• 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

Back to Back addresses

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi mike could you mark out house no 2 on the potter st map please...thanks

lyn
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Regrettably, I cannot Lyn. Around 1900 it would be close to Lancaster st on the south side, but in 1861 it would seem to have been close to Lancaster St on the north side. Have no way of identifying no 2
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Regrettably, I cannot Lyn. Around 1900 it would be close to Lancaster st on the south side, but in 1861 it would seem to have been close to Lancaster St on the north side. Have no way of identifying no 2

thanks mike at least the court is marked out

lyn
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
I could not find a court 7 on Vauxhall St, possibly because it had disappeared between 1871 and the maps I have. But went to look for it on the 1871 census, and could not seem to see it there either, though the writing is appalling (even worse than mine). Could you just check that.
I've gone back into the server and checked the 1871 addresses listed either side of my Henry Pearson's entry, and you're right, the writing is awful! However it does appear to be a court house, in a court of 10, accessed between numbers 43 and 44 Vauxhall Road. The oldest map that I've been able to find was 1888 (courtesy of NLS), which is not as detailed as yours.Vauxhall Road c1888.jpg
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
I recognise that it's a little ridiculous, but I confess I'm quite relieved to see that by the turn of the century they are out of the back to back housing and into terraced. There's nothing to say that the quality of the housing they'd moved into was any better than the Heanage Street facing properties, or that their landlord was fair or their rent reasonable, but at least they had a front and back door!
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
(Unrelated, but it makes me smile that I'm very sweetly labelled a 'Brummie Babby', because despite being born in Good Hope to a very Brummie Daddy I was raised just outside Kingswinford, which would make me a Black Country Babby... an me bloke ay no Brummie at all! He had to learn to slow down and speak English when he started work at Lucas, Great Hampton Street. :joy:)
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi lizzziebee...you can change your signature if you want by going into your settings...depending on how many posts you make your signature will automatically change..not sure what you will be called next lol...but for instance if you wanted to be known as a black country babby and you elected to change it to that yourself it would remain as that unless you wanted to change it again..hope this helps..just going back to the back to backs i had rellies in heanage st in 1841 i myself was born in my nans back to back in paddington st in 1953 nan loved it so much that she had to be dragged out of there in the late 1960s for demolision and of course many folk were still living in back to back houses as late as the late 1970s...possibly a little longer

lyn
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wow!! Thank you!
I've got 2 that refer to courts: 1861 census, 5 Court, 2, Potter Street and 1871 census 7 Court, 6 ho, Vauxhall Street.
They then move to Heanage Street and I have direct street addresses for them. Does that mean that the house simply faced the road instead of the court? In 1881 they are at 79 Heanage Street, (between Courts 12 and 13 as the census was taken), and in 1891 at 90 Heanage Street (close to Court 16).
Lizzie. In your original, you did say Vauxhall St. an easy mistake to make though. Unfortunately both existed at that time. The map below shows court 7 Vauxhall road in red

map c1889 showing court 7 Vauxhall Road.jpg
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
Thank you so, so, so much!!! I apologise for being a slow in responding, we’ve had a challenging family weekend and I had to Be Mummy, a lot. I did get to share all the work I’d done on his mom’s side of the family around Lyndon End and then Minworth with my Dad though, which was lovely. Back to it this evening. ❤️
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
Regrettably, I cannot Lyn. Around 1900 it would be close to Lancaster st on the south side, but in 1861 it would seem to have been close to Lancaster St on the north side. Have no way of identifying no 2
This really interests me Mikejee, how often do street numberings change around? And what prompts them?? I’m assuming (this being the case) that trying to work out where any given house was at any given time becomes a question of hard earned knowledge and experience rather than there being a reliable way to work it out.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Lizzie
I assume you have read the later post where I have given the details for Vauxhall Road.
Nowadays I do not think renumberings are that common. That said, if a building occupies a double or more plot, and thus is technically (say)
10&12, it is often just listed as either 10 or 12, and there is no certain way of knowing that, and indeed sometimes this changes in directories depending on which year you are looking at. Below I will try and explain further , but my emphasis is on Birmingham, of which have some knowledge
Going back to earlier years, originally buildings were not usually numbered. Indeed in small villages up till around the second world war this was quite common. On one occasion I was trying to elucidate the occupants of an old house in a village in Oxfordshire and none of the available censuses (up to 1911) showed any house numbers in the centre of the village and they only appeared on the electoral roll after WW2, before then being listed in alphabetical order (you will note I said "trying to" - I only managed up till 1911 by looking at and comparing neighbours on the censuses). In the early 19th century some numbering came in, mainly in towns, but it was not complete and often builders of a terrace would just number the terrace1,2,3... such and such a terrace. Slowly numbering came in, though often one part of a road might be numbered while others had no numbering, or possibly only he terrace numbering previously mentioned. This largely changed around 1860 and streets were largely (in towns) numbered (though to confuse matters the numberings , particularly of factories, was not always shown. this initial numbering was usually consecutive (1,2,3...) up one side of the road, and then down the other side. However, as towns expanded roads were lengthened or combined with others which led to problems, such as if a road consecutively numbered ended one side at say number 30, but was then extended - what do you call the buildings . Therefore around 1882-6 (in Birmingham) many roads were renumbered odd one side, even the other. A handful were similarly renumbered a few years later. I say in Birmingham, though I gather that in London a large renumbering occurred between the 1st and 2nd world wars.
As a matter of interest, there have been some recent discussions among"mappy"people on numbering. It has been pointed out by a town planner that (in his area) " streets with no. 1 on the right at the end nearer to the centre." Also that mapmakers on more recent large scale maps such as the one I posted for you for Dollman street were instructed to number the first and last house and also every fifth house. Interestingly to also always mark no 13, as some councils deliberately missed out no 13 (!!), so this would show whether this had occurred.
Sorry for going on, but hope you found it of interest. Basically you have to look at each case separately. I do it with a combination of available maps, directories and online electoral rolls
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
Thank you MikeJee! Perhaps I'm a just closet nerd, but I find detailed explanations from people who have acquired knowledge in a specific area to be really, really fascinating, so I can assure you did not "go on" and I was very interested indeed. 'History' is not black and white, it is a collection of materials and memories which tells a myriad of potential stories and the finer details are often crucial in forming a reasonably accurate interpretation of the evidence laid in front of you. Even so, the nuances of our own perceptions and character can change the stories we tell. My brother and I tell very different tales of growing up, despite being in the same house, at the same time, being very similar in age and sharing much of the same upbringing and experience. If two close siblings can't even tell one single history, there's no way that I can achieve that for the lives of my ancestors, their peers or any of their lived experiences. But the more I can discover, the closer I can get...
 

LizzieBee

proper brummie kid
i myself was born in my nans back to back in paddington st in 1953 nan loved it so much that she had to be dragged out of there in the late 1960s for demolision and of course many folk were still living in back to back houses as late as the late 1970s...possibly a little longer

lyn
I think the retention of the Inge Street Back to Backs by the National Trust, (however sanitised and prettified they are accused of being) is incredibly valuable. I was explaining to my Canadian step-mum on Sunday how the court system worked, why they were called back to backs, why they were built and why they were eventually demolished. In order to do so I pulled up some of the images (both NT and historic) and the explanations made much more sense to her with visual backup.

Her immediate response was one of recognising the closeness of the communities that must have formed within those environments, and how it must have been a massive wrench when those communities were split up and spread far and wide, or put into high rise flats. The acquisition of hot water on tap, of a full indoor bathroom, access to shared automatic washing machines and a green space to share with the pigeons 14 floors down all sound like wonderfully modern progress, but they would not be able to replace the human links that existed in the courts and streets.

Her second response was that she really wants to see the Back to Backs when they finally reopen. Count me in... I need to revisit them too! :heart:
 

JohnJames

master brummie
The two National Trust back to back properties 52 and 54 Inge St have been removed from the NT's holiday rental portfolio "indefinitely". Not sure why this has happened but seems a pity as these two properties provided a unique way of spending a bit of time in Birmingham City centre. Not a covid related thing either as all of their other properties become available again at the end of February.
 
Top