Heritage Open Day
15th September 2018
Some of the former pupils who revisited the scene of their classroom labours and achievements
Calling All Ex-Staff
Annual Staff Photo
2014 Heritage Open Day saw the inauguration of a new annual event – The Mini Staff Reunion. Not a reunion for small staff but an opportunity for former and a few more.. ahem.. shall we say mature? current Moseley staff to meet again and for once not in the Covered Wagon!
In subsequent years an encouraging number of staff have responded to the invitation to make use of the Heritage Day Opening and met up, enjoying a good catch up over tea and cake. For many it was their first opportunity to see the second restoration of the Victorian building – the transformation of the hall into the school library/learning centre and the gym into music suites/recording studios was much admired.
A Little Background Info
During the 1990's, the then Head Teacher of Moseley School, Mary Miles, turned to The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage to help with the restoration of the almost derelict, Spring Hill College. As a direct result of the money received Moseley School is obliged to open its doors to the general public as part of Heritage Open Days.
Heritage Open Days are a national event and provide an opportunity to explore buildings which might otherwise be inaccessible, at no charge. Spring Hill College, being the former Moseley Grammar School building and now part of Moseley School, remains one of Birmingham’s finest grade II listed buildings, with a fascinating 150 year history. The association provides hour-long guided “history tours” of the building, featuring its highlights; the library, tower, Head’s house and Victorian hydropathic baths. Refreshments and displays are also available.
Heritage Open Day 2018
Each year Moseley School opens Spring Hill College (the former Moseley Grammar School building) to association members and the general public as part of English Heritage Open Days. This year the building was open for FREE guided tours on Saturday 15th September when we welcomed around 200 visitors who came along with their family and friends to enjoy a few hours wandering around this iconic building.
Guided Tour by Rod Ling (2011)
No dampener on Heritage Open Day 2017
Once again enthusiasts turned up in remarkable numbers for Heritage Open Day in last September when Springfield College at Moseley School opened to the public for four hours.
More than 100 signed in, including a welcome group of current and past students and staff, and a band of Moseleians Association volunteers, among them head teacher Roger McBrien, were on hand to inform visitors of the establishment’s history and current success.
This was backed up by displays of pictures and details tracing the functions of the building and the nature of the area over the last 160 years, when successively the site adapted from theological college to botanical gardens, hydropathic spa, military and teacher training centres, a police station and sisters of mercy home.
The range of uses even before the school took over in 1927 – itself subject to various changes to meet education policy and local demand - proved a fascinating tale for the dozens of folk who took advantage of guided tours headed by Richard Cobb, Roger Green and Gaye Key.
They in turn picked up interesting material – the former pupil now a teacher at Springfield School, who proudly brought his family to see the Grade II listed Victorian Gothic showpiece, the man who came because a relative was posted to the temporary police station, the ex-Moseley student now an architect who marveled at the building’s design, the great-nephew of a WW1 veteran who returned from the Western Front to train at Moseley as a teacher.
This was in the post-war years when many dozens of wounded military were offered the chance to become schoolmasters by studying in a temporary teachers training college set up in the building.
Roger Powell’s great uncle, Austin Howard Pennington, who was wounded while serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was recommended for the course by his pre-war employers, Oldbury Education Department, and went on to change career and teach at Titford Road School, Langley until forced to retire on ill health grounds just before WW2.
Tour Guide Training
Have You Got What It Takes To Be Tour Guide?
The association is currently looking to 'train up' some new tour guides.
If you are interested and would like more information please contact Richard Cobb using the form below.
Past Heritage Open Days
In 2012 Spring Hill College was partly a construction site as the refurbishment and renovation of this grade II listed building preceded slowly onwards and consequently some areas were out of bounds to visitors. In 2013 and 2014 however, the whole building was once again open for guided tours as visitors took advantage of Heritage Open Days to visit Moseley School’s iconic building. Iconic? well maybe. Set on high ground, for over a century and a half its impressive façade and tower has greeted travellers as they toil their way up Wake Green Road, from JRR Tolkien’s house at the bottom of the hill, past middle earth (aka Moseley Bog) and onwards to Moseley Village. Hobbits, Wizards, Elks, Dwarfs and Orks would all have shook with fear at finding themselves standing in front of Messrs Robinson and Gaskin’s study, let alone entering their house, but tour visitors not only inspected the old Head’s house but also climbed, breathless and panting, the 120 steps to the see the green and lush view from Moseley’s only tower.
Once again we were delighted with the response from local residents, former pupils and Birmingham citizens who came to see one of Birmingham’s hidden treasures, and this is what Heritage Open Days is all about. Buildings that are not normally open to the public are thrown open, free of charge, for visitors to explore. As part of an agreement made with English Heritage after securing finance for the buildings renovation in the mid 90’s, Moseley School opens its doors each September as part of National Heritage Open Days and the Moseleians Association play their part in leading guided tours which tell the history of Spring Hill College from 1857 to the present day, a fascinating history which includes sex, drugs and rock and roll. Actually I lie, there is no sex or drugs but there is slave trading, orphans, embezzlement and rock and roll!
Remember the rumors of tunnels, truth or myth? Gunshot holes in the brickwork, truth or myth? dynamite thrown during assembly, truth or myth? the blue goldfish, truth or myth? Answers to these and many more questions like what do the initials JJ set into the brickwork halfway up the back of the tower stand for? were answered during this year’s free guided tours. If you weren’t there why not? and if you were stop asking such damn stupid question… of course the bullet holes are real!