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!
|20th Dec 2012||Paul Norman||Cropredy nr Banbury||Great site lots of interesting items. I was born in Wren St at my grans, and went to All Saints then Foxford leaving in 1961 to work for Astons Garage. Lots of the places mentioned on the site trigger some good memories of events and people.|
|15th Dec 2012||Brian Rowstron||Melbourne Australia||The mind boggles!|
|13th Dec 2012||Rubén||Valencia, Spain||Great website! I was an Erasmus student from Valencia University at the former Coventry Polytechnic back in 1989. My little tribute here to a wonderful teacher we had, Gwynn Howells. I had such a great time in Coventry -well, the treasure of youth...-, that I still remember it with fondness. "The Spanish bunch" used to go to The Dog and Trumpet (does it still exist?) and dance the nights away.... Now that I have been a teacher of English in Spain for over 20 years I still use Coventry-related material in my classes. I just discovered this website which will be part of it. Congratulations!|
|12th Dec 2012||Sandra Dee||Coventry||Anyone remember the old St Michaels school on London Road? When I left it was 100 years old, but a few years after I left it was pulled down. It was such a lovely school, I have never heard anyone ever mention it.|
|11th Dec 2012||Tim Walker||Watford Herts||Isherwoods potted meats. Tripe shop Swan Lane. Dan's ice cream van. D Di Mascio, the best ice cream in the world, Chitlings of the old market. Swanswell cafe. Mr. Bache milk man Stoke area. Any body remember these ? I was Born in Longfellow road. A true Cov kid.|
|7th Dec 2012||Sam Siklas||Mishawaka, Indiana||The church I attend, Albright United Methodist church of Mishawaka, also lost a church to fire. Lightning hit the church at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 2, 2006. The sanctuary and original classroom areas were gutted. (A 1962 addition with a gym was saved.) The members refused to let the church die; a new sanctuary was built on the site. It was dedicated in 2009. The "new" cathedral's "Z" wall design reminds me of the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso (Ind.) University.|
|1st Dec 2012||Steve Jervis||Coventry born||I have only just discovered this website and as a Coventrian by birth, I have to congratlate you on a wonderful site. I have spoken about it to my Father who lived through the Blitz etc. and hope to show him the treasures herein when I next visit him.|
Thanks once again and keep up the excellent work.
|18th Nov 2012||Christine Arnold||Hope Street||I was brought up in Hope Street in the 1950s and wondered if anyone remembers it or has any photos.|
|11th Nov 2012||Ken Peck||Berkshire||I too grew up in Stoke Heath (Heath Crescent), also born in Gulson Road Hospital (1937) and spent time in the canal area, railway sidings, plus the Morris common (named from Morris Motors Co.), where hundreds of council truck loads of the city's bomb damage rubble and building remains were dumped - made a terific play area for kids. I remember the remains of Brett's stamping works near North Street before the area became a wholesale market. I can even remember the barrage balloon site (active) at the top of Mercer Ave and Swancroft Road, and the Italian Prisoners-of-war who, later-day, were shipped in daily to demolish and fill-in the large (underground) air raid shelters on the common land adjacent to Mercer Avenue at the end of North Street. I have a vague recollection of the name Jephcott too (at Stoke Heath school?). The Sheakspeare family lived in North Street, as did the Hancock family - one was a contemporary of mine (Reg?). It was an exciting childhood, rumaging in the bombed buildings, collecting shrapnel after a night's German raid, and knowing the identity of every British aircraft in the sky. That's what kids did in that period. Hardly any cars on the streets which is where we played (improvising) football, cricket and "tippit" and rounders (will anyone know today what tippit is?). As young kids we roamed during and after the war, everywhere and anywhere we decided - no parental hand-holding. You became naturally streetwise and smart. I still return occasionally to what's left of that once proud, prosperous, manufacturing and engineering city. Sadly today it seems just a large unprosperous and impovershed shadow of its former vigorous self. But, who knows; maybe the future has yet good things in store for a new city of Coventry.|
|11th Nov 2012||David John Jephcott||Milan Italy||I grew up in North Street Stoke Heath from 1941 until 1958. Was born in Gulson Road Hospital and used to play on Barras Heath and adjacent railway sidings before it became a wholesale food market. Vaguely rememember V day sitting on a bench on what we called the common watching fireworks. Used to play a lot by the canal catching newts and tadpoles as well as playing in the disused signal box in the sidings. Great memories|
|27th Oct 2012||Fraser Dickson||Bovey Tracey, Devon||My grandmother was a BLYTHE; Emily Mary Blythe [1874-1963) born in Leamington, the grand-daughter of James Blythe, who founded Blythe & Sons at 16 Market Place, Coventry (1835-1912). [Wholesale and retail fish, game, and poultry salesman, commission-agents and ice Merchants, COVENTRY]. James Blythe married Harriet Parsons in 1845 at Holy Trinity, Coventry. I am interested to contact any BLYTHES descended from these Blythes. One of the descendants is His Hon. Judge James Forbes Blythe T.D. born at Coventry in 1917 who was a son of a James Forbes Blythe born in 1878 a Solicitor.|
|21st Oct 2012||Downunder||Queensland, was Foleshill||Hi,|
I met a girl from Radford and another from Ansty and we had afternoon tea with a Londoner and an Aussie, by the time we had finished the poor 2 non Cov. kids found it hard to understand us. I mean who don't know what a Batch is, especially one with faggots in. Marg
|19th Oct 2012||John Mcdonald||Tile Hill, Coventry||Hi, I have lived in Thailand now for a long time, would like to know a bit about Tile Hill.|
|18th Sep 2012||Trevor Jones||Grangemouth Road, Radford.||The stories out of Coventry and area is frightening. Not the Coventry I lived in during the mid 1930s thru the mid 1950s.|
|17th Sep 2012||Jeremy Deakin||Willenhall, Coventry||I have just discovered this web site and it is fantastic, it takes me back right back to the old Coventry which I was born and raised in. The town centre has changed so much. I was raised as a child in the Willenhall area of Coventry and I still live there now. My grand parents lived in the same street as well as my mum and dad. My mother worked for the G.E.C. as well as my aunties. My father worked for Jagauar cars, which sadly mainly all our motor industry has all but vanished. My wife is from South Africa but her parents were Coventry born, they couldn't believe how much Coventry had changed and how much of our lovely town centre we had lost. I have so many fond memeories as a child especially in the 1980s, My favourite shop was Barnby's (it use to be where Central Libary is now). Does anybody have any photos of Barnby's as I would love to show my wife what it was like. Many thanks for all your time and effort in building this site it makes feel proud to be from Coventry.|
|5th Sep 2012||Andrew Dawson||S Wales||I've looked at your site with fascination having moved to Coventry aged 3 when my architect father Stanley joined Donald Gibson's department for two years. I can remember being taken into central Coventry and my clearest recollection is waiting for the Peeping Tom clock. We lived in Langley Croft in the then developing Tile Hill area.|
|28th Aug 2012||June Greenough||Surrey||I was born in 1945 at Gulson Road Hospital. My mother was working in a Munitions factory in the canteen part there, she had come from London. My father came from Stoke on Trent but not sure where he was working, although when in Stoke he worked as a miner. I remember them talking about a hostel. In those days of growing up in London they never spoke much about where they were working at or living. Nowadays I am into family history and trying to put the pieces of my past and my parents past into place.|
On my birth certificate it gives my mother's address as 7 Clara Street. Would that be close to the factories or hostel or was it in the centre of the city?
We moved down to London in 1947/8 so I know nothing about really the place I came from, so I get much pleasure in reading about Coventry on sites like this one.
|27th Jul 2012||Downunder||Queensland, Australia||Hi,|
I do manage to get and look at the site about 4 times a week to see who writes and to go to the Discussion Forum, where would we be without it when you are so far away and you are still the same Coventry Kid you have always been. Miss the place, hope I never have to miss the site.
|26th Jul 2012||A Coventry Carol||Australia||I was born at Gulson Rd hospital 1959. Went to St Osburg's and Bishop Ullathorne schools. Visiting this site evoked so many memories. Thankyou.|
|25th Jul 2012||Jo Vernon||Coventry||I must admit, Rob, that it has been a while since I logged on to your fantastic site, and what a wonderful site it is!! My, you have worked hard on it. I reckon John Shelton would be so proud of you! I'll need to start updating my own site now, although mine is nowhere near as knowledgeable as yours.|
|23rd Jul 2012||Vic Terry||Streetly End, West Wickham, Cambs||Just popped back for a quick look and I must say the site is looking GREAT; well done Rob|
|21st Jul 2012||Glynis Simpson||Coventry||A wonderful site & brought back many memories. Thank you to all who contributed.|
[Many thanks Glynis, the pleasure is all mine!]
|21st Jul 2012||Howling mad Tarling||Coventry kid but now Colchester Essex!!!||I've browsed through some of the past and present photos which are amazing. This has given me quite a taster and look forward to reading lots more on here, thankyou!|
[You're very kind, I hope you enjoy the rest of the site too!]
|16th Jun 2012||Coventry Lad||Holbrooks||Oh my goodness what have they done to Broadgate. This was once a delightful green space in the heart of the City. We now look like Wolverhampton!|
|14th Jun 2012||John McGowan||Holbrooks, Coventry||Why, are the council not giving the homeless some more money or living space?|
[You might like to discuss this on the discussion forum!]
|8th Jun 2012||Rob Nicholls||Tamworth||What a terrific website, I visit it regularly, for information. I was born in Burlington Road, Stoke Heath in the late 50s. I now live in Tamworth, but Coventry is still my City. Ok the town planners have made a few mistakes over the years, but there's still a lot of the beautiful old Coventry still there to see.|
|7th Jun 2012||Lynette Burke||Australia||I have just joined the forum and had a look at the virtual tour of Coventry. A big thank you for this now I can see some photos of the streets my ancestors lived in. Take Care, Lynette|
|5th Jun 2012||Gwen West||Western Australia||I have so much enjoyed looking at the photos but have only touched the surface of this wonderful site that you have put together, thank you for all your work.|
I was born in Holbrooks in 1944 & moved to Oz in 1972. I remember the damaged buildings as I grew up but it's not until we get older that we realise all that has been lost. I have been tracing our family tree for a couple of years now & it has revived my interest in the city I was born in.
|5th Jun 2012||Michelle||Cov, now living in France||Born in Coventry in 1967 in and left in 1985. Have been living in France now for more than 20 years. Coventry remains home however; all my family is there. Someone asked me about Coventry the other day and I wanted to brush up on the history. Your website has really helped with that, and brought back some memories.|
Can they demolish Cathedral Lanes please?!!
[You're very kind, thank you. Does anyone have a spare bulldozer - I'll do it?!]
|3rd Jun 2012||JMM||Far away||Viewing the magnificent Jubilee Pageant and tribute to our Queen when a chap in the crowd identified himself as "Chris from Coventry"!!|
|21st May 2012||Dawn Bowie||Kereseley, Warwickshire||I was born in Keresley Hospital April 16th 1963 to Myra and Ernie Smyth who ran "The Swanswell" on Hales St Coventry. I live in Anchorage Alaska now and would love to find pictures or memories of The Swanswell. I have so far been unable to find out much of anything.|
|21st May 2012||Jacko||Coventry||I can remember going to the Locarno on Saturday morning 12-2 and then again at 3-6.|
|17th May 2012||Ali||Cov||Wow I have learnt so much that I never knew before about where I live, wow.|
|16th May 2012||John Brady||Born Coventry 1939 Now living in Blackpool||I was in the Royal Warwickshire Regt. Band. We were there at the opening of the New Cathedral. I played in the Fanfare Team for the Queens Arrival and then we played the hymns inside for the Opening Service. I remember Playing the gorgeous descant in Solem Melody on Euphonium.|
|20th Apr 2012||Lynn Elliott||Atherstone||I lived in Coventry from 1979-1989, I then moved to Norfolk. I found this site when I was looking for something similar to the Norwich BlitzGhosts Photos, put on Flickr by Nick Stone, to see if anyone had done anything similar for Coventry. Though I realise that this would have been much more difficult for Coventry as the devastation of the blitz was in a more concentrated area than that of Norwich. I have found this site really interesting for a view of Coventry pre Blitz and also post 1989. I can't beleive what was done to Broadgate!|
|7th Apr 2012||Kate Chattaway||Adelaide, South Australia||I have very much enjoyed looking around your website. I am doing family history research on the Chattaways. Herbert William Chattaway was honorary architect to St Michael's Cathedral - in his early eighties he was still being hoisted up in a boson's chair to inspect the condition of the spire. Fortunately he died early in 1940 and never lived to see the destruction of the cathedral which he was instrumental in preserving as an architect and surveyor. I believe he was involved with the maintenance of Bablake School and designed their cricket pavillion.|
His son Herbert Walter Chattaway was apprenticed to Herbert senior and I believe the offices were in Butchers Row. Herbert Walter became a pilot in the First World War and an early commercial pilot. He went to Singapore in 1936 as deputy controller of the airport at Kallang and I believe that he may have been involved in its design. I would be very interested if you have any information on either man, particularly frm the architectural viewpoint. I think Herbert Walter went to Henry VIII school and his father may have done so too.
|29th Mar 2012||Harold David Endersby||Wellington Shropshire||I am a freeman of the city admitted to the court in 1953, worked for H Wood & Co.|
|20th Mar 2012||Margaret||born Coventry, now Wellington, NZ||Have just discovered this site - looks great. I left Coventry in 1956 and last visited in 2006.|
Keep up the good work!
[You're very kind Margaret, thank you, Rob]
|19th Mar 2012||Margaret Thomas||Coventry||I attended the Charter Primary School in the 1960s. And remember Mr Hales, and Mr Rosser. Are there any former pupils reading this who remember the school?|
[This is another good question for the discussion forum! Thanks, Rob]
|19th Mar 2012||Jackson||Walsall||Does anyone remember the Gas Tavern pub in Gas street? My nan and grandad ran it in the 50s, they had three children, Roger, Anne And Diane Jackson. I always thought that the pub was bombed but I am not sure.|
[This sounds like another good question for the discussion forum! Cheers, Rob]
|12th Mar 2012||Sandra Dee||Coventry||Someone asked what building is this? It was Trinity Hall my husband used to live there.|
[The members of the discussion forum would like to hear more about this Sandra. Thank you, Rob]
|8th Mar 2012||Mike Gilmore||Wiltshire||Most interesting, lived on the caravan site until about 1963 and I can remember the rubbish tip and playing on it. I went to the school on the end of Wyken Croft but cannot remember the name although I can recall my teacher who was Mr Bell who had a moustache.|
|5th Mar 2012||Philip Williams||Coventry||Some fab things on your site, no sorry not fab, the best history of Coventry site on the web to date. Keep up the good work. I have found a lot about Cov that I did not know. All the best, Phil|
|29th Feb 2012||Greg North||Watford - late of Ryton-on-Dunsmore||I moved from Coventry in the mid-1950s but the city has always remained in my heart. A lifelong Sky Blue fan, my son and his fiance now live in the city.|
This website is truly amazing and shows that there are enough well meaning people left to protect and document the history of our great city.
Long may Lady Godiva reign!
[I also truly appreciate your well meaning message Greg! Thank you, Rob]
|28th Feb 2012||Christopher Stembridge||Northern Italy||I visited Coventry often while the new cathedral was being built - before that I was a chorister at Lichfield (was it not called a 'sister' cathedral to the one Coventry lost?). I have not been to Coventry for about 50 years and thoroughly enjoyed perusing your website. Thank you so much.|
[My thanks go to you, too. Lichfield and Coventry cathedrals were indeed 'sisters', and both have a very proud tradition. You are more than welcome to join in on the discussion forum any time. Rob]
|22nd Feb 2012||MMJ||Bergen||You have created such a wonderful site and I have learnt so much about Coventry, the city I lived in, was bombed out of in 1940, and then returned to with my small family in 1941.|
I was educated at Little Heath, Broad Heath and the Coventry Tech and cringe when I read the comments on your Forum. Lack of sentence construction, run-on paragraphs, not even an attempt to spell correctly, and punctuation and grammar a mystery to most. And these are "Coventry Kids"?
I removed myself from your membership because the temptation to post corrected text proved too great. I admire you and your family for providing such a valuable site, and will drop in occasionally.
|18th Feb 2012||Allison||Lindon, Utah||How much do I love this website? Let me count the ways...|
I am working on a bachelor's degree in family history at BYU and am studying the Alfred Barker family who married in the Holy Trinity Church and raised their nine children in Coventry from the 1820s until 1870. I LOVE this website!!! The map section is INCREDIBLE. With the 1850 map I can see all the places they lived - Swanswell Terrace, Brick Kiln Lane, Much Park Lane, Silver Street. And then to have the aerial map of today superimposed on top. Fantastic! And the Now and Then page is absolutely amazing.
So thank you so much for this website. What a treasure!
[The pleasure really is mine - thanks to wonderfully kind people like yourself, Allison. Thank you, Rob]
|5th Feb 2012||Stuart Scott||Binley Woods||I grew up in Radford, as did my mother. I am 58 years old and as a child I used to go to Sunday School in what was called St Nicholas "church hall" a wooden building opposite the Radford pub. This was erected after the war prior to the new church being built, and was the church building when my parents were married in it in December 1950. I hope that this info is useful to those searching for info re St Nicholas Church.|
|30th Jan 2012||Norman Rees, formerly Swailes||Bolton, Lancs.||After my biological father died when I was 4 we moved to Coventry. We lived at 47 Elmsdale Ave. off Foleshill Road.|
|26th Jan 2012||Gary Whetton||Australia||Just came across this site while searching for family history. My mother is a Coventry lass and my GGF on her side (Dick Buttery) was featured on the cover of "Teamwork" news of the Nuffield Organization Febuary 1950 Volume 1 Number 6 (price of one penny).|
|5th Jan 2012||Steve Hoare||Cheylesmore/Stoke Coventry||What a brilliant site, can't keep off it. Haven't recognised any names yet. I was at Stoke school Briton rd., then Caludon Castle leaving xmas 1962, also in the 6th Boys Brigade in Harefield rd before joining the army for 9 years.|