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Birchfield Road Perry Barr

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
cracking shot of birchfield road..looking towards aston lane..can make out the old crown and cushion on the left..the birchfield cinema on the right and the library next to it..the church you can see in aston lane is still there and so are the houses to the left of it but the houses to the right of the church have now gone.


Image below retrieved by Oldmohawk
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willey

master brummie
Astoness, Great picture! Remember the scene well. My wife used to take our young son to watch the diggers at work. He is 53 yrs old now. Where did the time go? regards willey
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
willey here is another good one..the cinema is on the left just in front of the bus..again the library next to it and in the distance i can make out holy trinity church...it really is hard for me to believe it looked like this before the powers that be decided to wreak havoc on the birchfield road

lyn

Image retrieved by Oldmohawk
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Big Gee

master brummie
Great pics, Lyn, and you can see the Co-Op on the left, as referred to in another thread. I can remember the 'old' Birchfield Road like it was yesterday. The reason for the wreaking of havoc on Birchfield Road is plain to see in the second photo, which I would guess is from the mid-1950's. Birchfield Road became almost a no-go area with the ever-increasing traffic - I can remember being stuck in gridlock for a couple of hours with my old man just down from Trinity Road, going towards town. It really was murder, and something had to be done. The underpass and flyover solved the problem at least for a time, but the underpass especially could do with a bit of a make-over these days.

The family of a pal of mine were one of the first to occupy the new high-rises (can't remember which one) and we were envious! Of course, the lifts worked, there was no graffiti, and no noisy neighbours - at least for a year or so.

Really lovely to be taken back to my childhood....sniff!

Big Gee
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
oh big gee i understand totally why the underpass came into being but it still does not stop me feeling quite sad when i look at pic 2 and see all those lovely buidings that had to be sacrificed..i travel this way often and also have to walk under the underpass to get to the other side of the road..its leaves a lot to be desired especially when walking under neath in the dark with no lighting and the smell is that bad sometimes that we have to cover our noses and run through as quick as we can...used as urinals you see....

glad you like the 2nd pic though.. it serves as a reminder to us just how lovely our city once was...

lyn
 

Big Gee

master brummie
It makes me sad, too, Lyn. When I was a sprog my mom and I would spend the best part of a morning along Birchfield Road, and if I'd been good she'd buy me the latest Dinky Toy at R Watts toy-shop. Later on in life, I'd spend hours in Birchfield Library, one of my most favourite places. Trouble is, the car took over everything. Birmingham made cars, and so the powers-that-were thought it right and proper to encourage them. Twenty years ago I'd have argued that the destruction of Birchfield Road, as you and I knew it when we were young, was progress, but now I'm not so sure. I think with the benefit of hindsight that there may have been other ways around the problem of every-increasing numbers of cars. Maybe.

But let's not miss out on looking at your photos and taking huge and perhaps sentimental pleasure in a brief look back at how life was in a slower-moving, perhaps more sensible, world than the one we're lumbered wit now.

Big Gee
 

willey

master brummie
Astoness. I have never seen that photograph before. It really captures the atmosphere of the place and yes what a poor place it all is now. Better to live in the memory I think.

Big Gee, I too remember R. Watts. My mother placed an order one Xmas during the war for a Meccano set. When Christmas arrived you were not sure whether you would get any sort of set let alone the one that you ordered. It was just a lottery. Things have changed!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! Regards. willey
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Willey,

one of my very earliest Christmas memories is when my older brother got a Hornby Dublo train-set and I got a cap-pistol and a Frog Spitfire. This would have been about 1951. My parents would have bought these from either R Watts on Birchfield Road or Darlington's on Witton Road. Given the cost of these prezzies, I'd guess that the old man must've picked up a Christmas bonus that year...

Big Gee
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
agree with all you say big gee we must be grateful for the photos that we have of days gone by...lovely memories off you too willey thank you for sharing them with us...

happy christmas to you both....

lyn
 
Agree lyn about that Subway, It used to be a muggers paradise and as you said urinal. What a difference to what it used to be.
 

A Sparks

master brummie
Amazing photographs!

I was at Birchfield Road Junior and Infants and I remember the underpass being built but had forgotten quite how that part of the Birchfield Road looked beforehand.
 

A Sparks

master brummie
That looks like the day it was opened - I remember it as we were allowed out of school (supervised by teachers of course!) to watch the proceedings.

That is the Lord Mayor of Birmingham's car if I recall correctly, it was the first to drive down.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi ragga i agree its a great pic..still hard to believe it once looked like that..

lyn
 
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