England

The West Midlands: Your Questions answered

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Media captionAsk us your questions about where you live

All week you have been using Your Questions to tell us what you have always wanted to know about the West Midlands.

You have asked us to investigate an abandoned Jewish cemetery locked inside Birmingham city centre.

We examined whether Hereford is an earthquake hotspot and if Cheshire cheese could have started life in Shropshire.

Here is how we have got on with answering some of your questions.


Sue Heath from Telford asked us to investigate an abandoned Jewish cemetery in the centre of Birmingham.

It lies unnoticed, hidden between three lanes of traffic, a canal and a railway line. Those who know it is there cannot get in as high fences have been put up and the gateway welded shut.

How did this once peaceful and sacred resting place come to be locked and unloved inside Birmingham?

Image copyright Andy Howlett

Mrs Heath discovered the cemetery while working at Selly Oak Trust School in 1994.

"I remember seeing gravestones dated between 1759 and 1762. I have always wondered what it was and why it was abandoned," she said.

Image caption Sue Heath had wondered about the abandoned cemetery since she stumbled across it in 1994 and Keith Rowe told her its history

We were asked: "Has there ever been an earthquake in Hereford?"

Earthquakes have the power to shake cities to the ground, yet in the UK about 200 a year rumble under our feet mostly unnoticed. Your Questions led us to investigate earthquakes in Herefordshire - where one expert thinks the county is a hotspot for these hidden tremors.

Image copyright British Geological Survey
Image caption The seismograph station in Michaelchurch, Herefordshire measures the magnitude of earthquakes

We were asked: "Why were police cars in Broad Street Bromsgrove at 8pm on Monday?"

West Mercia Police was called at 19:40 BST to reports of an altercation involving two groups of young people.

A spokesman said some of the 20 to 30 individuals were being "verbally aggressive".

"Several officers were dispatched and a 17-year-old man from Bromsgrove was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. He has been released on bail."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Police were called to Broad Street in Bromsgrove at 19:40 on Monday

Garry Dulson asked: "Is it true that Cheshire cheese was first made in Shropshire?"

It's a very difficult one to answer, because it's not even clear when Cheshire cheese was first created.

Doubts have been cast on claims it is mentioned in the Domesday book, although the British Cheese Board says there is evidence that cheese-making might have started in Chester in Roman times.

Image copyright BBC Food
Image caption Cheshire Cheese gets its distinctive taste from grass eaten by cows on the salt-rich Cheshire plain

We asked Alison Taylor of Whitchurch-based Belton Cheese, which has won many awards for its Cheshire variety.

She explained the cheese gets its distinctive taste from grass eaten by cows on the salt-rich Cheshire Plain and while the majority of it sits in Cheshire, it extends into north Shropshire.

So it is possible the first recognisable Cheshire could have been made in Shropshire.

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