Temperance, even!

Sometimes, enquiries on the blog take a while to resolve – and this one is just such an example, and a good reason why one should never give up hope with finding answers, as you never know who’s passing.

Some time ago, reader Maria Fitzgerald sent in the image below as part of a larger set. She thought it might be behind the Memorial Hall in Brownhills, but we discounted this as the buildings didn’t macth. Some suggestions were made, but nothing conclusive.

Then reader, freind of the blog and Canadian correspondent Brian Edwards wrote to me last week. I include his message below Maria’s initial submission.


This is fascinating, and doesn’t look that old. Can anyone name the event or the old folks pictured? A wonderful image from Maria Fitzgerald.

Maria said:

This is the odd one – a posh day out at the Memo back in ?

All I know is that my nan is in the front row at the end on the left looking at the photo.

I have no info on it at all.

Brian Edwards wrote:

I am offering information on a photograph that was posted on your blog, of which I have attached.

I believe this to be The Women’s Temperance Union knowing that my Grandmother was a member.

The Lady seated in the middle fifth from the right is my Grandmother Annie Edwards, nee, Cooke. Annie is also the Grandmother of Roger Mosedale, his mother Ada being Annie’s daughter. This is the lady who Roger talks about as the player of the Piano at The Freizland Lane Club and it was Annie’s sister Betsy’s husband Mr Kingston also from Freizland Lane that would accompany Annie by singing.

Annie and Betsy Cooke are the daughters of William Cooke who was the Landlord of the Middle Oak public house of which you have a photograph.

A remarkable and very skilful restoration by reader and contributor Lias Downes. I’m speechless!

A remarkable and very skilful restoration by reader and contributor Lias Ashby, of an image of the staff and regulars of the Royal, or Middle Oak, to which I believe Brian refers. Image originally donated by Daryl Preston.

I do not have a photograph of Annie’s husband George Edwards, this being my father’s Mother and Father for whom my father was named after but if possible it would be good for one of the Mosedales to post one so as to complete the story.

Now back to the photograph. The shorter lady standing second from left is my Aunt Edie Jones from Brownhills whose daughter Edna was the registrar for marriages and worked alongside Mr. Bert Radford. Numerous people would have known Edna who wore irons on her one leg; she was a most glorious lady and was also a member of The Salvation Army.

Moving on, the little girl seated fourth from left is Joy Gibbs, with her Mother and father standing at back left. The Gibbs family lived on Grange Crescent in Shelfield.

I will finish with a little more on Burt Radford. Burt was also the registrar for marriages and anyone who got married in the sixty’s or seventies at the registry office in Aldridge were possibly married by Burt and Edna Jones. I know Burt as being one of my Volunteer youth leaders along with his wife Dorothy at Shelfield Youth Club and what wonderful people they were In the second world war Burt was a pilot on Lancaster Bombers.

I hope this finds you well Bob.


Thank you Brian for shedding light on this – and given the extra information, is it possible we can now identify the location and complete the circle?

You find me in fighting form Brian, and it’s always great to hear from you – that your contributions come all the way from Vancouver always pleases and amazes me.

If you can add to or help with Brian’s request for a further image, please feel free. Either comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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4 Responses to Temperance, even!

  1. aerreg says:

    i dont think the photograph is at the memo as the rear wall was the the stage later on during world war two a boiler house was built to supply hot water to what was to become a medical unit access to the billiard room was by a staircase behind what we called the library it was a meeting room for whistdrives and the first meetings of senior citizens to become known as the darby and joan club the refreshment room and ladies room was on the left hand side as you went through the front door happy days

  2. aerreg says:

    correction before ime pounced on the ladies room and refresment room was on the right hand side hartsornes cakes served during the interval by a grand stalward lil perry music by the melocord five piece band waltz quick step tango MC TEDDY BOLTON JACK SEEDHOUSE

  3. Stella Bird nee Jones says:

    Edie Jones was my mother and Edna my sister I am Stella now Bird but previously Jones

  4. Brian Edwards says:

    Maybe my cousin Stella could solve the puzzle and aid in the identification of where this picture was taken.

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