QLHS Newsletter

Letters and Emails to the Editor 2006

Hello Mr Taylor,

Please do you have any information about a duck pond that was situated where Selcroft Avenue and West Boulevard is? I am 57 and I can remember walking along a black path that led to Rilstone Road. Recently I was talking to a 76 years old lady, who said there was no such place.

There was an old tale that a horse-driven cart, belonging to the Co-op Bakery, had fallen into it. I think I am going back over 50 years; the flats at Selcroft must have been there over 45 years. I hope you can help me or perhaps one of your members remembers it.

Many thanks,

Wendy Livesey

Ed’s Comment-Can anyone help if so ring me 0121-422-1792

Dear Bernard

Barston Road Street Party

On looking through the book, ‘Memories of Quinton’, written by you. I was pleased to come across the picture of our Barston Road street party. This was held on or about the 5th November, 1945 as a combined VE and VJ Day and Bonfire Night all rolled into one.

A wooden platform was erected on which both children and adults performed various acts to entertain us. Everyone came in some sort of fancy dress. I had made myself a long swirling skirted dress from left over blackout material and all over it I had painted treble and bass clefs and different notes of music. I thought it was lovely.

Across the street from the platform was a stall from which the men could obtain a glass of beer. The idea was that they each had a small ticket and after the first drink, one corner of the ticket was cut off. Each was entitled to four halves. A few enterprising souls, after their allotted four drinks, cut all around the card to make it a neat rectangle again, and proceeded to have another lot of drinks. I think this went by unnoticed, as the keeper of the drink had indulged a little himself.

My father, who was not a beer drinker, had his and at the end of festivities, he and a neighbour, Mrs. Wylde, I think, went to a house in Lewis road and proceeded to sing a rousing round of Christmas carols. I am not sure how much this was appreciated.

In the photograph of the party in the book I recognised our next-door neighbour, Helen Edwards, extreme left, back row, complete with sailor hat. Next but one along is Mr. Harris, another near neighbour, dressed as a lady, with homemade wig. In the next row, complete with crown is, I think Margaret O’Shea, and Diane Morgan is at the extreme right of the next row down. I seem to recollect other faces but cannot put a name to them.

For this party some one purchased 100 white mugs. These were to be filled with sweets, and one given to each child that attended. Everyone had chipped in with sweet coupons to make this possible. I was asked to decorate each mug in an appropriate manner. This I did, with only a couple of tubes of oil paint in blue and red.

The photo that appeared in the Memories book

Around the top and bottom edges I painted the Victory V sign in red and blue. Dot-dot-dot-dash. A large V was painted on the front of the mug complete with the dates 1939 – 1945. On the back was painted the name of the child who was to receive it. I never had one for myself, much to my regret. Did they consider me too old at 18?

Anyway, it was a good party and enjoyed by all. My future husband attended also, despite me having had a row with him and asking him not to come. He did and we later made up our differences and were married in Quinton Parish Church in 1950.

Doreen Crowder, nee Willetts.


I have just come across the web link to the above subject matter purely by accident. I am trying to research more about my real grandfather whom the only thing I know about him was his name W.H. Smith and he comes from the Halesowen/Quinton area.  Not even my father knows much more about him, which makes things rather difficult, as his name doesn't appear on my father's birth certificate.  My grandmother's maiden name was Winifred May Rees or Reece. She then became in 1940 when she married - Winifred May Downes.  My father was born in 1936 and lived a brief while in Max Road in Quinton.  I'm not entirely sure whether there were any adoption papers or anything like that - so I'm not quite sure where to start.

I did come across the following entry on the list and was wondering how I could find out more information about the person listed:-

617 1912 8 Smith Horace William 5 9 1904 William Edward St Long Lane

It is a bit clutching in the dark, but that’s all I've got at the moment. Where would I find any adoption records from around 1940 or any social service records at the time relating to a connection between Rees and Smith?

Kind regards
David Vernall-Downes

And there is more:-


I sent you an email yesterday about an entry on the School admissions for Quinton Infants:  617 1912 William Horace Smith.

Now, could you tell me whether there would be any archive school photos at the time- and if so where would these be housed? 

What age in 1912 were children admitted to Infant school, as I would obviously like to trace some extra information about this William Horace Smith?

Kind regards
David Vernall-Downes

Ed’s comment- Can anyone help, has anyone got a photo from the Church School in 1912?


I ran across your wonderful photos of the Kinver Rock Houses last year. I am just completing a book about the Hubbles of the UK and the Chapter on Staffordshire mentions one Hubble family whose address was one of the rock houses.

I would like to use one of your illustrations, "The exterior view of rock houses," in that chapter. I will, of course, give appropriate credit as you have the copyright. Would you have any objection to my reproduction of the photograph? It will be approx. 4x3 in b/w. If not, if you have an actual print that you could download to me I would be able to get a better reproduction.

In a prior lifetime I lived in Castle Bromwich and have some Hubble-searching friends at Upper Meadow Rd, Quinton. Thank you for your consideration.

Doug Poulter in Florida


I'm an old Quintonian now living in Warwick and was directed to your site by an Australian friend!  I've known of the Society for some time and have bought publications but it is great to see you on-line.  My friend has found out that her family lived in Ridgacre at Redhill, in the nineteenth century.  I lived in Quinton and just across the border from 1951 until 1994 (when I moved here). and I used to live in Ridgacre Lane as a child.  Was there a Redhill Farm in the area?

I work as an Archive Assistant at Warwickshire County Record Office now and know how much societies such as yours are helpful to those looking for family and local history.  Good luck for the future.

Best wishes, Sheila Smith


My sister Eileen told me last night about your site, she found it by putting Tom Dallaway into the search engine and came up with the site.

Tom Dallaway was our father and ran the fishmongers on Hagley Road West from just post war until he retired around 1984. I remember Burrs the Chemist and in fact Mr Stutley who owned it before Mr Burr moved and opened a chemists in Weston Super Mare where our grandmother lived so for many years after I did see Mr Stutley. It is fascinating to know that someone remembers our father for the speed of gutting a chicken! I am sure had he still been alive he would have seen the funny side of that.

I went to school at Quinton C of E school and I see Eileen and I are listed as pupils, I left for a short period when I went to live with my grandmother while our mother was in hospital, but then returned, hence the two dates of joining showing in the list. I am sure anyone who was at Quinton C of E in the 50’s will remember the Maypole dancing and Christmas nativity plays. Dad provided an old egg box, in those days a wooden crate, it was painted brown and it became the manger for many years. We also celebrated the school’s centenary some 17 or so years late, but the centenary if I recall had happened during the war and no one had quite got round to celebrating the event until in the 50’s.

Jean Huyton (nee Dallaway)

Bernard Hello,

Last week I received the latest Oracle, No 29. What memories that cover picture brought back! I used to go sledging down that hill. Not that my dad could afford a sledge, I would go there with a more affluent neighbour and occasionally be allowed to "have a go". I would spend more time watching than sledging. Of course in those days, sledges were darned heavy things, made up from bits of wood. Any size timber would do and as a result, sledges would be all shapes and sizes. A bit different from the plastic things of today. You would struggle to pick one up back then. There was one lad who I recall (but not his name) had his thumb caught under the sledge runner and turned the snow red. He lost control as he sledged over the hump that was part way down that slope. That path was very badly rutted by rainwater, snow melt and general pedestrian traffic.

I also remember the view in the distance. It is pretty much the same again today now that the new (?) flats are being demolished. The road in the middle is Apsley Road and there are some houses in view at the bottom of the Kingsway. I remember playing in those as they were being built. Today you can't get anywhere near a building site without hardhat and site boots. And you also have to have site inductions and get a pass from the Health and Safety Officer. My mates and I would just go straight into the partially built houses and have a whale of a time. Climbing in and out of window holes and up and down stairway voids, one boy took a smack on the back of the head from a length of scaffolding tube. Fortunately it was not too long and heavy. Smaller lads (and girls) would play in the piles of sand that were used for making cement mortar. It would end up being kicked all over the place. Today’s sites are all fenced off, and all the fun had been taken out of growing up. Seeing inside the Oracle, mention of the cover picture, this is the first time that I have heard of those fields being called Brennand Fields. We just knew the general area as the Pig Sties. I know there was a Brennand connection somewhere hereabouts. The date of 1940 can't be right. I was born in 1946 and played in those half built houses at the age of about ten or eleven. And in the distance is what looks like Perryfields school surely that wasn't built until about 1958 - I'm guessing. I had a look on the school website but couldn't find anything. Oh well, wonderful memories

Cheers Bernard

All the Best, Phil Lamb

Dear Sirs

I have recently come across your Quinton Local History Society webpage, and found the information very interesting. I have been researching my family tree for several years now, and have expanded my search parameters to include almost anyone with my last name. I have recently been focused on families in the HalesOwen area. Anyways, I was wondering if you might have a history of whom Bissell Street was named after and that family. As I currently living in Dallas, Texas visiting is not an option.

If you could forward any information, or sources, it would be very much appreciated.

Craig T. Bissell

Dear Sir/Madam

I was delighted to come across two of your archived web pages showing registers for 1931 – 1937 and 1937 – 1940, you see I’ve just started my family tree and was filled with elation when I came across these pages, which detailed dates of births of some of my great aunties and great uncles.  Do you have any registers prior to 1931?  My nan was one of 12 and I’m missing a few details from some of her other brothers and sisters.

Once again, thank you for publishing such important information, which is not only part of our history but my ancestry as well.

Many thanks.

Dear Sir

I'm sending you a photograph ( taken obviously during the war years ) of my Grandfather ( far left). His name is James Baker and lived in Stanley Road, Quinton for much of his life. I can only assume from the photograph that he was serving in the Home Guard somewhere in Quinton. I would be obliged if you could confirm this.

Many thanks,

G Baker


Ed’s comment- Can anyone identify the other four gentlemen and can anyone locate the building they are standing outside? – Ring me please 0121-422-1792

Hi Bernard,

I don't live that far away, just in Wolverhampton, but I work full time in Oldbury and don't have much in the way of spare time.  My sister lives in Stratford Upon Avon.  Mum lives just round the corner from the shop.

I was thinking after I sent the email that of course Mrs White used to own the shop next door, her cat Whisky White lived to be I believe about 18 which was quite an age, although the road wasn't quite as busy then. 

I did read through some of the other letters and so did my friend who lives up in Liverpool, we were both on the Internet at the same time and having a conversation via Messenger as she found bits before I did.  She loves history and where she lives in Waterloo in Liverpool they had the added bonus of discovering that her husband's great uncle had resided in their current house in the early 1900's and there was a picture of the Remembrance Day Parade with him at the front of the parade and obviously taken from their front door.... small world.

I have half a feeling I have some old photographs of the Nativity Play and the Maypole dancing from the 50's but quite where they are I just don't know, maybe in the loft and that is absolutely full so not an easy task.  If I ever come across them I will try to get them scanned in.  It doesn't seem so long ago but it is... quite frightening.

Best wishes


Dear Mr.Taylor,

Found your website while browsing and enjoyed re-living my early years in Quinton. My parents lived in Dudley (where I was born in 1935) and moved to Barston Road in 1938.

In 1940 I started at Quinton C of E School. Discipline was quite strict - I remember Miss Smart being quick to bring us back into line with a wooden ruler on the knuckles!

Several of your contributors have referred to the german parachutist captured by ARP wardens. As I remember it he came down in some allotments in the middle of Barston Road. The road being U shaped had some waste ground in the centre.

In 1947 I recall trudging through heavy snow drifts to Four Dwellings School only to find not enough children had made it so we were told to go home. You have published an email from Mike Piper who now lives in Canada but used to live at 721 Hagley Road West where his father ran a greengocers shop. We shopped there on a weekly basis and our parents were good friends.

You have also published an email from Doctor Buntings daughter. He was our family doctor for many years.She mentioned a local history book he wrote - are copies still available?

I am now a retired widower living in Telford with my daughter,son in law,and granddaughter.

Please pass on my email address to anyone interested and keep up the good work.

Best regards,

Alan Wood

Dear Chairman Bernard J. Taylor,

I wonder how the name Quinton was chosen in the first place? Do you know?

My name is Quinton Bemiller. 

I stumbled upon the website for the historical society of Quinton.  My name is not that common in the United States, especially with my spelling.  So, it is interesting to me to discover your town (and a few others in France and the U.S.) with that same spelling.  It only means "fifth son" in Latin, so I don't know why it would be chosen for a town's name.

At any rate, I enjoyed reading about Quinton and would love to visit sometime.

Best Regards,

Quinton Patrick Bemiller

Los Angeles, California

Dear Bernard

In the last Oracle page 13, the site in question was a yard with various outbuildings and used by a haulier, Jack Powell. There was a pond but I am not sure about the ducks. Below the site going down the hill (West Boulevard) was a sand hole belonging to Stanley N Evans, who was known “featherbed Evans”. He was labour M.P. for Wednesbury and a government minister in the 1946/47 Clement Attlee Cabinet. Jack Powell was one of the hauliers that moved the sand. He lived in Quinton Road, Harborne but died about 20 years ago. There was a path alongside the yard and pond that led down to Richard’s Welsh House Farm, which was used during the war as a POW Camp.

John Birch-26th August 2006

Dear Mr Taylor

I was delighted to receive a copy of the latest “Quinton Oracle", which I read with much interest concerning the article on the Old Burial Ground. I am very pleased that there are people like you who care sufficiently enough to undertake a totally daunting, absolutely colossal job of restoring the site.

Unfortunately, I am no longer able to make the trip but I was pleased to see the new gates and the vastly improved pathway beyond that you and your valiant volunteers have made - it was quite ghastly the last time I visited in 1993. You and all concerned merit the highest possible praise for even beginning such a formidable task.

Jeffrey D Nash - Rayleigh, Essex

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