Norton Canes – host to Brownhills first Glee Party. In 1910.

Uknown group from Norton, described as ‘Henry and Amy with Family’ – image kindly donated by Alan Harvey.

I had a great response last week to reader and friend of the blog Alan Harvey’s pictures and material from Norton Canes, an ongoing thread that started with Alan requesting more stuff about the village be featured here.

In the week, Alan sent me two more pictures from his collection and a news article from the Lichfield Mercury. I have a bit of a query over the one image, which I’m a bit sceptical of, if I’m honest.

Alan wrote:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for posting the photos of Norton Canes, I’m glad that they have aroused some comment.

I’ve not many more of general interest but here are a few. The penny farthing bicycle was not a photographers but used for many years about the village. The Female Friendly Society, it seems, needed a male Secretary in 1910.

Alan Harvey.

Ann Harvey

That’s not 1851, but what a great image. Kindly supplied by Alan Harvey.

 Thanks for the photos. The the one with the bike is a cracking image, but it has the date 1851 on it. That, I’m afraid, is not possible. The bike (a relatively modern roadster, not Penny Farthing) has pneumatic tyres – note the valve in the front rim. At the earliest, that places it about 1895, but the rod brakes and front acetylene lamp suggest about 1910. This 1914 BSA ladies roadster is similar, and exhibits equivalent technology – including the rubberised pedals and Brooks sprung saddle. I’d welcome more comment on this, but that definitely isn’t 1851.

If anyone can identify the bike model, that would be splendid.

The newspaper clipping is fantastic. I’m sure Pedro will have much to say about the Whitehaven disaster, and the comments of the Revered Pimblett. I’m hugely amused by the Brownhills West Glee Party – what the very…? However, note the handing out of books to scholars. A long way – in a few years – from the educational void described by the correspondent to The Graphic in 1896.

Thanks, Alan, this stuff is wonderful.

Untitled 2

Norton Canes News, from the Lichfield Mercury of May 27th, 1910. Image supplied by Alan Harvey.

Wesley Hall.—At the Wesley Hall on Tuesday evening, the annual meeting and Sunday School prize distribution took place. Mr. Stanford presided, and the artistes were Mrs. T. Mills, Mr. Thomas Mills, and The Brownhills West Glee Party. Mr. W. Cliff was the accompanist. The books, numbering 140, were presented to the scholars by Mrs. Baker. On the motion of Mr. J. Weldon, junr., seconded by Mr. B. Bound, the usual votes of thanks were accorded at the close.

Female Friendly Society. — On Monday afternoon, in the Memorial School, the annual tea of the members of the Primitive Methodist Female Friendly Society was held. About 260 were present. Subsequently Mr. Henry Harvey (secretary) read the financial state- ment, which showed the income to be .£290 14s. 2d., and expenditure £168 18s. 9d. The number of deaths during the year was 17. The dividend paid to each financial member was 10s. The membership at the present time is 277.

The Whitehaven D’saster.—On Sunday at St. James Parish Church a special sermon was preached by the Rev. J. B. Pimblett (Rector), and a collection was made on behalf of the widows and orphan children bereft of the wage-earners by the terrible disaster at Whitehaven. There was a large congregation. The reverend gentleman dwelt upon the dangers of the collier’s occupation, and spoke in appreciative terms of the various institutions for the treatment of the injured, mentioning in this con-nection the valuable work done at the Accident Home, at Littleworth. The. Rev. W. Quibell, Vicar of Hednesford, he described as the miners best friend. The collection realised the sum of £5 14s. 6 1/2d.

As usual, please comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

This entry was posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Norton Canes – host to Brownhills first Glee Party. In 1910.

  1. Pedro says:

    How strange!

    The press cutting describes a Friendly Society, and a major pit disaster.

    This morning I was looking in Showell’s Directory of Birmingham (1885) under Friendly Societies. Many were mentioned and described, but there was one for Coal Dealers…

    “…of Coal Dealers…the salesmen of the Black Diamonds have their own mutual benefit association, but as the secretary declines to give any information, we fear the mutual benefit consists of solely of helping each other to keep their prices up.”

  2. Lynn Franklin says:

    I recognise the photograph of Ann Harvey, Daisy Hopley and Violet Hopley from the past, although I don’t know what happened to the original. The children are my aunties and, I believe, Ann Harvey was their grandma and that is her original name. The Ann Harvey in my family was their father’s mother and came from Coalville originally. She became Ann Hopley when she married Benjamin R. Hopley, who, unfortunately died, then she married a James Hughes. She was born around 1849. The photograph would have been taken about the time of WW1. My sister, Pam, always believed Ann to be a midwife.

    • Alan Harvey says:

      Hello Lynn,
      Joseph Harvey, Ann’s father was my G.G.Grandfather, I have a photo which may be of him, you may be able to identify it. My email is Please do get in touch if you would like to swap information. Alan.

  3. Alan Harvey says:

    The “unknown group” is Henry and Amy Harvey and their children. Photo taken about 1918 , I should think. The colliery in the background is the Conduit in Norton. The house stood in the Burntwood Road as can be seen in the other photo captioned “Henry Harvey’s house.Yes, the date on the bicycle photo is misleading, it refers to the date of Ann’s birth not the date of the photograph, she was Henry Harvey’s sister.

  4. Sue Turner says:

    Hello all,
    My friend was born and brought up in Norton, her family name was ‘Hurmson’ I gather there were a few ‘Hurmson’ families in Norton at the time (most probably related) Does anyone have any information or pictures of any Hurmsons (locally pronounced Urmsons!)

    • Alan Harvey says:

      Hello Sue,
      The unusual name is familiar to me but I’m afraid that I cant help with any photos or other information.
      Alan Harvey.

      • sue says:

        Thanks Alan. The family lived near the church in Norton in a Victorian semi. The buildings are still there and are resided in. Do you have any old photos of that area at all?

        • Alan Harvey says:

          Hello Sue,
          I’m sorry but I don’t have anything more on the area other than the photo’s already loaded on to Bob’s sight.

    • Carroll Harding says:

      Hello. I was born in Norton Canes in 1942 in my grandmother’s home at No 13 Park Road, now renumbered 56, I believe. I was also christened at the old tin chapel, now gone. I didn’t live there, just returned every year for a couple of weeks to stay with relatives in Brooms Row, Walsall Rd. I have done some family research & a Matilda Hurmson married one of my relatives, Samuel Mansell, in 1905. I don’t have any other details handy, so cannot give any more details, but somewhere I would be able to find her parents name, if your friend would like to know them.

      • What was your grandparents name, I was born in 1952 in Park Road, on the corner house number 32, I have older Sisters and brothers, my youngest brother was born in the same house in 1948.. so would probably have known your relations.

    • Hi Sue, I live in Norton and was born and raised here, the Hurmsons are a well known family, a lot now gone, but there are still a few scattered in Norton and a few in Heath Hayes… as a young girl I helped out my Sister who was a waitress at the Flyer de Lys , the cook there was Flo Hurmson, who lived in a Victoria House in Church Road, she had a big family, there was a Marie Hurmson who later married a chap called Stokes, their son Jim lives in a old terraced house near to St. James Church, he has cousins in Heath Hayes whose father was known as Toddy Hurmson who was a marine..and was a best friend of my late father… hope that helps..x
      You will find a picture of Bernard Hurmson on the Norton Canes History page.

  5. Pingback: A bit of a monstink… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  6. Jessie Swan says:

    Ann Harvey was my great grandmother. Her bicycle was in use in the first decade of the 1900’s She lived with my grandparents at 115 Norton East until her death in 1941.I have the original photo of her wedding to Mr Hughes

    • Alan Harvey says:

      Hello Jessie,
      I am interested in your comment about Ann. The Ann in photo seems to have been born in 1851 according to the date on the photo. I do have her in my family tree as born in1849,but that’s from a census sheet which can often be a bit suspect. The photo shows two children by the name of Hopley and from my research that is the name of the man she married in 1874. Do you know some thing that I don’t?
      Best wishes,
      Alan Harvey.

  7. Jessie Swan says:

    Anne Harvey was my grandfather’smother.She marriedBenjamin Hopley and they had3sons and 2 daughters one of whom died quite young
    After she was widowed she later married Mr hugheswho was the father of my granny!i.e. She married the father of her daughter-in-law!!!They had one son Arthur who died in a pit accidentHope you can fathom that.
    When Mr Hughes died she lived with her eldest son(Jesse Hopley) in Norton East

  8. Alan Harvey says:

    Thank you for the information, Jessie, If you want to swap photos of the families or other documents you can reach me direct at

  9. Roger Hall says:

    Ann was My great Nan Im trying to start a fb page for Hopley , Harvey Geneaology ,

  10. Roger Hall says:

    Ive just started it , I will post my pics and info , Jesse Swan I lost your email , please email , and anyone who would add to page , Thanks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.