|Mainly For Brummies But All Are Welcome To Join In The Birmingham Fun & Chat|
This is the place where Brummies used to chat about Birmingham old and new along with anything else that interests us. We have Quizzes, Pizzas, Local History, News, Politics, Wedding Cake, Plum Pudding, Champagne, Easter Eggs and, above all, Respect for our fellow members.
In some properties it means everything, but in listebuildingsgs they are very specific about what can be ripped out and what can't. Another job we didn't get was these buildings across the canal on Gas Street Basin fronting Broad Street. They were complete gut outs but the job would have been a nightmare so in one way I was glad we didn't get it.
Thanks for clearing that up Phil.
The shot of the canal building got me thinking. I must have driven over the canal thousands of times and never given it a thought because there is a building on the bridge disguising the fact.
I hate unfinished sente
Somewhere, in the far off distant recesses of my youth. there was the Richmond Pub in Richmond Road, Stechford. We lived three doors away from 1942 to 1970, which was just the sort of distance my dad could manage on his hands and knees, when required. Suffice to say we practically lived there.
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It had a delightful Bowling Green, which Hitler and his lot once bombed on 10th April 1941. There was a a rumour that the Lutwaffe pilot and bomb aimer that mistook the Richmond for the BSA or Singer Car works that night, must have been them Flat green bowlers who play in whites and flat shoes and in Lanes, and despised us common Crown Green lot who wore anything we had and played all over the Green...but it was never confirmed. Anyway, we used the old fence panels as rafts when the crater was filled with water for a while...great memories.
The gaffer was an old ex Coldstream Guardsman, one Syd Vernon, who ruled the place like it was his Regimental Mess. Waiters in the GO (Gents Only) and back Lounge, and when there was a function in the Assembly Rooms, and always impeccably turned out. NO singing (You can sing down the Broadway, you can sing in the bath, but you ain't singing HERE!). He had a rather downtrodden wife, two sons, Ronnie and John, and a daughter we never saw...we were too common see? Oh, and a bloody big Airedale dog...but we mostly respected and liked him, for all his bluster. He ran a good pub see?
The Bowling Club was my dad's domain for years, and he was the youngest. Until 1960 that is, when me and my mates turned 18, then we were allowed in and also joined. Thus reducing the average age by a hundred or more.... The pub has now sadly gone, as has the Virgin's Retreat (YWCA) diagonally opposite, which was a useful adjunct for meeting young girls after a few Brown and Mild's...I hear it has a Mosque type functionality now...
Some photos for them that might have lived round there in the fifties and sixties...I have later ones should anyone ever read this...
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Syd Vernon is second right, back row in the Team photo (dated 1958). My dad is the young one smack in the middle of the back row. He is 90 next week and still going, just...The Bowling Club Dinner photo is from the same year. I know some of the older miscreants if pressed...
I moved into Yardley in 1962, we lived in a new estate just behind Blakesley Hall. Next door was a fenced wood with allotments (playground) until it was also built over.
The Richmond was the edge of my domain until I was eleven. I was often in the sweet shop over the road from the pub, buying Mojos, Blackjacks, Flying Saucers, etc. Mojos were 8 for a penny until decimalisation allowed robbing shopkeepers to make them 4 for a new penny. Then there was the greengrocers where I would go on an errand with a shopping bag for potatoes, served by the scoopful, mud and all.
There was also a hardware shop where the paraffin for our Valor heater came from. The smell of the old hardware shops is now rare thing.
I remember Dame Elizabeth Hall, it always had an air of mystery about it and I feel sure it was a Masonic Hall for a while.
Winkle, if you have any photo's of the shops, around mid sixties, please put some up.
I am curious Voltman. Behind Blakesley Hall there was a bowling green, probably long since overgrown now. Not sure who 'owned' it. Behind that there was a large 'redundant' field, and still is as far as I know. Which 'estate' do you mean? I still live up the Road in Church Road, nearly opposite the Ring O Bells, and can't place your old hunting grounds? And did you use, and have they been featured, the Blakesley or the Yew Tree?
And yes, in my day it was Dame Elizabeth Cadbury's YWCA. It housed a marvellous gym, with a very successful League Basketball Team, and a Dancehall/Concert Hall with Stage and all the usual trimmings. The 'Spring Fair' was a good example, I actually remember dressing up and singing Three Little Maids from G&S with two mates, how embarrassing! My dad sang there with his Dance Band just after the War, and met my mom there - they lived in Denton Grove just across the way. In fact all my three Aunts met husbands there, as I did my wife! When R@R landed we were right there at the Youth Club bops...
I worked at the paper shop opposite the Tram/Bus terminus next door before I went to work proper, and often used the adjacent Tennis Court for a spell when we crept under the fence from the shop back garden! God knows when it bacame a Masonic Hall, but we did hire it for my 50th, and it was still functional and clean. It's a right mess now, as is the area....so sad...
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This clip shows Dennis Williams (the dada) in all his glory...
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Hi Karen welcome to our home, I see you live in the centre of the universe.
Thanks for you comment to Phil. Its a long time since he made a ladys day. Sheldonboy.
I started out with nothing and I've still got most of it left
The green immediately behind Blakesley Hall was, and still is, the Hall's back garden I don't remember it ever being a bowling green though. This was separated, by a stout privet hedge, from the large field which was a cricket pitch. A cricket club played there almost weekly throughout the summers. I used to help out in the pavilion and sometimes with the scoreboard, the reward for which was pop and sandwiches.
The pavilion was removed years ago, the ground marks can still be seen, and although the field is maintained in good order I see no evidence of cricket still being played there. There used to be nets along the top end and a big white screen on wheels.
The housing estates are separated from the cricket field by a heavy duty fence of iron bars. The first estate to be built was Kew gardens / Bowater Avenue, followed by Manor Gardens and all the roads off.
In later years Kew Gardens was extended into what used to be Mr Clamps smallholding where he kept chickens and pigs.
I don't recall ever having set foot in either the Blakesley or the Yew Tree although they were part of my landscape when i was a kid.