QLHS Newsletter

Letters and Emails to the Editor 2009


I wonder whether you could possibly help me at all. I'm desperately trying to find information on my Great Grandfather, Albert Elwell who served as a fireman in Quinton in the 1930's, I think he retired in 1939? I've been scouring the internet and came across your website and thought you maybe able to help?

He lived with his wife Florence at 25 Bissell Street, Quinton but sadly Florence died of cancer and Albert left after he retired. They had 2 children, Albert Jnr and Olive, who were born in 1918 and 1922.

Albert died in the 1960's and his son, my grandfather has sadly passed away too so any information you may have would be incredibly valuable to me as he didn't speak much about his family.

I wait to hear from you.

Best regards,

Claire Jupp.

Dear Mr Taylor,

Whilst searching for information about my FARMER FAMILY, I came across your website and read with much interest the emails that you received from Tony Sheild and Sue Ginn of Australia. I have come to a dead end regarding my GGG grandfather Edward FARMER who died in 1838 in Shoreditch. He was b. 1769 but so far I am unable to find where he was born and who his parents were. In the IGI there is an Edward FARMER born to John and Mary in 1769 at Wantage, Berkshire.

According to oral history in our family, my G grandfather Henry James FARMER, son of James John and Sarah FARMER, was a cousin of Joseph FARMER and his nephew William who were of the Sydney department store FARMER & CO in Sydney. I was wondering if you might be able to help or perhaps put me in contact with Sue and Tony.


Yours sincerely,

Judith Batterham ( nee Farmer)

Ed’s comment-We have now put them in touch

Hi Bernard

I have just found your home page and would like to say well done on a great site!

As an ex Quintonian? (Born 1959 at 59/3 Welsh House Farm Road) it brought back so many memories of my childhood days in all three of the schools I attended.

Many thanks for a fantastic nostalgia trip.

John Bird

Dear Sir / Madam

I am emailing you to inform you of our latest book which is being released on 12th December 2008. The beautifully illustrated Midland Red – The Transitional Years by Les Simpson

This fascinating book is a historical picture album depicting the changes encountered by 'Midland Red' from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's and is set to be a great piece of nostalgia for anyone in interested in History or Classic and Vintage Buses, not to mention the loyal Midland Red fans! The book will be 52 pages and brought vividly to life by 83 colour illustrations. This book will have a cover price of £9.95!


More details of the book can be found on



We are sure you will be interested to have a look and ask if you would kindly put a link to this page on your website for others to see.

I hope that this has been of interest to you and look forward to hearing from you.

Thanking you in anticipation

Peter Earnshaw


Ed’s comment-I don’t usually include any advertising in our journal but I know that a few of our members have fond memories of the Midland Red – so this is the reason I have included the email – hope you don’t mind

Hi Bernard


My name is Leigh Walker and in my spare time I volunteer at Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove as an historic building interpreter.  I came across your website whilst doing some Internet research on nailing and was taken by surprise when I saw the nailers cottage in Quinton (I hadn't realised it was there, which is strange as my Dad worked at Quinton bus depot as a bus driver for many years).  As part of the museums Christmas event this year we are gathering information on various buildings and what it would have been like at Christmas time when they were at their peak (late nineteenth century for the nailshop).  I chose our nail shop (I live in Sidemoor in Bromsgrove, close to where the nail shop was originally).  The local nailers were probably Primitive Methodists and I have been trying to find out what Christmas would have been like for these people based on the fact that they were extremely poor and, presumably quite religious.  Any info or pointers that you might have would be most welcome.

I shall be winging my way down to Quinton in the very near future to take a look at the nailers cottage, it seems such a lovely place.

Great website, keep up the great work,


Leigh Walker

Dear Sir,

I write to thank you for maintaining this web site, and that from it I have gleaned a little more about my great uncle Frank Williamson the sweet wholesaler on Hagley Road West, and his neighbour 'Bill', and their horses.

 In the 1950's Bill would accompany  my great uncle on his cart pulled by Dolly the horse and  visit my family in Harborne , often bringing manure for my Mom's roses, much to my childish embarrassment!

 I was not aware of Bill's surname or that he owned a horse until I read the comment on this site today. If I recall correctly Bill lived next door where the children’s’ nursery is today.

I read a recent publication a few months ago about Quinton, that I came across by chance in Cabella's the hairdressers, in which I found out that Mr Williamson ran donkey derby's for the local children, and he is pictured by his home with his horse, which was stabled at the back of the house by the warehouse.  Those derbys were held apparently on the fields in Perry Hill Road, behind his house -oddly enough where my daughter lives now! A trip to the Williamson's although not a regular event, I looked forward to as a child because of the treats, he would disappear into the upstairs boxroom (which was racked out with boxes of sweets and return with a special treat of a bar of chocolate each for the children- myself and his grandchildren. Teatime too was a treat as we were served fruit salad and cream (although we had to eat bread and butter with it, a Lancashire tradition I think as my Auntie Aggie- Mrs Williamson, came from St Helen's. She was my Dad's mother’s sister).


Although I didn't realise it at the time and I don't recall it being discussed by my parents, it is clear Frank Williamson was a successful businessman and had been for sometime, I recall there being trappings of wealth in his house which I wasn't used to in the council house we lived in-a modern sink in the kitchen, a telephone (with a draw at the bottom to write other people's numbers!)-  He went on cruises abroad and had a 'second' home in Clent (on Walton Hill I think). I have photos of him with his model T Ford when my father was a child so he had been successful for sometime. He had a son John who lived on Mucklow Hill and a daughter Edna (although she died when I was young), who married a Norman Rae and they lived on the road that runs between the Classic Cinema & Spies Lane. 

I intend to research more about him as part of the family history research I am undertaking, and if I can contribute more to the characters of the area I shall be in touch.

Again a big thank you to yourself and your contributors for maintaining the site I live in Shropshire now, but may pop into a meeting, if I am visiting on that day...hope that's ok.

Vanessa Rawcliffe


Thank You for the listings of Quinton National School. I found my Great Uncle Arthur Whittall and his three children and then one of his grandchildren enrolled later on - breakthrough information in my family history research.

Thank You for your efforts. I greatly appreciate them, as does my father.

Mark Whittall.

Hello Mr Taylor

 I have been trying to trace my Dad's side of the family and have recently discovered your fantastic website. My dad always said he had no aunties, uncles or cousins so when he died 5 years ago I wanted to see if I could find any relatives. I did discover his dad had 10 brothers and sisters - so what happened to them!. I know by looking at the 1881 census that they lived in Ridgeacre, but that is as far as it goes.  Would you or anyone at your LHS be able to help me or are there any books, documents CD etc that I maybe able to buy to help.  I know some of children went to the local school  in the 1890's from your website.

Jean Lewis

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