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





CAN YOU HELP 25/08/10
I hope you can help me. My grandmother was a prison wardress at winson green.When she married in 1902 she was presented with a large oak victorian dresser. I have the brass inscription which was on it It reads ;- Presented to Miss M.A. Bullock . by the officials & visiting magistrates of H.M.Prison on the occassion of her marriage August second 1902. I would love to know what she did. she was born in Wall Heath in 1869. have you any ideas. Thankyou in anticipation. Ruth Saunders  ruthsaunders50@btinternet.com>

Memories of the Prison 29/03/09
Adding another episode connecting Winson Green Prison to the history books that happend in Wartime 1940s a army Deserter was being deliverd by army escourt,when he broke free,and ran down Villiers St.he was called to halt by R.C.M.P. guards,this he failed carry out,carrying side Arms once again to stop,a shot was fired and hit the ground ricochet and hit the escapee and accidently killing him.
Another recollection I have regardes an Execution that was carried out in the 1930s of a Nurse Waddingham and there was crowds of people standing at corner of Villers Street awaiting for the notice to be attached to the doors.
Another in my memory is the name of a women Mrs Val Der Elst in the crowd causing problems
for the police that were in attendance. Also the name Albert Pierrpoint was attached to this sombere occasion.
Regards Colin cmills9@blueyonder.co.uk  

PRISON story28/11/08
"My parents, Dennis and Kathlyn Moody, kept the Mitchells and Butlers house, 'The Frighted Horse' on the Soho Road, Handsworth in the 1950's. I was a child of 4 in 1953 and was allowed regularly in the public bar when customers were there. One of the most deep lasting impressions and memory I have of that time is that of a kindly gentleman with a ruddy complexion and a waxed moustache, who used to pick me up and smile and grin at me with yellow smoke stained teeth. The sharp pointed waxed ends of his moustache mesmerised me.
When I was a little older, my parents told me that this gentle military looking gentleman was indeed Major J. W. Brown, governor of Winson Green Prison; and that he was a regular at the pub. My parents told me that they always knew when there was to be a hanging, because Major Brown would always have a large scotch on the eve of the execution." best regards Dennis Moody dennisjahan@googlemail.com

 H.M PRISON 10/09/08

Another photo for collection of Winson Green Prison taken in 1986 while I was on holiday from New Zealand. I took the photo because it reminded me of going to school at Handsworth New Road from my home in Heath Street. My family and I went to New Zealand in 1961 when I was just twelve years old. Lucky to have this photo because when I took it, the prison officers came out and wanted to take the camera and film off me. I had to produce my passport and ID before they believed I was just taking a picture and not planning a jailbreak. The existing wall around the prison was built soon after this photo was taken
Albert Evans moreland.evans@xtra.co.nz



I was told to have a look at this site by an old school friend found on Friends Reunited, what a trip down memory lane I have had, should I return to Winson Green/Lodge Road I wouldn't recognise it, all the old buildings have gone and it does look so much brighter and cleaner! There used to be a Chemist shop on the corner of Lodge Road and Winson Green Road, they used to have those large shaped bottles on a shelf with coloured contents (water?) which you don't see these days. .
I lived in Winson Green in Prison Quarters with my parents both in the early 1940's (which I don't remember) when my Mother said they had an allocated Prison Cell to go to in the event of an air raid, however with my Father called back into the services my Mother moved back North and to the home of her parents, we returned when I was about six, I'm not too sure of the correct age.
I have very happy memories of my school days both at Foundry Road and Handsworth New Road, I made lovely friends and it has been good to now have made contact with some of them again. I have also read the Foundry Road site news and so many remember the School Head Mistress Miss Moyle, I can only think that she must have made a big impression on us all, Miss Green was the Headmistress at Handsworth New Road during my time there.
We played in all of the parks, Black Patch, Handsworth Park, Summerfied and so on, in school holiday and almost every weekends, having lots of innocent fun with both boys and girls playing cricket with one bat, ball and cricket stump just making our own entertainment. Weekly we would go to the Pictures at the Palace Picture House on Winson Green Road (shown on your site) & also at the Regal Cinema on Soho Road on Saturday mornings, where we were members of the ABC minors. I can honestly say we were never threatened or frightened when out and having everyone Mothers looking after us was a big comfort, not only to us but to our parents. As we grew older we would go Dancing to a Ballroom Dance school on Dudley Road (the name of which I cannot remember) , attend night school and ride bicycles to Bournville and like places.
Every shop owner and tradesperson knew who we were by name and what our Mothers had sent us for, if we hadn't listened properly or just plainly forgotten, they could say what no carrots today!, I don't think as much stealing was attempted in those days either, they knew who to look out for and we were too frightened to try we knew we would be in big trouble because our parents would surly be told.
My Father was as I said a Prison Officer and I can honestly say he never ever spoke about any Ghosts within Winson Green, however WHO KNOWS! Having been inside the Prison on more than one occasion, I can only say that I never experienced any Ghostly being.
I do remember as a child going to collect our allotted Loaf of Bread from the Prison after the War, when food was still rationed, every Officers family was entitled to a loaf baked in the Prison Kitchens, my memory of the Bread was that it was dry and not very tasty, good toasting bread if we had had a modern day toaster. The door knocker on the Prison's small entry door was in the form of a Lions Head but I see you now have a modern purpose built Prison on the Green, that knocker could have told many a story.
We to had Gas Mantles for a very long time before getting Electricity fitted in the Prison Quarter, as in the very descriptive Poem on the Winson Green Site, our toilet was in the back garden and the bath built in the kitchen with had a large wooden lid that fitted over it and my Mother used it as a work surface, our garden was a soiled filled remains of an air raid shelter and the garden wall was the 25 ft Prison wall, against which I played two ball as a girl.
My very first job was at Cheyney's also mentioned on the WG site, old Mr.Cheney used to walk through the corridors and around the Factory in a brown (Cow) gown, checking up on things, they made locks in 1955 when I was 15years old, (do they still manufacture?) I used to walk from Lodge Road to Cheneys until I moved to a Company in the called Webbs in the Crescent just off Hockley Brook they made sanitary fittings, where I worked with Mr.Terry the Progress chaser until we moved again and this time to Manchester, yet another old Prison.
To go to my place of work I sometimes caught a bus and one or twoof the trusted residents of the Mental Home on Lodge Road, use to also catch the bus into Birmingham also going to work, in those days I was very wary of them and a little scared but since I have aged I realise the problems they had and now feel very sorry that they had to live in such conditions
I sorry I didn't have much info to give you but I do thank you for the good old memories, do save Black Patch for future generations children today need safe places to play, just as we did.
Lynda (Harper) nee Garrett  lynha9@hotmail.com

 (07/04/2017) In reply to Linda (Harper) above. I lived opposite the prison myself and from my bedroom window I used to watch the governor play croquet on the prison lawn .The d(Hawley's dance studio) and I used to go there myself. Terry Jordan     tandp.jordan17@mypostoffice.co.uk

           Hawley's dance studio Dudley Road

           Hawley's dance studio Dudley Road

Ted I have read your website for a few months now, and love reading the stories about Winson Green. The prison is mentioned but there seems a shortage of stories about the inside the prison. Well here is an experience I had. NO don't get me wrong I was never a con or should I say inmate. All my working life since being old enough I've worked as a lorry driver, one of my first jobs was for a timber merchants in Smethwick (Walsh Grahams). One of their regular customers was HMP Winson Green, I had to deliver the timber to the prison. On arrival the officer at the gatehouse would open the first gate I would drive the lorry in and come to another gate and stop, he would lock the first gate then open the second gate so I could proceed into the prison yard. Every time I delivered there it was the same officer in charge of the same prisoners that unloaded my lorry. My first visit one of the inmates whispered got any fags mate, I felt that sorry for them I dropped my cigarettes at the side of my lorry they disappeared in a flash. After that I made sure I had plenty of cigarettes each time I was delivering there so I could do my good deed. But on one occasion I was asked to leave any cigarettes at the gate which I did. Then I explained to the inmate about the cigarettes trying to avoid the officer hearing me. Had the officers somehow found out what I had been doing or was they asking all the delivery drivers to leave their cigarettes at the gate. I never found out. After that if I was making a delivery there I would stop on the way buy a packet of cigarettes, leave my open packet at the gate and drop the unopened to my new found friends. I suppose you could say I was a prisoners aid worker, lucky for me the officers never caught me if they had I may have got friendlier with those inmates that I wanted to.
John Gillon Email: jgillon61@hotmail.co.uk

POST CARD 29/05/03

Winson Green Prison postcard, sent on 18 August 1909. It was sent to Bert Maidstone who lived at Upper Bourne, Brimscombe, near Stroud, Glos from F.C.M who lived at 319 Camden Street, Brookfields. I wonder who FCM was!                      Andrew Maxam ( Maxam Cards)


My dad was a conchie in WW2, and spent time in Winson Green gaol (notorious for brutality) I would love to know more about that time, and what the prison would have been like. My dad did not talk much about his time in there, except to describe sewing mailbags and 'slopping out' the cell. If there are any 82 yr old conchies out there, my dad was Peter Newnham. Many thanks. by Ty Newnham  tyski67@hotmail.com

I have worked at 199 Winson Green Rd for 30 years. I am interested to contact anyone who may have pictures of the Prison preferably older ones. Also anyone with any interesting stories about it. I have a number of pictures of the Prison and hope in the future to be able to make them available for anyone interested.
Gary Biddle  Email: gary.biddle@tiscali.co.uk

Prison and C of E15/09/03
I wonder if you may be able to help me with some family research. My great-grandfather, Thomas William PEART (1837-1896) was a C of E chaplain - at All Saints (Church/Psychiatric Hospital/Work House??) from 1868-1871 and Prison Chaplain at HMP (Winson Green??) Birk. (Birkenhead) Chapl. from 1871-1893. He was married to Euphemia Cranston. Any information you may be able to give me would be so much appreciated. Penny Simmonds  Email: ollypenny@simmondso.freeserve.co.uk  



My father was bought up in Winson Green leaving c.1930. I showed him your web site and he related a tale of a prison escape he witnessed. 
The pillar / bollard had a jacket left on it. One morning as the prisoners were being escorted out to do work at either the nearby wardens house, or hospital, one of them picked the jacket up, ran off down the road, and jumped onto a passing bus. This would have been during the 1928 1930 period. Who he was, if he was caught I don't know.

He also recalls the morning of an execution, when the local police had filled the cinema, in preparation for the demonstrations at the time of execution. He recalls see dozens of police rushing from the cinema to quell the demonstrators.

A tale he told, which his father had told, him was of a lion tamer 'TOGERE' or similar walking wild animals from a circus down the road, in front of the prison, to the nearby park, as the circus tent was on fire.

On a personal note my grandfather worked at the prison, when unemployed and being put there as a helper by the Birmingham Guardians. Neither the prison, nor the prison service museum can help me in terms of staff records. During you research/enquiry's have you heard of the location of such records.

John Hall     Email: johnghall9@yhoo.co.uk]

Can you help John  locate the records of the BIRMINGHAM GUARDIANS ??

                                                BIRMINGHAM PRISON WINSON GREEN 2015

                                                BIRMINGHAM PRISON WINSON GREEN 2015