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Wills Street

LOZELLIAN

master brummie
Greetings. sorry I do not have any other pictures but I will ask my sister in law, wife of Tony who died in 2012. I know St Mary school in Wills street as the "elementary school" I attended there briefly, probably in 1938 ?? The gate went into the play ground. A class room on the left was for juniers where I was. At the top was the senior class. A Mr Tommy O'locklin was the head. The school was evacuated so I had to return to the convent in Hunters Road.
An interesting memory. We went to a playing fields by bus, I had an apple, when I was eating it several other children asked for the core!!
I was in an air raid shelter, right at the back of Mlleys yard when the church belonging to the convent was bombed in Brougham Street. I later found a bomb map of the area and I was sure if there had been another bomb in that stick I would not be here. I have memories of the shelters at No 8, would they be of any interest. Nice to remember. Regards Paul
Hi Paul,

Just caught up with your post re: Wills street & noticed the name O'Locklin, if it's the same man (not a common name) he & his wife used to live in Church Street and they were both avid gardeners. Their garden used to run adjacent to my Nan's who lived in Wills Street. Their next door neighbours were a family named Poole (sons served in the Royal Navy).

Lozellian.
 

LOZELLIAN

master brummie
I wouldnt mind to go and live back that way if i could get a flat in the new building.
Hi Bill,

I'm the same but, it would never be as it was back then. I look at the area now when I have to work down that way occasionally and it grieves me to think how it once was (respectable, clean & tidy) and how it is now. I think I'll just be happy with my memories.

Lozellian.
 

Bill Boyd

master brummie
Hello Astoness , I was involved in building work, and as an Irish fella, i lived where there were plenty of Irish people, most of my time around that arer i lived in wretham road, also hunters road, it was a good place for pubs to.
 

Paul Mann

knowlegable brummie
Dear Everybody,I have found in my book case "Old Handsworth, Lozells, Birchfield and Perry Barr" by Eric Armstrong. It is published by Stenlake Publishing I could not find it on their website, 2 on Amazon at £7.50. ISBN No9781840330755. There are 49 pages and it is a collection of postcards from 1910 to 1940 at a guess. Outside and inside the Villa Cross. Paul
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi paul i dont think i have that book...when you say there are pictures of the villa cross do you mean the villa cross picture house ?

lyn
 

LOZELLIAN

master brummie
Dear Everybody,I have found in my book case "Old Hansworth, Lozells, Birchfield and Perry Barr" by Eric Aemstrong. It is published by Stenlake Publishing I could not find it on their website, 2 on Amazon at £7.50. ISBN No9781840330755. There are 49 pages and it is a collection of postcards from 1910 to 1940 at a guess. Outside and inside the Villa Cross. Paul
Hi Paul,

That's a book I've not seen before but, I'll certainly be looking at getting myself a copy, thanks for the info.

Lozellian
 

Paul Mann

knowlegable brummie
hi paul i dont think i have that book...when you say there are pictures of the villa cross do you mean the villa cross picture house ?

lyn
Dear Lyn, yes the front cove rshows the villa cross frontage with crosses blind. To the right is the villa cross public house, inside is a picture of the cinema inside. My first "date" with my future wife was a visit to the pictures, that would have been in 1945. There are 49 pages and it is all pictures. From old post cards I think, by the comments. Most are dated. It was available on Amazon. Good luck. Paul.
 

Paul Mann

knowlegable brummie
i have been keeping an eye on numbers 2 to 8 wills street for 10 years now as i go down the old end quite often to see whats going on etc...the last time i was down there was only about 3 months ago so imagine my surprise when i popped down yesterday and saw that a total refurb is ongoing which will result in the buildings being turned into apartments to rent...to highlight the changing face of these buildings i am posting some photos that i took of the fronts and back in 2009 and 2011 and the photos i took of front and back yesterday...as you can see nos 2 to 6 well under way no 8 is now being renovated and has scaff up... the back of the properties completely gutted for what could be turned into a car park for new residents....hope these photos are of interest especially to paul mann who used to live at no 8View attachment 134285View attachment 134286View attachment 134287View attachment 134288View attachment 134289View attachment 134290View attachment 134291View attachment 134292 View attachment 134285View attachment 134286View attachment 134287View attachment 134288View attachment 134289View attachment 134290View attachment 134291View attachment 134292

lyn
From the above picture I can see that the scullery had been removed at some time. Upstairs the lefthand window was a landing. The small one in the corner, above the end of the hall was a glory hole. The one on the right was my bedroom and below the living room. Beyond that was the scullery, now demolished, and beyond again was a toilet. It had a high tank and it used to freeze up in the winter. My mother also had an old mangle in there. Paul.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
once again many thanks for your memories of wills st paul..always enjoy reading them...also i will try and get the book you mentioned...all the best

lyn
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
many thanks for doing that paul..what great photos..i have many happy memories of going to the villa cross picture house:)

lyn
 

LOZELLIAN

master brummie
many thanks for doing that paul..what great photos..i have many happy memories of going to the villa cross picture house:)

lyn
Hi Astoness,

Yes I agree with you there, I especially remember the Saturday morning pictures we used to go to when we were kids (good times).

Lozellian.
 

SirSteveUK

New Member
Paul, I can't say two much about the history of J & W Malley but my father Jim Speke worked there for over 35 years as a painter/decorator before his retirement - and I worked there in the office (£10 cash in hand !) during my uni vacations in the late 60's. At that time they had two main customers, Ansells & Marks & Spencer - refurbishing work on the pubs and re-arranging & building counters in M&S across the Birmingham/Black Country.

In your picture of the boarded up windows, the ground floor window far left was the office managers office - where I worked, making up wage packets amongst other duties. (Ken Upton was his name - lived in Barton-u-Needwood. ). The upstairs was directors offices.

Directors were Malcom Lintern-Mole ( M&S account) Wilf Badger (Ansells a/c) and Norman Tooke ( new business) - it was he who got them the contract to build housing estate on the site of Ellowes Hall Sedgeley - and they also built THE Jack Cotton's house in Shirley/Solihull.

Not sure what year they left Wills St. - but I remember seeing later they had moved to an office across Slade Road from the Armada pub at Spaghetti Junction.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi steve thanks for your memories of wills st...its nice to meet someone else from what i always call the old end...you would have worked at mallys while i was still living in villa st..all the best

lyn
 

SirSteveUK

New Member
No problem, Lyn - nice to add something - we actually lived in Great Barr (and prior to that Kingstanding ) - we have no family connection to Wills Street except for Malleys.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
No problem, Lyn - nice to add something - we actually lived in Great Barr (and prior to that Kingstanding ) - we have no family connection to Wills Street except for Malleys.
well its still nice to read your memories steve...this is what the forum is all about... :)
 

Paul Mann

knowlegable brummie
Paul, I can't say two much about the history of J & W Malley but my father Jim Speke worked there for over 35 years as a painter/decorator before his retirement - and I worked there in the office (£10 cash in hand !) during my uni vacations in the late 60's. At that time they had two main customers, Ansells & Marks & Spencer - refurbishing work on the pubs and re-arranging & building counters in M&S across the Birmingham/Black Country.

In your picture of the boarded up windows, the ground floor window far left was the office managers office - where I worked, making up wage packets amongst other duties. (Ken Upton was his name - lived in Barton-u-Needwood. ). The upstairs was directors offices.

Directors were Malcom Lintern-Mole ( M&S account) Wilf Badger (Ansells a/c) and Norman Tooke ( new business) - it was he who got them the contract to build housing estate on the site of Ellowes Hall Sedgeley - and they also built THE Jack Cotton's house in Shirley/Solihull.

Not sure what year they left Wills St. - but I remember seeing later they had moved to an office across Slade Road from the Armada pub at Spaghetti Junction.
Hi. The picture my brother took is of No 8. 2 to 6 were terraced houses used by Malley;s as offices. No 8 was a double fronted detached house. From what has gone before it must have been built in the 1800's. I see that Bendall's were in residence in the 1900.s They had a confectionery shop on the corner of Hamptead Road and Villa R. I am guessing but they probably had a maid/ cook. this would account for the bell system between the rooms at the front and the kitchen behind. The history of the shop and the owners would be very interesting.
I recall the name Badger and there was a Mr Jack Hurd, they used to live in Charville Road, they had a 6 foot slate bed billiard table in the attic, Dad used to go and have games there. When they moved we got the billiard table, it went in the through room on the right. When they retired I got the billiard table , we have 3 sons so it was well used. They had two sons David and Michael, David, older than me took me to the swimming baths in Grove lane?? When we were read to leave I was standing on the side, someone pushed me in, I could not swim but someone saved me. I am still afraid of the water. More to follow. Regards to all Paul
 
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