The impression of Poplar Road taken in the 1950’s in my mother’s day, shows the old Council House with a wall garden including the extending side office space no longer in existing demolished for Mill Lane shopping precinct, just a little further down was the old Police Station not in view of my painting I do however have childhood memories of walking past to go towards the High Street, strangely I was sad to see it demolished as a child I liked the architecture the space became a car park until Sainsbury’s was built. WOW was that considered a big supermarket when it 1st opened now it would be considered small.
The old Council House with the stone-built balcony I can just imagine the Lord Mayor in his robes standing there addressing the crowd. It has some history it once was known as the Public Hall built in 1876 by a private company as the “Public Hall”, which was used for social and charitable events such as an annual “Bountiful Tea Party” for up to 150 “aged matrons” along with hiring it out for the growing Methodist living in Solihull in the late eighth century.
Wesleyan Methodist Society, which grew to become a membership of 12 met in the village in the 1840’s, but it was 1883 before Methodism was truly founded in Solihull they would hire out the Court Room in
the Public Hall the cost would be 6 shillings a week to hold two services every Sunday.
The Public Hall was acquired by Solihull Rural District Council in 1919
Solihull’s Council House from 1937 until 1967 when the new Council House was opened on the present site near St Alphege Church. More memories of its opening of the new offices it was front page news and talk of the village.
After it ceased to be the Council House in 1967, it was leased to the Area Health Authority, where my sister in law worked for a short period of time before moving into office in Mell Square before being converted into a wine bar and restaurant, Bar Censsa, in 1999, it was a colorful place to enter with a new face lift it was successful then a new name Assembly Rooms yet another face lift away with the bright colours came along book cases opening hours for breakfast it was a busy and poplar pub.
Strange to think prayers would take place in this building to become a public bar now bear in mind it is now an established pub with its new name Yates.
If you would like to read more check out this website http://www.solihull-methodist.org.uk/about-us/history/
I like to give titles to my paintings after local history in this case it is named Thomas Godwin after a local man who lived in Solihull during (1920-2012) America by birth but made his home in Solihull. Thomas Charles Godwin (5 November 1920 – 3 November 2012 aged 91 passed away in Solihull) was a British track cyclist, active during the 1940s and 1950s. He held national records and raced abroad. He later became a coach, manager and administrator.
He won a 1,000m at The Butts track in Coventry on 29 July 1939. He repeated this success in 1945, adding the 25-mile title which he retained in 1946. In 1949 he won the 4000 metres event.He won the BSA Gold Column, offered by his employers, (he worked for BSA between 1936 to 1950) by winning the five-mile at Herne Hill, Dulwich Village in south London in 1945, strangely this is where my family lived to think that my parents could have watched him race.
Thomas Godwin managed the British cycling team at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, became president of the British Cycling Federation and of the Solihull Cycling Club.
For 36 years from 1950 he ran a cycle shop in Silver Street in the Kings Heath, Birmingham. His autobiography It Wasn't That Easy: The Tommy Godwin Story was published in 2007 by John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund.
In 2010 he was selected as an ambassador for the 2012 London Olympics. In 2012, aged 91, he was selected to take part in the Olympic torch relay, carrying it through Solihull.
He was president of Solihull Cycling Club. His wife, Eileen, died on 5 January 2011
Our sweetheart have just parked up outside their local bank are rushing to get out of the rain, meeting some friends in the local pub.