~ Gallery - Shops ~
Lake Street, Lower Gornal
Lake Street had a selection of small shops mostly clustered around the Five Ways, some still remain, most notably the stone built single storey shops which have now become the Newsagents/Post Office situated next to the Funeral Directors (The Five Ways Inn). The newsagents was a butchers shop belonging to the Cornmell family in the early 1900s.
In the 1950s, one of the two single-storey shops was owned by Joe Littlewood, bicycle shop, and adjoining wasJohnson's Butchers Shop.
Lake Street also had another pub The Swan, since demolished, and two chapels, St.Pauls the most prominent and Lake Street Methodist, both still having congregations.
In the 1911 Census, there were many living in Lake Street that were occupied in the building trade, carpenters, joiners and bricklayers.
Today, many people from outside the area will be familiar with this street, as since the 1970s, the Driving Test Centre for the Dudley area was based here.
The Gornal Driving Test Centre closed on Wednesday, 15th of May, 2019, and has been relocated to Newton House, The Pensnett Estate, Kingswinford, and so ends the Lake Street relationship with the 'L' plate.
The old Post Office and general store, 4 (57) Lake Street
photo CDM 2014
A Post Office has existed around the Five Ways since the mid-19th Century, in 1865 Edward Ratcliffe was Post Master (Jones's Mercantile Directory), Joseph Thomas was recorded as Post Master in 1896 & 1904 (Kelly's Trade Directory) at which time the Post Office appears to have been situated in Church Street.
Joseph Thomas also produced local postcard views, including one of the Church and another of the Vicarage.
This was also the Telegraph Office for the area, there was a telegraph office in Lower Gornal as early as 1875.
The P.O. is shown on maps in the period 1920-1950 and was operating from the shop on the lower side of St. Pauls Church in Lake Street, this was also a general store. The P.O. was run by the Wharton family in the 1950s.
The Post Office moved to a lock-up shop in Ruiton Street during the 1960s-90s before moving to back to its present position in Lake Street where it is integrated with the Newsagents.
C.D. Fields butchers shop awaiting its fate 2019.
[Photo CDM]
C.D. Field's old butchers shop, 9 Lake Street with abattoir at the rear.
This family business was started by Daniel Field in 1902, in 1911 census he is married with wife Sarah, and young Son Cyril Dan Field.
Daniel Field's son, Cyril (C.D.Field) developed the business into a well known chain of butchers shops, they had several shops in the area, with the slaughter house located at the back of the Lake Street butchers shop.
By the 1950s, Fields had butchers shops in Clarence Street, Upper Gornal; Bull Ring & Dudley Road, Sedgley; Stone Street, Dudley; High Street, Brierley Hill and Victoria Street, Wolverhampton.
The butchers shop in Lake Street, closed in the 1980s, the meat wholesale side of the business continued from the premises until it's recent closure.
All the other branches have now closed, last shop in Sedgley Bull Ring closed in 2018.
In 2019, the extensive Lake Street site is awaiting residential redevelopment.
See also shops on the Five Ways, and shops in Ruiton Street.
A number of Edwardian dwellings lining the North side of Lake Street remain, some of these previously had their downstairs rooms turned into shop businesses.
A similar number of terraced dwellings lined the South side, these were slightly older Victorian terraces and were demolished during the 1950-60s slum clearances, modern buildings now line this side. `
House numbering: odd numbers appear on the North side, even numbers on the South side.
Another extract from Mr John R. Stenson's book entitled "Looking Back - Do you Remember? The Salop Street area on to the Five Ways Lower Gornal 50 Years Ago". Here he recounts some of the shops and folk in Lake Street in the 1950s,  between the Methodist Church and C.D. Field's butchers shop, these extracts included with his kind permission.
"Returning to Lake Street Methodist Church, the buildings on the right hand side were much as they are today. Just after two red bricked houses with bow windows at the end and a large entry in the middle was a single storey building with a large window. This was Burrows the printers shop. They were very obliging trades people and would go out of their way to help you.
Two Houses away was a shop where I would be sent by my grandmother for groceries that she did not stock herself. This was David Beardsmores. I remember climbing the boundary steps and and then one step up into the shop. David in his brown cow gown and with his lilting Gornal accent was a pleasure and obliging gentleman. His shop was much bigger than my grandmother's and was always well stocked.
Two doors away at No 35, behind a small wall and up a couple of steps was Mary Ann Turners drapers shop which appeared a little high class. The next door house which brought you to the end of the block was the shop of Mrs Massey, a very pleasant lady who sold a miscellany of goods.
A Gornal stone wall with an entrance gate that led to a building which lay back came next, which brought you to the next row of houses. The last one in the row, No.11 was Samuel Beardsmore confectionary shop. There was then a small space where Mr Cash, a carpenter made coffins and then you came to one of the best butchers in Gornal. Cyril Fields shop was always busy...."
This was once was Jim Bradley's Fish & Chip Shop, now a private dwelling. [photo 2019]
In this next snippet, Mr Stenson describes the chip shop at No 93 and two other nearby shops.
"The right hand side of Lake Street was much as it is today. A row of six houses standing back from the pavement, with neat little front gardens and walls, brought you to a building which protrudes to the front of the pavement. This was No.93 and was known affectionately as Blind Jims. It was a fish and chip shop where Mr and Mrs Bradley offered a very obliging service, there being a coal yard here as well.
Then after a few more houses lying back at an angle, an open space brought you to two pairs of red bricked ones. It was here that we would sometimes catch the Midland Red bus back to Dudley and as we waited, we would look into the two shops that were there then.
Hannah Pinnington kept the drapery store at No 73. Hannah always seemed a little standoffish as distinct from Millie Ashton, a lovely lady with a ready smile who kept the general grocers and confectionery shop next door."
The following businesses were trading in Lake Street in 1891 [Census]
1. James Marsh, baker & grocer.
42 & 43. David Flavell, grocer.
47: Enoch Hickman, fruiter.
The following businesses were trading in Lake Street in 1911 [Census] 1912. [Kelly's Trade Directory]
1. Joseph Hickman, shopkeeper.
4. William Cash, carpenter.
This property appears to have been split up into three dwellings, at 4b, Thomas Bailey, Police Constable lived there along with family and another Police Constable; Henry Rock.
9. Daniel Field, butcher.
Daniel Field died in 1937.
32. Martha Russell (Mrs), fruitier.
55. Benjamin Nock, greengrocer.
  Martha Beardmore (Mrs), shopkeeper.
  W. Burrows & Co., Printers.
  Mary Jones (Mrs), greengrocer.
  Ann Oakley (Mrs), shopkeeper. (Nr. 19?)
  Thomas Collins, shopkeeper
At No.44 in 1915. [Elect. register].
  David Collins, shopkeeper
  Abram Cornmell, butcher.
The following businesses were among those trading in Abbey Street in 1916 [Kelly's Trade Directory]
Daniel Field, butcher.
Martha Beardsmore (Mrs), shopkeeper.
Thomas Collins, shopkeeper.
Abraham Cornmell, butcher.
David Hyde, shopkeeper.
Joseph Jeavons, shopkeeper.
Enoch Jones, greengrocer.
Benjamin Nock, greengrocer.
Martha Russell (Mrs), fruitier.
Mary Ann Turner (Mrs), draper.
William Barton Worton, stationer & Post Office.
The following businesses were among those trading in Abbey Street in 1921 [Kelly's Trade Directory]
Martha Beardsmore (Mrs), shopkeeper.
Thomas Collins, shopkeeper.
Abraham Cornmell, butcher.
Daniel Field, butcher.
Joseph Jeavons, shopkeeper.
Enoch Jones, greengrocer.
Mary Jane Nock (Mrs), greengrocer.
Martha Russell (Mrs), fuiterer.
Mary Ann Turner (Mrs), draper.
The following businesses were among those trading in Lake Street in 1924 [Kelly's Trade Directory]
7. Sarah Louisa Thomas (Miss), shopkeeper.
34. George Massey, shopkeeper.
39. Margaret Beardsmore, shopkeeper.
71. Harry Aston, shopkeeper.
73. Hannah Pinnington (Mrs), shopkeeper.
93. James Henry Bradley, coal dealer.
Thomas Collins, shopkeeper.
Abraham Cornmell, butcher.
Daniel Field, butcher.
Joseph Jeavons, shopkeeper.
Enoch Jones, greengrocer.
Benjamin George Massey, shopkeeper.
Mary Jane Nock (Mrs), greengrocer.
The following businesses were among those trading in Lake Street in 1928 [Kelly's Trade Directory]
30. Thomas Collins, shopkeeper.
33. George Massey, shopkeeper.
34. Enoch Jones, greengrocer.
39. Margaret Beardsmore, shopkeeper.
60. Sarah Ann Collins (Mrs), shopkeeper.
71. Harry Aston, shopkeeper.
73. Hannah Pinnington (Mrs), shopkeeper.
John Bunn, fried fish dealer.
William Cash, carpenter.
Mary E. Cornmell, butcher.
Joseph Jeavons, shopkeeper.
Benjamin George Massey, shopkeeper.
Mary Jane Nock (Mrs), greengrocer.
Daniel Field, butcher.
Mary Ann Turner (Mrs), draper.
The following businesses were among those trading in Lake Street in 1936 [Kelly's Trade Directory]
Mary E. Cornmell, butcher.
7. Joseph Littlewood, cycle agent.
8. Sarah L. Thomas, shopkeeper.
9. Daniel Field, bucher.
11. Samuel Beardsmore, confectioner.
30. Emily Collins (Mrs), shopkeeper.
33. George Massey, shopkeeper.
35. Mary Ann Turner (Mrs), draper.
60. Sarah Ann Collins (Mrs), shopkeeper.
64. Sarah Nock (Miss), shopkeeper
71. Henry Aston, shopkeeper.
73, Hanah Pinnington, shopkeeper.
39. David Beardsmore, shopkeeper.
93. James Henry Bradley, fried fish dealer.
John Bunn Jones, fried fish dealer.
The following businesses were trading in Lake Street in 1940. [Kelly's Trade Directory]
Advert c1968
3. Emily Collins, shopkeeper.
5. J. E. Johnson & Son, butchers.
7. Joseph Littlewood, cycle agent.
8. Sarah L. Thomas (Mrs), shopkeeper.
This shop was in one of the cottages next to St.Pauls Church, at right angles to the road.
9. Cyril [Dan] Field, butchers.
11. Samuel Beardsmore, confectioner.
Died 13 August 1942, occ. retired sand merchant. London Gazette 1942
33. George Massey, shopkeeper.
35. Mary Ann Turner (Mrs), draper.
39. David Beardsmore, shopkeeper.
64. Sarah Nock (Miss), shopkeeper.
71. Henry Aston, shopkeeper.
73. Hannah Pinnington (Mrs), shopkeeper.
93. James Henry Bradley, fried fish dealer.
Mr & Mrs Bradley's fish 'n' chip shop, known affectionately as 'Blind Jims'.
  John Bunn Jones, fried fish dealer.
  William Burrows, printers.
Shops and business trading in the 1950s-1960s...
Advert 1964
  Harry Jones & Son, newsagents.
8. Sarah Thomas, greengrocer.
9. C. D. Field (Butchers) Ltd.
11. Samuel Beardsmore, confectioner.
30. Emily Collins, general store.
33. Mrs Massey, general store.
35. Mary Ann Turner, drapers shop.
39. David Beardsmore, grocer.
43. W. Burrows (Printers) Ltd., general printers.
64. Sarah Nock, greengrocer.
71. Millie Ashton [Aston?], grocers & confectionery
73. Hannah Pinnington, drapery shop.
93. Mr & Mrs Bradley, fish & chip shop.
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