Photo Not By D J Norton


All old pictures on this page from The Geoff Thompson Archive

Note that you can click on the old pictures to see a modern view

Bristol Road South - 11/9/64

Spot Garage, Bristol Road South
This scene is little changed today.  For many years there continued to be a car dealers on this site opposite Hawkesley Mill Lane but it converted to a one of a growing number of hand car washes in April 2009.  Happily, the old shops either side survive.

Bristol Road South - 17/2/55

Tessall Garage, Bristol Road South
Tessall Garage Ltd. was a stones throw from the Austin factory so it's not surprising that it operated as an Austin dealership.  It was on the corner of Tessall Lane and Bristol Road South, diagonally opposite the King George V pub, now the Emerald Cantonese restaurant.  The site is now occupied by a Job Centre Plus.

Thanks to Martin who filled in the history of this site between the time of the picture above and the building of the Job Centre Plus:-

"The Tessall Garage premises were demolished and replaced by new premises for the 'Evans Halshaw' Rover dealership, which became 'CARGO' (used car dealership)!
The premises known as 'CARGO' were demolished and, as you say, the site was developed for the Department of Work & Pensions - for Jobcentre Plus (sic).
Tessall Garage did briefly become a Renault dealership (from memory) prior to old Mr. Hawker (of 'Hawker Tools') selling the premises to the Evans Halshaw Group."

1563 Bristol Road South - 11/1/56

1563 Bristol Road South
While not immediately appearing that interesting, this shot is one of my favourites!  The big shop in the centre is the subject of this picture and the building lay unused for many years after serving as a branch of Lloyds Bank.  It was finally demolished in January 2011.

Off the far right of the picture is the island close to the site of the Rover plant where Bristol Road South turns left towards Birmingham and a sign indicating this can be seen on the ornate lampost.  Bearing that in mind, it is clear that rather square building to the right of the black and white post is the original Longbridge Station on the Halesowen Line.

What is most fascinating is the building behind 1563 Bristol Road.  The right hand side looks like a church but how can the equally impressive chimney be explained!?  Well, it was a pumping station constructed for Birmingham Waterworks and designed by Chamberlain and Martin.  That firm of architects designed many of the city's fine municipal buildings including the superb library at Spring Hill.

Graham recalled that, "When the motorway was being built, the enormous long vehicles used to come round Longbridge island on the 'wrong' side of the road and park outside Lloyds bank for the night. "

Between Lickey Road and Bristol Road South - 1/2/52

Between Lickey Road and Bristol Road South
I originally struggled with the exact location of this photo but then spotted that the two houses set back from the road still exist.  I now realise that White Post Garage lay on Bristol Road South between Lickey Road and Ryde Park Road.

If you are confused by the tracks in the foreground, they are tram tracks.  When the picture was taken trams were still running along the central reservation to Rubery as seen on the Trams and Buses - Bristol Road page.

Graham had another memory stirred by this picture:-
"The garage 'between Lickey Road and Bristol Road South' was owned by a chap named Graham. If you wanted petrol, you had to wait 'til he had finished working on his 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, which he was restoring."

1673 Bristol Road South - 16/5/52

1673 Bristol Road South
Closer to Rubery was another garage with an Austin association, this time known as Jackson's.  To the right of the garage was Parsons and Sons, purveyors of sectional buildings.  A car sales outlet occupies both sites today.