6th October 1920

Sergeant Robert Lyford Radford died in Birmingham on 6th October 1920 and is buried at Robin Hood Cemetery, Solihull. He was born in Bridgwater, Somerset in 1890 and was the fourth of six children of parents Robert Job (a clay worker/potter) and Frances Eliza (née Lyford) who had married in Cheltenham in 1880. Tragically, two of the children – Frances Eliza (1885-1885) and Percy Norman (1894-1895) died as infants.

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30th September 1920

Lieutenant Ralph Heaton Ward, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died in Durham on 30th September 1920. aged 38. He was born in Solihull on 1st June 1882 and was baptised at St Alphege Church, Solihull exactly one month later. His parents were Henry Arthur Ward, a master gunmaker, and Fanny Jane (née Heaton) who had married in Solihull in 1878.

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Malvern Hall and the Greswold, Lewis and Wigley families

Malvern Hall was built some 300 years ago on the site of Malvern Farm. The farm was sold by Robert, Lord Brooke to a Mr Aglionby of Balsall about 1640. Mr Aglionby sold the farm to Job and Ann Murcott in 1657 and they, in turn, sold the estate to the Rev. Henry Greswold (1628-1700) in 1680. It was Henry’s eldest son, Humphrey, who built Malvern Hall.

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26th August 1920

On 26th August 1920, 23-year-old farmer’s assistant, George White, died of tuberculosis in Bramcote Sanatorium, near Nuneaton, two years after the death of his younger brother on active service.

Bramcote Hospital had opened in 1907 as a smallpox hospital but, as there had not been a case treated there by 1912, it was converted in 1913 into a sanatorium for the treatment of those with consumption.

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Town Centre Heritage Trail

In August 2019 staff at the Core Library researched and produced a new town centre heritage trail leaflet for Solihull town centre – the first time for 20 years that such a guide has been available.

The leaflet was printed thanks to support from Touchwood and Solihull BID. Once services resume at The Core (which is currently closed to visitors owing to Covid-19 restrictions) the free leaflet will be available to collect from there.

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V. J. Day in Solihull, 1945

V. J. Day, 15th August 1945, marked the day when the Second World War effectively came to an end as Japan surrendered and all hostilities ceased.

The Warwick County News, 18th August 1945, summarised local events with the headline “Neighbourly co-operation was the keynote of Solihull’s VJ-Day celebrations” and the observation that the day was marked by a “mood of quiet thanksgiving or in the exuberant relief of pent-up feelings according to age or nature.”

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Schools at Malvern Hall

On 13th July 1990 the official opening took place of the new Sixth Form block at Saint Martin’s Girls’ School. The Sixth Form occupied the site of the former stables at Malvern Hall, adjacent to the former Solihull Lido in Malvern Park.

Saint Martin’s School had moved to Malvern Hall, Solihull in 1989 and was the third school to occupy the historic site – the previous two being Solihull High School for Girls (1931-1974) and Malvern Hall Comprehensive School (1974-1989).

In September 2020, Saint Martin’s School will merge with Solihull School, and Malvern Hall will then house its fourth educational establishment – Solihull Preparatory School. It seems timely to look back at the schools that have occupied this stately home over the last 70 years. 

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Kingshurst Hall and the Townshends

By the time of its demolition in 1962, the grade II-listed Kingshurst Hall, believed to have been built in the early 18th century, was in a state of disrepair. It was surrounded by tower blocks on the new Kingshurst Hall Estate, which was built by Birmingham City Council as overspill housing.

The Council had compulsorily purchased Kingshurst Hall and its surrounding farmland, together with other land in Kingshurst,  under the Birmingham (Old Chester Road, Tile Cross &c) Compulsory Purchase Order 1939, which was dated 17th February 1939.

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Old Ordnance Survey maps

If you’ve ever wondered what was previously on the site of your house, or wanted to find out where your ancestors lived, then historic Ordnance Survey (OS) maps are often a good place to start.

Thanks to the freely available maps of England & Wales on the National Library of Scotland (NLS) website, it’s now possible to see some of the old OS maps overlaid onto a modern satellite image, making it much easier to get your bearings.

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