A massive thank you to Anthony Morgan who emailed Sutton Coldfield Local with some memories of the 1950’s in the Royal Town.
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I was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1949 and grew up in Lingard Road on the Falcon Lodge Estate.
However, my mother’s idea of education was “it has to be private” even though she did not work and my father worked for HP in Walsall.
My first school was Maney School, on the corner of Maney Hill Road and Birmingham Road, situated between the corner and St Peter’s Church. This was not to be confused with the current Maney Hill Primary School. I was there 1954-56, and the Headmistress was a Mrs Rudd or Rudge. We used to have our dinners (well, lunch really, but it was a cooked meal) in the church hall I think. I won a prize “for endeavour’ which was “Peacock Pie”, a collection of poems by walter de la Mare, which I still have! The school took girls to 11 but boys only to 7, therefore in 1956 I had to change school. The school has since been demolished and the site is now housing and includes a new road: St Peter’s Close.
My next school was Keyes School (boys only), which was in Victoria Road (on the left hand side looking at The Parade) now occupied by either an office block or a carpark. The bus I caught dropped me off outside the gate! However, the school moved to either Manor Hill or Wyndley Lane (I think in 1957), because then we used to go to Sutton Park for our Games – it was not called sport in those days. Sport was done either with dogs, guns or a fishing rod and aimed at catching animals!
I used to walk from the same bus stop and walk along The Parade and then Birmingham Road as far as the Cottage Hospital, and then turn right up Manor Hill. This is taking my 7 year old brother with me, and I would have only been 8. I know I did this with just my brother as my mother used to meet us at the bus when we got back to the Falcon Lodge Estate. Interesting to know if anyone would consider doing that today! I left Keyes and Sutton Coldfield at Easter 1958.
The Headmaster of Keyes was called Mr Woodruff I belief, but liked the use of the cane as a form of punishment and was called “Splinters”. I don’t remember being a particularly bad boy (I think I would have been too shy for that!), but I did seem to meet the criteria for the came quite often! There was also a teacher there, a Mrs Dodson I think, who lived in Jesson Road, who particularly disliked left handed boys, and they spent a considerable part of their day just being forced to write with their right hand.
I remember both the ABC Empress and the Odeon Cinemas, the former pulled down and the latter now the Empire! I saw ‘Dunkirk’ at the Empress. Also remember going downstairs to the Children’s Library and silence, but I see this has gone! In those days both Boots and Timothy White and Taylor’s also had libraries, but you had to pay. The West Brom buses (looked a bit like Bham Corp buses but the blue was different), and the Walsall buses (the buses were quite a bright blue all over) used to go from down the side of the Empress.
I can remember the Walsall trolley buses! We used to get our groceries from Hurrell’s on a Saturday morning, and delivered in the afternoon! Bread came from Hardings in a van, and always seemed soggy compared to the crusty bread my grandmother had in Northfield! Going into Birmingham was either by train from Sutton Station to New Street Station, and then another train to Northfield, where my grandparents lived only a short distance from the station. Alternatively we went by bus: Midland Red (we always though they has square wheels they were so uncomfortable!) only as far as Chester Road, and then on the Birmingham Corporation buses because it was cheaper. I can remember going on a Birmingham Corporation tram on that route too! Then we might get a number 62 or 63 bus from Navigation Street (it was still cobbled at that time) to Northfield, and then a little bus going to King’s Heath, as Northfield Station is nearer to King’s Heath than Northfield!
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any memories of either school, and any else about 1950s Sutton Coldfield. If anyone has any information about any history of when neither school started or when they closed I would be very grateful.