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January 2012 - December 2013



8th December 2013



Memories of Collette Beighton nee Hughes

The Ladywood web site has bought back some happy memories.


My name is Collette Beighton nee Hughes. I lived in Ladywood with my parents Frances and Charlie and my four brothers and two sisters. We lived in Freeth Street and attended The Oratory School in Oliver Road I was there till 1965. I remember many friends Linda Chinn. Margaret Davis, Ellen Stewart, and many many more.


We had one friend Pat Kennedy who was such a scream. Her dad was a fireman and had the chance to move to work in New Zealand so the family moved on.


I was married in March 1968 at the Oratory Church. Fr Michael Day was the priest who married us.

Bonfire nights were big get togethers for all the neighbours the kids would have spent weeks collecting the wood, and on the night the dads lit the fire and the fireworks, there was toffee apples and baked spuds cooked in the fire.


Happy memories and good times





1st October 2013



Memories of George Luckman

Born 1934 I used to live with my parents, Albert and Ada Luckman and brother Arthur at 83 King Edwards Road Ladywood. Evacuated for a time to a farm during the war, but later my parents moved to Brownhills about fourteen miles away to get us away from the bombing. We lived directly opposite to Bullpits, the armaments factory which was often targeted by German bombers. A few doors away was Hickman’s, the grocers and we shared a back yard with my uncle and aunt, Joe and Lil Luckman and their daughters, Betty, Renie, Margie, Rose and another girl whose name I can’t remember.


Went to Nelson Street Infants School. Unfortunately, lost touch with my relatives but would love to hear from them or anyone who knew my parents. Dad ran a Wallpaper and paint shop from our home address which was on a corner with a gas lamp outside






Memories of Ray Hooper

I left school in 1952 and went work at Whites Garage in Essington Street, it was owned by Len and Jack White, because of the redevelopment of the area it was sold to Jewkes Radio and TV who had a big shop on Broad Street, they kept me on to maintain their fleet of vans and cars, the man standing next to the garage was the driver of the lorry of the builders next door.



I left Whites Garage just up the road in Essington Street to go and work for Jim Foxall driving his van, he had a contract to provide the transport for Winters Glass in Camden Street, I used to turn up for work round the back of the Foxalls cafe, his wife was a big Italian lady always had a sausage sandwich before I started work.


When the cafe closed they went to run a pub, can’t remember the name but it was Upton on Severn right next to the river.


I left there to go and drive a van for John Morgan, Camden Street who manufactured car accessories.






30th August 2013



Memories of Ted Brookfield (Thomas and Nellie Butt)


Tom Butt

Nellie Butt


They lived at 8 Linden Terrace, off Monument Road, it was the last house on the right hand side of the terrace.


The cellar was very spacious and during the war period was large enough to hold all the neighbours. Tome and Nell had it decorated and furnished so it was very comfortable for the visitors.


Tom was an active member of the Home Guard, so he was never far away if any problems arose from the air raids.


Ladywood / Edgbaston Home Guard

Home Guard Weekend training



Nellie’s mother, Mrs. Hunt, also lived at 8 Linden Terrace and Tom’s mother, Amy Currall only lived a short way along Monument Road at 10/12 Beech Street.


Tom was a keen member of the Buffs (R.A.O.B.) and he, like his mother was a great one for entertaining, he sometimes put on shows or pantomimes for the locals.





Memories of Margaret Grace McDonnell

My name is Margaret Grace McDonnell, however Margaret was not used and l was known as Grace, my parents are called William and Freda McDonnell and they are Irish.


I lived at the Park end of Rann Street from around 1963-1969 and attended the Oratory School. We lived next to a large family called the Fields, who only had their dad at home and l also remember a family called the Locherans? And across the road lived their cousins the Pattons.


Does anyone remember the Asian family who lived at the top end of Rann Street?


Having passed my 11+ I then went on to attend Bartley Green Grammar school for girls.

The other secondary school choice was St Paul's Girls School; however, l convinced my parents that l would do better at Bartley Green Grammar.


I remember the St Philips Boys going to the Saturday morning picture house on the Monument Road.


They were always in a school uniform even at the weekend.


At the picture house I used to share my sweets with the boys as they did not have money to buy any. I particularly remember a boy called Peter. The boys attended the Oratory school.


I recall the orphanage being by the Botanical Gardens on the left hand side of the road just before the White Swan pub?


Does anyone remember going to Colwyn Bay during the school holidays with the Brownies? The Brownies were held in a building next to the Oratory Church.


My memory is a little hazy but l do remember a few names from school. John Regan, Dermott, Anita Howells, April and Lilly O Shea are just a few.


I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me.




Memories of Maureen Giblen

My name was Maureen Giblen, mom and dad were Jennie/Jean and Len, I have a brother David and a sister Lorraine.  My life spent in Ladywood holds many good memories.  It would be good catching up with old residents.


I remember Elsie and Frank Smith as a very nice couple.  I remember when they moved to Quinton. My last memory I have of Elsie is when she visited us and brought me a wedding present; which I thought was very kind of her. I have a few memories of their daughter Valerie.  She must be around the age of my younger sister and brother, Lorraine and David Giblen.


It would be nice to hear from Valerie to hear of the difference the move from Ladywood made.


George Hodgetts brought many memories back.  The Railway Club was built after I left Ladywood. I had used to come back there with my mom and dad as they enjoyed the club. I remember the people in your photo.  They are around my sisters age.  We lived in Barker Street. I remember Ralph Yeomans, his dad, nan and granddad and their uncle....think his name was Bobby.


Malcolm Whites, granddad, uncles Ernie and Joe and aunties Rose. His mom Rose, dad Danny and Billy and sister Maureen, there was another sister but I can't recall her name.


Did Albert have brothers called John and I went to school with George at Nelson Street?


I started my bottom draw with many household things from Sid Butts, Shakespeare Road.  The vegetables I fetch from Hickman’s, King Edwards Road.  The faggots and peas from Mellor’s in Nelson Street.  The hairdresser Hilda Gardener on the Sandpits where I had the''Bubble Cut'' perm on leaving school.


The photo's of William Workman, I remember the family when they lived in Garbett Street.  Pauline, Ray and Sue Ward were friends of my family for very many years.


Memories from Dorothy and Gordon Waldron - I remember seeing Gordon or was it his dad Fred, coming home from work each night on his bike. 


Shirley and Valerie were lovely girl's as was their mother Winnie.


I used to go to the Tower Ballroom with Valerie. I was with Valerie when I met my then, to become my lovely husband Ron.  I used go into granny Dunne's shop, she was a little deaf so I always had to shout my request.  We lived just across the road up the entry facing Ricketts. 


Going through your memory pages brings back so many of mine.


Happy days!




Memories of Richard Ball

Just wanted to say what a great website you have here mate.


I was born in Ladywood in 1953 in Bishopgate Street, and then moved to 6 Ladycroft, Browning Street when I was 5yrs old.


My mates at the time were Peter Quigley, Bobby Powel, Peter Hodges, Alan Jones, Victor Jarvis and many others.


The first school I went too was St Johns Infant School, then moved onto Ladywood Primary before ending at Follet Osler.


My first job was at Belliss & Morcom when I left school at the tender age of 15. I had many jobs over the years: Post office Messenger, Simms Motors, Joseph Lucas etc etc.


After getting married I joined the Prison Service in 1980 and took early retirement in 2011 after 31yrs of service and am now living in Skegness after living in London, Hertfordshire, Rugby, Portland Dorset.


I would love to hear from anyone that knew me or my family (father was Bill Ball, mother was Dolly Ball and sister Rose, who still lives in Salisbury Tower, they did a lot for Ladywood Social Club).


I would really love to hear from Peter Quigley or from anyone who might know where he is now, last I heard he was living in Casper House in Cleveland Street.


Anyway, keep up the good work Mac.


Hope someone can help.





27th July 2013



Memories of Tess Stevens

Just like to say the website is great.


I was born in Clark Street in 1957.Prior to that my family lived in Osler Street, the Chimney Sweep moved in after us.


My family’s name was Courtney. We lived at 29 Clark Street.


I went to the Oratory Junior and Infants School; I remember Sister Vincent, Sister Anne Father(s) Thomas, Gregory, Michael.


My friends were Veronica Richardson, Elizabeth Sloyan, Carol Wilson.


As we received "free school dinners" we went to Osler Street School in the summer holidays for our free meal, then either up to Summerfield Park or the ressa. I used to do a paper round for Turley’s paper shop on Icknield Port Road, can even remember the chocolate machine outside...(five boys).


My dad, like most Irish men liked a drink, he drank in the Hyde, Glassblowers and the Nags Head, wasn’t too keen on the Freeth Arms.


We lived in a fairly big house two attics, two bedrooms front and back living rooms separate yard to the "big Yard". Another family called the Quigley’s had the opposite. Remember the pig Bin in the big yard, the rows of toilets, over the wall was George’s stables. Grimley's was on the corner on Clark Street and Hyde Road.


The son was called Alan, remembering taking back the bottle for the "penny back off the bottle" We could also see the fireworks in Summerfield Park on bonfire night.


Shops on Monument Road i remember were Hickman’s, the Jewellery Box, the Everyready shop, up the entry as you walked round from the Nags Head was a bakery, the smell was lovely.


Dr. Treacy was the doctor, I remember him only because one day while we were sitting in the gutter as drove up, he didn’t see me as I stood up and knocked me down, I also remember Mr Luckman's on Clark Street, fetching the Evening Mail and Despatch for my dad, recently my son asked me  to get him some razor blades, straight away I said "seven o'clock blades"


I used to fetch them for my dad as well. "These were The Days My Friends" such happy days. Does anybody remember us?


Our family consisted of Mom-Nancy, Dad-Jack, kids, Madeline, Martin, Hilda, Anne, Theresa, Jacqueline, Mary, Marie and Gerrard.





1st July 2013



Memories of Tony Madsen

Just thought you might like these views taken from top of 85ft Hydraulic Platform at Ladywood Fire Station in 1970/71 when the demolition was going on. I was a Fireman at Ladywood 1968 to 1972 when I transferred to Cardiff. Before Ladywood i was at Albion Street which closed March 1968 when we moved to Ladywood on Icknield Port Road though the two ran in tandem for a couple of months or so.


One looks towards City Centre and the other towards the Reservoir.






14th June 2013



Memories of Gira Kaur (now Dhaliwal)

I read the article written by Syd Rochelle (previously Stanley Norgrove) who lived in the Ladywood area and went to Stanmore School after Barford Boys and City Road Girls schools closed down. While I don't remember him, it seems he was in the same class as me, which would have been class 4A.  I remember almost all the other classmates who he mentions in the article and am still in touch with Freda Davies, now Freda Baker. Freda came over to see me a while back and brought our class photos so I shall look to see if I can pick out Stanley


I wonder if anyone remembers me. I lived at 27 Barford Road between 1957 and 1969, which is when I got married.  My dad had moved into Barford Road sometime in the mid 50’s, before me, mum and my two sisters came over from India in 1957 to join him.


I went to City Road Infants (from memory, I was the first Asian girl in that school, and my elder sister, the first Asian girl in the senior school next door) certainly this was something my Head Teacher, Mrs Martin, and cookery teacher, Miss Pearson reminded me of whenever I ‘wasn't setting a good example’.  I went on to Summerfield’s School, and then City Road Girls, before it closed to join with Barford Boys and become Stanmore Secondary.


On Barford Road, I remember the Buckley’s shop where I used to buy bread for mum, and the outdoor across the road, where I used to get dad’s jug of beer, and a penny toffee for myself.  We used to play in the yard, next to Mrs Oakley’s house and I remember she used to shout at us if we ever hit the ball against her wall - which we often did. 


There was a social club across the road, which used to have piano music and sing-alongs on a Saturday night and I remember trying to sing along with them from my bedroom window.  I used to go down the ‘cut’ and go scrumping apples from the gardens of Gillott Road with my friends, who one day saw an owner coming down the garden while I was up in the tree and ran off without telling me, leaving me to explain what I was doing up there!  The strangest thing was that I ended up living I that house when I married his nephew and would often relive that embarrassing moment when I went out into the garden.


We had back to back houses at the back of our house in Barford Road, and Lois Simpson who lived in one of these houses became a great friend of mine, before the family moved to Wales.  I remember her mum Irene and her dad Bill, and even her nan, nanny Stevens and her aunt B, who were all so kind to me and my family.  I also remember a gentleman, dressed very smartly, in a senior naval uniform, used to visit the house next to ours on a Sunday.


I also remember some of the shops on Dudley Road, like Biggs’ grocery on the corner of Barford Road; Peggs sweetshop; Green’s Electricals (Mr Green was lovely) and I remember Masons huge shop on Dudley Road, opposite Barford Road, where they would pat the butter, taken from what looked like a barrel, and wrap it in greaseproof paper and when you paid for it, they would send the money in a container and whizz it by a cable to the cashier, who would similarly return your change.  I could go on and on with memories flooding back, as I read so many memories from old Ladywoodites.







7th June 2013



Memories of Mark Nash

My name is Mark Nash; born Browning Street but I remember Ledsam Street, Ladywood best.


I knew a couple of sisters called Carole / Linda Hart who lived in some flats end of my road. I went to Follett Osler School and played a lot of football for school team. Mr Upton always refereed our games. Played mostly at Summerfield Park or Lightwoods Park.


One particular game Mr Upton rollicked me for not kicking ball hard enough at goal, anyway next thing I remember was picking ball up on halfway line booting it as hard as possible in temper. The ball flew straight into the net, what a goal Mr Upton patted me on the back said well-done young man. He was true gentleman, lovely person.


I seem to remember some of my team mates were D. Harper goalie; R. Wragg ginger hair midfielder; D. Hurd. A nickname they gave me was bishop amen cos I kept saying come on men we can win this. The gravel pitch was super to play on; hardest team ever played against was Cockshutt Hill Grammar, I think that's the name.


Wonder if anybody remembers my name. Another great pal was a Richard Bridson a great mate.


I left Brum before school was demolished, but Mr. Upton, Mr Marsh, Mr Brenton were brilliant, but Mr Francis to strict because I was useless at maths. Our house was, I think, the first house next to Belliss and Morcom. I just used to peep through the windows watch men working was fantastic; Wrights paper shop was just down the road. I also spent most my time train spotting in Monument Road. Sometimes I could help polish up the trains, helping the men, that was in the sheds just before the tunnel into New Street.


Fabulous times, thanks Mac









Some of the teachers at the school




Memories of John Downes

Saw your website for the first time maybe this will fill in some gaps.


My name Horace John Downes, 7/62 Sherborne Street, Ladywood born 1923.


Was at Osler Street School until 1937, had Headmaster Mr Murray with teachers Goodyear, Rigby, and Walters. Goodyear wrote in Sports Argus under the name Magister. Walters was a cricketer.


Had some good neighbours Caldicott, Dyson, Bell and top of the street boxer Boy Edge. We were on overspill about early 1940, so very fortunately missed the landmine that landed in our street.


Do not get about much these days but certainly enjoyed your website.


Best Wishes





3rd June 2013



Memories of Simon Binnion's Father

Thanks for the photo's on the web site, and as time goes by, becoming more important because of the clearances that were made during the 70's, plus the people with these memories of Ladywood are sadly passing away.


Which draws me to write this as my father often talked about his own memories which are starting to fade in my own mind and felt it important to share what I was told, with others.


Alan Binnion was born at Ryland Road, Edgbaston, and when I was a child, would comment on his child memories. Bath time stood in his mind, and the fact that the communal baths were far too dirty to use, so they used the kitchen sink and tin bath. He never enjoyed living there as far as I can work out, mentioning the lack of privacy and everyone 'living on top of one another'.


His father was a bread delivery person using horse and cart working for the bakery at 175 Broad Street, and from what I can gather, took the job as caretaker for the horses and ovens, so the family moved out of poverty to a live in accommodation above the bakery. The bakery was known as 'Bowkits'.


My dad would often mention the cockroaches crawling around upstairs, he would hear them scratching on the wooden floor as they moved at night, but he was never bothered by them and saw them as a toy. He would catch them and have races across the floor with them. Often, when sitting in the tin bath, he would see them running across the floor.


He had memories of Gas Street Basin too, his parents would tell him to stay away from the 'bargees' there, but would often go and play with the children on the boats. He would say how busy it used to be, coal boats stuck in his mind at the time.


The city smog would be a 'pea souper' he used to say, and last for days. There is a family story that his dad's delivery horse got lost one day because of the smog, and they found it back at the bakery. The horse knew the routes, the customer stops too.


The Second World War was vivid in his mind. I asked once about staying, he said his father George called a family meeting around the table and asked if his children wanted to go to the country or stay in the city. They voted to stay, so his parents honoured their wishes and they stayed. Dad said he would see the headlines in the newspaper shops, and thought nothing would happen to them, as at the time, it was quiet and everyone went on doing their daily business. The bombs eventually came, and he remembered being with his dad watching the night sky light up. He said it was just like a modern fireworks night, and they felt safe knowing the bombs would be dropping somewhere else. One night, while watching with his dad, one of the bombs dropped stopped making a sound as it fell, and his dad threw him to the floor. There was a huge bang outside in Broad Street, which blew the front of the bakery out. The electric went, they were in darkness, and it was decided to evacuate. His two sisters and mother were asleep, so they had to be woken up, and the 6 of them clambered out of the front door with water gushing in as the water main had fractured outside, he says he was knee deep in water and it was so dark they could hardly see what they were doing. Mr Bowkit came and took my dad, his brother and two sisters to his house. His dad George, stayed back, to see to the horses, but dad never saw his parents for 3 weeks after the bombing. They finally moved into 134, Rann Street, his uncle’s house, who agreed to give them the house as he moved to Stoke.


Living at Rann Street, Dad would go to school, and every morning would be an exciting new day. There was a collecting club at school (Reservoir Road), and he often said that German shrapnel would get top money. There was loads of British shrapnel he said, and no one was interested. The register was called every morning, and the class often wondered who would turn in that day. His mom, Doris, gave Dad strict orders not to bring any found jewellery home, but couldn't resist one piece he found, and never forgot the telling off he got, and was made to return it to where he found it. Dad also remembers the German Air Ship being shot down, everyone was collecting bits of canvas the following day, and a plane was also shot down one day, he remembers that too.


The incendiary bombs fell one night at while at Ran Street, by now his dad became the local Air Raid Warden, and one night an incendiary dropped in the next street. The bits of burning metal fell on next doors roof, and he and his dad had to climb into their loft, and poor water onto next doors roof otherwise there would have been a serious blaze. He often said they knocked several times, but wouldn't answer, and the following day they were told what had happened, and never said thank you. This stays in his mind clearly to this day.






24th May 2013



Memories of Graham Wigley

Hi folks, what a brilliant site for us old ladywoodians!


I must start by saying that I could definitely write a book on my life in Ladywood, and the memories of that grand old place still remains vivid in my memory, I was born at 92,Shakespeare Road in 1942 my name is Graham Wigley and i have two brothers, John and Trevor. The first thing to say about living there then is that it was a very tight community; we knew half of our street if not by name but definitely by sight. I went to Steward Street School as a nipper, then on to Follet Osler secondary modern boys, no girls on the lower level of that school! They were upstairs and woe betide you if you were caught in their playground!


I went to work at Frank Moseley’s garage in Cope Street at 15, and stayed there for 6 years, (I was a car sprayer) the mention of Monument Lane Station evokes a lot of memories too, not all happy I must say! But me and my mates spent many hours trainspotting down there, and that was forbidden unless you had an adult with you, didn't stop us though! I  had a bunch of chums at that time and we all lived close to each other, Keith Timms and Johnny Loney, David Smith, Walter Nabi, John Mitton, and others, later I joined a football team and we were called Hamilton Rangers, based at Hamilton Road school in Handsworth, we were never in Ladywood in our teens mainly because we were off to the parks and other places brum has to offer, like The Botanical gardens (free entry in those days) or up the cut, or the railways, which my mother would have slayed me for if she had known! Also don't forget "The Rezza!”


At the top of our road, on Monument Road was the Station public house run by the Hateley's. I spent many hours playing in the old horse stables at the back of that pub and in its many rooms, with their sons. My mom Gertrude played the piano in the pub for years and we had some humdinger parties at my house with police in attendance when coming around to ask us to keep the noise down!



My dad William worked at Wilmot Bredon in In Goodman Street by the "rec" he was a toolmaker. We as kids spent many hours in that place playing football, and I remember the old "parkie" very well! Life was tough and money was tight, but we just got on with it. most of the people I knew worked and there was plenty of manufacturing in those days, some of the letters have reminded me of things I had long forgotten, but one sad thought remains, this is of my pal Wallie Nabi, he was killed when some derelict houses opposite the station platforms collapsed onto him, when a fast through train went by, there were warning signs, but kids ignore them don't they, he was 12, I was 13!


Anyway life went on and I left Ladywood in 1965 for Balfour house, Edgbaston, in Monument Road. We had all we needed in terms of shops in that community and it seems to me we have lost the spirit that was prevalent then and replaced it with something else!  Finally the Alan Dugmore letters are so close to my own recollections I feel I know him, time dulls the memory I’m afraid!


Bless all those who lived there then, because it was a unique place and very real!







24th April 2013



Memories of Paul Weston


I just thought I'd send you my congratulations on the anniversary of one of the freshest and most interesting of nostalgia sites on the internet.


As a Ladywood 'baby-boomer' I always find something of interest when dropping by; and you have helped me considerably in understanding my family heritage, which is deeply rooted in the Ladywood of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. The exchange of information and memories is a brilliant resource.


For your interest I have attached a recently discovered photo (and somewhat incongruous image in the context of Old Ladywood) of my father, Tom Weston of Talford Place, back 60/61 Ladywood Road, proudly showing off a 'roller' opposite our entry. Recently demobbed he had just got the job of chauffeur to the Chairman or MD of Metro-Cammell. He was obviously keen to show his new set of wheels to the family and neighbours.


Just one other snippet and coincidence, I note your liking of 'Let's Dance' by Chris Montez. Well that just happens to be the first record I ever bought! - from College Radio on the Square at Weoley Castle. I've still got it, safe in its original sleeve.


Keep up the good and very important work.

Best regards

Paul W





Memories of Sheryl

I’ve been researching my great great grandfather John Carter & thought you might like to include his adverts & Obit on your very interesting website.


Regards Sheryl from New Zealand


Birmingham & Midland Boat Building Company(Limited)


 Ad for the auction of the business Birmingham Daily Post - 16 Feb1884



Advertisement - Birmingham Daily Post  - 13 Feb 1875








8th April 2013




Memories of Bruce Bennett

I noticed that one of the streets in Ladywood is Edward Street. That was where my grandfather, Claude Bennett, published his magazine, "The Club Herald," for a number of years.


My grandfather, who was a printer by trade, started The Club Herald in 1922 as a way for workingman's social clubs throughout the Midlands and the artistes (musicians, comedians, variety acts, etc.) who performed in them to connect with each other and with club members. For many years he published the CH from a small print shop he had behind the house at 68 Bath Row (the photo I previously sent you). Sometime in the early 1960s, they were forced to leave Bath Row. I believe the area was undergoing some sort of urban renewal, but I could be wrong about that. Anyway, my grandparents moved into a cozy little apartment at 3/247 Great Colmore Street and my grandfather moved his printing business to 7 Edward Street where it remained until he sold the business, due to failing health, in September 1973. He passed away In April 1975.


I'm hoping someone who remembers the Club Herald - or my grandfather - will see this on your site and perhaps share their memories. My grandfather and grandmother were both well-known at the Ladywood Social Club, to the point that my dad was welcome there whenever he went back to England for a visit, despite the fact that he wasn't a member. Other clubs I spent a lot of time at on visits to Birmingham were the Artists Club (near the Aston Villa football grounds) and the Longbridge Social Club (out near the old Austin Plant). I don't believe either of them exist anymore.


The attached images depict the cover and editorial page of the September 13, 1973 issue of the Club Herald, the last one produced by my grandfather.






Memories of Bruce Bennett



Despite the fact that I was born and raised in the US, some of my earliest childhood memories are of my first trip to visit my grandparents, Claude and Edith Bennett, who lived at 68 Bath Row. Perhaps it was because everything was so different from anything I'd known up to that point. As the attached news clipping explains, my mother, Elsie, my brother Brian, and I arrived in June 1957 for a two month stay, during which I celebrated my fourth birthday.


A few photos still exist from that trip. The first one depicts my brother and I somewhere in Birmingham, although I'm not sure where. Sorry. The second one shows my grandmother and me in the back garden of 68 Bath Row. The third photo shows me playing on a swing my grandparents had rigged up in the kitchen doorway of 68 Bath Row. They obviously built those old row houses to withstand almost anything back then.


As I said, some of my earliest childhood memories are of that first trip to England, and I have a hunch they sowed the seeds of what has blossomed into a lifelong love affair with the city of Birmingham and its people, a love I am happy to say I have since passed on to my children.







Memories of Roy Griffiths

I was born in Sparkbook at my Grandparents house Amy and Syd Brown, at No 4 Larches Passage. My Family Lived at the back of a Barber Shop in Highgate Road Sparkbrook opposite the Pub on Kyrwicks Lane, my Grandad Griffiths lived in Woodfields Road, my Dads name was Stanley Griffiths, he used to sing in the Smoke Rooms in Pubs in and out of Birmingham, My Grandad Charlie Griffiths worked in the Pub as a Cellar Man part time. The Pub was in Kyrwicks Lane.


When I was 5 Years old we moved to William Street, Ladywood. We lived up one of the backyards, our neighbours were the Spiates, Rawlings and Reeves. My best mate was Ray Hughes who lived at the back of us in the next backyard, his Mum and Dad where Nell and Ray Hughes. At the front of the yard was a shop “Mixed Business”. Mrs Cook owned that Shop. Over the road was the Glases large family.


1953 Coronation, Mr Rawlings our neighbour collected six pence off each family for the Coronation Party which was held at the Local Pub “The White Horse”.


William Street was closed on the Sunday for the Street Races, my mum Glades Griffiths won a few Races. There was plenty of food and presents for the children, everybody got a Royal Crown moneybox at the Pub Party.


During our stay in William Street I attended St Thomas School; my teachers in Primary were Mr and Mrs Hughes. Mr Hughes married Miss Rogers; Mrs Brey was the Head Mistress. St Thomas Secondary I Remember Mr Mogford Who taught me boxing, he was Canadian. Whilst living at William Street,  I joined the Eighth Life Boys, then the Eighth Boys Brigade at the Methodist Church Hall.


I found your site by chance, looked at the Eighth Boys Brigade site and there I was with my good friend Roger Williams, who also lived in William Street. In the photograph Roger Williams is standing 1st on the Left, Second Row and I am seated, 3rd left Second Row.


Our Family then moved to St Marks Street, Ladywood, we lived on the right handside of St Marks Street front house. Looking towards small Island with lamp post in centre, which was the boys hangout. I attended Follett Osler High, I remember teachers Mr Sara, Mr Hughes and Mr Penzer who played Rugby Union, our Head Master was Mr Upton.


Some of my mates where Barry Green, John Wilson, David Shore, John Reed, Chris and Carole Garatly and John Farmer who I had a fight with at the back of the Picture Theatre near the School. The fight was set up by all the other boys I’ve named. I Left Follett Osler in 1959, worked for a while around the Jewellery Quarter for my Dad, who was a Metal Polisher.


I migrated to Sydney Australia in 1960 with my best mate Ray Hughes. I Settled in Sydney, Australia, Ray ended up in Dubbo, NSW. My wife Carole and I had eight Children, 5 Boys and 3 Girls, we are all doing well, I am now 69 Years old and retired from Engineering.


This is a photo of Roger Williams and myself taken at the same time as the Photo in your Forum of the Eighth Boys Brigade.


Thank you for the Site, Great Job.






Memories of Dorothy and Gordon Waldron

My husband was in the choir at St. Marks Church from 1936 till 1944, he has lovely memories of his time there. He went to school there till he was 11 and went to Steward Street School. He remembers the vicar Mr Upton who lived in Monument Road. He thinks the church was demolished in 1946. He left school and went to work at Joseph Lucas in Great King Street and later went into the army in the Parachute Regiment and was sent to Palestine till 1948.


He lived in Barker Street at his grandmothers shop (Rosie Dunne) had 2 sisters Shirley and Valerie. Their name was Waldron. We met and was married in 1951. He is now 85, and would love to hear from anyone who might remember him, he loved growing up in Ladywood. He went to the youth club at Steward Street School and had lots of friends there. He used to play snooker in the Billiard Hall on Spring Hill, he also became a very good ice skater at the rink on Summer Hill, and was an excellent swimmer going to the swimming baths in Monument Road. We spent most of our married life in Great Barr but we moved to a small village near Bromsgrove in 1996. I was born on the "Brookfields" Prescott Street, but we lost our home in 1940 when Ellen Street School was destroyed by a land mine.


We moved to Northbrook Street, off the Dudley Road and I went to City Road School. I started work in 1944 and worked in Northampton  street, in the jewellery quarter for 7 years and I have great memories of those happy years. My family name was Scotton and I had 3 brothers. Walter, Bill and Jack and a sister Milly sadly only Bill and Milly are still with us. I would love to hear from anyone who knew us, especially friends from City Road, Gordon and I are proud to have born and lived in Ladywood It was a great place to be we love reading your pages about the area and it brings back lots of memories - Good Luck.





Memories of Doris Banford


My mother was born in 1917 and grew up in No. 71 Irving Street. Her name then was Doris Banford.


The other day I sat her in front of our computer and showed her your collection of photos.


Her memory is not very good now but when I showed her the picture ”Irving Street 1961”, the one with a doorway with “E C Thomas” above it, she pointed to the arched entry behind the Morris van and told me how she had run into that entry to hide from a runaway horse that was galloping down the street.


This must have been late 1920s/early 1930s.





23rd March 2013



Memories of Bill Burton



The Dolphin in Irving Street. We lived almost opposite (1/66) and in the early 50s my mum, Phoebe (nee Smith), was a cleaner there - she "progressed" to becoming a barmaid before she got a full-time job in a factory - Normansell's round in Florence Street, off Bath Row. Len Tolley was the landlord at the time and he was always trying to persuade mum and dad to take on a pub somewhere in Brum. Len moved from the Dolphin to the Queen's Stores on Bath Row, corner of Piggott Street.


In 1956 we moved to 166 Icknield Port Road - which stood between the Bricklayer's Arms and the Queen's Head (never seen a pic of the latter) - dad, also Bill Burton, used both pubs. Most of the folk he worked with at Pimms, opposite our house, preferred the Brick for a lunchtime half or an after work pint, but dad preferred the Queens, where there was also a fishing club based. Dad and I, and Uncle Joe (Smith) were members of the club and used to go off on fishing trips from there - all over the Midlands. Bill Pickering was the landlord of the Queens at the time - coincidentally, when he semi-retired he took over the Yellow Lion pub at Powick (near where I live now) as licensee, with his daughter and son-in-law.





3rd March 2013




Memories of Tony (Cotton) Pearsall


The Bomb Shop at Bulpitt's which was situated opposite the Ice Rink

The Bomb Shop at Bulpitt's which was situated oppoiste the Ice Rink





In and around Bulpitt's

A few names Pauline Wilkes, Tommy Doody, Pat Healey, taken in about 1960

All the photographs below are from Bulpitt's - DO YOU KNOW ANY OF THESE PEOPLE?

Kate Murphy

Lady on the left is Kate Murphy

Billy White and Tony Asbury

Many thanks to Tony (Cotton) Pearsall for the photographs


You may remember Tony Cotton, reasons being is that I was living with my Aunt and Uncle whilst in Ladywood, so neighbours would have known me as Tony Cotton


If you remember Tony please contact me and I will forward on your emails







11th February 2013



Memories of Tony (Cotton) Pearsall


Bulpitt's / Ladywood boys on the Blackpool trip in 1961

Friends of St. Mark's Street

Friends of St. Mark's Street

King Edward's Road Junior Football Team, presentation night at the Tower Ballroom, 1961

Tony Asbury of Alexandra Street

Many thanks to Tony (Cotton) Pearsall for the photographs


You may remember Tony Cotton, reasons being is that I was living with my Aunt and Uncle whilst in Ladywood, so neighbours would have known me as Tony Cotton


If you remember Tony please contact me and I will forward on your emails





25th January 2013



Memories of Kathy Bean nee Lowe

My name was Kathleen Lowe, I was one of three children, David, Ray and myself.  My parents’ names were Teddy Lowe and Glady's Lowe nee Wilson.  I lived at 1 back 10 William Street from 1955 until 1961.  I went to St. Thomas I think or St Johns on Bath Row and have fond memories of walking past the accident hospital and Davenports as a child, watching the bottles spinning round.


My nan Annie Bowen lived in Mount Street and my aunty Ada and Uncle Jack Jones lived in 10 Railway Terrace.  I have great memories of Peggy and Charlie Aspley and their son Stephen who almost adopted me and took me to Sydney Australia.


Does anyone remember the Saturday mornings at the old picture house on Bristol Road South, bottom of Five Ways?  They were great memories for me and my brothers, and does anyone remember when the houses were being knocked down, gosh we used to walk about in the houses as they were falling down.  Our house in William Street was a back to back house and was a three storey building so you could go onto the roof and look down over the next yard.  We had a wash house and outside block of toilets.  I can remember the two pubs either end of the street, White Horse and Kings Arms and a sweet shop and greengrocers.


Fond memories of growing up and I always wondered about the Espley family who emigrated for 10 to Australia.





1st January 2013


Bruce Bennett

Attached is a photo of my grandparents, Claude and Edith Bennett, with my father, Alan Bennett, and his twin sisters Audrey and Barbara, taken around 1925 or 1926. The photo was probably taken outside of 25 Stoke Street which, as my father's birth certificate shows, is where the family lived at that time. Also attached are two photos of Alan Bennett as a baby, circa 1924, also probably taken at 25 Stoke Street. Finally, I've attached a copy of my dad's leaving certificate - or diploma, as we here in the States call it - from the Islington Senior Mixed School, which I believe was also known as the Piggott Street School.








Memories of Syd Lewis

I have recently come across the attached which shows my granny, Zeta Louisa Randall with my mother Edie and her cousin Kenny outside granny's sister's house in George Frederick Street (at least I think it is that street, if I get the actual address, I will let you have it)

Mom was born in October 1924 and looks about 9 in the photo, so it may be 1933-ish.





16th December 2012


Bruce Bennett

Attached is the photo I told you about of 68 Bath Row. The sign on the front of the house says "C. Bennett Printer". I believe the man going in or coming out of the front door is probably my father. The picture was taken in 1946.


The other photo, also circa 1946/47, is of a catholic church my mother attended when she lived there, but I don't know which one it is. I'm guessing it was close to Bath Row. Perhaps you or one of your site's patrons will recognize it.




15th December 2012



Bruce Bennett

As promised here are some of my family's old photos taken in 1946 in the backyard of their residence at 68 Bath Row. My father, Alan Bennett, had just been discharged from the Royal Navy and returned home with my mother, the former Elsie Conklin, whom he'd met when his ship put into port in New York. Her family was originally from Coventry and they knew my dad's family in Birmingham, and arranged the meeting.


The handsome young British sailor fell in love with the buxom American brunette, he proposed to her while at sea, married her when he next put into port in the US, and they sailed back to England aboard the Queen Mary while it was still a British troop ship.


Truth be told, it wasn't much of a honeymoon cruise - he had to bunk with the rest of the crew and carry out his normal naval duties while she stayed up top with the other war brides, but they didn't know any better. My mom had never been more than 50 miles from home, and now she was moving 3,000 miles to war-battered Britain.


My grandfather was Claude Bennett, the successful editor and publisher of an entertainment publication called The Club Herald, which in the 1950s he operated out of a print shop behind his house on Bath Row, across the street from the old Davenport's brewery. I have some old photos of him and the family in the courtyard of that house, which I've digitized, if you'd like to see them.


Elsie Bennett poses with Bubbles, her husband's Welsh Corgi, in the backyard of her new home

at 68 Bath Row in 1946

Alan Bennett's twin sisters, Audrey (holding Bubbles) and Barbara, in the backyard of 68 Bath Row in 1946.


Audrey married Milton Griffin and Barbara married Norman Brooks


Alan & Elsie Bennett, with the family Corgi, Bubbles, in the backyard of 68 Bath Row on a sunny summer afternoon in 1946

Elsie Bennett with her mother-in-law, Edith (a.k.a. Cis), and the family Corgi, Bubbles,

in the backyard of 68 Bath Row. 1946



Elsie Bennett with her new in-laws, Claude & Edith ("Cis") Bennett and the family's Corgi, Bubbles, in the backyard of 68 Bath Row


Father and son. Claude Bennett (left), editor and publisher of the Club Herald, and his son Alan, standing in the backyard of 68 Bath Row. 1946



Alan Bennet enjoying his return to civilian life in the backyard of 68 Bath Row. 1946

Claude Bennett, editor and publisher of the Club Herald, a weekly newspaper devoted to the social clubs that were once so prevalent throughout the Midlands, stands outside of his print shop that was behind his residence at 68 Bath Row. 1946





29th October 2012


Oscar Allen

Hi my name is Horace Allen known as Oscar. I was born in Dudley Rd Hospital on 01/10/38 my father’s name was also Horace and my mother was Alice.


I had two brothers Kenneth & Ronald. I left Garbett Street in June 1960 after my marriage to    Patricia Raine. During my life in Garbett Street, we lived at 3 addresses 1 back of 33, 32 next to the Beehive pub, finally no 42.


I attended Steward Street Junior School then Barford Road School, leaving there xmas 1953, I played football & cricket for the school. My brother Ronald and I signed professional for Bham City,  Ronald transferring to Lincoln City while I was released by B’ham in 1960, signing for Halesowen Town then on to Lye Town & Grantham in Lincolnshire and settling in Lincoln.


I would like to hear from anyone who remembers my family, Pat and I were good friends with Betty & Geofrey  Hawkings, Dennis Felton whom Betty married , Billy Griffiths and Brian Timmings. It was very nostalgic to visit your excellent web site and I look forward to many additions in future.



David Hudson

I wonder if any of your readers have a photo showing the Front (ie. the roadside) of Monument Lane Railway Station?


I am looking to build a model railway layout based on Monument Lane Station, but although I have several photos of the platform side of the station building, the only photo I have found is on the Warwickshire Railways Website, but this only shows the top of the building being taken from the Marshalling Yard, primarily to show the Signal Box and the top of the Station Building just shows over the Road Bridge Parapet.


I spent many happy hours train spotting at Monument Lane Station, usually sitting on the grass bank either at the side of the steps to the Signal Box, if gate unlocked or on the other side of the road, behind the hoardings. When at Osler Street School Annex, at the Methodist Church opposite the Swimming Baths, was there with class mates from Forms 2A & 2B most dinner times. This was in 1951 & 1952.


Always enjoy reading items on the Old Ladywood Website.

David J. Hudson





19th October 2012


Ian Davis

Here is a picture taken at 3 Chatsworth Place, St Vincent Street. I am estimating it is 1905. The lady on the far left is Daisy Hunt who is my great grandmother, who passed away in 1967. Her sister Pansy stands in the doorway, along with the parents, my great great grandparents. Does anybody remember either Daisy or Pansy?





17th September 2012


Dorothy Carr, nee Osborne - see Cope Street for more photographs

I was born at 6/8 Cope Street and lived there with my parents and sister Mary, until I was about ten years old when I went to live with my aunt.  


Mary and Dorothy Osborne

Mary Osborne, Gert Smith, Freda Osborne and Dink

Freda Osborne and young girl


My mother’s family owned a shop at number 16 Cope Street, two brothers and two sisters (none married.)  When my Aunt Rose died I went to keep Aunt Gertrude company and never returned home, my uncles George and Bert went to work, my aunt and mother ran the shop.

My mother Freda, was there every day with my sister Mary, she would wake me and get our breakfast, so we were one big happy family.


When my uncle George returned from the war he looked into my pram and said isn’t she dinky and ever since then I was known as ‘Dinky’


The shop was SMITHS a grocery and sweet shop, I was told before the war it was also haberdashery.

Smith's Shop in Cope Street

My father Sydney was an overhead crane driver at the Metropolitan in Saltley, he came from Hooper Street near Dudley Road Hospital.


We went to the Oratory School, we were not Catholics but my mother thought the Oratory was a better school. I failed my 11 plus and then went to Camden Street, my sister stayed at the Oratory.


Over the road from the shop was a blue brick wall, behind it was the sawmills, were we were allowed to get the sawdust for our mother to light the fire in the brewhouse ready for washday. Later this became FRANK MOSELEY’s garage. The mechanics came into the shop in their break and this is how I met my future husband.


The workers from the railway also came in to buy condensed milk for their tea.


Although the houses were back to back, our shop went through and onto a big yard with three entries. We lived in the back and had two bedrooms and an attic. We didn’t share a toilet (most people did,) the dustbins were at the back and sometimes clouds of ash would come into the toilet while you were there. In the winter the pipes would freeze, it was awful!


I can remember the Greensil's from next door, the Morgan's, Wakefield's, Patty Bushell, Dolly Glaze (Paper Shop) and Charlie Sharp her son.


I can’t remember Albert Moulsdale, but my sister says we used to look after him while his mother worked.


We went to Summer Hill Methodist Church, a lovely big church with a Sunday school, Youth Club and Boys Brigade. I remember Arthur Cleaver and my Sunday school teacher, Charles Walkley.  Because there wasn’t a Girls Brigade there, my sister and I went to the Girl Guides in St Mark’s Street. I can remember ‘parading’ to St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter for Parade Sundays.


I belonged to a swimming club at Monument Road baths. The competitions were at Woodcock Street, so the family shut the shop early and caught the bus to get there to support me. I also swam for the school and have a photo taken in the Oratory playground.




Beverley Turner

I was born in 1954 at 2/27 Barker Street. My parents were Arthur and Dot Bailey.  I have 2 sisters, Elaine and Sandra and 2 brothers Wayne and Carl Bailey.  We lived next door to the Cartwright family, Alf and Connie Cartwright, who had 3 sons, David, Stephen and Phillip.  The Cartwright’s house was previously lived in by my grandparents, George and Floss Bailey, who had 3 sons Arthur (my Dad), Ken and Robert Bailey.


My grandmother Floss (nee Roberts) was related to the, Gibbins and Savvaker family, who were all located in the Garbett Street, Shakespeare Road, and Nelson Street area.  My grandmother also had sisters called Alice, Lil and brothers called Joe and Tom. 




17th August 2012


Janet Cook, nee Pountney

Harry Eaton my Grandfather

Dad with his mom Mrs. Pountney and Mom's mom and Dad  - Mr/Mrs Harry Eaton




My Mother - Ivy Eaton

My Mother - Ivy Eaton

Ron Cook/Jan Pountney/Pat Whitlock/Brian Kelly


Ron and  Pat lived in Garbett street, Brian lived off Monument Road by Clews the bike shop, little King Edward  Road I think it was called and I lived in Monument Road.

I married Ron and Pat married Brian. Remained friend's all our lives. Sadly Ron and Pat have both now died, but Brian and I are still friend's with our new partners.





29th July 2012


Janet Cook, nee Pountney

Just found about your website, looks great. My name is Jan Cook nee Pountney. I lived in Monument Road, Ladywood. My Father had a cobbler’s shop where my family lived at No.58. My Grandparents lived at No.60, also a shop.    I have written down a few memories of my early life in Ladywood. It covers quite a few pages but wondered if you would be interested in reading this.

Mom's maiden name was Eaton. She lived in Shakespeare Road and her dad, Harry Eaton was a champion cyclist. He used to rent out bikes for a few pence a time.

Wonder if anyone has any memories of this, I expect it was too long ago now.  

I was married to Ron Cook and he lived in Garbett Street, Ladywood.



Mom and Dad's wedding in August 1933, Ivy and Fred Pountney



My dad Fred Pountney with his mom and dad, in the backyard of No.60 Monument Road. 



This is a photograph of me, when I was about 3 years of age





Michael Fenney

Just to comment on the picture of Summerhill Street that was updated on the 9th, the public house was known as The Stores, we lived in the first house in Powell Street, number 10.


My father William [bill] Fenney spent many a happy hour in there, we used to go to the outdoor which was the little door actually in Powell Street as you look at the photo and take an empty pop bottle to get it filled with a pint and take it back home to dad so he could have a drink in the house.


We lived there until 1958 when we moved to Anderton Street which is the road facing, loved my life in Ladywood, wish we could turn back the clock






9th July 2012


Pauline Lewington, nee Penwill

What a great site.  I have been enthralled for ages going back through the years.


I did not live in Ladywood, but re Betty Cowley’s nee Floyd) memories, she mentioned a pub in King Edward Road.  The pub was the Bell, next to which was a bombed site, this was the house my late uncle and his wife lived in (Ernie and Dolly Birt).  The very next house had been a shop (before I was born in 1948) and this was where my Nan and Granddad lived (Harry and Mary Ann Birt).  I have a photo somewhere outside my Nans house with my Dad and my Mothers brother, this would be around 1956 I think.


When I started school, although by this time I lived in Hingeston Street, Brookfields, my Granddad used to take me to Nelson Street School as my Mother worked at the Mosda factory (making cigarette lighters), somewhere in Warstone Lane.


My mother Alma died in 2005 and she would have remembered so much more, but here goes.  Opposite my Nans house was a butchers and the children there were Christine and Yvonne (cannot bring surname to mind).


I can remember a Robin Muller in King Edward Road, along with twins Roy and Roger Peverelli and Billy Harrison at Nelson Street School.


I also remember Miss Cole and Mrs Sen Yeun (strange how I can remember unusual names and not others!).  I remember a gift (again cannot remember why) from Mrs Sen Yeun, a small woven, decorated and lined purse, which I treasured for many years.


I remember Susan (no surname again) whose family had a shop near Nelson Street School and she went on the Camp Hill Grammar School.  We bumped into each other rarely on the bus in the mornings as I went past Camp Hill on my way to Sparkhill Commercial School on the Stratford Road.


My maiden name was Penwill  - my parents being Jack and Alma.


I look forward to more interesting hours on your site.




Pauline Lewington




1st July 2012


Alan Dugmore



Sundies were always a great time for us kids there was allwiz summat to do, up the science museum to play on the phones, or try to beat the computer at draughts, to see beam engines in motion and wonder at the size, Spitfire, Hurricane, and the front end of a Beaufighter, Railway engines, gun mekin  weapons and armour, machines knockin out buttons and badges, everything that was Made in Brum, could spend hours in there.

Then off to the Hall of Memory to see if the page had been turned revealing the poor souls who had laid down their lives in the war, then a wonder down to Chamberlin square and sit by the fountain and try and count the money people had threw in.


Another Sundee a gang on ya  might goo up the Art Gallery, Playing on the Rec in King Edwards Road on the way up, pretending to be saboteurs and sneaking up on the Parkie in his hut and plantin Dynamite,  never cheeked him though allwiz treated him with respect looked after us kids he did.


The art Gallery and Museum was a wondrous place massive paintings of Jesus and Cherubs, Gainsbrough’s Blue Boy, and many others, our favourite place was the Natural history section, a skeleton of a extinct giant Elk greeted you as you walked into the hall, a fossilised head of a Triceratops and other Dinosaurs,  stuffed birds ,fish, animals of allsorts, us kids learnt loads from going there.


Sunday school was a must our wench Chris and myself would attend the Methodist church on Monument road, you used to get a stamp for attending so your Mom would know if you never went, we all had a picture bible which was good as the pictures drew you in and you had to read the story to find out what the picture was about.


One of our favourites was gooin all the way round, Sunday artnoon our dad would give our wench and i 4d each to goo all the way round on the No 8, we would catch the buz by the Bundy clock on the bridge on Monument Road and travel all the way round the inner circle, we allwiz  tried to get a seat upstairs at the front so we could see where we were gooin,  Foulkes the furrier always had a stuffed Tiger in the window, That’s where they mek bikes, that’s where they mek Guns, there’s the Blues ground, There’s the Villa, up there is the Mad house and the Jail, we got to know the history of Brum from that Buz.


It wasn’t till later years that I realised why Mom and Dad were so eager to get rid on us on a Sunday it was so they could get to bed for an hour for a bit of ows ye father and it only cost him 8d.


Happy Days.





25th June 2012


Stan and Ann

I lived in Nelson Street not far from the ice rink. My dad had a part time job at the ice rink as the door man, so I got in for free and so went 2 or 3 times a week. There was another worker there because he knew who I was and used to give me his sandwiches.

The rink was also our best place for collecting a penny for the guy. I remember collecting 2 pounds one night outside the rink. To this day 55 years later I still give generously for the guy.




30th May 2012



Glad to hear of the Glass family. I knew of Dr Sammy and Dr Louis (I am not a Jew but the latter circumcised me) and was there not a Gabby (Gabriel?). Louis later had a farm opposite The Saracen's Head Berkswell where he bred race horses; I understand he lost all his money on them and had a tragic death? My mother (Dorothy Wills later Main-Smith) who was one-time secretary to Harborne Tenants at Morpool helped Gabby to contest Ladywood just before I was born in Harborne in 1929.


I often was taken as a small child to terraced streets in Ladywood where my Mum helped the residents, many of the kids I saw had no shoes in those days. (I went to primary school at George Dixon's).


I believe the Glass family were great community workers with a strong sense of public good. Louis Glass was I heard a fine amateur boxer, he sure had the muscular build for the heavyweight class & was a very very nice man; his wife Joy (shown in the Lord Mayor archive photo) was a gentile but she was well-accepted by the Jewish Glass family





17th May 2012


Alan Dugmore



No Bathroom in our house, Friday night was bath night our mom would get the tin bath off the wall and put in front of the fire, heat up half a bucket of water on the gas ring and tell ya “roit gerrin” and don’t forget behind your ears and between your toes.

Our wench was always first then me, I never stayed in there long as Friday night was the time for Mr Davies to call and get his Provident money, also Sam the window cleaner with no fingers on one hand, “don’t forget the corners” our mom would shout, our mom would do the attic winders herself as Sams ladders wouldn’t stretch, she would open the sash window climb out and sit on the window sill with her legs inside and pull down the window and clean the outside that way. Also on fridee mi cousin Pauline Reid would visit and there was no way er was gunna see mi Ha’penny.


As we got older we went to Monument Rd slipper baths with our mom, our wench and me would sit outside till our mom had finished then throw us in, There was always an attendant at the baths who would put the water in for you then take the knob off the tap so you couldn’t fill it, by the time our turn came the water was always cold so our mom would open her handbag and get out a spanner to turn the hot tap back on, you had to be careful though as the attendant could hear the water running, Took your own soap and shampoo though or you had to use their carbolic, if our mom was going out on the night she would chuck in some smelly stuff, Lavender salts or summat, cum out smellin like Ava Gardner.


The attendant would always scrub the bath out afta with Ajax or Vim and a broom ready for the next one.


Don’t know how our Dad got on he must have gone on his own, he was forever having stripdown swills as we called them. Tek off all your clothes except for your pants and wash what yo could reach.




Dorothy Tildesley

My name was Dorothy Benton, now Tildesley. I used to live in Bishopsgate Street with my mom and dad, Mary and Joe and with my sister Mary as well. We lived up a yard, next door lived Floss and Bill Smith that we called aunt and uncle, they had two children Ann and Ronald. I remember the brewhouse were we did the washing and next to that was an outside loo, they were horrid, we had to share  them with the neighbours at the front, as well we had an air raid shelter in the yard as well but could not go inside.


I went to St. Peters School in Broad Street. I remember Miss Clements the head teacher. On your page about schools I saw my friend Harriot Mcmaughn, who I used to sit by at school. She married my grans sister Rose son John, my gran lived in Granville Street up a yard she had the top house in the  yard, her name was Ada Mable Field, granddads name was George, they had my mother Mary and a son George.


Nan worked at the factory facing her yard Sherwoods, I have photos of her at xmas times. I remember her sister Rose lived across the road in Granville Street and her sister Nell lived in the next yard it was like that nearly all families lived close by. I remember going to the Edgbaston picture house also the Ledsam. I have one of grans pinerfore she bought from a shop on Broad Street called  Bradshaw’s, its still has the price tab on it 1/6 it has never been worn.


My family moved to Bordesley Green East then, lovely memories.




2nd May 2012


Alan Dugmore



Like most Ladywood kids train spotting was always a passion, and here was a great place to be, on the main line to and from the north from New Street, and Monument Road sheds as well.


Favourite places were the bridge on Monument Road if the gate was open, if it was open you could sit on the top of the wooden steps and have a great view of the sheds and anything coming out of New Street. Peg on the main, or double clanger on the upper we used to shout, and hope that a semi would come steaming out of New Street on its way to the north with an express.


If you crossed the road and again if the gate was open you had a great view of the railway up to Winson Green also the coach yards, but this time you sat on a grass bank over looking the station, lots of kids from all over were here all jumping up and down excitedly if a Namer came through, Semis, Scots, Patriots, Jubes, Blackies, and Brits, those were what we came for.


The Station was always off limits, the station master would never let you on, One Sunday our Dad took me on the station and there was a Duck six doing shunting duty’s, the driver stopped and asked our dad if we would like a ride, Dad was all for it but I was too scared to cross the tracks, did I cop out, chance in a lifetime for our dad.


Another time I was going train spotting on my own when a man stopped me on Shakespeare Road, he said where yo gooin son?,  I said train spottin, he said give us your donnie and ill teck you up the station and buy ya some sweeties, I dun a bunk straight away and ran back home and told mi dad, he went balmy, What’s he look like dad said, looks like a Ted with a green jacket on, Dad ran out of the house and up Shakespeare Road with me trailing behind him looking for this bloke, but we couldn’t find him, good job really if he had caught him he would have ended up in the Green.


So even then things weren’t as safe as you think, good job our parents were switched on.


Another place we used was the grass bank, to get there you had to go down an alley from Shakespeare Road and climb over a wall at the end, loads of kids used this viewing place, you could sit on the grass with sterra bottle filled with water and a piece of lard or drippin, like having a picnic, as long as your Mom knew where you were it was ok.





23rd April 2012


Christopher Green

I was born in Ladywood in 1947   and lived for a few years in Grosvenor Street West, a back to back house with outside communal toilets.  I remember mother using the shared washhouse for weekly washing and bath time was in a tin bath in front of the fire.


I started school at St Peter RC School just off Broad Street but later moved to a School closer to Grosvenor Street West, as I remember it; it was only just around the corner from where I lived but cannot remember its name


My Parents Cecelia Green and Frederick Green had the lockup pet shop on the corner of Ledsam Street


Both my sets of Grandparents lived in St Vincent Street, with my father’s parents near the outdoor (Off licence) Frank and Mary Green and Albert and Mary Blackwell





12th April 2012



Roy Forge

My name is Roy Forge and I was born in Langley Green near Oldbury in 1947 and emigrated to Australia in 1978. However, I have a connection to Ladywood as my father’s parents lived all their married life at number 12 Beatrice Terrace, Osler Street in Ladywood. They were married in Much Wenlock in Shropshire in July 1908. My grandfather was William James Forge (born in Islington, London on 19th October 1877) and my grandmother was Caroline Williams, born at Much Wenlock in 1887.


Grandmother Caroline had worked as a domestic servant in Hagley Road, Birmingham prior to their wedding, after which they moved into the back to back council dwelling at 12 Beatrice Terrace, Osler Street in Ladywood.


They had two children, a girl, Maud Mary Forge born in 1908 and my father, William James Forge born 9th November 1912. Both children were born at home in Beatrice Terrace and they both attended Osler Street School.


I have attached a couple of photographs.


The first is a standard five class photo taken circa 1918 and Maud Mary Forge (my aunt) is the girl on the extreme left on the front row at the tender age of 9 or 10 years. 



The second is of the Osler Street School football team of 1926 and my father William James Forge is a 14 year old right half back and is standing second from the right of the photo. 








Alan Dugmore



The yard was an open space in the middle of 14 houses, Our yard was a double nack and access was made through one of three entry’s and was entirely made of blue brick, at each end was a Brewhouse where Mom and other families did their washing, and in the centre were two brick built air raid shelters with a concrete roof the entrance to which were two narrow steel doors, there was a small passage between the two with a gas lamp in the middle, these were built in 1940 to shelter from German air raids, behind the left Brewhouse (our Brewhouse) was a high wall which divided us from the houses on Shakespere Rd, another wall behind the right hand brewhouse separated us from the houses to the right of our yard.


Not much sunlight reached our yard as the houses were too high, unless in the summer when the sun was at its highest, we were never allowed to play in the house unless it was raining or it was icy, the reasoning was we were to get as much sunlight as possible to stave off Rickets, there were many children about in leg irons or with bow legs this was wholly due to lack of vitamin D through lack of sunlight. We were told to play out as much as possible; any road our Mom didn’t want us under her feet.


Our yard was what was known as a double knack, which was in effect two yards, the other yard was behind the houses opposite, this was known as the back yard and was always referred to as “up the back” in this yard were the lavatories and the Miskins (dustbins) there were two families to each lavatory, these lavs were kept spotless or as clean as they possibly could be, we shared ours with Mr & Mrs Mitchell, Who when they left moved to Tessall Lane Northfield. The Lavs were thunderbox type, a wooden Box with a hole in the middle, the walls were whitewashed and newspapers were left there not only to read but to rip up and stick on a nail, this was used to wipe your aris,  there was no electric light just a candle, if you needed to go when it was dark you put a candle in a jam jar to stop it blowing out, during the winter the pipes often froze up even though they were lagged  with sacking and you couldn’t flush the lav, you had to get a bucket of water from somewhere.


Also up the back were The Miskins were next to the Lavatory, this was an area where the dustbins were kept, there were many of them as they had to cater for 15 houses, there didn’t seem so much rubbish in those days, if it would burn it went on the fire, no plastic then the only thing that went in the bin were ashes from the fire, tins and bottles.


It was a hard job for the dustmen then, no wheely bins  they used to carry a bath on their shoulders and empty the dustbin into the bath and carry it out to the dustcart, many a time the dustcart used to go down the street with smoke billowing out the back and sometimes in flame as the ashes were still alight and set fire to the rubbish.


I remember John Shields and I found a jar of Brylcream (hair dressing) and we plastered our hair with it, Our Mom went balmy where’s the jar she said when we showed her she just laughed we had covered our hair with Ointment someone had dumped, needless to say it took ages to wash it out.


Next to the lavatories were Mrs Jones Fowl pen, Mrs Jones kept half a dozen hens and a cockerel, the Cockerel was very territorial and used to chase you all round the yard, one day we were playing Ackie, Johnnie Shields climbed onto the fowl pen roof to hide and fell clean through there was such a commotion, feathers flying everywhere and Johnnie banging on the door to get out, but Mrs Jones had put a padlock on it so I had to climb on the roof reach down and pull him out.


The yard was our playground, and we played allsorts of wonderful games, some of these games are no longer played, as they were quite rough, and the’ elf n safety’ brigade would never allow it,  “leave em alone “Moms would say “It’ll toughen em up”  They have to play some where, Moms would say when someone complained about the noise, “Yo were young wunce wornt ya”.


Ackie one two three, whip and top, hopscotch, skipping, polly on a mopstick, British bulldog, tipcat, marlies, fag packet skimming, were the sort of games we played, Wenches had babbies in a pram and they would wash em, dress em change em, love em, scold em, proudly pushing them around, shoving in a dummy or giving em a titty bottle,  just like proper mothers. It was safe in our yard, everyone would look out for each other, and if there were a stranger about there were always someone to watch em.


Chris, our wench, went down with Scarletina, very ill she was, and the district nurse used to come round on her bike to visit her and give her Penicillin injections, we used to hide from the nurse and our favourite place was on the air raid shelter, we used to climb up the lamppost and onto the roof, our mom would stand on the step calling us and our Chris was scared to come down, she didn’t like injections, but we had to come down in the end.


It was the same with me, I had the worms and the nurse would come round and give me an enema, I hated that, so I hid on the air raid shelter till she got fed up and went, I didn’t half cop out for it.


The air raid shelter was used by our Dad to store his paint and tools; there were loads of other stuff in there.


Wash days were wash DAYS, not like today where everything is put in a washing machine and its done in an hour, we shared our brewhouse with Mrs Mitchell,  the brewhouse contained a cold water tap over a large shallow brown sink, the boiler was a large round cast iron copper, set in brick, under which was the fire to heat the water, this was covered with a thick wooden lid,  also was the wringer, used to squeeze the water out of the washing, also the maiding tub, the washing was put in the tub with hot water and “Maided” with a maid or dolly, this was to loosen the dirt on the clothes before boiling, a Reckits Blue was also thrown in wrapped in a sock, also Robin starch to stiffen collars and cuffs on our dads shirts.


The clothes were then hung on the line to dry, it would take all day to do the washing and woe betide you if ran through the washing with dirty hands, some women used to do the washing hang it out then go to work, hoping it would be dry by the time they got home, if it rained or there was a fog the soot from the chimneys came down with it and it would be dirtier than before it was washed, The women in the yard always looked out for each other, and any sign of rain or fog and they would get it in for you.


Also in the Brew house were our trike and scooter, and loads of other stuff as there was no where in the house to keep it.


Around Bonfire night we would go out plundering, picking up anything that would burn, the council always loped the trees on the bank by the Parade, they choose this time of year so they didn’t have to cart off the branches knowing full well that the kids would take it for the bonfire, there used to be loads of kids fighting for it, we would drag it home and store it on top of the air raid shelter, along with anything else we plundered.


Another good source was the bomb pecks, there were always old doors, rafters ceiling slats.

Come Bonfire night it was all taken down and burnt, it was an occasion for everyone, Moms, Kids and Dads with bottles of ale, I remember once they dragged our pianna out into the yard and we all had a singsong.


On year Chris and I were in bed in the attic when we heard loud bangs we got out of bed and looked out of the window to see Ivor Guest and his sisters June and ?? and their mom & dad letting off fireworks, they must have had loads as it seemed to go on for ages, then all of a sudden “WHAT YA DOIN OUT OF BED” our mom had crept up the stairs and caught us, she didn’t tell us off she watched the show with us, good like that our mom.


14 houses meant 14 families, and they were great folk always looking out for one and other No1 Bakewells, 2 Carters, 3 ?? 4 Pratts, 5 Dugmores  6 Sawyers  7 Curralls  8 Guests  9 Jones  10 Mitchell 11 Shields 12 Towners  13  Faulkners  14 Pikes, the Pikes were my Aunt & Uncle and they had four children, Marleen, Glenda, Mavis and Colin, they eventually moved to Claerwen grove Northfield, Ley Hill, to be exact.


There was only one lad my age in the yard, Johnnie Shields,  Malcolm Sawyer, was a little older he sometimes played with us  but mostly with Johnny Carter who was the same age, there were others in the next yard who we knocked about with, Alan Brown, David and John Jukes, also Ronnie Buffery.




Libby Roberts

Minnie Violet Grice, my wonderful nan.  She was born on 16 November 1909 and lived in Summer Hill Street. 


It is known by the family that Minnie saved a lady from a burning house in the area at around this time however, many years on; we have never been able to trace anything to prove this.  Minnie had had quite a tough life by the time this photo was taken.  She entered the workhouse/Summerhill cottage homes aged 5 years in 1914 when her father left the family to join the army and unfortunately, no money made it back to the family.  The family made it out of the workhouse within about 12 – 18 months.  Her father (William Henry Grice), left the family for good in 1931 and has never been seen nor traced since, not even via a death certificate.  He has, quite literally, vanished.


Minnie had six children with her loving husband Samuel Horace Douglas  (who she met in Summer Hill Street) however, Minnie never told any of them about her past.


Minnie’s son is John Douglas, the author of a Walk Down Summer Lane. She was a patient, loving, witty and kind person, very much loved by all who knew her and we never knew the depth of her strength until we found out about her past many years after she died.


If anyone can add detail to my nan’s past, I would love to hear from you.  Knowing as little as I do, I am sure there is more to uncover about such a wonderful person. 


Please see the GIRL GUIDES page





6th April 2012


Pat Quinn

Hello, I am so happy to have found your site. My name is Patsy Quinn, I was a Kelly from 40 Blythe Street. There were six kids Mary, Carmel, Joan, me, Derek and Paul all in that order. All the girls and Derek went to the Oratory school until 1957.


My first teacher was Sister Barbara I thought she was the sweetest person I ever knew. If we were going to be late for school we would run to the Oratory church and check the colour of the tabernacle curtains and lie and say we were at church. Most times we got away with it but quite often my sisters would still get the cane, as they were juniors and I was an infant and Sister Barbara would take care of me. Sometimes we were lucky and meet other kids that had been to the church for the same reason and they would tell us the colours, save us a few minutes.


In 1957 we moved to Whittington Oval South Yardley. We thought we were in heaven with a four bedroom house, bathroom, inside toilet and big garden. We went to Archbishop Williams School at Tile Cross. We kept in touch with most of the kids from Ladywood for a while but everyone was in different suburbs and slowly we lost contact and in 1962 we came here to Adelaide, South Australia.


I have printed some photos of this site to show my mom who is in a nursing home, it made her so happy and gave her a new lease on life as she tries to remember places. When she was a teenager she left Ireland to live in England and trained to be a clippy on the trams and that’s where she met our dad. She remembers doing the Alum Rock and the Ladywood run that would have been about 1942-43.


Thank you for this fabulous site.




17th February 2012



Sandra Evans

I've attached a photo from Hanger Motors of a badge which was on the back of some cars. Their workshop was based in Sheepcote Street while their showroom was on Broad Street,  Ladywood.

John worked for them after leaving school 1970-1975.





Sandra Evans

Just sending you a few details for the oldladywood site, which I hope you can use.

The 1st photo is of a GPO Telegram sent to my mum, Joyce Cox for her birthday the 12th July 1951 from my father Joseph Soanes.


The 2nd is from my uncle (John Cox of Ladywood) to me for my 18th birthday, 1st March 1973.






Janice Martin (nee Dawson)

I am currently researching my family tree and experiencing problems on my father’s side.

He never spoke much about his childhood or his life before he met my mother, Olive Baker.

He was born and bred in Ladywood; he lived in Camden Street and St Vincent Street. He attended The Oratory where I believe he was a remarkable student. It’s possible he could have gone on to Oxford University if only the family could have afforded it.

His mother Emma died when he was 13 and his father James remarried a couple of years later.

He went to work at Bulpitt’s factory where he worked for most of his working life. Most weekends he would go to The Albion Inn in Sheepcote Street, where Beryl and Fred were the licensees. Me and my sisters spent many happy hours sitting outside with our bottles of Vimto and packets of Smiths crisps during the Summer with our cousins listening to our parents and their friends having a sing song.

If anyone has any info I would be grateful.





2nd January 2012


Syd Rochelle

I stumbled onto your site quite by accident as I was looking for history of Stanmore Road Secondary Modern School, which was the amalgamation of Barford Road Boys School and City Road Girls School in the 1960's.


Looking through the pages of your site bought back some wonderful memories of friendship, hardship and survival.


My name now is Syd Rochelle, I was born Stanley Norgrove and lived in the old Ladywood for many years and my mother is still alive. I shall see if she has any old photographs of Ladywood and it's inhabitants. My mother’s name is Lillian Jean Hennigan (nee Norgove nee Taylor). My brothers are Peter (eldest) Me, Michael (Deceased) and Terry. My Journey started in Hingestion Street in the All Saints area of Birmingham in 1951.


I think we moved from Hingestion Street when I was about 5, we moved  to a brand new development  on the other side of the city, Westheath, the homes were still being built when my family moved into the new maisonette, which had a bath, oh man was that the bee's knees (ha ha) a proper bath, we made friends with the Mowbray's and Lewis's' and I think I went to Turves Green infant school.

The address was 51 Forrell Grove, I'm sure we have pictures of the homes being built, memories of the cement stores spring to mind, me and Michael arriving home from school covered in cement dust!


There was also the fields, we would play in the fields all day during the school holidays, scrumping, floating old prams on water as boats usually sinking with me in them (ha ha) then the climbing expeditions up the electricity mast's, luckily we could never get past the barbed wire to the next stage of the climb!


Then the time we got chased by the pigs, (animal) I had nightmares for a week (ha ha) trying to run as fast as you can in wellington boots is no easy task.


The day I spent with the Rag & Bone man, pushing and old cart full of rags and tat for sixpence in old money, no food all day just a few crab apples, I think I may have been 7 at the time, we walked for miles (it seemed at the time) and did I get a telling off when I got home!


My Mother worked at the Cofton Public House, which is Longbridge where the Austin Motors were made, during my time as an HGV driver I pass the old address also I worked for TNT when they ran the logistics side for BMW/Rover, how small the world gets.


For some reason we had to leave Forrell Grove and our next home would be in 125 King Edwards Road Ladywood. It's only after seeing old pictures now you realise how bleak and dismal the area was, we we're kids we didn't know any different, a new adventure had started.


The house was consisted of a kitchen, living room,2 upstairs bedrooms, we boys had the attic, four to a bed, couple of blankets the rest being old coats, in winter it was freezing and I mean freezing, we would go down the cellar and riddle coal dust to find any bits of coal, then mix the dust with water to make coal dustpies to burn on the fire. Our neighbours were the Prowse's and old Peggy Graham, she kept chickens, and the thing I always remember is the chicken running round after it's head had been cut off so we could eat, that was scary (ha ha).


We had a washhouse and an outdoor toilet which we shared with neighbours, four houses, shared two toilets, two washhouses and between the two toilets were the rubbish bins.


 When we did have money to buy coal we'd get from Moss's in Garbett Street, 1 cwt of coal being pushed in a wooden cart with little cast iron wheels took some moving as a child especially in the snow, we also had friends in Garbett Street, Robert, Colin, Dave and Susan Evans.


I went to Steward Street Junior School and the Headmistress was Mrs Jones, we would play rounder’s outside, the School rounder’s tournament was great, each class would take part and select a team, the winning team won a shilling each, the trips to the swimming baths on Monument Road.

 It was while at Steward Street I went to see the Sound of Music that was one of our better trips out, the new Cinema with all round sound, The Gaumont!


We would collect coal along the railway tracks and near the Train Turntable which was near St Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street, I remember the Social club on the corner not sure if it was the The Railway Club.


We would sneak in the back door of the Ice Rink on Summerhill Street and watch the skaters glide round, then watch in awe as the huge machine cleared the ice and made it all smooth again, a few years later it would become a The Roller Rink and we would pay then to go and roller skate, it was great loved it.


The  Sandpits, The canalside warehouses (derelict) the railway sidings were our playgrounds even the derelict houses which were part demolished were play areas, no Health & Safety in those days ha ha ha, we were Adventurers!


We then had to move to 26 Coxwell Road as the bulldozers were clearing King Edwards Road, at Coxwell Road we met up again with the Evan's family and made friends with the Drapers who lived a few doors down.


 By this time I was going to Barford Road School, Danny Copatch, Tony Hannah, Jimmy Depper, Jimmy Wilson (Quinlan).


The Teachers I remember were Mr Hepburn (Music) and tape on the end of his cane!

 Mr Purcell who took Technical Drawing.


Henry Da Silva (P.T.) Main PT events were either running round the Rezza or Murder Ball, the School hall doubled as the School gym, and classes would pass through even though a PT lesson was in progress, the one thing I hated was forgetting my PT equipment and Da Silva made me wear a towel like a nappy and held together with two huge pins oh the embarrassment when classes changed!

I was only at Barford Road a couple of years when the Barford Road and City Road Girls School merged to become Stanmore Road Secondary Modern.


It was a fair jaunt from Coxwell Road to Stanmore Road so we used to walk along "The Old Boner" track which ran alongside Summerhill Park and all the way to Harborne, an opening had been made and we could get out on Stanmore Road and just nip over the road into School.


The class at Stanmore Road was Me, Paul Elias, John Toghill, Stephen Stokes Dave (EGG) Smith, Ann Kenndy, Lynn Davies, Freda Davis, Susan Clarke just a few I remember.


The one thing that always stays in my mind is bath night, this was usually the Saturday, Mother managed to save enough to get one of those Twin Top washing machines and after all the washing had been done the spinner would run the dirty water out into the tin bath and we would carry the bath into the living room and all bathe two at a time in front of the fire, usually with much splashing and slapping from the parents to behave.