"MEMORIES" of Wolverhampton childhood

Frontpage Forum People & Places of Wolverhampton "MEMORIES" of Wolverhampton childhood

This topic contains 24 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Billy 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #4996


    Billy

    Participant

    " Totnes Castle" low level_2

    A scene at the Low Level brings back a happy memory for John Favill (Proud Old Wulfrunian) now a resident of Winsconsin U.S.A.

    At the end of WW2 I was still attending school. The school was located close to the centre of the town, recently proclaimed the City, of Wolverhampton in Staffordshire, England.

    Time of year and weather permitting I rode my bicycle the three miles to school each day and then home again after school, this allowed me to (when possible) pause under the “Colonnade’s” , linking the LMS High Level to the GWR Low Level stations.

    The view from the arches would show the engine and first two coaches of a train on Platform 1 usually the train from Paddington arriving usually at round about the prescribed time to correspond with my ride home.

    The engine was a member of the GWR King class and because such an engine was not allowed beyond Wolverhampton the engine was changed and the first six coaches were withdrawn also.

    Usually the king would move forward with the six coaches then reverse to leave the coaches in the coach shed.
    The engine would then proceed to the Stafford Road Shed SRD where it would be turned, watered and coaled.

    Many of the evenings I would go to watch the procedure described and also watch as dead engines were pulled from the engine shed to the sound of the air being pulled into and pushed out of the cylinders. even without looking one could tell how many cylinders a particular engine had.

    Golden Days

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5084


    Billy

    Participant

    Chalet Tettenhall

    Childhood Memories

    The names Sunbeam and Guy,. – What fantastic images they conjure up for any old Wulfrunian over 50.
    By the early 1930’s orders for Trolley vehicles was split between Guy and Sunbeam.

    One of those vehicles, No. 92 is seen here alongside the chalet at its Tettenhall Terminus. This was a Sunbeam MS2 with a Weymann 59-seat body.

    Who nowadays doesn’t regret the passing of this old fashioned form of transport and who doesn’t have a story to tell of their own trolley-bus trips.

    It may have been on one such as above The No.1 service to Tettenhall Rock and a summer visit to the paddling pool.

    Whatever the circumstance lets hear from you and perhaps we can find a picture to suit.

    Below the old cellar head.

    • #5211


      Jthixton

      Participant

      The photos of trolley buses bring back memories of cycling behind them! I cycled to St Chads College from my home in Upper Villiers St from 1944 to 1948. Sometimes went through the city centre and sometimes via the Wednesfield canal towpath. When returning via the city (it was still a town then) we used to wait at the bottom of the Elephant and Castle hill where Cannock Rd joined Stafford St till a trolley bus came along then hitch a ride by holding onto the pole on the entry deck. Conductors would yell at us to let go but I only did when we reached the Elephant & Castle pub on the corner. My parents would have had a fit if they had known. Was taking a chance because I had an uncle who lived on Culwell Terrace adjacent to the pub. I understand these places are long since demolished to facilitate road construction.

  • #5107


    Billy

    Participant

    GWR GOODS HERBERT ST

    The cracking entrance to Herbert Street Goods Yard in the early 1950,s.

    I can remember at the time just after the war this area around Littles Lane and Broad Street Basin was our playground and one of the many dares we used to do at that that time was to scale this formidable entrance and scrawl across.

    Sadly, British Railways decided that a lot of goods traffic was uneconomical to handle, with the result that most goods yards were closed in the 1960’s

    Herbert Street remained open until about 1974 , after which Carvers acquired the premises . and we lost this ornate 1931 Goods Station entrance. at the bottom of Littles Lane.
    But the single story former GWR offices were retained and have fortunately survived the fire, so hopefully a vestige of the “old days” will remain.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5152


    Billy

    Participant

    Craddocks Bus

    I would say this is the oldest continuing Service Station in Wolverhampton
    What do you say!

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5192


    Billy

    Participant

    BROAD ST Arrow

    He was a shining light for old Wufflers in the dark days just after the war and Wolverhampton’s legacy was certainly enriched by Express and Star artist Arthur Arrowsmith for it was he who gave us priceless works of art for the price of a three halfpenny newspaper.
    And it was Arrowsmith who showed me and many others the hidden delight of Old Wolverhampton his scenes a delight I have carried with me all my life

    From Faulkland Patch across great Western Street into Littles Lane and finally Lock Street For many an afternoon adventure sitting on the Air Raid shelters by the disused Victoria Basin. Yes Roy I remember it well.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5213


    Billy

    Participant

    This is the scene John here at the top of Cannock Road But this is 1964, But I can imagine you holding on the the pole here as the bus passes Gret Western Passage.

    Was that elevated row of terraced houses that once adjoined the Elephant and Castle known as Culwell Terrace I always thought it was Cannock Road Terrace.

    What was your uncles surname John.

    Cannock Road

    Below the old cellar head.

    • #5217


      Jthixton

      Participant

      Just love that picture Billy – exactly as it was in 1948. Yes it was under the bridge where we used to hang on & if you couldn’t get hold of the pole the other option was to ride hard behind in the bus’s slipstream, We knew it as Culwell Terrace. The house there was originally my Grandparents on my mother’s side and their name was Ellis. Grandad Ellis died before I was born and Grannie died during the war. She died the night Wolverhampton was hit by incendiaries most of which fell harmlessly in gardens. Remember going round collecting the flights off them the next day also there was a crashed german plane in Wednesfield as I remember it. The house passed on to my Uncle Frank & Aunt Vera. I am still in touch with their son John who now lives in the north of England. We did so much cycling as kids – it’s sad that today’s kids all get taken to school in cars.

  • #5223


    Jthixton

    Participant

    Come to think of it there were terraces on both sides of the road at the top of Cannock Rd – I think one was Cannock Terrace and the other Culwell Terrace. Uncle Frank was an avid Wolves supporter and will never forget how he complained after a bad result that he felt he didn’t get his eighteen pence worth. He always stood in the “cowshed” end. What does ground entrance cost now?

  • #5224


    Billy

    Participant

    This photo John as you may recall shows the top of Cannock Road from Stafford Street circa 1970’s.

    The waste ground has been left by the demolition of the Ansells Public House “The Junction”.

    In the back ground you can see “Culwell Terrace” (Which as you now recall was on the opposite side of Cannock Road to the terrace adjoining the Elephant & Castle.)

    I had a schoolfriend Terry Thompson who lived at “Culwell House” the large detached next to the terrace on the side of Great Western Passage.

    Although I can’t picture him now There was a Frank Ellis living at No. 14 in the 1950’s, and I can remember the Five houses if i’m correct that formed the Terrace.

    The houses were three storey’s high with cellars beneath each one, entrance to the cellars was from the living room and outside each front door, was a manhole cover so coal deliveries could be placed into the cellar.

    The terrace was fronted by large gardens from the Cannock Road.

    CULWELL TERRACE jpg

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5226


    Jthixton

    Participant

    The memories come flooding back. I had forgotten that the Elephant & Castle pub was actually on the rhs of Cannock Rd coming up the hill. Yes the Frank Ellis yo remember was certainly my Uncle Frank, long since deceased. Frank & Vera had only 1 child, John, who spent time in Africa & visited my brother Derek in Harare a few years ago. Your description of the terraces also brings back memories not all of the pleasant! I remember visiting Granny when she was on her death bed & thinking how dark and gloomy the house was & yes I remember the cellar which was accessed via a steep staircase. During the war you had either an Anderson shelter which we had which was buried in the garden (I remember helping dad dig the hole for ours) or a Morrison which you installed under a strong table inside the house. Granny had a Morrison & I had a terrible feeling of claustrophobia on the one ocassion I was in it.

  • #5270


    Billy

    Participant

    Have you ever caught the bus to Wolverhampton from this stop

    WOMBOURN BUS
    Come on – Who will be the first to tell me where this stop to Wolverhampton is.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5326


    Billy

    Participant

    The Mechanical Horse it was called and you would see them as part of the everyday scene in the 40’and 50’s scurrying around town delivering packages from the Goods Yard

    MECHANICAL HORSE

    Do you know what street they operated from at that time just after the war.?

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5333


    Billy

    Participant

    A topical scene taken from the life and times around “Fowlers Park”
    showing a glimpse of a small section of the old line.

    OLD  TRACKS

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5334


    Billy

    Participant

    NOTICE TO PERSONS

    WISHING TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL REJOICING

    In order to extend the fullest facilities to those persons wishing to travel to London, for the State opening of Parliament tomorrow, 27th May 2015.
    It has been decided to run A SERVICE OF TRAINS along Permanent Way not normally open to traffic.

    In pursuance of this polIcy the HIGH DUNSTALL & BUSHBURY to MONMORE ON THE GREEN section of the former Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway, later incorporated in the Great Western Railway, and abandoned as derelect , in 1975, will be reopened to Passenger Trains , until further notice.

    Provision has been made for trains in only one direction, viz. up, and and the question of providing a return service will be dealt with if and when it arises.

    Return tickets will not be issued in respect Mobility Carriages (not folded). Bicycles, perambulators. or Dogs accompanying passengers will be conveyed at double fare for the single journey.

    SOME NOTES ON THIS SECTION

    The High Dunstall branch line is now one of the most disused in the country. the first 20miles of which lie in a little known stretch of Shropshire steeped in ecclesiastical and feudal etymological interest.

    The first section of the track was laid in 1852, and was relaid the following year with more seasoned sleepers. In 1886 the construction of the viaduct of the Smetstall at Gosbrook paved the way for the extention of the track from Aldersley to Wolverhampton. This viaduct (which incidentally , has fewer pillars in his length than any other in Europe) was built by Ferguson McNab, the designer of the old Horseley Fields Bridge which collapsed in 1935, which it was said stood up remarkably well to a weight of traffic for which it was never intended.

    McNab was also engineer in charge of the famous “angular tunnel” which once ran from beneath the cellar of the Great Western, Sun Street to Chillington Fields, which was begun at each end independentley, and although the tunnel is a mile long the two teams reached the middle within 30yards of each other.

    Bibliography: Those interested in a fuller history of the line are recommended to read McNab’s “Civil Engineering for Pleasure” and William Bohuns “Memoirs of an Official Receiver.”

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5356


    Billy

    Participant

    Pat Edwards posted :
    Billy; my brother went to st: Josephs . His name was terry Edwards! Did you. Know him? He used to do boxing at school,
    Well I knew Terry well.
    I was sorry to hear from Pat That Terry had past away.For anyone who went to St Josephs School who may have known Terry Here is a picture to stir the memories.

    School prefects

    Terry is sixth on the right back row, can you name any of the other chaps.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5389


    Billy

    Participant

    Another tongue in cheek report on “Permanent Way” for all interested “Wufflers” from our young at heart editor -Billy Howe.

    I have been asked to show more details of the line in question, now defunct . So here is a rough plan from recent years.

    permenant way  MAP

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5390


    Billy

    Participant

    SPECIALLY POSTED FOR EMMIE with love

    GWR Goods Yard 1953

    There is an article in the Black Country Bugle this week 2nd July 2015, were a reader recalls the heady 1950’s and life around Herbert Street Goods Yard.

    He posted the above picture and tells a story regarding the delivery of tomatoes from the Channel Islands. at that time.

    I worked in the Wholesale Market as a young groundsman during the 1950’s and I recall some of the draymen on his Goods Yard photo, and remember them calling with their Scammel 3 wheeled Mechanical Horses on their deliveries to the market.

    It was usually early afternoon when they would arrive from the goods yard and pull up alongside the various tomato pitches.

    I recall the first Guernsey tomatoes coming to the markets around April, full over flavour and you knew spring was here.

    Non of the thick skinned tasteless produce you get today specially packed for the supermarkets this produce had taste.

    The tomatoes arrived on a daily basis, various quantities, packed in small 12ib wooden chips (small hand made boxes with handles) with coloured tissue paper in each box to denote the variation in quality Pink & White was the top quality down to Blue misshapen , all with a mouthwatering taste.

    A few weeks later the Jersey tomatoes would arrive in a similar way.

    And didn’t we appreciate it.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5421


    Billy

    Participant

    QQ BEST 1950'S

    Lots of people regret the passing of the Trolley Bus era they finished in the 1960’s .
    Here we see the No. 13 Merry Hill via Bradmore as it tackles the well kept island during the mid 1950’s When I would say Queens Square looked its best

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5436


    Billy

    Participant

    BEST TIME NURSERY ST
    It was on its final countdown here in 1976 But I still recall some of the best times and the worst times living in that grand cul-de-sac.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5521


    Billy

    Participant

    Received from new member Dontheturner
    I was born in Walsall in 1930, and lived my school years, in Wolverhampton Road – my love of trolley buses, dates from birth! – so quiet, and comfortable – and cheap! my love of Wolves, dates also from that time, and my first job, was in Broad Street – at the BCN Top Lock, where I trained as a Toll Keeper.
    My father was a Watchmaker, in business in Walsall whilst Mother was a Printer – Letterpress, and worked for the Walsall Observer newspaper.
    My earliest and fondest memory- of my time, working in Wolverhampton was enjoying a roast dinner, at the Dining room, just in Piper’s Row!

    Hello Don

    Welcome to the forum 1930! you have a good chance of being our oldest active member .
    Being born close by to Littles Lane in 1937 I spent many happy hours sitting on the air-raid shelters alongside the old Victoria Basin in the 1940’s

    You must have many stories you could tell us about the Boatees that pursued their livleyhood at that time around Broad Street and Horseley Fields.
    So please now you have me hooked dont end it here.

    TOP LOCK OIL

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5523

    dontheturner
    dontheturner

    Participant

    Hi Billy, And all who read these recollections. I can often, when day-dreaming recall the names of many of the barges, and butties that came through the Top Lock – and one of the most memorable must be the Midland Tar Distiller’s DAILY barge – horse drawn, by ”Major” with its 22 Ton load of Tar, from Stafford Road, to Monmore Green.
    Memories are wonderful things – and Humour, is no exception, with me! – I was being trained by Mr Alf Cresswell, who lived somewhere down Wednesfield Road.
    One Particular vessel, belonged to Accles and Pollock, and carried Shells, heading North. It was always referred to by either Mr Cresswell, or even the Lockkeeper ‘Thomas’ who lived down the flight in a Canal Company Cottage – ”get ready, Accles and Dirty names is coming with a load for Jerry”…(the year was 1944, and the war was still on, with the Blackout etc.,) The Toll Office, was lit by Calzor Oil Lamps, inside and out, when I first started,(subsequently fitted with Gas) and my first job every morning, was to clean the lamps, top them up, trim the wicks, and clean the glasses – also mop the wooden floor, using soft soap, empty the ashes from the fire grate, and black lead the grate, set the fire, and get it lit – we made our own tea, and most days, I cooked my dinner, and sometimes that of Mr Cresswells. We had very large ledgers, which contained the records, of size, weight and dunnage of every boat registered with the BCN from when it was ‘gauge plated’._ so I was also taught how to ‘update’ all information. Excitement will eventually be recalled for all who read these observations!

  • #5524


    Billy

    Participant

     

    Hi Don That certainly brings back many memories for me. Fellows Morton & Clayton some families making to journey’s daily  From Monmre Green to the Gasworks.

    What memories do you have of Albert Basin ? was it really known locally as the baby arm.

    Have you any photos of the locality?

    Keep them coming Don

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5526


    Billy

    Participant

    No Comments? – Must try harder!

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5635


    Billy

    Participant

    In my life time I can honestly say I have been lucky enough to have never lived above half a mile from a Steam Railway Does that says it all..

    I once watched the famous Wolverhampton Sign writer re-paint this slogan.

    BUTLERS SIGN

    Below the old cellar head.

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