The foundation stone was laid in Mell Square on 11th December 1964 by the Mayor of Solihull, Alderman H. C. Taylor, and the first shops opened in the summer of 1966.
The new shopping centre was officially opened on 20th May 1967 and named after (William) Maurice Mell who was Town Clerk (forerunner of the Chief Executive) of Solihull from 1946 until his sudden death, aged 56, on 19th January 1965. The families and homes which came down to make way for Mell Square, for a new modern 1960’s shopping centre, it must have been quite something for the village to have many brand-new stores with Marks
You can hear him read an address of welcome to H.R.H. The Princess Margaret when she presented the Charter on behalf of the Queen.
The fountains were situated in the center of the square, in the summer months people would enjoy sitting on the wall dipping their feet or just go paddling in the fountains. But without fail when the schools broke up from the secondary schools would put washing powder in the water and WOW watch it foam up, the bubbles would be blown everywhere particular if they choose a windy afternoon.
It was like snow covering the square Not very popular with the adults, but the kids would love it.
This painting is set in the 1980’s when cars still had access on the High St and Mell Square it might appear strange to see cars driving around the square, in those days there was little parking space in the bays, the drivers would ago around and around the square until their passengers had finished shopping! but it was not that long ago. It’s been a great improvement to pedestrianised the town center in 1987-88. I lived and watch the development happen during this time as I lived above Greenfields shop, it was great view to watch the development and the entertainment of below.
I like to give titles to my art which relate to Solihull and era so in this case I have named it after a local man, Gary Delaney (born 16 April 1973, in Solihull) is writer and stand-up comedian. Now I wonder if Gary can remember the kids putting washing powder in the fountain for a laugh. It would look like snow in the square, bubbles everywhere. BBC Online described Delaney as "the man Jimmy Carr tries to be".
He writes for Birmingham-based FM radio station Kerrang! 105.2 and appeared in the horror-comedy film Trash House. His first Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Purist, won generally very positive reviews, including four stars from comedy website Chortle, and The Independent newspaper. Delaney had two of his gags included in the top ten of the third annual Dave Award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe, the only comedian to do so. Following an increased profile due to appearances on Mock the Week and Dave's One Night Stand, Delaney toured Purist in 2013. He married in 2013 to fellow standup comedian Sarah Millican.