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izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave
During school holidays in the 1950's I used to sometimes go with dad on his British rail parcels delivery round, his round included the Longbridge area and we often called in at Kalamazoo. I used to go in with him and seeing a small kid they used to give me a big pile of printed paper to take home to draw on the blank side.


proper brummie kid
Not exactly about Kalamazoo but the recollections here stir memories of that strip of waste ground that ran alongside the River Rea and the railway track from the rear of the Kalamazoo site to the bridge on Tessall Lane (Just about where Longbridge station now is). The River was certainly never anything to write home about in the fifties but it featured heavily in the lives of a many a hot blooded Longbridge Lad. We may have discovered it train spotting (did we really do that still in our teens back then?) but we soon sussed out there were plenty of secluded spots for a little dalliance with the fairer sex.


New Member
This Kalamazoo thread is interesting Viv, as my parents both worked there. Mom, Freda Taylor of Selly Oak worked in accounts before W.W.2. and met my Dad, Frederick Neale who was an electrician. They were both much into sports and the Kalamazoo teams. Dad was a keen footballer then later a cricketer playing for the first KCC team. Before the war they bought the house at Rednal where they lived until Dad died. Through the war Dad was in a reserved occupation and was working in Halesowen and Mom left the company to have my brother Keith. Dad returned to Kalamazoo in 1945 and worked his way through the ranks to become the main electrical engineer under Jack Trigg and retired in 1972. For all his years at Kalamazoo he was on call and I remember as a lad going to the factory with him on many occasions day and night, fascinated with the machinery, and meeting some of his friends, Les Ecclestone, one I remember. He also did electrical work at the Directors homes, Tom Moreland I think lived near Barnt Green and his wife fed me whilst Dad did the jobs. I remember the Company as a family, many employees friends through the sports or other company activities and whenever I visited with Dad they always made me welcome. Happy Days.
Your dad must of known dad, he worked as an electrician from leaving school until the early 90’s maybe.

John Swadling

I remember the snooker tables lol


New Member
Hi all,
My mother and father also met here. John William Swadling and Jacqueline Jeffries now Swadling
Both in the table tennis club I believe, my dad used to take me to play snooker sometimes in his Metro.
Sadly my dad died of Mesothelioma cancer a few years ago due to exposure to asbestos on site, guess they never knew had bad that stuff was back in 50’s 60’s
It would be great if anyone remembers my parents…. I know a few came to his funeral from the Kala which was very touching and heart warming



master brummie
Unrelated to the thread topic...in the 60's I worked on a project in South Bend, Indiana, USA. I would drive the 500+ miles from my home in Toronto about once a month. My journey would take me through Kalamazoo, Michigan and like most English folks at the time, I was fascinated with most things American. The Glenn Miller classic, I've got a gal in Kalamazoo, was no exception. I had this vision of what I imagined Kalamazoo would look like. To say I was deeply disappointed and disillusioned, would be grossly understated.
Dave A