A Time of Growth

The early years of the twentieth century were a time of growth and increasing prosperity for all of the towns in the Black Country, including Darlaston. All kinds of industries were performing well and expanding, and large factories dominated the area. Jobs were available for everyone, and as towns became more affluent, grand public buildings appeared, as did areas of better housing for the growing middle class, better schools and amenities, improved public transport, and many local shopping areas, selling everything from everyday commodities to luxury items.

For a town of its size, Darlaston did very well in this respect, with a large number of shops in the central area extending around three quarters of a mile from the northern end of Church Street, through King Street, along High Street, and along Pinfold Street to Catherine's Cross. There were also many small shops, and corner shops throughout the town, but this article will concentrate on the main shopping areas.

The Shops

The wide variety of shops included bakers, butchers, chemists, cycle dealers, drapers, dressmakers, fishmongers, fruiterers, furniture dealers, grocers, hatters, leather merchants, ladies outfitters, milliners, newsagents, photographers, restaurants, shoe and boot sellers, tailors, and tobacconists.  Some of the families who began trading around this time were there for many decades, becoming household names, such as Underwoods in King Street, the place to go for quality shoes, Kingstons in King Street, a long surviving high class butchers, Stanburys in King Street, a well known drapers, Bakers, also in King Street, for all kinds of ironmongery, Jowetts, the town's best known dealer for fruit, vegetables and fresh fish, Masons newsagents, and Bob Smith, a legend in his own time, and dealer in toys, fancy goods, jewellery, hardware, and furniture. The town centre was a busy, bustling place, with all of the sights, noise, and smells, of a busy shopping centre.

I have made a list of the shops from that time, and wherever possible have marked them on the maps below. The maps are based on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, but the position of some of the building numbers is approximate.

King Street

Until the last few years, King Street was the main shopping street in the town. It once contained houses and workshops, which were superseded by the once popular shops. Today it is a mere shadow of its former self.

Simpson Harold J. ironmonger, 1 King Street.
Appleyard Archibald Philip, draper, 2 King Street.
Butler George, boot maker, 3 King Street.
Cartwright Sarah (Mrs.), fruiterer, 4 King Street.
Winter Frank, boot & shoe dealer, 5 King Street.
Holt William H. butcher, 6 & 7 King Street.
Bayley Edward, house furnisher, 8 King Street.
Nelson James & Sons Limited, butchers, 9 King Street.
Bennett William Arthur, clothier, 10 King Street.
Withers Thomas, drug stores, 11 King Street.
Rosa Peter, confectioner, 12 King Street.
Giles Philemon, earthenware dealer and cab proprietor,
13 King Street.
Hardcastle Brothers, drapers, 14 King Street.
Bayley Ann & Mary (Misses), pork butchers,
15 & 16 King Street.
Morton George Henry, baker & confectioner,
17 King Street.
Baker J. & Sons Limited, boot makers, 18 King Street.
Mason William & Company Limited, provision merchants, 19 King Street.
Martyns Stores Limited, grocers etc. 20 & 21 King Street.
Burford John, fruiterer, 22 King Street.
Ashton Arthur, boot repairer, 23 King Street.
Jackson Joseph, haberdasher, 24 King Street.
Fortenam Horace, fishmonger and poulterer,
25 King Street.
Bradshaw William, corn dealer, 26 King Street.
Hubbard James, shopkeeper, 27 King Street.
Marston Mark, confectioner, 28 King Street.
Foulkes William, Dog & Partridge public house, 29 King Street.
Stanbury William Walker, draper & clothier, 31 King Street
Wilkes Christopher, stationer & printer, 32 King Street.
Davies Joseph, hardware dealer, 33 King Street.
Labour Exchange (H. E. W. Church, manager), 34 King Street.
Billingsley Richard, tobacconist, 35 King Street.
Wood John, White Lion Hotel, 36 King Street.
Broadhead Joseph Bernard, baker & confectioner, 36 King Street.
Burford John, fruiterer, 36a, King Street.
Peacock Albert F. shopkeeper, 39 King Street.
Lippitt Henry, butcher, 39 King Street.
Green E. (Mrs.), draper, Victoria House, King Street.
Baker J. W. & Company Limited, ironmongers, 39a, King Street.
Hall Robert & Sons, saddlers, 39a, King Street.
Salisbury A. & C. (Misses), drapers, 39b, King Street.
Hill G. & Company Limited, boot makers, 40 King Street.
Payne Ernest, hair dresser, 40a King Street.
Maypole Dairy Company Limited, tea dealers, 41 King Street.
Webb Sidney, undertaker, 41a, King Street.
Brocklehurst Aaron, New inn, 42 King Street.
Wilkins Metz, draper, 43 King Street.
Aston Arthur, Queen's Head public house, 44 King Street.
Edwards Alfred Gregory, watchmaker, 45 King Street.
Bayley Joseph Thomas, pork butcher, 45a, King Street.
Lewis Joseph, manufacturing confectioner, 46 King Street.
Stevenson Frederick, milliner, 47 King Street.
Johnston John George, butcher, 48 King Street.
Powell George, outfitter, 49 & 50 King Street.
Done John, shopkeeper, 51 King Street.
Thornburn John
, boot & shoe dealer, 53 King Street.
Day John, greengrocer, 54 King Street.
Home & Colonial Stores Limited. (The), tea dealers, 55 King Street.
Nash William John, draper, 56 King Street.
Showells Brewery Company Limited, Waggon & Horses public house, 57 King Street.
MacMillan Donald, draper, 58 King Street.
Farmer Daniel, news agent and stationer, 59 King Street.

An advert from 1921.

Church Street

Needhams Limited, chemists, 1 Church Street.
Hickton Frederick, grocer, 2 Church Street.
Lloyds Bank Limited, 2a Church Street.
Woodall Albert, tobacconist, 3 Church Street.
Bishop Charles & Son, draper & hosiers, 4 & 5 Church Street.
Read D. H. butcher, 6 Church Street.
Conservative Club (Ernest D. Wright, hon. sec.), 7 Church Street.
Lawton R. H. printer, 8 Church Street.
Haynes William Job, butcher, 9 Church Street.
Smith & Baxter, bakers, 10 Church Street.
Ash Arthur, butcher, 11 Church Street.
Foster Charles, general dealer, 12 Church Street.
Smith Robert, picture frame maker, Church Street.
Woodhouse W. saddler, Church Street.
Midland Electric Corporation for Power Distribution Limited, Church Street.
Woodhouse William & Sons, saddlers, 18 Church Street.
Brazier Albert, fancy draper, 19 Church Street.
Edwards Sarah (Mrs.), shopkeeper, 20 Church Street.
Bennett Kate & Edith Mary (Misses), pawnbrokers, 21 & 22 Church Street.
Hingley Thomas, George Inn, 23 Church Street.
Pinner A. 24 Church Street.
Wilkes Annie (Miss), registrar of births & deaths & vaccination officer for Darlaston & sub-district, 25 Church Street.
Wilkes Cuthbert T. deputy registrar of births & deaths for Darlaston, Walsall Union, 25 Church Street.
Registrar of Births & Deaths & Vaccination Officer, Darlaston sub-district, Walsall District, Miss Anne Wilkes, 25 Church Street.
Price Martha (Mrs.), shopkeeper, 26 Church Street.
Jowett William, greengrocer, 27 Church Street.
Hall Annie (Mrs.), butcher, 28 Church Street.
Robinson J. A. manager of Lloyds Bank Limited & treasurer to the Urban District Council, 28 Church Street.
Jackson G. draper, 29 Church Street.
Kingston Horace, butcher, 30 Church Street.
Hedges H. chemist, 31 Church Street.
Bentley William
, boot maker, 32 Church Street.
Purvis E. A. grocer, 33 Church Street.
Parker John, hairdresser, 35 Church Street.
Duncombe John, hairdresser, 36 Church Street.
Duncombe Mary (Mrs.), draper, 37 Church Street.
Plimmer G. 40 Church Street.
Sunderland E. general dealer, 41 Church Street.
Necheil, A. H. 43 Church Street.
Pritchard James & Son
, brewers, Darlaston brewery, Church Street, and the Bell hotel, 48 & 49 Church Street.
Green George, maltster, 50 Church Street.
Green Thomas Marshall, solicitor, 50 Church Street.
Baggott W. G. 52 Church Street.
Baggott William Winsper, shopkeeper, 53 Church Street.
Hodgson Walter, watch maker, 54 Church Street.
Green Dragon, 55 Church Street.
Tanner Caroline (Miss), draper, 56 Church Street.
Simkin Joseph, confectioner, 58 Church Street.
West John, dining rooms, 59 Church Street.
Hughes C. T. 60 Church Street.
Blackham George, wholesale and retail grocer, 61 and 62 Church Street.
Price Amos, confectioner, 63 Church Street.
Pelham Steam Laundry Limited, 64 Church Street.
Guest John, shopkeeper, 65 Church Street.
Hitch William, poulterer, 66 Church Street.
Wilkes Charles, Red Lion public house, 67 Church Street.
Juggins Elizabeth (Mrs.), tobacconist, 67a Church Street.
Platt G
. boot and shoe maker, 68 Church Street.
High Street
Ray F. hairdresser, 1 High Street.
Freeth C. and Freeth W. fruiterer, 2 High Street.
Mason George J. provision dealer, 3 High Street.
Lowe Titus, butcher, 4 High Street.
Parker Hannah (Mrs.), beer retailer, Rose & Crown, 5 High Street.
Salvation Army Hall, High Street.
Richardson Thomas, boot maker & shopkeeper, 8 High Street.
Foster Emma (Mrs.), earthenware dealer, 9 High Street.
Stevens John, greengrocer, 10 High Street.
J. Baker, antiques, 11 High Street.
Barber Joseph, draper, 12 High Street.
Harper William, shopkeeper, 16 High Street.
Butler M. H. 18 High Street.
Clifford Frances (Miss), pawnbroker, 20 and 21 High Street.
Butler & Son, screw & bolt manufacturers, 22 High Street.
Martin F. dressmaker, 26 High Street.
Fildes Leo, Dartmouth Arms public house, 28 and 29 High Street.
Wood Thomas, pawnbroker, 31 & 32 High Street.
Jacobs J. H. 35 High Street.
Brown G. grocer and general dealer, 36 High Street.
Ward A. J. Seven Stars Inn, 37 High Street.


Foster John, shopkeeper, 45 High Street.
Butler William
, tobacconist, 46 High Street.
McNulty Andrew, shopkeeper, 53 High Street.
Welch Frances Amelia (Miss), milliner, 59 High Street.
Brown William Henry, paperhanger & decorator, 60 High Street.
Johnson Edwin, beer retailer, Bulls Head Inn, 61 High Street.
Babes J. antique dealer, 62 High Street.
Grainger Henry Benjamin, fishmonger, 63 High Street.
Dudley N. fried fish saloon, 64 High Street.
Freeth Charles, wardrobe dealer 65 & 66 High Street, and greengrocer 69 High Street.
Phillips Benjamin, hairdresser, 67 High Street.
Lowe Titus, butcher, 68 High Street.

Pinfold Street
Hobson Alfred, ironmonger, 1 Pinfold Street.
Howl John, tobacconist, 1a, Pinfold Street.
Dumbleton Mary (Miss), coffee house, 2 Pinfold Street.
Sheargold Harry, beer retailer, 3 Pinfold Street.
Cotterell Thomas, tobacconist, 4 Pinfold Street.
Mason John
, newsagent, & parcels agent for the L.&N.W. Railway, 5 Pinfold Street.
Phipps Joseph, baker & confectioner, 6 Pinfold Street.
Ball Thomas, tobacconist & hair dresser, 7a, Pinfold Street.
Morgan William, decorator, 8 Pinfold Street.
Darlaston Permanent Money Society (S. Duffield, sec.), Pinfold Chambers, 8 Pinfold Street.
Singer Sewing Machine Company Limited, 9 Pinfold Street.
Brown Arthur Richard, general dealer, 10 Pinfold Street.
Fletcher Samuel, greengrocer, 12 Pinfold Street.
Aston John, photographer, 13 Pinfold Street.
Rose Mary (Mrs.), shopkeeper, 14 Pinfold Street.
Whiting Arthur, fried fish dealer, 15 Pinfold Street.
Lees Caroline (Mrs.), ladies' outfitter, 16 Pinfold Street.
Thurston Eliza (Mrs.), butcher, 17 Pinfold Street.
Newton Thomas, beer retailer, 20 Pinfold Street.
Clay John Garratt, grocer & provision dealer, 21 Pinfold Street.
Winn William, pawnbroker, 22 Pinfold Street.
Bruerton Enoch
, relieving officer, Darlaston district, Walsall Union, 24 Pinfold Street.
Relieving Officer, Darlaston District, Walsall Union, Enoch Bruerton, 24 Pinfold Street.
Smith George, tailor, 24a, Pinfold Street.
Customs & Excise Officers, Nicholas Millar, 24a Pinfold Street, & Lawrence Morton, 24a Pinfold Street.
Millar Nicholas, customs & excise officer, 24a Pinfold Street.
Morton Lawrence
, customs & excise officer, 24a Pinfold Street.
Lewis Norman Henry, pianoforte tuner, 29 Pinfold Street.
Askey Thomas
, house furnisher & cabinet maker, 30 Pinfold Street.
Booth Emma (Miss), shopkeeper, 35 Pinfold Street.
Plumb Robert Charles
, shoeing & general smith, 36 Pinfold Street.
Alien George Herbert, butcher, 37 Pinfold Street.
Jackson Edward John, shopkeeper, 40a, Pinfold Street.
Phillips William, shopkeeper, 41 Pinfold Street.
Turner William, fried fish dealer, 43 Pinfold Street.
Purcell John, shopkeeper, 47 Pinfold Street.
Davies Harry, shopkeeper, 48 Pinfold Street.
Baggott Elizabeth (Mrs.), grocer, 49 Pinfold street
Baker Mary Alice (Mrs.), butcher, 51 Pinfold Street.
Bedworth Samuel, Noah's Ark public house, 55 Pinfold Street.
Howell Thomas
, boot maker, 56 Pinfold Street.
Hallden George, boot maker, 57 Pinfold Street.
Greatrix Mary Ann (Mrs.), confectioner, 57a, Pinfold Street.
Ensell George, fishmonger, 59 Pinfold Street.
Foster Alfred, baker and grocer, 60 Pinfold Street.
Williams Herbert, beer retailer, 65 Pinfold Street.
Foster Thomas, gunlock filer & cow keeper, 71 Pinfold Street.
Brookes John (Mrs.), wardrobe dealer, 74 Pinfold Street.
Partridge Sarah (Mrs.), greengrocer, 75 Pinfold Street.
Foster Joseph, shopkeeper, 79 Pinfold Street.
Gittings Susannah (Mrs.), shopkeeper, 86 Pinfold Street.
Garratt Edward, leather seller and grindery dealer, 87 Pinfold Street.
Foster Samuel Junior, musical instrument dealer, 88 Pinfold Street.
Keay Elizabeth (Miss), fried fish dealer, 89 Pinfold Street.
Morris Eli, hairdresser, 90 Pinfold Street.
Smith Arthur
, Old Castle public house, 92 Pinfold Street.
Jones D. & W
. corn chandlers, 93 Pinfold Street.
Provident Clothing & Supply Company Limited, clothiers, 93a Pinfold Street.
Orton Thomas
, butcher, 94 Pinfold Street.

The eastern end of Pinfold Street.

The western end of Pinfold Street.

An advert from 1922.

Pinfold Street in about 1900. From an old postcard.

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