The Poplars

by Bill Yates

On the corner of Highfield Lane and Ridgacre Road, are some new houses. They were preceded by a garage. Before the garage was built there stood on the site a lovely house called “The Poplars".

It was the home of Swaine Bourne and his wife Dora, who lived there from the early 1900s until 1961. The family had its own tennis court and well.

Adjoining the house was a stable and paddock, for the horse and coach (pictured below).

Coach with women

In the photograph Dora Bourne is seen inside the coach with her youngest daughter, Muriel sitting above her, on top of the coach. The name of the lady sitting on top of the coach, at the front, is unknown.

Swaine Bourne ran his own family business in Birmingham. The firm manufactured stain glass windows and is reputed to have been the first man in Birmingham to have a motorised car.

The Bournes had two children, Sue and Muriel. When she grew up Sue became a piano teacher and gave lessons at the house.

The sketch of the house is copied from an original watercolour painting by the eldest daughter, Sue. Highfield Lane is to the right of the picture.

The Poplars

I am indebted to Mrs Georgina Prescott, Muriel’s eldest daughter, for supplying the above information about her grandparent’s home.

Ed’s comment – I am indebted to our member Bill Yates for obtaining the photo and providing us with a sketch of the watercolour. If anyone knows the identity of the unknown lady sitting on the coach then please ring me and let me know.

© QLHS – Bill Yates 2003

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