• Welcome to this forum Guest. 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

Bombing query


Retired Layabout
The photo of the bombed out shop premises from Carl Chinn's website Birmingham Lives (wonderful site) purports to be the bombed out premises of W H Smith Ltd Corporation Street on the 25th of October 1940. Is this correct because the buildings that stand there now look as if they have been there forever. Also If they have been rebuilt then they seem to have done a wonderful job considering that it must have been done in the 50's.

The other thing is that none of the other photos I have of W H Smith on Corporation Street seem to match up with each other.



Staff member
hi phil pic 1 looks more to me like one of the arcades in the city centre..just an observation..i think the arcade in temple row took a bomb blast..

Last edited:


master brummie
Have to agree about Carl Chinn's website Birmingham Lives being a wonderful site.
Unfortunately I'm not sure where in Corporation St W.H.Smith was. Was it near C & A in Corporation Street which is mentioned in a bombing comment below.

Friday 25th October 1940.

The Cathedral was bombed and also St. Martin’s Church in the Bull Ring. Marshall and Snelgrove’s was hit by high-explosive and incendiary bombs and is still on fire. C & A in Corporation Street, Greys in Bull Street and Boots in High Street were all on fire. The Fire Brigade had to call for help from Bristol, Leicester, Manchester, Bolton and Oldham.

I was 5 years old then and for some reason I was taken shopping (or maybe bombsite-seeing) on a Saturday morning and can remember stepping over large red fire hoses and looking down into shop basements with smoke still rising from them.


Retired Layabout
Yes I had read that diary extract as well, C & A would be more or less opposite W H Smith's shop which was near the corner of Fore St. It's strange that he mentions all the other shops but leaves out W H Smiths a shop that as a schoolboy he is certain to have known.


master brummie
I should have remembered where W.H.Smiths was, I went in there often enough. I'm still studying that first pic in Phil's post ....