QLHS Newsletter

Letters and Emails to the Editor 2004

Dear Sir,

My memories of Quinton are from the time when the BBC TV came on at 6pm and went off at 9-10pm, and I believe only 5 days a week. This would be about 1950-1953. I lived in the “new houses” off Ridgeacre Road (Clewley Grove) and had a delightful youth running “over the fields” between Quinton and the “bomb crater” close to the Birmetals factory.

Then there were small fish in the streams and kingfishers were catching fish abundantly. I could walk to Clent and back in one day.

I went to school at Four Dwellings and later at Quinton Church School. I remember a Rector Salmons who was the C.E. pastor but remember little of the teaching staff. As a young lad, I joined the boy scouts in Quinton and we had the use of a metal hut that was on the grounds of the school/church. I know that as a “young ‘un”, I must have walked the boundaries of Quinton without realizing the true length and breadth of it. I would sure be glad to receive some advice on where I can get a map of Quinton showing these boundaries. I do remember the balloon rings behind the “Quinton Manor”. The rings were just a short walk away from my house in Clewley Grove. I also remember that I could walk on a path from Ridgeacre Road, along a chain link fence by the nursery, this path lead us to, or close to, Quinton Park.

Growing up in the late 1940’s early 1950’s was fun in Quinton. Unlike some cousins who lived in Ladywood, Birmingham, Quinton was an excellent stepping off point. I believe it was Manor Lane one took to get to the (name-unknown) pub by the side of Lapal Canal.

At the end of WW2, my parents went a little farther down this hill, under the railway bridge (Longbridge to Kidderminster line) and to a roundabout where the road would carry you (left) to Clent or (right) to Kiddie. At this point I believe that there was another large house that housed German POW’s? Lastly, I wanted to confirm that there was a Home Guard unit in or near Quinton in WW2. I recollect finding some buried (in a wall) ammunition close to the Manor House. If any of these musings are of interest keep them. If not, don’t fret.

I enjoy this site and look forward to seeing more of other people’s musings.

It is evident that these houses were habited by “small folk”. I seem to remember that these cottages were occupied in the 1950’s?

If my memory is serving me correctly, were there not also similar cottages off Church Rd-Northfield, close to the Bell Pub? These houses we pulled down in the 1950’s? It seemed to me that they may have been Nailers Cottages as Church Rd aligned with “Bell Holloway” and this led to the “California” area and from there a pathway made its way into Quinton. I am torn between these cottages in Northfield being (a) Alms Houses or (b) Nailers Cottages. I also remember that they were small….similar in height to the ones in Quinton. Perhaps you could assist me here?

Many thanks, Tony Grogan (former Quintonian) USA

Dear Tony
Where was this building you mentioned "Quinton Manor" and later the "Manor House"?.

Dear Bernard,

Forgive my memory for I cannot remember all of Quinton’s road names. However, I will attempt to locate the “Manor House”. Taking some assumptions: When one departs from the Hagley Rd West and comes South on the road bordering Quinton Church, (Stoney Lane?) you will arrive at a junction where if one turns right…this road would take you to the Nailers Cottages. If one turns left…this road would arrive at a roundabout where taking the road to the right would take you to Four Dwellings School. (Quinton Road West?) At the junction of Stoney Lane and “this other road”, put you in front of the wall of the “Manor House”. (As it was termed by others and myself in my childhood.

Sorry about flakiness of directions.

Regards, Tony Grogan.

Ed’s comment-
I think Tony was possibly mentioning Pax Hall, which to a lot of people gave the appearance of a Manor House.



Delighted though I was to see my article 'The Toll Keeper' in the new issue of The Quinton Oracle, I was somewhat dismayed to find a number of errors had crept into the text on its way into print.  I am a professional writer, so you will appreciate that I checked that the text was error-free before submitting it to you for publication.  The third paragraph seems to have suffered the most: an orphaned digit in the date 1800s, the word 'proof' omitted and a sine character in its place, and Ann spelled Arm.

Please don't think I am being dog-in-the-mangerish.  Readers quite rightly use the Oracle for their own research, and accuracy helps.

Judith Lloyd

Ed’s comment-Judith has received my apologies and her email appears above for members to refer to the previous article.

Dear Bernard,

As I walked through Blackheath Market last Friday, after visiting my mother, your book on Quinton caught my eye. As an old Quintonian, I decided to buy a copy, to my delight I have been transfixed by it.

However, I would dispute the demolition date on page 11, as the Ford Prefect, in the photograph, wasn't made until 1953. I also have a vague recollection of the building. Mr Barlow, who I think he was a greengrocer, inhabited the building to the right of the stump. On page 23 the Red Lion would have been more where the two cars are, not opposite the two trees. My Aunts, Edith and Emily Kesterton, lived there. They said you could hear them calling “Time Gentlemen please!”-Right up the hill. It seems to me that the Red Lion came almost opposite Perry Hill Lane. The small field with the hoarding on it is where blind Bill Dearn grazed his bad tempered horse called “Prince”, and Ray Williamson, the wholesale sweet merchant, grazed a much better natured horse named “Doll”.

I have a few photographs of our old shop, “Staitts High-class Shoe Repairs” at 584 Hagley Road West. I also have coloured standard 8mm cine footage of the old road before they started work on the Quinton Expressway. My mother said I ought to film it for posterity. If my memory serves me correct, it shows Quinton Church, Alfords and Don Smith's shops and Stoney Lane; with modern technology I think the old film could be transferred to DVD.

Best of luck with your research

Yours sincerely
John Patrick Stait

Ed’s comment- John has joined the society and the film he mentioned has been transferred to the computer.

I was fascinated to find a photograph of Quinton Gate toll house on your website.  My great-grandfather, William Eyre, was born there on 3 June 1857.  His parents, William Eyre snr, the toll-gate keeper, and Eliza née Bembridge, had been married in Nottingham - so it's interesting to find on the 1851 Ridgacre census that the toll keeper at that date also originated from Nottinghamshire.  I wonder whether there was some connection.

On the 1861 census William Eyre had moved to take over the toll-gate at Kingswinford, and later went to the Perry Barr toll-house in Birchfield Road.  His son William was the last gate-keeper there before the gates were removed. Congratulations on such an informative website - a veritable gold mine for family researchers.

Judith Lloyd, Pembrokeshire

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