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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Evacuees’ School, Herbert Road, Solihull

Shortly after the devastating blitz of Coventry on 14th/15th November 1940, Miss Caroline (“Carrie”) Amelia Morgan (1889-1963), Headmistress of Moseley Avenue School, Coventry, together with a small group of teachers, brought a party of 160 children aged 2-14 to Solihull. The children were billeted in foster homes and, a few weeks after their arrival, schooling began to be provided.

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St Alphege 800

In April 2020 the Heritage Gallery at the Core was meant to house an exhibition celebrating the 800th anniversary of St Alphege Church. The St Alphege 800 Steering Group co-ordinated information from a variety of Christian organisations within Solihull parish to celebrate 800 years of Christianity in the district.

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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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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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