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Birmingham Open Air Schools - Cropwood, Hunter's Hill, Marsh Hill and Skilts (excl. Haseley Hall and Uffculme)

Chrisange51

knowlegable brummie
I went to Cropwood for only 6 weeks having went there half way through a term , I did not go back, also back in 1962 I went to one called Baskerville in Harbourne Birmingham for 14 months
 

michaelwicks54

Aston bred & proud.
marketman1956
I understand that there were six Birmingham Open Air Schools opened after 1911 and dedicated to the care of sick Birmingham children: Cropwood, Haseley Hall, Hunter's Hill, Marsh Hill, Skilts and Uffculme.

Of these, the following have individual threads within this Forum:

Cropwood, including a bit about Hunter's Hill – (this thread)

Haseley Hall –
Uffculme –
I'm going to amend the title of this thread to include the four amongst the above which aren't properly represented on the Forum at present. Let's hope that it will ecourage members with experience of those places to contribute to this thread. (Not least you about Hunter' Hill!)

To everyone who reads this thread, I should just like to say, as someone who as a child suffered neither ill health nor being wrenched from my family at an early age to deal with it, that I find it difficult to imagine just how dreadful the experience must have been. It's probably not surprising that the memories I have read range from the very positive to the very negative. Anyone, but most especially those with unhappy memories, should really read the book on this subject which has been mentioned before. It might put their experiences into the context of what was going on, what had to be done to make the places work and be effective, what was achieved and how the memory of other pupils matched up (or didn't match up) with their own.

The book is "A Breath of Fresh Air" written by Frances Wilmot (née Headford, ex-Cropwood) and Pauline Saul (née Brueton) ex-Uffculme), published by Phillimore & Co. Ltd., 1998, ISBN 1 86077 075 4. Very well written and presented and full of memoirs (including one from Miss U. at Cropwood), names, extracts from the establishments' logbooks, photographs and so on. It's no doubt out of print now and it does appear to be difficult to pick up second hand. But it's sure to be available in the Central Library, at the very least. Worth the effort tracking it down

Chris
Thank you Chris. Will certainly be trying to obtain a copy, as I am a former pupil of HHOAS.
 

Chrisange51

knowlegable brummie
Hi michaelwicks there was another Open air school in Brum, called Baskerville in Harborne the big old house was beautiful , John Baskerville a big noise of Brum had the big house built for himself and family, john Baskerville was murdered there by a burglar who broke in.. The house was given over to Birmingham council who turned it into a open air school for sick children mainly from the back to backs of Brum including me I was there 14 months. By the early 1970.s it was turned into a house for boys who was sent there for crimes they had committed, the house got burnt down such a shame it was a lovely building, Baskerville is a centre now for children with disabilities.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Chrisange51.

For anyone interested in Baskerville, there is a lengthy thread elsewhere in the Forum and containing a number of images, here:
Chris
 

Chrisange51

knowlegable brummie
Thanks, Chrisange51.

For anyone interested in Baskerville, there is a lengthy thread elsewhere in the Forum and containing a number of images, here:
Chris
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Hi michaelwicks there was another Open air school in Brum, called Baskerville in Harborne the big old house was beautiful , John Baskerville a big noise of Brum had the big house built for himself and family, john Baskerville was murdered there by a burglar who broke in.. The house was given over to Birmingham council who turned it into a open air school for sick children mainly from the back to backs of Brum including me I was there 14 months. By the early 1970.s it was turned into a house for boys who was sent there for crimes they had committed, the house got burnt down such a shame it was a lovely building, Baskerville is a centre now for children with disabilities.
hi chris as far as i am aware john baskerville was not murdered always assuming you are talking about the john baskerville who invented the typeface for printing and had baskerville house in the city centre named after him...maybe for the sake of history a bit of research is needed...

in the meantime here is a photo dated 1920 of baskerville house in harborne

lyn

Harborne Court Oak Rd Baskerville House c1920 ioe.JPG
 

michaelwicks54

Aston bred & proud.
hi chris as far as i am aware john baskerville was not murdered always assuming you are talking about the john baskerville who invented the typeface for printing and had baskerville house in the city centre named after him...maybe for the sake of history a bit of research is needed...

in the meantime here is a photo dated 1920 of baskerville house in harborne

lyn

View attachment 157188
Wow. What a fantastic photo Lyn. I had heard of Baskerville House but did not know where it was or had ever seen it until now. Thank you so much for sharing this. Having just read up about John Baskerville. You are correct Lyn. There is no mention of him being murdered. He died at the age of 69, (also the same age as his wife: Sarah).
 
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Pete Thompson

New Member
Hi Chris, I went to Cropwood from April 64 to April 67. I have wonderful memories and have always wanted to write my own book about my experience living there.
I can relate to many of the stories and I actually believe I knew Susan Jones and I remember her best friend was Collete Sewell. They both had a rigorous bedtime ritual which I remember but won't go into detail.
I remember at least twenty girls by name and some by number, yes we had a number mine was 21 and I remember number 1 was a girl called Annette Wall.
The dark cloud at school was Miss Urquhart, who was indeed a regimental headmistress and I received six of the best for a small misdemeanor, with my house slipper, which was a crepe soled leather sandal.
As you can see I could go on but if anyone would like to make contact I would love to share memories of my life at Cropwood.
Thank you Susan Ferriday nee Hickman.
Hi Susan. I've been writing a eulogy for my sisters funeral and found this site. Christine Thompson was at Cropwood around the same time as yourself. Do you know the name?
 

marketman1956

knowlegable brummie
Hi Susan. I've been writing a eulogy for my sisters funeral and found this site. Christine Thompson was at Cropwood around the same time as yourself. Do you know the name?
Hi Pete, read your article about your sister Christine... condolences by the way.
I too was there at the same time as your sister..I often find names can slip from memory..but pictures can re-awaken them.
 
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