Wolverhampton once had its own directory that covered many aspects of life in the town, in the form of the Wolverhampton Red Book and Directory, published by Alfred Hinde, from 1892 until 1960.

The directories were mainly published annually, but some of the editions were biennial.

There were sections on Wolverhampton’s history, a chronology, details of the council and council departments, along with council services, council committees and council-run organisations.

There were also details of local schools, churches, clubs and institutions, a trades’ directory, lists of prominent private residents, adverts and photographs.

There were over 50 editions, all of which sold well.

The rights were purchased by Kelly’s Directories Limited and the first Kelly’s Wolverhampton Directory appeared in 1961.

Alfred Hinde began trading on Snow Hill in 1843. The earliest reference I have found is in Melville & Company’s 1851 Wolverhampton Directory, which is as follows:

The company is also listed in Jones Mercantile Directory of 1865, by which time the business had moved to 44 Dudley Street. It is listed as: Alfred Hinde, bookseller, stationer and printer. The shop also sold foreign stamps.


Two pages from the 1892 Red Book.


Two adverts from 1897.

Alfred Hinde opened a printing works in Clarence Street, called the Clarence Street Printing Works and became a limited company in the early 1920s. The firm printed all kinds of stationery and printed and bound many books. It was also well known for its local maps.

In the mid 1980s the printing industry started to change, with the birth of digital printing, which rapidly began to replace the old techniques. At this time, Alfred Hinde Limited went into liquidation. An official receiver was appointed on the 16th November, 1987. The company had been trading for 144 years.

A notice that appeared in the London Gazette on the 10th December, 1987.

Photos and adverts from the Red Books:

The 1892 Edition

The preface from the first Red Book and Directory, produced in 1892.

Two adverts from 1892.

An advert from 1892.
An advert from 1892.

Two adverts from 1892.

The 1897 Edition

The New Post Office. From the 1897 Red Book.

High Green, now Queen Square, in 1860.

Queen Square in 1867.

The School Board Offices in Stafford Street.

The Higher Grade School.

A laboratory in the Higher Grade School.

The Central Hall in the Higher Grade School.

The Free Library Reference Room.

The Drill Hall in Stafford Street.

The Female Refuge, Wadham's Hill.

Darlington Street Wesleyan Chapel.

20th Century Editions:
Pre 1920s   1920s and 30s   1940s and 50s

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