I Remember

Portland Stone
What happened to Dudley Street?

People are always asking me what, where, or how things  happened in Wolverhampton, so to mark the  75th anniversary of my birth, I shall  do a series of small posts entitled “I REMEMBER”.

A trip down memory lane for those  who remember Dudley Street in the days before the many sweeping changes  brought the mander Centre to our town.

Singleton and Cole tobacconists  on the far right, while on the far left of this 1950s photograph is the Kings head pub which was built around the turn of the century.

In between the tobacconists  and  “Nancie”  Gown specialists, was an alley.
I remember  in the 1940s at  the bottom of this  alley was little amusement arcade with bumping cars etc.

The 1930s built Portland stone building, besides housing Nancie was home to Melias and W Evans a butcher later replaced by Dewhursts

Who remembers shopping at the likes of Melias back then when housewives did their shopping at the small grocery chains? Of which there were many in Wolverhampton around Dudley street alone.

Where customers would queue to be served while the assistants weighed and sliced the butter and cheese from large slabs and sliced the bacon while you waited; a far cry from todays plastic bags. People may have waited longer to be served but at least they had the personel attention of the staff.

Further to the left is the ill-starred Central Arcade. The  decision to demolish this well-loved Edwardian landmark was fought tooth and nail by protesters who wanted it to be integrated into the design of the new shopping centre.

What a difference this Beautiful entrance would have made to the existing Mander Centre, but it was not to be. It was mysteriously destroyed by a fire in May 1974.

To the left of this entrance the impressive J.E. Knight florists Shop and finally small the strip of the building that was  the Kings Head.

Here is how the site looks today in 2012.

Portland Today 2012

Finally, here’s a shot comparing the two:

1950s – 2012 Then & Now
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