Monthly Archives: June 2008

Farewell to Carole – ‘a big, lovely, pain in the neck’

Hundreds of friends, relatives and former colleagues gathered at St Cuthbert’s Church in Castle Vale today to say goodbye to Carole Rafferty, who died on 17th June, aged 61.

Shortly after lunchtime, mourners began to gather on the steps of the church, part bathed in sunshine, part shaded by leafy trees. Old friends from the former Housing Action Trust who had returned for the funeral, shook hands, embraced and chatted in the pleasant surroundings of a now comfortable estate that Carole had done so much to create. In death, as in life, she had brought together people from all classes, all walks of life.

At 1.45pm, the sound of horses’ hooves bringing the magnificent carriage that bore the coffin silenced the conversations.

Inside the church, Father Darren Miller, who had returned from southern climes to lead the service, told the packed assembly that Carole had probably been awarded her MBE for being ‘a big, lovely, pain in the neck.’ Carole’s many friends chuckled quietly.

“Carole didn’t mind ruffling a few feathers,” said Father Darren. “When it came to getting the best for this place, she would work tirelessly. She wouldn’t let anyone forget that this is a place of people, and that people matter. She would tell you if she didn’t like something. But she would always have the good grace to let you know when you had done something right.”

After Father Darren’s tribute, and a reading of the 23rd Psalm, local singer Tezlin Newall-Harding sang ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, a heart-wrenchingly beautiful rendition of a song that Carole had sung during her last days in hospital. 

“It’s the end of an era,” one observer remarked outside the church, as local police officers held up the traffic to let the carriage and funeral cars take Carole on her final journey.


Poetry children chosen

Ten local primary-age children have been shortlisted for the top prize in the “Through the Eyes of a Child Community Poetry Competition, 7-11 yrs category. One child from Pegasus School, two from St Gerards, three from Topcliffe and four from Chivenor Junior and Infant School have been invited, with their teachers and parents, to a special reception to be held at Spitfire House on Wednesday.

The reception is being jointly hosted by Big Brum Theatre in Education Company and Charlie Jordan, Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, who last week was conducting poetry workshops with Castle Vale’s more senior amateur poets at Phoenix Court. Now it’s the turn of local youngsters to shine and share their literary skills. The children, all aged between 7 and 11, will have the opportunity to read their shortlisted poems in front of Charlie, who will also be reciting one or two of her own pieces. Winners will be announced at a special evening of celebrations on Friday 11th July at Pegasus School.

The deadline for the 12-15 yrs, 16-20 yrs and the Adult categories of the competition is not until Friday 4th, so if you haven’t already submitted your poems, get writing now! Details on Poetry Competition page.

Carole Rafferty funeral

Carole Rafferty’s funeral will take place at St Cuthbert’s Church at 1.45p.m tomorrow (Monday). Click here for Obituary to Carole Rafferty MBE

Tributes to Carole from local residents, friends and colleagues can be seen if you click here.  

There have been more comments posted on the Carole Rafferty article than on any of the other 500 news articles on this website.



Kirnon trial starts Monday

The trial of Nicholas Kirnon for the murder of 18-month-old Kamran Rose in May 2007 is set to start at Birmingham Crown Court tomorrow (Monday) morning. The jury in the original trial was dismissed in March 2008, following the acquittal of Kamran’s mother, Sarah Rose, who was facing a charge of manslaughter.


Glamour and style at the Prom

        click here for 26 Prom photos

Year 11 students at Castle Vale School put on a display of style, glamour and charm at the end of year School Prom, held at the Jaguar Club on Thursday evening. Click here for 26 Prom photos.


Obituary to Carole Rafferty

Click here to go to the obituary to Carole Rafferty, written by Grant Williams, TRA Company Secretary.


Click here to go to the letter from Tracey Barrington, Carole’s daughter.


67 bus route changes – trial scheme extended till 11th July

National Express have announced that they are extending their experimental change to the route of the 67 bus by a further two weeks. The changes were made as a result of pressure and complaints from a  local resdient who has objected to buses parking outside his property.

 Dean Watkins, Area Manager for National Express West Midlands commented: “We are always looking for ways to improve our service and we are currently trialling a minor change to route 67 at Castle Vale.  We have adjusted the route so it now travels through Turnhouse Road and right into Baginton Road. We plan to review these changes on Friday 11th July. We are always aware of the impact our operations can have on neighbourhoods, and are trialling these changes to try to reduce our impact as much as possible whilst improving the service to our customers. We welcome comments from residents potentially affected by the change and we will consider these prior to making permanent alterations to the route.”