• 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

Childhood Memories


master brummie
crikey pete you were posh if you electric lighting in your cellar...we had to use candles to see down ours and of course thats where the gas meter was...we had a cellar under the front room and one under the back room..coal was delivered into the back cellar...horrible dark and damp with lots of spiders..silver fish and slugs :rolleyes: if the coal was running low and mom and dad were short of money we used to have to go down and make up slack bricks we never stayed down there longer than we had to lol...none the less happy days

My Nan told me when she was a girl she read at night by candlelight. Her dad put marks on the candles so she was not allowed to burn it past the mark each night! She used to laugh at the nursery rhyme line, hear comes the candle to light you to bed and she would tell me about her dad's stingeyness every time.She daid they had oils lamps, in the centre of the ceiling but you pulled them down somehow to light them and pushed them and they went back up?


master brummie
Our coal bunker as very similar to this one. It was brick built and had planks part of the way up the doorway over which the coal was emptied into the bunker. It had a plank door with a latch on it.

To reach the bunker you had to go through the gate at the side of the house, past the kitchen door and it was built just at the start of the back garden. It was in a handy position so that you didn’t have to carry the coal too far. I think it was joined to next doors coal bunker. This was a 1930’s house, so I think the bunker was probably a fairly standard design. Expect most have now been demolished (or maybe turned into sheds ?). Viv.
That, Vivienne, is how I remember the one where I lived after I was five years old.
The coal was usually large lums, needing a hammer to break it up. That had the effect of creating 'slack'.
The photo below is a type that many people purchased for logs or coal. When empty it was easily re-sighted elsewhere. I have one which keeps 'dumpy bags' dry for filling when I am cutting back trees, bushes and other things for transportation to the recycling place.


master brummie
Coke gave out far more heat then coal once lit. The phasing out of gas works ended my supply.
We had a huge coke pile at school and we used to run up it but if we got caught we got the cane. In the baby class they was a big coke stove one end and it gave out such a heat, we dried our snowy mittens and hats on the fireguard. I never remember being cold at school the old radiators kept a steady temperature. And I had short trousers long socks and garters. We used to pull our socks up so they went under our trousers hems and an extra pair of socks if we had wellies on. I could not then, and I still can't get them off and I would be wanging my wellie on the end of my soggy sock. My parther says I am like a big toddler! There is a blue ceramic coke stove in the garage here.Mice live in it. It must be old it was in a brick shed and the garage was built around it much later.The flue would have gone in to what is now next door's garden though I am wondering if it was there before they built next door. Those houses would be 1940's. We are much older. 1900.


Brummie babby
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 was there '48-'54. Robinson was head ( who coshed me once - well deserved!), followed by Gaskin just before I left. I used to go by bike from Shirley and we would burn up the hill close behind one of the buses. Holy Ben, Phil Bullock, Beaky Brampton, Neddy Bacon et al. I went back to the grand re-opening of the main school some years back and it was wonderful to stand on the old stage, where I was in the school play a couple of times. Great times...