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Willenhall History Society

Shops in Willenhall

Cross Street

 
 

Cross Street used to be the main road into the town centre from Walsall and Birmingham and originally included what is now called Cheapside. It was restricted to its present length when John Street was extended and the Police Station built in the 1930s. The views above are from opposite ends of the street.

 

 

 

Near the corner with Market Place is one of the few remaining courts in Willenhall, where there were many small houses in the past. Court 2 now provides access to flats above the shops.

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 1, 2 and 3 Cross Street are clearly older buildings which have survived the Nineteenth Century rebuilding and expansion in the centre of Willenhall

In 1891 number 1 was a newsagent run by James Clinton and number 2 was a butchers shop.

3,4 and 5 seemed to be a Drapers shop - possibly Moores - and while the owners did not live on the premises it seems that some of the staff did.

 

 

 

 

 

Moores is a well remembered Willenhall shop which occupied a large part of the north side of Cross Street where the Halifax, La Vera Pizza Cafe and S F Chicken are now situated.

Here it is shown decorated for a special occasion in the 1940s or 50s.

There is still a Moores mosaic in one of the shop doorways.

Mrs Moore had an office in the back of the shop.

 

 

 

 

 

This 1960s view by Alan Braddock shows numbers 1,2 and 3 and the Moores shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two pictures on the left above show where Moores was situated.

The Candy Box is quite a longstanding shop.

The very yellow shop on the corner is now Harps.

Two excellent pictures of Hill and Longstaff's shop at 27 Cross Street and its later expanded premises at 26 and 27 Cross Street have survived.

Hill and Longstaff was a draper and clothier in the town for many years.

The picture on the left would have been taken around 1908. It shows Millie LONGSTAFF (latterly GREGORY), with her father, Robert William LONGSTAFF.

in the photo on the right are the staff

from left to right:

Florrie ATKINS (nee BROOMHALL)

Millie GREGORY (nee LONGSTAFF)

Millie JENNINGS (nee PROFFITT)

Edna KELL (nee LANGDON)

The poster on the door is advertising 'A Country Girl' by Willenhall Operatic Society.

Information from Louise De-Hayes (grand daughter of Millie)

 

In 1901 25 and 26 are listed as David Kingston, General Shopkeeper, who lived with his wife, son, brother, father in law and a visitor.

Today these two shops have changed quite a bit. You can still see the sign for Kingstons shop although it looks as though it is painted over in the Longstaff pictures above. The top floor of number 26 has been demolished, but the curve of the shop front is still there.

The location of the enamel sign above the Cross Street sign can still be seen.

 

 

 

 

The rest of the south side of Cross Street used to have two pubs where the Tender Moments shop (in green) and the Scrivens opticians are now situated.

In 1901 number 33 (Scrivens) was run as a pub by William Daniels, licensed victualler and manager helped by his wife, a barmaid and a servant. Unfortunately there seem to be trees growing out of the roof in this 2009 picture, a state of affairs which is now rare in Willenhall town centre.

The J.R. Holyhead shop was at one time a cycle shop.

The right hand picture shows numbers 42, the long lived Zorba Grill, coffee house and restaurant and 43, now Pound Plus Market Place - the shops to the left are numbered in Cross Street.

Like the Market Place Cross Street seems to be doing quite well at the moment.

 


Willenhall History Society Website 6.10.2009