MEMORIES OF LADYWOOD

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January 2014 - November 2014

 

 

 

30th November 2014

 

 

 

Memories of Sandra Fisher

This photo is of my grandfather Albert Coton, but I'm not sure where it was taken, but I'm assuming somewhere in Ladywood.

 

Albert is third from the right. There's a Barclay's Bank behind the group and a building with columns on the right. I presume the men are off for a day out - perhaps 1920's.

 

 

This one is of my grandfather, Albert Coton at St John's School in 1880.

 

He is third from left on the second row back, arms folded, hair parted down the middle.

 

The Coton family lived in Ladywood from 1870 to 1933. Albert was a toolmaker at Joseph Lucas for much of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of Mavis Mills

 

Looking at your web-site was delighted to see memories of Gordon Waldron of Barker Street. I wonder if he remembers me, I lived just further along in Barker Street from about 1935 to 1951 and I recall he and his cousin Brenda Avery very well indeed, in fact I think they used to take me to school when I was very young.

 

I also seem to remember I had a big crush on him for many years but he was not interested as I was much younger. I had many cousins who also lived in the area, Terry and Harry Stone who lived in the same yard as Brenda, the Gibbons family who lived in Garbet Street, the Savegars who lived in Shakespeare Road, and the Baileys, Arthur, Ken and Robert, who lived opposite in Barker Street.

 

Most of them have now passed away but I am still in touch with Ken who now lives in Cardiff, having married a Welsh girl. I also have lived for over 30 years in Wales, having moved when Girling’s relocated to Cwmbran in 1983.

 

Two of my children still live in Halesowen and Stourbridge, and while visiting my daughter in Stourbridge a few weeks ago she took me to the new Library in Centenary Square where we were able to purchase the old maps of Ladywood and what memories they invoked. We walked to the top of the Steps and it all came flooding back - OK maybe we were poor by today`s standards but we were happy and it was a great community to live in.

 

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers me.

 

 

 

 

Memories of Stephen Byrne

 

My name is Stephen Byrne now living in Ireland since 2007, however I was looking on your site and it did bring back some happy memories. I am 1 of 7 children and I was born in 1960 at 30 Beech Street and I am sure that looking at the 3rd picture of Beech Street 1967 I am convinced that our house (which we moved from in 1966 to Ward End) is the 3rd one up from the entry on the left, I can remember that our neighbour was a Mrs Peg, but can’t remember if she lived next door or next door but one coming back down towards the entry.

 

 I can also remember the shop at the end of the road which I think was an outdoor on the corner of Beech Street and Freeth Street and I also remember that all 7 of us kids slept on the 3rd floor bedroom and that there was a huge hole in the bedroom wall between us and the neighbour and there was a sheet of wood against the hole in the wall separating the adjoining neighbours bedroom which we would often move out the way and go into their bedroom and play with 2 young lads from next door.

 

I have lots of happy memories and recall often pinching milk from the milk floats as they loaded up at the dairy at the bottom of the road and when the houses facing us were demolished and we would all gather up old mattresses and stack them up in front of derelict houses and all the local kids would gather and jump from the second and 3rd floor windows.

 

 

 

 

 

23rd September 2014

 

 

Memories of Sarah Marsh

 

In my family there are massive generation gaps, my father, Harry Marsh, being no.10 of 12 and his mother, Florence Walton, being no.10 of 11. My paternal grandfather, William Marsh, was born in 1848 in Staffordshire and Florence in 1863 in Cox Street off St. Paul's Square.  It would seem that after her father's death in 1868 and after the 1871 census the family moved to 43 Garbett Street and Florence's mother subsequently lived at 3 Shakespeare Road where she died in 1908. Subsequent to their marriage at St. Mark's Church in 1889, in the 1891 census William and Florence were living at 65 St. Mark's Street. William Marsh died in 1914 and Florence in 1927, my father in 1973, long before I had any interest in the family history!  I now realize that since 1952, on most days of my life on my way to school and work I would have passed that end of Shakespeare Road where my great grandmother would have lived and sadly I was in total ignorance of the fact. Probably like many Ladywood residents of the time.

 

William' s work was in the Jewellery Quarter for he had set up a metal turning business  by 1875, this may have been in Pope Street originally, but certainly at 40 St. Paul's Square by 1881 where he remained until 1912 when he had  the factory built at the corner of Brook and James Street (now home to the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and behind this the renowned 'Lasan' Indian restaurant); following his death, the business was run by his wife Florence until her death in 1927, whereupon that building was sold and my father and his older brother continued in business in Pitsford Street, then Victoria Works in Vittoria Street and it  finally went out of family ownership in 1979.

 

Whilst I know that there was abject poverty in Birmingham at the end of the 19th century and the Workhouse was never far from the minds of many people, I realize that there was great opportunity for those willing to graft and find 'niches' for their products, for Birmingham was a hive of small businesses, and seemingly my Grandfather was successful too  in so far that, from very humble beginnings, he realized that a good education was paramount and I am amazed that out of twelve children, nine were educated at King Edward's Foundation Schools, over a span of 20 years, this at a time when education there was not free, additionally two of the girls went on to Birmingham University (within the first ten years of females being admitted), again this had to be paid for, the cost depending on the degree taken; no small wonder then that my father had only a shadowy recollection of his father William, who died before he was 10 years old-for his father must have always been at work or attending to the new building works in order to make enough money to educate and care  for such a large brood! (he might have had a bit of peace and quiet there too away from the family!!)

 

I will now, hopefully, look at the Rate Books for Shakespeare Road, Garbett Street and St. Mark's Street and see what else I can fit into the family jigsaw;  it's wonderful that photos have been archived of areas now gone and those you have sent all add to the jigsaw; maybe more research will uncover more Ladywood connections. I did enjoy the Birmingham Lives event; it was my first visit to it.

 

 

 

 

 

10th September 2014

 

Memories of Ian Jones

I lived in Elizabeth Fry house from 1958 or 9 and I lived with my parents at 162 which was on the second floor in the middle right up to 1970.

 

I went to Ladywood Primary School (which as far as I know is St. John’s now) I was probably one of the first pupils (all I remember about the teachers was a Mr Horton who taught the 10year olds).

 

During the summer hols we were never in, we were either out with our parents at places like Cannon Hill Park (me and a close friend that lived in Lincoln Tower would go with our mothers and our fathers would come  from work and we would have a picnic). If we were on our own there was a washing area at the side of Collette House where we would play cricket or football in the winter. We also played hide and seek around the estate, where one of us started at one end and try to get to the other without been seen. When we were a bit older we would go and spend hours playing tennis at the park on Ladywood Road.

 

I wonder if anybody remembers the barbers, on Ladywood Road?

 

 

 

 

 

 

5th August 2014

 

 

Memories of Beryl Phillips, nee Evans

 

WELL, WHAT AN AMAZING SITE. !!!! IT HAS RETURNED MEMORIES LONG FORGOTTEN.

 

WHEN I WAS ABOUT 9-10 YEARS OLD IN THE WINTER, WHEN WE DID HAVE LOTS OF SNOW WHEN IT FROZE AND WE WOULD GET A PIECE OF ANY THING TO SLIDE DOWN THE “BOMB SITE” HILL WHICH WAS AT THE TOP END OF  BELLBARN ROAD  TOWARDS ELVETHEM  ROAD.   THAT’S WHERE WE ALSO HAD OUR BIG BONFIRES, COLLECTING ALL WHICH WOULD BURN FOR WEEKS BEFORE. THEN HAVING 2/6 SHILLINGS WORTH OF FIREWORKS. WHEN OUR FIRE WAS NEARLY OUT WE WOULD HAVE A WALK AROUND TO SEE OTHER BONFIRES.

 

MY FATHER , TED EVANS WAS A GREEN GROCER WHEN LOTS OF THINGS CAME IN WOODEN BOXES TIED WITH  ROPE, {HARD TO GET JUST AFTER THE WAR}, I USED TO KNOT LENGTHS  TOGETHER LONG ENOUGH TO THROW OVER THE ARM OF A LAMP POST, TAKING TURNS WITH FRIENDS , SIT ON THEN “SWING AROUND THE POST “ GREAT FUN.

 

GOING ON THE TRAM, SITTING AT THE FRONT ON TOP GOING TO THE LICKEY HILLS, BOTTLE OF POP AND SOME SANDWICHES, ALWAYS EATEN BEFORE WE GOT THERE!!!!

 

OLD FRIENDS, JEAN GRIFFITHS, LIVED IN IRVING STREET PAST BRADSHAWS, JOYCE BENNENT, LIVED IN OWEN STREET. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO WENT TO ST THOMAS’ SCHOOL SENIORS, 1951-1955.

 

I WENT TO “ST THOMAS’ SCHOOL, OPPOSITE THE SCHOOL WAS A BOMB SITE, A CHURCH. IT WAS A PILE OF “BIG ROCKS “ BACK IN 1948-1951,WHEN ME AND MY FRIENDS USED TO PLAY “CHASE” ON THEM, WE HAD  GREAT FUN, IT WAS A MEETING PLACE,. THEN WE WOULD WALK UP BATH ROW TO WATCH FROM THE BIG WINDOW INTO DAVENPORTS SEEING THE “BEER BOTTLES” GOING PAST, BEFORE GOING INTO CRATES. DAVENPORTS WAS JUST BEFORE THE “ACCIDENT HOSPITAL” WHERE MY MOTHER WORKED PART TIME, ROLLING UP BANDAGES FOR THE THEATRE.

 

I HAVE LIVED IN AUSTRALIA FOR 18YRS, HAVE A GOOD LIFE, 74YRS OLD NOW, BUT GREAT MEMORIES OF BIRMINGHAM.

 

“ALL GOOD FUN” HA HA HA.

LOVED THOSE TIMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

11th July 2014

 

 

Memories of Carol Myer (nee Rose)

 

Hello, my name is Carol Myer (nee Rose). I am originally from Birmingham, now living in the States. I was looking at the Old Ladywood site, and I see that you accept photos from viewers.

 

I have 3 photos that I would like to share. My maternal grandparents lived at 11 Freeth Street in Ladywood for years, until the houses were torn down to make way for high-rises (in the early 1970's, I think). There are photos on your site of their house on Freeth Street. My mom and her 2 younger brothers grew up there, the family name was Reeves, my grandparents were May and John Reeves.

 

My mom, Jeanne, was born in 1926, and her brother John (aka Bill) in 1930, and Donald in 1936. There is a photo of my mom out the back of Freeth St when she was about 13, right about when the war broke out. There is another photo of my mom and her mates sitting by the reservoir, on their way to the Tower Ballroom, probably late 1940's.

 

I don't know who the other women are, maybe someone will recognize them (mom is 2nd from the right, with a white bow in her hair). The third photo is of me behind my Nan’s home on Freeth Street, I think around 1960. I was about 4, and I was with a boy that came over to play when I was at my Nan’s.  I can’t remember the boy's name; again, maybe someone will recognize him from the photo. I think he, or his Nan lived across the back from Freeth St (Icknield Square?).

 

 

Jeanne and her friends

Jeanne Reeves

Carol with a neighbour

Do you know the name of the little boy?

 

 

I hope you can share my photos, thanks for the great website.

 

 

 

Memories of Robert Godwin

Thanks for hosting this site; it was a real surprise for me when I accidentally ran into it.

 

From a couple of the pictures I can see the house we used to live in, number 92, which was an opening to the terraced homes behind so they were 1 back of 92 etc or 1/92. There were about 10 houses behind us along with a communal boiler house.

 

We also had an air-raid shelter stuck on the side of our house.

 

I remember Pat Sheppard although I was only a kid then; we lived there from about 1962 to about 1969. We all went to St John's on Monument Road under the headmistress, Mrs Smethurst (a fearsome woman); she at least gave me a taste for classical music with her constant playing of Greig's Hall of the mountain king etc., we also went to St John's church... it's still there.

 

Canon Norman Power was the vicar there for a long time and at Christmas we used to go up and collect presents from the altar area.

 

For senior school I went to Barford Road Boys which promptly amalgamated with City Road Girls to form Stanmore Secondary.

 

I still know a couple of people from my time there.

 

 

Thanks

Robert

 

 

 

 

 

23rd June 2014

 

 

Memories of Brenda Fazakarley (nee Noon)

 

We lived at 11 back of 119 Osler Street - six houses each side of the yard and a "double knack" entry.  I can only remember 10 of the residents. On our side?  Bodfish family; Lane family (children Brian and a girl); Wood family (children Horace and Gordon) and Mrs Wood was a cleaner at the school;   my family the Noons; and Mrs Brennan who was the mother of Mrs Kath Clarke.

 

On the opposite side we had the King family (eldest daughter was Elsie); Clarke family (John, Jim, Philip and  Sally); Bowens; ???? and the Doveys  who had a boy and a girl.

 

We shared outside loo with the next door neighbour and in the winter the toilets would freeze up and you would have to take a bucket of hot water to help with the freezing.

The worst of all was the coal house - it was in the kitchen.  We had the boiler in the one corner; sink under the window; (no privacy when washing); the fireplace and in the other corner was a door to the coal house.  The coal merchants were named Luckmans, I think, and would come trudging in the kitchen to drop the cwt bags of coal.

 

The houses at the front of our yard/terrace were rather nice ie parlour type they used to be called.  I remember one family, the Berrows, and Jean who was a little older than I were friends and on one occasion came with us on holiday - to Bournemouth in fact.

 

 

We did have "front room" and a bit of a garden with an Anderson shelter. We kept chickens and there was a 6' wall at the bottom with Osler Street school the other side. We had a drain in the middle of our yard and I used to play "top and whip" - you put the top in the middle of the drain with the whip ie string around it and the top spun around the yard. We made patterns with coloured chalk on the top to make it pretty.

 

I never forget my background but our previous house was in Smith Street, Hockley, and was even worse!

 

We must have moved to Osler Street about 1943 and moved to the Northfield council house in1952, so my life in Ladywood was quite short.

 

We had gaslight at 11/119 but then we had the option of going electric which my parents had to pay for.  Those gas mantels were dreadful - I can see my dad now trying to light the mantel and sometimes he would break the darned thing and mother would get upset if we hadn't got a replacement.  What a performance! But it was lovely when the electricity was installed.

 

Times were hard but my parents never owed money nor had "strap” like the shops used to offer.  You paid back on a Friday when you got your wages.

 

We always had good food - my dad needed it because he was a factory worker and everyone in those wartime days were very kind and helpful to each other.

 

I can never forget my upbringing and love gardening (in spite of now being 80) and just wish my mum and dad could come to stay with me and enjoy some of the pleasures my late husband and I shared. They both passed away in 1970 and were only 60 years of age.

 

 

 

 

24th March 2014

 

 

Memories of Maureen Carroll

I was thinking the other day of the Birmingham Rag week organised by the students at Birmingham University. Many floats were made ready in Cambridge Street just off Broad Street. Rag Week was such a fun time. I lived not far from Cambridge Street and many of us used to go up there to watch the floats being decorated.

 

The choosing of the Rag Queen was run by the Birmingham Mail.

 

I have tried to find out about this big event held in Birmingham City centre in the 1940's and 1950's Someone I was acquainted was one of the queens.

 

Does anyone have any information on the ''Rag'' or the Queens.

 

Regards,

 

Maureen Carroll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of Linda Thomas, nee Bushell

My name is Linda Thomas nee Bushell we lived in Summer Road I went to  St Thomas's School in Bath Row I have 4 brothers Alan, Derek, Michael, David and a sister Moya.

 

My grandmother was killed in the war by a bomb dropping on her house in Summer Road in 1942.

 

My mom Elsie Bushell nee Waight has lived in all her life in the Ladywood area before she married my dad she worked at Bradshaw’s curtain shop in Gregoe Street, does anyone remember the Chemist shop in Bath Row which had the big bottles with coloured liquid in, in the window.

 

Does anyone remember a teacher called Mr Mogford who worked at St Thomas's then went on to work at Lea Mason.

 

Such lovely memories.

 

 

 

 

1st March 2014

 

 

Memories of Andrew Ratheram

 

Ruston Street, the back of the picture says Jubilee party 1935, but as Mom was born in 1934 she is clearly older than one, so I think it must be the Coronation of George VI, Mom was living with her parents in Ruston Street then, the little girl in the white party hat second from extreme left is my Mom, Shirley Ratheram nee Vizor, the tall woman standing next to her eating is my Nan Rose Vizor, nee Taylor, the only other people Mom knows there are the woman on the extreme left who is Mrs Brown, and the two small children to the right of Nan are Mrs Browns children Margie and Bernard

 

Again Ruston Street Coronation, Mom is this time on the right still wearing her hat

 

 

Moms grandparents were living in Sheepcote Street about this time, and this is Sarah Ann Taylor outside her front door, about 1938 again

 

Shows William and Sarah Ann Taylor with Mom, Shirley Vizor outside in the yard of Sheepcote Street, approx 1938

Is Oozells Street North, on a rainy Sunday in the mid-1960s, the Ford Pop, behind the Riley belongs to my Granddad Fred Vizor,

again looking back this is how I remember the street, in the rain!!

 

The church in Oozells Street North was on two floors, upstairs was the church itself, and a room called the stage room, this picture shows a meeting of the Thursday fellowship, probably late 1950s, as I wasn’t born when Mom used to attend, names, on the left is Mom- Shirley Vizor, Audry ?, on the right I think are Hilda & Amy Price, ?, Winnie Broughton, Rose Vizor, Fred Vizor

Is a view of the interior of the church obscured by the Harvest Festival decorators, left to right at the back, Shirley Vizor, Amy Price, Mrs Bently, Rose Vizor, bottom row Miss Badham, Winnie Broughton, Hilda Price Ethel Reeves. photo dated 1959

 

Photographs courtesy of Andrew Ratheram

These photographs are copyright

 

 

 

14th January 2014

 

 

Memories of Irene Smith, nee Trapp

I enjoyed reading the article from Barbara Easy about my Auntie Gertie and Uncle Wilf Watkins of Osler Street  I loved them to bits and loved going to them every Sunday morning ,as dad and Uncle Wilf used to go for a pint at the Reservoir Tavern.

 

I am still in touch with Cousin Pat and she is fine and still gets about. I now live in France but always go and make a visit to her when we go back to Birmingham to see the family.

 

I also used to sit and shell peas with Auntie Gert and if my memory serves me correct I think a photo of the houses there, is in one of the Ladywood Books that my cousin Albert Trapp bought me as a present one year.

 

We used ti live in Rann Street, 5 houses down from Ladywood Road and I do wish I could trace a few of the people I knew at school and the Girl Guides from the Church in Stirling Road. Brenda Pickering, she used to live in Osler Street. Another girl was Annette Beeby and she lived in the house next door to the garage on Ladywood Road and opposite Beaufort Road. Furbers the funeral directors was next to the garage. At guides there was Jean Hines and a girl with red hair called Joyce.

 

 Others at school were Norma Coles whose father ran the newsagents on Ledsam Street. I have a photo of her when we went to France with the school.   Iris Bloor and Margaret Ecans who both lived in Alston Street. I went to Osler Street School from 1942 until summer of 1953. I still remember Miss Ray who was the Infants Headmistress.  Miss Shakeshaft was my first teacher there.

 

I have had a good life really ,married now for 55 years in February, and have 4 daughters, 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter and now 2 great grandchildren ,one of each. I have a variety of jobs from shoe shop to Marketing Manager in Finance. Showed judged and bred Afghan Hounds and Borzois and travelled the length and breadth of the Country showing the dogs and judging them.

If there is anyone out there who does remember me I would love to hear from any of you.

 

 

 

 

Memories of Reg Rowe

My name is Reg Rowe 2/107 St Marks Street. DOB 30/12/52. St Johns C of E followed by Follet Osler & Stanmore Road.  Brilliant teachers, brilliant people and fantastic childhood in an area you had to look after yourself.

 

Charlie Sharp if I recall Charlie as an eleven/twelve year old had a snooker table upstairs? I use to go there regularly, I also recall Charlie at a problem with his toes?

 

 If it was your Birthday and you visited the shop the old girl would always give you a present. I did get caught out once but to be honest I did push it. In 1963 I had 4 birthdays.