B.14

BIRMINGHAM…….B14

KINGS HEATH & DISTRICT

HISTORY

INSTITUTE ROAD

©  COLIN BAKER   2007                                                                                      

In 1911, a plot of land at Institute Road was purchased with plans to build a public bath. The First World War interrupted plans for the development and it wasn't until August 15th 1923  that the baths opened. They were constructed as part of the Unemployed Relief Works with facilities including a swimming bath with washing baths for men and women. There was only one pool 100 feet long by 35 feet wide. It also had the ability of being floored over in the winter months for dancing and other social purposes.

The baths were used as a causality unit during WW2, again by covering the bath with a timber floor.

The baths closed in 1987,and the building demolished.

A leisure centre has been built on the site.

KINGS HEATH INSTITUTE

The Institute stood on the corner of High Street and Institute Road. It was built with money donated by J.H.Nettlefold & Major James Cartland both local benefactors. The foundation stone was laid on the 24th July 1878 by Mrs.J.H.Nettlefold. It was constructed of red brick with stone dressing and the main entrance was in Institute Road and approached by a flight of steps. The original building was added to in 1882 when a lecture hall was built adjoining the existing building. The total cost of building was £5,000.

The building housed a library, assembly hall and lecture theatre, it became an adult education centre and was the home to many different clubs and organisations and dances and operatic performances were held there.

The Kings Heath Working Men’s Club, started in 1882, and met at the Institute until 1933, when Woolworths took over the building. It started with the intension of “promoting fellowship amongst young men and providing them with an innocent and pure form of recreation”. Facilities at the club included billiards, cards, chess, ping pong, with an air gun range, library and reading room provided for the benefit of members. By 1890 it had a membership of over 150, with a weekly subscription of one penny. It was also the home of Kings Heath Albion football team.

Woolworths store leased the ground floor in the 1930’s with the rooms above still being used by the Institute. The building was finally demolished in the 1970’s, and replaced by the current Woolworth building.

KINGS HEATH SCHOOL

Kings Heath School was opened in 1878, built at a cost of £7,000. It was designed to accommodate 150 boys ,150 girls and 220 infants. These numbers were soon exceeded and the school was extended along Institute Road. By the 1900’s the premises were unable to cope so in 1911 the schools at Colmore Road were opened.

The school remained in use until September 1982 when it closed and the building was demolished shortly after.

The site is now known as Scots Corner.

KINGS HEATH PICTURE HOUSE

Located in Ruskin Hall, 25 Institute Road, in a building designed by Harry H. Reynolds  it was opened in 1911 by Kings Heath Electric Pictures Ltd. In 1915 it changed it’s name to Cosy Cinema, and closed a few years later. The building still exists today, it has been used by P.V. Wall & Sons a local plumbing company for over 40 years.