1923 Clippings

Ongoing research; last updated 26 March 2011

15th January 1923 - General Purposes and Allotments Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted the following report:-

Unemployment Relief Works

I beg to submit herewith a schedule containing particulars of the further schemes that have been forwarded to the Town Clerk for submission to the Ministry of Health and the Unemployment Grants Committee in connection with relief works to be paid for out of loan.  These works are those, short particulars of which were submitted to the General Committee at their meeting on the 1st instant, and to the City Council on the 9th instant.  The remarks column of the schedule contains a brief statement in each case as to the utility of the scheme as required by the Unemployment Grants Committee.  The estimates in regard to buildings have been based upon the tenders actually received in respect of the schemes already approved, so far as regards refreshment rooms, latrines, etc.

Selly Oak Park
Labour                          £350
Materials                       £150
Total                             £500
Duration of work            12 weeks
Number of men             12
Remarks                       This work comprises the lay-out including the constructing of roads, paths, drains and gullies and leveling a new portion of the park, possession of which has recently been acquired by the Corporation.

2388   Resolved:-  That the works specified in the schedule containing particulars of the further schemes forwarded to the Town Clerk for submission to the Ministry of Health and the Unemployment Grants Committee be approved, subject to an inspection being made by the Chairman of the General Committee and Alderman George Cadbury Jnr. of the proposed works at Selly Oak Park, and to their being satisfied in respect to such works.

22nd January 1923 - Administration Sub-Committee

The Acting Superintendent submitted the following report:-

Report of Special Inspection Selly Oak Park, Proposed “Lay-out” of Extension, 1923

By appointment, Selly Oak Park was visited on Saturday, January 20th by the Chairman, Mr. Councillor McDonald, Alderman George Cadbury, Councillor Denton & Officials of the Parks Department, with a view to deciding as to proposals suggested by Mr. Farmer (Architectural Assistant).

The old existing drive.  This was considered to be good enough for the time being as to foundation, but the surface should be loosened and regulated as to crown and water channels on either side.  Drains would be necessary at entrance to carry the water away without damage to public footpath and highway outside.

Existing garden and orchard with hedges surrounding to be removed and cleaned so that such area may be included in the playing space.

New path to be made linking up drive from extension to paths in the Park originally laid out.

Shrubbery which formed original boundary to be broken up, using what shrubs were movable for the purpose of a few, and more natural “clumps” to break the flatness.  Screens of trees and suitable shrubs to be planted with a view to obscuring the factories adjacent.

Meter house to be enclosed by shrubs.

Extension of main walk from shelter to join drive in the latest extension.

Shelter to be repaired and painted.

2980   Resolved:- that the carrying out of the works in connection with Unemployment Relief Works specified in the report be approved.

16th April 1923 - General Purposes and Allotments Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted a communication from the Chief Education Officer enclosing copy of a letter he had received from Mr. J.J. Blundell, Headmaster of the Selly Park School asking for football goal posts to remain at Selly Oak Park during April.

2477   Resolved:-  That the application be not acceded to.

16th April 1923 – Finance Sub-Committee

The City Treasurer submitted the following report:-

Expenditure on Capital Account

The Treasurer submits details of expenditure on wages which has been incurred under the following Loan Sanctions:-

Unemployment Relief Works
£14,150 Sanction – Construction of roads etc. (Parks)

(from a list)
Selly Oak Park
Amount sanctioned for wages                                        £350
Expenditure on Wages to 11th April 1923                         £103:  11:  3. 

23rd April 1923 - Administration Sub Committee

On Minute 3073, the Secretary submitted the following reports of the Architectural Assistant (Charles Farmer):-

Gymnasia in various Parks and Recreation Grounds.  General Repairs.

In accordance with instructions, the whole of the apparatus in the various parks and recreation grounds has been examined as far as possible without dismantling, by the representatives of Messrs. Bayliss Jones and Bayliss, with a view to obtaining an approximate estimate of the cost to repair same and put in working order.

The estimated cost of this work is laid before you and the following figures indicate the amount allowed in the current year’s estimates for such works:  (amongst which)

Selly Oak               £20

I understand that the above figures have been reduced by 10% by the Finance Committee.

3115   Resolved:-  That the new gymnastic apparatus be not supplied to Oxygen Street and Communication Row, that the question of repair of the existing apparatus in the various parks and recreation grounds be deferred with a view to further estimates being obtained and that the acceptance of tenders for new apparatus be left to the Chairman of the General Committee and the Chairmen of the General Purposes and Finance Sub-Committees.

Selly Oak Park, Bandstand

This bandstand is in a dilapidated condition and has not been painted for many years.  The paving should be taken up and consolidated before being asphalted again upon reinforced foundation.  The estimated cost to carry out this work and the necessary repairs is £10 for materials and £15 for labour.

3121   Resolved:-  That the repairs to the bandstand at Selly Oak Park referred to in the report of the Architectural Assistant at an estimated cost of £10 for materials and £15 for labour be approved.

Selly Oak Park, Latrines

The latrines require to be painted inside and out and I would suggest that if the shelter is painted this work could be done at the same time at an estimated cost of £5 for materials and £10 for labour.

3122   Resolved:- That the latrines at Selly Oak Park be painted inside and outside at the estimated cost of £5 for materials and £10 for labour.

Selly Oak Park, Public Shelter

This public shelter has not been painted for many years and in places the timber is bare to the grain and rotting.  The estimated cost of the essential repairs is £25 for materials and £40 for labour.  The latter amount is allowed for in the estimates and will be covered if the work is carried out by our own artizan (sic) staff.

3123   Resolved:-  That the painting of the public shelter at Selly Oak Park be carried out at the estimated cost of £25 for materials and £40 for labour, the work to be done by the artisan staff of the Department.

A communication was submitted from the Selly Oak and Bournbrook Children’s Christmas and Summer Party Fund applying for the use of Selly Oak Park on Saturday, 23rd June, the park to be closed to the public after 5 p.m. as on former occasions.

3156   Resolved:-  That the application be acceded to on the same conditions as last year.

A communication was submitted from the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd. stating that the wicket gate which the Committee agreed to fix in the Selly Oak Park extension had not yet been fixed.  The Chairman of the General Committee pointed out that this matter was very urgent in view of the Committee’s promise to have the work done, and he had given instructions to the Architectural Assistant to have the work proceeded with at once.

3167   Resolved:-  That the action of the Chairman be confirmed and the Architectural Assistant instructed to report to the Chairman when the work is completed.

8th May 1923 - General Purposes and Allotments Sub-Committee

A communication was submitted from Mr. F.A. Banner complaining of the condition of the woods used on the bowling green at Selly Oak Park.

2512   Resolved:-  That Mr. Banner be informed the woods are receiving attention.

A communication was submitted from the Head Teacher of the Harborne Lane Council Schools, Selly Oak, asking for permission to use a portion of Selly Oak Park for organized games as follows:-

Fridays from 3.30 to 4.30 p.m.
Various evenings from 4.40 to 5.30
Occasionally on Saturday mornings for a cricket match.

2518   Resolved:-  That the application be acceded to.

19th May 1923 – Birmingham News

District News
Selly Oak and Bournbrook

Children’s Summer Fete – The Committee of the Selly Oak Children’s Christmas Tree and Summer Fete Fund, held a meeting at the Selly Oak Institute, on Wednesday, when Mr. C. Harbun (the president) was in the chair, and was supported by Mr. T. Pinson (vice-president), and Mr. Hy. Roberts (treasurer).  It was decided that the annual summer fete should take place on Saturday, June 23rd, in the Selly Oak Park, and an excellent programme is being arranged.  A procession with three bands will parade the district, afterwards proceeding to the Park for tea and sports, including a Maypole dance and a performance by the boys of Hubert Road School, winners of the premier prize in the recent Midland Competition Festival.  Scholars from the Raddlebarn Road, St. Edward’s and other schools in the district will take part as usual.  The members of the committee are making their usual annual collections for the fund, and it is hoped that the residents of the district will heartily respond, and so enable the committee to give the children a really good treat.  Subscriptions will be gladly received by Mr. C. Harbun (president), High Street, Bournbrook, and Mr. H. Roberts (treasurer), 11, Bornbrook Road.

28th May 1923 - Administration Sub Committee

The Secretary submitted the following reports:

Selly Oak Park

I beg to report that an application has been received from Miss Caroline Cadbury on behalf of the Selly Oak British Women’s Temperance Association, for permission to sell refreshments, such as lemonade and buns in Selly Oak Park on Whit Monday.  I understand it is proposed to supply the refreshments from a hand cart, and that if it is possible, tea will also be supplied.  The permission asked for has been granted.

A communication was submitted from Mr. P. Collins applying for permission to use a portion of Selly Oak Park for his amusements on June 14-18th inclusive.

3227   Resolved:-  That the application be not entertained.

28th May 1923 - Administration Sub-Committee

A communication was submitted from the Juvenile Organisations Committee, calling attention to the inadequacy of dressing room accommodation for football teams playing in the parks, particularly at Lightwoods and Selly Oak Parks.

The Chairman referred to the dressing accommodation at Summerfield Park, and suggested that the dressing rooms under the bandstand might be used by football clubs during the football season.

3473   Resolved:-  That arrangements be made for the dressing rooms under the bandstand at Summerfield Park to be made available as dressing rooms for football teams playing in that park, at the usual charge, and that if possible, provision be made in the estimates for the next financial year in regard to dressing rooms at other parks, and that the Birmingham Juvenile Organisations Committee be informed the matter was receiving attention.

7th June 1923  -  Report from the Parks Department

Mr. Albert Gilbert commenced work in the park as a park labourer.

Register of Parks Employees and Officials[1]

Register no.:     170
Name:     Gilbert, Albert Edward
Date of Birth:     2.8.1887
Date of entering service of Parks Department:     7.6.1923  
Park or Cemetery at which employed:     Selly Oak
Grade (under Committee Minute No. 4634):     Park Labourer
Rate of Pay:     [£]2 – 10[s] – 7[d] [per week]

13th June 1923 - General Purposes and Allotments Sub-Committee

A communication was submitted from the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd. re Selly Oak Park Extension – Weoley Park Farm Arbitration, of which the following is a copy:

Selly Oak,
17th May 1923
Birmingham Parks Committee.

Dear Sir,
Selly Oak Park Extension and
Weoley Park Farm:  Arbitration

As promised at the interview which the undersigned had with you yesterday, when a detailed financial statement of the above-mentioned arbitration proceedings was laid before you, we beg to confirm what, in brief, is the situation as regards your Committee.

Your Committee was awarded sums totaling £22. 11. 3. (including half a year’s rent: £12).  Claims including arbitrator’s costs and valuer’s costs against the Committee total £20. 12. 8, leaving a balance due of £1. 18. 7., but we think it reasonable to suggest that the small balance should be retained by us as your nominal contribution towards Messrs. Edwards Son & Bigwood’s and Musgrove Lee’s cost as recognition of the amount of their services on such important points as unreasonable disturbance etc., upon which both they and we had to devote much time and effort.  However we do not desire to charge more than the trifle suggested so as not to bring your Committee ultimately into debt over these proceedings.

You have actually by the terms of the Award been granted a quarter’s rent more than is your due: otherwise you would have owed a balance of £6.
Yours faithfully,
(sgd) H.C. Lowe.

2550   Resolved:-  That the settlement of the matter on the lines suggested by the Birmingham Battery & Metal Company Ltd. be approved and reported to the General Committee.

13th June 1923 – Finance Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted the following report:-

Manual Employees, Wages etc.
I beg to submit herewith a list showing the grading of manual employees made by the Chairman of the General Committee and the Superintendent in accordance with Minute No. 4834 of the Committee.  The list also shows the present rate of pay of such employees and the increase to be made to bring them up to the appropriate rate of their grade.  It also shows certain increases proposed to be made to employees not affected by the Grading adopted.  It was suggested by the Superintendent in his report to your Sub-Committee on the 18th April last that those increases should be operative as from 1st April last, and perhaps the Sub-Committee will be good enough to confirm this suggestion if approved, with a view to its confirmation by the General Committee in due course.

In this connection, perhaps the Sub-Committee will consider the question whether men now graded as gardener labourers, who were not comprised in the original list of such men, may not be entitled to their increased pay as from the 5th February last when the Committee’s resolution relative to such men was passed.
It should of course be pointed out that the appropriate rate of wages for each grade is subject to revision from time to time in accordance with the quarterly fluctuations in the Sliding Scale of the West Midlands Joint Industrial Council.

Park, etc              Name of                       Grade               Present             Increase etc
                                                   Employee                                             rate of pay        to be made
Selly Oak             J.T. Horton                    (d)                    £2 16 10                        -
                             W. Price                        (b)                    £2 12 10                        -
                             C. Wale                         Police              £2 12 10                        -

1259   Resolved:-  That it be a recommendation to the General Committee that the grading of and increases to the manual employees of the Department specified in the report and list now submitted be approved, such increases taking effect as from 1st April last.

30th June 1923 – Birmingham News

District News
Selly Oak and Bournbrook

Children’s Festival – The Selly Oak and Bournbrook children’s annual festival was held in the Selly Oak Park on Saturday last in glorious sunshine, when some hundreds of children from local schools marched in a procession via Harrow Road, Bristol Road and Gibbons (sic) Road to the park, to the music of three brass bands and Scotch Lancers’ pipers.  Horse and motor vehicles in the rear conveyed the infants.  The maypole dancers in white and the boy and girl competitors in the fancy dress parade in the park made very attractive additions to the procession which was in charge of the chief marshal (Mr. A.E. West), Mr. C.H. Harbun (president), Mr. T.G. Pinson (vice-president), Mr. H. Roberts (hon. treasurer), Mr. W.C. Baldwin (hon. secretary), Mr. W.H. Davies (hon. assistant secretary), and a small army of members of the committee who very kindly give their services annually for the pleasure of the children of the district, the funds being raised through the generosity of local tradesmen and residents.  The collection of these moneys (sic) is undertaken by members of the committee, many weeks before the event.  The
was as follows:- Kings Heath Adult School Prize Band, Tiverton Road (Senior), Tiverton Road (Junior), St. Edward (Senior), St. Edward (Junior), St. Mary’s (Senior), St. Mary’s (Junior), Woodgate Band, Maypole, St Wulstan’s (Boys’), Harborne Lane (Boys’), St. Wulstan’s (Girls’), Elliott’s Band, Raddlebarn Lane (Girls’), Raddlebarn Lane (Juniors), Out Scholars, and Bournville Ambulance Brigade.  For the fancy dress parade, which was the first item of the programme, prizes were provided as follows:- Best fancy dress (boys’ and girls’): (1), 15s.; (2), 10s.; (3) 7s. 6d.; (4), 5s.; (5), 2s. 6d.; and a special prize for costume costing not more than 2s. 6d.  There were many competitors, and the difficulty of judging was increased by the perfection of many of the fancy dresses.  Mrs. L. Mears and Mrs. Tickle, as judges, announced the results, and presented the prizes as follows:- Girls: 1, Sarah Hepwood, “My Daddy’s Garden”; 2, Phyllis Day, “Black Cut Cigarettes”; 3, May Fletcher, “Summer 1923”; 4. Lily Price, “Fairy”; 5, “Only Dad”, Winnie Cooling.  Special prize, Jimmy Terry, “Father Christmas”.  Boys: 1, Teddy Fetter, “Indian”; 2, Frank Hardman, “British Workman”; 3, A. Hunt, “Archer”; 4, Harry Wagstaff, “Policeman”; 5, George Torrent, “The Doctor”.  Two special prizes were given by Mrs. Mears and Mrs. Tickle.  A vote of thanks to the judges, proposed by Mr. S.J. Blakey, was carried with applause, and three cheers were given by the children.  At 4.30 p.m. the children from thirteen schools in the district were
from the park shelter to the entrance gate on either side of the pathway.  Led by a cornet, the whole assembly joined in singing Grace, after which the organizers, working committee, teachers and many willing helpers were engaged in the hot sun in providing for the thirst and hunger of their juvenile guests, who presented a happy and pleasing picture in the enjoyment of their long anticipated annual treat.  Among the special attractions of the fete were two maypole dance displays given with commendable skill by 100 girl scholars from the schools in the district.  All the children were daintily attired in dresses of white, and wore mob caps, which presented a very pretty picture under the canopy of coloured ribbons, the whole being enhanced by delightful sunshine.  Much credit is due to Miss E. James, their very able trainer, under whose direction the procession in white, preceded by Missie (sic) Elmie Blackham, who made a pretty May Queen, and was attended by two pretty train bearers (Betty Lewis and Lily Colbourn), entered the arena, to accompaniments by the Scotch Lancers’ pipers and the Woodgate Band.  The latter provided the music for the afternoon and evening performance.  Both bands elicited much applause from a huge gathering of spectators.  The following entertainments programme was very creditably carried out by the respective groups of performers and reflected much credit on the headmasters and teachers of the schools represented.  Kings Heath Band (selections), singing by St Wulstan’s (Boys’) Choir, dancing by St. Edward’s (Juniors), dancing by Raddlebarn (Girls’), two dramatic performances by Raddlebarn (Boys’), dancing by St. Edward’s (Maypole ring), and Elliott’s band, selections.  Two special selections were given at 8 o’clock by the massed bands, under the conductorship of Mr. Elia. Nash (Elliott’s bandmaster), after which dancing on the green commenced, and continued until dusk, the music being provided by the bands in turn.

2nd July 1923 – Special Meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee

The Chairman having explained the object of the meeting, the Superintendent submitted the following report regarding the strength, wages and conditions of service of the Parks Police.

Parks Police

On the original formation of this force in 1912, 41 applicants were selected from ex-army and navy N.C.O’s, commenced duties at various parks, medically examined by an appointed medical officer, finally proved, duly sworn and attested as constables before H.M. Justices of the Peace for the City of Birmingham on the 5th day of March, 1913 with powers and authority as regularly constituted police.  The conditions and duties are as laid down in the application form, including the cleaning of their beats, and performing their work, which may be allotted them by the officer in charge of the parks where they are stationed.

The rate of pay is 28/- per week with uniform, plus war bonus, which has now been reduced to Grade 1 by the Joint Midland Council.  It will be seen that most of the men are in receipt of the pre-war rate of increase, viz:- 1/- per year’s satisfactory service, and an additional 1/- for a further 2 years’ service.

The hours are:-
From 9 a.m. till close, November to February.
      10 a.m. till close, March and October.
      11 a.m. till close, April to September.
1 day’s leave in every 7, and 7 days’ annual leave between September and April.

The total strength of the force in August, 1914 was 52 men, comprising 1 inspector, 1 sergeant, 39 sworn constables and 11 auxiliary men.  The present strength is 46 men, comprising 1 inspector and 16 sworn constables, 1 sergeant and 29 auxiliary men.

Since 1918 much difficulty has been experienced in procuring men of suitable zeal and temperament to accept equipment as parks police-men.

Many of our auxiliary men resigned or did not resume after their war services, having obtained other employment or self-betterment.

Attached is a (part of a) descriptive list of men at present engaged.  By reference to the 1922 report an insight will be gathered of the stress of duties devolving upon them.  This has already asserted itself during the current year.

A list of applicants during the past year is also attached (not reproduced here with relevance to Selly Oak Park).

Temporary Men

No.       Rank     Name                Station              Service             Rate of Pay      Remarks
35         P.C.      Wale, C.           Selly Oak          18 yrs               £2. 12. 10.         Pensioner
                                                                                                                         City Police

1270   Resolved:-  That the whole question be referred to the Chairman of the General Committee and Alderman Lovsey, with a view to their going into the matter and making any necessary arrangements for increasing the strength of the Police, the swearing in of additional members of the Police staff, and submitting recommendations as to pay and conditions of service.

6th July 1923 – Parks Department (Operations Card 26 A1)

By an agreement (No. 109) dated 6th July 1923, the Birmingham Battery and Metal Co. Ltd. agreed to release the right of way across the park between Harborne Land and Weoley Park Farm (- 31st December 1913 refers) on condition that the Corporation constructed an alternative roadway from a point outside the park in Gibbins Road.

19th July 1923 – Finance Sub-Committee

The City Treasurer submitted the following report:-

Treasurer’s Report upon the Audit of the Accounts of the Parks & Cemeteries Department
for the year ended 31st March 1923

Rent Roll
List of More Important Arrears Outstanding at 31st March, 1923

Name                Particulars                                             Amount             Remarks          

Selly Oak Park
F.T. Lyde          Weoley Park Fram and Lands            £18. 0.  0.         9 months – Tenancy
               £24 per annum half-yearly

26th November 1923 – Finance Sub-Committee

The City Treasurer submitted the following report (from which the following figures have been extracted):-

Statement of income and expenditure of the Parks, Recreation Grounds, &c. for the Half-year ended 30th September 1923

Selly Oak Park                   Estimate for Year          Actual for the half-year
Income                               £125:  0:   0                   £  30:  8:  7
Expenditure                        £855:  0:   0                   £465:  2: 11

3rd December 1923 – Parks Committee

Councillor Longford submitted the following report of the Finance Sub-Committee (same information in minute of Finance Sub-Committee meetings on 13th June, 19th July, 11th September, 9th October, and 26th November 1923):-

Unemployment Relief Works 1922-3

The City Treasurer has submitted the following details of expenditure on wages under these schemes:

£8,776 Sanction (Scheme No. A.2050) – Construction of Roads &c. Parks
Amount Sanctioned                 Expenditure on Wages to
for Wages                                 21st November 1923

Selly Oak                 £350                                         £343. 11. 9.

4980   Resolved:-  That the report be received and entered on the Minutes.

Councillor Denton submitted the following report of the Administration Sub-Committee:-

Dressing room accommodation for football teams playing in Parks

A communication has been submitted to your Sub-Committee from the B’ham Juvenile Organisations Committee, calling attention to the inadequacy of dressing room accommodation for football teams playing in the parks, particularly at Lightwoods and Selly Oak Parks.  Your Sub-Committee consider that provision should be made in the estimates for the next financial year in regard to dressing rooms in the various parks.  Arrangements are being made for the dressing rooms under the bandstand at Summerfield Park to be made available as dressing rooms for football teams playing in that park at the usual charge.

4982   Resolved:-  That the report be received and entered on the Minutes.

[1]  Birmingham Library, Archive & Heritage Section – reference BCC Acc 1998/083