Stuart Maconie

Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter, journalist, columnist and author. He is one of the UK’s best-selling travel writers. His book Adventures on the High Teas was the top selling travel book of 2009 and Pies and Prejudice was one of 2008’s top selling paperbacks. His work has been compared with Bill Bryson, Alan Bennett and John Peel and described by The Times as a ‘National Treasure’.

He co-hosts the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 6Music, as well as The Freak Zone and The Freakier Zone on 6Music, and has written and presents dozens of other shows on BBC Radio. His TV work includes presenting the BBC’s On Trial shows, Pop on Trial and Style on Trial, as well as Stuart Maconie’s TV Towns, a popular gazeteer of major British cities and their roles in modern cultural life for ITV 4 and The Cinema Show/The DVD Collection on BBC 4.

His other books include Adventures on the High Teas and the acclaimed official biographies of both Blur and James. He can name GQ Man of the Year and Sony Awards Radio Broadcaster of the Year amongst his accolades.  He lives very near to Warley Woods and he and his partner, Eleanor have been long term supporters of the Trust.

Dame Julie Walters

Dame Julie Walters  was brought up in Smethwick, and is one of the UK’s most popular female entertainers. A successful stage performer, a best-selling author and an award-winning screen actress, Julie Walters is a gifted artist. She has won several British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, a Golden Globe and is an Academy Award nominated actress.


Colin Buchanan

Originally from Dundee, Colin Buchanan is an actor/director, probably best known for the long running BBC detective series Dalziel & Pascoe. Having worked for many years in and around Birmingham, Colin and his family moved from London to Warley Woods at the beginning of 1998. After opening the Picnic in the Park on several occasions, he was invited to become a patron of the Community Trust in 2003, a position he was delighted and honoured to accept. One of these days he might even find the time to start playing golf!


Carl Chinn

Born in Moseley to parents from Sparkbrook and Aston, Carl Chinn grew up in Birmingham and was educated at Moseley School. He initially followed his father and grandfather into bookmaking before entering academia, gaining his Ph.D. in 1986. Professor Carl Chinn MBE Ph.D. is well-known throughout Birmingham and the Black Country as a historian, broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. Carl is the author of 21 books, many of which focus on various aspects of Birmingham’s history.