THEN & NOW on the Outer Circle – stage 8

Let’s just take another look at Acocks Green Village, or “The Green” as it is known locally.

On the right at the bottom of Westley Road, there were a group of cottages that extended along Shirley Road. These were demolished in 1932 when The New Inn was built.

Next to the pub is Acocks Green Library, also built on the site of the cottages. It opened on 14 June 1932 and cost £14,000 to build, with a further £3,000 spent on books. It was the 25th library to be opened in the city and at the time it was opened was said to be the largest. It was refurbished and modernised in the 1990s and reopened on 9 May 1995.

In 1911 the trams reached “The Green”, then in 1932 the junction between the Warwick Road, Shirley Road and Wesley Road was re-modelled with a central roundabout that accommodated the tram terminus.

In 1937 the trams services on the Stratford Road and Warwick Road were abandoned, so the roundabout at Acocks Green was grassed over and featured flower beds.

Opposite the library on Shirley Road many shops were built in the 1930s, including a distinctive art deco Burtons Menswear shop with a billiards hall on the first floor. Next to Burtons a bank was built. All these shop and bank buildings are still there but occupied by different businesses. But, all the shops that stood on the north side of the Green and Warwick Road as far as Station Road were demolished in the 1960s and a new block of shops and offices in typical contemporary concrete replaced them.

The outer Circle now takes a left turn at the foot of Westley Road for a few yards along the Warwick Road, then it takes a right turn into Dudley Park Road. On the left as we make this turn is St Mary’s, Acocks Green Parish Church. In the corner of the churchyard close to the Warwick Road is a tall monument with a granite column surmounted by an urn with funereal draperies. This is in memory of Emily Palmer, wife of Thomas Palmer, who died in 1885 aged 35. Thomas died three years later aged 42. Emily had been shot dead in the pub owned by her husband, the White Hart in Paradise Street, by Henry Kimberley who became the first person to be hanged at Winson Green Prison.

Acocks Green – Shirley Road cottages in 1928 – these were demolished to provide the site where Acocks Green Library and the New Inn now stand

Acocks Green Library – crowd at the opening ceremony in May 1932. The shops on the other side of the Warwick Road can be seen in the distance

Acocks Green library opening in 1932

Acocks Green Library – May 1932

Acocks Green Library – April 2016

The original Tram terminus in the centre of Acocks Green. The new bank building is behind the tram.

Looking across The Green around 1932 when the tram terminus had been relocated in the roundabout. The New Inn is on the left.

Postcard of Acocks Green where it describes the roundabout as “The Traffic Circle” – showing a tram at the new terminus, the New Inn and the Library – probably from around 1932

Do you remember the scorching summer of 2018? This was The Green in August that year. Compare with the next photograph.

The Green – April 2019

The Green from opposite the junction with Dudley Park Road in the 1950s with Burtons and the bank in the distance.

Looking from the junction of Warwick Road and Dudley Park Road in the 1950s.

Looking from the junction of Warwick Road and Dudley Park Road towards The Green in 2019

St Mary’s Church – Acocks Green – a postcard from the early 20th century

St Mary’s Church – Acocks Green – bombed during WW2. Note the circular windows below the roof line.

The memorial to Emma Palmer and her husband in the graveyard at St Mary’s Church – Acocks Green. 2018

St Mary’s Church – Acocks Green in August 2014. Note the change in the shape of the windows below the roof line following the rebuilding after WW2