I used to walk to school and home again by myself from the age of 5 -
7yrs from Cotterills Lane opposite Dancey's Farm (which is Cottlesfield Close
on today's streetmap) to Alston Rd School. I've just measured it on the A-Z,
about half a mile in each direction and I did that twice a day because I
came home for lunch. So that was 2miles a day. I started school at 4yrs but
went with a neighbour's daughter to start with who was 2yrs older and
occasionally with Mom if she was well enough. That was when school started
at 9am and finished at 4pm with lunch break 12 - 1.30pm.
Children don't do that these days......Mary
I wonder if kids still get School Milk in those little bottles with the
cream on top that often was sour when you drank it....Dave
In winter the teacher put our milk crates by the big pot bellied coke stove
and the milk was just warm and tasted horrible, I preferred mine with the
ice still on top......June
The little bottles (third of a pint) of free school milk disappeared in
the 1970s when Margaret Thatcher was education minister. For years after the
chant "Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher" could be heard at political
demonstrations on the TV news......Paul
I don't remember the 1940s but I do remember having laundry
lessons at school where it took a triple lesson of 3hrs to wash, blue,
starch, hangout and then iron a HANDKERCHIEF when I was 11....Mary
What about the blue, triangular bathing swimming 'trunks' at the Green Lane and Woodcock Street baths.
Those rotten woollen swimmers I almost drowned in them , I never did learn to swim properly
My knitted bathing costume hung round my knees too......Andrea
I also had knitted swimming costumes - Ugh! However I did learn to swim,
Mother was a good swimmer and made sure I learned. I still hate jumping into
the water and think the fear could be genetic - my daughter also will not
jump into water and her daughter also has the same fear!
Then today I saw that the knitting pattern for the KNITTED SWIMSUIT
was in Woman's Weekly in the olden days.
Could our Mother's ALL have read Woman's Weekly?.......Jean
That got the mind wondering on to teeth (not Muffins, mine). No posh
dentists when I was at school it was a trip to the school clinic in Sheep Street
and then the promised bribe afterwards of a milkshake in Lewisís and then
up to the roof garden on top of the store.......Mary
I can still remember my first day at school, crammed 52 in a classroom,
with a huge rocking horse at the back.
We learned to write with a slate pencil on an individual blackboard
(or chalk if the pencils had been broken).
We could all read and write and do mental arithmetic before we moved up to
the junior school though......Jeanagh
Speaking as a Birmingham child of the seventies, does anyone remember the King Kong statue near the Bull Ring and why on earth it was ever there?.......Andrea.
Yes,when I took my children into the Bull ring there it was. Probably didn't
know what to do with him--what DID they do with it?.....Jean
King Kong was sold to a Car Sales company and then to one of the Scottish
cities I think. There was some talk about having him back to sit on top of
the Rotunda after the redoing the Bull Ring area but Scotland won't let him
go. (He's still in existence and still working somewhere anyway)
This was another radio discussion of which I've only remembered a bit and
it was very light - hearted so don't take this too seriously. One of the
ladies on the radio phone in said it was her job to keep his feet clean,
well she couldn't reach the rest of him. Another said that whilst he was
outside the Car Salesroom someone dressed him up as father Christmas
I think other listers may have more accurate information.
HEY LOOK WHAT I HAVE JUST FOUND!! Click this website to see our KING KONG
now in Edinburgh
The page you wish to visit is: King Kong Statue at
Description: This statue of King Kong is now in Ingleston Market,
Edinburgh, but used to stand in Manzoni Gardens, where the new Bull Ring is
currently being built........Mary
I can also remember like most of the kids being covered in Scabbies and having head lice..........Bernard
I got sugar sandwiches from my Nan when I had hurt myself......
I Remember the doses of Paraffin Oil, My Mother taking me to the nearest road works early in the morning to get a good breath of the freshly melted tar,
It was supposed to ward of all ills and complaints......Roy
Waiting all day to be seen in Eye Hospital.......John
I have a vivid memory of having Mumps. No white bandage for me.
It was the wooden darning mushroom covered with a cloth and periodically
warmed up in front of the black - leaded grate in the living room.......
Oh how we loved getting a
cough, because then the only remedy was butter and sugar mixed together in a
This was supposed to stop us coughing. When older we
graduated to a remedy I still use now. For bad colds and flu I always boil
some lemonade at bedtime and take a couple of aspirins. For mumps you got a
white bandage tied around your jaw-bone to hold up the lumps. Do you
remember the mumps, chicken-pox and measles parties that were held? Any
child with a disease had all the other children sent round to play with
them. This ensured that you caught it and developed an immunity. I knew a
young girl with TB who was nursed in her front parlour with all the kids of the
neighbourhood popping in and out to keep her amused!
I think we were a whole lot healthier in those days. When you think of
all the rubble and dirt around during and after the war and the flies and
wasps crawling all over the bacon and cheese in the shops,it was a wonder
that we survived. The muck probably inoculated us against disease. The
old-fashioned remedies we grew up with have now been proved right. If you
burned yourself, it went under the cold tap; a bunged-up nose, boil the
kettle and get out the Friars Balsam; rheumatism, where's the wintergreen
ointment?; a cut finger - got better if you sucked it.
It was announced
about 2 months ago that scientists had found there was something in saliva
that promotes faster healing. Amazing - I wonder how much that cost us, the
And in the winter we had camphorated oil rubbed on our chests.
Long hair wasn't allowed for fear of nits. We got them anyway,
and the remedy was paraffin rubbed on our heads
and then having to sit in the cold at the back of the room because it was
dangerous by the fire......Sombra
Anyone for Delrosa Rose Hip Syrup?.......Chris
I used to love Virol - tasted like toffee, but I hated Scotts Emulsion
which made me feel sick........Judy
Childhood medicines,I loved Parishes Food, Rosehip syrup and Lucozade which was only given in a
small wine glass and had to sip it slowly as too much "was bad for you"
(must have been expensive)
Hated Cod liver Oil, Syrup of Figs (perhaps
that's why I don't like fig biscuits now) and Liquid Paraffin and most cough
medicines. I could bear the smelly Vic rubs and being bright pink from
dabbed-on Calamine Lotion....BUT - We are all still alive!
Whenever I was confined to bed with an illness I seem to be given a
Pomegranite and told to eat the seeds by picking them out one by one with a
pin, sucking the fleshy part off and discarding the pip. Was this just to
keep me quiet and occupied? Perhaps the limiting of the Lucozade was to keep
my energy levels low and stop me bouncing on the bed......Mary
This brings me memories of Castor Oil, and Cod liver Oil that we
got a spoon full of daily in the war. Also a concoction made of Sulphur
and I think Golden Syrup, that was a cure for colds and probably everything
Ok ... I suppose I could jump on the bandwagon ... I was given a daily dose
of Malt Extract, my hubby had Virol . I loved that stuff and eagerly awaited
my dose. I also loved the sugar sandwiches, cocoa and sugar as a dip, fruit with
evap. milk and bread and butter. All lovely memories ......Georgina
Does anyone remember a strait jacket? I admit to actually having been in one,admittedly
when I was three years old, to stop me scratching an open wound
How about Kaolin Poultices-I had long ringlets and when I caught diphtheria
at age 10 before it was diagnosed on went the Kaolin Poultice round my
throat. What a mess when I went into the fever hospital in Cottingham just
outside Hull. Castle Hill is a big modern Hospital now ,I understand it is for
heart cases /chest etc .Next door was the TB sanatorium. And how about that
disgusting sulphur, make a cornet shape bag with no bottom in, spoonful of
sulphur AND IF YOU BLOW BACK - WOEBETIDE YOU. I always did!!!
wish I hadn't thought of that - sets your teeth funny.......Jean
The loneliness of being kept in bedupstairs, when ill. I hated it.
We were given a small bell to
ring if we needed something, but parent's level of need and mine
were very different, and sometimes we were berated for ringing
if we were just lonely. I can recall, when I had German measles
at about 9yrs, my mother sitting with a shaded light beside my bed
and letting down my summer dresses, I must have been " real
sick". The memory of the loneliness stayed with me and my two
were not kept in bed away from the family, a bed was made up on
a old settee we had in the Dining Room, and family life went on
I remember being put to bed when I had measles when I was 4. When my own
children had measles we made beds for them on the sofa. When they had
chickenpox, they didn't suffer much, as they were soon up and about. We
weren't though as both my husband and I caught it from them. I was 26, my
husband 30! This was years ago, I don't recommend this - no fun at all.....Janet
Just to add my two pennyworth regarding Birmingham Memories, I'm also
translating for the FreeBMD website, 40,000 entries in the last 6 weeks and
I also work full-time!!, but find the Birmingham memories a nice
Anyway, I work in the IT industry as an IT Trainer and you're supposed to
have 5 minutes every hour away from the PC screen!! So why not look back on
memories and share them with others!!
Life is too short to bicker... just enjoy the moment.
I feel better now, night night..........Maggs
I have enjoyed reading all he memories that started from a remark about pork
pie & grapefruit for Christmas Day breakfast - never had this......Hilary
As I was born & bred in B'ham these recollections have bought back many
happy memories of my childhood.
I was brought up on the Lichfield Rd in Aston, we were there right until the
end, it was very strange and sad to see a whole community packed up and
shipped out. All the "aunties and uncles" who I knew as a child disappeared
off to live in the new wonderful high rise flats of Castle Vale. Oh how we
envied them...little did we know they would end up being knocked down too......Jill
Hi, How nice to read about all the memories of B,ham and the old
days -brings it all back to me.......Jack
I suppose Brummies all over the world are sitting with rapt expressions
and glazed eyes as we remember our early lives......Jeanagh
I have recently joined the Birmingham list and have found it very nostalgic
reading about sugar sandwiches, tinned fruit with evaporated milk and bread
Can I just say how much I've enjoyed all the "Bíham Memories"
- as an "old" Brummie in exile I can relate to them all.
Who can remember tyre bowling , collecting bomb fragments,
double British Summertime and long, long sunny days
[ did it ever rain when we were young ? ]
Can any one remember the rhymes we used for "picking sides"
- eg "one potato, two potato, three potato more -----------etc?
Thanks for the memories........ Jack.
Back memories Index
Original page Created by
Pickard Trepess .
Revised: 12 August 2001
© 2001 Hunimex Kft.