Willenhall History Society
Shops in Willenhall
The town centre 1995
These photographs were taken in Autumn 1995 to be used in a quiz for Willenhall History Society. There are nearly 100, covering all of Market Place and Cross Street and parts of Wolverhampton Street and Stafford Street as well as a few other shops. The shops and pubs can be easily identified by name, but the location of some of them is a bit more difficult. At the time there were very few vacant shops - the Job Centre was one of those for sale! Since 1995 quite a lot of the shops have changed, though a lot still remain.
The photos have been scanned from the original negatives, so the quality is not perfect, but they give a good idea of the shops of Willenhall in the 1990s and show how things have changed in the relatively short time since then.
I have put them in alphabetical order, its up to you to work out where they were!
33, Market Place
On Wolverhampton Street. This was the Post Office for many years.
Market Place, on the corner of one of the alleys leading, at one time, to an abattoir
Bants shop near the junction of Wolverhampton Street and market Place. It was being refurbished in 1995.
Part of Barclays Bank
The famous Bell Inn, Market Place, with a bargain price beer!
Corner of Lower Lichfield Street and John Street. This building has had many functions over the years
Market Place, next to Bell Alley. Has now had a new shop front. At one time shoes were manufactured in the workshop behind the shop.
Situated in Cross Street, this was mainly a sweet shop.
The clock, before the present railings were put up to protect it from large vehicles.
A longstanding and popular shop in Market Place.
Next to 33 Market Place, this building was once a warehouse connected with the malt trade, and later a school. Davey's Locker was a popular local shop for many years.
Between the Midland Bank and Lloyds Bank. This seems to be one of the original buildings in Market Place, which has been surrounded by the Banks, built around 1900 and the 1920s.
An everyday scene for a long time - buy your Express and Star here!
Once Macmilland Drapers this elegantly curved building has survived well.
Henlys hardware shop, which survived with the same name for about a hundred years. The shop remains much the same, with the original interior, and is now called Willenhall Hardware. This is the side view.
The front of the shop, with its usual display of goods on the pavement.
Zorbas Grill, two shops down from Henlys
Cross street. This is another shop which has had a new traditional frontage built recently.
One of the few recent buildings in Market place.
The first shop in Cross Street, next to the clock.
The Lion Hotel in Upper Lichfield Street. Once a coaching inn, the bnuilding still remains but is a series of take away food outlets.
A 1920s building, which later had an upper floor added. Originally the right hand of the building was a separate shop.
M and R Green had two shops in the town centre. This one is near the corner of Wolverhampton Street.
This one is in Market Place near to the Dale Island.
Originally the Plough Inn.
Once a well known sight throughout the Midlands. As well as supplying electricity you could buy electrical goods and pay your bills at the Midland Electricity Board shops. There are signs in the window with its new name, Powerhouse, - the whiole chain of electrical goods outlets closed later.
Now HSBC, this was built as the Midland Counties Bank around 1900 but the ground floor was "improved" in the 1970s. Stil an imposing building on the Dale Island.
At the corner of Angel Passage, this shop was roughly on the site of the Angel Hotel, though the street was much narrower in those days.
Cross Street. An ealry example of the restoration of a traditional shop front.
The ground floor of the imposing Liberal Club building in Market Place, next to Angel Passage. This was part of the Macmillans shop for many years.
The Royal George on New Road, next to the Dale Island.
Wolverhampton Street. This was Shepherds Hairdressers for a short time, while the Shepherd's shop in Stafford Street was being repaired after a fire. Before this it was an old fashioned tool shop. The building was illegally demolished, being in the conservation area, and the site is currently derelict.
On the corner of Wolverhampton Street and Stafford Street, this was originally the Kings Head Public House.
Next to the Job Centre, this Switch on Shop has just moved to its new place in the following photo.
Once part of the Moores drapery shop in Cross Street.
Willenhall History Society Website 6.1.2013