Sunday, 27 February 2011

Tennal School - Souvenir Book of Centenary (1849-1949)

Tennal School was an Approved School in Harborne, Birmingham which was first founded in 1849 as the first Free Industrial School in England in 1849.

The School was founded in a disused workshop in Lichfield Street as a Ragged School in 1846, by the Hon. and Rvd. Grantham Munton Yorke, Rector of St Philip's, Birmingham:

"in the hope that some of the helpless young urchins who infested the streets (often until they broke the law and were sent to prison) might be drawn into the fold of this Ragged School, and eventually civilized".

Following a building appeal and the lease of land from the King Edward's School Foundation, the Birmingham Free Industrial School was opened in Gem Street in 1849.

Gem Street Industrial School
In 1896 the Committee of the Industrial School purchased just over 7 acres of land at Harborne for recreational use, but as conditions at Gem Street deteriorated it was decided to build an entire new building and the school was formally re-opened as Tennal School in Harborne in 1903.

I have recently had in my possession a Souvenir Book which celebrated the Centenary of Tennal School in 1949. The book itself is now in antique condition and I have recently scanned all 118 pages plus pictures before returning it to my colleagues on the Martineau 10 campaign group which is lobbying Birmingham City Council to preserve the original Tennal School buidlings for local community use.

The scanned pages and images can be viewed in my online photo album at the following link. There is no copy right on the book. It was prepared in 1949 by G.R. Lowes who was a member of the school staff, with a Foreword by G.E.Gilbey, the Chair of the Board of Governors. There is also an acknowledgment from the author to T.W.Hutton, Editor of The Birmingham Post.