Living in Weoley Castle, Birmingham
Written by Anonymous Visitor and posted in United Kingdom, West Midlands, West Midlands

Welcome to Birmingham, Britain’s 2nd city. Actually a self-appointed title, presumably because it’s second only to London when it comes to concrete, piss-distressed shopping centres and unemployment. Whilst Brummies will (no chips on shoulders here, bab) remind you the city has more mileage of canal than Venice (the difference being that in the Midlands you can easily contract cholera or rabies just by sniffing the water) and that “Shoikspeeayuh wud of spowk loyke thiis!” it is in fact the arsehole of the country. But to deny yourself a visit to Weoley Castle, the city’s chavviest district would be criminal.

Climb aboard the 29. Witness the terrified driver, occasionally armed with pepper spray and a grimace. The top deck seats are all melted and trashed thanks to Chav kids. However, they do helpfully leave a daily record of their romantic encounters (“Zara finx Deano is bum 4 eva 04” is one recent, GENUINE addition). 20 minutes later, smell the chip fat and Lynx? You’re here.

Welcome to Weoley Castle, hub of Birmingham’s south west. And the council’s nightmare. The centre of activity is Castle Square. It’s actually circular, but that’s Brummies for you. A collection of badly grammatised shops (“Nip-In-2-Noreens” and “Maxs’ Pizza’s” with its apostrophe rash being two particular favourites), liberally scattered with the various Shazzers (that’s Chavette to you and me) and Kevs of the district. All have the pinched-faced look that suggests inter-bredding on a Tennessee-beating scale, combined with a regular methodone fix. The Lloyds TSB is surrounded by CCTV, and high density barb wire fencing. The amusements arcade next door means that Chavs don’t have far to take their “babby’s” savings to fritter away an afternoon after Loose Women. The council gave up re-glazing the bus stops a long time ago. The only building that causes confusion is the library. Red-brick and modern, its purpose clearly mystifies and actually evades most Chavs. Occasionally, they can be spotted muttering and pointing in its direction whilst wheeling little Courtney Dakota back home for some Tartrazine flavoured juice and unsupervised play. Consequently, the library remains unvisited, un-graffittied and untouched. Because no-one knows what the f*ck it is.

To deny yourself a trip past the local school would be remiss of you. That’s just down the road, pal, past the condemned housing. If you’re stuck for directions, ask any of the hundreds of 11-18 year old on the streets on any school day afternoon. They’ve all either been expelled or done a bunk.

I speak from [possibly made up] experience here. I [allegedly] used to teach at the Shenley Academy, back when it used to be called the Shenley Court School. Fears of an imminent Ofsted inspection and Failing School Status are second on the list after crowd control of the horrendous Chavs of the next generation. Spend a day here. Bet you a tenner you can’t tell me what the school’s uniform is by 3 o’clock. You might hazard a guess at thick gold hoops with curious white balls at the bottom as earrings for the girls. Hair slicked back with WD40 and gripped aggressively into place follows suit, as does so much badly applied foundation. The lads don’t really give a s**t. They just can’t wait to join big brothers Shane and Duane in the pub and DSS office.

To pass over the fact that all these young Chavs ALL sport the very latest mobile phone, Burberry trousers, or enormous bomber jacket would be neglecting my role as tour guide. And the names! I have taught (I use the word very loosely) at various stages the following : Shane, Duane, Wayne, Tracey, Precious, Shovaun (its authentic Chav spelling actually pre-dates its oft-mistaken Celtic roots), Sh’main (what is it with Chavs and apostrophes?!), Jodie-Lee, Terri-Ann, Kerri-Ann. I taught a boy called John once. Maybe I dreamt it.

First period, Monday morning is devoted to (and here, I’m only half-joking) writing out apology letters to the Managers of New Look, Primark, Phones4U, and Claire’s Accessories for their weekend shoplifting efforts. Chav parents (having an average age of about 24 and a reading age of half that) can’t be expected to help their litter to spell, or find some paper, so let the “posh’uns” at the school help ’em, eh? After that, it’s wagging it and “f**k all” timetabled for the rest of the week.

Anyway, the day’s nearly finished. Any questions? Apparently, Zara no longer thinks Deano is bum, just to keep you informed. No, the mums don’t work as cleaners or dinner ladies at the school – they’d have to miss Trisha and Fern & Phil for that. Plus it might constitute as work, and not soulless scrounging off the state. Anyway, have a safe journey home. You’ll thank Christ that wherever you’re from, it’s not Weoley Castle. Sorry, what was that? Why’s it called Weoley Castle? It’s Weoley Rough.


  • Anne

    I have only just come across this.
    I’m appalled at this writeup, and, by a teacher, (of all people) at the school, you are anonymous and I wonder why, far too afraid to put name to statement, Weoley Castle is nowhere near as bad as you have painted, I lived nearby for many years and I have to say that it’s not that bad a place to live, there are always some that work the system, as in many places over the UK. Show us who you are and stand by your statement!

  • stanfield81

    The over-exaggeration of this article is hilarious lol

  • OroroGrey

    I have grown up around Weoley and this is an over exaggerated opinion of my home-town (Where I still reside) Yes, there are a few chavs but the majority are honest working class people who are some of the most friendliest you will ever know. There are chavs in certain parts and ‘normal’ people in others. The square is perfectly fine and the shops are not as bad as you describe. It is a friendly place to live and of course, you work in Shenley (A school where I was bullied mercilessly before moving to Bartley Green School) which is a horrible school for the chavs who live in the awful areas. If you are teacher and you talk like this, I am not surprised you work at THAT school. Weoley Castle is a nice place to live and the majority of people are friendly and helpful. You really have no idea what it’s like around here until you have lived around here, it’s decent!! Stop with the rubbish, please 🙂

  • Ian

    what type of idiot wrote this if even did the slightest research would have known that it is mentioned in the doomsday book and having lived here for over 30 years never been a maxs pizza or nip into noreens shops on the square and Birmingham is the second city as as population evident this person need to go to shenley court school for some education

  • PAL123

    I was saddened to read your comments on Weoley Castle where I once lived with my parents from 1965-1977 when I left to get married (no, I’m not a chav and it wasn’t a ‘shotgun wedding ‘)I was married to the same man for over 30 years until widowed a few years ago ! I had ONE child (through choice). I also attended Shenley Court Comprehensive from 1966 where I lived in fear of Miss Roberts the headmistress (nowadays she would have the title of Headteacher!) she caught me a couple of times when I didn’t have my hair tied up (nits) she was a stickler for that. In all my years there, that was the worst trouble I got in. I’m not saying school was my happiest as we are so often told, I was never that keen, but my attendance was good (my parents saw to that). What I did like was the swimming pool and hoped once we got our September timetable, it would be our class’ turn to get the pool – great, disappointing when it wasn’t our turn. IF your comments are correct on Weoley Castle and school it’s heartbreaking and I wish you a brighter future. I can’t comment on the state of the area or school now as the last time I visited was 1982. Question – are you a brummie? If not, please don’t class us all the same.

  • Bradder

    This is the most offensive and condescending post about the place I grew up I have ever read. I went to Shenley Court and do not recognise these misaligned and bigoted descriptions. You need to bow your head in shame as a teacher of these aspiring kids.

  • Paul

    Well reading the comments on weoley castle, can’t help but think they are written by people with an axe to grind, I agree about the problems, theft, schooling, it was quite amusing what the teacher had to say but wonder if he is from Brum originally or sounds like an import. If he is an import then go back to where you came from. I spent most of my life my running ground was shenleys with football pitches, & bathing pool,square park, raven duck pond, I could go out & not come back till late as it was a community which was built to perfection & well planned. Every type of shop on the square, the best youth club, good parks, schools, nursery, pubs ,bowling greens, working mans clubs! Cinema,rspca Barnes hill,church’s to see us in & to see us out, a large cemetery, tree lined streets, my parents thought it was a dream when moving from Ladywood, we all did not get on, as a young boy I could have got home covered in mud, a black eye, upset because a gang had stolen my bike or football. In my teens skinhead gangs,mods, rockers,when we were up for a ruck the Weoley Castle,Bartley Green, Quinton, SellyOak,Nortfield, Ley Hill, these mobs of quite violent young men would let off steam the best times and yes I was one of them, the best were at the funfair at Shenleys Park which was well planned by mobs & could attract 200/400 hooligans,with hammers,pick axe handles, knives, screwdrivers,Chains whatever. This would erupt in a flash unfortunately families were there so it got later, the difference now there are an abundance of police surveillance & fast response cars, vans with cages, then the only protection was a few bobbies driving Morris minors & A40’s, the van miroya was a Bedford CF.. I can go on! things change they have too, but it has different values today, I have spoken about Weoley Castle, having travelled uk & abroad, it’s no different & much more violent places.un fortunately a lot of people are upset as they were brought up here & don ‘t want to or can’t move. The others should not complain they can change it but some need educated, I rememeber my DaD spending a sunny afternoon cutting the front hedge & grass really low & neat, clearly to be seen by others.next week a few had followed suit, education ! Which takes me back to the teacher, rather than slag off talk to them as humans and EDUCATE, ITS NO GOOD READING THEM POETRY BECAUSE THEY AIN’t going there.

  • CyrilTheWasp

    Oh yes,how very brave to write sweeping statements such as this on the internet which could apply to any major city and which anyone with a low and condescending mentality could easily write but extremely cowardly and pitiful not to even submit a name it to by its author.

    • Helena Gottlieb

      Well, I too am in education and, quite frankly, the person responsible for the tired middle class rant, should be ashamed. I don’t doubt he started out in teaching with a clear aim and purpose but is now somewhat tired and jaded, but to lambast an entire suburb? I am not from Weoley Castle. I do not teach, nor have I ever taught there. However, I do know that a good teacher changes lives, influences young minds, instills a desire to and a love of, learning. I do know Weoley Castle, relatives through marriage live there. They are neither chavs nor state scroungers. My message to that poor deluded ‘teacher’ is to take a sabbatical…..please…before your lofty sense of self worth infects any other young mind. Weoley Castle isn’t perfect, neither are we.

  • WILDCARD

    I would agree that Weoley Castle has its moments, and still seems to have that pitchfork mentality. We used to avoid it as much as possible as kids ( we grew up in the almost as dire Northfield ). Earlier this month I stopped for petrol in Barnes Hill, and can only describe the place as ‘edgy’ with youths on quad bikes swaggering about like utter cretins, invading my personal space and attempting to stare me me out ( I’m 44 for fucks sake ) whilst I filled up. What is most bizarre is that it is actually a green, attractive area. The house prices say it all though.

  • Julie

    This teachers a pompous prick need i say more

  • Anne

    I am sad for the people of Weoley Castle that you are a teacher at their local school. What hope do any of your students have when you have an attitude like this? If Shenley Court is a failing school then it is due in part to the sneering, unpleasant attitude that you show in your article.

  • Having moved to Weoley 39 years ago and also taught in a local school, I am appalled by this totally inaccurate description. Actually, Weoley is 55% private ownership with many professional families. Its streets are lined with spotless shiny cars and the children who pass my house on their way to and from school wear uniform and are well behaved. The deprivation stats for the SOA in which I live show 30% professional families.

    I once brought a German hitch hiker home and showed him the view of Weoley from upstairs. He could not believe that this was municipal housing. In Germany, housing of this quality would be regarded as affluent.

    True, we do have a large number of deprived families, but that is due to the Tory legislation which made councils set rents proportional to the quality of housing. This put council rents in Weoley too high for working families and most new lets are to those qualifying for housing benefit.

    Until recently, the only flats in Weoley have been converted from the up and down stairs parts of houses. More recently a block of 8 private flats was built just yards from the Square. The flats opposite Shenley Court which are being demolished were built as warden controlled housing controlled old peoples accommodation and are part of the Bournville Village Trust Estate.

    To the North of Shenley Court School is the Woodc**k Estate which did contain a row of tower blocks and blocks of maisonettes which have since been demolished and replaces with housing association developments. Also in Shenley Court’s catchment area was the Ley Hill Estate which has also been demolished.

    Shenley Court is now an academy of manageable size in a recently completed new building.

    • Andrew Ride

      “Actually, Weoley is 55% private ownership with many professional families.”

      Yes it is, the other 45% are violent chavs who have been harassing and bullying the families there for years & years. There used to be the Smiley Family in Weoley Castle that used to control the estate by bullying and beating-up the residents all over the place. the Smily Family used to live on Ruckley Road junction with Harvington Rd and they ruled the estate in a climate of fear in the 1980s

  • A former pupil

    I didn’t grow up in Weoley Castle, but I went to Shenley Court from 11 to 18 and had a horrible experience there. Strangely enough, many from other areas/belonging to the middle classes who went there will tell you the school is/was just fine. But back when I was there, if you had problems at home to contend with, support from the school was zero and you were basically f**ked (not literally, I might add). Some of the teachers were utter arseholes and, in many ways, proto-chavs themselves. Particularly the alpha male/rugby playing set. Total bunch of fat c**ts. Half of them didn’t even know their own subjects, either, and I felt as if I knew more than them. An utter disgrace.

    As it happens, I’m successful now, no thanks to Shenley. Maybe it’s precisely because the school traumatised me so much that I decided to fight back in later years and make something of myself. Who knows? And why am I even reminding myself about this sh*t-hole (at least as it was in the 80s) by visiting this site now? All I can say is, I hope the school is better now than it was in the 1980s.

    I only have one nice thing to say about the Shenley Court of the 80s, and that is Mr Lines. Those of you who went to the School during that time will know exactly who I mean and why I’m singling him out. A lovely person, like a diamond in the rough.

    • Andrew Ride

      @ former pupil

      ABSOLUTELY F**KING BRILLIANT POST

      The bullying in those days was absolutely f**king ridiculous.

      The pupils were bulling us, and also the staff and teachers were bullying and whacking the kids.

      What would have been a solution, going back to those sad old days, would have been for the kids (all of them) to carry a firearm, like a 9mm GLOCK

      The kids, had they all carried firearms, would have been able to prevent and stop all of the bullying that was going on, and then, Shenley Court would have been a very polite, and nice, place to be.

      LOL

  • David

    This made me laugh quite a bit, there are a lot of Chavs around and that, but it’s getting better now, I think. And Shenley is a lot better now with Mrs Harker there – OFSTED report is actually ‘Outstanding’.
    Oh, and uh, thanks for insulting a lot of innocent and nice people with this.

  • YeahRight

    Weoley Castle road was fine when we moved in in the early 70s. But it was about then that the permissive bunch who’d failed their kids became grand-parents and their offspring proved even less able to parent their children than their parents had. I remember there was outcry when this essay was first published – so very glad to see it’s still here, defiantly imparting the facts. I got out of Weoley Castle in the mid 80s. Drove through there recently, just out of curiosity really, round the square, Barcheston Road, Barnes Hill. The place is so green. It could have been great, but yeah, the rabid chav scum dragged it down to their level.

    • Andrew Ride

      I grew up on Harvington Road with my parents from the early 70s until 1985. In 1986 I left Birmingham and moved up North. It was a violent and nasty environment. I hated it. School at Shenley was mired with violence from kids and violence from teachers (caning kids and violently and legitimately whacking the kids). I was terrified to even go to school. On the way home down Shenley Fields Rd. I was confronted by kids from Ilmington ( a compteting school) carrying bike chains and chasing me and threatening to beat me up,.

      My memories of going to Shenley Court are a living nightmare even now at 45 years old my memories of that school scar me for life. It was hell.

    • Andrew Ride

      I was (curiously) in the position at Shenley Court that I was involved with a lot of the influential kids in the school system at the time, 1985, I can cite Craig Beesley, Paul Beesley, Lynne Whitlock (the fittest girl in the school LOL) and many others (Christian Heppard…. ) (simon Beesely) I was a geeky kid at the time, I was a nobody in the school, just trying to survive under the weight of oppression put upon us by the teachers and the regime that was in force upon us at the time.

  • Jones

    Although a lot of the above is true and made me laugh you might want to assess what you are hoping to achieve? I grew up in WC and went to Shenley, I’m not going to argue either are great but there are worse places and schools in Brum. A lot of people I went to Shenley with actually have done well in life and probably earn a lot more than you so you might want to ease back on the generalising, wouldnt want to sound bitter! A lot of the problems at that school are down to the standard and effort of the teachers, you always remember a good one though, Wonder how many will remember you?

  • Jason O’Neill

    I’m curious to know which teacher you are, doubtless you would have to enter the witness protection programme if you did identify yourself.

    I have to agree though, Weoley Castle is a chad filled hole, I joined the Army just to get away from there, from one hole to another, less chance of getting killed though.

    So who are you, come on, give us a clue, are you the overly hairy Mr Pringle? or the self righteous Mr Beale who said I would never amount to anything (I neeted 160 grand last year ha ha ha).

    • Andrew Ride

      “So who are you, come on, give us a clue, are you the overly hairy Mr Pringle? or the self righteous Mr Beale ”

      This is an absolutely brilliant comment, I was Andrew RIDE in 1985 at the school,we had Mr Pringle the incredibly hairy Chemistry Teacher, and we also had the self-righteous and quite guilt-tripping at times, Mr Beale. Both of those teachers used to scream at the kids or give them guilt-trips making the kids feel bad. My previous recollections of those teachers is not good.

      I totally applaud the commenter for his comments about those teachers. Shenley was a s**t-hole and everyone (within reason) who went to that school at the time, will remember, and will say, for until the end of time, it was a s******e of a school and the kids came out of that school not happy.

      I used to love the story that Max Baah, a big black lad who was the knock of the school, went back to the school after he was (expelled?) and punched one of the teachers in the face. LOL

    • Andrew Ride

      160 grand a year in the Army that’s pretty good going. How the hell did you earn that in the army? Mr Beale was a self-righteous fucker, he came across friendly but I remember him as kind of creepy as in, he wasn’t quite as nice a man as he made-out. Mr Pringle however was a totally dedicated nerdy guy with a massive beard a typical “Beardy wierdo Professor of the Chemistry Lab”. One day I was there Mr Pringle took me on a day out to a radio show hosted by Ed Doolan at BRMB, he took me & my mate Mark Lewis out in his car to BRMB to do a radio interview, Pringle was sound enough I think he was a nice guy. (hairy at that !!)

  • chris mason

    i was bullied mercilessly at shenley. but i harbour no ill feeling at all. it was because i am ginger. i mean ginger all over. so basically i deserved it. i was there in the 80s and 90s, before the days of political correctness. in those days, anything went. i was fair game. mr gullick was almost ginger so he had a great deal of sympathy for me. but i thought him a traitor when he ridded himself of his beard and moustache. his head hair was grey by then. so basically he had no ginger left on him. as far as i could see anyway.

    i am now a googolplexaire and live on my own private island in the caribbean.

  • Sosabowski

    Well, I live in the nice end of Weoley Castle and I love it here.
    Not really.
    It’s a sh*t hole and I concur with all that is written above.
    29 is a single decker service now. The drivers are still as scared, however.

  • Sarahcat

    I am fed up with people born outside of Birmingham thinks we all talk like Black Country people – who don’t all talk like that either. I hate the words ‘bab and babby’. Horrible.

    Yes there are a lot of chavs about and I’ve had run ins with a few. I hate the way people litter, the young parents who will drag up yet another generation like them. This began 25 years ago with the Thatcher govenment, I predicted we’d have problems with their kids, I was proved correct…

    I live in Bartley Green which isn’t that far from Weoly Castle. We’ve our problems here too, but the police have cleaned it up a bit lately. The litter is bad too, and it is green here. It makes me angry to see what these yobs do. They need to be punished properly, made to clean up the streets, anything that will make them pay for any wrong they do. And not to be givern everything for nothing.

    Unfortunately I now live in a council block of flats – I once upon a time had my own house, if only I could turn back time…and was working full time but due to a series of problems which led to a very bad depression I’ve ended up here. On ESA, but have had a series of operations. I am looking for work and studying, so please mr teacher not all people are scroungers who have to claim benefits. I come from a middle class family with a rich brother so don’t tar everybody with the same brush.

    I agree Weoly Castle is rough in places but so can everywhere else be if chavs get there – they are parasites and should be put down! Or sterised…OOh not PC!