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Back to school
91 years later
Tyburn Mail

page 2

Alma’s happy return to ‘Ryland Road Elementary School’

Alma Jones paid a visit to
her old school, Erdington
Hall, last week, 91 years
after she first started
there.

Alma, now aged 96, first walked
through the doors of the school building in 1924.
In those days, it was called Ryland
Road Elementary School, and children
stayed there until they were 14 years
old.

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Alma, from a school photograph
at Erdington Hall. It used to be
Ryland Road Elementary School.

There have been plenty of changes in
those nine decades, but the old parts
of the building are much the same.
And the school has kept the log books
and enrolment registers since it first
opened in 1918. Alma, whose maiden
name was Hewlett, has her name
neatly handwritten in the entry for
19th November 1924.
Alma now lives in Poole, in Dorset,
and travelled up to Erdington Hall
Primary School with her son to visit the
place where she grew up, and received
her education.
Talented and bright young girls like
Alma did not have the same opportunities that they have today. Women
were not even allowed to vote at elections until 1928.
It was an unequal world. But Alma
made the most of her talents, and
trained at a business college in the
centre of Birmingham. Her Dad had to
pay for that part of her education.
Alma learned shorthand, typing and

Above: 96 year-old Alma Jones (nee Hewlett), back at Erdington Hall, with
Zaka Hussain and Lily-Mai McLaughlin, both aged 10.
Below: the register that records Alma’s enrolment to the school in 1924

book-keeping, and moved down to
London where she became a stenographer.
That’s a skill that requires superfast
shorthand and typing skills. In the
days before digital recording equipment, courts of law used to have stenographers to write down and record
every word that was said.
Alma went higher than that. She
worked in the civil service and recorded some of the items in Hansard, the
official record of words spoken in the
Houses of Parliament. Some achievement.
And after all these years, she still
remembers her early school days. Mr
Chatterley was the headtecher, she
recalls, with a smile.

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of tattoo parlour

The director of a tattoo shop in
Castle Vale has been jailed for
a total of 12 weeks for a series
of offences.

Stephen Sebastian Delaney, aged 22, of
Farnborough Road, is also set to appear
at Birmingham Crown Court next month
where he will be sentenced for a further
crime of cannabis production.
The court heard that he had produced a
large quantity of cannabis, more than
for personal use, and that there was
evidence of drug dealing.
Delaney is listed as a director of the
Needle2Skin
tattoo
parlour
in

Farnborough Road, Castle Vale.
He was jailed last Friday after he failed
to keep to conditions of court orders for
previous offences, and failed to surrender to custody in breach of bail conditions.
Birmingham magistrates heard that he
has a flagrant disregard for court
orders.

She has fond memories of playing golf
at Pype Hayes Golf Club. She and her
golf team won a trophy and had their
photograph
published
in
the
Birmingham Gazette (now called the
Birmingham Mail).
On her return visit last week, Alma
spent time talking to some of the
school’s pupils. They must have been
impressed by her charm, her intellect,
and her achievements.
Alma uses a wheelchair after a car
accident a few years ago left her with
two broken legs and two broken arms.
She smiles as she tells the story. In
fact, she smiled all through her visit.
Her cheerful and kindly character
charmed us all last Friday.
Delaney had previously been given a 12
week suspended prison sentence by
Leeds magistrates in September 2014
for driving a silver Nissan Qashqai vehicle in Middleton, Leeds, while he was
disqualified from holding a licence.
In September 2013 he was given a
community
order
by
Redditch
Magistrates for driving a Vauxhall Corsa
on the M42 while he was disqualified,
and having taken the vehicle without
consent.
In August 2012, Delaney, then aged 19,
was prosecuted for driving in Erdington
without a licence and without insurance. He was on that occasion given six
penalty points for the driving offence,
and was electronically tagged for a sixweek curfew for possession of
cannabis.
A spokesperson for Needle2Skin said
that the tattoo shop will continue to
operate with its consortium of artists
and will not be affected by the absence
of one of its directors.