The Wheatsheaf, Brownhills – what do we know?


The Wheatsheaf is now long gone, replaced by houses. It rood on the corner of Mill Road and Ogley Road – but there was an antecedent in Brownhills High Street. A great image by Mike Leonard.

Here’s a quick one I’ve been asked about on twitter, and it’s piqued my interest to such an extent that I thought I’d post the question here, particularly while there’s a similar discussion centring around the Royal Exchange in Walsall Wood.

Twitter user Tony Williams (@dogrio5630) asked on 22nd December:

I replied asking for more specifics, and yesterday Tony got back to me, and said:

Now, there’s been some sketchy mention of the Wheatsheaf moving from 118 High Street to a new building on the site of Ogley Square in the 1930s; it was noted in the newspaper article about the new Wheatsheaf applying for a license, and also Gerald Reece briefly mentions it in his work on Ogley Hay, also featured recently.

Gerald notes that the last landlord of the Wheatsheaf in High Street was the same as the first in Ogley Road – John Insull.

What I’m wondering is can we pinpoint this pub to a specific location in the High Street and find out who the landlords were over time? Andy Dennis’s spreadsheet lists Mrs. Helen Dalton as Landlady in 1896 and 1904, then in 1912 it’s William Danks.

Anything you can contribute, please do; Tony seems a little sketchy in his details, so let’s see if we can clear this up. Please comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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15 Responses to The Wheatsheaf, Brownhills – what do we know?

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    The censuses don’t help much in terms of location. The best I can work out is that it stood on High Street between Church Road and Brickiln Street on that side of he road.

    In 1880 and 1881 the landlady was Mrs Eliza Dalton. From 1884 to 1904 it was Mrs Helen Dalton (widow), when she died. In 1901 she lived at High Heath.

  2. Clive says:

    Hello I have had a look at the Lichfield Mercury: June 1900. Mr William Danks, Maneger, Wheatsheaf. Mr. Roberts made Mr. Danks the tenant.
    Wheatsheaf Hotel 1940 to 1951, John Insull Licencee.
    Theres a Wheatsheaf refered to in 1914, in Brownhills. The Ogley Wheatsheaf was no way built in 1914. so could be on to something there!
    Theres also a Wheatsheaf in Ogley Hay in 1954.
    I`m very tired, sorry if there are any spelling mistakes! sorry.

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Looks like Mrs Dalton held the license, but George, then William Danks managed it for her.

  4. peter says:

    Hi Clive, The Ogley Wheatsheaf was built around 1935 (ish) on the site that was previously occupied by the Woodman.

  5. martin owen says:

    This morning (may 8th 2014),I had a conversation with a lady named Winnie,who is in the dementia wing of a nursing home in Rhyl. Winnie, who is probably 80ish, told me she was born in the Wheatsheaf – where her father was landlord.She told me (as we were discussing gardens) her father used to love growing veg in the large plot behind the pub- she obviously spent some of her childhood there. When I next visit my mum I will inquire to see if she is an Insull.

  6. Geoff Harrington says:

    The wheatsheaf was between toffee Roberts paper shop and scarrats iron mongers which was about 50 yards From were farm foods stands going towards the anchor . 1931 it was Mr & Mrs Ewins they had tree children and then Jimmy insull took over, who went to keep the new Wheatsheaf on the ogley road across from the hairdressers approx 1938.

  7. Linda says:

    Mr & Mrs Ewins, George and Rose, mentioned above by Geoff, were my grandparents and had three children, my dad James (Jim), George and Hazel. Sadly granddad died around 1930ish whilst at The Wheatsheaf and it seems my nan, Rose, then a widow, continued to run it on her own and then moved to The Woodman on Ogley Road as landlady before its demolition around 1937?

    It appears that the new pub built on or nearby that site became the new Wheatsheaf on the corner of Ogley Road which I thought my nan may again have worked in later on but unable to clarify – so if anyone knows?

  8. Andy Dennis says:

    Kelly’s Directory 1932 p712 – Beer retailers continued: Ewins Mrs. Rose, 118 High st. Brownhills, Walsall.
    Ditto 1936 – Brownhills & Ogley Hay: Ewins Rose (Mrs). beer retailer 1 Mill rd.
    In neither case is the establishment named, but it had been refused a full licenses three times in the 1880s. It was licensed then as an off-license, so may simply have been advertised as such with the name of Ewins over the door.

    George and Rose were previously in Smethwick?

  9. Linda says:

    Thank you for the additional info Andy re George and Rose Ewins.

    They never lived in Smethwick. George and Rose came to Brownhills, to run The Wheatsheaf, from Great Alne.

  10. Wendy gates says:

    My Grandad (William ‘Harry’ Warner) married Emily Insull and was landlord at the wheatsheaf. After she died I assume the brewery took it back. My Dad, mum, aunt and uncle used to help here and I think we’ve still got some of the glasses from there. I can remember being a child in there, my grandad had 2 dogs one was an Alsatian called Blacky. He married Em (Aunty Em as we called her) in 1961, she was previously married to a Sharslinski

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