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A TRIBUTE TO OLD BIRMINGHAM

mizzyjo

master brummie
My first job was at J H Martins which was based in the old Grand Theatre in Corporation Street, opposite the Old Square! Every lunchtime was spent in the Kings Hall Market, right next door, buying stockings and beautiful exotic materials for dresses, whilst eating our chips!!
 

Solihull54

master brummie
Tho old city is dead and buried, as far as I'm concerned, nothing now but new offices and re-vamped shops.
I remember as I think many others will do also,the old bull ring with the policeman directing the traffic standing in the middle of the cobbled road, how he never got run over in the ice or snow amazes me, corner of Moor st. Oswald Bailey, and over the way , Woolworths with the old lady in black on the steps selling handy carrier (4p).
T he market hall without the roof, Times Furnishing,(now Waterstones), the Odeon with Wimpey bar next door, the Midland Educational shop in Corporation st.,old Lewis's with the zoo? on the roof, the old OLD Square with Kings Hall market opposite, the Mecca ballroom, opposite Murdochs piano and music shop where I bought all my records, the music shop in Cherry St., for sheet music.
Yates wine bar and Barrows stores, Henry's, Jamaica Row with all the fruit and veg barrows,the Gaumont cinema, Chetwynds
where all the teds bought their zoot suits which was beneath the West End ballroom corner of Navigation st., and the opposite corner the hot potato man the Queens Hotel fronting New st. station, and the Woodman pub.
Galloways corner of New st.,main post office opposite,as well as the Kardoma in Colmore Row you had the National milk bar over the road next door to the Grand hotel.
I could go on forever, but I'll leave room for someone else's memories.
Agree with much said, I was a young trainee at Times Furnishing opposite the rotunda in 1972, very different times, on starting I was told to call the General Manager 'Sir', and remember customers coming in for Bits and bobs. Mind it was only a stroll to the nearby pubs which as an 18yo was helpful, Tavern, Mulberry Bush, Bogarts and Costamonger.
 

Nico

master brummie
Agree with much said, I was a young trainee at Times Furnishing opposite the rotunda in 1972, very different times, on starting I was told to call the General Manager 'Sir', and remember customers coming in for Bits and bobs. Mind it was only a stroll to the nearby pubs which as an 18yo was helpful, Tavern, Mulberry Bush, Bogarts and Costamonger.
I am sure Cov had a Times Furnishing too I can't remember where though.The Telegraph where I worked occasionally got Brum advertisers then. A big furnitue shop in Yardley but I forgot the name was one.
 

Nico

master brummie
Agree with much said, I was a young trainee at Times Furnishing opposite the rotunda in 1972, very different times, on starting I was told to call the General Manager 'Sir', and remember customers coming in for Bits and bobs. Mind it was only a stroll to the nearby pubs which as an 18yo was helpful, Tavern, Mulberry Bush, Bogarts and Costamonger.
Everyone who was a Manager was addressed as Mr, apart from in the works, they would rip you to shreds laughing if you did, all the secretaries Mrs or Miss and the maturer ladies. And the clients I used to see. And I was even addressed as Mr by some of the clients, I quite liked that at nineteen.
 

Michael_Ingram

master brummie
Just saw post #106 - No I was not from Erdington but the part of a face next to me on our right is my mate from school at the time - Tony Green who lived in Slade Road Erdington
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The jazz discussion deserves its own thread so shall set one up with a link to this thread. Viv.
 
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johnny082

master brummie
Have several memories of the city centre. Does anyone remember Barrows, the 'posh' shop, the other end of Corporation Street from New street, towards the Salvation Army Citadel. During the war my mother was quite poorly and for some reason the doctor said to her Oysters would be the best thing to help her. I remember going with her once a month to get a note from him to say she needed Oysters. the only place she could get them from was Barrows. Every Saturday morning I went with her into town and I would stand in the long queue there whilst she went for other things. The one Saturday I went in I was surprised to see a round display by the entrance filled with all kinds of unusual meats. I saw this one, havn't a clue what meat it was, but in the shape of a basin upside down. What attracted me most was what I thought was a glass clear basin over it. There was no pyrex basins to my knowledge in those days. When mom had paid for her Oysters I took her round to show her. In my excitement I pointed to it and put my index finger on it, only to find that it was not glass but clear jelly. Needless to say the display was ruined and we quickly took our exit
 

Richarddye

master brummie
No Bob, I lived in Lozells my friend did and I had a girlfriend from there an went with her to the Palace. I went to Handsworth Grammar and went to places like the Trocadero, the Windsor, the Stagedoor Club, Sombrero, etc., in town
Michael, I lived in Handsworth and went to all the same places! Great places to be!
 

SmethwickGirl

Boing Boing!!
My memories are from the late 70's until now really.

I never used to go to Town shopping as a child, mom disliked big crowds and we tended to shop in Bearwood and West Brom, where it was slightly quieter.

I started to go into Town in 1979 when I was 13. I would walk down to Bearwood Road and catch the 82 into Town, always tried to get the front seat upstairs so I could look at all the shops on the way in. The bus would stop in New Street and I would usually go straight into HMV and buy a record, then walk down to the Rag Market and Bull Ring Market, then into the Bull Ring itself, up that huge escalator to the bridge over Smallbrook Queensway, and through there back to the 82 stop.

As I got older, I would go further into Town, usually going to the Reject Shop on the High Street I spent hours in there buying cheap stuff for college, then walk round Oasis, I got my ears pierced in there in 1983, and rang my mom to let her know, no mobiles then. Always loved the smell in Oasis, a blend of patchouli oil and "cigarettes"!

I also loved Lewis's, even though I rarely brought anything from there, it seemed to sell everything. The Rag Market was still a huge favourite and I would spend hours looking at vintage clothes that I could buy and make something else, also the huge stalls full of material, I used to make my clothes and brought so much material from there, then pop in the chippy on Edgbaston Street for chips and round to the bus station where we would eat our chips, have a cigarette waiting for our bus home, with the music from Don Christie's reggae shop playing in the distance

It may have been grey, dirty and full of concrete, but that is the Town I miss, the one where I saw loads of bands play at the Odeon, the busy bustling streets crowded with people and buses.
I have to admit though, I do like a lot of the modern stuff, even though I miss the dirty old concrete, times and people change and Birmingham has to change with them, the way the old buildings round Colmore Row have been preserved is lovely. I hope teenagers today have the same happy memories in years to come as I have, I'm sure they will
 

JeannetteM

master brummie
My memories are from the late 70's until now really.

I never used to go to Town shopping as a child, mom disliked big crowds and we tended to shop in Bearwood and West Brom, where it was slightly quieter.

I started to go into Town in 1979 when I was 13. I would walk down to Bearwood Road and catch the 82 into Town, always tried to get the front seat upstairs so I could look at all the shops on the way in. The bus would stop in New Street and I would usually go straight into HMV and buy a record, then walk down to the Rag Market and Bull Ring Market, then into the Bull Ring itself, up that huge escalator to the bridge over Smallbrook Queensway, and through there back to the 82 stop.

As I got older, I would go further into Town, usually going to the Reject Shop on the High Street I spent hours in there buying cheap stuff for college, then walk round Oasis, I got my ears pierced in there in 1983, and rang my mom to let her know, no mobiles then. Always loved the smell in Oasis, a blend of patchouli oil and "cigarettes"!

I also loved Lewis's, even though I rarely brought anything from there, it seemed to sell everything. The Rag Market was still a huge favourite and I would spend hours looking at vintage clothes that I could buy and make something else, also the huge stalls full of material, I used to make my clothes and brought so much material from there, then pop in the chippy on Edgbaston Street for chips and round to the bus station where we would eat our chips, have a cigarette waiting for our bus home, with the music from Don Christie's reggae shop playing in the distance

It may have been grey, dirty and full of concrete, but that is the Town I miss, the one where I saw loads of bands play at the Odeon, the busy bustling streets crowded with people and buses.
I have to admit though, I do like a lot of the modern stuff, even though I miss the dirty old concrete, times and people change and Birmingham has to change with them, the way the old buildings round Colmore Row have been preserved is lovely. I hope teenagers today have the same happy memories in years to come as I have, I'm sure they will
What a lovely description of your memories of Town. I feel exactly the same, although I am a few years older than you. Saturday was the day to feel excited about the bus ride into Town, like you I loved looking into the shops as the bus went by, so much to see. There was an added bit of excitement in the Winter months when it was darker earlier and you were wrapped up against the cold. Great to get into the shops for a bit of warmth then nice to get back out into the cold again. Happy days. Jen
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
It is ironic that the two major memories so far should come from female members, us lads used to go up town as well, but our visits were more prosaic, record shops, magazine browsing in Smiths ,Zissmans and the other outfitter who sold 'American' branded & style clothes, then Hepworths, Burtons, John Collier or Fifty Shilling tailors to order a made to measure suit to our design, coffee, pint and then the big decision football, pictures (the latter if we were off dancing at the West End or Plaza), but of course we spent most of the time 'Standing on the Corner watching all the girls go by'. But from the first time I was ever taken up there by mum on the bus or by my nan on the tram, I always felt that 'Town' was a special place and with my nan it was tea and Kunzle cakes in the arcade and as you say in winter, the murk that was evening in the late forties early fifties was the signal to go home, upstairs on the bus or tram and up there was the smog of cigarette smoke. Yes happy days indeed.

Bob
 

Richarddye

master brummie
It is ironic that the two major memories so far should come from female members, us lads used to go up town as well, but our visits were more prosaic, record shops, magazine browsing in Smiths ,Zissmans and the other outfitter who sold 'American' branded & style clothes, then Hepworths, Burtons, John Collier or Fifty Shilling tailors to order a made to measure suit to our design, coffee, pint and then the big decision football, pictures (the latter if we were off dancing at the West End or Plaza), but of course we spent most of the time 'Standing on the Corner watching all the girls go by'. But from the first time I was ever taken up there by mum on the bus or by my nan on the tram, I always felt that 'Town' was a special place and with my nan it was tea and Kunzle cakes in the arcade and as you say in winter, the murk that was evening in the late forties early fifties was the signal to go home, upstairs on the bus or tram and up there was the smog of cigarette smoke. Yes happy days indeed.

Bob
Bob, John Collier and Hepworth were my tailors! Took about 6 or 8 weeks to get a suit if I recall!
 

chrissweep

master brummie
Saturday morn The fish market. with Dad and Grandad cockles, musscles? in small plates, pour on the vinegra, yummy loved the smell of the place. Dad always got fish, Haddock or Plaice for Mom to fix.
My great Uncle worked at Birmingham fish market, I remember going the once and being introduced to early morning drinking in the pub and colourfull language !
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
Bob, John Collier and Hepworth were my tailors! Took about 6 or 8 weeks to get a suit if I recall!
Back in the 60's I never had a suit made at those tailors , Burton then Jackson had the pleasure of making mine 27/1/2" from bottom of the collar to bottom of jacket , ticket pocket and slanted pockets , 12" centre vent or 2 X 10" side vents , 17" knee 18" bottom to give the appearance of parallel legs . Ooooh Suit You Sir .
 

chrissweep

master brummie
Back in the 60's I never had a suit made at those tailors , Burton then Jackson had the pleasure of making mine 27/1/2" from bottom of the collar to bottom of jacket , ticket pocket and slanted pockets , 12" centre vent or 2 X 10" side vents , 17" knee 18" bottom to give the appearance of parallel legs . Ooooh Suit You Sir .
I remember Zissmans as being the go to outfitters, and then Cecil Gee for more " up market" clothing
 
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