Thursday, 7 July 2011


Ongoing research; last updated 8 February 2012

This volume continues the historical overview of Selly Oak Park; the earlier years having been reported in the previous volumes (see the column on the right) and in the book, “The Heydays of Selly Oak Park”. Again the clippings, listed in the column on the right, contain the more extensive detail upon which it is founded - information from Council committee minutes, newspaper reports, etc.

1961 - to be written


Martin Robson Riley, Ceredigion

Martin very kindly wrote a piece on the history of Weoley Park Farm which was included in my book "The Heydays of Selly Oak Park".  Weoley Park Farm was the area which subsequently became Selly Oak Park and the adjacent housing estate where Martin lived for many years.  He shared his memories with me, as follows:-

Correspondence, 19 February 2009 

Given that I grew up with the Park right next door to where we lived (Lepid Grove) I have many memories of playing there.  I clearly remember ‘The Shelter’ (the great wooden covered structure that used to stand at the heart of the Park), and the small playground that was there.  When I was young this had an old wooden roundabout, a long see-saw and a metal ‘spider’s web’ roundabout.  This was all revamped a number of years back and the roundabouts and see-saw went, but the swings still remain and have now been joined by a large modern climbing frame.  I remember that during the 1970s much of the original wooden paling around the Park was still intact, and I recall the Park Keeper, or ‘the Parky’ as we called him, in his peaked hat and long green coat, going round locking up the gates and checking on things in the evenings.  At that time I think he was a Mr Wrigley, as I remember associating his name with Wrigley’s chewing gum!  My Dad, who had grown up in Selly Oak and Bournbrook, also remembered playing ‘footer’ on the Park, and told me that at one time there was a bandstand.  When I was at St Mary’s we would come down and play rounders on the Park, and at the weekend there would be the noise from all the local football matches being played there.

The following pictures were supplied by Martin Robson Riley:-

The Park in about 1960, seen from the bedroom window of the house in Lepid Grove.
Note the fenced pathway across the Park from the Woolacombe Lodge Road entrance.
(Hilary Taylor, in a letter to the Birmingham Mail published on 27 June 2008
(see 2008 Clippings), mentions the fenced pathway across the park.)

The Park near Harborne Lane

The following picture was provided by Wendy Pearson:

Football in Selly Oak Park, 1961



At the Selly Oak Festival in 2010, Mr. Michael Loughlan, Frederick Road, Selly Oak confirmed that he was the non-resident foreman in charge of Selly Oak Park from 1966 until 2006.