A “Virtual” Tour of The Back to Backs – part 28




A Virtual Tour of the Back to Backs – part 28

Whilst we are out in the courtyard pondering on the tin bath, we’ll hear a story about bath-night from one of our Black Country visitors.

Visitor “Tell ya summat mate, when oi wuz a kid oi wuz from a family of 12, and by the time oi got in that baff the watta was filthy, it was covered in scum and the watta was blumin’ cold. IT WAS BL**DY AWFUL!”

Tour guide “I’m sorry to hear that mate. Were you the last one in?”

Visitor “Oh no moite oi warn’t the last one in, the last one in were the Ruddy Whippet, wun it !!!”

By the 1870s there may not have been the need to get water from a well. Most courts would have either a pump or piped water from a standpipe in the courtyard.

One of the unusual features of the back houses in Court 15 are the ornate bay windows on houses 2 & 3. Many say that they had never seen such ornate windows on back to back houses. However, it may be that they were not installed until in the end of the 19th century.

John Wilmore’s son William was registered as living in one of the houses in a later census and we understand that he may have inherited the court from his father. William, it seems was a carpenter and we may speculate that during one of the inevitable downturns in the volatile building trade he had amassed sufficient left-over timber to construct the bay window frames in an attempt to enhance the houses.

The Oldfields’ House
A communal hand pump to draw ground water
Court 2 Richard Street Nechells c1907 with the newly installed tap in the courtyard
The bay windows on houses 2 & 3