Walsall Imperial Volunteers return from the Boer War in 1901

August 24, 2017 § Leave a comment


Anyone that knows this site will have seen the digitised versions of my Walsall Lives calendars and this post alludes to the August page in the first calendar I produced back in 2002.

On 10th March 1900 the Volunteer Service Company, which was only formed weeks earlier, set sail for South Africa. The Company consisted of three Volunteer Battalions of the South Staffordshire Regiment, the 1st Handsworth, 2nd Walsall and the 3rd Wolverhampton.

One of the photographers who recorded the Volunteers return was Arthur Farrington who was probably assisted by his brother Frank, another keen photographer. I have three photographs of the event and the first is shown below showing the large crowd waiting for the soldiers to appear. Note the men and women standing on the small balcony above the main entrance to the George Hotel.:FG3 « Read the rest of this entry »

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

August 6, 2014 § Leave a comment


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 »

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