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Update, 6th February 2016: I would like to say a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed all the wonderful messages in this Guest Book. However, since the huge success of the discussion forum, which began 2010, it has become the main vehicle for exchanging messages, so I'm closing the Guest Book to further entries, but will leave it on display for all to read.

So, if you have any questions that you think other readers can answer, or fancy reminiscing with like minded people, please try my Discussion Forum - it's totally free!

Read comments from: | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 |

2009

DateNameFrom...Comments
21st Dec 2009Marg MoleQueensland AustraliaI would like to say a Very Merry Christmas to all in Coventry from us in Queensland, where the sun is shining, what i wouldn't give for some of the snow you have been getting.
Just love the Coventry site, makes me want to come back for a holiday, hope it will be soon. I make a check every week to see who has written.
To all who went to Windmill Road school from 1944 Hi.
Margaret Mole. (Harris)
18th Dec 2009Mike BrantleyNew OrleansRob,
Totally enjoyed the entire site. Spent more time than I could afford, but was really having a good time, looking over Coventry, all the side sites you connected, etc. Also enjoyed the extensive family tree you've constructed. Fantastic. Wish I had such. My family hales from Bramley, not too terribly far, and NW London. My wife's from Kent via Wellington, NZ.
Wondering your site, made me want to come explore!
Merry Christmas and laud to you for the work here.
18th Dec 2009Alan EdgsonModbury, DevonWith your permission Rob, may I wish a happy Xmas and a peaceful New Year to the people of Coventry both at home and all around the world, with very special thanks to Rob and his family for giving so many people the means to share their thoughts and memories over the years. Long live this wonderful site....
16th Dec 2009Josie Lisowski-LoveExpat now in Stockton, CaliforniaHello Rob
I'm at computer school and he has us searching the web (I'm in 'beginners') only one more class left. Next year I'm doing intermediate. Have a lovely blessed Christmas and hope Father Christmas is good to you and yours.
Oh, the kids in my class love your site too!!! They cant believe I lived there and that it looks so OLD! Kids today what. Thank You Rob. Your Pal in Peace and Love, Josie
9th Dec 2009Dave DavenportMarysville Washington USAViewed your site, very well done and helpful. Visiting area in a few weeks and want to locate an embroidered patch that may generally depict Coventry. I am a collector. Any suggestions?
2nd Dec 2009Gary Snooks Coventry Heard about your site so had to have a look. Hope you are all well. Good to see the kids getting involved too. Hope to hear back from you soon.
All the best, the Snooks clan
17th Nov 2009Mike TyzackLondon, formerly StyvechaleI have just spotted a "guest book" entry from July 2007 from Tone Shorthouse who was at Bablake at the same time as me from 1954 although we were never in the same form.
16th Nov 2009Gordon StewartCaister On Sea/ CoventryHi nice site, Homeward bound, anchors aweigh full steam to Coventry. I have decided to return to Coventry, I have a strong connection with Coventry.
The sea and the beach can wait until I am ready. There are a lot of Coventry people heading to the coast, but do it while you still have your health. When you lose your partner it can be very lonely.
11th Nov 2009David CronanNottinghamshireI am very sad to see that the last remnants of what used to be GEC is departing from Coventry. Ericsson have announced that they are closing down their research facility which had only just re-located to Ansty from Allard Way (which I think was the old Stoke Telephone Works).
In 1961 I started my four-year apprenticeship with GEC Telecommunications. At that time GEC was the largest employer in Coventry, with factories not only in Stoke, but in Spon Street, Helen Street and Ford Street.
GEC was a wonderful company to work for, with an excellent social club. It had the best ballroom in Coventry (complete with resident band), a flying club, a nine-hole golf course, plus all the usual sporting activities. Happy memories!
8th Nov 2009PerpetuaNewtownabbey Northern IrelandRef my message on 8th October. I now have confirmation that the aunt and uncle I spoke of then actually died on the 13th October 1940. Does anyone have any info on this bombing?
8th Nov 2009John ChenaultShelbyville, KY, USAI visited Coventry in 1982 and have frequently worn a small souvenir replica of the Cross of Nails on my lapel. This excellent site has informed me of more than my memories could recall.
[Many thanks for your kindness John.]
7th Nov 2009Michael TyzackLondon, previously StyvechaleI moved to Coventry in 1946 at the age of 3. We had a new house in Arnold Avenue.
There was a shop in Baginton Road called the Blue Chain but I think it was a green grocers.
I was in the 40th Coventry cubs but was too young to know Bob Pickering. I was in the Gang Show in 1952 which was put on in the theatre of the Technical College in The Butts.
I worked in that "car factory" in Gosford Street after it had been condemned as unsafe for heavy machinery. It was then the Ministry of Pensions & National Insurance. I had left there by the time it caught fire (1964 approx).
I remember a man who directed traffic but by then he was walking around with a hand cart.
Talking about coffee bars, we used to go to the El Cabana in Gosford St because they had a juke box. The law said they had to turn it off at 10pm so if they wanted to play it later they kept an eye out for the local beat bobby. That was in 1957.
By 1960 we had moved to the Portofino in Primrose Hill St. That was run by a woman called Margot who drove an MGB.
When the Locarno opened I used to go dancing there every week. There was a dance hall in Primrose Hill St but I had been told it was a bit rough. I did go there once to see Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.
I saw Little Richard at the Matrix ballroom. I saw Charlie Gracie at the Coventry Theatre (but we still called it The Hippodrome).
7th Nov 2009Adam KaraHillfieldsFantastic site, nice one.
[Thank you !]
6th Nov 2009TracyWeston under WetherleyWhat a fantastic website. Learnt so much. My favourite part is the Time Machine.
1st Nov 2009MelanieSuffolkI watched a BBC tv programme about the bombing of Coventry and went online to find out more - luckily I got your website. This is really brilliant, fantastic pictures, loads of info, easy to navigate (unusual in many websites!) good use of tools such as side by side pics, maps, tours etc.. I didn't know anything about Coventry before but now I feel I have found out a lot. Many thanks. Mel.
29th Oct 2009Harold WilkinsonCoventryI was born in the Munition Cottages, Foleshill, in 1926. I have tried to get photos of these and also the Brookville Cinema without success - can anyone help me?
[We have located this photo on the Coventry Telegraph website, but if anyone knows of any others, please get in touch, thank you.]
28th Oct 2009Libby NortonWallaroo, South AustraliaI was born in Coventry but emigrated in 1950. I love finding out the history of my birthplace. I went back and lived in Coventy in 1964 and 1965.
Last time I visited in 2005 I was a little disappointed in the modern changes, but loved Spon End.
27th Oct 2009David CronanNottinghamshireRegarding David John Brown's query about the whale. Yes I remember it as we went on a special school trip to view it. I think it was housed in a temporary exhibition site on a a piece of empty land (presumably a bomb-site) in Corporation Street.
26th Oct 2009David CronanNottinghamshireJust a reminder that the programme about the November 14 blitz is being repeated on BBC2 on Saturday October 31 at 8.30 pm.
And thanks to Alan Edgson for the information about Bert's Blitz Cafe.
26th Oct 2009Bryn ThomasWest WalesWas born near to the Daimler factory in 1951. I grew up in Holbrooks and eventually went to King Henry VIII School. Became a freeman of the city in 1972.
I was absolutely thrilled with the site. Very well done
22nd Oct 2009Alec ReevesCoventryDoes anybody remember the Co-op stables at the corner of Henry St and Brewery St around 1936-40? I lived at 41 Henry St from 1934 till 1938. I was only 4 but remember well the stables. The horses were stabled up on the second floor, the wagons on the ground floor. My grandfather was a well known chimney sweep, George Reeves.
20th Oct 2009ANN Lang nee BENTLEYAuckland New ZealandInteresting site! Always searching for information on my old home! I can amuse myself for hours now. I was born in Canley in 1958 and lived in Coventry untill 1980. Have lived in NZ since, but often go home and enjoy seeing family and friends.
19th Oct 2009Paul BriffittSussexI came looking for old maps of Coventry and stayed for hours. A really great informative site. Some of the pictures awakend old memories that I had long forgotten, especially the temporary shops at Broadgate
[You've made my day! Thank you !]
18th Oct 2009Alan EdgsonModbury, S. DevonI write to correct my previous reference to "Bert's Blitz Cafe". The cafe I mentioned certainly existed but was not the one in question, my older brother tells me it was in Gosford St opposite to Astleys, near to the old round urinal that stood on the corner outside the pub (whose name escapes me). Sorry for the error!
17th Oct 2009Bernard SmithBewdley WorcestershireI just had to get my appreciation registered for your site "Historic Coventry", and to say, as a Coventry kid you've done us proud our kid. I will try to keep up an exchange of information as I remember them. Once again congratulations
15th Oct 2009Liz WilliamsRegina, Saskatchewan, CanadaI found your site by accident. I sent it on to a friend who lived in Coventry. We have been enjoying it ever since. It is super interesting even if you have never lived in Coventry.
[You're very kind, thank you !]
13th Oct 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, Western AustraliaRe Sue Buckmaster's entry on the guest list, we lived in Lincroft Crescent in the early 60s and my daughter Tracie went to St. John's on Winsford Ave., then on to the Blue Coat school. Sorry Sue, but your name did not ring any bells but perhaps Tracie remembers you as you both must have been about the same age. Incidentally, she used to love the icecream in a shell-like wafer from Mr. D Di !! Most of the children used to play over in the fields by the allotments.
Anyway, all the best.
12th Oct 2009Andrew DaviesHampton Wick, nr Kingston upon ThamesI think your website is absolutely fantastic. I have spent a long time looking at your photographs, prompted as I was by the recent BBC television programme about the Coventry Blitz. I grew up in Coventry, and I remember playing in Stoke Green paddling pool in the 1970s too! My parents are now in their 80s and still live in Coventry. They remember the Blitz of course, though their memories are fading fast. Thank you for your wonderful website. With best wishes, Andrew Davies
12th Oct 2009Sue BuckmasterPreesall LancashireMemory after memory awakened by the letters on this fabulous site! D Di's ice cream! In the early 60s when I was a pre-schooler Lincroft Crescent was visited by about eight different icecream vans. Mum and I used to recite the names and sing the van tunes of each, though we only bought from D Di's.
As for the Moo Cow Milk Bar... wasn't it spelt Kow? I used to pass it on the bus to School. Incidently, I was allowed to choose my own secondary school, and went for Lyng Hall, Blackberry Lane because it sounded pretty. Can you imagine parents being so laid back these days? The headmistress then was Miss Imms, followed by the horrendous Mrs Hillocks who was always drunk. Happy days!
11th Oct 2009Mark Bolton A question for you. Do you or anyone remember a shop called the "Blue Chain" next to Sid Hydes the butchers on the corner of Profit Avenue and Bell Green Road, and why was it called the "Blue Chain"?
11th Oct 2009David John BrownCornwallLooking at blitz photos, came across the 1945 Palace Yard view of High Street looking into Jordon Well. (On this Blitz page.) On the sky line can be seen the water tower and high buildings of the car factory in Gosford Street. Also, can anybody remember the whale that came to Coventry in the early 50s, which was on tour?"
11th Oct 2009Jackie LitherlandDurham (formerly Leamington Spa)You have created a magnificent website. Without you much of our notion of old Coventry would have been lost. I feel particularly hurt when Coventry is just regarded as a car town like Dagenham or an industrial city in the West Midlands. The rebuilding of the city centre after the war was perhaps beyond restoring Coventry but there is little sense of the old historical core and 18th/19th century additions natural to a city's expansion. Modernisation and love of concrete which gripped Britain post-war has done no favours to Coventry. But it is easy to forget that in this period a lot of new featureless shopping centres replaced old town centres. And it was the campaign of one man, the poet John Betjeman, who saved St. Pancras Station from being demolished at this time.
The Blitz destroyed a clearly vibrant city centre with many remarkable old buildings, streets and lanes some of which must pass unrecorded. I felt pity for Frederick Smith surveying the loss of his beloved city. Is his book still available?
I agree with you that the new Cathedral seems to be the one inspired new building. I think we were lucky that at this period British art was particularly rich and the work of Epstein, Sutherland, Piper is magnificent.
I was a war child (aged 4) during the night of November 14/15, siren-suited, on one of the bunks in a local shelter at the edge of Leamington (fields beyond). It was a terrible night, the droning of the bombers clearly heard over the whispers of stories told around the paraffin stove. When the All Clear sounded we came out of the shelter and half the sky was bright scarlet. We could see the flames. We knew that a fearful thing had happened, something beyond our normal understanding of life on a scale that was terrifying. My father lifted me onto his shoulder so I could see better.
"You'll never forget this." he said.
It helps me to overcome the trauma of that night to find that Coventry although obliterated has not been forgotten on your website.
Thanks
10th Oct 2009Aoibhinn Graham (9)Newtownabbey Northern IrelandMy granny showed me this website I really like it.
I'm interested in history and I'll look at it again. Your website is very interesting.
9th Oct 2009Luciano GiampagliaCoventryAs much as I love this website as I am an avid fan of recent history, it does make me awfully sad. We truly have allowed Coventry, a once stunningly beautiful city, to be ruined, destroyed and malled beyond all recognition by consecutive town planners and councils. It's only now do I truly understand what my grandmother meant when she said to me as a child "what Hitler didn't destroy in Coventry, the town planners finished off".
9th Oct 2009Sue BuckmasterPreesall LancashireWhat memories your amazing site awakened for me! I am a Cov Kid born 1959 and one of my earliest memories is being taken in my pushchair to see the mosiacs being made on the walls of the lower precinct. I heard a couple of years ago that they were being demolished - that makes me feel my age!
But, oh, happy childhood Saturdays looking at the puppets in the Midland Educational, buying trimmings on the market to dress my dolls and climbing the spire of the Old Cathedral, without a thought of aching legs.. (I bet unsupervised children are not allowed up these days!)
As a teen my favourite shop was Simmons fabrics; Mr Simmons encouraged me to become a dressmaker and bless him, favoured me a 2% discount! I believe his shop is now the New Look. I lived in Ealsdon near the Memorial Park and a favourite pastime was reading the memorial plaque under each tree. Are they still there? And can you still buy a helium balloon with a cardboard fish inside on Carnival day? I never did get one home..
8th Oct 2009Perpetua GrahamNewtownabbey Northern IrelandI have been researching my family tree and came across your website which I find very interesting. I wonder would you have any knowledge of the following. My father Charles Maguire (from Belfast) lived in Coventry from about 1937 to May 1940. My mother joined him after they were married in December 1938. My uncle and aunt Jackie and Lily Maguire, also from Belfast, continued to live in the same house my parents were in at 58 Aldbourne Road, Coventry. On the night of the blitz my uncle and aunt went to the bomb shelter instead of staying in the house. The bomb shelter had a direct hit killing them both, and we were told only one person survived (a man who lost both legs). Their house only had a crack in one wall and if they had stayed in the house they would have survived. My father witnessed the damage as he returned to Coventry to bury his brother and sister-in-law. I have reason to believe that Aldbourne Road is now an industrial area rather than residential. We also have a couple of photos of St Osburg's Church which was badly damaged. This must have been the church they attended but I don't know where it was in relation to the house they lived in.
8th Oct 2009Alan EdgsonModbury, S. DevonWith regards to David Cronan's enquiry about Berts Blitz cafe, if it's the one I think it was it was about three doors down from the bank at Gosford Green traffic lights. I remember going in there once in the mid forties, it was a very drab place with painted wooden planked walls. The reason I remember it is because a friend of mine took myself and another friend and treated us to sausage and mash (this in the days of strict rationing was a real treat). He treated us because he said he had found a half crown piece ( I think he pinched it...) for the younger readers that would have been twelve and a half pence. I would have been about ten years old at the time.
7th Oct 2009Kerry Taylor My mother in law Kate Taylor, nee Russell, born 1938, lived in Spon Street, Coventry. She lived with her mother (Gladys), father, elder sisters and brother. They were separated and the siblings have since regained contact. She is seeking further information from anyone living in the area at the time or knew her family. Can you help?
7th Oct 2009Peter EdgingtonBognor RegisI saw the BBC 2 programme on the Coventry Blitz last night and was very moved by the suffering of Coventry and its people. It is fantastic to see such pride in the city on this website. I have never visited the new cathedral but will now add it to my 'must see' list. Thank you for your hours of hard work.
6th Oct 2009Leanne de MainCoventryI love this website. I am not old enough to remember some of what has been mentioned on here, I am a true 'Cov kid' though, my dads family lived on Kingsway since those houses were built and my mums family were all born in the back bedroom of 46 Roundhouse Road, my great aunt still lives on that street and I remember being amazed by the Anderson Shelter in the back garden, which was only filled in about 10 years ago.
My grandad often tells me about his uncle a famous Coventrian, Arthur Hutt, the first man from Coventry to receive the VC. I have done lots of digging and have some brilliant photo's I would be more than willing to share with you. We were planning to go to a special service last year but unfortunatley my grandad took ill we didn't go, he's fine now! I have the old family bible which my great great uncle Arthur wrote in!
6th Oct 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, Western AustraliaIt is a regular delight to read all the letters from your 'guests' on this page. Please keep them coming everyone. We can relate to a lot of the comments made, also keeping up with 'What's New'.
Again - thank you Rob.
4th Oct 2009David CronanNottinghamshireI have just been looking at the comments about coffee bars and cafes in Gosford street. I can remember another one in either Gosford Street or Far Gosford Street in the 1950s. This went under the very strange name of "Bert's Blitz Cafe" (sometimes shortened to "BBC") Does anyone else remember it?
4th Oct 2009Roger BrownJohannesburg South AfricaLong time since I was in the city, I lived in Stoke Heath and then Green lane, left in 1978. I now work for the South African Power company. Miss you all
4th Oct 2009DavidNottinghamshireOn Tuesday October 6 at 9pm BBC2 are broadcasting an hour-long programme about the November 14 blitz. The programme includes several eye-witness accounts as well as archive film. As this review in today's Sunday Times says :-
"The stories are poignant and those that tell them impressively strong - most people are just not made of that stuff any more"
If you miss the actual broadcast you should be able to catch it on iPlayer for a week after the programme is transmitted.
2nd Oct 2009Josie Lisowski-LoveCoventry kid now in CaliforniaTHANK YOU! Your pages just keep getting better. I left in 1969 age 20 back only once in 1974. I have pix but need to look for them. My family 'Whale' on grandad's side owned a fish and chip shop up near the hospital (gone now?) Someone once said we had a part in Fishy Moores too but ?? I remember the Christman Pantos at the Hippodrome. I could spend all day here. Here and Google Earth!! Thank you once again. Josie
29th Sep 2009Ann Rushton nee BoyleEx Warwicks now Queensland AustraliaI am trying to find Judith Ling, the daughter of prof Ling of the School of Architecture at Nottingham - he was employed on the rebuilding of Coventry cathedral - Judith was my best freind at Leamington college & I do so want to find her & renew our contact. Can you help?
29th Sep 2009Jenny ArthurNuneatonI am trying to get some information about the Jubilee Pub, Hilfields which has now been demolished. I believe a member of my husbands family was the Landlord /Landlady in the late 1970s. Does anyone remember this pub and the people who ran it?
Thank you for your help.
28th Sep 2009Stella JohnsonStyvechaleI was born in Coventry 1946 with in the old City Walls. What a brillaint site well done.
This is a brilliant site.
28th Sep 2009Carole WilshawStoke, Coventry.Great website!. I was born in Coventry but moved away in the mid 1970s. My mum told me lots of stories about the war and her early years - I wished I had listened to her more but I was too busy enjoying myself at 'the Lanch' or dancing the nights away in the Locarno Ballroom. I've been researching my family name of 'Hancox' and it's great to be able to match your photos to addresses I've found in the census records. Many thanks for such interesting information, Carole
20th Sep 2009Bob PickeringSomersetWhat a wonderful site - I picked it up from my Sister, Helen who is a Coventry Kid.
We moved to Cov late 1939 and lived in Mary Herbert Street, Cheylesmore through the war and long after. I was heavily involved with the 40th Coventry Sea Scouts, Gang Shows, Warwick Rd Youth Club and dancing at the Casino, Matrix, GEC and anywhere else that was open at the time.
13th Sep 2009Maureen Thurlbeck Following the article 'Memories of Cecelia Cargill', I am trying to trace details of a relative who was a Warden at Finham Park Hostel around 1948. Her name was Helen Motum, or she may have been known as Louisa Helen Motum, and I wondered if anyone has any information which may assist me in my search.
3rd Sep 2009Mabel WaltersPolesworthI remember that we had a mother and 2 or 3 children to stay with us at Polesworth at the start of the War... they only stayed a short time, but I know that a few years ago one of the family visited a shop in the village enquiring after our family... unfortunately the shopkeeper didnt take any details! A long shot I know, but I would love to hear from them if possible!
31st Aug 2009Robert WilsonCoventryWhat a brilliant site you have created. I was so thrilled to have found this site only moments ago while searching for the Art College in Ford Street in the 1950s.
Great Job !!!!!
Bob Wilson
21st Aug 2009Jayne MiddletonGreat Yarmouth NorfolkI was born in Coventry at the Walsgrave hospital in 1972. We lived at Park Avenue in Holbrooks. My nanny still lives there today.
17th Aug 2009Rebecca ParryHartford, CTI was in Coventry on a business trip and found your website very helpful and interesting. You did a great job, it must have taken many hours to put it together.
[Many thanks Rebecca. Yes, many, many hours - but all of them enjoyable!]
11th Aug 2009David John BrownCornwallCoventry kid 1946. Second time on reading guest book came across Les Wood of Tallants Rd Bell Green. I lived 6 Tallants Rd, my neighbours at number 4 were called the Woods. Also in the road; Mick Ward, Bobby Littlewood and Ray Johns. Nice reading memories of people who live and stayed in the city, really good site.
11th Aug 2009Dean CampbellHinckleyExcellent site. Full of intersting info about Cov. I was born in Coventry in 1962, married on Cup Final Day(!) and although I now live in Hinckley, the city is still a big part of my life through family, work and, of course, football. I was directed to your site by asking for links to Dutton family or Roe family as I am building a family tree, which on my Granddad's side is all Coventry as far back as I can get (about 1750s). The particular link was from Moira Forbes who commented on 21st March 2009 that her 'Dutton and Roe ancestors were silk weavers in Spon End'. This ties in with my tree indicating that we may be related.
7th Aug 2009DavidNottinghamshireBorn in Coventry 1944. I remember "Happy" the pretend traffic policeman. I think he was a long-term resident of the Salvation Army hostel.
On a different subject, I paid a visit to London Road Cemetery this week to try and locate the grave of my G Grandmother, and to look at the Blitz Memorial which is a mass grave and contains over 600 names of the victims of the Coventry air-raids. Among the names are those of my great uncle and his wife who were killed in the notorious November 14th raid. They were sheltering in the basement of the West-End Club in Spon End when the place took a direct hit.
Although the memorial was neat and tidy I must say that the general state of the cemetery leaves much to be desired, with most of the plot markers missing and many headstones in a state of disrepair.
30th Jul 2009David LeaderSissinghurst KentI was born in Primrose Hill St Oct 1939 and we moved to Sparkbrook St in 44/45. I remember the Caries Eddy, Margaret and John, the Murphys and the Bathes lived next door. We left 47/48 and moved all over England until we finished up here in Sissinghurst where I married a local girl 46 years ago. It would be nice to find someone who remembers me.
25th Jul 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth W. AustraliaYes, John Gee, I remember getting 'banged' in in '62 at Herberts, Red Lane. That was the custom when you were going to be married. It was usually at lunch time then to find your desk all decked up with wedding paraphernalia. Most embarrassing for us 'girls'. Everyone would bang on the metal filing cabinets so you can imagine the noise.
Ahh, the good times !!
22nd Jul 2009John GeePrestwich ManchesterI wonder if any of the apprentices at Herbert's remember the banging out ceremony after you had finished your time. I remember mine, Friday afternoon, walked into the main shop at Edgewick. The noise was incredible by the time I reached the other end. Then silence. My Dad crying at bay eleven. Couldn't understand that! I do now.
Regards John
18th Jul 2009David John BrownCornwallCoventry kid 1946 Gosford St. Poor but happy time for me. Lived back of army and navy store (near penny arcade) I think they called them courts one up one down outside tap toilet block for six families, one big play ground for me.
I remember this character well, the man who thought he a was traffic policeman, we used to wave to him when he rode past, his nick name to us was happy. A lot of stories to his behaviour.
17th Jul 2009Peter Goadby-WattHitchin, HertsOriginally a Coventry kid born in 1966 and moved to London in 1977. Most of my memories of Coventry are happy ones, yet everything seemed grey (made of concrete). I went to Stoke Lodge School and then Barrs Hill for a term and lived in Naul's Mill House. The only time I seem to go back is for family funerals these days... but I do have happy memories. Great site!
16th Jul 2009Malcolm PowellCoventryI was born in Much Park St 1944, we lived at the rear of 62 Much Park St. I went to St Michael's School opposite Mrs Pratts sweet shop. The school was next door to the Lord Rodeny and the Dew Drop Inn cafe. Over the road was Lynches on the corner and the White Hart and Builders Club round the corner towards Rex the barbers and the old brewery.
15th Jul 2009Alan EdgsonModbury, DevonTalking with a friend recently about colourful Coventry eccentrics we were trying to think of the man who, in the late 40s early 50s, thought he was a police officer. In those days we still had policemen on point duty directing the traffic and this man rode around on his bike in the city centre and wherever he saw traffic would dismount and wearing huge white gauntlets stand in the middle of the road and direct drivers with elaborate waving with his arms totally ignoring the curses that were directed at him for making things far worse. He had a nickname and we could not remember it. Can anyone help?
14th Jul 2009Pamela JohnstoneMilton KeynesMy Father was killed in the blitz of Coventry April 1941 Found this site by accident while reading a book that said Churchill knew about the bombing. He was killed in a shelter at Greyfriers. Name Roland Smith aged 27. Just a few months before I was born. Very interesting site.
12th Jul 2009Rebekah MarkhamMansfieldMy husband's ancestors are the Timms from Coventry, who married into the Rowley's. Patrick and Alice Timms came over from Ireland before 1834 and settled on Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill. They soon moved to Palmer Lane, city centre. Patrick died in 1849 in a paper 'hospital' (small house) at New Buildings and was buried in a paupers grave at London Rd cemetery. Alice was left with 7 children. Does anyone recognise these family names, or have any knowledge about Palmer Lane or the pauper home? I've been unable to establish whether they came to England with any of their families.
3rd Jul 2009Mark ForbesCoventryWhat a great web-site. I was born in the City in 1966 in Willenhall. I am very proud to tell people that I am from Coventry. I love my city and its football team. Your web-site is a great tribute to a very under-rated city. Keep up the good work.
24th Jun 2009John GeePrestwich. ManchesterAlfred Herberts apprentice 1955-61. Freeman of Coventry. Love the site, loved old Coventry. Now a retired stranger in Manchester. Thanks for your efforts in reminding me of my roots.
Best regards, John
19th Jun 2009Carol Ann GizelbachCoventry, EnglandBorn and raised in Coventry. Now living in the USA. Looking at the pictures brought me back to when I was a child. We lived in the Butts, Coventry. The pub you depicted was one my dad used to frequent after working hard in the factory. I have lots of fond memories of a wonderful childhood in the great City of Coventry.
Thank you for this site.
18th Jun 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, AustraliaGood on you Paul Martin, we think you have the makings of an excellent 'town planner'
17th Jun 2009Peter StilesCoventryBorn and bred in the city and very proud to be a true Coventrian, became a freeman of the city in 1965 and a member of the freemans guild in 2002 on returning to my roots. I am shocked at how much of the historic parts of the city have been lost by the so called redevelopement of the city. May I thank you for doing your bit to ensure that future generations will be able to see how great our city was and let them see if regeneration is progress as I have my doubts. Thanks once again for a very interesting and informative web site, it is good to see someone cares about our past.
12th Jun 2009DilanBirminghamVery good site, helped me loads!
11th Jun 2009P.J. CaseyCoventry born living in KentI strayed into this website whilst researching the work of Douglas Gibson. This is a wonderful website, Rob, and a valuable source of information for amateur and professional historians. Many thanks for all your hard work and dedication in putting it all together (although I rather think it was/is something of a labour of love, wasn't it?)
Best wishes.
10th Jun 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, AustraliaThank you for all the new content this past couple of months Rob. You seem to put us all right into the picture. I think I can speak for us all in Australia when we feel lucky to be transported back home for a while.
Dare we look forward to lots more ?
[Many thanks Jo - and yes, there's always something more to add!]
9th Jun 2009Susan GreenCoventryWhat a wonderfully clever Website. A true work of devotion - I have enjoyed every bit of it. I was born in Coventry in the 1950s and left in the 1960s. When I returned recently I was in total shock to find the beautiful Art Deco Coventry Theatre demolished and just couldn't believe what has replaced it. Even the much criticised post war planners with their modern futuristic scheme for Coventry had more eye for design and the history of the place than subsequent designers. 1960s Broad Gate was a thing of beauty compared to what it looks like now. The sheer ugliness of the monstrous Ring Road, The vile University Building (that looks like something out of Soylent Green), The gigantic crumbling concrete Car Parks, just beggar belief - are they blind!! Much of the social housing that has been built since the war is far more dreary and inhuman than the so called "slum Streets" in districts like Hill Fields and Foleshill with their rows of red bricked Villa's and Terraces. Many of these types of little houses have been renovated and restored in the East End of London and are now sought after properties. Lets hope the present day planners take a look at your brilliant website and endeavour to do better next time! We can only hope!
[Sincere thanks for such kindness Susan, this website is a pleasure!]
7th Jun 2009Margaret Mole (nee Harris)Queensland AustraliaJust to tell you that "Songs of Praise" was on the ABC TV here (Australia) last Sunday and the venue was Coventry, and did the Cathedrals look lovely when the sun was shining. Made me feel so home sick, it was lovely to think we were there only last September but that seems years ago.
Love this site. I have a check every so many days to see if there is anyone I know. Marg.
Keep up the good work, and where are all of you from Windmill Rd. School?
2nd Jun 2009Brian GubbinsBedfordshireAn excellent site.
Trying to trace the Willoughby and Jones families, who lived at 261 and 263 Holbrook Lane, Coventry, respectively, in the 1960s.
Any ideas please.
31st May 2009Paul SmithColchester, EssexA Coventry kid by origin, my family still live there. Paid a visit to the City centre this weekend (31st May 2009) The area around the cathedrals is stunning, and I actually think that much of the 'new' City centre has been very thoughtfully planned and is very good. Went inside St. Mary's Guildhall for the first time and it left an indelible impression on me. It saddens me though to see the destruction wrought on Broadgate - the only downside of the redevelopment in my view. I have fond memories of the garden island as a child. Well done on this very interesting site. You've clearly gone to a lot of time to research it.
24th May 2009Margaret Gibbs TimmermanBrooksville, Florida, USAMy father's name was Frederick Jerome Gibbs, Jr. He passed away 7/15/02. My grandfather was Frederick Jerome Gibbs, Sr. Your website is amazing - like taking an enjoyable, educational vacation while sitting at my computer.
23rd May 2009Pamela WhiteleyNew ZealandHi Rob
What a well thought out and informative site. My relatives on the maternal side were from Coventry - so I have a vested interest
Thanks
Pamela
[You're very kind to say that, thank you Pamela.]
14th May 2009John ForsterAdelaide South Australia, originally CoventryBorn and bred in Coventry 1939, moved to Auz 74, really enjoy your web site, brings back memories
8th May 2009Tony AldousHillfields CoventryFirst time on this site. Brill.
Just looking at the comment from Alan 6th Dec 2006. I also remember Sackville St where my Nan and Pamp lived. The upper and lower bomb sites where we add massion bomb fire in November, and the tiny mission where all us kids played. Great memories...
We actually lived on the corner of Stockton Rd in the grocery shop, and got to Sackville St through the entry opposite.
Going back to read more...
5th May 2009Marion D. LaBoCordova, Alabama U.S.A.During WW11 I lived in Croydon, Surrey, England.
A soldier in the R.E.M.E. was billeted across from our house. His name was James Henry and he was from Coventry. We became friends but in 1948 I moved to the U.S. and we lost touch. I visited him and his family one time and I remember we went to a beautiful Catholic church. I don't know if he is still living but I have often wondered how his life turned out.
4th May 2009Teresa JackowskiCanadaI was watching an episode of the Time Team with Tony Robinson. (In Canada these episodes are 'new' to us!) They were in Coventry digging to find remains of the 1st cathedral St Mary's that was destroyed during Henry VIII's rampage.
I ended up finding your site and it is a great site. Lots of information, lots of historical pictures and great editorial. The story and pictures of the impact of the blitz on your city was very enlightening. Even more than 60 years later you can still get an idea of the horror that took place.
I enjoyed your site and just wanted to let you know.
29th Apr 2009Michael BillingsChlorokas, Paphos, CyprusBrilliant to see again such lovely photos of old Coventry, well done for your website.
I was born in Little Park Street in 1943 (our house was where the Police Station now is) and we moved from there to Walsall St in Canley before I went to Wyre Farm School (later to become The City of Coventry Boarding School).
My Grandmother lived in Spon Street in the house behind Fennell's Music Shop and can remember the house, yard and Fennell's as if it was yesterday.
Once again thankyou for your website.
27th Apr 2009Richard MUgandaI have never lived in Coventry but I found your website very interesting. I found it while trying to look for a lost friend called Lynne Doherty. She lives or at least used to live near St. James' Church and married to Ray with two children, Nikki and James. If any one knows any info about them please email me:
22nd Apr 2009Rob ThackerPoole, DorsetAn excellent site! Well done! As a proud Cov Kid, born in the early 50s I found the photos particularly interesting.
19th Apr 2009Philip AlbrightonTutts Clump BerkshireI have enjoyed looking at your site and found it very interesting as I'm trying to find out information about my father and his family who lived in the Hand and Bottle Yard, Atherstone in 1915. My wife and I are going to come up for a weekend soon for a nostalgic visit. With the surname of Albrighton we hope to find more out about my family.
18th Apr 2009Sadie HancockLincolnshireI was born and raised in Coventry and left in about 1983. My family and 3 siblings still live in Coventry so I return at least twice a year. I miss the Coventry I remember and although some improvement have been made I still think there is much to do. I would love to return for good and always planned to but I am saddened that it still looks shabby. I sincerely hope that the planners of its future will develop it to contrast the old and the new AND we certainly don't want some experimental planning like we have had in the past. Thank you for your website I will always treasure it.
17th Apr 2009Lol NicholsonOld ArleyA really interesting website.
My Mother lived in George St and was Married at St Marks Church. My Mother in Law lived in Whitefriars St during the blitz with her Mother, they used to Holiday with the Mancinis (Victors Ice Cream)
How nice it's been to see some of Old Coventry via your site
16th Apr 2009Karen SmithRadford, CoventryI am looking for anyone who may have, or remember, the Jaguar Dance Troop from the early 1960s. My mother was one of the dancers and she has sadly passed away, her name was Shirley Sadler. If anyone has any photographs or information about the troupe, or even knew her, I would love to hear from them.
Thank you,
Karen Smith (daughter)
15th Apr 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, Western AustraliaThank you Alan Edgson, I stand corrected. Who could forget those wonderful 'knickerbocker glories' at the Moo Cow milkbar. It was a regular treat when my mother took me there after attending the cinema. You have turned over so many more memories now, even the cornish icecream in Devon, can't beat it.
14th Apr 2009Janet EvansCoventryHooray!!!!!! Thanks to this wonderful site, and thanks to Alan Edgson, for finally coming up with the name of the coffee bar in Gosford Street. At last I can carry on telling my grandchildren the story that I started. I have also introduced my 18year old granddaughter to this site and she is absolutely enthralled with it. Again, thanks to Rob and all the visitors to the site, for answering my question.
14th Apr 2009Alan EdgsonModbury, S. DevonRegarding the query from Janet Evans, the coffee bar in question was the "Domino", it was (I believe), first on the same side as the Gaumont then moved to the opposite side of the road. The other popular cafe was the "Moo Cow milk bar" which was on the opposite side to the old Scala cinema near to the Gosford Green lights.
And for Jo & Tony Shepherd, D'Di'Mascios ice cream parlour was in Victoria St. in Hillfields.
Wonderfull memories...
10th Apr 2009Kip KibblewhiteCanterbury, New ZealandA friend of mine, who I met on the net through an interest in photography, told me of your site as he was born and spent his childhood in coventry. We are both "O.A.P.", and we get to meet most days and swap stories. I am far from being a history buff, but I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your site, and appreciate all the time and effort you have put into it. Great job. Kind regards, Kip
8th Apr 2009John CarterNottingham (since 1973) but born Whoberley, Cov, 1948Hi Rob, this site of yours has been on my favs list for a long time. You have made a really great job of it and I applaud you. Reading Keith Longmore's memories recently made me realise that he must have lived very close to me in Whoberley. I was born and raised on Gorseway, off Glendower Ave that Keith mentions. I recall that the Post Office at the junction of Glendower and Broad Lane was run by a Mrs Hawthorne? I had a paper round there for a long time! Cov Evening Telegraph 6 nights and Sunday papers (that weighed a ton!) I still remember the Co-op Divi number we kids had to quote when we shopped there - 52427! Ah! Halcyon days! despite the shortages! Keep up the great work, Rob, and thank you!! John.
5th Apr 2009M. TreadgoldCoventryWonderful to see the photos, my husband was born in Coventry and we lived there until 1981. Both our families have links with the city through family. Mine were the Bailys and Bromfields to name but two.
4th Apr 2009Sally KayeA Coventry kid!I should be doing other things right now - but this is a gem of a website!
My family came from Much Park St and my paternal grandmother (Lilian Howe) ran a general store next door to the 'Do Drop Inn'... I can see the interior of the shop even now. I can still smell it too, such childhood memories.
I came to this site from the 'Swing 'em Fair' book, fascinating to read.
I attended All Saints School in Vecqueray St and we lived at No 5 Atkins Square on Gosford Green. My father, Harry Howe, was the local window cleaner and a former England school boy international rugby player along with other well known team members in the 1930s. He attended John Gulson School.
I'll be back - so interesting - thank you.
4th Apr 2009WendyTamworth, NSW, AustraliaAfter viewing so much more of your site about the Blitz, I am overwhelemed with the devastation the people of Coventry experienced and now question whether my Great Grandparents (Charles & Lucy 'Edith' Milligan) may have in fact perished in this event, explaining why their trail has gone cold in my research, as has my hunt for my Grandmothers sister (Edith Gertrude Milligan). If they were still living their at the time (which I think they were) with Great Grandfather working in one of the factories turned into making ammunitions during the war we were told, it would make his place of employment a key target.
So many lost their lives, so many families disconnected. My Grandmother may have been a lucky one to escape to Australia with her new Army husband after WW1.
Your website may actually answer a lot for our family. Just amazing the time and effort that has been put into it all. I am sure it will touch many families for many years to come. Its sad to think so much was lost for families of the area.
Good Luck to all who find this site. It has been a real eye opener to me.
4th Apr 2009WendyTamworth, NSW, AustraliaMy Grandmother was Cissy (Cissie) Milligan who married William Melville Dwyer in 1918 (Australian soldier) in St Peter Parish Church Coventry. Her parents Charles & Lucy 'Edith' Milligan were known to live in Coventry with their 2 daughters which included Edith Gertrude 'Gertie' in 1911 census & when Cissy married 1918. Her father Charles worked in one of the factories as he was a bicycle builder/cycle fitter. Finding your site has been of great interest learning about the area. I have not been able to locate anything on the family since Cissy left Coventry a month after her marriage. Charles Milligan must have stayed working in one of the factories. In 1918 I found they lived at 47 Wright St. Coventry but where they went after that is a mystery to me.
I just love reading others stories and seeing pictures of where ancestors came from so your site is wonderful - Thank you for sharing such interesting things with people like me on the other side of the world. Regards Wendy in Oz
27th Mar 2009Brian RotherhamRugbyHi. I just wanted to say that you have done a fantastic job with your information and pictures on these websites. I have just found out, with your help, where my Great great great great Grandad lived! New Street Coventry. Thank you very much again for your time in doing this. Am off now to tell my Dad where his ancestors lived. Thanks again.
25th Mar 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth. Western AustraliaAfter reading the comments from Ms. Janet Evans I was wondering if the coffee bar she referred to was D'Di Massios Icecream Parlour (not sure if I have spelt the name correctly). A friend from school, namely Valerie White, had a birthday party there, and I am sure her parents were operating the business at that time, and that would have been in the early 50s.
Anyway, hello Janet, nice to hear of someone from my 'era' :-)
23rd Mar 2009Janet Evans I came across this site by accident. Unbelievable! It is SO interesting. My 93 year old mother was born and bred in Coventry and loves to tell the tales to anyone who will listen. I have bought her many, many books on old Coventry, which she cherishes, but nothing like your web-site where real people tell real stories. Have you thought of publishing all this in a book? Absolutely wonderful, thank you!
P.S. Can anyone remember the name of the coffee bar which was situated in Gosford Steet in late 50s? It was near the Gaumont cinema, going out of town on right hand side. That is what I was trying to find out, but have been too engrossed in your articles. Once again, thank you.
23rd Mar 2009Lucy Annabelle MorganBalsall Common CoventryLike hi and bye
21st Mar 2009Moira Forbes (nee O'Rourke)Born, raised and married in Coventry, now living in Auckland New ZealandWhat a wonderful site, bringing back so many memories. I was born in 1952 in my grandmothers house in Brunswick Road, Earlsdon, and lived in Frankton Ave, Styvechale. My grandmother survived the blitz, bringing up my mother who was born in 1930 on her own, taking in borders/lodgers to make ends meet. When asked she would tell me about the bombing raids on Coventry, and many stories of survival, rashion books, black outs, losing her eyebrows (that never grew back) from the blast from a bomb, that was a direct hit on the opposite side of the street, living without glass windows for the duration, and the kindness of the ARP wardens who came to check that all was well and how she was managing, and how Coventry people all pulled together and helped each other if they could, making me proud to be a "Cov Kid" to this day. I am also researching my family history in Coventry, mainly names, Elam, Tyrrell, Dutton and Roe. My Dutton and Roe ancestors were silk weavers in Spon End.
20th Mar 2009Good NewsOzWe have linked your great, interesting and informative site from The Good News Network for the month of March, as Coventry has been chosen winner of GNN's Good City Award.
20th Mar 2009Geneva FarrFamily from Coventry England, now from Chalfont PAI came from the Leach family.
19th Mar 2009Brendan HoareManchesterNice to see that somebody is taking such care to preserve memories of such a beautiful city, so dreadfully ravaged by war, town planners and politicians.
19th Mar 2009Claire PanceroCincinnati, OhioMy visit to the bombed Cathedral still stands out in my memory as one of the most significant places in England. The stark reality I viewed there forty years ago spoke thousands of words that can never adequately be put in print. Visitors paid homage by their respectful low voices.
10th Mar 2009Judy HartBilbao, SpainAlthough English, from London, I have lived in Spain for the last thirty years. This last weekend I have visited Coventry (my son is studying at Uni there) and was pleasantly surprised by it. I have found your website extremely interesting and informative especially all the old photos.
Congratulations!
7th Mar 2009David CohaganGrapevine, Texas USAThe wife and I are planning a trip the the UK this summer. My mothers family was from Coventry.
Coates was the name. They survived the blitz, thankfully. We are looking forward to finally seeing her homeland.
5th Mar 2009Carole MilesBorn in Coventry, living in WinchesterA really informative web site. Well done guys. I agree you could easily spend hours here. I am researching the River Sherbourne flood of March 1882 and wondered if you had either any info or could guide me in the right direction. Many thanks and keep up the good work.
[My pleasure Carole. It might be well worth trying the Coventry History Centre for further information.]
28th Feb 2009Heather HudsonCoventryTripped over your site today!
Wonderful!! A Cov kid who knows his West Orchard from his West Orchards!! Loads of great photos, and a superb web links page. Great resource. Will return.
[Thank you for your kindness Heather, it's all my pleasure.]
27th Feb 2009Dennis NW HydeNow living in Worthing West SussexI was born in Birmingham and my parents moved to Coventry in 1926, I was then two years of age. I lived through the November and April raids before I joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1942. I left Coventry in 1972 to retire to the south. I have just been looking at your website with the utmost interest, it has brought back many lovely memories, thank you.
25th Feb 2009George Shaw I'm currently doing some light research into Coventry to use as a setting in a story and your site came up on a google search. It's very engaging! The evolving map feature is excellent and the past and present photos are a powerful reminder of the forces at work on the city, especially in the 20th century.
Applause!
19th Feb 2009Napier New ZealandJeremy Robinson HuttThanks. Born and raised in the city as were several generations of Hutts living and working in Bayley Lane and the old Palace Yard.
17th Feb 2009Claire HylansSouth Derbys.Wonderfully informative, and more importantly, interesting! I was born in Coventry and my father and his parents and siblings (Mr & Mrs Peabody) lived in Vine Street in the late 1930s onwards. You have given me a new perspective on the place of my birth. Nevermind shopping next time I'm back! I'm off to explore!!!
16th Feb 2009Janet UptonDenver, Colorado, USAI am working on my father's genealogy, Norman Leslie William Graham. He was born at 9 Melville Rd. On Oct 13 1906, certified birth entry #483, in birth register book #101, in the sub district St. John in the counties of Coventry & Warwick and baptized 10-31-06 #105 by I A Atkenson, Vicar in St. Michael's Church, Coventry. I arrived at your site because I wanted to see where Melville Road was. I have spent about 2 hours enjoying your site.
If you have any information I would enjoy learning where to look. Thank you
5th Feb 2009MichelleNewcastle Live and Coventry I am proud of living here, have lots to do here, met lots of friends, let's all be proud to live here ...
5th Feb 2009Brian McgeeClarinbridge, Co. Galway (born Westwood Rd, Earlsdon)Just discovered your lovely website Rob. It's amazingly done. Want to spend all day on it. Great stuff.
[You're very kind Brian - have fun! Thank you!]
27th Jan 2009Sheila SerioToronto, OntarioI looked up your webpage after reading a booked titled Coventry by Helen Humphreys, which describes the night of the bombing in November, 1940 when the cathedral was hit. It is a well written book and it peeked my curosity about the cathedral and what it looked like.
27th Jan 2009Glenys WoodCarmarthenshireI'd like to compliment you on your web site. My husband's family came from Coventry Thomas Street, and have been researching his family for about 12 years. It was nice to see photos of Coventry then and now. My husband's grt grt grt grandmother died in Fords Hospital and was nice to see the building. One day I will get to make a visit, although I feel as if I've been there now thanks to you and your family. Many Thanks, Glenys.
24th Jan 2009BrianResearcher, Lancs.Fantastically informative site, and extremely helpful owner.
Thanks Rob, all very much appreciated.
20th Jan 2009Jo & Tony ShepherdPerth, Western AustraliaWhat a wonderful trip down memory lane from Mr. Cohen. A lot of folk would call those the good old days. Thank you Rob for sharing his memoirs with us.
19th Jan 2009Jo EvansSussexI love your web pages. I find them very easy to read and informative, and I like the level of detail and the appropriate use of photographs. My son has just started at Coventry University, and his room overlooks the cathedral. Having grown up near Wolverhampton I knew a little about the destruction of Coventry during World War II, but wanted to find some more information for him. Your site is perfect. Thank you.
[It's all my pleasure Jo, thank you!]
9th Jan 2009TraceyRugbyWhat a wonderful site. I was born in Coundon in 1962, moving to Binley Woods in 1968, to Allesley Village in 1972 and to Cannon Hill in 1977 until 1983. After a brief time in Bournemouth and Reading, I returned in 1985 to Allesley Green and then Eastern Green before leaving Coventry for the last time in 1989. Both my parents were born in Coventry (my mother 'within the city walls') and lived most of their lives in Coventry. I am interested in finding some history of Bremond College (Leamington Road), as I attended from 1976 to 1979 - can anyone help?
4th Jan 2009Lee Anne Sousa nee EburnWeymouth, Massachusetts USAI am researching my maiden name Eburn.
2nd Jan 2009SelinaCoventryI am always interested in the History of Coventry and have often used the internet to find out more information. With this in mind I would like to congratulate you on a fantastic site!. It was a pleasure to navigate around!!.
[Thank you so much for such a kind comment Selina.]
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