The Lickey Hills - Worcestershire

Penny W-TStarred Page By Penny W-T, 20th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

We all have favourite local spots that we consider are 'ours' - where we can escape to peace and quiet now and then. I was amazed therefore to suddenly discover that one of my favourite spots was also well known to people half a world away . . . .

Finding the postcard

A few years ago, John Williams, one of my regular correspondents from Australia sent me an old postcard. He had found this old card amongst the papers belonging to an aunt when she died, and thought I ‘might know the place’. It showed a view of the Lickey Hills, a well known country spot popular with the people living in the Birmingham conurbation as a weekend ‘day trip’ location. The interesting thing about the postcard is the date on the back – 11th April 1915. It had been sent to his aunt by a relative who was obviously living in England at the time, at school possibly – whatever the situation, the person writing the card was taking a holiday around the Lickey Hills at that time.

Bilberry heaven!

The postcard shows the Lickey Hills obviously around the 1915 period, and the area does not appear too different even today, although of course the road is a more obvious feature. I can remember when, as a child, my parents would take me to ‘The Lickeys’ usually to pick bilberries, which grew in profusion over the hillsides, and probably still do today, although I must admit, I have not been over the hills for some time.

Days out

But I can remember from my school days that this area was one where we went for days out, or Sunday school outings – an amazing oasis of countryside enclosed even more so now by the sprawling metropolis and the manic motorway systems that crisscross our region.

Message on the card

It is amazing, 90 years on, that this photograph should surface half a world away, and come back to remind us of the idyllic world that existed on our doorstep all those decades ago
The card reads –
122 Bonacre Street, Birmingham
My dear Doris
This is a photograph of the place where we have been spending Easter – called Rednal – it is about 9 miles out of Birmingham centre and is an absolutely lovely spot. Just a small village.

What to see . . . .

The road between these two hills is the one which leads straight to Birmingham Town Hall, and the building at the foot of Bilberry Hill is a tea room – we were staying in a lane about 2 minutes walk from this spot.
The Hills are covered with moss, trees and bilberry bushes. It looks glorious in the Autumn when the quicken berry trees have the red berries and golden brown leaves. I thought you might like a view of it.

. . . . and do

We have had picnics here nearly every week in our school holiday. We did have a time. The hills belong to Lord Plymouth and are quite free to the public without any hold up. They are just in the wild state.
Love (heaps) Mabel.

A wonderful place to visit

This short narrative on the card, is a potted history of the location at that time. I was intrigued to read this and to think that this is another window back in time, to a time when a holiday was taken just a few short miles from the ‘industrialised’ developing city. These hillsides are still as popular today but now accessed by car. These hills are also part of the “North Worcestershire Way” creating an amazing walk linking with Waseley Hills and Clent Hills further along. If you have not visited these hillsides yet, try to consider it as a place to see in the near future. There are still bilberries to pick, and they make a lovely pie!


Countryside, Geographical Location, Hills, Local History, North Worcestershire Way

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
20th May 2013 (#)

I enjoyed this so much... very beautiful Penny, thank you-:0)

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author avatar Penny W-T
20th May 2013 (#)

Thank you for taking the time to read it. I do value comments.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th May 2013 (#)

love this so much... used to bicycle from Coventry to Lickey Hills at the weekend...thank you for this wonderful memory....

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author avatar Penny W-T
20th May 2013 (#)

My pleasure CMW. I try to use my travel writing to encourage people to visit, or if they can't, to paint a mental picture for them to see.

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