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Great Barr

Great Barr maps

Historic maps of Great Barr and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Great Barr maps

Great Barr photos

We have no photos of Great Barr, although we do have photos of these nearby places:

Streetly| West Bromwich| Wednesbury| Sutton Coldfield| Walsall| Birmingham| Edgbaston| Harborne| Willenhall| Yardley| Essington

Great Barr area books

Displaying 1 of 9 books about Great Barr and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Great Barr

Great Barr memories
Read and share Great Barr memories

Displaying a selection of personal memories of Great Barr.
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Help Needed

I'm looking for a man called David from Great Barr who used to drive an ice-cream van with his brother in the 1970s. He is believed to be married with two boys, possibly in his 60s or 70s now. Any information, however small, would be gratefully accepted. Thanks.

West Midlands memories

School And Shops

I went to Fir Tree School in 1970 and remember lots of teachers, Miss Mitton, Miss Pickerill, and then at the junior school Mr McKenzie was headmaster, but the best teacher was Mr Middleton. I remember Red Wood Road shops starting with the Co-Op, Stan's chip shop, butchers, wine shop, wool shop, pet shop, Mapp's grocers, Robinson's, Forbuoys newsagents, Stoke's shoe shop, hairdressers, chemist and mad Dave the barber who I think is still there!


One of my earliest memories was walking to the shops with my mother. We passed along a road called Kingstanding Road, there were a lot of men mending the road and I asked my mother about them as I had not seen them before, she hurried me past them and as we got further away from the workmen she said they were German POW's cleaning up the mess their bombers had made. Apparently they were billetted in Sutton Park for a while. At the time I must have been about 6 years old as I was born just before the war in 1936. I also remember being in the back garden and my father had dug a hole to erect the shelter in. The hole was quite deep so I was fascinated by it. Suddenly there was this loud noise and when I looked up in the sky I saw this giant plane with black markings on it just above my head. The next... Read more


I remember the Odeon on Kingstanding Circle. We used to wait for my dad to come home with his wages and then mum would take my sister and myself to the Odeon. We used to queue for ages to get in the shillings! and always had to stand for the National Anthem at the end of the film. We could choose on the night whether to have an ice cream at the cinema or buy threepence worth of chips when we came out at the chip shop which was opposite the Odeon.

Later on we used to do all our courting in the back row, and I had the first kiss off my husband in the Odeon 48 years ago!


Funny how seeing Memories of Kingstanding title, it brought back so many thoughts of living there in childhood to my 20s. The Geman plane that dropped its bomb on a house in Hurlingham Road, hiding under stairs at school as the planes went over it, causing the building to shake with flying over it so low. The German POW's repairing the Kingstanding Road by the Settlement and my mother making me walk past them very quickly so I would be unable to speak to them. The Barrage Balloon landing on a house in Dulwich Road and all us kids running there to see it. My dad did firewatching at his works all through the war so our mom had to make sure we were in the shelter on her own, it must have been a hell for her as she had 4 of us to cope with. My youngest brother at that time was born in 1941 so he had a Mickie Mouse gas mask, I hated my... Read more

Working For ICI in Witton

My first job was at ICI in Witton in the offices as junior. I spent 5 years working at this company, very happy memories working my way up to a typist. The proudest moment was when I picked up my first months money to take home and share with my mother to help out with the family of three brothers and a sister. This was my first memory of independence. I was the eldest of five children. Happy times were had then as I was growing up in Kingstanding. My dad worked at the Co-op Dairy in Kingstanding Road. Next door to the dairy was the Drill Hall where my dad was a member as he was in the army most of his life. Then we moved to College Road.

Handsworth 1956 - 1970

I worked at Avery's in Foundry Lane. The Avery's "bull" used to blow for start of work and lunch time and could be heard for miles. Soho Road was full of great shops including Woolworths, Tibbits, Pendries, Wilkinsons, The little red shop, The fish and chip shop (opposite Murdock Road). The best one was the Chicken Inn though a bit further up past the police station. On Murdock Road, my mom remembered when the houses had name plates and used to be polished regularly, she told me. Newsagents were Darlingtons or Withers. Parks at Black Patch (witches hat) and Handsworth Park (where me and Dad sometimes fished for tiddlers. It had a boating lake and the flower show where you could win a goldfish by throwing a hoop over it. And the scouts rally each year. Also it had a band stand where the brass bands played on special days and stored their instruments under the band stand. Opened my first bank account at the old Municipal Bank, Soho Rd where we had... Read more

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