Businesses in the High Street, Cradley in the 1920s and 1930s



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Sam Taylor - a sketch by Dan O'Driscall.

The Cradley Then & Now group's Sam Taylor has searched his memories of the businesses and major buildings in Cradley's High Street back in the 1920s and 1930s.

We have compared Sam's recollections with the contents of the Kelly's Directory 1924. There is a remarkable coincidence of names and trades, confirming that Sam's memory is very sound indeed. There are a few cases where a name or business is remembered by Sam but not recorded by Kelly's, and vice versa. However, most of the differences are accounted for by the fact that not all businesses chose to be represented in the Directory. Moreover, the Directory is a snapshot in time (1924) whereas Sam's memory is of a period.

In a small number of cases Jill Guest has added snippets of information or queries, and these are indicated in italics.

It is interesting to note that there are just two businesses with a telephone number: Jones & Lloyd are "TN 33" and the Talbot Hotel is "TN 100".

We have presented the information in two tables, the first for the east side and the second for the west side of the High Street. In both cases, we start from the river Stour, the boundary between Cradley and Cradley Heath, and work our way up the hill towards Colley Gate.

Many of these shops, and their proprietors, were still trading in the 1950s and 1960s, and even later. However, today Cradley does not have a High Street. The entire length has been renamed Colley Lane, a continuation of the street of that name. Ostensibly the re-naming was to avoid any confusion with other High Streets in the district, although it is a sad fact that today (2007) and for some years now, the old "High Street" shops are mostly gone and local shopping is almost a thing of the past.


Table 1 - Cradley High Street, east side



Sam Taylor's memories Kelly's Directory 1924
Coming up Cradley on the left hand side from the River Stour, starting at the entrance to Little Hill
Bridge Inn
Homer Annie (Mrs), Shopkeeper, 86 High St
Jones and Lloyds, Chain Works Jones & Lloyd Ltd, Anchor manufacturers, Scotia works & Cradley Forge, TN 33
Black Swan P.H. Robinson Alice (Mrs), Black Swan, 80 High St
Clift Henry, haberdasher, 76 & 78 High St
Bread and cake makers, Dentith Dentith James Baker, 72 High St
White Horse P.H., D Batham Dunn Hezekiah, Beer Retailer, 70 High St
Shop Sweets, ? Bate George, Shopkeeper, 68 High St
Newsagents and Stationery, Chambers Chambers Thomas Henry, news agent, 6? High St
Fish-wet, Warwick
Robin Hood P.H., Tromans Jevons A, beer retailer, 52 High St
Holly Bush P.H., Cotterel - Hickman Spicer Frank A, Holly Bush P.H., 50 High St
Shoe Shop, Jewis Jewiss Alfred, boot & shoemaker, 48 High St
Fish Inn, North - Hall North Thomas, Fish Inn, 46 High St
Greengrocers, Williams Williams John, Greengrocer, 44 High St
Grocers, White, Taylor White & Taylor, grocers, 42 High St
Drapers, Dallows Wassell Clara (Miss), Draper, 40 High St
Lloyds Bank Ltd, 38 High St (hours 11-2 Tues & Frid)
Post Office, Christophers Christopher Alice (Miss), Post Office tobacconist, 36 High St
Hill Alfred, Registrar of births & deaths for Halesowen subdistrict, 36 High St
Sweet Shop, Bate Bate Elizabeth (Miss), shopkeeper, 34 High St
Butchers Lane
Clothes Shop, Stringer Stringer James, Draper, 32 High St
Coal Gleads, S Bloomer
Sweet shop, Abis Abis Charlotte (Mrs), shopkeeper, 18 High St
Robinson John, carpenter, 18 High St
Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Rabbits, J Genner Genner J, Fishmonger, 20 High St
Clothes Shoes, Raybould Raybould Harold, boot dealer, 16 High St
Bills Clara (Mrs), Wardrobe dealer, 14 High St
Cobblers Johnson Bert, Boot repairer, 8 High St
Butchers, E Hodgetts, J Hodgetts Hodgetts E, Butcher, 2 High St
High Town, Mapletree Lane
Old Crown Inn, D Provit, J, Jinks, R Jinks Proffit Daniel, Beer Retailer, 2 High Town
Fish and Chips, S Goodwin Goodwin S, Fishmonger, 60 Mapletree Lane
Sweets Ice Cream, Walter Hodgetts
Willetts Confectioner, then offices for H Reece (Chainworks)
Rates Office. Before Library was built (Allotments where Library now stands, Rates office now private house further up) Bird Edwin, assistant overseer, rate collector & Clerk to Parish Council, 40 Colley Lane.
Infants School Colley Lane, built in 1902 and enlarged in 1911 for 255 children, Miss Ruth Lucy Wright mistress
Police Station, before the Community Centre County Police Station, 32 Colley Lane, Walter Henry Wright, sergeant in charge, 2 sergeants & 4 constables


Table 2 - Cradley High Street, west side



Sam Taylor's memories Kelly's Directory 1924
Coming up Cradley on the right hand side from the Stour
Corn Mill
Mill Street
Grocers, Blunt Blunt Felix, Grocer 19 Bridge st
Fish and Chips
Round House
Lyde Green
Wesleyan Chapel (Trinity)
Fruiter, Gad, Hickman
Bethesda (Primitive Methodists)?
Walker Solomon, Shopkeeper, 63 High St
Miscellaneous shop, Millward called Tinkalary's Millward Bertram, hardware dealer, 47 High St
Rose and Crown, Mop Boxley Boxley Fred, Rose & Crown P.H., High St
Fish and Chips, Lears Leah John W, Fried Fish dealer, 41 High St
Head Frank, confectioner, 39 High St
Southall Walter, Grocer, 35 High St
Warr Willam, Greengrocer, 29 High St
Draper, Raybould Round & Nichol, Drapers, 27 High St
Barbers, Flavel Flavell George, Hairdresser, High St
Chemist, ? Harris Emily (Mrs), Drug store, 25 High St
Second Hand, Pictures, furniture, Gill Gill Alfred, Furniture dealer, 21 High St
Worton Emma (Mrs), Confectioner, 19 High St
Butchers, Tidmarsh Tidmarsh Samuel J, Butcher, 15 High St
Shop, Miscellaneous, ? Southall Joseph, china & glass dealer, 13 High St
Talbot James, Draper, 11 High St
Pawnshop, Rollinson, Taylor Rolinson William, Pawnbroker, 9 High St
Robinson Howard, Painter, 7 High St
Robinson Stephen, Boot repairer, 7a High St
Plant William, Fishmonger, 5 High St
Old Sandstone building
Dungeon Head
Mens Urinals
Memorial Garden War Memorial?
Baptist Chapel
Blue Ball Lane sometimes called the Malthouse
Butchers, Harris Harris William, Butcher, 3 High St
Ironmongers, Paul Homer Homer Paul & Son, Ironmonger, 1 High St
Anvil Yard
Inage leading to Blue Ball Lane
Colley Lane
Grocers, Robinson Robinson Harriet (Mrs), Shopkeeper, 37 Colley Lane
Electrician, Steve Robinson
Greengrocer, W Cox
Grocer, Smith Smith John W, Grocer, 11 Colley Lane
Grocer, Bills Bills Alfred, Shopkeeper, 7 Colley Lane
Newspapers, Kirton
Liberal Club Liberal Club (Edgar Dunn sec), 3 Colley Lane
Large House (The Elms) Fox Miss, The Elms, Colley Lane
Girls School 422 girls, Miss Ruth Evans, Mistress
Boys School 400 boys, Thomas Allchurch, Headmaster
Talbot Hotel, Oliver, J Roper, J Bills Oliver W & Sons (of Cradley) Ltd, Maltsters, Colley Lane, TN 100


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