Posts Tagged ‘Emergency’

In response to a query on this site about Charlotte Road:

As you may already know this road runs parallel to Pershore Road and was mine, and loads of other young lads, rabbit run to Stirchley Senior Boys School, via Elm Tree & Ash Tree Road.

I recall that at the far end, from Cotteridge, was Ten Acres & Stirchley Co-op bakery, & their Works & Building Dept. By referring to the Stirchley Website I was able to confirm my own memories, that it suffered some bomb damage, and casualties by the name of Bishton(?).

During the 1939/45 war it was also my route, when reporting for duty at Stirchley Police Station in Victoria Road. Maybe because I associate this road with school and war duty I do not have any affection for it.

Police Aux M. S. This was the name displayed on the shoulder flash. We were trained by senior police officers and I now understand how they relied and trusted us with responsibilities and authority, far beyond our youthful looks. Anecdotes would fill a whole web page, some sad and serious, others a real howler. I can recall some of the names of the Police Messengers, based at Kings Norton and Stirchley Police Stations.

Photo of PAMS below taken around 1942/3 at Tally Ho.

Photo of PAMS below taken around 1942/3 at Tally Ho

Back Row L to R: Lol Avery (well known neighbour to your contributor Doreen Hill), Cliff, Stan ___, Bob Sanford.
Front row, Roy Mosely, Stan Boraston, Ray Mosely (yes they were twins).
Stan Boraston achieved acclaim for organizing a dance (with gramophone records) at Selly Oak Institute where most of the “B” Division, including Senior Officers, attended. There was even a picture in the Birminham Mail.

Cotteridge Fire Station Band, about 1930

Fire Station Band, about 1930

I was born in King’s Norton Fire Station and attach a copy of the Fire Brigade Band assembled outside the Fire Station in about 1930. My father is on the left of the top row holding a tuba. Although I left Birmingham over 50 years ago, to me it’s remarkable, after such a period of time, I can still recall the names of shops in Cotteridge when I lived there – some your correspondents have already mentioned, some not.

A few which come to mind are George Mason (the grocers) on the corner of Pershore Road where butter was patted, cheese cut to weight with a wire, and money put in a container and propelled across the shop to a central cash desk. Tansleys the fishmonger who, prior to Christmas, had turkeys (unplucked) hanging from the front of the shop. Blakes, the electrical shop where I bought records (78s). On the same side of the road (next to the Post Office) was a drapery shop where my Mother used to buy knitting wool and which I think was called ‘Frys’. On the opposite side of the road was ‘Gem Stores’ a small grocers where my Mother used to buy ‘Empson’s Tea’ (she insisted on Empson’s Tea) then, further along toward the junction with the Pershore Road, Tay’s the Butchers. To list the names of the shops I remember going down Pershore toward Cotteridge School would be boring to the reader so just one – Hazeldene’s the barber. Here I was dragged (probably kicking and screaming) for Mr Hazeldene to do a ‘pudding basin’ – no stylists in those days.

The variety and choice of shops then have nowadays been replaced by something very clinical and multinational without much to attract one’s interest. I don’t know what’s happened to Cotteridge, perhaps the wonderful hotch potch of shops remains. Although living many, many miles away, in our equivalent of Cotteridge we still have a fishmonger, an ironmonger, an electrical shop, a independent chemist shop, a butchers. a greengrocers, a bakers and cake shop (all made on the premises) and so on. Not a MacDonalds in sight. If there’s any disadvantage in having this variety of shops it’s that it can take three hours to buy a lightbulb. Somebody’s bound to trap you for a ‘chat’, as I’m sure they did in Cotteridge all those years back.

Chris Perman
September 2007

Simon is trying to find out any information on Cotteridge Fire Station:

I believe my great grandfather was based there, after initially serving at the Central Fire Station in Birmingham following discharge from the South African Constabulary. This could have been anytime between 1907 and WW2. His name was Leading Fireman William Henry Stanley. Any help will be gratefully received.

Leave a comment below or email us if you have any answers.


Police flats on Breedon Road

Police flats (now local authority housing) under construction on Breedon Road, on the site of the former Fleetwoods yard.

The full history of WR Fleetwood Ltd is here.

Paul is looking for any pictures or information about the police station in Cotteridge – can anybody help?