A Love Letter to Brum | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A Love Letter to Brum

Culture Editor Imogen Tink bids both Birmingham and Redbrick a fond farewell

University for me, and I expect for everyone, has been an eye opener. Having grown up in a fairly small seaside town in sleepy Suffolk, I upended out of my familiar very flat turf and headed to the heights and bright lights of Birmingham. Bearing in mind I had just left the secondary school I had attended for seven years, never used a self-service ticket machine before and, in fact, had never actually stepped foot into the Midlands before, you can understand why this right royal upending might have thrown me somewhat. The fascinating people, the noise, the architecture, the food, the easily accessible public transport (if you live in Suffolk you’ll understand why this is so exciting) –  Brum is a city full of secret gems and hidden surprises and has been an utter pleasure to spend the majority of my time in over the past four years.

These vibrant places form part of the ever beating heart of Birmingham

Having written for and edited the lovely Culture section for the past two and a half years, I have had unfettered access to many of the museums, art galleries and theatres that are crammed into this brilliant city. The Rep, The Crescent, The New Alex, The Hippodrome, The Symphony Hall, The BMAG, The Custard Factory, The Barber Institute, The IKON gallery, The mac; I could honestly bang on forever about how much I flipping love these vibrant places that form part of the ever beating heart of Birmingham. Despite extensive cuts by Birmingham City Council to such artistic institutions, they simply must continue to flourish, because where would we be without them? They allow us to explore and to experience plays and music and artwork which we may never have touched upon before, and enhance awareness of the world no end. They help us to be human.

I cannot think of a more pertinent time to embrace our cultural community
So please, anyone out there who happens to be reading, I address this to you: embrace the fabulous, diverse, exciting cultural opportunities that your city has to offer. Go to the theatre and see a play that you have never heard of, head to a gallery and stare at a piece of artwork that you don’t understand, attend a concert and soak up both the music and the company of those enjoying themselves. We are so bruised and battered by the devastating events that have bombarded our lives over the past few months, that we must have something to soothe our wounds. I cannot think of a more pertinent time to embrace our cultural community. It’s the equivalent of chicken soup; it won’t necessarily cure anything instantly, but it’s all part of the course of eventually healing. This city has seen me through my student years with great aplomb, and will always be special to me. Thank you for everything UoB, Redbrick, and Brum, it’s been a blast.


‘So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.’

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


MA Literature and Culture Student, Online Editor of Redbrick Culture. (@imogentink)


22nd June 2017 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

21st June 2017 at 9:12 pm

Images from

Elafris Photography