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i havent yet seen anyone who attended mary street infants school in balsall heath on here ..i started there in 1951.and left for secondary school in 1957..to go to upper highgate school for girls where i finished my education. .....
This 1923 photo is of the girls section. When it opened it would have been a substantial school with junior and senior pupils. It seems to have lost its senior students in the re-organisation of the 1920s/30s. Here's an extract from the British History online site. Viv.
MARY STREET COUNTY PRIMARY SCHOOL, Balsall Heath.(27) Mary St. Bd. Sch. opened 1 Apr. 1878 (25) by King's Norton Sch. Bd. Accom. 820 Boys, Girls, Infants (21) Fees all 1d.(22) It was the first permanent sch. in new buildings opened by the Bd.(25) Enlarged 1883. Altered and reorganized 1928–33 for Junior Mixed, Infants. Damaged by enemy action 1940. Depts. united 1944. Repaired and altered 1950.(21) Accom. 1955: 17 classrooms, hall.(28)
Mary Street School, Balsall Heath - class photographs
I attended Mary Street School from 1954 to 1961. I have many memories of teachers and pupils but do not have any class/ group photos and cannot find any on websites, although there are some from earlier. I have a couple of individual photos of myself but no class photos, this might be due to these not being taken or that my single parent mother could not afford them. I have still got all my reports and certificates etc. from 54 to 61.
I would love to see any photos from this era and hear any memories.
It is strange that I have lived and worked most of my life in the Birmingham area and have only met one person from Mary Street since leaving Dennis Road school in 1966.
I don't think that is Mary Street School, I can't think where you would be looking at the backs of houses through the playground. I think you would be looking at the front of the houses in Cox Street West from the back of the school across the playground. Bob
The last is one of my photos (which I had forgotten I'd ever posted) and is definitely of St Mary St (then Belgrave ) School playground taken when the school was being demolished.. I thought I had previously posted my photos (other than that one) on the forum , but cannot find them. So below are all of them , (including a few not very good ones taken against the sun).
It was 45 years ago, and, unfortunately, I lost all my notes, but am sure it must have been Mary St, as I do not remember going to the other end of the Street to St Johns, and all the other photos on the roll are of the area. Looking at the 1954 map below, I do agree that from that i cannot see where it was taken, though maybe soem changes in th eplayground were mad after 1954 (extra walls ?)
I agree its strange. I have just assumed it was the playground of the school. It was on the film immediately after the photo labelled 22B and before the ones marked 27B-30B. Cannot think what else it can be
Do you think they could have expanded the playground to the south after the map was drawn into the area behind victoria Place on the map, and we are looking across that to the back of Victoria Place?.
#6 photo definitely looks like a school playground with the high wire fencing above the wall to stop balls going into the gardens/backyards. And it's a similar low wall around other parts of the school buildings.
Looking at Mike's 1954 map the houses behind the wire fence seem to fit the footprint of #s 53 - 57 Upper Cox Street. I don't think the Victoria Pl houses fit the footprint). So I think Mike's #6 photo was looking towards Upper Cox Street. The wall to the right has a break in it to give access to the playground from the area (earlier playground ?) to the right.
Between #53 and the next house (#52 Upper Cox Street?) is a passageway as seen on the map. The school fence ends at that point and the wall would therefore return towards the school itself (left of the photo as indicated by the diagonal post of the fence).
So the opening in the (original ?) school wall to the right seems to have been made (into the existing wall on the map?) and as Mike says, perhaps to extend the playground area to the south. Maybe due to accomodating increasing school numbers. viv..
One thing is for sure, and that it is not St Johns School RC at the other end of Mary Street which only had two small playgrounds one which faced on to Mary Street and was slightly higher than pavement level. The other was boxed in by school buildings at the rear of the School and backed on to St Johns Church in George St.
I think you are right, there was a "new" playground behind and below the prefab type classrooms which faced Mary Street, south of the main school. If it is the backs of the Victoria Place houses (can't really tell) that are backing on to the playground in your photo ,that's the answer, mystery solved.
My post #3 was asking for any class pictures from Mary Street, I have not found any of these but I did come across a picture of the staff from about 1960, many faces I recall. Does anyone else remember these teachers?