The Farcroft by Paul Holmes

The Farcroft is a pub on Rookery Road, Handsworth. In olden days (well the 50s/60s) it was THE place for functions; weddings, works dances etc. I read somewhere on the forums (maybe Pom) recalling going to VERY posh dinner dances there in the 50s where formal dress was essential to attend a sit down meal. Well it wasn't quite that posh when I went but it was still rather exclusive.

One of the pictures is of my sister's wedding reception held there in about 1958. The other is of a works dance probably early 60s. I can't remember if it was a Canning's dance that I got my sister to come to or whether it was an Avery's dance that she got me tickets for. The former is more likey as I would get her tickets knowing she'd bring Ann Sommer with her (the attractive brunette second from left - not to be confused with Ann Summers who sells the naughty underwear :-o).

The wedding I can remember fairly well as I was awestruck by the waitresses all done up in their black and white uniforms and it was the first time this scally from Winson Green tasted champagne.

The Farcroft became a regular venue for me in my Plaza days. As the beer was cheaper and better there than at the dance hall, we would call in there first so that we only needed topping up with the expensive stuff. They also had live music. If there was nobody much good up at the Plaza, we would stay for the dance at the Farcroft. It only cost a couple of bob to get in, the beer was good and there was an extention.

The last time I visited the Farcroft was about thirty years ago with my new bride. We went into the Beachcomber Lounge for a quiet drink. The atmosphere was still very sedate. I recall the sort of desert island theme: The carpet was sand coloured with a pattern of bare footprints and there was some bloke twiddling the ivories on a big (Hammond I think) organ.

I still pass the Farcroft from time to time. Although it's still open, with half the traditional leaded windows now bricked or boarded up and the car park littered with tat, I'm afraid it's only a shadow of what it used to be. However, I understand that they still do catering; alas no formal banquets, but you can pick whatever you like from a varied menu, so long as it's curry.

The wedding one is of three of my sisters
(left to right), Susan, Laurel (Bride) and KateLate 1950s.

The function (mid 60s) includes (back row, left to right), ???, Ronnie Woodman, ???,
and me, Paul Holmes.
Front row (left to right), my sister Susan, Sylvia Harboard, Ann Sommers
I believe it was a Cannings' works dance, which I'd invited my sister too
knowing she would bring Ann. Judging by the jar
Sue is holding, there nosebags consist of seafood, probably cockles.

Paul Holmes

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