The High Street runs North to South and follows the route of  the Old Turnpike Road. The first buildings appeared along both sides of this road, and spread out to the East and West as the area was developed. This road would be the busiest in the district, both as a transport link and as a shopping and business area. By 1950 this ½ mile stretch of road had over 150 shops which included some, 15 butchers shops, 4 bakers, 6 shoe shops, 4 banks and branches of Woolworths, Foster Bros., Halfords and Boots. There was also room for 2 churches, 3 pubs, a Post Office, Police Station, Railway Station, a Library and 2 garages.


The Library was built 1905 it cost £3,000 which was paid for by Andrew Carnegie Trust . The foundation stone was laid  1st August 1905.

Shops opposite Station Road looking towards City. Greens operated here until the 1930’s.

Looking in the same direction from the opposite side shows Station Road junction

The Parade and the Kingsway Picture House

The cinema was opened 2nd March 1925. Its neo-classical style was designed by Horace G Bradley who was responsible for a number of Birmingham cinemas and theatres. The first film shown was “Down to the Sea in Ships” with Clara Bow. It had seating for 1364 patrons in ground floor stalls and an upper circle, it also accommodated its own orchestra.

It closed as a cinema 3rd May 1980, the final film was “The Bermuda Triangle” with John Huston and a documentary feature “Encounter with Disaster”.

It reopened as a Bingo hall in 1982.

It has now closed again and awaits it’s next fate




Darlaston’s newsagents I brought my copy of The Dandy and The Beano here every week during the 50’s, just on the left hand side The Kingsway

©  COLIN BAKER   2007