Photo By D J Norton

Site History

Last Updated : 7 June 2019

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I would like to thank Neil for providing a modern view of Frankley filter beds which I have added as a popup window to the Halesowen Railway - Odds and Ends page.

I'm also pleased to say that I discovered Sea Monkey which is a development of the old Netscape code that will run on a modern machine.  That means I have a Composer feature back and updates are easier again :-)
Two years since I last updated the site! 

Just a small update to the Birmingham in Colour 1950s page.  Kieron was kind enough to get in touch with some information about the church on Runcorn Road and the caption has been updated accordingly.  Thanks Kieron.

Updates are a bit more awkward for me now as I've, sadly, had to retire my faithful eMac which I've been using since 2004!  That means I can no longer use Netscape Composer to work on the site.  It may have been ancient but editing HTML is a pain by comparison :-(
How I miss having the time to work on this site!  Maybe one day I won't be so busy...

Some updates, many long overdue.  Thanks to the boys from The Lamp Tavern, a incorrect loco identification has been corrected on Dad's Day Out of 22/5/56.  Thanks to John, an incorrect loco number has been fixed on the Barnt Green Station page.  Thanks to Ian, the information relating to the last station master at Maxstoke has been updated on the Stonebridge Railway page.  Thanks to Hugh, mis-information about a bridge described on the Stratford-upon-Avon Station page has been fixed.  And thanks to Malcolm, references to Kings Heath station being 'abandoned' have been removed from the appropriate Birmingham and Local Stations and Birmingham and Local Stations in Colour pages.

Additionally, I've added a link to some modern views on the Isle of Man Railways page (thanks Chris) and updated the picture of Carrs Lane Church on the page for Project 25 in the New Birmingham section of the site.
I would love to be spending more time updating this site but, since I started my own business 18 months ago, spare time has become harder and harder to find...  Sorry to those who keep popping back to see if anything new has been posted.

Just a couple of updates today thanks to feedback from site visitors.  Dave provided some information about 41277 which has been added to Dad's Day Out of 22/5/56 while Patrick helped out with some recollections of Saltley Station which have been added to Local Stations P-Z, both in the Railways section.  Thanks to them both.
Finally, an update to the New Birmingham section with Projects 31-40 now detailed.  Also, a small update to Dad's Day Out of 22/5/56 in the Railways section with some information from Tim about platform numbering at Kettering - thanks Tim.
A few small updates today.  On the Dowell's Retreat page in the Birmingham section, I have added two superb pictures from the Steve Gosling Archive that really capture the old place and make me even more sorry for its loss.  In the About section, I have provided an updated link to the Polaroid Dust and Scratch software that I continue to find really useful.  Finally, a modern view has been added for the picture of Essex Street has been added to the City Centre page in the Birmingham section.
Added projects 21-30 to the New Birmingham section.
More excuses!  In August, I started the last, big DIY project on my home and my own small business.  The combination of these have robbed me of the time I would like to spend updating the site.  Thankfully, the DIY project should be completed over Christmas so I hope to have more time available next year.  Rest assured that I still have plenty I want to do with this website.

A couple of updates.  Colin was kind enough to get in touch with his memories of Dawlish Road so the Selly Oak page of the South Birmingham Businesses section has been modified.  Also, Peter provided some useful information to enhance the captions for some of the pictures on the Buses and Trams in Colour page.  My thanks to them both.
Added projects 11-20 to the New Birmingham section.  Includes some wonderful pictures of some of Birmingham's best known buildings.
Another long delay since my last update but, as usual, I am armed with an excuse!
Last year, a visitor to the site sent me his collection of newspaper clippings about Brum in the 1960ís (thanks Cormac).  One of these stood out Ė a 4 page spread entitled ĎThe New Birminghamí from 1964.  It listed 100 development projects, something that went a long way to explain why Birmingham changed so dramatically in that period.  I thought it would be fascinating to see what happened to those 100 projects in the 50 years that have passed.  But, a crucial part of my vision was to show the amazing map that was part of the feature and it took me longer than I hoped to get permission to use the map on my site.  With that in place, I could finally start but quickly realised what a big job Iíd set myself!  Today, the a new section has been added to the Birmingham page and the first 10 projects are detailed.  The rest will follow over the coming months.
I have the impression that people who use webmail have had problems contacting me so I have improved the Contact link on the home page to try and help with this.  If you've ever wanted to get in touch and struggled, please try the new link.

I recently gave a talk at Rubery library and mentioned the Illey Way.  I later found that many of the links on the A Day Out to Dowery Dell page had been broken by a reorganisation of the Worcestershire Council website so I have fixed them all.

Finally, a recent visit to the Ian Allan transport bookshop in Birmingham revealed quite a few copies of D J Norton's Pictorial Survey of the West Midlands on sale so I added a note to the page about these books.  If you've ever fancied browsing through them before purchase, this is the ideal opportunity!
Another Dad's Day Out, this time from May 1956.

Fixed a broken link on another Dad's Day Out thanks to Phil (please do get in touch if you find broken links!).

Also, added some notes from Peter to the picture of Brighton Road (Site of) in Birmingham and Local Stations in Colour.
A couple of updates today are thanks to people getting in touch.  Thanks to David who provided some more information about one of the colour pictures of Stechford Station in Birmingham and Local Stations in Colour.  Thanks, too, to Ian for correcting the text about Central Goods Sidings in Birmingham Rail Sites.

The main update today is to confirm availability of my new book, 'Birmingham New Street Station Through Time'.
Added a fascinating new page to the Birmingham section, all about Dowell's Retreat.  The inspiration came from pictures from the Geoff Thompson collection.  I should point out that Geoff's prints have been taken over by local history author Andy Maxam so expect to see some of them appearing in print over the next few years.  I'm pleased to say that Andy is happy for the pictures to appear online here and I thank him for his support.

Also, in recognition of the opening of the new Library of Birmingham, I have updated the page in Birmingham Developments with some pictures of the finished building.
Something for those with an interest in astronomy today...  A page with a couple of pictures of the first radio telescope at Jodrell Bank has been added to the Other Places section.
At last, 'New Street Station Through Time' is wrapped up and has gone to the printers.  It should be out in September and I'll update the site when I have more information.

Thanks to everyone who got in touch while I was busy on the book.  I have a few updates today, some of which have been outstanding for too long...

Thanks to Peter and David for their information that has been added to Dad's Day Out - 29/7/54.  I found a lot of broken links on this page that I have done my best to fix up.  Thanks to Stuart for his comments about 70044 added to New Street Station at Work 1950-1964.  And thanks to Vince for his memories that have been added to the Stonebridge Railway page.

I've added a couple of recommended links to the Birmingham page.  A friend let me know about some superb pictures on John Ball's website and Tim tipped me off about a great YouTube video.  I've also added a link to another video from the Inner Ring Road South page.

Finally, I've corrected the M5 West of Birmingham page thanks to Colin and added a link to Philip Jarvis' website from the Redditch Station page.

With all that done, I can now start looking through the collection again to find more great photos to add to the site!
A couple of tram updates today.  While digging through a box of family pictures, I came across a tram picture that wasn't on the site.  I have added the view of tram 841 outside the British Oak to the Pershore Road section of Trams and Buses.

John got in touch after spending some time adding colour to one of my father's pictures.  I think it looks great so please have a look at his version of the view Nr Holly Lane at the bottom of the North of City Centre page, also in Trams and Buses.

I'm still on the lookout for New Street Station pictures and memories!  Please read the 14 Jan update below.
Finally added another page I've had planned for a long time!  Some great pictures of Halesowen from 1956 can now be found in the Other Places section.

If you missed out on my appeal for help with a project about New Street Station, please read this.
When I last updated this history with news of my bathroom project, little did I know it would take me 7 months to complete!  The fruits of my labour can be seen here and prove it wasnít just an excuse.
Itís been fairly quiet while Iíve been away so I only have a few small updates today.  Graham got in touch with some memories triggered by the Birmingham pictures.  As a result,  the comments on the Longbridge and Bearwood pages in the South Birmingham Businesses section have been updated, as has one comment on the Bull Ring and Inner Ring Road by Leonard Stace page.

Stuart also got in touch identifying a mystery signal box on the Dad's Day Out - 22/6/55 page.  My thanks to both for their feedback.
As I said last June, I still have lots of plans for the site.  ButÖ Iíve only gone and signed up for another book so the website will continue to be a little neglected for the next few months, Iím afraid.  Iím looking for some help with the new book so if you have some interesting pictures in and around the New Street Station area, or want to share your memories of the station, please read this.
Regular visitors to the site will have noticed a lack of activity lately.  Iím afraid itís another DIY project stealing my spare time!  Itís the bathroom that is the target and I can see the job going on for some time to come.  Iíll try and sneak some small updates in now and again but I doubt thereíll be any major additions.  But pleased be assured that I have plenty of great pictures still to share and plenty of plans for the future!

Today I have a few updates courtesy of visitors to the site.  Gordon got in touch to say he had some old photos of Fairbourne Railway so these have been added to the Miniature Railways page in the Railways section.  Richard emailed me to say he would like to paint one of the pictures in the Kings Heath section of South Birmingham Businesses.  I was so impressed that I've included a link in the text for '75 High Street'.  Neil passed on some memories about his grandfather's shop on the corner of Hubert Road and Exeter Road so I have added these to the Selly Oak page, also in South Birmingham Businesses.

A sad update to the Halesowen Railway Virtual Trip page marks the passing of Longbridge Station which was demolished this month (June).
I'm back to digging through the slide collection and came across three great pictures of Highbridge Station so I've added these to the page that can be found in the National Stations section.
A recent trip to Cardiff (highly recommended, by the way!) allowed me to take four modern views at sites my father visited.  Cardiff General Station (National Stations page), Buses and Trams in Colour and Cardiff (Other Places page) have all been updated.  I also found four broken links on these pages so ammended as many as possible.
Added Coventry to the Other Places section of the site.  Also added a picture of Rhodes China and Glass store to the Cotteridge section of South Birmingham Businesses.  My thanks to Terry for sharing that picture.
Added Brownhills to the Midland Area Stations page.
Added some notes to the Isle of Man Railways page with thanks to Peter.  Also, a couple of comments from Barry have been added to the Bearwood page in South Birmingham Businesses.  Finally, noted that the Longbridge East box is no longer standing on the Halesowen Railway Virtual Trip page.
Another long overdue addition - a page of past and present photographs from South Birmingham has been added to the Birmingham page.  These are photographs taken by my father coupled with my own modern views.  They were first seen in my first book so if you've got that, they won't be new to you!  Also fixed a couple of broken links.
A few updates to the Kings Heath page in South Birmingham Businesses.  A visit to a Christmas Fete at Hazelwell Church provided the opportunity to capture some modern views of the three Vicarage Road pictures.  In addition, Delwyn was kind enough to get in touch with some family history re the shoe shop at 50 Poplar Road and provided a splendid view from c.1915.
It's been a stressful couple of weeks after I received an email from Google saying this site was the source of malicious software!  If you've seen warnings about this, it was because the server my site lives on was hacked and multiple site were affected.  I can't say that my hosting company was of much help, but the site has now been moved to a new server so I hope that's the end of any problems...

On a more postive note, today's update sees the addition of an interesting set of pictures of the Isle of Man, located in the Railways section.  It features the Manx Electric Railway, The Isle of Man Railway and (to a very limited extent) the Snaefell Mountain Railway.
Sorry for the delay, but I promise it's been worth the wait!  I wanted to publish two new pages simultaneously as they compliment each other.  The first is a page all about the new Library of Birmingham and that can be found in the Birmingham Developments section.  The second page features a truly amazing collection of colour slides of the Victorian Central Library and it is accessible from the Birmingham section.  These pictures come from the Geoff Thompson Archive.  Enjoy!
It's been a while since I updated the site and that's been because I've been struggling to raise the enthusiasm to update some old pages rather than add some new stuff.  When the sun shines on a Saturday or Monday (my normal days for working on the site), I find it hard to be sat on the computer doing a job I don't really want to do!

Anyway, an update to the Halesowen Railway section of the site has been on my to-do list for the last 3 years and I've finally got around to it.  Full details are here.
A bit of Liverpool theme today!  Added Liverpool (Lime Street) to the National Stations page and Liverpool to Other Places.  I also managed to identify the location of the tram at Liverpool that featured on the recently added Trams Outside Birmingham page.

Updated the Highbridge Station and Stonebridge Railway pages thanks to feedback from Dave and Penny respectively.
Added nine modern views of Geoff Thompson's City Centre pictures accessible from the Birmingham page.

Note that I am due to give another of my library talks this month.  I will be at Frankley Library at 10:30am on Wednesday July 20th.
Itís several years since I declared the Trams and Buses section complete.  However, the existence of three pictures of trams that hadnít made it to the site kept niggling at the back of my mind.  So, finally, the pictures from Liverpool and Llandudno have been added to that section.
Also added some notes about signalling to the Highbridge Station page Ė thanks to Dave for getting in touch.
If you are a regular visitor to this page, please accept my apologies for the lack of updates recently.  More DIY jobs have once again robbed me of my spare time.  In addition, the great weather in April and early May had to be enjoyed as it could well have been this years summer!

I've updated the Weoley Castle page in South Birmingham Businesses with some comments from John re a 'tornado' in the late 1960s.  If you remember the incident, please get in touch.

Also updated the Saltley and Perry Barr station notes in Local Stations P-Z with some memories from Harry.

Finally, some new stuff at last.  Highbridge Station has been added to the National Stations page.
A brief page about the return of the statue of King Edward VII to the city centre has been added to the Birmingham Developments page.
A few updates today.  I have archived the site history again as it was getting rather large.  The last three years history can now be found here

Updated the Ledbury By Night page with some feedback from Stephen and Chris.  Also updated the Longbridge page in South Birmingham Businesses as 1563 Bristol Road South has been demolished (thanks to Steve and Elizabeth on the Northfield Past Facebook group for helping with the date of that).  Also in South Birmingham Businesses, one more modern view has been added to Selly Oak for Strathdene Road.  Only one more left to do!

Some good news on 'Birmingham Past & Present: In My Father's Footsteps'.  It's back in print but the latest run is only 100 copies so snap one up while you can if you want one!  The publishers have said they will do future runs of as little as 30-50 copies but that can't go on forever as the book will be five years old in December so the 'Present' pictures are already looking more 'Past'...

Finally, a long overdue addition for the rail fans.  Tamworth Station is added to the Midland Area Stations section