Fascinating Birmingham history…..I had not realised that they planned to base the Commonwealth games in Woodgate Valley in South Birmingham in a previous Birmingham Commonwealth Games bid in 1966…..
Winning the Commonwealth Games would have been great for the city of Birmingham and would have created the ideal environment for a ‘friendly games’ in Birmingham with the legacy being that the Athlete’s Village built for the games being given over to social housing once the games had concluded.
Birmingham City Council had plans to build a brand new Athletics Stadium for the 1970 Commonwealth Games which were eventually staged in Edinburgh.
The Council also wanted to create a lake for the yachting and rowing events in Woodgate Valley by damming the stream that flows through the Woodgate Valley and using water from Joseph Chamberlain’s Elan Valley Scheme.
Chamberlain’s great engineering project brought Welsh water from the mountain dams of North Wales to Birmingham as fresh water for Birmingham workers and artisans whose water in the mid nineteenth century was foul and typhus infested. Chamberlain’s great engineering feat bought clean water to the citizens of Birmingham with a balancing lake at Bartley Green Reservoir for the Welsh water.
Mayswood Grove backed onto the old former Beckett’s Farm which formed the Woodgate Valley Estate. It is where my 88 year old father in law George lives
George has lived there for over 60 years and was married to Mary Sherwood’s mom Aussie Sheilah born in Calgoorlie,Western Australia in 1929.
They got their card from The Queen congratulating them on the 60 years as man and wife until Sheilah succumbed to Alzheimer’s 4 years ago.
Sheliah passed away in Bearwood Nursing home which is the office block for the old Bearwood company British Pens where over 1000 women worked back in the day, pressing pen nibs at the turn of the 20th century…..
Back to the building theme….me Grandad Wilfred Bracey was a carpenter with Birmingham Public Works Department at the back of Baskerville House.
Wilf built the wooden shuttering for the concrete plinth for the statue of Boulton Watt and Murdock at the top end of Broad Street in the early 1950s.
At that time my Bracey family lived in the back to backs of the Gun Quarter where me Dad Les Bracey carried the completed sporting guns to the Birmingham Gun Proof House near Curzon Street Station…..
Me Mom’s family the Merrimans lived in back to backs of Winson Green in Dugdale Street where Mills Munitions who invented and made the hand grenade…..
Me Grandad Arthur Lewis Augustus Merriman worked at Mills after he tried to sign up to fight in the Second World War but was deemed too old at 41 after distinguished service in the Great War….
Arthur joined the Auxiliary Fire Service based at M&B Cape Hill Brewery……fascinating Bracey/Merriman family history……