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The Cross Keys,Steward street, Ladywood

cornishbrummie

proper brummie kid
Hi Astonia I have read your thread to my husband and he is very chuffed, His grandad was Watty's brother John Green.My husbands father used to take Watty out in his car when Watty was too old to drive.That is how my husband remembers him. He does not know any of Watty's family which is a shame. I have done some research on him for our family tree,and we hold the family bible with his name written in. His father Walter had a pub in Eyre street , but he died ,and his wife died shortly after and all the children were split up which is very sad. I know he was a very generous man. best regards Lizzie
Hello. Watty Green is/was my granddaughter's 2xGreatGrandfather - her dad Adam Green (partner to my daughter) is Wattys great grandson (descended via Watty's son Louis - who sadly died in 2015 at the grand old age of 94! - and his son Andrew, who tragically died much younger, at just 43, in 1996). Great to 'meet' you! Not heard before about the children being split up following walter's death. I'd be interested to learn more, so I can add to my granddaughers family history :)
 

cornishbrummie

proper brummie kid
Hello. CornishBrummie! Louis was my uncle. My Father was George Green. I'm trying to figure out who you are as we are trying to put the family tree together. Please message me if you prefer to remain anonymous on the forum.
Cheers,
Julian.
Hi. Very belated reply to your message, which I have only just found. I myself am not a 'Green'. My connection comes via my granddaughter; her dad is Adam Green (b1984); son of Andrew (1953-1996) who was the son of Louis (1920-1915) your uncle. Hope that makes sense and fits the jigsaw together!
 
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cornishbrummie

proper brummie kid
hi Julian ,I am the wife of John Green ,grandson of Wattys brother John. I have the family tree on Ancestry,where the bible can be seen. I will send you a PM with my Email. Best regards Busy Lizzie
I too would love to see the bible ( am on ancestry) As mentioned already, my granddaugther is wattys 2x great granddaughter - her dad, Adam Green is Watty's great grandson via his son Louis.
 

Julian

proper brummie kid
Hi. Very belated reply to your message, which I have only just found. I myself am not a 'Green'. My connection comes via my granddaughter; her dad is Adam Green (b1984); son of Andrew (1953-1996) who was the son of Louis (1920-1915) your uncle. Hope that makes sense and fits the jigsaw together!
Thanks CornishBrummie. I didn't know Andrew that well before he passed away but am more acquainted with his brother Robin. Since my move to Canada we only been able to stay in touch via email and exchange family photos over the internet.
 

Julian

proper brummie kid
hi Julian ,I am the wife of John Green ,grandson of Wattys brother John. I have the family tree on Ancestry,where the bible can be seen. I will send you a PM with my Email. Best regards Busy Lizzie
Hi Lizzie, I am looking for the PM that you mentioned in which you were kindly sharing pictures of the family bible so that i could see the family tree. I'm still unfamiliar with the site so maybe I just haven't found it yet. Please advise.
Cheers,
Julian.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hello bizzylizzie Here is a picture of the man himself along with a life long friend of his ,namely Albert [ Bonner ]hollond ]they are coming out of the crosskeys pub many many years ago,bonner is on his left and of course watty with his malacca stick he was always seen with over the years , i had pleasure meeting them both and the reason i say that i lived locally and was for many years a daily punter at there shop where he kept on springhill ladywood and secondly i lived right next door to bonner he was a chimnney sweep for the area he also was a famed pigieon fancier and won numerous prize but they grew up to gether and bonner was a book runner for watty they took it in turns apparently andon the one day its was watty turn to run he never did so young bonner done it and he got pinched for it just like to mention that the cane you can just about see but also he is missing from is scarf his pin please find watty green senior bonner was born in stour street 1907 so you can gage the years bonner all is life never moved awy and the stweard street pub is behind the steward st school springhill ladywood and incidently his sons was my close friends from boyhood billy and phillip best wishes Astonian;;;;;
 

Attachments

Greendogg84

New Member
Thanks CornishBrummie. I didn't know Andrew that well before he passed away but am more acquainted with his brother Robin. Since my move to Canada we only been able to stay in touch via email and exchange family photos over the internet.
Hi Julian, only just joined this site as was randomly searching family members looking into history. Know my partners mom contacted you in December 2018 as she mentioned it ages ago.

Really great to read about the family history and see some old photos. Know my Uncle Robin (Watty's grandson) has done a family tree, need to get around to having a good mooch at it. I'll let him know about this site too, he'd find it interesting.

I've also found out, via random Google searching, where Watty and Julia are buried (a bit morbid I know but also interesting as I'm not great with family history). I may make a visit and lay some flowers. All I know about the site is from what I can remember from what my granddad told me (Louis Green) before he passed away, and that the site/gravestone was vandalised years ago. The gravestone was damaged but half of it still stands to this day. Weirdly there is a picture of it (again found it through a random Google search.
 

Julian

proper brummie kid
Hi Julian, only just joined this site as was randomly searching family members looking into history. Know my partners mom contacted you in December 2018 as she mentioned it ages ago.

Really great to read about the family history and see some old photos. Know my Uncle Robin (Watty's grandson) has done a family tree, need to get around to having a good mooch at it. I'll let him know about this site too, he'd find it interesting.

I've also found out, via random Google searching, where Watty and Julia are buried (a bit morbid I know but also interesting as I'm not great with family history). I may make a visit and lay some flowers. All I know about the site is from what I can remember from what my granddad told me (Louis Green) before he passed away, and that the site/gravestone was vandalised years ago. The gravestone was damaged but half of it still stands to this day. Weirdly there is a picture of it (again found it through a random Google search.
Hi Greendogg84, I used to visit Watty and Julia's gravesites on Sundays during the 1970s with my cousins. The gravestones were both still intact at that time. I have seen the damage to the gravestones in photos and it is quite upsetting; I live in Canada now so I can't visit them so easily.

I haven't seen Robin for years but if both you and he contact me via a personal message I can share hundreds of family photos with you.

Cheers,
J
 
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Julian

proper brummie kid
Hi Lizzie, I am looking for the PM that you mentioned in which you were kindly sharing pictures of the family bible so that i could see the family tree. I'm still unfamiliar with the site so maybe I just haven't found it yet. Please advise.
Cheers,
Julian.
Hi Lizzie, do you still frequent these pages?
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Hello Julian,
Lizzie hasn't been here, it seems, for nearly three years. I suggest you could send her a private message. I also suggest you remove your email address from your post. Spammers will likely use it.
I hope you get in contact with her.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I never heard of a penny being 'a brown' but as the photo is the 1920's that is probably the reason.
However, a penny was worth a lot in the past. I am sure many will remember people putting them in gas and electric meters. The company employee who emptied the meter usually counted the money near the meter and for some reason there was always a refund it seems.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think the reason was that the meters were set for a penny to release a certain quantity of gas or electric. When set,they would release the same amount if the price went up (or even down), so enough money had to be inserted so that he householder had paid for the gas used and was not given an extra bill. The difference was refunded
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
We moved house in 1959 and that had a 1d meter. Mom was always complaining "the gas has gone" so we has a 6d and 1/- meter fitted. My mom was always strapped for cash, so would use her collection of foreign coins when the need arose.

It was of course the ultimate in recycling. The gas man would give her the coins back as part of the refund, who she blamed on my younger brother for messing with the coins in the meter.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
When you have called on folk who usually had more week than money there is hardly any reason for non payment that you never heard before. One woman in Totnes frequently said she had needed to buy a tv licence. I pointed out that this was the fourth one she had bought that year and that no matter how many tv's you had only one licence was required. ;)
 

Althea

New Member
Hello, Busy Lizzie, I am Watty Green's grandson. My Father was George Green who was born in an upstairs room of the Cross Keys and who was Watty's second eldest son; there were a total of 10 children born to Watty and Julia and in his later years Watty lived in Cateswell Road with my Father and next door to two of his daughters, Maude and Florence (Flossie). My Father often spoke of the family bible as a family heir loom passed down from generation to generation with records of all the descendants recorded in it and I was wondering if it would be possible to see it or get a photograph of it? Mostly I am curious about the page with the list of descendants recorded.

Carl Chin published an article about Watty in the Black Country Bugle and Carl kindly sent me copies of the photos. My Uncle Dennis supplied most of the information and photos to the author, John Scott. I have quite a few photos accumulated now and am always on the search for more. I will post some of the photos later should anyone be interested but for now, here is the article, plus a few updated comments and corrections from myself:

WATTY GREEN - A SPORTING BENEFACTOR FROM THE HARDWARE CAPITAL WHO HELD COURT WITH THE BOXING ELITE

Born in 1878, Walter John Green went on to inscribe an indelible name for himself in the annals of sport. He was one of those rare characters who mixed effortlessly in many social and sporting circles, managing to combine the skills of pub landlord, bookmaker, greyhound and boxing and, last but not least, charity event organiser. In the latter capacity he helped to raise much money for the poor of Birmingham and the Black Country. A man who would have made his mark in any age. John Scott, of Heath Hayes, Cannock, kindly shares with us some rare photographs, and a wealth of background information, as follows...

"I am writing as I have recently been given material regarding a man who was once well known in the Black Country and in the Springhill area of Birmingham. This man was the Great, Great Uncle of my wife Beverley Scott. The man I am referring to is Watty Green.

Walter John Green, known all is life as Watty, was born in 1878 in College Street, Birmingham. He was the second child of nine to Walter and Ellen Green. The other children were: Army, William, Laura, Maud (Beverley’s Great Grandmother), Nellie, Minnie, Jack and Alfred. Father Walter was a nail cutter and then a publican who died at the age of 46 in 1899. Watty was by this time 21 years old. His mother Ellen also died young and her brother brought up the younger children. His name was Alfred Faulkner and the children called him “Unkee”.

Watty started life like his father before him as a “Jack Cutter”, which was cutting nails to size. At the age of 21, Watty married Julia Thomas at All Saints in Hockley. Between 1899 - 1919 they had ten children: Minnie, Walter, Maud, Phyllis, George, Eileen, Florence, Dennis and Louis. Dennis, who is now aged 87, was the man who passed this information and his photographs to me.

All the boys went into the bookie business and some of the girls married men in the same business, so the Greens were very well known in the area. There are numerous photographs of Watty’s children enjoying themselves at the seaside so it is believed that they were quite well off. They certainly appeared to enjoy life immensely as children. George, Louis and Dennis were sergeants in W.W.II and both have survived to this day. (Alas Dennis and my Father, George have passed away since the writing of this article - Julian).

From an early age Watty was interested in horse and greyhound racing. He was also very interested in boxing and once promoted Len Fowler. I have an official programme from the White Heavy-Weight Championship of the World dated 16th July 1914, which Watty attended. This was at Olympia in London and was between Georges Carpentier of France and Gunboat (Edward J.) Smith of Philadelphia. I have also quite a few photographs of boxers and promoters who I cannot identify and would be interested if any readers have any knowledge.

As well as running a pub Watty set up a bookmakers and went into partnership with Jack Boffin. Watty and Jack worked their way up to become respected members of the local community and Watty throughout his life regularly attended charity functions and gave money to local boys clubs so they could better themselves and pull themselves out of the poverty that Watty himself had been born into.

Watty also distributed shoes to the poor of Birmingham. It is apparent that he felt very strongly about caring for the poor and needy as I have come across a souvenir programme from the Birmingham business and sportsmen’s committee dated Monday 14th December 1931. This programme was the 11th annual boxing tournament at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham on behalf of the Police-Aided Association for clothing destitute children of the city. Watty at this time was a member of the Committee. There were six fights. Lightweights Len (Tiger) Smith from Birmingham v Harry Corbett from London. Larry Gains, the then leading contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, sparred against his partner Harry Leven. Lightweights Peter Price from Worcester v Peter Nolan from Walsall. Featherweights Charlie Rowbotham from Birmingham v Arnold (Kid) Sheppard from Ferndale, U.S.A. Flyweights Alby John from Smethwick v George Kirby from Birmingham. Finally Jim Rowbotham, Bantam-weight champion of the Midlands v Tommy Hyams from London. Unfortunately it is not known who won each match but the programme does show that donations added to £526.14.6d. Not bad for one night's charity work in those days.

Watty ran The Cross Keys pub in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham between 1910-1940s. The pub is still there today. While he ran this pub he gave away 500 hot cross buns for the poor on Good Friday. He was also a founder member of Birmingham and Midlands BPA (Bookmakers Protection Association) between the late 20s-30s.

Watty died in 1966 aged 88 years. His wife Julia had already passed away 6 years earlier. His death was mentioned in the 1966 edition of the Greyhound Racing Association Hall Green Bulletin. It stated that up until his illness a year prior to his death Watty was a regular patron at their stadium from when it first opened. They described him as “A grand Old Gentleman who would be missed by all”. Surely a fitting sentiment for someone who did so much for the poor of Birmingham.

Perhaps someone will be able to identify the boxing photographs that once belonged to Watty Green".

Cheers,
Julian
Hi Julian
I realy enjoyed reading your post and looking at pictures of the Green Family and cross keys
I ran the Cross keys for 7 years and always knew there was something realy special about it now i know thanks to you
Mr Watty Green was a special man indeed.
After reading your post I researched a little bit more to find that one of his Daughter was named Ivy which is my mother's name and indeed he was Born on Collage St where i live
Wonderful Thank you very much for your post
Kind Regards
 
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