Published on March 10th, 2019 | by Gaelle Finley



Some time last summer, local globe-trotters Mogs and Tim had a brainwave and contacted local people asking them if they would be interested in a semi-regular Handsworth political social. The idea was to forget the doom and gloom for one evening and to focus instead on bringing people together in joy and celebration. The other aim is to celebrate local talent: ‘we have musicians, singers, performers of every sort in our midst, and these socials are a wonderful opportunity to hear a wide range of artists’.

The response must have encouraged them, judging by the attendance and atmosphere at St Andrews Church Hall on March 9th. The event was a celebration of International Women’s Day (which falls on March 8th, but who’s counting?).

‘This time we will be celebrating women’s achievements, and saluting the courage, creativity and determination of women from across the world, past and present’. It was a mixed event, with music, speakers, comedy, poetry, stalls, cakes and refreshments, a quiz and a raffle. What’s not to like?

Mogs started the festivities with great compering, managing a smooth transition from duo Kilbriege (singer Louise and Sam, both on guitars), to Sonia’s moving account of what life is like for women in El Salvador (ably translated from spanish by Tim), the formidable Gimbi on the djembe (an instrument usually played by men), and Naomi’s comedy spot had us chuckling away.


Usha brought us back to reality with her account of the closure of the Women’s Help Centre (see ROOKERY ROAD WOMEN’S HELP CENTRE TO CLOSE elsewhere in Inside Handsworth), a very sad event after more than 30 years of service to the community. Then Charlie took the stage with his poetry, and the evening finished with the amazing voice of Mabowunje (and Sam on the guitar) thrilling us with its power.


‘We were delighted by the turn out, the way the evening went, and the general good feeling in the packed room.’

It worked thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers who helped in the kitchen, on the door and on the stalls, with the tech stuff, the decoration, compering and generally entertaining us. Add to this the generous raffle prizes, the photographers, the speakers, and the diversity of people who attended, and you have a great evening of alternative entertainment.

If you would like to get involved in any way, please contact Tim and Mogs on 0121 523 4118.

Bev, the new community administrator at St Andrews has a wide brief – to generate cash income from events and meetings, to bring communities, groups and individuals back together, and to try to begin to repair the damage done by austerity, benefit cuts and services lost in the last few years. If you would like to use a room (large or small) at St Andrews for anything local, political, community, social, etc – contact Bev.’It would be great if we jointly could support the regeneration of St Andrews as well as beginning to get the vibe locally back on track. We need to use it – so we don’t lose it.’ Contact Bev on 0121 554 2437 or by email :



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