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Welcome to Balsall Heath Local History Society

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  • The magnificent  Baths and Library remain a proud feature of Balsall Heath

Our  image based collection is at Digital Balsall Heath . For hundreds of Balsall Heath images (and new ones added every week) go to Digital Balsall Heath. You can also find us on Facebook at Balsall Heath Local History Society.

Over the last 30 years the Society has grown from strength to strength. We  have a Victorian Schoolroom and a Second World War Classroom, a fascinating range of publications, some interesting projects and active participation in local events .

Our History Base at St Paul's Venture is open to visitors by appointment every monday or tuesday by prior booking. Either email valhart1@googlemail.com or ring 0121 689 2584 to arrange a visit.

Our monthly meetings are held at St Paul's Venture, Malvern St. off Clifton Road, Balsall Heath, on the last Thursday of most months. The 2015 meetings are on the meetings page.

Why not come along? Visitors and new members are always welcome. We make a charge of £2 for visitors.

2017 Meetings programme updated

The Victorian  and World War Two Classroom has now moved to Northfield. We will be open for bookings from January

Our Victorian Classroom sessions are extremely well received. A recent school visit reported that:
  • The activities were very engaging. 
  • The children had hands-on experience with artefacts. 
  • They were able to experience a Victorian classroom, it gave them a good insight. 
  • Children were engaged all the time. 
  • There was learning happening throughout the sessions.
  • The quiz was very good and challenged the children.
  • An amazing experience, the children thoroughly enjoyed their time
  • All staff were fantastic with smiley faces.

Read more about what is on offerVictorian Classroom

 More additions to the Legends of Balsall Heath page

Our first ladies make an appearance this time around, along with two more gentlemen of note. It is a very diverse collection of people we have building up on this page! (Legends of Balsall Heath)

New pages -  Balsall Heath on postcards

George Inwood GC of Balsall Heath

Inwood

Research has picked up that Home Guard Section Leader George Inwood (aged 34), who was awarded the George Cross for rescuing several people from a gas filled cellar in Bishop Street, was from Edward Road in Balsall Heath.

Bishop Street runs parallel to Sherlock Street, down near Bristol Street. There are still many old buildings left there and visiting it now it is easy to imagine the events on the evening of Tuesday 15th October 1940. Inwood knew the risk to his own life in continuing the rescue attempts in the cellar, but he carried on regardless. It was this devotion to duty and sacrifice which earned him the posthumous award – a year later. He was buried in Yardley Cemetery, his gravestone carrying a George Cross design. His George Cross was donated to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Canal walk "through time" in  2017

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A walk along the canal towpath from Bournville to Kings Norton.. This was a historical drama trail with music and  was accompanied by a canal boat. 

A Blue Plaque for Balsall Heath

On Monday, September 22nd  2015 a Blue Plaque was unveiled in honour of John Bowen,( 1844 to 1926), a renowned builder who had his works in George Street. The plaque is  now installed  at Ark Tindal School - built by Bowen.

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David Bradnock (Deputy Lord Lieutenant), Tim Watts (High Sheriff for West Midlands), Philip Bowen (High Sheriff Powys), and Michael Hogan (Worcestershire's High Sheriff) help launch a Blue plaque in honour of Victorian Birmingham builder John Bowen

The book "Honest John" by Anthony Collins can be bought for £5 plus postage from his website about John Bowen. This is a beautifully put together book and well worth picking up.

http://johnbowen.org/the-book.html

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