Sutton Coldfield In The Forties – John Bassett




Sutton Coldfield in the Forties is a rich tapestry of many individuals’ precious memories and photographs supported by local newspaper reports of the decade.

There are recollections of horse-drawn bakery and laundry services, Whit-Monday parades and, as a prelude, the Luftwaffe’s 1939 aerial reconnaissance picture of the Balloon Barrage Centre.

A number of contributors provide memories of air-raid shelters, rationing, the R.A.F. 216 Ralph Reader W.A.A.F. Gang Shows and both V.E. and V.J. celebrations.

Couples share their stories on early post-war weddings, the lack of housing and the maternity bed shortage. The opposing views on the emergent N.H.S. expressed by Sutton’s G.P.s and dentists are compared with Sutton’s first full-time surgeon.

As the war finished, a vision of the future developed – folk describe the additional school provision, the new NHS developments, the Falcon Lodge Estate and the developing sporting and leisure provision.

The big event of December 1949 saw the commissioning of Sutton’s B.B.C. T.V. transmitter for the Midlands which brought visual pictures of the outside world into many local homes.

The era concludes with a 1950 aerial picture of Sutton Coldfield and George Gilbert’s contemporary paintings of Sutton scenes (owned by Sutton Library).

240 x 170mm Paperback – pp. viii + 144
Fully Illustrated
ISBN 1 85858 201 6