On Friday morning I put the previous day's washing away, wrapped up a couple of overnight eBay sales and did the final Wii Fit workout of the week. After our fruit & yogurt Jon nipped back out to the post office which, thankfully, had reopened and once back we headed into town.
We walked down the Hill of Doom and through Park Street (the main shopping centre) and up to Stafford Street, the location of another of Walsall's blue plaques, this one attached to the former home of anarchist and founder member of Walsall Socialist Club, railway clerk Joseph Thomas Deakin (1858 - 1937), whose arrest and susequent trial following an alleged bomb plot in 1892 was to become the most famous trial in Walsall's history. Recent research has revealed that the bomb plot was orchestrated by Auguste Coulon, an agent provocateur of Special Branch Inspector William Melville, who would go on to be an official of what would later become M15. Despite no explosives ever being found, Deakin was sentenced to five years imprisonment where he became a librarian at Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight and self-educated himself with the help of William Morris and George Bernard Shaw. After his release he returned to his home in Stafford Street (above his sisters' millinery shop) and became secretary of Walsall's Communist party, joining the Labour party in his later years.
Second To None, home to many a blogger meet-up over the last decade. Sadly, like all our non-essential shops, closed for the foreseeable future.
Despite being boarded up for years, The Prince Blucher still bears its 19th century Art Nouveau details with dingity. It took its unusual name from Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher who led the Prussian army at the Battle of Waterloo.
At the apex of the gable are the initial NWB in terracotta relating to the North Worcestershire Brewery who constructed the property. We had a few very weird nights in here back in the 1990s.
247, Stafford Street: Sportio, the place to get your designer terracewear in the 1980s, was originally the offices for the Amalgamated Society of Harness Makers and was also used as a boot, shoe and clog-makers in the late 19th Century.
146, Stafford Street: Dating from 1870, the former Abraham Lincoln public house is a two storey red brick building. On the first floor the bay has an elaborate oriel window with curved glass sections with narrow sash windows to either side. The decorative floral relief in terracotta has President Lincoln in stylised script. The Abraham Lincoln ceased being a pub in the 1940s, it is now a furniture shop.
236 - 238, Stafford Street: A pair of Georgian townhouses, converted into shops in the late 19th century. The first storey window still have their regency era lintels. The hand-painted Orantips Tea advertisment dates to the 1940s.
Friday's tea was haloumi with roast peppers, onions and potatoes and, along with our rum and cola, we watched another couple of episodes of The Investigation as well as the latest instalment of Rebecka Martinsson:The Arctic Murders.
On Saturday Jon got up, made tea and we lay and read in bed until 8am. By the time I'd got downstairs after stripping and changing the bed and putting the upstairs houseplants in the bath to soak, the forecasted snow had arrived. Jon made sausage sandwiches whilst I sorted the laundry and put some more plants in the utility room sink to soak.
After breakfast I swept the upstairs rugs and dusted our bedroom. After a romp around the garden first thing, these two showed no interest in leaving the house.