'Elevation' clock, 1964
The clock in Brueton Gardens, which was set in motion on 5th May 1964.

The clock was erected in 1964 to mark Solihull’s elevation to a County Borough, meaning the council took over responsibility from Warwickshire County Council for running services in the Borough.

The clock was paid for by public subscription, including through the proceeds of a ‘teenage dance’ at Solihull Civic Hall. The dance featured local groups, including the Applejacks (Solihull’s Beatles).

Were you there? Do you remember the dance or have any photos of it? Please let us know – email heritage@solihull.gov.uk or fill in a memory sheet.

Heritage and Local Studies Librarian


Tell us your memories of 1954, 1964 or 1974

2014 marks the 40th/50th/60th anniversary of Solihull becoming a Municipal Borough (1954), County Borough (1964) and Metropolitan Borough (1974).

We’d love to hear your memories of those times – for example, did you see Princess Margaret visit Solihull on Charter Day? Did you attend the teenage dance at the Civic Hall in 1964 to raise funds for the ‘Elevation Day’ clock? Do you remember the creation of the present-day Metropolitan Borough in 1974?

Please tell us what you remember of events then, or let us have your thoughts on how life in the Borough has changed since those times. There’s a memory sheet (PDF) attached below for you to fill in and email back to us at heritage@solihull.gov.uk

Solihull Borough memory sheet

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

First car registered in Solihull

Image of number plate
The first Solihull-registered vehicle number

When Solihull became a County Borough on 1st April 1964, it took over responsibility from Warwickshire County Council for driver and vehicle licensing in Solihull. From that day, Solihull drivers had to obtain their tax discs from the Local Taxation Officer at the Council House in Poplar Road. The Birmingham Post reported that the creation of a separate registration for Solihull would have a considerable effect on motor licensing statistics for Warwickshire. The Government took over vehicle licensing from 1974.

The Ministry of Transport allocated Solihull the registration marks A-Y, followed by XC , followed by a running number and a “year letter” denoting the year of registration (B for 1964, C for 1965 and so on). The XC registration was already in use by London County Council who promised not to use a year letter so that there wouldn’t be any confusion with the Solihull registrations.

The first vehicle registered in the County Borough was registered on ‘Elevation Day’ itself – 1st April. It was a grey and burgundy 3-litre Rover coupé, registered by the Rover Motor Co. Ltd and destined for the chairman of the company, Mr L. G. T. (later Sir George) Farmer and had the registration “AXC 1 B” .

If anyone has a photograph of the car, we’d be really grateful to have a copy for the heritage and local studies collection at Solihull Central Library (email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk).

Local Studies Librarian

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