1926 Clippings

Ongoing research; last updated 2 August 2012

4th January 1926 - Special Meeting of the Parks Committee, and
12th January 1926 – Special meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee

The Chairman explained that the object of the meeting was to consider, and if thought fit, approve the draft estimates for the next financial year in accordance with the statements and summary annexed, copies of which had been forwarded to members of the Committee:

(Detail for Selly Oak Park extracted from a lengthy report, which subsequently was approved:)

Financial Year 1926-1927
                                                            Estimate           Actual to              Proposed
                                                           1925-1926        30th Sep. 1925   Estimate 1926-1927

Income                      £95                   £44. 4. 7.               £80
Expenditure              £865                 £406. 12. 0           £850    

19th January 1926 - Special Meeting of the Parks Committee

The Chairman explained that the object of this Special meeting was to consider the subject matter of the annexed report of the Finance Sub-Committee, a copy of which had been circulated to the members.  The officials having withdrawn, the Chairman explained the reasons for his action in calling a Special meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee to consider the Superintendent’s[1] action in relation to various matters relating to the following:-

1.      Appointing a foreman forester at the Lickey Hills and dealing with advertisements and correspondence in relation thereto, without the Committee’s knowledge.
2.      Dealing direct with applications received by him at Cannon Hill Park for Christmas trees.

3.      Giving testimonials on behalf of the department to seedsmen and nurserymen, without the knowledge or authority of the Committee.

4.      Giving certain instructions to the Assistant Superintendent as to his duties contrary to the instructions of the Committee.

The Chairman also submitted a copy of a letter he wrote to the Superintendent on the 18th December and the Superintendent’s reply, dated the 21st December, copies of which are also annexed.

Councillor McDonald as Chairman of the Administration Sub-Committee called attention to a report to be considered this afternoon by his Sub-Committee, relating to the making of a road at Selly Oak Park, and it was decided to consider such matter at this meeting in conjunction with the matters mentioned by the Chairman.

The Superintendent was called before the Committee, and in reply to the Chairman’s enquiries, stated that he did not remember the correspondence referred to in the report to the Administration Sub-Committee, although he would not deny having received the same.

The Committee decided that the matters before them were of so serious a nature that they would consider them in camera.

The officials having again withdrawn, the Committee gave further consideration to the various matters, and attention was called to the resolutions passed in January 1922, and to the further matters dealt with by the Committee on the 6th July 1922.

It was also pointed out that there had been a long series of failures on the part of the Superintendent to comply with the Committee’s instructions, even since their decisions of the 6th July 1922.  The Committee came to the conclusion that the Superintendent had given no satisfactory explanation of his actions in the matters under review, and had again forfeited all confidence in him.

The following resolution was passed unanimously viz:-

6389   Resolved:-  That having regard to the state of the Superintendent’s health, the Committee have come to the conclusion that he should be given one month’s leave of absence on sick leave forthwith, and that in the meantime he should take medical advice.

The Superintendent was then called before the Committee and the terms of the above resolution were conveyed to him by the Chairman.

19th January 1926 - Administration Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted the following report:-

Selly Oak Park
New road to Weoley Park Farm

I beg to submit a communication recently received from the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd., together with copies of letters and report referred to therein.  The questions regarding the making of this new road came before the Committee in October 1922 when the Battery Co. were re-letting the farm, and suggested that it would not be a convenient arrangement either for the tenant of the farm or for your Committee, that the right to use the then existing roadway through the park should continue for all time.  They suggested that if your Committee would be prepared to pay the cost of re-opening another road to the farm from Gibbins Road, they would consider the abandonment of their rights over the road through the park.  Your Committee were informed that there was an old closed roadway from Gibbins Lane which could be re-opened, and which would require making up to the extent of about 350 yards.  The cost of this was estimated at £300.  The Battery Company offered to provide the necessary material for the work, if the Committee would find the labour and carting.  The matter came before the General Committee on the 30th October, 1922, when they passed a resolution undertaking the making up of the suggested new roadway at the approximate cost of £300, subject to the cost being provided out of the funds available for Unemployment Relief Works, and the Battery Company releasing their rights in respect of the existing roadway through the park.

A formal Deed was entered into with the Battery Company which is dated 6th July 1923, and which contains a covenant by the Corporation to provide forthwith all necessary labour and carting for the construction and opening of the proposed roadway (which is coloured brown on the plan annexed to the Deed), to the satisfaction of the Company, it being agreed that the Company would supply the necessary material for such work, the Corporation paying the cost of haulage.  In consideration of the covenant, the Company released all their rights over the then existing roadway.

The letters of December 11th 1922 and January 31st 1923 addressed to the Parks Superintendent at Cannon Hill Park, and the letter of November 18th 1922, referred to in the latter communication were not received at the offices of the department, and there is no record of the same in the official records, neither was the subject matter thereof reported to the Committee.

The question of the provision of a wicket gate referred to in the letters was subsequently dealt with by the Committee, as a result of correspondence which was received at the departmental offices.


                                                                               Selly Oak, Birmingham
                                                                                         January 8th 1926
The Secretary,
Parks Committee,
Corporation Street,

Dear Sir,

New road to Weoley Park Farm (made under
terms of release of right to roadway over
Selly Oak Park – Indenture dated 6th July 1923).

We beg to call your attention to the fact the roadway made by your Committee from Gibbins Road to Weoley Park Farm is proving to be at least as unsatisfactory as we feared it would turn out.  It is now in a very bad condition.

So that you may realise what we considered the position to be shortly after the roadway was made, we enclose copies of our letters of December 11th 1922 and January 31st 1923, to your Mr. W.H. Morter at Cannon Hill Park.  We also enclose an extract from a report made to our Director, Mr. R. Lloyd Gibbins, on this matter under date of February 1st 1923, because although this is a private report, it may interest you as indicating the result of our conference with Mr. Morter.

Respecting the private report, we should inform you that so far as we are aware, no inspection of this road has been made since Mr. Morter’s call and certainly your Department has never done any further work upon it.  The tenant has, however, had to have the road raked and holes in it filled up on numerous occasions, the last time within the present week.

If you refer to the Indenture, you will see from the map that this new road is forked at the northern end of it.  It so happened that at the time you made the road we were in doubt as to whether the right hand (or eastern) branch of the fork (towards the main house) should be made.  Consequently Mr. Morter made only the left hand or western branch of the forked part.  But immediately your work was finished we found that the western fork was really necessary. Under the circumstances we promptly made it on the lines Mr. Morter had adopted.  Whilst you have thus been relieved of the expense of making this section, you will of course kindly include the section when considering what you shall do to put the whole of the roadway in order.  Perhaps you would like to visit the site in company with our representative.

                                                                        Yours faithfully,
                                                                                    (sgd) H.C.Lowe



                                                                              Selly Oak, Birmingham
                                                                                 December 11th 1922
W.H. Morter, Esq.,
Cannon Hill Park,

Dear Sir,

Weoley Park Farm – New Road

When first negotiations respecting the new road were opened up, you were good enough to assure us verbally that your department intended to provide us with a new road as good as the road to which we were giving up rights.  On that understanding we had no objection to your commencing work forthwith.

If your having ceased work on the road means that in your estimation it is now finished, we are afraid that we cannot regard it as an adequate substitute for the one closed.  It is evident from the effect already of light traffic that a road so made is not likely to wear any length of time.

The old road had at least a fairly substantial hard bottom to it – the soft ashes being a comparatively light surface finish.  It was largely metalled.

If it is your intention to do further work on the road to make it more substantial and suitable for its purpose, as an adequate exchange for the old one, then please regard this letter as only a confirmation of our original views on the matter.

(Note:-  The remainder refers to provision of a wicket gate)

                                                                        Yours faithfully
                                                          (sgd.)  H.C.L.


                                                                                                Selly Oak, Birmingham
                                                                                                            January 31st 1923
W.H. Morter, Esq.,
Cannon Hill Park,

Dear Sir,
Weoley Park Farm

May we refer you to our letters of November 18th and December 11th.  We have not put through any account for haulage of road material pending a reply to our second letter.

Our tenant called upon us yesterday to draw our attention to the state of the newly-made road, of which we were already aware, and to ask what was going to be done.

(Note:-  The remainder refers to provision of a wicket gate)

                                                                        Yours faithfully
                                                          (sgd.)  H.C.L.

To: Mr. R. Lloyd Gibbins           
                                                                                                                        February 1st, 1923

Weoley Park Farm – New Road

Mr. W.H. Morter called in response to my letter of the 31st ultimo.  He explained that the reason for his not having replied to my letter of December was that he considered that the road would in process of time settle down into quite a good road, and he intended that it should be kept under observation, and if necessary rolled from time to time until it had become a firm road.

I again reminded him that when we were negotiating for the making of the road, our stipulation was that the road should be as serviceable to the house and farm as the old road had been, and we left it to him to make it in whatever way he liked, as long as that end was achieved.  We do not consider that now it is in a good state, neither does there appear to be anything like enough material put upon it.  He could have more ashes and slag at any time for the asking.

It was apparent that owing to the pressure being put upon the Parks Department, in common with all Departments, to exercise the utmost economy, there was a tendency for them to make this road in the most economical way, but I told Mr. Morter to profit by a friendly hint that we were not prepared to allow them to exercise too much economy in the making of this road.  He left me promising that he would again inspect the road and see that it ultimately became a satisfactory road for its purpose, and we would leave the matter in his hands for the time being, as it might take a year of occasional attention before the road was really finished.

                                                                                    (Sgd.)  H.C.L.


4193   Resolved:-  That the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd. be informed the Committee have the question of the condition of the roadway to Weoley Park Farm under consideration, and that members of the Committee will visit the site and would be glad to meet their representatives.

22nd January 1926 – Special Meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee

The Sub-Committee proceeded to visit the following places:-

(1)   Hay Barn Farm Estate
(2)   Selly Oak Park
(3)   Bournbrook Recreation Ground.

At Selly Oak Park, the Sub-Committee considered the complaint of the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd. regarding the making up of the new road to Weoley Park Farm, which complaint was submitted to the Administration Sub-Committee at their meeting on 19th January last.

3283   Resolved:-  That the Acting Superintendent be instructed to report to the Administration Sub-Committee as to the most satisfactory method of dealing with the unsatisfactory condition of the road in question and the estimated cost of carrying out the necessary work.

1st February 1926 – Parks Committee

Arising out of the Minutes of the last Special Meeting, a question was raised as to the present position with regard to the Parks Superintendent, and the Secretary submitted a communication he had received from Dr. Lucas, of which the following is a copy:-

141, Great Charles Street,
Jan. 23rd 1926
Dear Sir,

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter regarding Mr. W.H. Morter.

Mr. Morter came to see me on Wednesday last (20th) before I had received your letter.  He showed me a communication he had received giving him a month’s holiday.  I advised him to go away and I understand he has done so; I advised him to come and see me again on his return.

He informed me that lately he had found some difficulty in concentrating his mind on his work and that his memory was not as good as formerly.  I found very little the matter with the general state of his health, the mental condition is probably functional and not organic.  I have seen Dr. Taylor Hodom, his medical attendant, and he agrees with this opinion.

Yours faithfully,
(sgd) Albert Lucas F.R.C.S. etc.
E.S. White Esq.

The Chairman stated that in accordance with the unanimous desire of the Committee at the Special meeting, he subsequently informed the Parks Superintendent that it was the intention of the Committee to call upon him to resign his position if he was not certified by Dr. Lucas as being unfit to continue his duties.

The Town Clerk, at the request of the Committee, hereon attended the meeting, and advised that the Committee had full power to act in such manner as they might think fit, and that in his opinion, the Parks Superintendent would be entitled to three months notice in case of dismissal.

6391   Resolved:-  That further consideration of the matter be deferred, pending a further report from Dr. Lucas, and that the Chairman of the Committee be given full authority to extend indefinitely at his discretion, the leave of absence already granted to the Superintendent.

In the temporary absence of Councillor McDonald the following report of the Administration Sub-Committee was submitted by Councillor Lea:-

Selly Oak Park

Correspondence has taken place with the Birmingham Battery & Metal Co. Ltd. regarding the making of the new road from Gibbins Road to Weoley Park Farm in consideration of the abandonment of the Battery Company’s rights over the roadway which ran through Selly Oak Park when Messrs. Gibbins gave the land for the extension of the park in 1923.  This new roadway was to be made by your department under the terms of the deed that was entered into with the Battery Company dated 6th July 1923, but the Battery Company are not satisfied with the same.  Your Sub-Committee propose to visit the site at an early date and meet the representatives of the Battery Company there.

6427   Resolved:-  That the report be received and entered on the Minutes.

16th February 1926 - Administration Sub-Committee, reported on
1st March 1926 – Parks Committee

On Minute 4193, the following reports of the Acting Superintendent and Architectural Assistant were submitted:-

Road from Gibbins Road, Selly Oak,
leading to Weoley Park Farm

In accordance with instructions from the General Purposes Sub-Committee, upon visiting the site on February 5th, I beg to state having gone into the question with the Architectural Assistant as to the cost of making a substantial road, sufficient for vehicles using same, namely, farm carts, dairy floats, threshing machine and engine, it will be necessary to construct a solid foundation to a depth of at least nine inches with a further topping of three inches gravel or similar binding material.

Plans have been prepared of what is actually required, also cost to carry out the scheme for your Committee’s consideration.

The main cause for complaint of the existing roadway is that sufficient depth of solid metal was not used to provide for the traffic using same, also no drainage was provided, thereby causing the road to cut up considerably in wet seasons.

Weoley Park farm – Proposed Roadway

I beg to report that plans, sections, levels and an estimate have been prepared of the cost of the proposed cart road from Gibbins Road to the farm, including excavations to a depth of 12”, the whole of the existing track to provide, lay, and steam roll a rough clinker bed 8” thick, the ashes from the existing road to be re-used to fill in and bind the clinker, and to provide, lay and roll Rubery Gravel 2” thick; to provide and lay all cast iron grids and frames complete, all as plan submitted.  The details are as follows:

1477 yds. Sup. Rubery Gravel                                          £61
1477               Rough Clinker Ashes                             £100
No.16 gullies with cast iron grids and frames
                                    complete --- --- @ £6 each            £96
Hire of steam roller 14 days @ £3 per day                      £42
Labour – 10 men 8 weeks @ £2-10-0. per week          £200
500 lin. yds. 4” drain 2 ft. deep, including
                        excavation and filling in ---                        £100
                                    Total Cost                                      £599

This amount works out at 8/- per yd.sup. for the road complete.

It is possible to reduce the cost by 50% if the clinker, gravel, drains, etc., are reduced in thickness, but the road when finished will not stand heavy traffic, if this is done.

A further alternative is to employ the travelling gang and use our own petrol roller, also to obtain clinker and ashes free from the Battery Co., and so save £342; a good road would then be formed at a total cost of £257.

4207   Resolved:-  That the alternative method of dealing with the roadway at the estimated cost of £257 be approved, subject to the Battery Company agreeing to supply the necessary clinker and ashes free of charge and that the Chairman of the General Committee be requested to approach the City Treasurer with a view to the sum of £257 being provided by the Finance Committee.

1st March 1926 – Parks Committee

(Mr. Morter was certified by the Corporation Doctor as being permanently unfit to continue his duties and was superannuated from 1st April 1926.  Arrangements were then made for the appointment of a successor.)

12th April 1926 – Parks Committee

(General Park Bye Laws came under consideration.)

19th April 1926 – General Purposes Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted the following report:-

Games in the Parks 1925

I beg to report that the applications received for cricket pitches and tennis courts in the various parks this year have been dealt with by the Chairman of the General Committee, the Chairman of your Sub-Committee and the Chairman of the Administration Sub-Committee.  The number of applications has not exceeded the total number of pitches and courts except tin the following parks ………

In the case of cricket, the clubs mentioned above were offered pitches at Kings Heath Park, Black Patch and Selly Oak Park respectively.  …………….

Up to the present 166 cricket clubs and 62 tennis clubs have been allocated pitches and courts and there is still accommodation for 17 tennis clubs and 78 cricket clubs in parks and recreation grounds specified on the attached list …….

Selly Oak Park     No. of cricket clubs accommodation is available for - 1

20th April 1926 - Administration Sub Committee

On that part of the of the resolution (No. 6559 from the General Committee) relating to the question of certain specified parks being set aside for political and other meetings and demonstrations, the Secretary stated that the five parks specifically approved by the Council in 1920 were Calthorpe, Ward End, and Selly Oak Parks, and Garrison Lane and Black Patch Recreation Grounds.

4269   Resolved:-  (a) That the Acting Superintendent be instructed to report as to the most suitable portion to be set aside for political and other meetings and demonstrations of each of the five parks specified above.
(b) That the question of the use of other parks for meetings and demonstrations be considered as and when applications for the same are received.

Police Report- Serious Accidents

Sidney Kent, 55, of 5, Highfield Terrace, Ladywood, broken leg, Selly Oak Park.

1st May 1926 – Birmingham News

News from the Districts
Selly Oak & Bournbrook

Early Closers Cricket League – Local cricket enthusiasts will have the opportunity of witnessing matches this season in Selly Oak Park.
The matches arranged are:-
May 12, Birmingham Co-operative Society II, home; 19, Wrensons, away; 26, Dudley II, home; June 2, Bordesley Junction, away; 9 Erdington, away; 16, West Bromwich II, home; 23, Midland Red ‘Buses, away; July 7, Birmingham Co-operative Society II, away; 19, Wrenson’s, home; 21, Dudley II, away; 28, Bordesley Junction, home; August 4, Erdington, home; 18, West Bromwich II, away; 25 Midland Red ‘Buses, home.

3rd May 1926 – Parks Committee

A communication was submitted from the Clerk to the Tramways Committee enclosing a communication from Mr. W.H. Laurie, Curator of the Geological Museum at the University, stating that on the site for the new tram depot at Chapel Lane, Selly Oak, a large glacial boulder had been found which, like those at Cannon Hill and Cotteridge Parks, was of general as well as geological interest, and suggesting that it should be preserved intact and removed to Selly Oak Park.  The Tramways Committee were prepared to offer the boulder to this Committee for removal to Selly Oak Park.  The Secretary stated that the boulder had been inspected by the General Purposes Sub-Committee on a recent visit to various sites and on their authority the offer of the boulder had been accepted, subject to the Tramways Department undertaking its removal to the park.  Attention was, however, called to the weight of the boulder which it was now estimated would be about 20 tons.

6619   Resolved:-  That in view of the weight of the boulder and the fact that it is doubtful whether the drives in the park would stand the carriage of such weight over them, the attention of the Tramways Committee be called to this and that they be informed they must take responsibility for any damage to the drives.

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

Political meetings and demonstrations in the Parks

With reference to your Resolution No. 6559 your Sub-Committee have informed Councillor Eli Stevens that permission cannot be given for a series of meetings on Sunday evenings in Aston Park, and that separate applications in respect of each meeting must be made.

By your resolution your Sub-Committee were also requested to consider and report generally on the question of a portion of certain specified parks being set aside for political and other meetings and demonstrations.  It has been pointed out to your Sub-Committee that in 1920 five parks were specifically approved by the Council in which such meetings and demonstrations could be held, viz:-

Calthorpe Park,
Ward End Park,
Selly Oak Park,
Garrison Lane Recreation Ground,
Black Patch Recreation Ground.

Your Sub-Committee have instructed the Acting Superintendent to report as to the most suitable portion to be set aside for political and other meetings and demonstrations of each of these five parks.

With regard to the use of other parks for meetings and demonstrations, your Sub-Committee propose that applications be considered as and when received.

6612   Resolved:-  That the report of the Administration Sub-Committee be approved.

17th May 1926 - Administration Sub-Committee, reported on
7th June 1926 – Parks Committee, and decision relayed to
15th June 1926 - Administration Sub Committee

In the absence of Councillor McDonald, the following report of the Administration Sub-Committee was submitted by Councillor Lovsey:

Meetings and Demonstrations in the Parks

Your Sub-Committee have given consideration to the question of the portions of the parks approved by the City Council for use for public meetings and demonstrations and recommend that the area specified below be set aside for that purpose:-

Selly Oak Park                          The extension

Your Chairman has called attention to the numerous applications now being received from political bodies for the use of parks for meetings and demonstrations apart from the five parks specified above, and pointed out that in several cases recently very short notice was given.  Your Sub-Committee recommend that in the event of applications being received for the use for political purposes of any parks other than the five above specified, such applications be dealt with in cases of emergency by your Chairman in conjunction with the Chairman of the respective Sub-Committees.

6659   Resolved:-  That the areas specified below be set aside for public meetings and demonstrations in the five parks approved by the City Council for use for that purpose:-

Selly Oak Park                          The extension

The following resolution of the Finance Committee was submitted:-

The Treasurer presented a memorandum (with respect to an application of the Parks Committee to expend £257 upon the completion and making up of a new roadway at Selly Oak Park).

2735   Resolved:-  That the application of the Parks Committee be granted subject to the allocation made to the Parks Committee not being exceeded by reason thereof.

6669   Resolved:-  That the instructions be given for the making up of the new roadway at Selly Oak Park at a cost not exceeding £275 to be proceeded with forthwith.

7th June 1926 – BCC Parks Committee Minute

Alderman Cadbury submitted the following report of the Bird Sanctuaries Advisory Committee:-
Report of Bird Sanctuaries Advisory Committee to a meeting of the Parks Committee to be held on Monday 7th June 1926

This Committee held a meeting on the 5th ultimo, when the present position in regard to the provision of Bird Sanctuaries in the parks was reviewed and the following recommendations to you committee were made:-

A suggestion was also made that willows might be planted along a portion of the canal bank at Selly Oak Park, and it was arranged that an appointment should be made for Mr. H.G. Alexander to meet the Parks Superintendent at this park to go into the question with him. …………………….

14th June 1926 – General Purposes Sub-Committee, and
28th June 1926 – Finance Sub-Committee, both reported on
5th July 1926 – Parks Committee

Alderman Lovsey submitted the following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee:-

Selly Oak Park – Glacial Boulder

With reference to your Minute 6619, your Sub-Committee report that the removal of the glacial boulder from the site of the new tramways depot at Selly Oak to Selly Oak Park was satisfactorily carried out by the Tramways Department on the 8th ultimo, and no damage was done to the park.

6697   Resolved:-  That the report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee be approved.

Councillor Longford submitted the following report of the Finance Sub-Committee:

Income and Expenditure 1925/26

The City Treasurer has submitted the annexed statement of the income and expenditure of your Committee for the year 1925-6.

Selly Oak Park
Estimated 1925/26                     Actual for year
Income                                      £95                                           £77. 2. 11.
Expenditure                               £865                                         £785. 1. 6.

6712   Resolved:-  That the report of the Finance Sub-Committee be approved.

19th June 1926 – Birmingham News

The Weeks News from the Districts
Selly Oak

Annual Children’s Treat – The annual festival for the poor children of Selly Oak and Bournbrook has been arranged for Saturday next, and many attractions have been provided so that the kiddies may enjoy themselves to the full as they have done in past years.
There is to be a big procession, headed by the Woodgate Prize band and Elliott’s (Selly oak Works) Band, and numerous prizes are being offered for the best and most original fancy dress costumes worn on the parade.  A large Maypole, formed by a hundred children, will be a feature of the procession.  Miss E. James has put in some very hard work in this connection.
At Selly Oak Park, entertainments are to be given by local school children, and it is to be hoped that all residents do their utmost to support this most worthy local cause.

26th June 1926 – Birmingham News

Music in the Parks
Full List of Engagements for the Week

Today (Saturday) – Selly Oak Park: Selly Oak and Bournbrook Summer Party Fund Annual Children’s Festival.

3rd July 1926 – Birmingham News

The Weeks News from the Districts
Selly Oak

Selly Oak Children’s Party – The annual festival promoted by the Selly Oak and Bournbrook Children’s Christmas and Summer Party Fund, took place in Selly Oak Park on Saturday last.  Approximately three thousand children marched in procession from Dawlish Road, headed by Elliott’s Metal Works Band, and upon arrival at the park numerous prizes were given for fancy dresses worn in the parade.  The Woodgate Prize Band was also in attendance.
The fancy dress prize winners were as follows: Infant girls (under seven years): 1, M. Moore, Nurse; 2, K. Pegg, Powder Puff; 3, J. Siddons, Wild Flowers; 4, M. Saunders, Confetti.
Infant boys: 1, N. Haddon, Buy British Goods; 2, L. Rose, Coal Merchant; 3, W. Hardiman, Toy Drum Major; 4, G. Appleby, Golliwog.
Girls: 1, E. Maiden, Red Indian Girl; 2, M. Beechy, Gipsy; 3, B. Bedford, Quaker; 4, E. Beresford, Charley’s Aunt; 5, M. Babbington, Mediaeval Lady; 6, M. Hill, Persian; 7, J. Blundell, Spinning Top; 8, H. Hudson, Jester.
Boys: 1, E. Fitter, Zulu; 2, H. Finlayson, Mad Hatter; 3, A. Cull, Cavalier; 4, G. Maiden, Japanese Lady; 5, W. Cox, Red Indian; 6, E. Sutch, Parson; 7, R. Waring, Chinese; 8, P. Duckworth, Cowboy.
A special prize for costumes not costing more than half-a-crown was awarded to Miss V. Hicklen.  The competition for half a ton of coal was won by Mr. F. Pearce, and the doll wing (sic) number was No. 1 red.
Raddlebarn Lane School won the tug-of-war, Harborne Lane being the runner-up.

24th July 1926 – Birmingham News

A Birmingham Log

The City’s “Lungs” – I spent a pleasant day with the deputation of the City Fathers which accepted the invitation of the Parks Committee to inspect Birmingham’s open spaces.  In this respect, Birmingham holds an enviable position in being only second to London, amongst all the local authorities of the country, in the total acreage dedicated to the public health and enjoyment.  Altogether, we possess 31 parks, 55 recreation grounds, and 20 open spaces (the distinctions are rather subtle for me to go into here!), with a total area of 2,795 acres.  Not a bad record for a great industrial centre like Birmingham.

Our latest Acquisition – When one turns from a consideration of the acreage to an enjoyment of the beauty of the Parks, one cannot but be impressed with the enormous amount of thought and planning and work which are being expended continually in maintaining such a pitch of perfection.  We started at The Farm, Sparkbrook, the latest acquisition, given in the city by Mr. T.H. Lloyd, and noted that already it is playing a large and healthful part in the lives of those living in the district – particularly of the children.  Then across to Small Heath, where Victoria Park was a veritable oasis of loveliness after the drab and dreary passage of the intervening streets.  Only possibly at Cannon Hill have I seen a finer display of bedding plants than here; and the policy of gradually removing the once necessary but ever-disfiguring iron railings is proving a successful experiment in trusting the commonsense of the public.

The Formidable Cactus – A quick glance at Yardley Recreation Ground – but sufficiently long to appreciate the beauty of the general layout of the ground – and then on to Ward End.  Here we found much to admire, but our interest was mainly centred in the wonderful display of cacti in the conservatory.  The formidable appearance of this plant enabled belief in the story that at Gaza the Turks dug their trenches behind the cactus hedges, which were then as impenetrable as though behind barbed wire entanglements.  Here, too, bananas were growing in profusion, and sago palms and other tropical plants.

Aston Hall’s Box Garden – Aston Reservoir is in the throes of an important transformation.  The old filter beds are to be filled in, in order to provide sports fields, and the work in this direction is proceeding apace.  Already the sports facilities here are good, there being provision for bowls and tennis; but the additional acreage which will be available eventually will all be necessary to cater for the recreational needs of the adjacent densely populated districts.  Thence to Aston Park, the chiefest interest of which is the fine old Hall.  But there are other interests, as, for example, the bed in front of the principal entrance, which has been laid out from a design of the Art Advisory Committee of the Civic Society.  My readers will remember a discussion on this bed in the column a few weeks ago.  The members of the deputation were vastly interested in this experiment in the revival of the old-world box gardening.  There will be wonderful opportunities for the apiarist here to display his craft in years to come, when the shrubs grow strongly and large enough.

The Attractions of Warley – From Aston, a cross “country” run brought us to Lighwoods, with its notable Shakespearean garden, now well advance in the scheme to assemble specimens of every plant mentioned in the Bard’s writings.  Apart from that feature, Lightswood has several fine stretches of greensward, and the whole evidences the care of the local staff.  Then to Warley.  Now Warley has many interesting features; probably the most fascinating on the day of our visit was the luncheon to which we were entertained by the Parks Committee, and at which all the nice things that I should like to say, but can’t, about the Committee and its enthusiastic chairman, Councillor Denton, were well said by the Lord Mayor and other speakers.

“And So, Home” – After luncheon, just for once, I wished myself a member of the Corporation.  I understand that their afternoon itinerary included Selly Oak Park, Muntz Park, with a long deep breath of rarified air from the top of the Lickeys as a final tonic.  But not being a City Father, and having a full engagement book for the afternoon, I took leave of the party at Warley – to my own infinite regret; but, I fear me, unwept, unhonoured, and unsung by the deputation, who appeared heartlessly indifferent to the hardships of my lot.  

29th July 1926 – Parks Committee

The Chairman, in the absence of Councillor McDonald, submitted the following report of the Administration Sub-Committee:-

Sale of Grass

Your Sub-Committee report that the following offers for the grass growing at the parks specified below have been accepted, the purchasers doing the cutting and carting:-

Selly Oak Park              Mr. Thos. Monk,            £2
          730, Bristol Road,
          Selly Oak.

23rd September 1926 – General Purposes Sub-Committee

The Secretary submitted the following report:-

Football in the Parks 1926/7

I beg to report that in view of the approach of the football season, the allocation of clubs to parks football pitches was dealt with by the Chairman of the General Committee at the beginning of August.       …………….

Up to the present 211 clubs have been allocated pitches, and there is still accommodation for clubs as follows:-

Selly Oak Park – 1

With reference to the introduction of the payment of a deposit of 10/- per team no objections have been made to this payment.

The charge for pitches as approved by the Chairman, is the same as last year, namely, 3/- per match, except at Castle Bromwich Playing Fields, where the charge is 4/- including the use of a dressing room.

The same concession has been made to clubs affiliated to the Birmingham Juvenile Organisations Committee as was made last year, under which such clubs have the use of pitches at a charge of 2/- per match.

24th September 1926 - Administration Sub-Committee

The following report was submitted:-

Gymnastic Apparatus in various Parks and Recreation Grounds

I (the Architectural Assistant) beg to report that in accordance with instructions, a complete survey has been made of the various types of gymnastic apparatus in the parks and recreation grounds, and a summary of the same is annexed.  The whole of the apparatus is over-hauled and repaired periodically by the Artisan Staff.

Park or Recreation
Ground                         Condition                      Type of Apparatus        Number

Selly Oak Park              Part new chain              Swings                         2 bays
                                                  next season
                                        Fair                               Trapeze                         1 bay
                                                                             See-saw                        1 only
                                                                             Parallel Bars                 1 only
                                                                             Horizontal “                    1 only

[1]  Mr. W.H. Morter.