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Kam Sagoo

New Member
This is an amazing thread on Smethwick, which was started by "Smethwick Striver" back in 2010 and the last post a only few weeks ago.
I came to this wonderful country from Kenya in 1966 and the first thing that really mesmerised me was the colour and height of the Spire at St Pauls Church. It seemed then a mysterious building. I finally managed to find a photograph on the web as it was then, see attached. I went to George Betts Junior School (not knowing a single word of english!) and then Smethwick Hall Boys School (Head master B F Jones- not forgotten his mantra " Respect and be Respected" ), Warley College of Technology at Crocketts Lane (now demolished). Smethwick has a rich industrial heritage, for example when I was visiting a Lighthouse on the Isle of White and realised the Optics came from Chance Glass Bros. More recently whilst surfing also discovered that armoured fighting vehicles (Stalin) were built in Smethwick for the Red army.

With the COVID 19 epidemic and lockdown its given me some time to reflect. This all started I was trying to find old photographs of Railway Side. The terraced houses on Railway side were demolished and replaced modern housing estate which is now called " Adams Close."
 

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Yes I remember Glovers sweet shop.U sed to think she was a witch with her long fingernails ,dirty hands and grey whispy hair!It didn't stop us buying sweets from there though. I remember Carol's just up from there and the Coop on the opposite corner.I lived in Manor Road .
I also remember Glovers at the top of our road, which was Francis Road and our house backed on to the Londonderry playing fields. This was the home ground for Smethwick Highfield football team.
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
My Grandparents lived on Cheshire Rd Smethwick I remember it had a stream running at the end of the garden.. Grandfather grew Rhubarb and also watercress. We would walk down to a park with nice gardens by a big building is that still there?
 

mommaCas

Brummie babby
My Grandparents lived on Cheshire Rd Smethwick I remember it had a stream running at the end of the garden.. Grandfather grew Rhubarb and also watercress. We would walk down to a park with nice gardens by a big building is that still there?
It could have been Victoria Park, next to the Council House,that's a big building. Did you cross a road by a Post office and a couple of shops?
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
It could have been Victoria Park, next to the Council House,that's a big building. Did you cross a road by a Post office and a couple of shops?
Yes we crossed the road I am sure it was Victoria Park. Have some good time there in the 1950s
 
Update about the Queens Head, it's currently being refurbished to become a vets, I'm currently waiting for it to open to register my dog and cat there as it's not far from where I live.

I'm a Smethwick babby as well, my memories of it are from the '70's when I lived in Dibble Road just off the High Street. Both sides of the High Street were still there then and some of he shops and pubs I remember are:-
Rudds wallpaper shop, the second hand shop run by Billy?, The Crown pub, my granddad and dad's second home! Didn't like walking past the Crown though because of the funeral directors next door, the newsagent, Matty's chippy, Woolies, Dillons newsagents, The Red Fort and The George pub by the steps, the British Relay, Tescos on the corner of Ford Street, Welch & Rayner's on the corner of the High Street and Rolfe Street next to the station.

I now live about 5 minutes walk from where I grew up.
Although this is a very belated response to your post it mentions various aspects of my earlier years in Smethwick such as Dibble Road, due to the first proper job I had was working on the estate for S. Dibble and sons and the direct owner at the time was Brian Dibble who had his office in City Road Edgbaston. My wife and myself rented the flat in City Road opposite the offices. We worked in Dibble Road, Sabell Road, and White Road building bathroom extentions to the rear of the properties. I remember all of the shops that you have referred to in your post and more besides. I went to Holly Lodge Grammar School for boys and upon leaving horrified my parents by obtaining work polishing handlebars at Raleigh industries for a VERY short time. Whilst working on the estate a contractor named B. J. Smith took over the repairs and maintenance work for Dibbles and I transferred employers to stay in work with a workshop at the bottom of Dibble Road and a store at the top.
 

Hilaryj

Brummie babby
Enjoyed reading your post about Smethwick. I also grew up there and loved shopping in Cape Hill Market and Woolies. Because Brum was only a short bus ride away, I always saw Smethwick as being part of Brum and not really a separate place. That is just my opinion and I expect a lot will disagree. I have some happy memories living there and having fun at the Thimblemill Baths disco. My friend lived in the sweet shop on Waterloo Road and my other friend lived at Bakers Garage. There was also a lady who ran a second hand shop, she was middle aged, blonde and always wore a fur coat. For some reason my nan always called her "Bob's wife". I never found out who Bob was.
Just wondering who your friend was in the sweet shop in Waterloo Street?
Was this the newspaper shop. Proprietors names Barnes?
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
It could have been Victoria Park, next to the Council House,that's a big building. Did you cross a road by a Post office and a couple of shops?
What is amazing my Grandad and his brothers lived there and emigrated to the USA My Grandfather did not like the USA and moved back to Cheshire Rd dies with nothing worked at the carriage works, His Brothers that stayed in the USA died very wealthy they started a printing business in the USA
 

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What is amazing my Grandad and his brothers lived there and emigrated to the USA My Grandfather did not like the USA and moved back to Cheshire Rd dies with nothing worked at the carriage works, His Brothers that stayed in the USA died very wealthy they started a printing business in the USA
My father also worked at the carriage works as a slinger in the yard loading carriages on to flat bed bogies due to different gauge to the british rails destined for abroad.
 

Johnfromstaffs

Johnfromstaffs
My great uncle, and my uncle were both at the carriage works. I remember my great uncle as reasonably well off, in Victoria Road, but his wife, who was my gran’s sister, was stricken with arthritis, their daughter died shortly after the birth of her daughter and unc had to look after them all, as well as earning his living. He was an absolute hero, I still have a cabinet he made, no doubt the veneers were destined for somebody’s railway carriage!
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
My great uncle, and my uncle were both at the carriage works. I remember my great uncle as reasonably well off, in Victoria Road, but his wife, who was my gran’s sister, was stricken with arthritis, their daughter died shortly after the birth of her daughter and unc had to look after them all, as well as earning his living. He was an absolute hero, I still have a cabinet he made, no doubt the veneers were destined for somebody’s railway carriage!
My Grandfather William (Wil) Crump and his deaf mute Brother, Frank Crump, worked there all their lives
 

Steve de grey

proper brummie kid
hi col...i have that episode of time team on disc...they dug up a friend of mines back garden and patio in south road but drew the line there as the rest of the factory site ran under the living room:rolleyes:

lyn
I have a 1797 cartwheel twopence made at soho mint on a machine designed by Mathew Bourton . Weighs 2 Oz solid copper. Only made for 1 yr cos within a year they were worth more in scrap than what you could buy with it. Ps does anyone know where soho mint was
 
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