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Elizabeth Kennedy  -  Greengrocer

Joseph Rawbone  -  Coalman

Charles Apps (?)  -  Fish and Chips

Sid Butts  -  Draper

Fred Coleman  -  Hardware

George Taylor - General Provisions  

Frank Cutler  -  Newsagent

Mrs Eliz. Pratt  -  Hosier

William Hilliar  -  Boot Repairer

Giles -  Off Licence

Laura Holland  -  Fruiterer

George Shiner  -  Newsagent

William Davis  -  Butcher

George Shorthouse  -  Boot Repairer

Florence Lewis  -  Dressmaker

Beatrice Evans  -  Pawnbroker

William Wright  -  Off Licence

Pheobe Smith  -  Fish and Chips


27th September 2021



The corner of Shakespeare Road and Garbett Street, June 1967


Shakespeare Road 1968


28th June 2021

Memories of Colin Mytton


My family moved from Villa Street, Hockley to 103 Shakespeare Road on Saturday 28th April 1956 when I was 20 months old. This is our very first electricity bill.



103 was near the top of the road and our yard backed onto the railway right by the station platform. Over our yard wall was the ‘grassy bank’ as we called it which ran alongside the railway line, and we spent many hours over the years playing all sorts of games here. The platform was unused by then as it closed in November 1958. Here are a couple of pictures of the bank taken from both directions.




The girl is sitting on our back wall but as this picture was taken in June 1950 it was before my time. The wall on her left and the end house that is slightly forward next to the track was demolished and the wall rebuilt around 1958 as being unstable and you can see in the first picture the huge concrete supporting block that was put there. Moving into the ‘sixties the gap that was left where the house had been was used by us kids to store our plunder for Bonfire nights. The first house immediately to her left with the small and large windows is 6/97 and the home of my best friend Derek Scott’s grandparents Mr & Mrs Heath. Facing our house was the local grocery store run by Bladon’s and further down on the corner of St Marks Street was the off licence where I would run across to on Friday nights to fill up with chocolate and pop as I got my pocket money then. Across from the outdoor was the newsagents run by Frank Cutler first then Mrs Sharp who moved over from Cope Street, her son Charlie was a great friend also. Then further down was Mr Coleman who sold paraffin and hardware and next door was Sid Butts where we got our clothes from, these were paid for weekly. Other names I recall are Elliott at no. 83, Timms 85, Scott 91, Cassidy 93, Prater 95, Joyce 2/95, Bartlam 97, Garbett 5/97, the Miss Holder sisters next door at 101 and Garrattley the other side at 105.


The constant noise of steam trains struggling up out of the distant tunnel and passing the station didn’t bother us as it was fascinating to watch but looking back it must have been annoying for the adults and the mothers who cursed the soot falling on their weekly washing lines. It all seemed like a perfect little world to us kids, but I now appreciate the hardships and struggles that went with living in such an impoverished area with the constant fear of not having enough money to make ends meet, my mom always made sure we had enough to get by and would nearly always give me a penny for sweets when asked even if it was her last one. Many happy memories and maybe some are through ‘rose tinted glasses’ but the people were genuine and looked after each other. We were safe and had such freedom as kids – can today's parents say that??


Thanks, Mac, for the work you do on this great site.

Colin Mytton








11th June 2021

14-24 Shakespeare Road, 1967









Sid Butt's shop in 

Shakespeare Road


17th December 2019

Memories of Rose Taylor, nee Timms





I take great pleasure in reading about Shakespeare Road, as I lived at 3 back of 35 before moving to 95 where my brother Keith Timms was born in 1944.  Our next move was to the newsagents previously owned by Mrs Cutler.


My father, J. W. Timms ran the shop for approximately 7 years before moving out of the area.


Your website has taken me on some lovely trips down memory lane.  Unfortunately, after a house fire my parents lost all their old photos so I do not have any to share with you, but it would be lovely if someone else has memories of my family and possibly photos they could put online.


I was born in 1934.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Kind regards

Rose Taylor (Nee Timms)




Field Postcard, passed by the Sensor, to Mrs. Gibson, 5 Cornwall Place, Shakespeare Road from her son and dated 1918


3rd November 2019

Memories of Pauline Ruston, nee Butts


Hi, I am wondering if anyone remembers my family that lived at 40 Shakespeare Road from early forties until March 1958 when we emigrated to Australia.


My dad was Frank Butts, who was nephew to Sid Butts that kept the drapers shop further up the street.


My mom was Winnie Butts (formerly Lees from Edward Street). I have two elder sisters, Pat and Pam that attended Osler Street school born in 1942 and 1944 respectively.


My name is Pauline born in 1950 and I attended Nelson Street school. I have specific memories of the area namely Hickman’s the fruit and veg shop, Pearce Bros. shop and going to the public baths on a Sunday for a weekly bath.


Our immediate neighbours were the Lambourne’s, the Watkins and the Hemings.


I wish I could remember more but all my memories are happy ones. Thank you


Pauline Ruston (Butts)



8th August 2018

Memories of Elaine - photographs are copyright

I came across your web site and thought you might like to see this photo of my grandmother Florence Gibson. She was born in 1901 and lived at 5 Cornwall Place, Shakespeare Road – I’m guessing she would have been around 12 years of age when this photo was taken, but I don’t know where it was taken.




The photo is on the back of a post card but there’s no name of any photographic studio or printer on the reverse. The other photo is of her oldest brother Thomas Gibson in his Royal Warwickshire Regiment uniform, during the Great War. Obviously, this photo was taken in a studio, but again there is nothing printed on the reverse of the postcard.



20th November 2016

Memories of Marion Best nee Todd - photographs are copyright


I lived at 8/73 Shakespeare Road



My father, Bill Todd Senior

My mother, Betty with my brother Billy about 1948ish



Marion Best (nee Todd) and Audrey Bowler in the back yard of 8 back of 73 Shakespeare Road

and Audrey lived at number 10 back of 73

Marion Best nee Todd as a Girl Guide

in around 1952

Marion thinks they met at Monument Road and are there any other Brownies out there who remember her and where they met?


Marion, aged 14, the day she left Osler Street School in 1960


My brother Billy Todd with the bow tie was a friend of Trevor Greaves,

he and Billy would practice guitar and drums in our house

Anna Bowler and Betty Todd enjoying an evening at The Railway Club


Dutch relatives of Anna Bowler at the back of her house

The Russell Girls who lived next door

at 9 back of 73 Shakespeare Road

This was taken in our yard with my brother Billy (the older one),

the cowboy is Johnnie Green who lived at number 6

and the lady in the back ground is Ann Bowler

Many thanks to Marion Best nee Todd for these photographs




Memories of Graham Broadbent


Hi, a few details for Shakespeare Road, going back to 1800s, my great grandmother owned the shops past Alexander Street on the left, My Grandfather Albert Hobley was born there 1898, he married   Lillian (LIL) she was from Stoke.


My mother was born in that shop in 1923. Then my Grandfather moved across the road where the other Hobley sisters were born Joyce, Barbara, Patricia. Joyce later Married Gordon Moyle who lived a few doors down from the Commercial Pub. My mother married Albert Broadbent from Stewart Street or Stour Street - will get this right! anyway my parents moved into 2 back of 49, that's where the 5 of us were bought up till 1953; we are Alan (72), John (70), Joy (68), me Graham (67), Keith (65) all living.


We had a phone from the track, for my grandfather in 2 back of 49, he was one of the first bookies in Shakespeare Road from the 30s to the 40s, his mate Billy Hennessey was another bookie, from these two old guys came Teddy Rodgers who worked for Billy and my Grandfathers brother in law Albert Wadsworth, they went onto have betting shops all over the place.


My Grandmother used to run the fish shop, fetching the fish on the back of a motor bike with side car in the late 30s. Sid Butts was a friend of my Grandad and I used to go in the street used to have white window ledges and red steps cardinal polish, last time I was there was in 1966-7 going to see Joe my Grandfathers nick name, we would chat about the first world war. He joined at 16, lied about his age, He was moved out a few years’ latter to Harborne he didn't last long from his roots bless him.


They were supposed to pull the house's down, no not the council the places had gone right down not fit Substandard, yet they put all the poor immigrants in and the lrish families until they eventually pull the road down, let’s face it was wash house's and tin baths, small rooms no heating, you couldn't play marbles or hopscotch the police would clip your ear, what a Road Though, l hope someone finds this of interest.


Graham Broadbent Late of 2 back of 49



8th January 2016

Memories of Peter Davies


I too remember the Bookie in Shakespeare Road. although I was only around 10 at the time so I can't place the gentlemen who would take or pay out the money.


My parents liked a bet and if they won they would send me or my sister to pick up their winnings. We would have to say Jack 22 for my Father or Peter 123 for my Mother.


One day my sister Linda called in on the off chance and said my father’s code, she was given a 1 I think, a lot of money back then. She treated all her friends to sweets. Dad was fuming when he found out and we weren’t allowed to pick up any winnings after that.



14th December 2015

Memories of Bill Barber


Thank you for creating this website and sharing details of places I knew as a child.


Born in 1946, I made many memorable visits to my grandmother's house in Shakespeare Road. My grandparents were Ben & Nellie Rudge who lived in a back house near the bottom of the road, a little way down and on the opposite side from the Commercial Inn 'The Comm' as we called it.


They brought up 13 children in this house. How they managed is a wonder. I was delighted to see photos of the people and places in the road. Sid Butts was my great uncle and I remember going to the shop with my mother (Maggie). What a great surprise to see the photo of the shop and to recognise Sid's daughter, Molly, standing in the doorway! I think I also recognise Sid Butts in the photo of the party outside The Comm and also my uncle, Frank Rudge. Frank, his wife Doris and son Derek lived on the other side of the entry, next door to my grandmother.


I continued to visit my grandmother until I left Brum to work in Durham in 1968 by which time she had been moved into a block of flats somewhere on or near Monument Road.



Thank you again for this amazing site.



8th December 2015


View from Monument Road towards the houses in Shakespeare Road

Photograph courtesy of Albert Moulsdale


3rd December 2015

Memories of John Smith


Hi, I think Bill Lowndes, the bookmaker did live at 80 Shakespeare Road.


My gran and grandfather lived at no 86, they owned the fish and chip shop, our back entry was at the side of Bill Lowndes. Every Saturday morning about 10.30 am they used to give all of the kids a cake from a large tray, we used to form a line down the entry for our free cake.


I remember Bill had a lovely Wolseley 14 car too, the emblem of Wolseley used to light up on the front. I think next door at 82 was the Lindon family, June and Barbara, then at 84 was the sweet shop, Masons. The other side of the fish shop was aunt Edie, she had a couple of check machines we used to play on.


I also remember very well the beer being delivered to the outdoor on the corner of St Marks Street, it was delivered by horse and cart, as most things were in those days.


Best wishes, John Smith



6th June 2015




Does anyone remember my father BILL LOWNDES the bookmaker at I think 80 SHAKESPEARE ROAD he used to have a couple of chaps BOB COLE and CHRISS an Irishman work for him in the 40/50s.

I would so love to catch up with my family's history!


I was born 214 the Broadway Perry Barr in between Villa ground and dog track!


My name is Lawson Lowndes my granddad was Cyril Lowndes from Edgbaston.


What a fantastic site this is.


If you remember Bill Lowndes send in your memories



Photograph of Bill Lowndes premises in 1960





I read with great interest the letter from Lawson Lowndes re his dad Billy Lowndes the Bookmaker in Shakespeare Road Ladywood


I lived with my mom & dad at 13 Cope Street Ladywood, which was the local newsagent and tobacconist in the street. My mother was Dolly Sharp (but everyone knew her as Dolly Glaze(Glaze being her maiden name)My dad's name was Percy Sharp but everyone knew him as Jim. That's how it was in the fifties and early sixties.


Anyway my dad loved a bet especially on a Saturday when the horse racing was on the telly and I was his runner (every time he wanted a bet he used to write the bet out on a piece of paper and then wrap the money inside the paper and send me an 11 or 12 year old at the time to run up Cope Street to Monument Road and then cross over into Shakespeare Road and then I would go down the hill to the Billy Lowndes's shop to put the bet on. It was a small shop from what I can remember. The men who liked a bet were in the room at the front which was always full of smoke and I used to go down an entry to the side door where the bet would be taken off me It was the norm in those days for youngsters to go to the Bookies to put bets on for their parents. There were no signs saying you had to be 18 then.

I can still picture Billy Lowndes as if it was yesterday, I think he used to drive a reddish coloured Jaguar like the one in Inspector Morse. I can still picture Chris as well. He used to take the bets off me, but I cannot picture the other chap. My parents knew Bill and his wife,(whose name I have unfortunately forgotten as the years have passed me by) and when Bill sold the bookies, the last I heard of him was that he was living in what I thought was Hollywood in America and being only a youngster at the time, I did not know there was a Hollywood on the outskirts of B,ham.

I don't know if it was true or not but my dad heard that Bill had in later life gone on to manage Freddie Trueman (the cricketer)


In the late 70's, I went to work initially as a meter reader for what was then the MEB and who should open their door to me but Chris (from the bookies) He was then living in the Weoley Castle area of the city. Now this was some 15 to 20 years later but when I told him my name and my dad's, he remembered me and we had a good old natter about his time at the bookies.


I hope in some way that this tallies with what Lawson knew of his dad


Best wishes as always


Charlie Sharp





I remember taking dads bets to Bill’s when betting was illegal. You  went up the entry between the 2  front doors shown and gave them the bet in a door in the entry. His bet would be coins wrapped in a piece of writing paper with RBR written on. Years later I found out RBR was Royal Berkshire Regiment.






1st April 2015


A couple of photos have come my way from Sheila, a friend of ours who turns out to be a granddaughter of Fred Coleman, shopkeeper, of Shakespeare Road - the shop was next door to Sid Butt's general store.





16th January 2015



1953 Coronation Party in Shakespeare Road


Photograph courtesy of Sheila Elliman

This photograph has copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission




Mr and Mrs. Elliman at 5/43 Shakespeare Road


Photograph courtesy of Sheila Elliman

This photograph has copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission


11th February 2013

Memories of Maureen Greensall

Maureen and Stanley Greensall taken at 1/44 Shakespeare Road, brewhouse is in the background



Mavis Greensall, Maureen Greensall, Betty Hawkins, Pauline Greensall

This was taken at the back of the Methodist Church in Monument Road









Doris, Maureen and Stanley Greensall


Maureen Greensall and Allen Blakeman taken at

1/44 Shakespeare Road


The Blakeman's lived at 123 Anderton Street



 A young girl playing with her doll and pram in Shakespeare Road

A young girl on her "trike" in Shakespeare Road

Shakespeare Road and the corner of Monument Road, April 1960

98 Shakespeare Road, 1967

Shakespeare Road, 1967


This photo is almost certainly in the corner of Shakespeare Road and Garbett Street. I lived facing the Commercial pub in Shakespeare Road and had a friend, Malcolm Clay, who lived a few doors away from your photo.

Looking at the direction which the photo was taken you can see the entry to the road in the top right of the picture (the rectangular shiny bit).


The railway line would be behind the houses on the left. As you went out of the entry Shakespeare Road is facing you and Garbett Street to the right going down to King Edwards rd.


Brilliant Web site. Lived in 'Shaky Road' from 1948 to 1963,now in Redditch.


George Hodgetts( 3/31 Shakespeare Rd.)


ps Long time since I've written that address  

Photograph taken from the back of Shakespeare Road, 1967 -

Photograph copyright and courtesy of Colin Mytton

98 Shakespeare Road, 1967

Commercial Inn

58-68 Shakespeare Road, 1967