May 13, 2009
The North Street I knew is still around, you find it now through a hole in the ground.
Remember old Wadhams Hill was here.
Now today no Wadhams Hill, no Milner Hall, and no shops that reached up to the Chequer Ball.
But what about these shops that made way for the ring road?
The two large lamp posts that frame this scene are also supporting wires that power the trolley buses as they travel from Wulfruna Street, turning right from Giffard House (from where this picture was taken). Then left at the Fox Hotel, down Molineux Street, en route to Ford Houses.
At the side of the pole on the left, we see the building advertising Ekco Radios. This was an electrical goods shop, one of two belonging to Corkes’ Radio Stores. Their principal shop being in Princess Street. Moving up right, past the little white bollards on the corner of Tin Shop Yard, was a double fronted shop belonging to Lathes, they were know for house clearance and second hand goods.
The two shops would be filled to capacity with every item of old family belongings, such as pictures, clothes and furntiture. Mr Lathes son George, became well established in the motorcycle trade that was dominant in the area in the 1950s, and had a large store in Salop Street.
Next door to Lathes was Mrs Preeces’ upmarket second-hand clothes shop. Similar to the charity shops of today.
Next door to Preeces was a small cafe. In the early days it always looked a bit run down, but in the late 1950s it was sold and renamed The Nook. The quality of food and the service vastly improved and it became the in place for the market crowd close by.
Next door was the smaller of the two grocery stores, both situated in North Street and owned by Kidsons Food. The larger store was at the top of North Street, next to Bakers nurseries. Kidsons large warehouse and formidable house stood opposite each other on Wadhams Hill.
Next door to Kidsons is the building with four impressive shop fronts; Smiths Fruit & Veg, Higgs Printers, North Street Post Office and finally Helene, which was a ladies hairdressers.
Standing last on the photograph is the red telephone box on the pavement in front of J. A. Vints’ Builders Yard.
The large Victorian building on the right of Vints’ has three fine shop fronts. The first was Lathams’ confectioners. Then came a double fronted antiques shop, which in the early 1960s’ became a betting office when Tommy Butler, a well known turf accountant moved there from premises above Samuels’ Jewellers in Queen Street.
Finally, the large building next door with the railways delivery goods vehicle parked outside was Walters’ lock manufacturers. The lady on the right of the photograph is about to cross Wadhams Hill and pass the Molineux Hotel on her left.