The Ellard family and the old Tuck Shop, Warwick Road



The family memories below, and the photographs, have been kindly provided by David Ronald Ellard. The Ellards took over from Mrs Ann Bolton: the shop was previously known as 'Old Ma Bolton's', She apparently facilitated the exchange of love letters between local schoolchildren!


The Ellard family in Acocks Green 1927 – 1935/6


Those of us who were at school in the 1960s and 1970s, and indeed before this, will remember that History lessons were very much about Kings and Queens and battles. Thankfully we have now moved on and it is recognised that History is really the story of the people who lived during those times: people who often had little or no knowledge of what royalty or politicians were up to. They were just trying to live their lives. Below is an excerpt from the hand-written journal of my paternal grandfather, Mr William Ellard, who in the early 1930s worked in and around Acocks Green. His journal, drafted and redrafted in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is a very personal account of his life from birth till just before his death in 1973. I was very aware when transcribing this that he names people and companies throughout his text and I did consider anonymising it. However, on reflection I concluded that this is his personal account in his own words and this is what I should present. I apologise in advance for any text that may offend some. His account, as I say, is very personal to him, and I have no way of confirming or refuting some of the events that take place. He notes himself at the start of the journal that his command of English may not be the best as he missed much schooling. I have at times when transcribing this extract adjusted the text slightly so sentences make sense (whilst trying to convey the original meaning).


Before we start with the extract I would like to explain why I want to share this story and some background information. Amongst his remaining belongings, that were handed down to me by my father, are two photographs of him standing outside his confectionery and tobacco shop on Warwick Road, Acocks Green. The surroundings are very derelict and I had always assumed that they were taken during the Second World War. However, a closer look reveals that they are in fact from 1933, a date that also is confirmed from his journal. I think the story he tells is one of entrepreneurship and good and bad times trying to provide for his growing family. His story at this time takes place in and around Acocks Green and highlights events and changes as the village started to grow.


William Ellard was born on the 29th March 1900, in Icknield Square Ladywood, Birmingham. He had an interesting upbringing. He was born with only one ear and very early in his school life an unfortunate encounter with an ink pen meant he lost an eye! He was drafted in 1918 into the army, cheating on the eye test. He spent time serving in Londonderry and became an excellent marksman on the range. It was an officer one day that questioned why he didn’t close his one eye when shooting that he told them. He was discharged on medical grounds. He worked for a number of years at Stanley Smith & Sons, as a ‘wire drawer’ meaning he made wire (in Tyseley I think). He was also the social secretary for the firm. He married Nell in 1923. In 1927 they moved to a council house in Thornfield Road, Acocks Green. I let him tell this part of his story...


“I believe that the Acocks Green estate was the beginning of Birmingham city council's big building drive in building council houses. When we arrived there was only about two dozen houses occupied in Dolphin Lane and just two in Thornfield Road including ours...”


His job as a wire drawer was having an impact on his health and he was having time off work. It is during one of these times off work in early 1927 that I now let him tell his story.


“It was towards the end of 1927 I had one of my worst attacks of Bronchitis. My doctor now told me that if I did not give up wiredrawing I would not live to see 40. I had been away from work for over three weeks. I was now able to go for short walks around the building sites; for houses were going up all around us now. It was whilst watching the builders at work, one of them asked me how far it was to get any cigarettes. I told him it was a fairly long way – to the other end of Dolphin lane. I said that I had nothing to do and I would gladly fetch them for him. That day I went for 10/6 worth of Players, Woodbines and Stars. The Next day it was 16/6d worth. This went on for the remainder of the week and on Saturday a workman knocked on our door and handed me 11/- saying the chaps had a collection thanking me for my services knowing I was unwell and on the panel (sick pay). During the weekend I had much room for thought. In total that week I had fetched 500 packets of Woodbines (5’ and 10’s), 250 packets of Star, 100 packets of Players and Gold Flake and a few other oddments. As I knew that I could get cigarettes at wholesale prices from where I obtained them for my firm I got as much money as I could spare together. I went to the wholesalers and bought a similar number as I had fetched that week. On Monday morning I made my round of the building site, within three days I had sold out and by the end of the week I had made 28/- profit and 7/6 in tips. The following two weeks my sales increased rapidly. Men and women who were beginning to occupy the houses were also buying from me. Within a month I was making nearly £2 profit.


I knew from Birmingham Council house laws that I could not sell from the house or sell tobacco on the highway. So I suggested to people that they place an order with me and I would deliver daily to their house. Most of them agreed. Before I knew where I was I had gotten a fair amount of customers and profits were increasing each week. During this time the ladies (mothers) started complaining about having to go a long way to get sweets for the children. So off I went to the wholesale confectioners in Tomey Road, Greet. I bought my first 4lb box of caramels, a couple of dozen 1/2d & 1d bars of Cadbury’s chocolate, and a box of assorted sticks of rock (1/2d & 1d). All this was sold within two or three days. I now found that my cycle, which I had had for many years, became very useful. I had been carrying my cigarettes in two large bags over my handlebars. I now made a large box to fit on the back to carry my sweets. If I missed any of the children any morning their mothers told me; for it seems they were always looking forward to seeing me on my round. I then hit on an idea to buy a large bell for my cycle which rang out ‘ding dong, ding dong’. It certainly did the trick, for years afterwards I was known as the ‘ding dong’. So I can say that the modern ice cream vendors of today (1969/70) were not the originators of the music to call their customers. Back in 1928 I was doing good business with children outside the Dolphin Lane schools.


It was about this time, just before Christmas 1929, that a good friend of ours, a tea salesman, came to Acocks Green to deliver to his customers who had come to live in the area. He suggested I take some of his tea on my round. I agreed to trial taking 4lb in1/4 lb packets (Ridgeway tea). Before the end of the week I had sold out and awaiting my friend for more. Selling the tea led to me being asked for other various groceries. I contacted the wholesaler Satchwells in Worcester Street. There you could get very nearly anything as well apart from groceries including; hardware, ironmongery and garden utensils. It became impossible to carry all my goods just on the handlebars and back of my cycle. Luck came my way I heard of a cycle sidecar chassis going cheap. I soon made boxes and chassis was duly fitted.


I made another attempt to get back to work (at Smiths) but again fairly quickly had another bronchitis attack. My doctor then proved to me the difference in my health whilst I was outdoors compared to working in the factory. It was now I we had to decide if I should go back to wiredrawing. I was now beginning to earn more in my business than I was wiredrawing. I decided to take the plunge and give up the factory job. My firm Stanley Smith & Sons was very sorry I had to give up my work, but all knew of my circumstances and I had lost a great deal of time in 1929. It was a sad day when I left for I had been very happy at Smith’s with my old boss his son and all my old mates for the past eight years. As it was about three weeks to Christmas I also decided I must not receive any more panel money. My doctor was very pleased and thought I had made the right decision. Nell had been offered a good clean and responsible job office cleaning at the Warwick Picture House in Acocks Green village which had been recently opened. I well remember Nell’s words when I decided to give up wiredrawing: ‘it’s far better to be in the open air and live than stay as a wiredrawer and perhaps make me an early widow.’


Now realising we were on our own but had better transport I began to feel more confident in all our hopes for the future. My business had now extended as far as the Gospel Oak public house, the other end of Gospel lane. It seemed now that I was firmly established. I found that it was profitable to go out for two or three hours on a Sunday morning selling chocolates and sweets. All was now going well for us. Like all other businesses there were snags and pitfalls. It was a custom amongst tradesmen on their rounds to confide in each other and give information of the various habits and dealings of some of their customers. Some were good and some bad at paying and indeed other various habits. It was not long before I found I too had some such customers. “


I pause the story here as William goes on to talk about encounters and experiences with some of his lady customers who could not or would not pay their bill. These musings add little to the story and often seem fanciful rather than real (note he named no one in this section).


We return to the story in 1931.


“My business after two years was very successful with over two hundred customers making it a full time job. However, getting so well known it began to get a little worrying for us as living in a council house I could not sell goods from my door or even stock such goods at home. I always had to refuse requests when people came to the door. We worried that someone may split on us to the council. Things came to a head one day when I was on my round and a man came to the house wanting cigarettes. Nell had considerable trouble to get rid of him.


Luck however again came my way. A six roomed old house was to let in the Acocks Green village next to the Junior & Senior School on Warwick Road. The house had previously been occupied by the one and only policeman of old Acocks Green village. The neighbouring house was still occupied by the old fireman who still had the fire escape standing in readiness outside the house in front when we first went to live in the house. This was just before the new Fire and Police station was built in Yardley Road.


We had been settled in about two-months, very much contented. Young Nell (daughter) had transferred to the school next door. I could now stock more goods without fear and business was still at its best around the estate. The elderly lady who owned the property kept a small sweet shop only a few yards from us next door to the old public house the New Inn (which was replaced by the present New Inn built a few yards further away in about 1933). We now received another surprise to hear that our elderly landlady was going to retire and was giving up her sweet shop. She was planning to leave the shop to her son but his plans were to change the sweet shop to a boot repairing. This then gave me the opportunity to ask her if she had any objections if I could open my own house into a sweet shop; telling her all my plans. She had no objections whatsoever, knowing what my business was she just said ‘live and let live’.


I now got moving in reconstructing the front room. I was fortunate to have amongst my customers a first class builder who was willing to do the conversion. He obtained the all the materials required; shop front and timber for the counters and shelves. He completed the job in two weeks and by the end of another ten days I was ready to open. The builder Mr Arthur Sly, of Gospel lane, had done a first-class job at a total cost of £70. He and his wife became very good friends of ours until they left Birmingham in 1942.


1931/1932: We now again settled down, we became very popular with all the children from the school. Nell was very happy and contented to look after the shop whilst I was on my round. We were kept so busy I again decided to reduce my round by dropping my more awkward payers. So I sacrificed a few shillings to get rid of them and decided not to extend further afield as more shops were being built. This gave me all afternoon and evening to look after the shop freeing Nell to spend more time looking after young Nell, the home and her shopping. I opened the shop at 8am till 9pm weekdays, 7.30am to 10pm Saturday and 9am to 1pm Sundays. I now decided to drop my Sunday rounds. The children from the school and people dropping off the old trams were patronizing us. It seemed we could do no wrong. Young Nell was now eight years old It was now that Nell and I decided that she should not be an only child.


1932/1933: Over the next few months we began to hear rumours of new developments around the village green. All of the buildings from Westley Road around into Warwick Road to the school had to go in order to widen the Road. All new shops were to be built where the old buildings had stood. The new public house had been built alongside the Warwick Picture house. The old New inn was the first to go together with the boot repairers and the terrace cottages leaving just my shop (see pictures) and house next door standing. They had taken a big slice off our back gardens. It was now in January 1933 that Jack Cotton & Sons who were the agent for the developers of the new site informed me I had got to go. But I would not move until it was guaranteed I should have one of the new shops. A lot of legal argument went on for and against. My cause was finally helped by Nell’s doctor who told Jack Cotton he could not interfere with us until Nell had had her baby; which was not due until March. This gave me time to get my legal rights settled allowing me a new shop on the same site. The old new shops were being built a little further back from the Road.


Nell had our second child, a son, Ronald William on March 12th 1933. We had made temporary arrangements to live with our friends Mr & Mrs Sly in Gospel lane. The new shops were well under construction even before we moved out of the old house which was soon demolished leaving me just the shop for another month. I used a tarpaulin for the roof. As soon as I erected the tarpaulin over the top I thought I would place a novel advert around it never dreaming that it would cause such a stir and much amusement. Even the Evening Dispatch inserted an article and picture of it in their paper stating it was as good an advert they’d seen for some time. This is what it said: ‘Our top as gone but we are still top for value.’ I still have the photographs of that advert (see pictures – note his cycle and sidecar at the side). We knew it would not be long before we should be returning to the new shop. This sudden new life of ease seemed very strange to us at first. I still had my morning round although small which brought us in a few pounds but having the new shop to look forward too we spent wisely.


The time came for us to return to our new premises. What a vast difference to our dear old one. Double frontage large bedrooms, lounge, kitchen and well back from the Roadway. Although the Warwick Road was supposed to have been widened there I believe it’s still not been done up to this day (1972). Again with the assistance of our friend Mr Sly, erecting first class fittings for the interior of the shop we moved in. By the time I was ready to open I could say I was financially broke and a little in debt, but only we and Mr & Mrs Sly knew this. We were confident we could make good. All my old dealers were quickly upon the scene to stock me out Cadburys’, Rowntrees’, Wilkinson’s, Parkes’, and Lyons for ice-cream together with my two wholesale tobacconists’. I was now ready and complete to reopen on the first Monday in July 1933. Much to schoolchildren's delight, for on that first Monday dinner hour children going back to school were given a penny bar of Cadbury or Rowntree chocolate. Believe me there were certainly a few children who took advantage, it cost me a bob or two, but it was worth all the time and trouble.


One amusing incident which took place that is worth recording relates to our window display. One part of our window was a display of various brands of cigarettes and tobacco done by one of the tobacco company’s window dressers; a good show. One evening I was wondering why people looking into that window were so amused. When I saw at least ten or twelve people doing so well amused and laughing, I thought it was time I went out to find what it was all about. Although it shook me a little I too was amused and joined in their laughter. It was a small mouse playing and climbing all around the dummy cartons. That little mouse was performing some clever tricks. I knew I would have a job to catch him without destroying my display so I had to let him carry on his performance for at least one night. Trade at this time of night is usually quiet, but that little mouse had done a good nights work for me. I did more business that evening than I used to do in three evenings. What a wonderful little advertiser that little mouse was but sorry to say the little dear finished up on the mouse trap by next morning. Our first Christmas trade was a wonderful success never dreaming that I should have to repeat and reorder so many times for more boxes of various kinds of chocolates a month before that Christmas.


1934: We now found business so good we decided to employ an assistant to help us in the shop. Nell was finding it as much as she could cope with now Ronny was over twelve months old and running around. We were not long in finding a girl; her parent wanted her to take up a job in the confectionery trade. That girl, only sixteen, turned out to be a very good assistant. She also loved children and it did not take young Nellie and Ronny long to get along with her very well. I now bought myself a motorbike and sidecar which was wonderful on my small round and for all other business purposes. It was rather amusing when I first bought it I was told just how to start and stop it; that was all. So I had got to learn to really drive it before going on the road. When Warwick Cinema car park was empty I pushed the bike over to it then went round and round. I don’t know how many times I went smack into the wall before I could stop. I very often had policeman watching me doing my learning; much to their amusement. They were also helpful with their advice helping me master it. Most of the police knew me well. When they were on school duties they always came into the shop for a chat and a cup of tea whilst waiting for the children to come out of school.


I was asked by the headmasters of both Acocks Green and Dolphin Lane schools to cater for the children on their sports days with ice cream, sweets and minerals at their sports grounds at Henry Road Yardley playing fields and Shirley Road playing fields. Apart from the extra business and profit we found these afternoons very enjoyable, Nell would come along to help me, then our girl assistant would have her turn. This was a pleasant change for us all.


Now after my first eighteen months of opening the new shop I could say that the whole of the stock in that shop I could call my own. Although my outgoing expenses were greater now than the old shop we could honestly say we were free of debts. All my confectioners I dealt with monthly and my tobacconists fortnightly, I never failed to pay my travellers their monthly accounts for what I had. All out travellers used to tell us it was a pleasure to deal with us. Always sure of being paid, always another order and also a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits, before they left. I too find it much an advantage for I very often had some of their good lines at a cheaper rate making a better profit. I must admit that these ‘good lines’ were fetched from their cars and paid for. How it was done I just never knew. All continued to go well, we had lots of friends and plenty of visitors. We had little time ourselves to visit anyone so visitors were made welcome.


It was now about the middle of 1935. Dad was taken very ill we were all expecting the worst. Brother Jack and I were at his bedside, he seemed to know he was near his end. He said to Jack and I, I shall not be here much longer but I hope you and Jack will look after your mother. I know I’ve never been good to her or any of you but I have tried these last few years to do better, so I hope you will look after her for me. I then told dad that he had made up for a lot these last few years and that now he should not have any regrets. Jack told his dad he had not got to worry about his mother for he would be certain as long as mother lived he would not leave her. Dad died eight days later. At that time little did I ever think that Jack’s words to his dad would ever be so true. To my knowledge, up to 1935, it was always the practice of any shopkeeper when such a death occurred they would always have a black board in the middle of the shop window as a mark of respect for their dead. I naturally did the same. But I noted that afterwards I don’t think I saw the practice more than three times ever again. I should say that such marks of respect died out about 1935.


It was not long after we lost dad that Nell had a severe attack of lumbago, whilst she was still in bed I received a letter to appear in court with regards to bad debts. One of my wholesale tobacconists came to explain to me why he had been obliged to do this. He had been advised by his solicitor to place all of his customers in court good and bad, but he assured all his good customers they had nothing to fear. He assured me I was one of his good customers. His bill was about £30 per week; we paid the traveller about £60 each fortnight. A few days before I was to attend court Nell was feeling better so I decided to take her and Ronny for a short trip out to Warwick. We enjoyed our trip and had tea in Warwick then a steady ride home. On reaching the Barley Mow public house at Solihull the Road was fairly narrow and certainly no room for anyone to overtake. Suddenly however a car came from behind me to overtake but seeing an oncoming car he made no attempt to give way but shot straight in front of me, his rear mudguard hitting, my offside handlebars completely taking them out of my hands. I was shot off my saddle onto the Roadway my sidecar wheel striking the grass turning the sidecar completely over with Nell and Ronny underneath. I picked myself up then managed to get Nell and Ronny out by turning it up the right way. It had all happened very quickly the combination began to run away but I managed to stop the engine before any more damage was done. I did think at the time that little damage had been done. Nell was dazed and holding her mouth, Ronny was crying. Police came on the scene, as it was not far to get home a passing car was stopped to get Nell home and a doctor called. The police then took notes from me and the car driver then I followed home on the combination. All this happened on the Thursday before I had to attend court on the Friday.


The doctor was with Nell when I arrived home. He was with her for quite a while. He assured me that Ronny was alright. He then gave me a shock by saying that Nell had broken her jaw. He had bandaged it temporarily but would immediately send for a specialist to come in the morning to fix up something for Nell. I was worried for she was now in a bad way by morning. Our friend Mrs Sly stayed all night with us. I was very glad to see that doctor arrive at 9.30am he did his job well and Nell was looking more comfortable but before he left I had to pay him £20; his fee. He told me Nell would not be able to speak for a day or two but all would be alright soon; much too all our relief. About 3.30pm that day the police arrived from Solihull to get more evidence of the accident. The police then said that they did not think there would be a court case. This is when I received my next shock, for when the policeman mentioned the words court case it suddenly came to me that I should have got to court at 11.00am that very morning for the hearing of the tobacconists case. I did not go and tell Nell about it in case it upset her. Waiting to give myself a little time to think about what I could do about it. I was to have no time to think about it for the following morning two bailiffs arrived and gave me an order from the court then closed up my shop.


This was a terrible blow to me and one or two of my friends who were with me at the time. They were as shocked and upset as I was. They could not advise me what I should do to meet this disaster.


I did have one sound piece of advice, to phone my landlord Mr Jack Cotton this I did about 12 o’clock at his office in Waterloo Street with luck he was there in his office and I gave him all the information I could including the unfortunate accident I’d had. Mr Cotton seemed and sounded as much shocked as I had been. He then said over the phone of the wholesaler who did this ‘the bastard’ I will come and see you at once. Within half an hour he arrived having to come in the back of the premises. He introduced me to a Mr Joe Sumner as one of his advisors. I then took them upstairs to see Nell, they both gave their sympathy. I told them everything that had happened the last two days giving them the documents I had from the two bailiffs from the court. After reading it Mr Jack Cotton said it is a great pity you do not owe me just a month’s rent, he would have been able to have done more for me. As I owed nothing he would try to do what he could for us and try and beat the wholesaler at his own game. Mr Cotton had thought that the wholesaler had done a dirty diabolical trick on someone who had been a good customer of his for over 8-years. He also understood how easy it was for me to forget to attend court after what had happened. He finally said that “those who should do such a wicked thing like this should be horsewhipped; I am putting Mr Sumner at your disposal to do all he can for you”.


All my other travellers Cadburys’, Rowntrees’ and others were all shocked and amazed to such a turn of events. They all wanted to know who the culprit was, who had caused this. All said I had a very raw deal and most said they hoped he would not cross their path in the future. Finally our shop was sold lock stock and barrel to a couple much older than ourselves Mr & Mrs Clark from Edgbaston. It had all been agreed that we should still remain on the premises for a while and assist the new owners in running the business for this was all very new to them. They had never been in business before. We had no alternative but to agree to all this for we still had no idea of somewhere else to live. It was on July 30th after going through a gruelling time I was made bankrupt. On finally signing the last of the bankrupt papers the official receiver, Mr Enocke Clarke, summing up the whole case said “Mr Ellard this has been a most unfortunate for you and the family” wishing us all better luck in the future.


Mr B....., wholesale and retail tobacconist, was the man who was responsible for my downfall. Nell and I came face-to-face with Mr B..... outside the official receiver's office situated in Charles Street. Mr B..... turned to us and said he would not want to go through that lot ever again, he was very sorry it had turned out so unfortunate for us. Throughout the whole proceedings Mr B..... had received very little or no sympathy and finally he had lost more than he received on our case alone. After Mr B..... had his say I turned to him and said “you don’t want me to tell you what I think about it or you, but after dealing with you for nearly nine years that you of all people should do such a dirty trick”. Nell then said to him, “I am going to have the final word with you, you have not only ruined my husband’s life but his family’s as well but you know what they say God never pays debts in money, you won’t see for long the harm you have done us”. Whether it was a coincidence or not we shall never know but Mr B..... did pass away about twelve months later.


Under all these very trying circumstances Mr J Sumner had done his job well he had not only my home, which could and should have gone with the business, he also gave Nell £40. How all this had been achieved I was never able to find out. We stayed living on in the living part of the premises for the next two months; free of any expenses. In the meantime I was offered a chance to build up a part time assurance round with the Royal Liver Assurance Company. Although I had all the real energy knocked out of me I succeeded in getting a fair amount of customers to bring me in three pounds a week. It was mighty hard going but we had still got to live. I never thought my old cycle would have to come to my aid again but again it became a blessing to me to get around on. We now received a letter from Mr J Cotton for an appointment in his office as Nell and I were still teetotallers we were given coffee and biscuits. Mr Cotton and Mr Sumner got whiskey. Mr Cotton had offered us the chance of two houses one in Sparkhill the other in Medina Road, Tyseley. Having informed Mr Cotton we had chosen the Medina Road house Nell said “although it would be very funny to have to go back to gas lighting and cooking”. We noticed that both Mr Cotton & Sumner were looking amused while Nell was saying this but then Nell said smiling “beggars cannot be choosers we are more than grateful for what you have both done for us, Bill and I shall never be able to repay you”. Then Mr Cotton stopped Nell from saying anymore. He said, “By saying you are not beggars but the most unfortunate couple we’ve had to deal with for some time we could not beat the law entirely, but we’ve done our next best, and now you shall have the keys and be in your new home within the next two weeks”. We then again thanked them both for all they had done, we turned to leave the office when Mr Cotton handed Nell an envelope but saying to me “I cannot give it to you, for legally you don’t exist for a while (as a bankrupt)”. Then they both raised their glasses and again wished us the very best of luck. When we were safely away from their offices Nell opened the envelope it contained £15 for our removal expenses. I saw the tears come into Nell’s eyes, I too was overcome seeing what was in that envelope.


It was early August 1935 when we moved into Medina Road. What a transformation was awaiting us for during that last two weeks they had not only decorated the entire house they had put in a new gas cooker and changed the lighting from gas to electric. All rooms had been recovered with lino and the kitchen a new red brick floor. Even our neighbours later said they were wondering who the new tenants would be for the landlord to go to so much expense and trouble. Last but not least we found in the front room a large china cabinet and a large looking glass. In the bedroom was a three drawer cabinet but to crown it all our rent was only to be ten shillings a week!


Before I close what to my wife and I had been a terrible time I must conclude with some final remarks for Mr Cotton and Mr Sumner. It was well known in the Midlands that in all business dealings Mr Cotton was a ruthless and very hard man. However, what Nell and I found when it came to a case like mine was a most kind and very human man. Several of his employees said he was always the same when it came his way to help the underdog. I can only finally conclude saying to both Mr Cotton and Mr Sumner “Thank you both and god bless you”. Yes Billie Ellard you did receive the severest of blow of your life, to lose, through no fault of your own, a business you started from just a few shillings to slowly building up to a business worth £2000, was[n't] (?ed.) something anyone could have stood up to, after nine years of good solid hard work.”


So here ends the Ellard family’s close links with Acocks Green. Clearly the story continues and I may one day find that I transcribe the whole thing.


My grandfather and my father and mother purchased the house on Medina Road and we lived there until 1969. Nell, my grandmother, died in 1956, before I was born. There are many stories during these years and my grandfather had a long career working at the BSA where he worked in the forge and was the social secretary organising events and trips for the workers. He retired from there in around 1965. In 1969 my father and mother bought a house in Warton, a village in Warwickshire, and Grandfather William came with us where he got a little bungalow. He passed away in 1973.


David Ronald Ellard (1957- ), son of Ronald William Ellard (1933 – 2006) and grandson of William Ellard (1900 – 1973)


Ellard's shop (David Ellard)
Ellard's shop (David Ellard)
Another view of the shop (David Ellard)
Another view of the shop (David Ellard)
Part of William Ellard's journal (David Ellard)
Part of William Ellard's journal (David Ellard)
Bankruptcy release announcement, London Gazette, 17 April 1936
Bankruptcy release announcement, London Gazette, 17 April 1936
1091 Warwick Road in 1957, by then in the hands of H. Davis (Birmingham Libraries)
1091 Warwick Road in 1957, by then in the hands of H. Davis (Birmingham Libraries)