I’ve recently been sent some wonderful images from the recent past by Brownhills Blog reader Tony Turner. Tony sent me an intriguing mail a week ago.
In the 1960’s, my father ran a general purpose shop in Triangle near Chasetown.
The groceries were delivered by AH Craddock of Lichfield Road Brownhills.
I have 2 photos of the Craddocks and their trucks, and a leaflet from the group of independent grocers.(NEWGA)
Could you suggest a good home?
I suggested that Tony get in touch with the excellent people at Walsall Local History Centre, who I know are always looking for photos and ephemera from the area to add to their archives. Mindful of the fact that the Craddock family have been both resident and influential in Brownhills for a very long time, I asked if Tony could scan the items for me to use on the blog.
A couple of days later than I promised, for which I apologise to Tony wholeheartedly, I offer these images for your perusal. I’m sure that many readers interested in local history will remember the company and persons involved. I’m interested also in the vehicles, what make they are, who drove them and what became of G.R.L. Transport, who apparently operated them. I note that there was a phone number listed on only one vehicle, Brownhills 3631, I guess the name was enough in those days. Did you work at this warehouse? Was your business supplied by them? Do you recall Tony’s father’s shop?
A.H. Craddock were heavily involved with what appears to be an early kind of voluntary chain, called NEWGA, which was an acronym for the North of England Wholesale Grocers Association, a bit like Spar or Costcutter. Along with the photos, Tony sent scans of a promotional leaflet for the organisation, which shows a retail landscape on the verge of great change. At this time, I guess the supermarket was still a nascent novelty and that early innovators like George Mason and Victor Value (Brownhills was to have one of each) were still fairly small fry. I include the leaflet in .PDF form (Adobe reader required), which can be viewed by clicking the image below.
Looking through the pamphlet, there’s an innocence and simplicity about the branding and graphics that speak of a commercially less sophisticated age. I wonder what modern shoppers would make of Sally Wise, the ‘wise, average housewife’. I note that all the grocers are male, and that the end marketing is aimed squarely at women.
As ever, I’d love to hear what readers have to say. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here.