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The Five Ways, Lower Gornal
Shops on the Five Ways, 2008
Photo CDM 2008
Looking up Ruiton Street, most of the shops have an old appearance and some are unused.
SALE NOTICE, 1880
Dudley and District News Saturday September 4, 1880
The Five Ways was also known as 'The Greens' and was considered as central to the Lower Gornal community.
An 1832 map of the area shows that this was a four-way junction, Robert Street did not exist at that time.
The routes to Upper Gornal were either by Ruiton Street or via Deepdale Lane and Jews Lane.
The junction was formed by Lake Streeet, Church Street, Ruiton Street and Summer Lane - known locally as 'Old Spout Lane' due to the stone cisterns fed by springs that once existed at the roadside.
The black and white corner shop on the right side has been involved in many different trades, the half-timbered facade is a recent addition.
This is thought to orginally be the grocery shop of Jabez Addenbrooke, which according to the Sale Notice, the business folded in 1880.
It was Rounds Grocery Store in Edwardian times, when George Round was the proprietor. (Kelly's Directory 1912)
Ex-bookmakers shop No.1 Ruiton Street
photo CDM 2007Scene of the attempted murder of the Rev. Hooker -the Vicar of St. James Church. Local man Charles Hartland was subsequently jailed for 12 years.
Continuing along Ruiton Street on the left were some old shops nesting among a few dwellings, one recently being a sandwich shop, trading in the 1970s were Florrie Smith's clothes shop, Jean Ball kids clothes shop and Arthur Smarts greengrocer shop.
Johnny Cacks old shop adjoining the black and white building on Ruiton Street was unoccupied for a few years until it was demolished in 2010 and replaced with apartments.
See also shops in Ruiton Street, and shops in Lake Street.
The Five Ways Inn stands prominently on the corner on the opposite side and going into Lake Street is now the Post Office and Newsagents, -which in earlier times was a butchers shop.
Mr John R. Stenson in his book entitled "Looking Back - Do you Remember? The Salop Street area on to the Five Ways Lower Gornal 50 Years Ago" made many observations of the shops and folk in Lake Street and around the Five Ways, some extracts are included with his kind permission.
On the right of the Five Ways Inn, the two shops referred to.
Sketch by J.R.Stenson. ©
In this next snippet, Mr. Stenson recounts the two shops adjacent to the Five Ways Inn which are now utilised by the Post Office and Newsagents.
"After the entrance to Fields slaughter house, you came to two single storey shops, the buildings are still there. The first was Joe Littlewoods... Joe Littlewood always wore a cow gown and trilby and he repaired bicycles. He was renowned for taking buckles out of wheels. He was also an electrician and it was here I would be sent to have the wireless accumulators charged.
Johnson's the butchers adjoined. He was a stocky man who enjoyed a cigarette and was a good family butcher."
Mr. Stenson also recalls a well know 'chippie' on the corner of Church Street, this well know feature disappeared in the 1980s.......
"Just after St Pauls behind a nice Gornal stone dwarf wall, Wharton's ran the Lower Gornal Post Office and then on the corner where we came to the Five Ways, where Church Street goes off to the left, there was a green shed. This was John Bunn Jones fish and chip shop. The counter faced you as you went in with a range to the right. Amos Bunn had a fresh fish round which he sold from a horse and cart."
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