gardens, erected circa 1930. Constructed of brick with Flemish detail to the end gables and single glazed windows. Locally listed Grade B.”

Still listed on the Sir Josiah Mason Trust website, the Church Road almshouses are referred to being ‘a short walk away from the High Street and set in attractive grounds.’

There is also a Wellbeing Support Worker ‘offering individual personal support’, with residents given access to the ‘communal facilities and meetings at Mason Cottages’ on Orphanage Road.

Chief Executive David Healey told Erdington Local: “The Trust are committed to providing quality housing and as people live longer, we want to provide homes that enable older people to age and remain living in the comfort of their own home.

“The current Holte and Bracebridge Almshouse are not suited to the needs of older people.”

He added: “Sir Josiah Mason Trust, which was founded in Erdington, is currently in the process of identifying a site to build new purpose-built Almshouses.

“The charity said that it is required to relocate the site to a location within the ancient Parish of Aston.”

For more on Sir Josiah Mason Trust visit www.sjmt.org.uk

NEWS: Watch amazing public response to driver trapped in overturned car – following crash on Church Road

Words by Ed King

On Friday 24 June, a driver flipped their car onto its side following a road traffic collision on Church Road.

Miraculously the driver was unhurt, and after being assessed by emergency services at the scene was discharged without needing hospital attention – despite the severity of the crash. The van driver involved was also unharmed.

Although West Midlands Fire Service only took two minutes to arrive at the scene after mobilisation, the general public and eyewitnesses to the crash were also heroes of the day – rushing to the lone driver’s aid and pulling them from the wreckage.

After trying to open the car door, which was jammed shut following the impact of the crash, people at the scene used cardboard and an axe to pull out the shattered back window – eventually being able to reach the stunned driver who was trapped inside.

In a fantastic show of community and compassion, passers-by immediately rallied round to support the victim of the crash – finding bedding and soft materials for them to rest on until the emergency services arrived.

The first at the scene were West Midlands Fire Brigade, who took confident control of the situation – checking for any potential danger and securing the road, whilst administering roadside care to the driver who was shaken by thankfully not seriously hurt.

In amazing footage taken by Andreea Neagu, a local resident who lives near the scene of the crash, you can see the incredible public response as people fought their way into the upturned vehicle to rescue the driver.

There is also footage of the impressive response by West Midlands Fire Service, who put themselves on the line every day to keep the public safe.

After sending the footage to Erdington Local, Andreea Neagu said: “I would like to say that I am really proud to be part of such a great community.

“Even though I was shocked about the scene, the image of all this people trying to help the poor woman got me in tears. All be blessed!”

An official statement from West Midlands Fire Service added: “On Friday 24 June at 11.43am, West Midlands Fire Service were called to reports of a road traffic collision on Church Road, Erdington.

“Crews from Aston and Erdington Fire Stations attended the incident and the first appliance was on the scene within 2 minutes of mobilisation.

“Crews made the scene and vehicles safe following a collision involving 5 cars and a van. Four of the vehicles were parked.

“Our colleagues from West Midlands Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were also in attendance at the scene, with one person receiving a precautionary check up at the scene. No-one was trapped in the vehicles.”

Erdington Local would like to thank every member of the public who helped at the scene, and to commend West Midlands Fire Service for their incredible response.

However it is important to ensure the saftey of anyone involved in an accident, as any untrained moving could cause more damage.

We hope the driver is OK and has the right support around them – if they need any assistance, please contact our editor: edking@erdingtonlocal.com

Public rescue driver from car crash on Church Road

West Midlands Fire Service at the scene of car crash on Church Road

NEWS: Local driver escapes serious injury in overturned car crash on Church Road

Words by Ed King and Gary O’Brien

A local driver narrowly escaped serious injury or death after overturning their car on Church Road earlier today.

At around 11:40am on Friday 24 June, emergency services were called to an incident on Church Road – just by Erdington Aquatics – involving a car and a van who had collided, with the car flipping dramatically on to its side.

Three other stationary cars were also damaged in the collision.

Miraculously, the lone driver of the car was assessed on site and discharged without needing hospital attention – despite the severity of the crash. The van driver involved was also unharmed.

Emergency services were quick to respond, with West Midlands Fire Service reaching the scene within two minutes of mobilisation.

In serious road traffic collisions, the difference between life and death can be determined in seconds, and the immediate response from Erdington’s emergency services could have played a crucial role if those involved in the accident were more seriously injured.

West Midlands Ambulance Service were also called to the accident, sending an ambulance and a paramedic officer.

Although after assessment at the scene, those involved in the collision were given advice and guidance but did not need hospital treatment.

One Erdington local resident who witnessed the crash, Andreea Neagu, posted on the Next Door website: “Accident on Church Rd, Erdington. The driver lady is ok. The fire department got here really fast. Another 3 cars hit. Please drive safe.”

An official statement from West Midlands Fire Service said: “On Friday 24 June at 11.43am, West Midlands Fire Service were called to reports of a road traffic collision on Church Road, Erdington.

“Crews from Aston and Erdington Fire Stations attended the incident and the first appliance was on the scene within 2 minutes of mobilisation.

“Crews made the scene and vehicles safe following a collision involving 5 cars and a van. Four of the vehicles were parked.

“Our colleagues from West Midlands Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were also in attendance at the scene, with one person receiving a precautionary check up at the scene. No-one was trapped in the vehicles.”

A spokesperson from West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 11.39am to reports of a road traffic collision involving one car on Church Road, Erdington. One ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene.

“Upon arrival we found the driver of the car. She was assessed and had injuries not believed to be serious.

“She received self care advice and was discharged at the scene.”

A statement from West Midlands Police confirmed: “This was a non-injury RTC (road traffic collision). The matter is in the hands of the insurer.”

ELECTION NEWS: Meet MP candidates at the Birmingham Erdington hustings – Sunday 27 February

By Erdington Local election news team

On Sunday, 27 February, local voters and members of the public can ask questions directly to candidates wanting to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament – at the Birmingham Erdington hustings.

The event will run from 6-8pm, held at the GRS Lions Club on Church Road – just off Erdington High Street.

Tickets are completely free.

To secure your place at the Birmingham Erdington hustings event, you will need to register via the official Eventbrite website – giving an Erdington address.

Please click on any of the images in this article or visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/erdington-by-elections-hustings-meet-the-candidates-tickets

Organised by Erdington Local and Churches Together, the Birmingham Erdington hustings event will see over 100 local residents and community campaigners grill the MP hopefuls.

The Birmingham Erdington hustings event will be chaired by Reverend Emma Sykes (St Barnabas) and Erdington Local Editor, Ed King.

Sunday, 27 February will be the first time all candidates have been invited to answer questions together and infornt of the general public, directly addressing the key issues affecting Erdington – such as HMOs and exempt accommodation, protecting green spaces, illegal fly tipping, street crime, healthcare, and the rise in energy prices.

The candidates will each get a chance to answer a series of pre-approved questions within a set time frame, explaining the strategy and policies they would use to help locals if successful elected as Erdington’s next MP.

There will then be an ‘open floor’ section where members of the public can ask further questions about more specific issues from across the community.

If you would like to ask a question to the candidates at the Birmingham Erdington hustings event the please email hustings@erdingtonlocal.com

All candidates running in the Birmingham Erdington by-election were invited to the hustings on Sunday, 27 February.

At the time of writing, the following MP candidates (in alphabetical order) have confirmed they will be attending:

Robert Alden (Conservatives), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Lee Dargue (Liberal Democrats), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green Party), Clifton Holmes (Independent), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Thomas O’Rourke (The Peaky Blinders)

Dave Bishop (Militant Bus Pass Elvis Party) and Mel Mbondiah (Christian Peoples Alliance) have expressed an interest in attending but are unable to confirm.

The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) has not yet responded.

The only candidate to decline the invitation to attend the Erdington Birmingham hustings on Sunday, 27 February was Paulette Hamilton (Labour) – due to family commitments.

Erdington will elect its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March.

For more information of the Birmingham Erdington husting event, and to secure your free ticket, please click on any of the images above or visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/erdington-by-elections-hustings-meet-the-candidates-tickets

Google Map to the GRS Lions Club, Church Road, Erdington, B24 9BA: