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Air-raids shelter in grocer shop cellar; back in time.


READING the letter of H. Tomkins in the Sunday Mercury brought back memories of Cowper Street for me.

My life-long friend Elsie Bilston, maiden name Roe, (sadly, no longer with us) lived in the house opposite Hottes Dairy and on the other side of the entry was the grocer's shop which two of her sisters, Lily Faulkner and Annie Turner owned during the war.

My friend and I spent many hours in the cellar of the shop during the airraids over Birmingham.

The article awakened many memories of those days during the war of the Globe, Newtown Palace and the Orient High Street Six Ways, the local cinemas and of the busy Newtown Row with Richards pork butchers on the corner of Bracebridge Street. That was where the pigs were brought to be slaughtered on the premises, just above the row where the House That Jack Built was, where you could get almost anything. I still have a small milk saucepan the first thing I bought for my bottom drawer and still in use 63 years on.

Opposite from that store was Blacks a very nice ladies and gents outfitters and then Griffiths, the fruit and veg shop. So many memories come to mind of those days.

Incidentally, like the writer my brother and I were recipients of the Birmingham Mail boots when we were children and as like many more, poor but happy days.

L. PHILLIPS, Shirley, Solihull
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2008
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