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Published on May 27th, 2013 | by Gaelle Finley


Handsworth Heritage Trail starts Saturday June 1st

The Heritage trail has been developed by Legacy West Midlands with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Birmingham City Council. The aim of the project is to showcase the heritage of the Handsworth area of Birmingham.

Legacy WM has worked with South & City College to train 20 passionate people to become ‘tour guides’ who lead the tour.

 ‘This has been a very exciting journey for us, we have learned so much about this amazing area and its heritage and we would like to share it with you. ‘

The trail was inaugurated on a gloriously sunny Saturday June 25th by Aftab Rahman (Director Legacy WM), Carol Lyndon (Secretary Legacy WM), Cllr John Cotton and Lord Mayor Cllr John Lines who cut the ribbon at the gate of Soho House.


Volunteers Rita Bailey and Audrey Linda Marere led one of the tours and shared their knowledge of the area on the walk.


The trail gives an interesting insight into the history of the area and takes in some of our beautiful local buildings, including some hidden gems. There is a comprehensive booklet to accompany the trail, which starts at Soho House (Matthew Boulton’s former home), goes down to St Mary’s Convent (designed by Pugin), up through the ‘Heathfield Manor Estate’ and on through the Park via St Mary’s Church (where Matthew Boulton, James Watts and William Murdoch are buried), ending at Handsworth College.


The closing reception was held at South and City College/Soho Campus, with Carol Lyndon, Les Spark (Chairman of the WM Committee Heritage Lottery Committee), Richard Trengrouse (Director of South & City College), Mantas Jankus (Media Communication student), Annette Robinson (volunteer tour guide), Pete Stevens (QR Codes), with closing words by Aftab Rahman – with live music from local musicians Louise Kilbride and her band.


Volunteer Annette Robinson: ‘It’s been enlightening for us to learn about the area and exciting to learn new skills. We want to show a positive image of Handsworth and share its history with people from different walks of life. We want to share our passion with the general public’.

Fellow walker Nigel Holt: ‘I enjoyed the tour. I’m especially interested in social history and would like more of it’.

Aftab Rahman: ‘It’s important to have a vision of what you want to see. I’m glad I was able to set this in motion and once it started, I found out that people just volunteer to work with you. It’s been an incredible project and look forward to the next one – a People’s Heritage Centre possibly here on the Soho Campus’.


The Heritage Trail walking tours will take place during June, July and August 2013 as follows :

–          every other Saturday morning beginning Saturday June 1st at 10am

–          every other Wednesday afternoon beginning Wednesday June 12th at 2pm

The tours start from Soho House (Soho Avenue, off Soho Road, Birmingham B18 5LB*), and take approximately two hours.

Special tours for schools and other groups can be booked by prior arrangement.


For further details contact:
Aftab Rahman
Tel: 0121 523 0580
Mob: 07861 310802


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