Express & Star Walsall and wolverhampton
Add the 1970 editions
A grey commented
We need to sort more dates please look into adding this more
Helen McKenzie commented
Please include the 1980s archives
I arrived in Wolverhampton when demolition of the market buildings was under way. The buildings in front of the church must have already been long gone, but the buildings on the side of the new ring road were being knocked down. They were nice red brick buildings and had pineapples at intervals along the edge of the roof and arched entrances. Such a pity those lovely buildings were removed to make way for cars to park. I was attending the art college on the other side of the ring road which overlooked the Molineaux football pitch. The players could be seen training on the pitch from the top of the building. I can also remember the St Peter's graveyard being cleared of skeletons to prepare the plot for development, which could also be seen from the other side of the college building looking across the ring road.
I stayed at first with a family who lived at the bottom of Compton Road. The father of the family told me that he was the first on the scene when the drummer of Slade crashed his sports car. He was able to give him life-saving first aid until the ambulance arrived.
I bought an awful old bicycle at Skidmore's auction rooms, and had to buy a lot of new bits for it at a shop on the edge of the town centre. The kind old fella in the shop helped me fit all the new parts. It was a good bike but had no gears.
There was an old Sikh bloke who used to feed the pigeons outside the Art Gallery. He was so old he could not tie his turban and it was always dangling in bits. He seemed very serene. One of the students at the college made a screen print of him feeding the birds.
I was impressed by the variety of colours the terraced houses by the Molineaux had been painted by the then new Asian immigrants (probably all now demolished). I had not seen anything like that before. Mrs Preece had a second-hand clothiers in the same terrace. She sold old hobnail boots with holes in the soles.
There was a lovely old shop somewhere near the station that sold tea loose and coffee freshly roasted. The interior was entirely original and in the window were old photos of ancient mandarin Chinese. It was called W Snapes (or similar).
The road leaving Wolverhampton up to Wednesbury (Bilston?) was the grottiest street I had ever seen in my life. So much smut from factories had covered everything in soot. It was the same when you came in on the railway, everything extremely sooty.
In the Molineaux pub by the football ground there were loads of old photos of the old Wolves football teams. There was another pub at the top end of Compton Road, the walls of which were covered in pictures of racing pigeons. It was a pigeon fancies' pub.
I once went to see the wrestling at the Town Hall. Top of the bill was "Gorgeous George" a tall blond bloke, but everybody booed him because he was the "baddie". I was amazed to see a local bloke who was a lecturer at one of the colleges bounce into the ring in his wrestling trunks. I had no idea he was a wrestler or how hairy he was without his shirt on! I think he won his bout.
Other shops I remember: Beatties, Owen Owen, Midland Educational, Macfisheries, The Bull in a China Shop, all fine shops; the Mander Centre, the Wulfrun Centre.
One of the local girls introduced me to Pork Scratchings. Pork fat makes me sick so I only ate one out of politeness but felt sick afterwards. Nowadays Pork Scratchings are popular "down south".
The Goodyear Zeppelin was frequently seen or heard (if you happened to be indoors). I think it was based at an airfield just outside of Wolverhampton past the Wergs. Sometimes it flew extremely low.
There was a park at the top end of Tettenhall Road which was very well kept. In the park was an old Victorian glasshouse with an aviary. I was very impressed with the exotic and colourful Toucans that were kept there. Not what you would expect to see in a place like Wolves.
I remember seeing Barry Lydon, Slade in Flame and The Man Who Fell to Earth at local cinemas.
I think it was 1975 when there was a long drought. It was a hard time for the firemen, who were constantly being called out to quench fires. I remember taking a trip from Wolves to Cannock Chase and seeing three fires along the roadside on the way which were unattended. The ground was so dry that even a bit of broken glass could start a fire. I remember the day the rain broke the drought. It was monsoon style heavy rain that I had never experienced. The weather returned to normal after that.
I also remember traveling through West Bromwich past a giant steel plant at night and seeing it all lit up with the furnaces glowing and smoking - a fantastic sight in the days when this country had state-owned nationalised industries that made money for the people of this country and provided real jobs for working class people. At that time Wolverhampton still had a motorcycle manufacturer.
Just some of the things I remember about Wolverhampton in the mid-Seventies.
Gemma Fulman commented
Dance School Over The Red House.Espresso Coffee
I was at the dance classes 1962 Do you remember the espresso coffee house and Queens Dances Also Fenwicks cycle shop
Please add the 1980s editions
John murtough commented
Was there a pub next to the Gifford Arms in Victoria Street, as I seem to recollect there being one. I thought it was the Kings Head, but that was in Dudley Street, from something I read. It must be appx 30 years ago but feel adamant there was a pub.
But before our time. At No. 61 just two doors down from the "Giffard Arms". Victoria Street, before 1927 was the “Hand and Bottle”
H. Start then next door on its left, later moved into new premises built on this site in 1928 advertising our new basement showroom is now open. ( Wolverhampton Free Press.)
Little Woolworths original building is pictured here in the mid-1920s on the left of Starts.
Has anyone old photos of upper spare street Penn? Used to live there up until I was 8 years great times had playing
Jon Bradbury commented
What is the oldest pub in Wolverhampton borough that is still open today functioning as a pub? Heard it was the Greyhound and punch bowl but can anyone confirm?
Chris Moran commented
Anyone on here work at Rof Featherstone in the 70s? Some laughs and good times
John Kershaw commented
Here again, in Wolverhampton everything that surrounds us in our everyday lives, every street, supermarket, football ground, university and park, even the land your house is built on Is a reminder of something else that was there in the past.
So for better or for worse over the next few weeks, I will show changes that I would say are a
Sad Reflections of my life -
In 1953 the Retail market was celebrating its centenary, arguably the busiest place in town in those days on a Saturday, ruthlessly demolished in 1961.
Of all the places that have gone from my youth, I regret the loss of this grand Victorian edifice most.
Just wondering if you can post more I would like to read about when wadhams hill became incorporated into the ring road I used to live there as a child above the post office
Did anyone on here used to attend club Lafayette in Wolverhampton was a classic club in the 80s what memories
Max green commented
I research family history and whilst checking on one of my ancesters in the Shropshire Archives I found, on the 1871 census, that my man had gone to Trysull to become a Farm Bailiff. I have a copy of sheet 3 of the census upon which he is shewn however the writing is reasonably legible but it is also feint.
The sheet I have has five entries and I wonder if from what I can make out you may be able to put the proper names to them. The first entry appears to be Trysull Cottage housing the Lamb family of agric labourers. Secondly there is a property unamed with the Austin family - again farm labourers. Thirdly, the farm where my ancester Edward Parry was bailiff, looking like Corner Farm. Fourthly, the next property looks like Clan/Glan Park with one William Burton heading it. Lastly, what looks like Back Bound/Bond/Board headed by John Parker.
These places would obviously be on a walking round for the census enumerator of the day and I was wondering if you could put proper names to them especially the Farm.
What brought my ancester from farming 193 acres south of Oswestry to being a Farm Bailiff at Trysull is something I yet need to discover. However I am sure all will be revealed in time.
The shops i used were Voltic Records in the Queens Arcade , Beatties Record Department , Goulds who were at the end of Dudley Street and the HMV shop in Cleveland Street . Newy Bros had a little shop on the Penn Road just before Goldthorne Hill ( i used to pick up deleted records from thier bargain bin ) British Home Stores and Woolworths had record departments and sold original stuff besides those horrid Embassy Records covers. I could tell you the story of Embassy records if you had a year to spare they were owned and run as a subsiduary of Oriole Records and eventually owned by CBS records Bet they had a dilemma what to do with all those Embassy master tapes., althouigh they did issue LP`s on the Embassy trademark There was the `Shack` on the Cannock Road which ended up selling Reggae stuff in latter years and there was a shop called Cliffs on the Dudley Road who had a similar operation to the Shack. First 45 i bought was Marion Ryan singing Oh Oh I`m Falling In Love Again c/w Always And Forever on Pye Nixa (1958). Hope that has helped bring back some memories
I suppose my first memories are a bit vague, i remember we lived over a butchers shop in Penn and that early in either 1952 or 53 we moved to the brand new housing estate of Castlecroft. We were amongst the first to move in, the house was in Windmill crescent. The house was basic council standard but pure luxury after Penn road. It had a such luxuries as a bath, hot water heated by a coal fire and a gas poker to get the fire started. Two bedrooms, a kitchen and a lounge/dining room. Like most working people at that time, we did not have much money, dads wages just about paid for the necessities of life so one learnt very early on not to ask for things you could not have. Like Rod, i spent time with my nose pressed against Sherwood Millers toy shop window in the Queens arcade watching the train sets etc in the window. One of my first real memories came on coronation day, we went over to my grand dad Goodwin's house in Rayleigh road, to watch on grandads new TV set, a piece of furniture made by the Philips company which seemed to occupy a whole wall whilst having a 12 inch screen. The family gathered around the set to watch the proceedings, for me it was the first time i saw pictures sent from afar although as life went on it was not to be the last time. My first school, Castlecroft primary, was literally a stones throw from my front door in Windmill crescent. Whilst there i contracted Whooping cough and spent several months away from school whilst mainlining on penicillin. On one occasion whilst i was off, it was the school christmas party and someone was sent to the house with a bag containing sandwiches and cake as i had missed the party. Now i think whoever came to the door was a little timid, rather than knock the door the bag was pushed through the letterbox with the obvious conclusions, squashed sandwiches and cake. I made some friends at the school but after taking the 11+ at Ounsdale school in Wombourne it was time to move to what my parents called "the big school". In my case this meant the Regis in Tettenhall. One of my best friends at the time was Brian Griffiths, who also lived in Windmill crescent, was my age but a day, his birthday been the day after mine, we enjyed the same things, tv wrestling which we would re-enact on the grass verge outside our houses. We also enjoyed impersonating a boxer by the name of Cassius Clay, later known as Mohamed Ali. We took our 11+ on November 5th, 1958 and after it was all over returned to our guy fawkes which was ready for burning. In those early days most people had bonfires at the front of their houses, there was still quite a bit of builders rubble to burn. Money was tight in 1959, my trousers, shirt and tie were new although the blazer was second hand and slightly too big but i was assured i would grow into it. I felt quite proud of my new uniform, if i remember correctly i took a walk around the block to show it off. I can't honestly say i enjoyed all my time there, for the most part it was a case of grin and bear it, however like in Rod Blunts case it did teach me not to trust my so called elders and betters. I stayed on a couple of years and during this time i began to gain some freedom. It was the first time i went in a pub on my own, the Castlecroft hotel was at that time the nearest. Despite been underage i became a regular however on my birthday i was challenged about my age so i started using the Mermaid on the Bridgenorth road. Here i met the lads who would introduce me to serious drinking. Chris Davies, Phil Poutney, Phil Freeman and many others.
I would think there are many older Wulfrunians who lived in the vicinity of Marsh Lane, Fordhouses around 1964 when this photo was taken remember it as
Wobaston Secondary School.
In the foreground though is a sculptured pillar designed and executed by J.Paddison.
Can you recall what the name given to the sculpture
St Josephs was my former senior school from 1948-52. and I have many good memories and many sad ones during my time there.
The above photo is Mr McVeighs class of 1949, I am the tall chap at the back.
As you can see not many of the pupils could afford the School blazer then, but a little later Caps would become a must have. Does anyone recall our school tailors Albert Williams.then on Snow Hill.
M baker commented
My local was the Penn Cinema on Warstones Road. My early memories are somewhat vague regarding the first film I saw, but the Saturday matinee was the time all the kids off the estate caused their usual weekly chaos, much to the annoyance of the usherettes! I do have memories of the westerns with Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, and of course, Roy Rogers and Trigger. There was also the gangster film serials with “The Black Hand Gang” or something along those lines, along with the Disney classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, etc.
It was pennies to get in but, if you’d spent your cinema money on “suck”, there was always someone ready to open the side door for a couple of acid drops!
A little “nostalgia” for all Old Wulfrunians who once said. “Will you take me in Please?.
Nowadays the first experience of a cinema visit for a child is probably on occasion to see a new Disney release or the like, but my first visit was nothing like that.
It was in the summer of 1943. The place the “Savoy’ in Garrick Street there was just my mother and I, dad was away on war work, at that time.
I remember we queued at the entrance to the front stalls at the corner of Old Hall Street, and when we finally recieved our tickets and went down the stairs into the cinema I recall we had to stand for awhile just 50yds from the screen and the main feature a western, “Jesse James” was halfway through.
I gazed up at this large screen and in full technicolour, what a sight, it was awe inspiring to me as a six year, old.
After waiting a short while standing looking looking up at the screen we were found two seats, and as the film reached its climax , and the background music; the hymn, “Yes Jesus loves me” played at ‘Jesse’s funeral , the sorrowful tears ran down my face, and at that moment I was completely lost to films, and film music forever.