Tubs of blood and lost palaces

There has been a great response to the recent series of articles on local cinemas from an old, long out of print Ned Williams book David Evans has spotted in the huge Gerald Reece collection.

The Palace – or Blood Tub – in Brookland Road, Walsall Wood. Image from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

However, a comment made by honorary grandfather of the blog Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove on the post about Walsall Wood’s Palace Cinema set the cat amongst the pigeons and bit I and the young David Evans are keen to learn more.

Reg had this to say on the Walsall Wood  cinema post:

Hi readers

Fantastic reading! May I make one non criticism BLOOD TUB was as I’ve previously said was at the top of Lichfield Road by the Smithy I have recently found a photo copy given to me by a very good friend showing its location bless him…

God bless

The Smithy is of course the site today of the pub, Smithy’s Forge.

Now, the 1984 book gives the most complete history I’ve ever seen of the picture houses of the area – including Walsall Wood, and it’s well worth bagging a copy – but you can find the articles on The Palace, Brownhills here, The Palace (‘Blood Tub’), Walsall Wood here and the Regent, Brownhills here – but it does seem that the Blood Tub in Lichfield Road escaped the attention of Ned Williams.

Whilst there’s no doubt the Wood folks called their Palace The Blood Tub, Reg is adamant this was the case in Brownhills too, so I’d like to find out more. He sent this photo to David Evans:

Lichfield Road, Brownhills from near where Smithy’s Forge is today, looking towards Co-op corner. Image kindly supplied by Reg Fullelove.

That is clearly Lichfield Road, and what’s more from the railway company bus, it’s pre-Great War. What I’m asking here is which building was the cinema – was it the low building, and if so what is before it?

From conversations David has had with Reg, he seems to think it was an early travelling picture show that settled here.

Does anyone have anything on this curious bit of lost history at all?

Reg also sent the following picture in of a Palace Cinema in Heath Hayes we’re also not familiar with, and we wondered what readers could contribute to the knowledge on that one?

The Palace Cinema, Heath Hayes. What do you know? Image kindly supplied by Reg Fullelove.


So please folks, can you expand on this topic please? If you have anything to add, please do: Comment here or on social media, or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Thanks to David and Reg, and to Ned Williams too, whose fine work set the course for this thread.


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8 Responses to Tubs of blood and lost palaces

  1. David Evans says:

    The Bloodtub as you call it was Hollaways traveling theatre, which was held maybe once or twice a year where Mr Smith had his forge where he shoed horses, this is how Smith’s Forge got its name. These are just a few things we had in Brownhills years ago, in MY life time,. Two railway stations, four bowling greens, Hussey, Brownhills WMC, Sankey WMC, Mutton, two cinemas, Old Palace, Regent, our own magistrates court our own Police station, fully manned between six and ten police, two on patrol all the time, if I used bad language I would tell you what we have now.

    This is Geoff Harringtons comment he kindly put in the facebook page so I have pasted this to the blog. , My thanks to Geoff .

  2. Frederick B lYCETT says:

    So, what asbout Benny Yates’s club, ?

  3. imay be wrong but if i remember yates club was in the boat club by the turf island as we called it yates boat dock there was a yates lived up coranation road walsall wood in a double fronted house near the picture house he was a very notable man

  4. Reg Fullelove says:

    just a bit of early morning nostalger can any one remember when the magersery courts were her held in the memorial hall whe n you could be find ten bob for showing a chink of light in the black out the court furniture was stored in a room to the left of the stage the dock etc what a different crime scene today how sad the world has become the most popular bobby was bobby sawyer respected by young and old and feard in his own special way god bless him

  5. davidoakley says:

    The Yates that Reg remembers from Walsall Wood was Benny Yates, a well-known Walsall Wood character who kept a club in Brookland Road for many years, prior to World War 2. The club was a single-storey brick building and was very popular, locally. and was situated on the other side of the road, before he moved across the road, on retirement, where he lived in the house vacated by the Percival family, as Reg states. on the corner of Coronation/Brookland Road. In my opinion, one of the nicest houses in Walsall Wood. The club was then taken over by Nellie Clawley, formerly from Nellies Cafe in the High Street, another cherished Walsall Wood character.

  6. Frederick B Lcett says:

    Thank you David Oakley, the club by the Turf Island, Reg. mentions, was the brainchild of Jim Yates, (Yates Bros. boat builders and haulage), Jim was an old friend of both myself and my father, I remember going into Benny Yates club as a child with my parents

  7. Reg Fullelove says:

    hi mr oakley memories are made of this dear nelly clawleys cafe a watering hole for gas board electric workers council workers and transport lorry drivers from the steel works of the north to the black country a familiar in those days were lorries heavanly loaded with steel crawling slowly up sanhills inl low gear hopeing shire oak lights were on green when they got there on to the best sausage cobs i n the countrey and a mug of good brew god bless

  8. Reg Fullelove says:

    with grate respect to mr yates in my mind ihave carried a lolvely tale it appears he had a spaniel dog who he used to take with him when he went fishing he would cast his line into the water then have a snooze the dog would dedicatly watch the float and bark when there was a bite to me a lovely simple story which has stayed in my mind fo many many years

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