Following the generous donation of scans of some remarkable local postcards last week, Ruth Penrhyn-Lowe has been busy scanning a whole tranche of further great postcards – this time, some remarkable postal ephemera featuring Aldridge.
I know there’s lots of Aldridge folk reading the blog, so I make no apology for straying over the southern border for a local history foray like this. I adore old postcards, and love to find out about the stories they tell.
Again, thanks to careful and painstaking work by Ruth, the scan quality is fantastic.
Ruth had this to say:
Well I went to battle with the scanner again! This time with some Aldridge Postcards – I know the Church doesn’t change much through history but as these are all postally used I thought there might be some interest.
The multi view of Aldridge was a request for a record to be played on Family Choice BBC post marked 17 July 1968.
The orphanage is addressed to Miss D Fox, Church Road, Chasetown and I think the post mark is (19)13.
Aldridge Court is addressed to Miss M Kingston, 14 Cleveland Road, Southsea and is post marked 1928.
The three views of the church are addressed from top to bottom:
Mrs W Butler, 63 Low Street, Cheslyn Hay and is post marked December 8th (19)10
Mr and Mrs L Hoston (I think) Longfield, Bescot, Walsall and I think the post mark is for December 24th (19)03
Miss Dollie Aston, The Post Office, Shenstone, Lichfield.
The last three in this lot are:
The High Street addressed to Miss Dayman, Ashcroft, Birdswell, Nr Coventry but I’m afraid the post mark is illegible.
The Colliery is addressed to Miss Heathcote, c/o Halfords, 54 High Street Dudley – and I love the fact that Miss Edmonds (I think that’s the name) is “having a lovely time here. Weather grand.” and she is writing from The Club Aldridge, Nr Walsall. Post mark (19)18.
The final card – I know it’s not a photo of Aldridge but this was one of my Dad’s favourite cards because he knew the addressee – it’s very faint now but it is written to Mr J H Crumpton (I think), 14 Leighs Wood, Aldridge, Nr Walsall. The message reads, ‘Dear H, Hoping this will find you well, and that you will like this card, with love EB.’ Post mark (19)06.
I hope these are of some interest and I’ll tackle the scanner again soon, as long as that’s okay with you – it a is such a pleasure to know some of these images are being enjoyed by others.
Very best wishes
Thanks Ruth – your generosity cannot be understated and I’m honoured to be recipient of your generous gesture is sharing these cards.
Observations welcome, and handwriting expertise would be welcome, just like last time, please.
Comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!
The Aldridge Court image is particularly nice and rare- thank you! Dollie Aston was a member of the baking family whose “mobile” shop used to stand in the still-recognisable old farmyard behind the High Street in Aldridge in the 1960s. The family ran the Post Office in Shenstone, too.
Would Aldridge Court have been formally known as Portland House, or have I got my bearings wrong?
23rd February 1903, Lichfield Mercury…
The chief business at the meeting of the directors of the Antediluvian Order of Burfaloes Orphanage under the Grand Lodge of England, held at Birmingham on Saturday, was to consider report of the sub-committee for the conveyance of
land, and the report by the the architect of the building of the proposed orphanage at Aldridge…
…the Orphanage is for the maintenance, clothing and education of the fatherless children of the members of this order, and it is estimated to cost around £1900…
… The hope was expressed that the foundation stone would be laid about the middle of June, and the Right Honourable Lord Alverstone, who is a patron, would perform the ceremony.
a big thankyou to Ruth for these images, please…When did the orphanage close? And the Aldridge colliery image..is that the canal in the foreground or the Atlas pool? and is the colloiery in the distance the Vigo? Aldridge High Street once had a gents barber whose board boasted,”Haircut while you wait”, I believe.
kind regards and thanks for the article…Very interesting.
Aldridge Court was formerly known as Portland House, and was once occupied by Frank James, a local industrialist , who also served as Chairman of the South Staffs Waterworks Company. Best remembered locally by Frank James Hill, a lengthy gradient which leads upwards from Chester Road to the village and is adjacent to the property
The R.A.O.B. Orphanage was probably the most ambitious project ever mounted by the Order, and was originally the idea of another local man, Leonard I. Aulton, who first mooted the idea to Grand Lodge in 1897. Money was raised by various efforts and an Orphanage Fund was created. Financial impetus was created when it was decreed that every brother visiting a Lodge , should pay a ha’penny into the Orphanage Fund, thus swelling funds so rapidly that the building was completed by 1904. The ground was donated by another local brother, E. R. T. Croxall and a Lodge in his memory was quite active at the Brickmakers Arms, Salters Road. Walsall Wood.
Lord Alverstone, the Lord Chief Justice of England, opened the original building in 1904, which had space for 40 beds, a further extension was added, which was again opened by Lord Alverstone, in 1912, increasing the space to 100 beds, with a further extension in the 1920’s. Lord Alverstone was a zealous and active member of the Order. Passing all four Degrees of membership.
Ownership of the Orphanage passed to Dr. Barnardo’s, later in 1940 it became an Home Office Approved School . The building closed and was finally pulled in the mid 1980’s.
Mr Frank James was in residence at Portland House in August 1894, but by 1906 it was the seat of Mr JB Russell. During this period it was often used as venue for the start of the South Staffs Hunt.
In August 1894 the Licfield Mercury reported…
On Thursday by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs, F. James, a garden party and fete in connection with the Walsall Women’s Unionist Association took place in the grounds of Portland House, Aldridge, and, the weather being fine there was a very large and successful party.
Lady Bateman Scott, on behalf of the members, presented Miss Newman, Hon. secretary, with a valuable ring, set in diamonds and sapphires, in recognition of her services, and a meeting was afterwards held, under the presidency of Mr. James who said it was very difficult to talk politics on such an occasion but he would like to ask the mothers and wives of the man of the artisan class if they had had been any better off during the last two years for the change of Government.
Mr. Gedge afterwards spoke. On the proposition of Mr. J. T. Cottam, seconded by Councillor Bull, a vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. And Mrs. James for their hospitality and to Mr. Gedge for his attendance and address. Mr. James and Mr. Gedge acknowledged the vote. There were sports and entertainments, including music by the Police Band, in the course of the afternoon, and at dusk the grounds were illuminated.
Interesting collection of cards and images, thanks for posting them up.
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Fantastic collection, so good to see the ‘reverse side’
With regards to the card addressed to J.H.Crumpton,there used to bea Harry Crumpton lived opposite us in Quicksand Lane Aldridge he played cricket for the Aldridge team,he had one son ,I think this one could be related to the one the postcard referred to
I believe that J H C was Jimmy Crumpton who later lived near the old Stone House in Walsall Rd. Jimmy’s son Harry did live in Quicksand Lane and Harry’s son was named Brian.
Love these old postcards, precious, also lovely to read the reverse , thank you
Lovely postcards,precious, love the writing on the reverse , thank you