Birmingham’s Gun Quarter was where my Bracey family lived worked and died in the 19th and 20th Centuries….
For me the name: ‘The Gun Quarter’ should NOT be lost IMHO….nor should it be changed to ‘The Gunsmiths Quarter…it should remain as it has been named since the first guns were #MadeinBirmingham from 1630….
‘The Gun Quarter’ where I can trace my family the ‘Braceys of Aston’ down the years…me Dad Les Bracey left Summer Lane school as a 14 year old in 1936 (born in 1922) and went straight to work for W Gittens a company in the Gun Quarter on Price Street near to The Bull’s Head where me Dad drank but his favourite was The Gunmakers’ Arms just up the road and round the corner on the corner of Shadwell Street, where the Bracey’s lived in the Back to Back Courts of Lower Shadwell Street in the looming presence of the Roman Catholic Pugin St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
The Pope chose to also visit when he came to Birmingham in 2010 the ornate Oratory Church, Cardinal John Henry Newman’s Baroque Church in Edgbaston on Hagley Road next to the old St Philip’s Grammar School also in Hagley Road, Edgbaston, where I was born, just down the Hagley Road at the old St Chad’s Maternity Hospital, redeveloped in the early 1990’s by the Richardson twins Roy and Don the famed Black Country developers to become an office development, home to the West Birmingham NHS Offices…..
Edgbaston has featured in every phase of my life….I was born at St Chad’s when Mom and Dad lived in a bedsit in Rotton Park Road, Rotton Park in Birmingham….I was christened at St Germain’s Church of England Church in May 1958……
We then went to live in the flat above The Chop Suey Bar in Three Shires Oak Road, Bearwood in Smethwick, briefly moving to the Black Country Borough of ‘Smerrick’ before moving to the old family home at 116 Willow Avenue, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8HE telephone: 0121 429 4465….or initially BEA 4465( BEA for ‘Bearwood’)! as the Post Office Telephones Exchange was on Sandon Road in Bearwood near to my Gran and Grandad’s home at 71 Poplar Road in Bearwood in Warley in the West Midlands…..definitely NOT Edgbaston in Birmingham….Gran and Grandad were and remain in ‘SMETHWICK’ in the later construct of SANDWELL (wherever that may be?..is it in The Black Country?…it is definitely NOT in Birmingham ( just ask Black Country folk if they are from Birmingham and you’ll gerra roight mouthful!!!!) or Bromwicham as it was years and years ago from where the name Birmingham is derived!
All three of us Bracey kids…me Keith….born on April Fools’ Day 1958….my little brother Richard Bracey, and me little sister Gillian Bracey….now Collins…and me Mom and Dad…..Dot and Les Bracey…we all three of us attended the George Dixon Schools….Infants, Juniors and then onto the august educational institution that was the ‘George Dixon Grammar School for Boys’….
And thence onto Birmingham University as it was known in the mid 1970’s from 1976 until 1979 where I studied for a Bachelor of Commerce and a Post Graduate Diploma in Economic History…..Birmingham is EDGBASTON and the Braceys….from being Astonians…..became Bearwoodians and are now Edgbastonians…..