Monday, 7 March 2011

Introduction


Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting this site.

Kings Heath Park was opened to the public in 1908.  My great-grandfather, Josiah Thomas Horton, was the Superintendent of the parks in the area, and reported to the Council on a regular basis.   


Before 1911 Kings Heath was administered by Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council (KN&N UDC).  Josiah Thomas Horton had been employed by KN&N UDC as the Park-keeper at their first park in Selly Oak and lived in the Park Lodge in Gibbins Road, Selly Oak from 1899 when that park opened until he retired in 1928.  After Selly Oak Park, KN&N UDC developed several other parks in the area, including eventually Kings Heath Park.  As the parks multiplied my great grandfather had responsibility for them until in 1911, when Kings Heath became part of Birmingham and a new administration took over, his role reverted to Selly Oak Park alone.

My first interest was in Selly Oak Park. As I started to read about that Park I discovered that there was a wealth of information publicly available, but it was scattered in dusty archives which were not immediately obvious or accessible. I gathered all the information that I could find, brought it together in one place, and have shared it more widely through a series of web-based Histories of Selly Oak Park. As I have read I have passed many reports of Kings Heath Park, and more recently I have started to collect them to compile these Histories (in the same format as the Selly Oak Park histories).

The complete history is presented in decade "chapters" which are listed in the column on the top right of this page. For each decade period I have made a brief summary of the key facts, which is presented as the "Historical Overview". The overview is supported by detailed information, clippings from various sources, which I have put on the "Clippings" pages, one page for each year. The clippings pages are listed a little lower in the column on the right hand side of the overview pages. There are also links to the relevant year clippings at the end of each section of the overviews. You should be able to go out to any decade chapter, or clippings page, and then return by using the links on the side bar, or by using the "back" button at the top left of your screen.

I hope this compendium will prove a useful resource in the local community.

There is another website history of Kings Heath Park.  Mike Hinton of the Horticultural College based in Kings Heath Park has written a short history which can be found on the Birmingham City Council website.

A web search for "Kings Heath Park" will produce many references.  I have chosen to include only those that I feel contribute a substantial piece of the history - and here apologise to any who may feel their contribution should have been included (you could always write to me and persuade me otherwise!)


I wish to acknowledge the help I have received from various people whilst gathering this information:
  • the staff of the Archive and Heritage Section of the Birmingham Central Library, who in September 2013 relocated all their treasures to the new Library of Birmingham,
  • the staff of Birmingham City Council for access to records: David Fletcher, Property Services; and Patrica Bacciochi, Muniments.

This is ongoing research.  So please return from time to time to "catch up" with progress. There will be changes as I learn and record new findings. Each page is marked at the beginning to show when it was last updated.


To enlarge any of the photographs on these pages just click or double click on them.  To return to the page click on the return button on the top left of the screen.

Almost certainly I will have missed things. If you have information, records, photographs, memories - indeed anything relevant - and for any year (1901 through to the present) - I shall be very grateful if you would share it with me. My contact details are included in the bar at the bottom of each page.

So, please select a history from the bar on the right, and then enjoy your time in another Park which fascinates me because of family connections .....................

Ken Pugh
Acocks Green

Birmingham, UK
January 2014



(The photographs on this page were taken on 14 August 2010)

(Post last updated 12 February 2015)