Specks On A dusty Road – Part Twelve



Steen & Blacket's Map of 1871 - continuing with Mary Ann Street to Gough Street.
Steen & Blacket’s Map of 1871 – continuing with Mary Ann Street to Gough Street.

One final look at Steen & Blackets Map of 1871 – recalling

(No.1) 1909.William Gough – Builders.

(No 2) 1921, Hollingsworth – Bacon Curer’s /  1927. The Globe – Picture House / 1943. The Carlton Picture House / 1964. Bergs- Credit Drapers.

(No.3) 1950’s Frank Glover- Motor Engineers.

(No. 4) Holly Bush Inn.

Today in 2014. Bergs Drapers extended building, is still standing and Frank Glovers disused building, is also still standing.

We are talking about MARY ANN STREET and GOUGH STREET.

William Gough stands on  the corner of Gough Street.mid 1960’s
William Gough stands on the corner of Gough Street.mid 1960’s


Looking west up Horseley fields from Mary Ann Street in the mid 1960’s  a  shaft of sunlight from Gough Street, penetrate’s the dim shadow throwing  a spotlight on the “Star Vaults” opposite.

By the time this photo was taken, the Carlton Cinema opposite, on the corner of Mary Ann Street had shown its last film, and in 1969 William Gough seen here still adjacent to the cinema will remove to  Bilston.

For some thirty years past, the old Picture House along with the historic Builders next door ,had taken  up the full, one-hunded yard length of the block in Horseley Fields between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street.




The following three pictures show  different angled views  where once upon a time the block stood  separated by the above two streets.



The slip road from Horseley Fields and Willenhall Road 2014
The slip road from Horseley Fields and Willenhall Road 2014


The slip road from Horseley Fields and the Willenhall Road that joins the ring – road at St Georges, Metro Island, seen in 2014.

Still open for business on  the corner of the slip -road entrance , now Middle Row  the renamed Mary Ann Street, are the Funeral Directors F. Jennings.

On the left or east side of this  new road, on the corner of Ward Street, are the re-built premises of Frank Glover motor engineers, originally  19-20 Mary Ann Street.

The opposite view circa 1980’s
The opposite view circa 1980’s

An earlier veiw of the slip road this time in the opposite direction, from the St Georges Metro Island continuing into Horseley Fields and the Willenhall Road.
A better view is seen here of No. 3 Frank Glover’s new building on the right in the former Mary Ann Street.
Whilst over to the left of what was Mary Ann Street stands the building originally built to house Bergs Credit Drapers in  1965.   The Mill Street Goods Depot dominated the background at that time.


Taken from the same spot today 2014
Taken from the same spot today 2014


Taken from the same spot, from the St Georges Metro Island continuing into Horseley Fields and the Willenhall Road., and now  we see, apart from the flats that dominate the background, this characterless scene between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street, looks very much the same today in 2014.

As I mentioned before, as for the  Bergs and Frank Glover’s buildings built either side of the carriageway, they are still standing today but I believe maybe  now not in use..

Not much life left in this scene today apart from the traffic, but if we go back to a time when the  traffic was horse drawn, the days of steam , gas-lamps and the arrival of the Movies, to     Mary Anne Street  you would see a different picture.


A Hollingsworths Pork and Bacon curers established in 1846
A Hollingsworths Pork and Bacon curers established in 1846


Hollingsworths Pork and Bacon curers , had for many years a business  in Horsely Fields. They were established there in 1846

Arthur Hollingsworth is listed in the Red Book dated 1892.has having business’s at No’s 36 Horseley Fields and No. 30 Queen Square.

In 1914 he is at No’s 38 – 39 Horseley Fields and 35 Queen Square again as a Bacon Curer.

And in 1923 the family business occupied No’s 35 – 36 – 38 – Horseley Fields and opposite the shop premises,  on the corner of Mary Ann Street.they had a large  a Warehouse


Hollingsworths Warehouse sale 1925
Hollingsworths Warehouse sale 1925


Then in 1925 on the death of Sarah Hollingsworth, this Sales Notice was posted by Knock & Joseland auctioneers, for the sale of the warehouse and outbuildings at 128 Horseley Fields and 44 Mary Ann Street.



The the building and site was purchased by Captain W.Cresswell and plans were submitted for converting the building to a cinema and these were approved on 9th June 1926. On the 24th January 1927, The Globe Cinema as it was known, opened in a blaze of glory, were it was said, patrons could sit in complete comfort, and view  silent pictures with accompanying orchestral music.

On  the 13th June 1943, there was a change of name and it presented its last show as the Globe, and and five months later after a refurbishment it opened as The Carlton.




My own memories of this little six hundred seater picture house are few, but one I  recall, took place around 1950.

I  remember queuing for  my  front stalls  ticket at the side entrance in Mary Ann Street,  and   then sitting on wooden bench seating to watch John Wayne, in Red River. The film was so enjoyable I soon forgot the itching and my aching behind.


The Carlton, Horseley Fields 1950.
The Carlton, Horseley Fields 1950.


As previously mentioned. The “Carlton”  Cinema, and  William  Gough Decorator and Plumber’s shared the block between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street, Horseley Fields, in 1950.

The film showing at the “Carlton” that day, was “Fighter Squadron” starring Edmond O’ Brien and Robert Stack, but judging by the amount of coppers, standing  outside perhaps a more appropriate picture to show would have been “The Blue Lamp”, with good old Sgt Dixon.

As with the majority of other cinemas in town at that time it struggled on through the 1950’s and finally closed in 1960 the last film being Tommy The Toreador, starring Tommy Steele.

The building again reverted back  a warehouse when it was purchased by Bergs credit Drapers , demolished and a new building was erected, Which I believe still stands today.


W. Gough Church School & House Decorators established in 1900
W. Gough Church School & House Decorators established in 1900


Something always intrigued me as a youth; the question – How come William Gough’s business premises were on the corner of Gough Street? Was there some connection?

Well apparently not.

It says in the article:

In 1900, a year after Alderman Price Lewis was mayor of Wolverhampton, a young man started a painting and decorating business in Horseley – Field .

His first place of business was in a house opposite Alderman Lewis’s tailoring shop, and one of the first customers of young William Gough was the alderman.

Painting and decorating of part of that shop cost Alderman Lewis the princely sum of Two pounds and a shilling.

Price Lewis Tailors soon after removed to  the new “London Buildings” Prince’s Square., and  Mr Gough rented the aldermans shop this was in 1909, and bought it some years later and stayed there until 1969.

William Gough & Sons as the firm is known then moved to Moseley Road Bilston, taking over a large detached house for use as offices, and using an acre of land behind for storage of vehicles, painting and building equipment.

From being in the first instance purely “church school and house decorators” (quote their fascia) in 1909.

They now offer on their website in 2014: William Gough and Sons Limited. … Offer a full construction service to all sectors, priding ourselves on Quality in all aspects.



The building  seen today between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street.
The building seen today between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street.


The building that has replaced The Carlton and William Gough seen today between Mary Ann Street and Gough Street has a clean cut, but forbidding look , there is nothing slightly inviting about it, the doors are tightly shut. Is it empty I wonder ?


Bringing Life to the Ruins
Bringing Life to the Ruins


And placed  on the side wall of that austere building today, is this long forgotten banner, which seems to mock the situation of Horseley Fields today in 2014,  and indeed in someways our city as well.

Horseley Fields –  Case Closed “Nuff Said”

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  1. This part of the Dusty Road has been interesting as it has resolved why I felt the way I did when in 2012 I arrived at the Wolverhampton Station and left my wife to guard the luggage while I went to find the Hertz Car Rental offices with an address in Horseley Fields. I knew Horseley Fields when Adam was a lad but just to make sure I telephoned from home and asked the man in charge for directions from the station. It is very easy said the voice, just walk up Railway Drive then take the path around the car park into Horseley Fields and if you can’t see us look for Jennings Funeral Offices and we are next to them. Are they still there? I asked myself, I thought they had been buried long ago. So I did as I had been instructed and found myself at the entrance to Horseley Fields but in a totally different place to how I remember. Eventually I found Hertz but then had to ask for someone to drive the car I had just hired back to the station to collect my wife and luggage, in that order. The drive back to the station was, as I am often heard to say, interesting, and would be impossible for me to repeat. We found my wife patiently waiting and in matter of minutes she and the luggage was loaded into the car and our chauffeur drove us back to the Hertz Offices. From then on I need precise directions to get to the Ring Road as believe it or not I knew the way to get to the Tettenhall Road and off to our destination in Boningale. But why had I been so confused and believing I had been dropped from the sky into a different alien land? Today reading the Dusty Road and looking at the 1871 map I had an idea. My wife’s grandmother had lived in Mary Ann Street and I always wondered who Mary Ann was. Any idea Billy?
    I then found my trusty book of street maps of the area. It is called A1 Street Atlas and I have no idea when it was published but I have often used it to remind me of where a certain road is. The Essential City Street finder it is called and I turned to pages 32/33. Double pages and Sods or Murphy’s Law I think it is called took over because the area of Horseley Fields in which I was interested was on the fold of the book which splits the map into two halves and cut right through the area in which I was interested. Then I asked myself “Where is the Ring Road?” I could find part of it well labelled but then the penny dropped ( Is that expression still understood?) when I realized that the Ring Road on my map ended at Snow Hill and began against the bottom of Broad Street.The discovery that I have a map of the time before the Ring Road was completed which must be worth a fortune on Ebay. Mary Ann Street is shown as is Little Park Street and also St James Square is present. But on a later map no longer. My world has changed and somehow I resent this alien one that had me so confused.
    But progress has occurred. On the later map purchased last year Union street and Gough Street are shown joined into a “U” shape each joining with Horseley Fields. Middle Cross has obliterated Mary Ann Street. Why? Why couldn’t Mary Ann be still recognized? Who was Middle Cross I wonder, brother to Double no doubt. No Shipton Street but there is
    Albion Street still ( in the home of the Wolves?) but now joining Corn Hill and Union Mill Street. The world changes but the old still lives in the memory. I found it did as I had used the old map for guidance and it had proven false. There must be a lesson to be learned
    Thankyou Billy for the photographs and particularly for the Carlton/Globe photograph reminder. Why a Copper display I wonder? I can still remember those wooden benches and if one was careful and had someone unsuspecting on the end of the wooden bench on the overhang. At the agreed signal everyone sitting on the bench, but for the one on the end, would stand and suddenly he would find himself lying on the floor and with luck the bench on top of him. And you tell kids today and they doe believe ya.

  2. Again another really useful blog Billy…whilst tracing my family history I came across Horsely Fields a lot – Union Street, Gas Yard etc – but didn’t have a clue where these places were…I knew where Jennings was but that was it! So thanks again for bringing these places to life – it really helps me to paint a picture of where my ancestors were born and bred.

  3. my nan & grandad used to live in Gough Street in Gough the builders ajoining house.I have many happy memories of knowing Jack & Dougie Gough and old Mr & Mrs Gough and the rest of their family when I was a child.As a child I remember going to the Carlton and my nan coming to fetch me when it was meal time

  4. Kath so pleased you enjoyed the story and it brought back Happy Memories for you.
    If you have time – Please join our forum and also our facebook group and perhaps we can share more memories of Lost Wollverhampton with you.

  5. I was wondering if anyone knew of Ann Hollingsworth who I think might have been the wife of Arthur Hollingsworth (pork and bacon curer) Horsely Fields. Were they married or maybe did tbey divorce. Would be helpful to know.

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