Specks On A Dusty Road – Part Four

Continuing with Worralls and introducing the Stevens – it is now 1894

Introduction –

In 1894 John Henry Stevens had travelled from his home In Tipton Staffordshire, to  work in Wolverhampton, as there were still many jobs to be found on the numerous canal wharves around Horseley fields and he  gained  employment  at Pickfords , hauliers off Walsall Street, then later as a drayman for  the London and North Western Railway Company in Old Mill Street. finding lodgings close by.

He was a strong churchgoer and it was on one of his visits to Sunday morning service at St James’s Church in Horseley Fields he met, Julia Worrall, who was the daughter of a local boat builder in Walsall Street.


St James’s Church, in Horseley Fields,was erected in 1843 at a cost of £6,000. The Vicarage is of the Elizabethan style and was built in 1847.


They  went out together for awhile, then in 1899, he asked her father if they could get wed, after a certain amount of deliberation  he was reluctantly accepted into the family, and the marriage service took place at St James’s Church the same year.


Their 1899 Marriage Certificate- notice. Julia’s father William Henry Worrall is still credited of being a Boatbuilder.


Regarding John Henry Stevens, my mothers father, it was said

“He was a man of of unquestionable integrity, a respected member of the church, his only flaw was an inclination  to gamble.”


A Story, about my grandfather shortly after he married –  was told to me by my mother

After the couple were married they moved into No.30 Court 4  Park Street, a row of Victorian terraced houses between Duke Street and Commercial Road .

Now my grandfather, at that time had through his passion for gambling on the horses, got the family greatly in debt.

To pay off creditors the bailiff’s were called in to sell their furniture and belongings – mostly given to them by grandmothers parents; the Worralls. However, during the auction sale  my great grandmother Julia Worrall, bought it all back for them.

Although this incident didn’t cure my grandfathers addiction for gambling, from then on though he just let it come down to the occasional flutter.



Wednesfield Road Goods Depot, completed in 1881 for the Midland Railway.


Towards the end of his working life most of my grandfathers time was at the Midland Railway Goods Yard in Sun Street, seen here from the towpath of the Wyrley and Essington Canal.

My mother Mary, told me she would on occasion accompany her father on some of his deliveries.

She mentioned how he would sing out to his horse Dolly and cajole and cuss her get her up Wightwick bank, on some of his regular visits to Tettenhall Wood.

She also recalled visiting the stables with him on Sunday mornings, and he would say that Dolly went through a set of shoes a month. He loved his horses and the horses loved him too.



Pictured at Sun Street 1943, Drayman unknown The motorman was George Rastall Photo of Express & Star courtesy Alfred Rastall.


I would have loved the above  picture to have been my grandfather John Henry Stevens, but unfortunately it is not.

Apparently it was a contemporary of his at Sun Street whose name escapes me, the picture was taken in 1943.

To be continued…

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