Firefighters from Erdington dealt with a blaze in the stables at Pype Hayes Hall last night. Fire engines arrived at the scene at around 6.30pm yesterday (Wednesday) evening. The main building of the 17th Century Pype Hayes Hall was not damaged.
The roof of the stable buildings has suffered extensive damage. The area surrounding the wooden stable buildings has now been fenced off. A spokesperson for the fire brigade says that they suspect it was an arson attack. Fire officers have had to deal with several similar incidents at this property in the recent past, he said.
Her Majesty The Queen, recording her message to Castle Vale, in 1998
Fourteen years ago Her Majesty the Queen broadcast a message for Castle Vale on Vale FM, based in Topcliffe House.
The Queen was visiting Birmingham in 1998, and paid a visit to Castle Vale where she recorded a message, in the old library in Turnhouse Road, for local broadcast on Vale FM. The Prince’s Trust had donated £12,000 towards the setting up of the radio station.
The pictures of the day made the national newspapers, television and radio.
Station Manager Neil Hollins supervised the recording on a pair of microphones in the old library building.
That old library has since been replaced by Spitfire House; Vale FM has been replaced by 107.5 Switch Radio, which is playing the recording of the Queen’s message as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
At the end of the message, Neil Hollins can be heard to say: “Thank you very much… that’s a take…” following which Her Majesty gave the briefest of royal chuckles.
Click here to hear the Queen’s broadcast (from Headline Media archives)Queen message 1998
Pype Hayes Hall will not be up for sale at the March auctions run by CP Bigwood at Villa Park. The 17th Century listed building has failed to find a bidder at the last two events. A Council spokesperson said they have taken the property off the list, but are still considering all options, including a future sale, or community use.
The Council say they will consider ‘viable’ options, and may re-think the conditions of sale, which demanded that any buyer must refurbish the property and bring it back fully into use within two years. These restrictions may have deterred potential buyers from making a bid.
The auctioneer at the last auction in December said that he would have accepted a bid of £250,000 for the property. This had dropped from a minimum price of £400,000 at the September auction.
Pype Hayes Hall, now unused and thought by some locals to be haunted, is up for auction tomorrow.
The 17th century building, originally the home of the Bagot family, has been owned by the Council since the 1920s and used as a children’s home, and more recently as council offices.
A display celebrating the 100th anniversary of the John Taylor Hospice has opened at Castle Vale Library. The display also acknowledges support from various organisations and individuals in Castle Vale.
A museum celebrating the World War II fighter plane, the Spitfire, built in Castle Vale, is being planned for Millennium point in Birmingham.
Spitfire Island and the Jaguar factory in Castle Vale, former construction site of the WWII fighter plane - photo by Clive Edwards
Businessman Neil Maybury hopes that it could be up and running within two years.
Local residents are invited to bring their personal memories and mementoes of old times to Spitfire House tomorrow (Saturday 14th February) as part of the Down Your Way project being run by ‘Sound it Out’, an organisation that is aiming to make music from community history.
The event runs from 1pm-4pm, with the music session running from 2-4pm.
Organisers will be keen to see and hear photos, objects and stories that could be used in an exhibition of Vale’s history, for later in 2009.
More information is available from Nicola Briggs on 0121 772 8655.