Fun Facts about Birmingham

Brought to you courtesy of The People’s Republic of Birmingham:

  1. Birmingham has more trees than Paris, more miles of canals than Venice and more parks than any other European City.
  2. Birmingham City Council is the biggest local authority in Europe, and employs twice as many people as the European commission.
  3. Birmingham is the UK’s largest manufacturing and engineering centre and accounts for 25% of the country’s exports. F.W Lanchester built the first four-wheeled petrol driven car in Birmingham, hence the nickname Brum.
  4. The Jewellery Quarter is the largest concentration of dedicated jewellers in Europe. Half of all jewellery made in the UK comes from Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, with a third of jewellery manufactured in the UK made within one mile of the city centre.
  5. The City’s annual St. Patrick’s day celebration is the third biggest outside Dublin and New York, and hosts the largest Vaisakhi celebration outside Asia.

#1 definitely seems to be closer to being true today than it was 10 years ago, but I haven’t counted all the trees, nor swam all the canals so I’m not entirely sure. I’m also not so sure about that part about “Brum” in #3… Wikipedia says “Brum” is the shortened form of “Brummagem”, a local dialect. Anyone care to back this up?

2 Comments so far

  1. Louis (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the link Gaz. Most of the facts in my article are sourced from the three websites linked to at the bottom of my article, the Brum motorcar nickname from

    Don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia!

    Regarding the first point, Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, Venice 26 miles. Birmingham has 94,000 street tree compared to 90,000 in Paris – so maybe not trees in total but I have heard the fact as stated by me elsewhere e.g.,,1804010,00.html

    Here are some links with stats to back it up

  2. GaZ (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

    Hiya Louis. Hmmm, yeah, most results when I search for more info on that “Brum” fact seem to repeat what your source says, although Dr Carl Chinn, from the University of Birmingham, wrote an article* similar to what’s on Wikipedia. It doesn’t explicitly say that the nickname “Brum” comes from “Brummagem”, but it seems reasonable to think that people would use “Brum” as the shortened form of that word, no? And as “Brummagem” predates cars by a couple of hundred years, I would think that “Brum” would also have also been around for a bit longer. I guess we could find out by asking any really old brummies if they can remember how long they’ve had the nickname in their vocabulary? :)


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