Some history on Bromsgrove Street in Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire


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Bromsgrove Street Pubs

Bromsgrove Street was a key thoroughfare in and out of the markets of Birmingham centred around St. Martin's and continued from Moat Row in a straight line to Bristol Street. The trams would trundle along Bromsgrove Street before turning into Hurst Street.

Birmingham : Map showing Bromsgrove Street [1890]

Although there were courts accessed from entries, the front buildings of Bromsgrove Street was largely devoted to business and commercial use. Naturally, a good number of public-houses lined the thoroughfare, the oldest being the Black Swan and the Dolphin Inn, the latter evolved into the Australian Gin Palace on the north-east corner of the junction with Hurst Street.

Plan by Charles Pye showing Bromsgrove Street [1795]

Bromsgrove Street is not featured on Westley's Map of Birmingham produced in 1731. It is not drawn on Samuel Bradford's Plan of 1751, though it is possible to see field boundaries on which the road was probably laid out in later years. A road is distinguishable on a 1779 Plan by John Snape and the whole street is shown on Charles Pye's plan dated 1795.

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Birmingham : John Mansell & Sons on the corner of Bromsgrove Street and Dean Street [1957]

Birmingham : Wimbush Bakery Shop on the corner of Bromsgrove Street and Hurst Street [c.1950]

Birmingham : Bromsgrove Street looking towards junction of Hurst Street [1961]

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Genealogy Connections

My name is Lindsey Cox and I am a 45-year-old somewhat intermediate genealogist in North Carolina. My grandmother Joyce Marian Harvey was born and raised in Birmingham and married my grandfather, an American soldier, in 1945 and moved here to North Carolina. In doing some genealogy work I found that her mother, Dorothy Rose Williams Harvey worked for an Alfred Hull, a confectioner on Bromsgrove Street. I just found this out recently being able to access the 1921 Census. Do you have any information on this business? Pictures? Anything? I cannot seem to find anything but all my rabbit trails led me to your pictures of Bromsgrove Street.
Lindsey Cox
North Carolina, January 8th 2023

I do not have online access to the 1921 census but Alfred Hull was trading as a wholesale confectioner long before this date. In the early 1890s his premises were at 15 Bromsgrove Street and 16-7 Upper Dean Street. Here he had a warehouse, bakehouse with stabling and premises. I have marked the location of the warehouse on the 1889 map extract below ...

Birmingham : Map extract showing the location of the premises of Alfred Hull on the corner of Bromsgrove Street and Dean Street [1889]

Alfred Hull was a manufacturing confectioner in that products were produced on the premises and probably sold to retailers in the city. He did have retail premises on Jamaica Row. Born in Moira, County Down in Ireland, Alfred Hull was seemingly a leading figure in the grocery and confectionery trade and in 1899 was a spokesman for a campaign to oppose the closure of shops on Sundays. Indeed, he was elected treasurer and Chairman of the Birmingham District Confectioners' Association. In the 1930s his son Cecil was operating a wholesale sweets business from 15 Bromsgrove Street. This business was trading as Holyhead's Wholesale Sweeteries. As Dorothy worked for the firm she probably had direct contact with him. In World War One he served in the Royal Army Service Corps. He married Doris Wright in July 1925, the couple settling at Hazelwood Road in Acock's Green from where he would have commuted into Bromsgrove Street.

Birmingham : John and Dorothy Harvey of 169 Glastonbury Road at Yardley Wood

This is great. Just makes me smile having any information at all on a place where they worked. Thank you so much for helping me paint a picture of what life might have been like there. I've been to Birmingham once when I was 18 years-old in 1996. I was too young to take it all in and appreciate it. I hope to come back one day very soon and work on my genealogy and just experience the area. Later on, Dorothy, along with her husband [pictured above] lived at Yardley Wood.
Lindsey Cox
North Carolina, January 8th 2023

Ansell's - The Better Beer

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Related Newspaper Articles

"Before the Birmingham magistrates yesterday, Martin Morris, James Thorn, and William Beach, of Valley Lane, were charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a man named Edward Hunt. Mr. Willison appeared for the prisoners. The evidence for the complainant showed that there was a disturbance in Bromsgrove Street on Sunday night, in which the prisoners and one or two women were concerned. Hunt alleged that Beach stabbed him with a knife in the arm, and struck him a violent blow on the shoulder with his fist, knocking him to the ground and dislocating his shoulder. While on the ground the other two men kicked him about the body. Beach was called for the defence, and said it was a general brawl, in which about twenty people, who were all drunk, took part. He did not stab or hurt Hunt. Pokers, pieces of iron, and all sorts of weapons were used. The other two prisoners told the same story. Sir John Holder, chairman of the Bench, said the evidence was not strong enough to convict the prisoners."
"Bromsgrove Street Row"
Birmingham Daily Gazette : April 14th 1908 Page 7

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Brummagem Boozers

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