Walsall – A Town Plan – 1943 style

November 28, 2014 § Leave a comment


Cover 1

The front cover of the publication from 71 years ago price 6d (2.5p).

In the last few days whilst preparing to put the Walsall Lives Calendar for 2009 onto the blog I came across a page that I thought warranted further investigation and explanation. It concerned the Council’s plans for redevelopment seventy-one years ago.

In November 1943 the County Borough of Walsall  produced a twelve page booklet telling of their vision for the future of the town. Included in the booklet were two large maps titled “Plan A” and “Plan B”, produced separately, folded and stored in a flap on the inside back cover. It is these two maps which will be of main interest to the readers of this post, don’t forget to click on the images as this will enlarge them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Walsall Co-op…..what was your divi’ number?

August 6, 2014 § 4 Comments


The milkmen of the Co-op posing with their trusty steeds outside the main offices and store in Upper Bridge Street. This picture was probably taken around 1937 when the new dairy in Midland Road was opened.

This popular photograph shows the milkmen of the Co-op posing with their trusty steeds outside the main offices and store in Upper Bridge Street in the 1930s.

The familiar stub from the Walsall & District Co-op.

The familiar stub from the Walsall & District Co-op. Not one of my Mom’s sadly, you could get some divi’ off 57 quid!

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 »

Hope Cottage……..some cottage!

July 11, 2014 § Leave a comment


Walsall Life

The previous post about Eyland & Sons Limited concerned the family business but this post looks at their residence in Highgate Road.

Hope Cottage or Hopelands, the residence of the Eyland family. Hope Cottage or Hopelands, the residence of the Eyland family.

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Attkins & Son, Grocers of Park Street

July 4, 2014 § 1 Comment


The grocers of Attkins & Son is on left side of this photograph taken around 1906.

The grocers of Attkins & Son of 5 Park Street is on left side of this photograph taken around 1906. Other business names visible are John Cleland’s a boot and shoe maker, Flower & Sons Ltd., Boots The Chemist and the building to the left of the tram is Ralph Richman’s drapery store. One thing that always intrigued me as a lad was the window that protruded onto Park Street from the New Inn by the ‘Home Brewed Ales’ sign, it was a good 10 or 12 feet in front of the building line! In the distance the Grand Theatre before it lost its tower and in the far distance, Her Majesty’s Theatre. I also like the lad on the far right sitting on some kind of little trolley.

One of the secrets of success in business is location and George Attkins certainly got that correct when he chose Park Street as the base for his grocery business which he started around 1875. George was not a native of Walsall, he was born in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire in 1825. Sixteen years later he was listed in the 1841 census as a grocer’s apprentice in his hometown. It would appear he tried his hand at drapery for a short time but realised his destiny lay in the grocery business as the 1871 census lists him having his own grocery business at 39 High Street, Potterspury, just up the road from Stony Stratford. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hope Cottage……..some cottage!

June 19, 2014 § 9 Comments


The previous post about Eyland & Sons Limited concerned the family business but this post looks at their residence in Highgate Road.

Hope Cottage or Hopelands, the residence of the Eyland family.

Hope Cottage or Hopelands, the residence of the Eyland family.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Eyland & Sons Limited

June 17, 2014 § 7 Comments


Arthur Farrington's portrait of an unknown worker in the annealing shop at Eylands, c.1905.

Arthur Farrington’s portrait of an unknown worker in the annealing shop at Eylands, c.1905.

With the possible exception of Thomas Gameson Limited, Eyland & Sons Limited of Lower Rushall Street is up there as being one of Walsall’s oldest companies. Founded in 1760 by Moses Eyland as a manufacturer of buckles and spectacles the company quickly established itself in the town and grew rapidly. « Read the rest of this entry »

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