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Swallow Raincoats

Carolynn

master brummie
Anyone remember working here it was just up from Hockley Brook. Early 60's it had a jukebox where we could jive away in our breaks.
 

Charlie

knows nowt
Carolynn: I worked at Swallow Raincoats (corner of Gt Hampton Street and Well Street) for a couple of years (c1957-59) in the office. Can't say I have great memories of it, I always preferred to work in smaller offices. I used one lunch hour to go and get another job in Warstone Lane. Aaaah...you could do that in those days.
 

Carolynn

master brummie
Charlie I started Swallow at 1962 in the sales office manually typing all the calling cards to the companies the reps would be calling on the following week. The main director worked from London (Mr Crouch and his secretary was Jean) he used to come up to Birmingham weekly (I think) and stay at the Grand Hotel on Colmore Row and I used to have to get a bus to there of an evening to take his post so he could read it before he came in the next morning. They used to bus girls in from Netherton to work in the machine rooms.

When we could play our own 6 records on the loud speakers of an afternoon, it was rush who could get to Sutcliffes on The Flat to get the latest record out - especially if it was a Beatles number.

I also remember helping out on the Swallow Penfold golf days.

The Personnel was Ms Lingard.

Great times....
 

maggs

master brummie
Don't remember the works, but I certainly had a 'Swallow raincoat' and it came from a shop up Monument Rd where a man called 'JAFFA' ran the show. Anyone remember him?
 

maggs

master brummie
Now you've taxed me brain Carolynn. I love jingles, so I'll have to have a think about that one. I bet it's in there somewhere.
 

Charlie

knows nowt
I worked in the office typing the invoices. The best part of the day was when our manager went down to the stock room, we waited to see how long it would take a certain girl to find urgent work in the same stock room.
They actually thought we didn't twig what was going on!
 

maggs

master brummie
I bet a lot of that went on in offices everywhere Charlie, I wonder if it still does.
 

Carolynn

master brummie
I worked there in 1962/63ish. Anyone there that time?

At Xmas we were allowed to go and pick a piece of material (usually samples). I picked tartan and had a dress made - very trendy, well I thought so anyway. We used to pay a 1s.0d per week and then took it in turns to spend at Snapes the Chemist.
 

Catdrake73

New Member
Hello

I'm looking to source a woolen coat that belongs to my partner. It was given to him in the late 1980s and the label is 'fine in the rain', Swallow. I'm just trying to find out when it was made, and if possible the designer and history behind it.

From looking on the internet, I believe this company folded up sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s. But I just wondered if any retail catalogues from this company have been kept and where I could find them. Perhaps a last trading address?

I've contacted Birmingham Library and they haven't been able to find any Swallow Raincoats catalogues, though they've given me lots of helpful suggestions and tips. And I'm aware that local newspapers may contain adverts promoting their goods. But as I'm not based in Birmingham, it's difficult for me to physically go there in person unless there is a definite result at the end of it.

Hope you can help. :D

Catherine
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI CATH ;
They used to sell them at the top of constitutoin hill and hockley hill and i think it was at the junction of great king street hockley
and if my memory serves me corect they had a manufacturing in tyseley and shipped them down to constitution hill
there old premises are next to our premises in kings rd tyseley along on the corner from us
i will come bck to you abit lter with more info; best wishes astonian;;
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
Yes Alan the building was on the corner its was taken over by the Midland Bank and used as a warehouse I did the electrical refit must have been 1967ish. Dek
 

Catdrake73

New Member
Thanks so much for responding with this useful information. So the company ceased trading in 1967? That means my partner's coat is older than both of us! And we always thought that it was made in the 1980s sometime. We'd better preserve it better from now on!

Best wishes :)

Catherine
 

Shortie

master brummie
The Swallow Riancoat building is not a warehouse, it's Crown Apartments. Midland Bank are on the opposite corner. I have a drawing somewhere by Ron 'Smudge' Smith, that he gave me of the Swallow building, if I can find it I will post it.
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
The Swallow Riancoat building is not a warehouse, it's Crown Apartments. Midland Bank are on the opposite corner. I have a drawing somewhere by Ron 'Smudge' Smith, that he gave me of the Swallow building, if I can find it I will post it.

Shortie I refer to an earlier time 1967 -77 this building did belong to the Midland Bank at this time and was used for their own use as a storage Warehouse. As I stated in my previous post I was electrical foreman on the referb I believe I was 24-25 at the time so that would make the time I was there 1967-68.Dek
 

Shortie

master brummie
Oh Dek I am sorry, I must have read the post wrongly, I thought you meant now. Should have gone to specsavers, obviously!
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
hi dek ;and shortie;
you can take it from dek it was the bank years ago as i also record it as a young and some of my adult life
whilst growing up for years in that neck of the woods and useing the local pubs [ shortie ;]
and with my band of merry men prancing up and down there to the city on foot ; especaly on a sunday afternoon and back
after scouring the old market at the back down the old jamica row when it was the very old whole sale market in the year dot ;
and take all the big jaffas and apples and banna,s back home and we trape around through the flat at key hill and up and down the lodge
and back up through ickneild street back to king edwards rd ladywood
best wishes to you both and everybody else on the forum alan ; astonian;;;
 

carolina

master brummie
I worked at Swallow Raincoats in the 60s and as far as I know at that time all the raincoats were made there. They used to bus machinists from Netherton into the factory to do the sewing. It was taken over by S&U Stores in the middle 60s.
 
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