November 12, 2014 § 6 Comments
Some time ago wyrleyblog produced an excellent early history of my old school, Whitehall Infants and Juniors in West Bromwich Road, Caldmore. The post is in two parts, the first part concerns the founding in 1899 followed by the Sarah Jane Parker story from 1899-1923. To read these two posts click on the links below:-
I have recently been contacted by old pupil Clive Thatcher who lived in Redhouse Street and later Talke Road and attended Whitehall the same time as myself. He has very kindly sent me copies of three photographs of life at Whitehall some sixty plus years ago, these are shown along with pupil’s names at the very end of the post. Two of these three pictures were originally posted on the now defunct website, Friends Reunited.
October 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
The cover for 2004 features a lady connected to the Eyland family dressed in mourning clothes around 1900. To her right is a great picture of Walsall market in the days when it had quality as well as quantity and snaked its way up the hill from Digbeth to the very top of High Street. As Sir John Betjeman said in 1959, “Walsall is a borough which is obviously proud of itself and I thought that if the local council could turn the old High Street into something worthy of the charming and modest buildings, Georgian and Victorian, above the shop-fronts, it could be made into one of the most attractive streets in England. This is the age of local councils. Their increased powers mean that they can make or mar the treasure they have inherited from the past. Local pride can save a place…..short sighted cash considerations can ruin it.“
Sadly no one in authority was listening!
The Bridge on a busy day in the 1920s fills the bottom left corner along with a section of an apprentice indenture for John Fenn, son of the landlord of The Priory in Park Street. Although not the first car to grace the streets of Walsall it was the first registered car to take to the streets. The picture shows Charles Gameson, grandson of Thomas Gameson, with his chauffeur in his 1902/03 Wolseley bearing the number plate DH1, still seen around Walsall on the Mayor’s official car. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment
The second edition of Walsall Lives Calendar followed in 2003 in the same format as the first one. One of the pictures on the front cover is a particular favourite of mine, the one in the top left showing Birmingham Street in the 1920s. Growing up in Sandwell Street this area of Walsall was well-known to me from an early age as it was my mother and grandmother’s route to and from “the town”. As a small boy the well-worn steps that can be seen in always fascinated me, “how old must this street be to have steps that have worn away that much” was the question I asked myself. The buildings on the left side had long gone when I was a boy, I think they may have been demolished in the 1930s when Gorton’s Yard and all of the area around St. Matthews was cleared but the buildings on the right remained until around the early 1960s. Past the building on the right side, where the trees protrude, were a couple of 1930s semis and one of them housed a name well-known to Walsall folk, that of Scoltock. The name around Walsall was synonymous with chimney sweeping from the mid-nineteenth century and quite possibly earlier. Neighbours of the Scoltocks were the Tonks family, my mother told me that Jack Tonks was a foreman over the seals department (I think) at the Walsall Lithographic…..she should know, apparently he was her boss when she worked there before WW2. Across the bottom of the cover was a picture of Wednesbury Road, Pleck, in 1912 taken from near the junction with Hilary Street. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
In 2002 I began to produce a calendar titled Walsall Lives – Remembering The Old Town utilising my collection of old images, memorabilia and ephemera. Between 2002 and 2013 eight calendars were produced but not consecutively as some years I simply ran out of new material. The calendar was always well received and I rarely had any left come the end of December, that was probably thanks to Dr. Carl Chinn! For the first three years he invited me onto his now sadly, defunct radio show to talk about the contents of each calendar, with Carl’s enthusiasm and my ability to talk for England in the right company, we had a great time. Thanks for that Carl!
In recent posts on my blog I have included a couple of old calendar pages which have seemed popular so I thought I would post them for people who hadn’t seen them first time round. Several of the pictures have already been used in various posts on the blog already but now you will see them in their original calendar format. Although the post is mainly illustrative I hope you will find the old images, ephemera and memorabilia interesting. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 15, 2014 § 7 Comments
Since beginning this blog some months ago it has been my intention to produce a post about Caldmore, the place where I grew up and had a cracking childhood. My family associations with Caldmore ended with the death of my mother in November 2006 when I was fifty-nine years old. My mother was born at 226 Sandwell Street and lived the rest of her life three doors up at 220, her parents, William and Mary (Lizzy) Moseley began the Sandwell Street family connection way back in April 1915 when they married and move into their new home.
Things were much different 101 years ago, see my grandma’s bill from A. Poppletons at 29 Caldmore Road and look how much she purchased for £1 8s 1.5d (approximately £1.40p in decimal currency) in 1913. Prior to her marriage my Gran’ was Lizzy Fellows who lived in Hospital Street with her parents and nine siblings, she worked in Caldmore at The Summit buckle works in New Street, opposite Dandy’s Walk. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment
Something slightly different for my latest post but I thought, and hope, you will be sufficiently interested to continue reading.
A couple of years ago one of my Walsall Lives calendars found its way to Tasmania, Australia. The recipient was ex-Walsallian, Ken Pomlett who lived with his parents in a house on the corner of Bath Road and Little London before he emigrated to Australia in the 1960s. Ken contacted me to say how much he had enjoyed the calendar which brought back many memories for him of the town he left almost fifty-years ago. Many emails were exchanged between us and in one Ken asked me if I knew of the Walsall in Australia. My first reaction was that he was pulling my leg but to my amazement he wasn’t……there is another Walsall on this planet of ours…..and I don’t mean Worsall in North Yorkshire.
The “other” Walsall is situated in Western Australia approximately one-hundred and fifty miles south of Perth, the nearest town is Bussleton which is on the coast, about twenty miles from Walsall WA. There is no Milton Street, no Littleton Street, not even a Bridge or Park Street, just Jalbarragup Road, Walsall Road and Prater Road…..and that’s it, it really is just a name on a map…..but the weathers good! As for the scenery, well, just miles and miles of nothing.
August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
A few weeks ago I posted an earlier article titled ‘The Wheels of Progress’ and included in this post was a section of a map showing the Borough of Walsall from 1814. This map section has now found its way onto the Facebook pages of Walsall Past and Present with no explanation as to its meaning, it is described to readers as being an 1814 map of Walsall and not part of a map of Walsall. To clarify matters I decided to attempt an explanation. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
Apologies to any reader who thinks this post is going to be a history of the Co-operative Society in Walsall, sorry to disappoint, but is not, merely observations accompanied by some of my photographs. As a lad growing up in the 1950s one number I never forgot, apart from our house number, was Mom’s Co-op divi’ number….12530. It’s still embedded in my brain today, no prompting required!
My local branch was a grocery store on the corner of Sandwell Street and West Bromwich Street and I was in and out of there like a ferret down a hole doing errands for the older women who lived by us. Mrs Tombs was one, she lived to be about a 102 if I remember correctly, a grand old lady who always had a good tale to tell, another was Mrs Lockley from 228, Mrs Clayton of 224, my gran at 226, Dora Johnson who lived with her brother and dad at 222, Mrs Lewis, a widow at 218 and two sisters who lived at 216, Miss Stokes and Mrs Wynne. The latter pair were daughters of Alfred Stokes who was captain of Walsall Swifts football club and forerunners, along with Walsall Town, of Walsall FC, proudly known as the Saddlers. I’ve done some miles on my Gresham Flyer, a three-wheeler bike, whizzing up and down Sandwell Street fetching groceries for the ladies mentioned for a tanner a time. Our local Co-op always had their black delivery bike with a large basket up front parked in the entrance of the shop, ridden not by Granville but a chap named Graham I think. Another thing the Co-op was really good for were combustibles in the shape of cardboard boxes, ideal when bonfire night came around in November! « Read the rest of this entry »