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April 2001 - December 2007




16th December 2007



Memories of George Hodgetts


Winners of Winson Green Darts League

(approx between 1958 &1961)


Kelsey’s Ales (on the corner of King Edward’s Road and Edward Street)


The man on the far right was my dad, George Hodgetts and I think the man on the far left was Cyril Baker.


Can anyone put names to the others in the team?  


My name is HENRY ROBERTS and I used to play for Kelsey’s darts team back in the early sixties, my father in law was JACK McCOMB out of 81 Edward Street.


The people in photo are all known to me, but the only names I can bring to mind at this moment, are JACK STANTON, holding CUP, SAMMY, can't remember surname on his left, BOBBY WISE on his right, and JACKIE BRAY behind him; the man behind Sammy who I know quite well and was a member of the NAUTICAL CLUB until recently. I thought the man behind BOBBY WISE was CYRIL BAKER, might be wrong.


All the best  H. ROBERTS





Winners party at Kelsey’s



George Hodgetts Jnr. (Shakespeare Road from 1949 to 1962)




Memories of George Hodgetts





My mom, Vera Hodgetts, is on the right wearing glasses.


The lady at the front was Nellie Peckover and her sister, Dolly, is on the right, standing. 


The lady at the back in the middle was Connie? - who where the others?















Hello Mac,

Dad and I have just been looking at the memories of our Street and there is a picture under memories of George Hodgetts " The Fancy Metal Goods".  Well the gentleman sat at the front in the overall with his arms on his knees is John Frank Owen known as Frank.  He lived in Edgbaston with his Mother and then moved to Harborne. He was best man at Dad's Wedding and was my Godfather.  Frank passed away in the 80's. 


Helen Bird and Frank Booth



The same group, can anyone put a name to the two ladies sitting at the front on the left.

















George Hodgetts Jnr. (Shakespeare Road from 1949 to 1962)



7th December 2007


Memories of Jo Bowkett (nee Curley)


Hello Mac,


I see my sisters have been in touch with their memories.


Does anyone remember queuing for the Saturday afternoon children's matinee at the Ledsam Picture House?  We'd go to Graham's sweet shop first, just across the way from the Ledsam, and then queue up waiting to get in.  What a row there sister Margaret was an usherette (a part-time job in addition to her usual day job) and was she a tyrant!


Margaret always seemed to pick on my brother and me.  Often the film used to break down and then a lot of cat-calling and booing would go up....down she would fly, torch waving up and down the rows...."Any more from you lot and you're out!"  She seemed to have such authority and I've seen her yank boys out by the scruff of their necks and march them outside.  I remember the Lyric, the Crown and what was known to us as "the Edgbaston" cinemas and at various times visited them all.


The ABC Minors was held at the Edgbaston on Saturday morning and we would all sing lustily "We are the Minors of the ABC......" I do wish I could remember the rest of the song.  If a child's birthday was during the preceding days, the person who was on the stage would call out their name and they received some sort of token to mark it.  If I recall rightly, the ABC Minors was a club and it was the children who were registered in the club whose names were called....mine wasn't, because I think there was a fee involved and we were too hard up to merit the money for that.


I remember weeping copious tears watching Bambi!  Great times.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Lyric Cinema


Jo Bowkett (nee Curley)




4th December 2007


Memories of Pete Millington


Two of the men with bowler hats on are my grandmother's brothers, surname Clayton.


I was told originally that the public house is The Turf, but then someone else told me it was another pub, but I can't recall which one. Perhaps someone will recognise it, my guess is this was taken 1930s.


 was delighted to see the battered old photo, posted on your site, depicting the public house.  I believe it was provided by my younger son Pete, the archivist in the family.


The pub was the Vine, corner of Garbett Street and King Edwards Road.  My uncle Fred Clayton is shown seated, second from the left on the front row.  Standing almost behind him wearing bowler hat, is his brother George Clayton.  I can just make out my auntie Emily, standing in the doorway on the left; she was wife to George and barmaid at the Vine.


My grandparents Bill and Mary Clayton, had lived in Garbett Street with their five sons and two daughters, since the early 1900's, but I believe the photo shown was taken in the early thirties.


Thank you for all your good work in producing and maintaining such an interesting and informative site, it's always a pleasure to log-on. 


Geoff Millington.



This is something I just came across.


This is a very old photo taken at the front of the Vesper Bell pub on corner of Ledsam Street and Blythe Street.


By the way, in the photo, the chap on the right is my uncle's father, Albert Lee, who was landlord for about 50 plus years! 












One is of my dad as a lad in a parade of the Virgin Mary at St Peters RC (off Broad Street)

My dad's one of the older boys (furthest right of picture). I think this was taken about 1950.




These photos are of the 1937 street parties, in the court in Garbett Street. The seated lady at the front is a neighbour named Mrs Witheridge, my grandmother Florence Millington (nee Clayton is to her right), large lady standing behind is my great granny Mary Clayton (nee. Finn), the young woman to her left is my aunty Nance (Ann Bourne, nee Millington), the young boys are my dad's cousins (Claytons) who are still alive and one or two of the women behind were also relatives.


The second Garbett Street photo was taken in the same court on the same day, in fact some of the children have crept into both photos and so has Mrs. Witheridge, who has managed to stand up for this one. The small man on her right with the ciggie is my granddad, William Joseph Millington. 


Pete Millington




2nd December 2007


Memories of Margaret Deem, Eileen Bode, Sheila Irving, nee Curley


Hi Mac


We have been on your site of Old Ladywood, our sister Jo Bowkett has written to you about memories and after reading it thought we should put ours in as well.


Sheila, Eileen and Margaret also remember the Broadstock’s, their parents were friends of our parents (Con & Mary Curley) they used to go out together. Sheila remembers going to Tipton to one their relations for the day, they had three children Doreen, Billy & John. Their Grandma lived next door to them her name was Mrs. Gee she was a warden during the war watching out for the bombs and warning us to keep the lights out of the windows.


Margaret and Eileen were evacuated at the beginning of the war the family was a Mr & Mrs Beaman at Bromsgrove. Eileen remembers there was a big quarry at the bottom of the lane. Sheila was to young, so went to our Aunt in Norton Canes, Staffordshire. We all came back home after two years and saw a lot of bombing. Sheila remembers once going down the shelter in the factory (Dobbs & Hitchens) says was down in the bowels of the factory. After, we had one of the shelters, like a big cage that filled our living room and was used as a table during the day it made a great play area for us. 


Remember the Farrell’s too, Eileen remembers acting as godmother to one or two of the children, nice to hear from Jimmy, recall Johnny, Norah, Mr. Farrell used to work in the furnaces at Wiggins he used to play the accordion a true Irish man.  Our house was next to Munslow & Holders scrap yard, remember Pam Worrell she used to live further down Great Tindal St. and the offices of Munslow & Holders was next to her house.


Other people who lived in our street were Barbara, Marion & Pattie Howard.


All our houses were back-to-back houses 1 living room, 1 bedroom, 1 Attic and a cellar.  Mrs. Jones lived at the front of the Howards, she was a tailoress, next-door was Mrs Griffiths, up our yard lived Mrs. Orr and Mrs. Kelly next to them was the Evans.


We went to the Oratory School in Hyde Road, the infants was at the top of Hyde Road and the Senior Girls was further down the road, the Boys were in Oliver Road.  It changed to a Co-ed school in 1947, this was when the government changed the school leaving age from 14 to 15, so our Eileen had to stay another year as she was 14 on 2nd of April and the new ruling came out on 1st April 1947.


Does Brenda Murphy remember the Waterhouse’s who lived in Browning Street, can recall Beatrice and Frances.


Margaret Deem, Eileen Bode Sheila Irving Nee Curley. 





11th November 2007


Memories of Colin Mills


Thanks for adding my few memories to your first class Web Pages, some of the Names of families and places jogged the memory box, Monument Road Swimming Baths was the most modern in Birmingham the first to have a rubber fitted internal floors, none slip my pals we would go two or three times week, thinking we were Johnny {Tarzan} Weissmuller the great swimming Champion.


On some occasions the Birmingham Water Polo Team would practice there, we the local big heads fancied our chances against them,"" the greatest mistake you could ever imagine ""they would push you under and hold you down near drowning if tried for the ball, and fancy your chance not a second time thank you.


Back to the local area of Coplow Street, the name of Mills was mentioned, was my neighbours, and the irony of this my grandfather Mills was a policeman that patrolled all around this area.


Coming to the end of this near Remembrance Day will continue at a later date.


Great Site keep publishing the memories


Best wishes






Memories of Colin Mills

Hi Mac.


Back again, having read the stories on your Web Pages, it is like a re-run of an old movie, a name or street or place, you press the recall button and memory starts playing.


My first recall in this story is my sister working in Steward Street at a motor dealership called Prestige Vauxhall Cars in 1940s, also Docker Paints {Later call International}. The Docker Family arriving in Rotten Park Street in their Gold plated Rolls Royce showing their wealth to the working people of the area, the people of those days were far greater wealthier in community spirit anyway. The only draw back in the area was the lack of green grassland for children to play, the nearest was Summerfield Park, the only other grass in the area was in the Reservoir and only with a Adult, it cost 4d.


With the changing of society after the war year’s families would experiment and venture to new parts of adjoining districts of Harborne & Quinton, Weoley Castle and Northfield were the grass was greener.


When Birmingham started clearing the congested run down areas of this side of the city and built new housing estates out in the country side, previously called the blue bell woods near Coleshill, this is called Chelmsley Wood, In which I am proud to say Ladywood took a part of it’s history in the form of Ladywood Star Football Club and became Chelmsley Town F.C.


Best Regards & memories







Memories of Valerie Layton (nee Price)

The picture titled “celebrations in Grosvenor Street West, was a pleasant surprise, as it was my Aunt Lilly Male (far right top line) and my sister Shirley Price (bottom line second from right).


We all lived at 1/106 Grosvenor Street West from late 1930’s to 1955, when we moved to Bath Row, Edgbaston.


The family consisted of May and George Price, who had 11 children, (Joan, George Raymond, John, Jean Shirley, Valerie, Beryl, Barry, Brian and Robert); George Price worked at the Wiggin Factory.


The children went to St Barnabas School, before going on to St. Thomas School .


Photograph courtesy of Jenny Lloyd


The website is wonderful. We would love to know where the photo came from and if anyone else recognises anyone in the picture as there names might ring a few bells


Valerie Layton (nee Price)





6th November 2007


Memories of Brenda Murphy

Hi Mac,


I have just read the letter from Josie Bowkett nee Curley.  This letter brought back lots of memories for me.  I used to live at 31 Browning Street (1939 - 1959) almost opposite the Cafe that Josie mentions.


Pat Howard (Barbara's sister) was my friend when we both went to St. Johns School.  I also remember Margaret Evans and her sister Carol.  Mrs. Hall the old lady that Josie mentions was  the grandmother of Margaret and Carol and she moved into a house in our backyard when she moved from Great Tindal Street.


I also knew the Broadstock family.  The son of Mr. Broadstock (John) was the best friend of my cousin John Leonard and the grandson of Mr. Broadstock (also named John) has a garage in Blackheath and my husband takes our car there for MOT and servicing.


I wonder if Josie remembers Pamela Worrell who lived a few doors away and was related to the Munslow and Holder family.


My dad used to work at Dobbs and Hitchman which was directly opposite Josie's house and I believe one of Josie's sisters (her  name was Margie, I think)  worked  there too.  If that was where Josie broke the window then I can sympathise with her.  Old Mr. Hitchman was a very strict old man and had been known to take a stick to any children who went anywhere near his factory.   We used to try and climb up the stairs to the offices without being caught and very often got chased away.


There was a factory on the same side of the road where Josie lived, they made Safes and were called Brain and Co.  My uncle Tom worked there for several years.


I wonder if Josie remembers a pub called the Mount Pleasant which was on the corner of Ledsam Street and Gt. Tindal Street.  My dad worked as a barman there for a while.


I  also remember the old lady who used to sell Faggots and Peas on a Friday night.  You had to take your own basin and she would fill it up - delicious.  She lived in a yard just up from Winnie Hardy's shop in St. Vincent Street.


Harvey's Fish and Chip Shop was at the bottom of Ledsam Street and Barbara Harvey (one of the daughters) lives just down the road from me.  


Well that's about all for now.  Hope Josie reads this.


Best wishes


Brenda Murphy (nee Leonard)





5th November 2007


Memories of Colin Mills

Having committed half my life to growing up in our districts, All Saints, Winson Green, Brookfields, and Ladywood.


One of the first recalls was the Palais De Danse, Monument Road, this establishment provided dancing school for young children to join and learn to dance. This was conducted by Betty Fox & Miss Ella Shields teaching them to be a dancing troupe, these youngsters entertained during the interval of the regular Saturday Hop and then on to the Tower Ballroom were all the younger generation with their partners, to listen and dance to the great Dance Bands of that era.


These days looking back were happy and great times with all the adversity.


Best Regards






Memories of Colin Mills


In Ladywood was an area called the Monkey Run, starting at the Lyric Picture House carrying through the Sandpits to the Ice Rink, this is where the youths of the day congregated, in a Amusement Arcade called Uncle Franks, he always wore a brown trilby hat and a brown overall coat with bundles of keys hanging around his neck to open all the pin ball machines and one arm bandits taking all the monies out and passing it to his wife, who was the change lady. Give sixpence and you received six pennies for you to play the machines, you never gained, because you put it all back for the excitement of playing.


Boys and girls used this Arcade as a meeting place to start courting and fall in love.


You walk along Springhill to the next outstanding building, the Snooker Hall, where on a Sunday evening if you had a couple of shillings, purchase two Sausage Sandwiches for you and your girl friend and continue walking till Ingleby Street and the walk up to the Palais de Dance on the corner with Monument Road, turn round and walk back, happy memories


Can anyone remember the Monkey Run?


Colin Mills





Memories of Marie Phillips


What a great site, this was given to me by a contact of friends reunited.  I used to live in Springfield Street in the 60's and I went to Steward Street School, then on to Follett Osler Girls School.  I spent a lot of time with Beatty and Len Phillips who had the Crown Inn in Cope Street. Then moved to The Freeth Arms in Freeth Street. I had three brothers, Geoffrey, David and John.


The games we used to play in Ladywood. We played hopscotch, hide and seek, a ball in an old stocking, which we used to bang up the wall - 2 balls thrown at the wall. My brother made a contraption called a moke made up of a board and 4 pram wheels, they had hours of fun.


Marie Phillips





Memories of Jo Bowkett


Hello again, Mac,


It's raining in Dorset so I thought I'd wander down Memory Lane again........Gt Tindal Street....we lived at No.18 (my Mum & Dad, and six children - 5 girls, 1 boy).  A bit of a squash in a two up, two down back-to-back house.  Up the yard lived (as I recall.....Mrs Hall (who terrified us - she was very strict, a widow I believe, and always dressed in a long black skirt and top with a white pinny).  We kids were a bit of plague for her and she was always telling us off....on the other wide of the yard entrance, lived Mr & Mrs Evans and their daughters, Margaret (who later married the Curate at St John's Church) and Carol, the youngest.


My sister, Sheila, who was 8 yrs older than me used to organise a "show" in the back yard. Sheila was a Betty Fox Babe and loved tap dancing and acrobatic dancing, so she had the expertise to produce the show, along with Barbara Howard who lived with her two sisters in the next yard down the road.  My abiding memory is singing "'A' You're Adorable" and "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" and Sheila scolding me because "You're doing it all wrong, Josie!"


Next door to us across the front entrance to the yard, lived a couple (I can't recall their name). The husband made my brother a super wooden fort and lead soldiers - I think it was for Christmas.  Across the road lived the Broadstocks - Mr Broadstock had been a Japanese prisoner of war. 


I recall Munslow & Holders (Scrap Metal Dealers) at the bottom of the road, Bellis & Morcom further up the road and Casey's just across the road.  I remember my brother playing football in the street and breaking a window of the firm across the road from us and a policeman calling (oh, the shame of it!) - it wouldn't rate a sideways look now, would it?  There was also a small foundry just up the road, on our side of the road, it was a dirty, dusty old place.


There was a newsagents at the top of the road, just round the corner in Ledsam Street looking towards Monument Road.  A few doors down from that, was the pawn shop - we were a poor family and I remember visiting that pawn shop many times!  Down at the bottom of the road I remember the Corner Street Cafe (Browning Street/St Vincent Street) and Winnie Hardy's sold newspapers and groceries.....if my auntie was coming to visit my mother, sometimes I would be dispatched to buy a Swiss Roll.  We often walked from Gt Tindal Street, along Sheepcote Street all the way "into Town", bus riding was a luxury really.


One of my earliest memories (we lived in Gt Tindal Street until I was 10) is my Mum coming up to St John's Infant School to collect me because I had wandered up there before I was 5 yrs old and was having a lovely time playing in the little play house and on the rocking horse, but I wasn't supposed to be there!  I don't remember how I got there, and in any case we were Catholics and I was to attend The Oratory. 


In St Vincent Street I used to go to get Faggots & Peas from a lady who did "take away" food before it was as popular as it is now.  There used to be a queue at this lady's house so her fare must have been very entrepreneurial spirit in Ladywood!


I could go on and on.....hope this is of some interest.  Since learning of your site, I often have a quiet think about my early life in Ladywood just after the was a poor neighbourhood, but my goodness the times we had weren't all bad.  I've just seen the reminder about Bonfire Night - my brother and his mates sometimes would allow me to go with them to get "the plunder" for the bonfire - we'd spend most of the autumn half-term collecting it.  Then we'd make our Guy Fawkes and pester all the local workers to give a "Penny for the Guy", the proceeds were used to buy our fireworks (or spend on sweets!).


Great site, Mac, many, many memories are evoked.



Jo Bowkett (Josie Curley)






Memories of Pat Eakens


My name is Pat Eakens, I used to live with my older brother Michael and my younger sister Val in St. Vincent Street, just a couple of doors up from the corner of Ledsam Street.


On the corner of Ledsam Street and St. Vincent Street was a sweet shop owned by Madge. We shared the same back yard - and toilet and washhouse - with the shop, along with another couple called Mr and Mrs Howell. At the top of the yard, through the wash house window we could see the Ledsam Cinema. We used to watch the people queuing for the pictures, yes they actually did queue in those days.


Across the road on the other corner (St. Vincent Street and Ledsam Street) was the Doctors Surgery. I remember the two Doctors, Dr. Sammy Glass, and Dr. Louis Glass (who was once Lord Mayor of Birmingham). 


We used to play with a girl called Shelia Barnett, and her parents were caretakers for Advance Towels. It was a child paradise. There was also a factory that made false arms and legs, and when they moved out the kids move in. I remember my brother chasing us around the factory with an arm, and we all just screamed. Brothers are so horrible when they are young.


We left St. Vincent Street in October 1960. We were virtually the last family to move from the area, and it was very scarry, especially when you had to go up the yard to the toilet at night with only a candle for company. If the candle blew out, I would just stand there and shout MOM, and her friendly face would always come and light my way. Although they were hard days, I wouldn't have missed them for the world.


By the way, does anybody remember a fish and chip shop called Harveys. Mmmm!!!





Memories of Colin Mills

The Local pubs in the area of Ladywood where Darts & Dominoes was a part of Evening Enjoyment after a days work, social entertainment, my recollection of the


The Turf

Freeth Arms

The Station **

The Bridge

Nags head




Ladywood Social


All played in the Reservoir League


**This Pubs Darts Players formed the SPORTS ARGUS Darts team that Challenge all Teams for Charity. Joe Watton, Arthur Langford, George Dangerfield, Len Cottom and many others.


Great Days,







14th October 2007


Memories of David Brain


I have just been admiring your web site and reminiscing about life in the back streets of Brum in the 40's and 50's.


I notice that there are only four pictures of Bellis Street on that page and thought you might be interested in this photo of my parents wedding,

Fred and Lily Brain. They lived at 3/20 Bellis Street from 1934 until they were rehoused in 1960 to Kings Norton.




The Lady next to my mother was her sister - Ada Sheldrick who lived at 21 Bellis Street from the early '20s until 1965.


The other two photographs are taken in the yard at the back of 20 Bellis Street, both taken on the same day in 1956.


The first shows me (David Brain) and Carl Norton (with third boy name forgotten) on Jack Kay's BSA outside 2/20.   Note the wash-house in the background.


The second was taken outside 3/20 and shows Jack Kay with his arms round my mother, Mrs Lily Brain and Mrs Norton (soon to be Jacks wife); in the fore ground are Carl Norton, his sister Hazel and an unknown girl.


The picture of my parent's marriage shows the remains of the yard well- pump behind the best man.   I remember electricity being connected in 1950 (I think), and the well-pump but the well was sealed up when mains water was supplied at the turn of the century.


Though it was only a small street - at one time it boasted three pubs; the Roebuck, Star (later to become Julian and Jim's fish and chip shop) and Monument Tavern (or "Home Brewed").  It also had a barbers shop, a wireless repair shop and telephone exchange.


Hope this might be of interest.



David Brain 





Memories of Robert Poole

I was born a Brummie, but moved to Wales when I was 4. This is a photograph of my Grand parents who lived 2/252 Icknield Port Road.


They were Laurie & Harriett Wilson, known as Lol & Hattie. They were married at St. Peters Church in 1910 at the age of 20. At that time they lived at 11 Springhill Passage but later moved to 2/252 where they remained until they were moved during the 60's.


My memories of my visits to them over the years was that of a great friendly chip shop at the top of the yard, could have been 251 or 253 I don't know but the fish'n'chips were great.


Thanks Mac for a great site.


Robert Poole




Memories of Joanne O'Connell

I came across your website while researching some old photographs for my mother's 70th birthday. My mother's name before she married was Barbara Ann King.


She was born 26th January, 1938 in Birmingham, but I don't know if she was born in hospital or at home. Her parents were William Edward and Ada Beatrice King. They lived at 99 Great Tindal St, but I don't know how long for. Both of my grandparents died during the last World War. My mother had three brothers, Albert, Bill and Bernard and three sisters, Dorothy, Peggy and Mary. Mary died many years ago when my mother was a small child, probably during the war.


I believe that Bernard was in the British Army. Dorothy married a Bill Bird and I think they lived on a new housing estate just outside of Birmingham around 1950. My mother went to a Catholic Primary school (I'm not sure which one) and she won a scholarship for King Edward Grammar School. She was a student there around 1949/50. My uncle Albert migrated out here to Australia with his young family in 1951 and brought my mother with him. My uncle looked after my mother as she was only 13 and both her parents had passed away.


There was a considerable age gap between my mother and her siblings. My mother settled in Sydney, married and had four children. She now has 13 grandchildren and lives in the Southern highlands of NSW.


She lost all contact with her family when she came to Australia and the brother who brought her out here passed away in 1980. Mum turns 70 in January so I am looking for some images of Great Tindal St to frame for her.


I am curious to know if she has any family still over there. I thought this website was a perfect link as her family was large and you seem to have a lot of readers. I hope someone can help me.


Your website is wonderful and I have enjoyed reading the stories and memories. If anything it has brought me closer to my mother's past and my family roots. My father is Australian and I know all about his family. I don't know much about my mother's.


Thank you

Joanne O'Connell (Sydney Australia)




Memories of Ian Edinborough


I see on your web site that you have pictures of Edward Street and a list of shops and factories in that street.


My grandfather Bernard Hayes worked at Raydex Ltd from when it was owned by WJ Charles in 1924 until his retirement in 1964. He was in charge of the stores for the factory, which at the time that he started manufactured brass fittings for electrical, gas and paraffin lighting. It was bought out by Falk Stadelmann in 1926 and soon started producing Bakalite covers for domestic light switches, which the company then continued to make up until he retired. Maybe someone remembers him from the fifties or early sixties.


Thank you


Ian Edinborough




Memories of St. Mark's Church


Thank your for mentioning the whereabouts of St Marks Church.

What a quick response from Albert Moulsdale too, along with some interesting facts that I can add to my family history files.
In my experience what ever research you find out for someone, no matter how grateful they truly are , it is never enough.
True to form, the same applies to me. I would dearly love someone to magically come up with a photo of the church, can you help? 
Do your best for me,
Good Wishes,
Jacqui Fielding, nee George




St Marks Church was in "little" St Marks Street. It was nicknamed little as the street was cut in two by King Edwards Road. It ran from Summerhill Street to Shakespeare Road and, as I said was dissected. 


It was almost two separate Streets, if my memory serves me right, as the two parts were not totally in  line. The church was demolished a long time ago as it was in danger of collapsing. It was made of sandstone and had crumbled badly.


Albert Moulsdale






St Marks also had a school attached to it, it was my first school, can't remember when it closed, but I attended there in the war years, before moving to Steward Street school, the church was situated on the corner of Kings Edward Road, and Little St Marks Street.


Graham Sullivan






I lived in St. Marks Street between 1953 and 1960 and if there had been a church in Little St. Marks Street I'd have known.


There was however a building that had all the characteristics of a church located behind the factory that ran along Goodman Street opposite the recreation ground. It was accessed through a gate on King Edwards Street. To the left of the gate and on the corner with Little St. Marks there was a relatively modern building that housed a paint distributor warehouse.


The sandstone building was about thirty feet away from the gate on the right hand side abutting the factory.


The factory I believe has been turned into luxury apartments, perhaps traces still remain.









In answer to the question of the location of where was the location of St Mark's Church the answer is it was in King Edwards Road just off the corner of little St Marks St.


My mum who lived in both streets remembers it.




Dave Marsh






I saw on your site a request about St Mark's Church - as to its whereabouts.   


St Mark's Street was an odd shaped street, broken by a kind of open space - a 'square' if you like, and the church was on the corner of St Mark's Street (the second section after the space), and King Edward's Street.  It's on the 1914 man of Birmingham (West), including Ladywood.


Pauline Roberts




Memories of John Shelley


I just came across your wonderful site. What a marvellous resource!


I myself grew up in North Birmingham, but my father was born and raised in Stour Street, Ladywood. We're researching our family history and I've been restoring several old family snapshots, several of which people we're currently unable to identify with confidence. I thought I'd offer a couple here in case anyone recognises some faces. The family names I'm particularly researching are SHELLEY, who lived at 34 and 36 Stour Street and GRIFFIN


Photograph 1

A faint pencil note on the back of this photo from the mid 1920's says "36 Stour St". The younger child is my great Aunt May Shelley, but the older child we're not certain of. My father thinks it might be Ivy Patrick, who was very close to the family but I've not been able to trace any record of her. 


Photograph 2

For interest I've also included this shot of my grandparents Albert and Beatrice Shelley (nee Griffin) with daughter May and son Ken, taken at 34 Stour Street in the early 1930's. The 2-seater bike was built by one of my grandfather's brothers who worked at Hercules Cycles.


Photograph 3

Almost certainly Stour Street around the 1920's, but we're not sure who the subjects are. 


My immediate Shelley family moved to Kingstanding in the late 1930's, but if anyone has information on the Shelley or the Griffin families I'd be very interested in hearing from them.


Many thanks, and congratulations on a tremendous website.


All the best






Memories of Les-Ray Hairdressers, Monument Road


Les-Ray Gentlemen's Hairdressers occupied the premises of 375 Monument Road, Ladywood. There were two doors at the front, one for the shop and the other for the residents who lived there, Ron and Freda Joseph and their son, Malcolm. The living accommodation comprised of hall, lounge, kitchen, and two bedrooms upstairs, then up more stairs to an attic with a small room off with a skylight. Les-Ray was Les Jeavons and Ray James who occupied the shop from 1957-1962 (the previous owner was Mr. Sadler).


Originally Les and Ray worked for a man called Mr. Weaver in Hay Mills and one day they were talking and Ray said he would like to have a crack on his own, Les said he would as well, that’s where the Monument Road shop started.


Back to Monument Road - they had decided to have a go at a shop in Kings Heath, then one night Ron Joseph went to see Ray at his house on the Coventry Road and asked Ray to run the Monument Road shop for him. Les and Ray went to the chap who had the shop and during the conversation he said “you’d be surprised the number of people that pass here”. Those words became very significant later, because they took the shop over in the February, a bad month for barbers, being cold etc. and considering it had only been a been a one-man shop for years, they both had to make a living out it.


The number of times, over the next few months, they stood in the doorway inside the salon, when people were coming out of the factories at 5 o’clock, that Les and Ray repeated those words “You’d be surprised how many people pass here”. Anyway, over the next few month’s things improved and they started making a living out it. But they still couldn’t get any stock for the shelves, Brylcreem etc. It looked barren so they used to put empty cigarette packets on the shelf, then eventually they found a warehouse, Ellison’s, who supplied them with goods and from there on they dealt with no one but Ellison’s.


When the shop was up and running they decided to expand with another shop, this time in Rookery Road, Handsworth. They then employed another barber who worked in the Monument Road shop and Ray went up to the Rookery Road shop. Then in a short space of time they employed another person up there.

Then came the shop in Granville Street. Ray saw it advertised in the Mail and he knew it would be a good thing, even though it had been closed for a few weeks. An old chap called Morris who lived close to Ray on the Coventry Road owned it. After Granville Street came Cromwell Street Ladies and Gents, they sold the shop in Rookery Road to help pay for that. Then they had a contract to cut all the lad’s hair in Blackwell Open Air School. What a job that was, Les and Ray used to go up there once a month put two chairs in the shower room and cut all the hair. They started at 8.30 and finishing around about 3.00 in the afternoon.


Then came shops in Cregoe Street and Shireland Road. At around this time people started to grow their hair longer and that was the end of their dream of having 12 shops to retire on.


Back to Monument Road, Friday night, busy, shop was full then in walks a customer carrying a shopping bag, no plastic bags in those days, he sat on the chair in the corner. When it was his turn he tried to put this bag on the seat but it fell off and out flew a chicken! This chicken had its legs tied so it couldn’t run so what did it do, it flew, absolute chaos. Can you picture it? All the customers, Les and Ray trying to catch this chicken, feathers flying everywhere!


On another day Les and Ray decided to wash the front of the shop, it was such a nice day. So they borrowed a window cleaners wooden ladder. When they came to the part right in front of the entrance to the shop, Les put his foot on the bottom rung of the ladder and one hand on a rung about shoulder height. He intended lowering the ladder by balancing it on the board that Les-Ray is on, but it missed and went straight through the front door window - Panic! Freda, Ron’s wife, would be home soon so they had to get the glass in before she came home or she would go mad. Somehow they managed it and they don’t think she noticed it for months because nothing was said.


Les used to be a cook during the war so he used to cook the dinner when they first went to Monument Road. He was out their one day when a vicar came in for his haircut it was the first time he had been in the shop. Ray cut his hair and he was nearly finished when he heard a crash from the kitchen, plates being smashed, Les shouting, the door burst open and Les stood there “the ******* cat, I‘ll wring its neck” and he was going to carry on saying nice things about this cat, when Ray pulled the cloth back off the vicar and Les saw his back to front collar. He stopped in mid sentence stood there with his mouth open and went blood red. Swearing in those days was definitely a “no, no” in front of men of the cloth and females.


Saturday afternoon, a nice day in the summer and the shop was full, except for one chair near the door. A chap walked in, they could see he’d had a few drinks so they ignored him. When it came to his turn he didn’t move, so Ray went over to him and shook him, no joy he was fast asleep. OK leave him, next please, then next please and so on until about half an hour before closing, he’d been there for at least 2 hours by this time. Ray said we’d better get him into the chair, so they more or less carried him into the chair for Les to cut his hair, but his head kept falling to one side. Ray had to hold his head up so that Les could finish it and they eventually got it done! Closing time was 6 o’clock and they still couldn’t wake him up, so what do they do? Les said that the Station pub had got him into this state so they should have the responsibility, so they frog-marched him up to the Station Inn step and sat him down on that.


Well, it was a nice evening wasn’t it.




Memories of Phil Trentham




Keeping our homes warm today is a fairly simple matter. We only have to flick a switch and on comes the central heating or electric fire. At the turn of a knob on comes the gas fire. What a difference it was years ago when most homes had an old black lead grate with an open coal fire. Old newspaper had to be laid in the fire basket, followed by some pieces of firewood, they were then covered with small pieces of coal and then the paper was lit with a match. If you had some “bad” coal or if the wind was a little strong in the chimney then a metal “draw-tin” was placed over the fire basket to help the fire to catch. The following morning all the cold dead ashes had to be removed so that you could start all over again.


During the war years, especially when coal was rationed, many an ingenious way of providing heat was used. As a lad I can remember going down to Wheelers greengrocery shop in Ryland Street with my home made “box on wheels” cart to get some logs which he used to have occasionally. These used to supplement the coal ration. By getting a glowing bed of hot coal and then putting a log in the centre, it would then last us the rest of the day. Another thing was making good use of the slack in the coal. My mother used to get a bucket of slack and add some ordinary flour, then add some water and mix the lot up into a stiff paste. We then took handfuls and shaped them into round nuggets and left then to dry hard. They burned beautifully with no waste.


Mr. Riley, the coal merchant, used to sell coal direct from the coal wharf, which was at the bottom of Morville Street and Browning Street. The coal was brought to the wharf by canal barge, which ran at the back of the wharf.


My mother tells me that Mr. Riley was very strict about distribution of the rationed coal. People would queue at the wharf with all manner of transport to carry the coal away with. Some would carry sacks, others would have barrows, prams, pushchairs, anything on wheels. Mr. Riley used to allow each person cwt, for which he used to charge 4d. He would say that at least everyone had some coal for a fire. He also delivered coal around the area.


The back to back houses up the yards that we used to live in didn’t have any cellars like the houses on the streets. Our “coal-holes” were under the stairs and when the coalman arrived my mother would open the door of the “coal-hole” and open the house door. She would then lay sheets of newspaper down on the floor making a path across the living room and into the kitchen area where the stairs were. The coalman would then carry a bag of coal on his back up the yard and then into the house and empty it into the pace under the stairs, coal dust everywhere. We would have five or six bags at a time and my job was to keep count of the number of bags, just to make sure.


Yes, heating is something we take for granted today.



Phil Trentham



The Compton Family - Morville Street

These are photographs of my family, the Compton's, who lived at 1/57 Morville Street it was taken at Easter in 1943.


Most of the family lived in Ruston Street, Shakespeare Road and Morville Street. Families in those days did live close to each other, not like today where the family is split by many miles, counties and even countries.

Freda Compton, my mom and

Hilda Deathridge (I think)

Edith Compton

My Nan and Granddad,

Edith and George Compton

Christmas in Marroway Street

Christmas in Marroway Street




Memories of Pauline Roberts

This is a photograph of my gt grandparents, Alfred and Isobel Hemms, outside their house, which was No 35 Ruston Street.   My father was born in this house in 1925.


Isobel died in 1921, but the date of the photograph is not known.


I would be interested to know the date the house was built, pretty early, about 1814, I guess or thereabouts.






Memories of Pauline and Frances Bryan

Hi everyone, we are Pauline and Frances Bryan, we lived at 332 Icknield Port Road with all our brothers and sisters, there were twelve children in a back to back houses.


We all went to the Oratory school from the age of 5 to 15, we did not have a lot but we were happy going to the Reservoir and the Crown Cinema.


We remember going to Clarke’s to get the coal for our mom, l Frances, went to school with Maureen McNally, Pauline went to school with Maureen Hughes - were are they now?


We went to the washing baths in Monument Road for our weekly bath, which l think was 1d penny. In the summer holidays we would go to Ladywood park and there would be loads of play things, like hula hoops, scooters, pogo sticks, bean bags, rounders and the "parky" would keep his eye on us all.



As we got older we used to go to the Tower Ballroom for their Saturday morning dance session, it was great, we all learnt to rock and roll, we never had a lot of pocket money but l remember at the top of Clarke Street there was a outdoor, were we could get a bag of crisps for 1d.


Does anyone remember going to the green grocers on Monument Road for a bag of specks, which we would not buy today; also we remember going to the Coop for the bacon bones, times were hard for our mom and dad bringing up all us kids but we have not done bad, we have some very fond memories of our childhood in Ladywood.


If anyone remembers us we would love to hear from you.


Pauline and Frances Bryan




Memories of Dave Hanson

These photographs form Dave Hanson are of his Grandfather, Edward Bernard Hanson, postman in Ladywood 

Edward Bernard Hanson

Edward Bernard Hanson

Bernard receiving his Long Service Medal for 50 years


Bernard receiving his medal

When he retired some of the ‘customers’ in Ladywood

presented him with the clock and a cheque

Dave's Nan admiring Bernard's medal




Memories of Jackie Molloy



I have enclosed 2 photos which were taken in Ladywood / Clark Street in 1960 - 61.


My husband, Terry Molloy, is on front row, far left and he was born in 1952; his twin brother Kevin is middle back row.


They do know the other two boys to the right of the picture, they are called Greg and Timothy, and they do not know who the boy is to the left of the picture with dark curly hair.


I though the pictures might be of interest, it was taken in the yard were they lived, and Terry loved the fact the washing in the background was outside their house.


Best Wishes



Jackie Molloy





Memories of Judith McKenzie

I just found this brill site of old Ladywood, I have a photo of some of my family that lived at 40 Coxwell Road. We were the Pearson family. My mum and dad had 9 children. Sadly dad died some years ago and we just lost our mum last year, seeing this site and looking at all the streets, shops and pubs brings back lots of old memories. In the photo back row from the left is Linda, myself Peggy then Susan, and front row from the left is Trevor, Micky and Kevin, There are another 3 children who are Terry, Barbara and Annie. My mum and dads name were Hilda and Reg. I think this photo was taken about 1963. It would be great if you could put this on your site to see if anyone remembers us - Thank you so much.  


















Memories of Sandra Webster, nee Ford


Hi Mac, I have just been on to your Ladywood site again and was pleased to see old pictures of Edward Street, it brought back lots of memories especially the Lyric cinema where I spent many a happy Saturday morning with my friends and to see the name Lilian Evans, the shop keeper, who I remember very well.


I have spent many a happy hour browsing through your site and hope that you will keep it going for a long time yet.


I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me from those days, I used to live at no.38 Edward Street and my name, Sandra Ford now Webster.






Memories of Pat Bottomeley


Have just found your site and on your picture page you have 29 Coplow Street being owned by a photographer C. Morris in 1964.


He bought the property from my father in 1958/9 not too sure. We lived in the house and my father was a dental technician, mending and making false teeth in the "shop" at the front.


My family lived mainly in Ryland Grove, over the road from 29 Coplow Street.


Pam Bottomley





Memories of Mike Rogers


I have just been looking at your photos of Coplow Street.


My family lived at 6 back of 73 Coplow Street until we moved in 1958. I have fond memories of the shop shown in the photo at number 73. I recall the Tustin family ran it, of course we knew it as "Tustins". Most of our pocket money went on sweets at Tustins.




Mike Rogers





Memories of Irene Higgins

Hello I am Irene Higgins and I lived in St. Vincent Street for about 20 years. I went to the Oratory RC school from 5 to 15, this site brings back so many happy times, Don Andrews had a grocery shop; Mrs. Trueman, the green grocers, I can’t remember who had the paper shop, there was a butchers on the corner of St Vincent Street and Ladywood Road. The telephone exchange was across the road next to Ladywood Park.


I do miss a lot of my friends from then and there, things do change but i think most of us would love those days back.


Thank you for this site its great.





Memories of Judith


I have been looking at your wonderful site for several months now and would like to make a contribution/ask for information, though I don't have many photos readily to hand just at the moment.


The story starts with my father, John Mee, born May 1916 to Samuel and Annie Mee.  They had I believe 10 (or was it 8?) children but 2 died very young.  The young family consisted of Evelyn, Sidney, Fred, Ken and Dennis.  Harry was one of the children who died.  My Dad died at the age of 87.  Samuel attended horses for a living and the family lived in Blythe Street and St Vincent Street (back to backs).  Life was extremely tough with money scarce.  My father attended the Oratory School, was in the scouts (becoming a King Scout I believe) and attended the Oratory Church for most of his adult life until he moved to Stourbridge in his latter years.  Father Charles (Dessain) was a man much loved and admired by Dad and he held the Oratorian Fathers in high esteem (Fathers Gregory, Geoffrey (Wamsley) and Humphrey (Crookenden) come immediately to mind).  Names from his schooldays were Mr Holland and a name beginning with 'G'???  A good time was a camping trip at a site (owned by the church?) at Rednal by the Lickey Hills.  On leaving school Dad worked 'in service' on the Isle of Wight for a couple of years but returned to Birmingham to eventually become a printer at the Solicitors' Law Stationery Office where he completed 33 years service.  From there he moved to Mitchells and Butlers at Cape Hill, again as an offset printer.


Dad met my Mom, then Doreen Bradburn (born April 1919), whilst they promenaded at Edgbaston Reservoir!  Mom's parents were George and Annie (Nance) Bradburn and they had both died by the time she was 12 from TB.  She had no brothers or sisters but went to live with her Aunt and Uncle, Carrie and Tom Roberts in The Crescent (I think that must be Summerfield Crescent) and their children, Donald, June, William (Billy) and Graham.  Mom and Dad married at the Oratory in July 1940 and rented rooms from 'Gladys and Bob' in Monument Road - very happy days.  My Mom also attended the Oratory but as she was not a Catholic I am not sure why. She worked as a manageress at a drapers on Cape Hill (before my brother was born) but during the war she worked in munitions at Bellis and Morcom (am I right in this?) which she hated.


My brother David (born December 1947) went to the Oratory School though by this time Mom and Dad were living in Edith Road, Smethwick (off Shireland Road).  I also went there for several years (I was born January 1961 in St Chad's Hospital, Hagley Road).  My school memories are of a very old, dilapidated building but some good and committed teachers - Miss Snowdon, Miss Perks and an Asian lady in Reception Class and Mr Hatton who was latterly Headteacher at Our Lady and St Kenelm Primary, Halesowen and to whom I spoke through work connections very recently!!! 


I was frightened going up and down that terrible metal fire escape!  The school dinners were pretty abysmal in my time too - runny custard and lumpy, pallid mashed potatoes!  I was smacked on the leg with a ruler for daring to move out of line once - I never forgot that as you can see!  Children I remember are Barbara Swan, Moira MacFarlane, Michael Nee (yes, a very similar name to mine), Philip Bramhall, a super West Indian lad called Paul, Carol Porter/Parker (???), Dolores Sloyan, Terry Cahill.


I once went to a school friend's (name forgotten at the moment) party in Noel Road and remember a chocolate blancmange rabbit on a bed of green jelly grass!   I left when I was about 8 to move to a school in Bearwood.  I came back into Edgbaston for my secondary education attending St Paul's Girls' School, Vernon Road.  I can recall nearly collapsing having done 'cross country' running round 'the res'!!!! (the school backs onto it).


I am attaching the only wedding day photo of Mom and Dad (Mom died aged 87 this October just gone).  I think it was 'coloured' as there were only black and white pictures at the time.  They are standing outside the Oratory Church in the inner courtyard.


Perhaps you would let me know if this has been of any use to you and I would be delighted to hear from anyone who may have known my Mom and Dad in their younger years!  Please keep up your excellent work!





Memories of Norm Harris

Looking through your memories of Coplow Street, I noticed a Norma Mills who was born in 11/88 Coplow Street.


My early years were spent living in 14/88 Coplow Street (the end of the terraced houses), what a small world it is.


My relatives the Richardson’s lived next door.  The foundry that was mentioned by Norma Mills was probably Henry Wiggin and Co. which was located in Wiggin Street “funnily enough”.


I have noticed that quite a lot of the photographs on the web site appear to be of either demolition, when the area was “re-modeled” or after the bombing during the war. If it is from the war I am aware of the bombsite between Coplow Street and the railway that ran to the brewery behind Summerfield Park, as the only local area that was demolished by bombing.


I remember many things from the late forties to the early fifties, fetching faggots and peas from a shop in Northbrook Street for some of the local elderly citizens. Playing snooker at the boys club in Coplow Street, next to the “outdoor”.


I have lived in Perth, Western Australia (maybe just as well) for more that forty years but the childhood memories still are quite fresh in the mind.







Memories of Harold Bellamy

I came to this website looking for any possible links to my family of which I am now the only member left.


I was born on March 5th, 1926 at No.1 Woodbine Grove and together with my father, mother and elder brother lived there for the next eight or nine years.


The house was the first of a terrace of about six houses, lit by gas I think, no water, this was obtained from a tap in the yard and was shared as was the toilets and laundry facilities. There was a small front garden to each house.


Most deliveries were by horse drawn vehicle in those days and I recall the milk being measured by ladle out of a churn. Just a little way along the street was a small shop, which sold groceries and sweets; a lady named Mrs. Mole kept it. Close by was a shoe repairer and almost opposite was an off licence. Ruston Street joined Broad Street and the next street down, Ryland Street, was where we got our fruit and veg from Johnsons. There was a fish and chip shop close by, further down was a butcher and a toy shop and Mortimores where they sold ice cream.


In Ledsam Street was the cinema, where we kids could seen westerns on Saturday mornings.


Woodbine Grove was near Broad Street and on the corner was a public house, then round the corner was a bookshop, a shop selling bacon and sausage, Pullers of Perth, dry cleaners, a high class stationers, Barrows grocers and Crowes, tobacconist, another public house.


On the other side of Broad Street was Kunzels chocolate factory and shop, there was also a chemist, another Crowes tobacconist, a grocers and a cake shop, then came St. Martin Street, where there was a church and  an infant and junior school, which my brother and I both attended until we moved to senior school in Edgbaston.


My fathers brother, William Bellamy, lived in Ruston Street near Mrs Moles shop, but I think he died when I was very young. His widow Polly lived there after we left and we lost touch, I would like to know of any of their children or any one who knew them..


The photographs on the website brought back many memories of my childhood, thank you.


Harold Bellamy 





Memories of Phil Trentham

I joined the 8th Company of the Boys' Brigade when I was 12 years old in 1948 and stayed with them until I was 18 years old.


Our headquarters was at Islington Methodist Church on the corner of St. Martin's Street and Tennant Street.


On joining the Company I was given a little red book called "The Boys' Brigade Handbook for Boys". It lays out a set of standards that boy's should try to achieve. 


The Companies week was made up of the following:

      Monday - ?

      Tuesday - Club night

      Wednesday - Physical training

      Thursday - Band practice

      Friday, Drill night

      Saturday - Football

      Sunday - Bible Class or Church Parade


I took part in may of the activities, club night, physical training, band practice, football, morning parades. St. Martin's Church had an alter stage at one end and a balcony at the other end. On each side of the church there were 4 separate rooms numbered 1-8. Each Friday on drill night, we would gather in number 6 before starting our drill session in the main hall. Mr Hill was our Captain and after the drill session was finished we would then go into another room that was used as a canteen.


Mr. Hill's wife and some other helpers would have tea, cakes and sandwiches waiting for us which we could buy for a few pence, the proceeds going to the Companies funds. It was a big room and in the winter time there would be a lovely coal fire blazing in the fireplace.


Sunday morning was bible class, upstairs in another room, but when we had church parade on Sunday's we would parade first then hold a service in the Church afterwards.


In those days it was a common site to see a milkman and his horse and cart delivering milk on a Sunday morning. So when we had Church Parade we would be marching along, bugles blowing and drums playing, then as we turned a corner we would see the milkman and his horse and cart. The band would have to stop playing as we approached the horse and the milkman would stand in front of his horse and hold his head until we had marched past.


We had one occasion when a horse took fright and reared up and made a dash for it with the milkman chasing it. We would come across quite a few horses at different times, you see the milkman, the baker, the coalman and the rag and bone man, all used horse and carts in those days. We also had to stop playing when we marched passed the Children's Hospital in Ladywood Road and the Accident Hospital in Bath Row, so as not to disturb the patients.


In the early 1950's when no one had television in Ladywood, we didn't stand much chance of watching a Cup Final. Mr Hill would invite a group of us to his home in Quinton to watch the Cup Final on his television. Bearing in mind there was still rationing after the war in the  early 50's. Mr. Hill would then say "If you boys would like a cup of tea at half time, would you please bring some sugar with you when you come as Mrs. Hill finds her sugar rations leave a her a bit short". Needless to say we all forgot!


We would all sit around the television, black and white of course, in the front room of his house and be mesmerised by the match. Wembley was somewhere we had only heard about, to be watching a football match being played at Wembley was fantastic.


When we had bible class on Sunday mornings, Mr. H ill took the lesson, aided by Mr. Gabb and Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall played piano and Mr. Gabb joined in the hymns with his rich baritone voice.


The standards set by the Boys' Brigade are still with today.


More photographs on the Boys' Brigade page





Memories of Teresa Griffin

Hi there, I have just been going down old memories of Ladywood and came across Bellis & Morcom.


My dad, who sadly passed away this June at the grand old age of 94, was the security officer there for many, many years until he retired. Just thought you would like a picture of him to add to your page.


He was Charley Griffin and it was taken out side his office where I used to take his meals to him every Sunday, wrapped up in a tea towel many thanks.






Memories of Ken Hughes


This photograph was taken in the autumn of 1938.


The actual date has to be established. This photograph shows my Mother and Father with myself at the front, being the youngest and my seven brothers and six sisters, in age order.


My parents had 16 children but two died in their early years, well before I was born. My parents married in 1909 and I was the last of 16 born in 1935.


The location for this photograph was in the yard at 4 back of 28 (4/28) Morville Street, Ladywood, Birmingham In between the house front (no back) and boiler house and the outside loo, toilet or lavatory (whatever you called it in 1938).. Two up and two down, no kitchen, stove on top of cellar steps. All gas until electric was installed in about 1935. Mom and Dad slept downstairs with some of the youngest, including myself. Boys slept in the one bedroom and girls in the other. No Water installed in house had to bring it all in from outside. Kitchen was the main meeting room. Yard was shared with the Fisher's, Cope's, Mrs Pugh and Mrs Hebbut, with a fence down the middle.


I remember the event, having to hang around and getting dressed up. Note how everyone seems to be in his or her Sunday best. My Mothers dress was got in a hurry from Marks and Spencer at the princely price of 4/11d, so I am told.


The purpose of this photograph is not really known. It was taken for The Birmingham Gazette or other local newspaper, for some reason still to be determined. One explanation on record is that there were two families, of 14 children, in Birmingham at that time but we were the only one still all living at home, all unmarried.


In the same year we moved to Harborne, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Attics, Bathroom with a bath and toilet. Front Room, Middle Room, Kitchen, Scullery, Pantry, Large Cellar and Outside Toilet. Garden front and back.


It was only as the Second World War 1939/1945 was progressing that my Brothers and Sisters started to get married, thus increasing the numbers with in-laws and then children. Then in 1954/5 we came down to my Mother, Sister and two Brothers when we moved to a smaller house in Bartley Green.


When one looks at a photograph of this nature, the memories can be quite depressing, because it reminds us of those who are no longer with us. As at 30th September 2004, when this note was being written, only five out of the sixteen people remain.


Having said that, the photograph has an immense memory value, because of the nature of its content.


Ken Hughes





Memories of Brian Crisp

These photographs are of the 92nd Boys Brigade from the Spring Hill Baptist Church marching around the streets of Ladywood. 


92nd BB1 (photo on the left) is when they were about to start the march, that’s me in the middle on the side drum and the coloured lad at the back was a very dear friend of mine named Brian Hamilton.  Sadly he passed away a little while back.


Photographs below show the 92nd BB (photograph on the right) after the march.


Names as follows left to right:


Arthur Allen, Captain Doc. Lane, Peter James, Michael Dugmore, Roy Ball, Brian Crisp (Me), Ray Usher, Denis Shingler and Warrant Officer Brian Barrett.



Keep up the good work, it’s a great site to visit.  


Brian Crisp




Memories of Valerie Taylor

Memories of Stoke Street - We are the Taylor's


Stoke Street ran from between Tennent Street and William Street and housed back to back houses and courtyards where there were toilets and the washhouse.  My grandfather Albert Turton, pictured left, lived at No 28 and we lived at the back 1/28, there were other houses in the yard.


In Stoke Street many families were related to one another.  There were 2 shops which were really houses, made into little shops,  Mrs Johnson's and a few doors away was Mrs Polly Cottoms.  Half way down the street was Herbert Dallies, the builder's yard and next to that was the Peck (this was a split yard) (don't know why it was called the Peck). There was a fruit and veg shop on the corner of Stoke Street and William Street.


In Tennent Street, facing Stoke Street, there was the slaughter house for Wards the Pork Butcher's on Broad Street and as children on a Monday afternoon we would watch the pigs arrive in Cattle lorries and would have great fun when occasionally a pig would escape and would run down the street with us chasing after it.  There was a concrete pillar on the corner of Stoke Street (Tennent Street end) about 4ft high, everyone called it The Stump and I believe it is still there today even after all the redevelopment of the area is complete.


Living in Stoke Street is so different from today, everyone knew everyone in the street.  They looked out for one another and many families were related, it was a close community, friendly, fun and an era that we shall never forget or could ever replace.


Some of the families that lived there were the Johnson's, the Eden's, the Harding's, the Matthew's, the Bicknell's, the Tuffin's, the Vale's, the Townsend's, the McKearnan's, the Ash (Martha), the Mountney's and the Edward's. 


I grew up there with my sister's Barbara and Margaret and our parent's were Nellie and Bill Taylor.


These are just a few of my memories but too many to mention but would love to hear from anyone who lived in Stoke Street until it was demolished in 1970.


Best Wishes


Valerie Taylor





Memories of Vera Goldsworthy

I lived at 1/19 Hyde Road from 1935/6 to 1948 so the house was not far from Monument Road and was opposite the Oratory School.


There are not many names which I can recall except Mr. Pinnell and Mrs. Ackerill, both elderly and living alone in one of the back houses.


The Misses Powell lived at the bottom of our ginnell with their elderly Mother and the Bellis family lived on the other side of the ginnell, next to Powells lived the Hunt family.


Further down towards Clarke Street, lived the Dean family, who were related with Deans who ran the shop on the corner of Hyde Road and Coxwell Road.  I believe the  Knowles family lived next door to the Deans who would have been a few doors down from no. 19.


On the opposite side of Coxwell Road which formed a tee intersection with Hyde Road was an Off-License and this is the site which I believe may be of interest to you.  My memories of that establishment were that it was impressive.  It was one of the cleanest places I had seen because the proprietor took such good care of the place.  The timber was so well cared for; inside and outside, the brass shone and the shelves were uncluttered and dusted.  There were times when I went with my Mother to buy a jug of beer for my Father, after he had been at work all day and didn't intend to go to the pub, on those occasions it was a treat to be bought a bottle of soft drink.  The family, whoever they were, were considered to be "well-off" because they had a vehicle and a yard in which to garage it.  Even the yard and car were so clean, and the empty crates stacked tidily on delivery days.


There was the proprietor, his pleasant and elegant wife and a young daughter probably in her early teens who lived there.  As far as anyone knew, she didn't attend a local school.  The proprietor had a moustache and dark hair, but I can't recall anyone else living there.

On the other side of Hyde Road, at the Monument Road end lived the Bridgeman family (policeman) who sometimes rode his horse down to Hyde Road from the Ladywood Police Station, they had relatives who lived at about no. 11 or no. 13 Hyde Road.  


I have no street photographs to offer because what few we possessed were stolen many years ago; and during the time when we lived in Ladywood, we never owned a camera.


I have lived in Australia since 1948 and take a great interest in Ladywood events.  How I came to make contact again after about fifty years is another story.


with kind regards 

Vera Goldsworthy (Mrs)





Memories of Vic Rigby


My name is Vic Rigby, I lived at 2/65 Morville Street, with the Chip Shop opposite. 


This is Carol Rigby, my youngest sister in the photograph. My older sister is Olive Rigby.


I enjoy your site and know most of the people, Derek Buffrey, Johnny Porter, Philip Trentham, and Colin Sheffield to name a few.


I believe I went into the forces in 1951 when you moved into the house at the front.


All the best, hoping to hear from you


Vic Rigby - now residing 'down under' in Aussie





Memories of Clive and Rex Dempster


Some time ago I sent you some pictures of Monument Road, which are now on your website, since then my brother Rex J Dempster, who resides in Germany now, has discovered some photos he took in the 50,s and 60,s when he was experimenting with colour film called ferraniacolour which he processed himself.


(See Monument Road) - The picture of the coop shops at 134,5,6,and 7, we lived at 136; another picture is the same, but from the opposite direction; then there is St. John’s Church.









The photo of the couple is of the couple who ran the sweet shop not far away from the swimming baths, unfortunately I do not know their names, can any one help



Clive Dempster





Memories of Margaret Edgington


I was born in St. Mary Street and I thought this photo may be of interest. It was taken in St. Johns School playground after a party celebrating the coronation. The children were from St. Mary Street and the surrounding roads.


I am in the front line second from the right dressed in the Union Jack.


My maiden name was Margaret Edgington. Others in the photo were the Oakley family, the Horrocks, Masie Harris and Pauline Don to name just a few.


Maybe your surfers will recognize themselves. I also have two small photos of St. Mary Street which I will e-mail to you also.



Margaret Dickinson





Memories of Carrie and Jimmy Kearns

Hi, we are just looking back on old times in Blythe Street.


We lived at 6/8 on the street from 1948 till we were asked to move by the council in 1959, due to the re-generation of Ladywood.


We played darts in the Vesper Bell and have fond memories of our neighbours on the street until we moved to Botany Walk, Ledsam Street opposite the FLEA PIT picture house, which was eventually replaced by Ladywood Methodist church.


Carrie and Jimmy Kearns





Memories of Fred Lee


The photo I sent (via my son) was taken about 1939 when I had been working there for 3 years. My sister (now deceased ) also worked there in the office.


She stands out in the centre of the photo.


When we lived in Ladywood it was in Oliver Road, right opposite the R.C. school, so the whole family (there were 5 of us children) went to the Oratory.


My father worked at Grahams the caterers (as a chef), which was at the corner of Monument Road and Waterworks Road.         






Memories of Martin Hanchett


Please find a photo of Jack and Nellie Cox.


Jack owned a Fish and Chip Shop at No.95a Morville Street, Ladywood.


Jack also had a wooden leg, I don't how he lost it, but he used to let the children kick it and make them wonder why it didn't hurt.


Martin Hanchett




Memories of Norma Mills

Hi, I've just found your wonderful web site and the memories have come flooding back.  I was born at 11/88 Coplow Street in 1937 at my Grandma's house.  My parents moved from Birmingham to London but my Mum and I visited my grandparents at least four times a year (mostly during the war years).  My grandfather worked as a smelter (was there an iron foundry near Coplow Street?) as I remember taking him his packed lunch.  I used to go with my Grandma to buy rabbits and jellied eels from the Bull Ring, which I clearly remember.  I remember the wonderful trams which ran at the end of the street and being sent to get my Grandpa a mug of ale from the nearby pub and being rewarded with a silver sixpence if I didn't spill any.  I was at the VE celebrations and recall the street party and holding sparklers for the first time.  I shall keep looking at this website - it is so full of interest.


Norma Mills




Memories of Rose Evans


My name is Rose Evans (nee Saunders) and I lived at no. 20 Cope Street with my mum, dad and my older sister June Mitchell (nee Saunders).  I attended Stour Street School from 1941 to 1948.


I have been looking at your website and was surprised to see a photograph (miscellaneous photos section) that I appeared in at Great Tindal Street in 1956 with my colleagues from the Advanced Factory.


I have lots of treasured memories of the Advanced, my fondest being that it is where I met my late husband, Kenneth Evans.  Ken lived in Browning Street and attended Osler Street School from 1946.  Ken and I got married in 1959 at St. John's Church, Monument Road.  We shared good times together and used to go to the Edgbaston Picture house, The Crown, Ledsam St. and The Lyric.  We went ice-skating on Spring Hill and watched the Wrestling at Spark Brook.


My grandpa owned Saunders grocery store on the corner of Cope Street and Stour Street and if anyone has any photos they could possibly post to the website, I would really love to see them!


I often go down to Ladywood and reminisce, but it is all so different from what I remember it to have been.  I think the website is wonderful and has brought back many happy memories!


I shall be ordering the 2006 Calendar and can then be reminded every day of the year!!!  I look forward to seeing any new stuff on the website in the future!


Rose Evans




Memories of Olive Walker


My name by the way is Olive Walker (nee Dance) and I lived at No 56 Marroway Street


My brother and his wife paid a nostalgic visit to dear old Brum early in the year, and as a result I found in my bag of birthday gifts from them today a copy of the June Issue of Carl Chinn's 'Brummagem', with your article about old Ladywood. 


I have not yet had a chance to absorb everything in your website but had a quick look at 'Then and Now', and lo and behold there were the two photographs of Marroway Street.  The one on the left with a car parked outside just shows the side edge of the house I was born in, on 12 September 1931.  The car might indeed been one of ours on a visit to my mother, but I cannot remember what car we had at that time.


As you can imagine we had our share of the bombing and had to get out of the house three times after air raids.  The third one was the worst, when a bomb dropped opposite our house and destroyed seven houses there and blew the five immediately next door to us into the back gardens.  We were sitting on a wooden plank from the cellar head across to the wall opposite with our next door neighbours.  We heard the whistle as the bomb came down but only felt the huge draught of the blast.  If the bomb had dropped just a few more yards to the left we would have gone into the back garden too.  The date would be about June or July 1942 as my mother was pregnant with the above-mentioned brother, who was born prematurely in the September.


I am intrigued to know who took the photographs.  Was it anyone living in Marroway Street I wonder?  Maybe I know them.


I do have a photograph somewhere taken of a group of the children in the street during the VE Day Celebrations.


As you can imagine, I shall not lose any time in ordering the monthly copies of 'Brummagem' as advertised in the magazine.  My husband and I did go and see Carl Chinn with Malcolm Stent at the Town Hall on one occasion and we thought they were brilliant.

 Olive Walker  


Order forms for copies of Old Brummagem can be ordered by clicking here




Memories of M. Fellows


Yes indeed, I attended Osler St School, from 1947 till 1955, and I well remember lots of people and places at the time!

I was born in Icknield Port Rd, and often we would go the Pictures, ie, The Edge, or The Crown, or The Grove, or the Lyric.

There were lots of Pubs all within walking distance (and they were all well used ), this being pre TV age of course, my Dad was a local builder, and we lived in a back to back house just down from the Nags Head.


Mr M A Fellows





Memories of Terry Fegan


My name is Terry Fegan and I was born in 3/6 William Street in 1942, I was one of five children.


I remember a shop on the corner of William Street and Bishopsgate Street, in fact there were three, on each corner and a pub on the other.


My friend John Egginton operated a shop in Bishopsgate Street just on the corner of an opening. I left school and worked at Wrensons on Broad Street, then moved on to Johnson’s the Greengrocers, in Ryland Street.


I was a voluntary leader for 25 years at Ladywood Community Centre and was a football referee for 25years in Birmingham before I moved to Mount Isa, Australia. You would be surprised how many Birmingham people live in this small city.


I held my wedding party at St. Barnabas Church when I married. We lived in Ruston Street and I was surprised when I visited recently the town centre had totally changed. I know you have to move with the times but the Bull Ring has lost is atmosphere.


My email address is if anyone remembers me, I would welcome contact   


I think your pages and photos are great and bring back memories - TERRY                      



Memories of Lee Lewis

Picture 1 - Mrs. Smith (Nan) with Alma Lewis

Picture 2 - Louis Lewis

Picture 3 - Ruth Lewis

Picture 4 - Mrs. Flavell and Doreen's baby

Picture 5 - Samuel Smith

Picture 6 - William Lewis

Picture 7 - My Nan

Picture 8 - Nan with the kettle


Hi Mac,

Found some old photos, first is of my Nan Mrs. Smith with my sister Alma Lewis, you can just see behind them on the wall, the plaque indicating that the nurse (my nan) lived there at 71 Marroway Street.


All the other pictures seem to have been taken from the one end of the yard, probably because no sunlight reached the other end.


Second is of my brother Louis Smith Lewis, playing cricket


Third is of my mother Ruth Lewis nee Smith, when she was quite young.


Fourth may be of interest to other people, on the back is written August 15th 1959 - Mrs. Flavel & Doreen's baby.


Fifth is probably taken at the garage where my grandad Samuel Smith worked.


Sixth is of my father, William Lewis taken at a slightly different angle, in the back yard. By the way he lived at 52 Northbrook Street. He was Aston Villa mad and his uncle sent him a postcard to that address with a horse-drawn hearse, commiserating because they had lost. I have never seen another one of these cards.


Seventh, I am not sure where this was taken, could be the garage yard, of my Nan and an unknown man. Perhaps someone might recognise him.


Eighth is another of my Nan with a kettle and a tea pot (just posing I think).


Hope you find these of interest.


Best wishes,

Lee Lewis.



Memories of Sam Olphert


Hello, just visited your site, it really has brought back many memories.


I started my Police career in Ladywood Road Police Station on 12th October 1964, I found that the people were wonderful to live and work with; I actually lived in the Old Police Station and was there until the new one was opened. I walked the beat there for years and had a wonderful time (having the odd pint after closing)


Keep up the good work, times have changed radically, and I don’t think they are for the better,


Best wishes, Sam Olphert ex PC "C"218



Memories of Julia Hands

Here are some of my family photos from Ladywood.

My father and grandfather were both born in Ladywood.


I wonder if anyone knows of this shop (Hands) on the corner of William Street and Bishopsgate Street, Ladywood?  It belonged to my grandfather Alfred Hands around the first quarter of the 20th century. 


Both pictures are of his shop, but I'm not entirely sure if it's the same building or 2 separate ones at different times?

There are 2 boys standing at the door - Robert Hands, and just behind him to the left is his brother Kenneth Hands (my father). The date of that picture would be approx. 1925.


The other shop  is somewhere in Ladywood, but I don't know where - I can't quite read the name (R.?) M. Hands?


kind regards,

Julia Hands






Memories of Chris Bird




My sister and me are on this photograph (front row 4th and 5th from the left, Ruth and Christopher Bird). The chapel was where we attended Sunday School. I can't remember where the chapel was situated and I do not recognise anyone else on the photograph.


My mother and father kept the newsagent shop on the corner of Clement Street and King Edward Road from the late forties to 1957 when we removed to Kings Norton.


If you have a higher resolution version of the photograph I would be most grateful. Also, I am almost certain that my mother features in the photograph that shows the start of a race for mothers on Coronation day in 1953, she is the lady on the extreme right of the line up.


I enjoy logging on to the site, keep up the good work.


Kind regards, Chris



Memories of Lee Lewis

Found your great site and wondered if you would like to add these pictures. They are of my Maternal Grandparents who lived at 71 Marroway Street. Samuel and Alice Smith, Samuel was a local motor mechanic, I still have one of his daily workbooks for just after the 1st WW. Alice was a Midwife known as Nurse Smith.

I visited the house a few years ago and you can still see the two holes where her brass plaque was situated. I have a picture of her standing outside with my sister and the plaque is clearly in view.








71 Marroway Street as you probably know, I believe was owned by Peers, who I think were builders. The house was on the left hand side of their gateway. If any of the people visiting your site are looking for connections with the Lewis family of Freeth Street or Northbrook Street and of course the Smith's of Marroway Street they can contact me at the following email address -

I hope this is of interest to you.


Best wishes, Lee Lewis



Memories of Jean Perry

I was born in 2/101 in 1944.  My name was Jeanette Webb, but most people called me Jeannie.  My mum was Edna Callaghan married to Hugh, My own Dad died in the war years. I have 2 sisters, Iris born 1937 and Christine born 1948.


My gran and aunties lived at 101 and her surname was Cox. She had 10 children, 8 girls and 1 boy and he was a twin to one of the girls.  I can remember my mum telling me that she used to take her Dad's sandwiches and a bottle of beer to where he was working as a night watchman down by the canal somewhere.


She said that the night the twins were born, she took his usual supper and told him that her Mum had had twins, His answer to that was "Well, you'd best go and get me another bottle of beer then!"  In our yard, I can remember the Jones' s, Watson’s, Irene Mellor and her two children.   There were six houses altogether, sharing 3 toilets (outside) and 2 'brewhouses'.  I can remember one morning getting up and someone had been in the night and pinched the lead piping out of the toilets (great times!!). 


I went to St. John's School and to Follet Osler for one year only as we moved  to Kingstanding in 1955-56.    We had great times as kids; we were poor but healthy and happy.  We played in the streets, all sorts of games (not many cars then).  My gran used to run the 'Sweep' and I used to take it round for her some weekends, I'm not sure thinking about it now, that it was legal, who cares!! 


At the weekends we used to ride on the No.8 inner circle and go all the way round and come back to where we started.  We used to sit on top of the bus, in the front seat and had great views.  We also used to go to Summer Hill Park, Botanical Gardens and I think Quinton Park?  This was with no adults - you couldn't do it now.


The pub at the top of the road was called the 'Stone Valley' I think but for some strange reason people called it the 'Horse Falls'.  Is my memory right about this? I can still remember my Mum's co-op number though.


Anyway, I now live in Shrewsbury, been here forty years, have 2 children and six grandchildren.  I work in the caring sector of social services, never thought I'd be doing that when I was a child.   My memories as a child Ladywood give me very great pleasure and I hope I will never forget them.  If anyone remembers my family, or me I would love to hear from you.


Take care all,  Jean Perry



Memories of Jimmy Farrell

Just to let you now I found your site tonight. My wife and I have lived here in Australia since 1973 but that house / shop you show at the bottom of the page1. Gt. Tindal Street on the corner of St. Vincent Street is where I lived as a child.


Prior to moving in we lived at 2/17 Gt. Tindal Street so didn't have to move very far when we did move. I was about 5 or 6 at the time and remember a couple of old Tommy Clarkes men ," he was a rag and bone merchant" helped dad move our stuff on their hand carts.


The back yard at No 1 overlooked “Clarkies yard” and it was a coal yard too.


Mom and dad and the kids, (5 boys and 4 girls) lived there from about 48 /50 till January 64 a couple of weeks prior to me arriving home from 3 years in Malaya (Royal Engineers) which I joined in 1960.


The family name is FARRELL, dad was Gerry, mom was Norah, her maiden name was Docker and her family lived in St. Mary Street, also Ladywood.


Catch you later perhaps.


Regards - Jimmy Farrell



Memories of Irene Trapp

I always had to run errands there for mum and the neighbours. My gran used to live in St Vincent Street up the first entry past Doctor Glass's on the corner of Ledsam Street.

We lived in Rann Street, the top part near to Ladywood Road, and my name was Irene Trapp and a sister called Gillian. We both went to Osler Street from the infants to the seniors. I left there in 1953,and left Ladywood in 1958. I now live in France and my sister lives in Amblecote. 


I remember lots of people from our street and all the shops in Monument Road.


Good Luck for the future - Irene



Memories of Brian Hughes


Just found your site quite by accident. What a splendid collection of memories. I lived at 4/9 Ladywood Road from 1950 to 1960 and went to St. Barnabas' School. You have a school photograph with me in it! It's the one at the bottom of the page labelled simply 1954. I (Brian Hughes) am third in from the left standing at an easel; behind me is our teacher, Miss Butterworth. The only other names I remember are the tall lad standing against the back wall over on the right Michael Fisher) and the girl 2nd from the right holding a teapot (Susan Belsey). I would love to know if whoever contributed that photo is in it?


Keep up the good work,


Brian Hughes




Memories of Teresa McCrimmon, nee Griffin


I lived at 77 Reservoir Road, Ladywood, Birmingham from 1950 to 1968, just looked at some old photographs you put on the web of the old days fantastic, remember well walking round the reservoir and playing with my dolls pram in Clarke Street, the very good days not like that now, how we were a tight community, the smell of the Sunday dinners cooking, and the sing songs coming from the pubs and clubs - oh happy days. Apart from fetching the bags of coal on my pram from Osler Street, oh that hill was steep, and putting the odd bet on for my mom, god bless her, no longer with us, thank you - Teresa



The shop on the corner is Mrs. Roberts top of Clarke Street, Gringley's was half way down near the chippy and Blacks was opposite the school




Memories of Mrs G. Pittam

So happy with your site, it brings back so many memories. I was born in 1922 in Bell Barn Road, Edgbaston.  During the war I lived with my mother in law at 54 St. Mary Street, Ladywood, while my husband was in the army. One of the many nights there was an air aid on and we were down the cellar of her house when the German bomber dropped his bombs across the centre of the city, we counted them as they were dropped almost in a straight line, thinking the next one was surely for us but luck had it that it must have been his last one.


We also took shelter on many nights in Hangers Motor Garage (pictured) in Tenant Street, which used to hold as many as five hundred people and we used to just doss down on the floor taking our own blanket and just lie down on the floor regardless who we were next to. Those days sex was the last thing on anybody’s mind as it was survival. There was never any trouble, we used to listen to the red hot Shrapnel from our guns clanging at the iron doors of the shelter. After being there all night we had to go to work the next morning as usual even if we had been awake all night it was no excuse and that, may I add, was the way we won the war.





Memories of Pauline Wilkes



By the way, the shop on the corner of Ladywood Road and Blythe Street was run by a man called Mr Mason, and the shop in the middle of Blythe Street was run by Mrs. Rose Mabbett, her son, Wilf Mabbett, had a butchers shop at the bottom of Blythe Street on Ledsam Street






I used to go on his bike delivering the meat on a Saturday and when I was 5yrs old I remember my mom carrying me in her arms over the street to Mabbett's to use there air raid shelter. My mom used to go around the streets looking for shrapnel to sell to the metal merchants.





Memories of Brian Crisp


I have been given some old photographs by my brother and there is one of a race on Coronation Day Street Party (2nd June 1953).  It is in Summerhill Street by the corner of Garbett Street.   We lived in the house two doors up from the Robin Hood pub.  I know the date is right because it was my birthday (1 year old).  I think I was asleep when all this was going on.  I forgot to ask my brother if he knew any of the people in the picture.  I think I recognise two or three but I'll check with him first to see if I am right.




These are three of some of the regulars taken in the bar of the Robin Hood pub on the corner of Summerhill Street and Garbett Street.  The gentleman in the dark tie is my father Leonard Crisp, I don't know who the others are but I recognise their faces. 


I have attached the photograph for you to look at and hope it can be used on your site.


Keep up the good work.  Still a good site to visit!  





Memories of Michael Green


I was born at 3/37 Hingeston Street, I went to 3/36 Ruston Street in 1954 and attended St. Barnabas School, Ryland Street, before going to the Follet Osler till Christmas 1959. 


I recall Mr Penzer our 3b teacher and Mr sara the music teacher. The science lab where we had a few fights. The metalworking shop where we smoked. I played all round Ladywood, went to all the matinees at different fleapits, spent long nights out in the streets kicking a ball between dustbins or on kick patch, marbles in dirt with heeling a hole or along gutters, bands down Ledsam Street and Morville Street, Friston Street and more where we followed on mass, biking the canals and having bonfires on waste grounds.




Hingeston Street


Freezing winters, burning anything, ice from the old roofs, cold houses with just the yard tap, four in a bed with a pot underneath around 1952, mums and dads calling their children in all evening sometimes till very late, some kids not wanting to go in, it was a sad sound really, down the coal yard in Sheepcote Street with a buckled pram to get a bit of coal and then up Grosvenor Street to get it home, down the cellar for some slack or coal dust to bank the fire up, then out again to taste the soot coming down from the chimnies, bread and jam or dripping.


Leaving school at 15 to work at the A1 Screw co in Ruston Street, a lot of old houses and scruffy kids mixed with the sound of rock and roll booming from the radios, the old houses being pulled down all over Ladywood, I join the army and come back years later and everything has more or less disappeared.




Memories of Graham Sullivan


What did the streets hold for the people of Old Ladywood, I for one can remember growing up in Shakespeare Road, and it as held some happy memories all my life, as I’m sure it as for lots of other people.


What did we do for playing our games, well we found plenty, like Hop Scotch, Tip cat, tying doors together, and then knocking them, that was really fun, playing hide and seek, and there were plenty of places to hide, we sometimes went to the Rec in Kings Edward Road, it had all railing round it, before they removed these to help the war effort, and the Parky was very strict, we also went to Chamberlain Gardens, and used to play on the grassed area, before the Parky moved us off, us kids were really scared of him.


We thought Summerfield Park was great, and used to play football, and cricket there, of course in those days we walked there, sometimes getting to it along the canal towpath, most of us either joined the Scouts, or the Boys Brigade, but that didn’t last long, we also went to the youth club, at the Methodist church in Monument Road, you also had to attend Sunday school, if I remember right the vicars name was Trevethic, well something like that, he was also a very strict man.


Of course we spent a lot of time, at the reservoir, and had some great times there, how lucky we were to have that right in the heart of Ladywood, it was a really great place for discovering different things, at that time, there used to be a fair there.  



 Shakespeare Road





On looking back, we were well endowed for shops, selling all sorts of things, when sweets were in short supply, some used to sell Cocoa, and sugar in a bag for a penny a time, we thought this a great treat, most of us kids attended Osler st school.


I’m afraid I’ve forgot most things that went on in Ladywood, but with the help of Mac’s site, it as helped me relive some of those times, and for that I’m most grateful, and I wish his site all the best in the future.  



Memories of Alf Tranter


There is the old story still going the rounds about the man who lived at Tree Place, Osler Street way back in the twenties, who I can recall.


Who had a pony and Trap and who was also very fond of the odd tipple and had a very large blue nose.


It was said that he tried to get his pony up to the bedroom one evening, and people say that the pony had its head out of the window, sorry to say. I know that he didn’t even manage to get it up the first flight of stairs, but I am sure that Derek Fowler may recall this event.  

                    Tree Place

      Photograph courtesy of Bob Claridge



Searching through some of my old photographs. I have found this one. The date on it shown as 1920 and inked in, which although is in very poor condition is a genuine photo showing Mr. and Mrs. Darrell sitting outside their house at No.1 Tree Place. I am sure that Derek would recognise the features of Bill (Bluenose) Darrell.



Icknield Port Road

These pictures were sent in by John Gupwell, who's family were well known in Ladywood as specialists in Watch and Clock sales. They had a shop at 336 Icknield Port Road, this picture shows the 2nd shop just before demolition in 1965, they then moved to 198 St. Vincent Street in about August 1965. These were the last two half-shops built by the Corporation for rent.

George Gupwell retired from business in 1975.



Were you one of the "Bisto Kids" in 1953 at the Coronation Party?










Coronation Day, 1953

Roy Boulter and John Gupwell



Marroway Street

My name is Chris, I live in Banbury Oxon. I came down with Birds factory in 1965 where my dad used to work, he is retired now.  


I was born in Marroway Street  “ The Elms” (pictured right) in  1963, my mother  and her sisters were born in Marroway Street  and my Nan and granddad lived at number 91.


As a child I can remember  going up at weekends to visit my Nan and granddad, Sunday dinners, walking with my granddad to the “Belle View” pub , I can still  smell the  smoke and beer and him getting me a packet of crisps, and patting me on the head , he was a huge man, very tall. He was superb on the piano and always made us laugh, my Nan was lovely very kind and even then I could see she had had a tough life, there always seemed to be a sense of community in that street everyone friendly and I always loved going up there, when your small everything seems an adventure, even when my uncle or aunt would take me and my brother or cousins over to the shop on the corner before you went up the road to the reservoir.  My mother could tell you a lot about Marroway Street especially during the war.


One of the proudest moments was when I had got to an age when I could go and have a drink with my granddad in the Belle View pub and still have a laugh and a joke.

Very happy memories of Marroway Street and the people who lived there.


My mothers name was Kathleen smith, her sisters are Phyllis smith now Giles whose husband George and family lived in I think Osler Street , Jenny now Baker, who still lives in Birmingham nr Bartley Green, my Nan Violet and my granddad Philip.

Best regards, Chris Moon





Seeing the picture of this company (Bellis & Morcom) brings back memories which were not pleasant but in those days were accepted as part of the sacrifice needed for our survival and freedom.

I lived with my parents at the top end of Shakespeare Road which was at the back of Bellis and Morcom's in Ledsam Street separated by a railway goods yard which held railway wagons full of materials which if known would have caused an evacuation to as far as Hockley to escape the consequences of a hit or a fire and also the cut.


they wee a prime target of Jerry planes and many times they became quite near to cause mayhem. We had an incendiary bomb in Shakespeare Road with fatalities when people threw water over them to put them out instead of using spray which put them out thus not causing their explosion.


One major near miss was the factory next door who processed starch etc. and the fire from there lit up the whole neighbourhood and left us praying for no follow ups which fortunately left us to face another day.


I applaud your website and would like to contribute some thoughts of a "brummie" and our lives as we lived them from our early days.

I am 80 years of age and my wife is 76, we lived in St. Mark's Street, so how near a "Ladywoodite" can you get.


Best regards, George Morris


Does anyone remember the time a certain person, who shall remain nameless, rolled a car tyre down Shakespeare Road and it went straight through the front door of number 48, the corner of Anderton Street - Shakespeare Road around about 1953?


Another story that came through - does anyone remember who took the brakes of the pop lorry who was delivering to the outdoor on the corner of Shakespeare Road - St. Mark's Street, the lorry finished up in the window of a house and the person who lived there said "Now the estates department will have to rehouse me as I have been trying for ages for a new home"


Then there was the window cleaners dog, who lived in Anderton Street, took the Sunday joint, a leg of lamb, off the house opposite and was seen running for all its worth down the road, needless to say they never got it back!








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