The big newsagents, W.H. Smiths, were in Lichfield Street. They also sold
cards, pencils and pens and are in the arcade now. They were the biggest
newsagents in Wolverhampton, opposite the Grand Theatre. Then there was the
General Post Office and next to the Grand were some shops, a ladies
outfitters and a sweet shop.
The Royal London Building in Princess
Square. W. Snape, gents outfitter, occupied the shop with the three
windows, next to the main entrance on the right. Snape's most famous
customer was comedian Norman Wisdom.
|Snapes the biggest gents outfitters was in the Royal
London Building, round the corner, up to Lichfield Passage. On the
corner were the big gates that went up to the dentist. Barringtons
were also there. They produced London tea. There were coupons in the
tea and when you had so many you could have something free; tea
cloths, table cloths, things like that. They were there for years.
Kath used to go there for her mother and take the coupons from the
tea. There was a big billiard hall in Lichfield Passage, the London
Buildings Billiard Hall. There was a back place up to the billiards
hall in the passage. I never went in, my mother wouldn’t let me.
She used to say "You don’t go in there because it’s a well known place
for prostitutes", she wouldn’t allow me in. I’m sorry to say I was a
mother’s boy, I didn’t leave home till I was 29, being the only one.
|On the other side was a fella on the corner, a good
old stick, really, as was his father before him. They had a shop on
the bottom and they had printing presses. I used to know his
daughter, the youngest one who came to work at Marstons, when we
were down at Fordhouses. She died recently, I saw it in the paper.
They were printers with a hand operated printing press and used to
print a lot of stuff. They were on the corner of Lichfield Passage,
where the newsagents and corner shop is now. The Printer was named
Purcer and his daughter was Hilda. The Horseman
fountain in St. Peter’s Gardens was always going and next to it was
Barclays Bank. There was a block of offices in the same building. It
was the same on the other side of Lichfield Street, which was the
Prudential Building, insurance and things like that, and of course
there were many shops along there. Next to Lichfield Passage was a
big shoe shop.
The site of Purcers the printers.