Stuck in the Middleton with you

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Taken from by the houses which still stand on the other corner opposite National Tyres. Image kindly supplied by Mike Stackhouse.

Readers may remember that in my post ‘Small increments’ before Christmas, I found a map from the 1960s that proved to be rather interesting. One of the things about it that piqued my curiosity was the section covering Co-op corner.

In that post, I featured this map fragment (my post on map abbreviations could be useful with this one):

co-op corner

When did the junction change from this bizarre layout? Middleton House Club – now the site of the tyre depot and nearby industrial units – when did that go?

I was curious about Middleton House Club, as well as the odd junction layout. Reader Gabriel commented that he couldn’t recall the club, either.

A few days ago reader Mike Stackhouse emailed me these great images of Middleton House Club, now replaced by a tyre garage. I’m sure I remember it myself now, but that could be my mind tricking me. Anyone know when it was demolished?

The photo below shows the curious central island to the junction as well, also long since gone.

Mike wrote:

Hi Bob!

I was sorting through some old stuff this afternoon when I came across these pictures.

The pictures are of (Breezes Club) Middleton House which stood on the Co-op corner.

The indoor picture was taken in the new club which was built halfway between Suttons shop and coalyard and School Avenue. This picture contains a young me with my dad, the lady next to me was (if I remember rightly) was the blind wife of the Blind pianist who played in both the old club and the new one. The man at the front was called The Colonel, because of his attire and gait, but i cannot for the life of me remember his name.

The other photo (which is not brilliant) was taken early fifties at Watling Street, you never know there may be kids on there who actually can put names to us all.

I hope that tthis may be of interest,

Mike Stackhouse

My thanks to Mike for a wonderful contribution to our local history, this is something I was surprised and pleased to happen upon. Cheers for sharing.

If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.



Photo taken from front by the avenues. Image kindly supplied by Mike Stackhouse.

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Mike seated with his father, right of the lady. The Colonel is in the foreground, centre right. Does anyone recognise the blind lady, left, or any of the other folk in the picture? Image kindly supplied by Mike Stackhouse.


A 1950s Watling Street school class photo – know anyone? Image kindly supplied by Mike Stackhouse.

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31 Responses to Stuck in the Middleton with you

  1. Roy stanway says:

    thanks Bob I do remember middleton house club I am now living new south wales Australia I used to live in Brownhills came to oz in 1967 I also no Mike Stackhouse and wish to be remembered to him please pass on my Email address Rrg’s Roy stanway

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks to Mike for the pictures…… It must have been a rather well to do private house in it’s day? Meridian Air Maps was a serialisation that you ran Bob sometime ago and one of them is dated 1971. The odd and slightly curious road layout is still visible but the House that became Middleton House Club has been replaced already. The building that seems to have replaced it is an odd three part construction, seems to be 3 boxes built together and sighted next to one another, maybe it was going to be three different facilities originally?…………….
    Would be interesting to hear from Roy (above) if in 1967 when he left for pastures new the Middleton club was still standing? Might narrow it down a bit?
    All the best and keep up the good work……………

    • Hi Folks

      The building present on the 1971 aerial is the same one there today, i.e.. the garage.

      I cannot therefore possibly have remembered Middleton Club. Beware, recovered memories!


  3. Mike Stackhouse says:

    Hi everyone,
    Yes Roy I do remember you very well, good days those, eh!
    With regards to when the club was demolished that would be some where between 1961 and 1963. The reason being that the new club was I believe, celebrating it’s first birthday when the photo with me in was taken and that was Christmas/New year 1962/63. Sorry cannot be more precise. I am sure that if Kathy still follows this blog, she may remember more than I.
    I know the name of the people who owned the bungalow.(where the new club was built) as the son was at school with us, but memory escapes me at this time. I know that from time to time Bob does blog on The pubs of Brownhills, but we never hear about the working mens clubs, which suprises me considering how many there were around Brownhills at that time.

    • Peter says:

      Hi Mike. Great to hear from you, thank you for the wonderful photographs and history to go with them, I checked another Meridian Overhead dated 9th June 1963 and I’m pretty sure the Middleton House Club building was still there…. I’m a bit confused (as usual) as to whether the new club was built on the land of the old club or elsewhere, I think elsewhere as you say there was a bungalow previously. Any ideas as to where the new club was as that seems to have disappeared (or changed name anyway) since that was built?
      Was it possible that the new club was built before the old club (house) was demolished?
      Thanks Mike

      • Mike Stackhouse says:

        The new club was built, lets see, just paused to look at Google maps. Right ! Clavedon Close is built on the land where the club and car park was. Originally as I said the land contained a single Bungalow with Orchard. and if I remember you could get into Poplar Road or Crescent like you could if you cut through by Woods (Old shop) papershop.(down the side of the shop, bend down so you were not seen from the house run down garden and out of the back gate onto Poplar) Get caught and you got a telling of old John. Of cause two doors away was Alice Jones Chip shop (Woodies sister)
        The strange road setup was an early version of a bus layby. The photos were originally my dads as he was on the club committee.
        Those were good days, strange though! by strange I mean you went to the club and the same people sat in the same place, same room every. The Blind man I referred to in my original email to Bob. Played for a long time. he came from Aldridge, (These little gems, keep coming back) and of coarse moved to the new building. The old building stood for a while after the move

        • Peter says:

          Hi again Mike, thanks for your reply above, it looks clear as you say that there was a bungalow and a field behind it. I’ve checked the Meridian map for 1963 and it shows both the bungalow and the new club building but without the carpark. It seems that the June 1963 photograph was taken as the new building was going up and the bungalow had not yet been demolished. The Meridian map of 1971 shows the club building and what seems to be a carpark although not tarmaced, it is shown in a later photograph as being tarmaced and parking bays painted on the floor etc.
          I wonder if anyone has photographs of the new club that has since been replaced by Clavedon Close?
          Thanks again Mike.


    • Hi Mike

      Cheers for your contributions, always welcome

      I’ll state here and now that I’d love to cover more club stuff here. Desperate to. Had enquires for Walsall Wood Labour Club, King Street, Ogley Club, Freizland Lane WMC and others. Considering what huge clubs these were, very little material ever surfaces.

      The images you kindly supplied are rare and wonderful, partly because they open the door on such a poorly documented period. I can’t thank you enough.

      If you have any more – or indeed, anyone else has – please do shout up. Considering the massive role many of these clubs played in lives of the time, host to wedding receptions, christening parties, wakes, sport competitions, day trips, live entertainment and more – you’d think there would be a wealth of photos and memories. Yet little seems to pass by the historical community.

      If anyone has anything – however insignificant it may seem – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

      Cheers all

    • Roy stanway says:

      hello mike nice to hear from you .not sure which of the brothers are you also had a sister please keep in touch

      • mickysix says:

        Hi Roy. I am the Eldest brother and your are right there is also a sister. The last I heard of you was of you leaving the cadets and going in the army. I have visited john this morning and told him about you getting in touch and he knew that you were in Aussie where I didn’t. He wishes to be remembered to you. John still lives at Brownhills (Chase Road) He looks at this blog on occasions so I have to get him into it all of the time.
        All the best to you and your clan Mike.

      • Steven. Jolly says:

        Hi Roy just found yours mail about brownhills clubs very interesting I was from free th road of Chase road went to central moved up north about mid 70 s but now live south west France are you related to Phil stanway I used to hang around with regard Steve Jolly

  4. Mike Stackhouse says:

    Hi there, Kathy,
    \if your still watching, if you look at the picture taken in the club, I think that there may a relative of yours, just in picture, in the background. I may be wrong, but you know how memory is!

  5. Clive says:

    Great photos mike thank you.

  6. Peter Leek says:

    Think if i’m right that i used to go on the Middleton house day trip to the sea at about age 6 around 1960 and that was from the new club

  7. mickysix says:

    Hi Peter,
    The coaches used to line up outside the club on Lichfield Road, so for an hour or so on the morning of the trip there would be 9/10 or so (Mainly Central coaches) parked there whilst the pop and crisps and of course the members and families were loaded, prior to leaving for New Brighton, Blackpool, Rhyl etc. most trips were up that way rather than down south. Although i do remember going to Weston one year.
    I also remember going to Wales via the horse shoe pass on Churchbridge coaches b4 motorways, leaving Brownhills at around 4.30- 5 am Saturday morning and not getting back till somewhere like 3-4am sunday morning Having had a real good time. I also remember going to Blackpool and dad and a lot of the other men going into the transport club and not being seen again all day till it was time to leave for home.
    Goods Days eh

  8. Caz says:

    I remember going to a family ‘do’ at the new Middleton House club and my sister took a date with her so it must have been around the mid to latter 60’s.It stuck in my mind because we were a stay at home family,played board games or just walked along the canal, so this was different and exciting. i was about 9 and i can vividly remember going outside with my cousins and Mom telling me not to talk to strangers. My Dad used to go with my Uncles every Sunday afternoon for a couple of pints and a game of crib? and he referred to it as Breezes ? i remember him coming home and saying he’d won the ‘big draw’ and he had loads of money..and we were all laughing.£90 sticks in my mind and him giving Mom £50.He had £20 himself and gave me and my sister £10 each.£90 seems a lot of money for back then but the memory is so vivid, perhaps wishful thinking lol. i also remember on another time my cousin John taking me and 2 other cousins around the back of the club and he sent the youngest Gaz into someones garden scrumping apples. A man chased him and we all ran. John was laughing and then we saw the man waiting for us in Lichfield Road and i was scared stiff.I would think this was maybe a saturday afternoon about 1964/65, as my mom was in hospital with TB and my Aunty looked after us each weekend while Dad went to visit.
    thanks for the pictures and the memories.

  9. Dave says:

    Bob the lady in the photo is a Mrs Thacker who lived in the avenues opposite the club,The bungalow taken down for the new club to be built was owned by a Mr&Mrs fisher, The secretary was a Mr, Dave Shirley,

    • Dave Powell says:

      The bungalow taken down for Middleton House was owned by the Trussells. Harry and Mary Fishers bungalow was next door. It had a long shed joining it where Harry mended shoes. Dave Shirley was secretary and later was succeeded by Jack Wall. My dad Bill (Wilf) Powell was vice president for a few years and we lived at 109 Lichfield rd.
      The island that was mentioned at the coop corner on the map was not really an island but the slip road for the bus stop.

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  12. mickysix says:

    Hi Dave and All,
    The Stewards at the club were named Tennant. They had a daughter called Merle who died just before or just after reaching her teens, of menangitis. I cannot see then on the video as in another post. However i can confirm that Harold smith is in the video, I also seem to think that one of the other card players is Mr Clift and the other could be Mr Thacker.
    Dave were you at Marlboro hospital around 1958 along with myself and Denis Simpson. I just wondered as i can remember that there were three of us from the same area there, our John reckens that you were number three. I am doing some research into the hospital so have some info.

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  18. Paul says:

    just read the stuff about Middleton House Club – before it moved up the Lichfield Road my granddad was steward (with wife to assist), Dan and Carrie Cotterill. They had two sons, Ernest and Jack. Jack, sadly, passed away a couple of years ago, Ernest lives in Telford, still with Mary his wife, who’s mom kept Eames paper shop in the High Street.

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