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Family link to Walsall lock makers

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 17, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • The Walsall Lock Company, c.1920. Florrie Adkins, née Dugmore, stands third right

  • Wedding of Ernie Adkins and Florrie Dugmore in 1930

  • Florrie, aged 16

  • Elizabeth Dugmore with the twins

  • Ernie Adkins

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IN OUR May 22 edition we printed a mystery photograph sent in by John S. Neary of Solihull. He knew nothing about the picture but thought that it may have been taken at works in Walsall and asked readers if they could provide any details.

Once again, our readers have proved that they are a mine of information and Joyce Gough of Cheslyn Hay has contacted us after spotting her husband's aunt and uncle in the photograph.

Joyce writes, "I believe that the photo was taken at the Walsall Lock Company. Standing third from the right is my husband's Aunt Florrie, née Dugmore, and on the extreme right, I believe that the man wearing the overalls is either Florrie's husband-to-be Ernie Adkins or Ernie's brother.

"I enclose a wedding photo of Florrie and Ernie, who were married in 1930 when Florrie was 26 years old. Ernie's brother is standing next to him in the photo.

"Florrie was the eldest daughter of George and Elizabeth Dugmore. She was born in 1904, one of twins, but sadly her sister Selina died in 1904.

"Florence, always known to myself as Auntie Florrie, grew up in the Birchills area of Walsall. She was later to be joined by three sisters, Ivy, Freda and Olive and five brothers, George, Harry, Ernest, Leslie and Stanley.

"Florrie met Ernie while they were working at Walsall Locks.

"Unfortunately Florrie lost one of her fingers while working on a press at the firm. Ernie worked at the firm all of his life, never quite retiring and always going into work some days up until he passed away; he even appeared on TV on a documentary walking into the office delivering some papers.

"I remember Florrie and Ernie as both being quiet and gentle people.

"I am told that Florrie's sisters Freda, the bridesmaid seated left, and Ivy, the bridesmaid seated right, also worked at Walsall Locks, Ivy working in the office.

"My mother-in-law Olive, the other bridesmaid, was the only sister who did not work at Walsall Locks. Olive was an extremely gifted seamstress and she worked in various jobs in the leather industry.

"Her final job was putting the finishing touch to fine leather coats at a firm called Adastra. Olive worked the buttonholes, which was a very responsible job as one mistake would ruin a very expensive coat.

"I think that Florrie looks about 16 on the mystery photo and I enclose a photo of Florrie around the age of 16 and another of Elizabeth Dugmore with twins Florence and Selina."

Have you any more information on the Walsall Lock Company or have you your own family photographss to share with Bugle readers? Contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle.co.uk, or write to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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