You might get an A to Z if you’ve a need for a map of Brum and haven’t got a stat-nav. You might buy one anyway to sit by the fire and look up amusing and rude place names. Bell End, The Darkies, Lickey End they’re all there. But while you might find amusing rudeness, you won’t find any areas with names begining with ‘Z’. Not according to William Dargue and his site “A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames… from A to Y“.
The site is completely packed with history and photos for every area of Brum, you can learn things like that “Moseley was once full of rustic country inns (of which the “Fighting Cocks” was the chief)”and that Witton has a “name [that] may originate from the Anglo-Saxon, wic tun meaning ‘dairy farm'”
There’s also a great resourse of new and old history texts about Brum — including William’s own “History of Birmingham on your Doorstep”, which was written initially as a resource for Birmingham schools (so it shouldn’t be too heavy for us).
The research and collation here is real exhaustive, as is the collection of links to other local history resources on the web. It’s the type of stuff that makes you embarrassed that you haven’t got the energy for proper research, and also a little bothered that you never know this huge amount of resources is there. It’s sort of another layer of the internet, wish we could help dig it out a bit more.