Opening day - Moor Pool History

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1870 onward

The Opening of the Estate 1907

The picture above is taken from Park Hill Road looking at the first houses actually built in Park Hill Road. The land where Margaret Grove is, still remains as fields. The track is approximately the line of Margaret Grove.

In the picture below Margaret Nettlefold is cutting the first sod using the spade now kept at Winterbourne Gardens. The houses behind the group are in Park Hill Road with the photographer standing with his back to Moor Pool Avenue.
The tall gentleman standing in the centre is Dr Gore, Bishop of Birmingham. In his opening address Dr William Gore said;
“They were perfectly conscious that the housing problem lay at the very root of social reform. There must be better houses, more room, more gardens and more open spaces for the children. The Harborne Tenants aspired to provide houses under these conditions within the means of workmen and artisans……..These houses were to be suitable for bringing up healthy children and healthy men and women. It would be an example of town-planning……..They had set an example of what could be done in the way of town-planning on a voluntary basis. They were going to make an Edgbaston for the less wealthy class on that spot”.

On the front row, second from right is Henry Vivian M.P. Chairman of Co Partnership Tenants Ltd. Mr Vivian said;
"They would watch this experiment in Birmingham with interest for it would have its influence all over this great district".

‘They wanted the City Councillors and urban district councils to have the power to say to building speculators:’ “You shall not crowd houses irrespective of decency and the health of the children and the inhabitants of the houses.” 
The Right Hon William Kenrick
The actual sod cutting spade still exists and is on display at Winterbourne Gardens, Nettlefolds home along with many other interesting exhibits on his life and work. Well worth a visit and only about a mile and a half from Moor Pool.

100 years later at the Centenary celebration of this event the Moorpool Players performed a re-enactment. Visit the page to see pictures of the performance.
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