Author Topic: Clubs of the 60's and 70's  (Read 163493 times)

Scipio

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #649 on: November 06, 2017, 08:35:59 PM »

That's amazing Scipio, how did you do that? Thank you.


Was it the right one then Ironside ?

ironside

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #650 on: November 06, 2017, 10:34:35 PM »
Yes, that's the one. I had tried everything to find it without success.

Scipio

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #651 on: November 07, 2017, 09:53:04 AM »

Yes, that's the one. I had tried everything to find it without success.


Thank you Ironside , hope finding that helps you sleep a bit better nowadays

MartinS

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #652 on: January 10, 2018, 06:49:02 AM »
Hi folks. Happy New Year. It's been many years since I logged in the forums too look around. The only site I spend time on typically is iATN (international Automotive Technicians' Network) since 1998.

I immigrated from Erdington to Canada in November '74 and what prompted me tonight was learning about the death of Ray Thomas of Moody Blues fame. That is sad news. There are many names of stars hailing from Birmingham in my youth, although I was never any fan of Ozzie Osbourne of Black Sabbath at the time, who lived just down the road from my aunt and uncle in Aston back then.

As a teen and young adult in the 60's (born in '52 at Marsten Green Maternity Hospital - long since gone), I frequented the Carlton Ballroom (became Mothers) above the Cavendish Furniture store, where the Moody Blues and many top names played and hung out in those days.

While I frequented many local pubs, the "New Roebuck" cellar bar was a hangout for a bunch of us young rockers back in '68 through until they closed the downstairs bar. We frequented the "Pop In" café on York Road after the pub at the time.

I worked as an apprentice tool and die maker out of school in '68 to '71 at Pressed Steel Fishers on Kingsbury Road, when there was 14,000 of us working there. XJ6s were lined up outside for "miles" on dollies back then. We apprentices started out in an adjacent building where the cinema now stands and we had our own barge under the bridge on Kingsbury Road. Last time I visited the site in 2004, one of my old work mates who was still there in the tool room, there were less than 200 employees!

I worked on motorcycles and cars part-time, first at the old Rickards shop on Station Road when Rod Rickard moved to small premises under the Erdington Station Road railway bridge arches.

Moving on and working on cars by day, having left my apprenticeship by '71, I started driving taxis at night for Star Taxi (formerly JJ Taxi in Slade Road), which was located near the corner of South Road and Reservoir Road, by the Chinese chip shop. We later moved to York Road opposite to where the Pop In was located. I don't recall the name of the restaurant upstairs though.

As a young adult, I would ride and drive anything with wheels, did the Double Zero Club and ran out at Hednesford a few times when the Morris family of Meadway Spares owned the racetrack. I drove racecars out here in BC,Canada and the Pacific Northwest USA for 15 years, finally quit in '95.

I worked as a bouncer for a while at the Irish Mens' Club next to the Conservative Club in Orphanage Road; I  think it was called the "99 club, down the walkway off the street, just past Thomas Startins car dealership across the road.

Being a taxi driver, I got to drive many of the groups around and spent a lot of time running the 4.6 miles (IIRC) from Erdington into the city up the Aston Expressway and back. Anyone who frequented the clubs around Broad Street and the cafes, or drove taxis back then would surely remember "Barry the Queer". He was usually found in the café down towards the end of Broad Street (Hall of Memory end)

Please pardon my political incorrectness, no intent to offend since times have changed, but nicknames were commonly used by many of us back then. My nickname at the time was "Butch", so named for my rather intimidating size and muscle bulk, of which much seems to have sadly sagged due to gravity and ago over time! VBG.

Late night eating between drop offs at the clubs, some of us could be found downing King Prawn or Bombay curries at the Indian restaurant down at the bottom of the Smallbrook Ringway, while we waited for our return fares during a brief quiet time.

My Dad passed away at the old family home in Glendon Road in 2004. What was a nice road in a modern semi-detached to grow up in from 1953, had changed and is rather a sad sight these days compared to my youth.

I spent plenty of time in the Rum Runner, Barbarellas, Rebeccas and many more of the clubs in those days and from driving a truck for Wheelers Timber and Builders in Hampton Road, I had a good knowledge of the city that remained for many years to serve me well driving taxis. Unfortunately my built-in natural "A-Z" street memory is now fading a bit, since I don't need to recall it often. The "Peter Rabbit" club on Broad Street just popped into my head as strain to think of some of the other clubs. The Dolce Vita and Locarno were other favourites, but there were many smaller clubs that don't come to mind at this minute.

I left about a week before the Birmingham Bombings and there was a bomb scare in Canada House in the Rotunda when I went for my immigration interview earlier in the year. As a taxi driver back then, it was common to be locked in the city late at night when there was heightened activities.

FWIW, I went to Court Farm Primary School and then Marsh Hill Boys' Technical Grammar School in Hampton Road, left school at 16 in 1968. I worked at Moyle and Adams grocery store at Stockland Green next to Taylors, delivering groceries by bicycle and working in the shop.

So, a lot of the pubs that are now no longer there, The Queen's Head in Reservoir Road, the Norton at the corner of Kingsbury and Tyburn Roads and many more are sadly gone. I had many interesting fares to and from the night clubs, pubs, social and working mens' clubs around Birmingham, regular trips out to the Belfry restaurant and plenty of longer distance fares.

The last English pubs that I visited in 2004 was an old hangout, the Stockland and the Shelton Inn in Belle Vale, Halesowen, run by my wife's cousin Freddie Games (RIP) and wife Gillie. That little pub has long since closed and been decommissioned after they retired and appears to be a private residence when viewing with Google Earth. The building was a mill before a pub.

I've lived here since '74 and been married since '75 to a girl from Stockland Green who lived in Lambourne Road. I went to school with a boy who lived next door to her family, whose sister married my wife's brother and I worked with the boy at the grocery store who lived on the other side. I'd never met her and she'd left for Canada in 1969. Small world it is, she'd gone back to her cousin's wedding, who was my ex-business partner and we got together. The rest is history.

My wife's maiden name was Susan Sanders. She went to Marsh Hill Open Air School down Marsh hill and Stockland Green Comprehensive before leaving for Canada. Funny thing happened a few years ago, since she's been Sue Smith for the past 43+ years, is that we have a backyard pond with goldfish that proliferate each year. Our youngest daughter Jacqueline who just got married on New Years eve, told us about her friend whose Mom lives close by and would takes some of our excess fish. It turned out to be another Sue Smith who grew up on Castle Vale, just across from PSF (Jaguar)! We've since become friends and on our occasional nights out, we dig up memories from the "good old days" in Birmingham, looking through rose tinted glasses of course!

I apologize for the diatribe above, just reminiscing about my misspent youth in Birmingham. I've spent all of my years here in BC as a certified automotive technician, worked in smaller shops until 1980 and then one General Motors (Chev, Olds, Cadillac) dealer until 2003. I've been a certified instructor, starting part-time in 1998 and carried on my GM association through BCIT, to this day with a 37 year association with General Motors of Canada training technicians. I always drove hot rodded Fords back then, wouldn't touch a Vauxhall! Go figure.

Funny thing, I spent plenty of time on the dance floors in the clubs during my youth, although like many of us we were shoulder to should with no room to show off the moves we never had! Doing the Father and Daughter slow dance scared the heck out of me a little over a week ago!

Anyway, it was fun to visit this site tonight and trudge through to recall many of my old hangouts around the city, although some got the names right, the locations were not all correct. It's good to exercise the brain now and then, especially through the bleak winter months until I can hang a leg over my motorcycle and get out for a ride.

Take care and thanks for the fond memories of the city I grew up in.

Sincerely,
Martin Smith.


Snooks

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #653 on: January 10, 2018, 02:50:26 PM »
Lovely to hear all your memories Martin. Don't be a stranger to the forum. There are a lot of lovely people on here! Canada is a great place. My best friend moved there and leaves near Kingston on the edge of lake Ontario bordering the thousand islands region. Another schoolfriend married & emigrated there. I have always loved the country. And coincidentally my brother married ANOTHER Sue Smith... Anyway, have fun on here. Memories are good and I have many happy ones growing up in Brum. BUT, I now reside in Devon and love it here too!
Onwards and upwards!

Edmund Fifield

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #654 on: January 10, 2018, 07:22:08 PM »
Hi Martin I worked at Fishers 68-79 on the Jag in E Block ,Frederick did the same but he was in experimental you may have known each other.Take care.

countrylad

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #655 on: January 10, 2018, 08:31:57 PM »
Hi Martin, wonderful memories and thank you for sharing. I knew most of the places you mention. My first girlfriends father worked at PSF by the name of Pickering (RIP) late 60's to late 70's. Keep in touch


countrylad

MartinS

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #656 on: January 11, 2018, 12:34:32 AM »
Thanks Snooks. I'm out on the "wet" coast or "lotus land" as it's often called, in the small city of Mission, 40 miles east of Vancouver, but I work on the border of Vancouver. We have the mildest weather in Canada, but like the Midlands, its wet at similar times of the year.

My wife doesn't miss Birmingham, since she was only 15 when her Mom (Mum) and Dad brought her here as the last of their immediate family to emigrate. She never saw Birmingham or experienced the night life, save for the occasional trip to the pictures, so has no idea of the fun and the terror that could be experienced in the city.

In contrast, enjoying the night life and having plenty of friends back then in Birmingham, while I have never been "homesick", I have still enjoyed my time there during visits, but I've been a Canadian citizen since 1978 and this will always be home since I've live here for twice as long as I did in England.

One friend of note who passed away a few years ago, was Len Vale Onslow, England's oldest working man. Sadly, he passed away in 2004 months after I'd visited Brum to attend my Dad's funeral. I'd been to the shop that he still occupied just around the corner from where the main motorcycle frontage was on and saw him standing at the back of the shop, tinkering as he always did with his own old brand of SOS (Super Onslow Special) motorcycles.

I'd  banged on the door a good number of times, but to no avail as his hearing hadn't been good, although mentally he was as "sharp as a pin". Sadly, he passed on shortly afterwards. I recall there was a pink and white Vespa scooter in the next window on display at the time, likely still there! For the absolute disaster that the business was on Statford Road, Len Sr. could lay his hand on anything from a gasket to set of forks or Manx Norton engines, of which there was one or two under the stairs.

I believe that I somehow I must have inherited his minimal need for sleep, or perhaps I was accustomed to it from working the night shift on the private hire cars for Star Taxi. My wife could sleep 16 hours a day and I can survive for months on 2-3 hours nightly!

Around 1969 or 1970, Len Sr. had allowed a small group of us to start a new motorcycle club in the basement of one of the shops on Stratford Road, where he gave us the use of a fair sized room that was jam packed with old motorcycles. There was about six or seven of us there and we moved out many motorcycles to other room, cleaned up the room and the only thing remaining was a set of drums. When we asked him what we should do with them, he told us to get rid of them, as he couldn't stand the noise. We believe that they belonged to one of his grandchildren. Our solution was to open up the suspended ceiling and store them above!

For some reason we never did get the club off the ground as we all seemingly went our separate ways and couldn't coincide work groups or meetings. For all that I know, that drum set is still there, hidden above the basement ceiling, because we never told anyone what we had done with the drum kit and nobody ever asked!

Both of our families were from Aston and Nechells. My Grandad work on the Dustbins for the corporation back in the days when the trucks (lorries) had roll up side access doors and my Nan was a chamber maid.

My Dad lived with his parents in Cambridge Place back of Allesley Street, which was one of the two streets off to the right at the traffic lights by Premier Motors. The Newtown Expressway runs over where their home would have been and there is only a short strip of Allesley Street remaining at the opposite end, culminated with what I think was a scrap yard last time I was back in 2004. He went to Loxley Street School as I recall, although there is a home where the school once resided.

Mom went to Bloomsbury Street School and worked for Nuffields, which later became Fisher and Ludlow, BMC, British Motor Holdings and British Leyland. They rented rooms in Millington Road in Castle Bromwich near "Pimple Hill". My Godparents lived next door in Millington Road, so throughout my childhood Mom would take me along with my two younger brothers to visit. for some of those years, there was a Spitfire airplane in parked in a compound on the Castle Vale side of Chester Road, from which the women test and delivery pilots flew Spitfires, Lancasters and others from the air strip on which Castle Vale sat.

My Dad was a prototype engineer, worked in Digbeth at Perfecta Aircraft Equipment, known for aircraft canopies such as those used on the Mosquito. In peace time he made prototype radiator grilles and 1/4 vent windows for Jagaurs, Triumph, Rootes and Reliants, plus some work on the "Dagenham Dustbins." I still have a couple of templates for the Triumph Stag and some roughed out sections of 1/4 vent window prototype work of his.

My wife Sue's Mom Ivy's family was family was Burns, all lived in Nechells down at the very bottom of Long Acre by the Lucas factory by Cuckoo Bridge. Her Dad was Ron Sanders and he was one of the managers at Smith Stone and Night until they immigrated in 1969. I guess it was just fate that I'd ended up here in Canada, learning back in 1998 that Marston Green Maternity Hospital had been a Canadian Armed Forces hospital during WWII.

Trivia: "Fort Dunlop" was never a fort. The term "Fort" came about from the adjacent canal, along which barges would transport Dunlop factory workers. When barges moved along the canal, "All for't Dunlop" could be heard, typical of Brummigam slang, which when translated, meant "All for the Dunlop". 

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble off some stuff. Sometimes it triggers fond memories of Brum and the people who made it a great place to live during my formative years.

MartinS

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #657 on: January 11, 2018, 01:11:37 AM »
Hi Edmund. Our paths could well have crossed. I started my apprenticeship in 1968 over in the apprenticeship building next to the Drawing Office across the street from the building we shared with Dunlop for computers. We had to go there once a week I think and when we were done we left with a white roll of punch paper. That was computing! We had an old fellow in the building known as "Alf the Bogman", who looked like he was about 80 , but delighted in telling us young lads stories every day about where he had enjoyed having sex with his wife all over the house and in unbelievable positions! VBG.

After our first year, we selected our specialty, but when core making was discontinued, I became a tool and die maker. Those of us in the field moved down to F block I think it was, which was the press shop and had a small area. During WWII, women had worked at the tables building press tools where we apprentices worked! There were three of us working together in our particular group, Paul Sale, John Moylan and myself.

Our training instructor/supervisor Bert (RIP) was a tough nut and was really miffed when I left prior to finishing the apprenticeship, but the car repairs made so much more money at the time. I inherited his phrase, "It doesn't have to be perfect, as long as I can't tell the difference!" Such was the dedication to his work, that I continue in my work to this day.

I recall that outside E block, there were XJ6s line up tow high on steel dollies almost down to the factory gate on Chester Road, awaiting repairs, with chalk marks at various locations identifying the faults. No wonder they rusted so badly!

Last time I went back in 2004, I went down to Personnel from the Kingsbury Road entrance. I asked if John Moylan still worked there, since I'd visited him a time or two in earlier years. Paul Sale had gone into music I believe and everyone else had been made redundant. They told me to go next door to security, but secretly told security not to take me to visit John. It turned out that the security guard remembered me and took me there anyway! When I arrived, there was john, repairing press tools manufactured elsewhere, surround by all of the old machine tools, shapers, milling machines and stuff that we'd used as apprentices in the old building. The equipment was already ancient in 1968 and still in use!

At work in a cabinet where I keep a variety of personal stuff, I have a photograph of our apprenticeship class that I show my apprentice students after orientation. I will see if I can post it here, as you may recognize someone since we were there at the same time. I find this format a bit clunky and unusual to navigate. I don't see a direct "reply" button for individual responses. I'm used to drag 'n drop etc.

You will likely remember the store just to the left inside the Kingsbury Road gate where employees could purchase parts that were excess, soiled or mildly damaged. There were Mini Mokes ferrying stuff around the factory in those days and some Mini pressings and sub frames were done on site. For some reason, complete front clips including fenders (wings), all support structure up to the windshield opening, would be transported out of one factory gate, around the corner and back into the factory through a different gate.

So, a truck (lorry), might leave with 5 front clips on the deck, but only arrive at the next gate with 4 front clips. A slight detour had been made and while seemingly appearing to be enterprising and amusing to us young lads, it was in part a contributing factor to the downfall of BL. Back in those days, everyone knew someone, who knew someone else who worked in one of the factories, Dunlop, SU, Valor, Hardy Spicer and other local factories, where just about any component could be had!


frederick

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #658 on: January 11, 2018, 11:56:45 AM »
Hi Martin S,
I am another one that worked at Fisher and Ludlow      O0    I started there in 1968 until 1979 in the experimental. And I have often thought of how many people where employed there when I started, enough people the size of a small town. I live in a small seaside town in Pembrokeshire now, population 7600. I used to use the F&L social club most Saturday night for the ballroom dancing always a very good night out. And used most of the other clubs and places you have mentioned plus Tower ballroom.
 
I look forward to seeing your F&L photos. As you know I don't have any of inside the experimental as it was top secret      ;)
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Phil

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Re: Clubs of the 60's and 70's
« Reply #659 on: January 11, 2018, 12:18:44 PM »
Hi lads,


As we already have threads on Fishers & Ludlow do you think you can make any further comments concerning that company on one of those, or even start a new thread as this thread is supposed to be about night clubs. If you wish I can transfer posts already made about Fishers to any thread of your choice that has a similar content


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