The Hawthorn and William Pierce Pressings – can you help please?


The Hawthorn still survives as The Drunken Duck, but photos of it or it’s immediate environs are thin on the ground. A great image from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

A couple of quick requests, please – two readers are looking for specific photos and I’m drawing an absolute blank, I thought maybe readers could help?

Colin Gould writes:

Hi Bob

I was wondering if you or your readers have any photos of the old cottage that was next to the then Hawthorn pub high street Walsall Wood, as I lived there until I was 11 years old but can’t seem to find out anything.

many thanks
Colin Gould

If anyone can help with that one, I’m sure the Walsall Wood massive amongst the readership here can… thanks.

The second one is a bit tougher and came in by Facebook last week, but I’d appreciate folks thinking about this, recounting any memories and if possible, finding images.

Hi Bob

I was looking for a photo or anything on William Pierce Pressings.

They were a small factory on Lichfield Road, Brownhills – looks like Castings took over their site same side as Grasmere Gardens, it had a really small entrance door at the front which we loved going through when we were kids , it was next door to artistic containers.

Vonnie Smith

This image from Fred Butler is in the general area, but a wee bit too early I think:


Fred Butler kindly supplied this image of Crabtree in the early days a while back.

It also makes me wonder if any of the factory is caught in the part of the early sixties film of Brownhills, when they record proceedings in the plating plant:

Video kindly supplied by Brian Stringer

If you can help with either of these enquiries, please do: Comment here, or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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7 Responses to The Hawthorn and William Pierce Pressings – can you help please?

  1. Brian Edwards says:

    This is for Colin Gould. The fellow who had the licence at The Hawthorn in the 1970’s went onto be the licencee of The Four Crosses in Shelfield. I cannot think of his name at the moment but someone on here surely will. Anyroadup, this fellows son is still living in the district from what I have been told so if you can track him down he may be able to help you. Good Luck

  2. Geof says:

    As. Regards to William Pierce pressings. it was the last factory on the right hand side before you went over the canal My wife worked there for about ,30years on the hand presses until she retired in 1983.

  3. Steve cawley says:

    It was Norman and Sheila James who ran the Hawthorn in the 60s and early 70s and then moved onto the four crosses.Their son Alan went to Shire OAk and was an apprentice with me at the Birlec we started there in 73 and left when it closed Xmas 1980.
    I believe Alan passed away last year he would have been 58 ,I think he had a daughter who may live in the area.
    My mom Jane Cawley worked at Pearce pressings in the 60s for quite a few years and moved to crabtrees later where she worked till she retired.She had a friend at PEarce pressings named Marian who lived in LIndon Close with Pete and Betty Samphire,PEte was the foreman at PP and was a former tool setter who badly injured his arm when a press tool fell on it .I saw MArian on Anchor BRidge last Saturday so she is still around.

  4. alan gough says:

    my aunty and uncle lived by the black cock in walsall wood in the 1950s moved to robinson close when the houses were knock down,love to no if anyone remembers the late harry and maud hodgkiss i think the daughters name was pat,love to no if any relatives are around alan gough

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