Erased from History?

The lost sign: Harold Lea Shoe Repais'
The lost sign: ‘Harold Lea Shoe Repairs’

On Bournville Lane, opposite Lea House Road is a house that once held the shoe repair business of Harold Lea. Sadly this old shop sign has recently been sanded and painted over. From sharing this photograph on twitter I was able to learn from Mr. Lea’s grandaughter that he had two further shops. Another¬†shoe repair business at 29 Maryvale Road and a drapers in the building that is now St Mary’s hospice shop on Raddlebarn Road.

Harold Lea's shop at 29 Maryvale Road.
Harold Lea’s shop at 29 Maryvale Road.

His business was listed in the 1939 telephone directory. And he operated out of his premises on Maryvale Road between 1930 and 1971.

1939 Telephone Directory entry.
1939 Telephone Directory entry.

Do you remember Harold Lea’s shops? Do you have memories to share?



  1. Louise Deakin says:

    I feel exactly the same. I have a feeling the house had new occupants as the sign had remained visible for quite a while, whereas the rest of the property had been painted/window boxes added etc.

  2. janet sullivan (pearson) says:

    it is sad to see that sign disappear, my family were the original owners of that shoe repair shop in the early 1900’s. as a child i have fond memories of a many small business along bournville lane, and stirchley.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Harold Lea was my great uncle and my Father, James Charles Berwick, worked in his uncles Heeley Road shop for many years. As a child I sometimes went to see him at work and I remember the nurses from Selly Oak Hospital bringing their shoes in for repair. I loved to see them in their uniforms with flowing navy capes.
    Very fond memories.
    Suzanne Lea-Berwick

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