A (Sleep) Walk Down Summer Lane – 4


In part 2 the poem from Beryl Evans, A (Sleep) Walk Down Summer Lane, gave us a snapshot of Beryl’s childhood memories of the street where she lived. This is the second part of a list of all the places she remembers with a little more information about each. The first part of the list is on page 3.

Of course, Summer Lane has changed dramatically over recent years and very little of the street that she remembers still exists.

This information is taken from Kelly’s Directory 1950. The street maps are from 1950/51.

Left & Right is based on the direction that Beryl travelled in her walk from the Snow Hill end of Summer Lane.

William Allen’s fish & chip shop was just three doors from the Post Office on the left side at no 278.

Harold Hughes – newsagent was at 277 Summer Lane.

The police station is Bridge Street West Police Station which is still standing and in use now on the corner of Summer Lane (left side) and Bridge Street West.

Beryl takes a detour up Bridge Street West to find William Newman and Sons – Social Club, on the corner of Hospital Street at no 180.

On the diagonally opposite corner of the junction at no 257 is Florence Berry – beer retailer (the outdoor) in 1950 but taken over by Pollie Fitter by 1956. Then, next door is Alice Copestake – shopkeeper.

On one of the other corner of Bridge Street West and Hospital Street junction is Sarah Savory – grocer (who evidently had a parrot in the shop!)

Further on after crossing Great Russell Street (now gone!) is Alice May Smith – greengrocer.

No reference can be found for “The Mickies”.

Back on to Summer Lane:

C Harman & Son – undertakers are on the corner of Brass Street at no 129 Summer Lane (right side), but this has gone along with Brass Street for the municipal housing mentioned earlier.

Nellie Green – ironmonger; was across the junction with Brass Street at no 130 Summer Lane.

“The Crossed Guns” pub was at 253 Summer Lane (left side) on the corner of Frankfort Street. The street is still there, but the pub has gone.

“The Green Man” was on the right side of the road at no 141 Summer Lane on the corner of Moorsom Street. Both of these have gone. In fact the whole of the rest of Summer Lane from here onward has been extensively developed in the last 30 years and is mainly residential.

LJ Ford – tobacconist was further along on the left at no 244.

Andrew Holt Ltd  – provisions merchants, was on the next corner on the right side of Summer Lane at the junction of Ormond Street. Again, both of these have gone with Chilwell Croft Academy now standing on this site.

“The Birmingham House” pub is on the right side at no 243 next door to the tobacconist on the corner of Farm Street (both now gone). The landlord in 1950 was George Martin.

Arthur Rice – grocer was on the opposite corner of Farm Street at no 242.

Leah Roberts – draper was at 172 further along on the left side of Summer Row past Cowper Street (now gone).

Richards and Shipton – chemists are on the corner of Cowper Street at number 165.

Polar Bear Ices could have been Dunnes sweet shop, which was at 167, two doors from the chemists.

The “Hip” was the Aston Hippodrome on High Street Aston, which was about 7 minutes walk from the sweet shop.

Charles Deathridge – cycle dealer is probably the shop with “bits for bikes on show”. This was at 179. This was also the address of Margaret Deathridge – greengrocer.

“The Geach Arms” was on the corner of Geach Street at no 217, on the left. Geach Street is still there.

Nell Morrall is listed as a bird dealer at no 187 near to corner of Milton Street (which is still there) – this was probably Beryl’s pet shop.

MM Lilley & Co – packing case makers at 192-197 Summer Lane. Their advertisement also shows they were timber dealers.

“The Woodman” pub was next door at 198 Summer Lane on the right at the junction with Asylum Road.

Summer Lane ends at the junction with Alma Street (to the left) and Asylum Road (to the right). The latter has now gone.

Beryl now remembers two shops on Newtown Row and three cinemas:

Blacks was probably Elizabeth Black – 167-173 High Street Aston (a continuation of Newtown Row)

The House that Jack Built – department store was across High Street at 166-174 and owned by Lewis S Richards Limited.

The Newtown Palace on Newtown Row had been opened in 1914 and used as a variety theatre and as a cinema. It closed in 1961 and became a bingo club, then demolished in the 1990s.

The Orient  (ABC Orient) was at Six Ways Aston. It opened in 1930 and closed in 1969. It was used as a “Bollywood” cinema until it was demolished in the late 1970s for housing.

The Globe Electric Palace was on Aston High Street opposite the Aston Hippodrome and the Bartons Arms. It opened in 1913 closed in 1955 and was demolished.

Here are the maps of this part of the walk (start at the bottom):