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Ashley Street November 1940

KJSScott

master brummie
Ashley Street was heavly bombed in November 1940 so much so it no longer exsist. I am having trouble locating it in any Birmingham Street maps prior to 1940.
Apparently it ran from Gooch Street to Bristol Street, Both my Grandparents lived in the Street prior to there wedding in May 1913.Has anybody got a section of a Street map they can post with Ashley Street on ?

Thanks
KJS
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
You never received a response to this, KJS, and I don't even know if you still follow the Forum. There are links contained in posts within this thread which will tell you more.

Chris
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Chris, that looks like the 1938 (ish) map which is very relevant to the original enquiry.

As a result of much information provided by Forum members in the thread I mentioned before, one or two website pages emerged which give a glimpse of Ashley Street after the bombing and also a detailed earlier map even showing individual houses in that street. There are also images of surrounding streets, including Wrentham, Essex, Gooch and Kent Streets.

I am still unsure how much of the extreme devastation shown was the result of Luftwaffe action or of some incomplete, pre-war, urban redevelopment scheme. The glimpse of the top of Ashley Street, adjacent to its junction with Bristol Street indicates some damage but not complete destruction (although there is a hint of worse damage on the extreme LH edge), whereas views of other nearby streets suggest total flattening.

It would be good to discover further information on this.

The links are:
https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences61staffshg.htm (second half of the page)
https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences60BhamFightingSchool.htm
https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences60ABhamFightingSchool.htm
and an expanded version of the one Ashley Street image:
https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences61Astaffshg.htm#grou

(There is quite a bit of repetition of information on these pages but each contains something different).

Chris
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
I lived in this area,was born indeed 5/10 minutes away from Ashley St,i remember it,i think the British legion was up there,they used to give help to people who had been in the forces,i think they started redeveloping in the early 60s
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
What you are implying, Liz, is that at least some of Ashley Street survived the bombing and that some of the properties were reinhabited after the war. The area adjacent to it, further away from Bristol Street, does however appear (from the images on my website) to have been totally devastated and would have had to await 1960s redevelopment before it could serve any useful purpose.

Chris
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
It ran if my memory is correct from Bristol St to Sherlock St,and now i am not sure of this but maybe there was a place up there where the Territorial Army met,there were lots of bomb damage around there,bomb sites we used as playgrounds,i knew the area very well i had friends in Benacre St, Kent St,Sherlock St, as i said i am sure the British legion was up there,and they built three story
blocks there early 60s they were modern and luxurious compared to the housing we were in,
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
I just looked on google and it looks like those maisonettes are still there on Sherlock St/Ashley St,there are trees all along the front of them now,they were only planted when they started having that car racing all around that area,it was thought it would help with privacy they weren't there originally,oh where is your website i would love to see it,And i just realized your website is on the bottom of your posting
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Liz,

Use the links in my post #4 and especially https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences60ABhamFightingSchool.htm . This gives a 1943/44 view of some of those streets and a modern view to show where Ashley Street once was. Wrentham and other streets seem to have survived.

Do you remember the large church on the corner of Ashley and Bristol Streets (see the other links)? Do you know what it was used for post-war? And do you know when it was pulled down?

Chris
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
I remember the church but i am afraid i don't know what it was used for,the whole area was redeveloped starting in the early 60s,the St you have on your map as Benacre St became Mowbray St,they changed the whole layout,what was Ashley St became a little close,i can't remember all the new names,but there was a little area that became a modern little estate,which took in Sherlock St Ashley St,right back to Bristol St,i think it is still there,that was the first redevelopment around there,by the end of the 60s the whole area had been redeveloped,if you look on google it will give you an idea,,i will put the little google map on,Ihave been chatting to somebody who done a lot of demolition in the area i will ask him if he knowsView attachment 54495
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
Chris i realized i just said the British legion was in Ashley St it wasn't that was Thorpe St,the National Assistant office as it was known then was in Ashley St,and my sister seems to think that the church at the bottom of Bristol Street,i think it may be St Catherine's was built to replace the one that was demolished,its by Irving, St my sister lived there
 

rowan

Born a Brummie
I have some distant relatives that were killed in the bombing of Victoria Grove Ashley Street on 19/11/1940 and the father was killed in the Rodney Inn Gooch Street.
How they are connected to my family I am not certain but I have been assured that they are. I will have to do a bit of reserch on that.

How sad they died in such a way and so young too :(
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
Our family has been to a 1940s weekend event in Cambridgeshire today. My dad was reminiscing about the war and tells me he remembers,as a young boy visiting his grandmother, about Ashley street during
the War. His mother used to take him on a tram to Bristol Street. They would alight and walk down Ashley Street,as his grandmother lived just off Gooch Street; in Bishop Street. However, after this particular raid they were unable to use Ashley Street as it was entirely closed off, top and bottom, with barbed wire. He was a small boy (3 years old), but nevertheless remembers this very well and the ensuing talk about the 'Ashley Street landmine', and how 'so many had been killed that night'. He believes these bodies were never recovered and the Street was closed off for years, until eventually (sometime in the 50s, or even early 60s ?) they built single storey government buildings (Social security, etc)on the land; with no foundations. Years and years later these were erased as buildings and they finally built on the Ashley Street site. My dad wonders how many people lost their lives and possibly never had their bodies recovered. Does anyone know ? Also, what is on the site now ?

Just found this Chris,Hello Rowan your right its very sad that so many people died so young


https://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/35/a4805435.shtml

and these places were there in the 50s National assistance office,maybe the school clinic,i can't remember all the places but they were all demolished again in the 60s
 
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juliedonaldson

Brummie babby
I believe my Gt.Grandmothers' house was destroyed by a bomb in WW2. Her name was Emily Brislin and she lived in Ashley Street. I wondered if anyone knew anything about this event?

Julie.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Julie,

This picture was taken at the top end of Ashley Street, near to its junction with Bristol Street, in around 1943 after the main bombing. There is clear evidence of damage. It seems that the whole area was damaged so badly that it was cleared and became the training area for a military street fighting school. Further details of that can be seen here and another page shows just how desolate the area had become by that time.

I hope that this thread can bring to light further information about how and when all this extreme damage occurred.

Chris

Mod comment: Lost image replaced 9 July 2019HG-1HDWEB.jpg
 
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juliedonaldson

Brummie babby
Thanks Colin for the information about casualties and the link. My Gt.Grandmother was at her daughter's house at the time of the bombing. Luckily the house was unoccupied because I believe it was totally destroyed.
Chris,thanks for posting the photo. As you say the damage is clearly visible. It was really interesting to read about the connection with the Home Guard.
Julie.
 

Gravon

New Member
I know I am 5 years later writing this reply, but also in Ashley Street were Government Driving School offices. I passed
my test from there in 1960. I lived in South Road, Sparbrook, behind the Woodman pub on the corner.
 

RodHunt

New Member
Hope I'm not too late! My father lived at No. 21 Ashley Street. On the night of the bombing he returned home from duty as a Special Constable to find his home flattened. The only thing standing upright was the piano. He was greatly relieved to discover that his mother had been visiting a friend so the house was empty.
 
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