Market Street, Kingswinford is today a much different place than it was a hundred years ago. It has changed quite significantly with the passing years.
The Old Post Office
The Old Post Office was located on the corner of Market Street and Park Street. In the early part of the 20th century it was operated by Mr Fellowes. He was known as 'Bottley' by his employees. The mail was delivered to the post office by road then delivered on foot to the local district. Notice the local 'bobby' getting his picture taken. The old police house stood almost opposite the post office. Later the post office was to be managed by Mr Wilson.
The 'Grand' Picture House
The 'Grand" picture house first came into being in January 1920 when it was converted from the old Market Hall. During the 1950's it was 9d in the stalls and 1s.0d at the back. The toilets were out the back and were a pleasure to visit! Children used to climb over the wall from Summer Street to get into the 'flicks' for free. The 'Grand' finally shut its doors for the last time in 1964.
Harry Bennett was not only the proprietor of Bennett's Hardware but he also ran an undertakers business. He built himself a nice modern bungalow which still stands to the right of the new Kingswinford library. The hardware business was later taken over by Mr Paskin. Mr Paskin came from Wall Heath. Later the shop was demolished for redevelopment and Paskin moved his store into High Street, opposite Penzer Street.
Piddock's Drapery Store
For many years the Piddock family ran a very successful Drapery business in Market Street, Kingswinford. Mr Piddock was the first man to have a modern automobile in Kingswinford. One of the more colourful characters who was employed by Piddock's was Mr Dickie Lee, a stout chubby man who was a real 'charmer' with the ladies of the village. Dickie lived in Glynne Avenue. Mrs Lee also worked as a shop assistant at Piddock's. The Piddock's, who lived in Moss Grove, also had a workroom located in the row of houses opposite Fens Farm in High Street.
Rutlands West End Stores
Rutland's West End Stores was a popular place for many years with the wine connoisseurs of the village. In 1947 Mr Bob Knott was the proprietor of the Rutlands West End Stores. Until the early 1920's, it had been managed for many years by an ex-policeman, Mr William Myatt. Mr Myatt then ran a store next to the Cottage Inn, High Street, before retiring with his wife to Clevedon, Somerset, shortly before World War 2.
Slaters Chemist was located in Market Street, halfway between Summer Street and Kingswinford Cross. Mr Slater purchased the shop and the adjoining property from a Mr Heslop in 1886, two years before he qualified as a pharmacist. The front lower storey of the house was used as the pharmacy and store room. The family used the rest of the property for their living accomodation. The property, parts of which dated back to the late 18th century, was sold and demolished in the early 1960's.