Toys and memories from the past – Black Country…

As part of Black Country Living Museum’s brand new Forging Ahead development, the Museum is recreating Spring Hill Post Office, which originally stood on the Penn Road in Wolverhampton. The shop will form a part of the Museum’s new 1940s-60s high street.

Post Offices were a fixture of every high street in the Black Country and, by the post-war period, had often been there for a century or more. By the end of the 19th century the service was highly professional, with a new law stating that every house in Britain should have 2-3 deliveries per week. Following several changes and a growth of the service during the early 20th century, by the 1960s the Post Office was converted from a government department into a self-financing nationalised business. Local post office branches played a central role in the lives of the communities they served.

Spring Hill Post Office in 1965 on Penn Road, Wolverhampton (c/o Francis Frith Collection)

In 1965, when the recreated shop will be set, Spring Hill Post office was run by Stan Nettleton. In addition to the traditional products and services of a post office, Stan sold several iconic toy brands from the era. There were dolls by Pedigree; model vehicles from Dinky and Model; and construction kits from Meccano. He also sold toys from other well-known makers including locally made Tri-ang toys, Waddington Games and Hornby train sets. Stan was also known for creating spectacular window displays and building creative sets to show off his stock of toys.

To help them to faithfully recreate Spring Hill Post Office, the Museum is keen to hear from those who may have memories or objects to add to its interpretation of the shop. The collections team is particularly interested in collecting classic toys or modelling kits from the era to help set up the shop authentically to the period. If you have memories or objects you would like to share with the Museum, they would love to hear from you.

  • Did you ever use Spring Hill Post Office, or buy toys from the shop?
  • Do you have any classic 1960s toys or modelling kits which need a new home?
  • Did you work for the Post Office (perhaps as a postman or postwoman) in the 1960s?

Please get in touch with the Collections team at [email protected] or call 0121 557 9643.