The Early History of Brinsford Lodge

The early years (1941 - 1955)

The site came into existence around 1941 when an armaments factory was built on a greenfield site to the north of Moseley Old Hall, to manufacture armour piercing shells. The site was in two parts with Hard Metal Tools Ltd (which became Royal Ordnance Speciality Metals) producing tungsten carbide heads, and the explosive and propellants filled at Royal Ordnance Factory Featherstone, (Filling Factory No. 17).

Andrew Biswell recounts in his biography of Anthony Burgess, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess that the novelist lectured at Brinsford Lodge in 1946-47. Working under the aegis of Birmingham University, Burgess taught various courses at the lodge including history, politics and literature to demobilized soldiers to prepare them for life as civilians. The lodge was at that time an all-male residential college. Burgess’s employer was the Central Council for Adult Education in His Majesty’s Forces, Biswell notes.

Malayan Teacher Training (MTT) College (1955 - 1964)

In the early 1950s, the Federation of Malaya was in the process of achieving independence from the United Kingdom and at that time, schools in Malaya were staffed predominantly by expatriate British teachers. In order to assist Malaya in becoming self-sufficient in teaching staff after independence, Brinsford Lodge was offered to the Malayan government as a Teacher Training College. The college opened in 1955. The courses taught there lasted for two years. There were up to 300 students - 150 juniors and 150 seniors – on site at any one time and the last cohort left the college in 1964.

The buildings were used for administration, teaching or living accommodation (known as houses). Teaching accommodation was identified by its function (for example: Classroom, Tutorial), and the houses were identified by letters of the alphabet (for example: J House). There is a Brinsford Alumni association based in Kuala Lumpur.

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