Express & Star

Historian's last book before his death reflects on what Wolverhampton has lost

"It is important to remember that the things my generation think of as 'lost' usually replaced something that an earlier generation remembered," wrote Alec Brew at the start of his final book.

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Incredible images from the past.

Even so, surely the much-loved historian must have wondered how Wolverhampton's planners allowed the exquisite wholesale market to be replaced by the somewhat less appealing Civic Centre.

Alec, who founded Tettenhall Transport Heritage Centre and has written more than 30 books chronicling the history of the area, died in February at the age of 76. But before his death he produced one last book, which is now on sale through publisher Amberley.

Lost Wolverhampton focuses on the landmarks, industries and sights which have been lost during his lifetime. But, keen to remind readers that no single generation has a monopoly when it comes to nostalgia, the book begins and ends with images of a Wolverhampton that was lost long before he was born.

For most of its 1,000 year history, Wolverhampton was known as a market town, and one evocative picture shows the town's livestock in the days when traders would arrive by pony and trap. The market, off Cleveland Road, opened in 1848, with a one-and-a-half-acre abattoir added in 1929. It held last auction in November 1970, before it was demolished to make way for the ring road.