Whatever the weather, Malcolm got through…


From the depth of the snow, I’d say late 70s, early 80s. Malcolm in his trusty mobile shop on Occupation Road, Walsall Wood, making sure the groceries get through. Image kindly supplied by Dorothy Ruddock via David Evans.

Here’s a little bit of Brownhills social history for a Friday – and something that gets mentioned an awful lot, but there is scant record of.

Malcolm’s Mobile Shop making it’s way up Occupation Road past the foot of Shire Oak School field on a very snowy day – possibly in the the late 1970s or early 1980s – a wonderful image supplied by Dorothy Ruddock, via David Evans.

We all remember Malcolm and his big, green mobile shop – there were several incarnations in different vehicles, many of us recall the van driving around the estates of the area, pulling up and locals popping in for fruit, veg groceries or sweets.

I fondly remember buying a pomegranate for 2p from Malcom one warm summer evening, and sitting in the garden, eating it with a pin.

I don’t know anything about Malcolm, if he was local or what became of him – anything you remember would be welcome.

Malcolm, of course, wasn’t the only mobile van we bought from – there were the chip vans ringing their handbells and regular ice cream vans.

What do you remember? Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Cheers to Dorothy and David for sharing a wonderful bit of Brownhills history.

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12 Responses to Whatever the weather, Malcolm got through…

  1. Alan Dawson. says:

    I still live opposite Dulce Domum No 33 Just more & more building over the years has gone on with selling of the school field, no33 s just been sold again to new occupiers ,an awful lot has been done to it since the Rudducks sold it .

    • Dorothy Stroud says:

      There have been so many lovely alterations and renovations done to the house since my mom and dad lived in Dulce Domum . Thanks to the kindness of Roger and Steff I was able to see first hand how they turned it back into a cosy family home . Mom and dad would have been thrilled !,,

      • Alan Dawson. says:

        Richard & Stephanie No longer live at 33 ,they say they will miss it terribly ,But have sold it to a nice couple called Brian & Mary who love what they have done to it over the years ,as you say Dot they made habitable again with all the trimmings because they had the money to be able to do marvelous things with it & made into what it is today .

      • Alan Dawson. says:

        Richard & Stephanie no longer live in the house they did such a lot to it as it was very dilapidated when the acquired it in 2000 ,they have spent an awful lot of time & money on the place ,they have sold it to nice couple Brian & mary Steff says they absolutely love what they have done to it while not taking away to much of the old look of the building.

  2. morturn says:

    Well there’s a blast form the past, recovered memories. We too had a mobile shop, Norman’s. He too also underwent several reincarnations with those old battered and beaten up old vehicles. His last one was an old coach. How roadworthy this coach was I will never know, but he did provide a valuable community service.

    It was far more than the convenience of buying stuff almost delivered to your door. The old coach was a meeting place where people would exchange the local news, bit like face book is now.

    Great post Bob

  3. aerreg says:

    re the street scene a popular one was dear old selwyn smith with his cry ise cream a halph penny or one penny cornet or if dad had had a good week at the pit a tea cup on sunday ‘ then the stop me and buy one of walls those three cornered lollies a delight ‘peleries was another the tinker man wooton with his pie ball pony and cart with the finest pots and pans ; then the cry iron rag bone a day old chicken given in exchange a comman site to be seen was a cardboard box near the fender in it a chicken snugled up waiting to be fead up for christmas as they always were cockerals we had a hen once we called her rags ;a lady by the name of mrs oneil would call to offer best quolity linolium the coop brought a bonnie loaf rogers green grocery then when cricess ocoured the cry of special adition newspaper i recall in the early war years the cry as we thought walsall bomnd we dashed out with our penny out it was warsaw poland then there was the line prop man and for those who had a pig in the stye a salt block man who sold large block to salt down the bacon ffinaly the gipsy buy a yard of lace for good luck thanks for the memory god bless

  4. Brian Stringer says:

    I recall Alan Denis who served Clayhanger in his old coach turned into a mobile shop. Mom used to make a list of her groceries and one day when she wasn’t looking I added something to it. She handed it to Alan who worked his way down it, then stopped with a puzzled frown and said, ‘What’s this Maud, a Ford Capri’. Took a while till Mom realised it was her barmy son.
    My uncle Bill made wreaths every Xmas and Alan also sold these from his mobile.

    • Andy Dennis says:

      Alan Dennis. I had an uncle so named, but this is another. Any idea of his pedigree? He must be a relative of some sort.

  5. Clive says:

    This photo brings back memories, I believe before he had the van in photo, he had a converted old coach. when malcolm sold up I believe he may have moved to Spain. Back in the 1960s there used to be a Mr Sault! he had a horse and cart and he went round the streets selling veg.
    Nice one Dorothy and Bob.

  6. snatchmo says:

    Remember this van well used to stop in friezlands lane ,he sold every day essentials way before convenience stores .Also the bell ringing van was Mick Evans mobile fish and chips known as “Mick the chip ” always looked forward to Friday nights

  7. Brian says:

    All I know Andy is that he lived in Norton Canes

  8. anthill73 says:

    Now that picture is amazing. Fond memories flooding back. Mom used to send me to the van for ciggies and veg when malcolm stopped in peake road as I was growing up. Then he would fire up that poor old van and trot round to friezland lane for the next customers. We would always sly a ’10p mix’ out of the change which looking back was probably all the odd sweets that never made it to ‘proper sweet’ bags. Loved it nevertheless. You Even got a picture of malcolm thumbs up in the van. With his 1970’s porn star style sun glasses and his tache. Thank you so much for this picture guys.

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