On the left in Yardley Road we will pass Acocks Green Police Station – still here in spite of the rationalisation of the West Midland’s Police Stations. The police station and incorporated court house for Worcestershire Police, was constructed in 1909 to designs by Alfred Vernon Rowe (1881-1940), County Architect. Up until 1911 Acocks Green was in Yardley – part of Worcestershire. The building incorporated a tiny fire station at the back in Alexander Road.
Alexander Road was laid down around the 1900s and runs parallel to the railway heading towards Stockfield Road. However, it seems that a couple of factories had been built on Stockfield Road (the site now occupied by a bingo hall) so Alexander Road makes a sharp turn at the end to meet up with the adjacent Douglas Road. As with many roads along here it is lined with Victorian-style terraced and semi-detached houses.
On the opposite side of Alexander Road to the fire station are not one but two church halls. The earlier terracotta brick Baptist Church Hall was built in 1903 and is Grade II listed. Next door on the corner of Yardley Road is the attractive “arts & crafts” style Glynn Edwards Hall which was built in 1924. There were plans to demolish the Glynn Edwards Hall and replace it with a more modern building. It seems that due to a council cock-up the hall, built in 1924, was not listed correctly when it was given grade A protection. This was an on-going saga in 2012 with residents & conservationists wanting to save the building, whilst the developers had the bulldozers on standby! However local opposition defeated the plans and it is still there.
The Baptist Church on Yardley Road is Grade II Listed building and was built in red brick in 1913, also in an “arts & crafts” style”.
As we head north along Yardley Road we pass about a third of a mile of shop buildings. However most of them are now occupied by businesses that could not be described as traditional retail.
After the shops we approach the Grand Union Canal. The old bridge across the canal put quite a twist in the road, but when it was subsequently rebuilt it was widened and straightened out.
As we leave Acocks Green we may care to reflect on the fact that the earliest known reference to Acocks Green is in the Yardley Parish Register of 1604, but the name derives from the Acock family who built a large house in the area in 1370. This was sited about half a mile down the Warwick Road at the junction of Woodcock Lane. Although the Acock family left the area in the 18th century the house remained. It was demolished in the 1950s and replaced with blocks of flats.