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Moxley Memories By Terrence Mills

I felt motivated to write down some random memories of places around my tine in Moxley and maybe it will evoke memories in others who were around at the same time. For brevity I have been selective in what I have recalled here of places that may have more common factors than just some more personal ones.

I lived at 43. High Street Moxley in a terraced house from 1955 the year of my birth to 1967 when we (mom dad and myself) were re housed at Dangerfield Lane in Darlaston. due to a compulsory purchase order made upon the three terraced houses in our row.

At the end of our row was Mr Bird's shop who seemed to just about sell everything and ai one time used to make deliveries on his bicycle. At the end of the same row as us was Bob's sweet and grocery shop which had chewing gum and Gob stoppers' vending machines outside. Just on the opposite corner was Len Wilde's shop which sold petrol, oil. paraff in and hardware. I always remember my dad buying puncture repair outfits from there. Just further down approaching ‘Jobe's cafe was a fruit and vegetable shop we knew as ’Sams', as he kept a horse in the field behind his shop that we knew as ‘Sam's field.'

Adjacent to our row of houses was the ‘Moxley Arms' pub were we used to take any empty bottles of beer or pop to get a penny on the bottle for each one. which was a fortune for us as it was the old currency Opposite us was Mr Charles' fruit and vegetable shop who displayed his produce in open wooden boxes tilted at an angle, and measured out your purchases using the old weights and scales.
On the comer of the Moxley Arms car park was Boden's fish and chip shop, where there was a gorgeous aroma whilst waiting in the queue for your fish and chips wrapped in old newspaper, and if you were lucky you could have some batter bits' thrown in at no extra cost. Continuing down the street towards the cenotaph was Ellis's sweet shop which had an exquisite smell of sweets and chocolate.

Further on was Malcolm's at the comer of Queen Street who sold Bicycles, Prams ans such like, but what I recall most fondly was the splendid display of' Standard" and Brocks' fireworks just prior to Nov 5th. Other shops in that vicinity were Pages' butchers. Kidson's general store, a hairdresser and Barratt's sweet shop. Over the rood was another larger fish and chip shop which specialised in battered chips. Next door was Broom's newspaper shop who always had a magnificent display of Corgi and Dinky cars in the window. At the end was Butler's electrical shop, which I found fascinating as it always seemed to be full of TVs and radios scattered everywhere that he was in the middle of repairing, and he often used to come to your house to repair you radio or T.V or replace a valve. Further down the road as we walked along towards Moxley Primary School we passed a tiny post office, the ’Swan' pub and some public toilets. Returning back towards were we lived and going down Foundry St leading into Castle View Road was ‘Gordon Terrace. Just beyond that was the old ‘Gas Yard' which had an old Gas lamp and a few cottages set back from the road One particular character was an old lady whose window opened on to the street, and if you happened to be there at the time she opened it would ask you to go and fetch her 'Menex Snuff from Bird's shop where upon she would give you 2d.

I hope these brief reminisces have given a flavour of a little bit of the times and that they may strike a chord with other readers.