The above image is a small version of the actual download and measures 463 pixels in width. However, what you see is what you get in a larger file. You can download a file size to suit your requirements. For example, a download of up to 1500 pixels will provide you with an image capable of being placed in a medium picture frame. Below are two segments of the image measuring 1500 pixels in width. It is not the clearest of images but is a scarce photograph and an important document of this part of Villa Street.
A photograph of the Villa Tavern, an Atkinson's public house that stood in Villa Street in Lozells. At the time of this photograph the licensee of the Villa Tavern was Edgar John Leeson. He was the gaffer from 1933 to 1935. Born on New Year's Eve in 1901 at Birmingham, his father, also named Edgar, was a watchmaker. Both his mother and father had moved to Birmingham from Coventry. At the end of the 19th century Edgar senior had a shop in Gooch Street. In the Edwardian period however the family moved to the High Street at Stirchley. Edgar was a schoolboy at this time but his elder sister all worked at the Cadbury Chocolate Factory at Bournville. His father relocated his business to Smallbrook Street around the time of World War One. Edgar was still living above the shop with his parents in the mid-1920s. The shop was between the Three Tuns and Black Lion. He married Winifred Hampton in 1932 so the Villa Tavern was an early home for the couple. Within a few years however they moved to Grange Road at Small Heath. However, it was not the end of their association with the licensed trade. By the start of the Second World War the couple were stewards of the ex-Service Men's Memorial Institute on the Pershore Road at Cotteridge.
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