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Henrys & Oasis store


master brummie
Staff member
Henry's had a couple of entrances if I remember it. Colin, one of them was off the alley of Martineau Street. Down a few steps if I remember rightly.
Pam, I am not sure where the other entrance was but it was close by BHS.


Oasis was certainly the place to be seen in the seventies. Oddly enough I was in there just last week. It is, apart from the change in fashion, exactly the same as it was when I was 15/16 years old in the mid seventies. The odd smell was probablypatchouli oil...the place reeked of it, I never personally saw any wacky baccy smokers behind the fixtures! Of course, there may have been!
Even now, whenever I smell patchouli, I am back there! It was, and still is, a labyrinth.
Yes, the cheesecloth shirts, the jewellery, a great hairdresser and t shirt shops aplenty. (With your own message.) And the SHOES!

I visited again to buy my 12 year old son a pair of Converse trainers IN THE VERY SAME shop, Cloggs, where I bought my first pair of platform boots with my first wage packet in 1974! (They were gorgeous boots, only consigned to the dustbin when the heel fell off whilst alighting from a no.50 bus at the Maypole, much later!)

Speaking to the nice guy (one of the original staff?) that was running the shop, it seems it was still in exactly the same pitch in the market then as now. It sent a shudder through my spine. Almost like confronting your own ghost from the past! They will knock it down in the next few years due to redevelopment in the Martineau Square area. Re-visit whilst you still can. A place of great originality, it will re open, but not sure where?

Brummy hugs to all....


master brummie
Henry's was in Union Street, I'm sure. I used to go there for a cheap lunch (sausage & chips) when I was on day release at the Matthew Boulton Technical College in Horsefair, before it moved to Pershore Road. They were huge sausages, the size of a baby's forearm, but tasted awful. There was Daddies brown sauce there to disguise the flavour, though!


Gone, but not forgotten.
Yes, Henry's was in Union St, they moved there in the early sixties. Their store ran from City Centre House (Inland Revenue) to Union Passage. The entrances were next to City Centre House, on the corner of Union St & Union Passage, and there was also one in the arcade that ran from Union Passage to Corporation St.

I believe the store is now a branch of W.H.Smith, well it was the last time I was up that way.



master brummie
My Mom used to get crockery from Henry's , odd plates and such.......in fact I still have one I use in the kitchen. It is white with a blue line around the edge and Coles Cafe written on it . It must have been one of their job lots. Did they buy bancrupt stock/

Elizabeth Redmond

I loved Henry's but I think a lot of people were a bit snobby about it, behind Littlewood's, to the side of C&A, the cafe was basic but clean and their fish and chips were very nice, I remember my mom bought me a refer jacket there, very fashionable around 1965, they were usually a bit cheaper than some of the shops.


New Member
I worked in the same departtment as you angeleyes as a Saturday part timer while still at school. Les the buyer,(who was unfortunately murdered later in life in his shop in Kings Heath) was a good family friend.
I used to walk a girl called Lesley/Leslie to the busstop by the King George V and we went in for a drink there. I can't remember her surname but her father managed one of the little Wrensons stores somewhere in Brum


Super Moderator
Staff member
Bought several cheesecloth tops, crushed velvet and tie dyed tops from Oasis. Can still smell the patchouli ......... ! Is Oasis still there? Viv.

Shirley Sura

proper brummie kid
Talking of Henry's takes me back to my childhood, going to see Father Christmas and the Easter Farm. Oasis Takes me to my teenage years, along with Chelsea Girl, The Hole in the Wall then La Dolce vita, Rebecca's, The Top Rank... I could go on forever, does anyone else remember?

Thanks for reviving the happy memories



master brummie
Boy George used to work in Oasis before he became really well known and that smelly oil I used for a while and my dad always used to say it smelt like someone had left a wet cloth some where and forgot it.
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I remember that smell too Patty not to good was it but fashion ruled...lol Oasis did some lovely clothes I used to spend hours in there.


My Kids told me that Patchouli Oil was often used to hide the smell of smoking Cannabis.

Pete R

HENRY's - Being poor, our one treat a year was the Bus ride to Town to see 'Uncle Holly' at the top of Lewis's. This would be followed by trips to 'The Beehive' and Henrys. I was only small, but can remember it being quite 'downmarket'. Mother wanted a Roasting Tin, we had to sort out one with a matching top froim a pile of them., Blue enamelled tins, mostly chipped, we found a good set. I've still got it !
OASIS. In the 70s my Girlfriends insisted on dragging me into this Hell Hole. Stinking of Patchouli and Cannabis, dark to the point of being unable to see where you were going, and populated by some VERY wierd characters, it wasn't my favourite place. Now, 30 years later, my Son drags me into there to buy 'Newrocks' and 'Goth' gear. Now much lighter & sanitized, its a fashion based shop, with decent fittings. Still smells odd though !


master brummie
Happy memories of working at Henry's, I met my wife Maureen Weston (nee Broadhusrt) there when she worked as a window dresser from 1959 -61. and we have been married for 52 years. Some of the people she worked with included Peter Berry (Display) Nancy Ashworth (window dresser) Mr Aldridge (display manager) Maureen Chitty (window dresser) Mr Todd (floor manager) Mr Holt (receiving deck) Mr Reece (china) and Graham ? (ticket writer) Also the numerous Firemen that worked part-time namely Clarkson, Scooter Coombes, Stallward,Gibbs,Fairfoul, Cartwright, Benquezits, weston, and Jonny Main to name a few. It was a very happy place to work doe's anybody remember the easter fair, the christmas grotto and the aniversary walz playing over the speaker system.


master brummie
I buy my Jeans from Oasis...Levii's 501s= £15.00,they are seconds but that suits me...also top brand shirts,Wrangler etc...£5.00 upwards.


master brummie
I buy my Jeans from Oasis...Levii's 501s= £15.00,they are seconds but that suits me...also top brand shirts,Wrangler etc...£5.00 upwards.
I think I've got me shops mixed up....the Oasis I sometimes shop at is the present one in Martineau Square..sorry about that.

Thanks for pointing that out Bernie.