Posts Tagged ‘1950s’

Does anyone remember the 1950s school of dance (ballet and tap) held above the shops?

I attended for years but gave up when I went to KNGS.

It was run by a blonde lady (maybe Ivy ?).  Trying to remember her name is driving me barmy!

Also, can anyone recall The Fordrough… a way of getting from Cotteridge to Kings Heath, coming out just below Pineapple Bridge? Can recall walking with my mum to grandparents who lived in Priory Road, Kings Heath.

Tony Jones writes…

I used to manage Blakes Radio and & TV shop located in Watford Road, Cotteridge 1955 – 1959.

It was a very lively place with plenty of young people coming in to buy records.

Mr Tom Mansell was the owner, and Phil Hughes, Don Hancock, and Les Calcutt were all members of staff. Did anyone out there go into the shop.

I would love to reminisce with them.

Tony now 80 years old.

Hello everybody. Does anybody remember the coal merchant on the corner of Frances Road?

My dad worked there in the 1950s through the 1960s. He started out with a horse (named Oi You),  and progressed to a lorry.

Would love to see a photo if anybody has one.

Also my nan lived, when newly wed, at number 22 Lifford Lane, just before WW1.

Lee writes…

Hi there, I was wondering if you have any information or pictures (even better) of the City of Birmingham wartime Day Nursery which was opposite the fire station, as my mom used to go there in about 1950 and she would love to remember what it looked like. She will be 68 this year. I would be very grateful if anyone could help me out. Thank you.

I attended Cotteridge School from 1948. I had a week at Bournville School on the Green and made such a fuss as they made us have a lie down in the afternoon. I did not want to lie down. I remember the rocking horsein the windows which was still there many years later.

My first teacher at Cotteridge was Miss Rich in the reception class. Opposite the class room was the small stair case up to Miss Howard the headmistress’s office. The hall had murals of nursery rhymes on the walls and the parquet floor was highly polished. Mr Carling who was a dab hand with the side edge of a ruler, Miss Smith who was very strict, Miss Powell and Mr Hewlett who shouted and went red in the face. I remember the wall being knocked down between the boys and girls playground and Mr Hewlett picking up the boys toes. I had lived in the cul de sac on Dell Road, I remember Barbara Barnes and Pauline Dunn. The horse which used to pull the milk float ate the top off the gate post whilst the milkman had a cup of tea in one of the houses. I attended Dell Road Gospel Hall every Sunday with Mr Stormont in charge. Saturday was the baths in Stirchley in the morning and the Pavilion picture house in the afternoon.

I did not pass the eleven plus exam so went onto the Senior Girls School aged 11 years. Miss Walshe was the headmistress for the first year, she then left to take up the position of headmistress at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School which opened in 1959. She was very keen to teach us netball and we continued to play until we left in 1958. Having won all our matches whilst in the final year a few of us continued to play for Miss Walshe as Linden Netball Club which she ran for many years after her retirement. It was a very successful club, won many trophies and had many girls trialled for the England Netball Squad.

Miss Warren became the headmistress, Miss Watterson, Miss Woodall and of course our final year teacher Miss Garfield who used to say ‘Girls that is not Christian like’ whenever we misbehaved. I remember girls came to join us from Kings Norton and Stirchley schools, Kay Parker and Maureen Alcock who also played netball for the school team.

I was a member of Dr McMahon’s special choir which sang in the Town Hall. The memory of sitting in the choir stalls at 14 never left me even when as a member of the CBSO Chorus I stood in the same place for concerts years later in the 1970’s. I left at 15 years old in 1958 to join the GPO as a telephonist.

In addition to the shops mentioned on this website I do remember the horse meat shop just down from school on Pershore Road and the Treasure Trove bear was a white polar bear named Harold. Peter who ran the Treasure Trove after his father died told me that he was sold to a posh hotel in the centre of Manchester. I too spent many hours in there and still have a few items bought from the fascinating amount of items.

Looking back now I suppose we were all quite poor, but we did not know anything different. What more could you want, going to Cotteridge Park to play on the swings, the pictures on a Saturday and the swimming baths. Life was carefree. Happy Days.

Val Lovett nee Taylor

Julia writes…

I am one of many grandchildren of Frank Lawton, who started a business in 1906 of cooked meats and pork pies etc.

This shop was 1833 Pershore Road, Cotteridge.

In 1956 they celebrated its jubilee. The business continued into the early 60s.

I am very anxious to know if anyone has pictures of the shop, as I am in the process of writing about this.

You may even remember the van driven by Harold – pale green with a cream egg shape sign on the sides of the van with writing about Lawton cooked meats.

Derek Gilbert writes:

I went to Cotteridge school, 1945 – 1951.

I was a milk monitor there and remember distributing the milk when it was frozen and the tops had come off (must be 1947). Teachers I can recall were Miss Smith (strict but no patience with slow learners, hence my writing has always been poor), Mr Hewlet (a short temper, remember him lashing out at Pamela?).

Pupils remembered were Dave Gunter, Bernard Tye (Tyler?), Jean Poorley, Pamela ___?,  Arthur Newman, Dereck Underwood.

Went home to Watford Road via Cotteridge Park or the “Styles” between the houses and the railway. One day going past Ma (Mrs) Ferris’s back entrance, which had a big steel door, some other kids was throwing stones at it and making a din a guy came out siezed me and few more kids. Hauled us before Mrs Ferris. Eventually we were released after a lot of pleading we wasn’t the ones.

Later on her land was compulsory purchased and the police flats were built. This was before Fleetwoods yard was built on.

Bev writes…

I am looking for any information, photos etc of my husbands family.

His father was Stanley Newton who was married to Peggy Newton, nee Richards, until her death in 1967.

He then married a lady called Frances.

I have two sons and we have no photos or information about their father’s family. We are just looking for any information or photos or any details of Peggy’s family. We are not necessarily in need of any contact if it is not wanted. Just some photos of their fathers family would be great. Their father could never tell them much and now this is their only hope.

I hope you can help, thanks!

Hello, hope you don’t mind.

We are desparately searching for Mary Teresa (Tess) Johnson, born Birmingham in 1945, and who attended Shenley Fields Children’s Home in the 1950s.

Do you remember her at all ?

Thank you Christine

Margaret Glover writes:

What wonderful memories this website brought back!

I lived at a cottage, number 8 Camp Lane, Kings Norton, from 1939 to late 1960, with my brothers Bobby, David, Kenney and sister Rita, plus my parents Bob and Cecilea.

I belive the site is now a nursery. I rember the Camp Inn right opposite the cottage, the little shop called Maggie Rileys. Triplex Glass, Burmetals and Kings Norton station.

I went to kings norton school then on to Cotteridge Girls School until 1952. Looking at the photos of Cotteridge brought all my youth flooding back.

I am now doing ancestry and I have been trying to find old photos of Camp Lane. I belive my old cottage was demolished in the 1970s. Does anyone have any old photos or memories?

I was interested to read the article about the High House, Kings Norton. I lived at flat 5 the fire station from 1949 until I was called up in 1956.

My father had a part-time job ferrying cars from longbridge to various parts of the country and used to park them overnight in the drive leading to the coach house. As a 12 year old I took the keys to one of the cars and crashed it into the coach house gates. A fireman who had seen me in the car, informed my father who made my life a misery and grounded me for a week.

I, with other boys from the fire station and the two brothers who lived at the shop (under the clock) gained acces to BK Alloys and got up to untold mischief among the scrap planes keeping a wary eye out for the watchman who chased us off on many ocassions. Our escapades came to an abrupt end when when we blew up a war-time emergency water tank on the site with sticks of potassium found in outbuldings at the scrap yard and thrown into the tank whilst some men were fishing there. For my sins, and on leaving school in 1954 I was sent to BK Alloys as an electrians mate, but I never let on about my past.

Our other stamping ground was opposite the fire station behind some war-time garages, a wild over grown area where you could spend all day messing about until our camp fire got out of control and set fire to the undergrowth and trees.

I was also a member of the Boys Brigade at the church next to the tram depot, had a paper round at Wincotts and a Saturday job at a greengrocers opposite the tram depot.

Happy days…

Ken Weston
October 2010

High House was a large gentleman’s residence that was built in the mid eighteenth century. Later, outbuildings were constructed to the north of High House which catered for the maintenance and repair of the wagons and coaches in use at the time.
The largest of these outbuildings occupied a greater area than the main house, but was very long and not very wide and ran east to west parallel to what is now the railway line. I will refer to this building later as The Coach House.
The whole area is now a business park, and bears little resemblance to the area I knew very well as a child in the early fifties. As a rough approximation, High House would have stood just to the south of what is now Sovereign Road, and the coach-house would have been between Sovereign Road and Castle Road. These approximations lie between Melchett Road and the railway line. Prior to 1955, the whole area was fields and woodland.

 

In 1817, access to High House was via a gated driveway complete with Lodge. The entrance was situated about ten yards south of what is now the railway line. The drive ran through woods in an ‘S’ shape to a large hard standing by the House. There was a secondary access point for foot passengers from what is now Pershore Road. This entrance lay halfway down the hill leading from Cotteridge to Kings Norton and also ran through woodland. As one walked along the driveway from the Lodge, after twenty five yards, there was a smaller driveway leading to the outbuildings.

At this time, High House was at the centre of what was known as High House Farm. The farm was extensive and was bounded to the south by land owned by the Earl of Plymouth and an estate owned by Mr Mynor. The northern and eastern boundary abutted Cotteridge Farm, then owned by Mr Spurrier.

There was of course, no railway line and no shops. The farm filled the area between what is now Lifford Lane and Pershore Road almost into Stirchley. The farm consisted of eight large fields and I make no apology for listing the names of all the fields. As can be seen, echoes of these fields exist today as road and place names…

  • Long Meadow
  • Tanners Meadow
  • Crofts Lands
  • House Close
  • Tanners Close
  • Cotteridge Close
  • Garden Close
  • Hill Close

The term ‘Close’ refers to fields fenced on three sides only.

On 6th November 1817, the owner of the farm, Mr James Pool, sold the farm via the auctioneers J&C Robbins. The sale was held at the Woolpack Inn, Moor Street, Birmingham. I believe the purchaser was Mr Pumphrey. On 17th January 1850, Mr Pumphrey sold the farm via the auctioneers Cheshire and Son. The farm was described as easily worked soil especially suitable for the cultivation of turnips and barley. I can find no record of the buyer.

In 1882, the railway line had severed the farm, the track being at its current location. The overall size of the farm remained the same, movement between the two parts of the farm was via a farmers bridge over the track just north of High House. The original road bridge carried what is now Pershore Road (as it does today).

By 1904, virtually all of the farm to the north of the railway line had gone. St Agnes’ Church, the Methodist Chapel and two Sunday Schools now occupied the land. Further developments of the railway line had widened its course and a second line running north had joined the original at a junction just north of High House. The farmer’s bridge had disappeared. The Lodge and gates had gone, being replaced by a signal box. The driveways remained the same but all of the outbuildings except the coach-house had vanished. The Pershore Road Bridge had been altered to accommodate the widened track.

By 1916, all the farm to the north had gone. On what once was farmland, suitable for the cultivation of turnips and barley, stood a tramway depot, private houses next to the Methodist Chapel (now shops), and allotments.

By 1937, the allotments had been lost to a fire station and a much enlarged tramway depot. It was virtually the same in 1937 as it was thirteen years later when my parents along with a five year old boy moved into the coach-house as tenants.

 

At this time, my Father was working, as a toolmaker, at what was known as Kings Norton Factory Centre. My Mother and I were living at my paternal grandmother’s house in Leicester. It was post war, and there was a dire shortage of private houses, most of the building carried out was to help rebuild the infrastructure of the country. We, along with thousands of others, had lived in rented rooms and relatives houses for all my short life. The wartime camaraderie had evaporated, and tenants were, for the most part, not treated well.

We received a message from my Father to the effect that he had found us a house close to where he worked. We travelled to Birmingham, met my Father and he took us to the coach-house. The flat we were to occupy was on the top floor and in poor order. Nobody else lived in the building.

I well remember the three of us in the small back room. My mother was in floods of tears. My father looked rather crestfallen. I was over the moon: what a great place to live! All those fields and woods and a railway running past.

We moved in, and to their credit, my parents made it quite cosy. We lived there for five years and I loved it. The Flat (as we now called the coach-house) was a big building. It measured 120ft long by 20ft wide and as tall as a three storey house. There were however only two storeys: the working area which was a series of workshops and stables occupying the ground floor, for the height of two storeys, and the living area above the western half of the building for about 60ft.

Access to the flat was along the driveway leading to High House. Taking the left hand drive at the junction, it was about fifty yards to the flat. Passing through a large wooden gate the coach-house extended into the distance on your right hand side, a large field being on your left hand side.

As you walked along the front of the building the first thing on your right, was a recessed area containing two stables and an entrance to what I assume was a large tack-room. As you walked further along, you became aware of a huge set of double sliding wooden doors suspended on two iron rails. These doors opened onto a covered ‘garage’. This was where the better coaches would have been kept.

A little further along was a covered courtyard with a flight of stairs to the living area on the right hand side and a solitary toilet under the stairs.

After the courtyard, the roofline of the building dropped by about ten feet and the remainder of the building consisted of a blacksmiths workshop complete with furnace, a large square workshop where new rims were fitted to wooden wheels and a carpenter’s workshop.

At the far end of the building was a large Victorian hothouse in poor repair. Against orders, I entered this hothouse many times, and can still picture the exotic plants now left to look after themselves. I can only imagine that these were once used to decorate High House in its heyday.

At the very end of the building was a crater full of rubble: the result no doubt of a stray bomb meant for the adjacent factories.

The living area was long. Up the stairs from the covered yard, through the front door, along a narrow hall to the first room….the kitchen. Ahead of you was a big black range. In the far left hand corner was a sink and a solitary cold water tap. Between the two, a cooker fuelled by bottled gas. The door to the next room was in the far right hand corner.

This was our living room. The fireplace shared a chimney with the range. In the far left hand corner was the door to the bedroom, in which we all slept.

The only toilet was under the stairs by the covered yard. Quite a walk if you needed it in the night.

The only windows were facing north and very small. They were the iron framed, roman arched type common in factories all over the Midlands. The only other source of light were skylights on the south facing side of the roof.

I remember these dripped a lot.

 

Life at the Flat, for a small boy, was wonderful. The artefacts I discovered from the buildings previous life led to all sorts of adventures. I found horseshoes, leather harnesses, old tools, wooden wheels, numerous old steel wheel rims and a host of other steel bits and pieces, the purpose of which I still do not understand. The prized possession was a rusty revolver.

I kept my treasure in the blacksmiths forge. The front of the furnace had a small access door to a large ashbox. I cleared the remnants of the last fire, and this became my stash.

Other oddments found were several iron farm gates, and dozens of pigtail fencing spikes as used in the war for the rapid erection of barbed wire fencing.

By standing an iron farm gate on end allowed me access to the top of the wall separating our field from the railway line. Sitting on the wall watching the busy flow of locomotives moving from Birmingham to Kings Norton sidings was a major recreation. I would wave at the drivers, and they would always wave back.

 

At the eastern boundary of the field was another wall running from the railway wall to the bomb damaged building. I tried to scale this wall, but it was too tall for the farm gate method. I had to wait about two years until I had grown taller. I eventually climbed a cherry tree adjacent to the wall and looked over.

It was small boy’s heaven. Old aeroplanes for as far as I could see. British, American and German. All had their wings removed, but were intact otherwise. They were in huge piles four or five deep and ready to be explored.

I had a problem. I could jump from the top of the wall, but could not return.

To overcome this, I built a den at the base of the cherry tree, and over a period of weeks, wore away the crumbling mortar to make a hole just big enough for me to climb through. I took the precaution of not making it big enough for a man to climb through, should I be chased away.

The aeroplanes were part of a materials reclamation programme and were under MOD control. A company called BKL Alloys ( whom I think still exist ) were responsible for the metal extraction.

I couldn’t care less at the time. They were there for one purpose only: to play with.

 

After much exploration, my favourites came down to two: a complete Hurricane fuselage and a complete German bomber fuselage. I spent many many hours in them, bombing both Berlin and London!!

A nasty incident however, curbed my enthusiasm. I slid the cockpit canopy of the Hurricane to the closed position whilst I was sitting in it. The canopy closed with a click and I was trapped. Nobody knew where I was as I dare not tell anybody what I was up to.

I do not remember the details of my final release, but I can still hear the click as the mechanism released the canopy. I was trapped for several hours.

 

As a family, we would visit High House during the summer. The House was now a social club. The steward was an old man called Amos, assisted by a younger man Roy.

I cannot remember much about the House. There was a bowling green on the southern grounds which was well used. A very large room ran across the rear of the House containing three full sized snooker tables, end to end, and a spectators seating on three sides. I didn’t like going there as you were not allowed to talk.

The most impressive thing was old Amos. He carried a catapult and a supply of steel balls. Rats were a problem, but Amos could kill a rat at thirty yards.

 

The summers came and went, and I never tired of the field or surrounding areas. Suddenly, things took a dark turn. Slough Estates had bought the land belonging to High House and they wanted us out.

I do not understand the legalities of the situation and therefore speak as I remember. What I do understand is that my hatred of Slough Estates (or SEGRO as they now like to call themselves) remains with me.

 

The first hint that something had changed is that we now paid the rent to Slough Estates and not to Amos. The price, of course, increased.

I returned from school one day and found that High House had been reduced to rubble.

A few weeks later, I returned to find that all the outbuildings attached to our flat had suffered the same fate as High House. All that remained standing was our living area. My collections of artefacts were buried under tons of rubble. I cried.

 

Slough Estates then served notice on my father that our flat was to be demolished and we had thirty days to find alternative premises. This notice had no legal authority as subsequent events proved. The thirty days passed and we were still in residence.Slough Estates then began a truly Rachmanesque campaign to remove us. The electricity supply was severed and removed. Lighting was provided by oil lamps and candles. Heating was difficult.

When this failed, a large and deep trench was dug across the access drive to the Flat to prevent movement of vehicles. This was, after a period of some months, filled in.

Their final move was to sever and remove the water supply to the house. We had no running water and no sanitation.

The Fire Service were sympathetic to our plight, and provided water containers and a supply of water: if we could collect it. I remember as a boy of ten, pushing a push-chair across the railway bridge with a container to be filled up at the fire station many times a day.

This situation continued for about a year and attracted the attention of the local press. Slough Estates had no comment. The water and electricity were never restored. Eventually, my parents had the deposit for a new house and we moved out.

On the day of our move, as the removal van was loading, three large bulldozers appeared in the field and sat revving their engines. I was in the cab of the removal van and remember looking in the door mirror as we moved up the driveway for the last time. The bulldozers had already reached the house. By the time we had reached Kings Norton, the Flat would be rubble.

 

Footnote

I have written what I believe to be true, but have viewed it through the eyes of the child I was. If anybody could throw some light on the true purpose of the coach-house, or what it was like in its heyday, I would be most interested.

 
Photo Not By DJN 
 Thanks to the Geoff Thompson archive, hosted on the DJ Norton website, for these photos.
There’s a fantastic website of more photos like these here
On the corner of Midland Road and Rowheath Road was this store owned by D Nicholls. Amongst the items on display are step ladders, bowls, mops, buckets, coal, seeds, plants and watering cans.

1966. On the corner of Midland Road and Rowheath Road was this store owned by D Nicholls. Amongst the items on display are step ladders, bowls, mops, buckets, coal, seeds, plants and watering cans.

Broad Meadow Motors, 1726 Pershore Road. 1958. Now a couple of houses next to the Murco (formerly Jet) garage.

Broad Meadow Motors, 1726 Pershore Road. 1958. Now a couple of houses next to the Murco (formerly Jet) garage.

1951. This picture was taken from the corner of Watford Road and Northfield road and shows Wincott's Newsagent and Tobacconist on the opposite corner of Watford Road and Rowheath Road. Note the attractive lamppost to the right, probably still gas powered at this time - note the two little extra lamps to illuminate the 'keep left' sign.
1951. This picture was taken from the corner of Watford Road and Northfield road and shows Wincott’s Newsagent and Tobacconist on the opposite corner of Watford Road and Rowheath Road. Note the attractive lamppost to the right, probably still gas powered at this time – note the two little extra lamps to illuminate the ‘keep left’ sign.
Scotts Garage, 1958. Opposite Midland Road. Now a Nationwide Autocentre. To the right of the garage is the Cotteridge Social Club, still going strong!

Scotts Garage, 1958. Opposite Midland Road. Now a Nationwide Autocentre. To the right of the garage is the Cotteridge Social Club, still going strong!

Bullock's and the Empire store would later become the site of Woolworths. To the right of Empire Stores is Boots, still there today!

1955. Bullock's and the Empire store would later become the site of Woolworths. To the right of Empire Stores is Boots, still there today!

This picture was supplied by Mary Gibbons who moved to 1885 Pershore Road in 1947 when her father bought the shop from his employer, Arthur Turner.  He decided to keep the name of JL Mason so that the customers would still recognise the shop. JL Mason was primarily a fishmongers but a small sign above the entrance says that it was also a, "licensed dealer in game". Mary thinks the picture was of Christmas stock as she remembers it looking like this at Christmas when she was a child. Normally there would just have been a display of fish on the marble slab. Note the sawdust on the floor to prevent slipping. Mary's father, Jim Bird, is the chap on the right and at this time he was a fishmonger's assistant.  Less than ten years later he would own the shop! Thanks to Mary and the DJ Norton website for this photo.

This picture was supplied by Mary Gibbons who moved to 1885 Pershore Road in 1947 when her father bought the shop from his employer, Arthur Turner. He decided to keep the name of JL Mason so that the customers would still recognise the shop. JL Mason was primarily a fishmongers but a small sign above the entrance says that it was also a, "licensed dealer in game". Mary thinks the picture was of Christmas stock as she remembers it looking like this at Christmas when she was a child. Normally there would just have been a display of fish on the marble slab. Note the sawdust on the floor to prevent slipping. Mary's father, Jim Bird, is the chap on the right and at this time he was a fishmonger's assistant. Less than ten years later he would own the shop! Thanks to Mary and the DJ Norton website for this photo.

Photo by DJ Norton
 
Thanks to DJ Norton for this.
There’s a fantastic website of more photos here.
HOV 928 at Cotteridge.  Numbered 45, the sign on the front says, "West Heath Alvechurch Road", although it is facing the into city direction - it was Birmingham City Transport practice to show the outer terminus destination all the time.  A chap downstairs in having a nap in the sunshine!

HOV 928 at Cotteridge, 1956. Numbered 45, the sign on the front says, "West Heath Alvechurch Road", although it is facing the into city direction - it was Birmingham City Transport practice to show the outer terminus destination all the time. A chap downstairs in having a nap in the sunshine!

 

There’s also some great 80s photos of buses on Flickr – see these links:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8050359@N07/3796144178/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8050359@N07/4118241500/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8050359@N07/3392859607/ 

 

 

 Photo by DJ Norton
Thanks to DJ Norton for these photos
There’s a fantastic website of more photos like these here  

Three shots that clearly show the importance of Kings Norton station in the 1950s.

The uppermost not only shows the four platform station but also shows a section of goods yard and shed.  To the right, the carriage sidings can be seen.  In the middle picture, the photo shows the northern half of the station from under the footbridge.

The bottom picture is taken looking in the opposite direction to the other two – out of city and towards Northfield.  The signal box from which the top picture was taken can just about be seen under the footbridge.

Kings Norton Station, 1950s

 Kings Norton Station

 

Kings Norton Station

 

May 1962: a two-car DMU stands in the up fast platform on its way from Redditch to New Street. In strict economic turns a lightweight two-car self-propelled train is much cheaper than the ex-MR 0-6-2T 'Flatiron' tank locomotives with two to four coaches behind the bunker or even later when Ivatt's and Riddles 2-6-2T tank engines took over.

May 1962: a two-car DMU stands in the up fast platform on its way from Redditch to New Street. In strict economic turns a lightweight two-car self-propelled train is much cheaper than the ex-MR 0-6-2T 'Flatiron' tank locomotives with two to four coaches behind the bunker or even later when Ivatt's and Riddles 2-6-2T tank engines took over.

1960: looking across the island platform from the up slow to the down slow where the main station building was sited.

1960: looking across the island platform from the up slow to the down slow where the main station building was sited.

I used to live at 1774 Pershore Road behind and above a second hand shop therefore consequently my nickname at school was Steptoe.

The family ran this business from just after the second world war until the late 1990s. In fact one of my dad’s childhood memories was playing cricket across the Pershore Road, imagine that now!

My granddad Frank, started the shop, F E Waldron, and ran it until he died in 1965.

My grandmother Elsie Waldron, (known as Margaret at St Agnes church because she didn’t like her name and so her church friends gave her a name that she liked), was  a dress maker and later lived in Midland Road where she created wedding outfits and dresses for many until she died in the 1980s.

My dad, Reg Waldron, took over the business from until the late 1990s however was tragically murdered in the shop by a guy that needed money for Christmas. It was a pretty unpleasant affair and the guy was arrested by a retired police officer cleaning his soiled clothes in Kings Norton Green laundrette.  So I suppose this is part of a darker side of Cotteridge as this is one of a few incidents in the area.

I like Cotteridge, it has many memories both happy and sad and therefore I still feel apart of the area though have not lived there for many years.

FE Waldron

FE Waldron, around 1945-50

John is wondering if anybody remembers a plane crash near the railway lines at the back of Laurel Road in the late fifties / early sixties? He recalls seeing a light aircraft downed, but wonders if anyone knows the story behind it. E-mail us or leave a comment if you have any information.

Frances Road excursion, c1952

Frances Road excursion, c1952

A trip, possibly to Kettering Park, organised by Frances Road resident Mrs Butler in circa 1952/3. Participants were Frances Road residents past and present and include Lois Brown, Molly Hickey, Phyllis Patrick, Maggie Snipe, Alice Howes, Rodney Stokes, Sidney Banner and Steve Lovesey. The coach is provided by Birmingham firm Ludlow Brothers.

Thanks to Jan Lovesey for this – her website has loads more information and pictures.

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.

The Life Boys which met at St. Agnes' Church in the 1950/60s.

The Life Boys, early sixties

Thanks to Mary Thorpe for these, who writes: “the top one features just Reverend Fred Carroll and Miss Jennifer Fryer and the second is about a year later.  Names of the boys (on the first) I can remember are: next to Revd. Carroll is someone Edge, next to Miss Fryer is Paul Cooper, then back row second from the left is Robert Bassett, Stuart Maddocks, Leslie Ormrod, John Betteridge, David Harris, Martin Holeyman, [don’t know], someone Gilman, (don’t know).  Hope someone can  fill in the rest of the names!” 

Click the photos for a larger version.

The Life Boys, St Agnes Church, early 1960s

The Life Boys, early sixties

Also thanks to Mary for this photo of the Girls’ Life Brigade at St. Agnes Church, sometime in the early 1960s. She writes, “again, I can’t remember names, but those I do remember are from top left, Mary Harris (me!), two sisters, unknown, unknown, Janet Fisher, Jacqueline someone, unknown, then on the front row, unknown, Delia Harris (no relation), Joan Badger, Reverend Fred Carroll, unknown, Anne Fisher. I do hope someone is able to furnish the other names. I continued in the GLB, eventually going to the Company at the Methodist Church until I started helping Joan Badger with the Brownies back at St. Agnes’s in the 1970s”.

Life Girls at St Agnes, early 1960s

Life Girls at St Agnes, early 1960s

Email us or leave a comment below if you know who anyone is or have any memories to add.

Cotteridge Primary School football team, 1959-60

Cotteridge Primary School football team, 1959-60

Thanks to Neil Brown (goalkeeper) for this: contact us if you want to get in touch with him.

Also featured are Nicky Twigg, Cliff Owen, Ian Cresswell, Archie Milward and Mr Hewlett.

Update: Marty Holeyman has e-mailed to say that he is the Harry Potter lookalike on the right hand side. If anyone wants to get in touch with him, contact us or leave a comment below and we’ll forward it on.

Update 2: Ian Caswell writes: “Absolutely amazed and pleased to see the photo. I am the ‘footballer’ front row extreme right. Slight mis-spelling but the name should read Ian Caswell. Archie Millward is actually the one on the other side of Neil Brown behind the teacher. Archie and I are still in regular contact after 55 years! Front row far left is Richard James.”

I believe that it was 1955 when I first attended Cotteridge School and I remember a time of jigsaw puzzles and play sand. I learned to swap chocolate for dinky cars; I also learned not to show my mum the results of the days trading.

In those very early school days I can’t remember any names with certainty however a Mrs Brooking and a Miss Pledge seem right.

Later when I was 7 years old I was in the classroom on the ground floor north from the main hall my teacher was a lady: I think her name was Miss Self.
I do have bad memories of school dinners; the rules were that you ate all on your plate. My problem was I only liked the custard!

In later years I remember moving to the classrooms upstairs. I was occasionally in Miss Howard’s office; she was the headmistress, but not for any problem just delivering paperwork. I missed having the infamous Miss Smith for a teacher, she had a reputation for being a very strict and uncompromising person, and she demanded improvement. I personally did not understand if she was a good or bad teacher, although my sister Lynne one of her later students is one of her supporters.

My last years at the school I remember teachers Mrs Wells and dear old Mr Hewlett my favourite teacher of all time: I’ve seen him angry (all red faced), and I’ve seen him on friendly helpful days. I know he liked classical music because he played it for us before assembly. He also liked paintings and encouraged everyone to try to improve their skills in art. I played football for the school team. I don’t think we ever won a game, in fact we used to lose by something like 14 to nil! Mr Hewlett was our coach, or rather the bloke who organised the game. I don’t think any professional players ever came from our teams of years 1959 – 1961, we turned our defeats into a tradition. We managed more fouls than the opposition so there!

Children’s names I remember are Gillian Owen and Wendy Head from Midland road Hazel Harris from Heathcote road, Mary Wilson from Shirley road, Robert Basset from Dell road, David Harris from Shirley road, Stephen Foley, Stephen Ward, Stuart Maddocks, David Payne, Robert McKay, Eileen Waterhouse, Kenneth from Rowheath road, and David from Ashmore road.
Before I finish I must mention the snow ball fights in winter when the older children split into two opposing sides, I remember cold hands from throwing and sore ears from being hit!

Martin (Marty) Holeyman
Adelaide, Australia
July 2002

I attended Cotteridge School from 1957 – 1963, my two sisters and brother were also pupils, my older sister started school during the war years. The head teacher at that time was Miss Howard. My memories of the school are very mixed; I remember a teacher called Miss Self, who was very kind and loving; but there was also a teacher called Miss Smith who used to hit us on the head, a practice that would be very unpopular now.

The memory I have most about that time is school dinners were I would have to sit and eat every single morsel, I would be there all of lunch time looking forlornly at Brussels sprouts congealed with cold gravy, I wasn’t allowed to leave until they had gone, most days I went home with them in my pocket much to my mothers disapproval. I remember playing tig on green (until they painted all the railings blue) and playing with the girls from the secondary school which was closed before I had a chance of going there, I remember the boys were in a different playground to the girls, and we weren’t encouraged to mix. There are such a lot of memories pouring in right now.

From Cotteridge School I went to Queensbridge Secondary School in Moseley, worked for a few years met a great guy, married moved to Somerset and then on to Perth, Western Australia, where I have been living very happily for the last 15 years. I got this site through one of my friends who I was at Cotteridge School with, we still keep in touch.

Eileen Hughes (née Waterhouse)
Perth, Western Australia
July 2001

Cotteridge Carnival in the 1950s

Cotteridge Carnival in the 1950s

Crowds watching Bees in Watford Road

Crowds watching Bees in Watford Road

Mr and Mrs Winscott - Newsagents, Watford Road 1951

Mr and Mrs Winscott - Newsagents, Watford Road 1951