Derek Mellor, dies after a short illness

The Knowle Society is very sad to announce that Derek Mellor, has died after a serious stroke followed by a period in hospital. Derek was very active as Membership Secretary, past chairman of the local history committee and a former Trustee Director of the Society.

Derek’s funeral will take place at 10.30am on Monday 18 May at Robin Hood Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations to ‘The Knowle Society’ via Bragg & Sons, the undertaker.

Note from the Local History Committee chairman:

Derek was past Chairman of the Local History Committee remaining on the committee after he stepped down as Chairman last November. He will be remembered by many for the excellent talks, visits and exhibitions he planned and organised and for his indefatigable work in general for The Knowle Society over the last few years.

Under his chairmanship the local history committee revised and re-published the Guide to Central Knowle, for which Derek personally contributed several stunning photographs. Other initiatives included a DVD of the Ratcliff films of Knowle, afternoon talks on historical subjects, several highly successful historical visits and an enthusiastic and hard-working committee setting up regular exhibitions and completely overhauling the cataloguing and storage of the Society’s historical artifacts and records.

Derek will be missed by many people for many reasons not least by ‘His’ history team who will endeavour to carry on his work to the same high standards that he demanded of himself.

Note from the Chairman of The Knowle Society:

Derek was also the membership secretary of the Society which included co-ordinating distribution of the newsletter. To say that he did the job well is a gross under-statement. His attention to detail in an organisation that grew to over 3000 members during his time in the post was exemplary. He and his team were superb in ensuring the smooth running of the database and of the army of distributors, both of bulk numbers and also street deliverers. He also kept his dry sense of humour in doing so. He will be very much missed.

Civic Trust announces that it is entering administration

The trustees of the Civic Trust announced on 17th April 2009 that the Civic Trust is to be placed into administration. The Knowle Society is registered with the Civic Trust. A new ‘Civic Trust Initiative’ was formed on 2nd June.

It is not clear what effect this will have on the Civic Societies movement generally but the immediate impact on The Knowle Society itself is unlikely to be significant.

An announcement by English Heritage on 18th May states that it will be rescuing the Heritage Open Days programme (of which it was previously a partner) from The Civic Trust, for all future years. The Knowle Society and Knowle Parish Church have combined successfully in recent years to put on HODS events in Knowle. These national events usually take place around the second weekend in September and this year take place over 10-13 September.

As at 2nd June 2009 a new organisation ‘Civic Trust Initiative’ has been launched to keep the movement going. It will not be the same set up as before although some names continue. The Knowle Society will consider its position when more information becomes available and when it hears how WestMASA intends to relate to the new body.

Presentation of plaque to Les Kyles’ widow

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At a recent meeting of The Knowle Society in the Village Hall, Mrs Moira Kyles was presented with a plaque to express the Society’s deep appreciation for over ten years of committed support for the Society by Les in his work as a local ward councillor and as one-time Mayor of Solihull. Mrs Kyles received the award with her two daughters.

Mrs Kyles expressed her great pleasure at the presentation and plans that when Knowle Library opens again after its refurbishment during early 2008, the plaque will be held in the library for everyone to see.

News Items 2002 – 2006

Stories created before 2007 were not archived but survive in title only.

  • 2000 members!
  • Iron and willow-weave Dragonfly in Knowle Park Vandalised
  • Family History Societies talk January 2006
  • History of Knowle Park (Job’s Close)
  • Notice of November 2005 AGM
  • Visit to HDRA—Henry DoubleDay Research Association at Ryton (photo)
  • Letter from Gary Masters re Licensing hours – 27 July 2005
  • Letter to SMBC from G Masters re. traffic calming on the Kenilworth Rd – 23 June 2005
  • Local History Centre exhibition ‘The Red Lion’
  • Apology for loss of service from web forwarding provider (May 2005)
  • Housing developments in Knowle (3rd February 2005)
  • Musical Evening – The Blossomfield Singers (18th November 2004)
  • Parkridge & PPG (18th November 2004)
  • Images of Lodge Road (1st November 2004)
  • Bus changes (24 October 2004)
  • American Interlude exhibition – preparing for D Day
  • LNR launch 18 (September 2004)
  • Heritage open day (11 September 2004)
  • 1st Knowle Scouts receives cheque from the Wootton Fund
  • Planning applications now feature photographs and maps
  • Recent Newsletters now available in pdf
  • Gumley Wilson – Squire of Knowle and Black Sheep – Exhibition 1 March – 31 May 2004
  • Skateboard proposals in Jobs Close Park
  • Record numbers on Boxing Day Walk
  • Constitution (2002) now on website
  • Plane trees on Warwick Road going
  • Bus timetable amendments
  • Parkridge Development of 78 apartments rejected by Solihull Council
  • St Johns Close questionnaire – broad conclusions and numerical results
  • Goodbye Sodens – the story of a butcher’s shop
  • Knowle Library Local History Month – Knowle Society Local History Centre
  • Latest amenity developments in Knowle
  • Past newsletters are now available on this website
  • Questionnaire about St Johns Close
  • Open Day about St Johns Close, 28th June 2003
  • Report on the Bluebell Walk
  • Pathfinder, Open Letter to Residents, Correcting a misunderstanding!
  • News of current highway and amenity developments around Knowle due in early 2003
  • Report on first walk of the year on Sunday 23rd March.
  • See our programme of meetings and walks for 2003
  • Exhibition for the Church’s 600th anniversary (Guild Register came to Knowle)
  • Saturday 26 October 2002 gales brought down tree at Milverton House
  • Society President’s reminiscences at the 40th anniversary birthday party
  • Society’s response to government proposals for Midlands airports expansion
  • Pictures of Knowle’s highly successful Jubilee street event
  • Millennium sign is one year old!

There were older stories that appeared from soon after the Society’s website began but these have not been archived.