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ID number:  BIRRC-H0049
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  University Heritage Collection
Artist / Maker:  Pearsall, W. M.
Title / Object name:  University House Key
Object type:  Key
Materials:  Steel

This steel key in a leather, velvet and satin presentation box was presented to Mrs. Alice Beale on her eightieth birthday in 1926.

Notes:  Mrs. Beale was President and Chairman of the University House Committee whilst her Husband, Charles Gabriel Beale, was the University’s first Vice-Chancellor and Mayor of Birmingham. University House, which stands on Edgbaston Park Road, was originally a Hall of Residence. It was the first purpose-built women's hall in the country, and maintained its progressivity by subsequently becoming the first mixed sex Hall of Residence in 1964. Both the manufacturers’ and the recipients’ links with University House are illustrated in the design; the inscription along the stem reads ‘University House’ whilst the letters ‘UH’ form part of the decorated bow. W. M. Pearsall manufactured the iron gates that open from University House on to Edgbaston Park Road. On the reverse the stem has been inscribed with ‘To Alice Beale 1926’ commemorating this important figure in the history of women at the University of Birmingham.

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