Quinton Village History

by Mrs Susie Coxill (nee Rose)

I remember Quinton in the early 1900's: the church and entrance to the School, then the Post Office, kept by Mr & Mrs Deeley, then a house. They had two sons who went to the school. The headmaster was Mr Burns; he was very strict and always used a long cane to punish the naughty children.

A plot of land was used by Mr Fletcher to grow vegetables and flowers. He also had a shed there and kept chickens for eggs and for eating.

Next were four houses to the top of High Street. Opposite to this was the Quinton footballers playing field; we always held our Sunday school treat there, having races and a swing was put up on a tall tree. We all had a bag of sandwiches a cake and an apple or orange. Our parents were allowed to come.

In High Street there were three houses on the left hand side going down. I was born at No.8, my aunt; my father’s sister owned all three houses. We paid ten shillings a week rent; I got married from there at the age of 22 years at Quinton Parish Church. My mother and father were also married there. My three children went to the school and to the church. My two sons were in the choir and the eldest was the cross bearer. My best friend, Gwen Parish lived below us in High Street. She was four years old when I first knew her and we have been friends ever since. She is now 83 and I am 82 (in 1993); in our young days we played games in the street such as "kick the can", marbles and blind mans bluff. There was hardly any traffic so we always felt safe; we had a wonderfully happy time.

Later on in the street one or two shops opened - one sold cooked meats etc. and then a fish and chip shop owned by Philip Hill and his wife. On the other side of the street was a butchers shop (which is still there). On the corner of Bissell Street was the Outdoor, from where you could fetch half a pint of beer in a jug. My mother used to have half a pint at night and in the winter used put a hot poker in to mull it.

The rest of the street was houses. Mrs Glass owned quite a few houses, every Monday, always at 9 o'clock, she would collect her rents.

From High Street we go into Ridgacre Road - just to the left there was a Public House called The New Inns. Opposite was a bowling green, then an area with several small cottages on, called “The Green”. Many happy hours were spent at the tavern. On the corner at the bottom of High Street used to be a small cottage and a nail shop. This has now been modernised and had several owners, and has been illustrated in a glossy magazine.

There were also two cottages made into a laundry where two sisters took in washing. Their father was Mr Guest, a very little man who was the village postman. There was a little shop where sweets were sold - it was kept by an elderly gentleman and lady. He was a bit of a busy body. If he were a long time serving she would say in front of everyone.

At the back of the houses in Meadow Road was Quinton Park, where there was a shelter and swings and a big valley where we all went to play. At the other end of the Park was Howley Grange. There was a farm house where there used to be a small cottage and a nail shop. It was said that King Charles II spent time in hiding from his enemies around here. He left his spear in the barn roof and as long as it remained there no tithe was paid for the farm.

Then there was Bourne College (hence College Road) a gentleman’s school. Mr Hooson was the headmaster; he lived there with his sister and two daughters. Every Christmas the village children went carol singing there and they all had a penny and an orange. Now there is a housing estate where the college stood, one road named Hooson Close.

Later Hagley Road - the Old Toll House stood here. My three maiden aunts lived there and baked bread for the villagers. Behind was the Wesleyan Chapel, which was pulled down for road widening, and a garage, which was made into a cafe, one or two little shops and a small cottage where Mrs Clay lived. She always came to our house to dinner on Sunday with my father, brother and myself after we all had been to the Wesleyan Chapel. My mother always gave us a nice good dinner. Before she was married she had been a housekeeper for a German family who lived on the Hagley Road in Birmingham.

Mr Danks lived in a big house on Hagley Road - he became Danks of Oldbury the boilermakers and who now send boilers all over the world. Opposite their house David Cutler started a shoe repairers shop and also sold shoes. In the 1930's several small houses were pulled down and the Danilo picture house was built. My name was Susie Rose of 8 High Street Quinton, now Mrs Susie Coxill.

©QLHS & Susie Coxill 2003

Ed’s Comment – These are the sort of articles that we all love to read. Are there any readers of this magazine who would like to contribute?

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