History of Redhill School
Our historic and wonderful school is 128 years old this year! Read on to find out about the story of Redhill ...
'Redhill Board School'
When the wire-works Websters and Horsfall's expanded in Victorian times, houses were needed for the workers and many of the terraces were put up in the 1870s and 1880s. A school (later called St Cyprians Church School) was built for the children of the workers. You can still see this school next to the river, at the gates of Webster & Horsfall, close to the Asda roundabout.
The school was patronised by the factory owner and had around 70 pupils. However, it closed in 1892 and 'Redhill Board School' was opened later the same year, run by Yardley School Board. Initially, there were 228 children on the register and two teachers, which meant extremely large classes. When it first opened, the building work in the school was not actually completed, a situation which we can sympathise with as our very old building has undergone lots of structural repair work in the 21st century to restore it to its former glory. In our school archives we have found an original log book kept by the Head teacher. In the following extract dated March 25th 1892 the entry explains how:
‘The regular work of the school [is] very much interrupted by workmen being at work in the rooms’.
During the Second World War, it was a dangerous area to be in and the local wire works received several direct hits from air raids. In 1939, teachers escorted children who were to be evacuated to the local train station at Tyseley. One night in 1940, remaining teachers and children were forced to sleep in the big hall overnight when an air raid siren went off.
Always keen to promote health and sport these photographs have been found showing the girl’s skittle ball team and the boy’s football team in 1950.
Repairs in 1993
These pictures were taken in August 1993 when the school was being repaired. Don't you think the school looks wonderful from the air?
We are all immensely proud to work in a place with such a rich and important history!
Some Facts About Redhill and the Hay Mills area:
- Redhill was a well known place for many years because the road from Birmingham to Coventry crossed the River Cole at Hay Mills Bridge nearby.
- There used to be a windmill in the area now covered by Arthur Road, but it fell down before the year 1800.
- The name 'Red Hill' comes from the red clay which was dug up in the village.
There were several brick factories in Redhill until the 1970s
- James Horsfall was a manufacturer of wire. He built a factory at Hay Mills, where the Webster & Horsfall wire factory still stands.
- 30 000 miles of wire for the first transatlantic telegraph cable was made at Hay Mills, taking 250 men a year to make. The cable was laid from Ireland to America in 1866 by the famous ship the SS Great Eastern.
- There is an article about the Atlantic Cable on BBC History