Viewing documents at The Core

We always aim to do our best to help with any queries relating to local history in connection with places in the Solihull Borough or former Rural District, but please book in advance of visiting The Core Library, if you need to view any books, photos, maps or archive documents.

This means we can ensure that you don’t have a wasted journey and that there is someone available to help you.

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Solihull Gas Works

The first general ordinary meeting of the shareholders of the Solihull Gas Company Ltd was held at Solihull Town Hall, The Square, at 10am on 20th October 1869. The limited liability company was formed by a number of local people who wanted gas and the company started with capital of £2,500.

Land was purchased in Wharf Lane and the gas works was built on this site adjoining the canal – presumably to keep the smell and smoke away from residential areas. There were very few houses in the vicinity at the time – the whole area around Lode Lane and Elmdon Heath was farmland.

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Caribbean Family History Group

In 2006/7, Solihull Libraries, working in partnership with Solihull College, ran a series of 10-week family history courses for people tracing ancestors from the Caribbean. We believe these to have been the first full-length courses in the UK for Caribbean family history. The courses were free to attend as a result of funding from the European Social Fund’s Equal Engage programme. When the funding came to an end in 2007, the tutors and some of the learners decided to continue as a family history group and have been meeting at the library ever since.

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“Horse and His Master” statue

The Grade II-listed hollow bronze statue in Malvern Park is by notable Victorian sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890) and was cast by H. Young & Co., Pimlico. Boehm was born in Austria to Hungarian parents but settled in England in 1862 and became a British subject three years later. He became the favourite sculptor of the Royal Family. The Horse and His Master statue was created in 1874 and from c.1904-1953 it stood on the lawn in front of Tudor Grange (as pictured above c.1910) before its removal to Malvern Park.

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Jake Jacob: “nothing was easy”

Born in Trinidad in 1925, Prince Albert Jacob left his homeland at the age of 17½ to serve with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War. Returning to Britain after being demobbed, he worked hard and overcame enormous difficulties, including discrimination and racial abuse, to have a successful career with the Post Office and represent Great Britain in athletics. After living in various Midlands towns since 1948, he and his wife settled in Knowle where they have lived for almost 50 years.

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Northmede

Northmede was a Victorian house that stood in grounds between Station Road and Warwick Road, Solihull. Built in the mid-19th century as a private house, the building became Solihull Nursing Home in the early 20th century before being demolished in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

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