• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

A. Stokes & Co - Legge Street, Birdcage Manufacturers

Ken Russell

New Member
I'm trying to find out more information on A. Stokes & Co, metallic birdcage manufacturers of 75 Legge Street, Gosta Green.
They operated from at least as early as 1890 until the 1960s (judging by phone book entries). They were initially run by Alfred Stokes who later took his brother George into the partnership. It probably grew out of a brass casting or wireworking business.
I believe the business was latterly run by Alfreds son Frank.
The businss was obviosuly quite substantial as the brothers had 2 patents to their name, and was able to support houses in Station Road, South Yardley and Frederick Street Edgbaston. Additionally Georges son was privately educated in the early years of the last century.
Any information, photos, catalogues even adverts would be really nice, as George juniior was my wifes father , but never had an interest in the business so all information dies with him.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The firm first appears in the directories as bird cage manufacturers between 1896 and 1899. A number in Legge St is not given, but they are listed as being between nos 68 and 70, which probably means that they were behind the main street. This would have been on the east side of Legge St (as is no 75), but to the north of the intersection with Digby st (whereas no 75 was probably to the south of that intersection.
They were still there in 1900, but by 1903 are still in Legge St, but on the other side of Digby St. Again no number is given for the building, but it is in the right position to be no 75. By 1921 they are listed as at no 75. I suspect that they had expanded by then, and taken over other buildings that frontaged Legge St.. The 1913 map (attached) shows (in red) a complex , with “wire works” over the centre of it . I think that this was all Stokes’ factory by 1921. They remain there till 1933, but disappear from the directories by 1936.
Before 1899, and in existence alongside the bird cage manufacturers, there was:
Stokes A. & Co.( Stokes Abel & Co.), manufacturers of brass wood screws, stone & machine screws, brass head picture nails, brass & iron rivets, studs, nuts &c. 56 & 57 Green street, Deritend.
They had been in existence since at least 1841 (though earlier they were at various other addresses) , and in 1833 there was an A. Stokes, gun lock and furniture forger.
A. Stokes the screw makers remained in existence after the disappearance of the bird cage manufacturers (though now in Deritend). Possibly, if it was the same firm, they transferred the bird cages to their other factory.
mike
 

Ken Russell

New Member
Thanks for all the additional info. I do not believe the screw manufacturers were linked to the birdcage manufacturers, I think that the screw company were taken over by gkn at some point. My reasons for believing there is no connection is that the father of the founders of the birdcage business was born in 1835 and didn't move to Brum till 1855 at the earliest. However, there is clearly a large Stokes presence in Aston/Saltley from the middle of the 19th

I will have to go back to my notes to see when the bird cage company ceased as I believed them to be lsited into the 60s. I think I will also have further address details.

Ken
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ColinB

gone but not forgotten
They're still listed in Kelly's 1949,
A. Stokes & Co. (Bird Cages) Ltd., Bird Cage Mfrs., Legge Street & Digby Street.
No trace in 1968

Colin
 
Top