This is the Warehouse of Crutchley's of Walsall on Littleton Street. The company were wholesalers of Toys, Greetings Cards, Fancy Goods and Stationery.
The building still exists, but has been disused for around twelve years.
At the present time, I do not have any information regarding the members of the Crutchley family who ran this business. If anyone can help, please sign my guest book.
Blaze Destroys Crutchley's Toy Warehouse
Tuesday 26th February 2002
At around 6.15am this morning a fire broke out in the disused Crutchley's Toy Warehouse building in Littleton Street, Walsall. At least half of the building was destroyed. It is believed that the fire was smouldering for at least two hours before it was noticed and the alarm was raised.
Senior Fire officers who attended the blaze believe that it is possible that the blaze may have been started by children who have used the empty warehouse as a den and place to play since it was closed in about 1990.
As a result of the high winds at the time of the fire, the blaze took hold very rapidly and soon spread throughout the building, causing extensive damage. Eighty fire fighters tackled the fire, but the high winds and questionable structural integrity of the building severely hampered their efforts.
As much as fifty percent of the building was destroyed and the closure of nearby streets during the fighting of the fire and afterwards caused rush hour chaos in Walsall town centre. Structural engineers will now inspect the building to assess its condition and decide its future.
The photograph above may well be the last picture to have ever been taken of Crutchley's Toy Warehouse.
Update - January 23rd 2003
Following the blaze that gutted the interior of the derelict Crutchley's Toy Warehouse on February 26th 2002, the badly damaged shell of the building was demolished last week. Over the coming months, the site will be redeveloped and the place of Crutchley's Toy Warehouse will be taken by new appartments.