A view of the Wesleyan chapel and the minister's house. On the left is W. E. Cownley's haircutting and shaving saloon which is still there today.

The chapel, which opened in 1810, had a large burial ground at the back, and an adjoining school.

The photograph was taken in the early 1970s just before the buildings disappeared. Demolition work had already begun on the house.

Today it is the site of Wesleys Fold flats.

Another view of the derelict chapel taken a little earlier.

The building on the right is the Wesleyan Sunday and Day School, originally one of the largest schools in the town. In 1888 it catered for 238 children and 160 infants.

The school was erected in 1846 to the design of Mr. G. W. Green and built by Mr. Thomas Adams at a cost of £439.19s.6d.

Another view of the chapel, the school, and the once-familiar, and popular shops in Pinfold Street.

On the right is the Black Horse pub, frequented by the town's horse racing fraternity.
The shop on the far right was owned by William Winn and had the first electric lighting in the town.

A final view of the chapel, photographed as demolition got underway.

It had been enlarged in 1876-7, and had an organ built by Abbott and Smith of Leeds at a cost £512.10s.

In 1907 the building was renovated, and electric lighting replaced the old gas lamps.

After closure, the congregation moved to Slater Street, and Great Croft Street Methodist chapels.

On the left is the Wesleyan school, and on the right  is Select Carpets run by Mr. R. Tedstone. Next right is Gladys's Corner Shop that stocked household items and ornaments.
The shops on the other side of Pinfold Street look very different today.

In the early 1970s when the photograph was taken, they were very popular and successful.

Many of the shopkeepers were household names, and well respected members of the local community.

On the far right is a cleaners, belonging to Wolverhampton Steam Laundry. The fish and chip shop next door is run by W. and M. Smith. The shop in the centre, called Toppers, had a snack bar and sold sweets, cigarettes, and tobacco. It was a well-known and popular haunt for teenagers in the 1960s. The shop on the left is occupied by local photographer Len Bayley. For many years it was the town's most successful photographic shop, often known as Aston's, because from 1900 to 1940 it was run by the well-known Darlaston photographer John Aston, under the name of Aston's Studios.
Another well-known Darlaston shopkeeper was Len Mitchell who had four shops in Pinfold Street.

On the left is his cycles and accessories shop which stocked items made by  Raleigh, Dawes, Hercules, and  B.S.A. etc. On the right is his pram ship which sold children's prams and toys.

Len Mitchell died in 1987 at the age of 88, and is still fondly remembered. The shops closed in 1982 because of a scheme announced by Walsall Council to extent St. Lawrence Way through the shops to Darlaston Road. The scheme was soon abandoned, and the buildings still survive today.

In the centre are Len Mitchell's other two shops. To the left is his fashion and jewellery shop, and to the right is his television, radio, and cycles shop, where he sold and rented radios and TVs made by Bush, Murphy, Philips, and Pam. On the left of Len's fashion and jewellery shop is Boynton & Sons butchers, one of the best in the town.

The eastern end of Pinfold Street looking towards The Bull Stake and Walsall Road. On the left is the Mercia Building Society that originally opened as the Darlaston branch of the Wednesbury Building Society on 29th July, 1954.

A colour view of the Bull Stake and King Street. On the extreme left is Middleton's records and nursery furniture shop. Middletons sold children's toys of all kinds, prams, nursery furniture, and vinyl records.

Another view of the Bull Stake and King Street. Across the island on the left is William Hill's betting shop; the Cabin Café, a popular meeting place for breakfast, tea, coffee, hot pies, sandwiches, and snacks; Decorarte, which specialised in curtains; and Sketchley's dry cleaners.
The view looking from the bottom of King Street towards the Bull Stake.

On the right where the library now stands is an empty shop, next is Dewhurst's Butcher's shop, then an unnamed shop that sold picture frames, and ornaments, and on the extreme right is  Phillip's chemist shop.

During the demolition of Phillip's shop in January 1988, an original 17th century timber-framed building was discovered beneath the Victorian brickwork.

Another view of the western side of King Street. On the extreme left is the Hitachi TV-Radio shop, and Firkins the bakers. Firkins had vacated the shop and moved across the road in readiness for the demolition of the older properties. Next door is Lipton's supermarket and four doors along is Boots the chemist, which soon moved across the road to its current location.

A final view of the lower end of King Street, taken on a very wet day. On the left is the popular fruit and vegetable shop, G. L. Bedworth & Sons Limited, at the time the largest shop in the town.
Further up King Street on the eastern side was J. Underwood's shoe shop.

Underwoods were well-known suppliers of high quality shoes.

On the right, past the two empty shops is Burtons the gents' tailors, the best local place to go for a made to measure suit.

Another view of the eastern side of King Street. On the right is Hancox & McCarthy's jewellers shop, with an empty shop next door that was previously occupied by Stantons the bakers.

On the left of Underwoods is Darlaston Market, previously Bakers ironmongers, then Percy W. Salt's butchers shop; and Woods Radio, a television sale and rental shop.

On the opposite side of the street, on the corner of High Street is a row of derelict shops. On the left is John Adey's butcher's shop which moved to the opposite side of High Street, where it was taken over by W. D. Jowett and Sons.

Next door is R. Lewis's animal food shop, which  specialised in dog food, bird food and fish food; then Boynton & Sons' butchers shop; and J & K Butchers.

At the top of King Street on the left is Stanburys' gents outfitters and tailors, a very old and well-established business.

Next door is A. F. Parsons, a newsagent, followed by two derelict shops, the Discount Centre, and M. Bakers.

On the right is Winestores (Darlaston) Limited which sold wines and spirits.

A final view of King Street, as seen from the end of Church Street.

Looking into Victoria Road from Church Street.

A view that has hardly changed in forty years.

On the right is the wool shop, which is next door to Mary Anne's general drapery shop.

In the centre is The Swan pub.

A winter view from the early 1970s of St. Lawrence's Church.

There has been a church on the site since the 12th century. The original church, which was built of wood, had a wooden tower until the early 17th century, when it was rebuilt in stone.

Later in the 17th century, after a disastrous fire,  the church was rebuilt  using salvaged material.

It was rebuilt again in 1807 in brick, in a plain style, and rebuilt in stone in 1872.

The final version of the church appeared in 1905-7 with the rebuilding of the spire, and the addition of a new clock, added at a cost of £3,000. In 1931 a church hall was built at the western end of the church.
The old electricity sub-station in Church Street built by the M.E.C., the first company to widely distribute electricity in the Black Country.

The building still survives, but much of the ornate stonework has been removed.

When electricity came to Darlaston in the late 1890s it was supplied by two companies; The Midland Electric Corporation for Power Distribution Limited, in Church Street, and The Blast Furnace Power Syndicate, which quickly disappeared. In 1898 the M.E.C. was granted Provisional Orders to supply a number of the local towns, including Bilston, Brierley Hill, Cradley Heath, Darlaston, Kingswinford, Old Hill, Tipton, Wednesbury and Willenhall. The first company to get Statutory powers to distribute electricity over such a large and varied area. A power station was built on 14 acres of land at Ocker Hill to supply the power. It stood near to a coal mine, and by the side of the Birmingham Canal. Sub-stations were built at Bilston, Brierley Hill, Darlaston, Old Hill, Tipton and Wednesbury. Some local councils including Tipton and Wednesbury decided to distribute the power themselves, whereas others left it to the Corporation.

Darlaston's 'folly' in New Road. In an attempt to extend Darlaston 's shopping area the local authority built a row of shops in New Road. Unfortunately the plans used by the builders had been copied back to front, and the building itself was built back to front. The building remained empty until the early 1970s, when it was demolished to make way for the original ASDA supermarket.

Derelict shops in High Street in the early 1970s, just before the whole area was redeveloped for the building of the ASDA store. On the left is The Spinning Wheel, a craft and model shop, next is Fine Footwear Repairs; then the Darlaston Council's local shop, the Bull's Head pub; a clothes shop; and Jowett's fruit and vegetable shop.

The Salvation Army Citadel in High Street, built by the Darlaston Salvation Army Corps, founded in 1882 by two lady officers, Captain Nellie Moore and Lieutenant Agnes Reynolds. The building, originally known as the Temperance Hall, and later the Salvation Army Barracks, was demolished in the early 1970s.

The United Methodist Church that stood in Great Croft Street. Built in 1852, it could accommodate 500 worshippers, and survived until the early 1970s when the whole area was redeveloped.

The Bradford Arms, known locally as "The Frying Pan" because it was home to the Frying Pan Club. The club met on Sunday nights, when each member had to bring along their badge, shaped like a frying pan. If anyone forgot to do so they had to pay a fine. A password had to be known, and any member caught lighting their own cigarette, or lifting their glass of beer with their right hand, also had to pay a fine. The money raised from the fines went to local charities. A different chairman was elected each week, the symbol of his office being a top hat and chain, with a pendant in the shape of a frying pan.
An interesting row of houses that stood by the canal in Moxley Road. It is likely that they were built by the canal company. Some, if not all, must have housed company employees.

Behind the first three houses was a stable for the horses that pulled the boats along the canal.

The Swan pub that stood on the opposite side of the canal in Moxley Road.

The old Darlaston Nut and Bolt works on the corner of Cemetery Road and Kendricks Road, known locally as "Bogie Wilkes". It received its nickname because the factory was a very dark and scary place, and people used to say 'beware of the bogieman', a frightening imaginary being.

Darlaston's factories prospered after the coming of the railway. The Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance steam-powered railway line, that ran from a junction with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, to Birmingham, passed alongside the factory. It's importance can be seen from the factory's original name, the Grand Junction Works.

The Railway Tavern in Cemetery Road. It was next to James Bridge Railway Station and became well known for flooding. On many occasions it ended-up several feet under water when the nearby River Tame burst its banks. It stood in a hollow and became known as 'The Hole'. After lying derelict for a short while, it was demolished in November 2010.

The Rubery Owen factory alongside the Walsall Canal.

The local carnival was a once-popular event in the town, which became confined to the history books. It briefly reappeared in the early 1970s. The first carnival for many years took place on Saturday 15th July, 1972 and was a great success.

This photograph is from the 1974 carnival, held on 13th July.

Another view of the 1974 carnival procession, on its way to George Rose Park.
The 1975 Darlaston carnival queen Linda Leyton and her attendants; Sue Harrison and Elaine Padmore.

A Black Country Sunset. In the distance is the furnace belonging to Bradley & Foster Limited, at Darlaston Iron Works.


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