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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“The Berkswell Murder”, 1845

On Wednesday 19th November 1845, Thomas Tranter, a 60-year-old farmer described as  living near Docker’s Gate in the parish of Berkswell, was found murdered in an outbuilding adjoining his home.

The door was locked from the outside and he was found face down in a pool of blood in the doorway, with a sack over his head and a blood-stained bill hook and axe lying next to him. Death was apparently due to a fracture of the skull, caused by a single blow from a blunt instrument, believed to be the head of the axe, which bore some of Thomas Tranter’s grey hairs. Mr Arthur Sargeant, surgeon from Meriden, declared that it would have been quite impossible for the wound to have been self-inflicted.

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Cresta Club, Hobs Moat Road

The Cresta Theatre Club, adjoining the Cresta Ice Rink in Hobs Moat Road, Solihull opened for business at 8pm on Wednesday 16th November 1966, having been granted a six-month licence by Solihull Council on 20th October 1966. The licence allowed for opening from 7pm-11.45pm on weekdays, and 7pm-10.30pm on Sundays. The General Manager was Enrique Campos.

The company – Cresta Theatre Club Ltd – had tried to obtain a licence in April 1966 but the application was rejected following concerns from residents over noise and traffic. There were also claims that existing noise from the ice rink had rendered several nearby homes unsaleable.

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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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