Caters: a Brownhills business remembered

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Caters in my day was in the large white building on the corner of High Street and Bricklin Street, now occupied by a restaurant and carpet shop. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Following the sad announcement of the passing of Michael Cater, formerly of the FW Cater electrical shop in Brownhills, I had a couple of lovely contributions in memory of this wonderful, but lost Brownhills business.

I looked around the house in the last few days; we still have a microwave bought from Caters years ago, working perfectly; we bought washing machines – I remember the high-tech excitement of the old girl’s first automatic after years of a twin-tub; I remembered my first hi-fi and decent radio, then later, buying the best separates I could afford there. My first CD deck and I think my first CD – Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ were bought from Caters.

Every time we were served with a courteousness and charm that was delightful, unusual, and somehow totally traditional.

Brownhills George commented on this to the original post:

Those were the days of service to the customer. I bought a new TV from Caters upstairs showroom. Went to my car parked on their car park and drove home, and found their van with my telly waiting outside my house ready to install it.

You don’t get that service anywhere these days.

That’s very true. The kind of customer care that shops like Caters engendered is a sadly passing art form.

Martin Littler also wrote in with this fascinating piece of Caters ephemera:

Hi Bob

Sad news about Michael Cater, as a good many people like myself remember the Caters Family Shop with fond memories, for many years my mother always used them for electric goods, and Michael’s Farther and Mother were always pleasant to chat too and hard working people a true Family Business, not many left in Brownhills now.

The record sleeve as got to be 70 years old , H. Taylor of Walsall use to use their own record sleeves as well.

It was a sad day when Caters closed down.

Kind regards.
Martin Littler.

Thanks to Martin and George. If you have any memories of Caters, or any other Brownhills shops, why not share them? Please do comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


‘Coppelia – selection part 1’ (presumably part 2 on the flip side), by the Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra. Can’t see a date. A classic 78 scanned by Martin Littler, and kindly sent to the blog in memory of Michael Cater.

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6 Responses to Caters: a Brownhills business remembered

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    We had several things from Cater’s, too. I guess one of their busiest weeks was when we and many others ordered our first television; it was installed in the nick of time at lunchtime on 30 July 1966 …

  2. Martin Littler says:

    With a little google search by putting the record label and number MR 2973 the nearest date is 1938, i’m not sure if it will play now may try it one day

  3. Jane says:

    Michael was a kind man, lovely man, love Jane

  4. Derek Breeze says:

    I played with Michael as a you school boy, we are the same age. I lived at 18 New Rd before moving to the corner shop on the High St, corner of New rd, the old Foy’s shop. Derek Breeze

    • David Rivlin says:

      I studied with Michael and we shared digs. At the time we were extremely good friends but the time came to go our separate ways and we lost contact. (He did turn up for my wedding in December 1961 in Yorkshire).
      By chance I happened to look him up as I am contemplating a visit to nearby Shropshire and was shocked to learn of his passing away.
      Can anyone give me details of family and where they can be reached. I feel I have to pass on condolences. Who would be his survivors? I would like to tell them a few good stories they have no idea about..

  5. Margaret ward says:

    I remember the caters lovely people they were, when I go to brownhills I look at the shop thinking the caters were there, I worked at forward garage by the anchor bridge and Michael and his dad came in for petrol mr Brooke’s from the clothes shop, came in for petrol him and his wife who worked in their shop were lovely too . H Taylor and sons of walsall were very busy ,my teacher mr Byron James’s wife worked there .not forgetting the jeweler mr Lote he used to say to me are you winning .I really liked all these lovely and hard working people of brownhills and Burntwood when my dad mr H B Shaw went into the army in the forties he bought that property but my mother Louisa maiden name Bartram went home in chase rd to her mother and the family

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