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birmingham 1969-73

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Phil. Some years ago i lost all my e-mails (including early ones from you) and that included those where you commented on the photos. (stupidly I had not backed them up). that certainly fits, and would make the partly demolished houses in the photos those marked in blue and the single story dark-roofed building the building in red.
map c 1954 showing bicycle factory in court road and behind.jpg
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
An aerial view of the area dated 1946.
Red dot ...Balfour Street
Blue dot ... Lincoln Street
Green dot ... Court Road
EdwardRoad.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The next , again taken at the same time, and must be from same area, but I cannot identify and doubt whether anyone could

29A.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The next two run together and, again can be stitched to give a continuous view, I did wonder if it was the back of the west side of Lincoln st from no 23, which would fit with the chimneys, but not with the relative roof heights.

32A.jpg31A.jpg31A_32Astitch.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The last of this group was taken at the end of the film, so possibly was not in same area, but I doubt if its position could be identified
36A.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
This photo has been in Carl's magazine, but not previously on the forum. It shows two houses, 90 Balsall Heath Road and 28 Princess Road. Although Balsall Heath Road is a much older road, dating from 1829, these houses are somewhat younger,being built in the late 1870s.
No. 90 (then 67 before renumbering) was first occupied by Henry Ashton, shortly after by his daughter, Marie, and then by Edward Philemon Timmins, a mechanical engineer, which in those days meant someone of high status. For about seven years around 1900 the building was the home and workplace of William Johns, Professor of Music. At that time this description meant only that he was a music teacher, in this case of the piano, not someone with a university post. He was the late-born son of the licensee of the White Swan in Islington Row, who left his wife well enough off to enable William to pursue his profession first in Islington Row, then here and finally opposite the Queen's Hospital (later the Accident Hospital) in Bath Row. From the late 1920s till 1960 it was occupied by the Whiles family, who had a business in Caroline Street, but after that the occupants of the house changed almost yearly, and, despite the dereliction, it can still be seen that once it was a desirable residence.

The attached 28 Princess Road was first occupied by William Picton. He was a partner with his father Charles and brother Charles, in the firm of Picton & Sons, canal carriers, coal merchants and wharfingers, with bases at Birmingham Wharf, Monmore Green in Wolverhampton and at Crescent Wharf, off Cambridge Street in Birmingham. The company had been going from the 1860s and the main trade seems to have been cargoes from Wolverhampton to Birmingham and around that area. In 1882 the partnership was dissolved and George seems to have carried on the business himself, adding deliveries by road to what was then called Picton & Co. The company was prosecuted several times for cruelty to the horses pulling the delivery carts, though this would have been more the fault of his employees than him and seems not uncommon at the time though often brought to light by the efforts of the RSPCA, which was active even then. The company continued until WW2, but George moved house in the mid-1880s to a larger house in Pershore Road near the cricket ground, where he remained till his death.
George was followed by Henry Jones, a button maker with a factory in the city, married to Rebecca. Henry died soon after and Rebecca went to live with her father, a retired pub landlord, six doors away at 80 Balsall Heath Road. By 1895 it had been rented out to Thomas Hunter, a manager at a wine merchant’s in his late 50s, who lived there for about seven years. For a short time it was divided into apartments, but by 1908 Rebecca was again living there. In 1915, at 59, she married again to a 68 year old estate agent, James Haslam. However, for whatever reason, he remains living at his previous home, 34 Beaconsfield Road, until his death in 1930, while Rebecca stays at Princess Road till her death in 1940. Again the house, even just before demolition, can be seen to have been an impressive building.

1. Balsall Heath Road. corner Princess roadA.jpg
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Mike,

A nice pair of houses in their time, particularly the Gothic arches. Not much garden in the front, but if you were in business, you probably had enough on your plate without the added chores of gardening.
Maurice
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
This has also been in Carl's magazine.
A short distance away, next to the course of the River Rea and the original Worcestershire-Warwickshire boundary, is 115-123a Balsall Heath Road. Slightly to the right would once have been the Luxor cinema, though this was no longer there when this photo was taken. This was on the edge of the more industrialised part of Balsall Heath.
With the corner of Alexandra Road to the far left, the well-ornamented row of houses leading from it were built in the early 1880s, though the first known occupant, Richard Folland possibly lived and worked to the far right of the site before these houses were built. He was a stone mason who moved here from his former residence in Belgrave Road in the mid-1870s. His workshop, which in 1881 employed nine men, would have been at the back through the archway. He lived in the house next to the archway, originally named 3 Torre Villas but later numbered 123, remaining there till around 1902. The house had several occupants over the next seven years, while the workshop was used by Hassan & Harris, furniture manufacturers. In 1909 Harry Brookstein, a tailor, came to live in the house. He used part of the workshop to house his tailoring business up till the end of WW1 and remained living in the house till the mid-1920s.
A new business came to a part of the workshop buildings in 1911, taking them over completely by 1920. This was Saxon Botanical brewers. Botanical brewers were manufacturers of what would now be called soft drinks, often made fizzy by the action of a yeast. Ginger beer, though not now made by this process, would be a major product, though sarsaparilla and other flavoured products would also be produced. Fentimans are a firm still manufacturing this sort of product. Thomas Saxon had started in Wolverhampton some years before, and the company, then called Saxon and Co transferred business here. Their products were often distributed in pottery flagons with the name embossed on the side, together with threats of prosecution if the flagons were appropriated or misused. The firm, from the 1930s then named Saxon & Co mineral waters, continued till the early 1960s, the works after being used by various small engineering firms.
Next door, which had originally been 2 Torre Villas, was first occupied by Abraham Cohen. Abraham, originating from Russia, had a varied career. In 1861, when he was declared insolvent, he was a tailor, but during his stay here till 1895 he described himself as a general dealer (which would fit in with his sale of a mixture of oil paintings, drawings, woollen cloths and household goods in 1890), draper and finally a commercial traveller.
The other houses in the photo had mixed tenants, but for 30 years from 1902, Richard John Folland, a brewery agent, son of John Folland the stone mason, lived at no 117 (almost completely hidden by trees), obviously wishing to stay close to his family.

17A. 123A Balsall heath Road.jpg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
This photo has been in Carl's magazine, but not previously on the forum. It shows two houses, 90 Balsall Heath Road and 28 Princess Road. Although Balsall Heath Road is a much older road, dating from 1829, these houses are somewhat younger,being built in the late 1870s.
No. 90 (then 67 before renumbering) was first occupied by Henry Ashton, shortly after by his daughter, Marie, and then by Edward Philemon Timmins, a mechanical engineer, which in those days meant someone of high status. For about seven years around 1900 the building was the home and workplace of William Johns, Professor of Music. At that time this description meant only that he was a music teacher, in this case of the piano, not someone with a university post. He was the late-born son of the licensee of the White Swan in Islington Row, who left his wife well enough off to enable William to pursue his profession first in Islington Row, then here and finally opposite the Queen's Hospital (later the Accident Hospital) in Bath Row. From the late 1920s till 1960 it was occupied by the Whiles family, who had a business in Caroline Street, but after that the occupants of the house changed almost yearly, and, despite the dereliction, it can still be seen that once it was a desirable residence.

The attached 28 Princess Road was first occupied by William Picton. He was a partner with his father Charles and brother Charles, in the firm of Picton & Sons, canal carriers, coal merchants and wharfingers, with bases at Birmingham Wharf, Monmore Green in Wolverhampton and at Crescent Wharf, off Cambridge Street in Birmingham. The company had been going from the 1860s and the main trade seems to have been cargoes from Wolverhampton to Birmingham and around that area. In 1882 the partnership was dissolved and George seems to have carried on the business himself, adding deliveries by road to what was then called Picton & Co. The company was prosecuted several times for cruelty to the horses pulling the delivery carts, though this would have been more the fault of his employees than him and seems not uncommon at the time though often brought to light by the efforts of the RSPCA, which was active even then. The company continued until WW2, but George moved house in the mid-1880s to a larger house in Pershore Road near the cricket ground, where he remained till his death.
George was followed by Henry Jones, a button maker with a factory in the city, married to Rebecca. Henry died soon after and Rebecca went to live with her father, a retired pub landlord, six doors away at 80 Balsall Heath Road. By 1895 it had been rented out to Thomas Hunter, a manager at a wine merchant’s in his late 50s, who lived there for about seven years. For a short time it was divided into apartments, but by 1908 Rebecca was again living there. In 1915, at 59, she married again to a 68 year old estate agent, James Haslam. However, for whatever reason, he remains living at his previous home, 34 Beaconsfield Road, until his death in 1930, while Rebecca stays at Princess Road till her death in 1940. Again the house, even just before demolition, can be seen to have been an impressive building.

View attachment 128016
What might be called a small 'gothic pile'.;) It was, without doubt a charming building and a shame it had to go. I guess it got in the way of those with expansionist ideas.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think most of the buildings around there that side of the Rea were originally quite good . It was a very respectable area in what was later called Balsall Heath, but was originally Edgbaston
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Mike,

It's as I have said so many times most of the houses in Balsall Heath especially around the Princess Road, Alexander Road and Varna Road were not demolished because they were slums but solely to rid the area of it's red light population. In reality all they did was the move the problem to the other side of Calthorpe Park in Cheddar Road where the problem got worse. To add insult to injury they replaced all those wonderful Victorian Houses with little boxes.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Again on the west of the Rea, a little less grand, but still would have been good houses when built. These are in Varna Road. Cannot definitely identify the number but, although here the next houses along have been demolished, believe them to be the same houses as those in this earlier (early 1960s) black and white photo from the internet.

22A. Varna Road.jpgBalsall Heath Varna Rd 1960's.jpg

The next shot is taken to the left of the above , which can partly be seen in it

21. varna road.jpg


And a believe this next shot was also taken in Varna road close to the previous photos

20A.jpg
 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Taken later than the earlier shots, I believe (from conformation of houses with houses to right at right at right angles with the large tree behind, which is probably Calthorpe Park ) that this shows 91-93 Varna road at the far end next to the park.

Judging from the census, occupants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were respectable (what we would call) middle class families- stockbroker's clerks, commission agents, wholesale clothiers and the those living on their own means.


23B. varna road.jpg
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Below is 5 and 6 Speedwell Road ( in red on the map. ). The sharp arched roof and tall chimney of the house on the Pershore road in the distance is still visible on Streetview.

In 1881 no 6 was occupied by Mary Winspear. She was a widow who took in lodgers, but who had been involved in a case which shows that insurance companies have always been the same. Her husband, who happened to be an insurance agent and, wishing to provide for his wife, insured himself against accidental death. He died after suffering an epileptic fit while crossing the River Rea (possibly at the end of Speedwell Road), which caused him to fall into the river and drown. the insurance company, however, tried , as usual, to get out of their responsibilities by saying his death was due to natural causes. Fortunately for her the court, and the appeal court, saw sense and awarded her the £1000.

For some reason I also photographed brewhouse behind (if it is the right description for such a place in a large house)

24B. 5 & 6 Speedwell Road.jpg25A. back of 5 & 6 Speedwell Road.jpg
 

bootneck42

New Member
The next four shots show in, succession, the houses nos 68-74, 66-69, 61-66 and finally the whole row, though in the last shot the larger numbered houses are not very clearly shown.
No 74 is actually being demolished. In the last 80 years of its life it seems to have been just a domestic house, though it is recorded as a general shop in the 1880s.
No 73 was a pawnbrokers from the early 1870s till around WW1, but then also was just domestic housing.
No 72 was a ladies hairdressers in the 1960s, but from the mid 1930s till the late 1950s was occupied by a saddler, Robert Shelton, and previously from about 1890 by another saddler, Joseph Lomas. Previous to that it had been a butchers. a hardware dealers and a greengrocers.
No 71 had a wide range of occupants, watch & clock dealer, cabinet maker , Mac Motors (whatever they may be), but mostly general shopkeeper. For a few years at the end of WW1 no 70 was the home of James Davies , bird dealer, and before that was a general shop, haberdasher, and for over 12 years from 1880, a staymaker (John Cartledge). For the benefit of Eastenders fans, in 1879 it was the home of greengrocer Arthur Woodyatt. (for non-fans Adam Woodyatt plays Ian Beale fruit & veg stallholder).
No 69 seems to have been largely non-commercial, though has been occupied by a wood-turner and a sign writer.
No 68 again was largely just residential.
No 67 was lastly a secondhand clothes shop and previously for 10 years a tailoress, with previous occupants being a general shopkeeper, hardware, dealer, newsagent, and painter & decorator.
No 66 was initially a haberdashers, then a general shop for some years, but around 1910 the site was taken over by the Gunn family, initially by Thomas Gunn as a tripe shop, which was carried on by Sarah Gunn. However in the late 1920s, perhaps because of a lack of demand for tripe, she changed to a drapers, which did not last long and from the early 1930s until WW2 it was a printers, latterly The Calthorpe Press.
No 66 was a general shop for much of its life, though a newsagent for a while in the 1880s and a drapers at the end of WW1, but after the early 1930s seems to be residential.
64 was residential for most of its life except for a period in the 1880s as a general shop and in the 1920s when it was occupied by a laundress.
No 63 was a tobacconist and then a boot repairers in the 1870s, and then a general shop till around 1910, when it was briefly a fried fish shop, then a secondhand cloths shop for a year or so.
No 62 George Pettitt was a shoe & boot repairer here from 1881 till about 1932, when Miss Kate Pettitt took over the shop , who was at first just described as a shopkeeper, but then from about 1942 till about 1956 as a grindery dealer, which I gather means she sold the tools and equipment of shoemakers and leatherworkers.
Finally no 61 was the off license. The first licensee was probably Henry James Gardner Riome, ale and porter dealer from around 1876 . He was only there for a few years, and was followed by a succession of other licensees .







I've just found post no.104 (above) of this thread which brings back some memories. I lived at No.69 Cox Street West, with my Mum and two sisters, in the mid to late 1960's. No.69, the left one of the two with bay windows in picture 2, was almost opposite Lincoln St Motors, where I worked until 1965.
These are great photo's and I'd really like to see more if there are any.
Thanks
Mike
 
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