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Lichfield Street

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.

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