to 27 Aug Writing: Making your Mark
to 1 Sep Body Image & the Self
to 1 Sep The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo
to 8 Sep The Face of Fashion
to 8 Sep Lady Barber’s Life & Legacy
to 29 Sep Home of Metal presents Black Sabbath 50 Years
to 27 Oct Collecting Birmingham: Objects & Oral Histories
to 15 Mar 2020 A Tale of Two Empires: Rome & Persia
What to see
You’ll find accounts of Birmingham’s tourist attractions in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from email@example.com). Aston Hall is worth a look locally; see the Birmingham page for the city as a whole. For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Visit Birmingham
Comment and Colour
The Aston Villa v Oldham game on the first Sunday in May 1993 attracted more than 37,000. It was freighted with context. In the league, newly rebranded the Premiership, Villa were pressing for the title. At the other end of the table Oldham occupied a relegation place and time was running out. They were eight points adrift with three games to play. The previous day Crystal Palace, the only team Oldham could conceivably catch, had done a lap of honour at the end of their last home game.
Among Oldham’s travelling support there was a festive atmosphere. After a season of anxiety they had reconciled themselves to relegation and were determined to enjoy what remained of the club’s Premiership sojourn. Around the rest of the ground the mood was equally festive. Villa were assumed to be heading for the top of the league, barely breaking stride to give the doomed Oldham Athletic a salutary thumping.
Oldham won 1-0. Tony Henry scored the winning goal after about half an hour. Plenty of time, everyone thought, for Villa to put the visitors in their place… but it never looked like happening and Oldham were more comfortable as the match wore on.
Their supporters, by contrast, began to look pale and drawn. At the final whistle there were celebrations, of course. But as they filed back to their cars, coaches and in my case bicycle in the bright sunshine of a warm May afternoon many of their faces had a greenish tinge. Hope was reborn and with it, fear.