All material, including images, on this website are subject to copyright

and cannot be used on social media or any other internet websites without permission


Home Page



15th August 2017

Memories of Ricky Gibbins - photographs are copyright

Memories of Stour Street


Hi Mac, great site.


Sadly, my dad Harry Gibbins passed away in January this year, so, having sifted through some of his stuff, I thought I should put down some of his memories of ‘’the old end’’.


I was born at 411/2 Stour Street, in 1951, this end of the street was demolished in 1954.



This photo shows 411/2 and 42, the first 2 doors on this side of the street. The house was a pub called the Telegraph in about 1908, but when it closed I presume it was turned into 2 houses.


All the house numbers are correct for the street print, except number 42 on the corner. This was Putter’s shop as we knew it then. The actual address of his shop is 26, Cope Street, as you can see if you look at your photos of Cope Street, the number 26 can be seen at the top of the wall near the guttering. 411/2 and 42 are the first 2 houses on the corner of opposite Putter’s shop.


My dad, Harry Gibbins lived at 2 back of 46 with his brothers Jack and Reg, sister June and his mom and dad, Sam and Floss Gibbins. Grandad was a glazier somewhere that made windows for ‘’charabancs’’. Nan was a polisher when she could get work.

My grandad on mom’s side, was Bill Glazebrook, a coal merchant. He lived at 411/2 Stour Street with Elsie, my nan, daughter Nell my mom, and sons Bill, Jack and Jim. I’ve scanned his rent book for 1948/9, just look at the conditions of tenancy on the back page.  People knew grandad as Thumby because he had 2 thumbs on his left hand. His horses and cart were kept in the stables in our yard behind the house, if you look at the rent book it says house, coal yard and stabling. Grandad and the Moss family were big friends, I only remember Mrs Moss, Billy and Topper Moss.


In Cyril Beer’s article on Cope street he mentioned that one day a horse and cart bolted from the wood yard, Powell's, at the top of Cope Street, down the hill and finished up with its’ head inside our front room. Dad remembered it well, he said the horse had to be ‘’knackered’’, done with a bolt, a hammer and a crane to drag him off to the glue factory, or so he remembered.





Dad and his brother Jack volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1942 and1943, and dad wrote to mom during his war years. Photos of 2 forces mail letters from dad to his mom and nan in Stour Street.



Mom’s mother Elsie Glazebrook, my nan, died in 1946 aged 53. Dad’s brother Reg died in 1947 aged 17. Mom’s brother Bill Glazebrook was killed in action in 1944 aged 24.

Mom and dad married and moved into 411/2 in 1949. My sister April was born in 1950 and me in 1951. We moved in 1953to West Heath due to demolition on that side of the street, but grandad Glazebrook moved further up Stour Street on the opposite side. Grandad and nan Gibbins and June, moved to 1 /34 Victoria Terrace, Clark Street. We used to visit both grandparents every Saturday.


Families I remember mentioned in Harbourne Terrace which was where gran and nan lived, back of 45 and 46, were the Hubble's, the Prestage's, the Haycock's, the Bushell's, the Andersons the Pickard's and the Austin's.


I’ve got a few photos here of the Coronation Street party, the medal and the event program for that day in Stour Street. I hope somebody might remember some of the names on the event list and imagine the great feeling of patriotism and friendship the people of those days must have felt.


Stour Street Medal


Nan, Floss Gibbins, June Gibbins, me and April, must have been a bit chilly before the adult celebrations started, judging by the coats.

Don’t know any of these people, anybody got a clue?


Only recognise my nan, anybody know anyone?



25th March 2016

Memories of Lynn Goodenough


Hi, just looked at your web site photos.


My Grandparents ran the outdoor number 47 next to Mrs Moss's coal yard. My mother worked in the outdoor too. She is now 94.


The family were moved to Acocks Green by the council in 1954/5. I was born in Stour Street in 1951.  I remember Mrs Moss as we used to go and visit friends until they knocked everything down.


Lovely picture of the outdoor standing alone with Mitchell's and Butlers sign over the door. 


I will show your pictures to my mother, she will remember the names.



23rd June 2014

Memories of John Shelley - photographs are copyright

Another photo of Stour Street, it shows a 1937 coronation celebration street party in Stour Street, the young man centre front with shirt sleeves rolled up is my uncle George Shelley.



Also, a close-up street map image of the top end of Stour Street with house numbers indicated.




Finally, a studio photo of two local St. John’s ambulance men, again unidentified. I’m pretty confident they are family connections and thus connected to Stour Street, the background is exactly the same as another photo of my granddad, so I assume it was taken at a similar time in the 1920’s. The back of the photo has been scribbled over with some kind of score results (probably by my grandfather), but two dates can be made out – 7th August 1932, and 18th Feb 1939.... These may date the photo, or not!




29th April 2014

Memories of Jenny Moseley - photographs are copyright

I am emailing you on behalf of a man I recently met named Ken. He lived in Stour Street in Birmingham from his birth in 1936 until his family moved out of the area to make way for the houses to be demolished in 1956. He can remember the street quite clearly from 1952 onwards, although he has many memories of it before then. His earliest memory was of the electric cables going into the road for electricity in the 30’s. He has drawn a diagram of the layout of the street as he remembers it which I have attached to show you.




He was really interested in your site and had a good many details to add to what had already been collected. The first was concerning the photograph of houses on ‘Stour Street’. He pointed out to me the graffiti on the wall between the third and fourth doors down and explained that he was the one who had drawn it!


He remembers that during the war (he was aged 8 at the time) he drew the ••• V - , the sign of the resistance. He told me that whilst there had been the fear of a German invasion, the Morse code for V (••• -) had been used as a symbol of the resistance – especially in France, and often heard before reports on the radio. He had drawn it on the wall of the house as an act of defiance in case of a German invasion!


The second was about the photograph of the two girls that was contributed by John. He remembered both May Shelley and Ivy Patrick (who is definitely the older girl in the photograph). He told me that Ivy went on to have a child in the 40’s who Ken used to play with, also called Ivy Patrick.


He confirmed John Day’s recognition of the shop in the coronation photo as being Markham’s, with the shop on the other side of the road to the picture (almost opposite) named Bostock. He also recognised some of the people in the photograph which I have also attached.



He asks that if anyone wanted any more information concerning any of the families who lived in the area, notably the Aymes or Lowe families that they could get in contact with him on this email address and he would tell them what he knows.


Thank you for your help and for all the work you put into your site,


Jenny Moseley



14th February 2014

Memories of John Day - photographs are copyright

I believe the photo of the street party [Coronation] in Stour Street was outside No 7 back of 25, Markham's was the shop, two doors right of the entry the lamp post is also a giveaway. I moved there John Day with Janet and Michael 56/57. We all lived at 7/75, the Kane`s, Tranters, Broom and Mrs Markham lived in our yard. We moved out 1965? due to demolition, I loved every minute had a paper round in the Brookfield area, Constable`s was the newsagent in Icknield Street.


As an old Neil Sedaka song goes, [I miss the hungry years, the once upon a time, that lovely long ago we didn’t have a dime the days of me and you I lost along the way] of course I was only a kid then, had no worries trying to make ends meet, unfortunately our mom and dad had that to bare and they did a very good job too.


I can never remember getting cold or going hungry we always had enough.


Our house had one living room with the oven in the right alcove and the sink in the left alcove with coal fire in the middle, the coal hole off the living room under the stairs, which lead up to the two bedrooms, on cold winter nights like most we had a P bucket on the landing, three families shared an outside toilet in the yard .but we had our own brewhouse with a sink and copper boiler posh or what?


On bonfire night we had a big bonfire, fireworks and roast spuds often burning down the adjacent fences, most kids used to wonder from one bonfire to another to see who had the biggest ours would last until the early hours of the morning and still soldering the next morning.


Running errand's to the shops on Springhill [faggot and peas, meat pies or Gibbons the chippy] or the back street bookies for the neighbour's ,got me one old penny more if the horse`s came in at good odds, but Watty Green stopped that when the bookies went legal .


Did anyone have to collect 1/2 hundred weight of coal in a barra from Clissold Street and then take the barra back again that was hard in the snow n` ice, after my paper round I played football at the GEORGE ST WEST REC, or hung around on the corner of Stour Street and Springhill Passage, we could hear them singing in the White Swan, Friday to Sunday [they went home in between of course]. Mom would bring out crisps and pop if I popped my head around the door.


Sunday lunch, we always had a roast and pudding, neighbour's shared then, helping out where they could sending round small items ,sometimes you gave, others times we received , kids made friends and fell out over the sliest things but soon made up again.


John Day



19th October 2012

Just thought you might like this photo for you site? Not sure where about it was taken perhaps someone may remember the shop?

The couple standing to the right of the entry were my late father’s parents "William Jones & Rachael Mary Jones nee Banford, he was her second husband her first being a John Green, who died of Pneumonia aged 32, he was related to Watty Green, she used to tell stories of a her giving out hot cross buns to the local children that were purchased by Watty, there was a yard behind a pub where she collected them from, I take that this was the Cross Keys that he ran.



Names added to the photograph


1st June 2007

Memories of John Shelley - photographs are copyright


I just came across your wonderful site. What a marvellous resource!


I myself grew up in North Birmingham, but my father was born and raised in Stour Street, Ladywood. We're researching our family history and I've been restoring several old family snapshots, several of which people we're currently unable to identify with confidence. I thought I'd offer a couple here in case anyone recognises some faces. The family names I'm particularly researching are SHELLEY, who lived at 34 and 36 Stour Street and GRIFFIN


Photograph 1

A faint pencil note on the back of this photo from the mid 1920's says "36 Stour St". The younger child is my great Aunt May Shelley, but the older child we're not certain of. My father thinks it might be Ivy Patrick, who was very close to the family but I've not been able to trace any record of her. 


Photograph 2

For interest I've also included this shot of my grandparents Albert and Beatrice Shelley (nee Griffin) with daughter May and son Ken, taken at 34 Stour Street in the early 1930's. The 2-seater bike was built by one of my grandfather's brothers who worked at Hercules Cycles.


Photograph 3

Almost certainly Stour Street around the 1920's, but we're not sure who the subjects are. 


My immediate Shelley family moved to Kingstanding in the late 1930's, but if anyone has information on the Shelley or the Griffin families I'd be very interested in hearing from them.


The oldest snapshot we have is of my great grandmother Ann Griffin (nee Hern), my father's maternal grandmother, probably snapped some time between 1875-1880.


I'm curious where the shot might have been taken, it looks like it might possibly be a pub in the background, unfortunately there's not much to go on and the original is very faded indeed, this is an enhanced version.


In 1881 the family residence was 95 Monument Road.







Many thanks, and congratulations on a tremendous website.


All the best





Stern and Bell, Stour Street, 1957

Stour Street, 1954

Stour Street, 1957

1-15 Stour Street


Auto Set Ltd., Stour Street, 1959