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Anyone recognise Smethwick wedding day guests?

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 18, 2014

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THANK you Black Country Bugleand your brilliant readers letters, plus Mr Kelvin Atkins most moving letter to you about his "Prefab childhood in Smethwick", from the 1946 era.

It was this letter which motivated me to reply about the history of his birthplace address, from 1911 until October 1940, when it was destroyed in a heavy bombing raid during the Second World War.

It left my Gran Hall (nee Colins) and just five of her very young unmarried daughters homeless until they were re-housed into Slatchouse Road, near Warley Wood, in 1945.

My letter was headed "My Spon Lane family tree from 1890", and I was overwhelmed with the responses from people from all over the country (thank you Kelvin for your lovely maps).

I enclose two wedding photos taken on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1941, at St Paul's Church, near the junction with Mallin Street, Smethwick, with my Mom's sister Hilda Hall, who married Raymond Norton, and I would be extremely grateful for any readers identifying my uncle Ray Norton's wedding guests, because his home address recorded on his marriage certificate, read George Street, West Smethwick, although he was born and bred in West Bromwich, where he made his marital home after his demob.

I also have a photo copy of all the 22 public houses, from the Oldbury Road to Dartmouth Square, West Bromwich, during the 1940s/50s and I can boast about delivering wholesale groceries to the masses of grocery shops and pubs in Spon Lane, with my legendary uncle Don Beech, from 1955 to 1959.

My most poignant touching memory responses from my letter to you about my Spon Lane family tree not only reunited me with my Mom's generation survivors, but with masses of my childhood generations from Princess Road, Warley, and I cannot describe my emotion when all those lovely people congregated outside St Mark's Church, Thimblemill Road, to meet my youngest brother's funeral cars and attend his service.

I was assisted by these ex Warley pats to organise a reunion at my local club on Thursday, June 6, last year and there has been a lot of interest with it being organised again this year on Thursday, June 5, from 11am until 3.30pm.

If any ex Warley pat is interested please contact me.

Mr & Mrs Bobby Slater,

16 Bearwood Road,


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