I’m a little bit late with this instalment of Pictures of the Month.
First up, we have a picture from my childhood; I lived in the Old Rectory, Scotton from the age of one until we left just before my ninth birthday.
Although we only moved a mile to the village of Scotter this was the first time in about 50 years that I’d actually set foot in the village (I’d been past in the car many times, but not actually walked through the village in all that time!)
This was as part of my trip to the north-east to retrace some of my childhood memories and I actually got more than I bargained for. My first port of call was the Church of St Genwys (I had completely forgotten the name). It was about 4:30 pm on a Saturday and the church was having an open day and for a fiver, you were allowed up the church tower. I declined, but on chatting to the two women in the church I discovered that Michael Llewellyn, who was conducting the tower trips, is the current owner of the Old Rectory – what a coincidence!
Once he’d locked the church tower, we had a good chat about the history of the Old Rectory and the Allen family (many things I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time) and he filled me in with what had happened since we left in 1967. As we strolled down to the house, it really struck home how short the walk was with adult legs compared to the last time I’d made that journey as an eight-year-old. Michael was a history teacher and was working on a project to record the history of the Old Rectory.
I did write to Michael with more details gleaned from my father and brother, but I haven’t heard back from him.
The second of my Pictures of the Month is The Mailbox; a building with a shorter history than the Old Rectory, but still quite fascinating.
Previously it was the location of a railway goods yard with canal wharves off the Worcester & Birmingham Canal leading to Gas Street Basin. The site was the location of the Royal Mail’s main sorting office building for Birmingham (hence its current name) which was completed in 1970, replacing the Victorian head post office in Victoria Square. When the main sorting office moved to Aston/Newtown the building was redeveloped into The Mailbox which houses BBC Midlands, Harvey Nichols and Malmaison amongst other high-end retailers. It underwent further refurbishment and reopened fully in 2015.
The vantage point for this picture is the Town Hall multi-storey car park (colloquially known as ‘The Cage’)