A new history book about Dudley takes a different look back at businesses and individuals in the town during the Victorian era. Rather than old photographs, ‘Dudley in Old Advertisements’ features dozens of ads from the period, with interesting details about the individuals involved and the products they made or sold.
This is the second book about the town published by local history writer Paul Robinson, who has also written a number of other books about villages in South Staffordshire. According to Paul, “Over the course of the nineteenth century, there were many thousands of advertisements in directories and newspapers. They can be interesting to look at on their own, but what I’ve tried to do is combine them with details from other sources, so readers can get a better idea of the people behind the advertisements. The result is a tiny ‘potted history’ for each ad”.
The book covers manufacturers, shops, pubs, trades and professions, and gives an insight into the huge range of items which were made and sold right in the heart of the town. It also reveals how family members worked together, the surprising extent of bankruptcy and how external factors could have serious consequences upon livelihoods. A glimpse into the homes and workplaces of business people in the town also shows how they moved around and often dabbled in other trades.
The book is available at Saturday Books on Tower Street in Dudley, or online at lulu.com/spotlight/books_by_paul_robinson