Shop­ping ex­pe­di­tion to the high

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - By DAN SHAW

IN last week’s Bu­gle we trav­elled back in time to the early 1900s to take a look at some of the old shops on Stour­bridge High Street.

We re­turn again to Ed­war­dian days to call at a few more busi­nesses that once thrived in that busy mar­ket town.

Our pho­to­graphs are taken from The Bor­ough Guide to Stour­bridge, Kin­ver, Ha­gley and Clent, num­ber 444 in the Bor­ough Pocket Guides se­ries that was pub­lished in Chel­tenham by Ed­ward J. Bur­row.

A copy of this book­let, which was pub­lished around 1910, has been loaned to us by David Cook­son of Am­ble­cote.

We have also found some ad­verts for a few of the shops that ap­peared in small his­tory book, Stour­bridge, Old and New by G.H. Goodyear, pub­lished by Mark and Moody in 1908.

The first shop we visit is Cookes Drug Stores, which was in what is now called Lower High Street and stood roughly op­po­site the gram­mar school, now King Ed­ward VI Col­lege. The shop sold patent medicines, rather than be­ing a dis­pens­ing chemist. It also sold a wide range of teas and cof­fees and the shop’s 1908 ad­vert lists sev­eral brand names, some of which are still avail­able to­day while the oth­ers are long for­got­ten. The shop also sold toi­letries and pho­to­graphic equip­ment, be­ing agents for Ko­dak.

In the pho­to­graph you may be able to make out the cat that sits on the doorstep.


Henry Ed­ward Haskew made a bold state­ment in his ad­vert: “Noth­ing less than an earth­quake will upset the foun­da­tion that Haskew’s have built their busi­ness on.” The shop at 35 and 36 High Street sold “heavy and fancy drap­ery” and the ad­vert went on to claim “They have no equal for qual­ity, prices and prompt­ness.”

Wil­frid New­ton Bra­zier was the pro­pri­etor of the Mar­ket Street Phar­macy, which stood op­po­site the Town Hall. He was a “phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal chemist” and made up doc­tor’s pre­scrip­tions. A 1910 ad­vert for the shop promised “Drugs and chem­i­cals of high­est pu­rity. Dis­pens­ing at the low­est prices, con­sis­tent with qual­ity of ma­te­rial and ac­cu­racy of com­pound­ing.” The busi­ness was also “the noted house for per­fumery” and sold pho­to­graphic ma­te­ri­als as well.

Bur­row’s Bor­ough Guide has a mis­print, list­ing our next shop as be­long­ing to tai­lor and gen­eral out­fit­ter I.C. Pur­chase, where, in fact, his name was James Cham­ber­lain Pur­chase. His shop was at 138 High Street and the Bor­ough Guide goes on: “At this old-es­tab­lished house of busi­ness, cus­tomers can

Above, 1908 ad­vert for Cookes Drug Store and, be­low, the shop in Lower High Street, Stour­bridge

Above, W. New­ton Bra­zier’s Mar­ket Street Phar­macy and, be­low, his ad­vert

H.E. Haskew’s drap­ery shop

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