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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2585
On Thursday 21st January, at Northfield library, there is a talk given by Historian Helen Lloyd about the National Trust Back to Backs in Birmingham:
No need to book, just turn up; refreshments; £2
from 10:30 to 12:00

Here is the link about the Back to Backs whohc are situated near the city centre. What surprised me when I visited them a few years ago was the smallness of the houses and the fact that there were 'back to back' to dimish the taxes linked to the number of windows (if I remember well :? )!
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birming ... k-to-backs


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:55 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
Sounds good - I will see if I can make time.
Visiting the back to backs with the children was a great experience and I would really recommend it.
Also Shakespeare's houses in Stratford - his childhood home was very small and with a stone flagged floor and loads of draughts, and bed only for the adults, I don't know how they survived the winters!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:03 pm
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My dad's dad was born in a back-to-back on Hurst Street; sadly not the ones that are left but what would have been the next block along. It really brings it home to you when you visit, the difference in where I grew up and what I have in just 2 generations ... :shock:

JD


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:41 pm 
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JamesDean wrote:
My dad's dad was born in a back-to-back on Hurst Street; sadly not the ones that are left but what would have been the next block along.

One of my friends remember living in one Back to Backs just like the ones in Birmingham City Centre. She is only 71! yep, two generations... She is not interested in the talk though, maybe due to not-so-happy-memories? I had managed to take her out for an author talk last year; she does like these kind of events...
We can just rejoice there has been such a rapid evolution :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:37 am
Posts: 408
You will love this.

There is a programme on the Sky Arts channel, called Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham. I kid you not. It is a travelogue from 1981, and was probabbly made a couple of years earlier. Very warming tale. You can see it on catch-up. My wife is from Brum and she loved it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:41 pm 
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Thanks for advising this programme, Optimist. That is very kind of you! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:47 am 
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
My Dad was born in a similar home near the Aston Villa ground, my uncle still lives in the next road to where they were born.

My Dad's area was bombed during the Second World War, but luckily his house remained undamaged. Although he remembers going over the road to his grandmothers house and hiding in the bomb shelter. He's now almost 78 and can still remember the sounds of the bombs dropping through the air.

They also used to play on the bombed remains of houses in the area.

I remember visiting my grandmothers house, there was no indoor toilet, it was outside in a shack attached to the house in the back garden.

My grandfather was in the RAF and was involved in the second wave of the D-Day landings. My dad can still remember watching his Dad walk down the road on his way to war, running down the road after him saying 'don't go dad'

He was one of the lucky ones and came home.

He was then a coal delivery man and had a horse and trap for that. My dad used to go with him to collect the manure!

My other grandfather was a member of the home guard. He was kept at home because he was a gun maker and his skills were required for other things.

Stories like this I think are good to share, but sadly there are not as many people left to tell them.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
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I was born in a terrace near the Villa ground too. I can remember the air raid sirens being tested in the early 70' s. My memories of the house are similar, did you have a larder instead of a fridge. I have never been so cold in my life. There wasn't double glazing and the windows would freeze over in winter. We used to make ourselves condensed milk sandwiches, which I think was healthy back then because you needed the calories for warmth. I mentioned before about a visit to Sutton Grammar girls and Not being able to comprehend the luxury. People today have absolutely no idea, it makes it hard not to colour your view on issues like pupil premium. The terraced house was owned by my step grandad who had come from Canada for the first world war. He had a plate in his skull and a wooden leg. In that house He would tell me stories of the fear in the trenches when the signal for a gas attack came. I was only about four but he described the horror of people dying that had not got their masks on. I always used to ask him about his leg and skull, but he said he was never scared of the bullets, only the gas. He always had this drink stuff called camp, I think it's some sort of coffee thing, but for whatever reason it reminded him of the war, or he would make it during down time on the front. He is buried in Witton cemetery. It strikes me how relatively poorly average soldiers were treated living in very poor housing etc after what they had done. He came from Canada and I remember asking him if Canada was a long way away. He told me it was, but he felt he had a duty to help Britain. Another world, so far away, yet for me, brief second hand insights into a world long gone now.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:01 pm 
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Indeed. I think we all have alot to thank those humble average soldiers, originating from back to back housing, for. Without their suffering, I doubt we would have seen the creation* of the Welfare State so quickly ensue.

I also remember the larders and the cold winters without the invention of central heating. But I also remember the Coop man who used to deliver freshly baked bread and cakes to your door , as well as the milkman, every morning. I remember having a very 'free range' kind of childhood compare to children today, where us kids were allowed to play, roam and explore around the area, rather than being cooped up in a fortress , albeit with a lengthy drive, playing on game boy and x box all day...

Life is certainly a lot easier today, but not everything is better

* Word edited by Moderator - it was a banned word with a double-meaning, I'm afraid!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:56 pm 
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* Word edited by Moderator - it was a banned word with a double-meaning, I'm afraid![/color][/quote]

What minds you have ?! :lol:


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