Now, here’s a thing. It is probably the most complete illustration of Brownhills in that peculiar, post Second World War twilight hangover period I’ve ever seen. Found by local historian Clive Roberts, it’s both a sad, and joyful thing. It’s the complete scan of a program for the Brownhills Sixth Annual Music Festival, held on Saturday, October 7th, 1950.
This is a large booklet, consisting of some 36 page scans, containing both program detail, listings, participants and most interesting to me, adverts for local businesses. This is the sad part – if you read the testimonials for butchers, for example, several refer obliquely to the then ongoing rationing. Note the Poxon & Sons copy says with some ennui:
We shall be pleased when once again we can give you unrestricted quality.
Bradshaw’s similarly note:
We endeavour to please you under present conditions
And even the trusty Co-Op tailors are circumspect:
Whilst we must admit there is an acute shortage in men ‘s & boys’ clothing, we realise that this shortage is no excuse to be any the less courteous to our friends.
Our endeavour is to find you just what you require, and with that thought in mind we have built up our stock as far as the prevailing restrictions will allow.
Call and have a look around – we would like to help you in your clothing problems.
This is a town under the same immense pressure economically as the rest of the country, and appearing to consequently let off steam in the art of music. Scholars of Brownhillian history – and indeed local street nomenclature – will notice many names here that are familiar; Patterson, Bradbury, Roberts. Seedhouse, Simmonds, Harrison (yes, that Harrison). George Fullelove, the great Brownhills chorister, was recorded as conductor of the Brownhills Male Voice Choir.
Please download a copy and read it – it’s like a glimpse into another world. I particularly love the instructions to visitors on how to find the venue:
To make things run smoothly for all concerned, will you please note that :-
The Schools arc situate in Great Charles Street and Church Road.
Competitors arriving by train proceed down the Bridge, turn left along the Lichfield Road, off which is Great Charles Street (sharp right).
Competitors arriving by bus or charabanc from Walsall or District proceed along Main Road to Railway Station entrance ; turn righl along Lichfield Road.
I thank Clive immensely for sharing this wonderful find with us, and emailing me such wonderful scans. Just when you think you must have nailed every gem the Brownhills history cannon has to offer, up pops another…