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Wolverhampton police surprise mission

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 25, 2014

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TWO stories in the Black Country Bugle (February 13 edition) brought back many memories for me. Firstly, the nostalgic city scenes and the cattle to market picture on page 19.

Quite a lot of cattle were received through the Great Western Railway sidings near Cannock Road, Wolverhampton. The cattle owner would be at the sidings where he would arrange a price with the drover to get the cattle to market. I think it was in Cleveland Road, I'm not quite sure now.

However, on occasions when the owner couldn't get the cattle to market on that day, he would be liable for the cost of feeding and watering them. To avoid this he would sell off these cattle for the best price.

This is where my grandfather, John Hubbard who was the cattle foreman, came into his own and he would get the cattle at a knock down price. Next day, after feeding and watering payments he negotiated with the drover to move them to market.

I don't think my grandfather made a fortune out of it, but it probably kept the wolf from the door.

The picture shows two drovers in Queens Square (the route could have been Lower Stafford St, Stafford St, Princess Sq, Lichfield St, Queens Sq, Dudley St and Cleveland Road).

The other article was about Phoenix Glass on page 20 of the same edition.

During the mid-50s – 1956 or 57? – I think there was a fire at Phoenix and once everything had been dampened down the loss adjusters came in and a lot of fire-damaged ware was scrapped into a nearby marl hole or disused sand pit.

One evening we at Darlaston Police had a call that people were going to this tip and loading wheelbarrows with the discarded Phoenix ware. The Inspector and I went to Moxley where we met people pushing wheelbarrows towards the exit – just like a line of ants.

I was told to tell them to put the glassware back which didn't go down well with the crowd. The contents of each barrow were then tipped where they stood.

Eventually order was restored and the glassware pushed into the hole. Needless to say our popularity with the locals took a turn for the worse. We were called all sorts of names.

Can anyone else remember that fire or the incident?

Peter Hubbard,

5 Fourways, Weston, Crewe.

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