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On 2 June 1915, Mr Chowen, a confectioner, of Queen’s arcade and the corner of Darlington Street and North Street, Wolverhampton, appeared before Mr Registrar G. B. Cope at the Wolverhampton Bankruptcy Court.

Having started off as a confectioner’s assistant in Luton, and having worked in Plymouth, Oxford, Great Bridge, America, Bournemouth and Willenhall, he had started his business in High Street, Dudley after his marriage in Wolverhampton in 1902. In 1911 he sold the business at Dudley for £490, having opened premises in the Queen’s arcade, Wolverhampton, in May 1910. He expanded to the shop on the corner of Darlington Street and North Street in December 1913, including a café which took about £40 a week during the first half of 1914. During the same period, the corner shop took about £50 a week. However, there had been a slump with the beginning of the war. The Express & Star article on 2 June 1915 stated that he “attributed his insolvency to loss of turnover and considerable increase in the cost of ingredients and material. The statement of his affairs showed liabilities of £831 12 s., and a deficiency of £502 8s. 1d. The examination was adjourned, and I have been unable to find out the outcome of the case.

Arthur was born in Liskeard in 1876. He married Minnie Louisa Charles in 1902, and they had six children – Arthur Washington, Lincoln, Raleigh Gordon, Leonard, Alexandra and Grace – between 1903 and 1913. Arthur died in Smethwick in 1935 at the age of 64.

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