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Street furniture

dwilly

master brummie
Have just driven from Longbridge, via Cotteridge to Acocks Green, on route my son noticed the lamposts are painted different colours, red in Cotteridge changing to blue just by Lifford then grey in Acocks Green, anyone know the reason why they are different colours? is it just to show the different areas?
 

Lloyd

master brummie
I think it shows how long ago tey were painted. I remember in the 50s and 60s main road lamp poles being green, and side road ones ( which were much smaller) were maroon and cream.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI LLoyd
do you remember the old type gas light where a chap on a bike would come around the streets lighting up the lights at a certain time also do you ever recall him coming around with his big stick to snubb them out even up terraces and back yards where ever there was one
best wishes astonian
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
I certainly remember a man on a bike opening up the top lantern and doing some type of maintenance on these gas lamps. I stand corrected here but I think they had a clockwork mechanism that opened a valve that allowed the gas to burn and heat up the mantles.
I assume there was also a pilot light, so the clock would need to be wound up? and those mantles would need replacement, hence the bloke on the bike:)

Incidently if you visit Malvern link the top road still has numerous gas lamps all in full working order, they look quite splendid and emit a very pleasnt slightly warm glow, most attractive.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI BILL
You are quite right what you have said every time the man came up our terrace cromwell square on lichfield rd i always stopped and talked to him
up the terrace we all had our own gardens and our fence was right next to the lamp and he would park is bike on our fence we lived at 5 back of 92 lichfield rd aston
and our little house was one up and one down with a scully with the stairs in it to go to bed room we was cramped all eight of us kids and our parents
they had the double bed to themselves us kis was four or five at the top end and the other thre or four at the bottom
mrs arnold was the previous tennant before we moved in she alaso done an article on the forum for her memories of aston and the house for carl chinns when they started this forum years ago on come in and mek your self at home which is included in the beging chapters of our wonder full forum and our lovely extented family of members
did you ever have an old man come around knocking your door asking can he paint your number on your house door for 6 penny peice we did he done the whole terrace
we had twenty houses up our terrace and out of the whole terrace we had the biggest garden so come bon fire night all the neibours brought there blunder to burn
it was almost big as a park fire we alwas out done the street neibours neibouring to us our rivals was the sargent family up a couple of entrys away our flames reach the sky we could see there flames but we always out done them and mom would do a ton of chestnuts from robinsons fruit and veg and baked spuds by the ton until the early hours of the morning
the sharpes and the goughs and the jarretts was there till morning light and the fire was still burning the next day best wishes astonian
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
When I look at an old photo I usually look, not only at the main subject, but the other small features in the picture. Street furniture is one I especially like. You can spot all sorts of items including ornate lamp posts, pillar boxes, police 'phone boxes .... well the list is endless. This photo posted by Astoness has quite a few nice little features like the police 'phone box and the bollards in the centre of the road.

Police pillar 'phones are very special as most must have now disappeared. I think the one in Astonesses photo is one of these.
View attachment 90131

I remember them well, with blue paint that had faded by years of exposure to the elements. I think the public could use them too for emergencies.
I'm usually pleased when I spot a post box in a photo, as more often than not that post box will still be there today. And it can help to locate a view more accurately.

So if you've spotted some nice features in your old Birmingham photos, let's see 'em folks. Viv.
 

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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Just noticed the police 'phone pillar is slap bang outside the pub. Now wondering whether these were strategically placed? Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Had to look it up Stephen. They were for police use on the beat. The public could also use them. Here's a British Telephones link explaining the various parts (May not be the same model but probably the same principle). There was a door for the public and a locked door for police use. And some seem to have had a first aid compartment in the base. Never realised any of this! Viv.

https://www.britishtelephones.com/pa150h.htm
 

A.Willoughby

master brummie
As I recall it in the square shaped one there was a lockable section in the bottom section of it into which there was enough room to put a cape or mackintosh, if one was out and the weather improved. Oft one found that the bobby on an adjoining beat had beaten you to it and put his in. The cape could be squared off and carried over the left shoulder whereas if you had a mackintosh you had to suffer it until break time or end of duty.

The lamp on the top was an intermittent flashing light that notified one that the station wished to contact you. As there were no radios in those days it was usually to send you on a message/action on your beat. During a tour of duty one had locations around one's beat, known as 'points' one had to attend at varying times so that the station could contact you. The points were always the 'blue boy' or a telephone kiosk.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's very interesting. It sounds like they were essential pieces of equipment, albeit a slower system than today. How times change; nowadays we take immediate communication for granted with the invention of the mobile phone. Thanks for all the details A. Willoughby. Viv.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I had just posted this pic in another thread when I noticed what looks like a black and white striped piece of street furniture by the traffic lights. Presumably it might have been something to do with the traffic lights - they certainly made sure it was visible !
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Can't make it out Phil. Thought it was an oversized bollard at first, but it seems to be in an odd position. Yes the traffic lights and bollard/box all seem to be brightly painted. Maybe it was a dangerous junction. I also notice the traffic lights have white shields over the amber lights. I'm now wondering if all traffic lights had control boxes alongside them. Maybe there's an engineer out there who can explain. Viv.
 

Richie

Mr.Respectable
The stripes on the traffic lights were universal at one time on all roadside signs, standardized in the 1930's for 30 years and know as 'Worboys' pattern.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_signs_in_the_United_Kingdom


With the least effective car headlights in earlier years it made is possible at night and in poor weather to notice them more easily, a fact not lost on the authorities during the War during blackout periods.

The shields over the lights were to 'shield' the lights from sunlight whereby in summer periods driving into the sun might make the colours invisible.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
I recall there was another type of emergency phone box that was used for phoning the fire brigade. It was a rectangular box with a glass front, there used to be one on the corner of Jerrys Lane and Turfpits Land Erdington.
 

brummie nick

master brummie
I recall there was another type of emergency phone box that was used for phoning the fire brigade. It was a rectangular box with a glass front,
I remember those, there used to be one on the corner of Tilton Rd outside the 'George 'pub

Nick
 
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