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Christ Church Perry Barr

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
mike could i have a map please showing where this church was..i am having trouble working it out...

thank you mike

lyn
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Lyn

It was at the junction of Birchfield Rd & Aldridge roads. The area now is just a sort of subway access across two very busy roads.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The photo is of where the buses to Kingstanding used to literally swing round onto the Aldridge Road from Birchfield Road. Very hard to imagine today as I think there's an elevated road section above the roads. To the left as you were leaving Birchfield Road was the 1960s shopping centre - but this has I think been again changed.

I've seen photos of the Church used as a builders merchants or timber yard. But at least it was still a church in 1933 - its centenary year according to the photo. Viv.
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks viv and phil but i still cant get the position in my mind....hoping mike can provide a map for me..

lyn
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Somewhere here Lyn. This is where the buses to Kingstanding used to pass under the raised road above to get onto the Aldridge Road. Near what is now One Stop. Viv.

image.jpeg
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Hi Lyn - Have a look on the map link below, on my laptop (and iPad) it is in the centre of the map where the Walsall Rd and Aldridge Rd joins the Birchfield Rd
https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/sid...at=52.5177&lon=-1.9004&layers=6&right=BingHyb


Phil
thanks phil thats a great way of showing me... i can follow my mouse on the old map and the cross on the new map follows it....never seen that before...now i know exactly where the spot was...would never have guessed it from the old photo everything has changed so much

lyn
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have a postcard of this view, but I think a few years earlier. It was sent by my nan, to her son (my dad) when he was away at a cadet camp in Rhyll. When I was first given the PC I did think what an odd PC to send him. But I suppose it makes sense - a reminder of home. You certainly wouldn't send someone a PC of the view today as there's nowt to see except concrete road structures. Viv.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
This is how I remember Christ Church Perry Barr in the 1950s. It had become a timber merchant's yard.
I used to wait for a 188 Midland Red bus on the waste ground opposite those advertisement hoardings.
ChristChurch1959.JPG
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
nice photo phil...how on earth a lovely church like that can be used as a timber merchants beats me

lyn
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
This is the postcard I have date stamped 1936, three years after the one in post #1. Was it a school on the corner (right) opposite the church? Viv.

image.jpeg
 
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oldMohawk

master brummie
Another photo of Christ Church, Perry Barr, in 1906.
Built in 1862 as a mission church of St John's it went out of use in 1926 and became the premises of a timber merchant before being demolished. So it was unused as a church for at least 30 years.
Christ Church Perry Barr.JPG
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
This is a very early photo of Christ Church and certainly pre-dates 1926 when the church closed. It is interesting to see fields behind the church and also a clear view of the church clock. I suppose the district wasn't short of churches and perhaps this pretty little church did not attract a large enough congregation.
EarlyChristChurch.JPG
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's the clearest picture I've ever seen of Christ Church. All other photos show very little because it was surrounded by trees and shrubs. Surprised at its ornateness. The steeple seems almost too basic compared to the church below. Been trying to decide what was alongside the church to the left. Can't work it out. Viv.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Christ Church had not been used as church since 1926 and stood in an area which was to see massive redevelopment on going from the 1960s onwards.

In the first aerial view c1937, the spire of the church can just be seen to the right of where the Walsall Rd and Aldridge Rd joins Birchfield Rd. On the far side of Walsall Rd is the old Dog Track with it's two grandstands. Birchfield Harriers Alexander Sports Ground stands in the centre of the view and to it's right is the Harris Dry Cleaners factory with it's triangular shaped parking area.
The Birmingham City Bus Depot is in the lower right of the view. Birchfield Rd School is near the railway line in the triangle shaped land bounded by Aldridge Rd, and Wellhead Lane with Franchise St running across it. The River Tame can be seen flowing under the Walsall Rd bridge and around the stadium.
Aerial photo dated 1937 from 'britainfromabove'
PerryBarr1937.jpg

Today's view shows the old Dog Track has gone and was initially replaced by a shopping centre and office block which I knew as the 'Perry Barr Shopping Precinct'. This was itself demolished and replaced by the 'One-Stop-Shopping Centre' seen in today's view. The dog racing track had moved to the Alexander Sports Ground and the athletic events had moved to a new stadium built in Perry Barr park.
The triangle shaped site had been redeveloped to be the campus of the University of Central England with large parking areas. The buildings which were Harris Cleaners and the Bus Depot are still there but used for different purposes.
Aerial view 2016 from Google Earth.
PerryBarr2016.JPG
 
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oldMohawk

master brummie
A photo of some waste ground and advertisment hoardings on the other side of the Walsall Rd from Christ Church where I waited in very large bus queues during the 1950's when I first started work. The entrance to the old Perry Barr Dog Track can be seen and what looks like a bus shelter which stretched all the way to the track and presumably kept the the punters out of any rain as they queued to get in. The actual track and grandstands were a long way from the road as can be seen in the aerial view in #18.
DogTrack.JPG
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
As you say Phil, so much change in this relatively small area. Much of which has been to accommodate the various road developments over time.

Christ Church was a mission church of St John's in Church Road. It was only licenced until 1926, so that explains why it fell out of use as a church before eventually being demolished. It was built in 1862, so it functioned as a mission church for 64 years. Viv.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Coming over from the Crown and Cushion Thread in search of the bygone Christ Church I noticed OldMohawk's picture and the entrance to the old Perry Barr Dog Track. I used to go through the entrance on more occasions than I would like to admit!

Onward from the shelter would become the large car park sloping down to the bridge over the River Tame. The turnstiles may be just in the aerial view dated around 1937. It's interesting that although the track opened in 1928 it is not shown on the OS 1937 Map.

Back to religious matters, Birmingham Daily Post, October 1862…

New “School Church” at Perry Barr….The population of Perry Barr, especially at that end of the village nearest the railway station, has so increased of late years that it was found needed, a short time back, to provide increased accommodation for that portion of the inhabitants….and also for children at the end of the village, for whom a walk of a mile or so to the school attached to Perry Barr Church, would certainly be very uncomfortable, and might be dangerous…

FHWG Calthorpe MP presented a site which is at an angle of the Aldridge and Perry Barr roads….the style of the building is Geometric (description given)
 
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