Early doors


Oh wow. The best photo I’ve seen of The Sportsman – formerly the Huntsman and before that, a Working Mens Club. My oh my, it was an ugly building. Image generously supplied by Shaun Treadwell.

Just a quick post here to spark a few memories for long time pub-goers in the local area. Shaun Treadwell has kindly dropped me a line with these excellent images which I just had to share.

Although it’s at a jaunty angle, that’s the best picture yet I’ve seen of the Sportsman, a popular pub that was originally built as a club in the 1950s. It stood where the Smithy’s Forge is today. I’d forgotten just what an ugly building it was.

The picture of the original George and Dragon is a cracker – that was a pub in Rushall Square, replaced by a 1960s affair, which was itself razed in the 1990s for the drive-through Macdonalds. I’d be interested if anyone could date that one.

Lastly, a great pic of the original Anchor pub from what appears to be the early/mid 1980s. – by about 1988 it had been replaced by he modern pub that stands on Anchor Bridge today. In this photo you can see it’s origin as two cottages.

Thanks to Shaun for the pics, they really have brought the memories flooding back – how about you? Comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


The original George and Dragon, at Rushall Square, looking like the 1960s. Can anyone estimate a date? Image generously supplied by Shaun Treadwell.


A cracking photo of the old Anchor. I’d forgotten the ‘house’ at the rear. Image generously supplied by Shaun Treadwell.

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11 Responses to Early doors

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a big thankyou to Shaun, please. George and Dragon photo..possibly before 1960?…the Rover75? and the early small rear-windscreen Morris minor, and the Hillman estate van…..a poser, indeed
    kind regards

  2. Clive says:

    Great photos Shaun and Bob,

  3. Denise Lines says:

    My brother had his wedding reception at the Sportsman.

  4. mick c says:

    There is a series of photo’s taken at this time of Rushall and they are 1954-5.

    • Mauren Payton says:

      Mick, I am certain the pictures are not from the 1950’s as very minimal road signs and makings and vintage of the vehicles shown. The traffic lights would have been installed by then also.
      I would even venture that the date may be from the 1930’s given the grassed island and quite rural appearance. The structure to the left of the George and Dragon had begun to deteriorate during the War when I was growing up in Rushall yet looks quite robust in the picture.

  5. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    the two-tone estate car, second from the camera, on the left, in the George and Dragon photo…its a 1954 Hillman Minx mark VII. Tere are images in good old Google..and specifications, too
    I hope this will help to more accurately date the image.
    kind regards

    • Nice detective work David,I was kind of thinking 1958/9.I would have 9 or 10yrs old at that time,the George&Dragon looks a bit smarter than I remember it though.But hey, I was only a kid! Regards malcolm

  6. David Oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    Don’t think the two lads are very far off with the date. Before 1960, certainly, as Northampton Brewery sold out to Watney Mann in that year, yet the Northampton ‘star’ is still visible on the exterior of the building.
    How far into the 1950’s? Well, looking at the street lamps, the 1950’s was a good era for street lighting, with one improvement following hot on the heels of another. These look like Mercury Vapour Lamps, introduced midway into the decade, but I would welcome an expert opinion. These lamps gave off an excellent light, albeit of a bluey, green hue, making passers-by an eerie colour, with purple lips. This was later corrected by coating the lamp with a neutralising preparation.
    What else springs to mind from that era ? Well, the Central Club (Nonpon) for a start. This large derelict building remained virtually in the centre of Rushall Square, long after the new Non-Political Club had removed itself to Rowley Place. The old building, its walls covered in ancient and modern flyposting, abutted Pelsall Lane and Lichfield Road, and its removal left a large gap in the Square. I was driving Walsall buses at the time, scattering the geese that the goose-girl was driving to market, through the square, ignoring her high-pitched curses, as well as the deeper-toned threats of the cattle-drovers, shaking their staffs at the mud-bespattered rear of the swiftly departing bus. But what to do with all that empty road space ? Why, traffic islands, of course. The Authority went to work with a will and in a very short while, Rushall Square had acquired a new, rather derivative nickname, “The Silly Isles” All this, as I remember, took part in the second half of the 1960’s decade.
    Finally, after mentioning the Non-Political club, it’s a sad fact to note that on the 20th September 2000, The Registrar cancelled the registration of the following West Midland clubs, on the grounds that “They had ceased to exist” :-
    Friezland Lane WM. Club, Blakenall W.M. Club, Co-op Club, Walsall, Walsall Wood W.M. Club.
    The Non-political Club, Rowley Place, Rushall.
    A belated ‘Hats Off’, gentlemen.

  7. Pingback: A wonderful discovery | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  8. lorraine porter says:

    I lived in bailey house and would go to the “outdoor” the bar man would lift the little wooden sash window and you gave your own bottles to be filled with a pint of beer ( from hand pulls) aw those were the days

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