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This is the place where Brummies used to chat about Birmingham old and new along with anything else that interests us. We have Quizzes, Pizzas, Local History, News, Politics, Wedding Cake, Plum Pudding, Champagne, Easter Eggs and, above all, Respect for our fellow members.
I can do you, The Red Lion Church St, The Hen & Chickens New St, The Woolpack Moor St, The Greyhound Navigation St. I can't swear that these were the pubs that the book refers to, but they certainly look old enough.
It does say Barwick St on Sheffield's sign but does that mean this view is of Barwick Street?
Surely there would be no need to give the address of the head office if this is at said address.
I think we all agree that this photo was not taken outside Sheffield head office in Barwick St, because quite obviously then the pub in the photo would have been on the corner would have been on the corner of Church St & Barwick St. The problem being there would have been a brand new extension to the Grand Hotel there at the time of this photo.
Mike has suggested elsewhere that it could have possibly been outside Sheffields other premises on Lower Priory, but there again the topography doesn't match, so unless they had other premises or the given dates are wrong I'm afraid it will remain a mystery for now.
Can I ask what Sheffields did?
Their apparent premises in this photo appears to be no more than a gap or a yard between two buildings, yet there is a "To Let" notice over what may be an entrance.
Also, who would all those sandwich board men have been working for, if not directly for the business they were advertising, W M Clarke of Liverpool, then you would expect them to assemble outside the agency office.
There are a lot of photo's or pictures on the columns of the front entrance to the building in the foreground, there is also a nameplate. I can easily believe that I can see the name Sheffield on line one of this plate.
Another thing that strikes me in this photo is that the pub appears to be on a corner, yet it stands out from the building line on at least one elevation whilst what ought to be a road off to the right appears to be pedestrianised.
I think there is more than enough information In this photo to provide the location, we just have to be able to recognise and identify all the clues.
A closer look seems to show Sheffield's name at the bottom of the sandwich boards.
The photo also appears here.... http://www.urban75.org/london/billboards.html
Sheffield's was probably the very early predecessor of advertising agencies. William Lemon (!) Sheffield is listed in 1880 as a shirt & collar maker in Pinfold St, but by 1890 he is also listed as a bill poster. By 1893 his posting business is listed in Kelly’s as being run by Mrs Mary Ann Sheffield, while he still has his shirt & collar business, and is also a hatter & hosier at 83 New St. However in a case reported in the Bir, Post 21.2.1893 the firm is described as Sheffield’s Ltd, advertising contractors, and William appears in court as the managing director. Here they are suing a competitor for £2 for illegal posting on one of their sites. By the beginning of WW1 there is also a branch in Orphanage Road, Erdington, and by 1921 branches, in Hockley, Bournbrook, Smethwick & Coventry road.
By 1932 their head office is Publicity House, Cornwall St. by 1962 they have concentrated their operations to Publicity house and describe themselves as poster advertising contractors. This lasts till 1968 when they are either taken over or change their name to London Provincial Poster Group