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William Walker 75 High Street Birmingham - Hat Manufacturer


master brummie
Evening all,

As most of you know, I am based in Suffolk but trade in tokens and coins and am regularly on this forum with my latest Birmingham related item.

Well this time I have laid my hands on a trade token of William Walker 75 High Street Birmingham with a lovely image of a stove pipe or top hat on the reverse. I am assuming it is dated to around the 1880’s subject to further research.

As with all my tokens, this one is for sale to any interested person but in the meantime I am keen to find out a bit more about Mr Walker and his business at 75 High Street


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master brummie
There are some excellent photos and prints showing High Street of the past in this thread. There is a strong possibility that 75 might be in one of them.
However, we need one of Mike's famous maps to pinpoint 75. ;)
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Staff member
hello again simon thanks for posting...what a lovely token that is...as alan has already said hopefully mike could provide us with a map showing no 75 high st...i would also imagine there would be a reference to him in the kellys directories. ps keep em peeled for the tokens i am after...thank you


Lady Penelope

master brummie
Simon, I haven't seen anything like this before. Why would they a hat shop have tokens? I know about the ones the employers gave to the navvies etc. to spend at the company store but not this sort.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank you Pedrocut. I had done a quick look going back to 1855 and could find nothing, but obviously should have gone further back . They are listed in the 1841 (then also at 19 New St), 1845 &1849 directories, but not in the 1852 or 1855 directories. The position of no 75 is shown below on the c1889 map
map c1889 showing where no 75 high st was.jpg


Master Barmmie
Pedrocut, I've heard of a hat being called a tile but what was a brick? It all sounds double-Dutch to me!

Yes that confused me. Looking again I think they are referring to the Whig government reducing tax on building material.
Not to be out done by William Walker has reduced the price of his hats!


master brummie
Wow, thanks everyone for the brilliant info, his puts the token 40 years older than I thought.

Obviously am looking for anyone interested in buying this Birmingham token from me, it's around 32mm in diameter.


Suffolk Simon


master brummie
I believe token were a form of advert. Something you could carry in a pocket. Some general stores, that sold pretty well everything at the time, often gave away packets of needles with their shop name clearly visible on the front of the packet. Every housewife needed needles, before the throw away age arrived. ;)