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Pheasey

Pheasey covers an area bounded by Doe Bank Road in the North, Beacon Road in the South and the Queslett Road.

OS Map pf Pheasey 2005 (759K)
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

The history of Pheasey can be traced back to 1559 when Simon Veysie purchased from John Reddell a house and land on the southern side of Barr Beacon, known as Barr Lea. Simon Veysie gave his name to the area which was later became known as Pheasey Farm. The farm passed to the possession of John Scott, rector at Great Barr (1578-1622)who farmed the land and was also a sucessful lawyer. In 1648 the farm was given to Elizabeth Birch when she married Richard Scott. The area was renowned for its large flocks of black-faced sheep.

Pheasey Farm stayed with the Scott family until July 1921. It was to have been auctioned with other parts of the Great Barr estate but was withdrawn from the auction and sold to George Smith, who had been a tenant farmer since 1902.

In 1934 the area became part of the newly created Aldridge Urban District Council.

In 1935 George Smith sold Pheasey Farm (some 303 acres) to First National Housing Trust to build houses for the growing population of Birmingham. They planned to build 4,225 houses to be let almost entirely to people from Birmingham. However planning permission was refused with Aldridge UDC claiming it was a very beautiful place with undulating land with belts of woodland, and suggested 150 acres were left open and a far lower density of building. The decision went to appeal and and the decision to refuse planning permission overturned. However Aldridge UDC did purchase 68 acres which they intended to keep as open space. The first sod was ceremonially cut on the 13th July 1937 by the Minister of Health, Sir Kingsley Wood.

The outbreak of war in 1939 stopped development after about 1700 houses had been built. The creation of the Community Centre in Collingwood Drive was also stopped and the Community Association took over the large Pheasey Farm barn as an assembly hall, the Old Barn continuing for many years until it was demolished in the early 1960's. Other farm buildings were also used as offices and workshops.

Part of the estate was requisitioned and in 1942 the first group of American solders of the US 10th Replacement Sub-Depot moved in. They remained until June 1945.

In April 1942 a temporary Infant school was opened for the many children on the estate who had previously been transported to schools in Pelsall and Rushall. In 1946 the planned community centre in Collingwood Drive was taken over to use as a temporary Junior School. A new school was built in Raeburn Road and opened in September 1950 for juniors and infants, with the Collingwood Drive school becoming a senior school at the time. Doe Bank School was opened in 1964. More recently Meadow View JMI School was formed by the amalgamation of Doe Bank JMI School and Collingwood Primary School.

 

OSpheasey1890.jpg (660K)

Pheasey is now a thriving community.

 

Pheasey at War

he Pheasey Estate at War

At the outbreak of World War II in 1939 part of the half-built housing estate at Pheasey Farms Estate in Great Barr was requisitioned by the British forces. In 1942 the first group of American solders of the US 10th Replacement Sub-Depot moved in.

Martin and Frances Collins book, "They Also Serve Who Stand and Wait" published by Brewin Books, is a fascinating insight into the day to day activity on the base, with many moving accounts from those involved, and also deals with the impact that the American soldiers had on the surrounding area of Walsall and Birmingham. The following pictures have been taken, with permission, from /www.englemed.co.uk/books/usaaf/.

pheaseywar.jpg (23K)
Reproduced courtesy of Martin and Francis Collins

Entrance to the Pheasey Camp

 

pheasey-chantrycres.jpg (24K)
Reproduced courtesy of Martin and Francis Collins

Chantry Crescent, Pheasey

pheasey-colingwood.jpg (27K)
Reproduced courtesy of Martin and Francis Collins

Collingwood Drive headquarters


Book Cover They Also Serve Who Stand and Wait: A History of Pheasey Farms U.S. Army Replacement Depot, Sub Depot of the 10th Replacement Depot 1942-1945. Buy From Amazon.

  • www.englemed.co.uk/books/usaaf/
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    Pheasey Barn

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