New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo – Bedstead Works, Western Road

Posted February 7th, 2019 by Dave Evetts with 4 Comments

This factory was built in about 1900 and appears on maps simply as “Bedstead Works” facing the workhouse that evolved into City Hospital. The big sign with just a few letters hanging off suggests it’s called Western House; a tiny sign above the door says it’s the Holdfast Works; trade directories from 1900 point to it as Hoyland and Smith’s newly-built Soho Works. Those maps and directories point to a huge industry for iron and brass bedsteads in Birmingham at the time. These were not just for local needs, for instance Hoyland and Smith were just one firm exporting bedsteads to Western Australia. Demand for brum beds clearly declined over time and new businesses took over the factory. It’s not a high class building but it has some nice touches. There are three bays that project forward. Each bay has three windows. The top part of most windows are made of 3×3 small panes of glass.
Re-development of this side of Western Road was announced this week.

4 Responses to “Friday Photo – Bedstead Works, Western Road”

  1. Sandra Mallon December 6, 2023

    On the 1939 register, my mother age 23 is still living with her parents in Avenue Road, Blackheath Staffordshire, she is single and a bedstead works polisher. Could this have been her place of work or would it have been too far for her to travel?


    • Dave Evetts December 6, 2023

      Hello Sandra, thank you for your comment.

      I think it’s unlikely that your mother would have travelled from Blackheath to Birmingham for work.

      It’s a long way to travel for a job that would not have paid very much.

      There are sure to be other bedstead works much closer to home. There were a lot of metal tube industries in that part of the West Midlands. The factory in Western Road was one of 3 or four just in the streets around it.


  2. thomas mc glynn February 20, 2019

    nice web site, must visit birmingham soon and garrason lane


  3. Nick Booth February 14, 2019

    Also not far from Icknield port loop – fascinating part fo the city due for big changes. One day that hospital might get finished!


Leave a comment