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St Mary's School, Harborne, 1905

St Mary's School, Harborne 1905

This charming photograph of a school class was taken at Saint Mary's School, Vivian Road, Harborne next to the Roman Catholic Church, in 1905.


The school began its life in Harborne in 1871 when Mrs K. Rigby was appointed as the first Roman Catholic teacher in Harborne. In 1873 the Harborne Lodge, in Lodge Road (now Vivian Road), was purchased and 1874 saw the old Chapel House turned into a school.


In 1895, the foundation stone of the building in the image was laid by Canon McCave for two classrooms, cloakrooms and two toilets in the top playground.


By 1899, one of the two ladies featured in our photograph (possibly the one on the left), was appointed as Head Mistress. Miss Madge Nolan, the second head teacher, was in post for 27 years. She was replaced in 1926. The other lady in the image is Mrs Donnelly, though little is known about her at this time.


At the time of the photograph, the school had 110 pupils on its register with an average of 90 in regular attendance. This image is a fine example of a school in an affluent area. All of the children are clean, most of the girls in white pinafore dresses and the boys in nice coats and wing collars of the period. The children are all wearing shoes too which is an indicator.

The school still exists today.

Image Ref : WK/H6/591

Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - 1900s
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - main menu