In the city

This week, I’ve been very impressed with a group that came to my attention on Facebook. It’s called ‘You’re probably from Lichfield, Staffs if…‘ and is curated by Facebook user David Gallagher. It’s rare that Facebook throws anything up that’s so damned wonderful, but I have to say, both David and the group contributors are generating and discussing a wealth of memories of Lichfield. There are a huge quantity of great photos and memories being discussed. I’ve been looking for photos of the old Lichfield shopping precinct for a while, with that curious water feature. I’ve spent considerable amount of time perusing the group in the last week, and I recommend it to anyone who knows Lichfield. I’m featuring some of the pictures here to hopefully encourage readers to go and check the group out.

One thing would make it complete, however. Both myself and Kate from Lichfield Lore have mentioned before the Monterey Exchange pub – what is now the Bowling Green, and the days it was painted pink as an American theme bar. I remember the radio adverts from the late eighties. Does anyone have a photo of it, please?

I just remember the old shopping centre, and it's curious water features. Some had fish in them I think. Picture posted by Lesley Pope in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

A remarkable 1926 aerial shot of Lichfield from the southeast. Picture posted by Grahame Foster in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

Bore Street, where Burton's Menswear stands now. I had no idea that was a Co-Op. Over to the right now, the street is pedestrianised, and Barclays Bank would be out of shot on the left. Picture posted by David Gallagher in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

Once a cinema... then a Kwik-Save. Now empty, a rumoured to become a hotel. Looked fabulous back in the day.Picture posted by Paul Jones in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

I can't quite visualise where this is, but I guess it's Bakers Lane, near where Jessops is now. Picture posted by David Gallagher in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

The market in those days looked fantastic, and somehow very ramshackle. Wonder when this was taken? Picture posted by David Gallagher in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

Again, I remember this, and kind of know that it's where the Three Spires Centre is today, Bakers Lane. I just can't picture where. Help gratefully received. Picture posted by David Gallagher in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

Before Burtons, before the Co-Op... the Dolphin Hotel in Bore Street. Remarkable. Picture posted by Paul Jones in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

Ah, now this is a Brownhills memory, too. I remember this van - or another one of the same design - coming round the Hussey Estate as a kid. He wasn't regular, and I don't think it was his patch, but I remember the occasional visits he made well. Picture posted by Shan Ross in the Facebook group 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if...'

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17 Responses to In the city

  1. Dave Gallagher says:

    Just like to make a point out that, I didn’t start the group, Trina Watkiss started the group and what a wonderful thing it turned out to be,I volunteered to help, and we are hoping to have a reunion for people to attend in 2012, I think this group will inspire people to start one in there home town !!

  2. It is an absolutely brilliant site Dave. I’ll be telling everyone about it! I’m not on Facebook so thanks so much Bob for letting us know about it! Lichfield has only been my home for 7 years but I love finding out about how it used to be 🙂
    As Bob says, all we need now is a photo of the Bowling Green in it’s former pink incarnation…..!

  3. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    there was another cinema..where Wilkinson’s is now….Bill Haleys’ film Rock around the Clock was a memorable event..teenage couples getting up and jiving in the aisles..good fun until the inevitable happened! I would like to see a photo of that cinema. It had been the Garrick theatre before it became a cinema.
    Now, how did that song go, again? …….!
    David Evans

  4. Ian, Lichfield born and reborn! says:

    Re the Co-op/Burton’s – the building that stands now was a re-build in the early 90s, not the same (although designed to look the same) as the Co-op.

    Re “I can’t quite visualise this”, as I recall this was much further up the precinct, near where TJ Hughes’ empty shell stands now.

    Re “I can’t picture where”, Bob, this is the water features area pictured above, from the angle of, say, Kasticos is/was now.

    Super blog, really interesting as is the 365 one, thank you.

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  6. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    the Bakers Lane photo, with St Marys in the background..isat the top of the lane I think.Just off camera to the right was a supermaket (Tesco?)..lost when the lane was remodelled and the lane changed to includeTJH .The Three Spires photo,.small tree foreground right. I believe thisisnow Bon Marche and alleyway past Sony which lead to the new Garrick theatre with its facade of old plant pots, I think you can see the theatre in the background..The shops included a furniture shop on the corner, and a DIY shop at the end of the row. The ornate pools were filled in with pebbles and the whole effect was spoilt..but safer for children . Does the blog have photos of Garratts bakery, opposite the Friary, I wonder. Best iced or cream buns in the world! The Regal cinema is perhaps the only Art Deco building left now..the Robin Hood in Frog Lane was the same style. Gone, and turned into very fine “Airfix Georgian” appartments. Mmmm.
    kind regards
    David Evans

  7. Brilliant stuff. Been going dewy-eyed over the old photos. The Baker’s Lane precinct ones in particular are a joy. Used to buy ÂŁ1.99 budget Spectrum games from the newsagents in the first pic, Tesco was behind it, later replaced by an indoor market (sort of an InShops sorta vibe) when Tesco moved to its current location.

    Remember there was a cyber cafe that opened by the water features a year or so before that section of the precinct was remodelled. I loved the water feature. I used to sit and eat my steak bake on my lunchbreak looking down at the fish when I worked at TJ Hughes.

  8. Roger Jones says:

    These wonderful images seem to have sparked an interest in Lichfield shops. You may like to view a list of town centre outlets from my 1986 copy of Newman’s Retail Directory.
    It can be found on Flickr at

  9. Ian says:

    Thank you Roger – great post.
    The Mullarkey’s fish bar was run and owned by the parents of Michael’s the tailor, now based on the corner of Market Street and the City Arcade. Michael ran Taylers for many, many years as well.
    Shapla (I well remember the “businessman’s special” lunches) restaurant is now the rather good Prince Of India round the corner in Bore Street, same owner.
    I could read this stuff forever!

  10. Dave Crump says:

    The Lichfield Heritage Centre in St Mary’s in Lichfield Market Square has literally thousands of photos of Lichfield, it’s one of the best town photographic archives in the country and you can drop in and have a look. If you are looking for something specific, their volunteers have an amazing knowledge of what’s in the collection. They’ve just come up with a photo of my building in Lichfield (the old Royal Naval Club at 2 Trent Valley Road) two years after I asked them to start looking for me! Brilliant archive, brilliant people and all volunteers. Hope this is of interest to anyone looking for photos of old Lichfield.

    Dave Crump

  11. Jay says:

    Nice picture of the building that is now burtons but sorry to say it’s closing down in a few months time!

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  13. macca says:

    Love the old photos I worked at motormania in bore st after it had been the cinema and theatre and spent a lot of time upstairs where we kept exhaust systems where the seats were on the balcony it was great and I still think back to it now

  14. M. Smith says:

    Another brilliant trip down memory lane for us old Lichfeldians last night! Added to the joy was being able to see (and in some cases wear!) the “Big Heads” which used to scare us in the Bower when we were little chidren. Come on you Lichfield families – you don’t know what you’re missing. It is such good fun and also a massive learning curve of the history of Lichfield. Well done to Dave and Co for another stupendous evening.

  15. Rachael says:

    Hi !
    The first photo is looking towards the old post office and MEB shop from where you’d walk into town from the bus station. On the right in the corner was Dudley’s of Lichfield an old fashioned furniture shop. On the left out of sight was the Bacon and Cheese shop and left on the corner was Olivers shoes.
    Me and my mom would sit on the benches above the fish ponds and watch the big goldfish!
    The seventh photo is taken at the start of the ramp up to the post office, so outside the MEB. It looks towards where the first photo was taken, I think the brick building at the back was the Civic Hall. Dudley’s is on the left
    The fifth photo is taken outside Halfords, opposite Tesco. The Worsley’s newsagent was my favourite shop when I was little, on a Friday I’d get to choose a chocolate bar or sweets – my favourites were Curly Wurly and Spangles! I think Worsley’s also had a shop on Tamworth Street, opposite Hindley’s.
    On the other side of Worsley’s was Evans the butcher and next to that was George and Berties coffee shop where you could sit in semi darkness at tables which were old Singer sewing machine tables! I used to love putting my feet on the peddles and move them up and down!
    I’m afraid no photos of the Monterey but we’d go there in the mid 80’s when one of us had passed our driving test. It was so cool back then. Another place then was Knights, which is Lee Garden on Tamworth Street.
    Great memories, thanks! I’ve just come across your site so late to the party!

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