An unusually clear view


I have never, ever seen this image before – utterly remarkable. I’d say taken from what would have been fields where Shire Oak School is now. Image courtesy of Dorothy Ruddock, via David Evans.

A couple of postcard images send to me yesterday by the young David Evans that I feel I had to share immediately – they come from the fascinating collection of Dorothy Ruddock, and I think they’re amazing.

Both have been scanned by David, and I think he’s done an excellent job.

The upper one is a truly remarkable image I’ve never seen before – Brownhills as viewed from a rural Shire Oak Hil, possibly from the brewery. Last century for sure, as the gasworks can be seen; St. James is clearly visible on the high ground of Ogley Hay, and the row of houses down the High Street. The modern incarnation of the Warreners Arms does not appear to have been built, so I’d guess this to be about 1900-1910.

The second is a familiar image, but never seen with such detail. Very probably a carnival or  Royal occasion, it shows a parade with brass band marching up the High Street past the Warreners Arms, the photo believed to be taken from an upper window of the pub. Note the advert for Dewars White Label. What was Robin? What was the store the adverts are on the side of?

This would be where the new houses in Lindon Drive are now, with the metal artworks on the wall.

If you can help date this cards, or have any observations, don’t hesitate – comment here please, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.


A parade in Brownhills – a familiar image, but never with such clarity before. It’s of a parade in the High Street, believed to be taken from an upper window of the Warreners. Image kindly shared by Dorothy Rudduck via David Evans.

This entry was posted in News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to An unusually clear view

  1. fb. lycett says:

    Robin was a make of starch, blocks wrapped in blue paper for the wash

  2. sean yates says:

    I obviously can’t go back to the 1900’s, but I seem to remember seeing the “Robin” advertisements when I was a kid growing up in the !950’s. It was, if I remember correctly, a brand of starch.

  3. Graham says:

    Robin was Robin starch.

  4. John Anslow says:

    Robin starch

  5. Sheila Norris ( nee Jones) says: gives the info chapter and verse. Interested to see Robin starch was made in Rathfarnham, which is where my daughter lives now!
    Women’s fashions look similar to those in a family photo ( esp. hats) dated 1910.

  6. tkevcro says:

    Yes I remember robin starch,my mom used to use it on me dads collars well into the 70’s

  7. aerreg says:

    robins starch a very painful childhood memory for me a very very old fathsion remedy for chicken pox was a robin starch poltice it was place upon the scabs and for my pain i had the dreaded chicken pox tears were shed by the way the parade was down cats hill by BRAWNS SHOP i would say god bless thanks for the memory

  8. Clive says:

    Lovely photo’s Dorothy and Dave, thank you.

  9. David Evans says:

    HI Clive
    Cheers..the panorama view is intriguing..seems the Pelsall Road stack is missing and a stack is at catshill foundry, left of the canal line….and two others can just be made out.. between the canal and the gasometer
    .may help to date the image

  10. Trevor Shakespeare says:

    Hi there. Robin was washing starch and came in blocks wrapped in dark blue paper. Thanks for a great blog. Trevor Shakespeare

  11. Patrick Hall says:

    Great view from the hill, I remember the gasometer very well. The land enclosed by the canal across to the lane leading to the gas works and High Street. My family farmed that area, Meadow Farm, I lived in one of the 2 cottages behind Dunn & Hales garage until it was flattened to build the flats & houses in the early 60`s.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.