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Carpenter Road, Edgbaston - Royal Institution For The Blind

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
For over a hundred years from 1852 the Royal Institution for the Blind (as it was eventually called) occupied large, custom built premises in Carpenter Road, Edgbaston - no. 52 in the 1940s. Can anyone confirm the precise location of this building please? My current suspicion is that it was on a plot of land near the junction with Ampton Road, now occupied by modern houses; but I may well be wrong.

Thanks.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank you, everyone, for that. Great information.

Not that it is likely to fascinate anyone very much.... but I will explain my interest in this important building (of which there seems to have survived little information, at least online).

First, it was the digs of Home Guard men from all over the country who were attending courses at the Street Fighting School in Bristol Street, 1942-1944. (Sorry, yawn, yawn!)

Second, my great-uncle had some, perhaps even significant, involvement with it. Maurice Jacob Myers (1874-1933) was educated at King Edward's School, then in New Street of course, from around 1885 to 1890 and later trained elsewhere as a "Typewriter", (typist/stenographer). Some time after April 1891 he emigrated to New York and earned his living there as a Stenographer. This somewhat exotic change of location perhaps mirrored the adventurous spirit of his own father who had set off from Birmingham to California as a nineteen-year-old in about 1851, in order perhaps to cash in, a little late, on the Gold Rush, and returned in 1859. Later in New York Maurice suffered total blindness, said to be the result of a firearms accident. Returning to Birmingham, he obtained assistance from the Blind Institute and became a noted Braille shorthand and typewriter operator. On one occasion he took dictation from the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) during an exhibition in London. In 1918 he joined Midland Societies for the Blind as an organiser and canvasser. In 1933, he was being driven by friends on a fishing trip to Worcestershire, when the car in which he was travelling was in collision with another. He was taken to the Cottage Hospital in Halesowen where he died from his injuries.

My Great-Uncle Maurice, whom I never met....

Chris
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
It seems that the General Institute for the Blind in Birmingham had its first annual meeting in 1848 and it was described as Islington House, Broad Street. By 1855 in was described as Carpenter Road, Edgebaston.

This is from the Illustrated London News in 1853 and may be the building?

51286190-13B4-46C7-8D22-3193F6E5BBB8.jpeg 9A9A35C4-39E3-4458-BCD7-B624499B489A.jpeg 5B6B5B89-D5FA-4167-A6FA-C8F93FDB5A42.jpeg
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the additional information.

An image of my great-uncle and his stenography machine. Dated probably in the 1910s, or a year or two later. Location unknown, very probably not the Institution.

Chris

MauriceMyersStenographyMach.jpg
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
In the 1930s there was a journal called "The New Beacon" which served the interests of the blind nationally. This obituary from 1933 indicates the close relationship which Maurice Myers had with the Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind in Carpenter Road. Just to link one individual, amongst so many others, with that fine, now lost building........

Chris
MJMobit1.jpg MJMobit2.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
No 113 seems to be listed, certainly 1845-55, in directories as being occupied by John Lord. Cannot find any association of someone with that name to the blind. He is probably the John Lord of John Lord & Co , merchants of Friday Bridge. The house was sold with him in residence in 1845 (below). He is stated then to have a lease till lady day. Possibly the 1855 date is out of date information , though have not come across information that out of date in directories before
Aris Birm Gazette 18.5.1845.jpg
 
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