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US Base Pheasey Estate

Rupert

master brummie
Are these the remains of the US Army Base that was here in the 2nd world war? North of Chantry Crescent was the place where the picture of the baseball game was being played.
The HQ on Collingwood Drive may have been the building at the traffic circle S.E.

https://www.englemed.co.uk/books/usaaf/serve.htm

Remember getting sticks of chewing gum from the soldiers (boys really) through the fence of the camp when I was a pre-school child. Anyone remember this place. Looks like the houses on the south of Chantry Crescent are still there. North of the marker on Tyndale Crescent above the houses was a field at that time. The houses were new then.
 

Rupert

master brummie
We lived on the north side of Tyndale Crescent about where the marker is. Don't know the number just going on my 2 - 3 year old memories which some how seem to be pretty good when you get old. Used to ride down the hill from the circle in a friends little peddle car. We could both sit in it and if we picked our feet up it went quite well. In those days there was not much traffic. No one had a car. Now, what was it I had to do today.. hmmm...
 

Rupert

master brummie
Looking at this area I was expecting to see that the housing development would have grown further out into the surrounding countryside since 1940 but apart from some filling in of space already laid out it does not seem to be the case. When I look at the population demographics for 1950 and 2004 I see that the population of Birmingham has decreased by about 200,000 and the population of the UK as a whole has only increased by about 10 million. I was wondering why the price of houses is so high. You would have thought the demand would be less in this area. What factors are working here. Are my figures wrong? What am I missing? Houses in Toronto are about a half the price and houses in Canada's Maritime Provinces are about a third of this.
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
Rupert, the building near the circle which you remember as the US base is still there and in use as a community hall and centre for various clubs and organisations. My friends parents lived in Tyndale Crescent until last year when her mother died and her dad now aged 96 went into residental care. They didn't live there in your day, only moving there in 1980s.
 

Rupert

master brummie
The layout of the streets there were not the usual straight roads and blocks. As you can see semi circles called crescents were used. Must have been a new idea at the time. An effort to break up the monotony of sameness do you think. Anyway it seems to have caught on.

What is the housing situation in Birmingham these days. Does the council still build houses and rent them out to residents. Are most houses privately owned now on leased land. How does it work now.
 

gibbo2005

master brummie
i lived in kingstanding during the war and and my brother and i and our mates spent lots of timeup near the us base we had several suvirneers after the war dont have any now though allen
 

dennis

master brummie
My Mates and I used to make a fortune
taking messages to their girl friends
when they were confined to camp.The houses
that they were billeted in, were sold off very cheap
after the war
 

Rupert

master brummie
What's it like there now, have the houses been kept up. Seems like it might still be nice from GE.
 

gerry taylor

knowlegable brummie
Me too, I would walk to the Pheasey with my Mates and get gum from the G.I's, and then try to sell them at Beeches Road School...trouble was all the boys had loads. I was courting a girl from Perrywood Road many years later and she told me her sister had married a lad from Pheasey Camp and was over in the States. By the way, my girlfriends name was Anne Bolton.....are you out there Anne?
 
K

Kandor

Guest
Tynedale

I bought my first house in Tynedale Crescent, 172...lovely little starter home it was too, mind you, I had to put in a upstairs Toilet as the Bathroom (at the back of the house, upstairs) never had one.
Happy memories, fantastic views, bloody cold in Winter though.
 
O

Onan

Guest
I lived at 171 Chantrey Crescent from 1953 to 1975. It was in the middle section of the three parts of the road... between Romney Way and Stanhope Way.

My parents moved into the house just after the US Forces moved out... I seem to remember they paid the princely sum of £350 for it!

Whenever Dad decorated the front room (or lounge for the posh people!), he always pointed out a tyre print, about a foot long, on the chimney breast wall, which he always reckoned was put there by one of the soldiers who'd been living in the house. He always said it was a Jeep tyre... and, from memory, I guess it did look like one!

Whether or not this is a family myth, it made me smile to remember it after so many years! :)
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Pheasey estate.

:) Rupert. I wasn't around in the war years. Was a 1946 baby when it was all over. We go past the estate at least 3 times a week on our way to the farm where we but our vegi's and meat. Have to shut my eyes when we drive through the farm because we can see our next weeks Sunday dinner graizing in the field next door. On the way back we turn left and go to the top of the Beacon to walk the dog. [Full of dog poo though] Why people don't clean up after their dogs I'll never know. Half way down the Beacon road is a pub called the Cat and Fiddle and sometimes call in for lunch [and a tot] before going home. TTFN. Jean.:redface:
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
My Yank

I remember meeting a soldier based at Pheasey. He was a gentle, softly-spoken lad called Bob, of perhaps nineteen or twenty. He was almost certainly the first American I ever met. My seventeen-year-old sister had befriended him either at the ice-rink or at some local dance. (What freedoms even well brought-up young girls were permitted in those days, despite the area being thronged with licentious soldiery). He had been wounded in Normandy and I am not sure whether he was destined to return to active combat - at any rate he definitely survived the war. He hailed from somewhere in the mid-West, in the bible belt. He wasn't pemitted to mention the extent of his injury in letters home and so my father undertook to write to his parents on his behalf. A grateful reply appeared many weeks later in which was enclosed a colour leaflet describing the home town - I wish I had registered which it was - and marked up to show where Bob had gone to school, the church at which he and the family worshipped and other landmarks.

Bob visited us quite a few times, often bringing a precious can of peaches and perhaps a packet of chewing gum or sweets for me. He must have walked - we were two or three miles away from Pheasey; and probably on the odd occasion my father used some of his essential user's petrol allowance to run him back at night. He was there for our 1944 Chistmas dinner to share our cockerel, a real treat. I can see him now, sitting on the other side of our dining table in his smart private's uniform with its smooth, good quality cloth - so different from my father's rough, Home Guard battledress, put away for good only a couple of weeks earlier. He ate in a manner which always intrigued me but which I was forbidden to imitate: knife in only occasional use and for most of the time lodged on the far side of the plate whilst the main work was done by the fork held in the right hand. I was assured by my parents privately that this was not the sign of an inadequate upbringing - it was how Americans did it.

At some stage Bob disappeared from the scene. He was probably posted away, perhaps back to France, perhaps elsewhere in this country. I was not conscious of his departure although I may have been present on the day of his last visit. I remember him offering my sister one of his insignia - a wide, slim, metal, pin-on badge depicting an army rifle. In fact he offered her two versions of this: one a dull, well-worn thing, perhaps his everyday one, the other pristine, gleaming, the colours bright. He asked her which one she would like. I knew that the polite thing would be to choose the scruffy one. I was shocked therefore to see my sister point to the new, gleaming version. Forever after I recalled it as the first example I had seen of the single-mindedness of the female of the species in pursuit of what she wants. It's only as I write this, though, 63 years later, that it occurs to me that what Bob was offering her as an alternative was perhaps something really precious to him - the insignia which had accompanied him through thick and thin and which many years in the future he would be able to show to his (probably yawning) grandchildren as he told them tales of his time in Europe. I'm glad, now, that my sister grabbed the new one, fresh out of its cellophane wrapper.

Chris
 
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Rupert

master brummie
Chris, that is such a poignant observation. Hope I have the right word and the spelling is right. A beautifully written piece of memorabilia.
 
M

maggie

Guest
Ameican Pheasy Estate

Chris,

You have shared a lovely memorywith us, My husband lived in Collingwood Drive and remembers the base vividly, Chris I For purposes of my reseach could you tell me when the Americans arived at the camp. and was you aware of any coloured soldiers amongst them.

Thanks
Maggie
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Re Pheasey Base

I remember that base, and with most of the children in the area I used to meet the 'Yanks' in the district.
My Aunt lived in Hillingford Avenue. The book mentioned in the link in the first post on this thread is a very interesting read with much info about about the base. I think I've seen it in Sutton Library.
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
I can't tell you for certain, maggie, whether there were coloured personnel at Pheasey although I should be surprised if there were not. I don't recall seeing any, but then we lived some distance away.

What I DO remember is hearing of an incident not far away from us when either one or two US soldiers had absconded from custody and were finally caught up with by the US Military Police in someone's back garden. The fugitives were then badly beaten up. The owner of the garden, shocked by such violence, remonstrated with the police. The response was along the lines of "Well, ma'am, you wouldn't feel that way if they had been allowed to get hold of you". For a long time I have visualised the fugitives as coloured soldiers. But I can't be sure whether that came from the story at the time or whether it is something I have added within my memory after learning that coloured soldiers were not always well treated in the US Army at the time.

Again, with the date of arrival, I can't be sure. I'd imagine some time in 1942 but that would be just a guess, There must be something online somewhere to tell us or surely someone on this forum will know.

Thanks for kind words, maggie and Rupert.

Chris
 
L

Laurie Meadows

Guest
I lived at 200 Tyndale Crescent from 1940 until 1949 when I left to do RAF national service. The buildings at the traffic island were intended as a community centre but were used by the US as a cinema for the soldiers and administration. I remember going to the fish and chip shop at Beacon Rd to buy chips for the GIs and sneaking in to the cinema to deliver them and hope to score an orange as well as payment. After the war the cinema hall became the local Saturday night dance.

Laurie. Mudgeeraba. Queensland. Aus.
 
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