Local History

For a Quick Search for articles  – see the Index of Buildings and Places and the Moseley People page

The Society has an active and enthusiastic History Group which carries out research on local history topics and organises talks, walks and visits.  The Group has built up an extensive Collection of  archived and catalogued documents, photographs and artefacts relating to Moseley’s history, which are used in our research.  For more details, visit the About the History Group page and the Moseley History Collection page.  To contact us send an email to our new email address –  moseleyhistory@gmail.com(Please use this new address in future although any mail sent to our old Exchange address will be temporarily forwarded on.)  There are many opportunities for further interesting research and we welcome new volunteers.  To find out more or to join our group, click here.

Programme for 2019-2020

 Click here to read Moseley Society Programme Card for 2019-20. The Programme includes many talks on a history related theme.

The next event in the Programme will be an afternoon meeting at 2.00pm on Thursday 6th February. The Moseley History Group will give a talk on WW1 entitled “So close, but so far away”.  This will feature the latest research by the Group on four local men, of whom two died just days before the Armistice and two survived the war, one never to return to these shores and the other who did, only to die a week later from the Spanish flu.

As usual, refreshments will be served after the meeting and members are invited to bring guests. Donations toward costs will be welcomed.

Recent Additions to the website

 New – Memories of growing up in Moseley 70 or more years ago, with references to Moseley C. of E. School, the Carnegie Boys Club and the Kingsway Cinema among other places, are described in two new articles on the Moseley Life and Memories page by Colin Precious and Robert Hitchman. There is also a new article by Jenny Hodder describing her memories of working as a midwife at Sorrento Maternity Hospital and another by Ann Flynn giving us her recollections of life as an orderly at Sorrento .

NewThe article on Second Lieutenant Alastair MacNiven, a Birmingham solicitor killed in 1917, has been updated with added  family photographs.

New – There is a new article on Captain Arnold Hardy-Smith, the nephew of the first Lord Mayor of the City of Birmingham and one of two men commemorated on the St Mary’s war memorial who were killed in 1919. After serving with the elite Paget’s Horse in the Second Boer War, he enlisted in the 16th Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the outbreak of WW1 and went to France with them on 21st November 1915. He was greatly affected by the death of his fellow officer Captain George Frederick Victor Heaven on 25th February 1916 and returned to Britain suffering from neurasthenia. In December 1917  he was posted to Salonika where he died of Enteric B fever on 16th May 1919.

New –  A new article has been added about Able Seaman Leonard Gwynne Coslett , who served aboard the HMS Cornwallis during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 and was killed supporting troops landing on S Beach. He is commemorated on the war memorial at the Calvary Church of God in Christ. There is also an updated article on Private Harry Bunce  with copies of letters which he wrote home to his wife Rose during his military service.  A report on the service at St Mary’s on 17 October 2019 commemorating those who died at Gallipoli and other stories can be read on  the World War 1 Project page.    

New – Copies of all the articles from Some Moseley Personalities Volume 1 and Volume 2 are now available to read on the Moseley People page.

New – The type and variety of shops in Moseley village has changed dramatically over the past century. Lists of shops in Moseley Village Centre in 1907, 1981 and 2017 enable comparisons to be drawn on a building by building basis. See the Shops and Businesses section of the Buildings and Businesses web page.


New Acquisitions

The History Group has recently received a generous donation of seventeen books about the history of Birmingham with many references to Moseley including photographs. Click here for details of these new acquisitions.


Mappa Moseley project by Andy_Underscore

Andy_Underscore has been carrying out some very interesting work digitising the 1838 tithe maps of the Kings Norton Parish, including the land use and names of the land parcels as they appear in the accompanying tithe book (both of which are available to view in Birmingham Library).  The map is still work in progress but the eventual aim is to map the entirety of the Parish of Kings Norton (of which Moseley, Kings Heath, Stirchley, Cotteridge were all part of before they became part of Birmingham).  To find out more about this project visit https://andyunderscore.com/maps/


History Group’s appearance on BBC Midlands Today

On Thursday 29th June  Linda and Graham Richards from the USA visited the History Group to present us with a photograph of Second Lieutenant William Furse which Graham bought in a Stratford-on-Avon antique shop 15 years ago.  BBC Midlands Today were there to film the event which was broadcast on that evening’s news programme. Click HERE   to read more.

Donation of bills and receipts

We have received a donation of bills and receipts from the 1940s-1960s for shops in Moseley and Kings Heath which belonged to Margaret Gilbert of School Road and which shed interesting insights on the period. For example there are many bills/receipts for George J Mason Ltd., Grocers & Provisions, a shop many of you might remember.

Along with these we have been given a Book of the Minutes of the National Council for Women Birmingham Branch for 1945-6 to 1954 which also contains lists of Officers of the Council.

We have catalogued these items, but we are looking for someone interested in doing some further research on them.




 The History Group is currently running a project on World War 1 and has started a new project on Wintersloe School   If you would like to join in or read more, visit our Projects  page.

The History of Moor Green Allotments web page, resulting from a previous History Group project, provides a link to the official booklet on the history of the allotments, a timeline and web articles showing how allotments developed over the past 250 years, together with an account of the 40th Anniversary Celebration Show at Moor Green Allotments on  3rd September with the Lord Mayor as guest of honour.

Blood’s Map of Birmingham and its Environs (1857) is available to be viewed on the Brief History of Moseley page.

The Birmingham Historic Landscape project is an online source that provides a dynamic representation of how land use in Birmingham has changed over the centuries, overlaying historic maps on to the present day street pattern.  For further information see a presentation on Mapping Birmingham’s Historic Landscape from our evening talk on Tuesday 6th October and   Brief Instructions on how to use Birmingham Historic Landscape mapping system.  You can  access the Birmingham City Council Historic Landscape Characterisation web page (with links to all the mapping pages) by clicking here.


The History of Moseley

Between 1850 and 1910 Moseley developed from a rural village centred around Moseley Hall and St Mary’s Church into a fashionable suburb with fine Victorian houses, many built in the arts and crafts style.  To read more see a Brief History of Moseley.

Articles on Moseley and its history have been organised under three pages:  Buildings and Businesses, Moseley People and Moseley Life and Memories.  Click to read more.