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1st March 2014

My paternal and maternal sides of the family lived in the Oozells Street/ Sheepcote area of Ladywood, so it’s been of great use for me in family tree research, my Great, Great, Great grandfather Charles Ratheram was appointed caretaker of the Presbyterian Church in Broad Street in 1834, and his son James ended up as Sunday School Superintendent until 1923, my maternal grandfather Fred Vizor could remember James as a very old man when Fred was at Sunday School there.


As you probably know the Presbyterians built the church in Broad Street in 1848, and used it till their congregations dwindled in the late 19 century and was eventually sold, and the Presbyterians moved to the old Sunday School buildings in Oozells Street North, always known as the Guildhouse, this is the buildings that the pictures are of, my grandfather Fred above became an Elder there in 1950 and stayed until it was closed due to compulsory  purchase in 1969, I can remember going there as I grew up, and if I ever smell coal gas (unlikely these days I know) I am transported straight back to the big downstairs hall and rooms.


This shows a Church anniversary supper in the Stage room on the second floor, don’t know what anniversary it is, but must be about 1966, as I look about 5 or 6, only names I know are from the left nearest table Audrey & Dennis ?

John Ratheram (Dad), Alison Ratheram (my sister, Shirley Ratheram (Mom) & me


This was the final supper to celebrate the life of the church since 1824, the Church being closed down due to compulsory purchase in 1969, the building stood till the late 1970s, anyone travelling down Broad St on a bus would see it looking down the side street, Mom & Dad painted the front in green and cream in the 1950s, names nearest the camera, Audrey, Lesley & Dennis Hingly, Shirley Ratheram ? Rose Vizor, facing Mom, is Amy Price, and next to her Nellie Hall nee Vizor, the rest I don’t know


Has written on the back "At the closing of Broad St, old Minute books and Communion Plate" Nellie Hall is in front, Agness Vizor behind her, Amy Price behind her, the rest not too sure, I think the pictures stuck to the wall are some of the ones I have now, wonder where the rest went?


Is the same as above, names from the left David Solace, Janet Fenton, Dolly Fenton ? ? ? Gary Levine, Diane Vizor, (my auntie) Mrs Parks is standing at the back, Mr Cranston is the Minister, on the right is David Vizor (my Uncle) Rita Phillips, Alison Ratheram, Ethel? the rest I don’t know


Photographs courtesy of Andrew Ratheram

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