Residents leave brutal reviews for worst areas of Brum – this is what we think – Birmingham Live

Disgruntled residents have been leaving savage reviews about their home suburbs in Birmingham, with five areas branded the ‘worst’.

From labelling Northfield the ‘worst place anybody could wish to live’ to slamming Erdington’s 99p chip offering and apparent ‘unemployment’, selected suburbs have come under fire.

Unhappy reviewers posted their brutal feedback on satirical website ILiveHere, blasting Perry Barr as ‘dangerous’ and claiming Weoley Castle’s library goes completely unused in a jibe against the locals.

Read more: First look at Alexander Stadium construction for Commonwealth Games 2022

The areas, also including Yardley Wood, were subject to harsh criticism and branded the s***est in the city – but we couldn’t disagree more.

We’ve taken some of the unfair critique from the site below and hit back with the positives we love about all five places.

Northfield

Northfield Shopping Centre
(Image: Kirsty Bosley)

How the resident described it: “Probably the worst place anybody could wish to live.

“I was finally liberated two years ago when I moved to Halesowen – another ****** town but nothing on the scale of Northfield.

“I lived for 15 years in a street called Nigel Avenue, just off Bell Hill. We found ourselves separated from the mainstream ‘****’ as most of the houses were bought, but it didn’t stop them cutting through from time to time to steal badges off cars and car stereo systems. It had to be the only street on earth where nearly every car down there were missing a badge!

“Below where I lived you had the Bournville Village Trust Estate, basically a glorified term for a ******* council estate. It was given that name because they were originally built to house Cadbury workers back in the 60’s. Now they house every junkie/w*****/layabout/single mother from the majority of South Birmingham.

“If you dropped a bomb on that place alone, you would probably half the unemployment rate in the West Midlands.”

Despite the very changeable weather, kids from Northfield and beyond have great fun digging and building sand castles at the Northfield Beach/Culture Mash at Victoria Common.
Despite the very changeable weather, kids from Northfield and beyond have great fun digging and building sand castles at the Northfield Beach/Culture Mash at Victoria Common.

What it’s really like: A short drive from Lickey Hills and Cofton Park, Northfield residents can have their pick of scenic beauty spots to visit for a stroll, fly a kite, enjoy the sunshine and spend time with friends and family.

It also has its own green space, Victoria Common, with a children’s playground, a yearly carnival and occasionally, a man-made beach.

Northfield’s community spirit is incredible too – let’s not forget the generous café owner who gave out free ice-cream to underprivileged kids this summer.

Lucy Scott, owner of Lil’s Parlour in Northfield, set up a scheme whereby parents could mention a ‘secret word’ and their child would be given an ice-cream without feeling stigmatised by doing so.

Northfield Leisure Centre also brings locals together through gym classes and swimming sessions for kids. All the shops you could want, including bargain stores like Aldi and Poundland, are on offer too in the town centre.

Yardley Wood

How the resident described it: “If the weather is bad, the youths migrate to the McDonalds down the road. This is always tense as the many groups of children dislike each other and packed together, there is often fights in which 10 will jump on 1 and call it fair. The youths terrorise the staff and are only admitted because their stolen dole money keeps the McDonalds functioning.

“The Yardley Wood children are notoriously arrogant and loud. They think trouble is fun and anyone that gets arrested gets respected. Drug dealers swan around freely offering passers-by drugs, and basically shouting it down the street but nothing is ever done about it.

“You can normally hear a Yardley child coming from down the road as “Manz reppin b14” is usually shouted before them. Anyone from another post code is at risk of violence or exclusion.”

What it’s really like: Firstly, the review of Yardley Wood youths is harsh and reflective of only a small minority of children in the area. It has bred real talent, with one teenager selected from thousands of young people across the country to be the face of a national advertising campaign for a youth programme.

Benita Umererwa, aged 17, was selected as one of 20 graduates to take part in the campaign for National Citizen Service (NCS) after her aptitude was recognised during her time on the programme.

Swanshurst Park, Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham
A double rainbow rising over Swanshurst Park, Yardley Wood Road
(Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive)

This month, it will be home to a new £19million Academy too. Around 1,150 pupils will be taught in modern classrooms, laboratories, a large library, studio spaces for creative and performing arts at the Christ Church Church of England Academy in Yardley Wood.

It also boasts high-spec product design and catering classrooms, a chapel and a brand-new 3G artificial turf pitch built to FA standard.

Along with the education for their youngsters, families can choose from a number of beauty spots, from Trittiford Mill Park and Swanshurst Park to Chinnbrook Recreation Ground.

Perry Barr

How the resident described it: “What a absolute **** hole of a place! As soon as you come off the Aston Expressway to get to Perry Barr you enter into the most grim, unsightly place, it’s Grey, its miserable, its always cold and bleak, not to mention dirty ****** and horrible.
You have now entered the ghetto.

“I unfortunately came to Birmingham City University, which is in the heart of Perry Barr, and I live round the corner in a student house. What a place to put a university.

“It’s a really dangerous place to live. You can’t go out at night, you can’t walk down the street without having something sleazy shouted at you. The houses get robbed because their student houses so I’m literally waiting in fear to be burgled.

“Every day my house vibrates because of **** lads going by in their **** cars with their fat exhausts with their **** rap blasting out at full blast.

“You go down the escalator into the shopping centre and you literally feel as if your being led into the depths of hell. It’s got to be the ********* shopping centre I have ever been to.”

Artist impressions of Alexander Stadium completed.
(Image: PA)

What it’s really like: Well, firstly as the chosen home of the Commonwealth Games 2022, it really can’t be that bad, can it?

Ahead of the games, the area is currently undergoing a £700+ million investment, focusing on enhancing infrastructure, new homes and creating new community spaces.

The world’s eyes are set to be fixed on this up and coming area next year, with £72million on the building of the shiny new Alexander Stadium.

It’s home to some scenic (and not grey) open spaces that are popular with locals too, including Perry Park and Perry Hall Park.

And this resident might be in for a shock if they travelled down the Aldridge Road at night to find the the Perry Barr Greyhound stadium packed for a show.

Perry Hall Park in 2021
(Image: Handout)

Particularly as they discover the venue boasts a “top quality restaurant, six hospitality boxes, four bars and a snack bar” with viewing of the races.

From M&S and Costa to New Look and Nandos, the One Stop shopping centre has most of the shops any other centre does.

And clearly none of the dozens of shoppers queuing outside Clarks Outlet at the One Stop shopping centre felt they were in the ‘depths of hell’.

Erdington

How the resident described it: “Hot on the trainer-heels of Kingstanding is the delightful suburb of ERDINGTON, the u-bend in the toilet of North Birmingham.

“Park your stolen car anyway near Six-Ways-to-get-mugged Island.

“Try and park half on the kerb, to ensure maximum annoyance to anyone with a wheelchair or pushchair. Even better, display your blue disabled badge and stroll on with no problem whatsoever.

“When you reach the shopping centre, do not under any circumstances use the crossing. Simply vault over the railings three feet away, which affords you a head start in the queue at the 99p chip shop. Take care to spit vigorously upon entering and leaving the chip shop, and ensure that your companions also have food for the journey. Check on their welfare by saying “Safe” every few words.

“By the time the chips have gone (shared with Wayne, Dwayne, Kane and Shane), you will be in sight of the DSS. Do not be alarmed – they are there to help perpetuate your lifestyle. Pop in and let them know that you have no intention of working in the next fortnight, and they will do the rest. Don’t forget to thank the staff by spitting at them – they are there for your benefit, after all.

“Safely signed on, call in at the Feller pub. This opens at 10am, when you should still be in bed. Congratulate yourself on your active lifestyle with a pint and a game of pool.”

Witton Lakes.
(Image: GRAHAM YOUNG)

What it’s really like: This seems a harsh review considering Erdington was actually named as one of the ‘best places to live’ in Birmingham by several of the UK’s national estate agents and property agencies just last year.

It was ranked second on Seven Capital’s list of ‘The Best Places to Live in Birmingham’, after Digbeth placed at no. 1.

Perhaps it’s partly because residents have two beautiful lakes on their doorstep, at Witton Lakes and Brookvale Park. And the fact just £90k could bag you a trendy one-bedroom apartment with a parking spot.

It also borders the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield – and is just a short drive away from popular beauty spot Sutton Park.

Brookevale Lake, Erdington
Brookevale Lake, Erdington
(Image: flickr / Manoo Mistry)

Residents can benefit from being in close proximity to two of the best ranked doctors surgeries in Birmingham, according to the latest GPs Patients survey 2021.

And by the way, 99p chips don’t sound like too much of a criticism to us.

Weoley Castle

How the resident described it: “To deny yourself a visit to Weoley Castle, the city’s ********* district would be criminal.

“Climb aboard the 29. Witness the terrified driver, occasionally armed with pepper spray and a grimace. The top deck seats are all melted and trashed thanks to kids.

“However, they do helpfully leave a daily record of their romantic encounters (“Zara finx Deano is bum 4 eva 04” is one recent, GENUINE addition). 20 minutes later, smell the chip fat and Lynx? You’re here.

“The Lloyds TSB is surrounded by CCTV, and high density barb wire fencing. The amusements arcade next door means that ***** don’t have far to take their “babby’s” savings to fritter away an afternoon after Loose Women. The council gave up re-glazing the bus stops a long time ago. The only building that causes confusion is the library.

“Red-brick and modern, its purpose clearly mystifies and actually evades most *****. Consequently, the library remains unvisited, un-graffitied and untouched. Because no-one knows what the f*** it is.”

Weoley Castle ruins
(Image: Birmingham Post and Mail)

What it’s really like: Famed after its castle – the ruins of an exquisite fortified manor house built 750 years ago – the area has a lot of history behind its name.

Here at Weoley Castle, families can join in with activities and events all year round – though Covid has likely affected the current listings.

Contrary to what the review says, the library there actually boasts a five star rating on its Facebook, with praise for the ‘supportive community’ feel, Toddler group and ‘excellent staff’.

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