A SHOPPING AREA OF BROOKFIELD
SPRING HILL (Maple Leaf) 29/06/2014
My parents, Kathleen and Horace Martin purchased the premises of 89 Spring Hill around the time of their marriage which took place in Erdington in April 1947. The shop was called the Maple Leaf, as I understand it was owned previously by a Canadian. They opened it up as a florist as my mother had previously trained in floristry in Belfast. She had met my father during the war but had decided when it was over she would come to England to live. My father would get on the bus into the City, pick up fresh flowers from the market, then bring them back on the bus to sell in the shop. He was always dressed in a white coat. In March 1948 my mother gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, and it was sat in the twin pram that my brother Brian and I would sit in the shop while my parents worked. Two years later my brother Trevor was born, then my sister Ann and finally my brother Tony in 1955. All this time my parents continued to live and work from 89 Spring Hill. I remember Playfair's the shoe shop one side and Stoddarts the butchers on the other. Summerfield Park was a regular walk for my mother and often at weekends my parents would take us to the Botanical Gardens which I regularly still visit today. Around the mid sixties my parents purchased the premises of 101 Spring Hill which I understand had previously been an abbatoir, it was on the corner of George Street West, this was a double fronted shop but was only used as business premises. Then came the upgrading of Springhill when a new arcade of shops was built; was it called Brookfield Precinct or Spring Hill Precinct, however my parents had the front premises as the Maple Leaf once more. It was situated much nearer to Spring Hill Library Library which is the one original building that still remains as well as St. Peters Church in George Street West. After working together from 1947 until 1985 on Spring Hill they finally sold the business of the Maple Leaf and retired.
Patricia Bennett nee Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING HILL 16/12/2013
I have just found your really interesting website purely by chance. My grandfather and his second wife lived at 181 Spring Hill. Their names were Ben & Gladys Riley, and I believe had a shoe shop!
from at least 1950 - 1955. I understand the address was a shop, but I found no reference to it on your site - is it possible any of your contributors remember this address?
Many thanks - Shelagh email@example.com
BAPTIST CHAPEL SPRING HILL 22/03/2013
I would like to post a comment please.
Came across your site today, wow keep up the great work. I've been searching for a whle for a photo of SpringHill Chapel, and there it is one on your site.
My Great Grandparents were married there. Hooper / Crowley families, lived Barford Rd.
My family and I would love to hear from anyone who has any connections with the above names
keep up the great work and memories
SPRING HILL 22/02/2013 BROOKFIELD MEMORIES Part 1
What a wonderful idea, you have done a marvelous job, I am 86 years old next month and you have brought back so many memories, I could write a book about that area, I was born and lived in Ingleby Street, just off Spring Hill and vividly remember all the places shown and mentioned, I went to St.Marks School, down King Edwards Road, as Infant and Junior then Steward Street as a senior.
Newey's newspaper shop wasn't mentioned, it was about four shops along Spring Hill from Ellen Street going towards the Library, I used to deliver papers for them all round the Brookfields area, Mrs Newey was very nice but her daughter was a bit stroppy, a bit further along was a big greengrocer, can't remember the name at the moment, you mention Brown's shoe repair shop, Frankie Brown was my best friend, his Aunt owned the shop and his Father did all the repairs, his Aunt lived at the top of the entry at the side of the shop and he lived a few doors down Ellen Street.
I think that some of your correspondents who ask for information are a bit lax in not putting their correct e-mail address, I have tried to reply to Dennis Williams and to Doug Westwood but both were rejected because of incorrect address.
There used to be a Rudge family in Ingleby Street, up the entry next to the Ingleby Arms pub, the girls name was Lizzie, can't remember the others, don't suppose there is any connection!!
To save people asking, my family were not related to the Luckman's who had the wallpaper shop just past Eyre Street.
Someone mentioned the Palais de Dance, it was on the top corner of Ingleby Street and Monument Road.
I could go on forever like this but I think this is enough for now, keep up the good work.
Fred Luckman. firstname.lastname@example.org
BROOKFIELD MEMORIES Part 2
More memories, no-one has mentioned the Palace cinema on the corner of Icknied Street and Spring Hill opposite the Library, we used to go there for the Tuppenny Crush on Saturday afternoon, used to run errands all morning to earn the twopence, next to the cinema was Bulpitts and then a Funeral Director, can't remember the name but the son was named Phillip Ward and he was a good friend of mine, a bit further up and across the road was the Ice Skating Rink, or was that later!!! Doug Westwood mentioned his parents living up Roseberry Passage,his mothers maiden name was Jenkins, around 1936-7 my brother and I, he was three years older than me, used to play around that area and my brother had a girlfriend named Alice Jenkins, I wonder if there is any conection, Alice had a friend, much younger, named Doris Glover who I considered was my girlfriend, yes, at that age!!!
A Dennis Williams lived in a house opposite the entry where I used to live in Ingleby Street,, he had a brother named Ronnie and two sisters named Elsie and Ivy, I wonder if it could be the one that wrote to you.
Mrs Cooke who someone mentioned was a lovely lady and a wonderful cook, there were six in my family, Mother, her Aunt and four children, my Father had died in 1932 at the age of 32 from war-wounds, I used to go down to Mrs Cooke's to collect a dish of Meat and Potato pie for our main meal, I can't remember whether it cost Threepence or Sixpence.
The scaffolding company near to Mrs Cooke that someone mentioned was Security Scaffolding not SGB, later on I worked for them, I also worked for SGB and then Mills Scaffolding and then had my own scaffold company in Leicester
No-one from George Street West mentioned the recreation ground (the rec) on the corner of Camden Street, we spent many happy hours there, and what about Summerfield Park, or is that too far from Brookfields, shouldn't be, it was opposite Winson Green Road.
The Boyfriend and later Husband of my eldest Sister lived in the first yard along Eyre Street, he was Richard Peacock, he was an ardent Snooker player and spent most of his time in the Snooker club on Spring Hill, he would have an arrangement to collect my Sister in the evening but would never be there so I was sent round to remind him my Sister was waiting, he would then arrive with a bag of Buttered Brazils for her and off they would go.
Apart from the Gibbons fish and chip shop on Dudley Road there was also a very good one on Monument road, just round the corner from Ingleby Street, and does anyone remember Reg Clews cycle shop on the corner of Monument road and King Edwards Road.
Fred Luckman. email@example.com
BROOKFIELD MEMORIES Part 3 15/04/2013
I never stop thinking about my childhood in Ingleby Street, another shop has come to my mind that hasn't been mentioned, I can't remember the name but some-one else might. It was set back from the road next to the entrance to the snooker club, he used to sell electical stuff but most importantly he used to charge the accumulaters that we used to drive the 'Wireless' we had two, one in use and one with him being charged, I think they used to last about a week on each charge, we also had to have a big 9" square battery, 120 volt I think. This was of course after we had moved up from the 'Cats Whisker'
All the best, Fred Luckman. firstname.lastname@example.org .
SPRING HILL 22/06/2012 CAN YOU ONE HELP
In the 1950's I was courting a young girl who lived on Spring Hill, the family lived at the back of a Dry Cleaning Shop, which I believe was next door to a butchers which was next to a scaffolding yard (S.G.B.) You had to go through a covered entry into a blue bricked yard at the back,there place was on the left as you went into the yard, the back of the separate shop. I really would like to know any information as to what happened to the family.
Many Thanks, in anticipation.
DAVID JEFFERY email@example.com
12/05/2011 ?? CAN ANY ONE HELP NIGEL ???
This may seem a bit of a long shot, but I wonder if you may be able to assist me in tracking down my biological father whom I've never known!
You see, I was born in Hingestion Street in Spring Hill in October 1966. From the consistent stories I've heard over the years, my mother had an extra marital affair with an Irish man who worked in the second-hand shop in Spring hill.
From reading the Spring Hill forum/site, I noted that someone commented that they remember a Mrs Dean owned/ran the shop. Therefore, if I could possibly track her down then perhaps I'd have the name of the Irish man who worked for her? There couldn't have been too many Irish men who worked for her.
If you have any ideas or information that may be of help to me, I would be eternally grateful.
Nigel Wilkie firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Spring Hill shops photographed around the 1930s
One is of the Hill Top Cafe with my Auntie Nell Luckman standing on the step.
The other is Luckman's Wallpaper Shop around the same time
Photos kindly sent by Yvonne Wale
Spring Hill was a thriving shopping centre before the advent of the modern supermarket its shops catered for the local families of Brookfields, Winson Green, Ladywood and beyond.
Among the shops in alphabetical name order were;-
Allibones (Crockery and glass ware)
Alabones (Clothes shop).
Baines (Bread and cakes)
Birmingham Cooperative Society (the CO-OP)
Browns Shoe repairers
Book shop[second hand]
Carmicheal's [faggot and peas]
Cooks hot pie shop
'Coach And Horses' Pub
'The College' pub at 169 Spring Hill,
Dean 2nd hand shop
Ellett George and Lizzy had a shop on Spring Hill at 195
Fallon cigrettes etc
Faggot and Pea's Shop
The Guild ---a pub
Gibbon's Fish and Chip shop
Green's Linen Shop
Home & Colonial.
Jeffs (Gents Outfitters),
Leslie Smith (ex Aston Villa player) sports shop Record Shop
Lee's: the record shop
Luckman's wallpaper shop
Lyons linen/clothing shop
Launderette (nexy door to the cake shop)
Maple Leaf Florist
Marsh and Baxters pork butchers
Marriots Wedding Dress Shop
Newey's newspaper shop
One legged optician
Peggy Shore Hair Salon (Shores hairdressers)
The Queens Pub (corner of Spring Hill & Ingleby Street)
Len Shaws (Grocers).
NEALS GROCERY SHOP (ON THE CORNER OF STEWARD STREET AND SPRING HILL.)
Spring Hill Snooker Hall
The Star (Toy Shop)
Sid Sedwicks (army & navy stores)
Uncle Franks [Amusement Arcade]
Verrichias ice cream shop (right hand side by the canal passage way) (Tony Warrington)
Venus ( fish & chip shop).
Wakeling Green-grocery (185)
SPRING HILL (area) 25/02/2011
Just came across your Site, and thought my contacts with the Spring Hill area might prove interesting. My parents were both brought up in the area. My Dad, Harold Richmond, had two brothers Tom and Joe, and a sister Dolly. They were all brought up in Camden Street, before each moving to other areas in Birmingham.
My mother Lily (nee Turner) was brought up in I think Nursery Road, Hockley(?) and she had a sister Phyllis. In the 30's Dad and Mum used to be regulars at the Pallais de Dance ('The Pally') down near Icknield Street.
In 1957 I started a Draughtmans Apprenticeship at Peter Brasshouse(Toolmakers) Limited on Spring Hill, which eventually included working at Aldridge nr. Walsall, when part of the Company relocated in 1959.
That journey every day was a nightmare, and as I lived in Rednal with Mum & Dad near the Lickey Hills, directly across on the other side of the City, Dad got my Apprenticeship transferred to BSA at Redditch which was obviously much more convenient.
I then attended Bromsgrove College, studying Engineering, where I met my Wife, who was a German au-pair girl studying English at the same college. That was 46 years ago!
Although I now live in Gloucestershire, I'm still in business, and still going strong. I still miss my 'Brummy' background, and take up every excuse to return to the wonderful City of my birth.
Very Best Regards,
Tony Richmond(b,1940). email@example.com
SPRING HILL (area) 25/02/2011
I lived at 2/3 Eyre street, with my brother and sisters. There were lots of children living in the yard the Birkett family lived in the first house.Peter and Clive Murray further down the yard. We use to go to the Lyric cinema on a Saturday morning. I use to go to St Johns church over the road, I was a member of "The Junos" Miss Goodwin was our leader. I loved the church anniversary when we wore new dresses and shoes. We left Eyre Street when I was eleven but I came back regularly to see my friends.
Brenda Hurlston nee Eccleston firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING HILL 20/08/09
My Nan and Grandad lived at 195 Spring Hill which was a General Store, next door my great grand mother Ellett owned the Drappers shop. This was next to Spring Hill Ave. My mother Mary Ellett was a only child and married William Crowley at St Patrick Church, Dudley Road on 13th of September 1958. They had two children me Paul and Carol Crowley and lived at 42 Winson Green Road, Winson Green. We both went to Summmerfield J & I School and then Portland Road School, Portland road off City Road.
On spring Hill there was a photograher called "Suches" however they do not appear on the list it was next to "The Guild" pub.
One thing I remember very well was at dinner time the people use to come into the shop from the factory across the road.
Paul Crowley email@example.com
SPRING HILL 19/12/08
My Cousin Ray Arnold informed me of your great site, I had no idea of it's existence
I must tell you about the Renowned "Faggot and Pea Shop" on Spring Hill, people came from miles around to get their wonderful food, it was Ray Arnold parents who owned it.
I started at school "St Patrick's RC Dudley Road" in 1937 and left in 1951 and can remember having faggot & Peas from a very early age. I also remember Ellen Street School being flattened by a Land Mine, and added a lot of Shrapnel to my biscuit tin plus parachute cord and silk collected from the Ruins.
I lived at 6/13 Highfield Terrace Brookfield Road, B18, and together with my best friend Ray Pailing regular carried water to all the old folks who were short after the Air Raids had cut off supplies, the Water was collected from R White's in Western Road.who pumped it from their own tanks.
This area was heavily bombed because the large rail goods yard being a strategic target at Pitsford Street.
I have many memory's of this close community and how wonderful the people were during those awful times.
My Best Regards
Brian Pike firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING HILL 27/09/07
Re; Spring Hill shops, does no-0ne not remember Cooks hot pie shop, where you could buy delicious hot meat pies for about 3d each during and after the war?
Eric Day Email: email@example.com
SPRING HILL 19/02/07
I lived on Spring Hill but went to Icknield Street boys school, and had a good friend named George Sheard who lived in Heaton Street. I left school in 1962 but still remember the good times we had in the flat at lunch times, annoying the ladies in Woolies and Nortons, and chatting up the girls from Camden Street girls school.
rob smith Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING HILL 29/09/06
Ive just come across your site whilst researching my family tree.My great great uncle was James Potter,
He had the opticians shop at 147 Spring Hill
, He had one leg
so would have been quite memorable.As you can imagine i was delighted to see a hand written receipt from his shop on your site and wondered if you knew the whereabouts of it so i could possibly gain a copy of it. I hope you dont think im being cheeky asking but as you can imagine personal artefacts are quite hard to come by . I would be really grateful if anyone had any information on the Potter family or their shop.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email,
I can be contacted on email@example.com Many thanks Elizabeth
SPRING HILL College Pub 16/11/05
I am Grace & Bill Millington's doughter, I have a sister, Cynthia and we lived at the College Pub from 1946, I would love to hear from anyone whom I know from that era, I married Brian Haynes in 1964 and married from the College Pub. Please contact me Gillian Millington Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad's brother John Thompson ( Dublin) lived in the Spring Hill area throughout 1950-1960. He was married to Eileen Byrne and they had a number of children. They lived at No. 16 (back of 28) Spring Hill which I understand was demolished in the 1960's and tenants were later rehoused.
We are trying to trace him or his family.
Edel Thompson 11/11/05
SPRING HILL College Pub 09/11/05 "CAN YOU HELP"
My Mom & Dads name are Gill and Brian Haynes and they grew up around the Spring Hill area. My grandads name was Bill Millington and he use to run the College Pub on Spring Hill.would you perhaps have any pictures,stories etc,relating to this as i would love to gather it all and suprise my Mom for xmas with it, she would be thrilled. Or would it be possible to add it to this great site of yours?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Regards anthony haynes Email: email@example.com
SPRING HILL 29/03/05
'The College' pub at 169 Spring Hill, on the corner of College Street was my first home in 1943.
The landlord was my grandfather, Arthur Cutler and my grandmother Annie Cutler, helped by my mother Irene Berry. Dr. Lewis, the black doctor was a customer and used to bounce me on his knee for hours. My great grandparents, James and Mary Hemming, lived at 11/4, Eyre Street.
John Berry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Nan and Grandad Violet and Fred Wakeling had a green-grocers on Spring Hill, number 185
This is a photo of my nan Violet Wakeling in the shop at 185 Spring Hill, Brookfields,- taken in the late 1960's. Note: the price of a pound of spuds!
more family photos on the College Street page
we were four doors away from the Verrechias. Rosie Fallon was next door to us (Nan's sister) she sold cigrettes etc., then there was Mrs Dean (second hand-shop) her son Robert was my 'best-mate, then Mr and Mrs Evans (printers) and then Sid Verrechia. I have very fond memories of Sid as every time he saw me out playing (which was a lot) I always had a free'tub' of ice-cream. The back entrance to our shop (and all the others from us down to the College Pub), was a drive accessed from College Street - it was known to us as ' The Old Coll' and Sids ice-cream vans were always there being washed and filled up ready for their rounds. He was a lovely bloke and was good friends with my Dad
I was born at 185 in 1960, the only child of Joan (nee Wakeling) and my Dad George Billings. I spent my childhood on Spring Hill and have only fond memories. At 188 was a sweet shop where Louise Walters lived with her parents. My other mates were down the avenue - the Truemans. We all went to Camden St School between 1964/5 until its closure in 1969/70 I then went to Nelson Street.
My Mom went to Steward Street J&I School and then to Camden Street..Mom has a wealth of knowledge about the area and I am sure she will be able to add some interesting stories and information.
Jennie Billings Jennie Billings Email: email@example.com 10/05/04
Having read the list list of shops on Spring Hill I note that you have not included Luckman's wallpaper shop. My aunt and uncle, Nellie and Arthur Luckman ran it during the 1950's and 60's. I can't remember it very well but I know you could get into the Verrachia ice cream factory from their back yard.
Yvonne Wale Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 17/01/04
I spoke to my dad about Spring Hill to see if he could remember any other shop names. he said that on one side of Luckman's Wallpaper shop was a Lyons linen/clothing shop (I don't know whether that is the correct spelling) and on the other was a pub called The Guild. He also named a sweet shop called Vaughans. Further up Spring Hill was the cafe run first by my Nan, Florence Hardwick, and then my aunt Doris. It was called Hilltop Cafe. Yvonne Wale Email: email@example.com 18/01/04
Does anyone remenber Rowleys the butchers (the managers was named Peter), it was on Spring Hill just passed Spring Hill Passage on the right hand side looking towards the library, it was about the fifth shop along. I use to work there part time, after school and Saturday, the date I was working there was about 1964.
When i lived in the Green I use to live at 131 Winson St. I left at the age of 16. I am still in brum and living in Balsall Heath. Ronald Bird Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 06/11/03
My nan (George and Lizzy Ellett) had a shop on Spring Hill at 195 which I use to work in when i was a lad, My dad William Crowley was a bus driver at Roseberry Street bus garage. I use to live at 42 Winson Green Road and I went to Summmerfield School and then went to Portland school. I have some photos Paul Crowley Email: email@example.com
Can anybody remember the little paper shop owned by Billy Howard which stood at the bottom of Springhill.
I think his parents also owned a paper shop someware near to the library.
I delivered papers for Billy Howard around 1960. Pat Garland.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There was also a greengrocers on the corner of Ellen Street and Spring Hill, further up towards the library was a green grocers run by the Flints who had children Peter and Philip.Philip was tragically killed in a road accident when I think about 14 years old. John Solomon Email: email@example.com
With regards to shops on Spring Hill I remember Playfair Shoe Shop which I think was next door to Stoddards who sold cured meats and bacon etc. Next to Stoddards was the seed merchants whos name I cannot recall at the moment. I think next door to him possibly was Miss Zissman and her brother who sold haberdashery. There was also Home & Colonial Stores (which I think later became the Co Op) on the corner of Ellen St and Spring Hill. Following on towards Spring Hill Library - does anyone remember " The Black Doctor" -Doctor Lewis. I can remember my parents having to pay him when I had a rash. My recollections at that time were that he was sent for on many occasions (when they could afford it.) I also remember Walford & Cashmore on Spring Hill near to the junction with Ingleby St. I was a pupil at Camden St Infant and Junior from 1949 to 1959. Does anyone remember Mr Hickman? he was a teacher in the last year of junior school, very strict but a lot of his pupils passed there 11+. The head teachers name was Miss Baggley (she was a right corker) a lady of her time, i think!!
Reading one of the e mails that someone sent they made reference to "Wally Green" bookmakers on spring hill, just as a matter of interest my father- Ernie Johnson was a bookmakers clerk who worked at Wally Greens for over 25 years in fact until the premises were demolished.My Father was born in Steward Street, Spring Hill.
from Wendy Pettitt nee Johnson Email: Bedders38@aol.com