Sheldon TCC was demolished and the site is now part of Tesco's car park. The ATE expanded in all directions but is still essentially on the same site, opposite Tesco.
There was no exchange in Yardley so you would have been allocated a number in the nearest exchange. Some telephones exchanges had made up names. Because there was no Q on the old dial so Quinton exchange was named Woodgate, a country area south of Quinton. As Oldbury started with an O which on old British dials was in the 0 for Operator on the dial, Oldbury exchange was named Broadwell, an area near Oldbury town centre. On conversion to numbers, because all numbers in South East Birmingham started with a 7 and STE for Stechford was equivalent to the numbers 783, so you were luckily able to keep your number. When I lived in Oldbury I had a number on the Woodgate exchange which was some distance from me so 900 which was equivalent to WOO had to be changed to a Birmingham South West number and Woodgate became 422. My present house, into which I moved just over 4 years ago, which geographically is in Halesowen is also on the Woodgate Exchange as my area used to be in the B32 post code but with the overflow number of 421 rather than 422Our phone # Stechford 3946 we had forever was in Yardley
Our works phone No at Villa Street was Northern 3017 and at Broad Street was Midland 4971
In 1932 the Four Oaks exchange opened in a new building in Lichfield Road, with six operators and 450 lines. By 1964 the exchange had grown by eight times that size and had the distinction of being Birmingham's last remaining manual switchboard. This building is now used as commercial offices.I joined PO Telephones as an external engineer on leaving the RAF in 1956, I could be wrong but I believe FOUr Oaks at that time was still a manual exchange, the rest being automatic. Over my 30 years plus service I covered most of the exchange area shown in the above map. I took early retirement in 1998 after it was privatised and became known as BT who appeared to put profit before both staff and customers, unlike PO telephones who paid for my evening classes and City and Guilds exams in Telecoms and promotion on passing said exams. I enjoyed my time with the PO a good firm to work for and we had a good pension scheme (compulsory). I should add I was in telecoms during my 8 years RAF service as an aircrew wireless operator Eric
on Saturday 14th November 1964 the new Four Oaks ATE opened in new premises (presumably went automatic)RobT, do you know the year Four Oaks went automatic ? It was one of the Exchange areas I never worked on. I finished up as a TO on maintaining customers automatic systems, mostly in the Black country Eric