Vic writes:

“I’m trying to find out two things from the 70s about Kings Norton.

First I remember around the very early seventies that there had been animal sacrifices in the Barn at Hawksley, can anyone shed any light on this subject? I remember it in the press but cant find anything on the Internet.

Secondly, does anyone remember what year the canal bridge opposite the old Primrose Hill school collapsed? Again i have a vauge idea it was 1978 but I want to be sure as I’m collecting the information for a future book.

27 Responses to “Kings Norton in the seventies”

  • Carol:

    I have a vague idea that it was more round the early 80s as I was living around there from 1981.

  • Trevor Price:

    I don’t know if this helps because I am not aware of any animal sacrifices taking place, but I was a police officer on the old ‘B2’ sub-division covering Hawksley Farm in the mid 70s when I had cause to visit the farmhouse, which was uninhabited at the time.
    It was long time ago and my memory is not so good but I believe we’d had a report of lights being seen in the farmhouse at night. Sgt Roy Geraghty and I found a pentagram painted on the floor in one of the downstairs rooms. I did take a photograph of the pentagram but I’m not sure what happened to it. I may still have the negative somewhere.

  • Vic:

    The pentagon was painted on floor, I believe, by the same group who were practicing witchcraft. The Evening Mail did a report on it but I cant find anything on the internet anywhere. I’ve spokent to a few old friends and everyone remember the incedent but nobody remembers any detail.

  • David:

    This was a long time ago but I think you may be a bit off the mark. There is an old farm off Bells Lane, by the British Legion. I remember as a young lad (born 1966) going to the scene of the witchcraft with older children from school. There were a lot of people there as it had been on the news and of what I can remember as a star of David and writing on the floor. I think this would be what you are looking for – the building stands out by the school as an old farm buidling.

  • Vic:

    This must be another incident and just coincedental as I’ve now got hold of the Birmingham Evening Mail report and it was definately Primrose Farm in Hawksley.
    I’ve been told that the same happened at Bells Farm so whether they are related is not yet known. Apparently gypsies may have put the pentagon on the floor of Primrose Farm as revenge for being moved on, so it may well have all been a scam.

  • Lynne:

    The tunnel collapse was either late 1979, or early 1980. I lived on Pool Farm Estate, and everyone was concerned that the workmen, who I think were father and son, would be rescued. I know it was cold and dark so, I’m certain of the dates.

  • Vic:

    Thanks Lynne, I’ve located lots on the story now. It’s Primrose Farm Im strugging with.

  • Terry:

    I remember the tunnel accident as we were sent home early from Primrose Secondary School.
    I believe two people died and think it was more likely to be 1979.

  • Jackie:

    I grew up on Pool Farm and vaguely remember the witchcraft story. We lived opposite some of the land that belonged to the farm and it was known to us as the witches’ circle.

  • Derek:

    I remember all three incidents. I went to Primrose Farm to see the Star of David with friends of mine and remember being petrified because we found a dead bird covered in blood. This was before it appeared on the news. I remember my mom’s face when I told her we’d been there. This was about 1974. The incident at the other farm on Bells Lane happened a good few months after.

    My family moved to Redditch in 1976 and a fireman neighbour attended the canel bridge collapse in, I think, 1978-79.

  • Edward:

    Hi. As a young lad of 13, I believe, so it must’ve been ’76, I was the one that found the pentagram. It was partly covered by a rug in the room to the left as you entered the old house from the front, the windows of that room were all covered with black material, lots of blood around the entrance to the house, at the bottom of the stairs was a zimmer frame or mobility aid, and several pictures with broken frames and glass, including one of a military officer in uniform, that had once hung at the top of the stairs.
    I have a lot more information, plus a well formed theory as to the strange goings on at Hawkesley Farm if anyone is interested.

  • Sue:

    Kind of late but when I ran across this I had to respond, as I was going to Primrose Hill at the time this was on the news…

    A pentagram (which we see used as a symbol in witchcraft) is a five pointed star not to be confused with the Star of David. The Star of David which is the sign of Judaism, is a six pointed star made of two triangles placed on top of each other.

    I was in my young teens attending Primrose Hill Comprehensive School; and since moved to America. As I can remember the new gym at our school Primrose Hill had been built, as was used for assemblies. There was an announcement to the students (as it had been on the news) not to go over there. Of course we teenagers had planned during the day to go over there right after school, as it was in walking distance.

    When my Friends and I arrived at the barn-house, the were quite a few other kids there. I remember inside the house there was a white pentagram professionally painted and not just drawn on the floor. I believe there was a rung to one side as if it had been pulled away. The kids were playing around about not stepping in the circle, and I don’t remember any one of us who was there doing that.

    All of a sudden someone shouted that the police were coming, and we all scarpered every which way. Of course we never went back there. It was kind of scary. I didn’t dare tell my parents I went there. Today, being much more mature in knowledge than in my teens, I don’t think I would go to see a place like that again.

  • Adam:

    I lived in Ontario Close which was at the back of the farm house. I remember the pentagram story as it terrified me. I was a child at the time and I remember walking up the path to my street one night that ran alongside the farm and I was with my Dad. I heard him say someone was messing in the farm and he suddenly scaled the fence around the farm and told me to stay put. He went off into the house to scare off whoever it was. I recall being scared they would hurt him but was relieved when he came back minutes later unharmed and said whoever it was ran off. I recall a police officer being there at the time but I’m not sure if my memory is true as it was so long ago. As a kid I had heard stories of sacrifices though and my mates and I always thought it was haunted. We later made friends with a family who moved in and whilst they were living there they confirmed there was a secret passage that led under the house where there was an old wood table. Thats all I can remember.

    Edward, if you see this id be interested in your theory … i didnt know anyone would ever remember this witchcraft story other than me. Its great reading all these comments. And to Trevor Price… if youever find that negative, please post here or get in touch… itd be intriguing to see exactly what my memories were based on. Like being able to visit the past and see what i was too young to see before.


  • Paul:

    Hi Vic, where did you find the information about the tunnel collapsing? I’ve been trying to find anything about it on the internet over the last three years. I was about ten years old at the time and me and my friend went down there to see it but it was all fenced off.

  • Charlotte:

    There is at least one tunnel under the old farmhouse in hawksley. I was friends with the daughters of the family who lived there in the early 1990s. I used to stay overnight on occasions at weekends (I lived at the back and we all just used to jump over the fence to see each other). Their mum banged on the old tiled kitchen floor with an upturned broom. You could hear the hollow then solid sound either side. It seemed to start at the fireplace in the kitchen (which backed onto the fireplace in ‘the room on the left’ Edward mentioned. At this time this was used as the family’s living room (no mention of pentagrams then though). The mum said she believed it led to st Nicholas church, though that is a good half a mile away so I don’t know if that is true. However you could certainly hear the hollow sound in a line going from the fire place, along the kitchen floor and towards the exterior wall by the back stairs in the kitchen.

  • Victor:

    Hi Guys,
    I hope,some of you are still following this thread. Edward I would be most interested in your theory. Adam your story is interesting as Trevor mentioned going there because of lights, I wonder if the two events are related? Charlotte, I’ve heard also that there is at least one tunnel, when approx was the period you used to visit there?

    Finally Paul, I found out lots of information about the tunnel collapsing at Birmingham Central Library – I got hold of copies of the media reports from quite a few papers. It was very sad but interesting reading.


  • Carol:

    i lived on Swale Grove and went to Primrose Hill Comprehensive until 1980. I remember the pumps working overnight to try and alleviate the pressure under the bridge when it collapsed. It kept me awake.
    Also, we all used to go to the barn for a dare, as children usually do at our age, and we saw the pentagram on the floor.

  • Kevin:

    I went to Primrose School in the 70s and remember the incident about the witches circle. It made front page in the mail. A couple of friends and me went over during our school break to see it. The police or the builders blocked it off a week or so later. Not sure what happened after that.

  • Moi:

    I grew up on Primrose Hill in the 1970s. I remember going to the farm with my school friend Jane to see the witchcraft symbols. I started secondary school in 1974, so it must have been after that time. We saw the pentagram and there was a live rat scurrying around. This made us scream and run away, and we never returned! It was probably around 1976. I recall something that looked like a partially constructed swimming pool in the garden.

  • Lauren:

    I grew up in Kings Norton from the late 80s to recently and I have never heard of these stories. My mom who has lived here since 70s has not either.

    I also think of Kings Norton, Hawkesley in particular an interesting estate.

    I use to frequently wander the woods up lime walk and on a few occasions experienced weird happenings. I was a child back then and was not scared easily. I had a great childhood in Hawkesley.

    Thank you very much for the posts, very interesting read.

  • Gary:

    I lived on Primrose estate and went to Primrose School.
    I went into the farmhouse with my dog showing off, and saw the pentangle painted onto the wooden floor. I was a bit scared but did not admit it.
    Both farms were purchased so Hawksley estate could be built. The other farm was almost opposite Dee Grove down a track.
    Re the tunnel collapse, the guys that were working on it stayed in my aunts cafe, also a bed and breakfast in stirchley. I think 2 where killed and think one or more went back through the tunnel all the way to Hopwood to escape.

  • Victor:

    Hi Lauren & Gary,

    Sorry I’ve only just seen these posts. Firstly the woods. The woods run right by where Hawksley Hall was – rumour was the farmer hung his wife in the woods. The official ruling was suicide. But I know of a few people who still see things happening there today.

    Thanks for your comments Gary – I was like you and saw the farm around the time it happened, very spooky.

  • David jukes:

    I lived on primrose hill in term grove from 1966 untill we moved to redditch in 1977, I was in the second year at primrose senior school when this happened at the farm house , we were call into the large assembly meeting in the new sports hall , told not to go near the farm house which was actually next door , when I got home and told my parents it was in the evening mail .
    When I think back as kids we wasent scared at the time just curious ,
    When I think back about this school and the teachers it bothers me years on , mr fair brother the music teacher , what a perv he was , couldent wait to spank children’s bottoms , also sports teacher mr brooks , thought he was big hard man , bullying his pupils , he broke my wrist in a pe lesson showing off , I was took to hospital , my parents told me I wasent going back and we moved , but I still had friends at this school and he never got the sack , shocking they would be strung up if it happened now , plus mr green the head master may not have done as well over the years if this was not brushed under the carpet !!!
    Anyway I did enjoy the school years but as you get older can’t help thinking how times have changed

  • Elaine:

    Hi Vic very late be I do remember as a girl being
    A a tour of the church yard show the entrance of the tunnel sais to come out by the old playing field/ canel
    The tunnel entrance was hidden in a family tomb behind the church

  • Paula:

    Re the tunnel collapse.. My dad was in it that day. He held up rafters to help men escape. Yep men died in front of him. His mates.. My dad only lasted 8 months after the collapse then died of heart attack due to the strain on his heart that day.. He was 38. I was just 11….

  • Paula:

    My dad was awarded The Queens Bravery Award after his death for saving some of the men…

  • Georgina:

    Where would I find information on the tunnel collapse? I lived in Birmingham at the time and one of the deceased from Donegal in Ireland had lived with us. I now live in Donegal and would like to get more information for his niece who lives here. I can remember an article in the evening mail at the time, (though I was only 9)but can’t access it The two men who lost their lives were not related.

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