My induction to the Black Country Wall of Fame.
So this is Blog number 2 and it tells the tale of an innocent tea party at the Civic Halls in Wolverhampton on Friday 11 October 2013. Of all the amazing things that have happened in my life and specifically in the last 2 years this might just top the lot. My friends Jimmy Carr and Gavin Arnold (Gav is Jimmy’s long time tour manager) had invited the family for tea and cake in his dressing room before the show, to catch up because we hadn’t seen each other for a while. At least that’s what I believed to be happening! The truth was something else entirely, although it was at the Civic, did involve Jimmy and Gav and there was cake.
In simple terms a surprise party had been laid on in the main bar. But when I walked in and saw a large number of my Civic Hall friends there I simply thought someone was having a DO and I’d walked in on it! Still the penny had not dropped! So I’m at my own surprise party thinking it’s for someone else! Then I noticed the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Jimmy and Gav were also there as well as a photographer from the local Newspaper. But before the penny finally drops (which happens imminently now) something needs explaining.
The Civic Halls is considered widely to be the area’s premier entertainment venue and was chosen in 2008 to be the home of something that is called the “Black Country Wall of Fame”. Basically it’s a series of road signs that carry the names of famous people in the world of Entertainment who hail from the Black Country. People like the members of Slade, John Bonham of Lead Zeppelin, Lenny Henry and Edward Elgar (I kid you not). These are mounted on the back wall of the Civic stage. Noddy Holder started it off being the first name on the wall and I managing the event where that happened. It was my job to look after him for the evening. When I was a kid (growing up in Wolverhampton in the early 1970’s) Slade where arguably the biggest name in pop music and Noddy Holder had almost god like status. So for an evening I got to look after a god, I’ll never forget that. So although the Wall of Fame may only be important here (in the Black Country) the names on it are people who are known throughout the world. Well, as of yesterday I would say, at least most of them are!!!!
So I’m at my own party and the penny only finally dropped when everyone looked at me and started clapping! Still not fully dropped though (perhaps they’d just invited more people for Tea). That only happened when my mate Kelly approached with a road sign that had my name on it and I mouthed an expletive in front of the Mayor, what would my mom have said!
I was to be added to the Black Country Wall of Fame and the Mayor was there (because he likes Tea and Cake) and the Express and Star (our local paper) to capture Jimmy Carr having his picture taken with a lot of people.
I was stunned and speechless, felt numb and was probably in mild shock. So what does it mean, well to me an awful lot. You see the wall just has famous people on it and it’s there to celebrate their work and their association with the Black Country. I’m not famous, I just used to work for the Council remember, but people must think a lot of me for this to have happen and knowing that is a truly amazing and inspiring thing.
The idea of my inclusion came from Gav and Jimmy when they were at the Civic in June. They gave the thought to Carol Dunn who is a Duty Manager at the Halls and one of my dearest friends. Carol is pivotal to my life; she is a very caring person who often looks after me if Septina and the girls are not immediately available and has stayed extremely close by during the last 2 years. She is also incredibly strong and takes no messing from anyone, sometimes I need that! My life simply would not be the same without Carol. So she made it all happen, took the suggestion to Senior Management and then did all the organising for the day, this had been going on for months and I had NO IDEA AT ALL!
It was the perfect surprise. I think my initial idea for the blog was to sure journey experiences and to try and explain just what my life is like. Well this sums it up nicely; surprising, amazing, humbling, inspiring and a time full of love. Thank you on behalf of myself and my family to everyone who was part of yesterday, Sep and Lauren just thought it was going to be a low Key affair until we got there, but of course Carol had other ideas. What a great day.
12 October 2013