The British Library’s Legal Deposit Office gets Document One

*glows with pride*


The Spotted Dog reference library gets Document One

The Spotted Dog pub on Warwick Street is home to John Tighe and an impressive collection of texts, maps, posters and other printed matter that get produced from locations unseen when relevant to the conversation. Interesting conversations have a habit of happening here…

Whilst not within the Eastside boundary I have been investigating, The Spotted Dog (and I know there are two in the area!) gets a mention both in Ben Waddington’s November 1st 1860 and and in Joe Holyoak’s Eastsiders. These are the texts in Uncertain Eastside – Document One

It seems only right and proper then that there is now a copy of Document One housed at The Spotted Dog. Feel free to pop in, have a browse and have a natter.

Should you wish to invest in a copy of your own, the publication is available to buy from here.

Uncertain Eastside – Document One: 2009

It’s a very great pleasure to be able to announce the release of my first publication.

Having a quick flick through the 112 pages.

As shown by the rather long list on the title page, other people have put loads of effort into this as well. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project.

Uncertain Eastside – Document One: 2009 brings together activity from my first year of investigating my relationship to BCC‘s ‘Eastside’ regeneration zone and logging the micro and macro changes in the landscape as time passes. It’s Eastside in three parts: past, present and future.

Bursting with goodness over three acts!

The book starts with a manufactured history contributed by the indescribable Ben Waddington: a day as seen from the perspective of a family living in Digbeth. Pay attention – this text is as much about the present day and October the 18th, 2009, as it is about November the 1st, 1860.

Next, now firmly in 2009, the book gives an overview of my alternative cartography of the regeneration zone’s perimeter and a selection of 83 lush colour photos selected from the 1000+ submitted by participants of the Walk and Talk event.

The book finishes off with a text from much-respected architect and urban designer Joe Holyoak and Tracey Fletcher from the Eastside Sustainability Advisory Group. Written 8 years ago it describes a day in the life of a family inhabiting an Eastside of the future. 2012 now seems both just around the corner and impossibly distant.

You can buy copies of Uncertain Eastside from where there is also a link that allows you to preview the book’s contents.

Magcloud are running a special offer until the end of the year that means you only pay $22.15 (≈£14) rather than $28.00 (≈£17.50). Your order is then printed up and delivered to you within about a week, so there’s time to get some as Christmas presents!

Again, a special thank you to everyone who has taken part in the making of this publication: Pete Ashton, Karen Cameron, Mike Cummins, Ida Deodathsingh, Emma (editorialgirl), Tracey Fletcher, Joanna Geary, Nicky Getgood, Michael Grimes, Marian Hall, Libby Heighway, Mark Hill (cybrum), Joe Holyoak, Alex Hughes, Nancy Langfeldt, Ben Mabbett, Steve Scott, Tim Stock, Chris Tomlinson, Ben Waddington and Simon Whitehouse.

Plans are afoot for Document Two. Watch this space…

Preparing to publish

A while ago I talked about getting closer to finishing the Uncertain Eastside publication triggered by my work in and around Birmingham City Council’s Eastside regeneration area.

In the intervening weeks I have registered as a publisher (under the name Present Position) and have been duly uniquely identified and allocated ISBN numbers etc etc. I have had adventures with barcodes, sent off for and received a proof print, and tweaked, augmented and improved the contents.

A quick flick through the first proof copy

Over the last few days I have shared the first proof with a handful of people and had some nice, encouraging responses in return. A good example was last night, chatting with Nicky Getgood and Digbeth publican John Tighe. (John’s pub, The Spotted Dog, is mentioned a couple of times in texts by Ben Waddington and Joe Holyoak, so I’d wanted to check a few details with him.)


As John had a good ol’ look through the proof, he came across the photo above by Mark Hill, one of the Walk and Talk participants. I’d wondered about the building in the background before, but never quite got around to finding out about it. Well thanks to Nicky I now know it was built by a breakaway (Catholic?) group who built their own building to worship in …but then made up with the main Church before it was put into use. As a result the building was never consecrated and is now full of tyres!

We’ve also established that my publication does not make Birmingham look like Barcelona…

A preview of Digbeth not looking like Barcelona

A preview of Digbeth not looking like Barcelona

I’ve just uploaded my modifications and am about to order what I hope will be the final proof.

All being well, Uncertain Eastside – Document One: 2009 should be available for purchase towards the end of next week.

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