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St. Joseph's Nechells

RC Church & School


Did you attend St Joseph's RC School,

Long Acre,


Birmingham, England?

If so, then this is the web site for you.

Do you remember teachers like, Miss Sidebottom, Miss Scally, Mr Cassell, Miss Martin or Miss Dobbin? What about Mr Whittle, Miss White, or Miss Grundy? Then again Sister Alfreda or Sister Marguerite?

Do you want to find out where they are now or what happened to them? Again this is where you will get your answers. See Stories from Pupils & Teachers and the other story pages. Many are mentioned.

What former school friends do you remember? John Tocker, Pat Brierley, Tommy Powell. Mavis Hall or maybe  the Walsh sisters or the Kimberley sisters. This site has knowledge of them all.

So if you attended St Joseph's School, or have any information about friends who did, contact me and let me know. Your messages will be greatly appreciated.

If you did not attend St Joseph's but are still interested in local history, particularly Nechells, this site may have some thing for you! There are many photographs and stories about the area and how life went on during difficult times. Few of the photographs are shown above. You will find more on the web pages..

For best results  use Google Chrome if possible for all photographs.

My appreciation to Eric Hill and The Heartlands Historical Society for many of the old photographs.

Contact me on


Please be advised that nearly all the stories contained in this web site have been previously published in my book. I will permit free usage for school and certain other educational aspects on request.

Site updated on 19th October 2014 with story from

Bob Crowson. Former Perry Barr Inspector.

Busman Days. Page dedicated to those former busmen and women who worked for Birmingham City Transport and West Midlands Passenger Transport.

If you have a story to go on the pages or any photographs, I will be pleased to display.

Busman Days

Web Site News

Update 3rd September 2016.

Latest contact made.

Scroll down this page.

Whilst the situation has not changed to a great degree from last year, I have funded the web site for one further year.

I will however supply

Fr. Stephen Pimlott,
Parish Priest of St. Joseph's, Nechells & Sacred Heart, Aston with a copy of all web site paperwork for future reference.

These pages  will now come off the net in March 2017.

Thanks for all your attention and help!

Richard at


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It has happened again, just when I thought there was no more to come in, I received the following email,

Hello have just come across your pages while looking for mass times at St Joseph's . Wonderful memories for so many, thank you.

Although I did not attend the school ( my sister and I went to St Vincent's in Vauxhall Grove) but did live in the parish - Freeman Road from 1945 to 1956, as a family we attended Sunday masses and confession etc at St Joseph's. Mum always made sure my sister Maureen and I took part in Our Lady's processions especially the May one. She adorned us in our best or white dresses and veils then both of us full of childish resentment ,embarrassment and self-conscious at not  knowing other children and being shushed around into unfamiliar classrooms and strangers we obediently did as we were told.

Obviously strength from thoughts that we were doing this in the honour and beauty of Our Blessed Lady. We both now treasure these experiences the memories the services and remembering the beauty of the procession winding around the path of the church yard up to the little shrine and alter singing  hymns , our favourite "O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels and Queen of the may...................."

Anyhow on the 3rd of September 1960 we were back at St Joseph's , Maureen a bridesmaid and me the bride marrying John ( Douglas) also from Freeman Road,  hence looking to celebrate by attending Mass there this coming week -end - our 56th Wedding anniversary.

Therese Douglas - nee Ball.

A couple of photographs.

My sister Maureen on far left ( dark hair) page boy and little one in mum's arms my younger brothers.

St Joseph's Sat 3/09/1960

Of course, I replied and received he following,

Thank you for replying Richard, lovely to hear you were an altar boy - thinking you were probably one of the people Maureen and I felt so self conscious about -  by all means you may use the story, I attach a photo of us together just incase someone out there may remember us.

Shame you have not had much info for awhile , for as we say these memories are treasures - becoming twinkling stars throughout our lives.

Should there be anything that I could help you with do let me know.

Talking about ages and I don't mind , I am now 76yrs  D.O.B 19th July 1940.

we can't do anything about our gathered years  but we can offer  a lot through them. Must mention it was Fr Timmins that married us although remember Fr Slade ( frightened us to death) then Fr Motherwell, far more approachable.

Hoping to be at 12 o'clock mass this Sunday a bit of a trip as we live in Lapley Sth Staffordshire but will be worth it.

God Bless.


Two of us with mum on holiday in Weymouth about 1949/50