On the afternoon of Sunday 5th December 1880, John Gateley, a 25-year-old unmarried cowman employed at a Stechford farm, was fatally shot whilst in the yard at the back of the Gardeners’ Arms, High Street, Solihull.Continue reading “Murder at Solihull 1880”
The Birmingham Gazette 29th March 1935 contains a report of the opening of Solihull Magistrates’ Court, Warwick Road, Solihull on the previous day. The first case called was that of a householder who was summoned for having her chimney on fire. She was told that “as it was the first case heard in the court, it would be dismissed.”
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.Continue reading “St Alphege 800”
It’s said that a ghost haunts the historic Malvern Hall in Solihull. There are reports of a ghost being seen on the stairwell in the early hours of the morning. The luminous figure apparently appears around midnight and descends the staircase before disappearing.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
On 1st September 2020, Saint Martin’s School merge with Solihull School, so Malvern Hall now houses its fourth educational establishment – Solihull Preparadtory School. It seems timely to look back at the schools that have occupied this stately home over the last 70 years.
On 20th May 1936, what we would now call a sham marriage, or a marriage of convenience, took place at the office of Solihull’s Superintendent Registrar, which was then situated above shops on the corner of Warwick Road and Poplar Road in Solihull.
The groom was a gay writer living in Dorridge and the bride was a German-Jewish actress. The reason for the marriage was simply to enable the bride to obtain British citizenship. The couple hadn’t met each other before their wedding day and couldn’t actually speak the same language. As far as is known, they didn’t meet again after their wedding day, although they remained married for the rest of their lives.