The Mancunian candidate


I have an idea, but I’m not saying just yet. Where was this in Brownhills please? Image kindly supplied by Mavis Woodhouse, via the young David Evans.

A bit of a mystery arrives in the mailbox from the young David Evans – Manchester House in Brownhills, as shown in the above image dating from the 1920s, kindly donated by Mavis Woodhouse, from whom there’s a whole tranche of stuff to come.

I’ve no idea where this was (although I think I can guess), and I’ve never heard of the business before.

Hi Bob

this amazing image was given to me by a kind-hearted local lady, Mrs Mavis Woodhouse who believes it comes from a brochure advertising the opening of the Brownhills Memorial Hall, in the 1920s.

There are so many interesting features, and products in this advert. Who was Victor Haines… What was a Pullar, and did Fit U corsets proved the foundation for the British Empire, indeed!

kind regards

So, the question is, as ever, what do you know? Comments please, or mail me if you prefer: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Cheers to David and Mavis – there really is some gold to come, which will shine a light on some forgotten bits of Brownhills. Stay tuned!

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28 Responses to The Mancunian candidate

  1. hapdaniel says:

    Hi Mr. Bob.
    There’s no such word as “pullar” in the Oxford English Dictionary. But here’s a potentially interesting link to “Pullar” –

  2. Pedro says:

    Advert April 1904…

    Generals, Cooks, Housemaids, quickly suited at Manchester House Registry, Brownhills Walsall.

  3. Pedro says:

    October 1914, Victor Haines donated to the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund.

    1911…he was Hon Sec for a fund devoted to Hammerwich Cottage Hospital

  4. Pedro says:

    Pullars of Perth ([1937]) The story of Pullars of Perth: craftsmen, cleaners and dyers,

  5. cj says:

    I think this was next to what used to be holmes the greengrocers and later burt dickinsons the butchers but I may be totally wrong

    • Peter says:

      My thoughts were next to what was Holmes also, the archway immediately came to mind as it is now “blocked off” or whatever the correct terminology is! there is a photograph on Brownhills George’s panoramio site, although the roof line has been seriously altered if it is the same building.

      Come on bob…………. what do you think??????


      • I’m inclined to agree with Andy. It does look like the cricket-up arch but the roofline is all wrong, plus what appears to be facing.

        I was interested also in the noting of Starbucks ho latterly had a shop there; but I do think it was over the road.


  6. John Anslow says:

    The 1911 census shows Alfred Ernest Victor Haines aged 29, Draper and Tailor, living at Manchester House, High Street, Brownhills, with his wife, three young children and a servant.

    The previous household recorded by the enumerator as he travels along High Street is that of Thomas Starkey, butcher.

    The next household is that of John Gerry, coal miner (hewer) whose wife, Amy, has a greengrocery shop.

  7. Andy Dennis says:

    Looking at the 1911 census records reveals something odd. The Station Hotel is recorded in Walsall Wood district 14, but Manchester House was in Ogley Hay district 20. I infer that the picture is therefore of the opposite side of High Street from the Station Hotel. On Ancestry, Haines is image 284 and St James’s Place is 248 – at 2 per household this is a gap of only 18 households. St James’s place was about halfway between New Road and Brickiln Street. If the enumerator proceeded in an orderly manner, it is likely that Haines was a short way north-west of Brickiln Street, and the photographer stood very approximately where the pelican crossing is today.

    • Yes, Ia agree.

      Thanks, all!


    • Peter says:

      Hi Andy, I’m fairly certain that St. James’s Place became what was Wessex Close (and may still be). There are currently new flats / apartments being built on that site. Opposite Wessex Close is the very end of Silver Court Shopping Precinct. If I’m understanding you correctly Andy, you are suggesting that the buildings in the caption are very roughly opposite FarmFoods? The stretch of the High Street between Wessex Close and Brickiln Street has an odd mix of very old and relatively new buildings which may suggest that the buildings in the image have long ago been demolished. Interestingly the building which is Victor Haines could be what is, and has been for years, a Dental surgery pretty much opposite FarmFoods, certainly the roofline is right although the window shape and size has been changed. Going in the same direction away from Brickiln Street there is then a row of “newer” buildings which includes a sewing shop and an Insurance Consultants, ironically there is a passageway through to the rear just like in the image provided, after this the older buildings are still present, one of which is a Tanning Salon. It would be good to know when these newer buildings were constructed.
      Just a thought…….


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  9. Julie Somerfield nee Woodhouse says:

    I’m hoping Mavis Woodhouse will be posting more pictures on here soon (we must be related!)
    Julie Woodhouse.

  10. John Anslow says:

    Just been talking to my brother Paul, who lived in Wales for some time. He told me that many Welsh towns still have a Manchester House or a Liverpool House or even a Walsall House. He thinks that Manchester House would usually be a draper’s store (Manchester being a city of cotton mills) and recalled the passage in “Under Milk Wood”:

    “And in the town, the shops squeak open. Mr Edwards, in butterfly-collar and straw-hat at the doorway of Manchester House, measures with his eye the dawdlers-by for striped flannel shirts and shrouds and flowery blouses, and bellows to himself in the darkness behind his eye
    MR EDWARDS (_Whispers_)

    I love Miss Price.”

    Walsall House presumably stocked leather goods; we’re not sure about Liverpool House – any ideas?

    Paul tells me that Croxall’s grocery store in Pelsall occupied London House.

  11. Mike says:

    Is it the buildings next to the Job Centre?

  12. aerreg says:

    re manchester house i believe it was sittuated between tehe spiritual church and bricklin street it was also craddocks taylors and later years ha

    rold brooks he and his brother worked for cradocks years ago imet alady in a nursing home in sutton she was arelaytive of barnets foundry she also commented some way she was connected to manchester house on the subject of anne fox i knew her well she used to spen hours in my wifes aunt claira birches she ended her days in a nursing home in lichfield the pub became steefy coopers pig farm the perfume was u neek happy days god bless from aer reg reg fu

  13. aerreg says:

    sorry for my amature texts i have been reading coments re mavis and also manchester house there were three butchers starbooks haines birds also asmile came to my face re st james suareit was commonly known as mets another memory lane down catshill the salvation army a well loved building and very active i believe if my memory serves me wright sol pearce and family were active members re the fish un chip shop at the fort or fault as there appears to be some doubht ginny was my wifes couson iwill throw a spanner in the works was the fault the scource ov a split coal sceme finaly barnets foundry ireferef to was in lindon road you people certanly get my grey matter working god bless you aer reg reg fullelove bem

  14. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a phone-call from Mavis this afternoon…”.the image is from a booklet which contained the local businesses..some sort of entrance or programme for a kind of bazaar held in the Brownhills Central School to raise funds for the building of the memorial hall” which makes ithe progamme pre 1926! Sadly the booklet/progamme no longer seems to exist….perhaps..?
    kind regards, and a big thankyou to Mavis


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  16. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    the bazaar booklet still exists but in photocopy mode, only, though, and I have been very fortunate to see this recently. The bazaar was in early Dec 1919 and was a three day event organised by the townswomen who, readers may remember , were the footsolders and workers who “got on” with raising money to build the Memorial Hall, and frequently presented the committee meetings with large amounts of cash they had raised.
    Kind regards

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