Shopping expedition to the high
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