On This Ground

Bristol Road cinema in 1967, by Ruqaiyya Qazi

Do you remember the cinema on Bristol Road before the drive-in restaurant? And before the cinema? Who lived in these streets? Suffragettes? Anti-slavery campaigners? Who else?
Do you remember the back to back houses on these streets?

Back to back houses 1961, Spring Road, Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service

Do you remember the tower blocks and maisonettes of Woodview and Lee Bank estates built in the 1960s and demolished in 2006?

Lee Bank Estate 1966 Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service

In a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of its All Our Stories programme, Secret City Arts is exploring memories and history in a few streets around Woodview and Lee Bank, Edgbaston. Local people are sharing their memories of this place and what happened here, on this ground.

Tea, biscuits and shared history

Together, we are researching these questions, exploring, capturing, recording and re-telling the hidden history and living stories of these streets.

Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1902, by Joseph Southall, who lived in Charlotte Road for most of his life. Birmingham Museums Trust


Walking the trail - outside Joseph Southall's house. Photo by Stefi Popescu

Bringing Joseph Southall's work back home

We’ll use our discoveries to create a walking trail and history map. When it’s all complete, we’ll celebrate the project with a grand procession along the trail, a film and audio piece showing what we’ve made, and presentations by historian Chris Upton and the Archives department. Watch this space!

Working sketch map of our history trail area

1 thought on “On This Ground

  1. Hello. I work at Optima Community Association. I’ve been here almost 9 years. I’ve just been handed a copy of the ‘On This Ground’ leaflet. It’s brilliant. We’ve had a few attempts at documenting the history of the area and, in my opinion, this one’s the best.

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