BENSON ROAD SCHOOL  built in 1888 still there today 2018. Photo taken in 2009

BENSON ROAD 02/05/2018
My family were in Benson Rd number 114, my granddad built a shed in the back garden to do press work his kids went to Benson Rd school the business is still going 70 years on, my mom passed away recently just finding any relevant pic's or people that may have known her or the family. Warren Dudley-Toole.

BENSON ROAD 23/01/2017                                                                                                          It must have been around the mid 1950s - does anyone remember Mrs. Cox's sweet shop, I think it was called, up Benson Road? We used to love the liquorice root (looked like twigs)! On my way to school one day  I stopped and looked in the window. I couldn't see any so I went inside and asked 'Have you any liquorice root as I couldn't see any in the window'. She replied 'Yes and it is in the window'. She immediately went to the window and shooed her cat off who was sitting on top of it. I proudly walked out of the shop chewing on it - talk about health and safety!.
A little further down the road on the corner of Park Road was the Fruiterers where you could go in  and ask for a speckled apple something you never hear of today.
On the other corner was Wrensons. If you went in there you could ask for broken biscuit's. Ahh the good old days. Bob Mann

BENSON ROAD 06/09/2017  Lowe family.                                                                                   Please can anyone tell me how to contact john or Susan Lowe as it was nice to go back in time to the days we lived there. I lived at number14 Benson Road.  Michael Clayton.

BENSON ROAD  22/06/2014

Photo for inclusion in your valuable site. Mrs EMILY Louisa Williams..& Mrs Cissie WESTON (with son Derek), outside No.21 Benson Road. Coronation King George V1 1937.
Best Regards Derek Weston                  derekjohnweston


Marriage of Grace Williams (21 Benson Rd.) and Albert Brown ( Hockley )
 at Nineveh Wesleyan and Methodist Church, Benson Rd. c.1939.
Derek Weston

                                                                       BENSON ROAD

BENSON ROAD 30/10/07
What a brilliantly nostalgic site.
I used to live at 18 Benson Rd (up the steps next door to Maisies shop ) from 1952 to 1963. Mom and dad were Fred and Clarice Lowe, sister Susan. Grandad Albert Pike used to hire the hand carts from the "big yard " on the corner of Nineveh Rd. Pals I remember were Roger Denelly, Fred Deeley, Bert Peden, John Nurrish, Michael Clayton, Jeffrey Ince ( who was tragically killed in Aden ) and a lot of lads I played soccer and cricket with most nights down the rec. Remember one occasion when we were caught by the parkie playing soccer on the bowling green, everyone ran off but I left my jacket behind and of course he recognised it and took it to my house where it was waiting for me when I got home....ouch, that hurt!! Does anyone remember the Coopers who lived by the Wonder Vaults. Barbara and I have remained good friends all these years, she lives in Bournemouth now. I myself hve been married 37yrs and live in Coleshill. I have some great pics of the old days.               John Lowe Email:


Fred and Clarice Lowe, moved from Beaton Rd to Nineveh Rd and finally to 18 Benson Rd ( 1952-1974 ).

Fred and Clarice Lowe, moved from Beaton Rd to Nineveh Rd and finally to 18 Benson Rd ( 1952-1974 ).

My aunt Joyce        ( Pike)  and Fred Wakeman on their wedding day. They lived on the corner of Nineveh Rd

My aunt Joyce        ( Pike)  and Fred Wakeman on their wedding day. They lived on the corner of Nineveh Rd

Probably members of the British Legion fishing club. My dad Fred Lowe is on the left at the back and I think the man on the right at the back is George Westwood of Talbot St. Anybody recognise the others?


Possibly the Legion bowls team taken at the rear of the Grapes in Bacchus Rd Fred Lowe is second from the left
and my grandad Albert Pike is second from the right. Extreme left is Joe Hale and the man in the middle with the trilby is Arthur Hale ( no relation ) who used to take the Boys Brigade. The man on the far right is George ?

The Cooper family ...41 ? Benson Rd. 

My sister Sue Lowe and a friend, is it Joy Whittle?

My sister Sue Lowe and a friend, is it Joy Whittle?

Sue Low and Jane Rodgers at the top of the garden 18 Benson Rd.

Sue Low and Jane Rodgers at the top of the garden 18 Benson Rd.


A weekend in Backpool 1955? some names I can recall are Barbara Cooper, Emily Cooper, Harry Bartlam, Athur Lowe.                 Anyone know the others?

BENSON ROAD 25/08/07   

WILLIAMS' family of (19?)Benson Road. circa 1922. Back Row: Len, Harry, Albert and Howard Middle Row: Jack, Cissie and Mabel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Front Row: Grace, Emily,  Doll (Doris), Arthur and Edna.

BENSON ROAD 05/10/06
My mom Janet (still with us) grew up during the 1940s and 50s in Benson Rd. Her mother was Violet and her dad Eric Whittle- both long gone now I'm afraid but my mom has an older sister called Maureen and younger one called Joy who readers may remember. They all lived at the house right next to the Wondervaults pub (the end nearer the railway line) - in fact when I used to stay over I remember the sound of the voices and piano music coming through the walls at night. Unfortunately I can't remember the house number (44, 45 or 46?) as I was very young (4yrs old) when they moved out (to a posh council house in Harborne in 1965). On the recently-posted photographs of the railway station at Benson Rd on your site, if you look at the one at the top right taken at rail level I think you can see the upper stories of the houses and then the white front of the Wondervaults pub in the distant background, behind the railway lines and       buildings. That block of houses in the triangle formed by Benson Rd, between the railway line and the pub were demolished and made way for a scrap yard and the Wondervaults (I think) temporarily became a DIY store. On a recent trip back (2005) I notice that the land (including the Wondervaults itself) is now occupied by a care home.

This photograph of 45 Benson Rd next to The Wonder Vaults pub was taken by my dad John Rowe in 1966/7 just before its demolition.

This photograph of 45 Benson Rd next to The Wonder Vaults pub was taken by my dad John Rowe in 1966/7 just before its demolition.

We always had to approach the house through its back door by going up the entry (Grandad Whittle wouldn't allow us to use the front door!). The houses had deep cellars and a huge coal-fired range in the back kitchen. The front room was kept "for best". Some of my nan Violet's relatives (I think they were called Spillers) lived further up Benson Rd in much older houses the other side of the pub that seemed more like cottages and you had to approach them by going up through an alley. I think my great grandma lived further up on the opposite side of Benson Rd (or the next street down) for a while - they definitely were called Spiller.
In the early 1960's I frequently visited my nan and grandad Whittle - from our flat in Lozells Rd we walked up past the Villa Cross and over the Soho Rd to descend down St Michael's Hill. I'll always remember the feeling of excitement of going to see Nan and Grandad - of course the highlight was the railway - a grand-stand view was to be had from the wall of the triangular communal back yard. I was held up by some friendly soul to peer forever at the shunters chugging about but also the expresses hurtling through. As mentioned I was only 4 when they moved out but I have such vivid and particularly fond memories of that time and the area. My nan (Violet Whittle) worked at a factory called Toogoods  which wasn't far (in toddler walking terms) from Benson Rd and she took me there now and again - as far as I remember it was actually built on wooden "stilts" on the railway embankment right next to the line into Birmingham. You had to get to it by climbing a set of stairs from street level. However, I'm sure a reader will correct me if my then toddler brain has confused matters. I also frequented the "Black Patch" with my nan. Finally I would be genuinely interested to hear if anyone remembers the Whittles or even me - a frequent visitor.  Keep up the excellent work.  Mike Rowe
PS. I now live in the North East (Hartlepool) but I was born in Dudley Rd (City) Hospital and immediately became a resident of Lozells Rd until we moved onwards and upwards to Great Barr in the late 1960s.

Hi again I am looking for any one who knows the Bull family from 22 Lees St also my mate Macca who lived in Benson Road and a girl we called "TEAPOT" also from Benson Rd.  Best wishes Dave Bull Isle of Wight.

Soho and Winson Green station Benson Road.

 The caption reads: "A photograph of the Great Western Railway station at Soho & Winson Green. A train approaches on the line from Birmingham to Handsworth & Smethwick". Photo thanks to McJoseph 26/09/06.

The photos are  of Soho & Winson Green Station of the G.W.R. The station buildings and signals are of pure G.W.R. type. The bridge in the distance carries Benson Road over the railway with the station entrance also there. Does anyone remember Nellie & Gladys who worked in the booking office there in the 1950's? I lived in Lodge Road from 1945 until 1961.

James Holloway   

Ex GWR 2-6-0 No 7321 on a passenger at Soho and Winson Green in 1957                                            Photo Copyright "D K.JONES collection" with thanks..

Ex GWR 4-6-0 No 7900 "St Peters Hall" passing Soho and Winson Green signal box in 1956                                   Photo Copyright "D K.JONES collection" with thanks.

Ex GWR 4-6-0 No 7900 "St Peters Hall" passing Soho and Winson Green signal box in 1956                                   Photo Copyright "D K.JONES collection" with thanks.


Anita Gregory 9th birthday with cake, Girl holding hand ?  Mandy Sadler (girl check frock), Maxine and Julia in front,  Boy is David Gilbert.                 Can anyone from Benson Road name the little girl on the right please.  My mom lived at 42 Benson Road with my great gran, my grans name was Mrs Gilbert.  Then mom had me in 1955 and moved over the road to 1/37 Benson Road. My mothers name is Annie Gregory nee (Gilbert) my dads name was Harry Gregory.  I was born in   Dudley Road Hospital and I went to Benson Road School in 1960. I can remember playing all kinds of games in the street it was safe in those days, you used to be able to stay out of a night and play without being afraid as all the moms used to sit on their doorsteps watching you as you played. I remember having a very long piece of thick elastic where their would be a girl at each end and you would have to twist around and jump trying not to fall over. My dad used to drive the Lodge Road 96 bus, I can  remember mom taking me to go and meet him, we used to get on the bus and mom would get her money out, the conducter would say "put that back" then we would make our way home getting fish and chips on the way.  We used to live next door to the "Wonder Vault" pub and used the pub quite often living next door to it. I  remember standing outside the pub on bonfire night shouting (penny for the guy) with my friends Mandy and the twins Maxine andJulia I think their last name was Sadler. My dads aunt and uncle through adoption used to own Jacksons the greengrocers and mom used to work at the Black Eagle pub on Factory Road I would so dearly like to get in contact with any of the above people as now  my father is no longer with us it would be nice to see if anyone would remembers us.                                                                                Anita Cunniffe  nee Gregory Email:

 This  PHOTOGRAPH was taken in Benson Road sometime in the 1960s.

Does anyone recognise the little girl?

I was 5 when I arrived at Benson Road to live and was 13 when I left, I attended Benson Road and Handsworth New Road Schools between 1952 and 1961 before moving to the other side of town (Posh new council house for me Mom)
We lived in one of the back-to-back houses. Our address was 1 back of 38 Benson Road, on a letter the address would have been interpreted as: 1/38 Benson Road. To the best of my knowledge there were 7 b-to-b houses in our part of Benson Road. Two either side of, and adjoining the Wonder Vaults with a central entry to reach the back and three forming part of a terrace block across the road opposite the Vaults. One having a central entry and ours the entry to the side on the adjoining wall to a small shop owned by a lady named Doris. The Wonder Vaults is remembered only as a large White pub on the flat bit of Benson Road between Bacchus Road and the railway bridge. The facade and interior is loosely remember but the Outdoor, frequented very regular for a little packet of cheese and biscuits, is remembered well. I also played with the children of the pub.
I remember the Soap Hole well this is where you spotted your LMS locos(Vittoria Street Smethwick) however I was a GWR man so it was a little yard opposite Soho and Winson Green railway station (in Benson Road) that I frequented called "Allens Yard". Does anybody remember that ruddy great dog that used to put the fear of god in us when we went passed the back gate. O Happy days.
Soho and Winson Green Railway Station was tended by a lady called Bessy. By Ged Rutter 25/04/02

To the left of the school past Allens Road was an odd triangular shaped court yard with a passageway leading to Allen's Road. This courtyard had open railings on one side the other side of the railings was the Great Western Railway (GWR).
It was a great treat and a spectacle to see the great King Class locos come thundering past billowing stream everywhere.By Stuart Waldron 25/04/02

Head mistress in the early 1950's was Miss Dumealow.
 (Miss Dumealow was the senior teacher when I was there1945-50 and Miss Legge was the Head.(Ted Rudge)
Toilets were outside the main building, a lean to affair against the boundary wall to the left of the school.There were no playing fields so any sports activity entailed a long walk to a park somewhere near Rookery Road (approx 1.5miles each way).                                                                            Stuart Waldron 25/04/02

BENSON ROAD School.  Miss Dumealow  as far as I know, was never head mistress during the early 1950s , she used to take topclass in the juniors, I know that for a fact as I was in her class during my last year. Miss Legge was head mistress when I started and still head mistress when I left in 1955.                                                                                                                                            Keith Bird 11/05/02

BENSON ROAD School had an annex in Musgrave Road (church hall next to the church)                 Ged Rutter 25/04/02