‘You could buy anything at all here…’

Here’s an interesting weekend post from reader David Evans, who asked a good friend what shops she recalled from her childhood in Walsall Wood. Can you add to these? All contributions gratefully received.

This old photo shows the High Street looking North, with the canal behind the photographer.Picture taken from 'Memories of Old Walsall Wood' by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

Hi Bob

Following David Oakley’s excellent list of the High Street shops in Walsall Wood of the 1930s and 1940s, I asked a dear old friend of mine for her list. She was born in the house next to the Traveller’s Rest Pub, just over the canal bridge, going towards Walsall. This is as she dictated to me…

The bridge… on the side in the photo:

First there was a wooden shed where they sold cabbage and greens

Ecobs chemist, You went up the side entry to the dentists, upstairs above the chemists shop

The chapel

A second-hand shop, sold china and things

Nicholls builders yard

Holmes greengrocers [Is this related to the one that used to be in Brownhills? -Bob]

Felton pork butchers

Cherry beef butchers

Ankins cake shop

Cherry chocolates shop

The Hawthorn Inn

Two houses

The Post Office with Smith Chemists

6 houses

A butchers

Smiths bakers

Whitehouse gents’ outfitters and shoe shop

Ecob the chemists, after he moved there

A shop that sold household goods, washing powders and things

The White House… radio later on


A drapers


Blakemore fruit and veg

Boot repairs (Martins… possibly father of the one who went to war)

Booths newsagents

A chocolate shop

Mens barbers (Woolastons)

Butchers… he went to live in Wales

Lancasters corner shop

The Traveller's Rest: it was a sizeable hostelry. Image from 'Memories of Old Walsall Wood' by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

Cross the road


A house

Co-op butchers

The church

A chinaware shop

A house

A barbers

A butchers shop

The pub; the Red Lion


A bank


Itchins cobblers shop

Tills fruit and veg shop

Chas Hales pet shop with monkey


Funeral directors

Blakemores fish and chip shop

Nearest to canal bridge

Matt Cherry a barber who cut the ladies curls off!

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16 Responses to ‘You could buy anything at all here…’

  1. Ray Wall says:

    Hello Bob and readers of the Blog. As a boy I lived in Brookland Road and have pre-war and wartime memories of the High Street shops already listed. My house (No. 24 – sadly now demolished) was opposite Mrs Cooper’s general store – she sold every kind of commodity – and her husband was a cobbler with a shed in the garden. His hammering could be heard late into the night. Then there was the fish and chip shop, a couple of houses away from the cinema, opposite the cemetery. Also at the top of the street a general store at the Vigo intersection. In Lichfield Road there was a general store which also sold corn for our chickens and ‘sharps’ for our pigs (opposite the church junior school).I hope this short comment may add to the list of the Wood shops. Kind regards. Ray Wall

  2. snatchmo says:

    As a young boy I was born in Walsall wood at my grandparents house 7 salters road ,the picture of the travellers rest brought back memories of times when I used to play in the back yard ,whilst my father drank in this public house with Frank Cooper (coal merchant ) .I can vaguely recall was there a blacksmiths next to the travellers rest as you walked down the bridge?.

  3. Roy Stanway says:

    Hell Bob . Roy Stanway,hear I also lived in walsall wood down hall lane whent to school thire in the 1950″s moved to brownhills when i was thirteen years old
    whent to brownhills boys high school was also in the army cadets when Tom sedgwick was the captain thire . i am now liveing in Australia came hear in 11967.Bob could you help fiend a photo of three Army Cadets Sgts who whent to the army cadet Bi centehary at Buckingam palace around about 1959.
    yours sincerly Roy Stanway.

  4. David Oakley says:

    The shop at the Vigo intersection was “Knights”. The premises also had an outdoor beer licence and consequently a large cellar. This was used as an air raid shelter for local people during the war. I spent many uncomfortable nights in there, myself. Mr Cooper was always “Cobbler Cooper”. to the locals. There was another little shop, Martins, only a few doors away from the one mentioned. Ray may also remember Mr Schnabel the plumber and Adam Smith who sold milk door-to-door, both only a short distance from his former home.

  5. Ray Wall says:

    Hi David and fellow bloggers. I don’t wish to overload the comments page, but yes, I do remember the Schnabels and also Martins shop. We had two Smiths – bread and milk deliverers, and I think it was Craddocks (?) who delivered the weekly grocery. Our butcher was from the High Street shop, who also slaughtered our pigs. I recall spending many nights under the stairs when the raids were on, especially those on Birmingham and Coventry. I learned to smoke and play cards in the Salters Road shelter, but the former was quickly curtailed when grandma discovered a half-empty pack of Woodbines in my school jacket.I have been a non-smoker ever since! A little aside — a twin-engine Messerschmit light bomber was left on a low-loader truck overnight at the back of the senior school with strict instructions to all pupils from headmaster B.O. Smith to keep well away.Of course, this was red rag to a bull stuff, and many trophies were removed overnight, leaving behind a ‘very light bomber’ to be towed away. The culprits were never found. Regards from Sydney, New South Wales

  6. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    to Ray and Roy in Australia…very many thanks for your notes. Super.

  7. ziksby says:

    Much earlier on the 1911 census … here are 3 images of pages from the census summary from Ancestry.com showing the Lichfield Rd, Walsall Wood shops and a few nearby streets (this link should take you there …
    Most summary sheets show only the word ‘shop’; as you will see this census enumerator has been more helpful.

  8. Dave Fellows says:

    Holmes greengrocers [Is this related to the one that used to be in Brownhills? -Bob]



    • Maxine Cook says:

      Hi . Holmes Greengrocers that was on High Street Walsall wood. Do you know the names the people who worked there? My relation worked in the shop. John Derry, in 1911

      • Maxine Cook says:

        If there are any photos of John Derry and the Green grocers i would be most grateful.

      • David Evans says:

        Hello Maxine
        if you link to Sue Lote’s Walsall Foreign..front page of this blog..I think there is something about Derry living near Goblins Pit..going to USA, Mormon church preacher etc..Good luck.. May be the same family! There may some follow up article in this blog..

  9. Jane Radford says:

    John Wesley Who owned the Travellers rest, was my Great great Grandfather, his daughter May was my Great grandmother. I am also related to the Nicholls family. who are also mentioned. So lovely to see the picture on here ;0)

  10. Jo Smith says:

    I have been looking into John Wesley who owned the Travellers Rest. One of my ancestors (Joseph Lowe) married his daughter Swindonia. She carried on the family tradition and remained in the pub trade. She ran the Red Lion in Moxley and i believe she also ran the Railway in Penkridge but i can’t find any concrete evidence of this

    • Jane Radford says:

      Hi yes Swindonia is a family name, and I have heard the Red Lion mentioned within the family, I believe John Wesley also owned a shop which another daughter ran he also owned property on coppice road that he rented out as well ? Thanks for replying.

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