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Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

laary

Brummie babby
Does anyone remember the cafe run by the Dawkins family at 53a Highgate Road on the corner with Kyrwicks Lane.

It was founded by Louisa Jane Dawkins, known as Jenny, as the Dawkins Cafe about 1914 and run by her until she retired after World War 2. It was then taken over by her son Fred Dawkins and renamed Fred's Cafe. He ran it until the 1980s when he retired.

Can anyone help?
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

Hi laary

I knew Fred's well and most of the people that used it right up until he retired and he moved to Kings Heath I met him once on the high st. I lived in Larches St, but we often popped in to Fred's for a sos & tom, but I would never drink tea from that machine. Not even when he put a bottle of whisky in it a Christmas.

Phil
 
J

junebrad

Guest
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

Hi I remember "Freds Cafe" very well I used to work at the Standard sweet factory in Woodfield Road we used to got to the cafe to get a sandwich in our lunch break I used to look at the rude post cards, and have a chuckle to my self, if you smiled you had to put a pennie in the collection box. This was 1955/6.
 
V

vicbucknall

Guest
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

is that the cafe that had chess games going on while you were eating
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

Whilst half the people in Sparkbrook were waiting for their repairs to be completed, the builders were sitting in Fred's drinking tea and eating his bread pudding (delicious) and saying make it best of three then.

Phil
 

richardinwales

master brummie
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

I remember the cafe well, I went to School with Fred's son Peter. Anyone in touch with Peter?

Great forum by the way chaps and chappesses :)

Richard, ex-brummie now in South Wales.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

I remember "Fred's Cafe" when I worked at a little back street garage in Balsall Heath in around 1960, cannot remember the name or street as only there for a short while, I do remember the door steps bacon sandwiches though.
paul
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Re: Fred Dawkins Cafe Highgate Road Balsall Heath

I used Fred’s café too, the tea machine, and the ‘guard’ cat who was permanent fixture in the gas heater.



Fred could do this trick where he would back spin a coin onto a tea plate.
 

Paul.

proper brummie kid
As an apprentice at Youngs Lifting Appliances on the Moseley Road in the late 1970's, I was sent to Fred's Cafe everyday for all the sandwiches. It was a nice way to spend an hour out of the factory. I'd write all the orders on the paper bags and hand them over whilst I nipped out to buy some newspapers and ciggies. I recall the Evening Mail doing a story on the cafe and including a photo of his cat sitting on the heater.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Hi Paul

The late 70's would have been very near the time that Fred closed the doors for the last time. I wonder what happened to that tea machine, I bet it's in some museum somewhere.
 

Paul.

proper brummie kid
Hi Phil, I was still going there in the early 1980’s, although I went every day he appeared to be a man of few words, perhaps because I was just a kid at the time. Occasionally I’d get a free cup out of the urn, at that age you don’t take too much notice of the hygiene etc, i certainly took a lot business in there, but had to get there before all the council workers rolled up ! He used to have the newspaper cutting l mentioned, pinned to the wall above the cat on the heater. On my ‘run’ I’d also go to ‘Allebons’ newsagents, the bookies, ‘Birds’ chip shop and the cycle shop, all on the Moseley Road.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Paul I Didn't realise that Freds was still open until the 8o's though I was still using the cafe on the odd occasion. Mind you I had moved to Solihull by then and our business premises had moved to Greet. Though I could have sworn that most of the area was clreared by 77/78.
 

JohnGriff

knowlegable brummie
i used to use freds cafe for many years,,,he was a lovely man,,,after he retired he did gardening and did my nieghbours for a few years,,,in kings heath,,he once told me no one was interested in his old tea machine,,which he said was a great buy,,.saving lots of labour,,in his 80s he still did a very large garden in 4 hrs,,once a week,,hedges, grass ,borders,,,etc,,,,he was a great worker,,very fit, i still miss our chats over the hedge,
 
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