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They Were Caught In Our Old Street Pics...

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
A 1909 photo of the Birmingham Tramways staff on church parade. They look very proud and smart. I notice most are sporting a moustache. Expect many of these men would later fight in WW1. The view is taken at the top end of New Street. Viv.
 

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Barbinoz

master brummie
What a great pic, as you say they all look so proud and smart! My maternal Granddad, Herbert Allen worked for them for many years starting off as an engine cleaner at the age of 13, working up to tram driving, which he did until his death at the age of 60 in 1935. He would have been around 34 then this was taken, I wonder if he was in the march! He was always a country boy at heart, he came from Ashow, and loved his garden and allotment! He grew all the family's veg and prize winning dahlias :D
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
A fine body of men. I suppose in 1909 jobs as tramdrivers and conductors were well worth having compared to other jobs that were available in those times.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
It's 1941 and Birmingham folk walking in Bennetts Hill ignore the warning notice about falling debris. The lady on the left must have just stepped over the 'bit' of a barrier. They all seem to have got used to other things falling from the skies during the nights. The Sun Insurance emblem seems to have had some of it rays damaged, but the building still had an emblem in 2014 https://goo.gl/maps/KaiAu although the Sun seems to have left.
Bennettsx.jpg
 
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paul stacey

master brummie
This was a time when all "Public Servants", wore a uniform of sorts, they were proud to be seen in it, and by society of the time a sort of status symbol, ex servicemen would proudly wear their service medals and the senior of the particular service would "inspect" them. This was a time of an ordered society, not the absolute chaos we have today.Paul
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
Not only wearing a uniform, but also CHURCH PARADE.

I always thought our Birmingham tram and bus crews looked good in their uniform, with their badge and number displayed on their uniform. Can anyone remember the colour of the round badge that they wore. Was red for a driver?

Try getting our current public transport staff to wear a uniform. No chance. As for church parade!!!!!

How society has changed.

Eddie.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Red for Driver, Green for Conductor although occasionally you would see a driver working as a conductor probably on overtime if he had done all his allowed driving hours. Birmingham Corporation bus crews wore them as a cap badge but Midland Red bus crews wore them on the chest as they had Midland Red Cap badges. Bus drivers do have a uniform but it is more casual now than a formal jacket and also they do have to have a hi-viz which most have on the back of their seat.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Found a quote comparing wages of footballers in 1906 to several occupations including tram drivers (from this sitehttps://spartacus-educational.com/Fwages.htm)

"Charles Korr goes on to compare wages of footballers in 1906 with other occupations: "In 1906 casual dockers earned between 5s 6d and £1 2s 7d for a 44-hour week. Tram drivers made £2 3s for a 60-hour week and men employed in the building trades averaged £2 8s for a 44-hour week."

60 hours a week!!! Very long hours. Viv.
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
Had not increased that much nearly 30 years later. When I started work, for a 44 hour week, I was paid £1.5.0. OK, I was only just 15, but how pay has rocketed in the past 30 years.

People earning incredible amounts per week. For 44 hours?? I doubt it for many of them..

Eddie.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Wonder what was going on here? Other than it was 1912 in Great Charles Street, I have no idea! Viv.

Maybe this pic from an earlier post in the thread shows the tram drivers and conductors forming up ready for a church parade and the date given puts them only 2 years before WW1.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Until the Mid 1960's we were a great nation for parades, OldMohawk, Boys brigade, Army cadet forces with Bands, Boy scout bands, Various Church's parading with Sunday school children for some saints day or other, really a eclectic mix, not anymore though, sad in a way. Paul
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Paul - Yes I did my share of Sunday morning marching around the district with the Scouts and later with the Air Training Corps. I have to say the Boy's Brigade had the best marching band around our way but I never joined them. I suppose in those days with less traffic on the roads, it was easier to have a march.
Phil
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Yes, marched many Sundays behind the Army Cadet bank, used to leave from "Thorp Street", drill hall and down " The horse Fair", sometimes round the city centre, but as you say less traffic then and a society still with millions of ex service men and women from two, World Wars who were living and appreciated this type of entertainment. Paul
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
There would be scout bands marching down our road of a Sunday morning, and when we heard the music of the band, we would dash out into the road to watch them. As Paul says, sadly, not any more.

I note that in the parade photograph (posting #1551), it appears that there are a couple of chaps with medals on their tunic. One, almost in the centre with, it looks like, two medals, and there is a chap further down, in the front row, with what seems to be a medal. Boer War perhaps, or India? Also the chap at the start of the front row, appears to have lost one of his tunic buttons. Would have been a charge in the army!!

A lovely photo, and so full of detail. Thanks Viv.

Eddie.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
The flags are up, fancy dresses worn, and a piano outside ready for music. It's a celebration in a Court off Dartmouth Street in 1935 for George V and Queen Mary's Silver Jubilee. Thinking back I've been to four street parties and the first one had a piano ...
 
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oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Lyn, Berniew originally posted it in the Old Street pics I just made his pic appear in this thread. It is a nice pic, the piano reminded me of our VE street party where a piano was brought out in the street with singing and dancing !
The last street party I went to was for the Queen's Silver Jubilee but unfortunately it rained.
Phil
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
phil i thought it seemed familiar...i helped organise our street party for the silver jubilee and the weather was glorious...great day that was

lyn
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Her baby cried and she stopped not knowing she would be in an old street pic we look at 75 years later. Perhaps they had both spent the night in an air-raid shelter ... perhaps the photographer taking yet another bomb damage pic waited until someone walked into view to get a more interesting pic ... my imagination still working as I get older ...;)

The large corner house had not received a direct hit, it could be blast damage from a nearby parachute-mine. Just one problem, the photographer or someone in the office failed to record it's location which will remain a mystery. It has a 'Handsworth or Moseley look' to me.


The above pic is originally in a forum post here and only visible if logged in.
 
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