Aerial views of the Bull Stake, Walsall Road, Darlaston Road, and Wednesbury

In May 1965 while testing a new camera, Bill Beddow had the good fortune to be allowed to take photographs from the top of the nearly completed John Wootton House and Great Croft House. His lovely photographs allow us to look back to a time when Darlaston was still a successful industrial town, and people flocked to the town centre on a busy Saturday to spend money in the long-gone, and fondly remembered shops.

A fine view of the Bull Stake and Walsall Road with a Wolverhampton Corporation trolley bus turning back into Pinfold Street in readiness for its return journey to Wolverhampton.

On the extreme right in Darlaston Road is a Walsall Corporation motor bus waiting at the bus stop before continuing to Walsall.

Across the road is the bus stop for Wednesbury.

A close-up view of the Bull Stake, taken as a number 37 Walsall Corporation bus turns into Walsall Road on its way to Walsall.

In the background on the right is the well-known tobacconists, The Spot.

At the bottom is the old street lamp that burned-off toxic gases from the sewers. When the island was replaced by traffic lights in 1977 it was decided that the old lamp should be preserved, and moved to the bottom of King Street.

Unfortunately the cast iron standard had almost rotted away and could not be salvaged. The lamp itself was tragically broken, and so a replica was made, and mounted on an old British Electric Traction Company tram pole. It can still be seen today at the bottom of King Street, by the library.

Another view of the Bull Stake and Walsall Road.

In the centre near the top is the Victoria Inn, which a few years ago was demolished and replaced with terraced houses.

In the distance on the left is All Saints' Church and F. H. Lloyds' James Bridge Steel Works.

This view of the Bull Stake shows the yard at the back of the Old Castle Hotel, and the backs of David Jones & Son's corn and animal food shop, and Thomas William Baker's butcher's shop.

In the foreground is Great Croft Street which like the pub and shops already mentioned, would soon disappear with the building of St. Lawrence Way.

On the opposite side of Darlaston Road is the Wednesbury bus stop with a queue of people waiting to catch the bus.

To the left of the bus stop are the offices of the Pearl Insurance Company, and to the right is Terry Ratcliffe's gents hairdressing shop, and a row of terraced houses.

A final view of the Bull Stake which shows the back of Appleyards' shop, and a tall thin workshop. It was possibly the last surviving gunlock makers workshop in the town.
A view along Darlaston Road that shows the extensive Servis factory and offices.

Sadly the factory has recently been demolished.

Another view of the Servis factory.

Just behind in Bright Street is the premises of the Darlaston Bolt and Nut Company.

This photograph includes a couple of the large factories where many local people worked.

On the right is Samuel Platts Limited at Kings Hill Foundry. Platts produced a wide range of specialised machinery, examples of which could be seen in many of the local factories.

In the middle distance is the massive Old Park Works, which for many years were owned by the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company.

In 1949 the factory was purchased by Metro-Cammell and became part of the Metropolitan Cammell Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited.

Products included electric locomotives, railway coach bodies, railway wagons, and pressings of all kinds for the other factories in the group.

A close-up view of Old Park Works, and Church Hill.
A fine colour view of St. Mary's Church, and St. Bartholomew's Church on Church Hill.
Another view of Church Hill behind the houses in Manor House Road, and Lime Road.

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