QLHS Newsletter

Letters and Emails to the Editor 2003

Hello Bernard -

Please find attached a photo of my parents wedding in January 1943. I think the dark lady on the extreme right, my grandmother, Elizabeth Florence Sadler (nee Aston) is buried at Quinton. I'm just begin to research my family tree.

My 88 year old mother, Dorothy Bayley (nee Sadler) tells me that her parents, Percy Sadler and Elizabeth Florence (nee Aston) are buried 'at Quinton', presumably she is referring to the old burial ground?

I do not know the area, as by the time I was born everyone had moved to South Wales with GKN! I'm looking forward to finding out more. Is there a chance that we could help each other?!

As yet I don't know much at all except that Percy was a sheet metal worker and had a garage called Sadler Bros in Rutland Rd. Edgbaston. He was killed, aged about 40, in a car accident  at Tewkesbury coming home from the races. It must have been in about 1930. I think they lived in Wattis Road, Bearwood. Elizabeth ('Tizz') died in Cardiff in about 1950 having moved there with us. I was only 4 at the time.

I think their son Howard may be buried at Quinton too. He died suddenly aged only 27. There were lots of the family in your area - with surname Aston, Sadler and Bayley. It would be so exciting if we could help each other to fill in some information.

I hope to hear from you.

Tricia Slater (nee Bayley), Cornwall.

Ed’s comment-If anyone knows Tricia, or her family, please email info@qlhs.org.uk and I will pass on your details.

Dear Bernard

Hope you don't mind me writing to you, I am researching my family history and have come across a query I can't answer and wondered if anyone in the society could help. My Grandfather William Herbert Cole was born in 12 Feb 1888 Cornbow Halesowen RSD.

Does anyone know what RSD is and a possible reason why he was not born at home? I would be grateful for any suggestions.

I must also congratulate you on the web site it has been a tremendous help to my research for my husbands family who have roots in Quinton for 200 years.

Many Thanks
Carolyn Podmore

Ed’s comment – The Family History course which began in September is proving to be real success. I had a word with Pauline, the course tutor, and she said the ‘R’ would stand for “RURAL” as distinct from USD when the ‘U’ stands for “URBAN”.
Its gratifying to know our website is an informative source to historians and the public

What a fantastic web site you've created - I stumbled across it today by chance and until then I'd not heard of Quinton, let alone realised that some of my ancestors had lived in that area! I've managed to find quite a lot of new information about some of my Knibbs ancestors as well as their daughters who married who I assume now to be local lads from the Quinton area. I was aware of the marriages from information I'd gathered from elsewhere, and I now know that they spent some time at Quinton. As per usual, whilst I have made several interesting steps forward, the information on your web site has raised a few more queries in my mind - I guess that's what makes it interesting, so I'm not complaining! So now I've found you I'll be back again trying to figure it out.

You did ask to be informed of any errors that could be found, and I did find a couple that you may like to know about.

One relates to the following entry on the Register of Burials 1869-1898:

No. 637 1891 October 22nd Joseph Martin Kniibbs 37 A.C.Howell - The Queens Hospital

I noticed here that Joseph's surname has two "i"'s instead of one.

The second one relates to the same Register of Burials 1869-1898:

No. 56 1870 December 28th Agnes Knibbs 21 C.H.Oldfield Minister Beech Lane

I believe that this burial relates to Agnes Knibbs who was born 02 qtr 1869 and died at Stourbridge District 04 qtr 1870, so her age was in fact 21 months, not 21 years. You don't specify either on the web page but I assumed years and struggled - finally, I figured it out.

Once again, a tremendous site so thanks for all the hard work that it must have taken.

Don Knibbs
My KNIBBS Family @ http://knibbs.family.users.btopenworld.com/index.htm

Webmaster's Note : we're currently discussing how best to handle amendments to the registers. The current consensus is that, since the online register is a historical document, it should be left intact, complete with any errors, and amendments should be supplied as footnotes. We could possibly include a small marker in the main register to indicate that an entry may be inaccurate, and that it should be read in conjunction with the amendment below. One advantage of the Web, of course, is that a marker can link directly to the relevant footnote. Please email Bernard if you have any comments on this approach.


First of all please let me congratulate you on your site. Most of my husband's family come from this area, and as we now live in Pound Road (Old Warley) it has been relatively easy to put together the family tree.

My mother in Law is a Blundell, who, apart from the very early Blundells who came from Northfield, all seem to have been married, baptised and buried in either Christchurch Quinton or George Road Methodist.

I just thought I would let you know that in this document you have three Brundel children, Emma, Philip, and Flossie. These are all children of George Henry Blundell and I have them on my database.

It may be that you can't alter them, if this is how they were inserted, but I just thought I'd let you know.

Again, many thanks for all the invaluable information stored on your site.

Best wishes - Maggie

Dear Mr Taylor

I have recently discovered your website through the Brummagen magazine. I am trawling through my parent’s belongings who died three & four yrs ago;( It seems to take an age to decide what to do with these belongings,) but I have found recently an old 78rpm record which I have now managed to play. The information is rather strange as it is dedicated to raising money for HMS Sheffield, presumably during the war, by the Harborne & Quinton allotment association, if you have any idea why the allotment association did this I would be interested but also "what do I do with this."

My Father was born 1915 & brought up in Harborne & his Father was a policeman with the City police force from 1907 to 1932 so either of them could have had some connection. My Father was an ARP warden during the war so he could have been connected but I am really not sure. Anyway if you can help then I look forward to hearing from you.


Frances Tebbutt

Ed’s comment – Does anyone have information about the Harborne allotment association?


I'm interested in the book. Where can I order it from? I live in Abingdon, Oxon and visit Harborne every so often. I will have to go around Quinton next time. Do you have any photos of Quinton C of E School? I'm told that pictures were taken in 1968 just before the old Victoria blocks were demolished. Did you go to the school? Has the school also got class photos with the registers?

Thank you for your help.

Geoff Broughton (at the school 1965 to 1972)

Ed’s comment – we sent Geoff the book and he emailed as follows


Received your book and read with great interest. You managed to slip yourself into at least two photos. I recognised most of the places. I was born in 1961at home in Upper Meadow Road, so that makes me a genuine born and bred Quintonian. We then moved to Oak Road - I remember the small prep school at the bottom of the road. My father will remember Bourne College and the Methodist Churches. I don't think we have any old photos, but I'll check. Do you mind if I scan the Quinton C of E school building photo on page 88? I want to upload it to Friends Reunited. I'll add an acknowledgement to your excellent publication and web site.

Geoff Broughton

Dear Bernard,

Good morning/afternoon/evening!

With pleasure I clicked onto your website and thought I would compliment you. In one word......excellent

The pictures of Quinton Park with the "swings" and the turnpike near to the old Quinton No. 9-"terminus" and the old Danilo/Essoldo cinema brought back a fleet of memories. Congratulations!

I grew up in the Quinton/Lapal area and lived the first few years of my life in Astley Crescent, which then also had a postcode B32. In the 50's our family moved inside the Birmingham boundary to Newburn Croft where my parents still live, although I have spent most of my life in Germany, I have always had close ties with "home". I returned to UK in 2000; now living in Northampton..

Your local history pages are much appreciated.

Thank you.

Alan Gordon Smith

Ed’s comment – Thank you Alan for your kind words, keep surfing the site changes regularly

My name is Lynne Mercurio and I live in Adelaide, South Australia.

I was just looking at your site about the Quinton Burial Ground next to the church.  My grandmother, grandfather and uncle are buried in the grounds.

My grandfather's name was Albert Mallin, my grandmother was Elfie Mallin and their infant son Bernard. My mother Margaret Statham (nee Mallin) is a cousin to Gladys Jones, who is a member of your society.  I daresay that she has told you of the plot in the churchyard.

I remember my uncle Ken Mallin having to fight several years ago to keep the plot there, when the authorities wanted to clear the area.  It is now the only site in that area.  An urn in need of repair marks it.  I recently saw pictures of it when my daughter was there recently on holiday.

My uncle is to upgrade the spot.  I don't think there is any marker indicating who is in the grave.  I'm sure Gladys can you indicate it to you, she walks past it regularly.

I am trying to do our family tree but must admit to hitting a brick wall pretty early in the piece.  The amount of on line information is limited and has not helped me so far. Do you have any members with Mallin connections? 

My grandfather was born at Tividale, which I understand is not too far away.  His father's name was William, I believe but have not found any concrete evidence on this apart from that name given on my grandparents marriage certificate. There is a story that William Mallin died pretty young as a result of contracting pneumonia.  Whilst at a church picnic he rescued a child from a lake and then had to spend the rest of the day in his wet clothes.  He died shortly thereafter.  His wife Selina (nee Elsmore) remarried to a Thomas Bushell in about 1905-06.   My grandfather was about 5 years old at the time and he was born in 1899.

We have also seen reference to a Mallin's Farm in the area.  We are not sure whether this belonged to any of our family.  I cannot see it on any of the old maps on line, although it was supposed to be marked an ordinance survey map my uncle apparently had when he was in the scouts, which must have been in the 1930's.

If anyone there can shed some light on any of these things, I would be most grateful. My Grandmother's side of the family is fairly well documented as they are the same as those of Gladys Jones, but the Mallin family is something of a mystery!

I look forward to hearing from you.


Lynne Mercurio

Ed’s comment – Can anyone help Lynne? – please email info@qlhs.org.uk with the details

Dear Bernard

I was particularly interested in an item in Issue 19 of ‘The Oracle’-“Childhood Memories of Quinton and Granny Jones in the 1930s”. All of it was fascinating but the part of special interest to me was that about the sweet shop in the tiny front room of the house opposite Gran’s run by Miss?. The site of the sweet shop can be pinpointed by the mention of the building of the Danilo Cinema.

The cottage in which the sweetshop was run is still there. As a child, in the 1930s, I used to visit it with my mother. The lady, Mrs Taylor, fascinated me and her daughter who ran it-they both had goitres. I don’t remember what was bought there but my sister writes that she remembers being taken there for vinegar.

At that time there was a small, low counter in the front room, mentioned by Gladys Jones’ Australian relative. The cottage was quite small.

I’ve been interested in postcard pictures that include Mrs Taylor’s shop-see pictures p.18 and the bottom one of p.51 in Images of England-Quinton. Also in Andrew Maxam’s book of Old Picture Postcards. The Players Navy Cut advertisement on the side of the cottage pinpoints it.

The tree between the cottage and the present site of the Kings Highway interested me as I thought it was still there, so in September 2002 I went, armed with a disposable camera, to take photos of it-only to find a stump. Fortunately, I met the present owner of the cottages who told me the tree fell down four years previously. It looked to me as if the stump had been tidied up by saw and/or axe. I still took a photo of it.

The owner bought the pair of cottages-they were semi-detached, 13 years previously. He had wanted to knock them down to build an office block. However, Birmingham and Halesowen gave permission but Sandwell did not. I did not check but I think they probably are in Sandwell. The cottages were purchased from Mrs Taylor’s son-in-law, Major Edwards. He was in his 90s and died soon after. They are 199 years old now and originally had thatched roofs. I think the owner said it was the roofs that caused Sandwell not to give permission. He has an old stable to the rear of the cottages as a field for the pony. The next cottage-towards the Danilo (Oh! I mean Odeon)-which has been demolished, was a coach house, presumably belonging to the big house which was demolished on the Danilo site. I feel this information is of some interest, as the cottages are within Quinton Parish and have been saved by the skin of their teeth.

Best wishes

Marjorie Berry.

Ed’s Comment-Thank you Marjorie for this information we will investigate further and report back.

Are you on the photo below or do you recognise anyone?

VE Day Photo
Image © QLHS 2003
Click on the photo for an enlarged version.

The celebration is a V E Party in Quinton Park, 1945.
If you recognise anyone please email info@qlhs.org.uk

Dear Bernard,

I would like to order Images of Quinton and "Dark and wicked place", could you please let me know the postal charges for Australia both sea and air?
The Quinton Local History Site is terrific, I have been trying to find where I could access the Quinton birth, marriage and death registers for ages and now I find they are available from the Society.  I shall be in touch with Carole Bradley by snail mail.
By the way, a cousin in Canada sent me your website!

Ann Tullis
Kalamunda, Western Australia

And followed by.....

Dear Bernard,

Thanks for the information re books.  I would like to join the Society.
Thank you also for the offer of help, if I told you all the people I am looking for you would be horrified and it would be an imposition.  I am very happy just to know the Parish Registers are available.  The burials have been very valuable, I found the dates for my 3 great grandparents READ, WHITE and HALL, plus several distant cousins. The School Admission Books also look very interesting and will fill in lots of gaps.

Ann Tullis

Ed’s Comment – Our fame spreads to the far corners of the earth.

Thanks for the book Bernard, and well done.
Two comments if I may :

1. Page 27 lower - this photograph from the portion of the road from Holly Bush to White road would have been in the 1930s at the latest and not mid 1900s. I recall the dual carriage with grassed median (wherein is buried the welsh water pipeline) in the latter part of the war years. This ties in with the moving of the Holly Bush and adjustment to road grades there in the 1930s - Page 96 upper, Page 95 lower and Page 93 lower, etc. Easily checked from newspaper records of the day. 2. Page 103 upper, the farm building was former old servants quarters of the Grange Farm of Halesowen Abbey and demolished at the same time as the duckpond was filled in and the water supply from the stream diverted - early 1950s. The pond was my regular source for 'tadies' and I recall losing it to housing. Even though it gave a house to an elderly widow friend of mothers, whose husband had been head coachman at Smethwick Hall and used to live in the lodge by the pool on Stoney Lane, Londonderry. Mother and I walked up there to see her once a week until mother died in 1956. These facts need preserving before they are lost.

Best wishes,
Bryan Slim – Canada

Then following an E-mail from me, informing Bryan of the John Hope Collection, with a few questions.

Bernard, I have found the site of the John Hope Collection, very interesting. I was not disputing that the photo was of, what people called, Brand Hall farm (but had not been farmed from the mid 1920s) I was challenging the dates and adding the points of the antiquity and correcting the description. Brand Hall goes back to at least 14th century. Page 99 the map is not correct; the only road linking Brand Hall to Moncton Farm was Moncton Road (OS 1880 25 " series, OS 1938 6” series) until the 1950s. Kingsway was a much later construction but does not and never has gone to the Wolverhampton Road as shown. We had an old acquaintance, now long gone, who as a boy worked at Moncton Farm looking after 'the beasts' as he called them. In fact he is in the photograph page 80 upper, wearing the homburg. Your book brought back many pleasant memories and, at times, had me trying to look round the corner. I had forgotten how rural the area was then. What I saw on a flying visit in May this year disappointed me, especially at the old Warley Odeon area. When I finally hang up my hat, as they say, will be the time to consolidate my memories. I look forward to Volume 2; you are doing a great job.

Bryan Slim - Canada

Dear Bernard,

Looking through a family scrapbook, we have this cutting concerning Four Dwellings Secondary Modern School cricket team of 1946. I went to school with all the players and they should now be around the 70 mark, if still alive. The only person I can recognise on the photo is Harry Levine, the gentleman in glasses, who was one of the teachers. One person, who still lives locally, is Ray Partridge. His father was a coalman, who lived on the Hagley Road.

Four Dwellings Cricket Team

Hope the above is of interest to your society,

Bill Deeley.

Ed’s Comment – Thank you Bill for this newspaper clip. Are there any more old papers out there? Please contact me and allow us to copy them.


Dear Mr. Taylor,

I was very pleased to meet you and talk with you during your book signing session at Brandhall Library. During our conversation I agreed I would put down on paper information, which might be of interest to you. The enclosed notes cover the relevant parts of our talk plus some other items. I subsequently found that the father of a friend of mine had been on fire-watch duty in Hales Lane and that his relatives had been killed in the crash.

Heinkel crash at Hales Lane

At the time of this incident I was on duty at the Auxiliary Fire Station at Castle Road East School near Warley Woods. I was told the plane had rolled upside down and had flown low over the rooftops of houses in Perry Hill Road opposite my house. One of the crew had bailed out and had landed in Barston Road. An appliance from our station had been dispatched to the crash site in Hales Lane. When they returned they said four houses had been destroyed and that they found the severed head of a crewmember in the gutter. He had been killed when the plane was attacked.

At this time the Home Guard H.Q. for the Quinton / Oldbury area was at 'High Tor', a large detached house with extensive drive, 59 Perry Hill Road (opposite Forest Road). This had been a private Commercial College pre-war but had been taken over by Colonel Fillery of the Toffee firm to serve as his base. There was a full time Military staff with motor transport.

I believe that it is possible Feldwebel Muller was taken to an ARP Wardens' base and that Home Guards from their H.O. came to collect him. John Nicholas, aged 16, and an ex-classmate of mine, was one of Herr Muller's rescuers. We had both been taught German at Holly Lodge Grammar School and he was able to communicate a little.

Mr. Owen, who lived a few yards from where Werner Strecke, the other crew member landed, was a fire watcher on duty near the Two Brewers public house at the time of the crash. The plane fell on to a house, which was the home of his sister and brother in law. He had to be restrained from trying to rescue them. His sister and two children were victims but her husband was on duty elsewhere. This information from Mr. Owen's son, a friend of mine.

Plane crash at Hagley Road

The plane, which crashed on the central reservation opposite Birch Road, was a Bristol Blenheim twin-engine light bomber. I passed the site soon after the incident and collected a few souvenirs. The aircraft had been flying from the Wolverhampton direction when it hit the cable of a Barrage Balloon based in the Brandhall area. Kenneth Horne who later became a well-known broadcaster with his programmes ‘Much Binding in the Marsh ‘and’ Round the Horne commanded this R.A.F. site.

Whitley crash - Warple Road

Being aware of a low flying aircraft, which had been circling for some time, I stood outside my home in Perry Hill Road with my neighbour Frank Taylor. He was a fighter pilot in the First World War and at this time was a commissioned consultant to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. We both recognised the sound to be that of a twin Merlin engine machine and not a hostile one. It was obviously lost and eventually crashed on open land now Warple Road. As Mr. Taylor was in uniform he was allowed to collect documents from the wreck, which we had hurried to investigate. The plane had a Polish crew and was on a training flight from Abingdon.

Park Road crash - Warley

Yet another Blenheim bomber crashed into the back of a row of houses in Park Road, Warley. Again this had been flying form the Wolverhampton direction and is thought to have hit the cable of the Brandhall Balloon. Of four planes, which came to grief in this area, three were British!

I hope a few 'gaps' have been filled for your records. I would be obliged if you could let me know the Cannock grave number of Herr Muller's crew and perhaps their names? Best wishes to you and your colleagues.

Yours sincerely
Ernest F. Wilson


Hello Mr Taylor.

You signed a book for me last Tuesday at the Blackheath and Rowley group meeting. I wish I'd looked at the book before you left. Samuel Dingley is by way of being a distant relative of mine, his parents, William Dingley and Nancy (nee Priest) are my own great-great-great-great grandparents, though I am descended from another of their sons, Ira, who lived in Cocksheds, Halesowen.

If you have any other information about Samuel I would be very interested - particularly as I am in touch with his great-grandson who lives in Oregon.

Chris Brettell (nee Dingley)

Dear Bernard,

Many thanks for your reply. Yes I did enjoy the book and also the earlier ones that the society produced by Anthony Rosser.The great-grandson in Oregon is named Harry Vincett and he is the grandson of Henry, Samuel Dingley's youngest son. I will contact him for you and ask him to contact you himself.I only know that Samuel is listed as living in Spies Lane and seems to have been a farmer as well as a nailmaster. He had three sons and a daughter. One of his grandsons, Wilfred Zealand Dingley, is commemorated (or buried) at Quinton, after being killed in the First World War.

Chris Brettell (nee Dingley)

Ed’s Comment – The saga continues :


I've just had an e-mail from Harry Vincett and he says to give you his e-mail address. He doesn't have any photographs of his great-grandparents, only of his mother and siblings etc. but they were born in Birmingham, not Quinton. However he does have copies of articles written by his grandfather for the Bourne College magazine about Quinton, which you may be interested in. His grandfather was a Methodist Preacher, I believe.Bye for now.

Chris Brettell

Ed’s Comment - As you can see, after many e-mails I was able to make contact with Chris’s relation in America.

Dear Bernard,

Good to hear from you. Chris Brettell gave me the address for the website of the Quinton Local History Society, which I found to be very interesting.However, it wasn't Samuel the nail-factor (and farmer) on Spies Lane, but his son Henry (my grandfather) who wrote the articles for "The Bourne Chronicle".Sorry to say that I don't have any pictures from that era, all I have are some taken later after Henry and his wife Louisa (nee Baker) had moved to Birmingham, where my mother was born.I will see if I can get some copies made of the articles and send them to you. The history related to genealogy is one of its more interesting aspects. The articles my grandfather wrote deal with Quinton and its history. It was only after I re-read one of them that I understood why he had listed his residence as The Quinton on his Marriage Certificate instead of just Quinton.Will be in touch.

Harry Vincett, Oregon, USA

Ed’s Comment – At last contact was made with Harry :

Dear Bernard,

This afternoon I mailed a copy of the first article about Quinton by my Grandfather. It is entitled: “Recollections of Quinton” or REMINISCENCES OF PLACES, MEN AND TIMES BY HENRY DINGLEY - No. I. In total he wrote four papers on this topic and one entitled "Aurora Borealis". I will be getting these copied and forwarded to you also. I don't have any details on where the Chronicle was published, but the publisher did a first class job in composing and printing it. I did take the liberty of increasing the size of each page to 125% of the original size to make the copies easier to read.The "Chronicle" was published quarterly, presumably in September, December, March, and June. The article above appeared in a number printed around June of 1891. My Grandfather’s five papers were published consecutively with the last article appearing around June of 1892.Based on the page numbers, 1890 - 1891 may have been the first school year it was printed. The page numbers on the copies I have are consecutive, that is for the five "numbers" I have the pages are numbered consecutively from 61 to 160 averaging 20 pages per "number". The numbering of the pages did not start over again at zero for the start of a new school year. That is for 1890 - 1891 pages 1 to 80, from 1891 - 1892 pages 81- 160. I do have one, somewhat tattered, front cover that survived. However, I wasn't satisfied with the copy I got of it so I will try another method and send it later.

Best regards,
Harry Vincett

And then this:

Hi Bernard,

Just found a scan I had made last year of the one (some what tattered) front cover that survived. It is not all that clear since the paper has darkened over the years and the print and the paper tend to blend. But it should give you a fairly good idea of what the original looked like. I still plan to make a better copy, using a colour copier, and will send that on to you later.Yes I will send you copies of the entire issues as you have requested. I had planned to do this with at least the issue for which I have the front cover for anyway, and have figured out how best to do this. They do not have that much history of Quinton itself in them, except for the accounts of scholastic achievement and football and Cricket matches perhaps, but the issues themselves have historical value, and it is interesting to see what some of the "Old Boys" have written from various parts of the World. Thanks for the offer, but no reimbursements are expected this end. I am happy just to be able to make a contribution to the History Society.

Best regards,
Harry Vincett

Ed’s Comment – I am eternally grateful to Harry for copying these significant parts of Quinton’s history and making them available to the society, they will form part of our archive. I intend to reproduce the articles in future issues of the “Oracle”. They make fascinating reading, considering they were written over 100 years ago.

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