History

  • History

    ‘The History of Kings Heath Park’ website

    There’s a flyer of the Kings Heath Park noticeboard that I’ve been meaning to follow up, and am glad that I’ve finally got round to it. The History of Kings Heath Park is a personal effort by Ken Pugh, written very clearly and laid out with several very nice photographs. Dear Reader, Thank you for visiting this site. My great grandfather, Josiah Thomas Horton, was the first Park-keeper at Selly Oak and lived in the Park Lodge in Gibbins Road from 1899 until he retired in 1928. He had started work at the Park in 1898 when, as a gardener, he was transferred from Queen’s Park, the park recently opened…

  • History,  Imagery

    Tracing Historic Field Boundaries

    Do you know that most of Highbury Park was once fields, and that many of the fields had names? Do you also know that many of the field boundaries are still visible? Would you like to explore these old boundaries and help us figure out the old field names? We have some info, but could do with more, and would be happy to hear from you if you want to help investigate. Here’s a map of the 1840 tithe map boundaries overlaid on a satellite photo. The full size version is here. Do you see any boundaries along tree lines, streams, or other natural features? Some of the old field…

  • Events,  History

    Advance Notice: Chamberlain Family Letters – ‘from Empire to Appeasement’

    A date for your diary: Wednesday 26th January, 7pm Chamberlain Family Letters – ‘from Empire to Appeasement’ The Kitchen Garden Cafe, 17 York Road, Kings Heath, B14 7SA Highbury Park Friends present a fascinating talk by Peter Marsh, Honorary Professor of History at Birmingham University, based on his new book – ‘The Chamberlain Litany’ – which is an extraordinary analysis of over 10,000 letters between Chamberlain family members, over a 65 year period, including family discussions of major nineteenth and twentieth century events. This is as close as you can get to observing the lives of this famous local family, who produced three leading statesmen in two generations, an unrivalled…

  • Conservation,  History,  Nature,  work party

    Clearing!

    Restoration works You may have heard about plans to do some restoration work at the Italian Garden, and the viewing platform just below Chamberlain House. The Italian Garden project has been under discussion for a few months, between the Landscape Practice Group (LPG), the Trust & Charities Committee, Cllr. Mullaney, Phillada Ballard (historian) and others, including us. The plan is to bid for somewhere between £50k and £100k bid to restore part of the Italian Garden, mainly the balustrade and pergola, via English Heritage and perhaps Heritage Lottery. The English Heritage Grants for Historic Buildings, Monuments and Designed Landscapes seems a likely prospect. In order to develop a project budget,…

  • History,  Imagery,  News

    Bricks

    John Timothy of Quadron offered to have Rob (park keeper) work with me this morning. When I turned up, Rob was trying remove a 20 foot chestnut limb that had fallen next to the Oak Tree pond. The two of us went at it with a billhook and bow saw, and managed to get it off the path. We then went up to the massive and ever-growing compost pile on the original Chamberlain Drive to look for the bricks he’d set to one side of the drive. The amount of new compost is so extensive that it seems to have buried whatever he’d taken there. So we need to think…

  • History,  Imagery

    Not So Long Ago…

    it was known as Uffculme Park, apparently all the way to Dad’s Lane. Scans of old postcards sent to us by Dave Ludlow show the gazebo next to what’s now the car park, plus two points along the main footpath. Whilst the major elements (gazebo, trees) are of interest, so are the minor features, such as the walkway construction. Have a look at the path and its edges, for example, the number of benches, and what might be a separate footpath. This one is really intriguing because it looks like these might be the same trees now as when the photo was taken. It looks like the bowling green hedge…

  • Henbury,  History

    Henburys History

    We’ve been hearing recently from Dave Ludlow in relation to his ancestors who lived at the Henburys. Dave has sent us a copy of an obituary for George Frederick Lyndon, including a transcription. Mr. Lyndon was both accomplished and a man of wide-ranging interests, and seems to have been connected with many local institutions or noteworthy activities. “Mr. Lyndon, who was aged 83, was the son of Mr. Walter A. Lyndon, who lived at the Henburys, which estate now forms part of Uffculme Park.” W.A. Lyndon founded local edge tool firm Minerva Works at Fazeley Street, and G.F. Lyndon inherited both the business and the family home at Kings Heath,…

  • Events,  History,  Organisations

    ‘Plant Hunters, Parks and Gardens’ – University of Birmingham

    On Saturday 27th March 2010, from 10:00-4:30, a Day School is being held at the Centre for West Midlands History, University of Birmingham on ‘Plant Hunters, Parks and Gardens’. One of the speakers is Highbury landscape survey author Phillada Ballard, who will be talking about the history of Highbury Park. Other speakers are David Lambert and Simon Gulliver. This lecture responds to the growing momentum to promote the importance of heritage parks in Birmingham. Further details can be found at:Plant Hunters, Parks and Gardens: Developments in Garden History in Birmingham and the Midlands This event is part of the University Of Birmingham Day Schools and Evening Classes programme. A brochure…