THEN & NOW on the Outer Circle – stage 9

Having turned into Dudley Park Road we may wonder what or where Dudley Park is. Well it seems that the name results from purchase of the land by William Dudley, a well-known Birmingham jeweller. He added Park to the road’s name to distinguish it from the town in the Black Country. Houses were built along the road from the junction with Sherborne Road, Station Road & Oxford Road to create Acocks Green’s own “Five Ways”. The nearby railway station on the GWR’s line from Paddington to Birmingham encouraged business people, and the well-to-do, living in Birmingham to move out to the suburb with its new rapid transport system. Consequently, many large houses were built in the area. However after Acocks Green, which was in Yardley, became part of Birmingham in 1911 many local authority houses were built in the area and many of the well-off started moving out. This gave Acocks Green the name “Snobs Green”.

Along Sherborne Road, which is on our left, you can find Arden Road. Arden Road was certainly in existence from 1840. Many large houses were built along here in Victorian & Edwardian times, but the most unusual feature of Arden Road is the fact that there is an oak tree in the middle of the carriageway.

But, back to the Outer Circle and Sherborne Road takes us north to the railway station, which opened on the 30th September 1852. It was originally named Acocks Green and not, as the London Illustrated News named it, Haycocks Green. In 1878 the station was renamed Acocks Green and South Yardley, and it reverted to its original name of Acocks Green on 6th May 1968. The two-track railway from 1852 was quadrupled in 1906 as the line became busier, and the station had four platforms. Since the 1960s the line reverted to two lines and one of the pairs of platforms was removed to provide space for a car park. Lifts were installed for passengers to access the platforms in 2014.

As we go over the railway bridge, the station building is on the right, and then we pass The Great Western pub. It was probably built in the early 20th century as the roads around here were laid out and filled with late Victorian terraced houses. The pub is still standing on the corner of The Avenue and surviving in these difficult times for suburban pubs.

At The Avenue the Outer Circle becomes Yardley Road which will take us on a ¾ mile journey to The Swan.

Dudley Park Road – c1950s

Dudley Park Road – August 2019

Looking along Sherborne Road from Dudley Park Road with the railway station in the distance. Oxford Road and Station Road are on the right – 1905.

Looking along Sherborne Road from Dudley Park Road with the railway station in the distance. Oxford Road and Station Road are on the right – August 2018.

The tithe map showing Arden Road & Warwick Road – 1840.

Arden Road with “The Tree” on the left and the cottages on the right – c1890.

Arden Road with “The Tree” and cottages on the right, surrounded by more modern housing – c1910.

Arden Road c1930s.

Arden Road – the tree and the cottages hidden behind the leaves – 2008

Arden Road – March 2019, with the cottages on the left.

Arden Road – March 2019, with the cottages on the right.

Acocks Green Station shortly after opening. The entrances to the platforms were on the right. At this time there were only two lines and the station buildings were on the Birmingham-bound platform, nearest to the camera.

Looking up Sherborne Road towards Acocks Green Station with the new station building on the bridge after the quadrupling of the lines in 1906.

Outside Acocks Green Railway Station in Sherborne Road with an “Express Parcels” horse drawn cart and a horse drawn carriage awaiting the next train. Taken in the early 1900s.

Acocks Green Station entrance from Sherborne Road – March 2019.

This photograph of Acocks Green & South Yardley Station was taken before quadrupling in 1906, looking south with a Birmingham bound train approaching from the distance.

A pre-1906 postcard of Acocks Green station looking north towards the Sherborne Road bridge. There is probably a train expected soon on the Birmingham-bound platform as it looks very busy with folk dressed in their best clothes

This photograph was taken after quadrupling with 6017 ‘King Edward IV’ passing through Acocks Green station on the down main on 4th July 1959 with the 11-10am Paddington to Birkenhead train.

6025 ‘King Henry III’ passes through Acocks Green station with the 11-10am Paddington to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ on 31st March 1962.

ex-GWR 2-6-0 locomotive 6349 passes north through Acocks Green and South Yardley Station in the 1950s

Acocks Green and South Yardley Station on 25 May 1957 with ex-GWR 2-6-2T 4108 hauling a local train from Moor Street to Leamington Spa. You can see the station buildings on the bridge in the distance.

5163 stands on the up relief line platform at Acocks Green and South Yardley with a Moor Street to Leamington service in 1957. The back of Great Western pub can be seen to the right of the right hand platform canopy.

Acocks Green Station – before the lifts were installed – 13 April, 2013

Acocks Green Station with the lift towers under construction – 4th September 2014

Looking from the station entrance after 1906 down Sherborne Road towards “Five Ways” and the Green.

Sherborne Road, Acocks Green in March 2017 from outside Acocks Green Station. The house on the right can be seen the the previous (1906) photograph.

Sherborne Road looking towards Acocks Green – The Great Western Hotel & GWR Station are both on the left – c1906.

The side entrance to the 1930s Great Western Hotel from The Avenue.

Great Western pub – Sherborne Road – Acocks Green – August 2017

Looking north along Yardley Road from the junction of The Avenue – 2019.