Lifting the veil on an old Brownhills emporium

Bradburys wasn’t just a shop, it was a shopping centre! Interesting the phone number here has 3 digits, not 4. Image Kindly supplied by Cheryl Hirst.

One here for the older Brownhills hands – an enquiry came in. last week for memories and information on the old Brownhills shop called Bradburys – this was a large emporium that stood, as far as I’m aware – about opposite where Kwit Fit is today.

I know Bradburys was a ladies outfitter, but I know little about the place and I’m hoping the wise owls amongst us can help.

Cheryl Hirst sent the following enquiry:

Hi Bob,

My mother-in-law recently passed away, and while sorting her things out I came across what I believe to be her wedding veil (she was married in 1955).

I’ve always adored this 1950 advert for the Bradbury store – the way the dog is drawn is stunning. The ad appeared in the program for the 1950 Brownhills Music Festival. Click for a larger version.

It was inside this paper bag with the crest on it saying. ‘Bradburys, the shopping centre of Brownhills’.

What can anyone tell me about it as I’ve never heard of Bradburys?

From what I can tell, Bradburys was a classy outfit that sold quite high-end clothes, and was still going into the 1960s.

What I’m after I suppose, is memories of the place, what it sold and when it closed. Like Craddock, it’s just one of those names that keeps cropping up – and I feel sure that Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove will have something to say on the matter!

Thanks to Cheryl for a really great enquiry, and if you have anything to add, please do: Either comment here on this post or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks!

That’s quite an interesting bag, too. How’s that closure work? Image Kindly supplied by Cheryl Hirst.


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14 Responses to Lifting the veil on an old Brownhills emporium

  1. Isobel Dams says:

    I remember Bradburys. A long counter (or so it seemed, I was little ) down at least one side of the shop. You asked for what you wanted and goods were stored in drawers I think, some glass fronted, situated behind the assistants. I think I remember quite a reverential atmosphere – you felt you must behave! Was it run by the Bradbury sisters who had a brother, George? Or am I getting confused with another Brownhills family?

  2. aerreg says:

    now your talking of class bradburys george a gentle man nelly luese ladies stall mount zion stallwoods white dresses for sunday sckool when we were first married we had our first bed room carpets from there we thought we were posh brenda got her dresses from there george a
    figure memourial hall and carnival nelly a founder of brownhills wvs wih mrs parsley as you say the shop was very up market and the family very well respected infact i think ime not going over the top it was the harrods of dear old brownhills the lived in a house half way up church hill by the old doctors surgery iknew them well i could go on and on bless you thanks for the memory

  3. aerreg says:

    sorry to go on but look through your pages to find other classic stores for MEN EDDY DENNING ALF GREGORY JOS HARDING LEN SADLER CRADOCKS all 5 star yes and public figures in their own way we didnt need the city a treat on sunday night was to window shop shame those days have gone window dressing was an art and a pleasure

  4. aerreg says:

    sorry if ime a bore but i forgot geourges sister lilly nelly was his wife soorry for bad spelling ME BRAINS AND EYES OK BUT ME FINGURE PRINTS SOMTHING ELSE

  5. My wife always said that after Bradbury’s closed there was never another Ladies shop.Its the same with Men if you want a pair of trousers you have to buy on line, or go to Walsall, Lichfield, or Cannock.

  6. aerreg says:

    hi geoph ope your ok mate remember the bob a week taylors bless them the days of weddings and funerals when best suits were warn they were part of the family scene the cradock colledtors mr forsyth from walsall the brookes brothers mr whitman emerys they were part of life and were gratley respected by the families they visited pin stripe blue wusted and brilcream you was poshanother name just gonetrough my mind mr ducket yes not a lot of money but our oldons turned out in style god bless

  7. Margaret Yeomans née ( Fullelove) says:

    Hi my friends, as a young girl it was a shop to be avoided, I knew if my mom called in Bradburys I was in for a long boring wait. It was usually a Sat morning, after calling at Taylor’s cake shop and buying me a bread roll that she knew would keep me amused for ages. I used to bite the top off and pull the bread out. I knew she couldn’t pass the flipping shop. I always thought it was posh, Nelly and Louie were always dressed immaculate. I remember a long counter with draws that they could pull out and bring to the counter. The items were spread out for you to pick. Accasionly Mr George was in the shop, he was a very smart gentleman who was married to Nelly. It was liked two shops joined together, you walked through to the other shop for the lovely dresses and coats. Upstairs was where my mom headed for. Hats and more Hats. Big draws with all colours. My mom used to try every hat on in the shop. I was very bored as I had finished my bread roll by this time, without dropping a crumb. I darnt or I would have got a right look from louie. My Dad always said, ‘you have more hats than Bradburys’. I Carnt remember too much as I wasn’t very old, I do know Bradurys was the heart of Brownhills. I think it closed in the 50s.i am pleased Mr Bob has made it possible to relive these times, very much part of old Brownhills.

  8. Alfred Geoffrey Boulton says:

    My grandmother, Alice Boulton (nee Turner) was brought up in Brownhills West and Norton and recalled walking with her sisters to Brownhills to go to Bradburys to by a new white dress for “The Sermons” (aka Sunday School Anniversary. This would be the in the 1880’s. I remember during WW2 being brought on a Harpers bus from Aldridge to get new trousers and other things. My mother considered that Bradburys would have a better range of things because comparable shops in Walsall would be afraid of bombing and not keep full stock. The Bradbury family were “big” Methodists and supported the big Wesleyan Chapel on the main street. That takes you a bit further back ! Alfred Boulton.


  9. Les Bullock says:

    I can just about remember Bradburys shop. My mom used to take us in there to buy our new vests pants and ‘liberty bodices’, and also our clothes for school. George Bradbury lived in Church Rd near to the old police station. His two sisters Miss Louis, and Miss Nelly lived in a bungalow in New Rd. We used to go there to learn our recitals (we had to speak very ‘posh’) ready for the Sunday School Anniversaries at Mount Zion and then the new Methodist church. I well remember, aged about 5 or 6 Miss Loise was our Sunday School and I still have a vivid recollection of her teaching us to sing ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’ complete with expansive arm movements. A sudden thought; I don’t think I ever saw either of the two ladies not wearing a hat.

  10. Cheryl hirst says:

    Thank you everyone for your responses,it’s amazing to think brownhills once had a shop like this,I was born and bred in the hills in the 60s so don’t remember this shop,my mother-in-law would be pleased to have bought so many memories back to you all

  11. Margaret Forrest (Hughes) says:

    I well remember visiting Bradbury’s shop in the late 50’s. My mother and i would catch the bus from Pelsall and for me it was a real treat.I was very small but have clear memories of an impressive store with lots of wooden shelves and drawers. The Bradburys were related to my mother’s family and we got a warm welcome. After one visit,as we were leaving, one of the sisters gave me a kilt pin as a gift. It was ‘gold’ with a pretty stone in it. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I ever had. Such memories!

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