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Barlows of Birmingham

kooglescriber65

master brummie
Hi all, I am looking to find any info and photo's of an office equipment company based in Edmund st. in the 1960's names BARLOWS OF BIRMINGHAM. I went straight from school as a trainee typewriter mechanic there. I loved going around Birmingham in my little yellow mini van and had 6 happy years there.
 

mikeflan

master brummie
Hi all, I am looking to find any info and photo's of an office equipment company based in Edmund st. in the 1960's names BARLOWS OF BIRMINGHAM. I went straight from school as a trainee typewriter mechanic there. I loved going around Birmingham in my little yellow mini van and had 6 happy years there.
Did you ever know a guy there called Geoff Bye ??? I'm sure he worked there....lived in Selly Oak
 

kooglescriber65

master brummie
I'm afraid that name doesn't ring a bell. Guy's who's names I do remember were: Len Field ( my tutor) John Chiltern, Ron Williams, Wilf Dixon, Harold Richards ( stores) Don ? Eddie ? Clive Wilson, Kirt Kowaski or something like that ,Roy?
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Have a look at the Edmund Street thread
post 25 for a photo.
 

suemalings

master brummie
Barlows was on the corner of Barwick Street and Edmund Street. I used to work next door in Edmund Street. This was from 1975 - 1980 and Barlows was still there then. The whole building has been changed now and I think the number of the building has too.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
As there is a good photo in the Edmund Street thread suggested by David G maybe this would be better in that thread. Just an observation.... not an order! :grinning:
 

richardinwales

master brummie
My step father was Frank Barlow, he and his brother Ron took over from their father Fred when he retired. The company was sold to Ryman's IIRC. They had a yellow Transit van, minivan and mini...the mini was given to me when I past my test age 17...lots of great memories of that mini.BARLOW'S_OF_BRUM.jpgFRED_OLDER.jpgSTRATTFORD.jpg

Frank and mom retired to mid Wales for a number of years before moving to London in the late 80s (mom's health issues forced the move) and Frank passed away Feb 1996 (pictures from an album of mine hence the titles).
 

kooglescriber65

master brummie
Hi Richard, Many thanks for bringing some lovely memories back for me. Have you any more photo's such as the little yellow mini vans I used to love driving round Birmingham in them.
I must say that the Barlows family were first class employers and Mr. Ron Barlow was an absolute gentleman.
I remember Mr. Frank ( as we employees used to call him) smoked cigars and was always jolly.
When the time came for the family to sell the business, they hired a coach and had all the staff taken to the beautiful country house near Ann Hathaways cottage I think. There in the main hall was a long dinning table and we were all treated to a beautiful dinner with some emotional speeches at the end with Mr. Ron, thanking us all for the hard work we had put in to make the company successful.
The Imperial typewriter Co took over the typewriters section and we were moved to an office block in Hurst St. It was never the same as the lovely atmosphere we shared in Edmund St.
 

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richardinwales

master brummie
I knew Frank from when I was eleven through to his death, a gentleman and one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. He loved ham radio (G5IW) and after retiring to Wales got a part time job at Aberystwyth University in the physics department. They were doing an upper atmosphere project with the M.I.T. in the USA and the Max Planck Institute in Germany firing rockets up into the upper atmosphere; he built the electronic payload and two or three times a year they would fire modified Sea Skua rockets from the Army range on South Uist Scotland...he was like a born again schoolboy; for him it was all great fun.

I have one picture of my yellow mini (which I can't find at the moment) but here he is using the company vans to transport ham radio gear to a ham radio event run by M.A.R.S. (Midland Amateur Radio Society).
 

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kooglescriber65

master brummie
Wow! Richard you have blown me away with these photo's as I didn't know anything about this side of Frank.
The van in the picture was before my time as we had a grey transit. I remember being given 2/6d for a lunch allowance if I had to help the driver deliver to the Wolverhampton branch in School Lane. happy days.
Do you know what happened to Ron Barlow's leg? He always walked with a limp and at the back of my mind I think I was told something about him being in the RAF and was shot down during the war. I may be wrong on this but would find it interesting if it was the case.

I would be most grateful if you could dig out the mini van photo Richard as they bring very happy memories back for me.
 

richardinwales

master brummie
I never met Ron, he and Frank had a fall out over something or other. He and Frank were in the RAF, Ron was not a flyer (I think groundcrew) and Frank worked in Radar, he was ground based too but did fly missions when new radar equipment was being developed (he also landed with US ground troops on Sicily to set up ground radar on the beach) and was on Malta for the duration of the German siege of the island. Their mother was Alice. Their father Fred was an interesting fella, very involved in the psychic investigations and was a close friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I have correspondence they sent each other). Fred investigated 'spirit photograpy' and debunked a few people.
https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=Fred_Barlow Frank had no idea what happened to his fathers spirit photo collection and after his death I found out they had been given to the British Museum which is located half a mile from where he (Frank) lived in London https://www.akg-images.com/archive/Sir-Arthur-Conan-Doyle-with-physic-extra-2UMEBMYZJ7TOL.html Fred, Ron and Frank were all Masons although Frank dropped out in the 70s.
 

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kooglescriber65

master brummie
Hi Richard,
I am absolutely amazed. I worked for this family for 6 years and never had an inkling as to such history.
Thank you so much for sharing it.
 

kooglescriber65

master brummie
Hi Richard, I don’t recall the name and I was only on the typewriters.
It was a good time in my life even though I was only on £3.3s .0d a week and gave me my sense of independence earning a weekly wage.
 
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