Cliff and his dad, circa 1930/31

Cliff and his dad, circa 1930/31

Thanks to Cliff Fleetwood for these photos.   

He writes, my father, Bill Fleetwood, was possibly one of first ‘horse whisperers’, who won vast numbers of trophies for his horses” in the 1920s and 30s. 

He remembers, “”Snowy” Mason, or “Dripping” Ballinger, or Herbert Wathen who lived in Dell Road. Finally Walter Carrol who was the blacksmith responsible for shoeing most of the horses in the area, & who originally acquired the land in Breedon Road from Fishers. Dad bought the whole property from Walter.   

Another horse which was rescued by Billy was a City of Birmingham Corporation horse & was temporarily stabled at Hole Lane during the Blitz.
Timoshenco, Bill Fleetwood's means of transport during WWII

Timoshenco, Bill Fleetwood's means of transport during WWII

A German land mine (a bomb on the end of a parachute) fell and was caught in a tree, without exploding, so the area was cordoned off for a couple of days. The horse was without feed or water so Cliff’s dad dodged the police officer at the top of Hole Lane and took the horse across the field at the rear of the stable, so avoiding any metal, sparks or noise on the roadway from the horseshoes. 

 
A dark mare prepared for show, taken in Cotteridge Park. Picture from Birmingham Post & Mail

A dark mare prepared for show, taken in Cotteridge Park. Picture from Birmingham Post & Mail

Main picture: Billy Fleetwood standing (dwarfed) by 'Norton Statesman' 18hh (that is over 6ft at the shoulder of the horse) in Breedon Rd. The horse was a regular at all the Midland Horse Shows, & also worked for his living

Main picture: Billy Fleetwood standing (dwarfed) by 'Norton Statesman' 18hh (that is over 6ft at the shoulder of the horse) in Breedon Rd. The horse was a regular at all the Midland Horse Shows, & also worked for his living

The last man employed by Fleetwood's to drive horses, and the picture was taken in the late 50s. His job was to cart materials to R.J.Hunt Ltd.

The last man employed by Fleetwood's to drive horses, and the picture was taken in the late 50s. His job was to cart materials to R.J.Hunt Ltd.

2 Responses to “Fleetwood horses”

  • Cliff Fleetwood:

    Hi! just been reading about houses at/on Breedon Hill and association with R J Hunt? The picture shows one of the last horses owned and used by W.R. Fleetwood ltd and man & beast worked soley carting “Ganister” from Lifford Rail sidings to R J Hunt.

  • Keith Mason:

    Hello,
    I was so pleased to see a mention of “Snowy” Mason
    My grandad (my dad’s dad) was Harry “Snowy” Mason.
    He was killed by a motor coach after he left the Pershore Road tram at the junction of Hobson Road / Pershore Road on 18th August 1951 – on his way home from the Grant Arms or the Breedon Cross, I believe.
    I have a copy of a letter, dated 22 August 1951, which W. R. Fleetwood Ltd. sent to my grandmother expressing sympathy on the loss of her husband. It mentions that four members of staff would be acting as bearers of Harry’s coffin at his funeral and states that their and Harry’s combined length of service with Fleetwoods totals 110 years.
    I never met my grandad – I was born in November 1952 – but I have heard many tales about him from my dad and my auntie (my dad’s sister – who still lives in Manilla Road, where our family lived from 1923 onwards).
    I have very few photographs of my grandad and would be grateful if anyone has any memories of him.
    Thank you for writing this article. Best wishes, Keith Mason

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