What are the borders of 'Birmingham & Midland'?

I drew a little map of where I think it is. It doesn’t correspond with the borders of the, making ‘Greater Birmingham’ the wrong name for yet another reason.

Does anyone living or wortking within ‘my version’ of the area feel they shouldn’t be, or the other way around? It’s all about feels, I think. I still want to follow up my gravitational map idea but drawing an elipse was easier.

Living in Coventry, which is ring-fenced into the West Midlands, I feel like I am being roped into “Greater Birmingham” because we share the same county.

We have Warwickshire cricket played at Edgebaston,in the West Midlands and the University of Warwick, also in the West Midlands. It’s all a bit weird to me.

Exactly, but I bet you feel like a Midlander, from Midland. I do.

You know that Birmingham used to be part of Warwickshire? There was once a little island of Warwickshire around Dudley Castle. I was born in Walsall, in Staffordshire. West Midlands county didn’t exist. I can’t explain why the University of Warwick was built in Coventry. That’s just daft.

I’ve just checked: Warwick University was founded in 1965 and West Midlands county was created by the Local Government Act of 1972, so I guess it was once in Warwickshire. It’s 3 Miles from Coventry and 8 Miles from Warwick.

I’ve just been thinking about commute ‘distances’. Does that matter? I could draw a 30 mile circle around my home but I think I really want to know ‘within an hour’ and that isn’t a circle. Is there such a thing? It would need to know what modes of travel I would consider and I’d be interesting to know cost too. The zone would change at different times of day. There might be a public transport curfew.

Obviously this is another factor in influencing how “in Brum” people feel.

I don’t feel like a Midlander any more - I don’t know my own nation. So what’s the point of borders now? We’re so divided.


I see no point in trying to define such a thing. The people that make up the Birmingham community are the people who turn up to events, it doesn’t matter where they live. I live in Leamington Spa and go to a lot more events in Birmingham than some that live in Birmingham. Equally I’ve regular attended events in Milton Keynes and even London.

Where a company is located matters a bit, but only if the owners/employees are part of community, for example meetups, giving talks, mentoring etc.

Also, why do we need define everything with borders?

I’m sometimes joking when it isn’t obvious and I try to generate new ideas by bouncing things off other people. This started with the joke in the intro to the Black Country Museum that “the borders of the Black Country am weer a Black Country (o)mon says they am.” Your point too, I think.

This was a sketch of ‘test data’ for the gravitational map software I haven’t started writing yet. I think that should generate a version of this diagram.

I’ll come back to why borders are needed by Silicon Canal another day.

@pads I’m interested in the idea that we are members of multiple tribes that each have different cultural values. I think information is interpreted differently according to the values each of us selects at any time, so intended meaning can be lost in translation. I’ve been trying to find out why people voted Leave today. It may not be as bad as you think. I’ve also been playing with the idea of virtual countries sharing a land mass without dividing it. Could some people have stayed in the EU? It’s only an idea, like money.

Proudly sponsored by Bytemark