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Birmingham's Blue Plaques

#1 by Sheldonboy , Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Everyone is welcome to join in on this one. Please feel free to post any pictures of Historical Blue Plaques from around Brum and we should be able to come up with more information on them. SB


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RE: Sited at Percy Shurmer School

#2 by phil ( deleted ) , Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:58 pm

Percy Shurmer MP Sparkbrook 1945-1959.

A much loved local man of the people and a man who was often described as a little man with a big heart.

Percy Lionel Edward Shurmer Was born in 1888 in Cheltenham his father Edward was a master tailor.
The family moved to Birmingham when Percy was quite young. He was educated at St AlbansSchool Highgate 1893 to 1895 and then St Pauls Worcester 1895 to 1901. As Balsall Heath was then part of Worcester I assume that this school was St Pauls,Vincent Street, Balsall Heath.

He was apprenticed into the merchant navy from1903 to 1912. He married in 1908 to Maud Taylor ,He started work for the Post Office telephone department in 1912 as an engineer. He served with the Birmingham Territorial’s during WW1, gassed and wounded in 1917 he was disabled and honourably discharged in 1919. He stood for election to BirminghamCity Council in 1921 and was elected . Later in 1926 for his part in the General Strike he was sacked from the Post Office due to the fact he was arrested and fined £10.00 for making an inflammatory speech.

During his years on the Council he served on many committee’s, The Markets & Fairs committee, The Public Assistance Committee, The Asylums Committee, The War Pensions Committee, The General Committee. He was also chairman of The Old Age Pensions Committee and The Emigration Committee.

He was often called the miskin king because of his campaign against landlords who instead of providing rubbish bins just erected a lean to shed like structure in back yards adjacent to the outside toilets and wash houses and all the rubbish from the houses was just dumped in these. He was often know to attack these miskins and demolish them.

During his years in office he fought tirelessly for the lower classes, never forgetting his working class upbringing and never moving from his home at 140 Belgrave Road. Every year he would hold a Christmas party at the Town Hall for up to a 1000 under privileged children, he also the prime mover in starting a fund to provide hobnail boots for those children who needed shoes, these children became known a Percy’s Sparrows. Another of his well known campaigns was having the automaton clock depicting The Earl & Countess of Warwick along with two other figures that used to be located in Birmingham Imperial Arcade Dale End moved to The Market Hall in the Old Bull ring. He eventually got this clock that was made by Potts & Sons of Leeds in 1883 moved into its new site above the market hall office in 1936 from then on it was known as Percy’s Clock. It was destroyed in the Bombing in 1940. He unsuccessfully tried to start another campaign after WWII saying as the Germans had destroyed it they should make us a new one.

In 1945 he stood as a labour candidate for Sparkbrook and won the seat from Leo Amery a Conservative government minister even then Percy remained on the Council as an Alderman. Percy won a three further elections one in 1950 one in 1951 and a further one in 1955.

During election campaigns Percy was well known for marching round the streets of Birmingham proceeded by his band The Saint Martins and Deritend Girls Band who would be dressed in their black and yellow uniforms and generally followed by a troop of children singing vote, vote, vote for Percy Shurmer. He’s the best man in the land.

Being small in stature he would often carry with him a chair or a stool to stand on to address the crowd when the procession stopped. His favourite place for speech making was Dymoke Street Highgate.
Percy was a powerful and charismatic speechmaker and could enthral a crowd he would often start a speech with one of his favourite openings “ Lets not lie to ourselves” or “Lets not try to fool ourselves”. Whenever he started to speak a crowd would soon gather to listen, they stood spellbound listening to every word.

Often the police would arrest him and drag him off to the local police station. If he didn’t get arrested and dragged off he would finish his address jump down and circulate amongst the crowd shaking hands and talking to old friends.

Throughout his years in politics Council and Government Percy never ceased to fight for the betterment of the working class the people that he belonged to. He fought for the replacement of miskins with proper bins, he campaigned for the old cooking ranges to be replaced by gas stoves, he got gas lighting in each terrace yard. He raised money for the Mariners Benevolent Society, Yardley Green Sanatorium, and not forgetting his sparrows days out.

Percy was a peoples champion all his life, which ended in 1959. On the day of his funeral the 4th of June 1959 the streets were lined with people from the town centre to his house at 140 Belgrave Road. The nearer his house the thicker the crowds all in all a sad day for Birmingham..

Percy was cremated on the 4th of June 1959 at Lodge Hill crematorium, Selly Oak. His ashes were scattered in the Gardens of Rest in the middle of section 1ETS.

I would also like to add that in my own humble opinion it will be a long time before Birmingham can boast another MP of Percy's stature and calibre.

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RE: Sited at Percy Shurmer School

#3 by astoness , Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:31 pm

great one to kick start this thread phil..ive always admired the life and work of this great man..


 
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RE: Sited at Percy Shurmer School

#4 by Sheldonboy , Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:56 am

Yes a good start to this thread Phil, I had heard of Mr Shurmer but I must admit I didn't know much about him. The name Sherman comes from Shearman a sheep shearer


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Last edited 09.14.2012 | Top

JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#5 by astoness , Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:25 pm

JOHN HARDMAN JUNIOR LIVED IN THIS HOUSE ON THE CORNER OF HUNTERS ROAD AND NADEN ROAD..THE HOUSE STANDS OPPOSITE ST MARYS CONVENT IN HUNTERS ROAD AND HARDMAN WAS ONE OF THE CONVENTS FIRST BENIFACTORS WHO WANTED TO HELP THE POOR AND NEEDY..PUGIN EMPLOYED HIM TO MAKE THE METALWORK FOR ST CHADS CATHERAL .FROM 1845 AT THE URGE OF PUGIN HARDMAN ENTERED THE WORLD OF MAKING STAINED GLASS..HE WAS JOINED BY HIS NEPHEW JOHN HARDMAN POWELL WHO MARRIED PUGINS DAUGHTER ANN IN 1850..THE COMPANY WAS ONE OF THE WORLDS LEADING MAKERS OF METAL WORK AND STAINED GLASS AND EVENTUALLY CLOSED DOWN IN 2008..JOHN HARDMANS FATHER JOHN HARDMAN 1767 TO 1844 STARTED THE BUSINESS OF METAL WORKING AND LIVED IN HANDSWORTH..

must say this one pleases me very much as i was bought up in villa st just 2 mins away from john hardmans house...took this pics about 2 months back..


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Last edited 09.16.2012 | Top

RE: JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#6 by astoness , Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:35 pm

another pic of the house...


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RE: JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#7 by mikejee , Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:43 pm

There is a book on the Hardman firm , which has some great pictures of the stained glass and metalwork they produced

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RE: JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#8 by astoness , Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:16 pm

thanks mike i wouldnt mind a read of that one..would not mind living in that house either..just a little bit more info and that is that st marys convent is just opposite hardmans house...


 
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RE: JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#9 by mikejee , Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:22 pm

Below is a window from St Chads, and detail of the glassmakers window in St Chads, all made by Hardmans

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RE: JOHN HARDMAN MASTER METALWORKER

#10 by Sheldonboy , Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:57 am

The Birmingham Civic Society is the body responsible for administering Birminghams Blue Plaques, There are around 80 at present.
http://www.birminghamcivicsociety.org.uk/


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Last edited 02.12.2014 | Top

RE: James William Bloye

#11 by phil ( deleted ) , Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:11 pm

Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

James William Bloye (Sculptor) 1890 -1975
Birmingham’s most prolific sculptor although born in Cornwall he lived in Birmingham and was schooled at Birmingham School of Art, His workshop was at 111 Golden Hillock Rd where his blue plaque was fixed in 2010 on the frontage of a Mosque school.
Bloye was personally responsible for most of Birmingham’s public statues. Just a couple that spring to mind are Bolton Watt & Murdoch on Broad Street, the Mermaid Fountain at the University of Birmingham. If there was a public building being erected the Bloye was sure to be commissioned for any decorative stonework that might be required. He was not adverse to working on public houses and there was many a Birmingham pub that bore his mark.

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RE: James William Bloye

#12 by Sheldonboy , Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:58 am

Came across this one yesterday while I was was looking for something else.


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William Hutton

#13 by Sheldonboy , Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:20 pm


I started out with nothing and I've still got most of it left
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RE: William Hutton

#14 by astoness , Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:20 am

even english heritage are now making cuts..

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/loc...for-more-705203

 
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MOTHERS CLUB ERDINGTON

#15 by Sheldonboy , Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:10 am

Anther new plaque for Birmingham. This one was actually installed in 2013. Its to commemorate MOTHERS cub in High Street Erdington. A very special place in my life and that time was very important to me.


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Last edited 01.13.2016 | Top

   


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