(This road is just inside Smetwick but near enough to include in our site).

I came across your website and it bought so many memories back for me. My grandad was Ted Payne the butcher on Murdoch Road. His wife (my nanny Doris) died a few weeks ago so I was just looking around cyber space for any history and found your site. 
I remember living above my mums grocers (next to the butchers) and watching the odd drunk stumble out the Soho Foundry Tavern. I danced on the tables of the Railway pub and dragged my reluctant feet to Merryhill infants from Monday to Friday. The area was full of characters like chicken George (a black chap who sold eggs to my grandad), Freddy Toucan (who loved his guiness) and a guy we all called Jesus (he had long hair and was kind lol).                                                     Yes my grandad and my great grandad  were both butchers, both called Ted and were father and son.       My grandad was very athletic and academic. He dreamed of playing for his beloved Albion and had trials. He also was head boy at Holly Lodge boys and was told he could apply to university on the strength of his math grades. Both dreams were scuppered by his father who insisted they were fanciful and that he was to work in the butchers with him. He hated being a butcher. He had a brief reprise when he served as a Royal Marine Commando. He continued with the butchers years after my great grandad passed away but his heart was never in it. He moved his shop to Bromford in the early 1980’s (after a forced purchase by Sandwell council) and I worked as his Saturday boy there. He missed Black Patch so much. He’d met and married my Nan Doris there, she was one of the Shepards that have been mentioned. My grandad Ted was the kindest and fairest man I have ever known. He was my best mate. He passed away whilst I was serving in the army in Germany in 1993, one week after the birth of my first child. They never met and to this day it breaks my heart.         My great grandad Ted was a different man all together. A staunch business man with a string of shops in Black Patch and Handsworth. He was on the committee at the Handwsorth Social club and had a liking of a scotch or two. He was very strict with us kids. He had a big house in Handsworth Wood that had a small apple orchard. His garden backed onto Sandwell valley. My brother and I would scale those trees picking apples (which he strictly forbid). My grandad would come out and say “Get out them trees you bleeders, he’ll go mad if he sees you!!’ and indeed he would of. They were like chalk and cheese. My grandad, who we called ‘Little Ted’ from watching Play school on TV, was a powerhouse of a man. He had a neck like a bull and a crooked nose but the kindest smile. He had a shock of white hair (which I’m slowly inheriting) and what seemed like a permanent tan. Big Ted was a different kettle of fish. He was a good 6ft 3”, a back as straight as an arrow and was a very dashing looking man, especially in his youth. He was a rarity of the times, only having one child (my grandad only had cousins to play with and loved them like siblings) and was quite wealthy. I believe he made his fortune as a slaughter man initially but invested wisely in many businesses including a milliners which his wife Tossy ran. He died when i was a young boy, I can’t remember much about the circumstances except the weight he lost which makes me believe it was cancer?

                                                              MERRY HILL INFANTS 1980

                                                              MERRY HILL INFANTS 1980

My  School "MERRY HILL INFANTS" was located on Black Patch Park grounds now demolished. Here's my class photo above. Its not brilliant quality as you can see. Thats me on the top row and left of the teacher. The other side next to the teacher is my best mate Lee Hodgkinson, he’s the lads in the specs. two in from Lee is John Sullivan and the mixed race lad in the middle was called Jason I believe? The girl with the afro was called Mellony if memory serves and the girl on the front row in white, next to the teacher is Dawn Butler. Were still friends on instagram. It always astounds me how culturally diverse my class was for the year but Merry Hill for me in the 80’s was a big mixing pot. There were racial tensions at the times in the area but as kids you don’t see such things, you just get on with being a kid. The common denominator I remember was poverty. I was quite well off compared to most. My mum ran the green grocers for my grandad and my dad worked as a plumber (what i do now incidentally). Many of my class mates where on free dinners and many only had the clothes you see them wearing in the picture. Being the grandson of a butcher though I was never short on food, Mainly sausage rolls lol.

Little Ted feeding me on a trip to Wales and My Nan (Doris Shepard) and Grandad in Spain. too hot for Nan but he loved it there. 

MURDOCK ROAD  31/01/2014
(this road is just inside Smetwick but near enough to include in our site)

Could you help me, I am putting together a memory book for my dad for his 60th birthday. I am finding it terribly difficult to locate various houses and schools as it seems now they no longer exist and really hoped someone out there could help me to find a few pieces to my missing pages for my dads book.
This is the info im searching for .
My dad and his family whom were - mom margaret johnson, dad earnest stokes children - robert,keith,philip,christine,dawn,elizabeth and gail they all lived at 5 murdock road smethwick. i was hoping someone may have a photograph of the street or the houses as they were back in the 1950's.
Im also interested in any photographs of foundry lane primary/infants school in the 1960's. and  handsworth new road secondary around 1965 also any photographs or info about soho house would be much appreciated, as i believe it was knocked down and my parents lived here during the 1970's.  If you have any info at all id greatly appreciate it.    Thanks ever so much.

( this road is just inside Smetwick but near enough to include in our site)
Just a bit of information  10/02/07
My name is Colin Vaughan , I lived at 28 Murdock Road from February 1940 till I went into the armed forces in 1958, my families names were Charles and Blodwen Vaughan my sisters names were  Audrey and Olive my brothers names were Lesley , Albert and  Howard Blodwen was my stepmother my real mothers name was Hilda Mary, we regularly went to Black Patch Park to play when we were kids,  my friends that I grew up with were David, Billy & Margaret Vincent  they also had  another brothers and sisters I think their names were Frank & Doris but I cannot recall the other names , their dad was a very talented pianist at least we all thought so, he used to play the piano at all the family parties that we had , even though times were hard and goodies were all in short supply.
At Number 29 lived Mr Harry Bluck the Air Raid Warden, I can remember my dad carrying me through the sandbags into the Air Raid Shelters which were actually built on the road in front of the houses where I lived.
Avery's Scale Factory was just around the corner on Soho Foundry Lane opposite the Soho Foundry Tavern during the war they made Ammunitions for the war effort.
Our next door neighbours at no. 27 was the State family , her son Les was a bit of a boxer I did hear that he was the Midlands Middle Weight Champion but I don't know for sure.
At No. 30  lived the Aston's who seemed to be quite posh but they were a lovely family, next door to them lived the Walters, Mr Walters was a long distance lorry driver and he also worked for Nashes Coaches & Glider ways, he used to park them in our road after the Air Raid shelters were taken down.
At No. 32 was the Walls family and at No. 33 after the entry was Joyce's Sweet Shop, we used to take our fathers coupons to get  a few sweets or toffees an Kaylie ( not sure of the spelling) it was great.
Down on the corner was Payne's Butchers it was rumoured that Old Ted Payne had a few favourite women who were regularly given extra rations of meat, they said that he owned most of the shops on Soho Foundry lane, the Old cook Shop and Mrs Simmons the second hand Comic Shop where you could buy a comic for one halfpenny or change two for one, we never thought much about it at the time but it was magical times.
There was also Mrs Pools Pop Shop that we used to go to buy a glass of Tizer for a penny, there was also littler's Café run by Kath or Cath. Back up Murdock Road next to the café was the Butler Family then two doors up was the Read's I knew terry and Dougy, next to them was the Jelley's with their daughters Valerie, Veronica, Gloria and Susan a bit further up was the Shepherds and also old Vic Brookes who rented the Railway Bank, he kept pigs and used to go all over our area collecting the waste food which he then boiled and fed to his pigs. Then a couple of doors up was Lenny Webb who used to sell logs from a pony and trap, at the top of Murdock Road was a dirt path called The Wickett, this started at the railway bridge in Victoria Street which linked with Murdock Road, Avery Road then went all the way to the canal behind Avery's and the railway lines.
My stepmother Blodwen (formerly Hawkins from South Wales) use to be the cleaner at the Soho Foundry Tavern from about 1954 to the mid 1970's when she returned to Wales, she was very well known and used to sit in the passage of the tavern drinking vast amounts of Brown Ale or Guinness with all the other old dears.  If you wish to contact me please do this via my email which is: -cg.vaughan@blueyonder
or my son's address which is

     Charles,Blodwyn&Sheila              Blodwyn                                                     Colin & Blodwyn        

Thank you, I've just spent a very enjoyable morning looking over the website and still haven't covered the whole site. A friend (Cherry Cheshire) who lives in Birmingham and used to live in Eva Road stumbled on the website and told me about it and was sure I would enjoy it. I live in Surrey so haven't been to the Black Patch area for years. I used to live at 8 Murdock Road untill 1970 with my parents Pat(Gladis) and Ernie Jelley and three sisters Valerie, Veronica and Gloria and also my brother Gary. My grandparents the Corbetts used to live at 36 Murdock Road I also spent many happy times playing on the swings and rolling down the banks in Black Patch Park with my sisters. If any one remembers us please get in touch and I will pass on any messages to the rest of my family. Sue Aslan nee Jelley  Email: