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Villa Cross

Myrddin

master brummie
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Birmingham Daily Post | Saturday 09 January 1875
The above clip is interesting. On the ENTIRE photo we can see a patch of ground in front of the Villa Cross which seems to be paved. On this ground there is a sign post on the Heathfield Road side bearing the name of the inn. At the bottom of the post are two men and behind them can be seen a white horse. The writer of the letter was not to happy about people using that land as some kind of 'public stable.' And here's the photographic evidence that they did. The letter appeared at the start of 1875. The photo has been given a date c1890. If this is true then the unpopular use of the land as a public stable continued for fifteen years. Or perhaps the photo is earlier than we originally thought.

Incidentally the tram lines shown opened on the 23rd November 1874.
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
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Birmingham Daily Post | Saturday 21 September 1867
The above is a report by the chairman of the lighting inspectors for Aston. Note that by 21 September 1867, twenty nine of the principle streets in the borough were already lit (by223 lamps). (Would, the roads leading to Villa Cross would be classed as principle streets. Would Heathfield Road have been lit by Handsworth? Is the lamp at the top of Heathfield Road opposite the cross roads in Villa Road?) The chairman states that in the next phase ALL the principle streets of the borough and some back streets would be lit. (Could it be that the three lamps shown at the cross were paid for privately by subscription?) Whatever the answers are to these questions there are two things that seems quite clear. Compared to Birmingham Aston was way behind in lighting their streets (as was Handsworth); and, the three lamps shown most probably were erected c1866-1870. That's very close to 1874, and not far off 1890. I assume, therefore that there is a strong likelihood that the lamp shown on the left is the original founders' lamp. If not, then the original lamp must have had a very very short 'shelf-life'

But let's not get too excited. The records on file in Birmingham Library, however, may give dates of erection for the lighting of each street in the boroughs of Aston and Handsworth. We'll wait a little while longer before joy, or disappointment. UTV
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
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Birmingham Daily Post | Tuesday 04 December 1866
I've posted this because it lists the roads already lit, and the roads which are to be lit next year. At the time of publication only 126 lamps were lit regularly in the manor. Hunters Lane, caused a problem because Handsworth wouldn't light their side. Amazingly, a gentleman on the Handsworth side paid for one lamp there to be lit and promised to do so for the next year.
Disappointingly, there is no mention of the four roads that meet at villa cross.
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
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Birmingham Daily Post | Wednesday 03 January 1894
As the assault took place 'on Sunday' John Ogden was the gaffer in 1893.
VCI address here is on Lozells Road.

Looking at the ENTIRE photo, yet again, the people are very blurred while the buildings are sharp, evidence that a long exposure time was required. Carefully composed photo I assume by a professional. Unless photographer short of cash to by up to date equipment then this looks more like an 1870s photo than a late 80s photo.

(Reminder - Thomas Hale died Saturday 13 October 1877 aged 62. John Ogden the gaffer in 1893. See before)

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Suicide at the inn bar
Edward W Bradbury landlord of VCI at the date 30/10/82
Birmingham & Aston Chronicle | Saturday 04 November 1882
Birmingham Mail | Monday 30 October 1882


On photo, no tramways visible going down Heathfield Road or Barker Street. Find out when they first did?

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Provisional Orders for Birmingham and Western Districts Tramways
Tramway along Heathfield Road through Villa Cross and down Barker Street to Hunters Lane
Walsall Advertiser | Saturday 25 November 1882 | British Newspaper Archive

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Proposed new tram Barker Street to Lozells Road. Referred to Highways committee.
Birmingham & Aston Chronicle | Saturday 06 December 1884

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"To construct tramways in Lozells Road from the terminus of the tramways already laid to Barker Street, George street .." Birmingham & Aston Chronicle | Saturday 16 January 1886

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Apartment on Barker Street, bus and tram routes (Does mean - close to bus and tram routes?)
Birmingham Mail | Tuesday 29 August 1882

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House ad in Barker Street, tram close, (Does this mean - a tram stop is close?)
Birmingham Mail | Monday 09 July 1883

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Steam (pretty sure) trams up and running on (definitely) Lozells Road October 1885. And naughty boys attacking them in 1886!
Resource Details - Birmingham Images
Resource Details - Birmingham Images

"Now, in around 1890 the Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery was formed with the joining forces of of H & J Banks with two other brewing concerns C. C. Smith of Fox Brewery Wolverhampton, established in 1868 on the junction of Worcester Street and Little Brickkiln Street. and George Thompson , Victoria and Dudley Breweries of Dudley who had been in business for fifty years or more."
Is this the Fox brewery making ENTIRE on the photo?
A Fox Of A Different Colour - Lost Wolverhampton
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
:joy:
It's my holy grail. Has to be done. :innocent:
You could write a short television series based around the Villa Cross Inn at that time. Barmaid scandal was news country wide. The suicide at the bar using a revolver bought in Wheeler Street. The murder at the cab stand. Thomas Hale: the court case that made 'em laugh; then accidentally poisoning himself to death. All the auctions, meetings, complaints; the cab and tram wars on the crossing. Handsworth and Aston board bickering about the street lights. And on the photo, far left, is that a guy kneeling by a bucket with his crutch against the railings?
It's been fun. :)
Eventually, it'll come down to the Birmingham Library records and/or the National Archive Records :eek:
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
I was thinking that if you invested as much energy as you have done on researching the lamp you could perhaps find the cup that was lost! ;)


Keiron, pub historian, with your specialist knowledge, can you not help us out with dating of the pub shown? is it - Fox Co's. ENTIRE? Or is there another letter or mark hiding behind the climber? Any further help really, really would be appreciated.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Just checking. In the same way Lozells Lane became Lozells Road, was today's Hunters Road called Hunters Lane c1800-1900.

yes quite right hunters road used to be called hunters lane but well before 1900..think ive got maps showing hunters lane as early as 1840 maybe even earlier than that..much the same as nursery road off hunters road used to be known as nursery terrace

lyn
 

Myrddin

master brummie
yes quite right hunters road used to be called hunters lane but well before 1900..think ive got maps showing hunters lane as early as 1840 maybe even earlier than that..much the same as nursery road off hunters road used to be known as nursery terrace

lyn
Thanks for that. The tramway routes make sense now. Cheers.:) Am still having trouble pinning down when tramways first went down Heathfield Road. They are not on the photo and if we knew when they appeared then it would help us date the photo. Any ideas?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
sorry i cant help with that but if you ask the question on our trams section you may get a better response as our tram experts may not read this thread if it is of no interest to them..click on link below


 

Myrddin

master brummie
sorry i cant help with that but if you ask the question on our trams section you may get a better response as our tram experts may not read this thread if it is of no interest to them..click on link below


Thank you. Will do so. I'm an idiot for not thinking of that myself. :)
Just put a post up on the Trams threads.

Anyone who wants to follow the tram thread for Villa Cross follow the link below
Dates of the first tramways up to Villa Cross from Heathfield Road, Villa Road, Lozells Road and Barker Street. | Birmingham History Forum
 
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Myrddin

master brummie
yes quite right hunters road used to be called hunters lane but well before 1900..think ive got maps showing hunters lane as early as 1840 maybe even earlier than that..much the same as nursery road off hunters road used to be known as nursery terrace

lyn
Sorry to trouble you again. But I've been told that one of the four founders lived near to Villa Cross in Little Hunters Lane. I can't find that on my map. Was it maybe the very top of Hunters Lane past the junction with Barker Street or was it elsewhere?
 

Myrddin

master brummie
Just to say on this Villa Cross thread that as a result of the tram thread ..
.. I think we can date the ENTIRE photo somewhere between 1874 and 1885
Reminder that the the 'Founders Lamp' probably put up somewhere between 1866 and 1870.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Sorry to trouble you again. But I've been told that one of the four founders lived near to Villa Cross in Little Hunters Lane. I can't find that on my map. Was it maybe the very top of Hunters Lane past the junction with Barker Street or was it elsewhere?

i believe little hunters lane ran from barker st to villa road..sure i have a map showing it but cooking now so will look later unless someone else can provide you with a map

lyn
 

Myrddin

master brummie
i believe little hunters lane ran from barker st to villa road..sure i have a map showing it but cooking now so will look later unless someone else can provide you with a map

lyn
Since I asked, I found out that the same question had been asked elsewhere and Mikejee gave the same answer as you. All good.
 
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