Local History

Try our Quiz!

This quiz was kindly prepared by Laurie Calcutt, who has put his time inside during the Covid-19 lock-down to good use. How well do you know Moseley and Kings Heath?
Try our Quiz here.  When you have finished it, you can check out the answers through a link on our Projects page.

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

Following the Government’s advice on avoiding large gatherings in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Moseley Society has regrettably decided to cancel the talk planned for Tuesday 28 April. It is hoped to reschedule this talk for inclusion in our next Programme starting in October 2020, planning for which has already begun.

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

Recent Additions to the website

 New – A full and comprehensive account has been added of the life of John Avins , a successful Birmingham businessman and notable philanthropist who lived at Highfield House, Church Road and made a significant contribution to Moseley life

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 in a conversation with Linda Gresham along with two of her two of her poems about Sorrento.

New – The collection of articles about men killed in WW1 who are commemorated on the St Mary’s War Memorial is now complete with an addition of a final article on Air Mechanic 1st Class Arthur Perry RFC  who survived the war but not the peace.  A mechanic in the motor cycle division of the RFC, he died on 1st March 1919 from the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. There is also an article on Captain Arnold Hardy-Smith, who after serving in France was posted to Salonika in December 1917 where he died of Enteric B fever on 16th May 1919.  The article on Second Lieutenant Philip Eric Edkins,  who died in the Somme Campaign in July 1916, has been updated to include details of his childhood in Southampton.

New –  An article was recently added on 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 and there is 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

Two copies of a  book of poetry by T Ewart Mitton, have been donated to our Collection.  It was recently republished at the instigation of Patrick Fuller, the great-grandson of Mabel Mitton, J.R.R. Tolkien’s sister.  See also the article on the wartime activities of Lieutenant T Ewart Mitton ,who was killed in December 1917.

The History Group has 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.