DEVONSHIRE STREET 03/05/2019 My grandparents, Annie & Albert Taylor. I have recently found paperwork belonging to my late father. It has givenue information of my grandparents that I've never known before as my father didn't ever speak if them.
Does anyone know of an Mrs Annie Taylor, maiden name was Hindsley I believe, and Mr Albert Taylor. They lived at 2/47 Devonshire Street in the 1940s. My father's name was Mr Malcolm Taylor and was born in 1947.
Sadly I do not have any pictures, but I believe Annie lived at that address for many years. The only other information I have is that Albert was a dairy labourer and links to Taylor Butchers. 
I'd love to know if anyone remembers the Taylor family, or has any pictures that could help me gather more information.
Thank you in advance Krystal Taylor Krystal Taylor - Paignton. Devon I have the investigation bug!.

DEVONSHIRE STREET 14/12/2016  About my sister Sheila Scott                                              Some years ago I asked if anyone know what had happen to my sister Shelia Scott who used to lived in Devonshire Street, Winson Green. This year I found out what happen to her.                           Shelia passed away in 2010 this just to let anyone who know her what happen.

Roderick Scott



Contact the site or Matt direct at

Matt Redmond, left, others unknown. Taken outside Rowlands Electrical Accessories Limited ( The Real June) 1955

Matt Redmond in the middle of the bottom row is hoping you will be able to name some of the others.


I append a few words about myself and a number of photos that were taken inside and outside Rowland's Electrical Accessories (The Real) Devonshire Street, Winson Green, they were taken by the gatekeeper at different dates in 1955.                                                                                            I wonder if anyone can put some names to the faces, and where are they now?          
             I came over from Dublin by boat on 28th August 1954, not looking for work, because I had been working as an apprentice in Dublin, I had worked right up to Saturday the 28th August 1954. I had decided to see my friend Martin Byrne junior who's family had previously moved to Birmingham and he lived with his parents in back of  (BK/56 Key Hill Drive, Hockley Birmingham... I left my job with a total of three weeks pay in my pocket, two weeks holiday pay and one weeks wages.... I bought a ticket for the boat to Liverpool and a train ticket through to Birmingham. It was a 12 hour boat trip then, now it takes just 3 hours...I went to Liverpool first and having met some fellas on the boat who were on their way back to Manchester, bearing in mind that I had a train ticket to Birmingham, and they had planned to hitch hike to Manchester, I decided to join them thinking its an adventure, and not really knowing how far or where Manchester was from Liverpool.  They knew the way and we started walking and trying to hitch hike, after what seemed to be about 20 miles they had all got a lift and I was left on my own...I got fed up thumbing a lift that I decided to carry on walking and just follow the signs to Manchester, I arrived there very late at night soaking wet from the heavy rain that had fallen during the day... Having walked all the way along the old East Lanc`s road to Manchester, which I now know was then some 45 miles long., some adventure that was, I must say!.. Its not surprising that I fell asleep on a bench in Piccadilly circus in Manchester totally exhausted, but I was soon woken up by a policeman who must have though I was a burglar because I had a small type attaché  case under my head, having asked all the usual questions, he then advised me where to go in Moss Side, it was the doss house, I stayed overnight, and left the Doss house in Manchester the next day and caught a train back to Liverpool ...Having spent the day there, I realised that I had already bought a train ticket to Birmingham when I got on the boat.
              I then caught a late evening train to Birmingham arriving in New Street station around 11.00 pm that night...I then found my way to Hockley and in the dark lonely night, I started looking for the number of my friends house in Key Hill Drive when I was again confronted by two coppers in the dark and promptly received a few thumps, again they must have assumed that I was a burglar who was carrying a case and striking matches looking for the house numbers, I was searched and questioned, when they were satisfied that my motives were honest, they then sent me on my way with directions to Western  Road, Winson Green, when I eventually got there in the early hours of the morning, I rang the bell and was allowed through what I was later to find out was the “Archway of Tears” I was later to find out that is wasn't the B&B that I thought it was, having got singed in, I unnecessarily had to go through the degrading procedure of what was then called delousing, I did not need that, because I was clean and tidy, however,  I was sprayed with DDT powder before been shown to a bed. Next morning when I tried to leave, they wouldn't let me out, and despite having money in my pocket and offering to pay, they refused, I quickly found out that I had spent my first night in Birmingham in the “Workhouse”", I had to earn my keep by scrubbing a long parquet floor before I was let out with others around 1.00 pm...  
         I then walked back to Key Hill Drive where I was the night before and soon found where my friend Martin Byrne junior lived with his parents...Martin Byrne senior and his older son Michael (Mick) Byrne both worked at the “R.E.A.L.” in Devonshire street... I wasn't many days in Birmingham staying with the Byrne family before they told me that the R.E.A.L. was looking for workers and they talked me round, thinking it was to be temporary, I finished up starting work there as an press operator and assembler before I was offered a job there as a paint sprayer, I ended up there for two years from 1954 to 1956 and lodging for some nine months at the Byrnes house in Key Hill Drive before moving to digs in Murdock road and then to Holyhead road in Handsworth... As the saying goes, I came over for a holiday, and still sending post cards back nearly 61 years later!
            However. The two great years spent working at the Real were happy ones, I clearly remember the company giving the employees a bottle of whisky at Christmas and a party for all employees was held at the Farcroft Hotel in Rookery Road, Handsworth, its still there to-day... I am not aware of any company that are that generous these days?..I left the R.E.A.L. late 1956. 
               I met my lovely late wife Carol, nee Smith, in the Tudor Cafe on Hockley Brook, near the Palladium picture house, in 1956, Carols grandparents and family named “Thurston” lived a few doors from the Benyon arms pub where the famous Shamrock Rovers football team were formed...Carol regularly visited her grandparents in Hockley Brook and would stay at her granny's at weekends. Are there any old friends out there who hung around the Brook who may remember Carol and myself from there...Carol and her parents Lived in Small Heath. We were married in 1958 and were married for nearly 54 years...
I can be contacted on e-mail address below...  
Regards to all.
Matt Redmond....

A fantastic site which I found quite by accident.
I was born in Burnley in 1956 and my father died in 1961 so I didn’t really know him or anything about him, my mum didn’t talk about him.
It was only recently that I found out that he was originally born in Birmingham. He was born in Sept 1921 and was christened Kenneth Albert Guest, his home address at that time was 70 Devonshire street, All saints. His father was called John Edwin Guest whom I realise I was named after. His mother’s name was Louise Guest nee Pearce.
I have no details about his early life other than during WW2 his call up was deferred due to him being an apprentice, he eventually was called up and served with one of the Armoured Regiments in North Africa.
Thanks for the site and seeing the actual house was Great.
John Guest

I was born in Devonshire street in 1958, my Mum and Dad were Les and Irene Smith. A number of my Mum’s family lived around us, her maiden name was Joinson. My uncle Cyril Joinson, wife Margaret also lived there I think for many years after we left in 1963. There kids names were Martin, Lee, Paul and Mark. The grocery shop over the Road was owned by the Howlings family. My nan, her sister Pat, her daughter Brenda lived a few doors away, I think we lived in number 32 (but thats probably not right). My Auntie Nell lived across the Road from my Nan.
I remember the Fieldhouse family (don’t know why) but after we moved we used to visit every saturday taking the No. 11 from Selly oak as we had moved to Weoley Castle.
I am sure no one will remember me but i had 3 brothers Roy, Peter and Steven who were 16,13 and 10 respectively in 1963. Steve went to Benson Road and Roy and Peter went to Lordswood Tech, but I think they had both been at Benson Road. The only thing I can remember is Sunday afternoons when all the men came back from ‘The Devon’, had a Sunday roast and then we had a mass football match in the street, about 30 a-side. Oh and having our TV meter robbed one day, and apparently everyone knew who had done it.
Chris Smith

Thanks for your wonderful web site. Here are some more memories from Devonshire Street.
I lived at 113 Devonshire Street from 1954 when I was born, until 1961 when I moved to Northfield. However, my Nan, Annie Dodwell continued to live there until she moved in about 1963.
I went to Benson Road School and so did my brother Carl who was born in 1956. My mum was Joyce Erica Dodwell and she was adopted in 1932 by Annie and Thomas Dodwell. I think he was in the building trade and died about 1950. I am looking for any information about them or the adoption as my mum died before finding anything out about her birth parents. Also, she did not tell my dad she was adopted until a couple of years before she died, so he has no information either.
My father is Patrick John Sweetman and he married my mum in October 1952. He was then in the army doing National Service but left when my brother was born because mum didn't like him being away in Austria.
I remember Mrs Whitmore's shop a few houses along from ours, the outdoor across the road on the corner and going to have my photograph taken at the factory at the end of the street. The man who took them was the caretaker I think. He lived in a house on site and used to colour in the photos by hand after taking them.
We often played down the Rec and in those days it had a park keeper's building that had seating running around the outside. If anybody fell over we would run for the Parkie, climbing onto the seating to look in the window if no one answered the door.
I can't remember my teacher at Benson Road other than her nickname, Miss Rolling Pin, which I think was similar to her own name. I do remember we all ended up with Sellotape over our mouths one lesson because we were too noisy. It started with one child and then others were
deliberately talking so that they could get a piece too! How times change. Teachers would be had up for assault in this day and age.
The other place I remember was The Institute, on Lodge Road, I think. I can remember going there to do arty crafty things and also taking part in the anniversary parade round the streets.
I was christened at St. Chrysostoms church and my godfather was a man called Horace. His wife, whose name I can't remember was my godmother. I think they lived opposite us in the street.
I think there was a toy factory in the same street as the church because I remember walking home one day from school past the church and a man came running across the road with a big box under his arm. It contained a doll that had a slight crack by the ear so would have been thrown out as a reject and he asked my mum if I would like it free of charge. The doll was typical of dolls of that time, with glued on hair and a body that cracked if dropped. It would have been much too expensive to buy in the shops and I treasured it for years.
If anyone remembers anything about Annie and Thomas Dodwell or Patrick and Joyce Sweetman( nee Dodwell) I would love to hear from you  I can be contacted at.

I have just been looking at your old Winson Green site and thought how wonderful it is, a great place to view old Winson Green.
Our family (the Brookes) lived at 62-64 Devonshire Street, from 1968-1975, then we moved to New Spring Street in Ladywood  (Brookfields).
It was fascinating to read the stories and look at old photo's from days gone by.
I also attended Benson Road School and have lots of happy memories of my time there.
Also, waiting for my dad to get me a bottle of pop when he visited the Devonshire Arms pub at the top of the road.
Thanks for putting together such a great web site for people to view and good luck for the future memories that will be left there.
Kind regards    Chris Brookes

DEVONSHIRE STREET 13/10/12                                            


I have just been reading your Winson Green site and looking at Streets, and came across a couple of people Doris Alexander and James Reed who wrote on the Devonshire Street page, and there were a couple of quotes in them for the Timmins family. This was my mother's family and certainly the glass blower was my Uncle Edwin. In fact my cousin in Canada still has some of his glass blowing vases and they are beautiful. The Timmins lived at 1/185 and Edwin then moved to 187. I did try email James Reed but it bounced back, I presume he might not even be alive now, as Edwin was born 1901 - he was one of 11 children. Is it possible you could put a note on for me on the Devonshire Street, that if anyone else has recollections of the family they could email me as you never know there might be a younger generation of these families who might recall something. I would be really grateful.       Carol Williams .

Isaac and Emma Timmins who lived in Devonshire Street. He was a boatman. My mother told me he used to bring the horse sometimes up the yard for the kids to see


DEVONSHIRE STREET (reply to the above request) 28/10/2012
On a visit to your web site I saw the, Like to contact The Timmins family from Devonshire Street. My father is Edwin (Ted) Timmins from Devonshire street, The eldest of three brothers Ted, Harold and Dennis the sons of the late Edwin and Doris Timmins my grand parents. They all lived in Devonshire street in a back to back house. My grandfather worked at Walsh &Walsh the glass factory, then at BOC in Lodge Road.
My father is alive and well at the ripe old age of 85, and he still sees his old mate Bert Field also in his eighties who is from the the same area. My mother and father lived for many years in Kitchener street. And I've many happy memories of black patch park. My Mother's(Joyce) maiden name was Few she born and bred in Kitchener street
Please feel free to contact me.
Michael Timmins  (Micky)


Outside the Brew House

A photo of my dad and step mom, I am the girl standing between them.The 3 children are (left to right) ROBERT, MAGGIE AND OUR BILLY. The photo was taken outside the Brew House in   DEVONSHIRE STREET around 1954.

My family lived at 2/91 Devonshire Street, I was born at this address in 1955 I had a sister Belinda my dads name was Leonard Cummings he worked at the Leyland Longbridge, my moms name was Violet Jessica Irene Cummings maiden name Street, some of the people I know there was a family called memory's another family called Trainer who lived behind us in the in the next entry, also Andy Mold and David Hammond who I had contact with for many years but have now lost touch, it would be nice to be in touch again.
Leonard Wilfred Cummings  

I was born on 13 Sep 1959 Martin K Sankey at 189 Devonshire Street.
My Mother is Florence M Venables (Mary Venables she didn't use her first name much).
My father is George W K Sankey.
My Dads Family Born 11th June 1931 George W K Sankey, parents Wilfred George Sankey married to Florence May Sankey (Bradnock). They lived at 1 back of 7 Norton Street, with brothers Ray and Les (Les married Margaret Venables my moms sister).

My Mothers Family her father (my Grandfather) was Fred Venables, married to Florrie Emily Venables (Robinson). they had 6 children, Francise / Fred / Rone / Florence (Mary) / Margaret (Married Les Sankey) and Vera (worked at the R.E.A.L.). They lived at 189 Devonshire Street.

When my mother Florence (Mary) Venables parents past away, my mother  looked after her brothers and sisters, then married my father on 31 March 1956 at ST Chrysostoms Church,
They lived at 189 Devonshire Street, for 6 more years Then came me Martin Kenneth Sankey 1959, then my sister Tina Sankey 1960, Soon after they moved to Lichfield Staffordshire,1962. I have seen some old photos so I will try and get them to send to this site,
Martin K Sankey

I have just come across your remarkable web site.
I was born 27 September 1938 to George and Emily Hoare at 4 back 21 Devonshire Street; my father was a Jewellers Porter. I would very much welcome any information on this area of the street and its residents .Your site extracts from Kellys Directories indicate that 40 years or so earlier there were shops at 13, 22,23, and 24 so the chances are they were still shops up to the 1940’s?
Brian Hoare

I'm Doing my family tree and believe that a Robinson family lived at 173 Devonshire street and possibly 169 Devonshire Street from mid 1800's to early 1900s.The family is John Robinson and his wife was Amelia Robinson with several kids.
Does anyone have any information about them at all?
I would be very grateful if they have.
Regards Gary Robinson.



14/03/2012 Dave recognized his uncle on this photo. Just discovered your site and it's bought back lots of memories and I was surprised when I saw the photo on Devonshire Street of a group of men in front of a coach because standing behind the man with a white open neck shirt who's holding a coat is my Uncle Tim (John) Barlow who along with my Aunt Mabel lived for many years at 50 Devonshire Street. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers the Hartles family off 46 Musgrave Rd we lived there from the 40's to the early 80's.I also noticed someone talking about the little shop run by a lady who had some fingers missing,that was my cousin Floss Dartnell.
Thanks again for a great site.

Tommy Harpers Betting Shop 1960s Devonshire Street

                                                     SAME ADDRESS IN 1901

We believe the photo shows Richard and Isabella Barratt, with their son Richard. Richard's parents, Charles and Maria, kept a grocer's shop at 140 Devonshire St (Later this would have been Jacksons on the corner of Devonshire Street and Kent Street North) The shop in the picture we think is at 131 Devonshire Street. Richard's occupation in the 1901 Census is given as (Sergeant) Greengrocer, and we believe the photo to date from 1901. We don't really know what the (sergeant) means, but we do know that Isabella and Richard junior were born in Gibraltar, which may suggest that Richard senior was in the Army. Richard and his family emigrated back to Gibraltar in the early 1900s: some of his children, however, came back to Britain.                                                                                               Obviously if anyone has any further information on this please let us know!
Chris Ramsbottom    or    Ann

Kellys directory 1897

Kellys directory1903

Kellys directory1903

Kellys directory 1903

Kellys directory 1903

Extracts from the 1897 and 1903 Kellys Directory for Devonshire Street shows 131 was a shop with Wm J S Dyer as the occupier in 1897 and The Barratt's were at 131 and 140 in the 1903 version

Sent to us by John Houghton; Aston Brook Through Aston Manor.

Does anyone remember All Saints primary school, I think was just off Lodge Road? We lived at 199 Devonshire Street until 1972. The houses were being demolished for new ones at the time
Christine Atkinson  Email:

Thanks Ted, can any one remember the Cotons at Devonshire St, my G/parents lived at 138 and 142 in the 1920s up to 1947 names would be William George and Fanny Jane Coton, Frank Henry, Lionel Victor Coton Edna May and John Thomas.
Below is for Edna or John.
I just love your site it's great for people like me living in australia to see and hear about where my family came from I have found someone on your site that was asking if anyone could remember the cotons that lived in Devonshire St... well the names are the same as the family i am reseaching and i think they maybe my great grandfather and G.mother. I have tried to email they person that posted this but have not heard from him i would really like to get in contact with him his email is I was wondering if anyone could help me get in contact with him maybe you could post something on your site that someone may remember my family as i live in australia and finding any infomation is hard.
Any help would be great. Natalie Coton  

"MURDER" 06/03/06
In Devonshire Street,a muffin man was murdered and my grandmother Mrs Clara Hill of no.9, was a witness at the forthcoming trial.
Unfortunately, I cannot give  a date (I would guess 1920s OR 1930s). It would have appeared in the local paper(s) at the time.
I don't know whether my grandmother ever did attend court. Does anyone out there have any information.
Ray Norton    Email:

 I used to live in Devonshire Street untill we had a fire & was moved to Hingeston Street & then back to Devonshire Street. I was the one who used to play a lot of loud music. So does anybody remember the Brooks, Hopcroft, Memory, Ikins and the Hurdmans. If so please post messages and we can share our memories. Dave Brown  Email:

Looking at old photos of Devonshire street was fantastic. I lived there as a small child for a couple of years not sure of the number around 1960 to 1962. My moms name is Ruby Benton her mom lived next door with son Bill and daughter Naomi and my dad was called Thommy.I have a sister called Sharon and Delia, we then exchanged the house with my dads brother and wife called Billy and Barbra Nicholl to live in Sparkhill does any one remember the family.                                                        Ruth Devaney nee Nicholl              

                                                                       The gully and the Rec minus the railings 2002

I use to play on the RECreation ground in Musgrave Road  when I was a young girl, we used to come from school (Benson Road) down the gully and onto the swings in  the Rec, we had great fun.
 I then moved away, and some years later got married and guess what I couldn't believe it the council gave us our first home in Radnor Street  next one down from Devonshire Street (where I was born). I then had my sons and move to Handsworth New Road and both my sons played football on the Black Patch park. We  have vivid memories of the happy times at the park and Rec, we would hate anyone or anything to alter it.
Kath Dowell (nee Greensall)      


Advertisement for the BARNET WORKS (thanks to John Houghton)

Advertisement for the BARNET WORKS (thanks to John Houghton)

 When we  knew the factory it was called  ROWLANDS ELECTRICAL ASSESORIES Ltd  (THE  R.E.A.L.)

I worked in the toolroom at R.E.A.L after it moved there from Hockley Hill. Director: Charlie Sothers, Works Manager: John Sothers, Toolroom Foreman: Frank Wilkes.
Great times.  
Raymond Derbyshire    

Group of workers from Rowlands Electrical Assesories Ltd ( THE R.E.A.L.) Devonshire Sreeet 1958

THE R.E.A.L. on left with Anscombes grocery shop on the corner of Lees Street and Tommy Harpers Bookies shop with two ladies talking outside.

Ladies from the R.E.A.L left to right Back Row: Laura Leighton (nee Walker). ?, ?, Vera Casey. Middle Row: Annie Barnes, Ida Hands, Pem Dunkey Bottom Row: Vera Venables, Nell Garland, Laura Blakemore, Beattie Wallis.

Ladies from the R.E.A.L left to right
Back Row: Laura Leighton (nee Walker). ?, ?, Vera Casey.
Middle Row: Annie Barnes, Ida Hands, Pem Dunkey
Bottom Row: Vera Venables, Nell Garland, Laura Blakemore, Beattie Wallis.

More R.E.A.L  LADIES going to work.L to R ?, ?, ?,Laura Leighton (nee Walker), a local beauty queen (no overall),    ? Crossing Devonshire Street at the junction of Devonshire Avenue. Tommy Harpers bookies shop behind them with Mr Hall standing outside waiting to take the bets sometime during the 1950's.


Some More R.E.A.L LADIES going to work.

Some More R.E.A.L LADIES going to work.

Ida Hands  left and Laura Leighton crossing Devonshire Street near the house where Laura lived (next door to Mrs Tooth)   If anyone has any memories of the Walkers or Leightons who lived in Devonshire St, I would be grateful to hear from you.Amanda Jenkins     

View looking down Devonshire Avenue from the junction of Devonshire Street towards Musgrave Road with Tommy Harpers shop on left. Samuel Groves Ltd is at the far end.

View looking down Devonshire Avenue from the junction of Devonshire Street towards Musgrave Road with Tommy Harpers shop on left. Samuel Groves Ltd is at the far end.

Samuel Groves Ltd corner of Devonshire Avenue and Musgrave Road

My Mum who's eighty three was thrilled to see the photographs of the REAL (Rowlands Electrical Accessories Limited) factory in Devonshire Street. She worked there in the packing/assembly shop until it closed down. I also worked in the office at the REAL. It was my first job when I left HNR in 1958 and I stayed until I had my daughter in 1968.
Such happy days! Hope a lot more people contribute to this site. Pam Willis (nee Byfield) 

My father was Albert Alfred Norton born at 113 Devonshire Street and married my mother Priscilla Hill of No 9 in 1915 at St Chrysostoms Church when they were 21 and 22 respectively.
My Eldest sister Gwen was born at the end of 1919, my brother Albert in April 1922, another sister Sylvia born January 1928(d.1994) and sister Joyce born May 1930.
I was born in Binstead Road, Kingstanding on 14 Sept. 1933. In later years my sister Joy (Now Mrs Cox) lived in Musgrave Road in the late1950s with husband Denis & son Kevin born 1955. I now live in Shenstone,Staffs.  Ray Norton  

DEVONSHIRE STREET  from Norton Street was Davies a drapers shop run by two ladies, lots of brown paper parcels and ladies things.  Next-door lived Mr and Mrs Greensall, later on in life they turned out to be my wife Maureen's grandparents, their garden over looked the railway line. A small shop that sold everything including a 1d bottle of Vantos pop, they even had a one armed bandit.  Another house a few doors down lived a man and his wife called piggy (I do not know why), he sold fresh mint and rhubarb from his garden.  Another two small shops and a coal yard were passed.  Then the (R.E.A.L.) Rowlands Electrical Accessories Ltd. a large building employing lots of local people. Facing the R.E.A.L. was a builders yard Bancroft's, then at the corner of Lees Street, Anscombes grocery shop. Two more small shops could be found in LEES STREET and a Pet shop (Morris's) on the corner of Lodge Road facing the Congregational Church.  Locally this church was known as the Institute, they held services, Sunday school, various youth organizations and once a year the Anniversary parade around the streets. Back at the other end of Lees Street was an outdoor corner of Devonshire Street.  Houses ran the rest of the way up Devonshire Street, some had terraces running between them, until arriving at the Lodge Road end where there was a Vegetable shop and the start of a small row of other shops, including a Butcher, Newsagent and a Fish and Chip Shop. Crossing over  Devonshire Street at this point we find the Devonshire Arms pub with Musgrave Road to its left. continuing down Devonshire Street various other small shops could be found. Living in one of the terraces on this side of Devonshire Street was the local “Tally Man” Enoch Wassell he was able to provide anything.  Mr Wassell was a very well respected man who did a lot of good, always had a kind word to say to us youngsters when he was collecting his money.  Another person we saw a lot of was the local illegal “Bookie” Tommy Harper his shop with blanked out windows, was on the corner of Devonshire Street and Devonshire Avenue.  Many a time when taking a bet for a relative or neighbour I got locked in when the police were expected.  Tommy also had a 52 seater Charabanc (coach) providing trips from local pubs to the Ted Rudge.  

"DEVONSHIRE ARMS" (the Devon) 24/03/03

"DEVONSHIRE ARMS" (the Devon) 24/03/03

Devonshire Arms, Lodge Road between Musgrave Road and Devonshire Street
Thing's I remember about the Devon.  When I was a kid I used to go to the outdoor for crips and nuts, I used to save bottle tops I got them from here, behind the bar was old Elsie, and my dad Tom, as well as the boss. Photograph from Mac JosephWhen I  could get away with it I went in to drink 1966, old Elsie was still there she know I was not the right age.The pub at this time had not been altered to how it is now it was run by the Bach's Sandar and Richard, my friends and I used to go in to the small bar on a saturday night, Roy Darby, John Williams, Barry Williams, Wally Williams, Shirly Darby, Anne Williams, all used to to sing old song's to the piano played by old Katie or the accordion all of us in our teen's sang war time song's.  In the week we used go into the big bar to play dart's, card's and dominoes, when we played dart's the board was in a corner with the fire on the right were you had to stand to mark the board so you tried not to lose to offten.
From Rod Scott   

I have been researching my family history on my mother's side. He was a 'Hands' and going back a few generations to the 1870 census)there was a Thomas Hands who was a Flint Glass Blower and also a retail brewer who lived at 'The Devonshire Arms' 173 Lodge Rd. I am amazed to see the pub still there - it surely can't be the same building can it? Does anyone know the street address? Does anyone know anything about glass blowing going on in this area in the 1870?  Colin Fox

1st Reply   22 /12/ 04   From  ANDREW MAXAM,   Regarding your enquiry re the Devonshire Arms on the Winson Green website.  I have some information on this pub, having bought the archives of Mitchells and Butlers for the Time Please! book I wrote on Birmingham's Pubs. I didn't feature this pub as I didn't have a photo of it, but you are right, it's not the same building from the 1870s. When the old beerhouse closed, there was a temporary premises whilst the current building was being built - this was in 1932. According to my records, it was at 178 Lodge Road. Hope this is of some help to you.                                       Andrew Maxam   TIME PLEASE!    A LOOK BACK AT BIRMINGHAM'S PUBS 


Devonshire Arms  Christmas 1973.

Devonshire Arms Christmas 1973.

A  photo taken in the Devonshire Arms at Christmas 1973. I'm second from the right, and Father Christmas is my granddad Harry DeeleyWonder if anyone recognises the other children.Maybe someone recognises him/herself...    Craig Deeley


Albert and Maureen Harwood 1948

Albert and Maureen Harwood 1948

I was born 171 Devonshire Street, 1943. My dad was Bill Harwood, my step mom was Ettie also Albert, Billy and Maggie. We lived opposite the Alec Pub and Jackson the Greengrocers. There was a coal yard a door away. I remember Jevons fish shop in Devonshire street (she had a daughter), I use to cut up her chips and after I got free chips and fish which she use to put  in newspaper. In the winter my hands use to be cold throught cutting up the chips. Maureen Harwood  

MAUREEN'S  BROTHER ALBERT WRITES.                                                                                                                                   Does anybody remember the fire diplay In Godwins shop window I lived next door to them. Someone lit the fire work in the window, the coal yard and Mrs Berry owned the shop next to the REAL and also Windfields the toolmakers at the back of Mrs Berry shop and Les Marshall Ray Harrison worked for him.  Anybody remember George and Peter Prichard email me if any body remember me.     Albert.Harwood. 



DEVONSHIRE STREET                                                                                                                                                                          I was born in 1941 in Devonshire Street. I  left for better life. Peter Pritchard  Email:

We lived at 195 Devonshire St, from 1934 to 1955?. I left in 1950 to marry a Miss Doreen Broadbent of 128 South Rd. I was taught by Miss Dumelow who lived in Lodge Rd opposite the BOC Offices. My freind Stanley Boss lived next door, only he passed the 11plus, nuff said. I remember Slinker Priest at H N R School and Mr Simms for Music and Maths. PS.  I am now 77 yrs old but have many memories both happy and sad of Little Devon the Posh End.
I Remember Davies's shop on the corner of Norton / Devonshire Street and Bill Maggs and his family at 197 their son Chris was the well known Pro Boxing Ref,
We lived at 195 from 1934 till my mother was moved to a flat in Rubery just outside the Mental Hospital gates, as she was quick to point out. My dad was killed in an air raid the 12th/13th Dec 1940, I was 15.
Mum went to work at Rowlands Electrical Accessories Limited (REAL Works) she was a forewoman there for years, till well after the war, she loved the job and the comradeship that she found there.
I left home in1950 I married a Miss Doreen Broadbent of 128 South Rd and had thirty very happy years together. She died in 1980.
Sam Tyler and Win along with their three boys Clifford, Kenneth (my mate) and Colin the youngest.The shop at 191 was  owned by Mr and Mrs Matthewman they had a daughter Eileen. The Venables were at 189  (Vera)  is the only one I can recall. Mr Timmins of the big cheeks lived next down, he was of course, a skilled glass blower.The glass works were by the canal in Lodge Rd  few doors further along lived Miss Dumelow, who has been mentioned often on your site. All who had the pleasure of being taught by her were very fortunate, she introduced us to light classical music, I knew the Mikado like an old friend when I left. Do any of your older readers remember the "letters" in the daily paper, from a small puppy? Wonderful days. Next door to Miss Dumelow, lived my friend Stanley Boss he was the only one to pass the 11plus that year, "Nuff Said".
The fish shop in "Little Devon" was first kept by the Isaacs, they had three boys who all went to University and I think all became Doctors. Then Jesse and Sarah Jeavons {Jevons}? came next, Sarah was very deaf and had to stand patiently while Jess bellowed insults into her ear, then she would give him her share, I well recall the day she emptied the batter can over his head, we kids were rolling about the floor, literally. I have fetched many a jug of beer from the outdoor opposite, much to the horror of my mum, I think she thought I would become addicted (I never did though).
I had other mates near Handscombs shop Arthur Wilson, Ronnie Smith who had a horrible young sister later she turned into a most beautiful young lady who wouldn't give me time of day (oh well).
It's wonderfull sharing ones memories about people and places we knew like "The Pheonix Scouts troop" at Foundry Lane school. Handsworth New Rd School, The woodwork block in the playground was so called because the ground floor was used to teach woodwork the upper floor was the science room Slinker Priests abode HNRS was one of the first Secondary Modern Schools in the country and was well in advance of most schools around at that time. We obtained and fitted a complete internal telephone system in 1937-8 every classroom was connected through an exchange in the science lab.
Mr Goode was Headmaster he was Mayor of Smethwick at one time, Clifford Tyler wrote copperplate and was made clerk writing all letters from the Heads office. Cliff was a motor mechanic at Mists Garage what a waste of a wonderful gift.
I left school in 1939 aged 14 and worked as an electricians mate till I was called up at eighteen, I served in the Royal Navy {FAA} as an aircraft electrician, after discharge I took a job in an industrial X-ray dept, in the course of time and numerous exams later I became Chief Radiologist, not bad for for an eleven plus failure. Well I am hoping I have stirred a few memories,looking forward to more of the same from old friends and neighbours.
 Best Wishes..James Reed


I went to live in Devonshire St when I was 8, at the time my parents chose there because the school was at the top of the road (Norton Street School). However we soon found out that it was derelict and later demolished, so I went to Benson Road school instead. Our house was right opposite Kent St North with the Alex public house on the corner, we used to see a man come from the glass works in Lodge Rd. with a jug to take ale back to the glass blowers who always had a thirst. Mr Timmins who lived a few houses up the road use to amuse us kids by blowing out his cheeks.
Most Saturday nights ended with an argument or a fight at turning out time, the men fighting and the wives trying to pull them away. I don't think anyone ever got hurt, it was just a finale to the evening to them, they were all good friends next day.
Opposite our house on the other corner of Kent St.North was a greengrocer owned by Mr & Mrs Jackson, she looked after the shop while Mr Jackson did the round with a horse and cart. Further up Devonshire Street was a fish and chip shop, everyone piled in the shop shouting their orders while the owner and his wife kept up a constant argument. It was as good as a pantomine so we did not mind waiting.
When war broke out Bradfords bakery in Norton St had just had a load of sand delivered so we all went with buckets to fill up sandbags to put over the cellar grating. Monday morning they had not got a grain of sand left. When the bombing started a railway carriage carrying a gun used to go up and down the line which ran at the back of our garden. One night a bomb was dropped it missed the gun but twisted all the rails and although we had a very tall greenhouse at the bottom of the garden it did not even crack a pane of glass.
School holidays we used to take a bottle of water with lemonade powder and jam sanwiches, most of the children joined in, we even had to take the little ones. We would go to Watson Pool which was down past Handsworth cemetery, it was a good few miles to walk from our house. Someone always fell in so we used to light a fire and hang the wet clothes over the branch of a tree. Bonfire night was a big event some of the houses were build round a big yard so the Timmins family made a bigfire with sparklers and fireworks we had a wonderful time.
I remember the last Lodge Road (Number 32) tram being driven along the route all illuminated, we stood on the corner of Norton St to watch, the heat from it was terrific.
Shopping was done at the Flat in Lodge Road, or sometimes we used to go to the Coop in Bacchus Rd. Whichever one we went to we had to carry it home.
I remember the rec in Musgrave Road, sometimes  in school holidays different people used to come and organise games to keep us out of mischief.
We left Winson Green when I was about 16, but I still remember how we were all good friends, and the grown ups always helped each other.
Sad to think that those days are gone, although we have more today I don't think we shall ever look back again with nostalgia.(how true)
by Doris Alexander


Me in our back yard 6 bk 76 Devonshire Street, around 1972 and My dad Fred Deeley (bottom left) in the Birmingham Boys Football Team, mid 60s.       Craig Deeley  03/02/03     Email:

We lived on Devonshire Street until 1973. (I was born 1969 in George St West above a chip shop). I've just seen my uncle Pat Deeley on one of the photos taken in the Alex Pub, a long with Trevor Field, an old family friend. Can't wait to tell my parents about this site. I will also try and find some old pictures, I know we have some at home.
I seem to remember a shop in Devonshire Street, or maybe the next street up owned by a woman called Floss. She had a few fingers missing on one of her hands, which my mom used to pretend to me were cut off in the bacon slicer! Floss used to sometimes let me go behind the counter to help out. Also I vaguely remember a butchers called Martins, and a shop called Gabriel's or Kelly's a couple of streets up. I remember having to go up steps to get there. I was only 3 at the time
Craig Deeley  03/02/03     Email:

Here are some of things I remember of Devonshire Street, were I was born in 1950, the photograph or you show of the Devonshire Arms and the Greengrocer's , on  the other side is how I remember it. the aura the greengrocer's I knew the owner I  as Bert the shirt,also just along Lodge Road was a fish-and-chip shop known as Coopers, also the  Draper shop run by Mrs Connell's, and Mrs Sterley's the sweetshop. In the yard were I lived  there was five houses, 12 is where the Mr and Mr's Tantin lived, 14 is where the Elliot's lived, 16 is where I lived, 18 is where the Baliey's lived and 20 is where the Hollier's lived.
 The Tantin had  a lot of children but I only remember two they were  Michael and Linda,
The Elliot's  also had  two children they were  David and Dawn, the baliey's  had two children Val and Pauleen, the Hollier's had two children Sandra and Peter he was one of my best friend's.
  On the other side of the road lived  Mr and Mrs Filedhouse and there  children , Ivy,Billy, Sander, Irene, Christina, Beryl,June and Roy. I used to play with all the younger children in the street,  sometimes we used to go to a place called Whatson Pool which was really the old Handsworth colliery, the colliery had big slag heaps which were still hot we used to  run up-down them it was  great fun  also on the land around the pool there were some old air-raid shelters where we used to play at all sorts of games, in the pool itself a there were as various types of fish and a big cat fish known as the Daddy of them all. I also remembering and a grocer shop being on the  left hand side and further down a sweetshop on the right handside,  just below on the  left handside there was a hairdressers and another grocer shop further down on the left-hand side another grocer's  shop and on the corner of Lees Street the outdoor. At the bottom of the road was the Real, across the road on the other coner  of Lee Street was a another grocer's shop, just above the Real was the coal yard  across from here was The Alex's pub across Kent Street North on the coner a greengrocer's and a the fish-and-chip shop.
 At the bottom of  Devonsire Street  if you turned left you went into Devonshire Avenue where the posh houses were, also Samuel Grove and Toogoods the tube makers.  Rod Scott  




 I lived at no 70 Devonshire Street from 1961 to 1969. I went to Benson Road and William Murdock schools. I thought you might like this photograph, it was taken in the backyard of 70 Devonshire Street about 1966, the man sitting by the window is Lewis ( Fred ) Bassett, he worked at the salvage department in Rotten Park Street at the time, the lady with her back to us was called  Mrs Dent.  The tin bath (on the wall) .....  you took your life in your hands when you filled it up from the old Ascot water heater, not to get overcome by the gas fumes, four large saucepans of water got put on top of the stove to help out. We left in 1969 for Chelmsley Wood.
Roy Bassett .



This photograph of no 70 Devonshire Street was taken about 1966, we lived here from 1961 - 1969, I think that some repair work was being done to the electricity sub station. At no 72 lived Ginnie and Joe Clapham and their sons Peter and Michael, and later the Browns. At no 74 lived Mr Mason, followed by a lady called Mrs Henry and her young family. At no 76 lived Mr and Mrs McCann and their sons Peter and Joseph, I think that they also had a daughter, I remember being good friends with Joseph. At no 78, the first house in the next block down lived Mrs Lowe.
Roy Bassett     Email     23/02/03

In the yard at the side of 70 Devonshire Street

In the yard at the side of 70 Devonshire Street

This photograph was taken about 1967 in the yard at the side of 70 Devonshire Street. The guy is Dennis Bassett, and the bike is a 1965 Arial Sports Arrow. The fenced off area was an electricity sub station, this was put there in the early 60's after an air raid shelter that stood there had been demolished.
Roy Bassett 02/01/03Email  


This is a photo of my mother Mr's B Costin taken by me Rod Scott in 1965, in the yard where we lived. Mom lived at 16 Devonshire Street 1932 -1976, then 71b Norton Street till 1986. by  Rod Scott  23/02/03

ROD SCOTT in Devonshire Street 1965

ROD SCOTT in Devonshire Street 1965