THEN & NOW on the Outer Circle – stage 7

As we reach the bottom of Westley Road we pass a number of local landmarks around “the Green”. On the left is the school that both Pam (Mrs Humphries) and Jasper Carrott went to. Acocks Green School opened in 1908 and is still going strong today.

Opposite the school is the 10-pin bowling alley based in the building that was the Warwick Cinema which opened on 6th September 1929. The cinema closed in 1962, and the stalls area was converted into a 10-pin bowling alley. A 462-seat cinema opened in the circle on 24th March 1964 it closed in November 1991 and converted into a laser tag centre. The bowling alley still operates downstairs as the Acocks Green Bowl.

Next to the Bowling Alley is a tyre depot which was once a “pumpless” petrol station. This was a Japanese invention where the pump nozzles were suspended from the ceiling of the canopy and lowered down to a point just above the car roof where the attendant would pull it down the rest of the way to fill the car. I know it was there as I worked on the pumps in those long-lost days where you had someone fill your car or pay less than a quid for four gallons! What seemed like a good idea never caught on and there were very few of these in the UK; this one closed in the 1970s.

Then next to tyre depot is the Inn on the Green which was originally called the New Inn. The original New Inn was on the opposite side of Westley Road at the junction of the Warwick Road and dated from 1858. The new New Inn was built on its present site in 1932. It was renamed “The Inn on the Green” around the turn of the century. It’s still there and open – unusual for a local pub nowadays.

The end of Westley Road in Acocks Green in 1975

The end of Westley Road in Acocks Green in October 2018

Acocks Green School c1920

Acocks Green School c2018

The Warwick Cinema in 1957 – the film Pal Joey is on at the time.

The Warwick Bowl after conversion from the cinema in 1964. This photograph was taken around 1982. The balcony of the old cinema had been converted into a small 462 seat cinema and was showing the film Caligula and Messalina which is described as a slapstick Italian sex comedy!

The Acocks Green Bowl (was the Warwick Cinema) in 2018. As well as a bowling alley it is also a laser tag centre.

The small petrol station that was between the cinema and New Inns pub on Westley Road. This was probably taken around 1954 (The 1954 film “Suddenly” is showing at the cinema).

The “pumpless” petrol station that was built between the cinema & New Inns on Westley Road in the late 1960s. This was a promotional photograph taken at the time of opening. By then petrol had gone up to nearly six bob a gallon!

Acocks Green from Warwick Road c1900. The original New Inn is in the distance, which was sited on the left side of Westley Road on the corner of Warwick Road. Westley Road and Shirley Road would be on the left.

The New Inn before the name changed to “The Inn on the Green”.

The New Inn after the name had changed to “The Inn on the Green”. Has anyone got any idea when the name changed? It was certainly before 2008.

A later photograph of the “The Inn on the Green” with a good show of spring flowers on the “Green” – well done Birmingham Parks Department!

The Inn on the Green in 2018, with the tyre depot to the right.