For many years, my only frame of reference for Moseley was the venerable Ocean Colour Scene – truly I am a child of my time. In typical Q fashion, the band’s Moseley Shoals was named thirty-third greatest album of all time two years after its release in 1996. At that time, Moseley was quite the swinging place – although the album title was a reference to the legendary Stax studio in Memphis (somewhere altogether different to South Birmingham), I have it on excellent authority that the ‘burb was a really quite lovely place. You can see that today: some beautiful Victorian housing in Birmingham’s red brick, faded Edwardian embellishments and parks. But sadly it seems in decline to me: a quiet (alright, it was probably too early for students to be up when I visited) backwater more than a epochal, cultural hotspot.
Nevertheless, it’s another step in the rehabilitation of the West Midlands in my own consciousness. Just down the road from the exquisite Bournville, Moseley is again proof – as found in abundance in London – that the Victorians knew how to do suburbs nicely, when they chose. Though there’s little to come to Moseley for, these days, it would be a very pleasant place in which to live and to commute into the centre of the bustling West Midlands conurbation that was just sprouting when the place was established. There are private parks,
Unless my memory is deceiving me (given the amount of statistics I’ve had to look at recently, this wouldn’t be a surprise), there were two charity shops in Moseley, both Oxfam.The ordinary Oxfam is pretty non-descript, to be honest, home to the usual array of better-than-usual bric-a-brac and overpriced secondhand clothes. Oxfam Books and Music though, as usual, is pretty excellent. Although priced with more nous than most charity shops, there’s always a worthwhile selection of things to buy. I came away with two academic texts, ostensibly for my dissertation. This was the extent of my consumer impulses in Moseley, and I don’t think I’ll feel much need to return. Who knows though?
Find: Moseley @ Google Maps
Consume with: we had a breakfast sandwich in Subway, which I don’t recommend.
Visit: Cannon Hill Park is right there and it looks lovely.
Overall rating: two butter dishes