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Podcast: ‘Now Here’ with May Robson

February 2024

We contributed to episode five of the ‘Now Here’ podcast, written and produced by May Robson:

‘Gardens and green spaces might not be what springs to mind when you think of the industrial heartlands of Birmingham. But the city has long been the allotment capital of the UK, and these spaces are crucial to the rhythms of inner-city life.

In the aftermath of the 1980s Handsworth uprisings, it was allotments Eunice McGhie-Belgrave used to regrow her community. In this episode, we speak to Eunice, who arrived with the Windrush generation and formed the community group Shades of Black. She reflects on racism, resistance, and the importance of documenting the untold stories of green spaces.

Digging deeper into the archives with sociologist Lisa Palmer, we uncover the ideological battle that raged in Birmingham over who and what allotments were for. The legacy of Shades of Black lives on. Today, people are creating community gardens with arts organisation Grand Union in a rapidly changing landscape, as the arrival of high-speed railway HS2 looms.’