Walsall Museum’s Hodson Shop Collection is the unsold shop stock of the Hodson Shop, a small drapers shop that operated in Willenhall – a small industrial town at the heart of the Black Country’s lock making industry.
The collection consist of over 3,000 items, including womenswear, haberdashery items, children’s clothing, magazines, toiletries and home accessories. Stock spans 1920-1950s, featuring items that are mainly mass produced, machine sewn and of relatively low monetary value. This provides a rare insight into the ‘everyday’ clothing of non-elite women during this period of great social, industrial and political change.
Highlights of the collection include 1920s day dresses, blouses from all decades and a significant amount of Utility clothing.
The shop was opened in the front room of the Hodson family home on New Road in 1920 by Edith Hodson. Her younger sister, Flora entered the business in 1927. The sisters had an elder brother, Edgar, who ran a lock factory from the courtyard of the house.
Following the deaths of Edith and Edgar, it is believed that Flora continued trading until the early 1970s. The collection was discovered in 1983, following her death. The house and factory went on to become Willenhall Lock Museum (now known as the Locksmith’s House), whilst the shop stock was passed on to Walsall Museum where it was painstakingly catalogued by Honorary Curator, Sheila Shreeve.
It is possible to view a small part of the collection on display at Walsall Museum’s Local History Gallery . Due to the scale of the collection and the limitations of exhibition space, the majority of the collection is kept in storage. Researchers can arrange to visit the store by contacting Walsall Museum, Tel: 01922 653116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.