Made in Erdington
The murder of Mary Ashford
One of the most remarkable events in the history of Erdington was the nineteenth century murder of Mary Ashford. The case made legal history because it was the last time that a man has been tried twice for the same crime in this country and the last time that election for trial by combat was allowed.
Born in Kidderminster, Mason made his money from the manufacture of steel pen nib's before settling in the area. He generously provided the Almshouses for the poor in Station Road in 1858 and 10 years later built Mason's Orphanage on what was then Bell Lane (now Orphanage Road). The imposing building was demolished in 1964 after the trustees deemed it too out dated and expensive to maintain. The land was sold for housing development and the money raised was used to build new premises called Mason Court at Olton, for the care of the elderly. The Almshouses were demolished in 1974 and all that remains is the wall which now encloses Osborne Nursery School at the junction of Sutton Road and Station Road.
Sir Benjamin Stone
The former MP for Birmingham East and the first Lord Mayor of Sutton Coldfield, today best known for his work as a photographer. His former home, The Grange on Grange Road is still standing and is now the John Taylor Hospice. The Benjamin Stone Photographic Collection is held at the Library of Birmingham.
Violet Pretty, an usherette at the Palace Picture House on the High Street found Hollywood stardom as the screen actress, Anne Heywood.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s Erdington was the home of Mothers, one of Birmingham's famous music venues for live rock music. Pink Floyd famously recorded their live album Ummagumma at Mothers.