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How did we do it?



I was at my sister Brendas yesterday and we started talking about living in Cromwell St.
It appears our esteemed Cromwell was the best friend of my eldest brother John (small world huh?)
My sister remembers you Graham, I'm just waiting for a reply off him.
Anyway, she described our house in Cromwell St..she said it was a back house (2 back of something)
There were two toilets to serve six families..opulence indeed..
The 'Front' door opened directly into the yard with a 'Living' room of about 11ft x 10ft.
Another small room at the back (half the other size) served as a Kitchen come everything else
Upstairs you had a bedroom in which Me (aged 2) and my new born sister Rita shared with Mom and Dad.
One more flight up was the fourth room of the house..another bedroom in the attic, in there slept my Uncle Les, Sisters Norma and Brenda and my brothers John and Robert..
How on earth did Mom cope?
It must have been like mice in a cage..oh..yes, Brenda said we had those too, along with silverfish, cockroaches and blackbats..
from what she said Dad had to make a fine mesh box to keep our food in otherwise the next morning Mom found it alive with insects and mice droppings..
The good old days?
You can bloody keep them.


Kiwi Brummie Admin' Team
:angel: Told ya that Graham would know your older Brother and sister didn't I ??? Ha Ha Ha  :buck2: O0 :-*

Chris :angel:


Super Moderator
Staff member
I think you makin' it up.In a house that crowded where did the plasma telly,dishwasher,washing machine,microwave,fridge freezer,tumble dryer,deep fat fryer,and not forgetting the puter go.
Don't tell me anyone managed without them, I can't.


Living next door to the Pub meant people thinking it was part of the pub and would just walk in our house every time the pub opened so on the night Ma had to keep the door locked.
Remember those dreaded chimney fires when the soot caught fire if the newspaper you were using across the fire, lit and went up the chimney. Fire brigade and crowds in the street watching, sparks flying and the chimney pot crashing down into the street below. Not funny at the time.
I remember one early Sunday morning playing down the local cut (canal) with my two brothers and the lad who lived over the road Johnnie Pye; none of us could swim at that time. We were skimming stones across the cut and Johnnie must have forgot to loose the stone and threw himself in, we all tried to reach him but he was just out of reach so we threw a lifeline to him made with our bootlaces but by this time he had gone under for the 3rd time and we all thought he was a gonna (dead) So we turned tail and ran home to tell his parents.
Home was a few miles away, and we reached Johnnie house and hammered on the door and his Mom come so we told her he had fallen in the cut.
We had to wait 10 minutes or so while Mr Pye polished his boots as it was a Sunday morning and then we lead him to the cut.
Unknown to us a builder had been watching from a factory window and saw everything that had happened and when we all ran off, he dived in and saved Johnnie.
The Builder and Johnnie were coming down the road to meet us.
What did old man Pye do? Thank the builder? No he proceeded to belt Johnnie all the way home for getting his clothes wet.
We all learnt to swim after that.
If you see this Johnnie get in touch


master brummie
Does anyone have any memories or recollection of a Wallace family living on Cromwell Street ? My grandad Bernard Wallace was born there in 1922 the youngest of about 7 children i think , he lived there for a good few years up until he married in 1945. It would be lovely to hear if anyone knew of them.


I can't stand snobs Les....Luxury.....absolute luxury.


One great advantage living next door to the pub was climbing over the wall and getting all the empties then taking them to the outdoor and getting a refund on them,we supplied half the street,and never got found out.
We did get kicked out of Sunday school though for swearing.
When they all started to sing .........Stand up stand up for Jesus
We all shouted "Sit down sit down for Jesus the ********** at the back can't see"
We had been going every week and saving a penny a week to go to the seaside so we thought we had had it.
But the Sunday school Chap came to our house crying and said we could go back which we did till the trip came then we knocked it on the head and that was my first and last dose of religion.
Les, tell John that Little Johnnie Adams who was in our class is now the Caretaker at Cromwell Street School and a couple of years ago he gave me a guided tour of the School which was wonderful


master brummie
On the 1881 census my grandad Albert Horton age 4, his sister Amy 11, their father William age 30 a widower, and his grandad John Raybould age 76 - retired publican, all lived at 107 Cromwell Street, has anyone a photo of that end of the street?


Sylviasayers, I have a great one taken in 1918 at the end of the war.
Sent it by E-Mail large format
My Dad lived by a Harry Horton just a bit further up the road Harry lived at 15 back 126 Long Acre in 1920


master brummie
I don't know of a Harry Horton as one of my relatives, but it could be as my g. grandfather William Horton probably married again as he was widowed very young - before he was 30 years old.


Sylvia, Will reply to you about Mon. as things have gone quite mad at the moment


Sylvia, Thanks a lot for the loan of the photo's. I will get them back to you as soon as I can.