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yes phil..i agree...the slums had to go..no doubt about that..you know me of old and have heard me bang on many times about the many historical buildings that were swept aside in the name of progress and even now lessons have not been learnt...i am still worrying over the future of the old central fire station...the art deco in that building is something to die for..petitions have been signed to save it but as yet i have no further news...must chase it up...for those who have not seen the inside of it i will try and post some pics later under a new thread...it just makes me very very angry..
My main argument with the way Manzoni did things was he didn't bother to sort out the good from the bad. He cleared the whole area, whilst I agree that all of the back to backs needed to go and some of the back terraces.
He was also responsible for the wanton destruction of some fantastic Georgian and Victorian properties. Not a 100 yards from where I lived in my back to back hovel stood some of the nicest properties you could ever wish to own.
Why Ashted Row and Great Brook St had to go I will never know surely they could have been incorporated into the plans somehow. It was the same with Balsall Heath Rd and Princess and Varna Roads. Yes they were red light areas, but some of the housing was great. They could have got rid of the vice without demolishing the area.
Make Love, Not War
As I see it, yes a load of slums had to go, but not all were knocked down with a social conscience. An awful lot went to make way for massive road schemes, etc.
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BIRMINGHAM BACK TO BACKS , , Did you live there. . .Where were they . .Tell us about then.. Have you any pictures
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have spent most of life trying to save.
i was born in my nans back to back house in paddington st aston..just off summer lane.nan had one bedroom and the other was shared by mom and dad and me and my brother..we moved out when i was 5 and my brother was 2 as i would suspect that by then it was getting a bit over crowded..there was a very small living room and small scullery but we did have a back garden..it does annoy me though that by some folk back to back houses are perceived as being the pits to live in and of course we all know that some of them were in very bad repair and not really fit to live in at all but our nans little house was alway spik and span...always clean nets up..the yards swept..door steps blackened on a regular basis..the shared toilets white washed..also shared were the brew houses where the washing was done and then rung out with the mangle..i can only remember happy times and memories and i would not change them for the world..i do have a couple of photos of the back yard and little back garden which i shall sort out later and post on here..
morning all, i agree with you lynn, most of the old houses were kept spic and span, i remember my mom using red polish (cardinal) to put on the front step and the window sills outside. she always taught us to clean the drains out as well. i remember having to do that in cookery at school, we did not just learn cooking we learnt house chores as well. our needlework lesson was at first to make our cookery apron and hat. how things have changed.
just another memory i remember mom hanging the blankets out on to the line and beating it with a beater to get the dust out.
oh yes steph i also remember the cardinal red..going back in time again lol..i will always remembers sundays in perticular..the house was always given a good bottoming as it was called..everything polished with lavender polish which came in little rounds tins and then the smell of the meat cooking in the oven and the archers on the radio..thing is that most folk did not have a lot but by golly what they did have was well looked after..folk had to be tough in those days as most had gone though 6 years of hell during WW2..nan lost her husband just as the war was starting leaving her to bring up 3 girls alone...she never re married and would not budge from paddington st until the bulldozers were on her doorstep..
I have said this before, I am not a fan of the back to backs, the main reason being that they give a very sanitised view of living in a back to back environment. My grandchildren have been to view these showhouses and their response was yes they were small but they were lovely little places and they wouldn't have minded living there.
I don't think they do anything to represent how hard life was in this type of housing often with families up to 15 or more living in one living room and two bedrooms. I have never visited them and to be honest I don't think I ever will. I think the Black Country Museum does a much better job.
You saying how things have changed. i remember the first task in woodwork, after being taught to keep on plaining till you couldn't see any light when you pressed a metal ruler against the wood (it was about half as thick as when you started by then, for me anyway). It was a pipe rack. Imagine being asked to do that at school today.
ive been to the black country museum 3 times phil and i really do love it..but just like the back to backs in hurst st they cant really have rats running around and real you know what in the jeminias under the bed but i will say that the guides are excellent and leave you in no doubt how hard it was living in them..we must also remember that there were all sorts of different types of back to backs..they were not all built exactly the same..the black county museum have done a tremendously good job of re building and moving their buildings from where they were originally but the added sparkle for me its that the brum back to backs are exactly where they have always been..this alone is so rare...
as promised a few of my family pics taken in the the yard or back garden in paddington st...
me trying to break into next doors garden..its usually old buildings now lol
mom on the left her sister joan on the right and joans hubby bert in the middle..think our dad must have been the first one to touch up photos...