Local football: win for Vale Town

Castle Vale Town moved up to fifth place in division two of the Birmingham and District League after a 2-1 win at Blackheath Town Today.
In the Midland League Division Two, Paget Rangers lost 3-2 to Barnt Green Spartak.

Bad memories of bygone days: arson – the crime that Castle Vale vanquished

This photo of a burnt out car beside the Astral Centre was tweeted last night by West Midlands Fire Service

This photo of a burnt out car beside the Astral Centre was tweeted last night by West Midlands Fire Service

A burnt out car at the Astral Centre last night has echoes of bad times and bygone days in Castle Vale.

The arson attack has caused extensive damage to the building, where Greenwood Academy have their sixth-form base, and a toddlers’ group meets each morning and afternoon.

One resident commented today on facebook: “…I thought I just read something from the 90′s! The estate works hard to get rid of a reputation which revolves around this kind of juvenile behaviour, and someone comes along and drags it back down again.
Burnt out cars are so old school…. Not to mention dangerous, do they not realise how close this is to residents?!”

Another commented: “We all thought this was things of the past, hopefully it’s a one off and not kids who want to live up to the reputation the vale worked so hard to get rid of!!!!!”

Burnt-out, stolen vehicles in Castle Vale were not uncommon in days gone by. In 2008, fifteen vehicles were burnt out and abandoned on the estate, most of them in the conservation area and near the football stadium on Farnborough Road.

In the following year, a spate of car arson incidents on the stadium car park was abruptly halted  in October 2009 when three ‘significant’ arrests were made.

And in 2010, two cars were found burnt out behind the stadium.

Last night’s attack was a rare event in the modern Castle Vale. Neighbourhood police give monthly crime updates to the local community tasking group. Theft, assault and bilkings (making off without payment) are listed each month. But arson in the area rarely features nowadays on the police crime list.

Police say they are studying CCTV footage from last night’s incident, and are appealing for help from the local community in identifying those responsible. One unofficial report has suggested that CCTV footage shows three ‘teenagers’ in the vicinity of the crime scene at the time of the incident between 9pm and 10pm last night (Thursday 20th).

Bad old days: firemen at the scene of a burnt-out car in Castle Vale's conservation area, in the year 2007

Bad old days: firemen at the scene of a burnt-out car in Castle Vale’s conservation area, in the year 2007

Television quiz show to hold auditions in Birmingham in December

Two Tribes, auditioning in Birmingham next month

Two Tribes, auditioning in Birmingham next month

Two Tribes,a BBC2 quiz show, is holding auditions in Birmingham next month.
People wishing to take part should e mail:twotribes@endemoluk.com for an application form. Alternatively, applicants can write to: TWO TRIBES, Endemol UK, 5th Floor, Shepherds Building Central, Charecroft Way, London, W14 0EE.
Two Tribes, presented by Richard Osman, sees contestants split into tribes depending on what they have in common. Before each episode the players are asked hundreds of probing questions about themselves.
Their answers reveal how they think, how they live, what they like and what they don’t like. Round by round these questions split the contestants into Two Tribes for a general knowledge showdown.
The tribes are whittled down to two finalists who play head to head to win.

Police study CCTV footage of Astral arson attack: Greenwood boss calls for community help

The Astral Centre: temporarily closed after arson attack

The Astral Centre: temporarily closed after arson attack

Furniture and office equipment has been destroyed by the fire. Water, smoke and fire damage will cause the building to be closed for the near future

Furniture and office equipment has been destroyed by the fire. Water, smoke and fire damage will cause the building to be closed for the near future

Greenwood Academy principal Harry French is appealing for help from the community in identifying the cause of last night’s fire at the Astral Centre.

Police and staff at the school are studying CCTV footage taken before and during the incident.

A dozen fire appliances, mainly from Erdington Fire Station, helped to tackle the blaze which was caused by an arson attack on  a car. The Nissan Micra belonging to one of the staff of KickStart Academy has been destroyed by the fire. It appears that the arsonists had set fire to the car, and may have used pallets and nearby material to help spread the blaze.

One report suggests that three people, possibly teenagers, are visible on the CCTV footage.

The fire has caused extensive damage to parts of the building, which is used as the Academy’s sixth form centre. It is also used by Kick Start Academy, by KicknMix playgroup, and by several community groups.

Tony Kilday, boss of KickStart, says that he has lost equipment and materials worth thousands of pounds. The playgroup is used by 25-35 toddlers each day, morning and afternoon. Greenwood Academy have managed to find temporary space in their main building for KickStart and KicknMix.
Fire and smoke and water damage will put the Astral building out of action for a while.
The Astral Centre had been refurbished during the summer, with help from Jaguar workers, so that it could be used for Greenwood’s new sixth form, which started in September.

Part of the play area used by KIcknMix for toddlers. The youngsters have been given a play area in the main Academy building while repairs are being done

Part of the play area used by KIcknMix for toddlers. The youngsters have been given a play area in the main Academy building while repairs are being done

Outside the office used by Kickstart academy. Inside the office is charred and badly damaged. Equipment worth thousands of pounds, and documents built up by the Kickstart Company over several years, have been destroyed.

Outside the office used by Kickstart academy. Inside the office is charred and badly damaged. Equipment worth thousands of pounds, and documents built up by the Kickstart Company over several years, have been destroyed.

Smoke, soot, and water have all damaged the building, its rooms and corridors

Smoke, soot, and water have all damaged the building, its rooms and corridors

Fire at Astral Centre ‘deliberate’ say Fire Service

This photo of a burnt out car beside the Astral Centre was tweeted last night by West Midlands Fire Service

This photo of a burnt out car beside the Astral Centre was tweeted last night by West Midlands Fire Service

A fire has damaged part of the Astral building in the grounds of Greenwood Academy.

Fire engines were called to the scene just before 10pm last night (Thursday), after a car near to the building had been set on fire. West Midlands Fire Service say that the fire was started deliberately.

Windows and an office have been badly damaged by the fire.

The building is  being used as a sixth form centre by Greenwood Academy.

High School Musical: 2007, Castle Vale School

Jake Whitehouse - Jock, in High School Musical 2007

Jake Whitehouse – Jock, in High School Musical 2007

As Greenwood pupils get in their final rehearsals for next week’s production of Grease, Tyburn Mail has been trawling through the archives again.

This time, we’ve come up with eleven photos of the cast of High School Musical in 2007 at Castle Vale School. The photos can be seen by clicking on the gallery at the top left of this website. The photograph of Sharpay (Jessica Dean) became an internet hit across the world. Many people felt that it was Ashley Tisdale from the hit Hollywood film High School Musical.

Day in the trenches for Campion students

Flight Sgt Mike Berry from Royal Air Cadets Castle Bromwich Squadron puts Campion pupils through their paces

Flight Sgt Mike Berry from Royal Air Cadets Castle Bromwich Squadron puts Campion pupils through their paces


Pupils at St Edmund Campion School commemorated the centenary of World War I with a Life in the Trenches Day, involving a range of military style training exercises.
Flight Sgt Mike Berry from Royal Air Cadets Castle Bromwich Squadron visited the school to lead the students through the day. He put them through drill activities, a mini assault course and a series of physical challenges.
Conscription... Campion style

Conscription… Campion style