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Monday, 30 March 2020

Stirchley in The Time of Coronavirus - Part 2

As part of my (semi) regular exercise around the not-so-mean streets of Stirchley here are some more of my pictures comparing the Stirchley of today with the place it was seven years ago.

Stirchley in The Time of Coronavirus - Part 2

We start at the junction of Bournville Lane and my old home Oxford Street.
Oxford Street/Bournville Lane - 27th March 2020
Oxford Street/Bournville Lane - 18th January 2013
Not much to see apart from the new lamp post on Bournville Lane and the now ubiquitous 20 mph reminder sign on Oxford Street!

Moving down the lane towards Pershore Road.

Regent Street/Bournville Lane - 27th March 2020
Regent Street/Bournville Lane - 14th January 2013
Again, not much change, except for the new signage on Hugh's Barbers - my go-to for haircuts, which I managed to visit just before the lockdown, so I shouldn't be too shaggy by the end of it!

When I first moved into the area in late 1983, all of that row consisted of shops (as did the next row), but it was only recently that I discovered a bit more of the history.

Bournville Market was built in 1899 by Cadbury's so that their workers could have somewhere to shop locally, especially for those who came up from the Peshore Road. Now that was a company that cared about their workers!

Bond Street/Bournville Lane - 27th March 2020
Bond Street/Bournville Lane - 11th January 2013
This hasn't changed as much as I'd thought, but it is the other part of Bournville Market and has much more commercial occupation, but Bournville Fish Bar is the only retail outlet left (and is staying open for longer through the lock down...even on Sundays!)

Moving down onto Pershore Road/Hazelwell Street we come to the Co-op...or what was the Co-op and soon (not sure exactly when) to become Morrison's.

Stirchley Co-op/Morrison's - 27th March 2020
Stirchley Co-op - 13th January 2013
With remarkably poor timing the Co-op closed its doors for the final time in early 2020 after almost 150 years on the site. (More here). It was never my go-to supermarket, although it was very useful on many occasions. The old saying about not appreciating what you have until it's gone is very apt here and now!

And finally, from one supermarket to another...errrrm.....!

Stirchley Lidl(?) - 27th March 2020
Stirchley Bowl/Fitness First - 13th January 2013
Over recent years, Stirchley has been a bit of a battleground for supermarkets. The longest running battle was between Tesco's and the Co-op which raged for over 20 years with Co-op blocking at almost every turn. Finally, Tesco's won and started demolishing buildings ready to build a brand new superstore...and then they changed course and decided against building one. That land is now empty and awaiting Seven Capital to develop it.

In 2017, Lidl obtained permission to demolish Strichley Bowl and Fitness first with a view to building one of their supermarkets here. This is the result. Almost three years have passed since the demolition and still nothing!

Imagine...if things had gone to plan, Stirchley would now have three supermarkets to choose from, but instead, in such a crisis, we have none!

More to follow as I re-discover Stirchley in the Time of Coronavirus.


  1. Lovely bit of social history there, Pete. Not lot of change, though as in Cambridge the German discounters are forcing the pace. Our takeaways have closed ��

    1. Thanks - it is hit and miss with our local takeaways; some open others not!