Let’s have a butchers…

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AE Poxon and Sons, still going strong and possibly one of Brownhills oldest businesses.The tiled image to the right is very old I think, and should be preserved. Imagery from Google Streetview.

Over the next few days or so I’ll be working through a backlog of stuff that’s come in and I’ve been too busy to post – as many of you will be aware, I’ve been working longer hours than usual of late, so I’ve not been processing articles with my usual speed. Apologies to all.

One that did interest me particularly came in last week from Martin Williams – Martin doesn’t say where he’s from, but I’m guessing he’s not local; he raises the interesting question of the Poxon family and their businesses.

Martin wrote:

Hi Bob

Have just come across your web site and am hoping that you or one of your readers could help me.

I have been looking into the history of my family but my mother passed away recently aged 88 and she was the last of her side of my family.

She recently talked about two business in Brownhills that were connected to her family that I would like more information about.

The first is a Haulage company of some kind, maybe coal, that was connected with her father Reginald Poxon some time between I think 1900 and 1930 who was also a miner in the area at some point before the family moved to Kidderminster.

The Second is a Butcher, again in the name of Poxon and I have now come across a photograph with two adults and three children with the names of Uncle Sam and Aunty Nell, the children’s names I will keep private at this time, which looks to have been taken around the 1940’s.

Her family may have lived in 20 Silver Street at some time.

Many Thanks
Martin Williams

Obviously, I know about the butchers and abattoir, one of the oldest business in Brownhills and very popular for many decades; but what of the coal business? Clearly they also gave name to Poxon Road, which implies at least one member of the family were civically notable, too.

Thanks to Martin for a great enquiry: you all know what I’m going to ask – what do we know about the history of the Poxon family?

Please comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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42 Responses to Let’s have a butchers…

  1. Peter Leek says:

    Hi Bob,
    I do know that Poxon’s used to have butchers shop’s in Walsall and i think it was West Brom, my dad used to do all the painting and decorating both in the shops and their homes. I think the head of the family lived in Sutton Coldfield or that area, i have recollections of going to a large house both there and also the back of the Broadway in Walsall. Can’t remember any mention off either my mom or day to a coal merchant tho.

    • Catherine Poxon says:

      Hello,
      I have just come across this information. My Name is Catherine POXON. My husband is the Grandson of Uncle Sam and Auntie Nellie mentioned above. Samuel Charles Poxon and his brother Arthur E Poxon both set up separate butchers shops Arthur in Brownhills and Sam in Pelsall. The shop in Pelsall was taken over by Sam and Nellie’s children one of which was my father in law. Sadly He died 2 years ago and his wife died earlier this year. They sold their shop to two brothers in 1999 still being run as a butchers I am pleased to say.
      When ever we visit the black country we always call in at Brownhills for the best pork scratchings in the land.
      We have a family tree written by Sams daughter I suspect that we may be related to Martin Williams above if his mother was calling Sam and Nellie aunt and uncle.

      all the best Catherine.

  2. aerreg says:

    re the name poxon i was only thinking about it the other day i cant remeber seeing anything about poxons chemist of high street later to become anne seedhouse by cockroms shop if my memory serves me wright mr poxon was also dentist i remember butchers also athur he had two sons and a daughter jean gordon at the moment the of the other escapes my mind mrs wigley used to sit in the cash desk arther had a wonderful mannerism infact some folk would let others be served first so he could serve them while on the subject of coal mrechants the other day the name plat came up and brought back specia memouries of iris plat she was a great friend of my late wife and i they lived dowm catshill another coal jagger to use an old phrase was tuckley his sister had a furneture shop by jimmy foys finaly for the ladies how many remeber addie white house god bless from are reg fullelove bem

  3. Pedro says:

    Initial look in the Papers doesn’t reveal anything connected to haulage or coal 1900-1949.

    December 1932…WH Poxon, Butcher, Sandford Street, Lichfield

    1909…Horniman’s Pure tea sold by Poxon, High Street, Brownhills

  4. Andy Dennis says:

    1901 Census @ Chester Road, Brownhills.
    Ref 97 Arthur Poxon 24 Butcher b. Norton Canes (about 1877).
    Martin, you have this chap in your tree on Ancestry – the other 1877 from husband of Hannah Clinton.
    To confirm location (census records, not address numbers):-
    102 Alfred Poxon 26 Chemist b. Norton Canes (brother).
    107 David Bradbury Draper
    108 vacant (or maybe part of neighbouring shop)
    109 Joshua Harding Clothier.
    I remember Bradbury’s and Harding’s being close together and near A E Poxon and the chemist, so it is the right place.
    1911 Census @ High Street, Brownhills
    Arthur Poxon 34 Butcher
    Ellen Bertha Poxon wife 34
    Plus three daughters.
    See Staffordshire, Ogley Hay, district 20, image 348 of 455.
    The haulage firm is a new one on me. The Reginald Poxon at Watling Street, Brownhills lived between the Prince of Wales / Chapel Street and Whitehorse Road.

  5. Sue Woodward says:

    Yes, my dad Wilf Bullock worked for Poxon’s most of his working life – and, in fact, we lived above the shop from when I was a toddler until I was 12. The photo above shows my mom and dad’s bedroom on the upstairs right, next to my brother’s (Les Bullock). We used to play in the yard, now bricked up, and where cattle were originally delivered to the slaughternouse. Dad was also a slaughterman for many years. Arthur was the father with sons Jim and Gordon. Lots of lovely memories – inc of Central CafĂ© next door, Parker’s grocery store (where mum worked part-time), Mrs Hancox’ shoe shop where I had a Saturday job, Shrigley’s opposite, Salt’s fish and chip shop, the toy shop (can’t remember name – was it Bevan’s?), Bradbury’s clothes shop where mom would buy my dresses for the Mount Zion Sunday School Anniversary (courtesy of Misses Nellie and Louie)…..

    • Steven. Jolly says:

      Hello sue I remember your dad Wil f I worked at poxons for many years cutting up pork or in slaughter house he was a bit of a character what I can remember he won make all the sausage tons of it ha the good old days regards Steve jolly

  6. Clive says:

    I f my memory serves me right there was a Mr. Poxon on the Brownhills U D C Committe
    Date 1899. hope this is of use to you.

  7. Denise Kingston nee Smith says:

    I think the toy shop was Princup’s (I think that’s how it was spelt ). I lived at no 57 High Street which was a crockery and fire grate shop owned by my Mom and Dad, Doris and Bill Smith. The shop was next door to the butcher’s shop owned by Herbert and Flossy Rogers, which was next to Bradburys.
    Denise Kingston nee Smith

  8. Andy Dennis says:

    Princep (though it might have been Anglicised). Best shop in town for a nipper! I always wondered if he was related to the man credited with firing the shot that led to World War One – Gavrilo, who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. With the tact of a child I probably would have asked if I’d any idea … I think it was about where the Post Office is now, or maybe HSBC. It had big windows and a pale blue fascia and all sorts of toys, including lots of enticing things hanging from the ceiling.

    Was there a fish shop just down from the Station Hotel? Was the lady there Floss Rogers? Different times, maybe?

    • There was a fish shop in the row of shops just between the Station Hotel and what was, in my youth, Woods bike shop; I thought it was owned by Marie James but I since think this may be wrong. It was near the archway you used to go through, where Tommy cut chaps hair in the shed.

      Thanks to Memories of Brownhills past, we know that Princeps was where the HSBC is now:
      https://brownhillsbob.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/mbp012.jpg

      Cheers
      Bob

      • Andy Dennis says:

        I think different times might be right, then. I remember Woods when I was about 17 or 18 (about 1977-78). They might have been there earlier and later, though I think the shop was short-lived. The fish shop I think I recall was from much earlier, probably around 1965-70. I don’t remember Tommy – Dad favoured Sid Roberts, and wouldn’t let me look at Titbits (the recent Page 3 debate took me back). Sid used what could be called a buzz cut, but, as most of his customers seemed to be middle-aged men and their boys, he mainly used scissors and also did traditional shaving with a cut-throat razor, both of which he kept sharp with a leather strop attached to the wall. As I recall it there was one chair, apart from those for waiting customers, with a mirror more or less facing the door. There were various ornate bottles of scent or after shave that could have been there for years, the sort of thing you saw in Laurel and Hardy movies. Maybe they were mostly for show, but the odd customer would be sprayed. That shop could have been used in a Western!

        If I’m right it was the first shop at the bottom of Church Road.

        • I can’t find it now by I seem to remember asserting in the early days the fishmonger was Marie James and being very, very wrong. I’m sure Reg might know, actually. Of Dave Cresswell if he’s passing.

          Was Sid Roberts different to Gordon? I remember Gordon well; shop as you describe, same place, frosted glass so far up but he used to watch who was passing in the mirror over the top. Loads of old Durex adverts, Tru-gel and styptic pencils. He had (in my day) an ornate till that even post-decimalisation he resolutely used. The chairs were arranged around the two sides, with cupboards with glass fronts with Barlon combs, brylcream and the aftershave bottles.

          Gordon, bless him, was terse and not given to a way with kids, who used to be sat on a booster across the arms of the chair, which was split and bound with old sellotape. Gordon used to hang his cap and black overcoat on a peg on the door at the rear right of the shop, which used to open at 10 or 11am and a clear pyrex cup and saucer of tea would appear, made by some relative that lived above the shop. If you were in the chair, you had to wait for Gordon to finish his tea.

          There was no music I don’t think, but often the cricket on a bush valve radio, presumably on long wave and the oldsters used to come in, and to me as a kid, always seemed to talk about who’d died.

          An odd little place and memory I wished I could recall more of.

          Cheers
          Bob

          • Andy Dennis says:

            My mistake. Gordon it was. I don’t remember the booster, but that might just be me or a later addition. Maybe a different chair. But it’s the same place alright. In my eye he was a bald chap with a little close-trimmed grey / white hair at the sides. He wore a sort of grey apron for work. You noticed stuff in places like that, such as that till, because you had to sit and wait for what seemed an age, and, because there was no background sound, you had to wait until you were on the way home to ask your Dad, if you were bold or unwise enough, to ask what certain things meant. I don’t remember the cricket, as we were generally early birds, but that might have been the reason for his terseness. I think you’re right about his not being child-friendly, but I don’t recall feeling unwanted – he just talked to Dad and the other regulars about things I didn’t care about. In my teens, like many others, I just let my hair grow, so getting me into a barber’s was something of a challenge!

            • Andy Dennis says:

              Apron? No. Pinafore? Perhaps something more like a house coat. But grey? Yes. I’m pretty good with colours.

            • Yes, to all of that. The quiet was something, actually; even in a full shop it was reverential and he held court, almost. The hair, yes, and grey cowgown, with something – maybe his best scissors – in the top breast pocket.
              We were never unwanted, but as you say, it was a grown-up place. I seem to remember Gordon having opinions on things and people, but can’t remember any of them. I suspect he’d been a military man.
              I know I seldom got out of there without a red neck, and he used to do the lighted taper thing. The strop used to fascinate me, as did the sink in front of the chair I never saw used.
              Gordon’s shop was one of the classics of Brownhills, like the china shop in Silver Court that also sold fishing tackle, and the cobblers; everyone knew them. They were institutions.
              Blimey, that took me back – cheers!
              Bob

              • Andy Dennis says:

                I’d forgotten about the sink. Presumably, the chair could be rotated and reclined, but I don’t remember it being used like that. The cabinets on the right hand side were quite elaborate, for sure. I never had the singeing at the nape, but I saw it done, including tidying up a wave, maybe burning off grey hairs on older customers. “Something for the weekend?” was a question that eluded me for some time, but I was bright enough not to ask what it meant!

                Another world, eh?

  9. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Poxons..were they pioneers in the importation of frozen lamb from New Zealand? I think the elder statesman of the butcher family had a large bungalow in Sandhills….The gents hairdresser inWalsall Wood considered himself adept with hand clippers. He wasnt..and should have gone to you know where!
    There was a John Poxon , possibly of the Brownhills family, who was councillor in the Wild West days of Brownhills UDC….Salters Road WMC air rifle cup winning team photo is somewhere in the blog
    kind regards
    David

  10. Mick P says:

    The Poxon family also ran one of the butchers in Pelsall, still a butchers shop now and owned by Turners. I went to school with the son of one of the Poxon brothers that owned it and that lad and his family lived in Norton Canes, so surely there must be a family link with the Brownhills butcher.

  11. aerreg says:

    mrs salt the fish and chip shop clif and marrie james the fruit shop gordon roberts related our first home next door great familly the roberts who remembers young tom with his trusty alsation dog by his side may bevan the toy shop there was also a grocery shop by the station hotel i think it was woods or davies thanks for stiring the grey matter again aer reg

  12. aerreg says:

    re the mens hair dressers brownhills two more mr kelly in lichfield road if you wanted a pit mons cut and a bit up market down high st by rennie roberts ironmongers and kingstons shoe shop was mr bevans aer reg

  13. aerreg says:

    hi its me again ope ime not a boor butchers it was comon years gone by to rear a pg at home gordons dad being one ov them come christmas time the pig would be slaughtered for the yearly supply of pork and bacon this is when the local pig killers would performe their skills on the wooden bench there were two masters of the art sticker russell from gt charles st and harry pike from seeds lane one year mr roberts asked me to help hold the pig down unforgetable how ever the blader made a good foot ball and the chicklings were nice aer reg

    • Peter says:

      Speaking for myself, though I imagine for a few others as well, keep the comments coming Reg. Has anyone took Reg up on his offer of sitting down with him and taking some notes?
      Keep going Reg, I love it!
      Peter………

      • Reg, as I’ve said a couple of times here, is a national treasure. He’s most welcome to come play up this end any time he likes, always great to have his contributions and memories.

        Reg is a true gentleman, too.

        I do actually have a video to edit of an interview with the great man himself, which when I get a spare evening I’ll edit up. I’ll have to give it an 18 certificate as it features the sound David Evans, too…

        Cheers
        Bob

  14. aerreg says:

    thank you for your coments but most of all your fellowship over the past weeks many names and places have gone through my brain some well known others not so mutch but each had a story to tellnames kike bywarter freeman proffit the milkmen stackhouse paget the postmen seedhouse paget nurses re v wibby isiah callier the church lil perry the memo danny marklew the teacher bobby sawyer nutty newman the foot baller becky teddy buckley and dear old charley benton characters in their ownway fisher the cobbler trusslel the nursery man mrs oakes piano teacher sam barlow these were roots of old brownhills all their own way ime sure there were many others but each had their page in brownhills book of life sorry for bad spelling and putuatian but the words come out ov me finger diferrent to me tung un brain god bless fromaer reg

  15. Dave (Eddy) Edwards says:

    What a lot of Poxons we have in the area…
    My maternal grandmother was Rebecca Jane Poxon b1895 in Pelsall to John and
    Rachel Poxon.
    Also
    On my paternal side, my great grand aunt Minnie Edwards b1872 in Stonnall married
    Richard Poxon b1879 Clayhanger who was the brother to John Poxon father of John William
    Poxon Jnr bc1894 who I believe was the local Labour Councillor.

    Any of them related?

    • Mark Poxon says:

      Hi Dave

      Rebecca Jane Poxton b 30 May 1895, daughter of John Poxton b abt 1854 Pelsall and Rachel Hatton b abt 1859 Stourbridge, Worcestershire. John is a grandson of my 3rd great grandparents John Poxton b 1802 Catshill and Maria Standley b 1810 Daw End, Rushall. This makes me a second cousin two times removed to Rebecca and means that we’re 4th cousins!

      Richard Poxon b 1870 (!) Clayhanger is a son of John Poxon b 1820 Norton Canes and Elizabeth Robinson b abt 1826 Walsall Wood, who married in 1849.

      John Poxon b 1820 is a son of William Poxton b abt 1783 Clayhanger and Mary Trawford b 1785 Clayhanger. So far I’ve not found proof of a link between these two Poxon/Poxton families but I’m sure there must be a link.

      Richard married Minnie Edwards in 1892.

      Richard’s brother John Poxon b 1859 married Agnes Elizabeth Kingston in 1880 and they had a son John William Poxon b 26 Nov 1894 Walsall Wood.

      Another brother of Richard, Levi Poxon b 1862 Pelsall who was a “Licensed Victualler” and Coal Miner at the time of the 1911 census, he was living at the Yew Tree Inn, Pelsall Road, Brownhills.

      Another brother, Reuben Poxon b 1864 was a lay preacher. He and his brothers built a chapel in Clayhanger.

      Another brother, Arthur Poxon b 1865 was Innkeeper at the George & Dragon in Clayhanger at the time of the 1901 census – I’m told it was the only pub in Clayhanger – not sure how true that is now.

      Richard’s uncle Levi Poxon b 1826, emigrated to Australia. He died in 1891 in Boort, Victoria, Australia.

      Another slice of Poxon family history.

      Mark Poxon

  16. Andy Dennis says:

    The Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames (abridged) says Poxon is a variation of Pogson, “son of Pog (Margaret)”. It follows that there would be many originators so they may well not all be related (other than that we are all descendants of a small group of folk somewhere in Namibia).

    • Mark Poxon says:

      My third great grandfather is John Poxton b 1802 Catshill, son of William Poxon/Poxson/Poxton (take your pick!) and Mary Aldridge, who married at St Matthew’s Church, Walsall on 24 Jun 1798. John was baptised on 22 May 1804 at St Matthew’s. He worked in the coal industry, he’s described variously as a Collier, Collier Engineer, Engine Worker and Engineer.

      I agree that the Poxon name is probably related to the Lincolnshire surname Pogson, which is itself derived from the Anglo-Saxon name Peg’s Son, short for Margaret’s Son. Note the other surnames that may have been derived in a similar way: Megson and Moxon.

      However I have wondered if the “t” in the Poxton name is significant, possibly indicating that the Poxtons and Poxons were two different families. Where the Poxtons left Staffordshire for the newer coalfields of Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Northumberland, the Poxton name survived. I’m told that where the Poxton name survives in Staffordshire the “t” is still prominent in the pronunciation.

      Some Poxons came to the Walsall area from Leicestershire e.g.
      – Robert Poxon b abt 1804 Castle Donington, Leicestershire died 1885 Walsall
      – Samuel Poxon b 21 Jan 1844 Kegworth, Leicestershire – ironically many of Samuel’s descendants adopted the Poxton name e.g. John Poxton b 1872 Walsall

      The butchery business of A.E. Poxon refers to Arthur Edgar Poxon b 10 Aug 1898 Brownhills. Arthur also had two brothers in the butchery business: William Henry Poxon b 1896 Brownhills; William had a butcher’s shop Sandford Street, Lichfield – from an advert in Lichfield Mercury, 17 Dec 1937. Samuel Charles Poxon b 1904 Brownhills; Samuel was involved with the Poxon butchery business in Pelsall.

      Arthur Edgar Poxon is a great grandson of Joseph Poxton and Susannah Yates, who married on 4 Nov 1805 in a “collegiate church of St Peter’s, Wolverhampton” [any help on what this means would be gratefully accepted]. Arthur’s grandfather James Poxon b abt 1829 Bloxwich was described as a Colliery Under Manager at the time of the 1891 census and as a Retired Colliery Manager at the time of the 1901 census. Arthur had two uncles in the butchery trade: Arthur b abt 1877 Norton Canes who lived on the High Street, Brownhills at the time of the 1911 census and George b abt 1881 Norton Canes who lived on Delhi Row, Norton Road, Pelsall at the time of the 1911 census. [Did Arthur Edgar Poxon inherit a butchery business from his uncle Arthur who had no sons?]

      Going further afield, there is an Eli Poxon b 8 Oct 1850, another grandson of Joseph Poxton and Susannah Yates, who was employed as a pit shaft sinker for the Earl of Derby. Eli lived in Denaby, Yorkshire and Adlington, Lancashire, before, in 1911, following his son Wilfred to Carbon, Alberta, Canada where Wilfred had opened a new coal mine. There are Poxon descendants of Eli in Alberta and British Columbia today.

      That’s just a short slice through what I’ve collected over the years on the Poxons/Poxtons of Staffordshire. I’d love to discuss this further with anyone who’s interested 🙂

      Mark Poxon
      Gloucestershire (via Nottinghamshire)

      • Catherine Poxon says:

        Hi Mark,
        Really interesting reading your blog. You might like to know that I am the wife of Philip Poxon (no t) When we married Philip was given Samuel Charles signet ring to wear as his wedding ring which he still wears today. He had to have the ring altered made smaller as it was huge from the hand of a true butcher.
        We have a family tree going back a little way, which Philip’s aunt. Samuel Charles married Nellie Poxon (yes her maiden name was Poxon) and they ran the Butchers shop in Pelsall then handed it down to their 3 children, Brian Sylvia and Edward, (Edward was my father in law, sadly he died nearly five years ago now.)
        I am more than happy to keep in touch and give you any more information about our family.
        all the best
        Cathy Poxon

        • Mark Poxon says:

          Hi Cathy

          Thanks for your reply (although I should point out this is not my blog… I’m a mere contributor 🙂 )

          Nellie Poxon b 24 Nov 1906 Brownhills, is a 2nd great granddaughter of Joseph Poxton and Susannah Yates. This makes her a 2nd cousin 1 time removed of her husband Samuel Charles Poxon.

          Has your husband or any of his siblings thought about taking a DNA test? It would be great to be able to link our two families scientifically.

          Happy for you to contact me by e-mail: mkii.px@gmail.com

          Regards
          Mark

          • Catherine Poxon says:

            Hi Mark
            Again interesting stuff. My husband has one brother and no I don’t think they would do a DNA test.
            I think it is fairly clear that you are related without going down the scientific route.
            Take care
            Cathy

      • lisa says:

        A E Poxon Brownhills butcher, married Winifred Brawn daughter of Chasetown butcher Albert Brawn (my great great aunt an great great Grandad

  17. Dave (Eddy) Edwards says:

    Well I’ll be “a son of a Pog”

  18. aerreg says:

    hi there readers the old grey matter has been revived again by this modern history book the name dennis my mind goes back to the old railway tavern years ago an old mr dennis used to be the landlord across the road opposiite was the family home of my late wifes family the pearces there were 14 children a fine family 7 brothers and 7 sisters my mother in law was helen she married edward hayward from uf the fort ginny austin was related joe pearce kepy the crown pub on the watling street charlie was the only one who moved on to mansfield the rest stayed on and reard their familys in brownhills florrie was the eldist she and bill kept the old family home until their lifes end what an old family tree it must be so many stories they colud have told i was was priverleged to hear some of them i married into a wonderful family atmosphere with stories to tell n

    • Andy Dennis says:

      I’ve found out quite a bit about Tom Dennis of the Railway. He was born on 24 June 1842 in the mining village of Bagworth, Leicestershire. His family arrived in the area in late 1851 or early 1852 and settled at Catshill. Just like the rest he began work underground, but sometime between 1880 and 1884 he took over the license from older brother William. Tom was still the landlord in 1912, but I have not yet found out when the license was passed on. Tom died on 20 Mar 1928. He lived at Midsummer Cottages, Lichfield Road – was this more or less opposite the pub?

      • Pedro says:

        Hi Andy

        Have you picked up from the Archives the curious case of the Singer Sewing Machine, May 1892?

        Thomas Dennis of the Railway Tavern had bought it while it was on hire, and the Singer Company were trying to recover it.

        If not I will send it.

        All the best Pedro

  19. Andy Dennis says:

    Oh yes! I find it quite amusing and I’m still not sure whether Tom was as unwitting as claimed! To see if I could find out more about the type of machine I contacted the curator of a website, but have not received a reply. In 1949 Mom bought a Singer sewing machine for ÂŁ42-odd – not bad for a typist – which would be about ÂŁ1,300 in today’s money. Hopefully, “A tale of two Singers” will emerge in time.

  20. aerreg says:

    morning my memory revivers re the dennises on checking my one finger story i noted that there was a connection between the railway tavern and the pearces home ime not 100 percent sure but whe my mother in law use to talk of the happy large family life a grandad dennis was refered to thanks for all your interest its good to talk god bless

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