Our Aim
The aim of this site is to collect  information in the form of History- Personal Stories- Photographs- Maps  to tell the next generation THE WAY WE WERE


IN or near



Summer field Park---The "Rec" Musgrave  Road---All Saints Park---The Sand Park

SUMMERFIELD PARK                                                                                                          



 In 1969 I lived in The Cottage of Content, 59 Norman Street. In the hot summer that year I went to the Jazz Festival at Summerfield Park to see Nina Simone and George Chisholm. He was a Scot who was famous as a jazz trombone player but also for comedy. Anyone else remember this festival? Regards Moira Taylor  m.taylor237@btinternet.com


Mike and John Green in the childrens' playground  Summerfield Park 1937/ 8.  and the playground in Summerfield Park July 2015

THE NURSERY   24/10/08
I have just spent an afternoon going back in time reading the web sites for Winson Green, and Ladywood. I was born in 1946 and one of my earliest memories is going to the Nursery in Summerfield Park. I believe that it was near the City Road entrance and when it was pulled down and the site cleared, it was replaced by the 'brown, gravel, football pitch'.

My brother Graham and I are in the two Nursery pictures included  and they were taken at the Nursery in 1947. I was about 18 months old when the pictures were taken and I can remember having to sleep outside, on camp beds, every afternoon.
The other pictures, taken about 1952, show my brother and I on the edge of the grass football pitch with the City Road behind us; and my Mother and I with the Railway cutting and Gillette Road in the background.
Many a happy hour was spent playing Football and Cricket within this part of the park -- the final over was just as the Park gate was being locked! More than once we had to climb out!
From 1952 to 1961, the other end of the Park was my route home to Icknield Port Road; from Dudley Road School and then Lordswood Boys' School ( using the No 11 bus stops near the Police Station).
Edward Colson  windyhollows@patandi.freeserve.co.uk

Thank's to Mac Joseph for this photo

I am absolutely fascinated by the photograph you have just posted on the Parks section, i.e. the Amalagamated Musicians Union band of May1909.
I was a member of this union over 50 years ago and I didn't realise that it dated back so far!
If anybody can tell me anything about this photograph I will be very grateful.
Sincerely  Mike Green  mikedrums@blueyonder.co.uk

                                                        BANDSTAND SUMMERFIELD PARK MAY 2015

                                                        BANDSTAND SUMMERFIELD PARK MAY 2015

                                                              Top of Bandstand dated 1907

                                                              Top of Bandstand dated 1907

Thanks to Mac Joseph (www.oldladywood.co.uk) for the Post Cards of Dudley Road and Summerfield Park

20/02/08               WANDER IN THE PARK
I have no photographs but as a child Summerield Park was my paradise. I am just happy to think it is still here. Sorry to say I often sneaked out of Dudley Road Junior school to wander in the beautiful park . Happy days.
Diane Sprague Email: Diannie_5@hotmail.com


20/02/08              THE STORM
Summerfield Park, yes I remember the changing rooms being struck by lightening and the young lad that was killed was one of the cricket team we where due to play. The storm was one of the worst I have ever seen, and that goes for when I was in the Far East as well. I was just about to go to the park when it went very black and I decided to go to pictures instead. During the interval I saw one of my mates and he told me what had happend. I think he might have from Aberdeen Street but i am not sure. It would have been 1951/52. I will let you have more stories later Alan Sorrell  Email: alan@sorrell.fslife.co.uk

I remember that day vividly when my mate was struck by lightning and died of his injuries.
At the time he was sheltering from that terrible lightning storm, the changing rooms had a thatched roof and the lightning bolt came straight through the roof and hit the handle bars on his bike. Unfortunately he had no handle bar grips on his bike and it was said that was the reason why he died, who knows ?
His name was John Lees and he lived at the first house in Icknield Port Road.
Mike Pinkney ( Dugdale Street)

10/02/08         CANTEEN did EXIST
I can certainly remember a canteen- on the path to the left from Dudley Road (Police Station) entrance, parallel to Icknield Port Road. I thought it was a 'British Restaurant', but my old mum says no it wasn't because they used to have to go to a British Restaurant in town, to help supplement their rations. Unfortunately she cannot remember what it was called. However my brother Tony clearly remembers the place too. It was a prefabricated building and he used to go in there regularly for his 'trifle with mock cream'. So that would be in the 1950's when he was a teenager. We can be sure that it did exist.
There was another refreshment place at the 'Sons of Rest', by the tennis courts, but that was for people partaking of the sports facilities.  Hope that helps,  Roger Field (ex Peel Street) roger.fld@ntlworld.com

There was a British Restaurant in Summerfield Park, I can remember going
there with my mother and brother at lunch times. It was a self service
system and it always fascinated me seeing all the food there.. the
mashed potatoes and the meat pies were favourites... and the
puddings...It is nice to see the photos of Summerfield Park, bringing
back many happy memories. Thank you....
Barbara Collins nee Kalmarczie  (ex Moilliett Street)  blcollins25@yahoo.co.uk

11/02/08       SONS of REST and the RAILWAY
You asked if anyone remembers the canteen, well I'm sorry I can't but deep in the back I my mind I am sure there was a place in the park where you could buy ice creams . I may be mistaken and might be thinking of somewhere else because it was many years ago and I was very young. But I do remember there was two air-raid shelters in the park that were still there until the late forties or early fifties. One was near the houses that backed on the park (the houses being in City Road), the other one was at the top end by Selwyn Road.
I also remember the sons of rest and us kids use to watch the old fellows playing billiards or snooker through the windows, but when they saw us they sent us on our way. We also watched them playing bowls and we refered to that game as old mans marbles. Futher along the path was a shelter with benches in and I believe part of the shelter was changing rooms for the football teams that played in the park. I am sure this shelter had some sort of thatched roof and I think it was struck by lightening and caught fire but I would not swear to it.
Another thing that sticks in my mind was the railway that ran at the side of the park, if we were heard the train coming most of the kids would run to the fence to watch it go by. The railway was originally the Birmingham to Harborne and my dad who could remember it being a passenger train always refered to it as the Harbourne Express. In later years there was very few trains and I believe they went to the M and B brewery or it may have been a coal yard in Harbourn(does anyone know). We youngsters knew the train as the Old Boner and it was always pulled by a very old locomotive.
I could go on for hours about Summerfield Park and the Winson Green area. Some of the tales I know would give you a good laugh I'm sure. Buts thats all for now . JOHN GILLON jgillon61@hotmail.co.uk

11/02/08      STARS and FLOWERS
Sorry I haven't any photographs of Summerfield Park but I can remember the marquee that used to appear from time to time. Many popular stars ofthe time appeared. I saw Lonnie Donegan & Frankie Vaughan.
At the front of the park opposite Dudley Road School used to be a beautiful floral display. It was usually a theme. I can remember for the coronation of our present queen Elizabeth a crown in flowers. The park won several prizes for its floral displays.
Valerie Ellis nee James  clements.jessie@blueyonder.co.uk

12/02/08         THE FAIR
Well Ted you have opened a can of worms encouraging me to tell you my memories of Summerfield Park so here's one I think you will like. I don't care if you put it on your site the Judge will probably let me off, but if he sends me down I will get some good stories of Winson Green (prison) for you. (Thanks)
This tale about Summerfield Park happened about fifty years ago so I hope I will be forgiven for my sin. Every year Bob Wilson's fun fair would arrive at the park for a few days and quite a few of the older schoolboys in the area would get casual work on the rides and stalls. Well this particular year my friend and myself decided to try our luck and see if we could earn a little cash. My friend who was older and bigger did all the asking and after a while we was offered a job. The job we managed to obtain was given to us by the  man who operated the swingboats. All we had to do was collect the cash take it straight over to the man who was looking after another stall then when he gave us the nod stop the swingboat for the punters to get off. We had started working for this man at about six o'clock and at about ten o'clock he came over to pay our wages (I thought). He handed my friend either sixpence or a shilling I can't remember which and I held my hand out. "I'm only paying one of you" he said and walked away. I was broken hearted but what could I do.
The next year the fun fair is back but I am a year older and a year wiser. Just strolling around like any other twelve year old minding my own business, I hear a voice, "son do you want to earn sixpence", I turn around and there is the swingboat man who I presume did not recognise me but I recognise him. Go to chip shop get me fish and chips and I will give you sixpence for going and handed me half a crown, don't think of running of because I know where you live he said. My first thought was how does he know where I live and quite rightly I knew he was trying to scare me so I would not run off with his money and I would be honest enough to take him his supper. Walking down the path towards Dudley Road and the chip shop I kept looking at the half a crown, thinking half a crown or sixpence and getting excited. My pace quickened from a slow walk then a trot and then sprint to the gate by the police station but instead of turning right for the chip shop I turned left for home.
That event has stopped in my mind for nearly fifty years and I knew at the time I was doing wrong but the funny thing is I have no regrets. Could it be sweet revenge? If that swingboat man reads this (he must be at least ninety now) sorry mate I will give you your half a crown back, but I will keep the interest in lieu of the wages you owe me. Name and Email supplied

13/02/08                                           BONFIRE in the PARK
I remember Summerfield Park I was always playing  there and I had to go though the park to school. Seeing the park with the old roundabout and the swings brought a lot of memorys back to when I was a kid. I remember the bonfire nights they used to take weeks to get them ready, they was so high and had to have a fence around. Fireworks were a lot better then than todays, I also remember the fair I was always up there every time it turn up. We had great fun in the 60's there was hundreds of people at the park they came from everywere, there used to be a band stand and people used to play music  there in the summer time. When we were off school for the holidays we went up to the park and there was all sorts of things going on, they had sports games, bikes you could lend to ride around the park, the park was so big and at one side you had the railway not in working order then as my friends and I used to go down there playing and also climbing getting apples from the trees.
Maureen Perks  Email: mo_perks@hotmail.co.uk

13/02/08                                                  FOOTBALL
John Gillon mentions the shelter/ changing rooms in Summerfield Park. His memeory is fine- it did have a thatched roof and was struck by lightning, but the worst thing was that it also struck and killed a young lad who was sitting on his bike in the shelter. Very sad. The shelter was also a changing room for the footballers and this was the home pitch for a team that I played for called 'Park View', in 1960/61. We played in claret and blue (what else?) and our team meetings were in Fred's Cafe, opposite Dudley Road Hospital. Amazing how long you could make a threepenny cup of hot Oxo last!
There were some characters in that team, including a coloured chap we called 'Didi'. Was he good! Unfortunately we usually had to fetch him from his lodgings each Sunday morning- by which I mean we literally had to lift him out of his bed and 'kidnap' him, plus clothes and football kit, to make sure he turned up. Fortunately he thought it was good fun and he was such a good player we thought it worth the effort. I cannot remember how we got him to away matches as we were all on motorbikes- perhaps the manager had a car?
By the way, I was right about the canteen being a British Restaurant as my brother's wife remembers it too.
Best wishes, Roger Field. roger.fld@ntlworld.com

My memories of Summerfield Park are not very complementary having to play the local Barford Road School in my days of H.N.R.S. in inter-Challenge Football. and later years Ladywood Star in Local League Football. this park had the worst football facilities and playing surface of any park in Birmingham the surface was gravel,and you only had to fall, and end with scratches & cut Legs they may have had flowers and grass in front of the Bandstand but certainly not on the football areas.
That why Black Patch was recognized the best football pitch in Birmingham Parks.
Colin Mills Email: cmills9@blueyonder.co.uk

                                                      Thanks to Keith Clenton for both photos

                                                      Thanks to Keith Clenton for both photos

Flew in to the park in the summer of 2015 in aid of the children's hospital, facing dudley road with the old Dudley Road School opposite



We called the  playground in Musgrave Road

"The REC" 

it is now called MUSGRAVE Road RECREATION GROUND   

THE REC 1909 at the entrance the low building was the Park Keepers Hut with seating around outside, with a Gents lavatory one side and a Ladies on the other. Steps to the bowling lawn on the right towards the back. Houses along Musgrave Road on the left and Talbot Street on the right.

THE REC 1909 at the entrance the low building was the Park Keepers Hut with seating around outside, with a Gents lavatory one side and a Ladies on the other. Steps to the bowling lawn on the right towards the back. Houses along Musgrave Road on the left and Talbot Street on the right.

                                                   THE OLD REC BEFORE MODERNISATION

                                                  THE OLD REC BEFORE MODERNISATION



Do you remember the Parky who used to look after the Rec he was a nice bloke we used to go for a cup of tea and chat with him and do you remember there was some sort of club house at the entrance. There was a lovely bowling green to but it was replaced with swings.
I remember playing football in the rec and we used to slide down the bank of the railway on any piece of board or in our shorts.  After I met my good lady, we both in Devonshire Ave, we were 13 years old (I used to build bikes) anyway one day I said to my misses do you want a backy (bad move) she hopped on at the Talbot we went full pelt down the gully no brakes straight into the factory, god it hurt but what a memory .Cheers Ted all the best Dave and  Shaz Bull now on the Isle of Wight please reply.             Email: watchet@hotmail.co.uk


in the former ground of ALL SAINTS HOSPITAL

The old hospital building can be seen in this photo

The old hospital building can be seen in this photo

Viewed the other way with  St Micheals Church Handsworth in the distance and the  New houses in Lodge Road    Both photos were taken in 2005

Viewed the other way with  St Micheals Church Handsworth in the distance and the  New houses in Lodge Road

Both photos were taken in 2005



(no longer there)

You have a section on Parks and one is called the sand pit. Would this be the one that I called the "China" Park ? It was a stone building with Chinese symbols around it. Probably on top of garages ? It was past the GKN works and before the "Mothers pride" Bakery in Smethwick. I have lots of memories of this area and the people that were there. Malcolm Terry Rollplayermike@aol.com

 20/02/09 NO GRASS
But when it was, you went down Heath Street and it was situated just over the border in Smethwick.
There was a park not strictly in the Winson Green area but very close which I have not seen mentioned yet. But I would bet, there was not many kids in the Heath Street or Dudley Road area who did not visit it sometime or other. We called it a park but I don't think you could have found a blade of grass in it however hard you searched. I think the main attraction for the kids was the slide which seemed quite high and of course the sand pit, there was the other kids rides such as the swings.  It was situated over the Smethwick border in Cranford Street which is the continuation of Heath Street and was known to all the kids as THE SAND PARK. It was later turned into a car park for GKN and I believe it is now a retail car business. What I remember about the walk to the sand park was the noise from the machines as we passed GKN and trying to get a glimpse at them through the windows. Regards JOHN GILLON  jgillon61@hotmail.co.uk

                                       AN ADVENTURE     22/02/08
The latest mention of the Sand Park by John Gillon in Cranford & London Street was that small with one Slide, Measured about 30ft x 30ft was a great disappointment, having found a short way through a passage way from the bottom of Foundry road & Victoria street called the Wicket takening you underneath the railway lines and along the Canal side and over a bridge into a crescent next to G.K.N.Nettlefolds and across road to this so called Sand Pit, shocking waste of time, but an adventure. Colin Mills Email: cmills9@blueyonder.co.uk