The Castle Vale estate from the air

In 2004 I independently produced this series in three twenty-minute parts, narrated by prominent local broadcaster and historian Carl Chinn and promoted by a BBC WM event, at Castle Vale Community Radio who broadcast it along with live interviews with myself. The series springboarded me into several roles at BBC WM, for whom I also provided five short pieces based on the series which were later broadcast on their Breakfast Show.

The estate has a remarkable history and story and late 2004 provided the last opportunity to interview many of the people who had shaped or been a part of its building, decline and resurgence before they moved on or passed away – very few of the dozens of contributors I interviewed would have still been available even a few years later, so the series stands today as an important record of a forty-year era of change in an area which within decades went from a shining beacon of modernity to a notoriously deprived and crime-ridden estate to an internationally recognised example of a successful community-led regeneration project. The series is full of eye-opening encounters and tales from local residents and professionals from all walks of life.

You can listen to the BBC WM pieces here in MP3 format:

Me with Carl Chinn at the BBC WM Castle Vale event to promote my audio history of the area, 2003

Interestingly, this may not be the end of the story. In late 2012 I was approached by BBC1 television series Paul O’Grady’s Working Class who requested my permission to use extracts from the series in a programme. I’ll provide full details if and when they’re included!


If you’d like me to deliver projects like this for you, email me at!

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