King's Heath Local History Society

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Booklets and Publications

From time to time, society members produce articles about interesting events in the history of King's Heath.

Here is a selection for download:


Town Hall Music and Meetings by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 15". Work on the Birmingham Town Hall began in 1832 but that wasn't the start of concerts in Birmingham. They had been taking place since 1768 in a local theatre and at St Philip's Church in order to raise money for the construction of the General Hospital.

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Farms in and around King's Heath by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 13". The area now known as King's Heath was once, as its name implies, heath land which contained a number of farms. This intersting paper looks at the history of these farms with the use of many old maps.

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Old Farms of King's Heath by Andy Bishop.

Another look at the farms of the King's Heath area taken from a talk given by Andy Bishop in 2019. Andy found record of 22 farms and documents some of them in detail.

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Colmore Road Infants’ School 1930 - 1957 by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 9". Following on from Paper 4 (see below) Margaret documents the school's history into the 1950s. This paper has some colour pictures.

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Colmore Road Boys' / Junior School 1909 - 1957 by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 8". The building of the Colmore Road schools, known originally as Grove Road schools, was ordered by Northfield and King's Norton district council in 1908 to alleviate overcrowding in King's Heath school.

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What the journals said about the Chamberlains of Highbury. Edited by Ivor Davies.

"Occasional Paper 6". From 1993. Ivor Davies has compiled a large number of extracts from journals featuring the lives of the Chamberlain family of Highbury. This is Part One "Joseph and Mary Chamberlain".

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Comore Road Girls' School King's Heath 1911 - 1930 by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 5". Written in 1991, this paper follows the school and its staff from their move into purpose built premises in 1911 through to about 1930.

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Colmore Road Infant School King’s Heath 1909 - 1925 by Margaret R. Shepherd.

"Occasional Paper 4". A paper written in 1988 detailing the running of Colmore Road Infant School in the early part of the 20th century.

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Uffculme - Home of Richard Barrow Cadbury - by Gail Pittaway and Julia C Griffin

Over the last hundred years or so, Uffculme has seen service as a home, a hospital and a school in various different specialisms. Following extensive refurbishment, Uffculme is now also one of the region's best training and conference centres.

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Buses and Trams in King’s Heath - Celebrating 130 years of history - by Barry Maddocks

From the first steam trams of 1887 to the famous no. 50 route - reputed to be one of the busiest in Europe - Barry takes a brief look at some of the most significant public transport services that have served King’s Heath over the years.

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Memories of King's Heath In The Second World War compiled by Margaret R. Shepherd

An account of memories of the people of King's Heath during the run up and the development of world war two, including a List of Requirements for a Gas Proof Room and extracts from the log books of local schools.

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Farewell to Colliers. By Diane Hirst.

The name of Phillip Collier became a household word amongst discerning gentlemen and soon his shops were to be found in all parts of the West Midlands. This gentleman's outfitter had it's roots on the High Street of King's Heath.

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Kenneth Hirst gentlemen's outfitter. By Diane Hirst.

Hirst and Sons - later Kenneth Hirst - occupied a prominent position on the High Street until 1973. Diane recalls the family business.

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More Memories of King's Heath life. Compiled by Ivor Davies.

A collection of reminiscences of past and present King's Heathens including the Robinson family (late 19th century), tales of a milkround from the early 20th century and memories of a King's Heath childhood in the 20s and 30s.

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King's Heath Street Names

A presentation delivered to the Society by Andy Bishop and Bob Blackham which studies the origins of the names of some of the streets in King's Heath. It is a very interesting document with many old pictures of the area.

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The History of the Cross Guns by Andy Bishop

The Cross Guns stands on the corner of the busy High Street and Bank Street in Kings Heath. A pub has stood on this same site for over 200 years and played a very important part in the history and the community of Kings Heath.

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The Hare and Hounds by Andy Bishop

Now a vibrant music venue the Hare and Hounds is the second oldest pub in the centre of Kings Heath and this is its story.

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The Grange, King's Heath by S. A. Budd

The Grange was a large mansion built towards the end of the 18th century, shortly after the construction of the Digbeth to Spernal Ash Turnpike Road. The house was situated about two hundred yards west of the Alcester Road that we know today and about four hundred and fifty yards north of Bleak Lane.

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The History of Colmore Road Primary School by Margeret R Shepherd

Colmore Road Infant School began in January 1909 in Kings Heath House in the park and moved to the new premises in Colmore Road in April 1911. The building was taken over as a military hospital in 1915 and staff and pupils moved to join Kings Heath School until 1919.

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Isaac Bate by Andy Bishop

Isaac was a very generous benefactor to King’s Heath. He, along with other wealthy men in King’s Heath, such as Joseph Nettlefold at Kingsfield House (where Saint Dunstan’s now stands), gave their money to build King’s Heath Institute in 1878.

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An information leaflet by the Chamberlain Highbury Trust This new charity was formed in 2015 to restore the house and grounds of the Highbury estate. Full of information and pictures.

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