On the 1911 census, living here was William
Cox, aged 43, a Shoeing Blacksmith, born in Gloucestershire. With
him were his wife, Sarah, aged 44, with their two daughters, Ethel
May (18) and Elsie Eva (16), and their four sons, Horace William
(14), Percy Wilfred (12), Oliver Cromwell (9) and Victor John (6).
Horace was declared as a helper in the forge.
Previously, on the 1891 census, William, a
Shoeing Smith, and Sarah were living at No. 22 Alma Street, but by
1900 they were living at 95 The Green. On the previous two censuses
William had been living at Tipton.
Entries in Kelly's Directories up to the 1940s,
advertise the Coxes at the forge in The Green. On the 1939 register,
William, now 71, a Shoeing Smith, was reported at 95 The Green with
his wife Sarah, sons Oliver Cromwell (37) and Victor John (34), and
daughter Annie Mary (30). Oliver was an inside finisher of steel
railway coaches, whilst Victor was a diesinker foreman. Prior to the
Coxes arrival, the forge in The Green had already been in operation
for many years.
On the 1871 census the incumbent at No 95 The
Green was Nathaniel Thomas, aged 44, Master Blacksmith, from Clent
in Worcestershire, employing 1 man and a boy, with his wife Mary
Jane aged 42 from Arley. With them were son Alfred (13), daughter
Mary Alice (7), Edward Boughton (21) a Blacksmith Journeyman from
Worcestershire, and John Plumb (17) an apprentice Blacksmith from
On the 1881 census we still have Nathaniel
Thomas, aged 55, a Master Blacksmith , with his wife, Mary Ann, and
their two daughters, Alice (17) and Ellen (9).
Again on the 1891 census we have Nathaniel
Thomas, aged 66, a Farrier Smith, with his wife Mary Ann, (61) and
daughters Alice (27) and Helen (19), a drapers assistant.
Prior to this in 1861 Nathanial Thomas (34), a
blacksmith and his wife, Mary Ann, (31) were living in Bell Street
with their two sons Alfred (3) and Percival (3 mnths) with Henry M.
Houghton, (16) an apprentice blacksmith.
Further back on the 1841 census for Clent we
find Nathaniel Thomas aged 15 serving as an Apprentice to his father
Richard Thomas, (55), a Blacksmith. And similarly on the 1851 census
for Clent at age 24 he was described as a Blacksmith.
Finally, on the 1901 census, Nathaniel (74), a
retired farrier, was living in Wolverhampton with his wife, Mary
Ann, and daughter Alice.
On the 1911 census we saw Horace William Cox,
aged 14, at 95 The Green described as a Blacksmith’s Helper
assisting his father William with the forge operation. In July 1919,
Horace, aged 23, married Annie Worrall (23). At that time or at some
point later they moved into No.18 Beard Street, Prospect Place,
which I assume Annie inherited. On the 1939 register we find Horace,
a farrier, with his wife, Annie, living at No.18 Beard Street,
Prospect House, with their daughter Ethel Irene, a shop assistant,
and three other children. It is in the 1940s that Dennis and I used
to visit the forge at No. 95, so it would be Horace that we used to
watch at the anvil.
Some years later the forging business was moved
from No 95 The Green to Prospect House.