Here’s one to get the researchers and detectives amongst the readership scratching their heads. Let’s see what we can turn up, as this is quite unusual and I think there’s some history to be found here.
Ann Cross has written to me asking about a wooden box that came into her family during their tenure at The Royal Exchange, in Walsall Wood. Ann, you’ll recall, wrote fantastic articles about her family history there. She’d really like to find out more about the history of this beautifully constructed case, and the legend inscribed upon it.
Please have a read, and a think, and either comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
I thank Ann for yet another humdinger of a contribution, and also for her very kind words. The pleasure is all mine, it really is, just glad you folks enjoy reading along.
I am hoping someone may be able to help out with this one, if you can put it together for me with the photos I am sending.
Am loving the bike rides, the pictures are great!
Many thanks and best wishes
This box has lived in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Dorset, but started life in West Bromwich. It was made by Richard Cliff Ltd of Bromford Road, West Bromwich, timber merchants and case makers.
Not just any old hammer and nails box, this was robustly made with dovetail joints, wire bound, with handles on each end and a hinged lid. The Richard Cliff logo is stamped on the lid.
Above this, attached with drawing pins (one is missing) is the Royal Exchange business card, complete with layers of dust and grime, about 50 years worth! However it is possible to read under magnification, especially when you know what to look for:
ROYAL EXCHANGE INN
Proprietor W CROSS
27 Lichfield Road
Telephone Brownhills 2317
The top right hand corner says Coaches Welcome, but is partially obscured by a drawing pin. The top left hand corner says something I think but remains undecipherable and we cannot remember!
On each end of this old wooden box it says Allbrooks West Smethwick charged 1/- and stamped over that, deposit 6/-. Allbrooks were suppliers of bottled mineral water.
On the long side are the initials N I P T A and underneath (REGISTERED)
Can anyone help out please?
The old wooden box now resides in South Gloucestershire, still dusty, still missing one drawing pin.