Show Me A Picture And I’ll Tell You A Story

Now, it may be the closeness I had with my parents and grandparents as a child that gave me this fondness for looking back at my life in Wolverhampton (Woffledom) . For it was through their environment I.E. (the centre of town) and their active life there, I came to touch the lives of so many people from all walks of life.

The other day I had an interesting comment on another post from Mrs June Head (Nee Dwight). June said “I lived at 27 Nursery St (1958-1976) – Doreen (Howe) was our neighbour (I remember her as Cooke) This site stirred up some great memories for me- wonderful!”.

Well, the fact that June remembered my aunt Doreen brought to my recollection a photograph I had recieved from another lady who used to live in Nursery Street. Carol Baugh gave me this lovely photo of little girl standing in a back garden adjacient to my Grandfathers house overlooking a North Street of the 1960’s.

Is this little girl you, June?
Is this little girl you, June?

Now up until today I had never made contact with this little girl and she may not even recollect having the her photo taken; but anyway June this is for you, and I am so glad you got in touch because as you can see this is not just my story its yours, as well as many other Wufflers (Wulfrunians) scattered far afield now, but whose family tree once grew in and around St Peter’s Church, and our roots as well as theirs are still entangled beneath that old town we once knew.

When I look at any picture; such as this one of this charming little girl, my eyes seek out every little detail for information. I focus on the group of local shops, that take up the background built around seventy years prior to this shot. What stories and what memories do they conjure up for people of different ages that once frequented them? Maybe you have similar photographs dipicting another personal stories, perhaps from other localities like Blakenhall, Horseley Fields, Brickkiln Croft etc…

For my part my this story would start during the War. Mr Thomas’s grocers was on the corner of Dawson Street, it’s the first one with the blind in the picture. We only used the shop occasionally as we were registered, for groceries with Kidsons, higher up North Street.

Next door the other blind covered the window of Mrs Williams’s greengrocers. Her son was Jack Williams, who married Mr and Mrs Adey’s daughter May from across the road at the Colonel Vernon. Unfortunately when Jack retired and was living on his own, he lost his life in a house fire at his home in Bright Street in 1974.

As you can probably see from his sign, J.T.Leach had the butchers shop. Mr leach bought the shop just before the War, and as you can see was still there in the 1960’s. The previous owner was a Mr Spicer I believe, who met with a fatal road accident after his retirement when he was knocked down and killed near the Fox at Shipley.

The ladies hairdresser’s was in my day a cycle agents and repair business the owner a Mr Trespass. The shop next door that is covered with adverts, was Piggotts Newsagents; probably the busiest shop in the block. Betty Piggott, their daughter later married a chap called Barratt and they were the proprietors on its demise.

Finally the last shop in the block was always known as Pagets, a small confectionery business. Mrs Pagets daughter was called Anne, and married former Wolves player Mickey Lill after he left the Wolves in the 1960s. She went with him to live in South Africa were he died in 2004.

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  1. The butcher’s shop – at 175 North Street – was owned by my great-grandfather, Thomas Spicer: his son, Frank Spicer was my grandfather (who later owned the shop): he was killed in a road accident at the Fox at Shipley on 4 August 1963.

    I have a rather splendid photograph of the shop window dressed for a competition to advertise New Zealand Lamb (I believe that the Spicers came second, first place going to Dewhurst): I’ll see if I can scan it for you.

  2. Have just found this after putting in Williams greengrocers North Street, Carol Baugh is my cousin, I lived at 228 Waterloo Road until 1963 then moved to Stafford Road, my nan lived at no 1 Dawson Street, and Carol’s mom, Betty worked for Mr Thomas, my brother is over here at the moment from Spain where he now lives and we were only talking about Williams’s as both he (Bill) and our Brother Paul delivered the groceries on the old bike with the basket on the front, oh so many happy memories of living round there, hope you or someone you know sees this

  3. I remember Jack and May Williams so well, I followed my brother John as a delivery lad for Jack , there were two of us who both rode carrier bikes, you remember those things they were heavy bikes with a big carrier attached to the front, Maurice Blood who lived in Dawson Street and myself worked most evenings after school and on Saturday mornings delivering green grocery all around Whitmore Reans and even ventured as far as the Tettenhall Road, When Maurice moved on I got the bigger bike and Colin Newman joined me to make up the team. lol Jacks mum always provided us with tea and cake at some point during our work time and Jack always gave us fruit along with our wages on a Saturday..

  4. What a great suprise! Haven’t dipped into the site for ages and, yes, that’s me! Cath, I remember you. If I’m not mistaken, you were a little older than me and had lovely long hair. Our garden sort of swung round Cookes, so it overlooked the Londes and the Colonel Vernon, although my memories are of an empty pub with a big chimney, bit creepy when you’re little. The lamp behind me has only dissapeared within the last few years, as yet another uni building was erected. Happy, very happy, days.

    1. Well we finally caught up with you June. I do hope you enjoyed the story and also that life has been good to you. We now have a Lost Wolverhampton Facebook Group. And it is proving a good and easy way of keeping in touch and sharing memories. Best Wishes Billy H

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