40th/50th/60th anniversary of Solihull Borough

Solihull is unique in being the only former Rural District (1894-1932) to have grown to the status of Metropolitan Borough in its own right.

2014 marks 60 years since HRH Princess Margaret visited Solihull to present the then Urban District (1932-54) with a Royal Charter of Incorporation as a Borough.

Solihull's Mace
The Mace is the symbol of Royal authority, delegated to the Mayor

Just ten years later, “the village”, as most Silhillians still called it, had grown to such an extent that the Municipal Borough served a population of 100,000. This was considered sufficient to become a County Borough in 1964, and take on responsibilities previously carried out for residents by the County Council.

Another ten years on, and 1974 saw the effect of the Local Government Act 1972, which re-organised local authorities and saw Solihull County Borough merge with Meriden Rural District and Hockley Heath Parish to form the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull we have today.

All this makes 2014 a special year for us: a 40th, 50th and 60th anniversary!

We’re hoping that you’ll be able to tell us your memories of the events in 1954, 1964, and 1974 that marked the rise of Solihull from an Urban District to a Metropolitan Borough.

Post your memories here, or e-mail heritage@solihull.gov.uk.


7 thoughts on “40th/50th/60th anniversary of Solihull Borough

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  1. I was a pupil at Ruckleigh School from 1955 to 1960 and I remember the Queen visiting Solihull. The whole school lined up on Lode Lane and waved to her as the royal car drove past.

    I have many memories of Solihull in the 1950’s and 1960’s before Mell Square. There was a school outfitters shop on Warwick Road and a few doors down was Kunzles cake shop on the corner of Warwick Road and Poplar Road. There was also a doctors surgery on Warwick Road, which is now an opticians.

    My mother used to meet us from school and take us to tea at Rima’s which was in Drury Lane, this was a lovely little cafe with a large paved forecourt. In Poplar Road was Paterson’s which sold the best lemon iced buns. A few doors away was Twiggs which was a stationers.

    In the High Street was Woolworths which had wooden floorboards and there were a few butcher shops along there too and Solihull Cinema (now NatWest Bank). There was a lovely old fashioned ladieswear shop called Wardens which was somewhere near to the Cinema.

    I remember in Station Road was a George Masons which I think was the first supermarket in Solihull and also branch of Midland Educational near to the Post Office.

    1. I don’t remember George Mason’s being in Station Road, but certainly remember Barrow’s Stores as I worked there stacking shelves during school breaks in the early ’60’s. There was a very popular record shop next door ( Around the time the Applejacks were the local heroes !)

      1. Don’t remember Barrows, but there was a Midland Educational in Station Rd and later in the 60’s a coffee bar called Frestens. Yes remember the record shop bit not the name. Used to buy my singles there!

    2. Sorry , but i have to tell you that tha Rima tea shop as it was known was in Mill lane I used to live in the row of cottages opposite in no 6,

  2. I was born in Solihull went to Coppice Rd Junior School then Lode Heath School.Iremember Solihull when it was a village.The picture House.The open air swimming baths where I learned to swim,Going to Hampton Coppice Wood Bluebell picking.Potato picking at Markams Farm I Damson Lane.Where Apres club is in Poplar road this used to be The Gospel Hall Church where I attended for many years there used to be open air meetings after the Sunday evening service I went to Sunday school at the Manor House.Solihull Picture House where we used ask a grown up to take us in if it was a x rated film.Dancing at the George Hotel.Dancing on the green in Solihull Park at Carnival times paddling in the large pool that used to be there ,you can still see where it used to be Oh happy days I could go on forever. Yours Truly Mrs G Roberts.

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