The tree outside the library

Over the last few years many will know that there have been a number of incidents/complaints about the state of the paving stones around the tree outside the library.  Some of these have involved a number of people slipping and falling due to the disturbance caused by the roots lifting the paving slabs. They also become very slippery due to rain, roosting pigeons leaving waste and fallen leaves etc. Sadly, efforts to improve matters over several years have been unsuccessful.  It has become, dare we say, a genuine Health and Safety Risk.

The situation has been under investigation for some time.  Knowle Society has been fully informed and consulted throughout the Council’s investigations and attended site visits with our Councillors and others.  We were all very keen that the tree should be retained if at all possible.  However, we have reluctantly accepted that it has sadly grown too big for its location with its roots spreading ever further. It will only continue to grow even bigger as it is not an old tree (25 years to be precise).

However on the bright side, the Society has been in contact with a tree sculptor and the intention is to save enough of the trunk of the tree to allow the sculptor to create a feature in place of the tree outside the entrance to the library. The Society is prepared to find funding for this enhancement to the approach to the Library.  We are advised that the Council will plant other trees, ideally in Knowle, to take the place of the one we are losing.

The tree will be removed over the next week, followed by works to reinstate the paving.   The works will cause some obstruction to the usual entrance into the Library, but access will be retained via the rear entrance.

New exhibition in the library

We are launching a series of Exhibitions called “Knowle’s Historic Houses” and the first of these will be a focus on Grimshaw Hall.  It will open in July and be on display until the end of September in the Local History Centre on the first floor of the Library.

This will be a must for anyone interested in the history of this fascinating and historic building through four and a half centuries up to the present day.


Meet at the Recreation & Sports Ground, Shadowbrook Lane
(B92 0DQ) in time to start walking at 7pm
The walk will be a figure of eight walk 3.5 miles, the first 2 miles passing by the ‘ mansions’ on Old Station Road. The second half of the loop will be on George Fentham land, through the woodland planted up about 12 years ago, the fledgling Arboretum containing 225 trees from around the world, then past a newly created lake which in the two years has become a great feature. (We detected 5 different types of bats here last year). Buzzards are now nesting in the wood , although I can’t guarantee we will see any, and dragonflies are now often seen around the lake .  It will take place regardless of the weather.  All welcome, bring your friends.


I am very pleased to be able to report that, 4 years after we made applications for Village Greens status for three areas of land (and several years before in preparation) two areas below have now been Registered as Village Greens and preserved as open spaces.  It only  remains for us to enjoy them for ever. My deepest thanks to all those who assisted in whatever way to make this possible.



Leighton Jones


The Bower Family Exhibition

“The present exhibition in the Local History Centre “The Bower Family & Knowle Lodge” has only three more weeks  left to run.

This exhibition features the history of the local Bower family, of the move to Birmingham from Newent in the mid 1700s by one member of the family, Edward, and the eventual move to Knowle in 1860 by one of Edwards grandsons, also Edward, and their lives thereafter.  We finish the exhibition with a brief synopsis of our late Dr Bower’s life and his devotion and contribution to the village and people of Knowle.

There are lots of lovely old and newer photographs to look at beginning in the early 1800s and we hope you’ll try to come along and see the exhibition before it finishes at the end of June. If you do make it, we would be very pleased if you could sign our visitor’s book which is usually on the table or on one of the cabinets.”