Put on your top hat…


Splendid! Top had, a keg of ale – but whose ale. Who was Mr. Dorset, and what’s this all about? Picture supplied by David Evans.

Okey dokey, I have no idea. The Dorsets were a famous footballing family in Brownhills, but this man doesn’t look like a centre forward to me. Where is he, what’s the occasion and what was his significance?

Can anyone read the script on the keg?

The Young David Evans would like to know.

Hi Bob

please can readers help me to identify where and possibly when this photograph was taken. What is known is that it is a Mr Dorset and that he was a Brownhills man.

Many thanks


Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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11 Responses to Put on your top hat…

  1. Tony Jakeman says:

    An altogether splendid looking chap from topper to toe.
    The fence and building in the background look recently built, don’t you think? Church building of some kind? Or a social club? His clothes look well worn, like this is his day to day wear, not sunday best.

  2. David Oakley says:

    No David, Don’t know anything of your Mr. Dorset. but the terrain is quite interesting. The site seems to be separated from next door by a drop of two or three feet. There are also two ledge and brace double doors which are possibly meant to give future access to the site, barred at the moment by a long wooden strut which descends into the footings. Looking at the fencing, which seems to be built on the old principle of ‘Show the best side to your neighbour’ , seems to exclude the building in the background as part of the scene. The absence of chimneys seems to indicate a public building of some sort. And do I see a pile of building sand behind the barrel? celebrating the start of a building project, or a premature topping-out ? Of a curious nature, myself, can hardly wait for further observations.

  3. Pedro says:

    The Barrel?

    At the top, could be the old writing of Mitcells and Butlers, M&B??

    In the middle, is that “returnable” ??

    At the bottom something in capitals, could this be B’HAM ??

  4. Tony Jakeman says:

    I’d agree we seem to be inside a building site of some kind, I think the start of work rather than topping out. At the to of the barrel I’m seeing 4 characters not the 3 of m&b. I’m seeing 1862. Middle line of text looks like handwritten script. The building reminds me of the back of Aldridge Methodist church.

  5. Pedro says:

    There is a T Dorsett playing for B’hills Albion 1891

    1899 a Richard Dorsett miner.

    But in 1901 there was a temporary transfer of licence for the Wheel Inn at Walsall Wood, from Thomas Roe to one John Dorsett!

  6. Tony Jakeman says:

    Haha, just driven past the Wheel, hes not there now

  7. William Roberts says:

    His fashion sense says 1880s as many get stuck in fashions from their younger days you could assume he’s around 60 years old in the photo so I suspect around 1910 – 1920

    The pint glass looks late Victorian / Edwardian in design the script on the barrel looks Edwardian too I don’t know why but for some reason I get the feeling this is the old Hussey arms before it was rebuilt.

  8. Peter Leek says:

    Dickie Dorsett used to like a drink or 12 when he used to play for the Wolves

  9. David Oakley says:

    Ar know. Day stop ‘im scoring’ tho’. Great team, the Wolves in them days.

  10. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a cup of tea and a chat this afternoon, with this gentleman’s granddaughter. He is Mr (possibly Richard or George) Dorset,, uncle of Dickie Dorset the footballer. and he lived in the row of houses in Church Road ( now the small carpark) by the Shoulder of Mutton pub. The lady thinks the photo was probably taken behind that pub.

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