To celebrate the end of another year, we are holding a Christmas lunch at Edgbaston Golf Club on the 9th of December. The speaker this year is Ian Jelf with nearly 30 years experience, he will talk about his life as a tour guide.
To book a table, please click HERE, then fill out the form and press "Submit" near the bottom of it. You will need to complete one of these forms for each attendee. We look forward to hearing from you!
Bite-Size: Ian Jelf Walk “Ghostly and Grisly Birmingham”
The group assembled in Victoria Square. Ian Jelf started the Walk as he meant to carry on by skilfully
combining historical fact, folklore and humour. Even in the 19th century, Birmingham was known for
continually demolishing buildings, creating roads and rebuilding. During the construction of the
Town Hall two workmen were killed. On the top tier of the Town Hall, which has now gone, a ghostly
figure was seen wearing a top hat. In Congreve St a phone box reminded our guide of the ghost of
Erdington, a lady in a pink cardigan, who would be seen in a phone box on the phone but when the
door was opened, she was not there. We were told of the first man who was hanged at Winson
Green, the first hanging in 8o years. A drunken man who had gone to The White Hart Inn (now
demolished) near Chamberlain Square, tried to shoot his girlfriend but shot her friend by mistake. In
the Council House, the ghostly figure of Joseph Chamberlain wearing his distinctive orchid in his
buttonhole was reported to be seen through the glass of the parlour. The body of John Baskerville,
of the type of designer fame, was continually being dug up and moved. His body was even put on
display. Little squares of his shroud were sold as keepsakes. Eventually he was buried in Warstone
Lane cemetery, where his ghost has been seen wearing a rather ragged shroud. We walked down to
Hinckley Street, originally an area called the Inkleys, where there was extreme poverty and from
where the original Peaky Blinders came. In the Alexandra Theatre, there is the ghost of a manager
who jumps out at people. St Jude’s Church graveyard was originally where the Holiday Inn (formerly
The Albany) is now. A ghost has been seen there. The Grand Central station is on a site where there
was a public right of way, and this has been preserved to this day. The site was called The Froggery, a
marshy area. Ghostly lights of trains from the past have been seen on the tracks. We moved on to
the site of the old covered market, which was bombed. During the intense fire which developed
there was a sight of a huge wave of water moving uphill. It turned out to be a mass of hundreds of
rats fleeing the inferno. Moving on to St Philip's graveyard, we saw part of a plinth from the Town
Hall, a memorial to the two men killed in its construction. We saw a disused well said to have run
with blood. The graveyard holds thousands of bodies piled on top of each other. The path of a sad
procession through the graveyard was mentioned, i.e. the body of the last person executed by a
hanging in public was buried here (although he should have been buried in unconsecrated ground).
The man had killed a nightwatchman, he was tried in Warwick and hanged on Snow Hill before the
procession to St Philip’s. Finally, we saw the grave of the smallest woman in England, she was 2 ft 9"
18 members then enjoyed a meal after the Walk in The Old Joint Stock Pub, Colmore Row in a private
Written by George Mitchell
You can now send your photos to TASBE!
If you have recently been on an outing relating to TASBE, you can send us your photos. A selection will be made from all the ones received and posted on the website. It's a chance to show off your photography skills!
How to get involved:
We look forward to seeing where you have been and the photos you have taken!
Written by: Christine Marshall
Both our BiteSize visit to the Serbian Orthodox Church and our members' dinner at Edgbaston golf club have sold out! A big thank you to all who reserved their places in both events respectively. To those at the dinner tonight, we hope you have a wonderful time and a lovely meal.
Regarding the BiteSize visit, due to the demand for this event, we shall investigate the possibility of a repeat visit. Those who have already made their booking will be confirmed in due course. We are sorry to disappoint those of you who have been unable to make a booking this time. We look forward to seeing you on the next trip!
You can find the link on the left of the Home page or at the top of the Lectures page.
Using our website, you can review the past lectures online. This is now faster than ever, and takes just 30 seconds to fill in. The form is then emailed straight to our Membership Secretary, meaning we no longer have to rely on a 3rd party website.
I'll leave a link button here too, but encourage you to locate it in the places mentioned.
All feedback is very important! Just click the button below to fill out the form.
St Mary’s Convent is run as a Charity by the Union of the Sisters of Mercy, an apostolic order working in the community. They embrace people of all faiths and cultures, and of no faith at all. They put a great emphasis on hospitality and are looking forward to welcoming us to their Convent. It was founded in 1840 and designed by Augustus Pugin at the same time as he was designing Birmingham’s St Chad’s Cathedral. In 1952 the Convent was designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. Come and visit this beautiful building and learn more about the work of the Sisters in the community.
Please note that, as a Charity, donations on the day to the invaluable work of the Sisters will always be very
gratefully received by them.
TASBE First Night at our new venue, The Ruddock Centre for Performing Arts.
We experienced drama on the day hearing that our lecturer Simon Seligman was ill and could not attend.
Nevertheless he was able to download a recording of his talk , Debo Mitford, Derbyshire’s Duchess. Our grateful thanks to the background team at the Ruddock who set up the recording for our audience.
It was a shame Simon could not be with us. The recording was splendid including his commentary. The illustrated photographs of Debo’s life and contribution to Chatsworth was fascinating.
The talk was preceded by a tribute to the late John Pogmore, from Mike Emens and Joe Jordan. They gave us anecdotes about John’s life as a doctor and his work as a surgeon at Birmingham Women's Hospital.
John would welcome everyone as they entered the Barber Institute for our lecture evenings. He was also instrumental in arranging visits for TASBE to places of specific interest.
About 70 people came along for the evening.
It was a great pleasure to meet up with colleagues and friends once more, with the sound of conversations echoing through our splendid new venue.
We look forward to being at the Ruddock for the next talk on 25th November.