Brownhills – A Bit More from the Fifties

Vicarage Road, Brownhills (Pic  – Jean Hucker)

It is fifty years ago this month since I left Brownhills – where did that go?  I used to live in the house behind Ken Williams and Henry Taylor.  This month is also special because on the 26th, my father would have been 100 years old.

In my previous Brownhills post I had got down Church Hill as far as the rear entrance to some of the High Street shops, including my Grandma’s.  Just down the road on the opposite side stands the Shoulder of Mutton public house, still with Mr. Roberts’ window.

The Shoulder of Mutton

Roberts’ window with the trade mark steam locomotive in the centre

Moving to the bottom of the road, Gordon Roberts had his barber’s shop.Not the hairdressers as it is now but Gordon’s barber’s was where Cresswells is now.  He was a very good barber but he took his time!  If there were more than two in front of you , it would be at least an hour before you got out!

Turning left along High Street towards Brickiln Street (it was hard spelling it that way!) the next picture that I have is of the shops which had their rear entrance in Church Hill.  From the left, the MEB showroom, Tisdale’s fish shop, Smiths fireplaces, Flossie Rogers’ greengrocers and Bradbury’s.Pic from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Down High Street and across the road was Cyril Kingston’s shoe shop.It is now a Solicitor’s office, but the white door on the right of the green framed window hides what used to be the only sports goods display in Brownhills.  The best shop window in the town! In those days football shorts were only available in white, blue or black – but then, one day I saw them, a red pair of football shorts.  It wasn’t long before I had them and was getting them covered in mud over the batters!

Opposite was Daft’s fish and chip shop, Jones’ the Jewellers, later Lotes and Joes.Phonetalk was Daft’s, then the Jewellers then Joe’s

To end this post, a walk over the bridge to the entrance to the park.The Library car park is to the right, the site of public conveniences in those pre-vandal days!  I’m sure that the bank on the left was much steeper when I were a lad.  I remember once a glider, a full size one, landed on the parade, coming to rest just short of the top of the bank.  (It couldn’t happen now with my ‘favourite’ trees in the way!)

9 responses to “Brownhills – A Bit More from the Fifties

  1. I remember Gordon Roberts shop well as I only lived a few doors down at number 7. And your right if more than two in it took an age and he always frightened me when he lit a taper to singe the adults hair. He was a nice guy though. Next to his shop was trawfords shoe shop then the Biggings lived at number 5 and then me at number 7.

    • Hi Dave, you were right about the taper. What I remember as well is that if you left the stuff that he put on your hair – not Brylcream but something similar – without touching it for a while it dried like a shell!

  2. That is correct it became very hard and to this day I dont know what it was. But dont have that probably hair wise now as losing most. I was always facinated by his Barbers pole outside as well gonig round, you dotn see many of them now.

    On a seperate note, I recall out of my bedroom window (box room and exactly where the CCTV post is now) watching them tearing down the cinema and building Ravenscourt where it is now. Also looking into the Gas Showrooms opposite especially on the days when theyw ere doing demonstratinos. They often wondered how I knew stuff and just been cooked when I popped over until they saw me watching out of the bedroom window one time. Lovely demos they were

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  4. You might already know, but The Swan still has similar, original Roberts windows too.

  5. Pingback: Brownhills – A Bit More from the Fifties (via Chasewater Stuff’s Railway Blog) « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  6. In those days I went, as a boy, to a barbers in Caldmore [think it might have been called Sanders] and he used the very same stuff that set your hair like concrete-like – it was a translucent duck egg blue and the propietor used to bottle it and label it ‘Splodge’ selling it to his customers and other local barbers

  7. oakparkpacersrc

    At the end of the path to the entrance to the park are two houses. Gerald Lakin lived in the end one, and he used to drive one of the two blue Daimler Ambulances, which were housed in the Ambulance Station at the rear of the Fire Station, which was accessed from Pelsall Road at the side of the Central Schools. I believe that a man named Derry lived in the other one, and he worked for the Council driving a JCB.

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