A BIT GRAINY they may be, but these images of bygone Brierley Hill and Kingswinford are still able to do the job of awakening fond memories of times past.
Our thanks to Bernard Stokes of Wombourne for loaning them to us. Bernard grew up in Kingswinford and worked as a youth for the High Street butcher Les Corbett, whose premises are shown in the first picture.
Slaughterhouse The Corbett family lived in a house on the left of the shop, and the slaughterhouse was at the back.
Bernard, though only aged eleven or twelve and still at school in the daytime, worked under the auspices of slaughterman Jim Spittle, who lived in Albion Street, Wall Heath.
The shop next door to Corbett's in the photograph, advertising Players cigarettes, was a cobbler's belonging to Ralph Brooks.
Not too far away from these shops was the old British Oak pub on Stallings Lane, which at the time of one of Bernard's other photographs, was about to be closed down and replaced by the new British Oak, which is still with us today.
Its distinctive sloping roof is yet to go on in the picture; the walls are going up and the window spaces are visible beneath the scaffolding.
The remaining two photographs are of old Brierley Hill public houses. The Five Ways is pictured in, we think, the forties or fifties, on what looks to have been a fairly dreary day in winter; the road is wet and there are no leaves on the tree to the right of the pub. A small crowd is gathered in front of the pub against the steel railings, while one or two shoppers are making their way along the High Street off to the right.
Hotel The other pub shown is the Horse Shoe Hotel, which also stood on the High Street. But while the Five Ways was an Ansell's house, the Horse Shoe served Mitchells & Butlers.