By Tony Chesters, research volunteer

From 1855 until around the time of the First World War the premises was owned and occupied by Frederick Whiston and his family. He was a pharmacist by trade and initially operating as a druggist and chemist but later adding a Post Office.

When the family moved,  the upper floors were used as offices and workshops. Between 1920 and 1960 the ground floor was a Post Office owned by H M Postmaster General, with other traces still working on the upper floors. After 1960 the Post Office was the sole occupier until they moved out in the late 1970’s. It was then used by a wrapping paper business until jewellers took over in the 1980’s.

Frederick was born in Birmingham in 1830, the son of a Gold and Silver refiner. Still living at home at 21 he was described as a chemist\druggist in the 1851 census. He Married Martha in 1852 and they had 7 children living with them at the Chemist shop at no.39. By 1889 the O.S. Map identifies it was a post office as well as a chemist. Frederick was still living there aged 82 in 1911.

By 1922 he had moved to 28 Wellington Road Edgbaston, where he died in 1925, aged 96, leaving £3,214 to his children. He is buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery along with family members:

Died 1925   WHISTON Frederic W

Died 1930   WHISTON Martha

Died 1934   WHISTON Clara

Died 1935  WHISTON Minnie

Died 1940  WHISTON Effie

Building Timeline


Frederick W Whiston. Druggist and Chemist and later also a Post Office (owner)


Ernest Thomson & Sons Ltd 1st & 2nd Floor


HM Postmaster General- Post Office, occupied ground floor


Henry Radcliffe, 1st floor - toolmakers


HM Postmaster General - Post office, occupied whole premises


William Edge- Wrapping paper, rope & twine supplier


Dearn & Williams, Jewellers


Building occupied by J&M Jewellers

Birmingham Evening Mail advert, December 1990