Some history on Broad Street in Ladywood and Edgbaston in Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire


Broad Street Pubs

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Photographs of Broad Street

Birmingham : Broad Street at Night [1957]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

Wow! Imagine trying to capture a night photograph of Broad Street in the modern age. The scene would be a mass of party people milling around, some behaving badly, police vans, security personnel and general mayhem. And yet in 1957 the photographer was able to capture Broad Street without one single vehicle or pedestrian. There is, however, one figure captured in the image. A bobby on the beat is stood next to the entrance of the bank on the corner of Sheepcote Street. This is on the left of the photograph just past the railings of the former Children's Hospital, later the Royal Cripples Hospital. Both of these buildings survived into the 21st century, though they form part of the hospitality industry for which Broad Street has become famous. The bank building, erected in 1898 to the designs of C. E. Bateman, was, at the time of this photograph, occupied by Barclay's. It had earlier been a branch of the Birmingham District & Counties Banking Co. Limited.

Birmingham : A. T. Gittins & Son at 76-77 Broad Street [c.1933]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

An excellent inter-war photograph of the premises of A. T. Gittins & Son, the electrical engineers based at 76-77 Broad Street. This was on the north-west side of the road, between Oozells Street and Sheepcote Street. Alfred Thomas Gittins was born in Birmingham in March 1876. In his early career he worked as a toolmaker in a cycle works. He started his own business around 1926. He had retired by the start of the Second World War, the business passing to his son, Alfred George Gittins, who became very well-known in the motor trade. The firm hosted an annual golf tournament in which many leading figures in the trade competed for the Gittins Trophy. Commuting from his home on Billesley Lane, he was a member of the Institute of the Motor Industry, a president of the Moseley Club, and a fishing and shooting enthusiast. He died in 1961, only a few years after his father had passed away.¹ I am not sure if that is Alfred Gittins featured in the photograph?

Contemporary Photographs

Ansell's - The Better Beer

Mitchells's and Butler's Nourishing Stout Beer Label

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Related Newspaper Articles

"The inquest was opened by the Birmingham City Coroner today on Elizabeth Watson [aged nine] of 28, Huston Street, Ladywood, who was one of four children knocked down by a motor van in Broad Street, on Tuesday, when returning home to lunch from school. In connection with the child's death, George Domville, of Berkeley Square, Coventry Road, was charged with manslaughter at Birmingham Police Court yesterday. He was present during today's proceedings with his solicitor, Mr. Howard Baker. The Coroner told the jury that the little girl was the daughter of Samuel Watson, a tube drawer, and was fatally injured in Broad Street on Tuesday morning while on her way home from school. Evidence of identification was given by the mother, Mary Watson, who said that the little girl had been in good health and had good eyesight and hearing. She attended St. Peter's School in Broad Street, and was on her way home for dinner at the time of the accident. Medical evidence was given by Dr. Lionel E. Jones. The child, he said, was admitted to the Queen's Hospital at 12.40 p.m. on Tuesday. She died 20 minutes later. She had abrasions on the right side of the forehead and the right cheek. She was also suffering from cerebral concussion and shock, the two factors which caused her death. The Coroner told the jury that this was all the evidence he was going to call today. He had been informed by the Clerk to the Justices that George Domville had appeared before the Stipendiary charged with causing the death of the little girl. In consequence of that charge in another court, he adjourned the enquiry until Friday June 9th."
"Broad Street Accident"
Birmingham Mail : May 18th 1939 Page 13

1. "Mr. A. G. Gittins" : Birmingham Daily Post; February 13th, 1961. Page 15.

Atkinson's Aston Brown Ales

Mitchells's and Butler's Export Pale Ale Beer Label

Ansell's Mild - Brewed in Birmingham

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