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Agriculture was certainly, for centuries, Bilstons main industry. Originally it would not have been much more than subsistence farming but, as surpluses were produced and an expanding economy made specialisation possible, sales and exchanges in a market would have developed. Bilston, as we have seen, had a market from an early date and it was centred on the market cross. The medieval market probably served only local needs but would have gradually expanded, though probably limited, or at least slowed down, by the proximity of the large, regional market, at Wolverhampton. Bilston market may have had some dealings in wool, as wool was the mainstay of the English medieval economy. The streets and alleys called ‘Folds’ possible reflect this industry but it is most likely that the major trade in Bilston wool was through the very large wool market in Wolverhampton. On the other hand nearly all wool eventually went through London and London merchants and, Bilston being on the main road to London and on the London side of Wolverhampton, it is possible that Bilston people traded directly with passing merchants. In fact, in England generally, far more wool was sold directly to merchants than was sold through markets and Bilston was well placed for this sort of trading.
A more specialised agricultural product was flax, which was not only grown in the locality but processed too. The parish registers contain many references to flax workers especially flax dressers. Presumably the large amount of water needed for retting the flax came from the brook. The market would also have been a principal outlet for local artisans, of the sort which existed in every place of any size makers of footwear and clothing, corn and seed merchants, carpenters and joiners, and the like. When other industries started in Bilston is not clear but we know that by the 1700s several industries had appeared and these are detailed below. But before embarking on that it might be as well to observe that to say that Bilstons industries developed because there was coal, iron ore and limestone underlying it, is not a sufficient explanation. (It might also be pointed out that there was no very great water supply in Bilston and that good means of transport to areas of consumption were conspicuously lacking). In addition to the raw materials you need knowledge and entrepreneurial skills and it must have been those characteristics which enabled Bilston to develop industrially. They would have been hampered by the lack of a river for water and distribution, but perhaps helped by the fact that there was no large landowner to hamper development by withholding land and no guilds to stifle the widening of skills.
Samuel Pipe, esquire, had an agreement with William Clarke, coalmaster, of Wednesbury to get coal and iron. But things were changing: by 1760 the Hoo family had much increased their interests becoming lords of the manors of Bradley, Barr and Wednesbury, but ceased to reside in Bilston after 1720. The Perrys too, in their many branches, scattered. The Pipe family died out. William Robbins lived fifteen miles away and only came over to collect his rents or more often sent for them. Later he moved to London. New men with new fortunes made from new trades came to the fore. In the short period between 1716 and 1730 when trades are given in the register there are 240 references to buckle-makers, 61 to toy-makers and 44 to chape-makers. These trades readily adapted to the introduction of japanning and enamelling about 1720. It might also be noted that all of these industries, with a few exceptions such as iron production, can be described as cottage industries, in that they were usually run, on a small scale, by large numbers of people operating on their own in their own houses and backyards. They would mostly have sold their products not directly to the consumer but to ‘factors’, who bought from many makers and sold the bulk of good thus accumulated to merchants, wholesalers and retailers. If, for instance, we think that Bilston mass produced enamelled boxes we have to remember that this was not mass production as we know it today, with everything being produced by a large company in a large factory; but it was mostly a very large number of individuals and family, each producing small quantities. But there are indications of bigger operations, employing people outside the family, in both enamelling and japanning.
We will collect the scrap car from Bilston or the surrounding area and dispose of it through our nationwide network of 23 fully licensed Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) Sites who will scrap your car in line with End of Life (ELV) Legislation, and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction which we file online with the DVLA. So you can rest assured your car has been scrapped legally.
For a hassle free fast way to scrap your car in Bilston please complete the fields in the form to the right and we will provide an instant online scrap car price with the choice to accept and arrange scrapping or decline our scrap car offer.
Should you have any queries, then please contact a member of our team on Freephone: 0800 111 4995 or 01226 770306 to discuss your scrap car collection and what cash payment you will receive, or alternatively contact us and let us know your scrap a car for cash query.
Raw2K ATF sites utilise the advised environmental disposal methods/process as per ELV/ATF Guidelines and legislation.
Raw2Ks operations are focused upon lowering our waste and increasing recycling, therefore providing us with a controlled and reduced sustainability impact wherever possible. A scrap car is much greener than an abandoned car and the owner is paid cash for scrapping their car.
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