Thursday, 10 January 2013

1980s Bearwood

The welovebearwood team moved to Bearwood in the early '90s so we're only a couple of years off our 20th anniversary.

We've always wanted to find out what Bearwood looked like before we moved here so when Eliza Harris (check out her amazing White Flamingo facebook page) mentioned that she had some photos of Bearwood High Street which she had taken in the 1980s we couldn't wait to see them.
Eliza explained that "the photos were taken in the spring of 1989 as part of a project I completed whilst doing my PGCE at Birmingham University.”

“It's interesting to note that there were some empty units even then although not as many as now. “
What we found really fascinating was the number of independent shops that were on the High Street, the number of shoe shops that are sadly no longer there (we would have been in shoe heaven!) and the high street chainstores that had a really prominent position but have also now been and gone, like Woolworths and Timpsons for example.  We wonder if the Crafty Muthas know that there used to be a Bearwood Knitting Centre on Bearwood High Street.

Here's only a very small section of Eliza's photos.  If you would like to see more or use these photo elsewhere, please contact Eliza through her Facebook page.

All photos in this section belong to Eliza Harris.  Please do not use them without Eliza Harris's permission.


  1. It's probably also worth noting how much less traffic there was, the distinct absence of any non-white people, and the better condition of the windows above the shop fronts.

    And that there's none of that awful pedestrian guardrail that removes 50% of the pavement around the junction with Sandon Road.

  2. Interesting that you say there is a distinct absence of non white people back in 1989, as in my experience I would say that in this case then my photographs don't give the full picture then. I first discovered Bearwood Shopping Centre when my family & I moved to Ridgeway, Edgbaston in 1983 but I didn't move into Bearwood itself until I married my husband in 1988 & we bought a house in Abbey Road. As I recall, there has always been a healthy mix of ethnic minorities in Bearwood. African, Turkish and Polish shops may be new to the High Street but not Asian (Standard Tandoori), Greek/Cypriot (Plaka), Italian (La Farola), Chinese (Bearwood Chop Suey) or Afro Caribbean culture.

  3. Gotta love bearwood,really miss the place.

  4. The Little Nibble... Featured on Dexys Don't stand me down.... Magic