This one in Victoria Street.
Billy recalls the Victoria Street of his youth looking towards Queen Square in 1955
On this photograph you will notice all the West side of the street has been rebuilt in the late 1920’s, but on the opposite East side the buildings. themselves are similarly unchanged in appearance as they were four decades on
The Hippodrome theatre, having replaced The Empire in 1922 faces again down Victoria Street from Queen’s Square , The Queen’s Arcade, built in 1910 compliments the Star and Garter next to it at the top of Victoria Street, and this is how the Street is best remembered, by older Wulfrunians, before the advent of the Mander Centre a decade later.
I will take a walk up this impressive line of bustling shops of my youth that once supplied all household daily needs, and by mentioning the names of the shops and premises as I recall them it may stir the memories of old Wulfrunians, who remember them or evoke the imagination of those who do not.
On the West side
Dominating the corner of Skinner Street-Victoria Street, was ‘Bradburys’ ladies outfitters, and the morris pick-up parked next door, to close really to the zebra crossing, stands outside the S.M.C. shirt-makers.
Besides little Woolworths and Murdoch’s radio and record stores, there were a couple of other shops, with offices above, followed by the Giffard Arms, Hudsons, leather goods, James Beattie and finally Burton’s, on the top left facing in the Square.
On the East side
On the opposite side of the street Don Everall’s Booking office takes up corner position, at the bottom of Bell Street, then Dave Miller the jeweller with the “New Hotel” at that time owned by Banks’s Brewery. an old coaching house on the corner of John’s Lane,
Across on the opposite corner of John’s Lane undergoing some change but still standing proud at No. 19, is the old “Copper Kettle,” Harry Hughes has just opened a baby care business in the front of the shop, renaming it ‘Lindy Lou’s’.
Next door at No.s, 18a and 18b, in the former double fronted Georgian residence, is a branch of George Mason grocers, some might recall this building in the 1980s, as the Wolverhampton branch of Dan Price’s Bicycle Store’s.
Then, at No’s 18 and 17 respectively were Yarnolds drapers, and ‘Halfords’ Cycle Store.
At that time between Yarnolds and Halfords was a door, which led to the ‘Regent’ a high class restaurant, which was situated above these two shops.
J & W Poveys confectioners and cafe came next, on the entrance to Farmers Fold- the small alley leading back into the other half of Johns lane.
On the other side of the alley, taking up No’s 11 to 15 was a multi- purpose store on three levels belonging to ‘Bedford Williams’, it was deemed to be (The poor mans Beatties). and next door at No. 10, was the rubber goods store of Chas Hunter’.
Adjoining Hunter’s with the removal van parked outside, was Smarts Furnishers at No.9, and finally, the “Star and Garter” next to the splendid “Queen’s Arcade” and Queen Square.’
I am sure there is no one today, who would disagree this photograph shows Victoria Street at its best!
Below the old cellar head.