The Joy of reading came to me in North Street





Anyone  who in the 1950’s, who made the trip to the Molineux grounds, or  may have taken a trolley bus ride too and from Fordhouses,  or the petrol bus to Brewood,or even perhaps may have once lived in one of the many Victorian Terraced streets that were well-provided off North Street at that time, would recognise with a little sadness this  small block of shops that stood once between; Tin shop Yard  and the Chequer Ball Public House. Amongst them   a Post office Grocer, Fruiterer, Printer, Hairdresser; and  two Second hand shops that “Sold Books”.

The second Hand shops were George Lathe’s and Preece’s.  It was with  books and comics  bought from two of these shops that helped me  discover  the joy’s of reading. 

Christmas Joys for Girls and Boys




Was your first book  a gift from your local Sunday School. or perhaps  an Annual for a  Christmas or  Birthday present?

My first book as I recall was  one of a series of Annuals published by the newspapers of the time, made up of wonderful pictures and stories from their childrens  comic strips featured in their daily papers.

What I loved about these old annuals was  the original artwork. It was so full of colour and character.

I am sure many of you born between the wars  still remember favourite characters from their childhood, such as Rupert Bear featured in the Daily Express, and Tiger Tim, Bobby Bear etc… anyone remember Teddy Tail he was in the Daily mail .




Just look at what I mean  This was the first annual, I ever had I think my mother paid 1/6d for it second hand from “Lathes” in North Street  ” Pip & Squeak” probably worth £50 today.

It contains amusing stories of the daily life of a  mongrel dog, a fully grown penguin and a baby rabbit (Pip  Squeak and Wilfred as they were respectively named.  These two characters appeared in Daily Mirror and the Sunday Pictorial

Wilfreds only words were “Gug” and Nunc and  their originator was Bertram J. Lamb (1889-1938)  He was known  as Uncle Dick editor of the Daily Mirrors childrens spot.

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  1. For the life of me I can`t remember those shops in North st and I must have passed them hundreds of times on the top deck of the trolleys! I can remember a 2nd hand car lot there,and I can remember the owner offering £50 off any car, there was 1 there for £49-10s,you can guess what happened! He did honour the deal,it was reported in the Express & Star.

    1. Yes Miff , I think the car lot you mention was on the corner of Vincent Street and Molineux Street there were many though similar one’s scattered around town at that time.
      Rember our facebook group now Lost Wolverhampton Please join our group.

    2. I think you will find that the line of shops you can’t bring to mind were, in actual fact, a line of shops at the top of Molineux Hill and the photograph (l think/sure) was taken from the Car Park entrance to the Molineux Hotel which was/is adjacent to Molineux Foolball Club Stadium. I know this, because my grandfather who was an avid follower and Season Ticket Holder for ‘Wolves’, was crowned Domino Champion one year, who played for the Molineux Hotel Team – l have his engraved Cup – and am quite rightly very proud of it ! It must have been around 1950/51. My Grandparents lived at 217 North Street, three house up from The Gladstone Pub and, on regular ocassions, l regularly fetched my Grandfather’s draft beer, (six pennyworth), pulled into a Copper Measure in the Off Licence and poured by Copper Funnel into a Screw Top Bottle for me to transport the 20 yards back to my Grandfather. If i was lucky – VERY lucky, l was allowed to suck the froth off the top of the beer after it was poured into an awaiting glass next to my grandfather’s chair. Such Happy Times – Sadly, never to be repeated !

  2. The end shop on the left used to belong to my Dad, Deryk Vernons family, the Plants. They rans a pork butchers there until they closed this and rented out the shop to George Lathe where he stored motor bikes.

    On this post, there are two images missing, what where they?

    1. Hello Richard I am not sure what you mean here But we now have a facebook group Lost Wolverhampton Please join our group. and we can help sort things out. Best Wishes.

  3. I came across this History of my home city
    since I lived in Bushbury 1953 till 1966
    I remember loads about the old ….
    would I be ok to share

    1. Certainly David – Please join our forum, introduce yourself and place on the relevant threads anything you think may be of interest, we look forward to your input.

  4. At 78 years it is a pleasure to make a day trip to Wolverhampton occasionally to wander round the Town centre to recollect pre-Ring Road appearances. I actually did this very thing recently and was shocked -immediately out of the middle, how many empty and derelict shops are still there as evidence of a more prosperous Wolverhampton -to me only as recent as the 1950/1960s.How did it happen I thought and has it the vision to revert the often shabby look-is there no money around I pondered= perhaps the problem lies with fewer employment opportunities I would be interested to learn peoples views.

  5. Thankyou for taking time to visit our site Tony.
    I agree we have made a lot of errors during the past 50 or more years of town planning , but this has been the case country wide and not just here.
    I do believe though things are
    looking up in our town and we can look forward to a brighter future.
    Not though it will ever get back to the glory days we recall Tony. But thats what Lost Wolverhampton is all about recalling those bygone days.

    So please join our forum, Introduce yourself and let us have some input on your memories of your short stay in Wolverhampton.

  6. Hello Billy When I saw the picture of the witches hat, childhood memories came to the fore once again. I well recall jumping onto the roundabout clutching a jam butty, and I accidently kicked a dog that was there with a small boy. The small boy left, but the dog didnt, he waited, and waited, and waited.He was furious, and I was terrified,I knew what was coming. I then threw him what was left of my butty….he growled, I screamed. I jumped down, and ran, but to no avail, he got me. After taking a piece of my rump, mum took me to the nearest chemist in Stafford Street. I would be about five years old , and the witches hat was at the back of Saint Marys Terrace. Love and light June Matthews

  7. Hello June lovely to hear from you again – Yes that little peice of recreation ground at the rear of St Mary’s Terrace was the first place I discovered the delights of the whiches hat,
    Also I recall to a small boy as I was then the slide seemed terrifying I think I confined myself to the see-saw.
    Please dont leave it so long again and give my best wishes to Terry.

  8. I have always said the only difference between Stratford on Avon and Wolverhampton was in my opinion, lack of foresight coupled with very bad planing by a wealthy counsel

    1. Are you the same Ken (Kenny) Wilson who went to Graiseley Secondary Modern, Class 4A, just up the hill from the Midland Counties Dairy. If you are, do you remember Trevor Perry – Alan Clarkson – Robert Taylor – Lynn Bowater – Peter Moody, and many others ? If so please get in touch after all these years.

  9. Hi Ken Welcome.
    You are certainly right there, perhaps with a little more foresight they could have handled it better.
    We can see now us older Wulfrunians that at the start of the late 1950’s and through the 60’s and 70’s the Corporation of the day went berserk in their passion to rebuild and some might argue destroy, what were once historic and delightful areas in which to live and shop.

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