Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in January 2012

1. No further developments were reported in the Kimberley/Waitrose planning application which is expected to be heard by Solihull Council in February. In the meantime the Society will be meeting with the Council to discuss Conservation Area concerns in respect of the application.

2. Arrangements were tabled for the four events celebrating the Society’s Jubilee year. It was agreed in particular that the ‘Tea Party’ with birthday cake to be held in the Village Hall would be thrown open to the whole community, whether members of the Society or not. It was noted that the Any Question? broadcast was likely to be over-subscribed.

3. It was agreed to continue exploring the possibility of a full-colour newsletter – perhaps using a design and print service, though there were reservations about taking that route. The change could be made coincident with appointing a new editor, for which volunteers would be sought.

4. It was agreed to form a new committee (possibly to be named ‘Membership Services’) which would pull together the five member-related activities of Membership, Newsletter, Distribution, Website and Publicity. The need for greater coordination of these activities was recognised as the Society continues to respond to changes in communication and technology.

5. Although the Society has adequate funds at present it is recognised that is growing role in community events (such as the Christmas lights) and developments in the newsletter may cause regular expenditure to exceed income and that the subscriptions which have remained unchanged for many years, could require review.

6. Knowle Green Community Project – It was reported that there was possible private interest being expressed in developing this block. The Society would look further into this report but also noted that the block was actually owned by the Council.

7. Diana Holl-Allen representing the Knowle Councillors assured the meeting that the Local Development Framework would be seeking a lot of input from the community; she also stressed that if the community does not respond then decisions will be imposed upon it. She also reported that Council Tax is to be frozen for the next year and that the cemetery at Widney Manor is to be expanded.

8. Knowle Library – it was reported that the relationship with the library service over our Saturday afternoon opening arrangements is becoming increasingly positive and further developments are anticipated. Some 700 people have used this facility in which a 70% were children.

9. Christmas Lights – the condition and quantity of the remaining tree lights was such that it was agreed that enquiries would be made about the purchase of new LED lights.

10. One much valued committee member resignation was noted and two new ones were approved.

11. The future of the former bypass land and the lack of a potential walking link between Longdon Road and this land; the Society’s continued interest in being willing to assist with the Streamside Trust and the difficulty in selecting a suitable place for planting of a Jubilee tree in the autumn land was discussed. Solihull Council had expressed its willingness to cooperate in the planting a tree.

Calendar launch a great success

Our launch exhibition of the new calendar was well attended, you may also spot a well-known face or two! Much of the calendar stock was sold on the first day so be quick if you want a copy too!

See our news item on 19th September for more information about the calendar.

2012 Calendar of Knowle

To celebrate the Society’s Jubilee year in 2012, a delightful calendar of watercolours of Knowle by local artist Mike Humphreys is available for sale from 1st October 2011 for £4.99 each.

The Knowle Society celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. As part of the celebrations to mark this event the Society has published a calendar with a different picture each month representing Knowle in the present day. The pictures are copies of watercolours painted by a local artist who suffered a stroke in 2009. He had to learn to use his left hand and as part of his therapy he started to paint pictures of the village, with truly amazing results.

There will be a small exhibition of Mike’s paintings including the ones used for the calendar, in the Knowle Society Local History Centre (upstairs in Knowle Library) commencing Saturday 1 October 2011 from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

The calendar will be available for puchase (proceeds to charity) on the above date and afterwards from:

  • Knowle Library
  • Oxfam Bookshop, High Street, Knowle
  • Knowle Society Local History Centre, Saturday mornings 10am – 12.30pm.

Heritage Weekend – great success

As a contribution towards the national Heritage Open Days, the Society had a special display at the Local History Centre of the 1817 Enclosure Map of Knowle, a large and delicate document which is not usually put out for display. At one point the event drew capacity numbers upstairs in the library. Also proving to be a continuing success were our newly created photo albums exhibiting copies of all our photographic records, which would otherwise have to be requested one by one for viewing.

Dodwell Exhibition

The first in our planned series Local Wartime Heroes, tells of the heroic actions of Thomas Brierley Dodwell DSO DFC and can be viewed in our Local History Centre upstairs in Knowle Library until the end of June.

Thomas was born at Grove Farm, Grove Lane, Knowle on 2nd January 1897, son of Henry Dodwell, farmer and eminent County Councillor and Elizabeth Brierley daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Kimbell. He joined the RAF on 19th April 1918 and in the period before he was shot down on 16th August 1918, he had completed 64 missions over the lines, survived four crashes and several forced landings. His flying career ended when his plane was shot down and had to be ditched in a mined area of the Weilingen off the coast of Holland. Thomas was so badly wounded that his arm had to be amputated and he was then interned in Holland.

Come and see our exhibition and find out more about Thomas’s exploits and the amazing act of bravery he committed which led to him being; mentioned in dispatches, receiving the DSO and being the only member of the RAF to receive the American DFC in the 1st World War.