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Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on

Thanks to everyone who have responded to the requests below

24th June 2015

Could anyone tell me what the building at 13 Crescent, Ladywood was used for in 1881?  We have a family member recorded as being there on the census as a lodger with lots of other men, plus a matron and night and day porters.  Was it a workhouse, or lodging house, or hospital of some sort?  There seems to be a nurse’s home in the same street at the time.


We can't trace the person after that, either in census or other records so don't know what happened to him.


With thanks

Maggie Udell



6th June 2015

If possible I would also like any information on the SPRATT FAMILY from BIRMINGHAM.


My FATHER was originally A SPRATT, his mother MAUDE lost her husband SPRATT don't know his 1st name, apparently he was a bit of a bad boy around BRUM, died quite young. MAUDE then married CYRIL LOWNDES who was a bit of an entrepreneur around EDGBASTON antique dealer, slum landlord etc etc! I have some interesting black & white pic's you may be interested for your site one in particular with CYRIL & MAUDE with her beloved PEKINESE dog  collecting rent from one of his streets, the only car in the street being his!



Loved reading your memories of Nelson Street. I am in the process of researching my family tree and have come across my great great granddad William Adney and his wife Sarah Ann and their 5 children who lived at 29 Nelson Street.


I have the 1891 census which shows me who lived at number 26, 25, 24, and number 23 Nelson Street.


My Grandad George Adney married a lady named Matilda Law who lived next door to him at 57 Spencer Street. Sadly she died in 1931 and he remarried my nan Dorothy Clarke who’s occupation was a bar-maid.

Would love to hear if anyone remembers the Adney family.


Jill Adney


I have just come across the website, and am particularly interested because my mother, who died recently just before her 92nd birthday, grew up in 115 Ladywood Road. Does anyone have any references to the Depper family (Emily and Walter were the parents/grandparents) who lived there through the 20s, 30s 40s and 50s?
Also, what about the Eden family, who lived around that early time, I believe, in St Vincent Street - what were the names of the children in that family?
Were there  any Jewish families in Ladywood in the 1920s? - I believe Winifred Depper (born 1902) was friendly with a Jewish girl, although she may not have been local.
Any information at all would be fascinating!
Jenny Kinton


17th December 2014

My father’s uncle, Ralph Moorhouse was a well-known Ladywood gymnast who used the Ladywood Gymnasium in the late 1880s, and was later a prominent member of the Dolobran Club.  He became a gymnastics teacher for the Education Committee before joining Cadbury’s in 1907 as Director of Gymnastics and Physical Health.


I am looking for any information regarding Gymnastic clubs, especially in the late 1880s, with perhaps any mention of Ralph’s achievements both national and international.  This will be gratefully received by his ancestors.  Thanks in anticipation!




9th November 2014

I am trying to remember the name of the man who used to go round in the 50's/60's sharping knives etc.  Hope someone remembers as it is driving me bonkers!


Love the site!




21st October 2014

Does anyone remember an oil shop in Ladywood run by the Coleman/Coldrick families in the 1950s or the families?


Shop was probably in the name of Fred Coleman.  Sold crockery as well?


Harold was the son, latterly drove for one of the big scaffolding companies?





23rd September 2014

Does anyone remember a pawnbrokers shop in Friston Street run by the Garfield family?


I've been trying to find a photo of this shop for a long time.


Henry Garfield was my great grandfather.





10th September 2014

I have today found your fantastic website and you have also solved a 50 year old mystery!


I have always wondered about (and tried to find) one of my primary school teachers from St. John's Primary School in Ladywood, Pat Charles.  I loved her so much and she had a tremendous impact on the person I grew up to be.


I was amazed and so happy to see her post on your website - I am the Sandra Goode she mentions.


They say that your school days are the happiest of your life and my primary school years certainly were mostly down to Pat and Miss Smethurst, the Headteacher.


I would so love to get in touch with Pat to say thank you to her for being instrumental in a wonderful childhood for me.


Sandra Peters


5th August 2014

Does anyone have information/photographs on F & M Coaches in Ladywood




22nd July 2014

I used to be in the club of the roller skating rink on Monument Road as a child.


Does anyone have any photos of it or us as a team, I remember lots being taken when we had shows?



D Sambrook


Did anyone know Arthur Thorp, born 1903?


He lived in 8/189 Icknield Port Road, Ladywood; he was a window cleaner for Ladywood and Winson Green.


His Parents and siblings also lived in and around Icknield Port Road (big family I believe)...sorry but not much more info..



Elaine - Australia


9th July 2014

Did anyone know Diane Cartwright who lived on Osler Street and went to Osler School (1964 -1967?)


Kindest regards


Katherine (Vera Coppage)


6th July 2014

I have just found your website and, as a Brummie by birth [born in Winson Green Maternity Hospital], I am hoping to find information about my family and fill in some missing gaps.


In particular I am looking to see if anyone can help me find anything about my late mother’s family who were called Sowter and lived I think in Ladywood.


First let me tell you what I have found and then perhaps we can use the information as a framework to build on.


Joseph Charles Sowter married Emma Piercewright in 1905 and they had the five children -


                Charles Joseph Sowter [born 1906]

                Ernest Sowter [born 1910]

                Frederick Sowter [born 1910]

                Doris Sowter [born 1913] - my mother, now deceased

                Rosie Sowter [born 1921]


This much I know but as my mother was never forthcoming about her family following, I suspect, a monumental falling out, I have only three other vague bits of information about the family.


                1, They lived in Ladywood at no3 back of 38 Ladywood Road

                2, Her father [Joseph Charles Sowter] was by her account a bargee and looked after horses                         although the 1911 Census shows him as a house painter

                3, Mother [Doris Sowter] worked in a "cake shop", which I think was on Monument Road, when              she left school


And that is all I know, I didn’t even know that mother had brothers and a sister although once or twice she vaguely alluded to "we children". I am hoping that some of you wonderful Brummies can help me fill in gaps. In particular I would like to know where the family lived and would certainly like to find more about the narrow boat connection.


If anyone has any knowledge of this family I would love to hear it or if someone could just point me in a direction to do further research but please bear in mind that I live in Devon and cannot travel to Brum to do research in person.




Peter in sunny Devon



I am looking for information about various members of my extended family who I believe lived around the Ladywood area.


My Grandmother Rosemary Lowe was born in 1930 and married Albert Cutts in 1948, they moved to Erdington and other areas of Birmingham and then Staffordshire. Rosemary's parents are of interest to me as I don't know a lot about them. Her mothers name was Florence Lowe (nee Carwithen), she died in 1947. Her husband was William Arthur Lowe b.circa 1894. He was in the army during WW1 and died in 1972. He married another two times following Florence's death.


William & Florence married in 1921 and I know they lived in Winson Green Road for sure between 1927-1935 and then in Brookvale Park Road between 1939-Florence's death in 1947.


Basically I would love to hear anything from anyone who knew or heard of my great grandparents. I have few photos and lots of missing pieces of the puzzle. Unfortunately my Grandparents Rose & Albert both passed away years ago.


Looking forward to hearing from you!


Kind Regards



27th June 2014

I am looking for information relating to residents of Coplow St in the above time frame. I lived at 114 Coplow Street until July 1963 where after we left for Australia, where I have lived for the past 50 years. My brother and I are returning to Birmingham this August and I would like some assistance in contacting some of my schoolmates from that era. The school I attended was Barford Road.



Richard Greaves


23rd June 2014

My mum’s family lived in several streets over the years, in Ladywood and Winson Green. Her father Burtram Shuttleworth, also known as Bert used to earn money by working in all types of different public houses.


She recalls him being very musical and self-taught, he played the Spoons, Accordion and also The Piano. He enjoyed entertaining people through his music.


Burt was born in 1912 in Birmingham, and never moved out of the Birmingham Areas. He married Sarah Ann Halsey in 1934 and went on to have 8 children 2 of which died as babies.


We only have 1 photograph of Bert which I scanned off his pensioners bus pass.


I would love to hear off anyone who knew of him or his wife or any of the children in particular of his piano playing etc


Anita Szaban


14th February 2014

I hope someone can help me.


I am researching my family tree, and i have hit a brick wall, concerning my great great grandfather James Gregory.


My name is Linda Simmonds, nee (Hart), my parents were Len and Kate Hart. I was born and raised in Birmingham, until the 70s, when i moved to Norfolk. My great great grandfather name is James Gregory, and he was born in Birmingham circa 1837/ 1838. According to census I know he married a Sarah Reeves on the 22/12.1861, as I have the marriage certificate, and he died on the 25/11/1906. Certificate held, Sarah was born in 7/12/1912, also in Birmingham. My problem is, I cannot find a birth for James Gregory. On the marriage certificate, it states that James's father is John Gregory and he is a police Officer. Censuses say that they went on to have several children.


Hopefully someone will have some information on James Gregory, no matter how big or small


Linda Simmonds nee ( Hart )


My name is Eric Merchant.


I am researching my grandfather Richard Thomas Merchant, ventriloquist, 1890-1910.


On stage he appeared at the Ladywood Palace where the manager, Jack Cruise, gave him his stage name Mons Perchant, have you any old theatre news about this era.

We also know he did over 100 performances at the waxworks in town, as Mons Perchant and at the Gaiety.


Have you any clues to where the waxworks?


Many thanks

Eric Merchant


24th January 2014

I came upon your website purely by accident and think it’s absolutely great. I am researching my family history and wonder if anyone may be able to help me. My Great Grandmother lived in the area for most of her life. Her name was Winnie Madden and she was born in 1881. She had 2 sons, Edward and James Bernard (Jim was my grandfather). They were both born out of wedlock but in 1914 Winnie married a man named Owen Cunningham.  At the time of the marriage they were both living in Camden Street next door to each other (154 and 156).  Owen's Army service record then gives an address 7 back of 77 Steward St. They lived there, together with Bernard Cunningham (Owen's brother) for some time. Owen was no longer living there in 1925 but Winnie and Bernard lived there until Winnie's death in 1941. Bernard was still living there in 1955.


No-one in the family knows who Edward’s and James' father was but it was rumoured it could have been either of the Cunningham brothers. Family stories say that Winnie was a lady of "loose morals" to put it politely. I wonder if there is anyone out there that may have any knowledge or memories of the Maddens or Cunninghams that they can help me with.




I am researching my family history and would be very grateful if you have any information on the Drummond family who lived in Ladywood in the mid-19th Century.


William and Eliza Drummond were living in Ruston Street in 1853 when their first child, Selina, was born. They went on to have 10 more children; James, Arthur, Katherine, Walter, Fanny, Egbert, Herbert, Lucy and Clara.


Any information you have about the family would be very useful.




The Coppage family were our neighbours in the 60's in Clark Street. We lived in Reservoir Avenue alongside Osler Street School. At that time there were us (the Sloyans. the Wrights, the Eggingtons, the Duffys, the Atkins. All big families.


It would be great to make contact with any of them again.


Best wishes,




14th January 2014

My name is Valerie Ashley (formerly Tudor (and Rawlins) as my mother Doreen re-married in the 1960's) I am trying to contact Beverley Turner (Bailey) born 1/2/54.  She was my friend at Nelson Street School and Camden Street. I have tried all avenues to find her current address.  The last time we had contact was approximately 1986 and she lived in Sutton Coldfield.  She has a special birthday shortly and I would love to find out how she is.  Hoping someone can help me.


Many thanks

Val Ashley


8th December 2013

May I ask your help please?


 I’m researching my Mother’s family tree as she’s turned 70 this year and has been reflecting a lot, I know that there are some gaps she would love to fill.  Her father died when she was just a year old, and I’m tracking that side of her family.  From what I’ve initially found out, her father George Whyatt was born in Clark Street in 1920 to Harry and Margaret Whyatt at 2 Appleby Place.


On your Old Ladywood site do you have anything on either the Whyatt’s or Appleby Place at all please?  I’m happy to purchase any downloads of material etc.




29th November 2013

My son’s partner and her family have been doing their family tree and are stuck on a branch of it, I was wondering if your site could help.


The name of the missing are Leslie George Garratly not sure if that is the right spelling but that's the sound of it, and the link is Ladywood, going back quite a few years..



Janet Barron


16th November 2013

I wonder if you can help me please I’m trying to find my father’s family they were called Margaret and John Quinn.


They had 2 sons James and John, a daughter Mary. She work at the Edgbaston picture house.


I know they lived in Essington Street or Monument Road, please can you help me. My father last saw them was 1952, my father’s coming 80 and all he talks about is them.


Pauline Quinn


I am looking for information concerning the Tummey family (especially Frank Tummey) who lived at 328 Icknield Port Road. The earliest record I have is 1920 and the latest is 1955.


Kind regards





6th November 2013

I am trying to carry out some research into the Tildesley Cycle Company who manufactured bicycles in Steward Street. From telephone directories I know that they were in business there from 1934 through to 1960 but there is very little information available about their origins, size of the factory or what became of them. I am a member of the Veteran-cycle club - we do research into old bicycles and their makers, as well as riding them.


Furthermore I used to live in Edgbaston and later in Hagley and Barnt Green and I love that part of the world. Can you suggest anybody who might be able to help with my task?


Love the website.




Michael Townsend



11th October 2013

I am looking for any information about the Davis family William and Alice they owned a furniture shop on 20  Ryland Street and 50/52 Dudley Road and had 2 daughters Lily and Doris and 1 son Sydney.


Lily carried on living in the shop with her husband John Leonard Hughes and they had 1 son Leonard Sydney my father.


I hope to hear from you soon


Dawn Chadburn



1st October 2013

Can you help me out? I have been asked if I know anything about Spikey Bevan, who lived around Irving Street/Bow Street, kids around that area were always told not to go down Bow Street or Irving Street else Spikey Beven would get them and carry them off, a sort of Bogeyman story.


I said I would try and find out and I thought you may have heard of him, any help?


Kind regards




My name is Vera Katherine Coppage and my we lived on Osler/Clarke Street in the 60’s.  I went to Follett Osler and would love contact with Anita Bryant, Anne Simms, Pearl Carter, and Michael Plant.  We all lived in Ladywood and attended the same school. Such fond memories of those days.  Also could anyone name any of the roads that ran off Monument Road not far from the swimming baths but on opposite side.


One of those roads eventually led to the railway line and then Broad Street.


Many thanks if anyone can help






I am trying to identify where Victoria Terrace, in Waterworks Road, was and came across your excellent website.  I have seen the photos on your site (the only ones of Waterworks Road I can find on the web apart from a few views of the towers), and wondered which terrace it is that is photographed twice.


Are you able to help me with Victoria Terrace?  And do you know when it was demolished?  Was it perhaps in the 60s or much earlier when they laid Harold Road?


Best Wishes

Richard Grimmett



6th August 2013

Does anyone know anything of Elizabeth Drennan who married Thomas Sharpe - I think around 1977 the Sharpe's lived in Back 12, Ledsam Street or Ladywood Road, Birmingham.  Children were Eileen, Jack and Phillip Sharpe.  I am visiting Birmingham in the near future and would love to find someone who might have known this family.


Elizabeth McTaggart



Just looking through your wonderful site and I am wondering if anyone has old photo of Chatsworth Pace off St. Vincent Street, Ladywood? My ancestors came from there to NZ in 1877, that’s why I’m extremely interested.


Thanks so much


Val Hirst


27th July 2013

I have been looking over your site and was wondering if anyone on there could can remember a Maurice Biddle who went there in the 60's around 1965


Lee Tonks



14th July 2013

My relatives had a pub in Bell Barn Road (1880 !!) called the White Swan. A son, Frederick Townsend, became a barman elsewhere, and living in Anderton Street, Birmingham ("the back of" according to the 1901 census).


Can anyone help me with more enquiries?


Philip Cole



Does anyone have information regarding The Standard Inn in Icknield Port Road?


Rick Marshall


11th May 2013

My name is Elaine O’Connell and I am researching my family tree, I have been told that my great grandmother Esther Hammett ran a boarding house for actor/actresses, this house was next to Piggott Street School.


I’m not sure when this would have been I think late 1890s early 1900s does anyone have any ideas


Thank you




I wonder if you can help me. Your site was recommended to me as my ancestors lived in Freeth Street in the 1891 census and the name was LING. He mentioned that a Val Ling was mentioned in one of the photos but I can’t find it.


My ancestor was a Joseph Ling, born about 1856; his daughter Mary Elizabeth born 1882 would have been my gt grandma. I have no photos, any chance you can put this message on here.


Jackie Shubert



24th April 2013

I am trying to "grow" my family tree, and have discovered that my great great grandfather Thomas Pyefinch was born in Birmingham in 1854, and the census details for 1871 are given as being at "The Cottage of Content", 1 St Vincent Street, Ladywood, where his father was the publican.  Do you know if there are any pictures of the pub in existence still, as I would dearly love to see them.  He married Emily Fear, from Somerset, in 1876, where his father was a publican, but I can't find out which pub, and they moved to Lewisham.  He also had a son called Leonard, who married in 1912, had a son in the June, went off to war and was killed on the second day of the first battle of Ypres on 20 October 1914.  I don't know whether he ever saw his son.  This is just one of the interesting stories I have turned up, which I am sure most people do when they start looking into their family history.






I wondered if you might be able to assist me.  James Dovey Jarrett was my 3rd great grandfather.  I am doing some family research and I have found him living at 39 Oliver Road, Birmingham North for the last 20 years of his life, he died in 1925.  I have discovered a photo of him standing outside Kirkby Cottage and wondered if this was actually 39 Oliver Road or a holiday home.


I have attached a photo of him from 1910 and a picture of Kirkby Cottage.



Best wishes,


Tanya Clifford



I would like to contact anyone who knew St. Marks Street, Ladywood and can remember the  house numbering system ie which side of St. Marks Street was odd numbers and which side was even numbers and where the lowest numbers started from, was it Shakespeare Road  or Edward Road  many thanks.


Margaret Bannister



I am researching my husband’s family and his uncle Frederick was born in 1904 at 3 Back 35 Ladywood Road and hope one of your members can tell me about this address.  I’ve found “35 Ladywood Road” on the modern Google map and it now looks like a smart leafy suburb of executive homes.


The second son Frank was born in 1910 at 128 Tiverton Road, Selly Oak, Northfield, Kings Norton. I did find this address in a row of terraced houses. The description of Selly Oak, and Northfield, and Kings Norton confusing!


Frank told me they walked to a nearby private school. Does this make sense?


In 1911 the family is shown as living at 43 Coronation Road, Selly Oak, and the father is shown at this address on the electoral register. I see this is not far from Tiverton Road, Selly Oak.


I found your site very interesting although we do not know Birmingham very well at all.


Mrs Alison Bucklow



8th April 2013

I was born in 1956 in my parents shop in Ryland Street, Ladywood, we owned a greengrocery shop and the family name was Wheeler.  The shop was compulsory purchased in 1958 approximately; I would love to know if anyone has any photos or information on our shop, I would love to know my roots.


Kind regards


Jayne Oliver (Wheeler)



22nd March 2013

I am trying to gather some memories about the time I lived in Osler Street which would have been between 1954 and 1962.  I was about eleven or twelve when my family left to live in Sparkhill.


I attended Follett Osler School during those years.


 Does anyone remember the Ansell family from Osler Street?  There is a school photograph showing my elder sister Eileen Ansell, regrettably she passed away six years ago.


Any memories would be gratefully received.


Kathleen Essex (nee Ansell)


3rd March 2013

I am trying to find out more information about Summer Hill Road and, having come across your Old Ladywood web site, I am hoping that you can help. 


My father, Francis Murray, was a Belfast-born GP who came to work in Birmingham in 1937 and stayed until 1939 when he left to join the Royal Army Medical Corps.  I know he worked (and lived) at the practice run by Dr Maurice Macsherry at 72 Summer Hill Road.  I was in Birmingham yesterday and took a walk around the area but with all the redevelopment there was no trace of No.72 -- in fact, I don't even know if it was on the north or south side of Summer Hill Road.  I notice that you sell a collection of books with old photographs of the area and I saw several of them when I visited the wonderful Spring Hill Library yesterday.  Are there any photographs of Summer Hill Road in these books?  I would be happy to purchase the relevant books if there were.  I have yet to find an old map that has the house numbers marked on it.


Before visiting the area I did some research about Dr Macsherry.  I discovered that, like my father, he was from Northern Ireland around 1874.  He had a French wife, Valerie, and at least three children -- one daughter, Eleanor, and two sons, Maurice Philippe and Denis Louis.  Before becoming a GP I know Dr Macsherry spent some time as a ship's surgeon.  The family lived at 41 Francis Road in Edgbaston and all but the sons are listed in the 1911 census.  Unfortunately both sons were killed in the war.  Maurice Philipe was an RAF Pilot Sergeant who flew Spitfires from RAF Biggin Hill and was killed in March 1941 aged 25.  The other son, Denis Louis became a ship's surgeon like his father and was in the Merchant Navy; his ship was torpedoed by a German U boat in the Atlantic in April 1943 aged 26.  Dr Macsherry himself died in Birmingham in November 1944.


I know my father enjoyed his time in Birmingham; he used to go out on calls on a bicycle!  I am sure he would have made full use of the Spring Hill Library and the Palace Cinema opposite.  As an army doctor he was posted to India in early 1940.  He was subsequently sent to Malaya and was captured at Singapore.  He spent three and a half years as a POW, first in Changi and then in Japan.  He returned to Belfast in November 1945 and married my mother in February 1946.  I don't think he ever knew what happened to Dr Macsherry or his sons.  My father died in 1993.


I would be grateful for any help you can provide.


Best wishes,


Carl Murray.



24th February 2013

I am trying to trace my family history, I know that my family lived at 2 back 0f 31 Stoke St from 1899 til 1930, their name was Grant, however Arthur Grant joined up in 1915 under the surname of Facer, and my grandfather married Annie Jacobs in 1916 as William Grant and later in early 1917 as William Facer at the Immanuel church which was in Broad Street. Of course in order to trace my bloodline I need to establish am I a Grant or a Facer, so does anyone remember anything about this family. I know that William Grant married twice in different names because I have the two wedding certificates and both sets of signatures are in the same hand writing. The head of the family was John George Grant and his wife was Letitia Emily Grant. Any help would be appreciated.


H. Facer


Having left Osler Street School in 1966, I have recently been working on a small model of the school and will hope to produce a self-build cut out kit of the said school. Which is progressing quite well and have found you images on you web site invaluable, is there anyone that has a possible plan of the building and or a photo that shows the roof and the girl’s side and infant’s side of the building.




4th February 2013

I was looking for something at Dad's the other day and came across a yellowing newspaper cutting which gave details of my maternal grandmother's compensation award after she lost 2 fingers at a munitions factory during the First World War.


There was no date, or name of the newspaper and I was wondering if you could offer me any suggestions as to which paper would have reported this - she lived in Smethwick.


I would like to track down the archive of this to see what else was going on at that time - and to get an accurate date for the compensation award.




1st February 2013

Leslie Smith’s on Spring Hill, I'm sure the above had an electrical shop near to the Turf public house, before having the record shop on the opposite side of the road, perhaps someone could confirm this, the date for this would be around 1949-1950.




I came across your fantastic website with a treasure trove of photographs/information.


I have some ancestors including Edwin and Lucy Jane Barker who lived at 46 Barker Street at the time of the 1881 Census. Edwin was a screw maker and died in 1884 at 84 Camden Street.


Do you have any photographs of those addresses or can describe them to me so I can fill in the gaps in my family tree.





19th January 2013

I’m enquiring about my husband’s great grandfather John William Warren born 24th March 1882 in the Lady Wood Subdistrict Birmingham. I have no idea where to access records about him or his forebears prior to his arrival in Australia. If you are able to help me with any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.



Marie Warren


Try to research a bit of family history looking for a man called Ted used to deliver comics, think he worked on Cope Street near Britachrom, around 1962 - a truly amazing site.




Sandra Allen of Shakespeare Road and King Edward Road.


15th December 2012

Hi there, I contacted your site back in 2008 asking for help to trace my paternal great-grandfather. Unfortunately I'm still no closer to uncovering the mystery but I do have a little more information that I'm hoping your site visitors might be able to help me with.


In 1921 there was a photographers shop at 27 Spring Hill Road called Thomas & Weston. I currently only have access to the 1921 trade directory so I don't know how long the shop lasted.


Does anyone know anything about the shop or more specifically the 'Thomas' & 'Weston' its named after?





28th November 2012

Originally from Birmingham but now a resident of Blackpool, Lancashire, I have in recent years enjoying, collecting and reading books about Ladywood where as a boy I grew up.  During this time (1950's) I spent some time as a resident at 3 The Back of 15 Ledsam Street, Ladywood, there was a doctor’s surgery and the doctor there was called Dr Louis Glass, I am trying to find out the exact address and location of the surgery on the street and wondered if you could help?


Many thanks

John McCann  



The 1940 edition of Kelly’s Directory shows Louis Glass (Physician) and also Samuel Glass (Physician and Surgeon) at 77 Ledsam Street.  This was on the corner of St Vincent Street; The Regent Cinema was on the opposite corner.


In 1940 the main front house of 15 Ledsam Street shows Charles Edward Willard, Wireless Dealer.  




Re your letter from John McCann about Dr Louis Glass, his address was 77 Ledsam St and then when the area was redeveloped the surgery moved to Morville Street and when I was a young patient there the doctors were Dr Louis, Dr Sam (his brother ) Dr Ferguson and Dr Hartill.


I remember Dr Louis owned a racehorse called Ledsam Lad and my dad who liked a bet on the horses took me with his friend Cal Barton (who owned a car ) all the way to Worcester racecourse

one day just to bet on this horse after Dr Louis told him it had a good chance of winning the race it was entered in and it did win In the late 50 s Worcester was a long journey for a little lad like me



I have been trying  to find out the name of the Tailors Shop  about 1955 that was  in Monument Road.

It was about six shops along from the top of Icknield Port Road, hope you can help me we used to live in Marroway  Street 



10th November 2012

I have recently been given a sporting medal which may have once belonged to my Grandfather.

The front depicts a footballer; the reverse is hallmarked as made in Birmingham in 1908 and it is engraved "P G F L   Runner Up 1908".


From other markings I think it may have been made by J Gaunt and Sons, Warstone Lane.  Does anyone have any idea whether it was a league or competition?  My grandfather, Sid Butts, would have been about 10 years old and living in St Marks Street at the time.


Many thanks


Steve Carrico


There is a picture on your website of the building which is now owned by Hydrapower Dynamics Ltd in St Marks Street. The name on the building is John R Lee and the picture was taken in 1958. We purchased the building in 1996 and then purchased land in King Edwards Road to enable us to expand the site.


Under the name John R Lee in the photograph, there is some wording which probably describes what they did. Unfortunately, it is too  vague to read. I wonder if anyone knows anything about the Company or indeed about the history of the building.


We do know that the site is the former St Marks Church and School ?


I am now retired but was Chairman of Hydrapower Dynamics until 2006 and remain Non-Executive Chairman of the Company.


With best wishes


Alan Woodfield



This info might well have been passed on before, it's concerning a request from Alan Woodfield wanting to know about

John R Lee in St Marks Street. Well it was a Paint/Wallpaper decorators merchants, I believe it was trade only. My mother’s family ran a building and decorating firm in Springfield Street (Wakefield Builders and Decorators Ltd) I worked there in the 1960's and we used to get our paint etc. from JR Lee. Later it became Decco cash and carry still selling paint and decorating equipment but branching out into homewares, again not open to the general public, a trade card was required to purchase from there. Hope this info is of use to Alan.


Peter Mardon



29th October 2012

I wonder if you could help me please. I’m researching my family tree and have hit another brick wall.

My gt gt grandfather John Deeley and his family, wife Mary, sons Abel 1826, Josiah 1826, Joshua 1831 1869 and 1 daughter Rachel all lived at no: 7 Nelson Street, Ladywood, Birmingham in 1841, but after I can find nothing, well nothing I can be certain of ha!

When I found your site I must admit I nearly dropped my tea! I know there will not be anyone alive from that time, but if you can find anything, or recommend anywhere else to look, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks, Ian



19th October 2012

Hope you are fit and well, you do a great job for us Brummies and I write to you to ask a question?

Would anyone know the name of the pub that was facing the Ice Skating Rink. It was right next door to the Nurses home, it's not the one on the corner of Powel Street (The Top Stores) but the one facing Goodman Street and it had a long corridor at the side which had the Outdoor in. The reason I ask is that everyone seems to remember it except for its name and as you know it's vital for us ladywoodites to know everything!! Well nearly everything.

Jeff Lawlor (WALES)


It was the Summer Hill Tavern - thanks to Steve 



I love the pictures you have posted.  I was just in Birmingham in August 2012 and walked on steward street where our Warden famly lived between 1840-1861. Our great grandfather Thomas Warden left B'ham about 1865 for New York where he was a jeweller. He died young at age 35 of an aneurism.  Our grandfather Geo Robertson Warden wasn't even born. Thomas has been referred to as a "gentleman"  His wife Barbara Robertson whom he married in 1869 in New York never married but took the boys to Balclutha, New Zealand to live for 8 yrs.  The oldest son graduated college and became a head master and a rugby coach.  Barbara and Geo came back to New York in the 1890's and she died 1899. She and Thomas are buried in Providence, Rhode Island and her two sisters are buried beside them. 


Sarah Warden sister to Thomas Warden had an infant school at her home until after 1900.  She died about 1917. 


Emma and Mary both married (sisters) one to a Phillips and the other to Geo Snape.


Their mother was Leonora Hands a sister to William Absolam Hands who also left for Iowa where some of the family is buried. I have learned the Hands were members of the St Martin in the Bullring and we got to check out the B'ham mall and the church.  I took a walk around the Jewellers Quarters.  When I got home I found a web site about Birmingham and I found a Thomas Warden jeweller which I am hoping was our great grandfather.  More searching to do along that line.


So glad you have the website which helped me to learn about the school.  Do you have any pictures of Steward St in the 1900-1920 era?


I  am open to anything you might have to tell me about Steward St.


Janelle Warden



Is there anyone who has any information about the workers at Hart's in Grosvenor Street in 1898. My grandfather was a polisher there in 1898. Unfortunately I cannot find out anything about him before this. I know he went on to join the Kings Royal Rifles and was killed in 1914.


His age of initial enlistment was 17 years 2 months. It did not say anything about next of kin. I cannot find where he was born or living before 1898. His name that he enlisted with was Charles William Brewer but I can't find a birth under this name.


If anyone has any information on him could you please let me know?


Thank you

Janice Hetterley


I have a clock presented to my great grandfather inscribed


"to Mr J Faulkner from the members of Steward St Adult School as a token of esteem January 9th 1897"


I should be grateful for any information about the school or what his connection was to the school.


Janet Andrew


Browsing the net, I came across your brilliant website re. Old Ladywood and wondered if you have any information or are able to assist me in my personal research on Ugandan Asian Children registered at the above institutions c 1972-1974.


In September 1972, I arrived in Birmingham with my family from Uganda.  Some months later, my sister and I, were registered at the Steward Centre, although we lived in Sparkhill.


I believe all Ugandan children, that had resettled in the inner city areas of Birmingham of secondary school age, attended this centre.


In 1973 we were all transferred to Ladywood Comprehensive School, sadly, I have lost touch with most.


It would be helpful to have any information or memories from individuals (students, teachers, community) of the arrival and attendance of the Ugandan Asian children at these institutions as well as any photographs from this period.


Ms Kuldip Phull


17th September 2012

I am looking for Wigley ancestors who once lived in Ladywood, I would love to make contact with someone who knew them.


Janet Pritchard


17th August 2012

My name is Ray Tudor formerly (Rawlins mom remarried).


I was born 75 Anderton Street, Ladywood, Birmingham 1 in 1958. I Attended Nelson Street School (that sounds so great saying Anderton Street).


My next door neighbours were Mr and Mrs Fox, Mrs Fowler.


I was wondering if had any information or anyone who remembers me and my sisters Val and Lesley


I have lived in Australia for over 30yrs and do not even have a photo of us in the street or a school pic, maybe someone out there as one who remembers us, my mom was Doreen. My next door neighbour used to be a bar man at the Bell pub and used to love playing on the old witches hat and going to roller skating


If anyone can help please let me know


Thanks, Ray



Hello, I am looking for any records of my paternal grandmother. I hope finding anything about her will lead me onwards to other family members. On my father’s birth certificate it says that she worked at a domestic nursemaid at 146 Williams Street, Ladywood. I was wondering if you could tell me what this place would have been. I have been trying to search for it, but cannot find what I need.


Any help would be appreciated


Thank you




29th July 2012

I was just wondering if you or someone could help me?


Would you be able to name the men’s “Tailors” that was in Monument Road, just off Icknield Port Road from 1950 onwards please?


Many thanks


Ray Moon


Hi, I am sending a message for my dad. He went to school there and he was wandering if there was any way of finding a man named Dennis Wheatley. He was in the same class with him. My dad's name is David Allan Smith. 


Elizabeth Smith


11th July 2012

There is a picture on your website of the building which is now owned by Hydrapower Dynamics Ltd in St Marks Street. The name on the building is John R Lee and the picture was taken in 1958. We purchased the building in 1996 and then purchased land in King Edwards Road to enable us to expand the site.


Under the name John R Lee in the photograph, there is some wording which probably describes what they did. Unfortunately, it is too  vague to read. I wonder if anyone knows anything about the Company or indeed about the history of the building.


We do know that the site is the former St Marks Church and School ?


I am now retired but was Chairman of Hydrapower Dynamics until 2006 and remain Non-Executive Chairman of the Company.


With best wishes


Alan Woodfield





9th July 2012

Family History is something I am involved with and I have been looking for a picture or at the very least anyone who knows about a certain place.


The place is St. Philips Orphanage, it was in Oliver Road, Edgbaston and it was a Catholic Institution run by the Oratory [By the way the Matrons name was Hannah Chinn]. There appears to be no record of it and few people know about it. The Oratory have no record and neither do Birmingham Catholic Diocese Archives. I know it was open in 1888 because my grandfather and 3 of his brothers were inmates there. I also know it was still open in 1928 because my father was also in there and he did not leave until around 1936, I suppose it’s possible that it was Bombed in WW2 but I would like to know one way or the other. It stood at 11 Oliver Road and I think it was Boys only and in 1928-36 they all went to the Oratory School in Hyde Road.




I thought that if possible to leave another message regarding the John Wigley ancestors from 34 Nelson Street, Ladywood, Birmingham. I have since acquired the death certificate of John Wigley passed away on the 10th January 1842 with Consumption, Harriett wife at his side, occupation Commercial Clerk. Now I am looking for his wife Harriett, I hope that also I have success.






1st July 2012

Does anyone remember the Coppage Family we lived on Clarke Street/Osler Street?




25th June 2012

I was wondering if anyone remembers John Holmes and his wife Doris Holmes (nee Smith) that lived at 7 back of 57 Browning Street in the 1940’s.


I am grateful for any little bit of information.

Many thanks.



18th June 2012


Does anyone know of this family?





I am searching for my ancestors the late John Wrigley wife Harriett married in 1824 St. Martins Birmingham; I can't seem to find them in the 1851 census just their children living with eldest brother John Richard and wife Elizabeth Wrigley. On the census records they came from the Ladywood area I would love to find out what happened to them, John Wigley was a clerk born out of county of Warwickshire and Harriett Wigley (Porter) her father Nathaniel Porter was a Clog Maker in Birmingham. I will keep looking around in this site, my computer is slow and sometimes comes to a dead end.


Janet Pritchard



Ref: Anne Bowen, nee Waterhouse, born in Browning Street, Ladywood.


Home was bomb damaged in November 1940.


We have tried searches at B’ham Ref Library and also posted this note on the web but with no luck.


Is there anyone in your association who might be able to help us?


''My name is Anne Bowen (nee Waterhouse) and during WWII my family lived at 1 Back of 52 Browning Street, Ladywood where my father Fred Waterhouse ran his coal dealership.  The yard in front of our house was at the rear of the shop at No50 and No52 The Sportsman Inn. There is a story told by my family about a bomb which fell in the yard. I believe it fell on the night of 19/20 November 1940. It made a deep hole in the yard and caused considerable damage to the surrounding buildings. The children were moved somewhere else for the following nine months until the hole was investigated and the buildings repaired. The street gate was blown off the front of the yard and the business sign which said ''F.W.Waterhouse & Son, Coke and Coal Merchant'' was blown from above the gate and landed on top of the Baldwins paper bag factory. I know nothing of the war except what I have been told. Does anyone else know anything of this incident?''


Any help would be most gratefully received.




17th May 2012

I am trying to trace my cousins they lived in Ladywood in the 1950's and 1960's they were a big family 11 kids I think. My aunt & uncle were Annie & Billy.  I was born in my grandmother’s house 118 Rann Street in 1946



Elizabeth Austin née Mulhern


I have been looking for any information on the above pub in which my grandmother was born in 1905 and which was run by my great grandparents.


The attached picture shows my grandmother (the youngest girl at the front) being supported by my great grandmother.  My great grandfather is on the back row far left.  The other two men and the lady at the far right are staff I believe.  The other children are my grandmother's siblings.  Her Parents were called William and Katherine Eades and my grandmother was Eva Eades. 


They were still at that address in the 1911 census and when they were notified that their only son, Bill died in the first World War in 1917. 


My father, Denis Culter (now 86) remembers playing there and doing odd jobs as a child, sweeping up the sawdust and looking for any odd pennies that may have been dropped by the customers!  My grandmother had her wedding reception there I believe in 1925 - the photographs look like they were taken in in the yard.




Lynne Valaitis


I am researching Family Tree and am hoping to find information on Jack Perrin who lived in Coplow Street around 1930s - he is my grandfather - does anyone know about his family.


I believe he either worked as a chemist or in a chemist shop in Monument Road about that time.


Any information would be appreciated.


Helen Donnellan


5th May 2012

As Chairman of the Marden (Herefordshire) History Society, I wondered if there was anyone alive today who was evacuated to Marden at the beginning of WW2. Our school records show that numerous children came for a relatively brief period. It indicates the families with which they were staying.


I am particularly interested because I am a Brummie and lived in Selly Oak, Bournville and Solihull before moving to Marden in 1968 (Cadbury). However, my mother went to Barford Road School and married at Christchurch, Summerfield. I also had relatives living in Marroway Street and Coplow Street during the 30's and 40's and visited them regularly.

Colin Bates


I am searching for information on the Dodson families, of William and Richard Streets in Ladywood, especially Queenie and her sisters Kathleen and Elsie,  c' 1920-30s.  Their parents were William and Kate Dodson (my grandparents), William was from a big family and William’s father was George, his mother was Ellen.  Does anyone know anything about these people?

Thank you



2nd May 2012

Went to Old Ladywood reunion 22/4/2012. It was brilliant. There was a notice board with names of everyone who was there.

One person was the elder brother of a very good friend of mine who also lived in Shakespeare Road. His name was Trevor Greaves. I looked around the room, which had possibly 200 people, hoping to spot a resemblance of someone who I last saw 50 years ago. It was not to be and hope this message will be read by him.

My friend (his brother) was Clifford Greaves. Can anyone help with his whereabouts?

Thank you

George Hodgetts from 3/31



12th April 2012

I wondered if you had any recollection of Eva Forbes who lived in Back St Marks Street and the man she married, Alfred Waterson who was at no 14 St Marks Street.  It's a long shot but people used to know each other better than they do these days.  I think that both of them probably worked on munitions during the war with Eva in the canteen.   They were in their 30s and I enclose a picture which might have been Eva.

Any help including an old picture of the place would be great.


Norman Patton



6th April 2012



Initially my father was sure it was from his mother's (Griffin) side of the family, but after careful research I've discovered it's actually from his father's (Shelley) side.


The older man at the rear on the right I've identified as William Shelley, with his daughter Ide to his left in the white hat, and probably his wife Maud on the extreme right of the photo. The short woman in front of Ide with the larger hat my father says is "Auntie Beattie", though we don't know how she is connected to the family at this stage.


It seems therefore that this is a wedding group of a Shelley daughter, though I'm not sure who, and the groom's family is still unknown.



I wonder if anyone can help me identify some faces in this photo from my father's collection. He's certain the individuals are from his mother's side of the family, which would make them associated to Griffins or Herns (Hearn, Hearne) in Ladywood. The style of clothes suggests the late 1920's or early 1930's.



The Griffin family (headed by John Griffin) were in Stour Street from before 1901 until at least the 1920's (he died in 1922). John was married twice into the Hern (Hearn) family successively to two sisters, Alice, then Ann.


Other members of the Hern family lived on Monument Road in the early 20th century.


I presume therefore that there are Griffins or maybe Herns in this photo but my father doesn't recognise anyone. Families who married into the Griffins and Herns included Gibbins (Gary Wilkes' family), Patricks, Adams, Hart, Hodgkinson, Hollins, and Canavan.


Many thanks






Initially my father was sure it was from his mother's (Griffin) side of the family, but after careful research I've discovered it's actually from his father's (Shelley) side.


The older man at the rear on the right I've identified as William Shelley, with his daughter Ide to his left in the white hat, and probably his wife Maud on the extreme right of the photo. The short woman in front of Ide with the larger hat my father says is "Auntie Beattie", though we don't know how she is connected to the family at this stage.


It seems therefore that this is a wedding group of a Shelley daughter, though I'm not sure who, and the groom's family is still unknown.





I am in the process of doing my family tree for my dad.  We have found out that his Grandfather, Henry Stanford Smith married Mabel Jewsbury in 1910 and that they lived at 12 Ruston Street, Ladywood, Birmingham in 1914 where my dad's mum was born on 7th October 1914 - named Mary Kathleen Smith.


His occupation at the time of her birth is listed as a Public House Manager and I was hoping if anyone could help me with information on which Public House he managed. 



Lisa Adair


23rd March 2012

I am trying to trace the Burrows Family who lived I believe at The Flat/Icknield Street.


I am trying to find my Nan, Marjorie Doris Burrows, she was married to Josef Gola.


I am very short of information, this is what i know.


Josef was in the merchant Navy and was from Poland. They married in 1956. Marjorie was born about 1932.


I heard that she may have had another son, Stanley Burrows and if anyone has any information on him that would be great.


If anyone has any information that could help with my search i would love to hear from them.


Best Wishes





12th March 2012

I am trying to find out the name of the employees of the person who ran the Chemist Shop in Monument Road, No 351 in Ladywood around 1930 to 1932.  I believe one of them was called Perry and he was a chemist.  Does anyone know the names?


Many thanks for your help.


Helen Donnellan



17th February 2012

I am hoping you may be able to assist me with finding a photograph of my grandparents’ house in Monument Road. The house was called Norfolk House and my grandfather, Walter Thomas Knight ran a dance school from there. It was a large double fronted house and the back garden backed onto a power station. A lot of my family lived in this house for many years. His son John Knight continued the dance school after the death of my Grandfather until the house was sadly demolished some years ago.


I used to attend dance classes at Norfolk House in the 1950 and 1960's and one side of the house was in Parker Street, next door to Caves and it was opposite a grocers in Monument Road.


My grandfather also worked at Bellis & Morcom as an engineer.  Prior to living in Norfolk House, my grandfather also lived in at No.6 Alston Street and was living there in 1911 when he was 24 years old and I think he may have been employed by Bellis & Morcom at that time.


Another connection to the area is that an uncle who was also living in Alston Street died in the flue pandemic in March 1919 and was buried in a communal grave in Key Hill Cemetery along with 40 other people - his name was Francis Henry Potts. I know there was a plaque with his name on in the cemetery but his daughter (now 95) tells me she thought this communal grave had been destroyed by a bomb but I am not sure of this fact.


My Aunt (Mary Emma Gertrude Griffin) used to play the piano for the silent movies at the picture house in Monument Road as well and used to give piano lessons at Norfolk House.


Unfortunately very few photographs seem to have survived so any assistance you or anyone else can give would be gratefully received as I am in the process of compiling a family archive.


I do hope you can assist me and look forward to hearing from you.


Jane Mottram


Can anyone from Old Ladywood remember a young girl being murdered at a house in Bath Row sometime in the forties?  I believe she lived in Essington Street.


Apparently she ran errands for a man who lived in Bath Row.


I remember my mom taking me to see the house in Bath Row and telling me that under no circumstances was I talk to or accept sweets off strangers.  I can remember having nightmares for ages afterwards.


I do not seem to be able to find any records of the above and am wondering if anyone else remembers it happening.



Brenda Murphy   (nee Leonard)


My nan was born in Camden Street in 1910, her name was Ellen Margaret Dugmore, does anyone remember the family?


Jason Hall


I have enjoyed looking at your site and in particular at the series of photos of Ledsam Street, since one of my ancestors lived there in 1873.


The full address is Ship Yard, Ledsam Street and I am wondering if anyone can tell me if this was a real "shipyard" or has any photos or information about it.


Susan Bell


Does anyone remember the Allington family who lived at 3/73 Coplow Street in the 50’s?





12th December 2011

I was wondering if you could help, do you have any information/pictures on the Ladywood Chapel on Monument Road, my grandparents got married there in 1942.


Craig Hicks


26th November 2011

I'm e-mailing you to see if anybody remembers the Hartland family from Beach Street, Ladywood. My Grandmother Harriet Hartland lived at 23 Ct 4 house Beach Street up until at least the 40s. Her mother and father where Mary and John Hartland. Her brother and sisters were Alice, Elsie, John, Harriet my Nan and Thomas.


Alice married Jesse Bolton, Elsie married Horatio Thorp, John married Minnie Price, all from Beach Street.


Harriet was said to have gone to Clark Street School.


Henry Shakespeare's brothers and sister where William, Minnie May, Alice Maud, Amt and Rose.  In 1911 they were living at 3 Bk 2 Clark Street, as shown on Rose Shakespeare birth certificate.


If anybody remembers any of the above Please contact me on my e-mail at.




I have not been on line for a while, I am trying to trace a woman (Linder Terry) who in the late 1960s worked for, I think a Kodak print works on Icknield Port Road. The family had moved from Guest Street, Hockley some years before.

She was a great friend and would love to find out if she is still alive.

Jean Hopkins


12th November 2011

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but my father, who has just passed away, was from Shakespeare Road and went to Barford Road School.

He was a member of a football team during the 1950’s called Ladywood Imps.

Do you or anyone know anything about this football team at all?

I know he certainly played for them and may have been involved in managing them also.


Many thanks




I don't know if you can help me. I am doing a bit of family research. My great Grandfather was Percy Prosser - he lived in Ledsam Street and was a bookmaker, his daughter - my great Aunt died a couple of years ago and moved to a flat in Francis Road in the 60s when Ledsam Street was demolished? The question I have is about a shop in Broad Street that was a newsagent and tobacconists - my Gran was nicknamed Dolly after someone who worked there - it was near to Austin J Beeny I believe,  but I can't see a shop that looks like it on the photo of Beeny's.


I was after the name of the shop?


Russ Perry


25th October 2011

Can anyone remember going to City Road School between 1950- 1953, my name then was Shirley Allington and I lived at Coplow Street. The head mistress was Miss Aston and one of the male teachers name was Mr Moss.


17th October 2011

Whilst continuing to unearth the family archive I came across the attached two photo's which may have Ladywood and district connections and therefore might be of interest to your website followers. They might also be able to help with the identification of teams, persons and location.

As you can see the photos show 2 cup celebrations by local works teams in Birmingham.

1956 Football team


1950 Football team



I am on the photos and present on both occasions. More importantly so is Joe Hyde, my step-grandfather who, I recall hazily, was the team's driver. (In 1950 I'm fairly certain the team went to away matches on the open back of a lorry - whilst I sat in the cab). My cousins John and Michael Weston (both active members of the 8th Boys Brigade) were certainly members of the 1956 cup winning team and can be seen on the later photo.

Now - the teams? I'm far from certain; but I know Joe Hyde worked for Elkington’s and then the Birmingham Mint during this period.




My name is Patrick (Jack) Regan, I lived at 129 Rann Street, Ladywood as a child, (6 years of age or so) in 1939/40. Indeed I have many memories of the wartime blitz in the area and the terror of the Air Raid siren on the approach of the German bombers. Then the relief when the All Clear siren sounded. During the actual air raid my mother and sister and some neighbours sheltered in the basement of a hospital, or some such building, nearby, and the great care by the Salvation Army members was indeed wonderful .During the air raid they led us all in prayer and hymns for "our gallant airmen, soldiers and sailors" and provided cocoa and buns for all.  Coming out of the air raid shelter one morning, I clearly remember seeing the city of Coventry blazing in the distance. It was a terrifying sight, especially for children.


I attended two schools in the area.  The first was St. Catherine's at a place, (I think,) called Horsefair, and the second was called The Oratory.  I believe, if memory serves me correctly, I travelled to St. Catherine's on a tram.  Either going to, or coming from school, I recall asking the conductor to drop me at "Blythe" street. The teachers at St. Catherine's were a Miss Jevin’s and a Miss Peters, long since gone to a higher station I'm sure.


I recall one really terrifying incident (never to be forgotten!). Playing in the garden with a chum, a German aircraft, obviously on photo reconnaissance, came suddenly out of the sky and down over the roof tops including ours, being chased by one or two of  "our own" (as was said during wartime). The noise was fearful.  My chum and I ran to, and nearly kicked in, the back door of the house in absolute terror to get inside. The talk as I heard it at the time was that the "Hun" aircraft was shot down and crashed in Broad Street. My family returned to Ireland a year or so after that incident. That chum's name was Tommy Fairbrother, a child of my own age, and my best pal.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Jack Regan  



In tracing my family history I have found that Thomas Chatwin, who was my GGG Grandfather, had what seemed to be a massive factory on Gt Tindal Street

In 1871 the census says that he employed 200 people and I've found loads of adverts for his business long after his death in 1889. The last advert I found was in the 1950s when the factory was obviously still in operation. I did a search for the road and it lead me to your website which is fascinating. I had a quick look at Google Maps hoping the old building would still be there like some of the others around B’ham and apart from one big factory which doesn’t have anything on the outside to identify what it used to be, it looks like everything else has been pulled down.

Do you know anything about Thomas Chatwin Tools or what might have happened to the factory?

If I could post something in your help section that would be useful... it would be good to hear from anyone else with connections to/ memories of the factory.


Hi my name is Stephanie, I have some interesting information.

Well I think it is and was wondering if you could help me, or shed some light on something. I was born in sheepcote lane and so was my mother before me my maiden name was Lilley and my mother’s Maiden name was Carter, we moved to number 8 Kent street north this used to be a pub!

I can't remember the name of it but it was a pub before it became our house there was a house next door to us in this street and then a garage owned by a son and father in-law by the name of Cavvana and hide. Next door to that was a little shop run by Albert and Audrey Ashbourn this street hold many memories for me and I had a very unusual event happen to me there. I really would love to know if anyone could share any old photo's or at least tell me the name of that pub?


That later became my home. Kind regards.

Stephanie Brown


2nd October 2011

Hi everyone


I'm Joan Lesley Chinn and attended Osler Street School and left in 1960/61. I now live in Tamworth and I’m married with one son.


I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. The names I remember are; Brenda Hood (who I am still in touch with), Pat Prestidge, Carol Clarke, Hazel Forrester, Anne House and Pamela Moseley.


Please contact me via this website.



My father, Edward William Law; mother Ada Irene Kenwrick before marriage. Owned a grocery shop at 61 Anderton Street, Springhill called A. LAW.


There were four of us children Ted, Johm, Doll and myself Christine. I would like any photos between 1940/1950 as I have no photos, only memories of the shop and mom and dad.


If you can help in any way much appreciated.



3rd September 2011

Hi, I am emailing you, to see if you have any information or photo's of the Davis shop at 50-52 Dudley Road, it was owned by William Henry Davis and his wife Alice in the early 1900's.

Not sure what they sold (not much help I'm afraid).


Thank you


Dawn Chadburn


19th August 2011

My father James Stapleton was born in Stirling, Scotland of Irish parents. James spent most of his working life in Birmingham, he was a welder. He lived in boarding houses in the Ladywood area (51 Gillott St) and later in Edgbaston. I lost contact with him in the 1970s. I live in Melbourne, Australia and often wonder about him. I haven't been able to find him on any census records. If anyone knew of James I would love to hear from them.


Rosemary Gaudin


6th August 2011

Hello, I am writing on behalf of my grandmother, who was born and lived in Shakespeare Road during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. My nan is now 92 and still going strong with a lot of memories and funny stories about the Ladywood area and life in Birmingham at this time. We are keen to record some of these memories and we are using your book as a good prompt. Does anyone have any questions or anecdotes to share? Please get in touch if you do. Here is some more information about the family.

My nan – Florence Durows – 7 / 73 Shakespeare Road, Ladywood

Daughter of Mary Ann Pugh and William Henry Durows

Brothers and sisters

Elsie, Doris, Nancy, Bill, Tommy, George, Joe. Nancy (Annie) was in a wheel chair due to the loss of her leg from an accident with a drop down bed.

Some of the children attended the Oratory School

Some memories

The man with a wooden leg who called on the houses to weigh you with his scales. If he guessed your weight correctly, you got your money back.

The deaf lady who sold tripe and onions from her front room.

The day the train derailed at the back of Shakespeare Road.

The ‘penny crush’. Watch a film for a penny at the cinema. Lots of orange peel and banana skins thrown about apparently.

The lady who would call with a big basket of used clothes who then spread them out on a blanket for all of the women to buy.

The pawn shop. Apparently all of the men's’ good suits went into the pawn shop on a Monday to get some cash and then were taken out on a Friday so they could wear them out on the town.

The lady in the road who used to make toffee apples on a stick. They were made on a Friday and all of the children bought them on the Saturday.



This is a group of workers from the Council's Housing Management Department, 1960 in Parker Street

Gentleman with his arms folded is Arthur Kennedy, does anyone know who the others are?



21st July 2011

The photos are of my great granddad Fred Jukes (one holding my aunt glad on his knee), I wonder if anybody recognises him.


I am trying to trace people who may have known him or even past associates who may have served with him during the 1st World War.


Anthony Fisher



I am helping my friends trace their missing sister Mary Teresa ( Tess ) Johnson born Birmingham 1945, she went to Shenley Fields Children’s home in the 1950's.  Her parents were Alfred and Gladys Johnson who lived (I think ) in 2/24 St. Marks Street, Gladys died and all the children were put into children’s homes, except Michael, who was adopted.

If you remember her or you can help in any way I would be most grateful.

Thank you,



16th June 2011

I guess this photo of Birmingham City FC was taken in about 1921, and the person I am interested in is the goalkeeper on the left in the last row (second person).

His name was John Davies and he lived in or around Tilton Road, Small Heath and married a Lily Crump.

I would welcome any help please.

Margaret Davies



10th May 2011

The photos (featured on the Belliss & Morcom page) of the unit was refurbished about 4 years prior for a sawmill (in a town called Tzaneen, South Africa), the sawmill was constructed we believe in the 30’s, and has been part of the plant when the kilns were installed, however was decommissioned about 30 years prior.


The unit runs well, however, the steam system had been amended over the years with the piping no longer complying to the original design and layout, hence, the back pressure is to great, with this unit only now being started occasionally just to ensure all is in working order and exhausted to atmosphere.


Another place that has 2 units (in states of various disrepair) is at a tea estate located in Zimbabwe, (when the units were supplied would have been Southern Rhodesia) in the mountainous area on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe at an Estate called Wamba in the Honde Valley area.


We are at the present moment looking at options of the unit in Tzaneen, re locating this to a small plant that is already geared up for a back pressure power generation unit, would you happen to have any technical details based on these units, (any technical details, foundation information, output parameters for example)?


Thank you and kind regards


Simon Wadhams


I was always told that my uncle Alfred Griffiths had never married, I have recently found out that he did.


He married a Violet Rivers in 1927


I think that they lived in St Vincent’s Street or Sherborne Street

There were four children

Gwendoline born 1928

John born 1932

Norman born 1933

Ronald born 1935


I would be glad of any information at about any of the above.


Sheila Rushworth


26th March 2011

Wondered if any information on pupils from 1964 – 1967 (Osler Street School) can’t seem to find any information at all.


Looking for Anita Bryant, Ann Simms, Pearl Carter. Michael Plant and Donald Plant.


Would be grateful for any information at all.


Kindest regards

Katherine Sadler

Before Vera Katherine Coppage


8th March 2011

I am researching my grandparents, James Stott Wilson and Florence Wilson.


 I believe they ran a greengrocery shop in Ladywood/Monument Road/Springhill.


Can anyone help please?


Lesley Parkes


Hello, I was hoping you might be able to help me.


I’m doing my family tree and i have found out that my dad was born at 22 Great Tindal Street in 1920.


I know that he was bought up at 1/52 monument road


I was hoping that you might be able to help me find some photos of these places and I would be most grateful for any information or help at all.




20th February 2011

Does anyone Know anything about the “ Perrott Scholarship”?




I have been looking for years for the following girls:


CAROL HIGGINSON - lived at 3/43 Monument Road opposite Summerhill Methodist Church. Married ROY BALL in 1970 (of whom there is a photograph in the 92nd Boys Brigade section of The Site)


FRANCES GILLESPIE - lived at 20 Shakespeare Road - Alexandra Street end. She was a choir member at Summerhill Methodist Church. Believed to have worked at John R Lee, St. Marks Street for a time


PAM(ELA) WALTERS -  lived at 200 King Edward Road (rear entry St Marks Street). Attended Steward Street Juniors and went onto City Road Girls with LINDA COOPER. Pam had an older sister PAULINE WALTERS who with her husband ran a betting shop in Rubery.


Maureen Ray


I am carrying out some research for my aunt concerning her father, William Radford, who she knows little about due to his demise when she was young.


I have found him in the 1901 Census living at 15, Barker Street, with his first wife, and again in the 1911 Census living at 25, St. Martins Street. His wife subsequently died and he later re-married my Grandmother whose first husband had died at Gallipoli. At the time of his second marriage he was living in Lower Broadheath, Worcestershire.


My aunt was born from this marriage. She says that she remembers her father going back to Birmingham to a place called Rotten Row. I should be grateful if you would let me know if Rotten Row is in the same area of Ladywood as Barker Street and St. Martins Street?


Many thanks


Graham Lewis  


Can you tell me if you, or anyone, have information on the Lee family of Birmingham?  I am trying to find out what life was like for my Great Granddad Alfred Lee born 1892 and his family.


I have on the census Thomas Lee, wife Lucy Lee and children William, Agnes, Thomas, Alfred (or Fred) Edward and Alice. They are recorded as living at the following address in the late 1890’s:- 7 Back 75 Icknield Square and 5 Back 37 Grosvenor Street.


I am particularly interested in old photo’s as we have nothing on this side of the family or the area.  My Great Granddad would talk very little of his child hood.


Kind Regards




16th February 2011

My Ladywood family are the HENDERSON's who lived in 1881 at 57, Freeth Street. This was William Henderson b 1825 and his wife Sarah Ann Rowley.


They had the following children, William b1847, Helen b 1848, Matilda b1850, Sarah Ann b1851, Mary b 1855, Thomas b1857, Matthew b 1859, John b1861, Harry b1863, Justus b1867.


They all went on to  live in and around Ladywood and had 'loads' of children themselves, there were numerous Henderson families living all over Ladywood up until the area was cleared in the 1970's.


Apparently the Henderson's were into breeding Staffordshire Bull Terriers which were used for fighting a popular pastime many years ago.


My G/grandfather was John Henderson b 1861 he married Lilly Jane Cleaver and in the 1891 Census they lived at 6, Alexander Place, off St Marks Street, with their children, Martha Lilly b1899 and John b 1890, together with Lilly's brother William CLEAVER b 1860 his wife Elizabeth and children Henry b 1887 and Joseph b 1889. 


The Cleavers later moved to Middlemore Road, Smethwick.


A sister of William b 1825, was Clara Henderson b 1841, she married Edwin HARRISON and in the 1891 Census, Clara is the Licensee of the Albion Inn, 187, Heath Street,  she had 8 children and I am in touch with a descendant of hers who is in Australia.


If anyone has any connection with the Henderson family I would be delighted to hear from them on via E mail.


James Evans 


Hi, my name is John Allington. I was born at No. 246 St Vincent Street in July 1946.


I went to St. Johns infant and junior schools.


From there I went to Follet Osler Senior School, and my best friend at that school was John Lawlor.

We lost touch not long after leaving school in 1961 and I would love to get in touch with him again.


This is a great site, it brings back a lot of memories.


John Allington


14th February 2011

Whilst looking through some old things of my late uncle William (Bill) Evans (who died in 2000) he lived at 40 Dugdale Street, Winson Green until 1976 when the houses were demolished. I found this photo of a group of boys who appear to me making their first communion.




My uncle was a 'good catholic' and I believe that he attended St Patricks RC Church on the Dudley Road opposite the Hospital, so the photo might have been taken there.


I have no idea what year it was taken, but if you post it on your site someone might recognise themselves and give us a year!!


Best wishes,




I am trying to find contact anyone who has any memories of Birmingham Mint.


I am trying to find out if my great grandfather was employed there in 1901 – he is listed on the census as an Ingot Planer in Ladywood and with a little detective work and much guessing I thought this may have been a position within the Mint.


Thanks for your kind help in advance.






It is a strange picture, there are weird things on the sills of the upstairs windows plus there must have been a sign up over the door with lights round.  It looks like a hired cart because it has a number on it and it will be a complete fluke if you can recognise it I realise but it is worth a try.


The family concerned lived in Monument Road, 95 Shakespeare Street and 84 Icknield Street West? 

They emigrated to the USA in 1903.  Perhaps it is near a boating lake as the men who are coming out of the building are wearing boaters??


I love detective work, hope you do too!!


Thank you for your help. 





16th January 2011

Hello, I am hoping that someone has some photographs of the Queen's Coronation street party in Irving Street.


My family only had one photo of me on that day, as I was the Queen of Hearts, sadly that photo has been lost. I think there was a photographer from the papers there, so I am really hoping someone might have a photo of the day back in 1953.


Good old days, I love your site it brings back some good memories.


Rosemarie Jukes


1st January 2011

I am researching the history of my wife’s family who for most of two centuries lived mainly around the Browning Street area of Ladywood.


I have amassed much useful information but remain puzzled by the name of Monument Road.


On census and other information up to about 1880 it seems to be called Monument Lane and thereafter it is referred to as Monument Road.


I know there other Monument Lanes/Roads in the Midlands, but I believe my references are all to the same lane/road in Ladywood.


I have googled on this for hours and found no clue to any renaming.


Do you have any knowledge of a formal change of name? I would be most grateful for any help you can offer.


Many thanks,

Peter Bowen


My Dad has had a look at the site and thinks he has an answer for one of the questions

Regarding Monument Road and Monument Lane, he thinks that it was always Monument Road but the station was called Monument Lane.

My uncle (recently deceased) had the nameplate of the station Monument Lane as a memento

Jayne Brawn



9th December 2010

I wonder if you can help me please.  I'm looking for old photos of Broad Street between 1870 and 1890 as I believe my Grandfather lived and ran a grocers shop at 215 called Whitehouse Brothers, around 1880.  At present there isn't even a building there as it was to the left of the TGWU so I haven't got a clue what it would have looked like.


Peter Whitehouse



24th November 2010

My Dad was born in Bishopsgate Street, Ladywood and served in the Home Guard up to 1943.


Does anyone know the name of the Home Guard Branch for that area and what the cap badge looked like?






When browsing on your site, it was lovely to see a photograph of my dad, Joe Raybone pictured on their football team photograph taken in 1933-34.


I remember this photograph being displayed in a shop window on Spring Hill when I was a child.  Dad was always a great footballer.


I wonder if anyone else recognises someone?


Sue Roddis


28th October 2010

I am not sure if you are able to help me or point me in the right direction but I am trying to piece together my mum’s history and have recently discovered (this week in fact) that my mother spent some time at the Probation Training Home known as The Hawthorns at 168 Ladywood Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1959 – she was aged 16.


However, I don’t think she was there for long as it would appear that she absconded from this place, and ended up in Central London – how/with who’s help etc remains a mystery but I am close to putting together if you like the final pieces of this jigsaw puzzle of her life. 


If you can provide me with any assistance whatsoever, I would be very grateful indeed.


Kind regards,

Maritsa Singer (Mrs)


Has anyone got information about The Spread Eagle Inn which was in Sherborne Street.

My husband's Great Grandfather, William Rose and his wife Sarah were listed as a retail brewer there on the 1891 Census.

I am unable to find out any more  about this establishment and wonder if anyone else can help or at least point me in a direction where I can go.


Marcia Adey


16th October 2010

A number of years ago I invited anyone requesting any information about In Icknield Port Square to contact me as my Nan Mrs Hilda Smith was getting on a bit and loved to talk about the old days.  I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who sent me an email asking me to ask my Nan a question.


She is now 98 and not in the best of health so unfortunately cannot help any more.


On a separate note if any one as any information on the Room family, I believe Monument Road, that would help me!!!




Mark Room


Does anyone remember me, Anne Roy or my Family (father Debi Prosad Roy also known as Roy, he was Indian or mother Winifred, English and brother Neil).


We lived at 153 Alston Street, in 1959 my father and I moved after the compulsive purchase orders on our homes, they have since built new house in this road. 



I lived in Noel Road and went to school at St Georges round about 1948 would like to hear from anyone who may remember me, my maiden name was Hill and I had a brother called Anthony 3 years older than me.


Marcia Adey nee Hill


I am trying to find my wife’s cousin Maisy Shepherd (nee Spencer), she was married to John Shepherd who was a fireman at Handsworth fire station.


They had one son Lee Spencer Shepherd. Her father was called Horice and Marg. Maisy's brother was called Stanley.


Hope you can help


Kinds regard

Mrs J. Mountford (nee Spencer)


1st October 2010

My great great grandparents lived there from at least the 1851 census in what looks like Springfield Road but the writing isn’t easy to read.  My great g aunts and uncles seemed to have got married at All Saints church or St Johns but no one seems to be able to tell me where my great great grandparents might have been buried and I am unable to find either of their death records.


My great great grandfather was widowed by 1871 and living with his daughter who then emigrated to the USA as did most of his children but my great great grandmother Elizabeth Spencer b 1810 Warrington died somewhere between probably 1861 and 1871 , it could have been earlier but definitely after 1851.


My question is could you give me a clue as to where they might have been buried and which county this would have come under as I have recently read this area came under Worcestershire at this time?  Is there any chance you might know anything about engine drivers in the area because my great great grandfather had been an engineer in the Warrington area before moving to Birmingham in about 1850 and I believe there are some records of engine drivers?

I would really like to find their graves or at least know what happened to them and I would really appreciate any help


Thank you


Yvonne K


Does anyone remember my Mum's family? The Waudes who lived in Essington Street?


My Mum went to St Peter's school and my Mum and Dad were married in St Peter's Church.


Best wishes



Could you please put a message up for me  My grandfather was William Allington who owned the boot shop repair shop in St Marks Street  in Ladywood.


I have found two people who are asking about it so if they would contact me may be we can all learn from it many thanks




I was wondering if anyone knew anything about or is connected to a photography shop at 24 Spring Hill Road in 1915 that was run by a George Samuel Morris.


Lauren Dutton


I am a Pessol descendant and there are very few Pessols. (I have only found around 100).


I only have two William Pessol’s in my tree, one born in 1857 and another in 1902 who would be around 50 in the year of the Coronation.


Can you or any over your contributors shed any light on the William Pessol that is mentioned on the site?


Yours sincerely


Helen Walker


My great great grandparents lived there from at least the 1851 census in what looks like Springfield Road but the writing isn’t easy to read.  My great g aunts and uncles seemed to have got married at All Saints church or St Johns but no one seems to be able to tell me where my great great grandparents might have been buried and I am unable to find either of their death records.  My great great grandfather was widowed by 1871 and living with his daughter who then emigrated to the USA as did most of his children but my great great grandmother Elizabeth Spencer b 1810 Warrington died somewhere between probably 1861 and 1871, it could have been earlier but definitely after 1851.


My question is could you give me a clue as to where they might have been buried and which county this would have come under as I have recently read this area came under Worcestershire at this time?


Is there any chance you might know anything about engine drivers in the area because my great great grandfather had been an engineer in the Warrington area before moving to Birmingham in about 1850 and I believe there are some records of engine drivers?

I would really like to find their graves or at least know what happened to them and I would really appreciate any help


Thank you

Yvonne K


13th September 2010

Does anyone remember Cox's Bakery, I believe it was on the corner of Coplow Street an Icknield Port Road.


John Franke


Yes, I remember the bakery very well, I lived just down the road from it in the Port. The bake house was on the corner, the shop was next to it in the Port.


We could smell the bread baking in the morning, I can smell it still if I think about it. Miss Roberts was the manageress and another lady worked in the shop can't think of her name. They had other shops; one was on Dudley Road and also in Winson Green Road, for a time the manageress was a girl named Jean Harman,


By the way they sold Great Bread Pudding!    


Roy Edwards 



I am trying to undertake some research about a black boxer named Frank English, I think he trained somewhere behind the Roller Rink in Ladywood, but I can't find any information about him, can anyone help?




My grandmother was born on 25 February 1870. Her name was Martha Ann Critchley. She was born and resided at number Four Grosvenor Street West, in the sub district of Lady Wood, in the registration district of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick. She later married my grandfather, Mr. Aaron Flook.


However, this was at the church of St Mary The Virgin, at Kingswood, Wotton-Under-Edge. Her profession given on her marriage certificate was Pin Maker.


I also have details, of my great grandmother, her mother. She was born on 3 February 1851. Her name was Elizabeth Sophia Hinks. Who later marred my great-grandfather, Albert Critchley.


My great-grandmother was born and resided at number Thirty-Eight Sheepcote Street, in the sub district of Lady Wood, in the registration district of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick. I have not yet been able to get their marriage certificate. Therefore, I do not have an occupation for her.


I do hope that this has given you the information that you need. I look forward to receiving your reply. Thank you very much for your kind help in trying to discover the history of my family.


Kind regards,

Bill Flook



I am researching the history of my wife’s family who for most of two centuries lived mainly around the Browning Street area of Ladywood.


I have amassed much useful information but remain puzzled by the name of Monument Road.


On census and other information up to about 1880 it seems to be called Monument Lane and thereafter it is referred to as Monument Road.


I know there other Monument Lanes/Roads in the Midlands, but I believe my references are all to the same lane/road in Ladywood.


I have googled on this for hours and found no clue to any renaming.


Do you have any knowledge of a formal change of name? I would be most grateful for any help you can offer.


Many thanks,

Peter Bowen


27th August 2010

Has anyone any photographs of what I believe was called the Palais de Danse in Monument Road close to the Dudley Rd.  About 1942 there was a Christmas Party for old folks at which four boys from St Martin's, Birmingham Parish Church choir were asked to sing some carols.


I was one and another was Gordon Boughton (his father became Lord Mayor later) and we borrowed his older sister to play the piano for us.   I think it was the Home Guard who organised it but how we got connected with it I can't remember.


What a magic collection of photos and details of the past you have. So sorry I can't contribute.



Barrie Cross


I am wondering if anyone would know my mother's family, she was Hilda Shaw.


She was born in Ledsam Street in 1911.  She apparently came from a large family of mainly girls who attended church twice each Sunday wearing clothes that they were only allowed to wear on that day.  I know very little about her family life except that there were several sisters and one brother.  They were 'Wesleyans'


I used to attend St Peter's Church, Spring Hill, where the wonderful priests Father Geoffrey Brown and Father Gordon set me on the road for a good life.  I left Birmingham in 1968, but prior to this was a 'Beauty Queen' and was Miss Gay Tower Ballroom and the Birmingham Press Queen.  In those days I was known as Jenny Wood.  My maiden name was Jennifer Hartells and I attended Camden Secondary Modern Girls School from 1957 - 1961.  My best friend there was Hazel Hoccom who came from a lovely family, a sister Janet, brother Trevor and the nicest Mom you could wish to meet. 


If anyone could tell me anything about my mother or has any recollections of school life I would love to hear from them.




Jenny Folkes



I lived with my family right next to Osler School. They were the happiest days of my life. I wish I still had my friends around me their names were.

      Anita Bryant

      Anne Simms

      Pearl Carter

      Diana (can’t remember last name)

We walked around Edgbaston Reservoir every single day we were best mates ever.

My boyfriend at the time also went to Osler School and I left in 1967 at the age of fifteen

Does anyone know my friends or my family


Our family name is Coppage.






8th August 2010

Hi, I found your site by googling for 184 Ledsam Street and was surprised to find photos of 181 Ledsam Street.


My husband's gg grandfather, John Smith Goodfellow, was born at 184 Ledsam Street back, 7 Oct. 1855. His father was son of Samuel Goodfellow, glasscutter.


We're mostly wondering if the building still exists, or if you know anything about what it was like at that time. We live in California


Thank you,


Paula Goodfellow



26th June 2010

I have been researching my family and found addresses on 121 Marroway Street where they used to live around 1895 to about 1903, I have also found an address of 190 Marroway Street – somehow I think this is wrong as the house numbers do not go up to 190 – would I be correct?


Thanks for such a wonderful web site – it has given me an insight to what life was like there.


Kind regards


Dave Hanson



26th June 2010

I wanted to know if you have or know anywhere about of old photograph of Ladywood, especially houses around the Irving Street area of Ladywood around the 1850-1870.


Much appreciated


Miss Francis


I am researching my family history.  I'm looking for any photographs or information on William and Annie Skan and their children who lived at 38 Coplow Street, Birmingham in the early 1900s.  They had 6 children:
Alice E Skan b 1884, she married Alfred Green in 1906.
Lilian Skan b 1887, she married William Avery in 1911.
Mabel Skan b 1893, she married William J Whittle in 1912.
Edith Skan b 1896
Horace Albert Skan b 1900 (this is my grandfather)
William Edgar Skan b 1903
I would appreciate any information/photos you can send me.
Yours sincerely,


20th June 2010

Does anyone remember the Drew's that lived at 3/101 Nelson Street.  William and Louisa Drew, children Henry, William (my dad), Lily, Horace and Betty.


They were living there in 1934.


Any information would be much appreciated.


Christine Robertson


18th June 2010

I am researching the Curley family from Ladywood believed to live in 6 back 52 Monument Road, Ladywood in 1957/1958.


There is a story in the family that she was murdered does any body remember anything?


Rich Curley


11th June 2010

I found your website and wondered if anyone could help me, My Grandparents ran a grocery shop on Essington Street from about 1945 to 1949. Their names were Albert and Gwendolyn Helps.


I was trying to see if I could find out the name of their shop and if anyone had any photos.


Hope you can help


With many thanks




28th May 2010

Does any one remember the Cotterill’s from 54 Nelson Street in Ladywood during the 1920's and 30’s?


My grandfather was George William Cotterill, and my gran was Maggie nee Taylor, who sold flowers in the bull ring.


My mother was ivy, and Amy, Ernie, Horace and George Cotterill. They all went to Nelson Street School during the thirties.


Please get in touch if you have any information, thanks




26th May 2010

Hello, I feel a bit of a fraud, because the only connection I have with Ladywood is that my dad was born at ' 11 back of house number 1'  Ryland Street in 1896. The Croft family still lived there at the time of the 1901 census, and for 30 years in the Summerhill area.


Doing my Birmingham family history search from Somerset isn’t easy, so I visited Ladywood last year, mainly because (to my surprise) I discovered that Ryland Street still existed - well, some of it. Am I right in thinking that if a house number is '1', it will have been closer to the city centre, and not the other way? In other words, because of redevelopment, the spot where my dads birthplace was, has probably now been completely covered by the new road system, etc?


Finally, does anyone know of any photographs of the top end of Ryland Street ie. Number one back to back, or for that matter ANY courtyard scenes of Ryland Street, or ANY Ladywood Courts. I would be very grateful.


Thanks very much, Philip


PS. This is a marvellous website - and will spread the word to my widespread family



I am working on my family tree and have recently discovered your web site.


It is a great insight into our history.


My family all originate from Ladywood and I am trying to locate photos, stories etc to bring their past to life. My family line is Gibbins, Griffin, Wilkes, Guise, Roberts, Savigar.


I know that they originated from Garbett Street, Stour Street, Sheepcote Street and Barker Street.


I have a few photos that were taken in Ladywood and would be interested to know if anyone can put names to faces etc.


I hope you find the interesting and would welcome any feedback 


Best regards


Gary Wilkes



Does anyone remember my brother Trevor Allington, who attended Barford Road School in 1945-6?



13th May 2010

Does anyone remember Allingtons Boot Repair Shop in St Marks Street, round about 1943-1946.


Also any girl that attended City Road Senior School at about 1950, keeping my fingers crossed.





8th May 2010

The Smith Family of Ladywood


I am trying to build up a family tree of my family from Ladywood.


I have confirmed that my great-grandfather was William Smith and was a boot-maker in Ladywood. My grand-father was George Smith and married a Florence McKay  at St  Marks Church on the 24th of December 1892.


On the 1901 census my grand-parents were living at 2 Court 27 Sherborne Street. The head of the family at the above address was Clara King, she was a widow and aged 30years and my grannies sister, also boarding at the residence was a Alice Adey aged 21,single and worked as a paper bag maker.


The next census was in 1911 and my grandparents were living at 48 Blythe Street. The census shows that Grannie Florence had,had 7 infants but they had passed away.

Among the 1911 census was Harry, Thomas, Frederick, Frank (my father) there was another child called Winifred but is not listed.


In 1914 my grand father signed up for the First World War and was killed in action at Gallipoli in 1915. Granny Florence moved the whole family to Cape Town South Africa in 1927.


Dennis Smith


23rd April 2010

As a child from about 5 years old until 10, my family, the Dunns, and I lived in the Doctors Surgery at 180 Monument Road. My father worked at the BSA and my mother worked for the Doctors at the surgery. My two brothers and I attended St Georges School.


I have always been intrigued by the property and would like to know something about it and the people who were there before us.


There is no record on the 1911 census and a trawl of the Internet has not produced any results. If anyone has any information about the property or its occupants before around 1957, I would love to hear from them.


If anyone remembers the Dunns from this period and would like to get in touch please do.


Noddy Kendal-Dunn


15th April 2010

I was wondering if I could post a message on the old ladywood site –


'I am trying to trace a family by the name of White, who I believe lived in the St. Vincent Street area of Ladywood, in the mid 60s, any information however small would be most grateful Thank you'

Best wishes

Jennifer Wilson



My name is Pete Cox and I'm trying to trace my father's history, he was born in the Aston Union Workhouse in May 1910.


I have a record of him at the age of 10 months living as a Boarder with Mrs. Rooney, 2 Emily Place, Osler Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham.


I have checked on Google Earth and most of the street seems have been rebuilt as only number 4 Osler Street seems exist.


I wondered if you could throw any light on what happened to number 2 Emily Place?

Could anyone help please?


Kind regards,


Pete Cox


My great grandmother owned a shop in Cregoe Street, Birmingham, between 1870 – 1920. I wonder whether it would be possible to obtain any old photographs of the street during this period?




Paul Lewis


My name is Zoe Millman and I'm researching peoples' perceptions of the canal landscape around Brindley Place in Ladywood.


Looking at some of the comments on your great website, it seems that many people have strong memories of the canals and the buildings/streets around them.  It occurs to me that with the re-development of this area to make way for the ICC, NIA and Mailbox, there must be many places that only exist in memories now and I would be very interested to hear what the canal landscape means to people here. 


If anybody would be interested in talking to me about their experiences of the canals in this area and perhaps go for a short walk around the Brindleyplace area please contact me through Mac.


Zoe K. Millman


30th March 2010

I came across your site on Old Ladywood because I'm researching my family history.

I have some possible birth certificates around 1854-1855 for my great-grandfather.


Two of them show single mothers (yep!) and both births are at 175 St. Vincent Street. I can't find this address on 1851 or 1861 census returns, though I may not be searching effectively.


However, I suspect this might be some sort of institution - a hospital or a home for unmarried mothers?


Does anyone happen to know, please?


Kind regards

Richard Batchelor


15th March 2010

I am looking into the family history of the Smith's/Wicksey's and wondered if any one has any information/photos or knowledge of any of the following people/places.
Julia Wicksey- Wicksey is splet differently over the years, including Wixey/Wicks/Wickson.

1871: Icknield St. East Back 4 (210) 1877: In the workhouse Dudley Road - had baby boy - Henry Edward Smith. Married sometime between 1871 and 1877 to John 'Jesse' Smith - no details of this man, except he was a rivet maker.
In 1881 Julia had another son, Oliver Roland Smith, however she is listed as living as a lodger at Back 21 Tindal St. No 5 with her mother, Margaret Wixey (Wicksey).
In 1901 we have a record that Oliver Roland Smith (Julia's son) was living with family at 102 St Mark Street. He was living with his aunt anmd others:  Clara M Walton, Francis H Smith (assumed this is his aunt), Edward St Smith (listed as nephew), Clara W Smith (Niece) and Norah M Healey (Niece).

We have no records of Henry Edward Smith, Oliver's brother and no record's of their father John 'Jesse' Smith and no records that they lived as a family with their mother Julia.

Henry later went on to marry Emma Schulze and worked on Pershore Road for the German family business- sausage skin makers.


Any info or thoughts appreciated


Sarah Smith


2nd March 2010

I am a volunteer with the Friends of Key Hill & Warstone Lane Cemeteries, and I was chatting to an elderly gentleman who was visiting family graves in Key Hill.


He recalls his wife attending church events, back in 1953, where there was a Canon Stevens/ Stephens.


He asked if there was way to find what church this was. They lived in Monument Road, and he knew it was not too far away. He does not own a computer, and his memory is no longer what is once was.


I note from the St Pauls website that they had a Canon Stevens, looking after the silver, sometimes under his bed!


If this had been around in 1953, than it looks like the one he's after.


Can anyone help?


Brian Southwell


I am Michael Jones, Chairman of St Marks Estate Residents Group, Ladywood.


I am conducting some research into the old Wilmot and Breeden factory (Formatic Gauge) on Goodman Street, I wandered if you would have any photographs or information on the building in its former glory.


This year is the 40th anniversary since the rebuild of the estate and the 10th year anniversary of the building been converted into apartments. I would be very grateful for any information you could share.


Many Thanks


Michael Jones


My great grandfather worked at a company called moles they used to make mole grips I think on Newhall Street, does anyone have any photos, also cafe on George Street, he ran this later. "George Ernest Allen"

Mel Halligan


I was recommended to your site by Maureen Dwyer. She and she suggested that you might be able to help us with our search.


I really enjoyed looking at the photos of Monument Road. I am researching for my partner Gill, who was brought up in Erdington Cottage Homes to try to find out what happened to his mother.


Her name was Doris (known as Dolly) May White, nee Gallier. She was born in 1909 in Birmingham. In 1936, Gill then aged 3, was placed in the homes along with his brother and two sisters.  


We have found out that in August 1938, she had another son named Derrick Raymond White and he was born at 183 Monument Road. We have also found her on an electoral roll at 183 Monument Road in 1939 along with a Cecilia Tipper, Lily Purchase, Olive Markham, Frederick Williams, Frederick Wilkins and Emily Olive Wilkins.  This is Doris's last known address.   We know (from his birth certificate) that Derrick was adopted but don’t know when.   


Do any of these names mean anything to anyone? Also we would love to know what kind of house 183 was - we did wonder whether it might be a refuge or something of the sort. We are also pretty sure that Dolly went on to have other children, but cannot find evidence as we don’t know the fathers name.


Any clues, however small, would be so gratefully received.


Thank you,




Can anyone help please?


My paternal grandfather WILLIAM HENRY READ moved to Birmingham circa 1914/15. By trade he was a house painter.  In 1920 he married Florence Hemmet and they lived at 70 St Marys Street.  During the 1920's his daughter from his first marriage, ALEXANDRA PHYLLIS, born 1914, [better known as QUEENIE READ], went to live with them. She would have attended one/two [possibly junior & senior] of the local schools. Unfortunately I don't know which schools served St Marys Street.


I'm also told that after leaving school she worked in Ladywood for about a year or so, but I don't know where, before moving back to London.


I know it's a real long shot, but would there be anyone with relatives that may recall either William Henry [he died in Ladywood, 1939] or Alexandra.


Could someone possibly tell me which schools she would have attended, so that I could pin down the dates she was there?  I would love to get hold of a photo of William Henry as I have no idea what he was like.  Any help would be most appreciated.


best wishes to all


Frances Read


5th February 2010

I am looking for any information about Bernard Bradley who, I understand, lived in Reservoir Road during the 1920s. He was a great friend of my grandfather Charles ‘Daddy’ Holland who was headmaster at the Oratory School in Oliver Road.

Bernard must have been something of a sportsman as I have a photograph of the two men with a mountain guide on the Matterhorn in 1923.

Robert Holland


I don't know if you could help me out, I'm a Ladywood kid (few years ago that is) born 1946 Lived in Grosvenor Street West , St Vincent Street and King Edward Road, before moving to Quinton in 1956.


Would you know when the houses in these streets were built, especially St Vincent Street (1/166 was our address and yes I remember it very well).

Many thanks,

Great site and spent many hours on it.




I stumbled across your site, looking for images of 11 St Martin's Place. This is where my maternal grandfather was living at the time of the 1911 census. He came over from Japan in 1910 as an artisan working on the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition held at White City in London.


His name was Otocichi Moriai. I am interested in finding out more this area he came to live in and if anyone knows of the Bellews who ran the boarding house in which he lived, that would be a great bonus.

Am I right in thinking St. Martin's Place no longer exists - due perhaps to bombing?

I hope to hear from you or anyone else regarding this.

Tabitha Tarling


The name of my husbands family is the Garradley's.  Walter Garradley was married to May Garradley, we think Walter was also linked to the Hatfields mainly a Sarah Ann Hatfield.


Walter's mum re-married and her name became Elizabeth Smitten, some may remember her as Eliza Quinn.


They have lived in various places, in 1911 Walter lived at 140 Bishopsgate Street, in 1925 Walter and May lived at 63 Icknield Street.  In 1918 Walter was about 30 years old.  Walter had an older brother called Arthur and an older sister called Mary Ann.  Mary Ann lived at Icknield Street as well.  Walter's dad was called Thomas Quinn and in 1872 the family lived at 18 Court Hope Street.


If you can see if anyone who visits your web site may know anything about the family it would be much appreciated.


Thanks for your help.




I was reading a book bought me for Xmas about Birmingham archaeology and came across a short snippet about the cellars of the Albion Public House being used as an air raid shelter during WW2.


It described the room being partitioned off with concrete blocks and the ceiling being reinforced which would probably explain what I thought was some sort of vaulting.


Perhaps some of your older visitors to the site might know more?



10th January 2010

I lived on Stour Street, 18 back of something. Born 1957 and the family name was “STYCH”.


I went to Stewart Street School and would be interested to hear from anyone that remembers us.


Denise Rooke


24th December 2009

I am researching the Blakeman family who lived in James’ Building, Icknield Port Road in the late 19th and early 20th Century and wondered if you may be able to help.


I have a photograph of a male and on the back it has Lowrie, Queen’s Corner, 25 New Street, Birmingham, as well as other addresses in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.


Do you know of such a photography business and if so when it began and closed.


This may help me to identify the person in the photograph?


Thank you

Geoff Bull


28th November 2009

I was looking at the old picture of St Barnabas' football team of 1958 - 1959. (I wasn't in it) and I recognised two school friends, Peter Jenkins and Fred Oldershaw.

Does anyone out there know of them?

My name is Eddie Lee, known as Ted back then. We lived at 145 Grosvenor Street West, 'till 1959.

My dad was Ted Lee and my mom was Anne (Nancy) Lee.

We left in 1959


Ed Lee


Just having a look through the pictures on the B & M page.


We regularly run a three-cylinder S5 diesel here at the museum and are hoping to move a 1931 Standard 18 oil engine here in the next year or so. We also have two early paraffin engines dating from 1917.


If anybody has any B & M literature - drawings, manuals etc that we could copy and return we would be most grateful.



Paul Evans


Internal Fire Museum of Power


Does anyone remember an NFS Fire Station in Monument Road?



18th November 2009

I'm trying to find out a little more about a public house called the Acorn Inn (or Achorn as it's recorded in one census) at 137 Icknield Street (right by the Kettleworks (132) if the numbering hasn't changed - presumption tells me it was on that side of the road too) but have found little evidence of it. I was unsure if you might have ever come across any record or mention of it that you can recall?


My thanks once again for maintaining such a great resource.




I live in Sydney, Australia and am trying  your wonderful Website to see if I could find any more information about my mother's ancestors.


They were quite a large family called SATCHELL who lived in Great King Street and New John Street, Birmingham.  Originally from Rugby, I believe they came to Birmingham looking for work.  My grandfather was a jeweller called George Albert Victor Satchell, who died in WW1 in 1917. He married Beatrice GALVIN.


Would love to hear and swap information with connections to SATCHELL or GALVIN.





26th October 2009

Could I ask you to put an entry on your Old Ladywood Forum, for my Ladywood Family.


My Ladywood family are the HENDERSON's who lived in 1881 at 57, Freeth Street. This was William Henderson b 1825 and his wife Sarah Ann Rowley.


They had the following children, William b1847, Helen b 1848, Matilda b1850, Sarah Ann b1851, Mary b 1855, Thomas b1857, Matthew b 1859, John b1861, Harry b1863, Justus b1867.


They all went on to  live in and around Ladywood and had 'loads' of children themselves, there were numerous Henderson families living all over Ladywood up until the area was cleared in the 1970's.


Apparently the Henderson's were into breeding Staffordshire Bull Terriers which were used for fighting a popular pastime many years ago.


My G/grandfather was John Henderson b 1861 he married Lilly Jane Cleaver and in the 1891 Census they lived at 6, Alexander Place, off St Marks Street, with their children, Martha Lilly b1899 and John b 1890, together with Lilly's brother William CLEAVER b 1860 his wife Elizabeth and children Henry b 1887 and Joseph b 1889. 


The Cleavers later moved to Middlemore Road, Smethwick.


A sister of William b 1825, was Clara Henderson b 1841, she married Edwin HARRISON and in the 1891 Census, Clara is the Licensee of the Albion Inn, 187, Heath Street,  she had 8 children and I am in touch with a descendant of hers who is in Australia.


If anyone has any connection with the Henderson family I would be delighted to hear from them on via E mail.


James Evans


I am researching on behalf of my mother-in-law


Her father ALBERT TURNER was born at 77 DUDLEY ROAD, 7.2.1929 and his mother EDITH TURNER was a cloakroom attendant at "THE HAWTHORNS" Ladywood Road, also living at this address.


I have scoured the internet trying to find out what "The Hawthorns" is or was and came across a photo of the aforementioned building on this site.


I was wondering if anyone has anymore photo's or information on this address.


There is no father on the birth certificate so presume Albert was illegitimate, making this address more intriguing, as wondering if father had a connection with the address


Any information would be greatly appreciated




Fabulous site by the way!!!


18th October 2009

Apart from Father Christmas can anyone put a name to a face and location photo taken around 1959, I'm in the middle of the front row.


Many thanks


Sandra Evans (nee Soanes)


I am hoping you, or some of your readers, may be able to help me with my research into the life of Vera Barclay.


Vera Barclay was the author of about 40 children's books but best known for her work in setting up the Cub section of the Boy Scouts with Baden Powell in 1916 (see the Scouting Milestones site on her life).

According to records I have received from the Scouting Association she set up a Catholic Scout Troop and Cub Pack based at 259 Monument Road and she lived at 25 Noel Road in the early 20s. As these addresses are just round the corner from the Oratory, it is a little surprising that the troop was associated with St Peter's Catholic Church (maybe the old St Peter's at Broad Street). The Troop was the 21st Birmingham or 21st Midland and the Cubs were the St. Francis of Assisi Pack.


Her assistant was a Miss L. Parman of 48 St Mary's Street in Ladywood.

I would like to find out as much as I can about this period in Vera Barclay's life.


Hoping you can help,


With every good wish,


Fiona Mercey



25th September 2009

I am from Kragerø, Norway and I noticed in some local history that a company called Evans and Askin did some mining in the area. I understood that Evans and Askin, (later it changed to Henry Wiggin & Company) came from Birmingham and I believe in the area of Icknield square.


Do you know it there was a firm with this name in the area?


Is it possible to find some information about this firm, I understood them to be nickel smelters.


Thanks in advance.


Best wishes


Øivind Moen



15th September 2009

I've been trying to find more about my grandmother who was born in Smethwick in 1878.  I understand that she danced in the Bluebell troupe and the only reference I have been able to find of this so far is the troupe of dancers that were trained by Betty Fox and Ella Shields referred to in your website.


Is there any other information regarding this dancing school.




I would like to try and find out the name and location of a button factory that was in Ladywood during the period before and I think during the 2nd WW.


Thank you.


Angela Blair


20th August 2009

I am trying to obtain a photo of 5 Railway Terrace, back of Barford Road about 1910.  My great grandparents lived there at that time.  I put an add in before, but it was for 5 Railway Terrace, Icknield Port Road.  I have found since that it was at the back of Barford Road.


I would be grateful for any help.


Christine Arnold


7th July 2009

Hi, I have been researching my family history and there has been a story in the family that I have been unable to substantiate which concerns Ladywood/Edgbaston.


The story concerns my grandmother her name was Eleanor Lawrence and she married John Worthy at The Oratory on March 16th 1916.She came from Monument Square, Bellis Street and John Worthy was born and raised in Ellis Street. After they married they took a house at 1/130 Broad Street. They had one son on July 5th 1922 called John Reginald Worthy.


The story is that Eleanor became pregnant again in 1928 but she was run down by a horse and cart outside The Oratory. I have found her death certificate, which says she miscarried on August 1st 1928 at Selly Oak Hospital and continued to deteriorate. On August 17th a laperotomy was performed and they discovered an advanced state of peritonitis, she died on August 19th 1928.


This story was given to my father (aged 6) as the reason his mother had died.


Have you ever heard anything similar?


Or do you know where I might find an account of such an accident.


I have checked the Mail, Post and Aris Gazette but so far have not found anything even vaguely similar.




19th June 2009

Does anyone know or have information about "Ladywood Coffee House Mission"?


Mac Joseph


Skin Hospital, George Road, Edgbaston - I was nursing there, and would love any news, I would like to find some of my fellow nurses. If you can help I would be pleased.


I wonder what the hospital is to day?


I was there in 1946-47.


Irene Tyndall


My name is Susan Dainty, I was on the Ladywood website and came across Anderton Street photos.


At the time of living on the street, my family was known as Reeves, and we lived there from 1959 to 1968 at number 2 back of 96, and I was wondering if anyone remembers anyone else who lived there.


I vaguely remember the Bird family


Sue Dainty


26th May 2009

I would like this put in the help section of Old Ladywood, first I would like to say what a great site


Does anyone out there know of a JAMES GREGORY he was born in 1838 in Birmingham he married SARAH REEVES in 1861 they had 8 children


MATILDA 1861      REBECCA 1864     DAVID 1867   ROSANAH 1868     HARRY  1871        ALBERT  1876       JOHN 1879 AND SARAH 1865


The problem I have is there is no sign of James on any census before 1871, on his marriage certificate it says his father was John Gregory, police officer. Nothing has been found for John this is a total mystery.


There is no James Gregory with John Gregory as his father on the 41-51-61 census - so my question is DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW THE GREGORY FAMILY?


Carol Kezia



10th May 2009

Does anyone remember the family Lee, who had a record/bike shop in Spring Hill until the early 60's when it was demolished.

My mother was Dorothy and she had two older brothers, Clifford and Bert. Clifford was in the army during the war and then came back and became a bus driver and then driving instructor until his retirement in the late 60's.

Bert also worked in the bike and record trade, I think.

My mother, Dorothy, was on fire watch through the early war years .

Hope this sparks a memory or two and even a photograph?

Simon Cooper


20th April 2009

Have found your lovely website and am a wedding photograph with the hope that someone may be able to help. I have been sent this photo from a relative to add to the family tree, but no one can tell me who they are.


The bride/bridegroom would have either surname of Grice or Land and would have come from Suffolk.


 The photo was taken at Louis, 104 Alum Rock Road, Birmingham.


The only other clues I have are of the bride running a sweet shop and the groom having something to do with fireworks.   I saw one photo in your gallery from Libby Roberts with a William Grice and wonder if there is any link.


John Land


I am seeking info about my aunt, KATHLEEN JOAN DODSON.

She was born in 1920. in Ladywood. Around about 1939, she seems to have disappeared from Birmingham, never to be seen again.  I have always wanted to know what happened to her; perhaps someone may have a bit of information about her. She worked at the MONITOR stoves and lamps factory, I have a photograph of the workforce; unfortunately there are no names to identify anyone. If anyone can help I would be so pleased.


Sylvia Rushton


I was wondering if anyone knew my Grandad "David John Lewis" and his family. He was originally from Tredegar, South Wales and moved up to Birmingham.


He lived at 6 back 90 Saint Marks Street, Ladywood, Birmingham in the 1950's and died tragically in a hut at work on a building site in Fairfax Road, West Heath of carbon monoxide poisoning aged 53 in November 1959.


He was cremated in Yardley Cemetery. It would be great if anyone knew him or his family so I could find out a bit more about his life etc 


Thanks for any help you can give me.


Glenn Whitehouse



I need help explaining an address please.

My Gt Grandfather was an actor/comedian in the late 19th century and when my grandmother was born he gave this address to the registrar (although my grandma was born in Horncastle in a travelling Van in the yard of a pub) which was in Birmingham.

It goes as follows,  2 house 6 Court, Alexandra Street, King Edwards Road, Birmingham.  I have looked at some of the pictures of Alexandra St, and King Edwards Road on your website but it wasn't much help to me.  The date was March 1884, I don't seem able to find anything on the census without a name to go on.   The family were in Stony Stratford in 1881.  His name was Thomas Henry or Thomas Davis Young.  Could the people at this address have been his family or perhaps it was a lodging house.

I would appreciate any help anyone can give me.  I am trying to find out when he was born as the 1911 census says Birmingham, but that’s not much help on its own either.

Many thanks

Lynn Morris


14th March 2009

Absolutely fantastic website and a really meaningful resource - wonderful stories and photos.


I was just wondering whether you'd ever come across the Bowdlers in your research? My great granddad, James Bowdler moved to Herefordshire with his mother, Amelia and aunt Sidina, sometime before 1891 and were living on Nelson Street in 1891.


By 1911, James, his wife Alice, and children (my granddad Joseph, Thomas and Robert) were living at Victoria Terrace on Rawlins Street and then from c1920 to the Second World War, they were all at 4 back 22 Clement Street (by then daughter Violet Bowdler, had been born).


They're not my memories unfortunately - just records - although my dad does remember his dad, Joseph talking about Clement Street - but maybe those names jog some memories among your many contributors.


Would be very grateful for any thoughts at all, 


Best wishes,



1st March 2009

I am trying to trace family on my mother's side.  Unfortunately, both her parents died when she was a child, and she lost contact with the rest of her family, so we have very little to go on.


We know from the 1911 census that my Grandmother, Dora Bell, lived in Ickneild Square in Ladywood as a child (aged 5 in 1911).  She was the eldest daughter of Christopher Arthur Bell and Elizabeth Bell, who was born Elizabeth Benzing.


Dora had 2 brothers, Jack and Christopher Arthur; and 4 sisters, Ruth, Millicent, Marguerite and Vera.


If anyone remembers the Bells/ Benzings, I'd be grateful for any information - better still, if anyone has any photographs of them, as my mother does not have any photos of either of her parents.


Dora married Thomas Brookes sometime before 1927, and moved to Lichfield, Staffs.  I know nothing about Thomas except that he was born around 1896 and was from Birmingham - he may have also been from Ladywood, but I don't know for sure.  As before - any information would be a great help.


Many thanks,




22nd February 2009

I am looking for memories of people from the West Indies or Asia who worked at GKN especially if they lived in the local back to back houses.
This is for some research I am doing for the National Trust locally.

K. Hughes


My name is Jim Shaw.

My uncle and aunt Jack and Amy Baker lived in Ledsam Street. They had a small factory where they produced drapery and sold in the markets.

However I am trying to trace the background of an uncle who lived in 6 Marston Place, Saint Vincent Street. He was a plumber.

His name was either John (Jack) Morgan or Shaw.

Any clues to


Here's hoping.

Jim Shaw


I am tracing my Uncle John William Charles Bond who lived in mansion crescent Smethwick in the 1950's.

He married Brenda Townsend in 1954 but separated later.

John met a greengrocers daughter somewhere within the area and they had a child, a boy in the late 50's. If I can find this gentleman he will have a great extended family keen to meet him. John worked as an iron worker and then in the Blue Moon pub later as a barman.


Would be great to find my cousin.


Linda Hayler, nee Bond


2nd February 2009

Family history research: Annie Louise Pool, John Linehan and nephew W Griffin. Ladywood Birmingham.


I'm looking for descendants/info/direction of Annie Louise Pool born 1872. Annie was one of several children born to Benjamin and Elizabeth Pool of Morville Street Ladywood.


Annie married Frederick Dowler in 1888 a daughter Bessie Mina was born, she left England approx 1900's married and settled in Ireland.

Annie's marriage to Frederick Dowler only lasted a very short time.


Annie was a piano forte tutor and musician.


Annie later married John Linehan a concert promoter and travelling showman.


Annie died 1914 at 18 Wood Street, Ladywood, her nephew W Griffin was present at her death. I believe W Griffin was also involved in variety/music halls.


Annie appears to have disappeared from the 1901 census and I have not been able to find anything else about her until her death in 1914.

I really would like to know who else resided in the house at the time of her death.


I have no information at all regarding John Linehan and no other info regarding her nephew W Griffin.


I'm anxious to correspond with anyone else researching the above family, I'm hoping this will eventually lead me to discover where my late father was born.


Kindest regards





23rd January 2009



I am researching the history of the Women's Liberation Movement and have found that an important conference was held at 'Ladywood School’ in 1978. From your site I see that there were a number of schools in Ladywood and I need help ascertaining which one it was.


The documentation suggests that the school was on Freeth Street, with other events taking place in an annexe in Clark Street. I'd be very grateful for any help you can give me with the name of the school and even perhaps some pictures of it.


Many thanks


Jeska Rees



Found this advert while trawling the net. I served my apprenticeship with Wilmot Breedon, part of which was in the Goodman Street branch.


Does anyone know what happened to this company?


Love your website, keep coming back for more.


Tom Clutterbuck


4th January 2009

I think the Ladywood site is wonderful and it has been very helpful with my research for my family tree.


I am trying to trace any relatives of Albert and Lizzie Evans, who lived at 6 back 139 Sherborne Road (1911).


Their children were Edith Nellie, Clara, Albert, William and Edwin. Lizzie's maiden name was Moxon and she was my grandmother's sister.


I would also like to trace any relatives of William Henry and Jane Griffiths. Their children were May, William James, Joseph and Edward. They lived at 7 back 139 Sherborne Street. Jane was also my grandmother's sister.

Carol Wells



21st December 2008

Hi, thanks for a great site.


I wondered if you could help me, my great grandparents lived at 5 Railway Terrace, Icknield Port Road.  This was the address on their marriage certificate for 1909.


I cannot seem to trace this terrace and wondered if anyone can help me, I presume it would have been a back-to-back house.


I am really trying to get a photo of it.


I would be grateful for any ideas.




Christine Arnold 



23rd November 2008

Just wondering if any one can help, I’m looking for Vera Woodward from Coxwell Road, Ladywood, she lived there before 1965, when the houses were knocked down.


Would love to get in contact with her again, I know she married and went to live in Winson Green, Birmingham, but can’t recall her married name, she had a daughter called Teresa



Teresa Griffin


22nd November 2008

Hi – wondering if you can help me, or point me in the right direction.


My mother’s family lived in Ladywood, and also St George, at the end of the 19th century.  On the census records addresses are given as “9 back 50”, or “back 14 St Georges Place ”, or “4 court 3 house Lee Bank Road ”.


How were the houses arranged and numbered?  Are there any old maps?


I would be very interested and grateful if you could suggest sources of further information. 


Thanks in advance,

Judith Bachmann



16th November 2008

Do you have any more information regarding a picture in the miscellaneous section, on the Old Ladywood site of the sewing factory outing?


It is shown with the word 'Midland' across the side of the open bus.  I was born in St. Vincent Street in 1949 and lived there until October 1960.  Mother once had a job at 'The Sewing Factory’, which possibly made doilies and chair-back covers.  We would be interested to know anything of the factory.


Also two of our ancestors are down on the census as being a Sword Furniture Makers - a father and son - from the 1841 census to the 1891 census, would you happen to know of any factories around the Ladywood area in this line of business. So far I have been unsuccessful.


Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and hope you can help.       


V Smith  (Mrs)



30th October 2008

I found your web site and wondered if you can you tell me where I can find info re the occupants of Ryland Road- I am assisting a friend research her family as she is new to family tree work and her family were living in Ryland road during some of the censuses.


The surnames were Hannan/Haman/Hannon derivatives / Paddock the Hannan side were Irish descendants and Paddocks were Walsall/Warwickshire Birmingham.


Trying to find birth of Elizabeth Haman/Hannan 1860, first name Maria parents Caroline /Thomas Hannan. You may be able to help find family members?


Any help would be gratefully received many thanks





25th October 2008

I am looking for any information about Doris Smith, born about 1915. Her father was Albert Smith and he was a labourer. Doris lived at 5/57 Browning Street, but later on lived at 7/57 Browning Street with her husband John Holmes.


Any information on this family will be very helpful because I don’t know anything else and this is the last bit of my family tree, I am struggling with.


Please email if you have any information many thanks


Natasha Martin



9th October 2008

Hi, my name is Sheila Wilson, nee Rowley  I lived at 4/36 Edward Street, two of my close friends in the street were, Sandra ward and Pat Haylor.


My oldest brother was good friends with John Taylor, his name was Jeffrey Goode.

Jonny Leek, Johnny Lewis, Chicka Dunn (never did know his real name), Shamus, all hung around together.

Great times playing Cricket around the wreck......Happy days...

Good to hear from someone from the old end.

I have been in Canada for 35 years so the old place has changed a lot.

Look forward from hearing from any one from Edward Street


All the best...





6th October 2008

Hi there,


I have been looking at the site and found it very interesting. Although I left Hall Green in 1962 and moved to Glasgow my grandfather was the licensee of The Mount Pleasant, 126 Ledsam Street around 1920 or earlier.  My mother and father were married from there in 1921.


In 1922 he took over the license at the Saracens Head in Shirley.  I was wondering if the pub is still there, or if it is whether it has been refurbished or what is in its place.


I can see there might not be any chance that it is there, but you never know.


I would be very grateful for your help.




Sheila Beck



Does anyone remember me?


I lived in St. Marks Street, opposite John R Lees. I have great memories and would love to reminisce with people I share those memories with.


Particularly Kay Madden, John Madden’s sister I think? Kay lived with her Nan in Big St. Marks Street and I would love to get in touch with her, so John if this is your sister can you please ask her to email me,  or anyone else who remembers me, via Mac.


Mary Dunkley


30th September 2008

CORONET CAMERA COMPANY, 308-310 Summer Lane, Aston, Birmingham 19.


I have been collecting Coronet cameras for over a quarter of century and although having got rid of most of my original collection, I have restarted to collect gain in earnest last year!


Presently, I am writing an article and eventually a book, on the history of the Coronet Camera Co., and would be pleased to hear from not only people who may have any coronet cameras, but more interestingly, from office and factory workers who worked for the Company.


I am also seeking to buy or view photographic company trade catalogues and any Coronet company archives that may still exist.


If anyone knows more about this interesting and largely forgotten company could they please contact me?


Dr Gerald P. Connolly




22nd September 2008

Hi there,

I've just stumbled across your site and it looks great!


I am currently researching my family history and my Paternal Great-Grandparents were from Birmingham, the Lady Wood area. But there is a family scandal/mystery that has been eluding us all this time and I'm dying to find out the truth. And this is where, I'm hoping, you might be able to help...

My Great-Grandmother Elsie Markham (lived on Ellen Street/Road, Camden Street) fell pregnant with my Grandfather at 18 years old in 1914, unmarried. Apparently the father was a Jewish Immigrant who owned/worked in a Photography Shop on Icknield Road or Spring Hill which Elsie also worked at. My Great-Grandmother married another man, William Dutton, the following year who 'adopted' my grandfather and raised him as his own. My Grandfather passed away long before I was born, but my Nan said he remembers secretly meeting his Father and his Uncle when he was about 6, so that would imply that this Photographer (if he was one at all) was still around in 1920. She also said that this Photographer was known as Mr Thomas.

My Granddad moved down to London, where we all still live now and from here I have been unable to find anything out about a possible photography shop in that area.

I really hope, with your knowledge of the area, that you, or maybe someone else that visits your site might be able to help me to uncover this mystery.

Kind Regards
Lauren Dutton



I have been looking at your website and I think its brilliant. I have searched through it over and over and found some great pictures. I was hoping you might have more information or find a way of gaining information. I have some family names, street names etc, but nothing much else to go on.

The dates would be between 1930 to 1980 or there abouts:

1. Stoke Street
2. Florence Street
3. Latimer Street
4. Rickman Drive
5. Warrinder family
6. Norris Family
7. St. Thomas Church
8. St. Thomas' C of E School
9. I also found a picture of John Tustin on your website, but when I went back to show a family member I couldn't find it.

Any information would be great, thank you.


Samantha Wincott



4th September 2008

My great grandmother 'Rosalind Florence Yardley' was born in 1871 in Ladywood and lived in Oak Terrace, Icknield Port Road with her mother, Susan Yardley and grandparents, George and Anne Yardley.


Rosalind's father was not recorded on the birth certificate, so unfortunately I have no idea of this side of my family. I was thinking that the father may be recorded on the baptism record, but have no idea what church they may have gone to as I don't know the area at all (I live in Wales)!


Does anyone know what the local church in the area was in 1871 or is anyone related to Yardley family??



Andrew - 


28th August 2008

Just going through the site again, there are a few people that have come from Nelson Street school, is there any chance that you could give them my E mail address, it would be nice to see if they were in my class at school?


Keep up the good work




If you wish to contact Marie, please send your message to and I will forward it on


17th August 2008

Hi My Great, great grandparents lived in Ladywood, 73 King Edwards Road.


I have a photo of a home called “Parkfield” but not sure if this would have been the home in king Edwards Road and if it still standing?

Many thanks




We lived in Icknield Port Road from 1953, my mom was still there till about 1969, when she moved to Winson Green.


No one seems to remember the Wilson’s, we lived at 3/35, if anyone knows of them please contact, through this website


Dorothy Clarke


12th August 2008

You have been recommended by Carl Chinn in my search to find further details or photos of St. Marks Street, Ladywood and St. Peters School, which was situated just off Broad Street, Ladywood.
I was born in St. Marks Street in 1961 and went to St. Peters, up to approximately 1967/8 and would love to find any details about either.

Your help would be most appreciated.
Thanking you! Look forward to hearing from you.
Derek Brock


I have just come across your site and wondered if there's anyone who knows anything about a SHEILA AVERY.  My mother-in-law was born on 8th January 1951 in Marston Green Maternity Hospital, I presume to an unmarried mother as she was given up at birth.  All I know is her mother was called SHEILA AVERY and that she lived at 4/45 Shakespeare Road.


She would love to know a bit more about the family.

Cath Rawlings


7th July 2008



I have only just found out about your site and its great.


I am trying to find information on the name HALL living at 33 Browning Street and then moving to Morville Street. Would like the number, from memory it seemed like a converted shop front. Did they have a little shop there?


Also HAWKES living at 37 Stoke Street. My mother was named Lily - born in 1903 in Bishopsgate Street. She had brothers named Fred and Joe and a sister called Nell.


I think my grandmother was married previously and had two sons named Samuel and James. Would anyone know their surname?


Thanks for any help




16th June 2008

My name is Christine Arnold
 I am researching my family history and know that my great grandmother and father lived at 5 Railway Terrace, Icknield Port Road.


Does anyone know where this terrace was and when it disappeared? I would really like to find out and possibly and hopefully get photos of this.

Thanks, Christine


9th June 2008

I would dearly like to contact Rose Evans who I have not seen for nearly 40 years.


Can you please help?


Many thanks

Barbara Jones


1st  June 2008

Hi, I'm a Brummie now living in Canada. I have been researching our Family Tree together with one of my brothers, who still lives in Bromsgrove, then I came across this site and find the memories people have placed there fascinating and the pictures bring back so many memories of childhood.


We lived in Steward Street and went to Steward Street School. We lived in one of the back-to-back houses right next door to the old mission, which was next door to the blacksmiths, which was opposite Steward Street School.


I would love to hear from anyone who may have lived there and remember our family name - Humphreys.


Feel free to email me at


Babs nee Humphreys


25th May 2008

I would like to hear about any of the Lediard family descendants, I believe they lived in Leslie Road. This would be my grandfather Fred Lediard, there were 4 brothers and 5 sisters, (Harry, Len, Norman, Fred, Alice, Millie, Lily & Elsie & Edna).


Their parents were Alice (Pratt) and William.  Elsie married Ivan Barnsley and I did see a wedding photo on your site and would be interested in knowing who the bridesmaids were.  I know Lily married Charlie Read and another sister married into the Norgrove family.
I would like to know if all the family were born in Ladywood and where their parents were born.
My dad is Barry Lediard.
I think this is a great site.
Thanks for your help.
Val Clarkson


11th May 2008

I am researching my family history and have found out that the Moseley side of my family ran a sweet factory/shop in Ladywood (we think Camden Street), which later moved to Marston Green after a fire.


The son and daughter of the owner later sold the business. I have been unable to find out any more than this and would be grateful for any information.


My great grandfather, Charles Moseley, founded the factory with his sister, Florence (hence C&F Moseley Ltd). I understand that the business went into demise upon the death of my grandfather, Reginald Moseley in August 1970.




Where are they now?

Picture taken Circa 1931, friends of Great Tindal Street and St Mary Street, Ladywood

Left to right - Mr. Gardner, Raymond Mason, Philip Gardner, Lewis Barrowcliffe, Ivan Barnsley, George Gardner, Mr Inett, Teddy Inett


Ivan Barnsley


5th May 2008

I am researching my family tree name of BARNBROOK, they lived in the Ladywood area until about 1959 and their last address was in ST MARKS STREET.


My Mother's maiden name was LILY HILL, she owned a Hairdresser's shop next door to the Ice Rink I think this was in Summerhill Street, it was called KITTY'S, her Father's name was WALTER HILL and was known for his snooker playing around the Midlands clubs.


I would love to hear from anyone that remembers them or any information that could help.


Thank You


Ann Belcham (Nee Barnbrook)


13th April 2008

I'm currently looking into my family tree and would be interested if you or any of the people who contribute to your site have any details of my family.


My great grandfather and great grandmother William & Louisa Lawrence owned the Laundry at 135 Monument Road from the late 1890's until the late 1920's or early 1930's. They had 3 sons, Thomas, Charles and my grandfather Arthur. Charles worked on the railways with GWR and died in the World War I. Arthur also served in the First world war and was a prisoner of war.


I know very little about the laundry only that they did all the cleaning for the theatres in Birmingham at that time.


I do appreciate that it was a long time ago and that there are few people around who will remember this era, but any information would be a bonus.




Neil Lawrence


Does anyone remember a postmaster at Spring Hill, I think the family name was Clarke.


A few years ago, I met a Trevor Clarke, who was researching his family in the Ladywood area.


Unfortunately Trevor died recently and I was wondering if anyone remembered him or his family.


Heather Ackrill-Carron


30th March 2008

I wonder if anyone remembers my Aunt Rose Timbrell, her husband was Jack and son Barry. She lived all her life in Ladywood and died just a few years ago.  She lived in Essington Street when she was first married.  Then went to live in Elizabeth Fry House, she left there just a few years before she died.  She worked at French's when she was young with my mum, her sister Iris.  I love looking at your site.  My husband and his family lived in Ledsam Street.  Their name was Nash and there were 11 children 4 girls and 7 lads, My Husband is Alan he went to Osler school.

Jenny Nash


Can you tell me when Warstone Lane disappeared please? My grandfather, Henry Weston SMITH was born there at the Back of 64 Warstone Lane on 20 June 1879. 

His father was a Chelsea Pensioner. By the 1881 census, the family had moved to 321 Bridge Street West (off Summer Lane)- which also seems to be a "lost" street.


I am hoping there may be some records still of Sunday Schools (Methodist) or schools in the area.


I also wondered why the family moved to Birmingham from Portsea Island in Hampshire- were there any reporting requirements for Chelsea Pensioners?


Thank you so much for your fine work on this site.


From a Cornish Aussie.




I have just finished exploring your website – fantastic!

I am hoping through you to help a friend of mine-who now lives in Wales, she is desperate to find out any information about her parents Edward William LAW and Ada Irene Nee Kenwick - they resided for some time in ANDERTON STREET and ran a shop, Mr. Law made tin soldiers to sell in the shop, they had four children Edward (Teddy),John, my friend Dorothy (Dolly) and Christine

If anyone can help, please contact me at




19th March 2008

Hi, could you please tell me if anyone remembers the Wren and Hobley Families, the Wren family lived in Springhill and the eldest son Ted married Barbara Hobley, one of 4 sisters of 25 Shakespeare Road, who are my parents.


My Grandad Frank Wren, had Springhill taxis, and my moms gran ran a grocers shop at no 14 Shakespeare Road. My mom Barbara went to St. Marks and Osler School seniors. My moms parents Albert & Lil Hobley were good friends with Sid & Flo Butts, who ran a drapery shop at the

top of Shakespeare Road.


My grandad Albert is sitting in the front row outside the commercial Pub, which is on your website.


Also a major event in Springhill was when my dads sister June died following a bad fog that fell, as she was guiding the traffic with white sheets, she became ill and died just before she was to be married!!!


Please could you let me know if anyone remembers them?


Regards Debbie Wren


3rd March 2008

Hi, wow what a great read.  My mom and dad both came from Ladywood and I recognise some of the streets and peoples names.  My oldest brother was born at 83 Anderton Street.


Does anyone remember my mom Lily or Lynn Lily McCarthy nee Broughton and dad William (Billy) Mills.  Other names I am interested in are Thursfield/Lentle.


Please contact me at   I will ask mom about some of names on site and give you update too...


I have asked mom today (Lynn Lily McCarthy nee Broughton) aged 75 this year; who she remembers from school and the list she recalled were


Beryl Shutts

Barbara Chick

Amy Matthews

Lily Day

Johnny Reed

Kenny Marton

Jeff or Geoff Statton

Reggie Steele

Cathy Chinn

Miss Stricknall

Miss Vernon


Does anyone remember these names?


I have been looking for my Grandmother-in-law for almost two years and have only just managed to find two sites for her based on her first two offspring. This woman who we knew as Grandma Charlotte we now find, had two christian names and three surnames, and as we only guessed at her birth year because we think she was 83 when she died in 1975 and celebrated her birthday on the 5 May each year, we assume she was born in 1892.


I have her on the 18 July 1914 living at 3 back of 18 Moreton Street, and on 21 august 1920 at 54 Edward Street, a stones throw away. in 1914 she signed herself Charlotte Mason and 1920 Lottie Huband, late Mason formerly Shepherd.


We are stymied at the moment and don't know where to go next, so hope you can shed some light, by the way she is down on her first child’s birth certificate as a Brass founders Lathe Hand, and no fathers name shown.


Please help us if you can Mac


Yours Joyce Daniels


20th February 2008

I am trying to compile information about a gentleman called Watty Green who ran a pub called the Cross Keys in Steward Street off Springhill, have you any information on this person.


Kind Regards



Christine Stokes


6th February 2008

I wonder if anyone remembers Billy Smith, or John Beaumont, who both lived in Anderton street in the 40s, if my memory serves me right John went into the Navy, and I think that when Billy got married he lived in Anderton Street.  I remember Billy working at the Loco sheds at Monument Road, he went on to become a fireman on the railway, they were both mates of mine when we were young, we lived in Shakespeare Road, then moved to Quinton around 1948-9 by that time I was in the services myself, so if anyone can help, I'd love to hear from them..

Graham Sullivan


Have recently found your wonderful site as I'm starting to look at my Birmingham family history.


On the 1891 census Samuel and Betsy Usherwood (great grandparents) are listed as living at 2 Back 59, Garbett Street.  I understand that the street has gone but would love to hear from anyone who remembers it or the family when they lived there.


In 1881 they were living at 4 Back 55, Freeth Street,  I realise all this is a long time ago, but I live in hope. 


Also my father, Alan Usherwood, worked as a driver at Bellis and Morcom from about 1960 to his retirement and it would be great to hear from anyone who worked with him there.


Again thanks for such a wonderful site.


Jo Winwood


I need help looking for Bernard "ticker" Yeomans of 43 Barker Street, Ladywood.


He was a  family friend and I am looking for information for my mom, Rachel Palmer, it was 1957-58 when he knew her.


many thanks

Paul Hill


26th January 2008



Just found the website and found a name that stood out - Alan Wolton. I believe that this same gent is one that I worked with during the 70's and 80's for a company called Rentair of Atherstone, Warks.

If so I would be pleased to hear from him and catch up on the past twenty odd years.


Mike Geraghty


I'm really interested in finding out more about the area - I was born in the Great Western pub, Camden St/George St West in 1960 when my Dad managed the pub.  I'd love to find out more about the area & see old photos.


Also, is it likely that you - or any of your contacts – will remember my Dad?  His name was Stan Sharred & he was married to Jean. They had 2 sons (one also born at the pub in 1958) before having me in 1960.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Best wishes,


Jan Daniells (nee Janet Sharred)


What an excellent site! I'm not sure why I haven't come across it before now, but I am delighted that I have discovered it now. Great work.

I would greatly appreciate any help that your readership might be able to provide wrt my HASTINGS family who lived at Back 153 Saint Vincent Street, Ladywood in 1895-1897.

My Great Grandfather, Thomas HASTINGS and Louisa Ann Hastings nee NERNEY lived at Back 153 Saint Vincent Street, Ladywood between 1895 and 1897. They were married 22 Dec 1893 at the Parish Church , Bishop Ryder, Birmingham .


Whilst at this address, Thomas William HASTINGS was born 4th April 1895 and another sibling, Alfred Howard HASTINGS was born 29 Sept 1897.


Some time around 1898-1900 they moved to Sheffield where my Grandfather, William Henry HASTINGS was born 8 Oct 1900, followed by five other siblings.


Over the past 18 months I have made good progress in most other areas of research and have both the marriage certificate of Thomas HASTINGS and his death certificate, but have been unsuccessful in tracing a birth or baptism record.


Whilst at Back 153 Saint Vincent Street, Thomas HASTINGS was a Brass Caster and later, an Iron Moulder. From the 1901 census (Sheffield) and marriage/death certs, I believe that he was born 1872-1874 in Birmingham .


I would dearly love to hear from anyone who can shed any light on:


Ø       What did Back 153 Saint Vincent Street look like in 1895-1897.

Ø       Are there are records of where Thomas Hastings worked as a Brass Caster.

Ø       Neither 1881 or 1891 census shows son Thomas b1872-1874 with a father, also a Thomas Hastings, (source marriage cert) who was  an Ostler (some form of stablehand). Where were they?

Ø       Are there any school records/photos for Thomas Hastings c1880-1890?

Ø       Any other snippet that may help overcome this impenetrable brickwall !


Please email me at


Kindest regards


Kevin Hastings



31st December 2007

Does anyone have any photographs of The Oratory School, either the grounds, class photographs, former pupils, teachers or even memories for the website, if so please send them in, as so many people are asking for information or photographs.


Mac Joseph


30th December 2007

I wish to thank anyone who has given me so much pleasure, and many others like me, with all of their news, photographs etc for the oldladywood site.


Thank you all so much.   Will hope to see you in 2008 too.


Wishing everyone, at Home and Abroad, a Happy Healthy and Peaceful 2008


Heather Carron (nee Ackrill/Goode/Smith all oldladywoodians)





I found your site whilst trying to get some pictures of the old Icknield Port Road for my partner, Colin Woolf.


I wonder if anyone remembers them from the early 50s.  There was Gordon and Gladys, and children Brian, Bert, Barbara and Colin.


It would be great to see if anyone does.



Wendy Minchin


24th December 2007

Congratulates on such an informative website.
I'm trying to trace my grandfather - Ronald Oliver Murray. He married Elizabeth Portsmouth back in 1945 but unfortunately their marriage ended when my mum was tiny. She doesn't remember anything of her dad, as was told that he died when she was young.
We recently found my grandmother's movement card which shows that she visited Sherborne Street just after Ronald and she had married and after Janet (my Mum) was born. I think Ronald moved back to Ladywood after their marriage was over.
I've tried tracing him through the numerous web-sites but without success. Having just found your website, I hope that there is someone who still lives in the Ladywood community, who will remember the Murray's who lived in Sherborne Street. I know his father was called Oliver and that there was a relative called Winifred Murray (my Mums' god-mother), but sadly we have no other details.
Many thanks
Wendy Timberlake
on behalf of Janet Smith (my Mum)


16th December 2007

I am trying to trace the marriage of the following:


Doris Gibberson b. 1903 Ladywood d. 1987 who married Edund Boteler Chalmer, receptionist clerk, living at 47 Worlds End Avenue, Birmingham 32. I would appreciate any information.


Laura McDuff, Melbourne, Australia


I was a Belliss & Morcom Engineering apprentice from 1949 to 1954 and worked for them in Iraq, the Bahamas and elsewhere after finishing national service in 1956 and until 1960.


I have been surfing through your website and wallowing in nostalgia - thanks for the opportunity to do so!


I came across, in the February 2006 up-date, a request from Gerald Willis for information about Belliss & Morcom and or their one time subsidiary; Sisson.


If you have contact with any other ex Belliss people of my era, I should be delighted to hear from them.


Alan Wolton


4th December 2007

I am trying to trace details of my grandfather Joseph Henry Hill. He was a widower and opened a cafe in Ledsam Street, Ladywood in 1939 but it didn't do very well as the war had just started and food was being rationed but he did get work in supplying food for a factory up the road, Joseph had a car which he used as an ambulance which he drove in the war.


This is all of the information that I have about his Ladywood days. He allegedly came from Bury in Lancashire, he was a professional soldier who married Lizzie Clay in Selly Oak 1915 aged 24 and was widowed in 1936 and he remarried to a lady named Grace.


Any information gratefully received




2nd December 2007

I live in Luxembourg, but my family are from Brum, I am fascinated by the history, but I just found something that has interested me greatly.


There was a motorcycle manufacturer called LMC, situated in Monument Road in the 20s, this is where my great grandfather comes from (William Breeden) and I would love to find something out?


All the best 


Andrew Breeden


18th November 2007

I am currently doing my Family Tree and got records of a Lilian, living at  8 Ryland Terrace, but I have no details of who she married when and how long for, but I do know she had at least 3 children called June, Phillip and Kenny (Ken).


Her siblings were  Violet who is meant to be Lilians twin, her other siblings are Edith, James Fred and Florence, which is meant to be my Grand-ma.
If you have any further information please contact me,

Paul Carter


Hi what a great web site.


My name is Pip and I live in Australia.  I am currently trying to track down any relatives of my mother.  Her name is Barbara A Longhurst, formerly King.  She grew up Ladywood and lived at 99 Great Tindal Street.


I would love to know if any one out there remembers her family, she was the youngest of 8 children.  Her eldest brother was Albert, there was Bernard, Peggy, Mary, William (Bill), Dorothy and I believe, one child passed away quite young and was a twin and another sibling passed away in her 19th year but unsure of her name.


Her mother was Aida Beatrice and her fathers name was William Edward King, my mother was born 26th January, 1938.


If anyone could help me with any information It would be greatly appreciated, even if you were a neighbour.


With anticipation of a response,


Yours truly,

Pip Candrick


11th November 2007

Harold Watkins


I don't know if you can help me but I am trying to trace the above or his sister Lilian (possibly married now) for my in-laws.

Harold and Lilian Watkins lived in Ladywood with their parents of the same names and would have been born in the 1930's or thereabouts.


Harold Watkins (father) died in June 1949 (I think) aged just 42 and after that contact was lost was his wife Lilian and the children Harold and Lilian.  Harold senior was one of a large Watkins family - some of the brothers and sisters being Polly, Joseph (Joe), Tom, Billy, Bert (Married to Louisa) - and possibly more than this.  Polly and Tom never married and lived together.  Ideally I would like to contact the children - Harold and Lilian, as it is their cousin - Elizabeth Watkins (Betty - now Betty Ward) - my mother in law - that is keen to make contact again, for her golden wedding in March 2008, and all previous attempts to trace them have been unsuccessful.

If anyone has any information it would be much appreciated




Does anyone remember the Coleman family who lived at 81, Shakespeare Road, where they ran a Hardware shop? The couple were Fred and Rhoda and they had sons Fred, Harold, Bert and a daughter called Rhoda.  Bert was my father and I would be very pleased to hear from anyone that remembers him or the family.


If anyone remembers them or has any old pictures I would be very grateful if you could contact me at this email address



Hope you can help me





5th November 2007

It’s nice to see you have been up dating your site and it was nice to see some one remembering my old school Piggott Street.


I have photo of 3 of my old school friends, June Hill, Vera Radd, Pat ?????,and would love to know if any body still remembers them. I have some happy memories of my school days from 1938 to 1947, some of the boys where Donald Howard, Ken Hill, sister June M. Hill, we all lived in Irving Street.


Best wishes




I am trying to locate any information about Jimmy Jackson, who worked at a bakery in Ladywood or Sparkhill, may be Wimbush’s.


He was Scottish and lodging at Avon Street around 1938/9, also anyone who knew my Mother Edna May Morgan and her sister Winifred, brother William (Bill) and Mother Mabel they lived in Ladywood in the 1930s, at 4/23 Edward Street, Parade, Ladywood.

Pauline in Spain


My father died recently and I was sent his death certificate.  He was born Albert Edward Jackson  - 29 December 1926. His mother was a housekeeper at 8 Ryland Street, Birmingham.


Mothers name Jackson.   Father unknown?  The address where he was born is given as 8 Ryland Street, Birmingham.


Given that he had always told me that he was orphaned when he was twelve, after his parents died in a car accident, I am curious if anyone can shed light on this matter.


My email address is




Michelle Purves - Australia


14th October 2007

I would like to know just where my mother was born along Monument Road.  Her birth certificate says 3 back of 321, and at 322 was Tuckers the butcher, and at 321 was Tromans, the greengrocer, according to the back of the map (1914 map of Birmingham (West), including Ladywood).


Mum remembers Tuckers, but I thought she remembered that as the greengrocer - easy mistake, she was only five when she left there.  I can only find one court along that section of Monument Road, although there are plenty in Ladywood Square and Beach Street.


If you can assist, I would be most grateful.




Pauline Roberts


I have just read your site and was wondering if anyone out there knew my mother, Olive Smith, I believe she lived at 57/59 Northbrook Street, back in the 50's.


She had a brother, Fred, her parents were Kathleen & Joseph Smith, I can just remember going to the house which faced on to the canal, I would love to see any pictures of the houses along that street, as sadly mum passed away in July 2004, it would be lovely to see where she grew up as I would have only been 6 in 1965 when the houses were demolished.


Thank you,


Lynn Robins

Can anyone help with old photographs of Northbrook Street?


This is my great grandfather, William Henry Grice who lived in Summer Hill Street with his wife and 10 children.

This is his daughter Flossie with him.  He left the family on two occasions and his wife, Minnie Violet Grice (nee Hanley) and some of the children had to go into the workhouse on Dudley Road. Minnie had only one eye due to a fork being thrown with good aim by William! He was only seen on one occasion after 1933 and we are still trying to trace what happened to him.

We do have a lead that he worked at the Bulpitts Factory on Albion Road.  I would be extremely grateful to anyone who may remember him or the family.


Kind regards.

Libby Roberts


15th September 2007




I have just come across your site and love all the old photos and info you have. My family lived in Clark Street for many years, post 1900, and Nan has said that her mother and her Nan ran a shop there in the front section of the house they lived in. They also used this section of the house to home men coming home from the war who did not have homes to go to.


Unfortunately I cannot work out if it was the Gibson family or the Reaney?Rainey side of the family who originally opened the shop, all I know is that Nan’s mum Violet Gibson, nee Reaney, did so after either her mum or Mum in law. I have searched the web but cannot find any info and unfortunately I live in Australia and cannot visit your local libraries.


I was wondering if you have come across any info i could use, or if not you could keep your eyes open for me and put me in contact with anyone researching the same areas.


Warm regards,

Louisa Wright



My Father was born at number 7 Sir Harries Buildings, Icknield Square, in 1916, does any one know were this was?


Unfortunately I have no photos, but I do have his school-leaving certificate, from the Oratory Boys School, dated 1926, which I thought may be of interest.


J Horton


11th September 2007

I just came across your wonderful site. What a marvellous resource!


I myself grew up in North Birmingham, but my father was born and raised in Stour Street, Ladywood. We're researching our family history and I've been restoring several old family snapshots, several of which people we're currently unable to identify with confidence. I thought I'd offer a couple here in case anyone recognises some faces. The family names I'm particularly researching are SHELLEY, who lived at 34 and 36 Stour Street and GRIFFIN


Photograph 1

Photograph 2



Photograph 1

Almost certainly Stour Street around the 1920's, but we're not sure who the subjects are.


Photograph 2

A faint pencil note on the back of this photo from the mid 1920's says "36 Stour St". The younger child is my great Aunt May Shelley, but the older child we're not certain of. My father thinks it might be Ivy Patrick, who was very close to the family but I've not been able to trace any record of her.


My immediate Shelley family moved to Kingstanding in the late 1930's, but if anyone has information on the Shelley or the Griffin families I'd be very interested in hearing from them.


Many thanks, and congratulations on a tremendous website.


All the best


John Shelley


18th August 2007


Would any of you knowledge people know when Friston Street was demolished?    I had moved out of Birmingham and have since tried to trace family etc and asked in Birmingham City Library and Springfield Library, all to no avail.


My father was born in Friston Street in one of the back-to-back houses.   They had a clock and all the neighbours used to call through the open door (never locked) what's the time Gran.


Grandma had a job of knocker up too as she was able to use her clock.   I always thought they were very poor, but now realise they were one of the lucky families.


3 back of Friston Street - Joseph & Mary Ackrill


8 Highfield Terrace off Friston Street - Charles & Mary Ackrill


2 back of 55 Friston Street - Ernest and Mary Ackrill (these were my grandparents)  My father Wilfred Edward Ackrill.


Any help would be appreciated.


Heather Carron




1st August 2007




I live all the way in Australia and not sure if I have approached this correctly, but I thought I would send an email anyway once I found your Ladywood site.  Great to be able to see where my grandparents lived back in the 1890's.


'My ancestors were Charles Milligan and Lucy Edith Hawkes who married in St Johns Church in Ladywood Birmingham on 21 July 1895. Residence at time of marriage was listed as Bk 28 St Vincent Street, Ladywood (which I understand is the same street the Church was in) and Charles father was Robert Milligan a Bricklayer.  The Witnesses to the Wedding were a John Craddock and Ada Milligan. 


Charles appears to have lived in Ladywood for a long time as I found him on the 1881 Census as a Scholar Aged 9 boarding with James and Jesse Covey or Coney at 14 Wellington St, Ladywood with their son James and a lodger William Dutfield.  Charles himself was a Toolmaker in 1895 at Ladywood and Bicycle Builder by 1897 but had moved to the Headless Cross/Ipsley area when my Grandmother Cissy Louisa Milligan was born in 1897.  If anyone is able to shed any light on the Milligan family in Ladywood who may be connected to my ancestors, I would appreciate it' 


If the above could be posted on your help section, I would really appreciate it.  I have only recently found that Charles surname had been spelt incorrectly on some official entries like marriage as Millingham and even his dad's name has been spelt like that, which is wrong, so was no wonder I had been having trouble.  Once I found Ladywood on the Certificate and hunted on the net and found info about the Church and now your site, it is great.  I hope to have success in finding out about his parents etc.


Kind regards

Wendy in Australia


Email -


27th June 2007

This photograph was brought into the Local History Fair, do you know who the couple are or anyone else in the photograph. 

The wedding is presumed to be in Ladywood, but not to sure about this, can you help?


If you can help please contact



Hi there


Even though I am not from the Birmingham area (but my father hailed from Erdington), the reason for this email is out of sheer curiosity.


Sadly my father died a few years ago now and in clearing the content of his garage in Wales where he had resided for the last 60 years of his life, I came across a small notebook. It is only recently that I took time out to look at the book.


The notebook originally was the property of F Adderley of 116 Coplow Street in Ladywood. The content of the notebook consists of about a hundred ‘recipes’ for varnishes, paints, lacquers and shellacs. The volumes involved are clearly of industrial proportions – frequently using 30+ gallons etc. and customer mentioned include ‘V Armstrong’, ‘R S & J Ipswich’, ‘CWS Tyesley’. Names of the more exotic sounding mixtures include ‘Naptha Stain’, ‘Immutal Slush’ and ‘Yacca Varnishes’ although the majority are variants of lacquers, varnishes and shellacs.


There are dates in the notebook around the end of 1929 and the beginning of 1930.


Who was this man? Where did he work? Your excellent website clearly evokes many memories of local people and I wonder if this brings additional memories to local people.


Unfortunately I cannot be in Birmingham on 3rd June but wish you well with your broadcast.


I am happy to receive information via this email address –




Alan Copestake





I wonder if you or anybody can help me my name Trevor Tomkinson, 1 of family of 6 Tomkinson’s that people may remember, we lived at 122 St. Marks Street, my eldest brother and sister were Terry Tomkinson and Celia Tomkinson.


My mothers name was Florence Tomkinson, she was born Florence green and lived in Camden Street.


Her mom was Anne Green, my dad was Albert Tomkinson, I went to St. Johns School and I lived there in early sixties.


Can anybody remember us and can anybody help especially my moms side, the greens, I’m sure I have relatives still living thank you


Please reply to


I'm trying to locate a friend Jennifer Jones; we lived next door to each other in Gt. Tindal Street, Ladywood in the 50's.


Kept in touch for a while but have lost contact with her.


If anyone can help, my email address is:


Or get in touch if you remember me.


Jeanette Perry (nee Webb)


26th May 2007

I live in Weston-super-Mare and have recently been researching a diary describing a holiday spent in Weston in June 1836 of a family from Birmingham.  The original diary is deposited in Somerset Record Office in Taunton.


After a great deal of research I have now identified the writer as Thomas CLARK, (Junior) who, on the 1841 & 1851 censuses was living in Reservoir Road.


In 1841, his father, Thomas CLARK (Senior), was living in Ladywood Lane.


They were Hothouse & Metal Sash Manufacturers, with a business at 55 Lionel Street, and were responsible for creating the original hothouses in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens when they opened in 1833.


If you can tell me anything more about the family, their homes or the business I'd be very interested and would be pleased to share any information I already have about the family.


With thanks


Pat Hase




I am looking for anyone who remembers a John Tustin at Follet Osler School, he was born in 1952.


Thanks all


7th May 2007

I lived at 113 Great Tindal Streeet, Ladywood, would any one remember me or my dad, Bert Wadsworth or my mom, Gladys.


My dad worked at Bellis &Morcom and I went to the Oratory School in 1950. My mates where - Michael [chucky] Fowler. Terry Duffy.  John Nash. Patsy Richmond. the  headmaster was Mr. Barrett; the nun who looked after us was Sister Joseph.


I played football for the school with a boy Tom Caveghy, whose dad had a coal yard up by Osler Street School. We went to all the picture houses in that area; worked for ALF PRIDDY, builder and we did a lot of work for Smiths, the butchers, building fridges and such even at his farm at Sutton Coldfield also all his shops.


If any one knows us, be great to hear from you




1st May 2007

Hi, my name is Brian Timmins,


I lived in Edward Street and went to Nelson Street School, after there went to Barford Road School and later moved to Villiers Street, Winson Green. I am now living in the U.S.A. since 1974.


Found this site through an old school friend Frank Thornhill, I would like to hear from any old friends who might like send an E MAIL -




19th April 2007

I have seen your web site, which is very interesting.


My husbands Uncle was MP for Ladywood for many years, till he died suddenly in 1969, his name was Victor F Yates, 1900-1969.


He was a labour MP, and I have also noticed that some care homes in Ladywood are called Victor Yates homes.  


My husband remembers Victor, but unfortunately, we have no pictures of him, and as we have been doing the Family Tree and history it would be a real bonus to have pictures.


I would be very grateful if you can help or advise me with this.


Thank you and best regards


Glynis Preston


20th March 2007

Hello Mac,


I lived in Morville Street at number 114, from 1957 to about 1964


I was wondering if you or any of your correspondents remember the advertising vehicles that they used to make at Ryland Garage.


They used to be in the shape of the various products like a tube of toothpaste etc., we used to think they were great, but have never seen any mention of them anywhere. I sometimes think I was dreaming because no one I have spoken to can remember them.


If you could put this on your site maybe there is someone who does remember or even has 'photos of them which would be great.



Bob Shale   


Any information on Peter Danks (my great great grandfather) who lived at 77 Ladywood Road and was a baker, or my great grandfather Thomas Danks and my grandmother Harriet, who lived at 71would be appreciated.


If anyone has any old pictures or details of their lives. thank you.


Great website, loved the pictures. made their lives real as I can’t remember them.


Yvonne Mace




I enjoyed looking through you website, very interesting. 


I am looking for a photograph of the public house called Wagon & Horses which was situated on the corner of Ruston Street & Grosvenor Street West.


Any info about this pub would be greatly welcome.


Regards  Derek


Does anybody remember a grocers at 54 Ladywood Road. The name of the owner was Percy George.


I am trying to trace anyone of the George family, they all seem to have been grocers and they owned the premises in Ladywood Road for approx 60 years up until at least 1939.


I know that some of the family went to live in Summerfield Crescent as well.

Any help would be great.






1st March 2007

I am probably the next generation on from most of the people on your website.


I grew up in Ladywood in the 1970s, although my parents where born there in the late 40s, the question I am asking is that of my fathers family, he was one of 18 and lived on Monument Road with the family name of ROOM does any one remember this family?


Secondly my nan Mrs H. Smith live on Icknield Square, she is getting on for 97 now and loves to talk about the old days, but we are running out of questions.


Please if any ones got any, fire them in this direction.


Mark Room



19th February 2007

Please can you help me?  I have just made a break through on line after many, many years trying to trace my family on my mothers side.  I think I might have found my Great Great Grandfather. 


I think he and his family lived in the area that you show on your website (found on a search engine).  Lady Wood in the 1881 census.


I am looking to locate an address - can you tell me if you know if it is still in existence please?  It is 24 Court 1 House, Carver Street.  Do you know it in any of your research? 


If I am on the right lines my G G Grandpa worked as a 'Puddler in Iron Works' and my G G Grandma was a Pearl Button Polisher.  Do you know anything of these occupations in the area? 


Thank you so much for reading me email.  You can see from the time I sent this that I am rather hopeful to fill this bit of my history and to tell my Mother who is now 75 as she has very little knowledge of her family.


Thank you.


Jennie Ghent



I have been trying to find a street map of the 1870’s and 1880’s showing the above places, without much success.


My Grandfather, Alfred John Dunn, was born at 16 Frederick Place, Mill Street, Ladywood. I think Grosvenor Street West was previously called Mill Street, as the New Union Mill was situated in it. I think it later became Central City Flour Mill.


The 1881 census shows him living with his father, Alexander Dunn and mother Emma and brother Arthur, at 32 Grosvenor Street West, and Frederick Place was nearby, and so was the Colmore Arms public house.


Do you have any information that might help me pinpoint the location of the above addresses in Grosvenor Street West.


Kind Regards


Ian Dunn



20th January 2007

My name is Stuart Doughty and I am still searching for some information about my granddad, his name was Gerald Charles Doughty, he was born 21st June 1927 at 62 Blythe Street, Birmingham.


His fathers name was John "Jack" Doughty, he was a police officer and his mothers name was Winnifred Doughty, attached is a photo of my granddad, Gerald.


Anyone recognise him or know anything about the family.


Please help??




I have just spent an interesting half hour viewing your website showing old photos of Ladywood.


My mother’s family lived at 66 Blythe Street in 1901, and she was born in 1912 (Elsie).


Her father was Henry Williams an Iron Founder, who also had some interest in nearby licensed premises.


I wonder if anyone has any reference to this family.


Many thanks


Colin Everett


31st December 2006

Does anyone remember any of the school friends from the Osler Street School Senior years 1949 to leaving in 1953.


My name was Irene Trapp and I lived in Rann Street. I remember many of the old school chums. I have just had an old chum called Iris Jones, who now lives in Perth Australia, come and stay with me and my husband, here in France where I now live.

We had a wonderful 4 days together and we had not seen one another since we left school in July 1953.  What a chinwag we had, I remember such a lot of names. Where are some of them now I wonder?


It would be nice to hear from anyone who remembers me - Brenda Pickering, Norma Coles   [have a photo of you in France], Margaret Evans and Iris Bloor of Alston Street, Ann Price Essington Street.


I was also in the Girl Guides at the Church in Stirling Road.


 Where is Jean Hyde, Vera Hawkins, I still have pictures of the camping hols.  Anyone who remembers me, feel free to get in touch.

Many thanks Mac


Irene Smith    nee Trapp



My name was Iris Jones. went to Osler school late 40's left around 1953. Have already met one school friend or rather she found me, her name is Irene Trapp.


I have a brother Brian Jones, if anyone remembers him.


I lived in St Marks Street Ladywood and I now live in Australia.


Does anyone have any recollections or any background information of Sun Street in Birmingham , long since removed from the map!


I have sight of a relatives marriage certificate quoting this address as their residence and am very interested in know where exactly it was and any other history. I am aware that there was a pub called ‘The Malt Shovel’ around 1898 with the licensee being Kate Smith.


Any information appreciated.


Please mail Rob at


Rob Hennessy


27th November 2006

Is there anyone watching this site that has any memories of the early years of people and photographs that lived in Pope Street Ladywood during a period from 1930 onwards as we are assembling a family tree and we wish to find out the  people and their lives they led in this most fascinating and friendly street during this spell up to the second World War.

Any help however small and names would be greatly appreciated


George Morris


6th November 2006

My name is John Fry.  I would be interested to know if anyone has any information on the Fry's that lived in Ladywood.  My ggg-grandfather William Fry moved to Beech Street around 1880 with his wife Mary. By 1890 they were in 5 Market Buildings (wherever that was) in Monument Road. In 1900 they had again moved on to 176 Icknield Port Road.  It is believed that they stayed here right up until their deaths - c.1930.


Between them they had 10 children - William, Walter. John (my gg-grandfather), Sarah, Martha, Richard, Lucy, James, Daniel (probably known as Thomas) and Frank.


Any information on any of the above would be gratefully received




John Fry



26th October 2006

Hi Mac, thanks for putting a photo on the web of my dad.


I’m looking for any old school chums who knew me from Follett Osler School, up until 1965, when I left school to go to work, really looking for Linda Cook or Raymond Forty.


Many thank, keep up the good work fab web page.





14th October 2006

Hi there,


I am researching my family tree and was wondering if anyone knows of my grandad, who was born 21st June 1927 at 62 or 67 Blythe Street.


His fathers name was John "Jack" Doughty and his mother was Winnifred. I think that Jack was a Sgt. in the police force?


Can you help please?




Stuart Doughty



2nd September 2006

I am researching the Birmingham and Coventry Barrage Balloon Squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF).


Formed in early 1939 from volunteers from the local population, there were 7 Squadrons in total, known as the County Of Warwick (BB) Squadrons AAF.  Numbers 911, 912 & 913 Squadrons manned the North Birmingham barrage sites and came under Number 5 Balloon Centre at RAF Sutton Coldfield.  Numbers 914, 915 & 916 Squadrons were formed for the South Birmingham barrage and came under Number 6 Balloon Centre at RAF Wythall.  Number 917 Squadron was manned by volunteers from Coventry and also came under No 6 Balloon Centre.  They were all called up in late August 1939, when 916 was literally 'sent to Coventry' to support 917 Sqn in the Coventry Barrage.


Subsequently, WAAFs were trained up to run many of the balloon sites, but it must not be forgotten that it was the men of Midlands who volunteered and manned the sites at the beginning.  No record exists of their achievements, but I hope to put this right through my research.  By 1942, there were about 150 balloon sites in the Birmingham, but in the Squadron record books only a site number is listed, not the location.


If anyone knows of the location of a balloon site, and have any reminiscences, I would be grateful to hear from them.


Phil Bonner 


27th August 2006

Does anyone remember the families of Ackrill who lived in Friston Street?  Any help would be appreciated.


When were the families of Friston Street moved for the demolition and where were they moved to?


Remember visiting around 1952/3 as a child but did not know all the history I have now found out and would love to see if any descendents remain.


Thank you for a well put together and informative website.


Heather Carron nee Ackrill


I am doing my family history and would like to know if anybody knows of the James of Ladywood.


My father was Albert George James, his dad was Fredrick Samuel James married a Beatrice Hill, 1932, lived and worked in Ladywood.


Would any living relatives be in Birmingham, my granddad Fredrick, worked in the fire service during the Second World War, then went to work in the Jewellery, he died in 1972, I know he had a sister Dorothy.  


Esher Smith



31st July 2006



Great Web site!!


I have found a article written by Kathryn Harris and I am interested to know if there  is a connection to my family tree.



I am researching my family history and have found out that the Moseley side of my family ran a sweet factory/shop in Ladywood (we think Camden Street), which later moved to Marston Green after a fire. The business was later sold by the son and daughter of the owner. I have been unable to find out any more than this and would be grateful for any information.



Kathryn Harris


I have a Kate RETCHFORD b 1867 Alcester who married in 1901 Birmingham to Harry MOSELEY b 1863 Redditch,Worc. They were last known in the 1901 census at Redditch. Harry was a Druggist & Kate was Needle splitter.


Looking forward in hearing if there is anything here.


Kind regards

Tony Thompson




Bit of a long shot I know but I wonder if  you have any photos of Falconer Road.

Long since defunct, but it was near to the old hospital and Davenports Brewery in Bath Row.  I have a particular interest as it was where my fathers first house was situated.

Very best regards.

Gordon Robbins


23rd  July 2006

This is a quarter of a picture of Birmingham Firemen taken during World War Two.  I do not know their names but my father was once on a lost portion of this picture.  He worked from Birmingham City Centre and also from Ladywood opposite the old Welfare on Monument Road Ladywood.


I wondered whether anyone has the complete version of this photo and/or other information about it. I think I remember hearing my Dad say that Louis Jaffa (whose shop was on Monument Road for many years) also served in the Fire Service with him.


Best regards


If you can help please email mac


7th  July 2006

My name was Jean Eling, I’m in the school photo sent to you by Ann Jones, I’m 3rd row back, 7th from left, does any one remember me - I lived at 110 Morville Street.


Thanks Jean

See St. Barnabas School, 1947


30th April 2006

We lived at 133 Alston Street from the 50s until demolition. I enjoyed looking at the photographs and reading the stories, it really takes me back.


My Mother was Sally Cunningham, my Dad Jimmy Cunningham and my Sister Vera.


During the War we lived in Great Tindal Street and before that we lived in an old shop in Ledsam Street that was overrun with Bugs, I can't remember the name of the shop.


I attended the Oratory School from 51 to about 55.


I would really enjoy more Photographs of Alston and Wood Street and to see if anyone remembers us.


Kind regards


Marie Mullins/Cunningham


Summerfield Swimming Club


Upon reading your wonderful book about Ladywood “Good Morning Ladywood” I would ask if your readers could be of assistance, in the book there is a photo of the Polo team for the above swimming club.


The person on the front row centre interests myself and my family - Does anyone out there know the names of these swimmers, especially the aforesaid gentleman?


Many thanks


Valerie Smith


17 APRIL 2006

Hi Mac


I have spent a wonderful afternoon on your website.


I have a bible given to my Granddad, William Joseph Turner, on 3.9.1910 for good behaviour on his leaving the farm, shame that there is no record of who gave it to him, it's been to Canada and back, but at least I now know he was still here then.


It's a very sad story, which is why I don't know much, nor did my Dad as Granddad never spoke of his early years in life.


I have no trace of my Granddad or his sister Mabel in 1901 although I don't believe they left the area, the only other thing he did tell me was that Mabel drowned age 21, looks to me as if it must have been about 1910.

 Their mother Mary Turner nee Birt, died 16.9.1897, back 9 King Alfred's Place, Ladywood.

My Granddad was born 26.2.1894 at 1 Holly Grove, Icknield Port Road, Ladywood; I have a copy dated 1908.


It is possible that my Granddad and his sister were in a workhouse in 1901.


I have the family in 1891, I think, at 5 c 11 h King Edward Road, I presume the 11 means the eleventh house?


If you do know of anyone, or anywhere I could find out more, I would be very grateful for any information.


Kind regards




I have been reading your website, it brings back so many memories.


Rose Saunders who lived at 20 Cope Street was a friend of mine, I lived next door at 19 could you tell me how I could contact her my name was Beryl Harris.


Roy Phillips (


2 APRIL 2006

Just found your wonderful website. I am at present living in Australia and doing my Family Tree very frustrating when you are so far away.


I wonder if you, or any of your website readers can throw any light on my Grandmother's family they were the Freeth's of 52 Freeth Street Ladywood her name was Lavinia and she had three sisters Lavinia Rosa and Nell. I have a photo of the pub that they lived near called the Freeth Arms taken around 1911, but I think the pub goes back to 1860.


If you or any of your readers can throw any light on my family I would appreciate it.


Regards Trish Harlen 


My name is Fred Williams from Emu Park, Queensland, Australia.

Does anyone know anything about Mary and Joseph Read (born in Smethwick) a Gardener of 118 Icknield Square shown on the 1861 census or 9 Freeth Street in the 1871 census Ladywood Birmingham.

Their daughter Matilda Blackmore, married Henry Blackmore and they had children Thomas, Joseph and Ellen.

If you know anything or hold any photo’s of the area please contact me on Email.


Kind Regards


Fred Williams


Hello there

I am researching my family tree and I have that my great-grandparents ran a shop on Stour Street. I was just wondering whether the houses on Stour Street had been demolished or are they still there?

Thank you

Kind Regards





Does anybody have any recollections of the Stephenson family of 113 Ladywood Road.


They moved to Kingstanding, not sure when, I was adopted and brought up in South Wales . My father was George Stephenson he passed away in 1955, but any recollections of the family would be greatly appreciated.


Paul Roberts


I was just wondering if you could possibly help me with some information please i am in the process of tracing some of my relatives and came across your great website.


I am looking for a Mother and Baby unit, which was around in 1956-1959, it was for unmarried mother's. I would like to know the name of the place if poss.


I am also looking for a cinema also in 1956-1959 but the only information I have is it is in the Birmingham area. Again I would love to know its name and possibly if there are any photo's.


I would also be interested to know if you recall a family called Moran in the area. 


Debbie in a not so sunny Wigan


6 March 2006

My Auntie who is in her middle 80's went to Nelson Street School (Parade, Sandpits) between the mid 1920's and 1932 is trying to find a picture of her and her class/school mates.


If you have any additional information about the old (not the new) Nelson Street School, I would be very grateful to hear from you!




Matthew Long


Love your site. It is Wonderful.


Is there a way to contact Pauline Wilkes?


I'd like to know if she is related to the Louisa and William Wilk(e)s who lived at 2 BAck 328 Icknield Port Road in the early 1900's. Louisa's sister married a Rawlins - I'm related to the Rawlins family.


Thank You

Carol from Massachusetts


I am currently researching my family history now that both my parents and my last elderly relative recently passed away - my fathers side comes from your area and while browsing through the internet I came across your site, it jogged my memory and I have found a photo dating to 1929 which is not on your site it is similar to your empire day photo but only shows the main characters - my dad being one of them.


I am not local, I live in a small town called Midsummer Norton between Bath and Wells and have to confess I don't even know where Osler School is - I'm guessing Edgbaston?


After leaving school my Dad became an engineer I believe for Lucas but he was always a bit sketchy about details so I am trying to find out why he left Birmingham in the late 40's

If you have any details of the time he spent at Osler, I would be extremely interested


My Dads name was William John Harold Instance (known as Jack) he was born 24th January 1922 and died in 1988 he had a sister Muriel Edith Instance b. 12th April 1916 who may also have attended your school- she went on to St Pauls High School, Edgbaston I believe.

My name is Wendy Aldridge- I am his only daughter


You could email on this address


I look forward to hearing from you


 Wendy Aldridge



I have been searching my family, and have found them living at 54 & 55 Ladywood Road. The family seemed to be Grocers through and through. they went on to move to Summerfield Crescent.


Does anyone remember anything about either the shop or the family? I would be very grateful.


The pictures on the site are fantastic, they give a real feel for the area.

Su Rowbotham



I am the grandson of Joseph Henry Strangward of 2 Back of 254 Icknield Port Road.


If anyone has any information about Joseph or any of his family please contact me at


Philip Strangward



20 February 2006


Hi there,


I have discovered that my great grandfather was born in 1858 in Portland Terrace, Friston Street in Ladywood Birmingham.


I would be grateful if you could let me know whether there is a old photo of Portland Terrace anywhere which I could buy & whether, I assume it has, the area has since been developed over the years & what has replaced Portland Terrace.


I enjoyed looking at the web site of Ladywood.


Hope you to hear from you.





Mike Jones

Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on


Although mostly not born here, lots of my ancestors lived in Birmingham in the 1870s/1880s/1890s, although they all soon moved on to the south Wales valleys for employment reasons.  In one of those odd twists and despite not knowing their history, I've moved back to the Midlands and currently work in Birmingham.

In 1881 Kate Mansell, my GG-grandmother, lived and worked at the Turkish Baths on Broad Street (just outside Ladywood, really...) which I understand opened in or before 1876 and closed in 1926.  If anyone is able to supply any more detail on the baths (especially their exact location on Broad Street - I know they were somewhere between Sheepcote Street and Brasshouse Passage but no more) or even pictures of the interior or exterior.

Please contact me at and my eternal gratitude is yours!  Please note: this is not the baths on Monument Road, which were unconnected.

Kate's parents and brothers lived at Icknield Square, which is very properly in Ladywood.  Although the area has been cleared at least once (probably twice) since then.

I would be interested in any information anyone might have on the Icknield Square area.  The same e-mail address applies: - thanks in anticipation.


Thomas Steven


Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on


I am writing on behalf of my mother who would have been known as Sandra Ford, she used to live on Edward Street in the 50s and 60s as a child.


Does anyone have any pictures of Edward Street, as my mother would dearly love to see any pictures of her old street

 Mark Webster

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What an incredible web site. My sister and I spend many hours in the Central Library in Birmingham trying to track down our family tree. Is there anyone who reads your site that remembers people from Nelson Street? My dad Robert Benjamin Milligan was born there in 1910 as was his sister Alice (1912) I know they lived at 77Nelson Street. My Aunt Bess married Ralph Evens and they ran a grocery shop in Nelson Street. They had children called Ron, Bill and Alice May. Dads half brother Gerald Marshall ran a grocery shop with his wife Nancy and two daughters Pauline and Susan. (I believe that was in either Sand Pits or Spring Hill) Aunt Doll married a Sedgley and lived up a terrace somewhere off Nelson Street. They had children called Gerald, John and Bess.


I would appreciate any information that could help us move on. We have traced the Marshalls back to Atch Lench in Evesham. Robert Milligan and Elizabeth Stockton had a son Robert born in 1896 in St John's Place Icknield Square and then got married three years later from Edgbaston Street.


Our Mother was Rose Lowe. We have managed to find a living relative of hers, Fred Rabone, but as she died in 1945 we have lost contact with the family. She was born 3 back of 68 Springfield Street. We cannot find anything in the library about this as back of numbers were not always recorded. She had several sisters Violet being one of them.



Our Grandparents where Thomas Milligan and Mary Elizabeth Sorrell (Formerly Marshall It seems she married several times). Unfortunately the birth certificate for Dad is ripped and we only have (10 back 135) part of the address. Thomas died June 1934 and Mary, May 1942 (just after I was born)


Hope this is not too convaluted to read and look forward to hearing anything that might throw some light on life back then.



Thanks in anticipation

Pam Cherry (nee Milligan)



Updated 2 February 2006

Hi does any body know what happened to the TRAPP family that lived in

Ladywood in the 1940.


Kevin Trapp


Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on

Thanks for the fascinating website.


It's very interesting to look at the photographs of Ladywood area especially of Ruston Street where my g g grandfather William John JACKSON lived when he was married to Ellen (Nelly) ALLEN in 1888. However I am a bit perplexed by his address, which looks like I House II Court Ruston Street. Is the second figure in Roman numerals, which makes it 1 House 2 Court? By 1895 he had moved to 127 Ledsam Street.


William's grandmother was Ann INSHAW (b 19 October 1803) who was a sister of John INSHAW (b 4 January 1808) - the famous Engineer - steam pressure gauge, twin-screw propeller and steam clock fame ? Can anyone help on this one?


Thanks again




Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on

I was an apprentice to W Sisson back in the 60's when it was part of Bellis & Morcom, obviously both companies no longer exist, but can you or perhaps anyone you know put me in touch with any contacts who may have knowledge as to what happened to all the company records?



Gerald Willis

Apprentice 1962-1967


Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on



I am interested in any old photos of:


Shakespeare Road (we used to live at number 35 directly opposite the Commercial pub until 1964).


My great great grandfather Johann Martin GEBHARD lived at the following addresses:  81 New Spring St. (from 1897), 45 Spring Hill Passage (from 1901) and 36 Heaton St. (in 1906).


My great great great grandfather Johann Jacob GEBHARD lived at: 132 Islington (1849 - 1851); King Edwards Rd. (1852), 187 Camden St. (1855), 138 Sandpits Parade (1864 to 1866) before spending the rest of his life in Hospital Street.


I do realise that I won't get photos of the exact houses (bit like trying to win the lottery!) but any photos of the above-mentioned streets when they are in back to back and court mode would be great.


So come on, get in the loft, go through the drawers ask your great aunts and uncles and grandparents to rummage for those old photos and PLEASE email or post a copy to Mac.


Many thanks in anticipation.




Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on

My name is Derek Horner and I lived at 80 Camden Street from the year of my birth 1944 until we moved to Hay Mills in 1952


I have memories of the following neighbours: Frank & Molly Walker who had a son named John, Frank, Earl, David & Harry Hawkins and the Peters family-son's name was I believe Jeffrey.


My mother who now lives in Sheldon had close friends in Emmy Crisp and her husband. I would love to hear from anyone who lived on Camden Street. I visited the street before I emigrated to the US in 1987 and my old school Camden Street was gone so was all the old neighbourhood.


I love your website-it is on my favourites, Derek.


Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on

My sister and I are researching our family tree and history and are looking for anybody who may have any information on our granddad or his family.

Our granddad's name was Gerald Charles Doughty, he was born 21st June 1927 at 62 or 67 Blythe Street. His dad's name was John "Jack" Doughty (who we believe to be a police man, possibly CID), his mom's name was Winnifred. Granddad (Gerald) had several brothers and sisters. I think they eventually moved away when John "Jack" retired and became the keeper of the "Bell Inn" Bromsgrove.

 Any help would be gratefully received?
Thanks, Stuart Doughty -


Please send all responses to the above email address and they will be forwarded on



I am trying to trace the Blakeman family of 44 Northbrook Street and Back of 277 Icknield Port Road.


Charles Henry Blakeman and Amy Firkin had several children but I only know the names of two of them, Harry Arthur Blakeman (born 23/11/1903) and Evelyn May Blakeman (born 19/4/1912).  Harry was the eldest and was my husband's grandfather, and Evelyn was the youngest (according to the birth index).  All we know about Charles and Amy is from a story handed down from their son Harry, that they had several children and then the marriage broke down and Amy ran off with another man leaving the children behind.  Charles couldn't cope as he had a disability and that all the children, except Harry as he was old enough to work, were sent to either other family members or children's homes.  We do not know if this is the truth as we have, to date, been unable to trace other descendants, including those of Evelyn.


I know that Charles Henry Blakeman's brother, Albert and his wife Sophia also lived at 277 Icknield Port Road with a daughter Amelia Jane (born 18/8/1904).


Anyone with any knowledge of either of these two families can contact me at as I would love to be able to provide my father-in-law with some details about who his aunts and uncles were - as he himself was an only child of Harry.


Mrs Julia Blakeman

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When I was in the Junior School of St Johns in Ladywood,  I always remembered a lovely friend I had, her name was Gillian Heavan or Evan, she lived off the Ladywood Road and although I must have only been about 10 or 11 years of age I have never forgotten her ,so if Gillian is out there and remembers me my name was then Carole Hart and I lived at 24 Blythe Street, email address is


Also when I left Osler Street School in 1958 I went to work first in the Jewellery Quarter then moved on to a place called R. Harriss, which was a Brassfounders in Pope Street, Ladywood  I had a good friend there who worked with me in a warehouse, she left to get married in 1962?  Her name was Christine Smith and she lived in Shakespeare Road, Ladywood.


I last saw her about 1964/5 when she moved to Worcester she had a little boy then called John, also had a sister called Hazel Smith would dearly love to hear from either of them, well Mac I know its a tall order  but I hope you can help please.


Regards Carole 

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I am trying to find a person who used to live at Ingleby Street, Ladywood. I would like to know what happened with that street, as I am told that the area changed a lot during the 1960's redevelopment.

My last 'trace' of the person I am looking for, Mr Jack Hadley, is a letter from his address at 2/10 Ingleby Street, the year 1946.

I would be grateful if you could share some of your knowledge regarding the Ladywood area. Mr Hadley was a soldier in the WW II.


Was Ingleby Street used during the 1940-50's as accommodation for soldiers, or was the street mainly for civil use at the time? If there was a big change, what area did most of the residents move to?

Thank you,


Carolina Stalhandske


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I'm a family tree searcher.


My family is GLAZE and were Jewellers initially, however times were  hard at stages and they wandered into other trades. Some were Fender  fitters, Cycle tool makers & at one stage a Publican on Constitution 

Hill in Birmingham ( no idea of the name........ could anyone help?  it was number 103 )


One of my ancestors was an amateur boxer............ John Edwin GLAZE better known as JACK. He was born  in 1864 and married in 1910. Any information on this chap or his  father William Glaze ( Jeweller & Publican) 1836 - 1909 would be most  grateful. They family lived in Ladywood from 1851 to 1881.


Do you  have any connections to this name  if so please e-mail me


I am also very interested in the Co Operative Diaries and the homes  they provided for their work force before 1901 - in particular an  employee Frederick PRITCHARD.


I'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Mac, for not just this site, but  also this kind service.


Much happiness

Debi Coone 


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Well done, fantastic site!


I'm an offspring from a Ladywood original!


My Father is still alive and having come across your site would like to surprise him with old memories.....


He along with several brother's & sister's were born in Ladywood-Anderton Street, their Father was John Williams [Jack] and Mum's name was Smallman..a Romany I believe....John worked in the foundry, bad accident with molten ore on his foot... resulted in a deformaty.....anyway any feedback would be appreciated, hope this will contribute to your website?


Kind regards,


Andy Watson


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Hi Mac, Would you through your wonderful site please print the following.


I need information about a KATHLEEN JOAN DODSON. (my AUNT). She was born in 1920, to KATE AND WILLIAM DODSON and she attended local schools as did her two sisters, QUEENIE (my mother) and ELSIE.


Around 1938-9 she disappears, stories circulated that she had gone to London and may have been caught up in the bombing, or she may have married an AMERICAN and gone to the U S A, and yet other tales, 

whatever, she was never seen again.


The family came from LADYWOOD. She also had two brothers, ERIC and LES CURTIS/DODSON.


If any one can shed any light on this mystery, I would be grateful or any advice would be more than welcome.   PLEASE HELP


Thank you Mac for your time.


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Hi, does anyone have any old photos of the Beehive Pub, Garbett Street, Ladywood, or does anyone remember our family running the pub. My dad was Pat Mc Guire, and moms name was Beryl.


We moved there in May 1965, and left December 1965, after dad had a serious heart attack. There were two school age children and two babies.


Does anyone remember us?


I am starting to write the history of my life for my children and need every bit of information I can get, as mom and dad are no longer with us.


Please get in touch if you can help, many thanks.  Linda.


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My sister and I are researching our family tree and we are coming to a point of people running out of memories and such like.

We are looking for the any information about the "Doughty" family, we know that our granddad was born in Ladywood and his parents John "Jack" Doughty and Winnifred lived at 62 or 67 Blythe Street and John was in the police force? 

We would be grateful for any help or information

Stuart Doughty


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I am writing to you on behalf of my Dad, Alf Woodcock who lived in Ladywood, in Bath Passage and on Monument Road until 1956.


He married Olive Kinsey, (My Mum) some 57 years ago. She used to live with her parents who kept the wines and spirits shop on The Bridge in Monument Road.


Alf is not very internet friendly these days, he is 78 years old, but would love to hear from anyone who might have anything to say to him!


We have had a good look at your site and he is very pleased at the work you have done


By the way... He found his way here thanks to a friend who lives in Penarth, in Wales, near Cardiff. His old Navy friend met someone connected with this site in a supermarket in Wales!




Stephen Woodcock

pp Alf Woodcock


Anyone who would like to make contact, please email to the above email address and I will forward it on, Mac


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I have been looking for Saint Peters School and Church in Ladywood and there is no mention of it my mom was married at the church and my sister attended the school, I went to Nelson Street School it used to stand at the back of the antique shop on Broad Street, somewhere in the region of the ICC can you enlighten me.


Anne Gallagher


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Ron Beattie started at the school in approximately 1950 and left when he was 15 years of age.


He is keen to contact anyone who remembers him.


Some of the friends he remembers are :  Johny Harris, David Atkins, Archie Hunt, Trevor Smith who lived at the top of Osler Street, Reggie Hale, Tommy Smith, and Victor Mahood (not sure about the spelling).


Anyone can contact me via this e-mail address -


Thank you, Pamela Free

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Josie Yates and my self lived and went to Osler Street in 1954/59 I have been looking for her for some time but have no success could you help. We did go out with each other after we left school but I left Birmingham and now live in Wales.


Bernard Taylor

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I am researching my GEORGE family who lived in All Saints, Aston and Ladywood. 


Harry GEORGE my 2nd Great-grandfather was married to Elizabeth TAYLOR and their 4 children, Walter (GGF), Harry, William and Elsie.  Harry GEORGE died in Ladywood in about 1915, he was a Goldsmith.


If anyone knows anything about my Georges's please contact me.


Thank you

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I'm looking for Jennifer Jones attended Follet Osler from 1951 upwards.  We lived next door to each other in Gt. Tindall Street and I moved in 1955-56.  Kept in touch for a while but sadly I do not know where she is now.


If anyone can help, I would be most grateful.


My email is


My name then was Jeanette Webb (jean), anyone remember me?

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I wonder if you have any information at all about boxing in Birmingham around the turn of the 18th / 19th century?

I am looking for a group of men known as The Birmingham Boxers who went to New York around that time.  One of them is my Gt Uncle Charles Joseph Woolley a.k.a. Joe Woolley.


There used to be a photo of him in a pub in Redditch so I'm fairly certain there must be some information somewhere.  I have tried the library but no luck.  The pub has been modernised as the photo was there when my grandad was alive and he's been gone since 1950 (mind you - if it was Brum the pub would have gone as well!)

Any information at all would be greatly appreciated.

Also can you tell me where Cottage Lane was please?  I can't find it anywhere so far.

Many thanks

Penny Jennings

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Just been recommended this site for my research on my ancestors my birth mothers names was Janet V. Jones and she lived at Clark Street her mother was Francis or Florence Jones and step father was Tom or Thomas Jones.


Other children are Susan Jones, Steven Jones and John Jones, does any one remember this family from Ladywood?


Have left several requests on different sites with no response, my grandmother died in 1966-7 and my step grandfather remarried not long after to a lady called Rose, my mother (Janet) lived in Ladywood most of her childhood she was born in 1946, think this family was catholic any info would be appreciated as I’m struggling to do the family tree on my mothers side.


Thanks in advance for all response


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I have been researching one of my Grandmothers' side of the family that originated from the Ladywood area.  Her Grandfather is listed on the 1871 census as being a 'Beer Retailer' and as a 'Licensee' on his daughter's Marriage Certificate.   According to the census, the family lived at number 31 Ledsam Street and not at a Public House in Ledsam Street.


Can you tell me if 'Beer Retailer' would have meant that he ran an Off-License from his home or perhaps brewed beer there to supply to Public Houses.


Any comment or help you can give me to clarify his occupation would be much appreciated.


I have found your web-site and photos of old Ladywood very interesting.


Many thanks

Lynn Yates



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Hello. I’m researching my family history, and this is probably a long shot. I’m looking for an ancestor. Annie Shannon, who according to the 1901 census was living at 37 Back Cumberland Street, Ladywood. Age 20yrs at the time she was a lodger with William Barret age 26 and his wife Annie age 26. Also lodging there was a John Tranter age 23. Annie was born in Lichfield (mother Mary Shannon) and she was working as a Warehouse Woman in Tin Goods (probably Colins's?) I have looked on the BMDs to see if she and who she married, but to no avail. If any one remembers Annie please email me. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Kathleen.

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I am researching my family history- like most Brummies my ancestors moved into Birmingham during the Nineteenth Century to work from other parts of Britain.


Some of my ancestors - my mother's great grand father William Williams, wife Elizabeth and his sons James and William came from Shropshire (William, Snr, came from Pembrokeshire originally), they were Revolving Blind and Shutter Makers at 1, King Alfred's Place in Ladywood in the second half of the Nineteenth Century.


I should like more information on them and their business if particular, and on King Alfred's Place in general.


I have looked at Census records, etc so know that there were children born in Birmingham.

Perhaps someone reading your web page is a descendant of theirs or has some knowledge of the address.  I cannot find King Alfred's Place in the A-Z so it was probably demolished year's ago.


Would be grateful for any information.  By coincidence I now live in the County where William, Snr was born so the part of me that is a Williams has come full circle!.


Catherine White

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Hello, I am currently researching my family history.


My Great Great Grandmother is shown on the 1891 census as living at 60, Garbett St, Ladywood (Birmingham) with her eldest son Frederick who was 20 at the time and a Railway Stoker (Later went on to become a Train Driver).


Mary, I believe was widowed (Her late husband was Edwin) but there were other children named Rose, and John.


If anyone has any information or believes they are in some way related please contact me at





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I have had a request from Mrs. Elsie Levi regarding a grocery shop in Broad Street called "BROWN & SIMPSON" can anyone remember this shop, please email Mac

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My name is Ray Homer and I lived around the mid 50’s in Blythe Street.  I am now close to 60 and my memories of our time in Ladywood are vague but I would love to have more information.


Our family name was Homer and we ran a shop in Blythe Street next door to a pub.

Dad’s name was Reg, mother, Doris and an older brother Tony.  Tony now lives in the States, me? I’m in Cannock!

I have memories of playing on the ‘bombed building’.  There was a nearby rubber factory I remember, from where local families had ‘out work’ cutting away the excess rubber after moulding.  I also recall kids going to the coal yard with there prams or to a local shop to have the accumulator re-charged.  I never did find out what the ‘accumulator’ was for!


I remember having great fun with my mates playing in the old and gutted building when they were readied for re-development but sadly can’t remember any names!


If anyone remembers me or my family I would truly love to hear from them. 


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I am researching my family history and have found out that the Moseley side of my family ran a sweet factory/shop in Ladywood (we think Camden Street), which later moved to Marston Green after a fire. The business was later sold by the son and daughter of the owner. I have been unable to find out any more than this and would be grateful for any information.



Kathryn Harris

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I don't know if you can help.  I am researching my maternal grandmother's family tree - a bit difficult when you live in France.


The majority of my research at the moment all centres around Ladywood.  I have the following street names:


Tennant Street, Marroway Street, Cope Street, Ladywell Walk, Bishopsgate Street, Essington Street for starters.


I can remember two of my grandmother's sisters having shops in Spring Hill.


Anyway, to cut a long story short do you know of any contacts, organisations, people etc. that share an interest in Ladywood genealolgy?


Many thanks, Helen Rolph


PS - Thoroughly enjoy your web site.


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According to several birth certificates, my ggg grandma had several children at 14 Court Essington Street in the late 1840’s, early 1850’s, but I cannot find that address on the 1851 Birmingham census. At that time was it classed as Birmingham or Worcestershire, as I believe it may have been on the counties border.


Thank you for any help.





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I have recently begun to look into my family history and have discovered that my great grandmother was born in Kellett's House, Garbett Street, Ladywood.


If you have any information about this building I would be fascinated to hear about it.


Was it a Workhouse, a hospital, a refuge ?


I would be most interested to find out. According to the birth certificate for my great Grandmother, my great great Grandfather's occupation was an Engraver in 1850.


If you could direct me to any links which may help in my research I

would be most grateful.


Congratulations on a beautiful Web page a real joy to browse through.


Mrs. Sue Dipple

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Hi Mac,


I wonder if you, or anyone else could help me, was Bishopgate Street, and Tennant Street, in Ladywood prior to the 1950s, I'm doing some family research, I always thought that Ladywood ended at Five Ways, but I could be wrong.

Take care, Graham

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I am researching my family history and would like to find any information relating to Springfield Street, Ladywood, the birthplace of my father in 1928. Are there any photographs of the said street, or do you know of any contacts? Thank you for you attention... and may I congratulate on such an informative Ladywood website!


Yours, Michael styles  (Birmingham).

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Hope you can find them

I am looking for Micky Hopcroft, Dixie Depper, Barry Bennett, Derek Hill, Denice Bryant, Linda Wills.

We all lived in Anderton Street in the 60s, I lived at 108 Anderton Street and I would love to hear from anyone who know where they are


Dick Sheppard

e-mail address

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Hope you can help,

My Dad was born in Anderton Street in 1963. I'm not sure of the house number, but his family name was Young. His Mother was Anne Young & his Father Eric Young., there were seven children including my Dad.


If anyone has any memories of the family or any pictures of relevance I would love to hear from them!


Sarah Young

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I think I have sent you an e-mail before about this family tree that I am researching. I have been on the net today and seen a pub called St Vincent. 228 St Vincent Street, the lady I am researching was born at 228 St Vincent Street in 1914 so this was of interest to me, but I can't find any trace of it, does it ring any bells with you. 

Thank you, Regards Rita

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I wonder if you can help me, I am researching a family tree, three of the families I have traced so far, lived in Ladywood, I have had a marriage certificate come this morning, on it there is a Samuel  Williams, licensed victualler, so I presume he worked or ran a public house, his address was 15, Hyde Rd, Ladywood 

Samuel had a daughter, Elizabeth, it is her tree family that I am researching, she married a Frederick Sterland on 15th January 1910. I hope you will be able to help, your site is very interesting. 

Thanking you in anticipation, Rita.

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Hello! I went to St Johns School in Ladywood until 1964 when my parents moved to Lichfield. However, I can still remember some of my classmates names they would all be born 1953/1954 so would be aged 50/51 now. I wonder what they did? where they are etc.? Names I can remember:- Peter Allington, Derek Scott, Duncan Whitburn (had a brother Billy), Maria Fay, Ann Stagg, Eric Mouzer (found him), Raymond Elliott (I think), teacher Mr. Davies, Headmistress Smethurst? 

Strange to think I was only 10 years old but I can still remember the names. Paul GEBHARD

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Brian Crisp - I would like to make contact with my old mate Michael Dugmore.  He lived in a house near to the Birmingham Accident Hospital the last time I saw him.  We both started to take Cookery lessons with the girls school next door.  I think we thought it was a good way to get to see the girls up close.  He took to it like a duck to water and I believe he carried on when he left school.  I left the school at the end of third year to go to Harborne Hill and lost touch with him after that.  If you know of his whereabouts or if you read this Mike I can be contacted on

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My name is Louise I am currently searching for my ancestors whom the majority originated in the Ladywood area, I grew up listening about fond memories of the 'old end' Ladywood, Oh how I wish I had asked more questions! I had family living in Edward Rd, Garbett Street and Steward St. I wonder if anyone would have information on my great great granddad Albert Hands he had a brother nicknamed Bodger who was a window cleaner and a sister called Florence and possibly one called Kate, he took bets at his house in Steward Street and had some connection with Watty Greens bookies where his photo was displayed in the window there. He was widowed young and was left with his son Walter; hope someone can shed some light.  Other family names in the area were Woodhall and Starkey.  My mother was one of six and attended Camden Street School. Would love to hear about any memories of my family.

Kind regards Louise -

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Dear Sir, We found your web-site and hope that you will be able to help us. 

For one of our customers we are looking for spare parts for a Bellis + Morcom compressor.

Is this company still existing? If not, do you know who overtook their business?

Would be very glad to hear from you.

Best regards, Bernt Lange, BSC Bromberg, Staudt & Co. GmbH Winterhuder Weg 31 / 22085 Hamburg / Germany

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Hello, My name is Victoria Holland and I live in Ft. Worth, Texas USA. Apparently from my birth records, or adoption papers (was adopted from St. Patrick’s Home in Dublin, Ireland) I was born in Birmingham, England at Dudley Road Hospital, and then was taken by my birth mother to Ireland. While my birth mother stayed in Birmingham, she resided in Ladywood on Steward Street. (I think Ladywood is in Birmingham) I was born May 31, 1960.   If anyone knows of Imelda O'Reilly's whereabouts, I sure would love a picture of her. Thanks Victoria Lynne Holland formerly Imelda O'Reilly (same name as my birth mother)

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I'm Martin the son of Hilda New (nee Detheridge) who was a close friend of both your mother & father and Dolly Leaver.


After Dolly sent mom a copy of your excellent "Good Morning Ladywood" book she has been wondering what became of a couple of their close friends from around that time. I'm hoping that somehow you may have some information that you can pass on regarding their whereabouts or relatives etc...


The one friend's name was Jessie Gilliver formerly of Ruston Street, Ladywood. Her name & photo appears amongst Silver Jubilee celebrations on page 47 of your book. Jessie worked with Dolly & mom at the old Cannings Jam Factory, Freeth St. Ladywood during the war. The second old friend of interest Maude Stokes also worked with them & also lived in Ladywood. Of course these are the ladies maiden names, unfortunately mom never heard their new surnames if they did indeed get married.

 The clue though to tracing these ladies comes down to a brother of Jessie Gilliver. Shortly after your book was released Dolly wrote to mom to say that Jessie’s brother had made contact after reading your book. 

I'm hoping that somehow Malcolm you may have a contact address for Jessie herself or her brother. Unfortunately mom cannot remember the brothers christian name.


I have checked BT telephone & address details on the web for the name Gilliver in Birmingham & came up with three names, one of which may be the brother .I thought I’d contact you in the hope that you may have information that will save me contacting all three in search of Jessie.


I know this may be a shot in the dark & we're not even sure that Jessie Gilliver or Maude Stokes are still with us - but I’m making the effort because I know mom would be very pleased to hear anything about them.


Any information you may have connected to this search would be much appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.


Also Mac we were wondering whether you have heard anything recently of Dennis Detheridge, cousin to my mother, also from Ladywood & at one time a bit of a musical icon around Birmingham. He was once editor of music paper "Brum Beat" in the sixties & also wrote for the Birmingham press & also did the occasional feature for Melody Maker.

He later became press agent for artists such as the group XTC.


I also contacted John Woodhouse at the Brumbeat website who promised to try & search out Dennis but has had no luck so far.


So again any help you can supply Mac, especially with your contacts, might help us find mom’s lost friends & relatives.


All the very best


Martin New

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A query for you pal. My family all originate from Ladywood. Many years ago I seem to remember travelling with my late father through the "old area". We stopped in a street that may have been Sherbourne St., one of his old abodes, and he pointed out the location of a pub that I'm sure he said was the Spread Eagle. I maybe wrong on both items. Time plays funny tricks with the old memory. Maybe you can help. Many thanks for such a good site. Very interesting. - Regards Wal Wootton.

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Does anyone remember Sid's the men’s outfitters on Shakespeare Road? I am his grandson, the son on Molly his eldest daughter who married a GI in WW2.


Sid and Flo Butts ran the shop from about 1920 and I am told he was a very well known character on the street. They moved from there in about 1937 to live in Hatton, near Warwick, and then Knowle, but kept the shop and travelled in by car every day. Sid died in 1966 and the shop was taken over by his son - also Sid - until he moved it to Smethwick in about 1970 just prior to the rebuilding in the area.


My mother Margaret - always and still known as Molly - will probably also be remembered. She attended St Marks School and helped in the shop before marrying a GI in 1945 and moving to America in 1945 - although they subsequently moved back here.


Another large family in the area was the Rudge family; They were related to the Butts and I often here talk of them - Stephen Carrico

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Just found the wonderful  site with all the photos of Ladywood.


Would anyone happen to have photos of 168 Upper Sutton Street around 1888 and 89 St Marks Street around 1891. My LEWIS family lived in these houses around this time.  


Thanking you, Diana Healey

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