12 Ways You Know You're a Brummie

Treat your little ones to a day out in Birmingham
Treat your little ones to a day out in Birmingham | © Jared Zhengquan

Freelance Travel and Music Writer

In a ‘roundabout’ kind of way, being a Brummie is a proud rite of passage. Whether you were going up town on a Saturday, or getting fed up with people not keeping to the left on the ramp, here are 12 ways you definitely know you’re a Brummie.

You – or your kids – loved Brum in the ’90s and early ’00s

The children’s TV show ‘Brum’, the story of a small self-driven car, was set in Birmingham, and the opening credits see the car whizzing around city landmarks with some of his friends. If you didn’t see the car in your childhood, are you even a Brummie? Some people still don’t know that ‘Brum’ is a play on words on the city’s nickname AND the noise a car horn makes. I know…

You used to buy your latest threads from Oasis market in your goth or emo phase…

Don’t kid yourself. Most of us had their own little emo/goth phase and loved nothing more than buying Famous Stars & Straps t-shirts, new rocks and black nail varnish from Oasis Market in town. Some of us were even brave enough to use its piercing parlour. Yikes.

…and then show them off in Pigeon Park on Saturday afternoons

This is what Saturday afternoons were made for. Sitting around in Pigeon Park – yes, we know, it is a cathedral’s graveyard – with the same faces every single Saturday without fail. You’d occasionally venture to McDonald’s but only to use their toilet.

Teens in Pigeon Park, Birmingham

You call the city centre ‘town’

For some reason, the city centre is called ‘town’ by just about everyone who lives in Birmingham. Whether this is down to Birmingham not being granted city status until 1889 and the name sticking, who knows, but it’s quite an endearing trait.

You remember being dragged to the Pallasades

Despite a message over the Pallasades shopping centre tannoy blasting out telling pedestrians to ‘keep to the left’ for ‘their own safety’, did anyone ever stick to this? Did they heck! You really are a Brummie if you remember using the ramp as a meeting point, and then getting annoyed when people walk in to you. Don’t forget being dragged in to town for your regular trip to Woolworths for pick n mix or the annual visit to see Santa at Christmas.

The famous Pallasades shopping centre ramp

You also use The Bull as a meeting point

“Where do you want to meet?” “The Bull?” Just how many tourist photos of The Bull have you photobombed simply by waiting for your (annoyingly late) friends to arrive?

You’ve heard “Biiiirrmminngghhhaamm” WAY too many times

When someone asks where you’re from, why is it that everyone proceeds to accentuate the city name in a terrible mock-up of the accent? It’s not funny, bab.

Every school trip would either be swimming – or Cadbury World

One for the ’90s school kids. Cadbury World is great, and it’s amazing having such a prestigious institution right on your doorstep, but it gets a bit boring going every single year. That’s if you’re not lucky enough to be off swimming twice a week.

It was a family tradition to go to Weston-super-Mare

For one weekend in July it feels like every single Brummie in the history of Birmingham descends on Weston-super-Mare. To be fair, we are landlocked right in the middle of the country so a seaside visit is welcomed, but why is it that this place was (and still is to some extent) such a tradition?!

Retro postcard of Weston-super-mare

You went to Snobs on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in the same week – and sometimes Subway City on Tuesday

Snobs will be written in Birmingham folklore for years to come and even though it’s moved location, Brummies still descend on the place like there’s no tomorrow. Gone are the sticky floors, but remaining are the cheap drinks and wall of faces. Just make sure you can hack the hangover in the office the next day. If you were hardcore, in your teens you’d also head to Subway City on Tuesday for the infamous 90s night…

Mr Egg was an end-of-night tradition

Everyone’s been to Mr Egg at least once, based on the name alone. Nightmares of drunkenly eating boiled eggs are far from it; think more kebab and chips with smotherings of chilli and mayo at 5am.

Mr Egg cafe & takeaway

You’d occasionally talk Birmingham down – but if an outsider did it there was hell to pay

Brummies are known to bash the city every now and then, but if anyone’s allowed to, then it’s us. As soon as people from Manchester start talking us down, we don’t take it lightly. We are the second city after all…

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