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Competition ...any other business A roundup of news from Chamber members Arboretum’s soil

turned in to art The clay soil of the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, provides the foundation for almost 30,000 young trees, thriving living tributes to tremendous acts of service and sacrifice that will endure for centuries. A new temporary exhibition –

‘Mighty Oaks, Coiled Clay’ – featuring work by illustrator Mark Frith and ceramicist Charlotte Barker, explores these two materials that are fundamental to the site. Each of the mighty oak trees

captured in the graphite illustrations by Mark Frith is hundreds of years old, having grown from fragile saplings into imposing veteran trees that inspire a sense of wonder with their majesty. ‘Mighty Oaks, Coiled Clay’ is on

display at the National Memorial Arboretum until 23 June.

Fare-well to a bus legend

After 53 years of driving millions of customers across Birmingham and the Black Country, local legend Dave Gerrard has finally driven his last bus journey. Friends, family and work colleagues gathered at

National Express West Midlands’ Pensnett garage to welcome Dave as he drove in for the very last time. Known locally as a ‘Master of the Black Country’ for

his driving and charity work, Dave completed his final trip on a bus that’s actually named after him in recognition of his work in the community. Dave has raised more than £22,000 for the many charities that are close to his heart, including Birmingham Dogs Home, Russells Hall Hospital, the Royal British Legion, Macmillan Nurses and many others. For his final shift, Dave wore the very same uniform

that he wore on his first day as a bus driver more than half a century ago, when he would have been working for Midland Red. And to celebrate his retirement, National Express West Midlands colleagues presented him with a cake that features Dave’s original Public Service Vehicle driver badge number. Dave said: “As a young boy I used to stand outside

Bearwood garage taking down the bus numbers. Drivers used to doff their caps to me.

From Midland Red to National Express: Dave Gerrard “I couldn’t wait to start my dream job – so as soon as I

turned 21 I applied. I passed my test and drove my very first bus out of the very same garage – and I doffed my cap. I’ve had a great career and been lucky enough to have made so many friends with my customers, colleagues and charities that I’ve worked with. “Now I’m looking forward to spending more time at

home with my wife and receiving visits from my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. But most of all, I’m looking forward to ditching my alarm clock.”

Gardens’ movies will create Bo’ Rhapsody

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is to screen a number of blockbuster movies in its grounds this summer, with the return of the popular ‘Summer Screens’. From old classics to 2019 Oscar

winning films, the 15-acre tourist attraction in Edgbaston is looking forward to welcoming hundreds of movie lovers once again this year when the big screen will be located on the large lawn for six films, to be shown between 15 August and 13 September. Movie buffs will be able to take

in the spectacular glasshouses and flower displays when Summer Screens shows films like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘A Star Is Born’. Also being screened are ‘Pulp

Fiction’ and ‘Jurassic Park’, both of which are celebrating 25 years of their first release, while musical lovers will enjoy singing and dancing along to high-energy musical love story ‘Grease’ and rom com ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’. James Wheeler, chief executive of

Birmingham Botanical Gardens, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Summer Screens back to the Gardens this summer. They are


Big screen: Audiences at last year’s summer screens

always popular evenings as people sit back and watch a great film, enjoy a picnic and a drink in truly stunning surroundings. It is a

fantastic night out for all the family.” This year also sees the

introduction of premium seating options including double deckchairs and a giant sofa, as well as a complimentary drink from the bar, chocolate and popcorn.

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