I fancy gooin up Town an do a bit of shopping, what ya rekon? ….(sigh)…. But It aye like it used to be. Them woz the days, when shops were ‘real’ shops!
Wudn’t it be luvly to goo back in time? … I’m thinking mid 1800’s to early 1900’s meself Mmmm , if only aye?
“Blooming eck, it aye arf busy today n I aye got time to mess abarrt. First off, I need to send the old man off to get some decent clobber, but which shop? I know: ‘Browns’! Always a good place to start”
E. P. Brown & Co Ltd, 13 Market Place
Brown’s is on the corner of Union Street, first opened in the 1860s by a Mr L B Longmore, till his son took over.
Mr Brown took over the business around 1912. It has three lovely large display windows showing the latest fashion for Men, for he is a Gentleman’s outfitter. He sells Silk and felts hats, panama and soft hats and even hats for children.
But he also sells good class hosiery and underwear, socks, woollen items, shirts, ties, scarves, collars and cuffs, silk and gloves. His shirts are made to measure and this is the place every man shops for that special day.
All all his stuff is very economically priced too.
”But then, i dow know, the old mon is a funny buggar, maybe we should have a look in the Arthur’s Tailors down in Lower high street fust”
Arthur H. Coney, Ladies and Gents Tailor, 30, Lower High Street
Mr Arthur H. Coney founded this business in 1903. The shop has a large display window, and several workrooms. Mr Coney is a brilliant Tailor, who always uses the most fashionable patterns. He caters for both ladies and gentlemen but he specialises in the making of breeches, and offers competitive prices.
”Okay, that’s the old man sorted then, I think its time us ladies went off to spoil ourselves for a change ….and I know just the place ……… Lilli’s!”
M. &. J. Lillis, Ladies Outfitters, Lower High Street
Now this shop of Misses M. & J. Lillis is one of the most popular shops in Wednesbury.
Opening its door in 1859 and in a very good position in Lower High Street, it of course is the only place to shop for the ladies.
The window always has an attractive display with at least one or two dresses that I can’t resist buying.
They also sell ladies blouses, corsets, laces, gloves, umbrellas, hosiery, aprons, neckwear, underwear. All the usual lines in haberdashery and fancy drapery are stocked including baby linen, and shawls.
“I love this shop, dow yo? Cud spend all day here, ”Oh gaard”, the old man is coming back,now what?
He’s got a ferce like a butchers dog.He aint happy, I can tell.
I’m going to have to send him off to Powell’s shop, its more to his taste and off the peg. If he cor find nuthin there, he wow find it anywhere”
George Powell, Tailor, Clothier, Hatter and Hosier, 18 to 19 Market Place
This shop opened in the mid 1880s, and later our lovely Mr Powell took over.
He has gained a lot of experience in the trade. Both of his shops have a good frontage, and carry a large stock of ready to wear clothing. It’s usually possible to find something to fit every customer there. Ranging from moleskin or hard wearing clothes, to best wear. A large trade is done in boy’s school uniforms and best suits in all sizes, for all ages.
But they also do made to measure too, and the tailoring department is noted for the style, fit, and finish of all garments and the lowest possible prices. ……..“Mr Powell is chairman of the Wednesbury Tradesmen’s Association you know!
Oh me giddy Aunt, all this shopping as med me proper starved! And the smell of fresh baked bread is doin me yed in. what yo say to a nice freshly baked scone and maybe get some bread to tek um?
S. Hickinbottom, Baker and Confectioner, Electric Bakery, Victoria Street
Mr S. Hickinbottom is well known for the high quality bread at his Bakery.
The business was founded in the late 1890s in Lower High Street, and moved to Victoria Street in 1905.
His bakery is equipped with modern and up-to-date machines that assures the high standards Hickinbottom is well known for. He also make all kinds of cakes, scones, buns, pork pies and general confectionery.
His carts and vans are often seen around the streets, delivering his goods.
“Well, I dow now where the old man’s got to? So lets go nip into Jowetts un get summet for our tay”
Sidney Jowett, Florist, Fruiterer, Fish and Poultry Dealer, Market Place
Founded around 1904. Sidney Jowett is regarded as one of the most reliable trader to be found anywhere.
He always sells the best quality goods at the lowest possible prices. The shop is known as Market Stores and supplies all kinds of fruit in season, fish, poultry, rabbits and flowers. Jowett’s also specialises in making wreaths, crosses, bouquets, gent’s button holes and ladies sprays.
“There he is, just luk at him, the sly old buggar, Like I cor see him sneaking into Page’s for his fags … tut”
W. A. Page, W’sale and Retail Tobacconist, Market Place and Upper High Street
Mr W. A. Page started in Upper High Street in 1905, and opened a second shop in Market Place in 1910.
He stocks all the leading brands of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, and all makes and kinds of pipes, cigar and cigarette holders. He also supplies pouches, cigar, and cigarette cases, and a wide range of smokers’ accessories.
He supplies publicans and shopkeepers throughout the area, and is known to be very reliable.
“Okay Ladies, now the old man has gone to the pub its time we go window shopping in Poxons.
Er next door just ad a luvly terble from theya”
S. R. Poxon, 20 and 21, Lower High Street
Mr Poxon’s in Lower High Street always has a massive stock of household furniture and furnishings, the widest selection available in the town. He opened in the late 1890s and has a large show window and showrooms.
The staff there are extremely experienced upholsterers, cabinet makers, and repairers who worked under Mr Poxon’s personal supervision. He holds a good stock of floor coverings, carpets, and linos all at very reasonable prices. Mr Poxon also stocks wringers, mail carts, pianos, and antique furniture.
He purchases second-hand furniture and has an exchange scheme for any kind of furniture.
“Oh an we got Preeces anul, I aye bin in theya for ages, we cud goo an look in there if yo want?”
F. W. Preece, Draper and House Furnisher, Market Place
This is a large and popular drapery and furnishing establishment, run by Mr F. W. Preece. He is in a perfect central position in the Market Place. A very old business, founded in the early 1800′s by the Dawes family, who ran it for around 100 years.
Mr Preece took over in 1904 and extended and altered the premises to meet a great increase in business.
The shop has a large window, with stock, and showrooms upstairs. He sells general furnishing, Furniture included beds, carpets, lino, oilcloths, rugs, curtains, blinds, and drapery etc.
But also linen and fancy drapery,ladies dresses, skirts, blouses, material, outfitting goods, hosiery for ladies, girls and children. And lace, trimmings, silk and satins etc. .
“The shop with the lot”.
“I rekon he shud call it sumut like: “A Superstore” (Chuckles) ….Now “where” did i get a word like that from?”
Oh well, Id better get um an cook the tay. Yo fancy cuming up agen tomorrow? I really need to pop into Strickley’s Grocer’s anyrode. Anyway, i gotta get gooing, an i’ll tell yo sumut for nothin:
If he aye aart that pub soon, i’ll be gooin into Webbs to sort arrt ‘his’ bloody funeral!
Anyway, see ya later …….Tarra a bit!”