Jennings Basket Carriage Hire by John Houghton

Mr Jennings 34a Parliament Street Aston, manufacturer of lath carts and basket carriage for hire to the general public and traders mainly market traders. Most of the hiring for traders was on long term contracts; this some times incurred late payments that had to be collected by Mr Jennings himself. A visit to the traders to help them to pay their hire charges.Hire tarrif charges four pence and sixpence depending on which cart or carriage you hired.

The yard in Parliament Street had been used in the past for selling coal and the making and repair of lath carts and basket carriages. At the top of the yard there was a building which housed a forge for the ironwork with very large leather bellows. All along the back wall where benches for the wheelwrights to carry out their work, huge vices to hold their work, this building itself wise the full width of the yard. All the tools for their trade was still there when as young lads we played in the building which had become obsolete due to the advent of the motor vehicle.

Mr Jennings had amended his business to incorporate the new age of wireless by carrying out the charging of the accumulators to power the new invention of the wireless radio receiver's. This he did in a shed next door to the house which to us at that time was mind boggling to see all those dials and wiring the spitting and popping of the acrid smell of acid as the accumulators where charged.

Accumalators were used in conjunction with Gridbias battery pack to power the radio.

Many a moon light flit had been done using the lath cart to transport your few chattels to another abode in the neighbour hood to escape the landlord for non-payment of rent. We once hired a lath cart to fetch furniture from a house in Witton to our house in Parliament Street, a distance of about five miles. The furniture was very old my mom had bought or scrounged it from some friends whose relative had died.

When Mr Jennings died the business was taken over by relative Mr and Mrs Cox the grand parents of my friend Kenny Cox, we went through school together, and became friends and still are friends fifty five on. We both now live in Aldridge.

Mr Jennings had a brother in Lower Tower Street who carried out the same trade later to move over to the motor trade and turned his Carter's business into a garage for the repair and servicing of the motor vehicle. From hiring of his lath carts and basket carriages, to the new mechanical mode of transport.The Jennings had a hucksters shop next door to their shop was a woodyard which cut logs down to boards for their furniture businesss Mr Jennings later bought the yard which he operated his hire trade from he also bought another shop opposite and sold dairy products fresh milk and cream from churns.