|No. 3 Raven Street remains very much in its original state and is probably one of the most interesting buildings in Raven Street. On all Census it remains as uninhabited which suggests it has always been used for Commercial purposes.
Trade Directories of 1879 show it as housing the Towns Fire Engine which was then horse drawn and on occasions later pulled by the local dustcart which was mechanized. The Trade Directory of 1889 show that a Roman Catholic Mission Room was somewhere in Raven Street and that in 1900 an elevated platform was added to increase sitting capacity. This leads the researcher to assume that No 3 was the Building as a platform is installed inside on the left hand side of the building. Later Trade Directories list a Primitive Methodist Church and a schoolroom (No numbers given for these) in Raven Street and No 3 seems the obvious building for such activities(see below).
The inside is in a poor state of renovation and used nowadays for a Carpentry/Fencing Company and is packed with timber and fencing making measuring and photography very difficult. On the edge of the platform there is evidence of a roller which probably connected a conveyor across to the elevated “now blind” window or door, two thirds up the wall. There is evidence of hoisting equipment on the outside gable. . Could it have been used to transport flour across the platform when the building was used for storage by the Baker/Bread maker who lived across the road at No.8(1801 census).
The Yard and Garage at the rear and side are surrounded by original walls with evidence of a wooden lintel let into the side wall which could have led to a door and steps to a cellar. It is also known that a gate hung from these walls to close the road (a cul de sac) which led into Council allotments and the field where the horses lived that pulled the fire engine.
The wall running alongside the yard has an interesting oak lintel let into and extending a third of the way across the wall indicating it was a doorway or steps maybe, leading to a cellar. In 2006 owned by the daughter(Mrs. Pat Powell) of Mrs. Wainwright who owned the furniture business once run from its premises fronting onto Bridge Street.(early 1900 to 1960's)
Other Information: Raven Street played an important part in the education and religious education of Stourport.
Primitive Methodists – a breakaway group from the Wesleyan Church 1812 (set up in Raven Street) (Bradford/Kettle book 2000)
Congregationalists – 1867. Transferred to The Woolpack then to a room in a house in Raven Street (Bradford/Kettle 2000)
Roman Catholics – Meeting Room in Raven Pub (Raven Street) Mission Room (No Roman Catholic Church in Stourport before 1811 – they had to travel to St. Ambrose in Kidderminster. The first Mass actually tool place in Miss. Randles Tea Room, Bridge Street.
Schools 1800 Lionel Stanton’s Academy in Raven Street(Issac Wedley Book) St. Michaels Church of England School had to make do with a room in Raven Street catering for boys and girls. Every Sunday the scholar would walk two by two in a long crocodile all the way through the Town from Raven Street to St. Michaels C of E Church in Upper Mitton to take part in the Service. They sat in galleries boys on one side and girls on the other (Bradford/Kettle Book 2000) All this information but again not one of these entries actually records the number of the building used in Raven Street, except for “a room in the Raven Pub”
However conclusive evidence is found in Issac Wedley’s Book
“I should like to walk up Raven Street because here was the old Church Sunday School, which was used afterwards by the Vicar for week evening services. Big congregations never assembled and I remember on one occasion there was a congregation of two. On the other side (if memory serves me aright) the Rauters met for worship and the Public House was kept by a man named Onslow who combined beer selling with plumbing and glazing”.
This proves conclusively that the Church was opposite The White Raven and was No.3. No 3 certainly has had a checkered life and was obviously one of the major buildings in Town Life.