A new glimpse into the past

I’ve just managed to get hold of a new book of photographs of Brownhills. Entitled ”Around Pelsall & Brownhills’ it’s part of the huge ‘Britain in old photographs’ series, compiled by David F. Vodden and published by Sutton Publishing Limited (128 pages, 1998, ISBN 0-7509-1898-5). It’s a book I’d noted the existence of, but never opened. I wished I’d done so previously, as it’s a genuine treasury of historic photos of our area, both the old and more recent. I shall certainly be dipping into it here on the blog for some time to come, as so many of the pictures are new to me, and very thought provoking. It’s a fantastic tome, only slightly dimmed by the presence of photos of our neighbours in Pelsall. The reproduction isn’t the best I’ve seen, but the book contains contributions from a wide range of local notables including Doug Birch, Brian Rollins and Walsall Local History Centre.

If you can find a copy, I recommend you purchase one immediately, you’ll love it; however, like many of the great local history books one suspects the print run was rather limited and they’re very scarce in the wild.

Coming up there’s going to be quite a lot of local history here on the blog, so please do stay tuned, I’ve a ton of great stuff to share.

Did you know any of these brave men? I love the slifghtly raffish, relaxed C. Mason. From 'Around Pelsall & Brownhills' by David F. Vodden.

Reader 'Howmuch' remembers this old General Store, and the Chippy a few doors up. Note the signs for Bournville, Fry's Cocoa and Colman's Starch. I also like the gum machine on the wall to the left. From 'Around Pelsall & Brownhills' by David F. Vodden.

Another store I never knew exised. Note the cigarette, bike with Brooks saddle and hacksaw hanging in the window. From 'Around Pelsall & Brownhills' by David F. Vodden.

Get a copy if you can. Wonderful stuff.

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14 Responses to A new glimpse into the past

  1. br007kbond says:

    Was brought up in Pelsall from 1960 – 1987, then lived in Brownhills, on and off to this day.

    I will find a copy, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. David Edwards says:

    I remember cunningtons shop. must have only been around 6yrs old.

    clearly remember the pull-down yellow sun reflectors in the windows.

    great stuff.

  3. Nick Elliott says:

    Brilliant stuff…! 🙂 I will definately be ordering a copy..! Thanks very much.

  4. Richard says:

    Great find Bob, looking forward to more local history blogs 🙂

  5. CAZ says:

    I’ve got a copy of this book,and it’s well worth the money.l too remember Cunningtons shop and Mrs Cunnington serving me with my moms harmony auburn hair dye on many occasions.like ‘howmuch’ l also remember the chippy a few doors down.There was also a shop owned by the Rilley family that sold newspapers sweets etc
    l particularly like the ‘tram’ photos of walsall wood in the book and ‘the regent’ picture house in Brownhills.
    thanks Bob for highlighting this book,it brings back many memories

  6. Mick_P says:

    Great tip Bob, thanks. I’m sure many people will recognise various faces on the book’s cover, but the only one I’m sure of is Sim Mayou, at the back and raising a grubby, hard-working hand. King Simmy seems to have had a hand in so much in Pelsall over the years, and I love going into his hardware shop on Norton Road, now run by his son, where they’re rarely stuck for stuff you might need. It’s like an Aladdin’s Cave crossed with the Tardis.

  7. I was a boy when I lived across from Cunningtons, at 105 Linden Road ,in the late 50s.On Saturdays I took a list for groceries and was usually served by a young lady Rita Kelly who I belive married about that time.
    As you entered the shop on the right handside was knitting wools and such stuff. Dressmaking was big in those days as money was often tight.The left handside was like “Arkwrights Store”. I think it was about this time that Mr Cunnington became ill.Of what I know not, parents were carefull what they said in the hearing of children. Thanks for the memories,

  8. Pingback: Another glimpse into the past « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  9. Howmuch says:

    Hi Bob, with reference to the chippy next to cunningtons shop, you can see the door to the chippy in the photo of cunningtons shop, its on the far right of the photo, the counter was on the right as you walk in. inside althought it had electric lighting the old gas lighting was still in place and I can remember the old gas mantle hanging from the celling, the women had a yorkshire terrier with a ribbon on its head, they used to visit a house in friezland lane number 96, I have a feeling it may have been her daughter but not 100% about that as it was a long time ago..hi (mid 1960s)
    I hope this may bring afew memorys back to some of your readers.
    keep up the good work

  10. Pingback: Long time gone « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  11. John Blanchard says:

    Recently I came across the new glimpse into the past posted 4th September 2010. On the photograph of the Walsall Wood colliery ambulance team, the ‘slightly raffish relaxed C. Mason’ is Gordon Mason currently living at 12A, Salters Road, Walsall Wood. The incorrect initial C would derive from his nick-name “Copper” which arose from the colour of his hair in his youth.

  12. Rob Bird says:

    Lived on the road opposite Cunnington’s on the corner (90 Lindon Road). Our house was also demolished for the road widening. Our garden backed onto the chapel.

    • John Barlow says:

      I remember your lovely house on the corner, were you mates with Paul Hamblett from Peake crescent

  13. John Barlow says:

    I remember Cunningtons shop well I bought a snakebelt from there out of my first weeks paper round money from Rileys newsagents. Me and my mates were always calling in the chip shop next door asking for free batter bits, she never refused us but would always say you want to get your mother to feed you. Further along was Mr Pye the barbers from where I always emerged from with hair shaved half,way up me head. Happy days

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