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28th December 2020

Memories of Pauline Jones


Coronation Party, 2nd June 1953 in Blythe Street


Yellow Sticker - house number 3 - John, Tommy, Peter, Janet Rogers


Orange sticker - house number 2 - John, Joyce, Kathleen, Pauline Leonard Jones

Green Sticker - house number 8 - Brendan Scott; May Fields lived at the front


Pink sticker - house number 6 - Margaret and Brendan Murphy

house number 4 - Mrs. Black

house number 7 - Mr. Townsend

house number 1 - David, Margaret and Barbara Thomas



Photographs are courtesy and copyright of Pauline Jones


Memories of Pauline Jones


Back row - Left to Right: Kathleen, Leonard, Pauline and Joan

Front row - Left to right: Jennifer, Joyce and Ann (Baby)

Mrs. Jones, mother to Joyce, Joan, Kathleen, Pauline, Leonard, Jennifer and Ann

Leonard and Pauline



The Jones Family lived at 2/44 Blythe Street and these were taken in 1955


Photographs are courtesy and copyright of Pauline Jones


15th October 2020

Memories of Louise Mabbett


My dad lived in Blythe Street and my gran had a shop I believe in the front of her living room


Mrs. Rosina Mabbett had a shop at 46 Blythe Street

My gran, as far as I know her shop was in the middle of Blythe Street I saw her name once in a Ladywood magazine, her name was Rosina Mabbett

I think they left around 1957



Some of the shops in Blythe Street




Some of the shops in Blythe Street





I remember Mabbett’s shop well, I used to live up the entry behind No 40, I still have contact with old friends from up the entry.



3rd March 2020

Memories of John Weaver


My name is John Weaver, I was born in Loveday Street Hospital on 21st Sept 1940. I am the eldest of 4 children l have 3 younger sisters, Jennie, Wendy and Marjorie. My Fathers name was Henry (Harry) Weaver, my Mother’s name was Phyllis, we came to live in Ladywood in 1945, just in time for me to start school. I went to St. Barnabas infants, Ryland Street, l remember the day well, all the mothers congregated with their children in the hall, suddenly a whistle was blown by Mrs Powell the Headmistress who instructed the mothers to take their children to one side of the room, leave us kids and move away to the opposite side of the room, we all started blahtin, but our mothers left us there to enjoy our first day at school.


We lived at 24 Ledsam Street over a showroom that my Father rented out to Ryland Garage who kept two vans in there, my Father had a shop with a yard attached to it 125 Ryland Street, opposite Ryland Garage from where my parents sold logs and firewood, paint, distemper, lime and balls of whitening, my Father eventually bought a coal yard,10 & 11/8 Blythe Street.


The Vesper Bell, an Atkinson pub was on the corner just across the road next to that was Edith Woods little shop, where we bought our gas mantles for the light, l remember my mother ran towards my Father with her hand raised, he ducked thinking she was about to swipe him, but he had knocked the mantle off, and his hair was on fire next to woods shop lived Brenda Ballad, then the Cosgroves, Frank was a friend, then there was an entry to a courtyard the Francis lived to the left, facing them lived an old lady Mrs Mason and her middle aged son Percy, my sister Jennie and I, used to take it in turns, on a weekly basis to turn the mangle, to squeeze the water out of her washing, it wasn’t very nice in the cold winters we had then.


Back down the entry now, towards Ladywood Road, lived the Hughes family, Charlie and Norman were playmates, then there was a family whose husband used to come home drunk on Saturday nights and lock is wife and kids out, no matter what the weather, further up the street was Sprayson’s a little shop, near the top of that side of the street lived Jimmy Graham, back down the street now, opposite the Vesper Bell, was a derelict shop on the corner, that was later turned into a pet shop, next lived Ronny Elms ,a long distance lorry driver, then there was an entry, in the house to the right lived an old lady, Mrs Thomas, etched into a brick by her door was an outline of a penny farthing bicycle that was carved by her Brother, as a child, Mrs Thomas was a very nice lady to us kids.


Up the entry we’re 2 houses to the left lived Charlie Fowler and his wife Winnie, their adult son Chuckie and young son Dennis, they were chimney sweeps, Chuckie used a motorcycle and box side to transport the brushes etc. at number 8 was the Hickenbotham’s, Arthur, his wife Phylis, 3 sons Alan, Brian and Michael, our coal yard was next, 10 & 11/8 as mentioned earlier the coal yard had a 8ft wall around it and double gates it was originally part of a terrace.


Next up the terrace was Miss Marshall an old lady who took in lodgers, opposite her lived Mr and Mrs Harris, next door to them was Janet Gibbs a girl my age, the toilets and brew houses were at the end of terrace I used to go there on my bike, much to the amusement of my mom. Next to the Harris’s lived an old couple, the gentleman was a sign writer who used to paint signage on my father’s lorries, next door to them was Mrs Pierce and her son ”Nuggy Pierce” also living there was Bill Heritage and his son Bill, who was in the Army. When Nuggy left school, he became a fireman on the railway. they lived facing us, end of terrace now and back on the street lived Mrs Stokes and her two sons Terry and Edward Lavery, l remember her husband being carried out of there house with a Union Jack draped over his coffin.


Next door to them lived Mr and Mrs Coward, there sons “Elbow” and Allan, Elbow was a lot older than Allan he went in the army on national service, just up from them was Arnold’s outdoor licence, then Mr and Mrs Houghton and there twin sons Ronnie and Reggie who played with us, their Mother used to do “outwork” making jewellery and brooches, we kids had plenty of coloured stones etc that we used to trade for Turf cigarette picture cards, comics, marbles, old pram wheels that we used to make “mokes”.


Next to Houghton’s was Minihane’s builders’ yard, then there was a girl, our age called Pat, whose Father was a painter or builder? Then up an entry lived Mr and Mrs Quinn and their son Noel, a very nice respectable family, near them lived Albert and May brother and sister our age. Then in a gated yard lived the Cattel’s, with son Tiggy and daughter Hazel, there was a lot of kids at our end of the street, when we played skimmers or marbles or hopscotch etc we blocked the road with weight of numbers.


Friday evening we would go to the New Regent cinema known to us kids by various names such as, the Ledsam, the louse, flea pit, or the bug hole if there was a film classified “A” we used to ask any adult couples if they would take two in the pictures please, most of the time they would as long as we agreed to behave ourselves.


My sisters and I all attended St Barnabas Infant and Junior Schools that were on opposite sides of Ryland Street, afterwards we attended Osler Street or Clark street, while l was there the school was renamed Follet Osler Street, my first teacher there was Mr Cummings, the second year was spent at the annex in Monument Road, my teacher was Mr Conlan, who’s full set of teeth fell out when he shouted at us, that is where l first met Mr Sara a strict teacher, who dished the punishment out with a wooden blackboard rule that was 3ft long, applied across your buttocks, l avoided that but got the cane now and then whether l did anything or not.


My 3rd year was back at Osler Street, my teacher was Mr Mitchel, a Welshman, a very nice man and good teacher, he was a navigator during the Second World War flying in a mosquito fighter bomber.


There were 3 or 4 extra classrooms built on what must have been the roof, to house the 4th year pupils so we had the boys school at street level, the girls were on the second floor and the 4th year boys top floor, there were girl monitors on the at each playtime to make sure we went down the stairs in an orderly manner.


My first girlfriend, Rita Ryman nee Sewell was a stair monitor, I used to tug her ponytail in fun, we left school together at Christmas 1955. Unfortunately, she died 2 years ago of Parkinson’s. l attended her funeral at Lodge Hill Cemetery, Selly Oak, I met her only child Lisa, who is a teacher in the USA.


These are my memories of Blythe Street and Ladywood, hope they are of use to someone.



13th September 2017

Memories of Pat and John James





Response from Mark Quinn

I can confirm that the lad in the middle is Noel Quinn who lived at 5 back 42 and his cousin Brendan Scott is in the front of the picture who you've already named



This photograph is Copyright - see copyright statement on the Home Page



26th May 2017

Memories of Jim Wilkes



Dear Mac, I almost fell from my chair when I found your site.


 I was born at 2/51 Blythe Street and I wish I could go back in time to the days of my childhood. I remember so much so I will try to tell you all.


I remember my mum holding me in her arms and running across the street to Mrs. Mabbett’s shop and we stayed there while the bombing went on. Mrs Mabbett’s son had a butcher’s shop in Ledsam Street and I was the one who went and delivered the meat to those people that wanted it at the door.


We as kids played in the street playing marbles and old Harold coming on Sunday mornings with his horse and cart and me running up behind him and nicking his apples, you remember Harold with the white patch over his eyes. My enjoyment was to go down the street on a Sunday just as the men came out of the pub at the bottom of the street and enjoying watching the fights.


I could go on and on but I won’t. The only people I remember are the Coward’,s his nick name was “Elbow Coward” and he had a brother who was the runner for our street bookie, who would stand in an entry collecting all the bets from the people that he knew as safe to take bets from. Then there was the Tennan’s I was always fighting with Dicky Tennen. I’m 76 now but them days will never leave me. I had a sister called Mary Wilkes but sadly she is not with us anymore.


I hope this might bring back memories for some one.


God bless you all and travel well.


3rd August 2016

Memories of Pat and John James



Coronation 1953, photo taken in a courtyard at the back of 40 Blythe Street.


John James on the left; Tony James at the back holding a balloon.


Robert James wearing a Busby and Brendan Scott standing next to him.


Does anybody recognise who else is on the photo?


Many thanks to John and Pat for this photograph



This photograph is Copyright - see copyright statement on the Home Page


Response from Mark Quinn

I can confirm that the lad in the middle is Noel Quinn who lived at 5 back 42 and his cousin Brendan Scott is in the front of the picture who you've already named



This photograph is Copyright - see copyright statement on the Home Page



17th March 2016

Memories of David Hollingsworth


This photo shows myself, mum and my sister Pauline about 1948 on the doorstep at 50 Blythe Street





23rd November 2015

Memories of Ron Hampton

Have recently been sent the link for this great site that evokes all sorts of memories from my growing up in the early fifties, and just felt I had to comment.


Unfortunately, I do not have any photographs to post, only wonderful memories of Ladywood. Some I will share hoping it will remind others who lived in and around the area.


My name is Ronald (Ron) Hampton, I lived in 6/66 Blythe Street, from the early 1950s, followed by a move to William Street, (I cannot remember the number but it was about six houses down from the Fruit shop) in the mid-fifties, where we lived until the beginning of the sixties.


My memory is vague on who lived in our yard in Blythe except for the family who lived on the opposite side in the middle. Mr and Mrs Jessop, mainly because they were only of two houses in the yard with electricity, the other one was the house on the opposite side. I have fond memories of the Jessops inviting me in the house to watch the TV, feeding and watering me while watching programmes like, the Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers etc. Mr Jessop used to drive a Coach (Charabanc!) and occasionally used let me help clean it out, picking up all the rubbish left behind, handing him any money/personal items found. Then Mrs Jessop would feed me cakes and pop. They had a Son and Daughter, I cannot remember her name, and I think his name was Lawrence, both were at University. I believe Lawrence tragically died in an accident not too long after leaving university.      


We moved to William Street as part of the redevelopment of the area.


William Street


I attended Osler Street School and left at Easter 1959. Most of the teachers from that time have been mentioned, but the one who had the most positive effect on me was Mr Sara. I was in the B stream, not very studios or academic until after a couple of years after I left school, but he left an impression on me that carried me on to be moderately successful in most aspects of my life.


The one teacher not mentioned was Mr Ivan or Ivor Powell, he was Welsh, young compared to the rest of the teachers.


Also in method of teaching, telling us stories during lessons, of what he did and where he had been on his travels since leaving University and ending up at our School.


Amusingly we had a lad in our class and his name was Ivor or Ivan Powell, you can imagine the leg pulling Master Powell suffered! Mr Powell ran the rugby.


Well, I have rambled on a bit, but hopefully it may just trigger a long lost memory of one of your contributors, and if anyone just happens to remember me, feel free to drop me a line.




14th February 2011

22 Blythe Street, 1957

Hanging out the washing

The Vesper Bell, 1956

Blythe Street, 1956

Blythe Street

Blythe Street

Blythe Street

Blythe Street