YAPC::Europe::2006 - The Venue & Around Birmingham Posted by Barbie on Tue May 02 18:41:58 2006

30th August - 1st September 2006
Birmingham, UK

Welcome to our fourth official bulletin from the organisers of the 2006 YAPC::Europe Perl Conference in Birmingham.

The Venue

We have a venue!

Following an exceedingly long venue review process, which we all hope we never have to go through again ... ever, we finally settled on a city centre venue, which is more than happy to accommodate us for the week.

The chosen venue is The CSBO Centre, which is just off Broad Street, on the main south western corridor out of the Birmingham City Centre. The city centre itself is a short 5 minute walk, and New Street station is only a 10-15 minutes walk away.

The venue was built to house the offices and rehearsal space for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, but is also the perfect concert venue for many intimate performances from recitals to jazz concerts. The building houses meeting rooms and studios, which have been put at our disposal for the duration of the conference, so we plan to make good use of them. Although, fear not you'll not have sit through any attempts by members of to play a musical instrument ... or sing! Although we hear there are interesting plans afoot for something musical (or at least approaching it) from another Perl Monger group.

Call for Sponsors

Every YAPC::Europe conference has happened thanks to contributions for sponsors, and this year is no different. A couple of sponsors have stepped forward already, for which we are exceptionally grateful for, but we still need more to help us out with the finances. We are still looking for room sponsorship among many other items, so if you or your company is interested in raising your profile and contributing to a great Open Source conference opportunity, then please get in touch. A sponsor prospectus and an application form are available on request.

Around Birmingham

Birmingham is blessed with having some very interesting places to visit during your stay in the city. Many of which are only a short bus ride away.

Located in Bournville, George Cadbury's factory was built, together with the surrounding houses, as an example to how a community could be built. The Bournville Village Trust is still responsible for all planning permission, and as such the houses and buildings have barely changed since they were built for the workers at Cadbury's. There still isn't a public house (pub) anywhere in Bournville.

The Cadbury World tour includes the history of chocolate, the Cadbury company and chocolate making. The tour also consists of a walk around the factory along a designated path to see the processes of chocolate production. The tour itself takes about 1¾ hours, but with the Cadbury Collection Museum, shops, restaurant and play area at the end of the tour, it'll be more like 3 hours!

Located in Brindleyplace, on the opposite side of the canal from the National Indoor Arena. The National Sea Life Centre houses over 4,500 sea and freshwater creatures, and was the first in the world to host a 360 perspective completely transparent walkway through the main aquarium.

Sarehole Mill & Perrott's Folly are located in Hall Green and Edgbaston respectively, with a couple of bus rides between them, are a must for an afternoon's adventure if you're into all things Tolkien. The complete Tolkien Trail covers several areas around Birmingham and would take longer than a day without your own transport to see them all.

Sarehole Mill, was part of the inspiration for The Shire. The neighbouring nursery takes the name of The Shires in Tolkiens honour. Sarehole Mill is open Tuesday to Sunday and is a classic example of an old water mill from the 18th century. It was a childhood haunt of Tolkien's, when Sarehole was a mere village.

Perrott's Folly and The Water Tower, were the inspiration for the Two Towers book of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, when he lived nearby. Perrott's Folly is not open to the public any more, and is used by Birmingham University for meterlogical experiments and observations. The folly was originally built by John Perrott in 1758, and despite much speculation, no-one knows exactly why. Incidentally 3 of John Perrott's direct descendants will be attending part of the conference.

There are Tolkien Trail leaflets available from the Central Library, which enable you to visit many of the places where Tolkien lived and grew up. Many of which helped to inspire several places and characters in Middle Earth.

Millennium Point is a huge and dramatic building which houses Thinktank, the Birmingham museum of science and discovery, the region's first large format IMAX® Theatre and the Technology Innovation Centre. There's plenty of fun for all the family.

Take a step back to see how life used to be around Birmingham and the West Midlands. The area west of Birmingham was originally known as The Black Country, due to the permanent black cloud of soot that hung in the air from the chimneys of the foundaries in the area.

The Black Country Living Museum has recreated buildings from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought to life by costumed demonstrators and trained educational guides. The museum occupies a twenty six acre urban heritage park in the shadow of Dudley Castle. Electric tramcars and trolleybuses transport visitors from the entrance in a recreated factory to the village area with thirty buildings situated by the canal basin. The Black Country Museum currently contains around 40,000 items in its various collections.

These are just a few of the attractions that can be easily reached by bus or walking. We'll be featuring more attractions slightly further afield in announcements to come.


Should you wish to contact us, there is an email address available for direct contact, where you can mail us with your questions and suggestions. There is also the regular YAPC::Europe conference mailing list, which is open to all.

That's all for this release. Look out for more news and announcements in the future.

The Birmingham 2006 Organisers