THE KATHLEEN DAYUS TRAIL LOCATIONS
with Carl Chinn
The first video on this page is our introduction to the Trail. The second takes you on a guided tour around the Trail, with Professor Carl Chinn. Lauren Yardley Moore plays the young Kathleen Dayus. On the third video, you can see Hollie Wynde play the role of Kathleen's mom!
Since we created this Trail, some of the buildings which we visited, such as St. Paul’s School, have disappeared. Even our own school, Perry Beeches Academy, has changed its name! So the Trail is itself is a piece of history! But you can still follow it, and see some of the important sites from the Kathleen Dayus story – and maybe reflect a bit on how easily (and how quickly) the past can disappear from people’s memories, unless we keep a record of it…
St Paul's Square
Trail Location 1
When Katie was growing up, the Square was known as Titty-bottle Park, because mothers would come here to feed their babies. It was the only grass land in the whole area. You don’t see many mothers feeding their babies here today!
At this point, we suggest you watch our second video
Trail Location 2
Newhall Street was famous for cheap food in Katie’s day. You could get cow heels, tripe, pig’s trotters, chitterlings (pig’s intestines – sounds yum!)… Nowadays there are a couple of bars and restaurants (we don’t think they serve chitterlings…!) - and not many shops.
Our school is on Newhall Street!
The image shows Newhall Street in the 1980s.
Home - Camden Drive
Trail Location 3
Katie lived on Camden Grove, off Camden Drive, in a back-to-back house. She was born in a poor family, with 12 siblings in total; but only 7 survived infancy. At the end of the yard stood 3 ashcans and five lavatories (or closets as people called them at the time). There was a square box in the lavatory, with a large round hole in the middle; children had to hold on to the sides of the seat, or they could have fallen through the hole!
The house was destroyed by bombs in WWII, killing Katie’s mother and her sister Mary.
St. Paul's School
Trail Location 4
Now you have reached the site of St. Paul’s School. We found it boarded up and covered in graffiti but this is where Katie went to school. Teachers were ‘very stern and forbidding.’ We can infer that punishments were harsh and unforgiving.
When we first saw the school, we thought it was a church. (Which makes sense because it was a church school!!) It was very small for a school and it looked dilapidated and ghostly! We peeped through the cracks to see if we could spot any ghosts! Sadly, even as we were working on this Trail, the building was being prepared for demolition. On the Guide video, you can get a glimpse inside!
Below are some screenshots from the video
Trail Location 5
This area was named Dayus Square in 2012. There is a plaque to Katie, which has some quotes from her books. Families at the time were so poor, that some children were sent to school without any underwear; Katie recalled that other children would tease them and chant ‘Mary Brown’s got no drawers, Will you kindly lend her yowers.’
Katie’s parents would dress up in their smartest clothes if they went to the George and Dragon pub – they thought it was posh compared with their regular pub, The Golden Cup!
Trail Location 6
When she was 12 months old, Katie was taken by her mother to see Chamberlain Clock, and hear the chimes. There are no chimes any more; and there are no longer any trams on the streets, either.
Warstone Lane Cemetery
Trail Location 7
Katie and her brother Jack were walking across a cemetery one night – probably Warstone – when they thought they saw a ghost; but it turned out it was just a gravedigger, who was working late!
Katie’s mum and sister Mary were buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery, after they were killed in an air raid in the war.
Jewellery Quarter Museum
Trail Location 8
You might like to pay a visit to the Jewellery Quarter Museum. It’s great. Katie worked for many years as an enameller, and even set up her own enamelling business.
This is the final stop on our Trail! We hope you enjoyed it.
Meet Katie's mom
Katie's mom was cruel and mean to her when she was a child - probably because she was the 13th child she had, and she didn't really want another one.
Hollie Wynde created this performance, based on some of the stories that Kathleen Dayus told about her mom.
You can find out more about the team of people that made the Trail here