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Then & Now

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
I know the feeling Gerry. I used to live in Villa Street, next door to the cafe on the corner of Villa Street & Nursery Road. The area was so much better then, compared to now. If my memory serves me well, wasn't the church St Michael's.
what a great shot OM of farm st school my old school..opposite that st saviours church where our mom was baptised...farm st infants and juniors mixed was all one school that had 2 entrances..the main one was in villa st and a gate entrance on the farm st side..om the building you mentioned on the far corner has been there for over 100 years and was the peoples dispensary..in the 60s part of it was used as a dentists which i used to go to and is still a dentists today...the shop next to the dispensary with the awning down was miss bunches shop..mom always got our shoes from there...

hi michael i did know that you lived in villa st i cant recall you mentioning that..what years were you living there and what number...

lyn
 

jmadone

master brummie
I seem to recall on my journey to school on the No 11 bus that we passed a Sea Cadet establishment in Acocks Green just down from the Railway station. I thought that was T.S. Vernon or is my memory playing tricks?
 

jmadone

master brummie
In my opinion, how much nicer the area looked when the church was there. I used to be on the back of an old Ariel motorbike, tearing my way through Hockley at 35 mph, on my way to Sea Cadets, "T/S: VERNON" at the resevoir., that was in 1952.

I seem to recall on my journey to school on the No 11 bus that we passed a Sea Cadet establishment in Acocks Green just down from the Railway station. I thought that was T.S. Vernon or is my memory playing tricks?
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I was a cadet on TS Leopard in Great Barr. Apparently, TS Vernon were our rivals (so I was told), they were good at all of the marching guard’s and sailing stuff. I did spend a weekend training course with some of the cadets from TS Dolphin, they had a super commando team.

My naval career was quickly sunk once I realised that my expectation of becoming an officer after the first week and admiral by the second in the navy were a little over ambitious.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
After a modernisation of the Bull Ring area, St Martin's Church looks comfortable in the view.
StMartins.jpg

After the latest modernisation the church does not sit so comfortably.
yStMartins.jpg

But possibly from another view it is not so bad ... perhaps looks better from street level ... although more grass and trees would please an 'oldie' like me ... :)
vStMartins.jpg
 
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michaelwicks54

Aston bred & proud.
After a modernisation of the Bull Ring area, St Martin's Church look comfortable in the view.
View attachment 157325

After the latest modernisation the church does not sit so comfortably.
View attachment 157326

But possibly from another view it is not so bad ... perhaps looks better from street level ... although more grass and trees would please an 'oldie' like me ... :)
View attachment 157327
Totally agree. Prince Charles once called the old Bullring a concrete jungle. Now it definitely is with glass panels thrown in for good measure. I very much prefer the old Bullring in the top picture, with a few trees & greenery. This so-called modernization of our once beautiful city is taking away the character & replacing it with concrete & glass structures just to make more money for the fat cats.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
In 1934 the area around St Josephs Church on Long Acre was full of houses and small factories. Walter Street curving in from top left, Railway Terrace and High Park Street in the view.
St Josephs_2T.jpg
image source 'https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/'

Now - all the houses have been replaced by warehouses and other large buildings. St Josephs Church is still there. Most streets are in original positions ... what of High Park Street ?
StJosephsnow.jpg

The people living in 1934 would have been astounded if they could have looked in their future and seen how High Park Street looks now ... click and see !
 
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Richard Dye

master brummie
In 1934 the area around St Josephs Church on Long Acre was full of houses and small factories. Walter Street curving in from top left, Railway Terrace and High Park Street in the view.
View attachment 161625

Now - all the houses have been replaced by warehouses and other large buildings. St Josephs Church is still there. Most streets are in original positions ... what of High Park Street ?
View attachment 161626

The people living in 1934 would have been astounded if they could have looked in their future and seen how High Park Street looks now ... click and see !
oldMohawk, you comment about people in 1934 is very appropriate. However I just looked at your Google Maps link of Thimble Mill Lane, that I used to travel frequently 60 plus years ago, to say surprised is a gross understatement. I fully understand the need for change but at any cost!

Thank you for sharing a piece of history! (I think)
 

Tinpot

master brummie
Absolutely, I think it’s not so much about the what it’s the how!
It's also the where. When I look at the photos of areas of redevelopment what has happened in the city is a redistribution of land use from families to business alongside accommodation of the car with massive road development. This also meant that large tracts of land are simply used for car parking for a lot of single floored warehouses/industrial units.
 
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oldMohawk

master brummie
In 1934 a small aeroplane flew over Small Heath with the observer leaning out of the open cockpit to photograph the Whitworth Motor Accessories factory with nearby roads also in the view.
Red dot - Lime Grove
Green dot - Tilton Road
Blue dot - Venetia Road
Venetia_1934.jpg
image source 'https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/'

In 2020 a Google Earth view shows that 13 bays of the Whitworth factory building still exist as does the school building (minus it's spire) seen in the 1934 view near the corner of Tilton Road and Garrison Lane. The white building next to the school is now used as a mosque. Lime Grove has been replaced by a car park but Venetia Road is still there minus houses. I suppose the folk of 1934 would have been surprised to be told that sometime in the future an 'HMS Forward' would appear in the area.
Venetia 2020 labels.jpg

Click and scroll to see HMS Forward .... ;)
 
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MWS

master brummie
It's also the where. When I look at the photos of areas of redevelopment what has happened in the city is a redistribution of land use from families to business alongside accommodation of the car with massive road development. This also meant that large tracts of land are simply used for car parking for a lot of single floored warehouses/industrial units.

It always surprises me how many people used to live in the Bham area in a much smaller developed area.

On the 1901 census there are 800,000 people living in the parishes of Bham, Aston, Aston Manor, Erdington, Kings Norton, Balsall Heath, Edgbaston, Harborne, Northfield, Handsworth, Perry Barr and Yardley.

Which isn't far off the modern population and there were still large areas that were still farmland,
 
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