A first-hand account of Castle Bromwich in the past by Christine Burgoyne

The Coronation 2nd June 1953

My Mom & Dad moved to 10 Broomdene Avenue in 1952, their first married home; I was 4yrs old There were only 8-10 houses in our end. A large strip of grass was laid between us & the main Bradford Rd & we also faced the small road that went down to Water Orton Village where Mom went each week for her family allowance at the post office. I remember them selling pear-shape clear lollies &, if I had been good, Mom brought me one. My brother, who was 3 years older than me, lived with my grandparents. He wouldn’t leave his grandad. 

This isn't Castle Bromwich, but Nigel Road in Washwood Heath. Photo from Stitcher on the Birmingham History Forum website.
This isn't Castle Bromwich, but Nigel Road in Washwood Heath. Photo from Stitcher on the Birmingham History Forum website.

The day of the Coronation I remember it rained. All the men had gone out in the morning to cut the grass shorter than the council had it. Then the women dressed the tables hoping that it would dry up for the party in the afternoon. My brother dressed as Wee Willy Winkie in his dressing gown. He carried a candle holder & wore a night cap. Although I remember how my brother dressed, I can't remember what I was dressed as. The rain didn't stay away for long as I remember we all had to rush into the entry between houses as it was undercover.


Another memory of Castle Bromwich was that Dad always took Mom & myself to the pictures on a Wednesday afternoon as it was a ½ day for most people. We watched ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ & ‘Oklahoma’.


My sister was born in August '53 & I remember that winter we had a pea-souper of a smog. We had been to see my granparents in Erdington &, as the weather was deteriorating, Nan wanted us to get off home. We caught the number 28 bus which went that way at that time. At one point the conductor was walking in front of the bus for the driver to follow. We got so far when the conductor came on board & told everyone to get off. Neither the driver or the conductor knew where we were.

Thankfully we had stopped at the Clock Garage so Dad was able to get us home safely even if it did take us possibly an hour to walk up the hill. Never did find out if the driver & conductor stayed the night on board.


I used to go to school in Erdington. Dad would put me on the bus at the Clock Garage, then he would cross the road & catch the bus to town. Then Nan would meet the bus in Gravelly Lane & take me to Erdington Abbey School where my brother went. 


I do hope you’ve enjoyed these memories of mine.


'A History of Castle Bromwich for Young People' written by William Dargue 2016 for the Castle Bromwich Bellringers.

We’ve been ringing here for 500 years and are keen to involve local people in our ancient art. Contact us via our church website, if you want learn to ring or visit the tower or have one of us talk to your group about the history of Castle Bromwich, our church or bellringing.  Material on this site may be reused only for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate attribution is given (Creative Commons Licence Attribution NonCommercial 4.0) - details on the Contact page.