IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF
Kathleen Dayus was born in 1903 in Hockley, Birmingham. She is best remembered for the book she wrote about her childhood. Called Her People, it was published in 1982.
We worked on this Trail with Professor Carl Chinn. He observes that Kathleen’s books ‘bring to the fore hunger, bad housing, overcrowding, insanitary conditions, ill health, the spectre of debt, coldness, and scanty clothing. But they also highlight the importance of neighbourliness and kinship networks in the battle against poverty, the vitality of women, and the joy that came from sing-songs, the playing of games and hop-picking outings.’
Kathleen died in January 2003, a few days short of her 100th birthday. In 2012, Dayus Square in Hockley was dedicated to her.
We are a group of young people from Perry Beeches Academy II. Our school is close to where Kathleen grew up. We decided to create a Trail around the Jewellery Quarter, taking in some of the places that Kathleen mentions in her books.
About the Trail
The trail begins a short walk from the City Centre. There are eight points along the trail for you to stop and access information by scanning the QR code on the map on your Smartphone. Click on the map to download a copy. This information is also available in the Locations section of the website.
Below are some videos. In the first film you can hear Professor Carl Chinn sharing some memories of times that he spent with Kathleen Dayus. The second film records our visit to the Back-to-Backs Museum in Birmingham - where you can see the kind of house where Kathleen grew up.