Our Century

Conman sells dupes a pup...

Signals regiment 1928
Bill Allen of Hughes Avenue, Birches Barn, Wolverhampton (middle row centre) in an archive picture in his days in the Signals regiment in 1928.

January 5. Wolverhampton detectives were caught up in a scam following a sudden boom in the value of greyhounds as dog racing took off across the country in a big way.

Unfortunately the public were being conned over the rising value of the greyhounds and the town's CID put out a nationwide alert in a bid to track down a trickster who quite literally sold a pup to a not very streetwise dog fancier.

The local CID circulated a warning statement about the conman throughout the country after letters and telegrams were received at a house in the town which the man being sought collected.

He used the address for correspondence from other parts of the country after saying he was a representative of a Sunday newspaper supervising canvassers.

The man suddenly disappeared but shortly afterwards a note was pushed through the letterbox of the house stating: "Have sold the pup - coming on Saturday."

More letters arrived at the house relating to a newspaper advertisement which offered a greyhound for sale.

Some of the letters enclosed crossed cheques.

Later a man named in the advertisement bought clothing to the value of 4 19s, offering a cheque for 6.

He told the outfitters concerned that he had sold a greyhound puppy to the person who sent him the cheque.

1928 Jowett Long Four Tourer Julie Cooper of Dudley with a 1928 Jowett Long Four Tourer, pictured at a historic vehicle show in Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich.

Driver walks away from storm smash: Roofs and chimneys crashed into rooms and lamp- posts were demolished as thunder and 80mph gales lashed the West Midlands in February bringing stories of miraculous escapes by residents as they scrambled out of their damaged homes uninjured after debris crashed into bedrooms.

1928 cigarette advertOne man was reported to have died in the storm in Birmingham.

The most remarkable escape was in Wolverhampton when a large Wolseley car was caught in a gust of wind by a railway bridge at Monmore Green, and swerved into a lamp-post, demolishing it.

A front wheel of the car was wrenched off and the windscreen and windows were smashed to fragments as the vehicle overturned.

The driver walked away from the crash suffering nothing more serious than cuts to his nose, ears and hands. After medical attention he went off with some friends.

But in all parts of the town the gale force wind had taken its toll. Chimneys, coping stones, slates and tiles clattered to the ground and roofs were badly damaged by falling brickwork

Miracle' cure on the menu at new centre: Public interest was aroused when a new health centre opened in Birmingham in February claiming "amazing healing miracles" for people suffering from a wide range of disorders including head noises, paralysis hair-loss and gout.

The Birmingham Sun Ray Centre in Livery Street, claimed a constant stream of pilgrims had been flowing from all parts of the Midlands to "this Mecca of suffering humanity."

The centre alleged that "rheumatic cripples, had come by the hundred, hobbling on stick and crutches." There were also those who suffered from "head noises" as well as "nerve wrecks" by the score.

After only a week or two the rheumatic sufferers had "cast aside their sticks or crutches for ever. The deaf have been enabled to dispense with their hearing appliances."

The company was also able to have letters published in the newspaper from former sufferers praising their treatment.

Alan Silk
...I saw two bombs drop followed by two fiery explosions...

Purcell opera review
Something for 1928's culture vultures in Wolverhampton.