Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in the city. This month it’s Jeremy Thornton from Biddle & Webb auctioneers
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Jeremy Thornton, managing director of Biddle & Webb. I joined in 1990 as a temporary porter. However I loved the atmosphere, and the variety of lots, so I stayed. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? We are down from Five Ways off the Ladywood Middleway and I drive in from Shirley.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
Generally, the roads in Birmingham run well.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Brum’s a great place to work. It’s a large vibrant city, without the scale that makes London overpowering. From a business point of view the road network connecting to the surrounding counties is good. Birmingham also has a friendly feel and when you meet clients, you often find they know people you know.
I tend to take a tea break when I’m out on the road, so I might go to Beckett’s Farm just off the A435. I also like to pick up fruit and an occasional sweet treat from the farm shop.
I’m in the habit of getting a salad box from Stones Deli at Five Ways. The selection is good, the staff are chatty and it does really good homemade soups. If I’m taking a client to lunch tend to head down the Hagley Road to a pub, or perhaps ASK.
Just behind our saleroom is the canal leading up into the city, so when I need to stretch my legs I go there. I have always liked walking the canals, even when in the past Birmingham didn’t look after them. I studied history at university and this makes me appreciate them as amazing engineering feats.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I am a sports fan, so Edgbaston cricket ground is high on the list and I must praise the new stand. I also love to watch the tennis at the Priory Club and again can’t praise the new chief executive there enough. For Birmingham to compete with other cities it needs world class sport to raise its profile and bring people to the city.
I’m not much of a drinker. But if I’m looking for a quiet drink with my wife and children, I’d probably pop down to Kings Heath sports club, where the guest beers are pretty good, and the children can run round the cricket pitch.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I think the city must look at cycle routes and make bicycles a priority. The bike as a way of accessing the city and getting around scores on many levels, health, environment etc. You can see in the Skyride and similar events the new age of the bike has arrived and with post Olympics spirit to get into sport and exercise the city should spend a few million and make the needed changes.