Black Country museum's new attraction gives family a unique look at their past

The Adey family during the first world war

Three generations of the Adey family outside of the greengrocer shop at the Black Country Living Museum

First published in Local by

A MUSEUM greengrocer’s shop has given a Black Country family a unique look into their own past.

The fully restored shop, at the Black Country Living Museum, once stood in Lower Lichfield Street, Willenhall, but was taken down and rebuilt brick by brick at the Tipton Road museum in 1995, where it stood unused until last year.

Following extensive research curators discovered the house had been a shop and to celebrate its official reopening three generations of the family who ran the business paid a visit to the museum to see the historic building for themselves.

The shop was run between 1916 until at least 1932 by Gertrude and William Adey and their two children. Following an appeal from the museum for more information present-day members of the family got in touch.

William’s great-grandson, Andrew Adey, a dentist from Wolverhampton, said: “I’ve been researching my family tree on and off for thirty or so years, to learn that the Black Country Living Museum has recreated a part of it is very exciting.”

The shop, which will only sell produce which was available during the first world war, also features costumed characters playing the roles of Gertrude and William to accurately portray life in 1916.

Visitors will be able to buy produce and, just as in wartime, any unsold fruit and vegetables will be made into chutney or preserves, which will also be for sale.

Family members Jim Adey, aged 81, who remembers the shop in its later years, Andrew, 51, and his daughter Melanie, 22, called at the museum for a look around.

Andrew Adey said: “It’s wonderful that this shop that helped provide for our family 100 years ago is up and running again. We live in a completely different world now and it is great to think the greengrocers will help teach future generations about how we used to live.”

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