The families of Court 15
A trip to the Back to Backs is not just about the buildings. As we worked on the project we chose four families from the census records to represent all those who lived in Court 15. If you want to find out more about the people who lived in these home you might like to read Living Back to Back – the wonderful history written by Dr Chris Upton as part of the research he did for us.
House No. 1 the early C19 house, is occupied by the Levy family who lived there in the 1850′s and were watch-makers, whose ancestors came from eastern Europe.
House No 2: the late C19 house, is home to the Oldfield family and their tenant, William Corbishley, bone turner. Both Herbert Oldfield and his son, Alfred, were glass workers, producing glass eyes for dolls, stuffed animals and humans.
The 1930′s was a period of high unemployment and recession. In House No. 3, Henry Mitchell and his wife and four children would have been struggling to survive. A low point in the Mitchell family fortunes, who had an association with Court 15 for over 100 years.
House No 4: George Saunders was the occupier of No. 57 Hurst Street in the late 1970s. George was born in St Kitts in the West Indies and emigrated to Birmingham in 1958. He opened his bespoke-tailors shop in the Court in 1977 and continued trading until 2001.
The stories of these people and the many others who occupied the court are told by guides, who take small groups of visitors round the houses. If you would like to be involved in telling these stories, we would be delighted to hear from you.