Category: History Group

Who Do You Think You Are? Live

It’s billed as the world’s largest family history show. Gareth, Ron, Sandra and I visited “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” at the NEC early in April 2016 on behalf of Stirchley History Group. We hoped to link up with other societies, find out more about what records are available online and offline, stock up with maps and books and – as one always does at events like this – look out for the interesting and unexpected that might help us with our research.

The biggest stands were those run by the large commercial organisations that provide online access to census records and other vast archives of historical data. Their services, and especially their powerful searchable indexes, have made it easier than ever for anyone to research their own family tree. There were also numerous smaller stands run by local family history societies who have detailed knowledge of records for an individual county or region or other countries such as India and the United States. It was good to make contact with the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry which has a large archive.

Gareth from Stirchley History Group at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show
Gareth from Stirchley History Group at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show

What the adverts promoting genealogical research don’t tell you is that some of the discoveries waiting to be made in the records are likely to be unwelcome. Be prepared to encounter secret illegitimacy, the spectre of the workhouse, legally dubious marriages and those all too common cases where a child’s birth and death were registered on the same day. Nonetheless this kind of research opens a fascinating window into the world of social history and, in turn, local history. Tracking individuals and families who lived in Stirchley helps us to build up a picture of life in the area in former generations.

The Alan Godfrey Maps stand at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show
The Alan Godfrey Maps stand at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show

Of all the many eye-catching heritage features in Stirchley Baths none attracts more interest than the 1911 map on the café wall. At the show we were able to buy reprints of historical Ordnance Survey maps and to find out where to access a wide range of maps online.

The show was busy throughout and even the more specialist stands attracted many visitors. There was also a large programme of expert talks, many of which sold out. It was encouraging to see this level of interest in family and local history, and we came away with plenty of information to follow up and pointers to further research.

Phil Banting, Stirchley History Group

Who taught you to swim? Heather Clarke and Stirchley Baths 1975 – 1976

Heather Clarke visited the refurbished building recently. She first worked here in 1975 and went on to teach generations of children to swim at various pools – including Tiverton Pool.

Below is a video of heather and some photos from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Do you remember Heather? Did she teach you to swim?

Heather in 1981, photo taken by Paul Jones
Heather in 1981, photo taken by Paul Jones

 

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Winni Shaw inside the ticket booth – photo taken in March 1988 by Paul Jones
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A photo of the ticket booth – taken in Match 1988. Not sure who the person in the booth is. It isn’t Kathy Fracoviac, who Heather mentions in her video.
A black and white photo of a group of people seated in rows.
This is what Heather said of this picture. “l recognise them all but not everyone’s name, At the top man wearing glasses was George Rawlings ( Supervisor) l think next to him was Alan Wallings other two not sure, Below wearing the glasses lifegaurd Pat Byfield, and Joan Butters ( Area Supervisor )
not sure of others names
Bottom row David Teale (Area Supervisor ) myself and Paul Jones7
The event for this photograph was our lnterdivisional Swimming Gala between all of the Baths in Birmingham There were 3 Divisions all competeing against each other”

 

 

Community Preview Evening

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25 November 6.30-8pm
Stirchley Baths

We welcome everyone in the community to come along and have a look around your new community building, hear about the heritage programme and sign up for some of the exciting activities that will run from the centre. All welcome, no booking required.

Want to get involved? We are looking for volunteers to support the heritage programme. If you are interested please contact Kate Andrews – Stirchleybaths@gmail.com

 

Your 2015 Stirchley Time Capsule

As part of the Stirchley Baths project I have been gathering items for the new time capsule. This has taken me on a journey from a drop-in session at Stirchley Library; to St Andrews church; Stirchley Baths construction team; Loaf Community Bakery and the Late Summer Bash. The new time capsule with be ‘buried’ beneath the pool and visible through a perspex window.

Among the donations are a Stirchley Park t-shirt, school cardigan, Bournville Station train ticket, library card, beer mat, building plans and recipe for the Stirchley loaf! These are some of the people I have met along the way:

Brian of the Friends of Stirchley Park donated a t-shirt at the drop-in session.
Brian of the Friends of Stirchley Park donated a t-shirt at the drop-in session.
Sunander suggested a passport to Leisure card and train tickets- who knows if in 100 years Bournville Station will be around!
Sunander suggested a passport to Leisure card and train tickets- who knows if in 100 years Bournville Station will be around!
Stirchley Primary School caretaker popped in to donate a cardigan.
Stirchley Primary School caretaker popped in to donate a cardigan.
St Andrews congregation with the contents of the old time capsule.
St Andrews congregation with the contents of the old time capsule and making suggestions for the new one.
St Andrews looking at old photographs.
St Andrews looking at old photographs.
Jon, Martyn and Tony are building your community centre.
Jon, Martyn and Tony are building your community centre.
The Loaf bakers.
The Loaf bakers donated the famous Stirchley Loaf recipe.
The suggestions board at the Late Summer Bash.
The suggestions board at the Late Summer Bash.
Writing a suggestion.
Ron from the Neighbourhood Forum Writing a suggestion.
Stirchley Community Group donated a whole folder for the time capsule.
Stirchley Community Group donated a whole folder for the time capsule.