Not many people will have heard of Edward Davison, however, he played a large part in King’s Heath life and his obituary was reported in the Birmingham Daily news in July 1908. He had died on 27th June 1908 at his residence Tenbury House at the age of 73. He was a native of Wakefield, Yorkshire where he was born in 1835. Mr. Davison came to Birmingham in 1851 to learn the trade of his uncle, whose business Joseph Nichols and Son, Cheapside became one of the largest wireworks in the kingdom. He was elected President of the Birmingham branch of the Federated Wireworkers and Weavers. In 1883 he became a sleeping partner in the Midland Wire Cordage Company, Vincent Street, Balsall Heath, formerly carried on at Sheffield, and some years later became sole proprietor. His son W H Davison soon took over the running of the business which allowed Edward more time to devote himself to public work. He was a staunch Liberal of the old school, and had not been in the city long before he became a member of the Birmingham Liberal Association. He had the honour of being a seconder of the nomination of the Right Hon. Joseph Chamberlain at the Town Hall meeting which selected that statesman as one of the Liberal candidates for Birmingham.
Edward became early associated with the work of All Saints Church, Kings Heath, in the vicariate of Rev. H J Coachafer, was elected a sidesman, and for some years served as parish warden, with Mr. Tom Pickernell as his co-warden. This post he resigned in 1897. His interest in local affairs led to his being elected a member of Kings Norton Parish Council, on its formation in 1894.
During the obituary it mentions that Midland Wire Cordage manufactured lightning conductors. Tenbury House (3 Tenbury Road) has its own lightning conductor. The clips that hold it to the wall have the words “Davison Safety” and the initials “MWCO” stamped onto them. Davison clearly had this lightning conductor installed there. There is another building on the corner of Tenbury Road and Alcester Road South, now a Doctor’s surgery. This too has a lightning conductor made by “MWCO”. Davison was quick to promote his lightning conductors to his neighbours. All Saints Church in Kings Heath also has a lightning conductor made by “MWCO” which is not surprising as Edward was church warden there. So next time you pass by these buildings or see any others with a lightning conductor attached to them. Go and have a look more closely as it may just be a “Davison Safety”. The chapels at Brandwood End also have a lightning conductor, but are inaccessible to the public. It would be interesting to find out if it too was made by the Midland Wire Cordage Company.
Edward was buried at Brandwood End Cemetery. His grave is situated by the large roundabout where the chapels are sited. As you walk from the lodge his is on the right as you go half way round the roundabout. His memorial is photographed above.
Information provided by Andy Bishop – Chair of Kings Heath Local History Society.