Archiver > ENG-WARKS-BIRMINGHAM > 2002-03 > 1015493336

From: "Judy Last" <>
Subject: Re: [B'ham] London Prentice Street
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2002 09:28:56 +0000

Hi Jill

Many thanks for your interesting comments on poor areas such as London
Prentice Street. I shall definitely get the Carl Chinn book that you
recommend, also next time I get to B'ham Library I shall have a look at the


>From: "Jill Hogan" <>
>Subject: Re: [B'ham] London Prentice Street
>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 18:47:35 -0000
>If listers can get to B'ham Library, local studies dept, then the photos
>(from 1905 Slum Collection) are well worth seeing. Real people in real
>lives. Although the photos aren't published as a collection, many of
>them are reprinted in various books - including the one below. I have
>indexed many of the streets shown in several books of Old Brum etc but
>London Prentice Street is not in my lists. It may be in the library
>collection though.
>It's interesting that Maggs pointed out that her grandmother lived in an
>area of poor housing conditions and yet remained 'gentile'. It's so
>easy to imagine that people let all dignity go when faced with such
>circumstances but the opposite is often true. In Carl Chinn's book
>'Homes for People' (documenting urban renewal in the city 1849 - 1999)
>there's a great photo of some back houses in Congreve Street, when the
>area was being cleared for the building of the Town Hall in the 1870's.
>The housing conditions look truly dreadful but there on a washing line
>is immaculate, white washing. (There's also hens running free which
>seems incongruous for the area today!) Another pic shows the small but
>beautifully tended garden border at a back house in Balsall Heath and
>some of the houses, although plainly falling down, sport crisp, white
>lace to the windows. My own grandmother raised 7 children in a Small
>Heath backhouse between 1905 & 1920 - my father recalls the hours she
>spent scrubbing, washing and polishing so as not to let "standards
>slip". He describes her to this day as having been "gentile" too. My
>mother was born in a back-to-back in Hospital Street in 1927, something
>she always felt very ashamed of. The sad thing is that people were
>still having to rise above these conditions in some districts in late
>1960's - over 60 years after their houses were condemned as 'unfit for
>human habitation'.
>I really do recommend this book for anyone interested in the conditions
>our ancestors lived in. It's a humbling read. The ISBN is
>1-85858-138-9 (hope this isn't seen as advertising - I'm not on a
>retainer nor linked to Carl Chinn etc) Imagine my surprise though when
>I turned to page 63 to see my grandfather William BANHAM standing at the
>doorway of his back-to-back in Hospital Street in the 1920's! (he's the
>tall man, far left of photo). This photo is not a family one but is
>held in the collection of COPEC, a housing association. Makes me wonder
>who else holds these wonderful collections? Bet Cadbury's have some
>-----Original Message----
>From: Robert Deloyde <>
>Date: 05 March 2002 22:20
>Subject: Re: [B'ham] London Prentice Street mat makers
>London Prentice Street was one of the worst parts of Birmingham
>the policemen went around in twos gangs roamed this part of town
>and certain gangs called "cappies" had razor blades sewn into the front
>of their caps, in a pamphlet called Scenes in Slum land, i did think
>that there was a mention of London Prentice Street in Scenes in Slum
>but i cannot cannot find it this is from the pamphlet...
>"There are courts in Rea St, Cheapside, Bartholomew St, New Canal St,
>Fox St, Buck St, Park Lane, Lancaster St, Lower Loveday St, & Oxygen St
>to name no more which ought to be photographed in order to show
>how Christian England compares with heathendom. what difference
>there is is probably in favour of the savages, for they do not pay 4s
>and 6s a week for the mud heaps they dwell in."
>" Will the public will the members of the Health Committee and the will
>the Sanitary Inspectors go in a body and see whether we have exaggerated
>the condition of Park St, St Bartholomew St, Rea St, Cheapside, Buck St,
>Fox St, Adams St Richard St, Gosta Green Woodcock St, Windsor St,
>Parts of Lower Tower St, and practically the whole of St George St,?
>But perhaps since we called to these spots the scavengers have been at
>work , and the Interception Department has been busy;
>all of the above was for March 1901 we have moved on since then,
>i belive that this pamphlet should have a wider audience (Pickard?)
>there are some 42 pages so they would take up some web space but i
>anyone who even thinks of researching their family should be made to
>read it as it will do one two things it would stop them in their tracks
>and not do any research at all or it would make them want to research
>them even more the pamphlet is not pretty reading and tells it like it
>this is the last descent quote i can find ?
>" Therefore we content ourselves by suggesting that, when any official
>inquiry is made, first attention should be made to the persons found
>to be responsible for the conditions of the worst courts and houses in
>Floodgate St, Windsor St, Lawford St,Waterworks St, Park St, & Park
>Lane, Milk St, Bagot St,Mill Lane, Rea St,Cheapside, Adams St,
>Richard St Lister St,Gosta Green ,
>this is material to begin with and we can promise that some strange
>revelations would follow,"
>At 14:05 05/03/02 +0000, Kevin Meethan wrote:
> >Hi all:
> >
> >Would anyone have any background info or know of any sources relating
> >to London Prentice Street in the mid 19thC? From the 1851
> >census it appears to be have been occupied by unskilled (?) workers
> >in cramped conditions, many Irish migrants. My lot are listed as 'mat
> >makers' which sounds self explanatory, but does anyone what exactly
> >what that entailed? I am trying to calculate my chances of finding
> >them in the 1861 census at the same address/area. Any info
> >appreciated
> >
> >
> >Dr. Kevin Meethan
> >Senior Lecturer
> >Department of Sociology
> >University of Plymouth
> >Drake Circus
> >Plymouth
> >PL4 8AA
> >tel 01752 233222
> >fax 01752 233201
> >
> >
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>Wanted information on Hugh D`LOYDE, or Hugh BLYDE, ,BLOYDE,
>a licensed Victualler, before 1850, or after
>My new web page is on
>(Mumbles about the lack of time)
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>If you would like to see some of my photos of street
>scenes in Birmingham then please go to
>Or if you would like to put a face to a the name,
>they are they are of a number of soldiers who died in
>1916 they were from Wasall then please visit the
>Robert Deloyde
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