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Childhood Memories

maypolebaz

master brummie
I was at Moseley Grammar School from 1947 to 1952 and although the regular route was the 24 stopping at the traffic lights at the Wake Green Road cross roads, sometimes we'd catch the 1A into Moseley and transfer to the tram which terminated at Alcester Lanes End and then walk home near the Maypole. How those old trams rattled.
I grew up in the Maypole area, 40s - 50s, where did you live?
 

mv52

Brummie babby
I have no idea where to post this really but it is about childhood memories so here seems as good a place as any.
I also have a question which has puzzled me to this very day.

I lived on Green Acres Rd up until 1963 when we immigrated to California. My old neighborhood was the foundation and cornerstone of the abomination now known as "Hawkesley," Things were quite different back then. Man, those were the days!

We spent endless times playing in the fields, the stream, the ponds and the dells, what a paradise it was! I even met old farmer Morris of Hawkesley Hall a few times. Yes, he caught us scrumping apples but was very kind about it and laughed it off. I recall seeing him delivering milk from his horse and cart every morning on Green Acres.

The thing that has always puzzled me from those days, though, was this: Around 1962 or so we started noticing armed young adults (30 to 40 years old, perhaps) patrolling the area especially during the night and twilight hours. On weekends this group of pseudo vigilantes would congregate in a large secure shelter that they had built in a dell near the stream that bisected Morris' lower fields. God knows what went on there!

The group was led by a fellow known as "Palmer," who also lived on Green Acres in those days. Today, I can only suppose that they were some sort of end times survivalists or something but I don't recall hearing of that during the early sixties era. Even odder, they dressed kind of in the Beatnik style, bearded but well kempt, presentably clean, wearing fashionable scarves and hats etc. with rifles slung over their shoulders.

This has puzzled me since my childhood days. What were they up to? My only guess is that it was in response to the Cuban missile crisis of '62 perhaps. We all sincerely thought that we were going to be invaded by the commies or that the world would be destroyed by nuclear catastrophe in those days. In retrospect, Palmer's rag-tag commandoes should be commended for their efforts to save England if indeed that was their cause! They certainly had the blessing of old farmer Morris... Were there similar armed groups in other neighborhoods as well? Does anyone else recall this strange period in South west Birmingham? If anyone has any info on this or would just like to share some tales of the golden age of Green Acres prior to Hawkesley, that would be great.

Reply
 

jmadone

master brummie
I have no idea where to post this really but it is about childhood memories so here seems as good a place as any.
I also have a question which has puzzled me to this very day.

I lived on Green Acres Rd up until 1963 when we immigrated to California. My old neighborhood was the foundation and cornerstone of the abomination now known as "Hawkesley," Things were quite different back then. Man, those were the days!

We spent endless times playing in the fields, the stream, the ponds and the dells, what a paradise it was! I even met old farmer Morris of Hawkesley Hall a few times. Yes, he caught us scrumping apples but was very kind about it and laughed it off. I recall seeing him delivering milk from his horse and cart every morning on Green Acres.

The thing that has always puzzled me from those days, though, was this: Around 1962 or so we started noticing armed young adults (30 to 40 years old, perhaps) patrolling the area especially during the night and twilight hours. On weekends this group of pseudo vigilantes would congregate in a large secure shelter that they had built in a dell near the stream that bisected Morris' lower fields. God knows what went on there!

The group was led by a fellow known as "Palmer," who also lived on Green Acres in those days. Today, I can only suppose that they were some sort of end times survivalists or something but I don't recall hearing of that during the early sixties era. Even odder, they dressed kind of in the Beatnik style, bearded but well kempt, presentably clean, wearing fashionable scarves and hats etc. with rifles slung over their shoulders.

This has puzzled me since my childhood days. What were they up to? My only guess is that it was in response to the Cuban missile crisis of '62 perhaps. We all sincerely thought that we were going to be invaded by the commies or that the world would be destroyed by nuclear catastrophe in those days. In retrospect, Palmer's rag-tag commandoes should be commended for their efforts to save England if indeed that was their cause! They certainly had the blessing of old farmer Morris... Were there similar armed groups in other neighborhoods as well? Does anyone else recall this strange period in South west Birmingham? If anyone has any info on this or would just like to share some tales of the golden age of Green Acres prior to Hawkesley, that would be great.

Reply
Just seen this post. Surely not true? Were there really armed vigilantes patrolling the streets of a Birmingham suburb? I have never heard of such a thing. RIFLES SLUNG OVER THEIR SHOULDERS?
You say you noticed them which implies you actually saw them. Did anyone report them to the authorities?
If not, why not?
Or perhaps this post is just a wind up just to see what reaction it provokes.
 

mv52

Brummie babby
Yes it is absolutely true. We would see them on pretty much a daily basis until we moved to California in the autumn of 1963. I remember that my parents would talk about them in hushed tones when we asked who they were etc. I suppose they didn't want to alarm us children. I know that they were terrified of them and as we were Eastern European refugees, they didn't want to make a fuss about it or report them. It was different times... or perhaps not.

I DO know that most people who lived in that neighborhood at that time were aware of them. They were impossible to miss.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think this is quite interesting and is something that needs exploring. We had the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, so I would not be surprise if there were survivalist type groups popping up. We have already witnessed panic buying and some very irrational behaviour in this most recent pandemic.

I am wondering if they did have real firearms or even shotguns which can be carried on private land with permission of the landowner.

I understand that gun laws may have been a slacker in 1963.

I am also aware of a lot of decommissioned .303 rifles be around. They had DP stamped on the stock. Also, a whole host of replica firearms were available.

There has been, in America at least many survivalists, vigilante. Military style religious groups who wish to save the world for the greater good and themselves.
 

mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude
I think this is quite interesting and is something that needs exploring. We had the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, so I would not be surprise if there were survivalist type groups popping up. We have already witnessed panic buying and some very irrational behaviour in this most recent pandemic.

I am wondering if they did have real firearms or even shotguns which can be carried on private land with permission of the landowner.

I understand that gun laws may have been a slacker in 1963.

I am also aware of a lot of decommissioned .303 rifles be around. They had DP stamped on the stock. Also, a whole host of replica firearms were available.

There has been, in America at least many survivalists, vigilante. Military style religious groups who wish to save the world for the greater good and themselves.
firearm law and shot gun law was slack then. most folks had guns, mostly air weapons.,Shotguns, and .303 that escaped the net, after the war when they should have been handed in."THANK GOODNESS THAT HAS ALL CHANGED NOW."
DP means "DRILL PURPOSES ONLY" don't attempt to fire them unless you like pain & suffering.
They were worn out before being assigned the DP tag (that's why they became DP they were shot out) & further disabled to prevent firing.
 
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mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude
Yes it is absolutely true. We would see them on pretty much a daily basis until we moved to California in the autumn of 1963. I remember that my parents would talk about them in hushed tones when we asked who they were etc. I suppose they didn't want to alarm us children. I know that they were terrified of them and as we were Eastern European refugees, they didn't want to make a fuss about it or report them. It was different times... or perhaps not.

I DO know that most people who lived in that neighborhood at that time were aware of them. They were impossible to miss.
probably wolfy smith and co:grinning:1592980935465.png
 

laynot

proper brummie kid
Same here, '41 to '57.(Joined the army). Lived at 210.
Hi I lived at 124, the nearest person I knew to you was Johnny Cooper at 172. I still remember Miles the butcher on that parade adjoining Highters Heath Lane and I still have a sister living in sheltered accommodation on the corner of Glenavon rd. I remember the many happy times I spent with my pals in Daisy Farm Park. A long long time ago.
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Hiya,
I estimate that your friend lived around a large grassed area that we called "The Island", it was a big grassed area that we played on, also where we had our bonfires. I'm afraid I can't remember a Cooper family. A mate of mine, Pete Owen, lived at 84, he had an older brother, Tony who I suspect would be around your age.
I'd forgotten that the butcher was Miles. There was a thriving shopping area in those days. Mundays, who sold sweets, toys, fireworks, you name it ! I was an errand kid for Favours, the grocery shop next door. I was around that way a few years ago and the area was dead.
We were lucky there weren't we ? As well as the park, there were areas of countryside we could walk to.
Great memories !
 

mv52

Brummie babby
I am wondering if they did have real firearms or even shotguns which can be carried on private land with permission of the landowner.
I don't know much about rifles or what type they were but they were certainly not toys. It does appear that the farmer who owned the land that later became Hawkesley had given this group consent to build their gathering place on his property, unless of course it was without his knowledge. The thing is that they were carrying their rifles in the neighborhood rather than just on the farmland. At times there was an armed sentry at the bottom of Green Acres Road on the corner of Redditch Road. One thing that I neglected to mention was that there were some women in this group as well.

There has been, in America at least many survivalists, vigilante. Military style religious groups who wish to save the world for the greater good and themselves.
Living in California now, I know this too well...;)


I really wonder if this was going on in other parts of England in the early sixties or if it was just an isolated case of crazy.
 

Smudger

master brummie
I don't know much about rifles or what type they were but they were certainly not toys. It does appear that the farmer who owned the land that later became Hawkesley had given this group consent to build their gathering place on his property, unless of course it was without his knowledge. The thing is that they were carrying their rifles in the neighborhood rather than just on the farmland. At times there was an armed sentry at the bottom of Green Acres Road on the corner of Redditch Road. One thing that I neglected to mention was that there were some women in this group as well.



Living in California now, I know this too well...;)


I really wonder if this was going on in other parts of England in the early sixties or if it was just an isolated case of crazy.
Me & my gang of vigilantes were armed with bows & arrows catapults & one rich kid had a Diana air gun. We shall fight them on the beaches (etc). :cool:
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I am interested how the cold war affected people. Most certainly some people were quite scared. I did know of a family who at one point were quite seriously getting ready to move to Ireland because of it.

I once did some consultancy work around Banbury. They all lived near to RAF Upper Heyford. With its bowling ally and surface fire hydrants, it did look like America. Lots of village pubs closed down after the Americans moved out.

Of course, there were a number of nuclear bunkers across the country too. We have our own in Birmingham with the anchor exchange.
 

mv52

Brummie babby
I am interested how the cold war affected people. Most certainly some people were quite scared. I did know of a family who at one point were quite seriously getting ready to move to Ireland because of it.
I certainly remember being frightened as a child when I was going to West Heath School.
Despite no internet and less tv, nuclear annihilation was still a hot topic amongst the young students in those days.
It was no better after our move to California in '63. We had a weekly drill at school where a siren would go off and you were required to squat under your classroom desk and cover your head with your arms. Duck and Cover...

Why, the Sherriff of Nottingham of course.......
Yes! That would certainly explain the arrows...
 

nickcc101

master brummie
I think this is quite interesting and is something that needs exploring. We had the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, so I would not be surprise if there were survivalist type groups popping up. We have already witnessed panic buying and some very irrational behaviour in this most recent pandemic.

I am wondering if they did have real firearms or even shotguns which can be carried on private land with permission of the landowner.

I understand that gun laws may have been a slacker in 1963.

I am also aware of a lot of decommissioned .303 rifles be around. They had DP stamped on the stock. Also, a whole host of replica firearms were available.

There has been, in America at least many survivalists, vigilante. Military style religious groups who wish to save the world for the greater good and themselves.
firearm law and shot gun law was slack then. most folks had guns, mostly air weapons.,Shotguns, and .303 that escaped the net, after the war when they should have been handed in."THANK GOODNESS THAT HAS ALL CHANGED NOW."
DP means "DRILL PURPOSES ONLY" don't attempt to fire them unless you like pain & suffering.
They were worn out before being assigned the DP tag (that's why they became DP they were shot out) & further disabled to prevent firing.
I remember buying my first shotgun from one of the catalogs that many people had, would have been mid sixties, no certificate required in those days. Also had a .303 bored out to 410 but the local police would ask to check it was a shotgun if they saw you with it, always took the bolt out before handing it over.
 
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