History

Pheasey is part of the greater area of Great Barr which is a surburb north of Birmingham based around the Scott Arms Junction but under the control of three different councils, Brimingham, Sandwell and Walsall.

The word barr means a hill or summit in the Celtic language of the people who lived here before the Anglo-Saxons arrived. Magna or Great Barr was part of the manor given by William 1 to William Fitzansculf as Baron of Dudley following the Norman invasion of 1066. The manor was eventually sold to the Scott family in 1618. They built Great Barr Hall and remained there until 1911.

Simon Vesey bought some land in Barr in 1559, but over the years the spelling changed to Pheasey, which is how the estate got its name. George Smith farmed at Pheasey for many years and when he left, the land was sold to the First National Housing Trust.

Building began in 1937. The road names were chosen by the developers and have no local connections. They all commemorate artists, engravers or sculptors, some of them being rather better known than others.

In the 1950’s, Park Farm, which was the Home Farm of the Great Barr Estate, was also sold for housing, the development being completed in 1981.

Sir Walter Scott, the novelist, was a visitor to Great Barr Hall and is supposed to have modelled his estate at Abbotsford on the Hall’s gardens. This may account for the developer’s decision to give some of the Park Farm Estate roads Scottish names. However, the reason for the other names has not been discovered, all we know is that they were accepted by Aldridge U.D.C. in 1954.

In 1974 when you had the major boundary changes Pheasey moved to Walsall, however there was a campaign to move it to Birmingham Council which failed on a vote at the time.

After years of debate, controversy and referral to the Government permission in 2006 was granted to build homes on the green belt of the old St Margarets Hospital at the back of Park Farm (Great Barr Park as known by many). This development was completed in 2008 to be called Nether Hall Park and still controversy goes on with further planning permissions submitted.

Barr Beacon to the north of the Pheasey Estate is a local beauty spot and the highest point of the area. the claim to fame of Barr Beacon is that if the Earth was flat you could see across to the next highest point, the Ural mountains in Russia.

56 thoughts on “History

  1. Hi Ian,
    You forgot to include the Victorian Beacon cottages near the junction of Beacon Road and Moreton Avenue and built in 1899.
    Many Pheasey/Park Farm residents much prefer Great Barr Park to the ‘political’ hospital term for the park. Perhaps you could do the decent thing and include both names.

  2. Hi Ian,
    Bill Newman knew more about Pheasey/Park Farm than pretty anyone else i’ve ever met; and he knew a fair bit about Beacon cottages. Bill knew at least one of the owners of the cottages down the years and saw the deeds to one of the properties some years back. He told me that they were built in 1899.
    Not long after Bill and Gloria Newman joined UKIP, the Walsall branch of the party were told by one of our friends working for the Borough Council that someone had been sniffing around the records of the by then former Texaco garage on the corner of Moreton Avenue and Beacon Road; and the records of the adjacent cottages.
    Bill volunteered to have a look at the relevant council records of both the garage and cottages on behalf of UKIP and found that someone had changed the date that the cottages were built from 1899 to 1926, naughty, naughty, tut, tut, tut.
    After some work from Bill, the date was changed back from 1926 to 1899. The Walsall Branch of UKIP are monitoring both the disused garage site on Moreton Avenue/Beacon Road; and the disused garage site on the Queslett Road just along from the junction at Doe Bank Lane.
    P.S. The pair of cottages on the Beacon Road close to Little Johnsons Lane were probably built at around the same time as the four cottages lower down the road.

  3. Ian please get your facts right if you are going to do a blog and I, along with Steve, will be quite happy to help you with the facts if not the political content.

    Nether Hall Park – There are no ‘Further applications’ The Labour secretary of state, against the wishes of Conservative Councillors, Labour MP, UKIP Campaigners and most importantly local people GRANTED permission for outline application for 450 dwellings on St Margarets. The applications that come forward are detailed applications for individual buildings in line with the permission given by your government.

  4. And there was me thinking that the government of the time represented the people of the time. Some bloke called Shepherd, who claims to be a conservative MP but has written quite graphically about his views of the coalition shows this to be true. This ‘your government’ stuff shows why Willenhall Leisure Centre is to be shut. No tory councillors = no services for voters. Thanks a bunch WMBC – we can’t vote you out because we did not vote you in.

  5. My father told me he went to Pheasey Farm in Birmingham during WWII. What type of military installation was there at the time?
    Walter Taylor

  6. Hi Walter,
    The Collingwood Centre in Pheasey/Park Farm, Aldridge UDC now Walsall, South Staffordshire; formerly Collingwood Secondary School until 1970 and Collingwood Primary School from 1970 until it closed in the late 1980’s; Was given over to use by the RAF at the outbreak of WWII; And by 1942 given over to use by the United States air force for at least the following two to three years. I believe that Collingwood was used for training and administration purposes for both the RAF and USAAF. Cheers Steve.

  7. Does any one remember the scrambles,in 1942 when the I thought it was the united States army,they used to shower us kids with money when they were linning up to go to the cinema in the collingwood drive community centre,, We kids used the community centre as our play ground,after the Americans left,there must have been a big repair bill I would think.I lived at 93 collingwood drive in that time.

    • I lived in Tyndale Cresent opposite the sand pits from 1940 until 1949 when I joined the RAF. Yes, I took part in the small coin scrambles and running to the fish shop for the Americans queuing for the cinema at the community centre. Typical lovely men freely giving up their oranges to a kid who rarely saw one at that time of the war. Laurie

    • yes I remember the caravan site…my uncle had an old caravan up there, I went to pheasey secondary school, now a doctors surgery I believe. I lived in Tyndale Crescent. Now live in Australia.

      • Hi Phil, I lived at Number 90 Tyndale crescent, My Parents lived there until they died. Hadley was their name. I married in l960, and moved to Australia in 1969

      • My best friend John Cunningham lived at number 79 I think it was I lived in Raeburn Road

      • The caravan site was directly opposite the entrance to Barr Beacon,to the right of the quarry by the now Murcia forest sign.

    • i lived in one of the caravans with twin sister plus parents from 1963 to 1967 remember playing round farm. i think there were about 12 to 15 caravans there

    • My great great uncle Jack lived in a caravan near the farm, he had worked on the farm. He was called Jack and was very tall. But it’s too long ago for anyone to remember. His neighbours, in another caravan, were Boswells.

  8. Anyone out there remember the starling sisters diana and denise we lived in beacon road and went to collingwood drive school from about 1953 untill 1957

    to

    • Hi Diana I remember you and your sister I lived at no 11 Beacon Road I see Marlene,and some of the girls from school 6 of us meet once a year in Birmingham and we have wondered where you lived now we are all about the same age,hope you still live local,lovely to see your name ,Chris

    • Hi clifford yes i remember you being denises boyfriend she and her husband now live in cyprus in the sun i live in telford in the rain unfair world ha ha best wishes diana just refound this site

  9. How nice, only just found this site, I was at Collingwood secondary until 1970 when it closed, loved it there, used to live in Tyndale crescent in the 3 story houses that were built on what we used to call the sand pits, we only moved from Linton Road 200 yds around the corner, happy days

  10. Hi does anyone know anything about a public footpath from doe bank lane across to beacon road or what the use of the big field behind doe bank park was for?

      • Although there are artists used i.e Hogarth, Gainsborough etc. I understood Tyndale to be the bible translator. William Tyndale taking the Latin bible and translating it into English for the very first time. Maybe there was an artist as well. Any help appreciated

  11. Interested to know if the main entrance ornamental gates from Witley Court, Great Witley, Worc’s acquired by then the Aldrige District Council were placed in a public park of 70 acres: Pheasey Farm Estate, Queslett, Great Barr. The gates were originally purchased by the first National Housing Trust who presented them to Aldridge Council. Found the above information in the Birmingham Mail, March 1940.

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  13. I am new to this site, very interesting questions and answers, haven’t seen the names of anyone I know, that would be good, I left Collingwood Drive School in 1954, MR TYAS was headmaster. Lo ok forward to reading more.

    • My wife Diane (deceased June 2016) would have been at Collingwood school maiden name McMeekan of Tyndale Crescent. Born 1941. She also attended night school there for Pitman shorthand. I was a resident of Queslett rd (Birmingham side) and attended Sundridge road and then Birchfield rd followed by Handsworth technical college. We were married at Pheasey Methodist church 1962 and moved in with Dianes parents for twelve months before finally getting our own home in Collingwood drive and still there.

  14. Does anyone have any photographs of Pheasey Farm buildings before it was demolished? very few in exisence! Thank you.

  15. Has anyone got any photos of the church that was on Romney road between Gainsborough Crescent and Chantrey Crescent.

    • I do Paul I was christened there in 1962! I have a photo of our family group in front of it. I can provide a copy.

  16. I was born at no 70 Tyndale Crescent in 1945, but moved to Cattermole Grove in about ‘49.
    Michael Gossage and Johnny Cunningham are well known to me! I knew many many people on the Pheasey and Park Farm!

    • Hi Robert, you must have lived somewhere by the Grix family? There was a daughter Ann who’d be older than you but she did have a younger brother, but I can’t remember his name.
      I was Angela Warburton and I have a sister Celia. I was born in 1942 and lived at 150 Tyndale Crescent. I attended Pheasey County Primary School.

      • Hi Angela really great to read your comments. Was Barrie Shaw somewhere in your family tree.
        After 25 years in the Army and 20 years working in a College I am happy to be retired and still playing golf.
        Stay safe. Regards. Mick

      • Hi Angela
        I lived tyndale crescent from when I was born 1963 the strange thing when we got married in 1984 we bought 150 tyndale crescent and lived there 1984 to 1997 made a lot of happy memories

      • Hi Mandy, I also lived in Tyndall Cres from 1966 until 1980 and we were at number 151, which were the 3 story houses on the old sand pit.

  17. Hello everyone, I am researching my husband’s family tree and his family is shown as living at 42 Hillingford Avenue in what was then Aldridge, in the 1939 Census. I wondered if anyone has any photos of Hillingford Avenue and how it looked then. Looking at google maps, I think the houses are more modern now.

    • Hi Chrissy, I was born at 36 Hillingford Avenue in 1950, have lived in Australia since 1971. In my time at the Pheasey the Aston family lived at number 42, my mate Terry his older brothers Brian and Charlie and younger sister Annette.

      • Hi Dennis,
        I am Malcolm Ladd,you may remember me,I still see Terry Aston quite a lot we both raced pigeons for a lot of years.

        Terry lives at 187 Beacon Road,Annette lives in Streetly,Charlie is in Brooking Close on the Pheasey,Ronnie passed away this year and Brian passed away in his forties.

        Also keep in contact with Graham Craig,we played for the same Sunday side at football.

        Drop us a line if you want to.

        Malcolm.

      • G’Day Malcolm !
        Yes remember you well, I left the UK in 1971 for Australia. Say hello to Terry when you see him , nice to see he carried on with the pigeons, remember his dad racing them. I have Graham Craig on my Facebook ,so we occasionally drop each other a line. Don’t see many from the Pheasey, though good friends with Roger Briggs and his wife Janice née Capewell, they live not to far away from me, I live on te Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane the are on the south side of Brisbane.
        Have made a few trips back there over the years, don’t know about any more… such a long bloody flight. Anyway Malcolm thanks for the message, stay well and safe !
        Dennis

  18. Hi my dad played for Pheasey estate juniors who were runners up in the Aston Villa Cup 1951-52 the final taking place at Villa Park, I have his truly lovely medal but no info other than they lost to Warley fc.
    Any information or pointers about the this team or club would be much appreciated.

  19. CONSTRUCTION OF PHEASEY ESTATE

    Born in 1941, I lived on Pheasey Estate until I married in 1964. Initially my parents, ‘Bert’ and
    Mabel Parkes (plus my younger brother, ‘Bob’) resided at 10 Hillingford Avenue for a few years, but then moved to 152 Tyndale Crescent – a semi-detached house at the corner of Hillingford Avenue. The rear garden was very small and wedge-shaped, but there was a good sized front garden – notable as the site where my Dad built a caravan. Diagonally opposite (at 50 Hillingford Avenue) was occupied by Mr Foster who managed the estate on behalf of the First National Housing Trust (FNHT). After attending Park Farm Primary School (I remember a Miss Kibble), I went to the Secondary School in Collingwood Drive (Mr Tyas, headmaster; and ‘Killer’ Walmsley, woodwork teacher), and then to King Edward’s Grammar School in Lichfield – other Pheasey boys there included David Bird, Brian Williams, and Keith Wood. After leaving Grammar School, I joined the Birmingham Municipal Bank (later TSB), working there until taking early retirement in 1994. The BMB financed the FNHT’s construction of the Pheasey Estate and particulars of the loan are included in my BMB history website (www.bmbhistory.org.uk/bmb-history_443.htm) – the valuations and reports regarding the Estate commissioned by the Bank provide some interesting details regarding the houses and the site. My parents purchased 152 Tyndale Crescent in 1961 – I don’t know the price paid, but it was sold in 1968 for £3,600.

    • Well what a surprise to read all that David. My family the Warburton’s lived next door to you at 150 Tyndale Crescent. My parents, Arthur and Jessie with my elder sister Celia moved there in 1938/9 when the houses were newly built. They thought it so lovely with open spaces and fields so close to hand. Ii was born in 1942 and lived there till 1966 World Cup Final Dzy when I married and moved to Yorkshire. Where I have lived ever since. My sister and I both went to Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall and then onto Teacher Training college in Cheltenham. I taught in Sutton Coldfield for three years before marrying and moving to York, Celia married and moved to Dudley then Leicestershire, Coventry finally ending up in Lancashire where she still resides.
      I remember so well playing with you and Bobby next door. Playing with boy’s toys which I obviously didn’t own.. I seem to remember we got on quite well. Do remember all the fun we all had playing in the street and across the road in the field with that huge tree at the top which we climbed around.
      Our garden was quite long and my Mum could usually be found there as she loved her garden.
      I could go on and on as they were happy, carefree days

      • Hi l remember killer the wood work teacher, after him a I think was a Mr Watts who was a local builder and did repairs at the school then turned up one day as the wood work teacher

      • Hi Angela, I too remember those carefree days and it would be great to reminisce about them. If you are agreeable, please find my email address on my BMB website – David

  20. Hi everyone, I didn’t live in Tyndale Crescent but I used to go out with a girl who did live in Tyndale, I can’t remember what the number of the house was, her name is Josephine Wright, we were so much in love, and I was called up to do my National Service in 1958,and was sent to Malaya, I wrote to her, but only received one letter back ,we never did meet again, I have often think about her and would love to know how she is, please let me know if you knew her.

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