• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Birmingham butchers retail.

Richarddye

master brummie
Was it real saw dust back then ?, I do remember it on the floor but thinking back it was really fine, having made and still make more than my fair share of saw dust it's not all fine.
Bob, where I worked at WT Bakers on Soho Rd and Birchfield Rd in Perry Barr, I used to go the lumber yard and bring it back in a sack. I recall it was a mixture of fine and course depending upon what kind of wood they were cutting.
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Bob, where I worked at WT Bakers on Soho Rd and Birchfield Rd in Perry Barr, I used to go the lumber yard and bring it back in a sack. I recall it was a mixture of fine and course depending upon what kind of wood they were cutting.
Remember the smell of the sawdust, wonderful !
 

Richarddye

master brummie
And fresh cut grass, the first time opening a can of coffee
Bob, let me tell you about the coffee: when they fill the can, right before they put the lid on they spray on a small amount of coffee oil, very concentrated and effective . That is why the second pot you make, most of the aroma has gone away. I worked on this in my second US job for General Foods!
 

Nico

master brummie
We had a Walter Smith in Coventry but it was chain I think. It became Mr Eatwell. One part of my birth family were Bimingham butchers. They worked at the meat market. I don't know if they had a shop I will ask. Their name is Tricklebank.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
In 1940 there were two Tricklebank butchers in the directories: Samuel, at 1 Davison Road, Smethwick, and Percy Charles at 213 Bristol St . None listed in 1921
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I have heard ladies comment about the lovely smell of fresh laundry brought indoors from a clothes line.
Most butchers usually had freshly laundered white apparel.
 

Nico

master brummie
In 1940 there were two Tricklebank butchers in the directories: Samuel, at 1 Davison Road, Smethwick, and Percy Charles at 213 Bristol St . None listed in 1921
Thanks Mike. I have asked two granddaughters of Percy Charles. One is to get back to me, the other thought they never owned a shop in Birmingham. Though they wanted to but the 'dad' at the time would never buy. But they had a greengrocers at Dark Lane, Wythall. So probably that was Percy. Percy Charles's father Henry did though in Stapenhill, I was able to Google what used to be the shop.
 

Nico

master brummie
Bob, for my three years at a butcher shop in the late 50's early 60's: New Zealand lamb, English lamb was expensive, we sold it but not much. Most beef was from Argentina, less expensive than English beef but not as good. The pork was all local as were the chickens and Turkey.
For cuts of meat, lamb necks, shoulder, liver and brains! Beef was mostly shin or stewing meat, rolled sirloin and chine with bone (the other end from sirloin), calves liver (lams was a premium) and ox tail which was a very low cost for making soup or stew.
Post and steak & kidney pies and Cornish pasties. throw in a couple of boxes of stuffing.
When my mum's family first moved to Coventry the butchers couldn't understand Nan when she asked for sparrak chops and beef skirtin. I forget the other terms but the cuts of meat though the same had different names. I remember chawl but I forget what it is. And a hand of pork. And undercut steak.
 

Nico

master brummie
Bob, where I worked at WT Bakers on Soho Rd and Birchfield Rd in Perry Barr, I used to go the lumber yard and bring it back in a sack. I recall it was a mixture of fine and course depending upon what kind of wood they were cutting.
I hated that smell as it reminded me of sick. They had a big bucket in case, in the school washrooms, and carbolic soap. So I was pleased when the sawdust was stopped in the butchers. Some had wood shavings I preferred that.
 

Sue Rowbotham

New Member
Yes, I remember them...………...there was one in Perry Barr and maybe another. they specialized in sausages and pies! really good stuff!
James and Mina Rowbotham were my parents-in-law. they owned and ran the butchers shop at 933 Walsall Road from the late 1930s until the early 1960s. My husband Steve grew up there. James brother Vic had another butchers shop somewhere else in Birmingham. Their father, also called James was also a butcher before, during and after WW1, also in Birmingham. His wife Emma ran the shop during the war while James Senior was in the army. She used to go to the meat market which was very unusual for a woman in those days. I would be very interested in any memories of visiting the Rowbotham shops, photos or memorabilia. Thank you.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
James and Mina Rowbotham were my parents-in-law. they owned and ran the butchers shop at 933 Walsall Road from the late 1930s until the early 1960s. My husband Steve grew up there. James brother Vic had another butchers shop somewhere else in Birmingham. Their father, also called James was also a butcher before, during and after WW1, also in Birmingham. His wife Emma ran the shop during the war while James Senior was in the army. She used to go to the meat market which was very unusual for a woman in those days. I would be very interested in any memories of visiting the Rowbotham shops, photos or memorabilia. Thank you.
Sue, welcome to the Forum! My memories of Rowbotham Butchers was that there were two stores with that name, maybe 3. The one on Walsall Rd I remember and one I thought in Perry Barr and maybe on Soho Rd. I knew them because I worked after school and weekends for WT Baker another butcher. I had a good friend who’s father owned Howard Coxill butchers, if I recall they had a store on Walsall Rd. Rowbothams if my memory served me right carries a lot of sausages not as much as Stoddards.

Sue, I hope that helps. I am sure someone else can fill in the blanks for you.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
A couple of adverts... June 1939 Butcher’s Youth wanted, able to Drive, Rowbotham, 137 Bordesley Green Road

January 1941 Butcher's Manager wanted J. Rowbotham, 99A Lozells Road.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
There was also a Harry Rowbotham, pork butcher, 165, Pershore Road in 1915.

281, Coventry Road, Cooked Meats, Rowbotham in 1940
 

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave
I wasn't a butcher but I worked in dozens of their shops all round Birmingham and the midlands from 1961. Barretts of west Brom, Walter Smith, Dewhurst, Mathews etc so very likely I met some of you butchers here.
Working for shopfitters G.W.Stokes, Bow street we fitted out every new Dewhurst shop and refurbished all the old ones by changing the shop sign and removing J.H. from the J.H.Dewhurst sign. I was a painter and we had to paint the shop ceiling and window ceiling on the 1/2 day closing, the high ceilings on the old shops were anaglypta and painted with white gloss paint which rapidly went yellow again. Usually the manager was helpful and cleared the window a bit early so we could get in and undercoat the ceiling and return a week later to gloss it. Every shop manager that left us on our own always left a penny in the open till drawer!

A refurbish often meant removal of the Victorian marble slab in the window and counter top and replacing with a formica one, a new suspended tile ceiling, and a pegboard fitted on a suitable part of the wall for cans. The old shop signs were made of three pieces of white glass called Vitreolite with metal letters fitted on which was replaced with formica. The heavy Vitreolite was a nightmare to remove, particularly standing up on a catwalk and trestles as you easily could cut yourself on the edges as did I.

Some of the butchers were great fun and liked a good laugh, especially in the black country. One in West Brom said something to me I never forgot, what on Earth made you want to be a painter he asked? to which I replied what made you want to be a butcher? He said "I told the the school careers officer I wanted to work with animals but I day mean bits of em"! :joy:
 
Last edited:

Dbgraham51

proper brummie kid
I wasn't a butcher but I worked in dozens of their shops all round Birmingham and the midlands from 1961. Barretts of west Brom, Walter Smith, Dewhurst, Mathews etc so very likely I met some of you butchers here.
Working for shopfitters G.W.Stokes, Bow street we fitted out every new Dewhurst shop and refurbished all the old ones by changing the shop sign and removing J.H. from the J.H.Dewhurst sign. I was a painter and we had to paint the shop ceiling and window ceiling on the 1/2 day closing, the high ceilings on the old shops were anaglypta and painted with white gloss paint which rapidly went yellow again. Usually the manager was helpful and cleared the window a bit early so we could get in and undercoat the ceiling and return a week later to gloss it. Every shop manager that left us on our own always left a penny in the open till drawer!

A refurbish often meant removal of the Victorian marble slab in the window and counter top and replaceing with a formica one, a new suspended tile ceiling, and a pegboard fitted on a suitable part of the wall for cans. The old shop signs were made of three pieces of white glass called Vitreolite with metal letters fitted on which was replaced with formica. The heavy Vitreolite was a nightmare to remove, particularly standing up on a catwalk and trestles as you easily could cut yourself on the edges as did I.

Some of the butchers were great fun and liked a good laugh, especially in the black country. One in West Brom said something to me I never forgot, what on Earth made you want to be a painter he asked? to which I replied what made you want to be a butcher? He said he told the the school careers officer he wanted to work with animals but day mean bits of em! :joy:
What a great story, Izzy! I live in America and am doing ancestry research for a friend. Did you know any of the folks that worked at Bennett’s butchers on Green Lane in Small Heath?
 

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave
Dbgraham51,
I did not work at Bennetts which I presume might have been a small privately owned Butchers? The work we did was mostly on larger groups with numerous shops. Some of the things I saw back then turned me into a vegetarian :cold_sweat:
 

Dbgraham51

proper brummie kid
Dbgraham51,
I did not work at Bennetts which I presume might have been a small privately owned Butchers? The work we did was mostly on larger groups with numerous shops. Some of the things I saw back then turned me into a vegetarian :cold_sweat:
I can only imagine!

Bennetts was on Green Lane in Small Heath. Do you know anyone that would know anything about them? I am hitting a brick wall and need to punch through on my research! Just plain stuck!
 
Top