IN CONVERSATION : CHIEF IN SPARKHILL, BIRMINGHAM

 

086 WM birmingham chief

Chief, as he is known in Sparkhill.

 

AUDIO Coming soon

Chief speaks to me about life in Sparkhill, Birmingham, where he has lived 32 years.


TRANSCRIPT

JO: So, just say who you are and what we are doing and ….

C: well, they call me Chief …. I’m from Sparkhill .. at the moment, I am just working outside my house … building my car as you can see …

JO: and you said you do that for a living ….

C: I do that for a living …. as well as motorbikes … [ ] that’s what made me stop you … flag you down, so to speak ….

JO: you tinker with those too, yes?

C: yes … I tinker with bikes and cars ….

JO: and you are busy? They are keeping you busy locally?

C: Yes .. more or less … I mean … even now I have got a fuse in my hand … a car fuse by the way …

JO: I can confirm this is true … and how is life round here? How are conditions for people?

C: conditions in the local area [ ] ?

JO: yes

C: it’s fine … everyone keeps themselves to themselves …. yes, you get a few yobs but that’s later at nights and you can always deal with them … I mean that’ why I’ve got CCTV all over the gaff …

JO: .. so that’s around … if you don’t take care, yes … you can get yourself in trouble

C: well not really … I mean … if, like yourself .. you stand out like a sore thumb so to speak … in all respects of the word … people will just go about their business … yes they will look at you once or twice but they will carry on about their business ….

JO: so far, people have been quite friendly, I think, round here ….

C: yes … it’s just … I’ve been here the longest out of everybody here … I mean all these businesses are new … I’ve been living here all my life … I think 32 years now .. 32 years

JO: 32 …

C: same address ….

JO: has it changed much in that time?

C: No … apart from the road markings … that’s all … that used to be a two way … now it’s no entry …

JO: yes …. so small changes as far as you are concerned …..

C: small changes … yes … it’s just the people … council houses … and all that stuff … I mean

JO: what’s that? New council …

C: these are all new developments

JO: I mean … for council …

C: [ ] used to be a clothes factory … a garments factory …

JO: right ….

C: they knocked it down and built more houses at the back … so apart from that …

JO: and that’s … is that council housing?

C: These .. I think they are company houses

JO: meaning ….

C: meaning they are privately owned so the tenants don’t have a rent to buy property ….

JO: ok … so they’re just renting ….

C: they’re just renting …

JO: yes … I think a lot of people are unhappily renting … [ ]

C: [ ] … like I said … I’ve been here the longest ….

JO: well thanks for showing us your gaff Chief … what are we going to do about the bins situation? Is yours bad?

C: well … [ ] as you can see across the road there [ ]

JO: yes … I’ve noticed here and there .. there are some pretty nasty [ ]

C: it’s terrible because we’ve got a [ ] down the road so when you enter from there, the first thing you hit is the whiff of the bins …. so it’s terrible ….

JO: what’s going on?

C: it’s just a … a bin strike over pay, I think ….

JO: yes

C: that’s as far as I know …. I mean there was a group of local people … Asian people … who started collecting the bins … even though people were happy with them …

JO: yes … do you mean just like … what do you mean … as employees or just ..

C: yes .. I think they were employees because they had all the gaff on … they had the hi-vis and stuff … and they were on Facebook … and on the news as well … and [ ]

JO: so they stepped in to fill the breach or .. ?

C: they stepped in because I think the council were taking the piss … and so were the employees but …

JO: so you don’t have much sympathy for either side of the dispute?

C: [ ] I wouldn’t say I don’t have sympathy … I mean .. because it affects everybody not just us … so … I don’t think sympathy has got anything to do with it … it’s more the fact that it’s just inconvenient for everybody including the council … so they don’t see it that way …..

JO: I think the Chief Exec of the council has gone, hasn’t he, or something? [ ] Or the Leader of the Council … ?

C: I am not sure to be honest …. ’cause I don’t read too much into it ..

JO: Alright ….. Happy Afternoon … tinkering …

C: yes … I’ll carry on ….

JO: I’m going to probably just ride leisurely home to my mum and dad now … they’re just outside Birmingham … they’re in Much Wenlock … a village up in Shropshire … so … I’ll stay with them tonight …

C: that’s fine … like I said … I’ve got to carry on as I’m doing electrical work and I’ve got to get in between the breaks

JO: before it rains … alright … cheers …

C: it was lovely talking to you … what’s your name by the way?

JO: Jon

C: I’m Chief.


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