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Back to Back houses today

phillip bates

knowlegable brummie
Just wondered if there are any other back to back houses still standing in Birmingham other than the ones in Hurst Street.
I went down Bordesley Street today and noticed some old houses that looked like they could have been back to backs at one time but may have been altered.
just asking if there is any left anywhere else

phill
 

phillip bates

knowlegable brummie
thanks jennyann

Yes those are the ones, i just thought they might of been some old back to backs that had been altered, as they do look quite narrow and have a piece built on the back of them.
nice to see somebody else has noticed them and i'm not the only sad person looking at old buildings.
thanks for the quick reply.

phill
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
I think a friend of mine purchased one of the very last back to backs in Birmingham. The house was in Station Rd Kings Norton just off Camp Lane and opposite the Railway Station.

I think it had been modernised, but basically it was still a back to back. I think it was like a one bedroom flat with the second bedroom converted into a bathroom.

As there was only him and his wife they loved it. I think he died some years back and I can't really say if the house is still there.

Phil
 
C

colin walker

Guest
hi Phil
I was working up ladypool road 4 years ago and called into some modernised back ta back houses that had been modernised.
they were just in ladypool road first left and to the top of that road as i remeber.
colin
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Colin

When you say first left off Ladypool Rd if you mean the Stratford Rd end it would be Beechfield Rd and if you mean the Church Rd end it would be Newport Rd or possibly Brighton Rd.

I'm not sure about Beechfield Rd as I've never took a good look at them, but having worked on the modernisation of those houses in Newport Rd and Brighton Rd I'm pretty sure none of those were back to backs at anytime.

Phil
 
C

colin walker

Guest
Hi Phil
The raod i working in was the on the no 8 route end and the hoses were behihind the shops. I was supprised when i went into these hoses as i had been up there every day when i was young and never noticed them till the hoses on the main road were knocked down
col
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Colin

The road you are talking about would be Highgate Rd. So would you be walking towards Moseley Rd or Stratford Rd.

Phil
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Right then Colin what I think you are describing is the one side of what was once Woodfield Crescent and possibly a bit further down Highgate Rd Chestnut Place.

I don't think that they were ever back to back houses. Back houses or Terrace houses yes but not back to backs. I knew some of the families that lived in those houses and some of them were nice little houses.

In fact I know there were some back to back houses in Balsall Heath but I can't ever remember anybody who lived in one. In fact for the times they were built in most of the housing was pretty posh. While the closer you cot to town in places like Highgate and Lee Bank and Bordesley the worse it got.

Phil
 

phillip bates

knowlegable brummie
I can remember reading about back to backs been modernised , healing and towing. does any one know what exactly was meant by this ?
I have also read about some back to backs being knocked through, to creat a more livable space, but i know there was a lot where nothing could be done due to poor building quality and design.
surely there must be some of these about somwhere in brum.
I have also read that other major cities had back to backs ,does anyone know if there are any left in other cities

phill
 

jennyann

master brummie
Staff member
Hi Phillip: Thanks for posting about the remodelling because I had much the same thought. I read an article several years ago where there were plans to
remodel some terrace row houses somewhere in Brum. The intention was, I believe, was to demolish every third house and landscape in between with berms, etc. I don't think these were back-to-back houses though. Does anyone else remember this and whether it actually happened?
 

Trebor

master brummie
Hello Phill,

There is a very good book by Carl Chinn, it is called 'Homes For People' Council Housing and Urban Renewal in Birmingham 1849-1999.

It his very informative about back to back houses with lots of photographs.

Regards trebor
 

Bernard67Arnold

master brummie
Hi PMC , you have got to be joking calling back to backs in Balsall Heath posh! I was born in Hick Street in 1930, posh ,they were Third World standard hovels, no more no less, the HSE wo,uldnt let you keep pigs in them nowadays, the best thing they ever did was to pull the lot down
Sorry thats one thing Ive never heard before posh, not on your nelly
Bye Bernard67Arnold:cool:
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Bernard67Arnold

I think I said "for the times most of the housing was pretty posh". I would agree not all of it was posh. Were there back to backs in Hick St? I didn't know that anyway I would have thought that being that side of Belgrave rd it was more Highgate. You see at that time I lived in Nechells and compared to there anywhere was posh.

When I moved back in with my grandparents in Vincent Street it was like moving in to paradise compared to what I was used to. I wouldn't have considered the housing in Balsall Heath Rd, Edward Rd, Cannon Hill Rd, Mary Street, Moseley Rd and other such roads as slums well not in the 40's & 50's anyway

Phil
 
J

Janet Holmes

Guest
I was born in 4 back 34 Colville Road Sparkbrook in 1950. We shared an outside toilet with the family next door who were the Erringtons. We had many types of insects - massive spiders and bedbugs. The other families were the Gordons who were next door on the other side. Is there anyone who remembers living there?
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Janet

I knew Coleville Rd well, when you say back house do you mean a normal 3 bedroom house that was off the street at the back of others houses or do you mean a back to back house of the one room downstairs and two tiny bedrooms type. Two houses back to back took up the space of one normal size house. I have heard of back to back houses in Balsall Heath but I have yet to find out where they were located. It would interest me greatly to find out.

Phil
 

Bernard67Arnold

master brummie
Hi Phil, there certainly back to back, I was born at 7/8 Hick Street, two up and two, Mom, Dad and 6 kids, work that out, no wonder we had enough points for a council house out at Yardley Wood, at Hick St; the toilets were in the yard in a block, even when we got to the new house the loo
was outside the back door! My sister in law Barbara still lives in that house but its been done up, new windows etc and one of the bedrooms has been made the bathroom. No loo rolls in those days, News of the World on a nail in door, I never did finish one story I was reading.!
Happy days? no, we used to pay Dr Wand six pense a visit, now people
moan about the NHS they dont know they are born.
bye for now Bernard:cool:
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Phil
The 1913 map looks to me as if all the terraces to the south of hick st were back to backs. Of course i could be misinterpreting the map.
Mike
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Bernard

Thanks for putting me straight, your back to backs in Hick St are the first that I have heard of. If anybody knows of anymore please let me know. Bernard the house I lived in in Nechells had two bedrooms and one room downstairs with shared toilets up the yard.

There was my mother and stepfather and three brothers and three sisters making nine in all. When my stepfather moved his three sisters in as well it was time for me to move back to my grandmothers in Balsall Heath. I have to say compared to some we were not overcrowded.

Mike

It looks like your interpretation of your map is correct.

Phil
 
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