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Welcome to the site, If you have read all of this thread you will see that I am a lifelong fan of Percy. I think its a disgrace that it has taken this long for him to get some sort of acclaim from his adopted city.
I had spoken with Tony Hazell (his grandson) on a couple of occasions about this day of celebration and had promised him I would be there. Unfortunately I was at Robin Hood Crematorium instead attending a funeral.
I read the article in the Birmingham Mail and was dismayed how poor it was. My personal thoughts are that it was something that was cobbled up by somebody who wasn't even in attendance. After the event because of complaints received about there being no story on it. As Lyn has said why no photo of the blue plaque.
Welcome to the forum and may I congratulate you for getting this done for Percy.
I lived in Sparkbrook from 1944-1966 with my mom and four older brothers and sisters that were all helped by Percy in his day. I was the youngest and always got left out, but that's another story. I know my mom always voted for Percy and at election time we kids would chant his song as we marched round the streets. I would have been at the ceremony if I could but I now live in Belgium and get very tired from travelling.
Once again well done and I'm so sorry if you've had such a poor response but it seems to be a sign of the times.
How sad it didn't get the publicity it deserved. My Dad worked in Sparkbrook at Smith Bros and Webb in Mole St untill his death in 1969. I often wonder now if he met or knew Percy. Well done angie81 we appreciate all your hard work!
Thanks for your comments about the blue plaque day. It was Tony Hazell who told me about this forum. There was an article in this week's free paper "Birmingham Mail extra" which had a different photograph (Tony cutting a cake that the school cooking club made.) This article also made it clear that he was Percy's grandson.
Can I also extend my thanks to you for getting this wonderful tribute to Percy off the ground.
Because I was unable to attend Tony has been kind enough to email me with some details of how the day went for him.
I am posting near enough the entirety of the email (with his permission) along with a couple of photos of what we all want to see a photo of the plaque itself and Tony and The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and another of the Balloon release.
I am so sorry that you were unable to attend the ceremony at the School on Friday 5th. It was a truly wonderful occasion!. The school had put an enormous amount of effort into organising a wide range of activities to mark the occasion.
The day began with a full school assembly with all the children seated on the floor in the middle of the hall, surrounded by a large number of adult guests, including a number who had been ‘Percy’s Sparrows’. The children demonstrated a number of the activities that they are involved in as part of their education. Several members of the Birmingham Civic Society were present and the actual unveiling of the plaque was done jointly by myself and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Michael Wilkes. A splendid lunch was then provided by the Catering Staff from the school. This provided an opportunity for lots of discussion and reminiscing and I was able to meet with several people who remembered my grandfather.
After lunch the children were involved in a variety of activities followed by a special party which had to be held in the hall due to the onset of rain. The rain did clear and the day ended with the mass release of balloons. I had taken along a variety of memorabilia of Percy that I have in my possession and it was a great privilege to share these items with many of the guests. I felt so proud of my grandfather’s achievements and am so grateful to the Civic Society for agreeing to the production of a plaque in his memory. Very special thanks must go of course to Angela Lane without whom none of this would have happened. She did a marvellous job in putting together the necessary evidence to justify a memorial plaque and I am extremely grateful to her for all her efforts. I am also very grateful to the Headteacher of the Percy Shurmer School, Emma Simpson and all her staff for the organisation of such a wonderful day and for their commitment to the education of the children who attend the school.
Once again Phillip, I am really sorry that you were unable to attend but hope that this short account will give you a flavour of what was a truly wonderful occasion.
Tony has indicated that If I wish more photo's he will send them. I intend to be cheeky and take him up on his offer. When I have received them and if he gives permission I will post them to the forum.
On the 6/6/09 a Blue Plaque commemorating Percys life.
In the early fifties I attended a [SPARROWS] held at the town hall at Xmas.
This was because of Mr. Percy Shurmers help for the underpriviliged kids of Brum.
His grandson attended the ceremony [Tony] He is now the LORD HIGH SHERIFF OF GLAMORGAN?
Also there...Carl Chinn, Mayor of Brum [other dinitaries]and also
Don McClane [comedien].
There was a sprinkling of Percy's Sparrows there, plus a fine rendition of the election song?
Although I left Balsall Heath at two and a half, my parents and elder
brothers were always talking about him, my brother Ray was always singing "Vote, vote, vote for Percy Shurmer whos that knocking on the door" He was held in very high esteem by the people in that area, we moved out to Yardley Wood in 1933, otherwise no doubt I would have been one of his sparrows because poor we certainly were! The likes of
Percy were few and far between and became local heros.
Thank goodness there are folk left who remember people like him and
recording it , otherwise an important part of Birminghams history would
be gone for ever!
Quote; The Best way to kill time is to work to death
We are all worried about the environment and our wild life. I think that if Percy was around today he would also be. In fact I am sure that all the members of this forum sympathetic to your cause.
I think that your argument and grievance is with the Council and I think it sad that you thought that you had to use this tribute to a great son of Birmingham to air your protests. After all he had little to do with the celebrations on the 5th of June other than be the focus point of it.
I agree with Phil. Read some of the other posts and you'll see how much we all care about wildlife and the environment. To put your comments on this thread is disrespectful to a great man of Birmingham and irrelevant to the Thread.
I'm glad you agree with me. I wonder if one of the moderators could take a look at this and in a couple of days time when enough people have read pigsonthewing's post they might remove this section of the thread as it has little to do with history.
I say after a few days because I would not like pigsonthewing to think that the forum does not sympathise with their point of view.
the June edition of the Balsall Heathan is now out which contains an excellent article about the blue plaque day on 5th june. You can view the magazine on line at www.stpaulstrust.org.uk
go to the website then click "Community" then click on "Balsall Heathan" to view issue and others.
I have reinstated all the images on this thread that I have posted, and would ask that if anyone else who posted an image would kindly reinstate it. If they are unable then please PM me as I might have a copy of the image that I can send them.
I will just add this image of the great man's funeral cortage as it passed his house on Belgrave Rd on June 4th 1959, that I recently came across.