Aldridge restaurant in tribute to tragic James Brindley - PICTURES and VIDEO
A poignant tribute has been paid to murder victim James Brindley with a painting unveiled at a restaurant in his home town.
Royal Shireens, in High Street, Aldridge, reopened its doors on Wednesday evening following a refurbishment.
It now features a tribute to James.
The restaurant’s owners, Mohammed Shuhid Miah and Jay Miah, invited James’ parents Mark and Beverley Brindley, as well as Walsall mayor, Councillor Marco Longhi, to officially reopen the restaurant, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and unveil the portrait tribute – which is a painting based off a drawing by James’s school friend Sarah Craddock.
A party for James’ friends and family and a candlelit vigil was also held at the restaurant the previous weekend, to celebrate what would have been his 27th birthday.
Budding businessman James was on his way home on June 23 last year, after meeting friends in Aldridge when he was stabbed.
Ammar Kahrod, 17, was convicted for his murder and was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of 17 years.
James’ parents said they were “flattered” by the restaurant’s tribute – and they were starting to make plans for their own tribute in High Street.
Mr Brindley said: “We are very flattered. Shireens have really pushed the boat out for this tribute in memory of James – it gives us a warm feeling.
James would have turned 27 on March 17, and we were all looking forward to him opening up his own business.
“The community have been a big part of the process for us. We have had a lot of support from the community – people have contributed to the fund in memory of James, there has been a lot of activity in the background.
“We are just taking every day as it comes, as much as we can. There won’t ever be closure for us.”
Mrs Brindley added: “James was a loved man. He embraced everyone and would never walk away from anything.
“We want to look at having a permanent memorial here – a garden of reflection nearby. We have got to come up with ideas first – I would like something with water, water is the key to life.”
Royal Shireens owner Mohammed Miah said: “James’ death affected us, our business and the local people in the area.
“We are unveiling a plaque here – so James will be part of our restaurant forever.
“We were the only place open on the night – our staff and team helped on the night. James’ memory will live on here forever now – through us, through the community and through his friends and family.”