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A TRIBUTE TO OLD BIRMINGHAM

jmadone

master brummie
When I read Old Mohawk's post the mention of 'pantomime' it brought back a forgotten memory of going to the Birmingham Hippodrome. I was about four or five at the time and though I had no real recollection of the theme of the panto I know that one of the stars was Dickie Valentine. We sat in the in the middle section about 4 or 5 rows from the stage. At some point Dickie started to throw out handfuls of sweets into the audience, with several attempts at the balcony (no H&S in those days) and was looking to invite a child up on stage to join him. He looked straight in my direction and beckoned me to come up. I was petrified, especially when my Mom and Nan both tried to pull me out of my seat but I got quite angry and flatly refused. A young girl eventually went up and was encouraged to make animal noises as he sang Old Macdonalds Farm. I was really envious when, at the end, she was given a large box of sweets. My Mom and Nan kept on at me for ages for losing out!

It was a long shot but this afternoon I did a google search and to my surprise I found a copy of the programme from the show - and another article about the hippodrome and links the the Birmingham Chinese Quarter - see below. The panto I went to was the 1959 production of Aladdin and the stars were Norman Evans, Dickie Valentine and Eve Boswell. I did further searches on Eve Boswell's songs but have no recollection of her or her music. It was a different matter with Norman Evans as an old youtube clip jogged my memory of his role as widow Twanky and my recollection of Chinese performers using diablos in their act. It was as though someone had switched the light on. In case there has been a similar post I searched other just in case I'm repeating myself and found a piece under Xmas Parties - Lucas Children - it seems someone else on here saw the same panto!!!

My Mom must have taken me to other pantos as I remember being up in balcony seats and watching The Three Monarchs, whether this was the Hippodrome I have no Idea. I do have a few lines about another panto that I wrote about in infants school. This would have been My Weekend News which we always wrote up on the following Monday. Being 21st November this would have been a panto I went to on Friday 17th November 1960! On this occasion the stage was quite a way off. Apologies for the writing and spelling - I'm much improved and will translate as I still remember writing it and even the class and desk I sat in!

One Night I went to the theatre and there was a pair of binoculars you could put 6d into the machine and you could have binoculars. I looked at the stage . I saw a man playing a piano. He was playing the Teddy Bears Picnic. I knew the tune to the song.

I remember the piano on stage and a group of men singing and there being a banner attached to the piano - I have obviously attempted to repeat the name as I saw it on the banner - Brooig Boys but your guess as to who they were is a good as mine lol. If anyone could throw any light on who they were or which panto it was I'd be grateful.

If this post needs to be moved please feel free



View attachment 140728
Great Post, loved it.
 

Sugar

master brummie
I remember in the 70s catching my bus home at the top of new street by the townhall the number 5 bus (now num 7) it was opposite the abc new street cinema where I once queued in 1975 for ages to see Jaws the movie .I always thought it funny at the entrance of the cinema there was a big fish tank with real fish in it placed in the wall and if you went in the restaurant next door the same fish tank was in there as well they must of shared it as it was placed in the wall between the two buildings ! Also I bought some furniture from Cavendish woodhouse on hp I think it was next to the cinema or further down the street.Also the bier kellar which I went in once but never went back as it was too claustrophobic in there.I know there was a lot of restaurants all along there.i am sure Geff capes owned a fitness center on top of one of the shops there as well.Yes I do remember the starlings that use to roost in corporation street on c & a and flying over to h Samuel's many a time I caught my bus outside h Samuel's and from the bottom of the ramp to there I use to put my brolly up whether it was raining or not to protect me from the ' bombs from the spit fires ' as we called them . I use to find it funny when they bombed everybody else but I never got away Scot free they did bomb me a few times alot of people said it would bring you good luck but I always said you mean a load of MUCK!!
Sorry I meant an aquarium with fish in and not fish to eat!!!!!
 
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mw0njm.

brummie dude
I remember in the 70s catching my bus home at the top of new street by the townhall the number 5 bus (now num 7) it was opposite the abc new street cinema where I once queued in 1975 for ages to see Jaws the movie .I always thought it funny at the entrance of the cinema there was a big fish tank with real fish in it placed in the wall and if you went in the restaurant next door the same fish tank was in there as well they must of shared it as it was placed in the wall between the two buildings ! Also I bought some furniture from Cavendish woodhouse on hp I think it was next to the cinema or further down the street.Also the bier kellar which I went in once but never went back as it was too claustrophobic in there.I know there was a lot of restaurants all along there.i am sure Geff capes owned a fitness center on top of one of the shops there as well.Yes I do remember the starlings that use to roost in corporation street on c & a and flying over to h Samuel's many a time I caught my bus outside h Samuel's and from the bottom of the ramp to there I use to put my brolly up whether it was raining or not to protect me from the ' bombs from the spit fires ' as we called them . I use to find it funny when they bombed everybody else but I never got away Scot free they did bomb me a few times alot of people said it would bring you good luck but I always said you mean a load of MUCK!!
I stood in that queued to see jaws as well:)
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I suppose this is a photographic tribute to Birmingham. The view is from an 'old' building namely the 55 year old Rotunda now grade II listed. It still seems new to me I watched it being built.

The four year old link should be active as long as the store survives in it's present form. I've seen three central libraries in my lifetime and two of them are in this view.

Many old buildings just about visible amongst the glass and concrete towers. Zoom and scroll across it, the high resolution stays throughout ...:)
 

devonjim

master brummie
This would all have been pre 1950.
[/QUOTE
Travelling into town on the 44 from Acocks Green took you along Stratford Rd past KEGS Camp Hill, in 1948 I was impressed by the building and so when I came to do the 10+(because of my birth date I got to do it at ten) I knew where I wanted to go.
After my school years I got to study in several buildings that are no longer with us. The Victorian Birmingham Library, the Suffolk St version of Matthew Boulton Tech, Mason College in Edmund St. and the Madin Library that has come and gone. We occasionally got to go to the Theatre Royal in New St. remember seeing Max Bygraves as Buttons in Cinderella and also the Rep in Station St. The Long, the Tall and the Short was a memorable production, gosh the seats there were cramped, the usherette had the only seat with decent leg room.
The Clarendon, Temple Row pub became a frequent haunt as did the bar on platform one at New St Station. Except for the school all long gone!
 

mbenne

master brummie
Although the Rotunda has been on the Birmingham skyline for many years I've only ever been in it once. That was to deliver some documents to Ford Motor Credit that had an office on the 5th floor. Apart from the view what I remember most was the round shaped reception desk which followed the contour of the building - everything else is a blank!
 

farmerdave

master brummie
I did keep a diary for the whole of 1958 when I was aged 15. Made 20 visits into town. Lewis's crops up the most but also Hudson's Book shop, Midland Educational and the Co-op for a school blazer and badge. Also mention of going to the YHA (youth hostels association) shop but I cannot remember the location. School visit to the Reparatory Theatre on 29th Nov when I saw "Fear came to supper". The Alexandra Theatre was visited in November to see "The Grass is Greener" starring Celia Johnson (of Brief Encounter fame). On the 22nd Dec I went with my Mum to Wiley's café in the arcade (which arcade is not specified). Two career talks at the Midland Institute on Maths and Physics (29/12) and Teaching (30/12). I finally concentrated on Chemistry. The only cinema recorded on my visits to town was the Gaumont starring Victor Mature in "Escorts West". There were so many local cinemas, particularly the Rialto and Robin Hood in Hall Green, that I didn't go to cinemas in town all that much. Recorded that I tried to sell my stamp albums but the guy wasn't interested. I believe there was a stamp shop almost next to the Scala Cinema. Dave.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
I did keep a diary for the whole of 1958 when I was aged 15. Made 20 visits into town. Lewis's crops up the most but also Hudson's Book shop, Midland Educational and the Co-op for a school blazer and badge. Also mention of going to the YHA (youth hostels association) shop but I cannot remember the location. Dave.
Just found that the Youth Hostels Association Regional Office was situated at 92 Aston Street, Birmingham 4 and therefore not far from the Central Fire Station. It was open for enrolments, enquiries and sales. The sales included hostelling equipment, sheet sleeping bags, publications, badges and A.B.Vs??? Dave.
 
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