A gathering of the great and good – but why, and when?

I know the local history contingent amongst the blog readership love a good mystery to get their teeth into – and today, the young David Evans popped up with this one, and it has me intrigued for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s a great image, featuring some notable folk from Brownhills History, not least Jack Tabberer, the fireman, mentioned here previously.

Secondly, it’s one of the few images I know to exist of Mount Zion, the large and imposing chapel that stood in Brownhills High Street, around about where Kwik Fit is today. If anyone has any more photos of this building, inside or out, we’d love to see them please…

Thirdly, this is clearly an important event – does anyone know what it might have been? The great and good from several chapels, assembled for one group photo. Why would that be?

If you can help, please comment here, or mail me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

David wrote:


A remarkable photo taken by the Sunday School at the rear of the Mount Zion Chapel, that stood for years in High Street, Brownhills. Mount Zion stood around about where Kwik-Fit and the pedestrian access to Tesco is today; it was lost to new development, but was a large and imposing building. Image kindly supplied by Bill Mayo.

Hi Bob

Bill Mayo has kindly shared the above photograph, and I’m trying to find out what the occasion was for so many important folk to be present at Mount Zion. Mr. Fred Booth has helped identify most of the group, but some are still unknown. 

A date for the image, and help with any of the unknown identities would be a great help.

Does anybody know what what the event might have been? A circuit meeting? The last circuit meeting of the local Primitive Methodist circuit?

Thanks to Fred’s hard work, we know the following people in the photo:

Back Row Left to Right: 1st D. Clift of Norton? 3rd William Pheasant of Mount Zion, 4th Sid Whittaker of Mount Zion, 5th Frank Higgs of Walsall Wood, 7th George Bradbury of Mount Zion.

2nd Row from Back Left to Right: 2nd William Bampton of Mount Zion, 3rd W.A. Hill of Brownhills West, 4th Howard Craddock of Mount Zion, 5th Jack Tabberer of Mount Zion, 6th I. Dunning of Walsall Wood, 7th Arthur Whitehouse also of Walsall Wood.

3rd Row Left to Right: 1st Sam Breeze of Brownhills West, 2nd W. Preston of Brownhills West, 3rd Mr Rowley of Walsall Wood? 6th W. Follows of Mount Zion, 7th W. Clayton of Walsall Wood? 8th Walter Brown? 9th Jim Braidley of Norton East.

4th Row Left to Right: 4th John Preece of Mount Zion, 5th Rev. Dean Turner, Superintendent; 6th Rev. Scott Norton Canes Minister? 7th Mrs. Follows of Mount Zion, 9th Lewis Davis

Rev Dean Turner was a Minister from 1930 to 1934
Lewis Davis, possibly Circuit Steward.

In 1932 The Primitive Methodist churches and the Wesley Methodist churches in Great Britain joined to become known as The Methodist Church. This image could be linked to that event.

I extend my sincere thanks to Mr Fred Booth for his invaluable assistance in naming the people in this very rare image, and to Mr Bill Mayo, whose donated the photo.

David Evans, May 2014

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5 Responses to A gathering of the great and good – but why, and when?

  1. Martin says:

    Only Memory I have got of Zion Hill in the early 50s they use to hold the local clinic in the Sunday School and stuck needles in me as a tot, so i was not a very happy child

  2. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    an example of this wonderful blog in action;-
    a correction , by Fred Booth. 3rd row 3rd person is not David Rowley but Mr H Taylor of Brownhills West….leading to a chat with Bill Mayo revealing that there is a photo of Mr Howard Taylor on page 50 in his book, Brownhills Past, where a younger Mr Taylor is seen leading a horse and cart in a parade along Watling Street, by the Crown Inn….at the end of the First World War.Then to Pedro’s excellent research yielding a press report of the event in the photo.which I will send to you in due course.
    kind regards

  3. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    .. It seems that Mr Lewis Davis was a representative from Chasetown Primitive Church, and Mr Preece was the circuit steward and also treasurer of Brownhills Urban District Council at the time. Thanks to Mr Fred Booth for this correction and additional information.
    kind regards

  4. Martin says:

    I know we are getting a of little of track from the original subject, I remember Mr Lewis Davis, he worked as a School Welfare officer with another Gentleman Mr Norman Shelly who came from Rushall, they had a office above a row of shops in Brownhills High Street, some were around Poxon’s not quite sure which shop I was only a Lad, (no I was not in trouble) this was around 50’s early 60’s both Gentlemen were Lay Preacher’s

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