Dave PinwellHave you always lived in Knowle?

No, having grown up in the South West and spent a decade in South Wales, I first moved to Knowle in 1983 but have now grown permanent roots here in B93.

Did work bring you here?

Yes, I had a long and successful career in IT and Communications within the Manufacturing/Engineering Sector. After taking an early pension from that I have spent the last decade running a Solihull Based charity as its CEO. Colebridge Trust provides specialist services, such as support to secure grant funding, to support other charities and community groups and supports individuals who are furthest from job market on the journey to employment.

Didn’t you write an IT Column in the local paper?

I did. It started in 2004 and only ended at Christmas with the sad demise of the Solihull News. A lot of people assume I was paid for it, but I did it as a volunteer. Back in 2004, being online was a lot less user friendly and many struggled to make the most of the opportunities computers put at their fingertips so I used the column to share some of my knowledge.

You appear to do a lot of volunteering?

Serving the community is a lifelong passion. I started on a small scale whilst at school and did a lot of workplace fundraising for good causes. I chaired a group for over a decade which ran fundraisers and gave an average of £7000 a year to local good causes.

I have held charity Trustee roles for almost twenty years now and my current appointments include Citizens Advice Solihull Borough as well as Knowle Society.

What do you in Knowle Society?

Knowle Society NewsletterI have been a Trustee for about 15 years now and am currently both a Trustee Director and Newsletter (pictured left) Editor.

My contribution over the years reflects my passion for our village and keeping it a great place to live. That does not mean keeping things as they are and being a block to progress, far from it, but it does mean standing up for appropriate change. It also means celebrating the heritage which we are rightly proud to have, as reflected when Knowle village became one of the first ten Conservation Areas ever designated in England, back in 1968.

That is why I was delighted to organise the village’s celebration of 50 years of conservation in 2018, a role which I followed up by leading the teams that ran the Platinum Jiblee celebrations in 2022 and Coronation event in 2023.

I also undertook an advisory and supporting the role in the establishment of the Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath Neighbourhood Forum, whose vital role in the future protection of our area has borne fruit this year.

And most recently, I helped to found Visit Knowle and am one of its volunteer Directors, workin hard to rejuvinate our village centre and protect it from the attrition that is afflicting so many of the nation’s High Streets

And now you have been a Knowle Ward Councillor for three years?

I see the privilege of serving both Knowle and Chadwick End as one of its councillors as a wonderful opportunity to continue serving the community. I was grateful to have been chosen be residents to serve from the May 2021 election, fulfilling my determination to make an ongoing contribution to the future success of this area and its businesses and to the wellbeing and satisfaction of our residents.

I believe that my experience of working in communities across the borough and of working with a host Council officers and liaising with a majority of elected members in the course of that work, combined with my knowledge of and passion for Knowle, has equiped me well for serving the local electorate through these new responsibilities.

Over that three years I have years I have sorted numerous complaints but also had a few ‘big wins’. For instance, one of my first campaigns was triggered by residents who told me during my 2021 campaign of road safety concerns taking childen to school across Tilehouse Green Lane and Widney Road. Now, at last, we have two crossings to keep them all safer.

Finally, what about family and interests?

My wife works in the Civil Service and our son has graduated from York University in 2020 and is now working as a software developer in West London.

My leisure time passions are theatre and walking.  I have led outings in the Knowle Society walks programme and have published a number of walks in the Knowle Society Newsletter and on this website to celebrate the excellent network of footpaths that we have locally.

A Christmas CarolMy wife and I both hope to back to going to the theatre and performing in it, post pandemic. Our favourite venues to see productions are the RSC in Stratford, the Malvern Theatre and the Open Air Theatre at Kilworth. We have both appeared on stage many times in the past in Knowle Village Hall with the Revels Drama Group. The Christmas shows, with a large all age cast have been especially enjoyable, and have given great confidence to the children taking part. Playing Toad in Wind in the Willows and Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (pictured right) have been particular highlights. (Oh, and playing the ‘dame’ in a panto style Beauty and the Beast, that was something else! But, sorry, no pictures!!)

I have been in several shows at (what is now) the Core Theatre, including appearances in the title role of The Milkado and Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady. It is great fun.