• 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

Dockers Paints, Rotten Park Street, Ladywood

thecaptain51

master brummie
Hello

When I was very young, my father told me a story about WW2, it was about the above company being bombed by The German Air Force.
My father explained to me, Dockers paints had been set alight after being hit, The Fire Service responded, I dont know how many engines had arrived there to put out the burning buildings. It appears that a number of Firemen had been trapped and unfortunately died. My father died in 1972 and my Mother passed away in 2013.
We lived first, in Hingestion Street and then in Icknield Street,where my Mom and Dad ran a second hand shop opposite The Royal Mint factory.

Please could anybody respond to this story with the questions I have put forward.

What year did it happen?
The number of deaths and casulties from the Fire service.
 

johnieo

proper brummie kid
Hi Captain I used to do a lot of contract work in what used to be Dockers Paints when I did work in there 1970/80 it was taken over by another company the life of me I can't think of the name of them finally it was taken over by an American company PPI which stood for Pheniox Plate Glass if the building is still standing just inside the main gate and go to your left under the covered way somewhere there I can't remember exactly where, is a memorial plaque with the names of those that were killed, I hope that this can help but I don't know if the factory is still there. Regards John.
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Thanks John

I know of the story because my Dad worked there, also my aunts and uncles. Thats how big factories used their local labour then. I have never heard anybody else talk about this WW2 action in Birmingham. Thanks very much for the reply John.

The Captain
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
hi captain ;
my oldet brother used to work at dockers in he stores and ware house and i worked across the rd when when i was sixteen at the alunminium die casters
i was down there thre weeks go and the old road of rotten park rd and the salvage nd all the factorys down there have all gone and the size of ld dockers was some land almost into the back of wiggan street and from the top of the rd wich was ickneild port rd where the offices was right down to the canal is all flattend
they used to say if dockers ever had an explosion ; it would wipe out the area with all those drms of chemicals and seeing just how huge that factory wa you would have understood, best wishes astonian;;
 

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
The Barra/Swanshurst site (enter Dockers in location) list four persons killed during air raid #60 at Dockers Paints on 28 July 1942, there is no indication there or in the book Heroes of the Birmingham Air Raids that any of the casualties were AFS members.

Colin
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Astonian

Thanks for the responce and what a good job those brave men did in protecting the surrounding streets and the people who lived there and in some cases giving up their lives in the process.

Thanks again
The captain
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Colin B

Thanks very much for replying to my e-mail. How strange that these brave people who died and others who suffered so other people could live have not had their true identity establish and recognised. I will have a look at the site you have identified.

Thanks
The Captain
 

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
Found this report of the Bombing of Dockers Paints it gives the names of the four men killed as members of the neighbouring Wiggins factory fire service.
I will pass this link to the webmaster Swanshurst/BARRA site to add to their records.

Colin
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Colin

Thanks a lot mate, I am very happy about the support on this subject, from you; Johnieo and Astonian. The plus point is those brave men will have their records updated.

All the best
The Captain
 

animal7uk

proper brummie kid
Hi I was always in the two second hand shops opposite the Mint in about 1965 - 1967 if your parents ran it then I would have sold them lots of items
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
hi captain
if you are one of he persons whom ran them shops along with your parents and grand mother next door then our kid and myself know you and the famly
about seven or eight years back now i think on of you put your thread on and i repilied then ;you did respond
we all went to ickneild street your parents had the one shop and granny had it next door shop always sat in that arm chair whatching and waiting
for some one to come in your dad was very good on his prices if selling a bike or what ever you wanted from the shop but granny she was exstortion
in her prices because of her age at the time i think she was still charging war prices she drove a hard bargain your mom was also good with the prices in
there shop one of there neibours was the over croft and the luckmans whom had a shop up on spring hill you would have known them both lived up the terrace facing the mint just before the old little outdoor that used to be there eventualy closed down for years before the sum clearace best wishes astonian;
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Animal and Astonian

Its quite strange really, there were two second hand shops together but in different ownership. When our grannie became to old to run it, we moved there and my Mom and Dad took over control of it. I must tell you a story about one time when I returned to England, it was 2005 and I was driving passed where Doctor Tracey had his surgery. I needed an haircut and as I was going towards springhill and I saw a Hairdressers on the right, so I parked the car and went in to it. I got talking to the person who was cutting my hair, his name was tony. I said to him that I use to live in Icknield street and my Mom had a second hand shop. He said "Really because I use to sell Mrs Busby Horse brasses", and then he told me a story about my Mom. He said "Your Mom had this gold watch in the shop window and my girlfriend (His wife now, it was about 1969/70) wanted it. I couldn't afford it, but I spoke to your Mother and she said " I will trust you, pay me £1 a week till it is payed off". Next Tony said " My wife is other there and she still has the watc
Its quite strange when I look back, at the sort of things that were in our shop window. German helmets, gass masks, watches, rings, clothes, Bilkes, air rifles, roller skates, guitars, bird cages, shoes, ice skates etc...................

Thanks a lot for reminding me about those years
The captain
 

johnieo

proper brummie kid
I remembered the name of the company before PPG took over it was called International Paints as I said I did contract work in there and one day I had parked the lorry across the main gate so that we could load a machine onto it with the mobile crane, the security guard came out of the gatehouse and told me I had to move the wagon because if there was a fire the fire brigade would not be able to get in, my reply was that if there was a fire me and the lorry would be long gone before the fire brigade were anywhere near, he was not impressed.
 

susiesioux

New Member
Hello

When I was very young, my father told me a story about WW2, it was about the above company being bombed by The German Air Force.
My father explained to me, Dockers paints had been set alight after being hit, The Fire Service responded, I dont know how many engines had arrived there to put out the burning buildings. It appears that a number of Firemen had been trapped and unfortunately died. My father died in 1972 and my Mother passed away in 2013.
We lived first, in Hingestion Street and then in Icknield Street,where my Mom and Dad ran a second hand shop opposite The Royal Mint factory.

Please could anybody respond to this story with the questions I have put forward.

What year did it happen?
The number of deaths and casulties from the Fire service.
My father lost his father here, see below:




Date:28th of July 1942
The night they bombed Dockers
In the early hours of 28 July 1942 a severe bombing raid on the west and south of the city resulted in the destruction of part of the Docker’s paint factory on Rotton Park Street and the lose of life of four firefighters, who were killed when a wall collapsed on them as they were working in the ruins of the bombed works. The Docker’s fire brigade had been joined staff from the neighbouring factory of Wiggins’. The four fatally wounded men were from the Wiggins’ team. Author L G While in his booklet `Raiders over Rotton Park’ names them as Bill Griffin, Bill Russell, Harry Norgrove and Bill Field. Two nights later in a follow up raid Bill Fitzpatrick was on duty at Wiggins’ when an incendiary bomb fell nearby, and he died later in hospital from his injuries.

The factory was essential to the War effort as it was a key manufacturer of camouflage pant. A Docker’s publication produced in 1951 recalls: `Dockers’ supplied vast quantities of paint for munitions, camouflage and transport, and aircraft and dope finishes. The staff was depleted considerably but the switch from peace-time production to war essentials was made smoothly and effectively’.

The minutes of the Docker’s Board meeting after the bombing include: ‘A letter from the Ministry of Aircraft Production expressing appreciation of the gallant behaviour of the Fire Brigade and others who assisted on the night of the blitz was read and noted. The members of the Board also recorded their appreciation. The death of the five National Fire Service men who were killed by the fall of a wall when fighting the fire was noted with deepest regret, four of whom were Messrs. Henry Wiggin’s employees. Mr. Cooper reported that he had arranged for us to pay £25 to each of the wives of the deceased men’.

In the days before instant communication many people living away from the neighbourhood of the factory didn’t know what happened until they arrived at work. One such worker was Bert Tredwell, himself a Docker’s fireman, but not on duty that night. He cycled from his home in Cotteridge and was devastated by the sight he saw as he came to the top of Icknield Port Road. ‘I just couldn’t ride down the street because there were so many hoses; it was a tremendous shock to see a fair amount of people running about. I immediately reported and was given a job at once. By then the main fire was out but there was a lot of smouldering wreckage which the firemen were working on and we were told to keep clear as much as possible to leave them to get on with it. In fact we weren’t allowed to go too near because the walls were down. It was a shock to hear that four men had been killed, and there was an overwhelming feeling of `thank God I wasn’t there at the time’. We all thought what are we going to do now. We were given instructions to save what ever we could. Our department was on the ground floor and it wasn’t completely damaged except that the upper floor from above was now in it! We had to scramble through it to see what could be salvaged.

There was feeling that the extra firemen bought in didn’t know where the most dangerous and inflammable parts of the factory were, nitrated cotton was most inflammable and could have easily gone up, but the Standard building, where most of the damage occurred was safer than other buildings on the site’. Docker’s had the capacity to produce 3,500 gallons per week of what was described as ‘anti-gas paint’.
The bombed part of the factory was the newest part of the factory complex, built only six years earlier for the manufacture of paint for Standard cars, hence its name The Standard Mill.
 
Top