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            SITE Info  & Acknowledgements 


                   Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir   

                            The history of the oldest choir in Birmingham. 1900 - 2007


When I joined the Icknield Male Voice Choir (as it was then) in 2002 I did not have an appreciation of the breadth of history and associations with Birmingham it represented. Indeed I do not believe other members were aware of the role that the choir had played in the Ladywood area and beyond. With the help of technology I have tried to trumpet abroad the "Hand of Friendship" that the choir represent, and I am now aware that a search on the Internet will return many "hits" about the choir. Others will judge whether I have been successful, but it has been a long detective project. As with any historical record it will never be finished, but I hope others will build on it.

The site format of Early Years, Middle Years, and up until the end of this is arranged in a "chatty" style. After this the information is more structured by date/year because one of the main sources was the Choir Minutes 1961 -2002. I had to try to strike a balance between "readability" and factual information.

    Omissions and mistakes on this site are entirely mine, and sometimes I have had to make "informed" guesses as the participants are no longer here to guide me.

                                    Stewart Bissell: 2006




Acknowledgements & Thanks to the following;


Mrs Jean Rainbow, Alf Dawson's daughter, for providing me photographs, certificates, and text of Alf's  History of Icknield Choir, 20/2/84 which was published in the Hockley Flyer magazine. For passing on to me past recordings of the choir. Also a quantity of music that belonged to her Father. Helping me with identifying names on photographs. See "Choir Personalities"

Mrs June McCoy, Alf Kirby's daughter, for access to Alf's diaries (kept one for every year from 1919 until he died in 1983), also for photographs and certificates. See "Choir Personalities".

Mr Roger Hancock, Alf Kirby's Nephew for photographs and information.

Mrs Pauline Roberts, Naming choir members on photographs, and information about the Roberts Brothers.

Mr Les Beach the present President of the Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir, for quantities of photographs, certificates, and his and his wife's invaluable help in putting names to photographs, and listening to recordings to identify items and singers of same. See "Choir Personalities".

Professor Carl Chinn, Birmingham Historian for help and support

Mr Dave Ward a present member for help with photographs and choir history.

Mr Steve Roche the present MD of the choir for information about the choir history See "Choir Personalities".

Mr Brian Brittle who joined in 1977 and a present choir member for giving me the first photograph to research, (1965 Ruadean Cup)

Mr Stan Bannister another present choir member for whetting my appetite to obtain and research the Cadbury Challenge Shield.

Ms Maureen Hill the Secretary of the Midland Adult School Union for the gift to the choir of the above mentioned shield in December 2003

Mr Mike Atkins a former member of the choir for photographs and information of the choir.

Mr Fred Gibbs for choir recordings, (his wife Betty Gibbs was a soloist with the choir).

                        All the present Choir members for being patient with me!



A list of Choir Members by year.



        Choir Minute Book: 1961- 2002

        Pleasant Sunday Afternoons organisation links.,%20Banbury%20Circuit_jpg.htm



Bibliography: Held at the Birmingham Central Library Archive Department 7th Floor


Cadbury Collection MS 466



Business Records

Advertising Scrapbooks

News cutting Scrapbooks No. 32

Misc Volumes

Photographic Boxes

Photographic Albums etc  /56 – 58

Family Letters( George Cadbury, 212/1 – 14

Misc Family Photographs (Barrow, /407,408,409

Misc Photographs

Family Journals MS 466/431

Genealogical Papers

Gramophone Records


Appendix I Cadbury Photos Box No.5, 11, 24, (5B) 82

                                                            (Box No. 8) 35,36



MS 466 Index to the Cadbury Collection

            Barrow Family 442

            Barrow Caroline 72, 136

            Barrow George 76, 77, 358

            George Cadbury – various(many)

MS 466A

            Box 4 - /316 – 7



Nelson Street


NRA catalogues held at

Birmingham City Archives


NRA 30378
Birmingham: Nelson Street Adult Early Morning School
Reference MS305 790



Birmingham School References:


·        Schools: Birmingham.

Notes re. Birmingham Charity Infant & other schools C: 1838

MS 1683


·        Lists of different schools MS 1240

·        Severn Street School swimming club. MS 2056


Icknield Street References


  • Deed 1963 MS 1355/127
  • MS 265/166 – 177
  • Deed 1906 MS 1355/10 & 11
  • Extracts & notes re 1880s MS 1639/1/1
  • Icknield Street Estate, Ladywood Deeds 1851 – 53 MS 39/46-47



Midland Adult School Union




Midland Adult School Union Minute Books


MS 272/I/1      Minute Book, 1884 – 1895

MS 272/I/2      Minute Book, 1895 – 1899

MS 272/I/3      Minute Book, 1899 – 1901

MS 272/I/4      Minute Book, 1902 – 1906

MS 272/I/5      Minute Book, 1906 – 1911

MS 272/I/6      Minute Book, 1911 – 1917

MS 272/I/7      Minute Book, 1917 – 1920     

MS 272/I/8      Council Meetings Minute Book             1920 - 1925

MS 272/I/9      Council Meetings Minute Book             1926 - 1931

MS 272/I/10    Education Committee Minute Book       1930 - 1935

MS 272/I/11    Education Committee Minute Book       1935 - 1941

MS 272/I/12    Education Committee Minute Book       1941 - 1947

MS 272/I/13    Education Committee Minute Book       1920 - 1927

MS 272/I/14    Executive Committee Minute Book       1927 - 1930

MS 272/I/15    Executive Committee Minute Book       1930 - 1933    

MS 272/I/16    Extension Committee Minute Book       1906 - 1911

MS 272/I/17    Extension Committee Minute Book       1911 – 1926

MS 272/I/18    ‘One and All’ Committee Minute Book 1903 – 1919

                        Guild of Secretaries’s Minutes 1928


Midland Adult School Union Minute Books.

 Birmingham City Library Archive Department


Extracts from MS 272/I/5         Minute Book, 1906 – 1911



“The arrangements for the choir competition as outlined in circular were approved and it was decided to hold the competition on Apr 2nd in the Central Hall”



“Icknield Squ. Schools”



“That the schools whose choirs won the shields in the recent competition be advised to insure same against burglary & fire”



“It was noted that the choir council attended and proposals for a concert were noted with the choral society.



“The winning choirs at the recent Festival gave a selection of past songs & the medals won at the Festival were presented by Mr Barrow Cadbury”



“……….it was decided to pay an honorium of £5.5.0 to S.G.Moore the conductor of the MASU Choral Society”



“It was resolved to accept the statement of aid and report re choir competition in Apr 1910 to hold another competition in 1911”. Unquote: members were elected to a choir committee.


Midland Adult School Union Minute Books.

 Birmingham City Library Archive Department


Extracts from MS 272/I/5         Minute Book, 1884 – 1895


“….Midland Adult School Union formed Feb Thurs 14th 1884 at a meeting at Severn St. School.


Feb 1888. the Central Hall Corporation St. mentioned.


30 Nov 1888 Alderman Barrow was elected Lord Mayor


24th January 1890 a Woman’s committee included a Miss Besh? From Icknield St. School


‘One and All’ was a publication. Circa 1893 .


 Some information  is taken from  "Adult Schools In The Midlands 1845 - 1995"   Michael Hinson




       The choir is always looking for new members. We now are over 50 members.  If you can sing in tune (no formal audition), enjoy good company and are free most Tuesday evenings, please either come along to rehearsals at the Grimshaw Room behind St Chad’s Cathedral, Shadwell Street at 7.30pm., or contact our Concert Secretary, Stewart Bissell on 01922 451870

For information about the choir and booking: access web site. BIMVC  






                                                        Phone No. 07985041167

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