Union Row – what do you know?


A picture has appeared on eBay, thought to be of Brownhills Carnival. But is it? Image from sale by Uncletomcobleyandall

Sometimes, an image appears that’s puzzling or mysterious – often on auction sites and the like, and so it is with the picture featured here, and I’m wondering if readers can help, please?

The above fascinating image has appeared on eBay – the world’s favourite tat bazaar – from seller Uncletomcobleyandall, with the following description:

Real photographic card not captioned or posted. But Carnival Day Brownhills written on back (just a gut feeling, but the writing does not look to be recent). minor corner tip and edge knocks/wear, the tiniest of creases bottom left tip (not really worth mentioning), faint album marks, with a slight touch of age discolouration on front. very noticeable and rather heavy age discolouration over the entire back of card. good condition.

You can see the sale here.

Does anyone recognise this?  Union Row does not seem a local name, but the characters could well have stepped straight out of Edgar Pritchards 1934 film of Brownhills’ first carnival:

If you can help, please do – but remember, we aren’t the only Brownhills in the UK with other ones at Stoke and Scotland.

Any ideas at all, please comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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15 Responses to Union Row – what do you know?

  1. Alan Harrison says:

    At the bottom of the banner is the name of the Band of Hope, a total abstinence organization. I would guess that “Union Row” was the name of a nonconformist chapel. A quick Google search shows streets of this name in Margate and Swindon.

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    I’ve never encountered a Union Row locally, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.


  3. Pedro says:

    “God alone knows that in Brownhills the beer barrel is in the way of the Gospel of Christ.”

    Mr D Jones at the Walsall District Band of Hope conference held at Brownhills. September 1911.

  4. Graham says:

    It certainly says “Band of Hope” but does it say “Union Row”? The first two letters of the second word are certainly “R” & “O” but the end of that word is difficult to see in the folds of the banner.

    Instead of the supposed “W” could it be something else? There could even be two letters there? The “N” of “Union” is roughly centred on the banner with four letters to the left. The space between the two words is minimal, so perhaps there are more than three lettwers to the right..

    Would Union Road make more sense?

  5. John Anslow says:

    There was a Union Row Chapel in Handsworth; I think it’s now a Sikh temple.

  6. Brian Edwards says:

    A link to the meaning of The Band of Hope and its origins.

  7. Brian Edwards says:

    Oops, forgot the link. Here it is now. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_UK

  8. Brian Edwards says:

    Once again the photograph points to The Temperance Movement which as we know also had a following in Brownhills. A link for some insight into this movement. http://www.hud.ac.uk/courses/supporting/hist/handsonhistory/temperance/

  9. Brian Edwards says:

    It seems from the photograph that Good is Battling with Evil, the Devil being at right wearing the horns and tipped collar which in of itself what The Temperance Movement was all about. Just a thought; is there another Brownhills in the United Kingdom?

  10. Pedro says:

    I think the picture predates the Brownhills Carnival by some years. There was a big demonstration by the Band of Hope in Handsworth park in 1914.

  11. brian ashford says:

    I had a picture of the same man in the picture at the high street chasetown a number of years ago parading by union street in a carnival procession with a sit up and beg bicycle they were I think at the chasetown carnival and wakes i may have a painting somewhere if I find it I will let you know I think the picture i saw was in a book which I may still have.

  12. brian ashford says:

    Sorry may have jumped the gun the picture I have although a close resemblance may or not be the same man he appears to be taller he has a banner to the left and one on right it says chasetown sunday school treat 1910 it is from chase post millennium memories journey to a bygone age he is standing on the corner of union street top of high street chasetown.

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