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birmingham 1969-73

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
At Phil's (PMC1947) suggestion I am posting the set of pictures I took over the period above, part of the time when Birmingham was being destroyed. I wish now I had taken more, and that I was a better photographer. Unfortunately all my notes (but luckily not the negatives and slides) were destroyed in Leeds in 1977, when my cellar was flooded with sewage, and so most cannot be dated accurately, though a few of the films do apparently have processing dates. I say apparently because one seems to say April 1967, which is 5 months before I came to Birmingham ! The identification of the places shown was sometimes easy because of memory, street or business names, but Phil has been of enormous help in identifying many of them. A few we have not managed to identify, and it is possible that someone on the forum might recognize them. A few, including one below, will probably never be identified. A few have already been on the forum, and I will try and not repeat, but apologise if I do. Please add any photos or memories that add to the pictures.
The first set (on this post and the next) are of Jamaica Row from Dean St to Bromsgrove St, opposite the old market. The top one shows nos 47-67. At the centre is Brooks Vaults, which had another entrance at the back in Market St. To the left of it is the fruit merchant J.V.White & Co, who were also accessed from Market St. W. Daniel 7 sons on the other side were also fruit wholesalers. Being opposite the Smithfield Market, much of the area was occupied by those connected to the fruit & vegetable trade. Because of this trade, Brooks Vaults , and other pubs in the area were one of the few places at this time where you could get a (alcoholic) drink legally in the early morning due to them having a special licence allowing it. If you tried to go in there in the evening you would be out of luck as it would be closed.
Below this are nos 59-67, mostly again associated with the fruit/vegetable trade.
Next down is nos 67-71, the far left of this block. To the left is the midland Bank, which was on the corner with Bromsgrove St
Next down nos 59-51 (Brookes Vaults)
Last in post shows nos 51-45 on the other side of Brookes Vaults. At no 47 Deatheridge (another fruit merchant) occupied the building that was once the Smithfield Arms pub, as can be seen in the stone name above the first floor.

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mike
















 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The far end of the block nos, 41,43,45 are occupied by Randall Bros & Parsons, wholesale fruiterers. They also have access into market street running behind Jamaica row. Later in the thread shots of Market st will (eventually) show these back entrances remainder of this set. . There are two shots & I have enlarged part of the shot of the windows at no 41-43 to show the very nice frieze below the upper window. The last picture (the third down of the four) was unidentified, but has since been shown to be the toilets by the side of the Drovers Arms in Smithfield St. It was taken after the last Jamaica Row picture and before the ones of the side of Smithfield garage in meriden st which appear on another thread.



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gingerjon

master brummie

mikejee you can just make out the name of the company
Randall Bros. & Parsons Ltd. fruit mers. 8/9 & 46 Smithfield
Wholesale Fruit & Vegetable Market 5; (stores)
Market st 5 & (office) 41/43 Jamaica TOW 5. T A
" Randall " ; Midland 1733 (3 lines)
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Mike

I don't think I saw this one, it looks like the outside toilets to a pub to me, and I would guess somewhere of Hurst St or Pershore St. There again I could be completely wrong, thats the fun part of it, it drives you to distraction as you well know. You have got a lot more help now though.

Phil
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Pictures of the school in Vicarage road. I think it looks so forlorn in the colour picture standing empty and derelict.The black & white pictures were taken at a different time. Not sure which part of the school the inside picture was taken. hope that one doesn't upset anyone who remembers the school
Mike







 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
A few more in the Bradford st. area. The first 3 run together and cover 333-342 on the north side of Bradford st. between Mill lane and Smithfield st. There had always been a large numbers of firms in this area associated with meat, and, with the exception of the café these buildings largely conformed to this in the 1930s to early 1960s. Number 342, of which half can be seen, had been the home of John Gardner, sausage machine maker, since the early 1890s., and Rushbrooks since around 1930, though Rushbrook’s predecessors had been in the same trade, butchers outfitters, suppliers of everything aspiring butchers could require. Rushbrooks had recently moved to an older, but obviously reconditioned, building at the end of Cheapside, as can be seen in the fourth photo. Before WW1 the trades were more mixed, including a saddlery, a truss maker and an umbrella maker. The new home of Rushbrooks in the fourth picture was a horse and carriage repository in the 1840s, and then successively becoming the site of a coach builder and spring manufacturer, a tinplate merchant, and around 1908 a cycle manufacturer ( F & H Melon). Finally another from Bradford st. This no 343, next to the Drovers Arms. the last occupant was M.Tay, butcher, though back in 1900 it was T.G.Wallis & Co , tinplate merchant , and in the 1850s-1870s it was James Bissell, iron & tinplate merchant.









 
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robert

master brummie
For some reason the 4th photo in reply #2 looks familiar, i think its just up from the Silvere Blades ice rink going towards Upper Dean st. The building in the centre of the photo is still standing. Its frontage is on Dean st, well what little is left of Dean st. But there again it could be some were else.
 

Arkrite

master brummie
Does anyone know the significance / reason for the freize. Prams and goats or antelopes seem a pretty strange mix to me.
Thanks Mike for uploading these photos. While they have no personal tie to me I love looking at the architecture. Some people like stately homes but I like industrial and urban buildings. The 4th picture on post 9 is fascinating, I bet it has a really mixed history......Arkrite.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Robert
You say you think you recognise the unknown in # 2. I assume you mean this one below, taken from virtual earth (2007).I can see a resemblance, but am not sure. On consideration i agree with Phil that it could be a pub toilet, and that wouldn't seem to fit with this position.
Arkright
I agree about industrial buildings – well not modern ones. As to the frieze, the building at 41 used to be the Metropolitan Bank, and this would have served the markets, so maybe it was meant to represent farming industry.
Mike
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
These seem to have all been taken around Aston, but most have not been fully identified. The first one, Ilsley Coals, was run by John William Ilsley at 5 Church Lane, Aston, believed in advertising themselves. Henry Ilsley, son of a gun metal filer employing 2 men & 2 boys, and his wife Mary Ann, set up the business in 1891. Then there were a number of other businesses in the road, but here most houses around them have been demolished. They remained until at least 1973. The second picture was once Newburys. They did have a place at 43-47 Lichfield Road, but this does not look much like Lichfield road and does not fit with the map. It seems that it was no 5 Portland St,, which was occupied in the 1950s and early 1960s by Newbury Carpet Services.
The third one has this unusual-looking factory in the background, which, I would think, would be remembered by anyone who lived near there,
Note from paulyx: "looking at your pics in post #14, pic #3, the strange factory you refer to could be the telephone exchange,on the corner of alfred st, and beales st. looking across church rd." The present building does not look much like the picture her though. The most likely contender is the Buttons Ltd factory in Portland st, which , from past aerial photos did once hav elittle chimneys along the side.
The fourth one is the row of houses in the previous picture from a different angle. The fifth seems to be from a different row in the same area, and probably older. The latter two are possibly houses between Portland and Catherine St











 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Osborne tower is in the background of The Golden Arrow, at the junction of Gladstone st. and Church Lane. I should think this café was the last original building in the area. It had been a grocers from its erection around 1883 till the late 1950s, only changing use to a café for about ten years.
The next looks like it is showing the school in vicarage road again, but there seem to be extra buildings to the right part of the school compared to the first picture in #7.
No idea where the next photo is, though almost certainly in the same area, but perhaps someone recognises it
The next is 90 Church Lane, Aston. This site seems to have largely worked in metal trades. In 1900 Benjamin Bloomer, nail & boot protector maker worked there, in 1921 it was a shoeing smith, George Murrell, while in 1936 Sydney Barnett made chair frames chair frame, but by 1946 it had become Regent cleaners.
Last is one that almost certainly will never be identified, though again in the same area












 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The last of this film. I am sure they are all in the same area,
9. Have decided with Phil’s advice that this is somewhere along Beales St. Beales St.
10. Another that will probably never be identified.
11. Possibly Vicarage road, but not really sure.
12.A pub where we can just perceive Mitchells & Butler on the fascia. It was unidentified, but now has been identified as The Crown at the junction of Church Road and Alfred St






 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sorry, not quite the last of the film, just two more, but a different area.

The rather dead-looking Stratford Arms, on the corner of Kyrwicks Lane
The three-quarters-covered name on the shop to the right of centre reads Thompson. There is an S.J. thompson in Deakins road, but this seems unlikely. Phil has suggested, below, that it might be Kyrwicks Lane, and there was a Lilian Gertrude Thompson , shopkeeper, at 97 Kyrwicks Lane, which fits with the parts of the remaining letters that can be seen
Mike




 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Mike

Deakins Road is in Hay Mills, that photo doesn't look like any part of Deakins Rd that I recognise. I think they may Kyrwicks Lane just before Highgate Place.

Phil
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
A change of scenery and a bit of colour. Some of the transparencies have faded slightly and had to be fiddled with on the computer. These are from Hockley.
The first two, 18 & 19, we think are houses in either Rosalie or Clissold streets. Grateful for confirmation from anyone who knew the area.
20 . Icknield st approaching Lodge Road, with the bridge at Hockley station in the distance. As you can see , a lot of these pictures were taken on a Sunday, hence the quiet.
21. Icknield st -Lodge Road junction. All the businesses are closed ready for demolition, and undoubtedly the buildings at that time were in poor condition, but must have looked graceful when new. As can be seen in the closeup, the detail in the eaves was very nice, even if balanced with regular holes in the roof.
mike










 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some more taken in the Hockley area.
22. The Commercial Inn, 240 Icnield St on the corner of Pitsford st, had been there since the mid 1870s. It had closed by the time of this photo, though wouldn't think it was too long before.
23. Junction of Lodge rd and Park road looks like most of the businesses were closed here.
24. Ford Street being demolished
25. Partly demolished building on the north side of Icknield St, just off Camden Street

26. Two shots of an unknown site , but around previous ones
Mike












 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Following on from the last photographs:
28. Douro Wine shops seem to be very alive and well on the corner of Lodge road and Ford st. An almost identical B&W picture is in David Harvey’s new Hockley book, dated 1966, and without the flats, but with the demolished building down the side and the same "temporary" sheeting down the side of the building behind.
29. It’s probably in the Lodge road area but we're not sure where Alf's Half Way House Cafe was. Does anyone remember having breakfast in it?
Note from Carolina: "
picture No29 on 20/3/2009 the cafe is Ford street to the right and Park Road to the left. When I delivered papers for Peggy which was the papershop next to it, I used to fetch her a sandwich from there every morning."
30. One lonely corner shop on the corner of Whitmore st. The houses were knocked down first leaving the corner shops to rot. This seems to have been closed for some time, but hasn't been demolished.
Note added by Terryb 18: "
Picture number 30 that shows a building on the corner of Whitmore St/Park rd used to be a cafe. I know because I lived right opposite it in the 50's. The pictures are of the same building. The first picture is the one in post 24 and in the second picture the shop where the canopy is down was a newsagent and we used to know it as Elsie's."
Added by Mikejee: The newsagent was Miss Elsie Smith, according to the directories, and (in 1965) the café was C.Doyle, dining rooms '
31. Unlike the last place this establishment at 135-137 Park Road seems to have been used to the end, and looks as if its only just been boarded up (all the windows are intact). When they were first built in the 1870s (and were then numbered 61 & 62) they were occupied by Edward Arch, butcher, and Frederick Moore, grocer.
mike







 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
32. The Empire Works of Griffiths, Gilbert & Lloyd, according to Kelly’s, manufacturer of electrical, and motor accessories, screws, bolts, washers, metal screw wares, hollow metal balls , engineers studs and Capstan workers ( I assume they didn't manufacture people to work on capstans). They did have two other factories as well to do all this in.
34. A familiar site, the Jewellers Arms, still recognizable, though under a different colour scheme
35 and 36. Two pictures that run together at the bottom of Northampton Street. The H.C.Whitehead is at no 34A.
37.Junction of spencer st & Hockley st.
mike












 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
One last one from the previous film and three others taken later of the same scene that identified it. At first I thought the first picture (no 23)might be around Lodge road, but then realised that it was a slightly earlier (not so much had been demolished ) picture of the same scene in Hockley st , which had been identified by the presence of 3 firms, A.G.Macbeth, engravers at no 11, (name set in bricks above the window); Manta productions at no 9 and Richard Martin ,fancy goods at no 5. unfortunately the later three had faded rather and that accounts for the not very good quality of these.
No 33 shows nos 3-11 Hockley Street and the other three show the same buildings
The street in the distance running accross in two of them is Vyse st.









Mike



 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
We think that the first one shows Augusta St on the left, and the edge of the Big Peg on the right, and was taken from somewhere between Northampton and Vyse Streets. It looks a bit like something from War of the Worlds . The second one shows there's still some vegetation there after the destruction.




mike
 
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