Author Topic: The Jungle cafe, Highgate Rd Balsall Heath 1960 also Blues at 16 Trafalgar Rd  (Read 4819 times)

Andy Capp

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Hi Phil in deep corners of my mind i think there were some changes to the shops near to freds cafe in the late 1960s which one the the shops it was i cant remember or if it was the jungle cafe. I think i did notice the change at the time but paid no mind to it. It would interesting to get the full facts. Come on Phil work that magic research & try to get the facts of the matter. Andy Capp

Phil

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Andy
 
I may have found it, but it is not where I was looking for it. It's was on the opposite side of the road to where I was looking and also the name is a little different. The Jhelum Café was a 2 Highgate Rd and that would have been just under the bridge next to Hudson's Furniture Shop & Removals, on the corner of Woodfield Rd. I suppose the locals could have called it the Jungle or the name may even have been changed.
 
It wasn't there in 1968 at least it wasn't recorded then, it was there in 1972. Which was why I probably don't remember it, as I was long gone from the area then only returning to have a drink or two in the Talbot and have a sandwich at Fred's during the working day. I wouldn't have took any notice of a coffee bar at that time.
 
Phil
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mikejee

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It wasn't there 69 either, but is listed in 71
mike

Andy Capp

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Hi Phil
Thanks for the facts. As i said before i lived in larches street off highgate road until late into 1968 & i cant really recall it so it all ties in now. As you said Freds cafe was one of the first to have a tea machine. When we started using it in the 1950s he poured the tea from a large metal teapot.  He kept it warm on top of a big water urn but it never seemed stewed because the the custom he had. Andy Capp

Andy Capp

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Hi phil I think Fred was cloned for the job he would have fitted in at any Smokie Joes Cafe. Andy Capp

williams

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Hello. I lived at 31 Highgate road from 1953-1976.MY father Arthur Williams ran the sewing machine shop and the Jungle cafe was directly opposite ours. Not under the bridge but right next to it.Fred Dawkins ran the cafe on the same side of the road  on the corner of Highgate and Kirwicks lane. I used to play with his son Peter in the living area upstairs, I remember his mother kept cats and there were always lots of kittens. He used to charge people (voluntarily) for looking at the huge collection of saucy seaside postcards and give the money to charity.He made the best breadpudding you could get anywhere! If he was busy I would help him occaisionaly by doing the washing up, Fred was a lovely man.
As for the jungle cafe, I believed it opened in the 1960's, and soon became a cause for concearn with other bussinesses in the area. As a child I can remember my mother chatting to Joan Morgan who ran the secondhand furniture store.(Highgate and Woodfield road).I know there were complaints about loud music and fights outside and I clearly remember the police being called on several occasions. Never to my knowledge was it open 24 hours, at least not officially!                                                                                                                                              I have many happy memories and am saddened and annoyed by the way the old place looks now. It might have been a 'slum' but the vast majority of people were hard working honest and kind. By the way does anyone remember the old Rolls Royce that used to be parked in Woodfield rd? It was my dads. Sadly he passedaway in 1975
 and the shop closed and the old 'Tank' as my sister and I called it was sold.
The place next door to the shop was used as offices and the back garden had been built on, a two story factory no less!( Could you imagine planning permission now?) Yes they made shrouds there and in the summer the fire door was opened to cool the place down. My friends and I would hang arround and chat to the Machinests inside and run errands for them. I used to tell kids who did'nt know me that they bought the bodies down the entry that ran between the two properties. Usually when we were in said entry! Used to scare the bejabers out of them.
 Hope someone reads my ramblings and gets to smile.

Phil

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Hi there Williams
 
I remember all the people you mention and I often came to your shop to buy parts and needles etc for my grandmother. I believe your fathers shop used to sell some of the children's dresses that my grandmother made.
 
I knew the Morgans, and the Hudson's also Fred I knew very well last time I saw him he was wandering around Kings Heath like a lost soul. He didn't know what to do with himself after the café closed.
 
Did you know the Stockfords the ironmongers on the corner of Woodfield passage? Or was Arthur the son a little older than you as I note you say you lived at the shop 1953 to 1976.
 
Phil
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williams

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Thankyou for responding. I well remember the ironmongers as I would run there for my dad occasionaly to buy things. To my knowledge my parents never sold clothing, just the odd sewing accessory, the shops I remember that sold clothing and other odds and ends was Willis's and just a couple of doors down from my dads place was Mrs Griffiths, both of them very friendly with my mom and dad. It was such a close community, you don't seem to get that these days. Were you related either to mrs. Grifiths or mrs. Willis, I remember them both well?
 Mrs Grifiths moved to a block of flats on the Bristol road and I remember visiting her there with my mom and on my own sometimes. She died of cancer and I remember visiting her shortly befor her death to say goodbuy. She was a lovely lady and had led quite an interesting life, kind and generous and had a great sense of humour.It was she who made childrens clothes and sold them in her shop, I can remember being given a load of fabric offcuts so I could make dolls clothes, which I used to do in my dads shop.
 When I was about 11 my sister and I aquired a Valentines card and we took it to Mrs. Griffiths, she wrote it out and we posted it to my dad. Our mom did'nt speak to him for about three days ,no matter how hard he protested that he had no idea who it was from! We came clean in the end to save him and us from moms bad mood, I don't think she was happy with her friend at first but later we all laughed about it.
 About 1978 I bumped into Fred in Town and frightened the life out of him! I was wearing a full face helmet and big red Belstaff bikers coat and I think he thought he was being mugged! When I got the helmet off he was delighted to see me and we chatted for quite a while, sadly I never saw him again.
 I don't personally remember the people at the ironmongers just the shop, do you remember the Standard sweet factory in Woodfield road, my friends and I used to hang around the houses used by the factory that were used as packing stations for thier lolipops. We would run errands in the summer when the doors were open, for the girls who worked there and get loads of broken lolipops as a reward. I believe it relocated to Ireland in the sixties.
 I am filled with nostalgia and so many memories, thankyou for bringing them back to me. I am 58 now so we may have played together at sometime, my first name is Susan I had red hair and freckles, I used to hang around with Ann Tyrrel and Elizabeth and Gareth Jones. Keep the memories flowing, S.A.Williams.

Phil

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Hi Susan
 
As I am some eight years older than yourself I doubt that we would have known each other, well not as children anyway. Yes it probably was the shop further down that I was thinking of. No I don't remember any of the names that you mention, but there again I lived in Larches st just by Larches Passage with my grandmother. Although I moved out of there before it was demolished in 1972.
 
I remember he sweet factory in Woodfield Rd and the builders yard next W.E.Bakers. I also remember the chippie in Woodfield Rd, but we always used Hickmans in Kyrwicks Lane for much better chips. 
 
It's all gone now and there are only a few places recognisable left.
 
Phil
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cocacolakid

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Just picked up on this older post/topic.

Firstly, there was a  café called the "Jungle" in Snow Hill in the early 60s, a short way down from the Colmore Row junction, on the r/h side. I went in there a number of times, had coke or frothy coffee!

Fred mentioned a fishing tackle shop in Highgate Rd, by the bridge, that was Jones's, their  son went to Dennis Rd. I can't recall his name at present.
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Spud

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Yes I remember The Jungle in Snow I used pass it on my way to work it was close to a gents outfitters on the right hand side. The outfitters had a barber Shop at the rear of the shop I used to pop in there for a hair only one barber and he was  always smoking probably Polish a foreigner anyway.
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