The staff of William Harrison in 1944 – life during wartime

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The staff of William Harrison Limited, Summer 1944. Far left, Derrick Arthur Dennis (Grove); third left Harold Thacker (he died recently); third right Dennis Littley. Seated: far left Barbara Brown (Conduit); second right Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Matthews, third right possibly a lady named Colleen. Image very generously supplied by Andy Dennis.

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It’s handy when people date photos! Can anyone add to the names? Image kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.

Long time supporter, friend of the blog and prodigious local historian Andy Dennis continues to generate a huge amount of material which he’s kind enough to share both on this blog and his own.

Andy’s blog is now a must-read for anyone interested in our town’s history and I commend it to all readers – you can go check it out here.

There is a huge and quickly growing treasury of articles there which a well worth a read.

In the mean time, Andy has sent in a photo of the staff of local mining company William Harrison Limited in 1944. Members of Andy’s family were employed by this large operation, and I’ve featured much about the company history here before.

This is a great image and I’m sure it’ll bring back some memories which readers can elaborate on and expand.

Andy wrote:

Hello Bob

Here is another bit of local memorabilia, this time related to the coal mine owner William Harrison.

The envelope says: ‘The Staff Of William Harrison Limited, Summer 1944’. The picture includes staff from both Wyrley Grove Colliery and Conduit Colliery at Norton Canes.

I can name only a few. Standing: far left, Derrick Arthur Dennis (Grove); third left Harold Thacker (he died recently); third right Dennis Littley. Seated: far left Barbara Brown (Conduit); second right Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Matthews, third right I think was a rather fun-loving lady named Colleen, who visited us a few times, but it would have been 35 and more years ago.

Can anybody fill any of the blanks?

Derrick & Barbara (aged 18 and 15 respectively) would become my parents. Betty would be maid of honour at their wedding.

For a time Harold Thacker worked out the odds for Marklew’s betting office, so Dad told me. I think this was at the bottom end of Brownhills High Street, round the back of the three storey building opposite farmfoods. I seem to have a very hazy recollection of a similar establishment on Ogley Road, somewhere between Great Charles Street and Vicarage Road. I am sure readers will set me right.

Dennis Littley lived at Knaves Castle.

Cheers
Andy

Thanks to Andy so continuing to record and investigate our history and if you can help, please do comment or mail me – BrownhillsBob at googlemail dot com.

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3 Responses to The staff of William Harrison in 1944 – life during wartime

  1. Graham Smith says:

    I have tried to contact Andy and Bob in the past regarding the Italian prisoner of war camp in Walsall and have had no reply. I would be very gratefull if any of your readers have any information about the camp and the people who were there.

  2. aerreg says:

    hi andy re brian marklew if my memories right he had a betting office by ogley club i lived next door to the marklew family i knew brian from his boyhood years happy days many happy stories six pence each way god bless you have stired the grey matter for me again thanks

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