Home Page


January 2008 - December 2009



24th December 2009


Memories of John Moult

I was born in St. Marks Street (little end) as we called it,  I lived at no 35 from 1948 until 1963 when we moved to Stechford.


Some of my friends were Keith Bailey, Stuart and Lyn Mason, Pam Walters who lived in king Edwards Road.

Some good times had at the swimming baths or the film shows at the Edge/The Crown/The Lyric/The Grove or round the corner at the wreck playing football and other ball games.


My Nan used to live in Garbett Street just up from the Beehive pub. 


I went to St. Patrick's School were I meet some good pals, John Wilson being just one. I believe the photo on your school is with our teacher a Miss Berry, I am there somewhere, but just can not work out who is who.


John Moult




14th December 2009


Memories of John Evans

My dad Bill was born in Nelson Street, where his Mom ran a small shop up until it was demolished.


Dad went to Nelson Street School and Mom went to Osler Street School.


During the 60s and 70s Mom worked in the Tower Ballroom on the catering side and she used to get me in to watch the wrestling, my favourites were Cowboy Cassidy with him shooting off his guns as he came into the ring and The Undertakers when all the lights went out and they came in carrying a coffin with just a bell tolling, scary for a lad of about 9 or 10. 


Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year


John Evans




Memories of Sheila Rushworth

When I left school I used to walk part of the way to work with Alan Hinton, can't remember where he worked but I used to work at J W Rains Summer Hill. If you went on to the roof you could look into the yard next door on the other side of the canal (Rootes the car people).


Pauline Glaze also worked at J. W. Rains, she was in my class at school and had a younger sister Florence and an older sister, Pat. They lived in Icknield Port Road.


Dorothy Frazer lived next door to my Nan at No 40 Clark St and up the entry on the other side there was a Margaret and George Hardy and their younger brothers Freddy and John Glee.


Lower down the Road lived a Margaret ???? opposite the house where we used to get Faggots and Peas from up Icknield Port Road lived Ann Askey.


Can't remember much about Christmas, don't think I ever went to Lewis's. Once the Hyde Arms gave a party and we all got a present, I got a jigsaw, which I hated so I swapped it with Colin Norris for a Book, I still have the book somewhere.


My Dad used to make most of what I got, One year I got a boat to float up the reservoir, another year he made me a shop. I remember my Mom collecting blue sugar bags for it, another year it was a train.


I used to get given some money every week to pay to Powell’s, the sweet shop; it went towards a Girl annual and a box of chocolate. I used to collect these on Christmas morning. My dad and me shared the chocolates. One year I got a small case to take my things to school in and I always got six new pennies.


All for now


Sheila Rushworth





18th November 2009


Memories of Malcolm Booth

I was born 26/09/1954 Dudley Road Hospital.
I lived 6 back of 101 Monument Road until it was pulled down and we moved to Acocks Green.
My one nan lived in Wiggin Street, my other Nan and granddad lived in Ingleby street (next door to the Ingleby Arms).
My mom and her 2 sisters went to St. Barnabas School, PHYLISS, OLIVE and JANET JOHNSON. My granddads name was Birchell Johnson and my nan's name was May.
My uncle Reg Clews had a bike shop on Monument Road as I remember.
I attended the day nursery opposite Summerfield Park until I was of school age; I then attended St. Georges in Plough and Harrow Road until I was 7-8 years old.
My mom and dad were married in the Oratory (St. Phillips) his name was Arthur Booth my mom was Olive Johnson.
My friends in the yard in Monument Road were Phillip Mooney and George Payne. I would especially like to find Georgie Payne, the family moved to St. Vincent’s Street when it was all pulled down, about where Hickman’s the green grocers moved to.   
Our next-door neighbour was Miss Bamford in the yard next to her was a deaf man Mr. Clewitt.
There were a lot of large families in our yard, the Payne's, Mooney’s, Morris.
My pals at school I remember were, Paul Chadwick, Christopher Weston, Mark Tennant at St Georges.
I remember the sweet shop at the top of our yard, Mrs Lowe ran it.
As a footnote I married a girl called Ann Walters from Halesowen, it happens her father was raised in Ladywood as well, they had a sweet shop in St. Marks Street. Here dads name is John Walters, his father was quite a famous runner FRED WALTERS, he drove a taxi.
My memories are very clear of my time there, Miss Bamford moved to Bath Passage at the side of the baths. When it was pulled down and then they rehoused her in Rodney Close. My nan and granddad were rehoused in Wells Tower from Ingleby Street, and are buried in Warstone Lane cemetery.
Miss Bamford (my auntie Nelly) as we called her died at the age of 99 many years ago and was my moms best pal so to speak (like a mom to her).

She worked at Lucas in Gt. Hampton Street, and I used to go to the xmas party’s there with her. She never married as the man she was to wed was an officer in the first world war and was killed there as so many were.

I used to listen to her reminisces as it was so much like a history book, she told me she saw Queen Victoria by the Mint in her carriage, and the horses were watered by where she was standing (about 1890 odd)?? but am not to sure of the dates.

Best Regards
Malcolm Booth




29th October 2009


Memories of Doris Simpson, nee Evans



By Doris Simpson


I think one of the earliest memories I can recall goes back to the time when having reached my fifth birthday I was taken by my mother to attend 'Nelson Street Infant School, Ladywood, Birmingham 'for the very first time. I remember it vividly and all kinds of little things come rushing back to me as I sit and think of those long bygone days in 1933.


First of all the headmistress took me along to Class 1, where I was introduced to my teacher named Miss Stevens. She was a very pleasant dark haired lady who soon put me at ease. After settling in with all the other new boys and girls, our names were called out off the register which was done each morning, I believe there were about 35 pupils in our class.  We did not have desks in this class but there were small wooden tables where 4 or 5 pupils were seated to each one. At ten o 'clock it was break time or as we used to say 'play time'. I was thrilled to bits when the teacher asked another girl and I to lay the tiny tables.  We were given orange floral cotton tablecloths to put on each one, upon which we then placed small white enamel plates for the boys and girls to put their biscuits or sandwiches on. Alternatively you could buy chocolate malted milk biscuits for 1/2d off the teacher.  These being very popular because they contained a photograph of a well-known film star of that era such as 'Norma Shearer’ 'Clark Gable’ 'Robert Taylor’ 'Ann Sheridan' etc. As time went on I built up quite a good collection and would swap with other girls the various ones of which I had two the same for a different film star which they had, it was quite good fun.  We also had small mugs of really delicious Horlicks, each one painted with nursery rhymes. Each Monday Miss Stevens would collect 21/2d off each pupil for these drinks, what wonderful happy days they were.


As time passed I went into Class 2 and my teacher at this time was Miss Cutler. I can see her now, she always seemed to wear brown on most occasions, her hair was always combed neatly into one long curl which went all the way round from one side of her head to the other and when she walked along it used to bob up and down, at the time it used to fascinate me. She was very nice and helpful if you did not understand any of the lessons she would sit very patiently with you and explain everything.


Eventually I went into the last class in the infants, my teacher there was Miss Girdlestone, she was a real shocker, such a nasty temper, she used to shout and get very angry if you did not pay attention. By this time the mugs of Horlicks were replaced by small 1/3 pint bottles of milk, which we had each morning. Of course not everyone had these because some of the pupils parents were very poor, there were cases of real poverty with some of the families and of course there was no family allowances or much help to be obtained in those days.  The only help I remember was some of the very poor girls and boys were given shoes and socks from the 'Daily Mail', they were very ugly looking big black shoes and thick black socks, the same style for both boys and girls.  Then of course some of the other children could be very cruel and used to make fun of them.


Speaking for myself I had a wonderful father and mother and was looked after very well I did not want for anything, I had two brothers, we were always a very happy family. My father worked very hard seven days a week for a refrigeration company near St Martins Church in the 'Bull Ring' in the centre of Birmingham. As far as I can remember he was never late for work, always liked to be punctual and his boots had to be blacked every day, if ever I cleaned them for him he would give me a Id which in them days would buy me quite a few sweets. I could get 1/2d worth of pear drops -which 1 enjoyed, also 1/2d  snow fruit ice cream, which I bought from a man who came round the various streets on his bike and trolley painted blue with Walls' ice cream written in big white letters across the front, with all the prices displayed too, he was very friendly, all the children liked him and called him Paddy.


We always had a weeks holiday each year, the family would travel by GWR from 'Snow Hill' station to Bournemouth, it used to be so exciting, especially when after five hours travelling we would reach our destination and after enjoying a lovely meal at the guest house where we used to stay, would go for a walk up Meridan Road and catch our first glimpse of the sea, before we descended down the zig-zag path which was cut out of the cliffs and very steep.  We used to walk down but on the return trip sometimes took the cliff railway, which I believe cost 3d and seemed really thrilling at the time.   We would spend most of our time on the lovely golden beach, which stretched for miles and miles, I used to love swimming.  Then in the evenings we used to have a ride on the green bus to places like 'Poole Harbour', 'Christchurch', 'Hensbury Head' and various little places of interest.


The reason I speak of this green bus was the fact it was so different to the buses back home, we sat upstairs, the whole family could sit on one seat which held 4 or 5 people and as a child I thought it was really exciting sitting with my mother, father and brothers.  Then there was one special evening we set aside to visit my aunt and uncle who lived in Bournemouth, who made us all very welcome but we had to be on our best behaviour, as they had no children of their own, everything was immaculate, nothing out of place and of course my brother and I used to like to roam around a little from room to room being a little inquisitive, which I don't think my aunt appreciated at the time. Anyway we all enjoyed our summer holiday and when it came to Saturday we were all sorry to return to Birmingham. I remember when gradually, as we drew into the station out of the long tunnel at 'Snow Hill’ everywhere looked so dirty and gloomy, what a contrast to all that wonderful scenery and clean fresh air of Bournemouth.   We used to take a taxi home and finish our holiday in style, which used to cost 2/6d as I recall, we lived quite near, about ten minutes ride.


We were quite happy when we all settled into our routine again, after all there is no place quite like home and I was anxious to see all my friends whom I used to bring sticks of rock for and tell them all my adventures and things we had been doing for the past week. I also had to visit my two aunties and granddad who lived near us and take them a little gift. I used to love them all very much they always meant a lot to me, I was at their house quite a lot and they would take me out to visit friends and sometimes shopping. On one occasion my aunt Ada took me into town, which was a short distance by tram, we looked around various shops then visited the old 'market hall' which everyone used to enjoy, there was so much you could buy there, sometimes I would be treated to a 'Shirley Temple' book or a doll I also enjoyed seeing all the kittens and puppies in the pet shop but felt sorry because they were all shut up in cages waiting for some kind person to come along and buy them. I would have bought all of them if I had my way, that's what I thought at the time.  We already had a dog and cat at home, we were never without pets. Afterwards we would go to 'Lewis’ or 'Greys' which were large department stores and have afternoon tea in their very elegant restaurant.  The waitress would suddenly appear dressed immaculate in her black dress, white cap and apron, her order pad and pencil tied at the side of her waist. My aunt would order tea and fancy cakes for two. After a few minutes our order would be brought all on a silver tray, which was very enjoyable.


Afterwards we would make our way across town to 'Edmund Street' and catch the tram back home. My aunt Mirry also used to take me out at weekends to see her friends who lived at 'Shirley' and 'Yardley'. I always came home with sweets and pocket money, which they so kindly gave me and I thought it was great. I was also taken on Saturday afternoon to the cemetery at Warstone Lane, Hockley, which was in the well known jewellery quarter, my grandmother was buried there, I never had the pleasure of knowing her because I was only two years old when she died but was told she made a great fuss of me.  We also put chrysanths on the grave, the large bloom type, bronze, mauve and white. I remember they would be bought from the local florist on Fridays and there would be a lovely smell when you walked from the living room into the hall, where they were kept in the cool ready for Saturday. After we arrived back from the cemetery I used to have my tea with granddad and my aunties, I was given the toasting fork to do some pikelets by the big roaring open coal fire, it was all so cosy, we all enjoyed it. My mother used to get a little annoyed when she used to come to fetch me for my tea; of course she only lived a few yards away and found I was not hungry because I had already eaten. On other occasions my mother would take me shopping to Hockley, there was a well known shop called 'Rees & Felix' where she used to buy sheets and pillow cases etc., then along Monument Road there were dozens of shops of every description where you could buy almost everything you required, much better than all of these supermarkets and large DIY superstores which we have these days.  Then nearer home on the 'Parade \ which was another little shopping centre, I remember there was a baby shop called Stockhalls, a nice friendly lady used to serve there, 'a bit old maidish' as we used to say in those days but very pleasant. She had very short hair with a large hairgrip to keep it out of her eyes.  There was also ‘The Stocking Shop’ the butcher, 'Keys' the herbalists, 'Devotis' sweet shop, 'Baines' the cake shop and also 'Pittaways' the coach firm from which we went on many an enjoyable day out into the country or by the sea.


By this time I was growing up a little. I went into the juniors at school I used to go home for my lunch at 12.00 each day, which was only a few minutes away. Mom always had a nice cooked meal and pudding waiting for me, she used to work very hard especially on Mondays when she did the large family wash. It used to seem rather hectic, no washing machines in them days.  There was the old washtub and wringer in the 'wash house' outside and there the old copper boiler would have to be filled with water and then the fire underneath would have to be lit before you could put the clothes in to boil. I must say the washing came out really clean and glowing.  When eventually all the clothes were dry, there used to be a big pile of ironing to be done with the old black irons which had to be put on the gas stove.  When the one you were using went cold you got another one from the cooker. It was really hard work and yet people seemed much happier in them days and neighbours always had time for each other and were always there if you needed them.


Anyway at 2 o 'clock it was back to school. My teacher was Miss Long, a very stern looking woman hardly every smiled. I always remember she wore a long sleeved paisley pinafore and pink rimmed spectacles. She rapped my knuckles with the ruler on one occasion for talking to a girl called 'Barbara Bridgewater ', who always seemed to be getting me into trouble when it was not my fault.  The head teacher, Miss Malcolm, was never one of my favourites either, she was a very large lady, the crepe dresses which she wore seemed to touch the ground, they were so long. She was very strict with everyone, not many children liked her.  We were all pleased when the bell went at 4.30pm, we would sometimes dash over the road to the little sweet shop and maybe have a 1/2d trebor fruit or a traffic light lollipop, then off home. Mom would sometimes make me a snack, which was a lovely crust off a cottage loaf spread with thick butter and treacle, then off for a game with all my friends. I used to have my meal with the family at 5.30 but before that I would go to see my granddad and get his tea ready for him first, we were all such a close family. After tea I sometimes played on the railway steps up the street with my friends, there seemed to be crowds of us, Olive, who was my best friend, we also went to visit the stables, where the funeral horses were kept, no cars in them days. I used to give 'Major' a carrot he was a bit wild looking, he used to try and bite the stable door away, there was a big piece missing where he had gnawed it away.


Sunday morning I would sometimes go for a walk into town with all my friends, it only took about 20 minutes, we would have a paddle in the fountain, then a walk by the 'Hall of Memory’, call in the little shop by 'The Church of Messiah' in Broad Street then back home for lunch. At 3 o 'clock I went to St Mark's Sunday School, I also won a couple of prizes there too for various things. In the evening my father used to take the family for a bus ride, into the country or to the park when the light nights were here. Before setting out of the house, my mother sometimes got a little agitated owing to my father lighting his pipe. He would mix his 'sweet crop} tobacco with the 'walnut plug' round and round in the palm of his hand before putting it into the pipe and lighting it up.  He would only smile though, he was a very pleasant easy going man who we all thought the world of. Dad used to work very hard and worked three shifts, 6-2, 2-10 and 10-6.   I used to lie in bed at night and sometimes heard him coming up the path at 10.30pm, his great heavy boots making such a noise but I used to feel so happy that he was home. He used to hang his coat up on the hook by the stairs and I used to call down to him, he would say 'aren't you asleep yet' and come up and see me. In the winter he would take my brothers and I to bed and before we got between the sheets he would warm them with the large copper warming pan, which used to hang downstairs. It was sheer luxury. I also remember when one of us were poorly, my mother would fuss us up and give us the best attention anyone could have. 


We were lucky really, in the week we were taken out on different occasions either to the 'Hippodrome’ or 'Empire Theatre' in town in the 6d seats, which were in the 'Gods'.  On the way home we used to call in a little shop and have a meat pie, which was near the 'White Horse 'public house, we thought it was a real treat.  Other times we would go to the 'Lyric' or 'Crown' cinema.  On Saturday afternoon I used to take my young brother to the 'Saturday Crush' at the cinema, for 2d we would see two full length films plus 'Flash Gordon’ it was very noisy in there but we all enjoyed ourselves.


By now my eldest brother Fred was in the Air Force, the 1939 war was now on, he was eight years older than me and my other brother five years younger. I used to take him with me quite a lot, we would go roller skating, ice skating, swimming etc. Sunday afternoon I used to go to chapel with my aunt to Balsall Heath, we would travel on two buses to get there. I used to enjoy meeting all the children and we would go on coach trips to places such as 'Church Stretton'. Bars of 'Cadburys' choc would be given out to all of us on the way and we would sit by the lake when we got there and eat our packed lunches. Afterwards we would play games and would really enjoy ourselves.  Other things that stand out in my memory was the time we had 'Mr Duck the milkman' come round to the door, with fresh milk from the big churn, on his horse and float. He would ladle a pint out or whatever you required into your large jug, it was a real lovely fresh taste. Then on Friday evenings most of the factories would close at 6 o 'clock, the hooters and whistles would blow and all the people would come rushing out with happy faces having received their pay packets for working hard all the week and looking forward to going out to enjoy themselves at the weekend. Most of them lived locally and some would call into the 'pork shop' called 'Mellors' and buy piping hot 'faggots and peas', cooked meats and all kinds of mouth-watering food. It used to smell wonderful. Saturday used to be very busy too.


There was a coal yard down the street called 'Brians' and people used to fetch their own coal in little four wheeled trucks, sometimes only 1/4 cwt at each time, they could not afford any more, the trucks were hired from the yard.  We used to have our coal delivered each week, you could hear the man tipping it down the cellar. It was real hard work going down the cellar steps for coal to keep the fire going all day.  On Fridays we would have baths in front of a nice big fire in the long tin bath that used to hang outside. It was normal practice as not many people had bathrooms in those days. Alternatively you could go to Monument Road washing baths and take a bath for 6d, which would include soap and towel Sometimes I would go to the library at 'Spring Hill' with my auntie, then to the 'Corn Shop' to buy chicken feed, as she used to keep chickens, it was lovely to have new laid eggs. We would then go in the 'Co-op' to buy a few groceries, you could take a seat while you were waiting to be served, then the assistant would put your money into a gold tube, which would be screwed onto a wire which would glide across the room to the cash desk for payment, the assistant would then send your change back to you, a lot of interesting things went on around you in those days, it was all so carefree and enjoyable.


By now I was going to senior school at 'Camden Street' Brookfield’s, I used to enjoy doing cookery and various other subjects and sometimes we had country dancing. Our school won an award for collecting the most 'National Savings' towards the war effort.   We bought a 'barrage balloon’ and our class had the thrill of actually seeing it released up into the air on waste ground near Dudley Road Hospital I used to take money each week for these certificates off my uncle at the shop near where we lived, also my aunt who worked on munitions at Lucas. She used to earn very good wages, which she worked very hard for.


While at Brookfield Senior School I had to take home a letter to be signed for permission to be inoculated, my father wrote a reply and gave it to me to take back to school.  The headmistress, Miss Bricknell, sent for me and said did I know what was in the letter from my father and I said no I had not read it.  It was a very rude letter she said and gave it to me to read and this is what it said:-   


"Dear Miss Bricknell,


I do not want my daughter, Doris May Evans, to be either vaccinated, inoculated or evacuated but educated.


Yours sincerely


P J Evans"


Miss Bricknell wanted my father to go and see her, which he did and I think they smoothed it over, when she could see he was not the sort of rude man she thought he was.


Eventually we were having air raids in 1940 but the more heavy ones started in 1941.  We had to go in the shelter in the garden every night and take our cases filled with our best clothes.   The sirens would sound and we would go running out of the house and stay until the all clear went. It was very frightening to hear all the bombers overhead and bombs dropping all around.  We were very lucky to survive, as there were many casualties and tragic deaths over this period.  We did not go to school for a time as all the lessons were interrupted, so we had plenty of spare time and my brother and I used to go round the streets with a big black tin collecting shrapnel from the bombing raids the night before, we got quite a collection of various pieces including silver nose cones off anti-aircraft shells.


I remember my friend Olive’s mother who was a dressmaker made me a lovely pair of navy blue trousers out of my mothers old coat, which I thought was lovely for the shelter and my mother also bought me a pair of tan boots with green laces which were actually called 'shelter boots’ they were very fashionable, everyone was wearing them. We could not buy too many clothes as they were on coupons issued to every household, also food was on ration but we never really went hungry, we just made the best of what we had.


In time the air raids got fewer, we didn't go away on holiday to our usual place Bournemouth but dad would take a weeks holiday and we would go out each day to various places, which was very enjoyable, one being Stratford on Avon, another was Evesham. Another day we visited a circus in the afternoon at Bingley Hall in town, followed by a meal at 'Greys' in Bull Street in their quite elaborate restaurant on the top floor. I remember mom, my brother and I had 'Spam fritters' which was quite the in thing to have and dad had American dried egg on toast and various cakes. There was not much choice at the time to choose from.  We were lucky to get anything but we enjoyed it anyway. In the evening we caught the 33 tram from town to the 'Crown' cinema and the film we saw was 'Errol Flynn' starring in 'They Died With Their Boots On’, a cowboy film, which was very good - the end of a lovely day.


In 1943 I left the senior school at Brookfield’s and started work at 'Barrows Stores' in town. It was a very well known high-class grocery store, it also specialised in very good teas and coffee. For a few months I began in the stock room weighing up the packets of loose tea, sugar and various items. I really enjoyed it and all the girls were really friendly, we had some good times together. Eventually I moved up into the office and had my own desk number 10.  We had travellers who would go to various districts and visit the customers and take their grocery orders.  They were brought back to the office and we used to add all the items up and the invoices were sent downstairs to the despatch department, the girls would put all the groceries in baskets and then put them on a conveyor belt to the garage, where the vans were waiting to load up and deliver them to the customers. 


We also had a telephone sales room and of course personal shoppers also. It was a good firm to work for, although the wages were not too good. I used to go to Bourneville School one day a week until I was 16, for further education. I would go on the tram from town to Selly Oak, then on to the outer circle bus to Bourneville, which was a lovely little village.   We studied quite a few subjects, including swimming, which I really enjoyed.  Lunchtime I would go to the restaurant at Cadburys, which was a massive building. All expenses were paid for me by 'Barrows’ they -were also related to Cadburys.


Back at the office I had two good friends.  We used to go out together a couple of times in the week and bank holidays.  We sometimes went to stay with friends at Bewdley.  We had some lovely times there. My aunt also later had a caravan there.   We would go for long walks by the River Severn, we also enjoyed going to the local dances at the town hall, where we met some very nice local boys. After a nice weekend we would get up early on the Tuesday morning and catch the Midland Red bus back to Birmingham and go straight to the office for 8.30am, we used to feel shattered but it was all well worth it.


I was now almost reaching my 16th birthday.  Over the years I had some wonderful times and these were my childhood memories. I then went on to new challenges in my later life - which, as they say, is another story    


Doris Simpson





26th October 2009


Memories of Terry Turberville

I lived at 3/103 Icknield Port Road from my birth in 1946 until 1965. Our house was just across the road from the Belle Vue Public House. My dad used to work behind the bar.  


I attended Barford Road School and I sang in the choir at Christ Church, Summerfield, not far away. The vicar at the time was Reverend Hinnett, if my memory serves me well.
I can recall the Coronation in 1953, we celebrated this just up the road in the entrance to the reservoir. In those days, the only people allowed into the reservoir were a sailing club.





Memories of Geoff Massey

I worked at Munn's Brothers, Photographic Processing and Printing Company in Camden Street when I left school aged 15 in 1955.


I can't remember the number of Camden Street where Munn's Bros was, only that it was some way down on the right from the Hockley direction.


Do you have any information on Munn's Bros? It was a small family business run by the father known as Mr Munn's and his two sons Mr Charles and Mr ?


I worked in the darkrooms on the photographic enlargers. It was piecework with a basic wage and so much per print after that but they had to be good prints that passed quality control.


I would take a No70 bus from Brunswick Road, Handsworth to Hockley (near Cannings, I think) and walk the rest of the way through part of the Jewellery District to Camden Street. I would pass mainly small silver-plating companies and sand blasting companies on the way and often spoke to the workers leaning on the wall outside having a fag and a cup of tea.

Geoff Massey




18th October 2009


Memories of Albert Collins

My wife was born in 1930 at 67 Marroway Street, the home of her grandparents, Alfred and Matilda Quiney, also the premises of Rudge Brown, coal merchants to industry, for whom Alfred was caretaker, stableman and coal deliverer.


When my wife was 12 months old, however, her parents got their first house on the new council estate in Northfield. Her grandparents stayed in Marroway Street until her grandfather retired in 1939, having then to relinquish the tenancy of the tied house.


Her mother, nee Lewis, was also a Ladywood girl, having been born in 1903, and subsequently lived in Clark Street until her marriage at St. Patrick’s Church in 1928.


Albert Collins




Memories of John Evans

Photo taken at the Mount Pleasant, Reservoir Road in around the mid eighties, awards night for the angling club.



I'm on the back row far right; also in picture are John Townsend, Brett & Gerry Colleff (sorry not to sure of other names)




John Evans





Memories of Tony Bond

The lad who owned the two greyhounds was Kenny Adams, he lived at 2/54 Maple Terrace, opposite Grimleys and the Hyde Arms.


My name is Tony Bond, I moved in to Kenny Adams house in 1958/59. I went to Osler Street till I was 15 and I left school in 1959.


We moved from 33 Clark Street, to 2/54, I remember Grimleys when I was a lad; I also remember Wynns chip shop. Used to go up to the Reservior. Left Clark Street when I was 21. 33 Clark Street is where Joe Harris, the coal man keep his horse and cart up the entry, I lived there till I was 14.

Tony Bond




Memories of John Bell

Sheila Rushworth, nee Bromley - Ken Adams is the name whose father kept greyhounds, also you have mentioned Alan Hinton, both are on my school photo under Osler Street, 1953 class 2a, they went through infant's to seniors leaving in December 1955, with myself and both were mates, also John Hubbard was in my junior class, I lived in Freeth Street in those days, hope this helps.


Kind Regards


John Bell




Memories of Pam Shaw

Congratulations on this great site, it brought back many happy memories, and many things that over time I had forgot.


I was born in Parker Street Ladywood and remember Gordon Wilkinson’s family well, we lived at 22 Parker Street, there was my mom Rose, brothers Barry and Norman, our surname was Shaw.



Parker Street

My brother Norman used to ride in the lorries from the Carbon Dioxide with the driver who, if I remember correctly, was called George Daniels.


Gordon’s sister Gloria, was one of my playmates, happy days!


We then moved to Bellis Street, lots of memories from your site there.


Hope to read lots more about my childhood area in the future.


Thanks Mac




4th October 2009


Memories of Sheila Rushworth, nee Bromley

I have remembered a few more bits and found a few more photo's, Mrs. Trigg from school, a Mr. Trigg used to throw the rubber at everyone, don't know if they were married, Miss McLoughlin was the headmistress.


There was a lad called Kenny, that lived up the entry next to 48 Clark Street, his dad kept a couple of greyhounds. We had some white cats (3), they were deaf, one of them went up and died in the kennel of the greyhounds.


Mr. and Mrs. Purcell lived on the opposite side of the road to the school, opposite the top gate; Colin Norris lived opposite the bottom gate.


We moved higher up the road to 2/59 Clarke Street in 1957, my dad wanted a garden.


Inside Hyde Arms Amy, Florrie, Vera and Mom and Dad

Joe Wakeling and my Dad acting the goat outside number 48

I don't know who the man is with the car, but it was a car my Dad had repaired, he worked at the garage in Osler Street at the time, the shop is Grimley's.

I think this photo was taken looking down Clarke Street, after we moved in 1957

Mom Daisy Bromley and two friends, both called Amy, outside the Hyde Arms


Sheila Rushworth, nee Bromley


These photographs are copyright and must not be used for any for any financial gain, commercial publications, social media or any other internet website or publication relating to Ladywood or Birmingham without permission




2nd October 2009


Memories of Sheila Rushworth, nee Bromley

I have been looking at your website for a long time, its great. I just wish that I could save it all; so far I haven't remembered anyone that I have read about.


I was born in Ladywood in 1941 at 42 Clark Street, when I was 2, we moved just a few doors up to number 48, right opposite the Hyde Arms (my Nan lived at number 42, she was called Lillian Dawson). My Mom and Dad were Daisy and Mick Bromley, and I am Sheila.


I went to Osler Street School from just before I was 5, right up to being 15 (Sept 1945 to Dec 1956).


Teachers I remember are, Miss Ray in the infants, Miss Wastell who died, when it was her birthday she bought us all a small Cadbury's caramel bar and when she died I remember we all lined the street while the funereal went past.


People from the street that I remember are Maureen and Michael Hawthorne; Irene Humpage and her brothers Clive and Malcolm; Josie Wakeling; Josie Yates; the Carter family, who lived in Hyde Road; Lois and Doris and their brothers, John Ike John Hubbord, who died while we were at school; Alan Hinton. My best friend was Pauline Thomas who lived in Mostyn Grove, there was also Una Hunt from school.


Have included a few photo's to see if it jogs anyone’s memory


My Nan, Mom, two of my cousins Dad and Me

My Dad, when he was working for Charles Wynn

Nan, Me and Mom

Mom, a few years before she died in 1985

Nan, taken in the back garden about 1952

 I would like some help with this one, I think it was some kind of nursing home or hospital, but don't know where or what, my Mom is third from the left.


All for now, I really miss Brum and your site is the next best thing.


Sheila Rushworth, nee Bromley





15th September 2009


Memories of Geoff Millington

I remember Lee's bike/record shop, which was located slightly back from the main road, and stood on the Spring Hill.  The shop did not retail bicycles, there being limited space available on the premises, but did carry a good range of cycle accessories.


In the late forties, and fifties, and before the advent of vinyl recordings, it was the place to go in the area for those rigid 78 records.


I did buy all my 78's, and boxes of steel gramophone needles from the shop.  Whenever the steel spring snapped in my old portable HMV gramophone, I would take it to the shop, my Dad would give me a few pounds, and it would be repaired as good as new.  I only ever remember being served by one gentleman; he was of slim build, always neatly dressed in a smart suit, and very pleasant in manner.  Nothing was too much trouble for him in locating that obscure disc for his customers.  I cannot say if that gentleman’s name was Clifford or Bert, but he did offer a good service.


I believe the little shop narrowly missed being bombed during the war.  Certainly bombs fell to the rear, and across the road from that line of shops.  I sadly regret that I didn't take any photographs of the shop, or other small businesses at that time, as we were living nearby, in that area.  The music has ended, but the memories linger on.


Kind regards,


Geoff Millington




2nd September 2009



Memories of Veronica Calway, nee Hall

I was born at 4/59 Ledsam Street behind Morgan's newsagent in 1947 (and am still alive!) one of your contributors is my first cousin, Phil Trentham.


My mother Jane worked at the Old Steam Clock on the corner of Morville Street where she met my dad Denis Hall.


The Old Steam Clock


I have so many happy memories of Ladywood, there was always something to do - usually mischief. Does anyone remember when they started moving us out in the fifties, how they boarded up windows and locked the doors of the empty houses and how tiny the pantry windows were - no problem.


I was very small and could fit easily, the lads shoved me through, I released the catch of the door and in they went. I must have been the most popular kid on the block. They made a good job of the chemist shop in Ledsam Street, I was dying to get in there, but no go. Bonfire nights were great, all the weeks of collecting 'plunder' and storing it in one of the washhouses, we must have had the best night in the street because when the shop closed Mrs. Morgan would bring out some unsold fireworks.


Across the other yard, Mr. Cook kept racing pigeons and when he fed them I would nip over the wall and pick up a few bits of corn. Over the weeks I had quite a collection and decided I would feed the pigeons with 'my' corn so when they landed I threw the corn over the wall and watched the birds scoffing while Mr. Cook was losing his mind. My dad explained to me that the birds had been racing and they couldn't be 'clocked' until they returned to the loft. Mr. Cook was someone I had to avoid for months.


If there's anyone out there who remembers this little bit of Ladywood or if Billy Morgan and Pete Evans are logged on please contact me.


Thanks Mac for all your hard work.


Veronica Calway nee Hall



20th August 2009


Memories of Gordon Wilkinson

First Congratulations on a fantastic Web Site, I now live in Flixton, Greater Manchester, since 1961, before that I lived at 11 Parker Street, Edgbaston, The reason I am contacting you is I am hoping that that somewhere out there will remember my Family.

My Father was Lionel (Len) Wilkinson, he was the Manager of the Carbon Dioxide Garage in Parker Street, our House was next to the garage. My Mum was Doris and my Brothers were Derek & Ken, my sister was Gloria. We had lots of friends in the street, I remember the Cashmoore Family - Les, Hilda, Margaret, Susan and the twins, Roger & Tony. We all used to go on holiday together to Cornwall, I remember them as a lovely family.

My best friends were John Hardy, Alan Smith, Christopher Jordan, we spent all our school holidays playing hide & seek in the Botanical Gardens, what a lovely place that is. I have taken my family to visit the Gardens and they loved it, how could you not? We also used to go to the Reservoir to collect frog spawn, Saturday morning was always reserved for Saturday Matinee at the Edgbaston Cinema, Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon etc etc, and then run home on the imaginary horse, chased by Indians, strange you always seemed to run faster if you slapped your backside.


The Photo shown on Parker Street with the Black Smiths down the entry, shows my old house, No11, on the right corner, the Iron Gates being the side entrance, on the left side not shown, was a little Grocer shop owned by a lovely lady, Mrs Pittam, she sold everything, including a great selection of sweets. She was very kind to all the children, she had a big greyhound called Cream, that used to take me for a walk, I know it should have been the other way round, but he was a greyhound and he had to be in the front.

My wife and I stay at the Plough & Harrow Hotel, Hagley Road, when we come to concerts in Birmingham, I still get a buzz when I visit the area, but that comes from living and playing with friends and knowing there family's in the fifties, when times were not always easy, but you were surrounded by genuine people, the salt of the earth as they say.

I have not, and never will, forget my time in Edgbaston and I must not forget my School, Osler Street, it gave me my standards for life.


So please, if any one out there who may remember any of the above I look forward to hearing from you.

Mac, once again thanks for all your input in this fabulous website

Gordon Wilkinson




27th July 2009


Memories of Joe Brown

I lived at 4A Norwood Villas in Waterworks Road during the war years.


There are 6 houses in Norwood Villas and they are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 4A and 6. There was some reason why, the house, which should have been No 5, was changed to 4A. The oval shaped cast No Plate on the door was the same type and shape as on all the other houses. It has always puzzled me as to the reason.

I wrote to the Birmingham Library to the Ask a Question section and did have a reply saying that the number was changed in 1918, but was not able to say why.

If any one living in that area would like to drive by sometime and just have a look at the numbers and tell me if they are still numbered like that I will be obliged. Any information on the block known as Norwood Villas would be appreciated.

Norwood Villas are on the left hand side just before Stirling Road. There was a shop at the end of the block of houses called, in those days, The Cabin and he sold a lot of tea, which he blended himself.

I would love to hear from anyone about Norwood Villas.

As a child I lived in Friston Street, Beaufort Road, Rann Street, in that order and then in Norwood Villas Waterworks Rd till I married and then lived in Sparkhill, left for Australia in 1957.


Cheers to all, Joe Brown


Any replies to Mac and will be greatly appreciated.




Memories of Mark Crump

My Grandmother was Phyllis Hilda Crump who's maiden name was Lucas. She was one of eleven kids who grew up in Grosvenor Street West.

I think she lived at 11b. Her bothers and sisters that I know of were, Jack, Stan, Arthur, Ted, Lillian and Ruby. There were others but I don't know all their names.

She married my grandfather Bill Crump, who's mum used to run a chip shop in Icknield Street.

I have a copy of a Sunday school new testament that was filled out on March 9th, 1930, ten years before WW2 and states her address as 11b Grosvenor Street West, Ladywood.

My grandfather Bill, is now 91 years old. 


Mark Crump




7th July 2009


Memories of Betty Cowley, nee Floyd

I have just found out about this website and noticed an e-mail asking for people from Edward Street, I lived at number 3, next to the pub on the corner of King Edward's Road from 1948 until l964.


I remember the Lyric Cinema (known as the flea pit) and the factories and warehouses and of course, the bomb site in Scotland Street.


My Dad was a "bookie's runner", before gambling became legal, for a bookmaker who lived in a house in King Edward's Road. I remember the railway line, which I could see from my attic bedroom window - where the NIA is now built.


Mr Dad was Les Floyd, a darts player who frequented most of the local pubs.


Anyone share those memories.


Betty Cowley (nee Floyd




6th June 2009


Memories of Val Brown, nee Smith

My Mum, Dad and I lived in Barker Street (opposite Ricketts) until 1947.  We had the whole house on the front of the street and there was a lady up the top of the yard whom I called Granny White.  My Mum worked at Wilmot Breedon in Camden Street for many years.  She used to assemble the door locks for Rolls Royce.


Also in Barker Street lived a family called Giblin.  As far as I remember the Mum was Jean and there was a daughter whom everyone called Lolly.  After we moved to Quinton “Aunty” Jean used to mind me for Mum whilst she was at work.  Aunty Jean and her family moved out in the redevelopment era to St. Luke’s Road, I think. 


I don’t know if anyone remembers us!  My dad was a very bad cripple and I had poor eyesight. 


I remember being so proud of being able to get some messages for my Mum and Dad from Ricketts.  I also remember going down Nelson Street with a basin to fetch tripe and onions and also remember the fruit and veg shop down there.


My Dad didn’t move very far from his childhood home to his marriage home as he was brought up at 1 back of 70 Garbet Street.  He had nine brothers and sisters and his Dad (my Grand-Dad) was a blacksmith.   His name and my dad’s, was Frank William Smith and my Mum was Elsie Smith, nee Marshall.  She came out of Northwood Street I believe and had five brothers and sisters.


I was told that I was the first little girl in the street to have a doll’s pram after the war had finished.  Apparently Mum paid weekly for it from Mr Pearce who had a shop just past the canal (near, I think, what is now St. Vincent Street).  Mum had a lot of things on “the weekly” and I used to love going to see Mr Pearce because he would always find some sweets for me and let me sit in his big chair.


We had relations in New Spring Street and Cope Street and I was always fascinated because they only had the back half of a house.  I always wondered what was upstairs but never found out.  I imagined that there must be another family living above, but that was just childish daydreaming because I know that’s where they did sleep.  How they brought up a family with the gas cooker in the only living room and a little tiny scullery where washing, etc. etc. took place.


Visiting them made me realise how lucky I was to have a kitchen, brewhouse and a little garden, which, although it was fenced off, I was never, allowed to play in it.  We either played in the street or up the yard – preferably someone else’s yard!


Mum and Dad were married in 1930 and if anyone has any knowledge of our family or of Dad when he was growing up in Garbet Street, I’d love to hear from you.  There are so many holes in my family tree.




Val Brown (nee Smith)




6th May 2009


Memories of David Tysall

I was born in William Street in 1943 and I attended St. Thomas’ School in Granville Street from 1948 to 1958. My mother & father were Alice & Bill Tysall, my father worked at Davenports and my mother worked at Kunzels in Broad Street along with two of my aunties, Gladys and

Blodwen Hackett.


In 1955, I joined the 8th company Boys Brigade and I played the bugle. Every xmas during the late forties and early fifties, two public houses KINGS ARMS (corner of William Street and Bishopsgate Street) and THE WHITE HORSE in William Street use to throw xmas parties for all the children who lived in the area. My friends who I used to go around with at the time were Tony Kendrick, Micky Glaze, Frankie Glaze.


I used to go every Saturday afternoon to the Lyric picture house and I remember going to the Ledsam cinema in Ledsam Street and they used to come round with a can of DDT and everyone got sprayed.


Happy memories


David Tysall




Memories of Donna

Hello, I was just looking at the old photos of Ladywood, and Osler Street School, in one photo you have my fathers name John Clark, but I’m not sure if its him as he didn’t attend Osler Street School, but my mom did, her name is Iris Cartwright and she lived on Osler Street with her 2 sisters, Frances & Jennifer and my grandparents who’s names are Frank and Eva Cartwright.


My dad went to Barford Road School.


Kind regards





6th April 2009


Memories of Carol Barry

I am an Aussie with an English Mum. I have been looking into my family history but unfortunately since my mothers death I have no more information. I found your site and wondered if anyone would be able to help.  My mother (Phyllis Cartwright) was born in 1912 and  lived in 304 Camden Street as a child then came to Australia.  She and her family returned to Birmingham just before the war and lived in Queens Road, then after that was bombed at 111 Gravelly Lane.  When living at Camden Street their neighbours were the Bodens (Chappy, Harry, Peggy Dennis and Maggie and the Renshaw’s (Bill who married my aunt Maude); Edie Violet and Nellie. Mum went to Ellen Street School.  When they returned to England from Australia my mother worked for a firm called Birds, who were menswear and Tailors.  She loved it very much for they were kind and generous people, both the owners and the Manager, a Mr. Woolley.


My mother’s brother Frank (Francis George) remained in Birmingham until his death.  He was Superintendent of B Division of Birmingham City Police for 8 years and a member of the Force for 4 years, he was one of the youngest men to be appointed Superintendent at the time.  He lived in Speedwell Road and his Station was Ladywood Police Station.

Uncle Frank died in 1938 and I have the cuttings from the local newspaper reporting his death and funeral, also an article when he organised a bonfire, 35 feet high and eight yards square, to which a reported 5,000 children attended.

He was awarded the Kings Jubilee Medal and Kings Coronation Medal and the military Medal during WWI during which his young brother Leonard was killed.  He is buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery; I know the site, unfortunately there is no headstone.


As far as I know none of my relatives are in England any longer, but I would love to know if any of the above addresses and businesses are still standing.  I don’t think anyone will remember the events I have mentioned, as they are a long time ago, but if anyone has anything at all I would love to hear from them.  


Thank you so much for a great website that gives me some idea of my mothers home when she was growing up.


Carol Barry



Memories of Ken Jackson

Just found out about your web site, I used to live in Ladywood and went to Johnstone Street School, well I used to live next door to the school, went to Osler Street as well.


My name is Ken Jackson, I used work at W. T. French’s in Browning Street. I knew Kenny Stokes, Breada Lenard, Roger Jones all in Browning Street. We all used to meet on the corner had a lot of fun.


I also knew Barry Steel, Bob Crutchley, they lived in Gt. Tindal Street; Billy Cotteral lived in St. Mary Street, along with many friends who lived around there.


I would love to meet some of them if or to get in touch with me by E/Mail.


Ken Jackson (Jacko)




16th March 2009


Memories of George Cope

I lived in Clark Street from 1956 till about 1962/3. we lived at the top end, and my mom and dad were George and Emily Cope.

We lived next door to the Joyce’s.

If any one remembers us or has any photographs of my family lurking about, I and my sisters and brothers would be grateful. This site has brought back many memories, including the coal man and his horse, bonfire nights at the back of the houses, out door lavs.


Looking at the photos on your site remind me of how little we had, it’s a wonder any of us survived.

At the moment I am Writing A book for my grandchildren, about my time growing up in Ladywood and Winson Green, thanks again for jogging my grey matter.


George Cope




22nd February 2009


Memories of David Paddock

Hi, whilst in hospital, the man in the next bed, on finding out I was from Ladywood told me about your web site. On returning home I clicked on to Sherborne Street and was amazed to see a photo of my granddads house, looking at me, Herbert and Mal Pierpont. My mom was one of eight children, when she married her name changed to Paddock and we lived in Morville Street, there was me, David my brother Teddy and my sister Elaine.


My brother and I both went to Osler Street School; I went to St. Barnabas first and also held my wedding reception there in September 1963. 

David Paddock




9th February 2009


Memories of June Mitchell, nee Saunders

My name is June Mitchell, nee Saunders, I am Rose Evans' sister and I too lived in Cope Street, Ladywood. 

I attended Steward Street school from 1938-1945.  I married my childhood sweetheart, Ronald Mitchell in 1954.

I worked at a factory called 'Bulpitts' (Swan Brand) and worked with a dear friend called Margaret Luckman and Joan Plant.  Margaret married just after I did (about 1955) and her name is now Margaret Nash.  She lived in Berryfield, Aldridge, Walsall.  I think she has 3 sons, though I'm not entirely sure.

I would love to hear from either of them, so if they should see this post, it would be absolutely wonderful if Margaret or Joan could get in touch to contact me.

It is a fantastic website, brought back so many memories.  There are some brilliant photo's.  Well done!!

If anyone remembers me, please get in touch.

June Mitchell (nee Saunders)





2nd February 2009


Memories of Ken Wilkinson

Hi  what  a  fab  website.


My name is Ken Wilkinson, I went to Follett Osler, and left in 1957.


I lived in Parker Street, Edgbaston; my father ran the garage there for many years.

When we left in 1957 we went to live in Handsworth Wood, from there in 1962, we moved to Manchester.


I have great memories of my time at Follett Osler.


I knocked about with Kenny Jones and Deidre who lived on Reservoir Road, I had many friends who were very important to me like Colin Hardy and his sister Margaret, plus Valerie Hawkins.   


Where does time go, if you know me please get in touch.


Ken  Wilkinson




Memories of Stan Humphreys

The tall man on the left is Ted Pickard who lived in Icknield Port Road, he was a scrap metal dealer.


He died about 1960 and was a friend of my dad's, Stan Humphreys, the man on the right. I'm sure they will now be having a pint in heaven.


I send this photo in case any of the Pickard family would like this photo, I will send the original if contact is made.


Stan  jnr





26th December 2008


Memories of Tony Rudge

I have just found this most remarkable site, its brill!


My memories of Ladywood start about 1958, I was born in Shakespeare Road at my Granddads house which was behind the coal merchants backing onto the train line. My Aunt Wyn, lived 2 doors away.


Times were hard but Mom and Dad always made sure that we were fed and washed.


We moved to Icknield Port Road when I was 4, address 2/44.


Memories of my older brother dressing me up as Guy Fawkes and sitting me outside the Glassblowers for penny for the guy, this is no kidding we made more that night than ever before.


One year my Dad decided to have a bigger fire than normal and the heat was that intense than the brickwork started to glow red, great fun for a 9 year old.


Christmas was always magical as in the run up you always went to Lewis's to see Uncle Holley and Father Christmas, the wait on the stairs always seemed to be longer as the years went by, but to reach the end was always so disappointing as that was it for another year.


The visit to Hickman's to get your fruit and veg was always something to remember as old man Hickman knew my Granddad well and always found some type of fruit to give to me and me brother.


I went to Follet Osler Infants and remember teachers Mrs Voraneska, Miss Ray and Miss Hughes.


I had my first kiss down the entry by the school from a girl called Jennifer Furlong at 10, seems so long ago.


Most of my parent’s family lived in the same area and every week Mom would get us ready to visit one of the unfortunate Uncle or Aunts.


We moved to Weoley Castle in 1966, but every week Mom would take us back to shop on either Monument Road or the flat.


Thank you for the great feeling this site has given me.


Love and peace


Tony Rudge




Memories of Dave Marsh

Back in November 2001 I received an e-mail from Pete Murray after he saw my entry in your guest book and he asked if my sister remembered Jill Rawlins as they both attended St Barnabas' Infant School in the 50's.

We continued to e-mail each other and he came over on holiday in 2003 and we visited Ladywood together.


This year my wife and I went on holiday and stayed with Pete and his fiancé Heather in , they were wonderful hosts showing us all the sights.  


I have attached a photo of Pete with Jill and myself  (Pete is on the left - a staunch BLUES fan)


Pete lived in Garbett Street and attended Follett Osler from 1956 to 1960, eventually emigrating to Australia in the 70's, and he sends his regards to anyone who might remember him


Once again thanks

David Marsh





10th December 2008


Memories of Maureen Ramsey

Although I was not born in Ladywood - I was actually born in Smethwick and in 1939 moved into Birmingham to Bearwood, near Sandon Road.  However, I was at school at the Oratory from 1939 until 1944.   What memories I have been given although something’s I remember slightly differently.


Is there anyone old enough to remember Miss Brindle;  I always thought she was quite young, but she taught my father (and he was born in 1891!) so she must have been a fair age.  There were 3 or 4 classrooms that had folding doors to make them into one big one.  Miss Brindle taught me to knit and we had to tie our names on to the wool at the bottom so we knew whose it was!  I then moved to St Paul’s in Vernon Road.

My mother used to pay a girl called Anna Daley (she had a sister Florence) who lived in Bearwood, to take me on the No 6 bus to school to the top of Monument Road and paid her a halfpenny a week for doing so! Am I right in now thinking that the secondary school was in Oliver Road because I always thought that this was the boys school?

Does anyone remember the horrible cheese pie at lunchtime and the looking glass at the top of the stairs that said 'Am I tidy?' 

I remember Mr Holland, Sister Agatha and Sister Joseph with their wing like headdresses.  Sister Joseph was very formidable and I'm glad to find I'm not the only one to find her so.

My grandparents lived in Reservoir Road and I wonder if anyone remembers the Lewis family, who were originally in Coxwell Road and then Reservoir Road.

After Reservoir Road was pulled down to make the new road, my aunts moved to a high rise somewhere and it wasn't the same.  Their house had a walled garden and a telephone on the wall like Maigrets'.  My uncle Frank also had a grand piano, so the house must have been a reasonable size.  I think it was on the corner of Reservoir Road and Monument Road.

If anyone remembers my father’s family I would love to hear from them.  I gather that several of them were members of the Oratory Choir.


I particularly would like to know more about Edward Lewis, who married Mary Whelan - her father was Patrick Whelan and they lived in Freeth Street. Are there any of these Whelan’s around I wonder.  The Lewis's at some point lived in Hyde Road, was that where the school was?


Later my father would go to Mass at the Oratory and meet his brothers, Ted, Frank and his sister Cis.  They would then adjourn to the Ivy Bush. (No one had mentioned that pub yet and it's still there I gather).

There was also Jack Lewis, Winifred his sister who both married, did anyone know them? 

This is a wonderful site and thanks to Mac for producing it.

Any info welcome - my e-mail address is and I was, of course, a Lewis! 






7th December 2008


Memories of Albert Moulsdale

I am enclosing a photo of No 6 Coxwell Road. It was taken at the same time as the others on the website.


We lived in No 6 (on the corner of Oliver Road) from 1963 to 1966. We had lived in Cope Street previously and with the demolition programme "moved up" to Coxwell Road. Ironic really, after walking back and forth from Cope Street to Follett Osler, four times a day, for four years, we moved round the corner months AFTER leaving school?

The "improvements" were that we now had three bedrooms, a separate lounge, a garden AND a bathroom, with indoor toilet (luxury). No running hot water mind you or heating.


We literally had to carry buckets of hot water upstairs to have a bath? The family at the time was Mom Pru, Dad Albert.  Brothers Alan (the baby) and John, sisters, Angela and Elaine. Two elder sisters were married by that time.


We moved on to Quinton in 1966. Somewhere Mom had always wanted to live.




2nd December 2008


Memories of Denise Lonsdale

What a fantastic website!


I just came across it today and have been enchanted by all the old photo's etc.  I wasn't born in Ladywood, but lived there from the age of nine until I got married in the 60's. 


My three sons were born there, the middle one now in America, which is the reason how I came to find your site.  He gets nostalgic about Ladywood, and after just buying one the Old Ladywood Calendars, I typed in Ladywood on the web and up you popped! 



Does anyone remember Mr Mortimer, who owned the record shop in Ryland Street? 


To me at the time, he was really old, but he knew every new record that came out and always had one playing.










Looking down Ryland Street towards Mortimer's




I remember Durham’s up Grosvenor Street West, (that's where I lived in the new houses, we moved in there in 1955 right opposite the pub the White Swan) and there was Gabriel's in Ruston Street, they sold the toffee in the tin trays and it had to be broken up with a little hammer.


The White Swan


The chip shop in Ryland Street was great, we use  to call it Cathy's, but she wasn't the owner, (don't know their names). The coal yard was on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Sheepcote Street. There was a cafe on the other corner, Roy's, my mom worked there for quite a few years, her name was Bridget.


I could go on all night, but must come to a close, will be in touch another time.


Keep up the good work on the site, it's fabulous.


Denise Lonsdale




28th November 2008


Memories of Jenny Lloyd and her Father

My grandparents were James & Ellen Gumbley (Jim & Nell). They were caretakers at St Barnabas Church in the late 1930s and during the 40s. This picture was taken on an outing, probably in the 1950s. (It was definitely no later than 1957 as my grandfather died in June 1957). Dad thinks it was from when Nan worked at a greengrocers shop in Broad Street. He can't remember the name of the shop, but it was between Five Ways and Ruston Street. The only greengrocers I can remember is Johnson's, but Dad says it wasn't that one. Granddad is 4th in from the right (standing) and Nan is standing in the centre holding her handbag. 



This is my Nan, Ellen (Nell) Gumbley with her friend in Broad Street probably taken late 50s or early 60s. I don't know her friend's name. She always referred to her friends as "Mrs whatever their name was" which I think was fairly usual for her generation. The only names I remember are Mrs Mogg and Mrs Blackwell, but Dad says this lady is neither of those.












A Shop in Grosvenor Street West VE Day 1945 -

Dad took this photo to show the shop dressed up for VE Day.




Doris Downes, Nan and Janet Downes - Doris Downes lived in front of my Nan's house in Ruston Street in the 1950s and early 60s.


VE Day St. Barnabas churchyard

VE Day St. Barnabas churchyard 





23rd November 2008


Memories of Barry Bevington

I am 66 now, I lived in Essington Street in about 1947 to 50.


We lived in a 2up 2down, back to back house in a yard off the street. It had gas lighting and who remembers those mantels one touch! New one needed, black hob constant need of blacking, cooking stove in the corner of the living room, big brown crock sink in the scullery area with cold water tap which sometimes froze.


I remember ice on the inside of the bedroom window, where we 3 brothers slept, 2 at first then 3, mom and dad with the new baby in the back room. I went to St. Barnabas School; first the infants then across the road to the juniors with its sloping blue brick play ground. I remember the harvest festival in the church, my mom sent me with a contribution it was a lump of coal.


One day I some people came to the school, I assume must have been social workers, who asked the children "who was wearing the only pair of shoes they had?” so I put my hand up, gave my name, never thought any more about it, mistake!


When the man from the Daily Mail came with a pair of boots with hob nails, did I get it when he had gone "disgrace to our family and all the school will think we’re hard up" the fact that nearly every body was didn’t matter, our family could not be thought to be. Those boots were great to slide in the blue brick schoolyard and made sparks the lads thought they were great.


I can only recall a couple of names from St. Barnabas, Mrs Powell, I think was head of infants, a couple of lads Kenny Nash and Jimmy Ingram; girls I recall Pat Caldicott, Margaret Simmons and Needle, they sat behind me in class, Jennifer Weaver always had plaits.


I remember us at school going on the tram from Navigation Street to Manor Farm we all had labels tied to us with our names on. How they kept it organised I will never know!

In our street there was a coal yard and I can remember going with my dad to fetch some coal from there in a big wooden barrow to drop down our cellar, I can’t remember the year, but the snow was nearly over them boots!


While we were there, my dad with a little help from me, probably more hindrance, helped load some other peoples barrows, the lorries could not get out to deliver.

My best friend in the street was Dennis Raferty, he did not go to our school because his family were catholic. He had an older brother, Tommy who one day had a "dinky" toy lorry and trailer, how I wanted that toy, I got my dad to try and buy it off him but he would not sell ,I hated that Tommy.

I have always been interested in trains; this got me and my brother John in trouble. Not far from where we lived was Monument Road railway engine sheds, so I talked John into going to see the trains, bad move. We stayed watching for some time, no idea how long, then started back up Sheepcote Street, who’s coming down the road looking for us, DAD.


I said to John he hasn’t seen us, we step down this side road and let him go past, big mistake. He had seen us, we had gone down a road to the canal side, John’s first words when he brought me home after that it was mainly monosyllable ringing ears and painful backsides. When home no help off mom “7 and 6 year olds don’t go by canals or by railways never mind how far out of my sight now get to bed out of sight”.

Not long after the houses were fitted with tiled fireplaces and a lot of those black grates were smashed up. How much for one now. Shortly after we moved out into what was to us the countryside with a posh name Turves Green.


The great thing about it was at the bottom of the garden was the main Birmingham to Bristol line on a bank level with the rear bedroom window.


At first we had to go to school by coach, but that’s another story.

Barry Bevington





18th November 2008


Memories of Elizabeth Sloyan (Barnes)

Hello to everyone looking through this site that has brought back such good memories, that I thought it was time I wrote in myself.


We lived at 14 Reservoir Avenue in Clark Street and I am 1 of 10 children, who along with mum and dad, all resided in a 2-bedroom 1attic, which you can imagine was very cramped but we all managed. Our entry was next door to Follett Osler school and when our dad was at the pub and the caretaker was not around, we used the school playground as our yard to play in till we were caught and told in a not very polite way to get off the premises; we would then move on up the road to the Reservoir to play on the steps attached to the Tower Ballroom and play house or hide and seek. My older brother, Michael, lost part of his finger when he dropped one of the slab steps trying to retrieve a sixpence he could see stuck in between the slabs.


We had some good times there, but because dad was very strict we were not supposed to come out of the back garden, but as soon as he was out of sight off we would go in search of excitement, but well betide we were late, as we would not be able to sit for a week and mum would also get a clatter for letting us out of her sight, as far as he was concerned we would be up to mischief and be annoying the elderly neighbours, but we didn't because we knew they would tell on us.


There were lots of big Irish families like ours so I think you assumed everyone was in the same boat. Our weekends were called Saturday bath night and fight night AND Sunday was church day and jelly day, as we always had a nice sweet tea or cake and jelly which was put on the cellar steps to set and there was always some ones finger marks on the top (ha ha)
Elizabeth Sloyan (Barnes)  





16th November 2008


Memories of David Riley

Many thanks for such a marvellous web site. Please find attached an old photo, which I came across in my archives. It is a picture of my grandfathers’ horse and cart outside his house, No 8 Reservoir Retreat.


His name was Joseph Harris and he ran a coal merchants business in Ladywood for many years. He had a coal yard in Clarke Street and also a small area of yard at Monument Lane Wharf. I believe the photo was taken in the early 1960’s. One point of interest, I seem to remember him saying that he had a great battle with the local Council at some point, they wanted to remove a horse trough somewhere in Ladywood, the last one left I believe. However, he battled because his horse liked to drink from it and would not let them remove it! He was, however the last person to use horse drawn transport in Ladywood, therefore I can see why the horse trough never got a lot of use and the Council wanted to remove it!


Please feel free to use this photo on your web site or in any other way you wish, I am only too glad to contribute something to such a fabulous project. If I come across any more interesting photos I will gladly forward them to you for your use in such a great project.


Keep up the great work.


David Riley





10th November 2008


Memories of Bob Cotton

Hi there, have just came across your web site and was impressed with how much content you have of the old quarter.


My name is Bob Cotton and I am in the process of compiling my family tree and Bellis Street holds some memories for me as a child. It was great to see some old photographs of the street that I once played on, I remember the old lady next door to us, her name was Mrs Tipper, who often gave us biscuits out of her jar and the shop on Parker Street, we called Wellis.


I also remember a bookies on the corner of Bellis Street, we lived at number 19, would love to here from anybody who lived on the street and see any more photos of these streets.


I have enclosed a photo of my mom and dad, my three sisters and me, my other brothers are older and probably had better things to do than appear on this photo.

Bob Cotton

You can e-mail me @ 




22nd October 2008



Memories of Edward Colson

Mom nursed and then married one of the injured soldiers sent to Barnsley Hall (John Colson)  and when he left the army in 1946 ( he ran away from home at 16 to join up in 1932) No 5 became their home.

Dad died in April 1947, from  his war injuries, when I was 11 months old, and this picture is that of my Mother (still in Black), older brother Graham and myself .

Behind the hedge was a small yard which in later years became the place for our Bonfires -- until the lady in the 'tarred' house called the Police because she thought that her house would burn down --- may well have done because the fires got bigger and bigger!











This picture (right) is Aunt Jess ( who missed her 100th by just a few months), Mom and me. Note the smaller building rear left which was the washhouse for No's 4 and 5. There was a large copper boiler (hemispherical) with a lid and a 'Dolly'. A fire was lit under it and the washing 'boiled' and finally passed through a large 'wringer'. 


Behind the washhouse were three WCs, the middle one was shared between 4 and 5. There were no lights or heating except from a candle (or the matches that I used to stick in the holes in the soft mortar) and great care had to be taken when everything 'iced up.' 


The house was a two up, two down, back to back; the picture of the 'living room' which was about 10 x 10 shows Mom, me and Ruff who lived with Aunt Jess. Ruff loved people, hated other dogs but really hated cats. He would chase the cats up the yard and follow them up and over the fence ( 6 foot high)  into the garden of the house with the bay window which was in Marroway Street. The kitchen was very small with a sink ( cold water) a black gas oven and a cupboard. The kitchen window was only  2 foot square but  was used by me as a way in and out of the house when the front door was locked.








The stairs were behind the kitchen with a cupboard under it, in which the coal was kept. The only heating was from a coal fire in the living room and an old small grate in the large bedroom which my brother and I shared. In the winter there was more frost on the inside of the window than outside and only if we were ill in bed did Mom bring a shovel of burning coal from the living room and put it into the old grate. More than once I put the legs of the bed through the floor while fighting with Graham and the boards had to be replaced.


This next picture, the front door with the window decorated for the Coronation. There where two large screws in the top of the door frame, from which we could hang a swing ( with the door open !!!) and. Mom in the garden to No 4, looking down towards Icknield Port Road and the entrance to the Reservoir. Note the Shelter in the gardens of No's 4 and 3 ( Mr and Mrs Bagley). The shelter had a rusty door without any windows or lights, but it was the perfect place to brew and keep the 'ginger beer'. The lamp halfway up the yard was initially a gas one, but before we left in 1962 it had been changed to electricity. Then 'yard' was about 4 foot wide, perfect for learning to bowl straight but had an up hill slope towards No 5. It was better to bowl down towards the Road, but the Lady in the house in Marroway Street, over the boards, was not very friendly if the ball was hit straight back and over the fence. The old lead water pipes ran up the yard and were replaced before we left; ( I wonder how many over the previous 100 years had had lead poisoning?)


The Christmas photograph was taken at Lewis's in (about) 1951.



Normally I am very much against ID cards, but I found mine today from 1946, note the difference on the front for 'under 16's.

With very fond memories of the old house, but, as I look across the fields towards the Malvern's, I owe everything to Mom, who brought up two boys with the help of her family, and only a £3 ( £1 a week for 3 weeks) payment from the army.


A few more thoughts about the old house.


Mom, being a nurse, made sure that everything (including me ) was clean and tidy.


Bath night could itself be 'the new soap opera' --- the tin bath was kept outside under the kitchen window and on bath night it was brought into the living room, behind the front door.


On top of the old gas stove were pans, full of boiling water, which had to be carried to the bath -- as each one was emptied into the bath it was immediately filled with water and put back on the ring, ready for the next person.


No need to throw the water away after each bath -- just add some more boiling water -- and it was your turn! Standing in front of the fire with a warm towel -- you where soon dry. You would just hope that no one came to the door during bath night. The bath was emptied using the pans, or, if not too heavy, it could be pulled out through the front door and tipped down the drain under the kitchen window. Once a week was enough -- perhaps we did not get dirty every day -- as we do now !!!!! There was always the 'stand up' wash in the kitchen -- on a cold morning you could, if the water was already on the 'boil', quickly do a 'top to bottom' -- why does it take so long now with warm bathrooms and running hot water?


When I was about five I can remember Aunty Pat coming to the door while I was in the bath. She was an 'adopted Aunt' -- when Dad died many of Mom's nursing friends from Barnsley Hall became 'adopted Aunts'; so with nine real Aunts and Uncles and five or six  'Adopted Aunts', there was always someone to help when needed. Now Pat always came with her big black dog, Major, a Flatcoated Retriever, and if there is one thing that this breed likes more than any other -- it is water. The next ten minutes was the funniest that I can remember, as we all tried to keep him out of the bath while at the same time he tried to lick all the soap off me.


Now Major was our best friend.  He lived in Gillott Road in a house that backed onto the old railway line that ran along the side of Summerfield Park (where the pictures were taken) --- although sent away to be trained as a 'Gundog' , he was the best 'ball boy' that ever was. He could retrieve a tennis ball from the courts in the Park before the players lost it ! Whenever we heard them coming up the yard we quickly collected up all our footballs and tennis balls that had been left all over the garden, and threw them into the back of the 'coal hole' under the stairs. A closed door was is no barrier to a Flatcoat, he knew were they were, he could smell them! Within a few minutes he would open the 'coal hole' door, climb in over the coal and retrieve the balls. Mom would chase him outside, cleaning up his footprints as she went.


Major was used by Graham as the power source for moving him and his scooter along Icknield Port Road ---- until one day Graham went one side of the lamppost but Major went the other -- resulting in a very bruised rider and bent scooter. Pat would always take Major with her to the shops; he would carry a large basket into the Butchers to get it filled with enough bones to last the week.


When you are small, memories of 'Big dogs' remain with you for ever, so much so that I have had more than 25 Flatcoats, 11 of them are asleep in the house as I write this --- who said that Children are not easily affected by events! 


The shops near the junction of Icknield Port, Coplow and Summerfield Crescent included in addition to the Butchers, a Fish and Chip shop ( with battered chips on a Thursday), Cox's the Bakery; the men's Barbers ( Al the barber, was into amateur Boxing but Mom would never let me join -- in case it spoilt my pretty nose (her words not mine)); the Post Office together with a few more --- how many are there today?


There was the Paper Shop at the entrance to the Res' (closed to all except the Yachting Club -- my first legal entry was to the Street Party for the Coronation) and an Off-license on the corner of Marroway Street where you could get 1d or 2d back for the empty Mason's pop bottles, or get a jug of beer for the  'oldies'.


Entertainment -- was the radio -- The Goons, Around the Horne, Journey into Space, Friday Night is Music Night and many more. We did not have a socket in the bedroom so ( when I was 10 ) I ran a wire from the back of the radio speaker in the living room to an old radio in the bedroom. It worked a treat unless Mom went to bed and switched it off downstairs.


TV -- Gran who lived in Aston had one and as Mom always went there on a Sunday to cook for them, we always had a big Sunday Dinner and watched TV in the afternoon. Aunt Jess, next door, had one when ATV started, I can remember Bob Monkhouse introducing the new channel followed by Robin Hood. We did not get a TV until we moved to Erdington in 1962; it was Aunt Jess's old set --- a Bush that lasted for years.




19th October 2008


Memories of Alan Tustin

Just found your site and love it.


I used to live at 10/177 Icknield Port Road from 1952/1967. My dads name was John Tustin, nickname ginger; mum’s name was Ivy. Two younger brothers Dennis and Ronny went to Barford Road School, Dad and Mom used to drink just over the road from our house, the pub was called the Bricklayers Arms, its still there.

Dad used to do all sorts of jobs, one job he had was a rag and bone man. He used to keep his horse and cart at a stable in George Street West down Spring Hill; another job he had was sharpening knives, forks and garden shears, some times he used to take me with him.


Mum used to take me and my brothers and our friends to the Crown Picture House.


Like a lot of kids we used to go “Guy Fawking”, using younger brother Ronny as the guy. We also, I believe, used to have the best bonfire in the street.


Many a time us and friends used to get over the big wall at the top of our entry into Summerfield Park, so we did not have to pay when the fun fair came every year.


Dad passed away quite young and mum, two years ago, aged 81. Her ashes were scattered on the bowling green, where it was in Summerfield Park.


If any body knew us please email


Alan Tustin






12th October 2008


Memories of Patricia Payne

Having just read people’s memories of Ladywood I thought you may just be interested in some of mine. I was born Patricia (Pat) Payne in 1936 at 332A Icknield Port Road where I lived until 1940, when my Aunty Lil (Moore) took it over with her family.  We moved up the road to No. 1 Wood Street next to the outdoor pub on the corner of St. Vincent Street where I lived until I married in 1958.  I went to St. George’s School in Beaufort Road until 1947 and then went to Osler Street Girls School until 1951.


My husband Wilf Turner was the youngest son of the local coal merchants, Turner & Le Marquand, who had a coal wharf at the bottom of St. Vincent Street and also owned several magnificent shire horses.  He worked at Cyril’s Cooked Meat Shop in Monument Road opposite St. Johns Church during the 50’s having taken two years off for National Service.  He attended the Oratory School in Hyde Road where he lived.  I also worked as a ‘Saturday Girl’ in Monument Road at Philips Baby Shop, which was in the same row of shops as Hickman’s Green Grocers and the chemist.


I have also come across a distant relative of mine, Irene Trapp, who I understand now lives in France.  Her mother and mine, Daisy Payne, (nee Evans) were cousins.  Irene’s grandfather and my grandmother were brother and sister – William and Annie May Bright.  We left Birmingham in 1970 and moved to Gloucester where we have lived ever since.  In June 2008 we celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary.  Wilf’s brother, Stan now lives in Aldridge and my sister Judith lives near me in Quedgeley, Gloucester.





8th October 2008


Memories of Cathleen Loker, nee Taylor

I was bought up in Ladywood and lived at 2/70 Edward Street. Sandra Ford was my best friend and we were always together. My mother, Margaret, was friends with Sandra's mother. I have a brother called John (spud) and Sandra's brother is Graham.


My father was Douglas and he used to drink in the Ivy Green pub, usually only on Friday nights, before he went to the pub I used to go to the outdoor and get faggots and mushy peas in a jug.....lovely.


I went to Nelson Street School and then on to Camden Street Girls School, from where I can remember, Christine Taylor, Barbara Ward (she was mad on Billy Fury)


Ladywood was one big playground in those days, we used to play on the canal, at the Hall of Memory, St. Paul’s Square, Titty Bottle Park, the Reck, the Bull Ring and anywhere else we fancied. Every Saturday afternoon we all used to go to the Lyric cinema, I think it was 3d to get in.

I would love for anyone that would like to get in touch please, please do. I think I could sit here for hours rambling on......I was born in 1948 and lived in Edward Street until the age of 13, then we had to be re-housed.


My Grandma and Granddad had the sweet shop on Hingeston Street; Granddad also worked for Davenports, their name was Lilley.


When at Camden Street Girls School we used to go to Icknield Street Boys School for Square dancing. I remember George Hodgetts but not sure from where?


Hoping to hear from someone soon.






Memories of Karen Pinnock

Hi, just wondering if you could publish this wedding photograph of my nan and granddad.


Their names were Evelyn Doris Sprat and Harold Elliott, I believe they were married somewhere in Ladywood and then went on to live in Clark Street with their children, Shirley, Norma, Pauline, Linda, Keith.


I know Shirley, Norma and Pauline went to Osler Street School, they did have another child during this time, Maureen, but she died whilst still young.


I also believe my granddad was married before for a short time, I would appreciate any information / memories such like that people may want to share with me.


I look forward to your reply with thanks for such a wonderful site




See Ladywood Weddings





2nd October 2008


Memories of Ivan Millward

I thought you might be interested in this photograph, it is of a children’s Christmas party around about 1961 and was organised by The Crown pub in Cope Street. It took place at a social club in Monument Road near the swimming baths.


Ivan Millward





21st September 2008


Memories of Roy Gasby

Hello, my name is Roy Gasby, my family lived at 108 King Edwards Road.


I can remember spending many hours in the rec while growing up. I attended Follet Osler from 1960 to 65, when we had some really good football and cricket sides.


Looking back we had some fantastic times growing up in Ladywood and I can look back and think that I was so lucky to grow up during the 50’s and 60’s and that kids of today really don’t realise what great times we had.


If anyone remembers me, I would be glad to hear from you at 





15th September 2008


Memories of Mike Shakespeare

Father, Edward Dennis Shakespeare

lived in Edward Street, Aged 21
















Mother, Lilly Larvin lived in

Nelson Street, aged 21




Edward and Lily's wedding


St Marks Church, Birmingham.  24th March 1945


Standing rear row: (left to right) 

Irene Shakespeare (Dad’s Sister), Lilly Shakespeare (Dad’s Mother) Albert Edward Griffin (Best man and witness), Edward Dennis Shakespeare (Dad), Lilly Florence Larvin (Mom), John (Jack) Edward Larvin (Mom’s Father), Rosina Gladys Shakespeare (Dad’s Sister), Lilly Eliza Larvin (Mom’s Mother)


Seated (left to right) 

Vera Copson (Mom’s Cousin), Patricia Shakespeare (Dad’s Sister).



I have also included a few photo’s of old pub outings, my Gran and Granddad Larvin are on them –

I believe they were from the Nelson Pub,  but can’t be sure.





Both my Granddad and Great Uncle were taxi drivers in Birmingham (photo below)



If anyone else has information or photo’s of my family, I would be very pleased to hear from them.

My email is  





Memories of Dorothy Clarke, nee Bryan

My family lived at 332 Icknield Port Road we lived two doors away from Dorothy, we were the Bryan family my mom and dad lived there since 1940.


We were a large family of twelve children my older sisters were Margaret, Kathy, Pauline and then me, Frances, the younger sisters were Jenny, Bernie, Susan, my brothers were Noel and Danny, (the twins), John, David, Terry.


I remember the families up our yard they were the Tummies, the Meadins, the Ingleys. We went to the Oratory RC School until we left to start work.


Does Dorothy remember us?


Great site Mac; hope this little bit of information is helpful.


Yours Frances Canning, nee Bryan



8th September 2008



Memories of Bev Slaughter

I browsed through your excellent Ladywood website and it brought back many memories. My father, Cyril Slaughter, owned a grocers shop just up from Ledsam Street/Icknield Square on the right hand side.

There was a cobbler's on the corner of Icknield Square, run by Bill Swift and next to it (if I remember correctly) was George Baines, the baker. Then there was another shop then my father's, with the Inner Circle 8 bus stop outside.

In the 50's my mother (still living, now in Norfolk) ran the small café at the back of the shop. It was full at lunchtime with workers from Bellis & Morcom.

I was roped in on Saturdays (when I would much rather have been elsewhere) to make candy floss. Dad had a machine almost in the shop window and I had to stand there making candy floss with sugar and a purple colourant, which I dropped into a funnel in the centre of a spinning drum. The floss then came whizzing out and stuck to the side of the drum. I had to whisk a stick round and collect the floss.

When I was not working in the shop, my brother Tony and I used to get on the No. 8 bus and spend a couple of hours on the top deck at the front, going round the Inner Circle.

I remember being a member of the ABC Minors at the Edgbaston cinema at the top of Monument Road and occasionally, I went to the cinema in Icknield Port Road, but I can't remember what its name was.

I spent many a happy hour train spotting at Monument Lane station. As you approached the bridge past Stan Smith's shop on the corner of Icknield Square, there was a small door in the brickwork. If you went through it there was a steep slope; the canal was on the left and Monument Lane station ahead. My brother and I used to sit on the bridge abutments and watch the LMS expresses race to and from New Street.

There was also an old 0-6-0 LMS engine in the goods yard; it was called 'Old Boner' and it chugged back and forwards in the yard, sometimes coming under the road bridge and into the station. Occasionally it would puff off up the line and along the Harborne branch near Dudley Road.

Sometimes, the man who owned the timber yard on the other side of the tracks would let us into his yard and we would climb up on a pile of sawn timber and sit watching the trains and the 'Pines Express' hurtle through.

Does anyone remember the 'dipping duck' that sat in the front of a shop window further up Monument Road? It was a bird with a long tube as a neck and a glass bubble at the bottom. It sat in front of a beaker of water and periodically it would pivot frontward and dip its beak in the water, as if drinking. After a few seconds it would lean back and wait for a couple of minutes before the whole process started again. I still don't know how that works!!!






Memories of CM, Shropshire

We lived on the fringe of the city, away from the more industrialised and densely populated areas, which were most at risk, and so I was not part of the 1939 or 1940 evacuation of children from Birmingham (in fact I had never even heard of the term "evacuees" until the summer of 1941 when I was five-and-a-half).

By the summer of 1941 when Hitler’s attentions were focused firmly to the East and we were no longer alone, intensive aerial bombardment and the risk of invasion had both reduced, at least temporarily. My father decided that we should try to get a holiday. Since the mid-1930s, and before I was born, the family had stayed at a farm in the South Hams of Devonshire, an area between Torbay and Plymouth, at that time remote and sleepy and little changed in the previous one hundred years. So off there my mother, sister and I went, to be joined a few days later by my father and elder brother, abandoning their work and Home Guard responsibilities for a short while for the attractions of rest, fresh air and unrationed food. How lucky we all were to have a holiday at that time.

We were not the only guests at Keynedon Mill on this visit. There were three boys there too. Bob was probably a year or so older than I; he had an elder brother of 10 or 11 whose name I can’t remember and so I shall call him Billy; and the head of this family was the eldest, named I think Frank, a remote, grown-up fellow of 15 or 16 whom one saw only rarely. I was told that they came from a part of Birmingham called Ladywood and had been sent here to avoid the bombing. I hadn’t heard of this place before but I was struck by what a nice name it was and had visions of dense foliage and grassy, sunlit clearings. The boys lived in a large, white-washed single room, the loft either of the main house or of one of the outbuildings. They ate with the farmer’s family, at a large table in the entrance hall of the farmhouse. I still have a vision of them sitting there as we passed through to our own room. The meal was presided over by the commanding presence of Mrs. Cummings, a lady of great antiquity - possibly in her late forties - and with a frightening cane lying ready to hand; this was of sufficient length to reach the younger boys seated further down the table in case they required any guidance.

I imagine that Bob and Billy attended the local school in the nearby tiny village of Sherford but it was August and so they were on holiday. Frank on the other hand seemed to be engaged the whole time on farm duties and I know that he got up at some ungodly hour every morning to fetch the cattle for milking. I didn’t see much of Billy and can’t say whether he had his own list of duties but I played a lot with Bob who seemed to have plenty of freedom.

In later years I have often pondered on the mystery of how those three lads ended up in such a remote spot, so far from home. I don’t know whether they were part of the September 1939 evacuation although they probably were. It seemed strange that they were sent such a long way from home from where their parents – assuming they had any – would have found it almost impossible to visit them. And when the threat of invasion loomed from the middle of 1940, lodgings only a mile or two from the South Coast, even so far west, would not have seemed to be the safest of locations. I can imagine them being shepherded on to a train at Snow Hill, labelled and carrying a small package of their possessions and of course their gas mask, as they embarked on the daylong journey into the complete unknown. Memoirs of children in this situation, some of who had never been out of their cities or on a train before, speak of the wonders of the journey. And so I imagine our trio, gazing out of the window at an ever-changing tableau of meadow and woodland, cornfields and unfamiliar farm animals as they trundled south. In their compartment excitement and wonder at the unfamiliar sights must have been intense but later, as the day progressed and tiredness started to overcome them, that would have been replaced by apprehension and even fear about what faced them. They would have passed through Bristol and Exeter, perhaps changing trains, perhaps seeing, every now and again, many of their companions leaving the train at intermediate stops. Finally they would have alighted at South Brent and clambered aboard a little two-coach train for the last leg of their long journey. A diminutive GWR tank engine would have hauled them down the branch line through the rolling countryside of pastures and red Devonshire earth, where the hedgerows and line-side trees would have seemed close enough to lean out and touch. Quite soon they would have reached their destination, and the very last station, Kingsbridge. What an alien world it must have seemed as they got off the train and looked around them, at milk churns and empty cattle pens, the end of a line which stretched all the way back to the bustle and soot of Snow Hill. And yet they still had another four or five miles to go, almost certainly this time by horse and cart in the gathering dusk, through small villages and finally turning off the road at Frogmore down a lane just wide enough to allow their passing.

Nor do I know how long they stopped at Keynedon. Early in 1944 the farm and the surrounding area was itself evacuated at short notice when the US Army took over the nearby stretch of coast and adjacent countryside as a training ground for the landings on Utah beach. The Cummings family moved with all their livestock into tiny premises in Frogmore. They were still there in August 1945 when we visited them. But the boys weren’t and of course I wasn’t interested enough to ask after them. I have often wondered what happened to them and how much their time in Devonshire, with all its fresh air and healthy food but remoteness from loved ones and familiar city surroundings, affected their later life. And just how that clash of totally different cultures, inner city industrial Birmingham and remote, agricultural Devonshire worked, day in, day out.

My friendship with Bob came to an abrupt and unhappy end. The facilities in the farmhouse were basic in the extreme – candles and oil lamps; an outside pump for water and, inside, ewers and china gesunders in place of any plumbing; and the main lavatory a fruity, fly-blown, wooden structure containing an earth closet and sheets of newspaper. The latter was conveniently located out of the front door, along the lane a few yards, up some steps cut into the earth bank and across a short stretch of grass to near the waterwheel. I was strictly prohibited from going anywhere near it with the mysterious threat of “diphtheria” being muttered, as it always was when anything vaguely unhealthy was being discussed. Bob and I were playing near the waterwheel one day, feeding ducks with white berries plucked from a nearby bush. Getting bored with this, although the ducks weren’t, we decided to investigate the little house. And not only that, but to leave our visiting card there too. All of this was of course great fun. But somehow or other the incident came to the notice of my parents and, probably with a bit of assistance from me, Bob got the blame for initiating this crime. It must have been decided that he was not a suitable companion for me and I never played with him again. Nor after our departure ever heard anything further about him. I hope that he had a good life and that he always remembered, as I still do, a sunny day in Devonshire nearly 70 years ago, a flock of greedy white ducks and a smelly old hut on the edge of a meadow by a waterwheel.

CM, Shropshire




2nd September 2008



Memories of Allan Smallman

In the early seventies (1972/73), my father George Smallman, was the caretaker of Wells Tower in Rodney Close, and together with a chap called Ken Gibbins (who was the caretaker at St Johns Primary School) set up a local football team called Ryland Star (so named as Ryland Motors, which was situated at the bottom of St Johns' football pitch in Ledsam Street agreed to sponsor them and gave a generous amount of money to help buy their football kit). 


The kit was a replica of the old Manchester City 'all blue' with diagonal white and red stripes.  They attracted so many youngsters who used to turn up to practice on the school playing fields, that they had to form a second team called Ryland Boys, who used to wear the Ajax of Amsterdam colours.


Both teams played in the same league (the 2nd city Boys League) which meant that there was always friendly rivalry between schoolmates.  They were both drawn together in the league's 'Major' Cup and the leg was played out at Perry Hall Park, where Star (after having gone behind to their 'second team') eventually came back to win 3 -1.  Star went on to win the competition, and also the league, and five-a-side competitions, and indeed were unbeatable for a couple of seasons.


At one time the team included Brendan Ormsby, the ex-Villa and Leeds player in their ranks.  Later they went on to play all their home games at Selwyn Road.


I wonder if anyone has any pictures of the team or at least memories of having watched or played in the games held on the playing field in Gilby Road?  Especially since so many kids played for the two teams.


Hopes this jogs a few memories.




Alan Smallman



Memories of Joe Brown

I have just discovered the Ladywood Website and am amazed.

I lived in Friston Street in around 1931, born 1926. Started at St Georges when I was 5 years old.

Absolutely wonderful to see the pictures of Friston Street; I think we lived at No.51 or 53, the one picture shows a shop and I am positive it was 2 doors up the street, but we had a gas lamp outside house and that is not in the picture. I do have a picture somewhere here of me with my Dad on the doorstep and I think the number of the house is in view on the picture.  Going to start looking for it tomorrow.

Cheers Old Brummy,  I will be writing in to the site as soon as I find out how


Joe Brown



Memories of John Madden

First of all thanks for a brilliant site keeps me engrossed for hours i grew up around Ladywood and surrounding districts and have some fantastic memories of schools people and places and will get in touch soon.

The photograph that Keith asks about was taken outside of a pub called the Shakespeare Arms that was on the corner of Heath Street and Winson Green Road. The cameraman is pointing his lens up Heath Street towards the junction with Dudley Road.

If you were to turn left at that corner you would end up walking past the hospital and eventually end up on spring hill. If however you crossed over the road at that corner you would find yourself on Northbrook Street and your back in Ladywood. Walk up Northbrook Street on your left the canal and Railway [many hours of fun] you would then come to Coplow Street then Marroway Street and then would have to turn into Wiggin Street and that’s where I lived as a youth I went to Barford Road Junior School and then went to Follet Osler, till it closed, so as you can tell, your site especially the photos, brings back a lot of memories. Keep up the great work I tell every one I know about this site [even if they don’t come from the old end] be in touch soon.





28th August 2008


Memories of Doreen Nash

As I have just turned 70 years old, I would like to share my memories of 10/50 Browning Street, which my family and I used to call our yard Rose Avenue, others called it “muck alley”, ha ha and it was. I lived opposite Frenchies, if anyone out there remembers me being the pawn shop girl, the babysitter and the cleaner, it would be nice to hear from you, email me at  We moved to Shakespeare Road, Alexandra Street.


Doreen Nash





17th August 2008


Memories of Dorothy Clarke

As I approach my 60th Birthday on 31st July on digging out my Birth Certificate for proof of age/pension purposes I decided to try to track down the place of my birth.


I was born at The Poplars Nursing Home, 66 South Road, Smethwick, which I have discovered is now an elderly persons nursing home but cannot find any photographs.


My father, Stanley Joseph Parker, was born on 1st September 1910 in Smethwick and lived at Hume Street, I believe at No. 13. His father was Joseph Parker and I only know his mother as Betsy Gertrude (Leaning I think) who died at age 45. He had a brother, Frederick married to Daisy and they had one daughter, Margaret, They continued to live in Hume Street until we lost touch in the early 1970s. Dad died 16th September 1979.


As I remember Dad attended Smethwick Tech and worked for Wiggin Nickel Alloys at Wiggin Street in Birmingham where he was either in the Home Guard or A.R.P. during the War.


Mum, Olive May Lees, was born in Birmingham on 7th April 1916 but was brought up in Smethwick where her Mother and Father, Alfie and Olive Lees, kept the Robinson Crusoe Pub during the 1920/30s. I do have a photograph of my Grandfather standing in the doorway of the pub and another of my Nan and Grandfather behind the bar.  I cannot find much information on this pub only some mention of a football team and I know there was a football connection back in mum's day with talk of the FA Cup going missing in the area. Nan died in 1977 and my Grandfather died when mum was 19. Mum attended Osier Street School, Ladywood. She also used to mention The Outdoor' (an off licence) but I don't know whether this was attached to The Robin or a separate establishment. She worked at Scribbans' Bakery.


She and Dad married on 3rd July 1937 at Ladywood Church and I have several photographs of the occasion, and lived at 31 Trevanie Avenue, Quinton. Alan Ralph was born in 1940, John Edmund in 1946 both somewhere in Birmingham and me, Jill Rosalind. Dad moved to Hereford in 1952 to help set up Henry Wiggin & Co and the rest of the family followed in 1953.


Mum now aged 92, has recently moved into a nursing home in Herefordshire and while she suffers short term memory problems, her long term memory is often quite sharp. However she tires easily and I am unable to get too much from her. She still reads so I am trying to gather information together to give her something of interest to read.


As I retire next week hopefully I shall have the time to upload the photographs I have.


If you or your correspondents have any information on the above mentioned establishments, particularly photographs, perhaps they could make contact with me through your website.


With thanks and best regards


Jill Evans




Memories of John Healey

I'm not sure whether I qualify but although I was brought up in Weoley Castle, I went to the Five Ways Grammar School from 1952-1957.


Amongst the many things that we were forbidden to do was to use the local shops to buy sweets or chips, an offence punishable by a Saturday morning detention. Many disobeyed however and a regular trip for me was to a shop, which sold home made ice-lollies for 2d. I can't remember the street name, but we turned left into Ladywood Road and then right where the shop was.


The school wall was shared with the Police Station stables and many boys shinned up it to look at the horses.


Many people in Weoley Castle came from inner city areas and brought the street games with them. 'Kerb or wall', 'Molly on the mopstick', 'Farmer Farmer', 'Kick the can' being amongst many such games that as a child I played in traffic free roads.


John Healey




12th August 2008



Memories of George Hodgetts


This photo was taken approx.1962 at the Railway Club which was on the corner of St. Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street, they were all local folk.


From left to right - Malcolm White (Barker Street), Vera Wheeler (Nelson Street), Mary?, Ralph Yeomans (Dad 'Ticker' Yeomans owned packing case business in Barker Street), Jackie Cook (Nelson Street), Albert Bevan (Nelson Street),?,? Me, George Hodgetts (Shakespeare Road)?, Jimmy Waters (Sheepcote Lane), Mick Evans (Osler Street)


Some (including myself) were under age, but always managed to get in!  


George Hodgetts









The Railway Club



Memories of Charlie Sharp

I met you the other Sunday at  the Raddison Hotel, I gave you a black & white photo taken of a group of children and adults at my 5th birthday party.


You asked me to send any memories I had of Cope Street in the 50s & 60s.


My name is Charlie Sharp, I lived at the newsagents shop next to The Crown Public House from 1951, until it was demolished in 1965. My mother who owned the shop, was known to everyone as Dolly Glaze.


I went to Steward Street school, when the headmaster was a Mr. Cowling, then after he left it was Mrs Jones. Living in Cope Street were the happiest days of my life and I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me and my family.


The  photo above, which was taken at my 5th birthday party, when my mother hired 2 coaches to take local kids and some of their parents to a school in Great Barr where the party took place. I would love to put names to faces if anyone recognises themselves and for them to contact me.


I really look forward to seeing your web page every time you update it. Keep up the good work, you always bring happy memories back to me when I log on Regards to you and your family, Charlie Sharp.



Memories of Ken Bibb

I am an ex Brummie living in Australia and have been here since 1969.

When I reached here I had a job in the steelworks at Port Kembla, I do not have any photo's, but in our rolling mill there was an old Bellis & Morcom steam shears for cutting red hot steel billets when coming out of the furnace.

Just a bit of trivia.

Cheers Ken Bibb ex Handsworth



Memories of Marie

I am a novice at all this, but I would like to tell you a few memories of my upbringing in Ladywood. I was born Marie Hill in 1954, my father Norman Hill, mother Joan Hill.


I had a brother Ronnie and a sister Susan. We lived in a back-to-back house 1 back of 22 Clement Street, Ladywood. I attended Nelson Street School and Mr. England was my headmaster.

Clement Street in 1962


People I remember at school were Stanley Hope, Denise Mackey, Leslie Wood, memory not so good now. Neighbours I remember were the Poole family, Gwen and Jack, children Alan, Stephen, Malcolm and Karen, they moved to Redditch. Also the Hill, family same surname as us but not related. Sandra was one of the girls; then there was the Hollier family, I remember the house very well, long narrow kitchen, small living room, a cellar, 2 bedrooms.


Happy memories, would like to hear off anyone who can remind me of my happy childhood. We moved to Kingstanding in January 1964, hope to hear soon





Memories of Steve

My name is Steve and I used to live at 2/35 Barker Street, me and my brothers went to Nelson Street School.


I can only remember my teachers name was Mrs. Price, I also remember the Sand Pits by the school this is because my brother David fell of them, he survived.





Memories of Nick Cook

I worked for Ryland Garage in the early sixties and have happy memories of those times.


Remember well the cake shop opposite the garage entrance in Ryland Street when the lady owner dropped a cake dusted off and sold it to you.




Nick Cook



Memories of Brian John Bunker

I have been tracing my family and the 1891 + 1901 Census showed them living in Bellis Street.


1891 Census said 2 Back 35 Bellis Street.


1901 Census said 2 Monument Square Bellis Street.


Could never find Monument Square, until a family picture turned up, I include a picture in this email and send it separately - a clearer picture


The family that lived there were Dixon -  my Grandmother was Minnie Dixon, who married John Standley - who I believe came from Johnstone Street.

Picture shows (Minnie) May Standley with her grand children - with Monument Square above


So Monument Square must be down that alley way


Brian John Bunker



7th July 2008


Memories of Roger Humphreys

My family moved from Hockley Brook (Guest Street) during 1945, I was then 18 months old.


I attended Steward Street School, my house was opposite to the school, the mission hall as we called it was next door, then Dennis Black the blacksmith.


As kids we used to hitch rides from the British Rail horse and carts as they went to load up.


We played marbles in the road then, as well as spinning fag cards against the wall and then spanning them, if your finger and thumb touched 2 cards you won them, then there was hide and seek, tig, and what we called rounders, and many more games, all played in the road.


As lads we kept an old mattress rolled and tied by the side of Spring Hill canal and we would take it in turns to float over the canal to the barges, untie one and so many of us would pull the barge and so many would ride on it, the times we got chased I couldn’t count, but what fun it was.


The guys I grew up with were John Taylor, John Gibbons, Peter Moran, Billy Griffiths and David Haywood. I left Steward Street School and then attended Barford Road School in 1955. We played football in Summerfield Park, on a gravel pitch, ohhhh those knees. I soon found new friends at Barford Road, namely Teddy Smith, Freddie Jones, John Landon. I remember John’s dad when he just had a little lockup in Steward Street, then he had the cafe on the corner as his business grew, I used to call for John to walk to school.


Mr. Landon's cafe and shop


I left Steward Street in 1957 and moved to Rickman Drive which ran along Bellbarn Road, and attended St. Thomas’s School, I then started work, serving my time as a bricklayer, met a girl married her and bought my first house in Bromsgrove, and I’m still there. The world is a different place now, I tell my kids of the life I had as a kid, they sit and listen in fascination.


My name is Roger Humphreys, I often wonder, is there anyone left that remembers me.


This is a brilliant site, I’ve read it many time over and it takes me back to times I will never forget, thanks to everyone that’s put time into building this site up, please keep it going.




Memories of Ken Richards

Hi, my name is Ken Richards, my Parents were George and Lilly, we lived at 14 Leslie Road (round the corner from the Reservoir). Looking back over the years spent in Ladywood I have had many happy memories, although times were harder then than they are today.


Leslie Road looking from Hagley Road













I attended Follett Osler (1954-1962), the teachers of the day were, Mrs. Ray (juniors) Mr. Roberts (History), Mr. Francis (3a). I remember the Christmas show we put on KIDS( the main line being –what’s the matter with kids to-day) voted  best performance in the whole school.


Names I remember Edward Dearne, Ian Hopkins, Tommy Mane, Marie Bannister John Falon, Paul and Pam Holmes and many more.

Back in Leslie Road, Keith Norgrove, Pete Mardon, Dave Clarke, John Evans, Graham Hancocks, Janet Watkins, Mary & John Wiggins, John Bond, Kevin O’Shea, John Pulley (Mounties) and Mount Pleasant WMC.




K G Richards



Memories of Derek Godwin

G'day Mac,


This is a photo of myself (Derek Godwin) and a friend outside 44/46 Ruston Street, Ladywood, also known as Ruston Street Fruit Market, circa 1951.

I have no idea who the girl is, but I think she lived close to the shop.


Is there anyway to find her name?


My sister still lives in Harborne but she doesn't know either.


Derek (down under)




Memories of June King

My name is June King (nee Millichamp).

I was wondering if anyone remembers the coffee house in Monument Road, it was opposite the baths. My husband’s father kept it, his name was Wal King.

He used to sell penny dips to the children coming out of the swimming baths.

I also remember my old friends Joyce Westward and Sylvia Hardy, I would love to hear from them.

bye for now, June King




Memories of Brenda Murphy

I have just been reading Memories of our Street on the Old Ladywood website.  The memories from Carole Thacker reminded me that I knew her sister Barbara and used to go to school with her, I wonder if Barbara remembers me?


I also remember the Nash family, particularly Freddie and Doreen, who were my age.


It is lovely to read their stories, as it brings back so many happy memories of my childhood in Browning Street.   I lived with my parents and my sister, Pauline, at number 31, next door to W.T. French.



I think the friend of Freddie Nash was probably Alfie Waterhouse, whose dad was a coalman.


The meeting place for us was the high step belonging to W. T. French, where we would stand and talk most evenings when we were growing up.


I wonder if they remember the Stowe family, the Stokes family, Sidney Swain, Billy and Margaret Kerrin, to name but a few.


Brenda Murphy (nee Leonard)



Memories of Bellis Street

Hi, I just discovered your site and was so excited to see Bellis Street mentioned.


I was born there in 1953, I wonder if anyone remembers our family, Mum & Dad - Mary & George Bywater.


Kids -Freddy, Georgie, Sandra, Ken, Carol & Jean.


We left there in 1957/8 to live in Stechford.


Here are a few photo's that someone may recognise, please feel free to e-mail me.




Memories of Barbara Jones

My name is Barbara Jones (nee Holtom) and I was born in Springfield Street in 1937.


I attended Steward Street School from 1942 until 1947 and worked at the Advanced Factory until I married in 1958.


I have lived in Stratford upon Avon since 1958 with my husband Eddie and we have two daughters Sian and Linda (Boo) and three grandsons Sam Jack and Max.


I would love to hear or contact anyone who worked at the Advanced Factory or anyone who lived in the vicinity of Springfield Street and I would especially be so pleased to make contact with Rose Evans featured on this website.


Barbara Jones





Memories of Mrs. G. Pittam

I am an eighty six year old woman who was born just round the corner from Sun Street in Bellbarn Road.

Sun Street started at from the corner of Spring Spring Street and ran down to the Bristol Road. In Sun Street there was the rag and bone shop called Charley Key's, we used to take rabbit skins to him for an old sixpence each and our old rags for a few pence.

Sun Street

Also, next door to this shop, was a sort of electrical shop, in his window was a television, very tiny and you could hardly see the picture and that must have been about 1930.


Mrs G Pittam




Memories of Colin Mills

Happier days of yesteryear in 1955, I  joined Davenports "Beer at Home" as a Driver Salesman in Bath Row, Holloway Head, which was a leading Company in the Brewing Industry that conceived the delivery to the homes, order today and delivered convenient weekly for customers.



The workforce in bottling department was all local females that lived in Cregoe Street, Ledsam Street,  Irving Street, Grant Street, Great Colmore Street, and passer-bys could see them working and hear them singing.


The Driver Salesmen came from all Districts of Birmingham. My fellow mates were Arthur Lilley, Hockley; George Hopkins, All Saints; Alf Heath, Great Barr; Malcolm Jones, Bearwood and myself, with one outstanding celebrity named Charlie Roden, that lived in Gregoe Street, that had size fourteen EX-Army boots and was street wise.


The day rate of pay was 26/- shillings and any shortages of collection you had to make good. Whilst carrying out the job, you made many friends and had happy times.  My reason for the story was that a Walsall Brewery had bought the recipes of the fine ales that was brewed.


The Management of Mr Silvey; wines & sprits, Mr Daniels"; Beer at Home" were a pleasure to work with. The area of these happy times and has changed with all the new housing development.







Memories of Dave Wood

What a fantastic site you have produced and it is such an interesting read.


I guess I am like so many of the people visiting your site, who do not contribute (until now) but find it so rewarding.


I lived in Ladywood from 1949-1968 at 14 and later at 1/13 Barker Street.


I can remember playing football and cricket at the 'Wreck' for hours and hours. Playing football outside Mosley Bros using the lamposts for the goal area. Train spotting at the Steps!!  Happy Days.


I attended Osler Street school with may happy memories and went on to be an Apprentice for Bellis & Morcom and ended up a Foreman in the 'Tubine Shop' where I was responsible for the assembly of Nordberg Crushers. I met my future wife  Yvonne at Bellis's and am, still married after 38 years.


I came across and old school photo of the winning Osler Street Cricket Team dating 1963 where we won the Birmingham Schools Cricket Intermediate Shield. I hope you find it interesting.


Finally, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to your site and say hello to anyone who remembers me!




Dave Wood





Memories of Harry D'Silva

Here's a photo of the D'Silva family of 34 Coxwell Road.

Back row left to right--Olive, Marina, Maureen.

Front row--- Teresa, Julius and Harry.

Our youngest sister Edith was born later.

Our mum was the beautiful Gladys and dad, the handsome Chrysosthomas.

We all attended the Oratory Infant and Junior School.

Regards to all past residents of the Ladywood Kingdom.

Harry D'Silva





Memories of Janette Waldron

What a wonderful site.  My brother in law, Keith Norgrove, gave me the details and it is so interesting to browse.

My name was Janette Slim (I was also known as Guppy) and lived at 61 Clark Street from 1946 to 1953 and I attended Osler Street School.


61 Clark Street, was a general grocery and sweet shop, right opposite the school entrance and pupils used to come in for 1d ice lollies, which were home made.  My sister Jean and I used to make them on a Wednesday evening, whilst my mother and step-father used to visit the Crown Cinema.  The shop may be remembered as written on the window was "M A Guppy" which children used to laugh about and call it Ma Guppy's.


Osler Street School gave me an excellent grounding in education and I remember two teachers in particular:  Mr Davies, who taught the top class of the Juniors and Gillian Lee, who taught the Senior Girls.  Another excellent teacher was Miss Butler, who taught English in the Senior School.


There are several people I remember: Margaret Coleman who passed to 11+ and went to George Dixon Grammar School.  She was my best friend and I went to Brownies with her as well as sitting beside her at the top of the class.  Mary Girling was another friend: she lived near the chip shop towards the top end of the street.  Tommy, Kenny and Deidre Jones who lived in Reservoir Road, and Jean Latham who is the knight in armour shown on the Coronation photos.  The little girl in glasses is Lynne Walsh or maybe Welsh, daughter of Renee (see Memories of Keith Norgrove, below)


We left in 1953 and went to live in Warstock where my parents ran a greengrocery store.

Happy days.

I now live in Dorset.


Janette Waldron 





Memories of David Allen

My name is David Allen and I was born in 1947.


I lived in King Edward Road, near Stewart Street school, which I attended till the age of eleven.

The shop in the background of the photo is the drapers shop, Allibones, I am the one standing by the pram, my sister Cathleen is the baby in the pram, the small boy at the back by the gate is my cousin Ronald Steadman.


D. Allen






Memories of Roy Gasby

My name is Roy Gasby. I have just picked up your web site and it has brought back so many memories.  We lived at 108 King Edward Road, I went to Nelson Street school then onto Osler Street school in 1960.


Only when you get older do you realise what a great time we had growing up in Ladywood.  My mother worked at Bulpitts and is still alive and has many happy memories, keep up the good work on a wonderful site.


Roy Gasby

Photograph show Bulpitts, looking along Spring Hill





Memories of Eileen Bode

I have just found this picture of my sister Sheila, when she was going to Betty Fox's dance studio on Bristol Road. We were still living in Gt. Tindal Street. 


My mom was housekeeper for Betty Fox.


My sisters and I had to take it in turns to be first up to light the fire and get breakfast, as mom was out of the house at about 6am to get to Miss Fox's to get the pantomime babe's up!

Eileen Bode





Memories of Raymond Fortey

My name’s Raymond Fortey, thanks for publishing my piece about where I lived in Ladywood. I forgot to mention that I was in 2 companies of the Boys Brigade, the 8th and the 92nd. I spent most of the time in the 92nd, we went to Switzerland in 1960 or 61.


Had a great time, played in the football team although I wasn’t very good, but the team was. When we were in Switzerland, we played 3 football matches against a German Christian Youth team, wining 2 matches to 1, can any remember that trip.


Mac, keep up the good work.


Raymond Fortey 





Memories of Ivan Barnsley

Hello Mac.  I remember how I used to have to work to get tuppence to go to the Crown on Saturday's.  I would take 5-gallon drum from the fish-shop in Gt. Tindal Street down to have it filled with cooking oil and back to the fish-shop. This would earn me a penny. Then knocked on doors for errands. I often fetched a barrow of coal from Icknield Port Road and take the barrow back.  This would get me another penny. Any other errands could get me another halfpenny or more.  Wow, I could now go to he Crown and take some sweets.      If any of the lads could not get enough money the others would go in and open the toilet window for the others to crawl through.     


On another occasion getting exited with the film I hammered my feet on the back of the seat in front and burst the panel out. The girl in the seat was Connie Hollicks who went to fetch the Manager. I scarpered in to the toilet and got out the way I got in - through the window.     I missed the Gene Autry film that day, but they were happy times.


Kind regards,  Ivan Barnsley





30th March 2008


Memories of Rita Roberts

Hello, my name is Rita, I have been browsing through your Ladywood site and  recalling all the places I used to go as a young girl such as Monument Road Swimming Baths, The Saturday morning cinema we used to call the tuppeny crush, and when  older, The Tower Ballroom.


I lived firstly in Owen Street, off Bath Row, but later moved to Cleve Terrace, which was opposite the accident hospital, and further from the hospital was the Beer at Home 'DAVENPORTS'.


However, I think where I lived came under Edgbaston, but letters were usually addressed as Ladywood, Edgbaston, Birmingham 15, so my enquiry is would it be possible to extend your site into Edgbaston.


Somebody on your site mentioned Piggott Street School, well I lived opposite that school when living in Cleve Terrace. My name is Rita Penzer so if anyone remembers me I would like to hear from them, by the way I now live in Crete.

Owen Street

Your site is very nostalgic and I enjoyed reading everyone's memories.


Regards Rita





19th March 2008



Memories of Pat and Eric Drew


This is a photograph of my Dad, Charles Read at Edgbaston Reservoir August 8th 1984. Age 71




















The Big wheel taken in Edgbaston Reservoir, year unknown










This is my sister-in-Law at 9/19 Osler Street



Memories of Keith and Sandra Norgrove (nee Guppy)


Some pictures of my wife and family. Her name is Sandra Guppy and her mother Mary and father Fred owned the shop in Clark Street, opposite the school.


Her stepsister was Janet Slim, do not know the friends names. The tall girl is Janet dressed as a pirate for the Coronation in 1953, do not know the friends name.



Sandra (my wife) is dressed as the fairy with the wings and also sang the Golden Coach song at the Coronation at the school. We think the girl dressed as a knight in armour is named Jean Latham.




The man holding the baby is Fred Guppy (my Father-in-law) and the baby is now my wife, picture taken in 1947 outside the shop in Clark Street (no. 61) the other pictures were round the back of the shop.










Regards Keith Norgrove





Memories of Keith Norgrove 


This is a picture of my Mother (Millie Norgrove) Leslie Road, her sister (Lilly Read) Coxwell Road and Lilly's husband Charlie Read taken in the Mount Pleasant Working Man's Club in Reservoir Road



Regards Keith Norgrove










This picture is of my cousin Ray Read and myself in

Leslie Road in the early 50s



Memories of Connie Bode 


Hi Mac! 

Bowsing through your site 1 see an item from one the Harts.


I remember Kate & Len Hart were very good friends of my mom and dad they lived in Browning Street  and then moved to Alston Street in the next yard to us not long after we left Great Tindal Street.


Remember Billy Edkins, he used to come to our house when we were in Great Tindal Street and was at some of the bonfires we had up our yard.   He went out with my older sister Margaret once or twice.


Remember the Waterhouse's, they did have a coal business, Beatie was friends with  my sister Sheila and Barbara Howard, who lived in the next yard to us in Great Tindal Street, Mrs Jones lived in the front house of the Howard's she used to take in sewing.


Barbara Howard used to go to the roller rink in Walford Road with me, it was were we both met our husbands.


I have seen Beatie on the bus once or twice as she lives somewhere in Yardley.


I love going through your site as brings back memories good and bad, must admit the good ones stay in my memory, we had a lot of happy times.


Regards Connie Bode (nee Eileen Curley).




13th March 2008


Memories of Bob Heath


Have found the web site through the Birmingham History website forum.


What a great site you have, extremely interesting and really good to jog the memory banks. I found the photos of the old houses and shops very interesting, but haven’t yet seen one of the house/shop where we lived.


I was born at Dudley Road Hospital and lived with my parents initially at Copthall Road, Handsworth (with grandmother), but in 1950 (when I was about 3 years old) my Mom & Dad moved to 263 St. Vincent Street and mom ran a drapery shop from there.  They only stayed at St. Vincent Street for a couple of years, but my earliest memories are of my time at the shop. My Mom & Dad are Harry & Betty Heath.


I remember an empty ground area to the left of the shop – when viewing from the road (probably a bomb site) where I occasionally ran around.


Also I remember mom taking me out on the street one day because Princess Elizabeth was due to pass down St. Vincent Street as part of her tour of Birmingham. I don’t remember much about the Princess but do remember the crowds along the street.


Thanks once again for such a great website and service for Brummies.




Bob Heath



St. Vincent Street, 1964



6th March 2008


Memories of Raymond Fortey

I was born 12th February 1948 in the same house as my mother, 7 Sheepcote Lane, my Grandmother Anne Cash moved there in 1910. My sisters Brenda, Pamela and brother Stephen were also born in the same house, apart from my brother we attended St Peters school near Broad Street.


In 1958 we moved to Rann Street, I attended the Oratory school, I  moved to Follet Osler for the last four years of my schooling, I also sung in the choir at St Johns Church. In 1960 we moved to St Marks Street and in 1962, we moved to Kitts Green. I continued to attend Follet Osler leaving on the 5th of April 1963.

Rann Street


Raymond Fortey



20th February 2008



Memories of the Hart Family

I was just looking at your Memories of our Street page and the first picture I saw shocked me.


Memories of the Nash’s family from Browning Street - I remember that family when I was a kid, I remember Tommy Nash and Johnny Nash and their sister Doreen Nash, I remember she was older than me.


My family were the Harts of Browning Street, Bessie and Jack Hart, my brothers are Ronnie and Tony and my sister are Barbara and Jean.  I am Carole Hart and I was born in that street, so I'm going back a lot of years, I wonder if anyone else remembers my family.


I remember we had to go up a long narrow entry, pass the smelly miskins to where we lived, I can’t remember anything about the house we lived in, but I recall seeing very small kids playing up the yard, snotty noses and all, they used to wear were a vest.


I remember the bottom of our yard on Browning Street, there were a family called the Waterhouses; I’m not sure if they were a coal merchants.


My Aunt Kate and Uncle Len lived across the road from us, which was a bit further down from French’s, where mom worked. There used to be a sweet shop there called Perry’s; I also remember other families from Browning Street, they were the Eden’s; I remember their daughter Pat, and the Waldrens, and Mrs. Edkins, think that were her name.


Struggling now Mac to remember, I will be coming up to 65 this year, so as I say its going back some, I have a couple of pictures I will get my daughter to email them.


I love your page Mac, not sure if you remember me, I came a couple of years back to the British Legion in Harborne when you were there.






Group photo is my granddad holding my mom (Carole Thacker, nee Hart) around 2 years old

and my Nan is the only lady in the picture on the right hand side.


Can anyone recognise the pub?

Carole Thacker




Memories of the Dunn Family

My family, the Dunns, lived in the Doctors surgery at 180 Monument Road for about 6 years from 1957.


We attended St Georges School and well remember Mr. Pillinger, the headmaster. I also remember Mr. Fredrick and being a very naughty boy in his class. Miss Hobbs the trainee teacher who used to take us to the teacher training college.

Happy days, I am unsure of the date of this photo and can only recall a few names. Geoffrey Parkes, Michael Hickinbottom, Jonathon Green and I believe a Carol Williams; her mother kept a greengrocers near the junction of Ladywood Road and Monument Road ( I think)




Memories of the Frisby Family

My mom and dad (Frisby), 4 brother's and I, plus my twin sister( born 1959) lived in Springhill Passage no23 or no26.


The twins went to Steward Street school, then on to Camden Street school, then Ladywood Comp. We moved from Springhill Passage to Crabtree Road no 57.


Dad worked on the Rotunda. Mom worked at Summerfield Hospital, Western Road (our grandad was a patient in there). Mom also worked at R-WHITES in Western Road, we used to play at the reck and also Hockley Port. I remember going shopping on Springhill with mom and she used to give her co-op number. I remember the elderly lady in the veg shop and the faggot and pea shop, youngest brother used to go to the roller rink.


Mom was born down Prescott Street (1920), she also attended Camden Street school; dad lived in Whitmore Street, he was born 1916 (warwick); my grandparents, on my moms side, came from Aston. Nan also went to Camden Street school, so did mom's 2 sister's.



Memories of the Gebhard Family

We lived at 35 Shakespeare Road from early 1960 to 1964, the front door led directly to the pavement (but actually we always used the side door in the entry) the house was right opposite the "Commercial" Pub (though my dad's local was the "Beehive"  - was one M &B and the other Ansells?)


In 1964, when my dad Roy GEBHARD and mum Cynthia (nee PRITCHARD) decided to move to Lichfield on the overspill scheme the neighbours that I can recall were the BAGGLEY family (on the back of our house, so 1 back of 35); the KNOWLES family at the top of the yard (so 2 back of 35) and at the rear of the house next to us the DAVIES family (1 back of 33 or 37 - I can't recall which way the numbers ran).


In the same year in Shakespeare Road:- at number 14 was Beatrice WHITWORTH Shopkeeper, at number 26,  W. HENNESSEY Bookmaker, at number 80, Bill Lowndes Shopkeeper, at number 85, J. W. Timms Newsagent and at number 81, Mrs. R. COLEMAN Shopkeeper. 


Main activities for a young lad were anything that was free! Playing football, trainspotting, playing "war" on the bombsites on Monument Road, going to the Science Museum; any money we did have was spent at the pictures on a Saturday morning (the "Edgbaston" by the Ivy Bush), going "all the way round" on the inner circle on a Sunday if it was raining so as to pass some time and occasionally going to Villa Park.


Never ever felt that we were poorly off or under privileged, probably because everybody else was in the same boat!




Paul Gebhard



26th January 2008



Memories of the Nash Family


This is a photo of my Dad, aged about 19, with my Mum, Teresa Murphy



My Dad Fred Nash was born eldest of 11 children at 10 back of 50,  Browning Street, his parents were Fred & Amelia (Meel) Nash. Amelia used to work at Mysto works in Browning Street.


My Grandad Fred was born at 4 back of 50 Browning Street; my Nan Amelia was born to Matthew & Amelia (nee Brindley) Adkins who lived at 3 back of 133 St Vincent Street.


My Dad Fred was born in 1939 and went to school at St Barnabas, and later worked at Bellis & Morcom.

He said that the alleyway that led up the back of Browning Street was nicknamed "Rose Alley”!

Dad had a friend, whose Dad had a coal business in Browning Street.


Eventually Dad became the eldest of 11 kids - Fred Nash, John Nash, Tommy Nash, Alan Nash, Jeannie Nash, Michael Nash, Mark Nash, Doreen Nash, Patty Nash, Mary Nash, Keith Nash


Most of them moved to Stafford or Rugeley on the overspill list.



Memories of the Irene Higgins


Hi, I was Irene Higgins and lived at 298 St. Vincent Street. I attended the Oratory R.C. School, all of my 10 years at school.


St. Vincent Street was friendly and I have so many memories, there was a off-licence on the corner and across the road 3 shops; the 1st was a grocery shop owned by Don Andrews a tall man, in the corner of the shop was a chair to sit and wait to be served; next the greengrocers, run by the Truemans; then the sweet shop.


On the corner of St. Vincent Street and Ladywood Road was the butcher, I remember a whole shoulder of lamb was 9 shillings and sixpence (45p).


Ladywood Park was a favourite with the slide swings and roundabouts life was so safe and secure then.


I hope this is the kind of thing that will bring old Ladywood to life again.


Irene Witt




Back to the top