Geoff Grayson's Memories
I resided in Bevington Road from 1959 before that Putney Road Handsworth. There was a chap nearby who had fought in the Boar war but I can only remember him known as Gaffer George. At Bevington Road I lived two doors away from a locally infamous family, whose family fights only took place early Sunday mornings and spread into Aston Park where the parkie sometimes got involved, and also lodgers, in particular Mick Harvey who I played soccer with "Togga". Micks claim to fame was he was twelfth man for Crewe Alexandria when Spurs beat them 13-0 at White Hart Lane in the cup (1959?). A neighbour Jack Raybone said his real name was Jack Brown and he had played for the Blues but I don't know if it’s true.
I used to mind cars on match days and even then could make two or three quid. I lived two doors away from the Startins, who were related to the motor dealers but there was no relationship to their finances.
I went to Birchfield Road Boys School with Paul and Kenny Startin and at the same time John Osbourn and Tony Iommi were there. The headmaster originally was "Gabby" Whittaker but he retired 1961 and Johnny (Ogre) Oldham took charge, who recently had an obituary in the Birmingham Post. He had been a war hero (spitfires and wellingtons), had met Churchchill, played cricket for Lancashire and football for Bolton Wanderers. He wanted us to be like him. However he did get me through GCE O level and I went to work for WJ Whittall, builders, Princip Street. Old Joe Whittall was still alive and was involved (1963). He had been a mate of Joseph Lucas and still got all Lucas’s work. I retired in 2012 and am interested in family history as well as classic cars (Daimler/Lanchester).