In Ed­war­dian days

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - By DAN SHAW

tea fan­cies, birthday, wed­ding and Christ­mas cakes” as well as its “wellap­pointed tea room for af­ter­noon teas and light re­fresh­ments.”

Fred W. Biggs was a phar­ma­cist with a shop at 151 High Street. As well as dis­pens­ing pre­scrip­tions, patent medicines and de­vel­op­ing photographic plates and films, he sold Biggs In­fant Preser­va­tive and Biggs Pre­pared Malted Food for “Peace­ful nights, happy days, joy­ful moth­ers.” An­other line in his ad­vert reads, “If you want to feel well and en­joy life take Biggs Din­ner Pills. One pill is a dose. One box lasts a month.”

Wil­liam Henry War­rilow also had a shop in the High Street with a “large and com­plete stock of ev­ery kind of footwear to se­lect from,” in­clud­ing “hunt­ing and livery boots.” He also had “first class work­men” in his re­pair depart­ment with only the best ma­te­ri­als used.

There was an­other busy win­dow dis­play at Clarke and Simis­ter, at 150 High Street. They were “prac­ti­cal tai­lors, hat­ters, hosiers and general outift­ters” who of­fered “one price to all – and all goods marked in plain fig­ures.”


Sa­muel Fid­dian’s Stour­bridge Iron­mon­gery and Im­ple­ment Stores oc­cu­pied the Longcroft Build­ings in the High Street. He sold “ev­ery de­scrip­tion of general iron­mon­gery, builders and car­pen­ters tools” with “farming im­ple­ments and fit­tings of all prin­ci­pal mak­ers kept in stock.” And he had a team of “com­pe­tent men for gas and elec­tric work, tele­phones, san­i­tary and general re­pairs.”

A rar­ity to­day, but a com­mon sight in pre­great War days, when horses still largely ruled the roads, was Clarence Luke Tay­lor’s Stour­bridge Corn Stores in Mar­ket Street. The out­side of his premises were dec­o­rated with slo­gans for a wide range of an­i­mal feeds and the pho­to­graph shows a cou­ple of drays loaded with sacks of meal. C.L. Tay­lor sold hay, straw, cut chaff, oats, beans, bran, poul­try corn, pi­geon feed and a range of brand names goods long for­got­ten to­day, like Thor­ley’s Lac­t­i­fier, Old Cal­abar, Beach’s Gruel for horses and Ovum chicken food.


The dis­cern­ing gentle­man would find all his es­sen­tial req­ui­sites at Dun­ham and Co., “prac­ti­cal hat­ters, hosiers, glovers and shirt­mak­ers,” in the High Street. They of­fered “the lat­est styles in shirts, col­lars, ties, vests, pants, gloves, hose and half hose, braces, um­brel­las, etc.” Their shop win­dows were filled with hats and caps on one side and shirts on the other.

Ladies could shop with Miss El­iza Gough at 130 High Street. Her shop front was quite mod­est but in­side she spe­cialised in ladies’ blouses, corsets, hosiery and gloves and “chil­dren’s millinery, cos­tumes and pelisses.”

The re­de­vel­op­ment of Stour­bridge town cen­tre re­moved many of th­ese old premises all to­gether and those that have sur­vived have had their street level fa­cades changed so much as to make them all but un­rec­og­niz­able to­day. But do read­ers have a con­nec­tion with any of th­ese old busi­nesses and can tell us some more about them? Please email [email protected]­coun­trybu or con­tact the Bu­gle at the Dud­ley Archives Cen­tre, Tipton Road, Dud­ley.

Dun­ham and Co hat­ters and hosiers

Miss E Gough ladies and chil­drens out­fit­ters

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