Shirley Railway Station
Serving a residential area of Solihull on the edge of the Warwickshire countryside.
Shirley Station was opened by the Great Western Railway on 1st June 1908. Next to the station are eight Railway Workers Cottages which the GWR originally provided for railway workers. One of these was occupied for several years by Ted Pierrepoint, the nephew of Albert, the famous executioner. The detached house overlooking the station car park is the former GWR Station Master's residence.
The yard alongside the track, which EH Smith Building Materials now uses, were previously sidings, a goods yard and a shed where coal was delivered by goods wagons to be stored and loaded on to the horse-drawn coal carts for local delivery. The horses were stabled in the yard, which is now occupied by Wakefield Cars next to the Railway cottages. The old high cream painted walls that formed the stable block's rear are still standing and visible on two sides.
In the cemetery near St James Parish Church is Harry Rembrandt Fowler's grave, winner of the first Isle of Man TT race in 1907 despite a large abscess on his neck! Riding a Norton motorcycle, he recorded a lap of 46 mph; he lived in Shirley for many years.
Also buried there is Freddie Hicks, winner of the Isle of Man TT 1929 junior race; he crashed and was killed during lap five of the 1931 Senior Trophy. His grave has a marble headstone depicting a motor-racing helmet, gauntlets and goggles.
Mandy Rice-Davies lived in Blenheim Road, Shirley, and attended Sharmans Cross Junior School during the 1950s before moving to London prior to the Profumo affair.
Martin Johnson, England RFU Manager, Captain of the England 2003 Rugby Union World Cup Team, lived in Solihull Road and attended Sharmans Cross Junior School.
Richard Hammond, BBC Top Gear and TV presenter/journalist, attended Sharmans Cross Junior School.
Ossie Wheatley, cricketer (Glamorgan and England), lived in Shirley in the 1950s while attending first Shirley College, a small private boys preparatory school at Bills Lane Shirley, and then King Edward's School, Birmingham.
Paul Farbrace, former cricketer (Kent and Middlesex) and England assistant coach, now Warwickshire Sports Director, lives in Shirley.
Shirley Aqueduct, the Drawbridge and Stratford-upon-Avon canal.
Shirley Railway Station, Haslucks Green Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 2NE