One wet Sunday over the summer – 3rd June, to be precise – I featured the now-empty Laburnum Cottage on my 365daysofbiking journal. This house, which stands on the corner of New Road and High Street, Brownhills, just opposite Silver Court, was a printing shop for as long as I can remember, but now seems to be empty. At the time, I wrote the following:
June 3rd – The weather was atrocious today. It rained solidly for most of the day. Finally hauling myself out in heavy waterproofs late evening, I took a spin round Brownhills and noticed that Laburnum Cottage was now empty. This building, stood prominently on the junction of New Road and High Street, was built in 1871 and has served a variety of purposes, it’s last being as a print shop, which it had been for at least three decades. The long lost – and much missed – local free sheet, ‘The Brownhills Gazette’ was produced here in the late 80s and early 90s by Brian Stringer.
I note now that the building is empty, with all signage and even the advertising hoarding on the side removed. There’s no planning applications outstanding, so it’s fate remains a mystery. At 141 years old, I hope the building is accorded the respect it deserves in any future use.
Well, it seems something is happening. I was recently contacted by Matthew Bedworth, who emailed me the following question:
Just a quick message as I saw you posted up about Laburnum Cottage a few months back on Tumblr. We are the new owners of the property and will hopefully be living in the upstairs of the property in early 2013.
Do you know much about the history as I have been trying to look for some with no success as we are only very local.
So, the question is simply this – what do you know or remember of this building? Whilst I can only recall it as a lithographic printers, I’m sure older readers can recall it having other occupants. Does anyone know who built it, and any of the folks who may have lived here at all?
As usual, please comment here or mail me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.