an Introduction by Rod Birch

What is it about coming from aston that makes us feel special? If we were cockneys, we would probably say being born within range of the Bow Bells was the one thing that made us different from other Londoners. There were no Bow Bells in aston; we had the HP sauce factory, and ansell's Brewery! Not so glamorous as church bells we admit, but two icons of industry known the world over. They represent the industrious, hard working nature of aston people in days gone by.
Dotted amongst the smoky back-to-back houses, and courtyards, were many other smaller manufacturing establishments. Button Makers, Polishers, coach & cycle Builders to name but a few. They all helped to build what was to become the "city of a Thousand Trades" our great "city of Birmingham"

It is this heritage, that makes us feel special, and very proud. aston today is much changed, an aston we no longer know. On the odd occasions we go there, we feel a sense of loss for neighbours and friends we once had, and family members no longer with us. We have happy childhood memories still uppermost in our minds. Most of the original aston people moved, so that those old houses could be cleared to make way for a cleaner, better, healthier environment? Well we are not sure that it was achieved, although things are again changing, this time it's hoped, for the better.

In Memory of Rod Birch

1954 - 2013