West End Online
'Your Memorable Years at Good ol' West End High'

Updated  05/10/19     Email  weonline@westendhigh.com     Online  February 2001

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Bulletin Board - WEHS School News
Updated 05/10/2019 

This page is for articles, stories or other info about West End High School. Please email us if you have something to share.


Time marches on. West End High School was demolished in early 2009 after serving West End and surrounding communities for 78 years. The school was opened in 1930 and officially closed in 2008. Here are some links to the history of West End High School.

Construction & Demolition - Bulletin Board 6
Closing Ceremony - Bulletin Board 7

WWII Plaque Moved to VA Hospital
Skeet Waites  -  Ensley Class of  '61

I wanted to pass along some info to you about the World War II plaque that was at West End High School. Last year the Ensley High Class of '61 took our WW II Plaque from the high school to save it from being lost if the school was demolished. We conducted a search to find a suitable place to have the plaque displayed and finally reached an agreement with the VA Hospital in Birmingham. Word got out that the VA hospital would display the plaque from Ensley, so Ed Webb and a group from West End got their plaque and it will also be displayed at the VA Hospital. The plaques were originally placed in the schools to honor alumni killed while serving in the armed forces during World War II. On July 26, 9-11am there will be a viewing of the two plaques in the main lobby of the VA Hospital on 8th Avenue South.

Spivey's Hobby Store Up In Flames
Toriane Norris, Birmingham News  -  June, 2005

Herman Spivey sat in a West End alley Thursday afternoon, hands on his silver hair, and watched his life's work go up in smoke.

"You just saw my whole life burn up right there," the 78-year-old Spivey said. "I don't even have any insurance."

A two-alarm fire that billowed smoke high into the air destroyed Spivey Hobby, Toys and Gifts. The store was at 13th Street and Tuscaloosa Avenue and had drawn generations of customers who had come to Spivey to find model airplanes, toy soldiers and science projects. Six engines, two ladder trucks and two rescue trucks were called to scene. "It's the death of a landmark," said Capt. C.W. Mardis, spokesman for the Birmingham Fire Department. "I used to come to this store as a kid."

Spivey, his wife, an employee and five others were inside when the fire started in the back of the store at 3:22 p.m.

A customer smelled smoke. The customer and Spivey took an extinguisher to the back to investigate. When they arrived they found a small fire, and Spivey said they tried to put it out. "I could have put it out, but I couldn't put it out because I couldn't walk," said Spivey, who uses a scooter to get around.

Soon the entire structure was engulfed in flames. The fire also destroyed Spivey's blue van, which was parked in front of the store.

Spivey said the fire was probably electrical, but Mardis said the department had not pinpointed the cause.

Spivey said the insurance company, which he could not name, had stopped insuring the building May 20. He said the company told him the building, built about 1932 and remodeled by Spivey in 1947 and 1989, was too old.

"It wasn't too old," Spivey said. "They just didn't want the exposure."

Residents of West End sat and watched the 1303 Tuscaloosa Ave. store burn.

"It's very sad to see a building like this go because we have no other way to buy the toy models," West End resident Shalandia Nelson said. "I have bought toy airplanes out of here for my kids. When I was a little girl my mom bought stuff for me out of there. Where else can you go now and buy a lot of this stuff?"

Mr. Spivey passed away 11/06.

Continue to Bulletin Board, Page 3, click here


Updated  05/10/19     Email  weonline@westendhigh.com     Online  February 2001


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