More Images of Wolverhampton from Old Postcards
by Bev Parker

Parts of old Wolverhampton have changed to such an extent that they are almost unrecognisable today. Luckily, over the years, many photos of the old town have been reproduced on postcards, which give us a 'snapshot' of life in the past. I have included a variety of images, some of streets that have hardly changed and others that are now very different.


An early view from the bottom of Chapel Ash, looking into Merridale Road, with Compton Road on the right. On the left is the Old Bell Inn. The white building on the corner of Compton Road has a sign above the front door, carrying the name 'The Crown', suggesting that it is a public house. Unfortunately I cannot find any reference to it. The small single storey building next door was a telegraph and post office. In the background on the left is the spire of the Presbyterian Church, built in 1869. It was on the corner of Merridale Road and Lord Street.

The view from the end of Compton Road, looking towards Chapel Ash. The Old Bell pub in Merridale Road is on the right, next to a variety of small shops.

Looking towards Chapel Ash and its junction with Tettenhall Road and Bath Road. On the left is the the old cab drivers' shelter and a couple of parked cabs, waiting for a fare. On the corner of Bath Road is Clarke's Carriage and Motor Works that was established by Edward Clark in 1843, to produce carriages and carriage wheels.

A view of Chapel Ash from Tettenhall Road in the 1950s. On the right is the shelter, and on the far side of the road is the Alexandra Hotel, on the corner of Clifton Street. The spire of St. Mark's Church can be seen in the distance.

A fine view of Darlington Street from the early years of the 20th century. In the distance is a Wolverhampton Corporation Tramways tram on its way to Tettenhall. It used the Lorain system with electrical contact boxes in the road, between the rails. Some of them can just be made out in the photo. On the right is the new Methodist Church that had opened a few years earlier in 1901. On the right is a fine row of shops with an archway by the street light. This led to a yard at the back that contained Cogent cycle works and a malthouse.

Another view of Darlington Street from the early years of the 20th century. There are two Wolverhampton Corporation Tramways trams, one on its way to Tettenhall and the other returning to the terminus. In the distance is St. Mark's Church.

A view from the late 1920s. On the left is Johnson Brothers' dyers and cleaners shop, and on the right is André et Cie, seller of confectionery and chocolates. A few doors away is a prominent Opticians' sign, outside the premises of H. Howard Limited at number 95. St. Mark's Church is very prominent in the distance. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.

A 1950s view of Darlington Street with T. W. Phillipson's tobacconists and Weiff Brothers fashion shop on the right. On the left is Montague Burtons' tailors and Beatties.

Looking into Victoria Street from Worcester Street at the beginning of the 20th century. On the right, at the junction with Cleveland Street is the Mitre pub, which closed in 1975 and has now been demolished. A few doors down in Victoria Street is Mrs. Ezra Tyler's boot and shoe shop. On the left at the junction with Salop Street is Henry Price's fruit shop and a few doors away, the Victory Boot Company.

Victoria Street in the 1960s. On the left, at the junction with Salop Street is the Red House (Wolverhampton) Limited, outfitters. Next door is Lloyds Retailers Limited, radio dealers, followed by the British Bata Shoe Company Limited, T. H. Baker, jewellers, and Taylors' bakers shop. A few doors down is Aldridges Restaurant that was previously in Lichfield Street, opposite the old post office. On the extreme right is Ideal Cleaners, Meesons Limited, confectioners, and C. D. Field, butchers.

Queen Square in 1902. The track for the Lorain trams, which can be seen from Lichfield Street, just right of centre to the bottom left-hand corner, had just been laid, initially for the Wolverhampton Art and Industrial Exhibition in West Park, followed by the section along Tettenhall Road to Tettenhall via Newbridge. At the time, the Royal London Building, which can be seen behind the Art Gallery, was nearing completion. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.

A slightly later view of Queen Square showing many forms of public and private transport. There are two Lorain trams, a horse-drawn cab and a horse-drawn omnibus, one of the last of its kind, which was operated by Thomas Bakewell. There is also an early motorcar and a couple of bicycles.

A view of Queen Square from about 1930. At the time, Lew Lake, the actor and writer who had a touring variety company, was appearing at the Hippodrome, as he did on many occasions. In the distance is the Queens Cinema. Before traffic lights were installed in Queen Square, there was usually a policeman on duty controlling the traffic, at the busy road junction.

Queen Square in the 1950s. Across the road is Currys radio and television shop, next door to Cope's Wine Lodge which would shortly close. In the foreground are the underground public toilets.


A fine night-time view of Queen Square in the 1980s. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


A daytime view of the previous photograph, taken around the same time. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


A postcard advertising the services of Thomas and George Russell, whose shop at 20 Dudley Street opened in about 1900 and had closed by 1925. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.

A fine view of the Central Arcade and Dudley Street in the early 1960s, before the building of the Mander Centre. On the left is a seed merchant's shop run by John E. Knight & Son, and on the right, on the corner of Bilston Street is Foster Brothers Clothing Company Limited, men's and boys' outfitters and tailors. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.

Dudley Street in the 1970s, before the disastrous fire in the Central Arcade on the 20th May, 1974. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


Dudley Street in the 1980s, after pedestrianisation.


The Town Hall in the 1970s, before work started on the Civic Centre. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


The old site of the outdoor market, between the Wholesale Market on the right and the Retail Market on the left, where the Civic Centre is today. It was also occasionally used as a fairground. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


St. Peter's Church in 1905. The sign advertises the Wolverhampton Old Church Bazaar. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


The interior of St. Peter's Church, looking towards the chancel, with the eagle lectern and the pulpit. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.
A close-up view of the stone pulpit and the carved figure of a lion at the foot of the steps, to protect the Minister.

Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


St. Peter's Church and gardens on a fine summer's day in the early 1960s. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


St Peter's gardens and the Art Gallery in the mid 1970s. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


A view of Princes Square and Lichfield Street in the second half of the 1930s, from the Royal London Building. The recently installed pedestrian barriers, designed and built by Steelway at Monmore Green in 1934 can be seen in the foreground and a set of early traffic lights is on the right. The Criterion Hotel, which became the Valhalla in 1976 is also on the right.

A late 1920s view of Princes Square from the opposite direction, looking towards the Art Gallery and Barclays Bank. On the ground floor of the Royal London Building is Price Lewis & Company, ladies' and men's tailors. They were there for many years. The traffic is controlled by the policeman, dressed in white, in the centre of the square.

A view of Lichfield Street from around 1900. On the right is the main post office which opened on 29th March, 1897 and is now known as 'the old post office'. In the distance is the Grand Theatre, the Victoria Hotel, and Victoria Square. The old post office closed in 1965, when the new post office opened next door, along with sorting offices in Horseley Fields, Whitmore Reans and Wednesfield.

A view of Lichfield Street from 1902. The new tram lines had been laid and the Royal London Building was nearing completion.

Wolverhampton's previous bus station, which opened on the 26th October, 1986. In 1990 the Queen's Building became part of the bus station complex. The bus station closed in April 2010 and was replaced by the existing bus station, which opened in July 2011. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


A busy Broad Street Basin on a fine summer's day. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.


Snow Hill in the early 1900s. On the extreme right is the corner of the Agricultural Hall, with the Central Library in the background. The library officially opened in March 1902 and looks much the same today. The pub in the centre is the Corn Exchange, which opened in 1861 and closed in 1931. When the photo was taken, the licensee was Nathaniel Ash. Next door is J. T. Pinson's, ice cream and confectionary store, and on the left is George E. Brown's Ironmonger's shop. The statue on the far left is of Charles Pelham Villiers, M.P.

Looking across Coalway Road into Church Road, Penn, in about 1905. The track in the foreground led to Coalway Road Playing Fields, where many local football teams played. In the distance is St. Philip's Church, which opened in 1859. Courtesy of Ralph Hickman.

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