I Remember Dudley Street

Samuels-1950's
The 1950’s was to be a new dawn. A sign of Progress.

A forward looking plan was submitted of which it was said; this plan when adopted in its final form will enable future developments to take place in a systematic and orderley manner.

Each step will make its contribution to the shape of things to come Only in this way can we build a town of which we may be rightly proud.

What went wrong?

You will notice looking at this evocative photograph of the row of shops between King Street and Queen Street in the 1950’s most of the people are women.

50 years ago far more men and youths went to work whilst their wives and mothers cared for their families and made sure there was an hot meal on the table at the end of the day.

I recall this little block well On the corner of King Street The Irish Linen Depot rated itself as “The linen cupboard of Wolverhampton”, whilst Liptons grocers had the adjoining two shops.

Turners shoe  dealers had 6 and 6a which was half a very old property reputed to be Tudor built the evidence being during a recent renovation it was found no nails were used on the original building.

The building was shared by “Winters” health food store some may recall they had a similar store in the Central Arcade at that time.

Of course on the corner of Queen Street was the instantly recognisable “Samuels” jewellers who have now removed to the Mander Centre. and the colourful corner display provided by Blanche on her three wheeled wicker basket carriage, Blanche was just  one of the many Flower sellers in Dudley Street at that time.

This familiar street scene like so many others for different reasons couldn’t last. Various changes were made  to adjust to a better Town Plan. New  architecture came into play, but in many cases  this hasn’t come off.

Samuels-1960
The 60’s. We began to digress.

Regarding the Dudley Street Plan

In the 1960’s a discussion on the merits of demolishing  the Tudor properties the last vestiges to   hundreds of years of history in Dudley Street wouldn’t have come under discussion modernisation  was the name of the game  then, and many such buildings as those have been wiped from the landscape over the years. So as you can see ten years later they went.

And along came a lego styled Jewellery Centre in their place.

Samuels-Today
2012 Signs of distress.

Not unpleasant to the eye, but the lack of variety amongst the businesses leaves much to be desired.

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5 comments

  1. Although I’m not old enough to remember the 1950s picture exactly, I do see the W.E Turners shoe shop there. My wife worked at this shop in the late 1970s for a while until the shop closed and moved to the end of the Mander arcade where it opens into Dudley Street. Turners were later taken over by Focus shoes, who kept going until 1987 when they gave up and all the staff were made redundant. The premises then ceased to be a shoe shop and became a cafe.

  2. The 1950’s photograph has really wound the clock back. If I am correct, on the far side of Queen street out of sight, about two buildings along, was the National Coal Board Office. There was a display in the window, including a scale model of a railway coal truck about 10 inches in length.

  3. The toilets in centre of road in Queen Square that you went down the stairs to…..the big gathering of teenagers every Sunday afternoon at the Gaumont onSnow Hill,if not there,Savoy or Odeon……Santas Grotto in the Co-op in Lichfield St……loved it there at Xmas…….

  4. Opposite Turners on the right hand corner of the street used to be a shop that sold wedding dresses. We used to go in there regularly on Saturdays to try the lovely dresses on ….not that we were thinking of getting married,more so for something to do…..I think that street was later an entrance to the Mander Centre……Who remembers going to Jeromes to get their photos taken?? 🙂

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