Parkeston Crescent

Memories of Parkeston Crescent

Memories of Dorothy Capewell

I lived at number 11 Parkeston crescent but my best friend, Margaret Gaughn, lived at the top of the crescent and my paper round was all of Twickenham Road, Parkeston Crescent and Rivington Crescent so as well as knowing Pat from school I sometimes saw my friends when I was doing my round as well.

I do remember the milkman, the breadman, the rag and bone man, the pig bin man and I especially have vivid memories of the laundry van bringing our clean sheets tied up in brown paper (I wonder how mum could aford that?)

That’s right, it was Harris’s cleaners.I think sometimes my mum gave the rag and bone man her own personal stuff just so we could have a treat.

I remember Phillips. Their buyer had a similar taste in clothes to me so I bought several dresses there. I still don’t know how our mothers were able to afford that service-we NEVER had any money (lots of boiled egg dinners).

I loved the Mayfair-it was an escape and a magical few hours.The manager-tall, white haired man with a stick, once caught me trying to sneak Janet in under my coat so that we could use her ticket money for sweets.He said “How long have you had 4 feet’? “Go home and tell your mum what you’ve done”.Spoil sport!



  1. Hi Dorothy I think I am quite a bit older than you and all your friends but I went to Twickenham Road school and to Dulwich Road seniors in 1944. I also remember the two sisters Mrs Phillips & Mrs Austin (who lived next door to us @ 95 Twickenham Road) we used to get ny lisle stockings for school in the winter. Like all of you I loved the Mayfair and the Empress (saw Bob Hope & Jane Russell in Paleface there) I did my moms shopping at Jacks greengrocers Freds butchers Perks and Horns grocers and spent my sweet coupons just up from the barber shop can you tell me the name of the sweet shop. I was in Birmingham last week visiting lifelong friends Sylvia Taylor who lived 53 Twickenham and Iris Gouldingay of Parkeston Cres. she had sisters Julie and Margaret.maybe you delivered your papers there. Othere friends were Sybil Horton Joan Jennings Jean Oldbury and Rhona Minikin and I was more than a little in love with the dark haired brown eyed coop milk lad. You can probably tell Im new to my lap top but I hope to see more from you Dorothy and anyone from roundabout my childhood home. Hope to be using the 907 or 33 buses (cant drive) again in September. My name was Bartram.

    • Ah, I think the sweet shop may have been Gumbleys!

  2. Hello Sylvia,I see from my note that I wrote that I lived at number 11 Parkeston Crescent but I actually lived at number 10.I LOVED Fred the butchers and couldn’t wait for Fridays when we bought a bag of broken biscuits from Perks.My aunt, Peggy Newton, was the manageress there.
    I dated a wonderful young man, David Mayall, who lived close to you on Twickenham Road.Sadly, he was killed in a road accident a week before our engagement.
    I remember standing in line at Jacks greengrocers wearing fancy stockings that had elasticated tops (so no need for a suspender belt) but they must have been a little large since they rolled all the way down to my ankles while I stood in line!Was the sweetie shop called Shepherds? After that, the only other sweet shop was Mullis’s. My sister still takes the 33 bus to work.Where do you live now? I live in the USA but go home when I can-I really miss it.

  3. Well, I gained memory in one area and lost it in another-I called you Sylvia instead of Shirley-sorry :O)

    • Hi Dorothy, Sylvia/Shirley – whatever! Im just so glad to get your reply as I have been reading anything and everything about my school and streets and crescents where grew I grew up. Clemmy , Charlie, David and many more voices of Kingstanding have brought back great memories and I have loved the banter between you and Avril like your date with the Phillips sales rep (roamin hands) and how you were so indignant that he would think you were “A girl like that” Im sure he didnt and that you werent. I remember when I was with my future husband in Snowhill on our way to the Gaumant, he told me a joke with the word arse in it, I slapped his face, didnt get to the pictures, didnt even see him for a week, he was on nightshift,lived in Sheldon and of course no telephone (never heard of a mobile) I was 17 and he was 24, he cycled over and we were together 47 years, we married at Trinity Road church. It was a cheeky joke not a rude one and I would have married him anyway. I have to tell you Dorothy I did know David Mayalls family but didnt know about the accident, so just a young man. Somewhere at the back of my mind the name Iris Mayall rings a bell did David have a sister, Im sorry if Im wrong. You can probably see sthat I must be 10/15 years older than you sweetheart but I hope that wont stop you from telling me more about when you got married and when you moved to Oregon also where it is in Birmingham your sister lives and works that she uses the 33 bus, the last time I used it to work it finished in Martineau ST. Anyhow I must finish now, it takes a long time typing with one hand (dont worry I still have both) its parkinsons right hand siide but I really manage fine. Will tell you about Harry Jenks later and my relationwho lived in Parkeston. waiting for more news. Shirley/Sylvia!

  4. Hello Shirley, you do have a great memory! I’m certainly enjoying reading all about our younger days-how sad that we didn’t realize that they were also ‘good old days’.I was so innocent for a long time and probably a bit of a prude now that I think of it but I had the best mum in the world and although she couldn’t give my sisters and I anything material she taught us all of the right things in life and we have reaped the rewards in life from that.
    I loved your story about your future husband-nowadays even 5 year olds use the word arse!
    David Mayall was 24 when he died and he did indeed have a sister,Iris,who taught at Twickenham Road school for a while and then emigrated to Canada.I had 5 sisters and now have 3.Two lve in Sutton Coldfield and the youngest (61) lives in Kingstanding.I miss them every day but we talk on the phone several times a week.
    I loved your light hearted comment about your hands :O) A few years ago one of my neices lost a finger and a little while later she wanted a manicure and asked me if I thought the beautician would give her a discount ! One of the things I love most about brummies is our ability to laugh at ourselves and the world around us.
    I can’t wait to hear about Harry Jenks and your Parkeston relation :O)
    I’m married to an American,Bill, and he is the best man that God ever breathed life into. I moved to Oregon in 1973 after attending college in Aberdeen, Scotland (another story there).
    Time for a cuppa.More next time. Warm wishes, Dorothy.

  5. Hi Dorothy, Im still smiling about your friends manicure, I loved it. So sorry about David, 24 so sad and I did recall Iris, please tell me what year this sad accident happened as Im trying to get our age gap sorted in my head as Im convinced I can give you a good 10/15 years. I was just 20 when I got married at 9.30 am on Boxing Day 1953 so the Mayall family may have seen me leave for Trinity Road church if they were about that Boxing Day morning (It was bitterly cold) but, like you, the best thing I ever did so Id love to hear where and when you were married ( a sneaky way of getting to know when you were born, what a lovely way of describing your husband, how did you meet? How lovely having sisters, I had no sisters or brothers. My mom and dad married the year I was born (which speaks for itself) my grand-dad threw my mom out and until my mom married Harry Jenks in 1941 I lived in 3 houses in Twickenham Road, 1 in Rivington Cresent and 1 in Sutton Coldfield, I remember my gran who was a cleaner at the Odeon Sutton Coldfield taking me to the side door of the cinema and a Mrs Salt sitting me in the back row and I watched “The hound of the Baskervilles” she then took me to her house, 2 things I remember vividly about that time are my mom telling me off for asking for more mandarin oranges asking me “did I know there was a war on” – I was 6/7, the other was not being taken to the air raid shelter twhen the sirens went but put on coats under the stairs but I did get on at school with their little girl June so I was too young to have hard feelings, and I still love mandarin oranges. Shortly after my grand-dad forgave my mom and let my grandma look after me at 84 Twickenham Road until I moved in with mom and Harry Jenks (more next time) Lastly, for now, my relation who lived in Parkeston was Jean Jones who lived at number 86, Jean is my lovely aunt and is 74/75, as a child she had polio and wore calipers (still does) she did lose a lot of schooling due to this but was at Dulwich Road, maybe you knew her vaguely or delivered your newspapers to no. 86. Jean now lives in Harbeck Avenue (off Goodway Road). I really do go on but I am just as keen to hear more about you, your famili a nd you life in Kingstanding & Oregon. Bye for now, just been watching Michael Phelps, what a swimmer! – I remember watching Roger Bannister run the 4 minute mile on a little 9 inch tele bought by Harry Jenks – told you, I do go on & on! bye Shirley.

  6. Oh Shirley, somehow I didn’t see this until today-so sorry!

    I was born in 1949 (so that you don’t have to do the math any longer) and left Kingstanding shortly after David died. I attended college in Aberdeen,Scotland (my mum was from Edinburgh and I have a lifelong love of Scotland) and then moved to Oregon,USA in 1973.I’m married to my fabulous Bill and we have Rachael (43) Simon(42) and Ethan (32) and 4 grandchildren. We moved to Edinburgh in 1997 and stayed in the UK for 11 years, during which time I was the events manager at Edinburgh Castle (the best job in the world).We returned to Oregon 4 years ago.

    I love your stories but HAVE TO ask you again about Harry and whether he had a brother named Alfie? My sisters used to tease me that I looked more like the Jenk’s than my dad !

    Where do you live now,Shirley? I don’t get on to this site as quickly as I should but I’ll make a point to do that and look forward to hearing from you.

    Bye for now,
    Dorothy :O)

  7. Hi Dorothy, please dont worry about the llapse of time, I am always pleased to see your responses and have been following your escapades via voices of Kingstanding. I feel I almost knew your lovely mom, may have even seen her as I was always roaming Rivington and Parkeston crescents looking for the love of my life with his co-op milk horse and cart, and what I would have given to hear Clemmy sing “Oh what a beautiful doll” to you.
    You ask about Harry Jenks, I wish that I could think that he may have been your dads pal but given that you werent born when Harry and my mom marrried at Trinity Road church in 1941 it seems unlikely, I remember having to take my gas-mask with me.
    Ill tell you all that I know about Harry, I do know that he had 2 brothers, Malcolm and Derek and a sister Gaynor, we visited them a lot in Coventry and they were lovely but quite a few years older than me. Harry was married before and from what I learned in my mid teens Harry had courted my mom whilst his ill (bed-ridden) wife was still alive and sadly for a while mom was the talk of Twickenham Road, I say sadly because she was a lovely hard working wife and mom.
    Harry was a bus driver (on the 33 etc), briefly someones chauffeur (had to look that up), worked at Jos. Lucas and lastly managed a fish/game/poultry shop on thhe High Strret Erdington. I would say Harry nwould be 48/50 when you were born Dorothy but if your dad frequented the British Legion (College Road), College Arms or Beggars Bush he may have been Harrys pal, I do not mean that they were alcoholics, thats just where they went.
    Harry and mom split up shen I was 17 (you would be 1). Harry lived in Witton (as I did when my 1st daughter was born) he came to see me and was married again, what do you think Dorothy, was Harry your dads pal?
    Take as long as you like Dorothy, I just love hearing from you and lots to tell you about Aberdeen and Edinburgh and my family. I live in Northumberland (3 miles from the North sea) and 1 hour from Edinburgh. My surname is scottish, it mean s laird (so I am told), you are right to love Scotland!
    PS, H arrys wife haunted my bedroom, at first I did not believe it, but I will tell you another time, bye for now, Shirley whose heart is in so many places, like yours.

  8. Hello Shirley, lovely to hear from you again.

    I now believe that Harry was my dad’s friend for several reasons.My dad and mum were 40 when I was born and my dad was the sole reason that the College Arms and Beggars Bush stayed in business! In later years he was banned from both places.I also remember my mum saying that Harry was a 33 bus driver for a while so I’m pretty sure that he and my dad were friends.

    If your mum was the talk of Twickenham Road, Shirley, my dad was the talk of Parkeston Crescent.I won’t go into detail here but perhaps you’ll email me at

    You’re so lucky to live where you do-but tell me how you ended up there.When people ask me how I ended up in the USA I say “There’s always a man involved in these things”.

    Do email me but keep looking on this site too.It has brought back so many memories.

    Take care,
    Dorothy :O)

  9. Hi Shirley just reading your story they where great days by the way my name is tony Kent and we lived ay 42 parkeston cresent

    • Hi Tonly, I am so glad you feel as I do that “They were great days” I am just wondering how far back your great days go? mine go back to the 1930?40s. I lived in Twickenham Road, numbers 84 and 97 and of course went to Twickenham infants and junior schools, followed by Dulwich Road seniors. I would love to read about your memories and wondered did you have a sister Sylvia, I had a schoolfriend at Dulwich Road 1944-48 although I think she lived in a grove opposite the park gates in College Road. I really would like to read your memories and I know Dorothy Capewell ( lovely lady from Parkeston) would love to hear if yoiu knew David and Iris Mayall, she did and so did I. Hope to hear from you, and where you are now Tony! Shirley Thain (nee Bartram)

  10. Hello Tony,

    I actually remember you -and I think you might have been a friend of Frances Mayall ,who was almost my sister-in-law.

    Where do you live now? Do you ever hear from or see anyone from school or Parkeston Crescent ?

    Dot :O)

    • Hi Dorothy, lovely to see you back, I have been out of sorts since Christmas but was thinking about you today when I was playing music that my lovely husband and I shared, it was Kenneth McKellar singing My grannies highland home, The road and the miles to Dundeeand Mylove is like a red red rose, that was followed by lots of Any Stewart melodies, I feel sure your lovely mom would have enjoyed them. You did ask me how I met my husband and how I came to be up north so – I had just arrived back from my grandmas (from the forest of dean), my mom was in London, it was Boxing Day 6pm, my aunt who wanted to go and see her boyfriend didnt want to leave me on my own (nothing on our little 9 inch TV) so I went with her and coming up the entry of 140 Twickenham Road was this lovely guy taking a scotty dog for a walk, he knew my aunt and asked who I was, suggested I go to the party planned for Boxing night, I did (I was 17 and Jimmy was 24 – 3 years later on Boxing Day we married at Trinity Road church. I loved the north east and we moved here in 1966 and had 47 wonderful years together) Now, sweetheart, tell me about you and Bill. It was myfriends sister Enid Gouldingay who knew your sister Kathy, she actually sold her pram to Kathy. Anyhow Dorothy like the words of an old scottish song “Haste ye Back” bye Shirley.

  11. Oh my gosh Shirley!! The similarities between us made me laugh out loud!

    Firstly, I hope that you are fully recovered from whatever has been ailing you.I think that winter gets to all of us with colds etc but we just need some sunshine I’m sure :O)
    The music you was playing are all favourites of mine, due largely to the fact that my mum and I shared a great love of Kenneth McKellar and Andy Stewart. When I moved from Kingstanding to Aberdeen my mum would write that she could picture me there through those songs. She especially loved ‘My grannies highland home’.
    Another ‘similarity’ is that I met my first husband, Jim,who was from Aboyne in the Highlands, in a very similar setting to how you met your Jimmy. My Jim was in Birmingham for a short while and I met him at a party-he and I were exactly the same years apart as you and your JImmy-Jim was 7 years older than me :O)
    I met my fabulous Bill (American) after Jim and I moved here to Oregon. Jim and I had divorced and I was toying with the idea of returning to the UK when I met Bill.We have Rachael (43) Simon (42) and Ethan (32) and have been so very lucky.No teenage angst or problems from any of them and all wonderful human beings which is all you can wish for your children.
    I’ll be calling Kathy today and will ask her about her memories of Enid.Kathy had 8 children, all delivered by the local midwife,Nurse Thomas, and somehow, for each of those babies, she had a new (or different) pram.She loved the Silver Cross prams and cleaned the wheels and spokes religiously with DuraGlit !
    Haste ye back, Shirley.I love hearing from you. xx

    • Hi Dorothy, talk of DuraGlit and Silver Cross prams, try and keep me away from this site and all these memories give my heart a great whoosh!!! yours especially but also many from so many others like Clemmy Watts (you were his beautiful doll), I think I have read every comment and recollection and have received phone calls from people who knew my uncle who sang at the British Legion on College Road (your dad may have heard him, he was Bernard Hall and lived with us at 97 until he got married, another call from someone who knew my uncle who played crown green bowls at the Deers Leap pub (and for Warwickshire), it meant a lot. Now sweetheart next time you hear Grannies Highland Home imagine me waltzing (sadly alone) around my living room, we loved the waltz and dances such as The Pride of Arran. You mentioned a while ago a time in Edinburgh as Events Manager at the Castle in 1998 I took my aunt to the tatoo for her 70th birthday that year and we saw the pandas last year, we are my daughter Linda, 58 on 7th April, granddaughter Lindsey 34 and gt granddaughter Emily who is 8, sorry Em nearly 9 and who is delightful (like your family) and is a wiz on my lap top. Now to Aberdeen and how I came to know it so well. Because my lovely Jims mom had died when he was 15 and the new step-mom didnt want them Jims elder brother brought his wedding forward and took the 13 yr old sister with them,Jim moved into a miners hostel and the youngest brrother gave a false age and joined the Gordon Highlanders, married a lass from Aberdeen and we spent many happy times there. I will be going there in May to see my friends daughter who studied at St Machars Academy (patron Saint of Aberdeen) formerly Powis academy. Gill (my friends daughter) is a teacher at the Grammar school and lives near to Victoria Park which is near to where my family lived i,e, Hardgate. Hope it may mean something to you , so fare thee well my bonnie lass, til next time Shirley!

      • Hello Shirley !

        I think that you’re more comfortable with this site than with email (although you did a great job) so I thought that I would contact you here.
        I hope that all is well with you.I hear that the UK has been having glorious weather.We’ve had 90-1oo degrees for several weeks now and it gets a bit tiring (also, it’s not easy to stay cool unless you wear shorts and tank tops). NOT!
        You asked me if I knew some of your Aberdeen haunts-well, firstly, the Hardgate is where I used to attend Military dinners, I attended Aberdeen College of Commerce on Holburn Street and owned my first flat on South Mount Street.My daughter was born in Aberdeen and my heart will always be there and along Royal Deeside where I lived so happily for a long time.
        Here comes another coincidence-your uncle was Bernard Hall and my sister Kathy married Bernard Hill (almost the same).I’m starting to suspect that you and I were twins who got separated at birth (with a few years in between) :O)
        I love hearing from you so do stay in touch.
        Love, Dorothy xx

  12. hi dorothy how are you

  13. Hello Clem, I’m doing great, thank you.How about yourself? Are you keeping well? Have you been able to visit Cornwall lately? That would cheer anybody up :O)
    I havn’t been on here for a little while so I need to catch up.If I come home this summer, we should arrange a reunion with everyone who lived close to us.I wold love that. We could ask people to bring along any pictures they have and I’m sure we’d all have lots of memories to share.
    Stay in touch, love, Dorothy xx

    • Hi Dorothy, you are so right about my emailing – it’s practically non-existent and if I manage to retrieve those sent, it’s usually by accident – I really will knuckle down to getting it right – your heart and my heart have a capacity for holding so many memories of so many places – Aberdeen is lovely and I love the swish of the kilt (Jimmy’s brother was a fine figure of a man when he was in the black watch of the Gordon Highlanders – his 3 sons and 1 daughter all had full scottish weddings even though they had moved to Corby (a mass exodus from Aberdeen to the steel industry – they call Corby “little Scotland”. am glad yoiu were happy there, my 3 nephews were also born there -I will be up there Oct/Nov to see my friends daughter off – she goes to Australia for 5 years for her husband’s job – it will be The northern lights of old Aberdeen and Will ye no come back again? and a few tears of course.

      Tell me sweetheart, have you been to Virginia and if so, apart from seeing your own lovely family, did you meet up with Avril? (I love reading your banter on this site – or have you been home and met up with Clem?

      I should have been home in June and should be home on 18th Aug for a school friends 80th but have had to miss them both but hopefully if the hospital sort me out (nothing too serious) I will be home before Xmas and will be taking pictues – we’ll see how I get on and if I can send you some.

      I hope I haven’t made the same mistake as the last 2 times and cannot post this rather lengthy message – my daughter is die in an hour and sshe will put me right – Clem is off to Cornwall next month I hope he enjoys it. Somehow I am not sure this will be posted xx Shirley.

  14. Hello Shirley, you did a great job with this post so don’t worry :O)
    It’s lovely to hear from you and I hope that you’re ‘feeling in fine feckle’.
    I want to go home so much this year but my son will retire from the military in December and they are giving him a retirement ceremony in October so it looks as though Virginia will be my vacation destination this year.I think I’ll reward myself for my 65th in February and make a trip home in the Spring.

    PLEASE take pictures if you do get ‘down the old end’.I would love that. My youngest son, Ethan, is in a band and was on a two week tour with the band in Prague then hopped over to Birmingham to spend a couple of days with my sisters in Kingstanding last week.He took some great pictures and I shed more than a few tears over them. He took pics of my oldest sister cooking a full Sunday dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (Ethan’s favourite) and pics of other family members.It’s awful to see relatives growing older but then I realize that I am too!
    I’m off to work shortly but wanted to reply right away so that you would know that I received your message. Take care of yourself and stay in touch. Love, Dorothy :O)but then I realize that I’m doing the same too!

    • Hi there my dad lived on parkenston cresent born 1949 his name is Derek White does any body remember him

      • I do remember Derek White,He was born the same year as me but I can’t remember his house number.I lived at number 10 with my little Scottish mum and my sisters Margaret and Janet,

  15. my family lived in parkeston crescent for many years. My nan and granddad alice and William hope lived at112 we moved back to parkeston in the early 1950s and lived at 179 my mom and dads names were George and alice Griffiths.
    I remember the coronation, my dad set up our tv on the top of my nans bay window so that it could be seen by everyone but how they managed I don’t know since it only had a 9inch screen.

  16. does anyone remember the gough family 55 parkistone crescent

    • I certainly do remember the Gough family. Was Linda one of the family and did she pass away ? I think she was best friends with Frances Mayall from Twickenham Road..I lived at number 10 Parkeston Crescent.

  17. Hello My father Billy Dyke and his family lived at 63 parkeston does anyone remember the Dykes? Jesse and Elsie Dyke my grand parents

    • I’m pretty sure that I delivered newspapers to the Dykes. I lived at number 10.

  18. does any one remember joseph cole (joe cole ) he lived on parkeston road he was born in 1926

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