History on Percy Road in Sparkhill and Greet Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.


Percy Road
Percy Road

Background Information
Percy Road extends from the Warwick Road at Greet down to Forman's Road to the east of Sparkhill Park. There were a couple of outdoors in the thoroughfare hence the street's inclusion on the website. The street was in existence by 1876 but it was not until the early 1880's that many of the building plots were laid out and houses constructed. The street was not fully developed until the early years of the 20th century. The map to the right dates from 1904 and shows development up until this point. Bridge Road led to a large brick and tile works. The Premier Works umbrella factory was another significant local employer.

Percy Road - Grove's Ale and Porter Stores [c.1907]

This wonderful photograph of Grove's Ale and Porter Stores was kindly sent to me by Susie Clayton. She added that she believes this is James Albert Harry Grove [always in her records just as Albert] and his wife Elizabeth, along with three of their four children. The youngest was born in 1909, and he's not in the picture yet. The third child was born about 1906, so she guessed that this dates the photograph to 1907-1908. The name above the door is that of James Albert Harry Grove. Susie added that his grandfather was Richard Bateman who owned the Garibaldi pub in Stourbridge.

It really is a smashing photograph. The Grove family probably had the photograph taken just after they had the sign above the shop window painted - and they look very proud of their enterprise. The fact that James Grove went to the trouble of naming the premises to include the family name suggests that he and his wife intended to stay for some length of time. However, their stay at Percy Road was brief and by the time of the 1911 census the couple had moved to Handsworth where James was recorded as a grocer's manager. The three children in this photograph are Ivy, John and Cecil Grove. Another child, Claude, was born shortly afterwards.

The son of Tom Grove and Anne Bateman, James Grove was born in Wednesbury around 1867. At a young age he was living with the Bateman family who were running the Cross Keys in New Street, Stourbridge. Like Susie Clayton states above, the family later moved to The Garibaldi in what is now known as the Old Quarter of Stourbridge.

Percy Road in 1908 Kelly's Trade Directory

James Grove appeared in Birmingham's trade directories in 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910 at this address. He was succeeded by Frank Morse. Seemingly, James Grove found the lure of the licensed trade irresistible; after the First World War he was listed at the Bath Tavern in Mary Street, Balsall Heath.

This building, located on the corner of Percy Road and Forman's Road, still stood in the 21st century and was trading as a general store and greengrocery. The reason for the large painted advertisements was because the property enjoyed a prominent corner position. I am not sure if the outdoor was owned by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. but it was certainly a tied outlet. In September 1900 the brewery, on behalf of Walter John Blair Hancox, applied for the conversion of a six-days licence into a seven days one. However, the application was opposed by Mr. Coley, on behalf of the Sparkhill Vigilance Committee. Earlier in the 1890's the outdoor was run by Charles Henry Hollingsworth.
Copyright. Posted on 05th July 2012
Images supplied by Digital Photographic Images

Related Newspaper Articles
"George Rainsford, Percy Road, Greet, was charged with assaulting Police-constable Wragge. The prisoner and a number of companions came out of a public-house in Thomas Street, Sparkbrook, on the 31st ult., and prisoner, seeing the constable, said: "let's knock his ******* brains out," at the same time hurling a stone at the officer. The latter arrested the prisoner, and another youth then threw a brick, which missed Wragqe, and struck prisoner's leg. A previous conviction for assault was proved against the prisoner, who was sent to gaol for twenty-one days, with hard labour."
"A Violent Youth"
Birmingham Daily Post 7th February 1891

"Amy Phipps, of Percy Read, Greet, was charged on a summons with obtaining goods, to the value of 26s. 10d., by false pretences, from Mr. W. J. Reed, haberdasher, Great Francis Street. Prosecutor stated that on the 12th of last December the defendant came to his shop and handed him a list of articles, saying she bad been sent by Mr. Samuel Swinbourne, of Sutton Coldfield, to fetch them, and wanted to take them by the next train to Sutton. Knowing her as a customer, he allowed her to have the goods. She paid 3s. 6d., saying Mr. Swinbourne had sent that on account. The debt was repudiated by Mr. Swinbourne when the bill was sent in June, and he stated he had not had the goods. On an explanation being demanded of her, the defendant said it had nothing to do with Mr. Swinbourne, as it was Mrs. Swinbourne who had the goods. As the result of further enquiries the present proceedings were instituted. Samuel Swinbourne was sworn, and denied having authorised defendant to order the goods in his name, and said the articles in question had never come into his possession. Defendant, who protested innocence, was committed to take her trial at the next quarter sessions."
"Alleged Fraud on a Tradesman"
Birmingham Daily Post 31st August 1893

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Genealogy Connections
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding Percy Road you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Birmingham Genealogy.

Map of Percy Road [1904]

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Newspaper Articles
"William Hunt [33], shoemaker, Percy Road, Greet, was charged with robbing his employer. About the beginning of the present month Edward Hill, boot manufacturer, Angelina 6treet, missed two pairs of boots, and the prisoner learning that efforts were being made to discover the thief, absented himself. He set out on tramp, but a day or two ago he got tired of his wandering life and gave himself up to the police at Buckingham, where he was handed over to Detective James. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and said that he owed his present position to insobriety. The Bench expressed themselves deeply grieved that prisoner should have lost a good character at his age, and merely through drink. He was sentenced to one month's imprisonment, with hard labour. The prosecutor begged the Bench to deal leniently with the prisoner. He knew his whole career, which had hitherto been irreproachable. His real object in bringing the matter before the Court was to deter others from similar transgressions. The Bench considered that they had dealt leniently with the prisoner in giving him a month, and therefore declined to inflict a lighter penalty."
"Drunkenness and Dishonesty"
Birmingham Daily Post 19th November 1888

"Emily Stephens, 235, Percy Road, Greet, married, was charged with assaulting John Hopkins, landlord of the Castle Inn, Leopold Street. Mr. Bickley prosecuted, and stated that on Monday evening the prisoner and two other women entered the house, and on account of their disorderly conduct they were requested to leave. The prisoner refused to go, and the prosecutor put her into the street. In a few minutes she returned, and asked for a paper which was lying on the floor. Prosecutor stooped to pick the paper up, and as he did so prisoner seized a quart jug and struck him across the face with it inflicting a serious wound over the left eye. Prosecutor and a man named Fellows corroborated this statement. Police-sergeant Bird said that when he locked prisoner up she admitted striking prosecutor with a jug, and said, "If the Prince of Wales put a finger on her she should get her own back." [Laughter.] She was sent to gaol for a month, with hard labour."
"A Violent Woman"
Birmingham Daily Post 7th June 1893

Trade Directories
1905 Kelly's Directory
West Side
Here is Warwick Road
9 Gold Alfred, Pawnbroker
Here is Blundell Road
11 Lake Wm. Ernest, Shopkeeper
29 Handy Mrs. Alice, Shopkeeper
Here is Sadler Street
31 Leadbeater Edwin, Baker & Grocer
51 Macdonald Walter, Shopkeeper
69 Millward Mrs. Isabella, Blouse Maker
71 Dwyer Mrs. Emma, Shopkeeper
73 Mason Harry, Greengrocer
75 Parker William John, Boot Maker
85 Mason Mrs. Sarah Ann, Coal Dealer
Here is Fernley Road
Here is Evelyn Road

185 Kirby Charles, Shopkeeper
193 Dennis Harry, Hair Dresser
Here is Avondale Road
199 Bailey Robert Hands, Grocer
201 Bowen Edward, Pawnbroker
Here is Clarence Road
205 Devey John, Laundry
223 Skipp Walter, Shopkeeper
225 Bond Edwin Jn. Cabinet Maker
259 Faunt William, Greengrocer
Here is Hillfield Road
261 Faunt Frederick, Grocer
275 Wyatt William, Newsagent
Here is Thornhill Road
277 Arklus Thomas, Shopkeeper
285 Watson Edward. Upholsterer
287 Whitney Richard, Boot Maker
East Side
Primitive Methodist Mission Hall
62 Trueman George Frederick, Draper
64 Trueman George Frederick, Shopkeeper
68 Grant William, Greengrocer
70 Tranter Joseph Henry, Beer Retailer
80 Wall James, Second-hand Clothes
82 Reynolds Elihu, Shopkeeper
84 Taylor Mrs. Emily, Grocer
Here is Bridge Road
Lewis Arthur, Brick and Tile Maker
86 Gaunt James, Beer Retailer & Grocer
92 Powis Mrs. Annie Elizabeth
96 Bird Mrs. Annie, Shopkeeper
100 Whateley John H. Carpenter
102 Averill Alfred, Shopkeeper
104 Bates Joseph, Shopkeeper
Cox Brothers & Holland Limited
  [amalgamated with Wright, Bindley
   and Gell] Umbrella Furniture Makers
240 Mountain Miss Fanny, Lamp Oil Dealer
256 Nash James, Shopkeeper
294 Gledhill Lewis, Teacher of the Violin
312 Sandland Wm. Frederick, Tripe Dresser
316 Wall Mrs. Caroline, Shopkeeper
Elt Brothers, Joiners
Turner Walter, Waggon & Lorry Builder
Aldington Wm. Frederick, Blacksmith
Smith Brooke, Metal Worker
Mason J. & Co. Hardware Merchants
Turton J. & Co. Tin Tack Manufacturers
Manton James, No.1 Fern Villas
Shannon Thomas. Beer Retailer

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Newspaper Articles
"The bad state of repair of various roads at Greet, on the Warwick Road, just outside the borough boundary, has for some time been a source of considerable annoyance to the residents in that neighbourhood. At the last sitting of the magistrates at Solihull a cabman named Lomas was summoned for driving on the footpath in Percy Road, Greet. Major William Cox, who was the occupant of the cab, took up the case on behalf of the cabman, and it was clearly proved that the condition of the roadway was so bad that it was unsafe to drive anywhere but on the footpath. The magistrates dismissed the case on payment of costs, and expressed a strong opinion that the present condition of that and other roads in the neighbourhood was highly discreditable to those who are responsible for their repair, and intimated their desire that their statement should be made public."
"Bad Condition of Suburban Roads"
Birmingham Daily Post 23rd April 1886

"Leonard Frederick Hunt, milk-seller, Percy Road, Greet, was summoned for selling adulterated milk. Wiliiam Harris [sanitary inspector] reported that he purchased some milk from defendant's shop, and on analysis found that it contained 17 per cent of added water. The defendant said the milk was in the same condition as when he bought it; but the magistrates considered the case proved, and fined him 5s. and costs."
"Selling Adulterated Milk"
Birmingham Daily Post 8th December 1890

"Edith Hussey, 7 years old, who lives in Percy Terrace, Percy Road, Greet, was knocked down and run over last evening by a baker's cart. She sustained a fractured jaw and other injuries, and was taken to the Queen's Hospital, where it was deemed necessary to detain her."
"Street Accident"
Birmingham Daily Post 1st November 1893

"By the courage and presence of mind of Police-constable Munro, at Greet, on Monday afternoon, what might have been a serious fatality was averted. A horse, harnessed to a coal-truck, belonging to Messrs. Newton and Knowles, of Small Heath, took fright in Percy Road, and came galloping down the road at a furious rate, making for the block of buildings at the corner of Albion and Warwick Road, where some women were seated on their doorsteps. The horse swerved from the building, but continued running at a high speed along the footpath in Warwick Road. A child was playing directly in its course, and would have been crushed to death had not the policeman made a dash at the reins, and dragged the horse into the road, at the risk of his own life. He manfully kept his hold, though he was dragged a considerable distance before the horse was brought to a stand, happily without harm to the policeman beyond a severe shaking."
"Plucky Conduct of a Policeman at Greet"
Birmingham Daily Post 3rd October 1894

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