155-179 PRESCOTT STREET 1960s
PRESCOTT STREET 15/01/2018 GOUCHER FAMILY. I have just come across your website, and have found it a very interesting read. My grandad, Wilfred Goucher was born at 165 Prescott Street, where he was one of the youngest of 10 siblings. His parent were called Samuel Goucher and Annie Maria Goucher (nee Dawson). I think they moved there around 1902/3 and lived there until their deaths in 1951(Samuel) and 1949(Annie). The children were Frederick, Sydney, Howard, Hilda, George, Dora, Blanche, Violet, Reg, my grandad Wilf, and Ronald. My grandad went to Icknield Street school I do believe, but I am not 100% sure, I know he talked about that school. I also know that he passed his 11+ but his parents couldn't afford to send him to the school that he could have gone to, so that could have been Icknield or another school. Samuel, my great grandfather was a silver polisher and my great grandmother was a ? brusher at the jewellers, all of her family worked in the line of jewellery, so I think it was in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, but that would have been before she was married. Samuel also enlisted during the first world war, I am not sure what his title was though, but apparently there is a photo around of him in uniform on a white horse, I wish I could find out more about that, he was living in Prescott street at that time. I don't have any more information, but I hope this may jog some memories somewhere and who knows, maybe I will get to hear from someone in the future who knows some-thing. Thank you for this wonderful page on Prescott Street. Kind regards Cheryl Goucher. firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESCOTT STREET 09/01/2018 Prescott Street and The Flat. Not sure how I came across your site - was thinking about my Mom and her family I suppose and googled Prescott Street. Although I didn't ever live in Prescott Street my Nan Nellie Warwick (and when remarried to Walter in 1955 became Nellie Elkin) lived there for many years before during and after the war. My mom was Valerie Warwick and had cousins living in Prescott St with the surname of Coleyshaw and Hatton. The area holds many special memories, from the early 1960's when I was born to mid 1970's when my nan was rehoused to Brookfields Road. Some of the names have faded over time so I'll just add what I can remember from my time playing out in the streets around there...
I'm not sure what number my nan lived at but you had to go down the 'entry' to get to her house. You then came into 'the yard' where there were more houses and a 'brewhouse' also known as the 'brew'us' where my nan did her washing. There were 3 big tubs with dollies to wash and 'pump' the clothes clean. I can still recall the smell of the soap suds now! We used to play in there a lot with my brother and cousins as it was nice and warm.
I seem to remember a pub at the bottom of road - was it 'The George'? My older cousin Elaine and I used to go to an 'outdoor' to collect a jug of beer for her dad and my grandad. If we were lucky we'd get a tuppence or a penny to buy some sweets from behind the counter. I remember the Hole in the Wall on the Flat and the cake shop (which we could choose from meringue snowmen or pineapple creams) and also a haberdashers - the lady in there sold socks and vests etc and they would be kept all lovely in a slide out drawer.
On a Sunday if we were visiting my Nan's we would have to have a nap in the afternoon as the neighbours would expect quiet!!! There used to be a rag and bone man come around too with a trumpet to ask for 'any old iron'. I also remember the Boy's Brigade parading up Prescott Street too. Opposite the house my nan lived in was called 'the bomb building site'
I'm sure if I sat and thought a bit longer I could come up with a bit more - thank you for reminding me about lots of lovely memories. Christine Perkins nee Hancox email@example.com
PRESCOTT STREET 30/04/10
I have been looking at your website, and thought you or those who visit would be interested in the attached scan of a Postcard that has recently come into my possession from a Collection.The card is undated but is likely to be Pre 1920. I am trying to find out some more information on it.
Addressed to a Miss Breeze (it looks like) who appears to be boarding at the place, which says Prize Medal Pub, Prescott Street, Birmingham as the rest of the address. However I am not convinced it is a pub, maybe an off-licence? (or attached to a pub?) Someone has advised me Prize Medal was a brand name of a M&B Ale. The sign above the door is for selling ale, cider and tobacco for consumption off premises, and is licenced to George Richard Holmes.
Please contact me on this e-mail if you can offer anymore information.
Thank you Julian Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESCOTT STREET 01/02/10
I've just discovered your fantastic web-site and was fascinated by the entry from Nellie Hawkins in 2006. My mother was born at 2 back 87 George St. West in 1910, but during WWI the family lived at 4/44 Prescott St. Nellie lived at 43 Prescott St. so I can't help wondering whether she knew the Bright Family living opposite.
Hockley and Brooksfields featured large in my ancestry so, as I live in New Zealand, any information and photos of the area my family lived is very welcome.
Kind regards, Jennie Fischer email@example.com
PRESCOTT STREET 01/09/09
I'm tracing my family tree (like most people!) and cannot get very far back. My name is Lesley Hampton and my relatives lived for many years at 89 Prescott Street they seemed to be there from 1891 and were still there in 1925.
My great great grandfather was George William Hampton and he lived there with his wife Sarah. She seems to have died before 1891. They had several children - in 1901 there was William who was a pebble grinder, Walter (my g grandfather) who was a cabinet maker, his wife Jane. Then Oliver and Arthur who were wood sawyers and Sarah who was 14. I know that my grandfather Walter William and my grandmother Ethel Louisa Guest were married from that house in 1925.
Any info/stories - good or bad! would be gratefully received. George seemed to have been a printing Pressman all his life. Before Prescott Street the family lived in Icknield Street, and Ingleby Street.
I enjoyed reading the site very much - took me back to when I was young
Lesley Hampton firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESCOTT STREET 05/03/08
I used to live in Prescott Street with my mom (Irene) surname Butler, dad (Jack). brother (Johnny) and sister (Patty). We moved 40 years ago to Bangham Pitt to a Maisonette, which apparently was luxurious and with mod-cons compared to "the old house" this was when I was 3 years old so I don't remember much at all about it. My mom and sister recall it fondly and have told me quite a few tales about the street and the neighbours so I was pleased to find this site, makes interesting reading, does anyone remember my family being there?? I'd be interested to hear from you. Thanks for reading. Debbie Hall email@example.com
PRESCOTT STREET CORNER HINGESTON STREET
PRESCOTT STREET 04/03/08
Love your pictures & comments. I lived at 113 Prescott Street until 1968 (Camden St. School partially burnt down - by the Caretaker). My Father was Ron Waldron, he was an artist of sailing ships and steam trains.
I used to hang round with Chris Robinson & Pam Holmes both of New Spring Street. I also used to go to All Saints Junior School. Miss Cole was the Headmistress. My Father said she used to be his Headmistress as well. My teacher was Miss Jaffa. In Camden Street School, Miss Lewis was my English Teacher, Miss Mountford (French), Mr.Holton (Maths), Miss Morris (Music). When I first started Miss Edmunds was the Head. She retired, then there was Miss Warren. I remember the neighbours. Mr. & Mrs. Gardiner, Mr & Mrs OBrien, The 2 corner shops, one on Coralie Street & one on Rosalie Street. I also remember the little shop on the one corner - they used to sell tights & stockings - one night when I was coming home from work (about 1968 ish) the road was blocked off. The shop burnt down & the owners cat was killed.
Ingrid Waldron-Webb firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESCOTT STREET 16/12/06
MEMORIES OF BROOKFIELDS
I was born on the 5th June 1914 at 2 back of 43 Prescott Street, Brookfields, and started school, aged 4 years, at the end of the war. I can remember an army officer visiting Ellen Street School and giving each child a medal. We had a party with cakes, ice cream etc. Periodically, nurses came to look for nits in our hair and check our teeth, if our teeth needed attention we were taken to the Clinic in Great Charles Street. The person in charge was a bully and was there for years. When we stayed away from school an inspector called at our home to see what was wrong. If we were ill we were taken to the Dispensary in Monument Road, or the surgery in Hockley Hill of Doctors Burgess and Duane. Mother paid a shilling a week to cover costs at these times. Other doctors in the area were Dr. Macsherry, an uncle of Mr. Wilkes the Chemist, and the black doctor on Spring Hill, Dr. Lewis. The midwife for Brookfields was Nurse Gravat. Ellen Street School boys visited Icknield Street School once a week for science, and half a day at Camden Street School for practical woodwork and mechanical drawing, the Head Instructor was E. W. Izon. There was a house in George Street, facing the recreation ground, used by all the local schools to teach the girls housewifery and cooking, I was pretty good at this as I had to help my mother at home. The girls had a netball team and looked very smart in green gymslips and cream blouses. Our Headmistress was Miss Norman. We were taken to London by Harrison Barrow to visit the Houses of Parliament, Tower of London and see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. My school friend was Rose Jones who lived in Prescott Street. My brother William took what was known as a labour exam, which he passed and was able to leave school at 13 years.
We attended Sunday School at the Baptist Chapel in Ellen Street, between Prescott Street and Hingeston Street. The Superintendent was Mr. Woodward. I loved Anniversary because I always had a new dress. Once a year we went on an outing to Manor Farm, Bournville, owned by Cadburys. We were taken in a Pickfords removal van , drawn by horses. When we arrived we were given a bag containing cake, apple and an orange, and a glass of lemonade which was made with powder. Afterwards we had games. Mothers went too to help and they always ended up in the 'Black Horse' at Northfield!
We all had jobs to do. My brothers used to collect coal from the Wharf on the side of the canal in Western Road. They hired the barrow, for which there was a charge, and this money was given back upon its return. Every lunchtime I had to take my fathers dinner, in a basin covered with a cloth, and placed in a basket, to Ledsam Street in Ladywood, on foot, and then through Archdales factory to fathers office. I left school at 12 o'clock and had to be there for 12.30. I then had to return home to have my dinner before going back to school at 2 o'clock. My mother made gold chains at home for Coles of Vyse Street and also did all the Laundry for this family. When the chains were completed I had the job of taking them, on foot, to the Assay Office in Livery Street to be hallmarked. My mother learned her trade at Rookers in Tenby Street, starting there when she left school but, as was the practise in those days, she had to leave work when she married.
Every summer holiday I used to have all the local children in our yard to play school and I was the teacher. Their mothers were always happy to do this to keep their children occupied. They brought one halfpenny and I used to take this money to the homemade cake shop Mountfords in Hingeston Street and get each child a cake. My brothers, not being allowed to play in the street, used to go to either Summerfield or Handsworth parks to play football or cricket. A pigs bladder was used as a football.
Most days there would be something going on, starting with the lamplighter each morning turning off the gas lamps only to return each evening to turn them on again. Sunday afternoons were usually busy with men selling pikelets, muffins, penny winkles and comics. Scottish folk would come around playing bagpipes and dancing, the local children usually sat on the curb at the roadside watching, and we were allowed to put one halfpenny in the collection. From time to time the organ grinder would come, complete with monkey, rag and bone men collecting, in exchange for a balloon or goldfish, gypsies with props for the washing, the knife sharpener, and a cart with a roundabout giving rides for jam jars. When washing tubs started to leak a man came round to fit new steel bands.
Every two families shared a toilet and it was taken in turns to clean them. Washing was carried out in the brew house and each family had a special day, my mother's was a Wednesday. Each housewife had a special place for their own washtub and wringer. The fife was lit a couple of hours before starting the washing so that the water was hot, there was no hot water laid on in those days. Each housewife in the yard had their own day for drying. Baths were taken in front of the fire until the washing baths opened next door to the Dispensary in Monument Road, and then once a week you would go complete with your own soap and towel.
About twice a week, before going to school, I had to go to Burbury the butcher, in Icknield Street, just as he opened, to get cheap bits for stew. I can stilI remember that it was 4d per pound and I was told to bring all that they had. Our groceries were mainly ftom Mrs MilIs shop on the corner of EJlen Street and Prescott Street. Suttons the sweet shop was facing. Other shops in the area at that time were Rees and Felix drapers on the corner of New Spring Street and Icknield Street, Stoddards pork butchers and grocers on the corner of Carver Street and Icknield Street, Baines bread shop in Icknield Street, Carmichaels faggots and peas, Hingeston Street, my aunt Lily Eurell's hucksters shop, George Street, WiIliams drapers, Icknield Street, Burns grocers corner of Icknield Street and New Spring Street, Birminghams greengrocers, Icknield Street, Mrs Bateman's second hand shop in Icknield Street facing the Mint, and the piano teacher, Miss Brindley, in ElIen Street between New Spring Street and Hingeston Street. My grandmother, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Akers was a tailoress in Hingeston Street. There were occasions when visiting granny that we were told not to open the door to the stairs as there was a man sitting there whilst granny repaired his trousers! She very often sent us on an errand to Wilkes Chemist for' Fullers Earth' powder to use for powdering her nose!
Grandmother, in all her finery, used to visit The Palace Cinema on Spring Hill every time they changed the film, which was usually twice a week. She always sat in the ftont row. The flfst two rows were 4d and there was usually a long queue waiting to go in. I saw the first talking film there. My brothers were allowed to go on a Saturday morning to the Metropole Cinema (known as the Met) at the junction of Constitution Hill and Gt. Hampton Street. The seats were Id or 2d.
It was always busy around Hockley Station and the arches. One of the first jobs a boy was given when starting with the railway was looking after the 'stand by' horses at the bottom of Pits ford Street. These were used as 'helpers' to the horses pulling the loads up the hill At six o'clock each weekday Hockley Station was full of workers from Lucas's going back home to the black country. During weekdays men dressed in grey, from the workhouse, came down Prescott Street on their way to work and returned at 6 o'clock each evening.
In the early days my father worked as a carter, with horses, for Turners home made sweet shop on Spring Hill and Profits and Westwood's in Gt. Hampton Street. I used to help him clean out the stables on Sunday mornings. Later on he drove steam lorries for R.Whites the 'pop' people and Mitchells and Butlers, Cape Hill. During evenings and weekends he worked as a barman and cellar man at the 'Bird in Hand' in Gt. King Street and also delivered furniture for Gilbert's in Gt. King Street. In later years he worked in the office at Archdales in Ledsam Street.
Although times were hard, neighbours helped each other along, there was a lot of sickness, my own family lost four members in five years with TB, which included my brother Albert, aged 20. He was an active member of the West Birmingham Divisional Labour Party, Labour Party League of Youth and the National Co-op Mens Guild. His aim in life was to become an MP.
Memories of the old days have stayed in my mind and the best I can do in the West Country is to
name my bungalow 'Brookfields' NeIlie Hawkins (Nee Foster) 2.12.2006
PRESCOTT STREET 05/11/06
My mother was born in Prescott Street in 1914 and lived there until her marriage in 1934. I have a number of photographs of classes at Ellen Street School around the early 1920's. Mother had three brothers who also attended this school.
My grandparents were friends of Mr. and Mrs Wilkes the Chemist, my grandmother cleaned at the shop and my uncle, Thomas Foster, helped serve there until he started his apprenticeship with Reynolds and Bradwell
Electrical Engineers in 1933.
All mothers family lived in Brookfields and Carver Street/Camden Street areas. My Father lived in Stour Street and attended Steward Street School.
Also seeing the item on 'The Vine' Carver Street, my paternal grandfather Alfred Hawkins had just left the 'pub' minutes before the direct hit. He had ulcerated legs and needed to 'slip out' to his home in Carver Street to
Mother is now in her 93rd year and still has memories of the area. We now live in the West Country.
Regards Rosemary Noakes (nee Hawkins} Email: email@example.com
Does anyone remember the tv drama 'Cathy come Home'being filmed in and around the Prescott St area, I do, it was great we all hoped we would be filmed all us kids, it bought great exitement to the area at the time I recently bought the dvd and you can see clips of Prescott Street and families that took part in the filming Fay. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 24/04/04
PRESCOTT STREET 11/08/03
Both my family, and my late husband's family have their roots in Brookfields.
Joseph Morris my dad had a barbers shop in Hingeston St near the `Laurels' public house and Violet my mother (nee Davidson came from Pope Street) they lived in Prescott Street all their married life and only left when the area was demolished in the early 1970's.
My brother David and I were born and brought up in Prescott Street until leaving home to get married. My husband Donald Read lived nearby in Coralie Street and was involved from a boy to an officer with the 36th coy Birmingham Boys Brigade headquarters at the Methodist Church Monument Road Ladywood. As a girl I shopped with my Mother on the 'Flat', Spring Hill, Icknield St., Dudley Road and Handsworth Main Road and went to All Saints Church and the New Spring Street Methodist Chapel.
I have always felt disappointed that Brookfields gets little or no mention. Even when living there people were unsure about the area when you said you lived 'on the Brookfields'. I see very few school photographs - I never had a class photograph taken (perhaps it was because it was war-time) even though I went through Camden Street School from infants to Senior Girls (1939-1949) and David to Icknield Street boys 1940-1944.
I would like to think that our families have a mention on the records of Brookfields, and as I do not have access to a Personal Computer I would be grateful if a little of the information given on the attached could be included on your website.
Many thanks. Margaret Read (nee Morris)
I lived at 177, Prescott Street and went to All Saints School and then Handsworth New Road Secondry Modern School. I intend to communicate further when I have got my info together.
Regards Gloria Biddle now McCormick
Post Card to Brookfields from France. Sent to my wife's Grandmother Ellenor King by her Brother, dated 22nd August 1915 it reads... Dear Sister.. Still in the Pink Hoping this will find you the same. Trenches again tomorrow. Kind regards Brother Alf.
Thanks to Colin Aston for the post card