An old friend of the blog needs some local history help please!

It’s another request for help please – this time from old friend and top cake and coffee purveyor Laura Hucker, who runs the fantastic Reading Rooms coffee emporium in Pelsall and has put on the lovely craft and gift fairs at the Community Centre.

Laurea is an old pal of the blog and is engaged in a rather excellent local history investigation…

Laura is doing a Masters Degree in Local History and is focussing on the activities of women who were enterprising, but not conventionally employed.

She asked:

Hi all,

I have an unusual request. I am presently doing my masters in local history and I am in the process of putting together what will become ‘the bones’ of my final essay / dissertation. I am looking to investigate women in the workplace with a focus on women who may have considered themselves unemployed but actually had a thriving home industry, this could be a bit dodgy (selling booze or cigarettes from the kitchen), legitimate leather work, making nails, cleaning, baking… whatever. I am focusing on the period 1850 to 1940 which I will later narrow down. 

I wondered if anybody recalls any tails from parents or grand parents who would have been alive during that time that you would be willing to share with a view of me interviewing / delving a bit deeper into at some point?

Anything would be a great help, no matter how small. If you can help, feel free to message me.

Similarly, if anybody has any historical material on industry or working in the area, I would love to see it!

Thanks a lot, Laura 😄

If you can help Laura, please do: I’m really interested in this myself as it’s a concealed aspect of local history I’d never really considered in detail. If you think about it we all knew ladies who did this stuff when we were kids – from selling sweets from the kitchen to undertaking clothing alterations.

If you can help you can contact Laura via Facebook here, via the Reading Rooms on 01543 373768, via email at – or of course, you could pop in to the Reading Rooms in person and discuss the matter over coffee and rather excellent cake…

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3 Responses to An old friend of the blog needs some local history help please!

  1. Lizzie Eden says:

    I believe a lot of women took in washing. There was also child-minding and leather work. (A story is a “tale”. A curse upon predictive text! Call me a silly old English teacher!!)

  2. Reg Fullelove says:

    hi laura the only one who comes to my mind a lady by the name is MABEL CHAPMAN back in the 1930 she lived in the avenues off lichfield road brownhills and was well known in those days for clothes alteratiouns there were not many cottage industries for women in those days there were a number of bringers in and layers out around infact my gt gt gradma was onesutch personin ogley sqare was was one of them and so was my late mother in law in sickness and old remadieis they were always available wish you wellon your prodject god bless reg fullelove bem

  3. Reg Fullelove says:

    PS a bit morbid part of their kit was laying out gowns were laying out gowns and laying out stockings in my arkives i have two gownes and a pair of stocking they whent to their maker looking tidy

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