New exhibition on show

Knowle Lodge on the corner of Warwick Road and Lodge Road was demolished and replaced by a large estate of homes built by the Bowser brothers. This exhibition is a fascinating view on that recent history and the dwellings of hundreds of Knowle’s residents today.

Heritage Open Day – Saturday 12 September 2009

This annual national free event opens buildings to the public which are not normally open to view. This year in Knowle the church tower will be opening for visits. As a contribution to this event, The Knowle Society is making available for viewing some of its archives, in particular its always popular Scrapbooks of Knowle. These are becoming delicate books and are not normally available for close examination.

The Local History Centre team will be showing a selection of the many old scrapbooks from the archives which chronicle Knowle village life from the early 1900s onwards. Some of the very oldest have now been scanned and will be available to view on-screen.

In addition, the current exhibition ‘Henry Tonks, Surgeon & Artist’ born in Solihull, will be available to view and will be so until the end of September.

Both events take place in the History Centre, upstairs in Knowle Library, Saturday 12th September 2009, 11am-4pm.

All Welcome! All Free!

Press Release for launch of DVD

This press release was issued 3rd December to announce the Ratcliff films being released on DVD.


Knowle Library and the Knowle Society’s Local History Centre continue to work together to celebrate local heritage. Visit before December 13th and you can view two exhibitions and buy a DVD filled with footage from the last century.
The first exhibition, on the Library’s Ground Floor, is entitled ‘Historic Knowle’ and looks at a range of subjects around the village. The visitor can discover which of Kenilworth Road’s terraced houses sports a Victorian Jubilee plaque, used to be part of the Bulls Head Inn and subsequently housed the Sergeant next to his Police Station. Alongside this are photographs and detail about more prominent historic properties such as Knowle Hall and a village centrepiece, the magnificent 15th century Guild House.

Meanwhile, upstairs, in the Knowle Society run Local History Centre, the display cases present ‘Then and Now’. This is a photographic comparison of the village today and how it was. From Chester House, the Library itself, in 1894 to the junction of Lodge and Longdon Roads in 1927, times have changed and the pictures show how.

After that, the Library counter has take home nostalgia in the form of a new Knowle Society DVD, ‘Knowle Celebrations’, which contains over an hour of extracts from twenty-three films made by Mr F G Ratcliff. The earliest shows the British Legion Parade estimated at 1930 and the final one, the opening of Knowle Primary School in 1966. In between are the celebrations King George V’s Jubilee and VE Day, a village Tug’o’War, several Carnivals and more.

The DVD provides a fascinating insight into community life in decades past. There are also some remarkable glimpses of the main streets of Solihull Town Centre from the 1960s as demolition was in hand to prepare for the construction of Mell Square.

Janet Erzen, the new Chair of the Local History Committee, said ‘Knowle Society has a tremendous archive of village memories and the Library, the oldest building on the High Street, is the ideal place to showcase them.’

Celebrations in Knowle from the 1930s to the 1960s – new DVD

Launched on Saturday 13th September – The Knowle Society’s first DVD, price 8 pounds. It comprises unique black and white and early colour film of carnivals and national celebrations in Knowle taken over four decades by Mr F G Ratcliff.

This is a new version of the VHS video last available in 1993. It provides a fascinating and amusing insight into life in the growing village of Knowle. This DVD makes a delightful gift and will appeal to anyone with a love of Knowle and particularly to anyone with roots in the village.

Available from the main desk downstairs at Knowle Library, at all of the Society’s main meetings and at the Local History Centre upstairs in Knowle Library on Saturday mornings.