One half of VITTORIA STREET was in Winson Green the other half was in Smethwick
SOAP HOLE near VITTORIA STREET 23/01/2017. I used to work for Bristol St. Motors who, back in the 60's,were situated just under the bridge called the "Soap Hole" - why I have no idea! My job was to check everything under the new cars exhaust, back axle gearbox etc. thats when most cars were rear wheel drive. I worked alongside my colleague Terry, who used to de wax the cars as all new cars were newly waxed.
He used a Steam Jenny so had to wear wellingtons and all the gear. We worked closely, so if I had finished one car he would shout over that he I would have the car that I had finished and we would swop etc.
One day we were about to swop cars he had a Corsair (do you remember them?) and I had a Minivan (I know we did have the occasional oddball). I was just about to start the van when all of a sudden I heard a screech of tyres at the back of me. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the Corsair hurtling towards me with Terry frantically running along side the car trying to stop it! All I could do was pull the hand brake on even harder and put my foot on the footbrake till it nearly touched the floor.
The funny part of it was filling the Accident Form up! He said he thought he had knocked it out of gear but it was running on choke (another old fashion word we seem to have lost). It caved all the back doors of the Minivan in - it looked a right mess. Ooops!!
One of the questions was, was you in the car at the time of the accident and he replied I was and I wasn't he was half in trying to pull it out of gear hanging out of the windows.
Sadly he is no longer with us but we had a great laugh together. Bob Mann firstname.lastname@example.org
VITTORIA STREET 22/06/2014
I wish to thank you for your wonderful website, it has brought back many lovely memories of my childhood.
My name was Pat Wood, born 1941,daughter of Charlie and Alice Wood originally lived at 16 Vittoria Street then moved to the greengrocery shop on the corner of Kitchener Street and Wellington Street and later to Babbington Road.
My paternal Grandfather and Grandmother was the Charlie and Ada Bamford featured in the 1915 wedding picture taken in James Turner Street (on this site).
My mothers family name was Warr from Talbot Street.
I had so many friends and relatives in the area whose doors were always open, those were the days!
Pat Dewsbery email@example.com
VITTORIA STREET 13/07/08
My great grandparents came from this area. My Great grandfather Arthur Edwin Poole married Emma Collins in 1892 at St Cuthberts Church. They both gave their address as Winson Green Road.
Arthurs family were Jewellers but he became a 'master' carpenter. I am told that he did the carpentry in the memorial hall in Birmingham and the main hall in Birmingham University.
Emma died at the age of 40 giving birth to her 8th child. My grandmother May was the eldest child and at the age of 12 took on the role of mother to her younger brothers and sister. At the time of her marriage my grandmother gave 91 Soho Road as her address. When my mother was a child her grandfather Edwin lived in Vittoria Street at 'The Buff' (see entries below this one) I have spoken to her cousin Tommy Poole who's mother was an Holder. He tells me that this building had been a Buffallo Lodge and that the Buffallo Head was hanging in the kitchen when he was a child. Edwins address when he died was 22 Vittoria Street.
My Grandmother married Arthur Frederick Clewley. The Clewley family lived in Mornington Road, by Black Patch Park. James Clewley married Louisa Hampson.
Annette Welch firstname.lastname@example.org
VITTORIA STREET 07/02/08
My great great grandfather Joseph James Averall is listed as Licencee of the "Buffalo Tavern" 22 Vittoria Street Smethwick in the 1901 census.
I have been trying to find a reference or even photo of this establishment on the web but to know avail, I know it isn't really in Winson Green but wondered if you had heard of it please?
Love the site by the way, (found by looking for pubs in Vittoria st)
Thanks Nathan Shelley Email: email@example.com
Andrew Maxim who wrote "TIME PLEASE"a book about M&B pubs, sent this reply; Unfortunately I’ve never been able to find a photo of the Buffalo at 22 Vittoria Street. It was an M & B beer house and I have the property index card for it. It closed as a pub a long time ago in 1915 and was sublet along with 6 “let-off” houses until the lease expired in 1952 although they may have been demolished before then. That’s all I know. Joseph James Averall was there from 1898 presumably until its closure in 1915.Regards Andrew
1953 Coronation day in Vittoria Street. Photo thanks to Eileen Daniels (nee Horton) 18/10/02
VITTORIA STREET 26/10/04 (Merryhill Court)
VITTORIA STREET 26/10/04 (Merryhill Court)
Black Patch Park and The Railway. Taken from 13th floor of Merryhill Court between1982 -1983 by Jim Coutts PhotoS thanks to Ed Coutts
VITTORIA STREET --- MERRYHILL COURT 02/09/07
Re: Fire in Merryhill Court July 13th 1990, it was my mother who died in fire. Still remember it like yesterday. Jason Noble Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
VITTORIA STREET 13/06/04
I also lived in Vittoria Street, the first house under the railway bridge, opposite the "Wicket".
As a member of the Hallsworth family we all, at some time, used Black Patch Park, whether as a kid just playing with your friends who lived in Vittoria St. or from Foundry Road school, or as my Uncle Cliff did, playing football for a local team.
As a girl, I was always a bit of a tomboy, and played football down the park with the lads.The only thing was I always seemed to be stuck in goal by Derek (Spud)Taylor!. I don't know why, I wasn't any good! It was the only "Green space" around and it wasn't till I moved to the leafy suburbs by the Lickey Hills in 1963 that I realised how industrial the area was, where I had been born and brought up.
Janice Perry (Nee Fox) Email:Janiceyp@blueyonder.com
VITTORIA STREET was on the border of two counties, one Warwickshire and the other Staffordshire, half the street belonged to Smethwick and the other half to Winson Green. You could tell where the division was because the paving bricks on the footpaths changed and it was the terminus of the Birmingham tram.
I was born in 1940 and spent the whole of my childhood in the street and have fond memories of it.
As kids, when it was raining we would play cricket under the big black railway bridge that spanned the street and I can remember all the pop labels stuck to the walls from when the Tizer factory close by was bombed during the war. Next to the bridge was the 'wicket', a short cut passing Murdoch and Avery Roads and the back of the Avery Scales factory, then along to the canal which led to Smethwick proper.
At the bottom of the street was what we called 'the wastie' where all us kids would play. After the war we would play in the dark dank disused airaid shelter that was there before flats were built on the site around 1952. Opposite the wastie was Black Patch Park which was patrolled by the parkeeper 'Padget' - every kid that played in the park was terrified of him (but I can't remember any reason why we should have been) and we would all take off if he was anywhere to be seen. I spent many happy hours in the park playing and was fascinated by the brook that ran through it and I used to throw bits of paper into the running water on one side and race to the other side to see it flow through under the bridge - so I'm probably partly the cause of any pollution around there.
I can still remember most of the families that lived in the street..Hallsworth, Perks, Butlers, Arnolds, Holders (the shop in the middle), Butlers, Steeles, Wagers, Woods(1), Hamers, Rodens, Hayes, Woods(2), Inglebies, Jordans, Pooles, Watsons, Stretches, Dykes, Rushtons, Paynes, Andrews, Kents, Cothers, Waltons (1), Williams, Vincents, Sambrooks, Hortons (us) (Hartlands - the factory) Waltons(2), Brights, Holmes,Clarkes, ..... (not bad as I haven't lived there for 40 years) People in the street were not only neighbours they were also friends.
Holders (the shop) sold mainly groceries and was the Central Information Bureau for the street, if you needed an update on gossip - that was the place to go. Every Saturday my father would give me money wrapped in paper with instructions to take it to Holders and say "Dad's sent this" then later in the day I had to make the same journey and ask "Anything for NIP (his non-depluem) - as I got older I realised that the shop took illegal bets for the local bookie.
The men in Vittoria street mainly used to drink at either the Soho Tavern or the Railway pubs and as the Soho Tavern (Smethwick) closed 30 mins. before the Railway (Birmingham) we would see the men running up the street to have one last pint in the Railway. My mother always thought it was a disgusting display but to us kids it was funny and we always cheered as dad raced past at Olympic speed.
I have lived in South Australia for nearly 40 years and have been back to see the old street on one of my visits back to England. I think they probably call it progress but I prefer to remember it as it was in 'the good old days'
I would love to hear from anyone who used to live in the street......Eileen Daniels (nee Horton)
What a great site, I am tracing my family tree the names are Bolas and Loveridge,Tutty and Harwood through your site and your book Brumroamin I've found another branch of my tree so thank you Ted, also if anyone reads this and knows anything about the above families or can tell me anything about
Foundry Lane and Vittoria Street shop, I would be glad to hear from you.