It took a sale before the eyesore was mitigated

Lot 35 – Guide Price in excess of £1.5m


For many years, despite our housing shortage, this Georgian terrace and factory has been allowed to crumble and reference has been made to them on this website more than once. One reader remembers “The properties in the picture have been empty since I was a boy. William Ford Ltd (gunsmiths) was the family business owned by Nan and later my Mum was situated a few doors up from this pic. When in the 1960s the gun quarter was compulsory purchased to make way for the A38 many of them moved up to that end of Moseley Road. I believe those at the corner of Highgate Road were also gunsmiths or connected to the gun trade. Those buildings have been empty for at least 30 years, I wonder who owns them? I was always told they were Georgian town houses”.


A search found that a directory published by Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, shows the extent of gun manufacturing in Birmingham, when William Ford started in the trade as a barrel borer (‘a superb barrel maker’). He worked for W.W. Greener before setting up shop in the 1870s at the “Eclipse” Works, 15, St. Mary’s Row, Birmingham. 21 February 1907. The firm, which manufactured English shotguns, was taken on by his son in 1909 and later amalgamated with James Carr & Sons, becoming a limited firm that only closed its doors in 1993.

Another reader commented: “I was in discussion 2-3 years back with Trident Housing, who had an elaborate plan to acquire these houses and a lot of land at the back, to develop as a community project, in association with other groups, with training and housing on the site.  Presumably, this plan foundered, but they were in negotiation with the private owners about it”. She could not remember the name of the owner(s).


In August they were given a coat of emulsion – because at last they will be sold and used


Next: cosmetic action in the Stratford Road, Hall Green