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Days gone by in picture postcards

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

By John Workman

  • A view looking down Mount Pleasant in Quarry Bank in days of yore

  • Is this Frank Matthews standing outside the Royal Exchange in Enville Street, Stourbridge?

  • Members of the Cradley Boys Brigade Band

  • Heath Street, a clean looking suburban row in Stourbridge

  • The boys and teachers of Class IV at a Cradley Heath school

  • A Sunday School parades past St Luke's Church in Cradley Heath, c.1910

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THE Black Country Bugle thrives on pictures of yore and the opportunity to reveal how familiar streets or views appeared a century or more ago, how our ancestors dressed and what they got up to.

Over the years Raymond Franks from Stourport has been one of our staunchest supporters, supplying us with a regular bounty of superb picture postcards.

Raymond's enthusiasm for local history holds no bounds and he is always on the lookout for those pictures which stir the imagination and create a spirit of wonder.

They have been sent to us in the hope that they will be of interest to Bugle readers, but if any additional information to any of the photographs is forthcoming, please let us know here at Bugle House, 01384 567678, email editor@blackcountry bugle.co,uk, or alternatively email Raymond at R.1.Franks@btinternet.com.

Three of the pictures were taken in Cradley Heath/Cradley, with one, possibly a Sunday School procession affiliated to St. Luke's parish church, taking pride of place.

The assembly of men, women and mostly children gathered outside the churchyard wall are just making their way along Newtown towards the High Street, and the majority of the youngsters seem to be travelling on board a horse-drawn cart with a banner attached to the front reading "Safe in the Fold."

The trees are in full leaf, suggesting the picture was snapped in high summer. The photo was taken by E. Beech, Cradley, but the year, possibly 1910, can only be guessed at.

The picture of the band was taken by Charles E. Everitt and shows the drummers and buglers of the Cradley Boys Brigade (year unknown), and the schoolboys and their teachers were in attendance at Cradley Heath School (possibly Corngreaves) and belonged to Year IV.

Could there be a face in the class that you recognise, possibly a grandfather or great-grandfather? More poignantly, did any of the school boys or the members of the Boys Brigade fight for king and country during the First World War?

A proud innkeeper and his female companion are standing outside the Royal Exchange in Enville Street, Stourbridge, and the man in question is possibly Frank Matthews, whose name is on the board above the door.

Heath Street in Stourbridge is the clean looking suburban road with the grandparents and grandchildren from one family standing outside their home, and a neighbour with his dog standing still for the cameraman to do his job. However, the little girl in the white pinafore dress couldn't stand still.

The final view was taken looking down Mount Pleasant in Quarry Bank at a time when horses still ruled the highways and byways.

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