This was built on the site of Westminster House, a 1970s office block with a bank on the ground floor. It covered the site of an old garage, with hand-operated pumps on the forecourt. Joe Wood opened the garage before World War I, when Shirley was a large village. Other garages soon opened. A local guide, published in 1929, described Shirley as ‘a village of petrol pumps’.
Prints and text about The Pump House.
The text reads: This Wetherspoon establishment has been built on the site of what used to be Westminster House, but before that it was a garage. It was opened prior to the First World War by a man named Joseph Wood. It had hand operated pumps. As Shirley is situated along Stratford Road, it was the ideal location for a petrol station. It was joined by several more stations and rest points for travellers.
A photograph of Stratford Road, Shirley, 1951.
Text about the history of Shirley.
The text reads: The settlement of Shirley grew up along a trackway through the Forest of Arden. It was a remote hamlet, consisting of a few cottages and scattered farms. Shirley remained a small agricultural community through the 19th century. The 1841 census records seven farmers and eleven farm labourers in the area. Fifty years later the census shows that little had changed, with five farmers and seven labourers in and around Shirley. Farming continued into the 1930s, but by 1935 Shirley had expanded into a small town and after World War Two most of the farmland was covered by buildings.
A print and text about bareknuckle boxing.
The text reads: The practice and sport of boxing with fists (bare knuckle boxing) was at one time popular in Shirley. It began in England in the early part of the eighteenth century, but had been part of other cultures for many centuries.
This digital artwork is influenced by Joseph Wood’s petrol station which traded on this Wetherspoon site in the early 1900s.
The station had hand-operated pumps. When Wood’s garage first opened (just before World War I), the price of petrol was the equivalent of 21 new pence per gallon, a gallon today costs £5.58.
Pop Art Globes.
External photograph of the building – main entrance.
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