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Alum Rock Rd - Ward End area


master brummie
Hi Billy,
I would have been in an older year at school but I can remember Geraldine Kinsella and her brother Keith.
Keith and I passed our 13 plus exam at the same time and both left Leigh Road to go to Bordesley Green Technical School.
If I remember right they lived Warren Road.
I knew Trevor Onions and his younger brother David. They lived in Malthouse Lane.
Roger Tovey lived in the same road as me, Bennetts Road and was tragically killed in a car crash at the age of about 18. He had an older brother Mick and a younger sister Christine. Another lad who lived by us and who we knocked about with was Paul Grant.
Norma Parsons I believe was in my class in the junior school and I knew a Janet Taylor and a Kenneth Burke (who used to work,part time, at Powells Greengrocers next to the old Washwood Heath Cinema. I think he lived on the Hutton Estate.
I knew a John Bennett, Linda Sidebotham.
There was one of my classmates, I think his surname was Garry Preston who was killed when he was struck by lightning whilst playing cricket on the school playing fields in St Margarets Road, Ward End. He had a mate called Terry Ballinger.
I had a couple of cousins Pat and Phillip Hems who would have been around your age and attended Leigh Road.
I can remember all of those teachers and also Miss Buck in the infant school and Mr Field in the junior school.

If you tell me where abouts you lived I may know other people who lived near you.


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master brummie
My mother was a cook at the cafe on the corner of Ward End Park road and washwood heath Road in the 50's and 60's.


master brummie
My husband Robert Jenkins went to Leigh Rd school, he left in 1959, he has 2 older brothers, David and Brian who also went to that school, I don't know if anyone remembers them, they lived at that time at George Arthur Rd.

A couple of weeks ago on the Carl Chinn page in the Birmingham Mail a 'George Mallen' wrote a article about the area and St Saviours school, on the page they printed a photograph of the school's 1949 football team, my brother in law David was on the back row, I don't know if anyone saw it.

Rita (trebor)


master brummie
I lived in Bennetts Road 1945-1966 and attended Leigh Road Infant, Junior and Senior School. 1950-1958.

I remember the following kids in Bennetts Road -

Michael, Roger and Christine Tovey

Paul Grant

Eugene, Noel, Kevin?, Rose and Irene Potter.

Peter Stevenson.

Colin Goth

Veronica, Lorna and Brenda Morris

Joy Richmond

Elizabeth Seabourne

Linda Guest and her sister.

Michael Doody

Richard Holmes

Joan Strong

Ann Potter

John Godfrey

Kenny Densley

Roger Hands

Eileen Lewis

Kenny Purchase

The Taroni's

Janet Birch

Bobby Nuisance

And a few others.
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master brummie
Hi Les,
Good selection of names there! One or two of them I recognise. The Teacher I couldn't remember was Mr. Field [Stanley O.] I remember he was very supportive on the run up to the 11 plus[which I managed to fail] and remember going to his house for tea, in Great Barr, with David Taylor during the school holidays just after we had left Leigh Road. I still have a couple of letters from him, from around then, wishing me well for the future. I will sort those photo's out because I have most of the names of the people on it. I lived on Washwood Heath Road, opposite East & Voss, Pauline East is on the photo's too.
One little incident at Leigh Road I remember, and often relate, is when I got caught swearing. I used to have a bit of a temper as a lad and was very easily 'wound up' [just ask my big Sister]. I can't remember what it was about but remember being in the playground, after school, and shouting "you bug__r"! Trouble is I was right under Mr. Mullins' study window which I didn't realise until this booming voice shouted out "My study.....NOW". With more than a little trepidation I went and knocked on the door and was told to "WAIT" after what seemed an eternity I was told to enter and fearing the worst did. Well I was expecting the cane, at the very least, instead I was asked where I had heard such language as I could surely not heard it at home! I was sent home with a letter for my parents, "Do not speak to anyone, go straight home, and give them this letter". Well it was more embarassing than anything as my friends Sister Elaine Darby was there to see me get sent to bed with no tea and a few stripes on my backside from my Dads belt for bringing disgrace on the family! I was more worried that Elaine would tell her Sister, Dawn who was in my class! :D
It took a little longer for me to control my temper though!

Was the lad killed by lightning Gary Porter? I was at Ward End Hall School with his Brother Robert and Keith Ballinger, Brother of Terry. Gary was struck by lightning on Bromford Racecourse where we used to have our sports, after they closed Burney Lane Playing Fields to build Washwood Heath Comp. I believe he had been sent back by one of the teachers to collect the relay batons during a sudden thunderstorm. I remember the whole school being devastated.


master brummie
Leigh Road School is running a 100 year anniversary reunion in July 2009. One of teaching assistants Audry is looking for any stories about school,so she can put it in her informastion collected. Im sure she would love to hear of every one on this blogg who went to leigh road school


I have just joined so only just found this thread.
My Great Grandparents got married at St Saviours Church Saltley on 18th August 1918. Henry Allen and Jane Elizabeth Chaplin.
Henry was born on 27th November 1883 in Mill Lane Slatley,Henry was a soldier in WW1 and Jane worked at the Munitions factory at Adderley Park.Henry is down as living at 99 Couchman Road and Jane at 45 Ash Road.My Nan was born in May 1919 the family moved to Coventry but unsure of the year,Henry died in 1949 and Jane in 1953


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Shannie, my husband was born at 109 Couchman road in 1952 and lived there until 1970.
He knew the family who lived at 99 in those days Mr. & Mrs Norton.


master brummie
Morris, could you post the date and time of the Leigh Road Centenary Event, my partner went to school there during the last war and has expressed an interest in attending.


master brummie
Morris, could you post the date and time of the Leigh Road Centenary Event, my partner went to school there during the last war and has expressed an interest in attending.



master brummie
This is a pic of Waswood Heath Road from Hutton Road up.I think Dave Fisher has asked for numbers 96 to 98 and I think these are them.Taken about 1988.BobS.

Chris B

master brummie
Hi All,
I spent a lot of my younger years around Alum Rock, my Grandparents (William Mason Palmer and Mary Anne Catherine) on my Mothers side, Inez Mary my Mom known as Betty and my Uncle Basil lived in Jackson Avenue, and also at number 9 Jackson Road, my Grandparents on my Fathers side (also William Henry) (William Henry Bryan and Gertrude) lived at 35 Maitland Road, one of my Grandfathers sisters (Mary Wesley known as Polly) also lived in Maitland Road as did my Dads brother Sidney with his wife Pat and my cousins Alan & David both now deceased, Alan dying at a young age about 22 through a brain haemorrhage David dying at the age of 58 through cancer. I attended Anthony Road School and because I didn't like school dinners I used to climb over the school wall and drop down onto the main Alum Rock Road just up from the shops on the corner of Jckson Road, I then hot footed it round to Grans in Jackson Road and enjoyed a good plate of stew or whatever was going. I used to say to her don't tell Mom I've been or she'll go barmy, I really hated school dinners. But many years later when I was to talking to Mom I told her this story and she said "don't think I didn't know, but as long as you were getting some food I didn't mind." The first teacher that I had was Miss Mottram who had also taught my Mother, she seemed ancient to me at the age of 6 or 7. My cousin Alan also went to Anthony Road, he was a big lad with a mop of ginger hair, I wasn't well built and if someone threatened me in the play ground and they were bigger than me, rather than get a pasting I would say "I'll tell my cousin Alan and he will sort you out" that usually did the trick, he could handle himself. Over the years Mom had several shops in the area, one at 128 Pretoria Road Bordesly Green, another at 410 Alum Rock Road opposite the end of Southalls next to Mrs Ashtons toy shop and lending library on the corner of Farndon Road. When Mom sold the shop we moved to 387 Alum Rock Road and as the area deterioated we moved out to Sheldon. The Brookhill Tavern was just down the road a watering hole for my Uncle Sid, I think Mrs Sillitoes sweet shop was opposite which is where I went to get my weekly sweet ration with my half crown pocket money, we used to go train spotting at the railway bridge at the top of Ludlow Road & Whitacre Road ?, we all used to go to the Grand Cinema for our Saturday matinees, went to the Capitol and the Beaufort sometimes, Grandad Palmer used to drink at the Rock public house, and walk through Ward End park to Washwood Heath lending library for his books. He was at one time Chief Accountant at the S.U carburretor company and they told him he could have the job as long as it could do it, but the company was bought out by British Leyland and because he was about 70 he was forced to retire. I can remember he was always studying books and forms to do with the football pools, the "Lit Plan" plus others, and once he did have a large win with which he bought my Gran and My Mom a genuine Musquash fur coat and Fox fur each, together with paying for us all to go on holiday to Weston Super Mare in Taxis, that was travelling in style in those days.I went on to Sladefield Secondry Modern School and became head boy in the 4th year, I used to love ringing the school bell for the change of lessons because it was an excuse to go into the girls play ground and see them in their shorts playing netball (perks of the job eh')
I will try to sort out some photos of the classes at Sladefield in the 50s

All the best Chris B


Kia Ora Chris
A wee memory test for you from New Zealand!

THANK you for the article - it gave me a real kick to see the heading and then read of your exploits!

At 787 Alum Rock Rd I have a family Fanny Gertude Lucy STEPHENS who was widowed in 1917. She had 3 (known to me) children
Arthur William Stephens born 1901
Mabel Hannah Stephens born 1903
Ernest Harry Stephens born 1905

Fanny Gertrude lived there when her husband was killed in 1917 and continued to live there as a widow until 1939 at least. She died in 1948 and I haven't yet got her Death Cert. The children are listed with her at this address until 1939 on Electoral Rolls.

Can you tell me if any of the names appear in any school Jubilee Books for the schools you attended?
Was the area damaged in WW2?

I'd be most grateful for any advice you can offer!
New Zealand


master brummie
Hi ,
I Have Lived At 783 Alum Rock Road Since 1967. There Was A Mrs Stevens Living There Then. She Lived There A Few Years ,but I Am Not Sure Of Dates. She Has Died Since She Left 785. We Have A Local Library In Ward End ,they Might Be Able To Help You Out With Some Information On Area. Birmingham Register Office Should Help You Find Any Death Certificates. Also Birmingham Central Library Holds Census Records And Parish Records.i Am Sure Most Of These Are On Web Sites. There Are Lots Of Schools Around Ward End The Nearest To Our House Is Thornton Road And Sladefield Road. Our Area Know Is Mostly Asian. My Wife As Just Told Me She Was Sure The Mrs Stevens Who Lived Here Moved To Washwood Heath Road In Ward End We Do Not Know What Number. If I Find Out Anymore I Will Let You Know .
All The Best Reg Morris


master brummie
My family lived at 757 Alum Rock Road from about 1935 (family name Galpin). It was one of a small row of shops a few doors along from 787. I lived there as a boy from 1945 to 1956 and confirm that there was no war damage to the houses on that side of the road.
A bomb did land on a corner shop on the opposite side, on the other side, beyond the railway bridge at the junction of Woodwells Road / Alum Rock Road, and the plot was derelict for most of the time I lived there.


master brummie
My parents were childhood neighbours and lived in Pelham Road.My mother's house was bombed like many down that road family names Hickman and Mann

Chris B

master brummie
I am afraid I was only a couple of years old at the end of the war, as far as I know Anthony Road school had the centre blown out by a bomb as I remember it being more modern than the rest of the building, and my Gran whose house backed onto the school had the back windows blown out by the blast, and I can remember a large hole in the lath and plaster in a little store room next to the bathroom where she said the shrapnel went through. The numbers 757 must be getting up towards the Pelham, I am afraid I didn't know anybody at that end of Alum Rock. Morris has made a few good suggestions that you could follow up though. Sorry I can't help.
Kind Regards Chris B

Chris B

master brummie
Hi All,
a picture (hopefully) of the Coronation photo (1953) in the hall at Anthony Road School. I was 9 going on 10, I am 7th from the left on the back row, anyone else recognise themselves ?
All the best Chris B

Names I can remember :-
Back Row Left To Right 1, Brian Toplis, 2, Stuart Williams, 3, ? 4, David Bryan (cousin) 5, **** Lloyd, 6, Malcom Williams,
7, Chris Bryan, 8, ? 9, David Greaves ?, 10, **** Toplis, 11, ?

Incidently if place your cursor on the pic and RIGHT click and left click on OPEN LINK you can increase the size of the image to see the faces clearer

Middle Row Left To Right 1, Ian Wood, 2, ? 3, ? 4, ? 5, Leslie **** 6, Frances Newbury & Brother 7, ? 8, ? 9, & 10, The Lloyd sisters, 11, Georgie Williams, 12, Brian Waldron, 13, ? 14 ? 15, Gillian Wood, 16, **** Waldron, 17, ?

Front Row Left To Right 1, Johnny Sparks, 2, Jimmy Williams,
3, ? 4, ? 5, ? 6, ? 7, ? 8, Nita ? *** 9, Judy Cross, 10, ? 11, ? 12, ? 13, ? 14, ? 15, ? 16, Nigel ***