Victorian open house weekend

The Friends of Cannon Hill Park have joined forces with the Foundation for Conductive Education to organise a free Victorian Open House weekend in and around Cannon Hill House, in Cannon Hill Park, off Russell Road, Moseley on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June. The event is also linked with Moseley Open Gardens Weekend Walkabout.

The weekend has been organised to celebrate the life and works of Louisa Ryland, one of the most generous benefactors to the City of Birmingham. as well as the 21st anniversary of Conductive Education services at Cannon Hill House. Grade 2 listed Cannon Hill House was once owned by Ms Ryland and it was she who donated Cannon Hill Park to the City and benefit of recreation for its growing population and the local neighbourhood.

For one of Birmingham’s greatest benefactors – who donated city Parks for People, contributed to public heath  and whose name was given to the City’s office of Social Services – little is generally known by people today. And so her Victorian Park home will be laid out for the ‘Louisa Ryland Open House Detectives Trail’ with Victorian actors from Balsall Heath History society and SCAWDI Black History project as well as Park friends display of city parks design by John Gibson of Royal Parks Battersea fame, and  Jan Bowman’s paintings from her new heritage book ‘This is Birmingham’.

The weekend is open to all comers and there will be lots of attractions for all the family, including a warm welcome from local history project members in Victorian costume, an exhibition showcasing Louisa’s life and times (1814-1889), and bric-a-brac, jewellery, plants and a tombola stall. Visitors can also take part in Victorian lawn games including crocquet and quoits. Archive films of the Park and local neighbourhood from the 1930s will also be shown on both days thanks to Peoples Park Films and MACE Media Archive for Central England.

A huge attraction for the weekend will be the Victorian Tea Marquee (open 11 am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday) where visitors can enjoy a refreshing drink and delicious home-made cakes in the tranquil gardens of Cannon Hill House, with musical entertainment.

On Sunday 19th June, at 12 noon, the Lady Mayor of Birmingham. Cllr Anita Ward will unveil a commemorative plaque to celebrate 21 years of Adult Conductive Education services in Birmingham.

The exhibition in Cannon Hill House will feature film archives from the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) to give a fascinating insight into what life was like in Birmingham through growth and Victorian civic development, plus maps of town expansion, the country side park on the River Rea and the history of the farms in the area. With games, tea and cakes on the lawn, plus musical entertainment and a variety of stalls, it’s a great day out for all the family. Entry is free, and there is provision for only disabled parking beside the House, but also the car parks around Cannon Hill and Russell Road. Buses 1,35 and 47.

Cannon Hill Park Poster