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Dorridge

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sorry, not about Poplar Road, outside loos or 1950s houses but…

I’m finding this thread interesting as both of my parents spent some of their childhood in Knowle and Dorridge. My father lived at a house called “Holmlea” in Chessetts Wood Road. He was there from around 1913/14 until he went off in 1917 to fight for King and Country on the Western Front. The family moved there from central Birmingham for health reasons – the mother had t.b. and the rural air of Dorridge was deemed beneficial. My mother’s home was with her grandparents at “Salisbury” at the top of Station Road near to Lodge Road and High Street. She was there much longer, from around 1904 until her marriage in 1921. (Map attached – acknowledgement to the excellent “History of Knowle” by Eva Wootton, The Roundwood Press, 1972).

I was driven past both of those properties about 60 years ago and I suspect that the area might have changed since then and since my parents knew it as children - just the merest touch, perhaps! And whether the houses still exist, I have no idea.

Sorry to intrude upon your thread, changinman1, and I hope you get the pics you want.

Chris
 

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jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
If you have Google Earth on your computer you can look at these addresses from the air. Dorridge area around Chessetts Wood Road is still very rural in fact most parts of Dorridge are still rural and lovely.
 

williams

master brummie
Hi Changinman, My sister has lived in Dorridge for a few years now, she loves it. She walks for miles around the area, at times she even got as far as Packwood house and back. I visited her not so long ago and she trailed me around the park, i'm afraid i'm not as fit as she is, and i'm ten years younger.:D:D
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for that suggestion, jennyann. Chessetts Wood Road appears now to be full of many desirable properties. Looking at roughly the spot where my father’s home stood I suspect that the modest structure now lies under a treble garage or a swimming pool.

I remember his saying that the house backed on to the GWR main line – a source of great envy to me - and he told me a story about that.

As a fifteen or sixteen-year-old in around 1916, he made a practice of taking a shotgun out into the adjoining fields to pot a rabbit or two for the family table. Inevitably, from time to time the juiciest targets were on the other side of the line, a minor inconvenience which did not discourage him in the slightest from violating GWR airspace with his pellets. But one day the Railway Police hammered on the front door, voiced their disapproval at this practice which had come to their notice, warned that a recurrence would result in prosecution and went on their way.

My grandfather issued the required reprimand and in the course of the ensuing discussion invited my father to show him precisely where this misdemeanour normally occurred. Out of the back door, down the garden, into the field and up to the railway line. At this point, my grandfather - who had picked up the shotgun on the way out - spotted a target in a field on the other side of the line, found the temptation too hard to resist, banged off at it and was promptly nabbed by the Railway Police who were still lurking in some nearby undergrowth.

Setting the right example was clearly no easier for a parent 90 years ago than it is today.

Chris
 
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Darby

master brummie
ChrisM
I lived in Lapworth for thirty years and know Chessetts Wood Road very well, I would hazard a guess that your father's house is still standing, most if not all the properties are original.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Darby, I used to love going to The Boot Inn at Lapworth on our drives
many years ago to that area. I notice it is on the Lovely Pubs website these days.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Re: The Defence of Dorridge

If you had lived in Dorridge 90 years ago these are the blokes who would have ensured that you slept peacefully in your bed, safe from the threat of Boche incursion.

They are the Knowle and Dorridge Volunteers, the Great War equivalent of the Home Guard in WW2. Here they are, photographed at Stoneleigh in September 1918. Amongst the stalwarts with their rifles is one serving soldier, an eighteen-year-old in the kilt of his Highland Regiment and currently convalescing after having been wounded in France. He is the young chap on the extreme right at the rear, ironically one of the few who aren't armed. He has survived the Western Front and will much later become an officer in the Home Guard in 1940. Between these two notable achievements will be a lesser one – the creation of me.

There are only two other identifications. The young soldier’s father, my grandfather, is at the front. He is holding “Billy”, the family’s dog. How good it would be to identify other members of this group and find out more about their duties in connection with the defence of Knowle and Dorridge.

Chris
 

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angelab

knowlegable brummie
I used to know Dorridge very well, back in the 1950s, as I cycled there every day from Packwood to get the train or bus to school.
Poplar Road was a cul-de-sac, I seem to remember. On the corner was a grocer's called Cock and Thexton, where my mother used to shop. I remember the astonishment one day to find that it had been turned into a "self service" shop, rather than us having to wait at the counter to be served.

Angela
 
B

BernardR

Guest
One research resource that may not have been mentioned [for this area] is the 'Knowle Society'. The History section have great archives - including photographs - of the area. They have a presence in the Library in Knowle which is manned by volunteers on Saturdays.

We handed over the old legal documents of our last house to them when we moved out.
 
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BernardR

Guest
Changingman - If you look at Googel Earht for Dorridge you can wind back time (clcik on the clock icon at top left) and look at how Poplar Road was in 1945. Not great resolution but not bad.
 

mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude
hello back in the 1950s 60 when we had sunshine and hot weather.me and dad went fishing. to lapworth. i would walk along the canal towpath to dorridge for a bottle of pop.from a small shop.happy times
 

applet

proper brummie kid
I'm wondering if this thread is still alive? Having lived at 15 Poplar Road (don't look now they pulled it down in 1970's and born here in 1952, Last year I severed my links with the old place by selling off my Mothers house further up the road. I do have picyures of war time Poplar Road, mainly family etc and I can put some of you right about Dorridge itself as it doesn't appear to have had a life before 1980!
 

angelab

knowlegable brummie
EDIT
the 1950s my sister and I used to have to cycle to Dorridge from Packwood every morning to take the bus or train to school in Solihull, and the same journey back every afternoon (having visited "The Candy Shop" first of course, for something to top up our sugar levels). We left our bikes in a little yard round behind the chemist's shop (very spooky to go round there in the dark on winter afternoons!). In those days, there was not the "square" of shops to the right of the then chemist's that there is now; I think it was just a shrubbery.
Was Poplar Road a cul-de-sac in the early 1950s? I remember Cock & Thexton's grocer's shop on the corner, where my mother bought bacon from Mr Wicketts. And I remember when they went "self-service", and what a shock that was!
If I remember aright, the parade of shops between the railway bridge and the present square contained an ironmonger's, a surgery, a dry cleaners, Mrs Pooler's drapery shop (where we ladies had to buy STs), Miss Boucher's hairdressers', and the chemist - where we loved to buy those little tins of Horlicks tablets.
My mother's car was in Dorridge so often, that it even was visible, parked on Station Road, on a black-and-white postcard - so I should be interested to see anybody's old views of the village.

Angela
 
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applet

proper brummie kid
poplar-one.jpg

I believe that many people who are relative new comers to Dorridge think that Poplar Road has always been fully residential. This picture, taken probably by my Uncle is of a street party at the end of World War II. Please note the trees at the top left. There was always a pool of water and willow trees at this point. The urban myth being that a horse and cart were lost in the mire. All I can tell you is we moved from 15 Poplar Road to one of the newer houses built in 1968. This property had part ownership of the pool. We never found any evidence.

Before the building of the sheltered housing there was as someone quite rightly wrote a vehicle marshaling yard. The company that ran the yard was MAT Transport. But before that there was a coal and cattle yard. It must have been quite important as the place had its own Pannier Tank (steam engine) operating. This yard linked into cattle market that was at the rear of the houses on the right, the coal yard and two gas holders which were situated on the small hill out of Dorridge on station road.

My family probably moved into 15 Poplar Road in the middle to late thirties coming from Henley in Arden. My Mother used to recall how scared she was as the family huddled in a small shelter at the rear of the property whilst the German Planes knocked seven bells out of Coventry.

15 Poplar Road was one of two detached properties at the old end of the road although the house was not that glamorous with no indoor bathroom and an outside lavatory and coal shed. The front door opened onto a drive which led to a vehicle repair centre. Philip A Carlyle's. We knew when the boss was about because his Jag had the registration PAC 1 so he always had the name Pacy. On the other side was a small builders yard Thompson's.
 

angelab

knowlegable brummie
Love the photos, Applet!
So you had a builder and decorator next door - or was that your father's business?
I remember the coal yard and gasometers, though not the cattle market.
Philip A Carlyle's rings a bell too.
My mother was living with her parents in Bentley Heath, not far from Dorridge, during the war and used to tell me how they could see the light of Coventry burning on that fateful night. Must have been terrifying.

Angela
 

applet

proper brummie kid
At the time of the pictures my Father wasn't on the scene. That side of the family are from Aston, Hertfordshire. My Grandfather moved to Tapster House, Tapster Valley near Henly in Arden from Knebworth Hall where he was head gardener. He later went to work at Lapworth House and ended his carreer at Lovelace hill, Widney Manor, the big property on the right as you drive up the hill towards Solihull.

Angela your Mother would know my Mother I'm sure or if not my Auntie Sheila Russell, Newlands Road, you may even know me if you can remember the gasometers.
 

applet

proper brummie kid
There was so little traffic in those days leaving me out in the road for a photo shoot wasn't deemed to be a hazard. You can see the houses at the top of the old road. we moved to a newer hous just about where that telegraph post is in 1968.
 

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angelab

knowlegable brummie
Oh, I remember the Tapster Valley. I used to ride round there. It was such a pretty spot.
Don't recall either Tapster House or Lapworth House - though I do remember Lovelace Hill. I had a friend whose family lived opposite those grand gates. sometimes I used to cycle all the way to Solihull to school - and Boy, was that hill a killer!! Nice on the way home though, to get up a bit of speed to take the next upward one towards Bentley Heath!

Sadly, my mother died in the 1960s so I can't ask her if she knew yours. I think I must be 10 years older than you, so we probably trod the same pavements even if we didn't meet...

Angela
 
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