18th February 1921

Former Private Leslie William Lively died at home in Shirley on 18th February 1921, aged 29. He was born in Birmingham on 28th May 1891 and was baptised at the parish church of his mother’s home town, Snitterfield, Warwickshire on 2nd August 1891. His parents were William (a painter and decorator) and Ellen (née Tallis), who had married in Hockley in 1890. The parish register lists William and Ellen’s abode at the time of their son’s baptism as Soho parish, Birmingham.

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Kingshurst Hall Estate

The housing development at Kingshurst Hall Estate was the first time that Birmingham Corporation had ever built dwellings outside the city boundaries. It was also the first time that the council had a housing scheme that included owner-occupied housing as well as council housing.

It was an “overspill” housing estate, one of many created in the 1950s on the outskirts of large towns and cities to help relieve overcrowding in urban areas. The intention was to move people from decaying inner cities to better conditions in more rural areas.

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12th February 1921

Henry James Fell, a former Private with the 1/8 Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 12th February 1921 as a result of pneumonia following malaria. Known as Harry, he was born in Knowle in 1892 and was the only child of parents Stephen Henry Fell, a jobbing gardener, and Fanny Rebecca (née Fisher), a charwoman.

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Solihull Post Office Robbery, 1884

On Tuesday 29th January 1884, a man drove a horse and trap up to the Post Office on Solihull High Street and asked the postmistress to cash some postal orders. Whilst she was talking to him, another man in the shop seized £49 in gold from the counter, then jumped into the trap and both men rode off in the direction of Birmingham. A policeman followed them but did not managed to overtake them.

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Paul Oppenheimer MBE (1928-2007)

Paul Oppenheimer was born in Berlin on 20th September 1928 and died on 8th March 2007 after living in the Solihull borough for more than 40 years.

His parents were Jewish but not very religious and, in his autobiography, From Belsen to Buckingham Palace, Paul notes that his middle-class family was quite assimilated, as were most German Jews at the time, considering themselves proud Germans.

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Special education in Solihull

Until Solihull became a County Borough Council on 1st April 1964, the provision of state education in the area was the responsibility of Warwickshire County Council. We’re aware of five special schools in the Solihull urban/metropolitan district, catering for children with physical or learning disabilities:

  • Tudor Grange (later Swanswell)
  • Reynalds Cross
  • Forest Oak
  • Hazel Oak
  • Merstone

In addition, there was also a special school at nearby Packwood Haugh, Warwickshire.

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