Saturday, November 25, 2017

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January 2015 - Issue No. 166


Carl Writes

Each and every one of us has made our mark upon history and each and every person has a story to tell not only about themselves but also about their people who came before them. But for too long, history has been regarded as the preserve of professional historians and too often that feeling has led to the belief that history belongs only to a select few. But it doesn't; it belongs to all of us, no matter who we are and where we have come from and whatever may be our colour, class or creed.
Thankfully tens of thousands of family and local historians have shown and are showing that history is not an exclusive concern that indeed it does belong to the people  all of the people.
History must be democratised and the lives of supposedly ordinary people matter because the people themselves matter.
I have always believed passionately in this approach. To these ends my work has focused upon those who too often have been excluded from or marginalised by formal history: the working class, especially the poor; women; and ethnic minorities.
And through my work as a Community Historian, I have realised that people should and indeed can tell their own stories and not have them mediated through the words of others. Those stories can be told in many ways whether it be in letters, poems, life stories, creative writing, photographs, paintings, drawings, recordings or videos. This local, community and family history has a two-fold social purpose in modern society.
First, through an awareness of our own past and that of others we can bring people together, recognising the commonality of human experiences through our own lives and stories and those of others who may appear to be different to us. Second, an understanding of the past can provide a vital bond of continuity for young people living in a perpetually changing world, giving them a sense of place and belonging and an appreciation of the fact that the rights we now enjoy were gained through the hardships of those that came before.
These beliefs have deeply affected the BirminghamLives Archive, which you can read about in this issue. It contains over 40,000 letters, hundreds of life stories, thousands of interviews, cine film, tens of thousands of photos and a wealth of memorabilia. Together they make up probably the biggest collection of working-class life history for any one place in the world and that BirminghamLives archive was developed by you and belongs to you.
As ever there is much more to read in this month's Brummagem including article about the Cenotaph at the Transport Stadium in Kings Heath and another on John Bowen, a builder responsible for some of our most impressive public buildings. And we also bring you some wonderful photographs of Birmingham and the 1950s and early 1960s from the late Dennis and Horace Hall.

 

Tara a bit and

Happy New Year

Carl

 

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February 2015 - Issue No. 167

Carl Writes

Little Bromwich is a name which has been dropping out of use for centuries but has survived - just. As part of the parish of Aston, it is first mentioned in the 1200s when Henry Russel of Little Bromwich made a grant of tenements and lands to John son of William at Grove of Erdinton.
It seems likely that the name Little was added to differentiate the place from the adjoining Bromwich, which was distinguished with the prefix of Castle. Bromwich itself means the dwelling or farm where broom grows.
From the later Middle Ages, there seemed to be two manors of Little Bromwich: one was also known as Alum Rock and covered the Alum Rock and Treaford Hall estates; the other was also called Ward End and consisted of the Ward End Hall Estate. According to John Tomlinson's Survey of 1759, both sections were actually part of one manor. 
Still, as Alum Rock and Ward End emerged as distinct districts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, then Little Bromwich came to be applied to only a small area. This was bounded by Little Bromwich Road in the east, Blake Lane in the west, Bordesley Green East in the north and Yardley Green Road in the south. Much of this land was taken up by the city's Fever Hospital, which was built on Howlett's Farm, and its presence may have led folk to drop the name Little Bromwich and adopt that of Bordesley Green.
The Little Bromwich Hospital admitted its first patient suffering from smallpox on June 29, 1895. An isolation hospital for the treatment of endemic diseases such as tuberculosis and diphtheria, it was ran by the Corporation until it was taken on by the NHS in 1948. In 1962 it was merged with Yardley Green Hospital and renamed East Birmingham Hospital.
One person who has strong memories of this area is Frank Slater. He was a patient at Yardley Green for over three years, during his treatment for TB. During this time Frank learned to paint and this issue of the Brummagem brings you his memories of growing up in Handsworth and Yardley Green Hospital as well as some of his evocative paintings. As ever there is much more to stir memories from life in rural Billesley to that around the Fox and Goose and from a tribute to a hero brother to the recollections of a WAAF.

Have a bostin read.

Tara a bit

Carl

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March 2015 - Issue No. 168

Carl Writes

They reckoned that Hitler had missed the bus, as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had put it on April 4 1940 because little had happened in Western Europe since war had been declared in September 1939. Five days later, the Phoney War ended as the Wehrmacht swept into Denmark unopposed and seaborne troops seized Oslo and the other major cities of Norway.
In the succeeding battles the German navy suffered heavy losses, but by June 10 the Nazis were triumphant and British soldiers were withdrawn from the north of Norway. Dispirited and dejected, Chamberlain had resigned as Prime Minister on May 10 - the same day that the Germans invaded Belgium, Holland and France. He was replaced by Winston Churchill, a charismatic leader whose radio broadcasts inspired the people of the United Kingdom when all seemed lost.
Soon after, the Dutch army was overwhelmed and on May 14, the Germans bombed Rotterdam, killing 900 civilians. By now the Wehrmacht was advancing rapidly through France, after concentrating their attacks on weak links in the French defence. This Blitzkreig, or lightning war, was so effective that within days France's leading generals were accepting the inevitability of defeat.
Aware of the impending French collapse, General Gort realised that he had to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force. This had been split into two within days of the German invasion, when the enemy reached the coast at Abbeville. British troops to the south of the German lines were ordered to evacuate from ports to the west - including St Nazaire in Normandy. In total 57,235 troops were evacuated from here: 54,411 of them were British and 2,764 Polish.
Less well-known than the evacuation from Dunkirk, it is brought to life in this month's Brummagem in the memories of Bill Chambers - brought to us thanks to his daughter, Judith Bates.
As ever there is much more to stir recollections of the past - from extracts from Richard Preece's novel, which highlights the experience of a Birmingham firefighting family, to Margaret Rudge's compelling recollections of back-street Birmingham, revolving around Double Knacks, Yards and Shelters; and from Patrick Doyle's memories of when he was a young autograph hunter to those of Patrick Bladon focusing around the Capitol picture house.

Have a bostin read.

Tara a bit

Carl

April 2015 Brummagem magazine front cover  

 

April 2015 - Issue No. 169

Carl Writes

On June 4, 1940, just a few weeks after he had become Prime Minister, Winston Churchill went to the House of Commons to report on the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and other Allied troops from Dunkirk. He declared that it had been a 'miracle of deliverance' but then went on to warn the nation that, 'we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations'.
Aware that France was on the point of collapse, he made it plain that the threat of an invasion was a very real one. But in the most famous passage of his speech, Churchill declared that 'we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!'
The possibility of repulsing an invasion was boosted by the large number of men who had been brought back to safety. Aware of the imminent German victory over France, General Gort had ordered the British Expeditionary Force to pull back to defensive lines around Dunkirk so as to be evacuated.
Then on May 26 began Operation Dynamo had started. The situation was dire and it was feared that only 10,000 British troops would be saved but in the event, 200,000 men were rescued along with 140,000 French and Belgian soldiers.
Their safety was assured by the actions of the Royal Navy and a flotilla of small boats which sailed to Dunkirk and took men from the beaches. The evacuation was protected by the bravery of pilots from the Royal Air Force; by the courage of 150,000 French troops who became prisoners of war after Dunkirk; and by the resilience of the British Army's rear-guard. This year is the 75th anniversary of that remarkable evacuation from Dunkirk and in this issue of the Brummagem we bring you news of what will be the last pilgrimage to the port by the Birmingham Dunkirk Veterans Fellowship to honour their fallen comrades.
As ever there is much more to highlight the past: from Tony Hubble's memories of Lozells in the 1940s and 50s to Ivor Curley's recollections of battling TB as a child; and from the stories behind the names on the Wear Memorial in St Margaret's Church, Olton to the women of Anderton Street.

Have a bostin read.

Tara a bit

Carl

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May 2015 - Issue No. 170


Carl Writes

Our Granddad Perry was one of the most important people in our lives when I was young. Unhappily Granddad had been struck down by multiple sclerosis when he was in his forties and quickly he had lost the use of his legs and his right arm, so that he could only get about in a wheelchair pushed by someone else.
Yet though Our Granddad's body was limited to a wheelchair his mind and spirit were never confined. Through the stories he told we did indeed walk with him and did the things we dreamed of doing with him. We went down the match with him. He was a big Blues fan but told us that the finest half back line he had ever seen was Gibson, Talbot and Tate of the Villa.
We went for a drink with him to the Prince Rupert in Nechells, because that was the nearest pub that sold his favourite mild brewed by Butler's of Wolverhampton. We were by Granddad's side when he bumped into the feared Brummie hard nut, the Tyseley Terror, in Hick Street, Highgate  the street Our Granddad come out of.
We were also with Granddad in the hardships of his childhood. His dad was a very harsh father and his beloved mother, Laura, died in childbirth when Granddad was a youngster. We saw through his eyes her beautiful red hair which he always held fast in his memory and we mourned with him when his dear younger sister, Queenie Victoria, died aged nineteen.
We also hungered with Granddad when he was locked in the attic by his dad and was allowed no food. Then we trudged disconsolately with him that night his old man threw him out when he was just fourteen in 1920 and Granddad had to go and stay the night in the Rowton House  then regarded as a doss house.
And we were as chuffed as he was the next day when his best pal's dad, Mr Field the local copper, fetched him out and took him home to live with his family. That's where Granddad stayed until he married Our Nan.
Probably because of the hardships he had endured, we knew little else about Granddad's younger days except that he was proud to have been a choirboy at St Alban's, Highgate. This Anglican-Catholic tradition church stands between Stanhope Street and Conybere Street and celebrates its 150th anniversary this year  and in this month's Brummagem we bring you some wonderful photos of St Alban's Church processions. As ever there is much more to stir memories - from a tale of music and marriage in Aston to an apprenticeship in the printing trade, and from a life-changing experience of evacuation to VE Day in Hobs Moat Road.

Have a bostin read.

Tara a bit

Carl

 

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June 2015 - Issue No. 171


Carl Writes

During the English Civil War, Birmingham's people were staunch Parliamentarians and were as staunchly against King Charles I. In 1642, just a few days before the Battle of Edge Hill on the 23 October, he and his army actually passed through the town, but as soon as they had gone the citizens of Birmingham seized the carriages containing the royal plate and other valuables and took them to Warwick Castle.
This injury was compounded by subsequent attacks on small parties of Royalists, and the sending of the prisoners to the Parliamentarian stronghold of Coventry. According to William Hutton, these actions led to the proverbial expression to a refractory person, Send him to Coventry.
It is also believed that Robert Porter of Birmingham supplied fifteen thousand swords for the Earl of Essex's forces, whilst refusing to allow the King's men to buy such weapons. Birmingham was later vilified by the Royalist writer, Edward Hyde the Earl of Clarendon, in his History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England.
He fulminated that Bromwicham was a town so generally wicked and that its citizens had made clear a more peremptory malice to his Majesty than any other place. Unhappily, the partisanship of the Birmingham people was to lead to a terrible day of reckoning when Birmingham was attacked and sacked in the spring of 1643 by Prince Rupert and his men.
They reached Birmingham on Easter Monday afternoon and his headquarters was reckoned to be the Ship Inn - and I recall as a youngster that this was advertised on the pub before it was knocked down in road improvements. This camping of the Royalists is said to have led to the naming of Camp Hill. In fact, though it is called after a John Kempe, hence John Kempe Way.
But Camp Hill was not just a landmark, it was also a neighbourhood  as Michael Twohig brings alive through his memories. As ever there is much more to stir recollections: from David Weaver's insightful poems evoking old Aston to Brian Cook's thoughts on his childhood in Highgate and from Chrchill's visit ot Brum in 1945 to the connection between Castle Vale's roads and RAF stations.

Have a bostin read.

Tara bit


Carl
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July 2015 - Issue No. 172


Carl Writes

Whenever my Great Granny Chinn used to walk down The Lane, the Ladypool Road in Sparkbrook and pass a Romany Gypsy, invariably that person would stop and greet her with the word sister. This term was used for one of their own and indeed Great Granny Chinn had the look of a Romany Gypsy with her dark-complexion and dark hair that was given a gloss with coconut oil and which was plaited either side of her head.
We always thought that she had Romany blood from her mother's people, the Notleys, who were miners and agricultural labourers on the Bedminster Downs in Somerset. And there was also a story that my Great, Great Granny Chinn was connected to Romanies  although we are not sure from which side of her family. Her father, Joseph Grigg, was an agricultural labourer in Kings Norton and Northfield, who married her mother, Frances Palfrey, at St Philip's in Birmingham in 1826.
There must be many others like me who have only the slightest of evidence hinting at Romany Gypsy ancestors and wished that we knew more. And that is why the work of Ted Rudge is so important, for he has pulled from the obscurity of history the Romany Gypsy families of the Black Patch in Birmingham and drawn deserved attention to them.
I pay tribute to Ted and the job he has done in enlightening me and others through his book, Brumroamin. Through this he has ensured that the families of the Black Patch will not now be forgotten. They will be remembered positively and so too will their contribution to Birmingham's history.
Ted has done something to which all historians should aspire. He has shed light on a people who have been hidden from view. He has pulled the Romanies into the gaze of history and in so doing he has ensured that we take note of them and appreciate them. Ted's study is a indeed a pioneering one and it continues as is highlighted in this month's Brummagem.
As ever there is much more from remembering the Italians of Birmingham, to a Brummie soldier at the Battle of Waterloo and from jam making to the Chocolate Soldiers.

Have a bostin read.

Tara bit


Carl
August 2015 Brummagem magazine cover image  

August 2015 - Issue No. 173


Carl Writes

Back-to-back and up the yard was the lived experience of hundreds of thousands of Brummies from the early 1800s to the late 1960s. Built hard and fast by factories and innumerable works, back-to-back houses were embedded in a gloomy setting, blackened as it was by smoke and smog. In many neighbourhoods it was as if the lights had been dowted permanently, whilst any freshness in the air was driven out by the smells of industrial pollution.
In Glasgow, Dublin and much of London, tenements were the dominant form of housing for poorer people. But in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Salford and much of the Black Country it was back-to-backs. Why? Well jerry-builders wanted to maximise the amount of badly-built dwellings they could put up quickly on as small a piece of land as possible. They sought a quick return, so they threw up terraces which literally were back-to-back.
Huge numbers of working-class folk had nowhere else to live. And yet here, where the environment was so hostile and harmful to health, they strove to stay clean and to forge close-knit neighbourhoods, and they battled for respectability and for a better world for those yet unborn.
Those back-street Brummies, those whose address was back of, were remarkable. They grew up in tough times and in a harsh environment, the hardness of which was leavened by the solidarity and support shown by neighbours and kin one to another. As part of a remarkable people, they knew that life is not about me and I, rather it is about we and us, about giving and not taking, about sharing and not being selfish. In the midst of adversity they created something most special extended families, kinship networks, neighbourliness, and communality.
I am someone who is proud to be the son of back-street Brummies, with a Mom from Aston and a Dad from Sparkbrook, and I had always wanted to write a book called Back to Back and Up the Yard in tribute to them, to my grandparents and great grandparents and all those other Brummies who shared their upbringing and background. However I do not think that I would have ever found the time to do so. Consequently, I am pleased that Ted Rudge and Mac Joseph have brought out such a book.
It is called, most fittingly, We Lived Back to Back and I cannot think of anyone better than them to have written it as I know that they have handled their research, gathering of photographs and writing with empathy, sensitivity and understanding.
The last families were moved out of back-to-backs in 1969/1970. Those who grew up back-to-back and up the yard are ageing and within a generation will mostly be gone. What Ted and Mac have done is a vital service to them, their forebears and those yet to come: they have brought to life the memories of a way of life that existed for generations, memories that would have been lost if it were not for this book.
You can read more about We Lived Back to Back in this month's Brummagem, which also includes June Bryan's memories of back-to-back life in Highgate. As ever there is much more  from the stirring story of a pioneering businesswoman to a much-loved resident of Kings Heath, and from an account of the Birmingham Municipal Bank to Ashmores Shoe Shop in the Great Western Arcade.


Have a bostin read.

Tara bit


Carl
September 2015 Brummagem magazine front cover  


September 2015 - Issue No. 174


Carl Writes


My Granddad Perry came out of Hick Street, Highgate but the origins of his father, Thomas, lay in the Black Country. The 1881 census records my great, great grandfather William Perry and his wife, Mary Ann, in a back-to-back in a yard in Upper Highgate Street, where they continued to live for at least the next 30 years. They had seven children with them. My great grandfather, Thomas, was the third oldest aged nine. He had been born in Dudley. However, his younger sister, Beatrice, aged eight had been born in Birmingham.
A depression in trade from the 1870s stalked the Black Country, hence why the Perrys came to Birmingham for work. However, my Granddad Perry knew little about his background, but what we did know was that his father had married three times. Granddad was the oldest son by Thomas' first wife, Laura. She was loved deeply by Our Granddad but died in childbirth in 1922 aged 39. Granddad was just sixteen and through his words we saw her beautiful red hair which he always held fast in his memory.
Four years later my great grandfather, Thomas Perry, married Beatrice Lillian Whitfield. By then my Granddad had left home. He had endured a very hard life with his father and after staying a night in the Rowton House he was taken in by Mr Field, the local bobby, and his wife. He stayed there till he married Our Nan in 1934 and moved to Aston.
My great grandfather then divorced Beatrice and in 1937 married Annie Hannan, who had two children with him. Gordon was the eldest. He was 31 years younger than his half-brother, my Granddad, and the same age as my mom, Sylvia, who was his niece. Granddad kept an eye out for Gordon when he used to visit his father and Auntie Annie used to take him and his sister, Mavis, to visit Granddad.
Mom and Gordon were very close but in 1947 his father died and soon after they lost touch. But Our Mom always remembered Gordon with deep affection and often talked about him. Then about 12 years ago she asked me to make an appeal on my Sunday radio show for Gordon to get in contact. He did and strangely he lived very close to us.
Mom and he picked up from where they had left off when they were youngsters and Gordon became a very important and much-loved member of our family. Sadly we lost him last September after he was taken very ill and fetched into the QE. Again strangely, he was in exactly the same room in the ward right above where Our Mom was being looked after at the same time.
Gordon died just three weeks before Our Mom and his funeral was on the morning as we managed to get Mom home on the afternoon to die amongst her family. He was an honourable, patriotic, kind, thoughtful and giving man and I was proud to be his nephew.
This month's Brummagem includes a captivating extract from Gordon's account of his early days growing up in a back house in Balsall Heath and we also include wonderful photos sent in by Linda Andrews whose family owned Atkins's coffee house in Whitehouse Street, Aston. As ever there is much more to stir your memories and thoughts.


Have a bostin read.

Tara bit


Carl
October Brummagem magazine cover 2015  


October 2015 - Issue No. 175


Carl Writes


We grew up in a world of order and routine, in which we did the same things each week at the same time on the same day. Our own week really began about midday on a Sunday, when Dad would pick up Granddad Perry from Magnolia House in Highgate, where he lived because he was stricken by multiple sclerosis and could not walk or use his right arm.
Mom always made a big roast and because we always had a late breakfast on a Sunday we had the main meal in the early evening. Then we'd drop Granddad Perry back and have to get up the dancers for school the next day.
We had to be up early on a Monday to go with Dad to take Our Nan, Lil Perry, back from our house in Moseley to her maisonette in Rupert Street, Nechells so that she could get to work in Benton and Stone's in time. Then it was off to school in short trousers till I was twelve whether it was hot or bitterly cold  and with two half-crowns from Mom for my dinner money.
I can't remember much about Tuesdays but Wednesdays were always special because our Nan would always come to ours straight from work. She always seemed to bring herrings with her and would sous them for Our Dad's tea. Nan would put them in a white pudding basin, top them with sliced onions and cover the lot with vinegar. Then she'd place muslin over the top and cook them in the oven. Dad loved them with a piece or two of bread and butter.
Thursday is another day that has passed me by but Fridays were also special because that was when Our Winnie would come over after finishing work at the Midland Wheel in Avenue Road, Aston. She was a younger sister to Our Nan and like a big sister to our Mom.
Our Winnie's shopping bag, she called it her ta-ta bag, was like Aladdin's Cave. Out of it she would produce a seemingly never-ending supply of lemon bon-bons and kayli as well as comics. When we were little it was the Beano and Dandy and as we got older it was the Hotspur, Hornet, Valiant, Lion, Rover and more.
Another special thing about Fridays was Kunzle's cakes. Mom would send us to Blenheim Stores, the grocer's on Billesley Lane, to buy Kunzle's Showboats for Our Dad. They were his treat at the end of the week, as Our Dad always had a sweet tooth.
But for me, Saturday was the best day of the week  especially in the football season, because that was when Our Mom and Our Nan, and sometimes my big cousin Our Gail, would take us down the Villa. We'd have corned beef and HP Sauce on pieces of cottage loaf at Nan's and she would always take a flask of tea and bags of rocks with her down the match.
These happy memories for me have been stirred by two articles in this month's Brummagem: Pauline Ryder's evocation of her week growing up in Handsworth; and the stunning photos of Mike James who captured Birmingham as the old was being swept away both physically, as his collection makes plain, and emotionally.
As ever there is much more to stir your memories so have a bostin read.

Have a bostin read.

Tara bit


Carl
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November 2015 - Issue No. 176


Carl Writes


Ypres is a place that has seared itself into both the collective soul and the communal memory of the British people. An historic cloth town lying in the flat landscape of northern Flanders, it has come to symbolises the sacrifice of a generation of young men in the Great War. This metamorphosis of Ypres into a focal point of remembrance began in mid- October 1914 when the area was overwhelmed by bloody fighting as the Germans strove to end the war quickly in a race to the sea. Their aim was to capture the Channel Ports and thus cut off the British Expeditionary Force from reinforcements and supplies from England.
Derided by the Kaiser as a contemptible little army, the British Expeditionary Force, helped by Belgians and French, held off the enemy. But the cost was horrendous. Between 14 October and 30 November 1914, the British lost 53,000 men; whilst over 4,500 Indian troops were also killed, wounded or went missing. Many, many more would be added to that terrible toll.
From this the First Battle of Ypres, a salient emerged. Nearby locations such as Sanctuary Wood, Langemark and Zonnebeke were also held by the British, whilst the Germans occupied the Messines Ridge, Menin and Passchendaele. All of them call out of the death, destruction and misery of the Great War. Together with Ypres they defined the British experience of the First World War.
Following the first great battle there when a German breakthrough was thwarted, miles and miles of trenches were dug as the two sides came to face each other across the shattered fields of No Man's Land. From the First Battle of Ypres to the end of the Great War between 220,000 and 240,000 men from Britain and the Empire would die in the small space of the Salient. That was a third of all those who were killed in the First World War.
The shattering statistics of death and injury and their equally shattering effect on the British consciousness have ensured that Ypres has become a place of pilgrimage for the many who wish to pay their respects to those who died. From all over Britain and the Commonwealth they come. Some are young and others are old; some have made their way to honour a grandfather or uncle who did not return home, others have gathered in reverence to the men of their town or of all of the men who died in the battlefields of Ypres.
As it is each year, this November issue of the Brummagem is dedicated to Remembrance and this month features extracts from diaries and letters from men who served in the Great War around Ypres and the tributes of relatives to men win their families who died. They include Thomas Henry Rafferty, the man who was the inspiration for the cartoon character Old Bill.

Lest We Forget


Carl
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December 2015 - Issue No. 177


Carl Writes


Lozells is one of the most intriguing and mysterious of Birmingham's place names. It used to be written as Lowcells and old stories relate that it meant Lowe's wells. Indeed there had been a Lowe's Farm going from where Burbury Park now stands up to the present Wills Street. Part of it used to be a gentle slope of meadow land, hence Lowe's Hills, but it was dug out for clay pits for brickmaking
The earliest known map of the Manor of Aston was made by John Tomlinson in 1758. This indicated an area called The Lowcells which consisted mainly of a large farm, the buildings of which stood close to the main Lozells Road, then known as Lowcells Lane, on the land now remaining between Lozells Street and Carpenters Road. A large wood called
The Lowcells Wood lay to the south where it was bounded by the Hockley Brook.
The earliest mention of the Losells Wood is in a deed from 1759. Importantly, older folk from the neighbourhood continue to pronounce Lozells without the 'e' whilst the 'z' is given as an's'. Thus the sound is akin to that of Lowcells.
So rather than taking its name from a Mr Lowe the name Lozells could be Anglo-Saxon in origin, from the words lowe (hill) and cele (cold), and hence meant the cold hills. Joe McKenna, an expert on Birmingham place names, feels differently. He argues that Lozells may mean the hill of Lor, for a deed of 1546 refers to Lorres Hill, otherwise Lowsill.
Lowsells Farm itself was sold in 1793, following the death of its owner Joseph Cooper. It was still obvious on Fowler's Map of Aston Manor in 1833, but a few buildings were now present both on the Lozells Road in the forthcoming Carlyle Road district, and in the west where Brougham Street was indicated but not named.
Over the next twenty years, Lozells became a largely better-off working class neighbourhood, although there were some back-to-backs in Lennox Street, Wheeler Street and elsewhere which were cleared in the 1960s. In this issue Gil Mansell brings us Old Family Stories from Lozells, whilst Ernest Handscomb regales us with tales of the Nansen Road Ragamuffins and Ray Waspe recalls in vivid details his apprenticeship at Aston Chain and Hook. As ever there is much more.

Have a bostin read and Merry Christmas

Tara a bit

Carl

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