SOUTH ROAD Handsworth 01/01/2017

My family grew up in South Road Handsworth from 1928 with my mother being born that year, and her mom and dad living there until we left in 1974, after the very sad loss of my grandfather, in 1971. I to remember the Hockley Brook that went behind the back gardens and the old lady granny Baker, who's grandson made the puppets for thunderbird series, and my brother and I remember Alan and Stuart Waldron from 129,and Susan and Heather Dudley, Mrs foreman who's husband was a policeman. I know Alan and Stuart Waldron because my brother stayed with Mr & Mrs Waldron while my mother was giving birth to me 57yrs ago. And yes Alan my family were the Mansfields June & Ron, who were Carpenter named. Bill and Frances, of 125,and the gentleman you spoke of Michael Mansfield was my moms cousin from Derby, and the Dudley Girls were Heather& Susan oh what lovely memories they were. the midwife of the 1950'swas Sister Bradley, 
My father who was Ron Carpenter worked at Cheneys & Sons in Factory Road up to his retirement in 1989 and he is still going strong at the age of 93. Best wishes to everyone who remembers the fantastic times of South Road Handsworth luv to all. Lynne & Nigel Carpenter                        (Lynne Hollyoak née Carpenter)

SOUTH ROAD (Handsworth) 26/09/09

               POSTMAN George Charlesworth retired in 1963.

Photo taken in the South Road area, with some local residents, when my dad George Charlesworth retired in 1963.
Working from Hockley Post Office on Hockley Hill dads (walk) round included St Michaels Hill, Cheneys, Park Road, South Road and South Avenue.
Cynthia Hobson (nee Charlesworth)

SOUTH ROAD (Handsworth) 26/07/2016

Irene (Queenie) Broadbent and Mr Hughes,  late 1940's - early 1950's in the shop on the corner of South Road and South Road Avenue in Handsworth.

Enclosed is a photograph of Irene (Queenie) Broadbent, taken circa late 1940's - early 1950's in the shop on the corner of South Road and South Road Avenue in Handsworth. This is the same shop as the one featured on the South Road page of your website, with the retiring postman and others gathered outside. I knew the shop as Gilgrasses's during my childhood, proprietor Mr Gilgrass being the man in the white coat and spectacles on the postman photograph. I recognise some of women in that photograph, but I could not put names to them. 

The proprietor in the earlier photograph taken inside the shop was a Mr Hughes. I am told that the photograph was part of an article that appeared in the magazine "The Grocer". 

On the opposite corner of South Road and South Road Avenue in the early 1960's was a drapers shop run by a lady named Mrs Reeves, she was an agent for the Paragon laundry. Outside the shop was a kind of trap door with a chute where the bundles of laundry could be deposited, my Grandfathers white shirts got dropped in there once a week, wrapped in a brown paper package, to be picked up all clean from within the shop a few days later.

My Grandfather Henry (Harry) Broadbent was the local piano teacher during the 1930's 40's and 50's, he was also pianist at the Handswoth working mens club in Nineveh Road for many years. He lived a stones throw from the shop. He was also a highly skilled silversmith, working for the Davenports company at the Pelican works in Great Hampton Street.

Did you see the episode of Time Team Ted, that featured South Road, they were trying to find evidence of Mathew Bolton's Soho manufactory and mint. I remember my Granddad finding small metal disks in his back garden.
Roy Bassett      Ex South Road and Devonshire Street.

We lived in South Road, Hockley, but where did Hockley finish and Winson Green begin?.
Stuart Waldron 25/04/02

(Part of the Winson Green boundry was the Hockley Brook which runs from Smethwick through  Black Patch Park towards Hockley then on to Aston. The point where it crosses Factory Road just below Chenney's Factory would have been the Winson Green (Gib Heath) / Handsworth boundary. South Road had one part in Handsworth and the other in Hockley). (Ted)

I was born in 1938 in a back house in Whitehead Road Aston and my parents moved in 1939 to 129, South Road in Handsworth, where they stayed until 1957 when they moved to Shirley in Solihull (when I was doing National Service---but I found them!!
My earliest memories are of attending St Michaels School on the Soho Road until I was moved to Benson Road Juniors School under the headship at that time of a Miss Williams who lived in Southdown Avenue in a flat and always traveled to school in a taxi every day. She was replaced by a Mr Taylor as head who was a bit of a tyrant but the head teacher was a Miss Dumelow, a stoutish lady with blond hair in a bun but a magnificent teacher with a splendid record and she was responsible for many of her pupils in their final year passing their 11 plus. I was one of the fortunate ones and went to Handsworth Grammar School in 1949 until 1955.
I can recall that we had a party at school to celebrate the end of the war and my mother made a huge trifle as part of the festivities---God knows where she found the ingredients! There was a shop just up from the school and I can recall buying a slice of swede for a penny as a meal at dinner time (and occasionally a stick of liquorice root) The senior (!) boys interested in art were allowed to go to the nearby cutting opposite Winson Green station and great was our delight when a King or Castle class loco in G.W.R. livery came through on its way to Snow Hill and then on to Paddington.
As a very young lad I sang in the choir at St Chrysostoms Church over the other side of Soho pool, near to Bradford's Bakery and can recall the time that there was a fire in their premises and cycling across to see the fire engines. Soho Wharf as I knew it was a thriving area with extensive traffic, I think by rail
We visited the flats quite often as there was a cycle shop there that sold transfers for us to decorate our machines and I can still remember the thrill of seeing a Claud Butler racing bike in the shop-but I had to make do with an old Raleigh-but it did have dropped handle bars!!
My teenage years were spent socialising at the Y.P.F. a young peoples fellowship sponsored by St Michaels Church under the then Vicar, the Rev Osmund Jennings. As a matter of interest on my return to Civvy Street in 1958, I met and courted a young girl, later to become my wife and now sadly passed on, and we were married by the Rev Jennings then Archdeacon of Gambia, at St Michaels in 1962. Father Jennings eventually became chaplain to the House of Commons and is Godfather to one of my own sons. The Rev Eric Price took over from Father Jennings and served St Michaels well.
Formerly a “High” Church of England I understand that it is now a part time Church but in its hey day it was a well attended Church
The culvert known as Hockley Brook ran down at the bottom of 129 South Road but I was not allowed to climb down into it---oh yes! -----But I was friendly with a Malcolm Crowder whose father owned Crowder and Browns garage at the top of South Road and I can recall going into the builders yard next to the garage and him throwing his school cap into the “brook” and then running down to the back garden of 129 to see it come past!! -To this day I never knew where the brook came out!!
I can recall all of the cinemas from Hockley Brook up to the Regal at the top of Soho Road The Palladium, the Elite, the Grand, where I saw my first x film-Passionelle-by asking someone to take me in! I have still a memory of a man coming round with a Flit gun! (To kill what I dread to think!)
I can also recall going to the Regal one Boxing day with a neighbours nephew called Michael Mansfield (the Mansfield family lived at 125 South Road. We went to see Dick Barton Special Agent and walked all the way back from the Regal as no buses were running on the day.
At No 131 there lived an old lady known to us as Granny Baker who took in lodgers and only recently I met up with one of her grand daughters in Sutton. She lived to be over 90 and even then was still sprightly. We had an Anderson shelter in the garden and I can still remember the musty smell of the shelter and the vacuum flask of tea that we used to take down there when there was a raid. We had a street party when the war ended but I cannot remember much of those events apart from the long tables set out in the road.
My father was away in the war, defending Colwyn Bay from the fiendish Hun and was demobbed in 1947 when my brother Stuart was born and went to work at Crowder's garage as a mechanic.
I was allowed to take his supper to the garage when he worked nights and sometimes was allowed to help fill the cars with petrol!
I hope that this somewhat rambling missive has helped your site it has certainly taxed my typing to the full!!
All power to your elbow!! by Alan Waldron