Posts Tagged ‘School’

Cotteridge School sports day, 1922

Thanks to Cliff Fleetwood for the picture.

Click on image to see full size version

sports1922

2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the first world war.

Does anyone know anything of the honours board in Cotteridge School library, which lists those who fell in the great war?

For example, who funded it, when was it installed, who unveiled it etc.

Any information let us know by posting below or emailing.

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

Thanks to Joy for sending in these scanned pages from the photo album of her relative, Miss Phyllis Earp, who taught at the school in the early 1900s.

Click on the images to see them full size.

Three photos of Cotteridge School teachers and staff from the late seventies / early eighties. Let us know if you recognise anyone.

Cotteridge School staff in the late seventies / early eighties

Cotteridge School staff in the late seventies / early eighties

Cotteridge School staff in the late seventies / early eighties

Bob writes, “I am a former pupil of Cotteridge School, from 1953 to 1958.I can remember a few of the teachers and pupils mentioned and wondered if anyone remembers an accident when the dinner van bumped into the wall separating the two playgrounds, knocking down part of the wall and injuring a pupil called John Stevens”?

Cotteridge Junior & Infant School – photos taken in 2008.

See also their website.

Cotteridge School in 2008 - the annexe building

Cotteridge School in 2008: the main building from the infant playground

Cotteridge School in 2008: the main building from Breedon Road

1733 Pershore Road

1733 Pershore Road

I was born at 1773 Pershore Rd. in 1935 and went to Cotteridge Infant & Junior School until 1945 and then to Kings Norton Grammar School for Boys until 1953. I have found the info on Cotteridge very interesting. My father was born at no. 1 Cotteridge Rd. so I learned a lot of history about the area from him. It is very interesting to read what one person feels is important history and to compare it with anothers thoughts.

On reading Mr Fleetwood’s memories I wonder if he remembers running into his house to get what I think was his father’s shotgun when the German bomber came over the school roof, just missing the bell tower, twice, and the pilot had the cheek to wave to us kids standing by Fleetwood’s yard in Breedon Rd. Also the bomber which opened fire on the workers leaving Guest Keen & Nettlefolds, I’m glad to say that he missed all of them to the best of my knowledge.

I also well remember getting told off by our teachers for being late into school because we had been watching the firemen putting out the fire at the wood-yard in Frances Rd. For once the bomber was accurate in only hitting the wood-yard and none of the houses, although if he was aiming for the railway yard then his aim was lousy. I remember watching very early in the war when a bomber was very low over Bournville being shot at with shells bursting all round him and my thought was for the men on board the plane not being able to do anything about their fate, but I soon learned to have different feelings though.

On the subject of carnivals in Cotteridge park, my brother and I both won first prizes in the fancy-dress competitions, a few years apart, but with the same costume, made by my mother. The costume was of John Bull which went down well, but I doubt if many know who he was now.

Tony James
December 2007

I attended Cotteridge School from 1962 to 1969. My older brother Colin was in the year above me and my younger brother Keith three years below. We lived at 1 Lifford Cottages in Lifford Lane where our playground was the cut (at the front of the cottages) and the railway (behind us).

Among the teachers I remember were Miss Self, Miss Hudson, Mrs Brooking, Miss Smith, Mrs Meggs, Mrs Rudkin, Miss Wells and Mr Waugh. Our head was Mr Pebworth, but I also remember Mr Hewlett who I think kept pigs. Miss Smith fascinated me as I thought she was at least 100 at the time, andI think I was one of the few children who liked her and enjoyed her class.

Children I remember are Philip Haynes and his brother Tony who lived down the lane from us, Jackie Barker whose family lived at Lifford Hall for a while, Julie Richards who lived at the Breedon Pub for a while, Susan Cope and Wendy Mason whose mom was our crossing warden in the late 60s. We used to get our daily sweet ration from the sweet shop at the top of Francis Road or the shop next to Austin Clissetts just up past the old police station.

Our mother also went to Cotteridge from 1928 to 1937. My mother remembers a teacher named Mr Merryweather and tells me that the girls used to go to a house in Cotteridge to do housework as part of their lessons. Older girls stayed at Cotteridge but the boys went to Stirchley school. After school she worked at the paper mill by the canal, her grandparents, Major and Annie Flavell, owned the chip shop next to the Breedon pub.

We moved to Stirchley in the mid 60s but stayed at Cotteridge School and today the pull is still strong as 17 years ago I moved back up the Hill and now live just round the corner from Lifford Lane where I can see the roof of the house I was born in from my bedroom window.

Julie Bailey (nee Pedley)
October 2007

Cotteridge School football team 1945 - 46

Cotteridge School football team 1945 - 46; players included Barry Hicks, George Caldicott, Cedric Herbert, Fred Lee and Derek Base

Debbie Bevins, neé Wilson, is trying to locate some old friends. She writes, “I lived in Cotteridge for a very short while from 1970 when we moved from Warwickshire.

I remember my first days at Cotteridge School where I have vague recollections of there being murals on the walls of the playground? I lived in Frances Road, but we moved to Wales and I lost touch with my best friends at the time: Paul Poole and Nicola Peevor who I remember had a slide in her garden which got so hot being made of metal, you were hard pushed to sit on it at times!

I have many fond memories of happy summer afternoons playing with a group of friends from the street and if anyone is out there and remembers me I would like to hear from you”.

E-mail us or leave a comment below if you want to get in touch and we will pass it on.

Cotteridge School - St George and the Dragon mumming play from 1945 (photo courtesy of Tony James)

Cotteridge School - St George and the Dragon mumming play from 1945 (photo courtesy of Tony James)

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.”

Cotteridge Infants 1928 (photo courtesy of Mr George Nicholls)

I was born on the Pershore Road just up from the Breedon Pub in 1968, and my family moved to Redditch in 1980.

I attended Cotteridge School and captained the football team to the league title with Mr Stone as manager. (The dreaded Miss Richardson was Head Mistress (now deceased I believe)).

My memories of Cotteridge are all good. Playing down the cut, challenging everyone to football matches in the park and running through everyone’s gardens. Our neighbours were the Georges, Lanes, Leas and Bushells.

It was a close community then with many events being held and day trips to place like Blackpool being organised with the help of Kings Norton Ex-Serviceman’s and the Sunday School in Dell Road. (Mr Sturgess and Mr Carr). School friends and neighbours who still might be about were Simon Cartmell, Phillip Ryder, Paul Dutton, Malcolm Lea, Karen and Nicky Masters, the Turnballs, Girlings, Gavins and Pratts.

If anyone remembers a car crashing into the front room of a house (in about 2001), well that was our house. Also does anyone remember the ice cream van overturning outside what was then Wilmott Breedon? The gas leak when everyone had to be evacuated, the silver jubilee in the Sea Cadet hut, the fire in the basement of the house on the corner of Dell and Pershore Road (The Malonies I think?) and someone moving their TV into the middle of the road sitting down and pretending to watch it (smart move) after an argument with his wife!

Terry Smith
June 2004

I was at Cotteridge School from 1958 – 1964 and would like to give my memories, especially regarding Miss Smith. As several have mentioned, in hindsight we realise she was a teacher who cared about children learning and yes, Maths was her subject. I did benefit from being in her class and wish that I had paid more attention. Miss Smith had always taught the ‘remedial’ class, but the year I came under her care she had obviously asked to be allowed to take a ‘normal’ class. My mother told me in later years that most parents were horrified to find on the bottom of the reports under “class next year” the name of Miss Smith as they had not been told of the change in circumstances!

I too remember the tappings on the head and ruler on the hand, but also remember the Geography lessons because she had a lot of penfriends and visited them. I also remember visiting her house – with about 3-4 others – and having a Japanese afternoon on a Saturday. We were able to examine Japanese items and had a Japanese meal. I think this was a reward for something – perhaps good work!

It is perhaps only 4 or 5 years ago that I saw Miss Smith in Kwik Save while visiting my father, but was unable to get through the queues to speak to her. I enjoyed my time at Cotteridge School and would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.

Mrs Mary Thorpe (nee Harris)

I was at Cotteridge School from 1962 – 67 and remember it just as if it was yesterday. Sounds corny doesn’t it, and that’s what our parents used to say, thinking about something from the past. But it´s absolutely true. I remember the children who shared more or less the same experiences, from the first day in Miss Self`s class, to leaving the school after the 11 plus and Mr Pebworth as the headmaster.

Some of the children I remember:

  • Jeffrey Watson (went to his birthday party, he lived on the Pershore Road, just down from the school)
  • Teresa Hastings and Heather Wilson (I think some of the boys were a bit scared of them, they could pack a punch)
  • Anita Clamp (my first love, emigrated to Canada andI never saw her again, her father was a policeman I think)
  • Anita Harris (always smiling)
  • Hetty Sturge (a quiet little black girl, with a religious family)
  • Colin Pedley (my best friend but we lost contact after we came in different classes at our next school)
  • Robert Waldron (his father owned a shop just over the road on the corner of Francis Road, it had all sorts of things in there, both new and old)
  • Then there were the Cotton twins, Robert Wagstaff, John Baldwin, “Nobby” Clark (of course) Later when I became a soldier i served in the same Regiment as his cousin and we could share some memories.

I really missed Cotteridge, both the ups and downs, I remember getting a smack on the legs by Miss Reed, for talking in class, but I really liked her and was sad when she died of cancer not long after. Of course there was the infamous Miss Smith, when I look back on those days, I don´t think she meant to be as mean as she seemed, I think she was just a product of an old fashioned type of teaching. She thought she could control us better by fear then kindness. I must admit no one dared to say anything when she was teaching, pity it was maths (my worst subject).

Well after years in the army I have settled down in Denmark and I have a son who is 14 years old. It is interesting to compare my son’s school life to my own and I wonder if he will think about his school in the same way we others think about Cotteridge.

Philip Haynes, Holstebro, Denmark
Used to live at 171 Lifford Lane
June 2003

I attended Cotteridge school around 1972. I have fond memories of my short stay at the school. Memories of my first kiss and pulling the legs off daddy long legs (not necessarily in that order…)

What I remember of the playground is an alcove that had rubber tires wrapped around a pole and painted like a snake. I spent many lunch breaks hanging of that yellow snake. I also recall some little cubicle like seats at the same end of the playground. This is where a young girl asked me if I had ever been kissed… Like a fool I said no and she planted one on me. The funny things you remember.

We lived only a few houses down Pershore Rd from the school. Many of the pictures I see on the other page are very familiar and I can see where our old house is in one. My father spent a lot of time renovating that place and it would be interesting to see it today. I also remember buying sweets at the corner shop one street down.

The park was where I remember riding my bike, catching spinners and testing out my new plastic binoculars. I recall hanging from trees and falling off of them a lot.

All in all my memories of this area are very cherished and have stuck with me. I now live in Canada and have for the past 28 years. I still come back to Brum from time to time and must make an effort to look around the old haunts.

Andrew Stokes
Vancouver, BC, Canada
January 2003

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

I left Cotteridge School in 1968. During my time there the headmistress was Miss Howard, who was followed by Mrs. Copeland. The teachers in the Infants were Miss Self, Mrs. Brooking and Mrs. Frederick. the Junior teachers were Miss Meggs, Miss Smith, Mrs. Wells and Mr Hewlitt. He retired in 1967 and the photo shows me presenting him with a present. I was chosen because I was the oldest child in the school.

In 1967 we had a new head, Mr Pebworth and Mr Waugh came to be a junior teacher. The caretakers were Mr and Mrs Dandy. Sports Day was held at GKN sports ground (where Do-It-All is now). Everything we needed for sports day had to be carried down the road from school. So a stream of children carried bins, tables, hoops, skipping ropes, bean bags, dressing up clothes etc. We had running races, skipping, bean bag, dressing up and egg and spoon races. We had swimming lessons at Stirchley baths and we all had to walk there and back.

The annexe building was an art college. In 1967/68 Mr. Pebworth taught some pupils Irish dancing for a display in front of parents. We wore green silk skirts. We also put on a production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. At morning breaktime we all had a little bottle of milk. Juniors were milk monitors who took the crates of milk round to each classroom. Fourth year juniors were also duster monitors. On Monday mornings they had to collect clean dusters and towels from the caretakers and deliver them to each classroom and then on Friday afternoon they had to collect them back up for the caretaker to wash them over the weekend ready for Monday. These reports are for my sister Susan and me.

Later on, both my daughters went to Cotteridge School. Elizabeth is at Birmingham University doing Maths and Lyndsey is working in a science laboratory.

Mrs Margaret Dunbar, née Middleham
Cotteridge
September 2000

I was at Cotteridge School during the 1930s.

These are the teachers that I remember. Miss Showell was the headmistress. Miss Doherty, Miss Henshaw, Miss Genders, Miss Carpenter, Miss Leek, Miss Powell, Miss Carr, Mr. Brooking and Mr. Tozer were the other teachers. My brother, who is a little younger than me, remembers Mr. Major.

In the senior school Miss Turner was the head with Miss Franklin, Miss Rogers, Miss Shergold, Mrs. Mortiboys and one other teacher.

In the 1920s one of my friends remembers that the teachers were Miss Butcher, George Liddell (who played right-back for Birmingham City), Mr. Spicknell- the head, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Merry, Mr. Towers and Mr. Gibbs.

I remember that once, during the 1930s a fair came to Cotteridge Park. All the children went home for a midday meal and I think we may have had about two hours for lunch. Well, many of us stayed in the park watching the fair being put up and Miss Showell came to the park and rang the school`s hand bell because so many of us were missing.

I also remember taking a letter to the Park Keeper asking if we could have some holly and greenery from the park to decorate the school at Christmas time.

Alderman Fryer was a frequent visitor to the school.

There was a cane for use on naughty children. Many families expected the discipline at home to be carried forward to school. On many occasions I remember saying that I had been disciplined at school and was told “I expect you deserved it”.

Harry Pettie, the person who told me about the 1920s, told me that he had been Little Boy Blue in a panto. He also said that Mr Merry had a favourite saying, “You little B…..Button”. Across the road was Fleetwood`s yard with stables and shire horses. Clifford Fleetwood (the son) would be 73 now. He had a pony called Dinah. In their yard was Carrol, the blacksmith. Before Fleetwood’s owned it, it was Noah Fisher’s yard.

Jean Harris
Birmingham
August 2000

The logbook for the first day of Cotteridge Mixed School, October 1st, 1900.

Logbook from Cotteridge School's first ever day

1900 Cotteridge Mixed School

Oct 1 – I, George Howard Mann as Head Master, opened the above school this morning.
Staff: at opening:-
George Howard Mann Cert.
Miss Nellie Judge do
Miss Mary Brookes do
School closed this afternoon on account of King’s Norton Mop.

Oct 1 Clerk
Admitted first morning 170.

I started at Cotteridge School in 1985 and was in Mrs Green’s class. Mr Minchin was the headmaster and Mr Callaghan was the deputy who used to tell very long stories in assembly and play his guitar. I liked reception since we got to play with the lego and toys in the afternoon, but in the morning we read Ginn books like “Look”.

I don’t think we had a computer when I was in 1I or 3I (with Miss Edwards) but by the time I was in 6I with Mrs Jenkins in the Annexe we had got a little Spectrum that played games like Postman Pat and Tablesums. We also got to use the electric typewriter to write stories to put on the display boards in the classroom.

All through infants we learnt a lot of maths, reading and writing (Mrs Roe used to come and teach us joined-up handwriting), but still got to play with technic lego, capsella and other strange toys that you don’t see nowadays. We didn’t use calculators much but did get dictionaries.

We had a play house in reception but not in any other years. We had squash and biscuits every day – one custard cream or two plain biscuits – just before morning playtime.

Round about now strange things started happening to the school – the air raid shelter was knocked down (making a lot of noise and stopping Mr Minchin from doing assembly), as were the old outside toilets. We all helped create the new gardens which replaced them and watched the builders from the playground though the dinnerladies like Mrs Milner kept us from getting too close.

They also moved the staffroom to by the library and turned the classroom by the hall into a classroom again rather than a storeroom. The classrooms were painted in strange colours like murky brown and dark green and looked very 1970s, but they did start to paint them – including the hall, which turned pink one holiday.

In juniors, I was moved to the other class in my year for some reason, so was taught by Mrs Wase in Class 2. She was a very good teacher and we did mental arithmetic tests every morning. We also used to get a “good” or “very good” if we did impressed her and then she added up who had received the most in the week and gave them a prize. Her classroom had a posh computer which did more than a Spectrum and had a disk drive rather than a tape recorder.

But, one day we came back from dinnertime and found that Mrs Wase had gone to hospital because she had hurt her leg in some way, which meant we had a lot of supply teachers for the rest of the year.

We got Mrs Wase again the next year in Class 4 to make up for it, and we did all sorts of new things like going swimming at Linden Road, going to a place called Woodlands where we did assault courses, canoeing and archery. I was not very good at any of them, but it was a nice few days away.

About this time we got lots of new things in the school – loads of filing cabinets arrived along with the new National Curriculum folders which every teacher got. And we had new Nimbus computers and printers in every classroom which meant that we could play new games like Trains and something to do with castles, or print our writing using Minnie.

The next year I was in 5F with Mr Fletcher in the main school upstairs. He liked art and music and we used to make lots of things out of wood, especially after we went on a trip round a furniture factory. He also had loads of motorised lego that could be controlled by a little computer, which was good fun. Around this time I did my cycling proficiency course at the Patrick Collection and learnt how to cycle safely.

I was also briefly in the school cricket and rounders teams, but we weren’t very good, though we did win a medal in a tournament at Strikers Indoor Cricket Centre on Lifford Lane. At cricket practice after school Mr Minchin could hit balls into the flats on Breedon Road but we could only manage to get them a few feet.

In year six I was taught by Mrs Burton, who gave us stars of various colours for good work or behaviour. Gold was the best, followed by silver and then red, blue and green. When you got a star, you had to stick it over your name on the wall and the person with the most got a mystery prize.

We also got to go to Bell Heath – a field study centre near Worcester where we learnt about geography and history. I remember going into Worcester and looking round the shops, and walking across a rubbish tip. It was a lot of work rather than a holiday! Year six children got to be something called playleaders, which meant playing with the little infants in their playground. This was always fun, especially if you were no good at football which the juniors played. Towards the end of Year 6 we had to chose a new school, and we finally left for them in 1992.

I attended Cotteridge School for a year in 1938, when I was 12, after my family moved to Birmingham from Gloucestershire. We rented a flat over Eden and Son, the butcher’s shop, opposite the Grant Arms. My younger sister Sylvia also went to Cotteridge School, but my brother Sidney had to go to Stirchley School. At Cotteridge School I was issued with my gas mask, ready for the war. I remember that one of the teachers was called Mr Major.

One of my most vivid memories is that we were given free dinners because my dad was ill and couldn`t work. Each week the school gave us a little white ticket and we had to go by tram to a house in Cartland Rd, Stirchley for a revolting dinner. The tram fare was 1/2d (1/4p) each, so each day the “free” dinner cost us 2d (1p).The fares for the whole week cost 10d (4p).It doesn`t sound much, but we only had 9 shillings (45p) to live on. It wasn’t worth it. I would have much rather gone home for a sandwich. One day I lost the tram fare and we had to walk all the way, instead of just from the Co-op. I don’t know how it was decided that we should get these dinners, in those days nobody asked children their views or explained things like that.

We had family ties to Cotteridge. My grandparents lived at 9 Holly Rd. My grandfather, Sidney Boston, was a painter and decorator and went to work with his handcart. All of his 7 children attended Cotteridge School. The eldest, Thomas Boston, served in the 1914-1918 war and his name is on the Honours board in the library. I also had an aunt and cousins who lived in Laurel Rd. These photos show the street party in Laurel Rd, in 1935, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V, the decorations put up on the house in Holly Rd for the coronation in 1937 of King George VI and the Cotteridge football team of 1915, where Thomas Boston is 2nd from the right, standing up. I enjoyed living in Cotteridge and I remember some things very well.

Near St. Agnes Church was a shop called “Treasure Trove” that sold all kinds of things, many from house clearances. It was a wonderful place to look round,you could find anything from a large stuffed animal to a tiny button. It was owned by a Mr Cecil Vincent.

Lawton`s Cooked Meats, next to the Midland Rd railway bridge, sold delicious meat and such delights as pigs` feet, tripe, chitterlings, black pudding and a-la-mode beef, which was a big round of cooked beef in jelly and they would cut off slices for you to buy. I often got sent on errands for my gran.

An old lady, Mrs Grant-Ferris, owned a big house near the school, where Grant Court is now. She owned lots of property in Cotteridge and I remember that she often wore a fur coat.

Number 1 Holly Rd was the fire station. The station master was called Mr Cox and he had a horse-drawn fire engine, wore a shiny brass helmet and rang the bell loudly on his engine.

On the corner of Dell Rd and Pershore Rd was a sweet shop that had rows of sweet jars in the window and we could buy gobstoppers, sherbet fountains and liquorice rolls, if we could ever make up our minds with so much choice.
Opposite the school on the corner of Breedon Rd was Fleetwoods Haulage Yard, where they used horses to pull the carts.

If we wanted to travel to Birmingham we caught the 36 tram along Pershore Rd. The terminus is where Beaumont Court is now. Where the Jet garage now stands used to be a small factory in the early 1940s.

On Saturday mornings we used to go to the pictures at the Savoy Cinema, (opposite the Breedon Bar) and see films with Shirley Temple or Alan Jones.
On Sunday afternoons we went to Sunday school at the Gospel Hall in Dell Rd.
Sometimes there would be a fete or carnival in Cotteridge Park. It was very exciting to watch the jazz bands marching through Cotteridge to the park where they were judged to find the winner. The Blue Belvederes often seemed to be the favourite.

I have seen a lot of changes in Cotteridge, I wonder what’s next?

Mrs Kathleen Marsh, née Tainton
Acocks Green, Birmingham
July 2000

I came to live at Cotteridge in October 1939. War had just started. I went into Mr Brooking`s class and have very happy memories of it. I used to walk through the park to school and soon made friends.At playtime we did games like hopscotch and skipping. The boys had their own playground. We paid 2½d (1½p) each week for milk and could buy a biscuit for a halfpenny. We had an hour for dinner break and everyone went home for dinner. If you were naughty you could sometimes get away with having to stand in front of the class or you could get the ruler smacked across your hands. At the end of each day one child would ring the hand bell to signal hometime.

I was evacuated to a farm just outside Burton-on-Trent. After 18 months away I returned to Senior School. My 3 children, Margaret, Robert and David Garner also went to Cotteridge School and had happy times there. My school played a part in my later life when I remarried Walter Simpson who was a classmate all those years ago. I still have a group of friends who were at school with me and we have been sharing our memories of Cotteridge School.

Mrs Betty Simpson, née Ward
June 2000