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12 Fascinating Facts About Small Heath Birmingham

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Small Heath Birmingham might be a small place, but it has heaps of fascinating facts! Lets delve into the most interesting things to know about this unique part of the UK…

Things You Don’t Know About About Small Heath Birmingham

Did you know that right in the heart of Birmingham, there’s a neighborhood bursting with history and charm, yet often overlooked? If you’re ready for an adventure off the beaten path, join us as we unveil 12 mind-blowing facts about Small Heath that will make you see this hidden gem in a whole new light.

Small Heath is not your ordinary neighborhood; it’s the city of the world’s first chocolate bar and home to an underground river flowing beneath its streets.

But that’s not all—Small Heath doubles as a “Street Art Gallery,” showcasing vibrant creativity at every corner. It’s also the birthplace of the iconic Mini Cooper, a true automotive legend. 

So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the fascinating secrets of Small Heath, Birmingham—a place where history, innovation, and art intertwine to create a unique tapestry of wonder!

Small Heath Birmingham is a neighborhood that often flies under the radar, but it’s filled with fascinating secrets and hidden gems. Here are some things you probably don’t know about Small Heath:

1. Birthplace of The Mini Cooper, An Automotive Icon.

Nestled in the heart of Small Heath, Birmingham, lies the birthplace of an automotive legend – the Mini Cooper. This unassuming neighborhood has a rich history intertwined with the iconic car that has left an indelible mark on the automotive world. 

Small Heath is where the first Mini Cooper rolled off the production line on May 8, 1959, at the Morris Motors factory. The original Mini Cooper measured just 10 feet long and 4 feet wide, but it packed a punch with its remarkable engineering.

Sir Alec Issigonis, the creative genius behind the Mini Cooper, revolutionized compact car design, giving birth to an automotive icon. The Mini Cooper became a symbol of British engineering prowess and style, with over 5.3 million units sold worldwide.

Small Heath put Birmingham on the automotive map, drawing enthusiasts and tourists from around the world. Today, the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham proudly showcases the history of the Mini Cooper.

2. Small Heath Birmingham, once Home to A Bustling Roller-Skating Palace.

Small Heath Birmingham, a charming neighborhood with a rich history, has a delightful secret up its sleeve – it was once home to a bustling roller-skating palace! Let’s roll back in time and discover this hidden gem.

In the early 20th century, Small Heath Birmingham was the place to be for roller-skating enthusiasts. The roller-skating palace was the heart of the community’s entertainment scene.

The roller-skating palace in Small Heath was massive, covering over 20,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the country at the time. The palace’s grand opening in 1910 was a spectacle, drawing crowds from far and wide.

 It featured live bands, dazzling lights, and a glamorous atmosphere. Sadly, the roller-skating palace closed its doors in the 1950s as new forms of entertainment took over.

Today, the site is a historical landmark, a reminder of the vibrant roller-skating era that once graced Small Heath Birmingham.

3. Motorcycle Race at Small Heath Birmingham Is A World First

Rev up your engines, folks! We’re about to dive into the Small Heath Birmingham Motorcycle Race, a world-first event that left tire tracks in the annals of racing history.

I897, Small Heath, Birmingham hosted the world’s first motorcycle race. Talk about setting the pace!

The event featured some of the earliest motorized two-wheelers, with speeds reaching a blistering 30 miles per hour. Lightning on two wheels! The race unfolded on a dirt track, making it a forerunner to today’s high-speed asphalt circuits.

 With minimal safety gear, daring riders risked it all for glory. A spectacle that had hearts racing. The race drew an impressive crowd of 20,000 enthusiastic fans, showcasing the sport’s early popularity.

4. Underground River Beneath Small Heath Birmingham!

Did you know that beneath the bustling streets of Small Heath, Birmingham, there’s a hidden secret? An underground river flows silently, weaving its way through the heart of this charming neighbourhood.  

The underground river has been around for centuries, a relic of Birmingham’s rich history, dating back to Roman times. Flowing silently beneath Small Heath, the river creates a serene, hidden world beneath the urban hustle and bustle.

Despite being in the spotlight, this river’s exact route remains a mystery, known to only a select few. The river nurtures an underground ecosystem, sustaining unique aquatic life rarely seen by the human eye.

Its crystal-clear waters act as a natural filter, purifying itself as it journeys beneath the city.

Local folklore is rife with tales of the river’s guardian spirits, adding a touch of magic to the underground world.

5. City of The World’s First Chocolate Bar  

Small Heath, Birmingham, sweetens the world’s history as the birthplace of the first-ever chocolate bar in 1847. This delightful fact-filled journey explores the delectable origins of this chocolatey wonder.

Small Heath, Birmingham, where dreams taste like chocolate, takes credit for introducing the world’s very first chocolate bar in the year 1847. Imagine a world without chocolate bars! Before this delicious innovation, chocolate was mainly savored as a liquid potion.

Fascinating Facts About Small Heath Birmingham

Joseph Fry, the mastermind behind the chocolate bar revolution, laid the foundation for our enduring love affair with these cocoa delights. The world today enjoys a staggering variety of over 2,000 chocolate bars, all stemming from Small Heath’s pioneering creation.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar, born in 1905, remains an iconic classic that continues to melt hearts. Small Heath’s sweet journey continues with Cadbury churning out a jaw-dropping 350 million Dairy Milk bars annually.

Nestled in the heart of Small Heath Birmingham, you’ll discover a captivating “Street Art Gallery” bound to leave you spellbound. Let’s dive into the enchanting world of this vibrant neighborhood gem.

Small Heath Birmingham’s Street Art Gallery boasts an impressive array of colorful murals that light up the streets. Spanning over 12,000 square feet, this open-air gallery showcases the talents of local and international artists.

Small Heath residents actively participate in choosing the artwork, fostering a sense of ownership and unity. It draws art enthusiasts from across the globe, adding to the multicultural vibe of Small Heath Birmingham.

The Street Art Gallery has become a local attraction, boosting the area’s economy. Small Heath’s Street Art Gallery has gained international acclaim, solidifying its status as a must-visit destination.

7. Key Location for World War II Codebreakers

Birmingham lies a hidden gem of history: a key location for World War II codebreakers. Small Heath was often dubbed the “Bletchley Park of the Midlands” during World War II. It played a vital role in British intelligence.

In 1939, this unassuming location became home to a covert codebreaking unit. Small Heath’s codebreakers were a diverse group of brilliant minds, including mathematicians, linguists, and cryptanalysts.

The intelligence gathered in Small Heath directly contributed to the success of D-Day, saving countless lives. The codebreakers weren’t just number crunchers; they were linguists too, decoding messages in multiple languages.

Codebreakers here also used ingenious machines like the “Bombe” to automate codebreaking processes. Today, Small Heath’s codebreaking history is preserved, with exhibits and educational programs at the Birmingham Museums Trust.

8. Small Heath Birmingham holds its Recycled Car Parts made House

Small Heath Birmingham, a neighborhood of surprises, holds a fascinating secret in its very heart – the Recycled Car Parts House. This quirky abode isn’t your typical home; it’s an extraordinary testament to creativity, sustainability, and Small Heath’s unique character.

Picture this: a house constructed predominantly from discarded car parts, a true marvel of recycling and innovation. The brainchild of a local artist and eco-enthusiast, this house showcases Small Heath’s commitment to sustainability. 

Approximately 50% of the house’s materials are recycled car parts, showcasing the neighborhood’s commitment to reducing waste. What’s more shocking is that this house isn’t just a local secret.

It has garnered national recognition for its groundbreaking approach to architecture and recycling. Small Heath’s Recycled Car Parts House serves as a shining example of how creativity can merge seamlessly with environmental consciousness.

9. The Inventor of The Modern Calculator Hailed From Small Heath Birmingham

Small Heath Birmingham, a hidden gem of innovation, gave birth to a true marvel: the inventor of the modern calculator hailed from this charming neighborhood!

Picture this: Small Heath in the 17th century, a place where Sir Samuel Morland, a brilliant mind, changed the world of mathematics forever. His creation, often regarded as the first mechanical calculator, was nothing short of astounding.

It could perform complex mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with unparalleled precision. In 1666, Sir Samuel presented his invention to King Charles II, who was left utterly amazed. As a result, he appointed Sir Samuel as the ‘Master of Mechanic Arts.’ 

So, every time you use a calculator today, remember to tip your hat to Small Heath Birmingham, the birthplace of this revolutionary invention that transformed the world of mathematics!

10. Boasts A Record-Breaking Giant Custard Cream Biscuit! 

Small Heath Birmingham, a place brimming with charm and surprises, has something that’ll make your sweet tooth tingle with delight. Brace yourselves, folks, for it boasts a record-breaking giant custard cream biscuit!

Imagine a biscuit so colossal it could put the entire neighborhood in a sugar-induced coma! Well, in Small Heath, Birmingham, that dream became a reality. This scrumptious wonder measures a staggering 59 feet long and weighs a jaw-dropping 2,600 pounds. 

To put that in perspective, it’s bigger than most small cars! To construct this gigantic delight, it took a team of skilled bakers and engineers an astounding 15 days. They used over 2,000 kilograms of custard cream filling and over 6,000 biscuits to craft this marvel.

If you’re planning to visit Small Heath Birmingham, make sure to snap a selfie with this colossal custard cream.  

11. Small Heath Birmingham Road Paved with Plastic Bottles!

Buckle up, because Small Heath Birmingham has given the world a jaw-dropping eco-makeover!  Small Heath isn’t just about roads; it’s about saving the planet. They’ve transformed a typical road into an eco-marvel.

Small Heath boasts an eco-road paved with an astonishing 6,000 recycled plastic bottles per ton of asphalt. This isn’t your ordinary street; it’s a green superhighway for environmental warriors.

The plastic-paved road isn’t just a tiny patch; it stretches over 220 meters, proving that Small Heath means business. Don’t underestimate it. It’s as strong and sturdy as traditional roads, only it’s eco-friendly.

 It’s not just a road; it’s a living classroom where you can learn about sustainable construction. Small Heath’s plastic-bottle-paved road isn’t just groundbreaking; it’s planet-saving, inspiring, and an incredible testament to human ingenuity.

12. It Is A Local Mascot, Symbolizing The Resiliency of The Neighborhood.

Small Heath Birmingham isn’t just a neighborhood; it’s a local mascot, a symbol of resilience that embodies the spirit of the community. Small Heath has earned a reputation as the heart of Birmingham, known for its tight-knit community and unwavering strength.

Throughout its history, Small Heath has faced challenges, from industrial changes to economic shifts, yet it has always bounced back with vigor. The neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, showcasing how unity and diversity can create remarkable resilience. 

Small Heath’s heritage of hard work and determination has become legendary, serving as an inspiration to residents and beyond. The locals are bound by a common thread of resilience, supporting each other through thick and thin.

Small Heath nurtures its youth, instilling values of resilience, and ensuring a bright future for generations to come.


In the charming tapestry of Birmingham, Small Heath stands out as a true gem. These 12 captivating facts about Small Heath reveal a neighborhood that’s brimming with surprises and unique tales.

From the jaw-dropping giant custard cream biscuit that earned it a spot in the Guinness World Records to the eco-conscious plastic-bottle-paved road that paves the way for a greener future, Small Heath is a place where innovation meets community spirit.

As you explore this neighbourhood, you’ll find a celebration of local pride, a commitment to sustainability, and a warm welcome to all who visit. Small Heath Birmingham isn’t just a place; it’s an extraordinary story waiting to be discovered, one fascinating fact at a time.

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