Life at the Close of the Century

In 1887, Darlaston's first sewage works opened at Bentley, but it still took another 40 years before sewers were laid in all of the streets, so the old fashioned privies, and the night soil men prevailed. At this time Darlaston was a thriving town, with plenty of shops catering for all of the population's needs. King Street had a look of affluence that has now been forgotten. The shops in King Street were listed in Kelly's Directory for Staffordshire in 1885, some of the more interesting ones were:



Type of Business

1 Lucy Corbet Milliner
2 John Walk Outfitter
3 George Butler Boot & Shoe Maker
4 George Cartwright Fruiterer
5 Thomas Share Boot Maker
6 William Hitch Poulterer
8 Elizabeth Hawkes Tobacconist
9 British & Colonial Butcher
10 William Kinsey Clothier
11 William Powell Grocer
12 George Haynes Butcher
13 Vincent Wilkes Florist
14 Philomon Giles Green Grocer
15 Henry Bayley Pork Butcher (lived next door at no.16)
17 John Westmorland Baker
18 & 19 Wm. Clifford Peach Draper
20 & 21 Mary Butler Chemist
22 Zachariah Simkin Boot and Shoe Maker
23 & 24 Alfred Wilkes Haberdasher
25 Samuel Bridgewater Provision & Hay Dealer
26 Abraham Kimberley Ironmonger & Tinsmith
27 Thomas Penrice Master Butcher
28 Mark Marston Sweet Shop & Gun-Lock Filer
29 & 30 Dog and Partridge Public House
31 Anne & Saphina Sansom Private Girl's School (Poplar House)
32 John Mosley Price Printer, Bookseller, Newsagent, & Stationer
33 Samuel Dangerfield
Rebecca Dangerfield
Relieving Officer - Darlaston area
Corset Maker
34 Eli Granger Fishmonger
35 James Harris Grocer
36 James Watts White Lion public house
37 John Thomas Fishmonger
38 Ellen Anne Wright Post Office
39 Mary Baker Ironmonger
40 Francis James Mills Boot Dealer
41 John Wilkes New Inn public house
43 Mrs. William Small Dress Maker & Milliner
44 Frederick Warren Queen's Head public house
47 Edward Teece Poulterer
50 Samuel Jacques Boot Repairer
51 Richard Pickerell General Dealer - Holloware, Toys, Tea etc.
52 Joseph Griffiths Hosier
53 Star Tea Company Grocer
54 & 55 William Harrison Draper
56 William Parker Druggist and Chemist
57 Richard Cotterell Waggon & Horses public house
58 Alex MacMillan Draper
59 Robert Hall Pawnbroker
60 Samuel Partridge Doctor and Medical Officer of Health
In those days most things could be purchased here and so there was little need for anyone to shop elsewhere.

Next to the Black Horse pub in Pinfold Street was the shop of William Winn; grocer, wine and spirit merchant. In the early 1890s he purchased an electricity generator, and was one of the first people in the area to have electric lighting. He let it be known when the lights would be switched on, and people flocked from miles around to see them. He was a very successful businessman and did a record trade at this time. He lived at Ilmington in Crescent Road, which was, and still is one of the most splendid houses in Darlaston. He was a member of the council, and made a gift of the trees in Crescent Road to the town.

Members of the Darlaston branch of the National British Women's Temperance Association. The association was founded in 1893 as an offshoot of the British Women's Temperance Association, but began to suffer from falling membership around the time of the First World War. In 1926 it became part of the National British Women's Temperance Association Union. From the collection of the late Howard Madeley.

The Church of England also had a temperance society, that met at St. George's Church. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

The British Women's Temperance Association met in the Temperance Hall in High Street, which by 1887 had been taken over by the Salvation Army. It is seen here, awaiting demolition in the early 1970s, in readiness for the building of the original ASDA store.

Pinfold Street and the Bull Stake in the late 1950s. The Old Castle Hotel and most of the buildings on the far side of the street disappeared when St Lawrence Way was built in the early 1970s.

An advert from 1916.


An advert from 1906.

An advert from 1916.

A shop on the corner of Gladstone Street in about 1896. It was run by the Yates family and in the doorway is Elizabeth Yates. Courtesy of Ian Beach.
Victoria Road in about 1910. The scene has changed very little since the photograph was taken. In the centre on the left is the Swan Hotel which still has the original windows The one on the far side facing the Town Hall still bears the name of Samuel Canlett who was the landlord in the late 19th and early 20th century. He also ran a pork butcher's business from the pub.
Rough Hay House, which must have been the oldest house in Rough Hay. It stood on the northern side of Rough Hay Road, about 50 metres west of the junction with Willenhall Street.

From the collection of the late Howard Madeley.

Darlaston manufacturing companies, listed in Peck's 1896 to 97 Circular Directory:

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19th Century People