A Face Full of Heritage

Go see the Flying Scotsman. Doesn't fly. Isn't a man.

Running from September 8 to 18, Birmingham Heritage Week is — on no measure we understand — a week in length. But we'll forgive the lackadaisical title in view of the 200+ events which have required the extension to all the culturally culturedness. Our pick of those experiences you can still get a place at forms this week's cherry on top of your Birmingham sundae.

What? Flying Scotsman at Tyseley When? September 16 to 18; various times
Crawl through the tender corridor of the Flying Scotsman, which was completed in 1923 and named after the London to Edinburgh train service, which started daily in 1862. Now paying a three day visit to the Tyseley Locomotive Works, the centre's own collection of locomotives will also be in steam and on display, giving shuttle rides, turntable demonstrations and a locomotive cavalcade (a procession kinda vibe, but with trains). There'll be plenty of refreshers, plus the chance to get a cream tea aboard the Pullman (£35, on Friday, and you'll need to act rapidly). More

What? Zero Carbon House When? September 10; 11am - 4pm
Fancy a nosy round a private family home? Us too, and this particular Balsall Heath dwelling happens to be the UK’s first and only retrofit house to ‘zero carbon’ standard, so your entry is all totally above board. Generating all its own renewable energy, using no CO2-generating fossil fuels, the construct has won multiple design awards including a RIBA Architecture Award and Civic Trust Commendation. View the house and garden, a display of the building materials and technologies used, as well as architect’s drawings and that sorta thing. Talks throughout the day. More

What? Get into Stirchley Baths When? September 11; 11am - 4pm
After 25 years of neglect, this grade II listed former Edwardian swimming pool and wash house has been drained and boarded over, creating a community space which preserves a number of original features. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to go below ground into the pool’s deep end and tunnel system, in small groups, running every 30 minutes. There'll also be an exhibition on local history, activities and an organic veggie cafe on sustenance. Minutes from Bournville station. More

What? The Birmingham Oratory When? September 8 to 10; 1pm & 2.15pm
Fun facts about The Birmingham Oratory: 1. J.R.R. Tolkien was a parishioner there for nine(ish) years; 2. The church was built around 1910, replacing the original structure – a simple barn-like church with a roof transferred from an abandoned factory; and 3. The Baroque style structure is known as ‘Little Rome in Birmingham'. Join a guided tour and make the tour guide feel really uncomfortable by recounting these whimsical nuggets. More

What? Birmingham's gunmaking heritage When? September 11 to 18
A week-long look at the gunmaking industry taking place at The Gunmakers' Arms (see what they did there?) — production thrived in Brum from the seventeenth century and contributed hugely to the advance of precision manufacturing nationally and internationally. There'll be an exhibition all week, with a talk from academic, Professor David Williams, about why Birmingham dominated the industry on Wednesday 14, and an up-to-date look at the picture now from bespoke shotgun manufacturer, Steve Horton on Thursday 15. Much more