A good innings


Holland Park: a beautiful lagacy of Hyla John Holland – but what about the rest of the family?

Recently, I noted here on the blog the great Brownhills Councillor and public servant Hyla John Holland – this remarkable and clearly very civic minded man campaigned hard for part of Brownhills Common to become a park. His aim was fulfilled, and after his death the park  he campaigned to create was named after him – Holland Park.

It seems the Holland family was large, and of some standing. This article from the Lichfield Mercury in 1936 records the death of what I assume to be his brother’s widow, Mrs. J. Holland.

Mrs. Holland survived to the grand age of 94 – no mean feat in those days. She lived at The Coppice, Brownhills, a large house adjacent to Coombe House on Coppice Lane.

It’s interesting to note the social mores of the day – the deceased lady’s christian name is never related. We seem to learn more about her male relatives an their achievements than hers.

I’m interested in how the people mentioned were related, and if any of the Holland line survive locally. I’m also interested in what might be a ‘Horse drawn Victoria’.

Comments welcome: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or add at the foot of this article.

From the Lichfield Mercury, Friday 10th January 1936.


Mrs. J. Holland of ‘The Coppice’


BROWNHILLS has lost a highly respected and familiar reaident with the death of Mrs. J. Holland, widow of the late Mr. John Holland, which took place at her home on Tuesday of last week at the advanced age of 94.

She was the oldest resident of the district and, thanks to her health, had remained a familiar figure almost to the end. Up to a fortnight ago she had remained almost as well as usual, then after developing a rather bad cold, her strength ebbed away very quickly.

Despite her great age her faculties had been retained in an amazing degree and in the past month or two she had been engaged on some beautiful needlework which she had intended giving to the bazaar soon to be held in connection with the Mission Church.

Mrs. Holland was the widow of Mr. John Holland, who was for nearly half a century the secretary to Messrs. Harrison’s Collieries, and well known throughout the Cannock Chase coalfield.

He died some ten vears ago at the age of 88 years. He was a native of Warwickshire, and in I860 entered the employment of Captain Harrison, then engaged in developing the extensive colliery enterprises in the area. He was for thirty years a member of the Cannock Board of Guardians, and one of the first members and later chairman of the local School Board.


He served upon the Brownhills Urban Council for a number of years and was also a magistrate. For many years Mrs. Holland attended at the parish church, and until recently it was her custom to ride in a horse-drawn Victoria when attending. She took a keen interest in ail local efforts of a charitable nature and was a contributor to many deserving funds. She was a great lover of flowers, and to the end of the past summer she always gathered the blooms used in the decoration of her home.

Of the family, a well-known member was Mr. H. J. Holland, so long headmaster at the church schools and organist at the parish church, and who was a member of the Urban Council and one specially interested in the welfare of the young people. Before his death three years ago he saw his dreams come true in the commencement of the conversion of Brownhills Common into a park.

His colleagues of the Council have honoured his memory by giving the title of Holland Park to those once dreary acres of waste land.

Surviving members of the family are Captain H. H. Holland, C.B.. now retired from the Royal Navy. who. when homeward bound at the onset of the war, was taken prisoner; Mr. Laurence Holland, J.P., the present president of the Institute of Mining engineers, and well known as a consultant mining engineer; Mr. Arthur Holland and Mr. Cecil Holland, both in the Civil Service; and Mrs. E. M. Madrell, of Liverpool.

Much public sympathy was shown at the funeral on Thursday of last week, and a number of old friends among the townspeople attended the service at the parish church. The Rev. J. B. Pimblett. formerly rector of Norton Canes, and now of Mavesyn Ridware, officiated, assisted by the Vicar (the Rev. W. E. Wibby). There was a large number of beautiful floral tributes.

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3 Responses to A good innings

  1. Pedro says:

    Something that has occurred to me since the last mention of the respected Hyla John Holland whose funeral was in 1933…..

    Amongst other things he was headmaster of the Ogley Hay Schools for many years, and had associations with Ogley Hay Church and Sunday Schools, which included organist at the church for forty years.

    My question for the day is…. How would Hyla, being a Freemason, reconcile the conflict with Christianity.

  2. Was wondering if the Holland family of Aldridge that gave rise to Charlie Holland cyclist, are connected?

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