Photo Not By D J Norton

Kings Heath

All old pictures on this page from The Geoff Thompson Archive

Note some pictures have an equivalent modern view - move cursor over to see

High Street / Station Road - 10/3/54

High Street / Station Road
What better place to start a tour of Kings Heath than at the northern end of the High Street?  Can you imagine trying to take a picture with the High Street this quiet today!?  I think even getting up at 4am in mid-summer you'd find it a struggle...

The road going off to the right is Station Road and the Builders and Plumbers Merchants on the corner can be seen in the picture below.  Opposite, at the side of Britannic Assurance was an alley that lead to D French & Co., Masonry Contractors.

20 High Street - 6/11/57

20 High Street
Having moved a little up the High Street we can now see that the Builders and Plumbers Merchants on the corner of Station Road was called Bown & Clark Ltd.  In the offices above the shop was Cecil Cariss, Auctioneers and Estate Agents.  Next door is Kirk's advertising home made ices and, on the left, Brooks claims to provide 'True London Tailoring'!

The van on the right belongs to The Rapid Delivery Service who were based at 513 City Road, Edgbaston and provided local collections and deliveries.

75 High Street - 17/8/49

75 High Street
My mum was born in Kings Heath and remembers Darlaston's very well.  I'm not surprised as there is a picture of same shop in 1964 in the collection so it obviously remained in business for many years.

The highlight of this picture for me is the Kingsway Cinema to the left.  As a child this was often the place my mum would take me and my brother to see films.  When I was very little, however, the films were almost secondary to the Kings Heath Town Guide that sat close by.  I would try and press as many of the brass buttons as I could to try and light up the display!

Richard got in touch to say he would like to paint this scene.  I was blown away by the result!  Here is his painting.

52 Poplar Road - 5/6/61

52 Poplar Road
Just off the High Street in Poplar Road was this row of shops.  I wonder why the grocers to the left was housed in a building that lacked the grandeur of the rest?

The self-service launderette has a sign saying 'Blankets Washed' in the window while Star Shoe Services claims (via a neon sign!), 'Shoe Repairs That Satisfy'.  This latter shop also features some splendid leaded lights in the window.

When taking my modern view, I was delighted so see this road looking very similar to the scene above.  Even the launderette is still there!

Delwyn got in touch with the following information, clearing up my query about the building on the left:
"My family occupied No.50 from 1911 to 1984, running a boot and shoe repair business started by my great-grandfather, Edward Bolton and continued by his son, Harold, until his retirement in the early 1950's when the shop was rented by Star Shoe Services.
The grocer's was a lock-up shop. It was built on a small, triangular piece of land that did not allow for a larger building."

He was also kind enough to provide this splendid picture from c.1915 showing his grand-father and Homer Neal stood outside the shop.

11 Waterloo Road - c. 1953

11 Waterloo Road
This undated view shows Waterloo Road close to its junction with York Road.  Note how the petrol pumps are casually sited close to the front door of Waterloo Garage.

I'm impressed by the ornate windows of the garage and the nearby houses.  As my modern view shows, none of them survive today...

My mum's uncle Sid lived close to here and he kept pigs and was a coal merchant.  I remember visiting his house as a child and being fascinated by the old range in the back room.

Note the spire of All Saints Church to the right.

14 Silver Street - 15/5/67

14 Silver Street
The shop to the left of this picture was an off licence and I'm 90% sure there was still an off licence here when I was a child.  In the window they are advertising pints of draught gin (33/11d) and whisky (34/11d).  They also sold 'wines from the wood' including cherry, apricot, ginger, blackcurrant and parsnip.  Sadly, today both the shop and the cottage to the right no longer survive.

Amongst the shops to the far right (which are still standing) is Tommy Godwins cycles.  It is now a cheap shop called 'Quids Worth'!

47 Silver Street - 7/3/63

47 Silver Street
I like this picture of G.M. Smallwood's shop on the corner of Silver Street and Fairfield Road.  Just a stone's throw from Kings Heath High Street but still worth running a local shop!  Today, a car journey to the supermarket is almost standard practice - is that progress?

When taking my modern view, I could hardly believe that the painted sign on the side of the shop was still there!

40 Highbury Road - 5/1/60

40 Highbury Road
Another back street grocers, this time on the corner of Silver Street and Highbury Road.  This one belonged to T.W. and E.F. Finch.

118 Springfield Road - 7/11/60

118 Springfield Road
And yet another!  This time on the corner of Institute Road and Springfield Road and run by K. Bloomfield.

130 High Street - 27/10/64

130 High Street
Back on the High Street almost opposite the junction with Institute Road and some serious work is going on.  The long closed shops of Ault & Son and Chapman & Sanders are doomed as a sign between them proclaims that there is to be 'Redevelopment' on the site.

I was conviced that all these buildings had been replaced over the years but a trip up the High Street on a double decker bus proved, much to my surprise, that the buildings that contained W. & E. Turner Ltd. (footwear) and Marsh & Baxter (butchers) survive to this day!

Again, note the spire of All Saints.  The buildings to the far left were the Parish Hall and All Saints Church Men's Social Club.

Vicarage Road - 11/6/54

Vicarage Road
We've moved away from Kings Heath town centre to the small shopping area on Vicarage Road, close to Stirchley.  These shops are almost opposite Hambury Drive.

From left to right we have Hazelwell Wines and Spirits, Hill's (tobacco and confectionery), Lewis Bros (builders), Joyce (lady's clothes), Lucille (hairdressers) and Hazelwell Garage.  The car to the right is 'For Sale'.

287 Vicarage Road - 25/2/63

287 Vicarage Road
A little further along Vicarage Road and on the opposite side we find the old site of the Post Office.

The faded sign on the adjacent house says, "G. Hunt & Son, Painters and Decorators".

337 Vicarage Road - 21/12/59

337 Vicarage Road
These shops are close to the junction with Allens Croft Road.  There's still a chip shop at 333 Vicarage Road but it's now known as Pineapple Chip Shop rather than the Hazelwell Fish Shop of 1959.

54 Addison Road - 29/4/59

54 Addison Road
Not far from the High Street down the otherwise residential Addison Road lay this garage.  I don't think modern day health and safety would allow petrol pumps so close to houses today!

Perhaps surprisingly there is still a garage at 54 Addison Road today.

Brook Lane - 26/9/56

Brook Lane
Brook Lane at it's junction with Coldbath Road.  Today the roundabout to the right is very busy as the section of Brook Lane disappearing into the distance is part of the A4040 outer ring road.

The shop in the centre of the picture is boarded up and looking very sorry for itself.

61 Coldbath Road - 11/5/60

61 Coldbath Road
A little way down Coldbath Road from the site of the picture above and we find Coldbath Stores, complete with little girl stood outside.  Do you recognise her?

I like the house to the left.  It may be a little down-at-heel but the bay window with leaded lights is very handsome.

63 Alcester Road South - 9/3/53

63 Alcester Road South
Back on the main road through the village, this photo is looking towards the junction of Alcester Road South with Addison Road.  63 Alcester Road South was the The Candy Stores in 1953 and here is a close up of that shop and it's neighbour, Wm Scorer Ltd., taken in October 1957.

The three shops between Addison road and The Candy Stores were W. M. Taylor & Sons (drapers and furnishers), Douro (wines and spirits) and Bradbury & Co (lady's clothes).

622 Alcester Road South - 4/2/53

622 Alcester Road South
Possibly pushing it a bit to say we're still in Kings Heath...  This picture shows the junction of Alcester Road South with Limekiln Lane and Warstock Road.  The view is looking north towards Kings Heath proper.

The white building in the centre is the Horseshoe pub.

Rather oddly, the subject of this picture is the shop in the terrace seen on the left.  A much clearer view from a few years later is below.

622 Alcester Road South - 8/2/61

622 Alcester Road South
Here's a much better view of Mill Pool Stores, the business that occupied 622 Alcester Road South.  The shop and all it's neighbours were swept away when the road was widened.