This wonderful photograph of Grove's Ale and Porter Stores was kindly sent to me by Susie Clayton. She added that she believes this is James Albert Harry Grove [always in her records just as Albert] and his wife Elizabeth, along with three of their four children. The youngest was born in 1909, and he's not in the picture yet. The third child was born about 1906, so she guessed that this dates the photograph to 1907-1908. The name above the door is that of James Albert Harry Grove. Susie added that his grandfather was Richard Bateman who owned the Garibaldi pub in Stourbridge.
It really is a smashing photograph. The Grove family probably had the photograph taken just after they had the sign above the shop window painted - and they look very proud of their enterprise. The fact that James Grove went to the trouble of naming the premises to include the family name suggests that he and his wife intended to stay for some length of time. However, their stay at Percy Road was brief and by the time of the 1911 census the couple had moved to Handsworth where James was recorded as a grocer's manager. The three children in this photograph are Ivy, John and Cecil Grove. Another child, Claude, was born shortly afterwards.
The son of Tom Grove and Anne Bateman, James Grove was born in Wednesbury around 1867. At a young age he was living with the Bateman family who were running the Cross Keys in New Street, Stourbridge. Like Susie Clayton states above, the family later moved to The Garibaldi in what is now known as the Old Quarter of Stourbridge.
James Grove appeared in Birmingham's trade directories in 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910 at this address. He was succeeded by Frank Morse. Seemingly, James Grove found the lure of the licensed trade irresistible; after the First World War he was listed at the Bath Tavern in Mary Street, Balsall Heath.
This building, located on the corner of Percy Road and Forman's Road, still
stood in the 21st century and was trading as a general store and greengrocery.
The reason for the large painted advertisements was because the property enjoyed
a prominent corner position. I am not sure if the outdoor was owned by
Ansell's Brewery Ltd. but it was certainly a tied outlet. In September 1900
the brewery, on behalf of Walter John Blair Hancox, applied for the conversion
of a six-days licence into a seven days one. However, the application was
opposed by Mr. Coley, on behalf of the Sparkhill Vigilance Committee. Earlier in
the 1890's the outdoor was run by Charles Henry Hollingsworth.
"Amy Phipps, of Percy Read, Greet, was charged on a summons with obtaining
goods, to the value of 26s. 10d., by false pretences, from Mr. W. J. Reed,
haberdasher, Great Francis Street. Prosecutor stated that on the 12th of last
December the defendant came to his shop and handed him a list of articles,
saying she bad been sent by Mr. Samuel Swinbourne, of Sutton Coldfield, to fetch
them, and wanted to take them by the next train to Sutton. Knowing her as a
customer, he allowed her to have the goods. She paid 3s. 6d., saying Mr.
Swinbourne had sent that on account. The debt was repudiated by Mr. Swinbourne
when the bill was sent in June, and he stated he had not had the goods. On an
explanation being demanded of her, the defendant said it had nothing to do with
Mr. Swinbourne, as it was Mrs. Swinbourne who had the goods. As the result of
further enquiries the present proceedings were instituted. Samuel Swinbourne was
sworn, and denied having authorised defendant to order the goods in his name,
and said the articles in question had never come into his possession. Defendant,
who protested innocence, was committed to take her trial at the next quarter
"Emily Stephens, 235, Percy Road, Greet, married, was charged with assaulting
John Hopkins, landlord of the Castle Inn, Leopold Street. Mr. Bickley
prosecuted, and stated that on Monday evening the prisoner and two other women
entered the house, and on account of their disorderly conduct they were
requested to leave. The prisoner refused to go, and the prosecutor put her into
the street. In a few minutes she returned, and asked for a paper which was lying
on the floor. Prosecutor stooped to pick the paper up, and as he did so prisoner
seized a quart jug and struck him across the face with it inflicting a serious
wound over the left eye. Prosecutor and a man named Fellows corroborated this
statement. Police-sergeant Bird said that when he locked prisoner up she
admitted striking prosecutor with a jug, and said, "If the Prince of Wales put a
finger on her she should get her own back." [Laughter.] She was sent to gaol for
a month, with hard labour."
"Leonard Frederick Hunt, milk-seller, Percy Road, Greet, was summoned for
selling adulterated milk. Wiliiam Harris [sanitary inspector] reported that he
purchased some milk from defendant's shop, and on analysis found that it
contained 17 per cent of added water. The defendant said the milk was in the
same condition as when he bought it; but the magistrates considered the case
proved, and fined him 5s. and costs."
"Edith Hussey, 7½ years old, who lives in Percy Terrace, Percy Road, Greet, was
knocked down and run over last evening by a baker's cart. She sustained a
fractured jaw and other injuries, and was taken to the Queen's Hospital, where
it was deemed necessary to detain her."
"By the courage and presence of mind of Police-constable Munro, at Greet, on
Monday afternoon, what might have been a serious fatality was averted. A horse,
harnessed to a coal-truck, belonging to Messrs. Newton and Knowles, of Small
Heath, took fright in Percy Road, and came galloping down the road at a furious
rate, making for the block of buildings at the corner of Albion and Warwick
Road, where some women were seated on their doorsteps. The horse swerved from
the building, but continued running at a high speed along the footpath in
Warwick Road. A child was playing directly in its course, and would have been
crushed to death had not the policeman made a dash at the reins, and dragged the
horse into the road, at the risk of his own life. He manfully kept his hold,
though he was dragged a considerable distance before the horse was brought to a
stand, happily without harm to the policeman beyond a severe shaking."