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Welcome to the Aldridge Newsletter
29th July 2006

An update following Rosie's Walk, with a special message of thanks from Karen Ross, News of major road closures in Aldridge, Large office complex to let in Aldridge, News about Amtrak, a fascinating story about Aldridge reported in India, and my Childrens pedal car offer.

Rosie’s Walk & Festival – a thankyou from Karen & Sean Ross.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers and everyone who came along and supported Rosie’s Walk and Festival on Sunday 16th July we hope you all enjoyed the day. Although the weather was very hot the walk itself was very pleasant. The walk began with the release of a single pink balloon followed by a minute silence in memory of Rosie.

The Rushall Canal is particularly pretty this time of year with the water lilies out in full bloom creating a carpet of yellow. A quick stop at the Longhorn pub for refreshments and a BBQ whilst being entertained by folk duet ‘Fola’ set people up nicely for the climb up Sutton Road to the bridle way leading to the Dingle. Through the Dingle and Hayhead wood the trees provided a cool shade. At the finish the 780 walkers were greeted with a medal and goodie bag with the ‘Virgin Vie’ Team on hand to give tried feet a quick massage.

Entertainment on site consisted of a Country & Western band with line dancing. Children had the opportunity to make little tepees, headdresses, badges and paint pottery in the activities tent. Louise the storyteller was kept busy throughout the afternoon with groups of children. The rodeo Bull and crockery smash proved very popular with all ages. We were delighted to present a cheque for £1,000 to Aldridge Youth Fellowship during the afternoon; this will help purchase new tents and marquees so that the 85+ youngsters, who make up the Fellowship based at the Parish Church, are able to participate in camping trips.

To date donations received and pledges made on the day amount to £11,000 a fantastic amount which will help us to continue supporting children and young people’s groups in the local area. We also hope to raise enough to give a donation to the University of Birmingham, Institute of Cancer Studies to buy a piece of equipment to speed up biopsy results. If you missed this very special day out it will all be happening again next year when we have decided on a date!

The world’s Largest Bike was a real unique treat for the 24 people who rode the bike from Aldridge to Walsall and back again, they had such a great time. The pedalling was made even easier with everyone singing and the girls on the back screaming every time they went round a corner! Needless to say they all want to do it again next year. Whilst in Aldridge and Walsall they raised £255.71 from street collections with sponsor money to be collected in the final total will be announced at the end of September.

Our next fundraiser is a Rod Stewart evening with Gary Preece at the Lazyhill Pub on Walsall Wood Road on Friday 27th October from 8pm. Tickets priced at £8.00 will be on sale soon –we will let you know, where to buy from.

Office to let above Morrisons in Aldridge Full details here
6 months major works on Walsall road in Aldridge

Residents and Commuters are facing six months of disruption as National Grid replaces five kilometres of gas mains to the tune of £500,000.

It means that the same stretch of Walsall Road will have been the centre of disruption twice in just over a year. It was closed when Walsall Council resurfaced the route in spring 2005.

The existing old metal main, running from Walsall Road at its junctions with Bosty Lane, to Walsall Wood Road, at its junction with Lazy Hill Road, will be replaced with a plastic pipe.

Work will start on August 7th with a four-week closure of Walsall Road to south-west bound traffic between Birmingham Road and Bosty Lane.

Following that, the junctions of Whetstone Lane, Rookery Lane and Lazy Hill Road will be closed. It is expected to take until February to complete.

National Grid spokeswoman Jane Taylor said work to replace the mains was not carried out at the same time as resurfacing because it was not classed as a urgent job.

National Grid has agreed to resurface the road it digs up, and the total cost of the job includes £25,000 to cover this element. Project manager Stan Best said: "We have agreed to resurface the full half width of the road at our own cost."
Amtrak HQ in Aldridge announces Expansion....Full report here
Here is a story about Aldridge reported by the MUMBAI MIRROR NEWSPAPER, INDIA. Saturday, July 08, 2006...

My daddy’s on a greeting card !

Aldridge Girl, accidentally finds a family photo of her dad, clicked 40 years ago, on birthday cards for sale in the shops !

As she hunted for a birthday card for a family friend, Charlotte Robertson was focused only on finding the most suitable greeting.

But as she scoured the racks in the shop with her mother, the 16-year-old student found her attention drawn to one particular image. Then the teenager realised she was staring at a picture on a card of her own father, Edward — taken more than 40 years ago when he was just three.

The picture was taken in 1964 in the back garden of Edward Robertson’s childhood home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, by a local professional photographer. His parents, Margaret and Douglas, had commissioned John Doidge to produce a set of pictures of their son, which they could hand out to relatives.

For a joke, the photographer asked the toddler to put on his mum’s sunglasses and don an Austrian hat with a feather. He also got the cheeky youngster to pick his nose. Robertson remembered how his parents ordered a set of pictures from the photographer, but rejected the nose-picking shot because they thought it was tasteless.

The image only surfaced when Doidge died, and card publishers Statics bought the copyright to the shot from his widow. But Robertson and wife Anne, 44, who run their own fencing company, still keep a photograph from the same session on display in their living room at home in Aldridge, West Midlands. Their daughter recognised the hat was the same in both pictures — and realised that the photograph on the card was of her father.

Charlotte said, “I saw the photograph on the card out of the corner of my eye as I was looking in a different section. “What initially caught my attention was the fact it was a humourous image. Then, when I looked at it in detail I realised I had seen that child before somewhere. Suddenly, I remembered the picture in our lounge and put two and two together. I was staggered. I showed it to my mother and she confirmed it was dad.”

She said she bought the £1.90 card from a greetings card shop in the Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham. The front of the card carries the words “Boys will be boys...” and inside it reads “And it’s too late for you to change now! Happy Birthday!”

Mr Robertson, 45, said, “I vividly remember posing in the hat and sunglasses even though I was only three years old. My parents were Victorian types who wouldn’t have seen the funny side of the picture so I can understand why that particular shot was rejected.

“It’s incredible to suddenly see yourself on a birthday card. How on earth did it get there? It’s so bizarre you can’t explain it.”

“The photo doesn’t bother me at all — what bothers me is that someone is profiteering out of me. Technically, these were private family photos. The photographer was paid specifically by my parents for the photo shoot.”

Mr Robertson, who also has a daughter called Harriet, 11, said he has taken legal advice with a view to seeking royalties from the card publisher.

“I have some copyright solicitors working on it for me. Unless, Statics can prove there was anything from my parents to say copyright was not theirs, I will be due royalties as a minimum,” he said. “It is not avarice — it is a point of principal,” he added.

Chris Douglas, managing director of Statics, said he bought the copyright for the picture from Doidge’s wife several years ago. He insisted the copyright would have been retained by Doidge and ownership would have passed to his widow on his death.

Douglas said, “What was said in 1964 between that boy’s mum and dad and John Doidge only history can tell you. But if the family think there are oodles of dosh in one greeting card they are wrong.”

The card is on sale at up to 80 shops nationwide.
"Brum cars" Now Available...
New Brum Car information here

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