|At one time there were several small
general shops in Alcester, at one end of Henley Street, one called 'Dyson's;' and one at
the other end called 'Harman's, a small one in Malt Mill Lane Grummet's' and in
Bleachfield Street called 'Annie Hirst's.
William Hirst was our local chimney sweep for many years and lived near to the Dog & Partridge, and his sister had her shop, Annie Hirst's, next door. This little shop sold most things, groceries, sweets, snuff, etc., and novelties and sweets we could not get anywhere else. However, we were afraid to go up Bleachfield Street as there were so many men standing outside the Dog & Partridge, mainly unemployed, I think, so we ran. There was also a lodging house almost opposite which took in men and travellers.
David Green in his book 'Towns and Villages of England - Alcester' page 85, says:-Bleachfield Street at one time was not considered as the most salubrious of thoroughfares and definitely not the sort of place in which to venture alone but could nevertheless show the rest of the town a thing or two when it came to celebratory decorations.
There are various people about who lived up the street and know more than I do.
Autumn 1994 Index