orn at 13 Canterbury Street in 1932 was the start of my sixteen year life in the UK prior to emigration in 1948, and so I only remember Coventry as it was in my minds eye pre, during and after the war, as I've never been back.
Personally, only Google and the Forum inform me of things now! As a newcomer to the forum, and the incredibly varied and interesting information to browse, I now realize that it is broadening my own aspects and affecting my simple view of "that's how it was". Keep it up people, I really enjoy all your past contributions. (I will come across them all one day!)
I see on the Google maps that number 11 Canterbury Street, and down and round Yardley Street to Wellington Street, is now a car-park. There used to be a school on the Wellington Street corner - double storey with outside iron stairs up to the classrooms. The kids used to come up to talk to me when I was parked in my pram in my gran's garden at the back of 13 Canterbury Street.
The streets, as most know, were generally cobble-stoned and very noisy as there was still horse drawn traffic up and down. I seem to remember my gran saying that they used to put straw on the streets to curb the clatter during the flue epidemic in 1918/19. She lost two sons on the same day, my dad being the only survivor.
On the corner of Canterbury Street and King William Street was a red brick building with a short-ish sort of tower, which had a clock or clocks. Certainly one faced down the street towards the Singer Factory. My point being that I have always known there was some sort of pub there known as "The Clock" but can find no reference of such an establishment in the Coventry Pub Tally. A few "Clock" pubs elsewhere, but few pubs at all in Hillfields by any name.
Since emigrating I've met two Coventrians. One in particular remembers my dad playing rugger at Frederic Bird's the day he got his nose busted in 1917, and both remembered and drank at the "clock" pub. It's a small world!
My second "anyone remember?" question is; There was a Fish and Chip shop upside of my number 13 entry called Goff's, but no idea when it closed. It's all forgotten now - delicatessen or car-park covering that part of my history!
I have had a long nagging recollection of an event that occurred in the early to mid 1930s, which took place as my mother and I were just about to cross over the road from my Gran's house at 98 Stoney Stanton Road. At the time I was in the process of learning the "look left, look right, then left again", which came to a sudden stop.... when looking left, mother suddenly yelled "Look, look", and there in the sky, moving in the space beyond and over the Canal Bridge, floating slowly and, to me soundlessly, from right to left was a large "silvery cigar shaped" Zeppelin, which l estimate now would have been overflying the Courthouse Green / Bell Green areas at the time, with Morris Motors & Alfred Herbert's more or less below, then on towards the Foleshill / Lockhurst Lane Gas Works, Riley, Jaguar, Dunlop and others, like the ball bearing /chain manufacturers, etc.
I write this late adjunct to comments made in the Blitz category on the forum as to how come the Luftwaffe had prior and accurate knowledge of target locations.
I recently came across an old 1998 edition of "This England" magazine, which refers to a Zeppelin sighting at Corsley in Wiltshire, and also in the 1930s by a youngster a few years older than myself. (See article on the right.)
No doubt many people in and around Coventry saw the same event that I did, though I've met and asked many ex Coventrians over the years if they knew anything, but to no avail.
I clearly remember my first carnival, viewed from an aunt's house on Berry Street, over from Primrose Hill Park and throwing ha'pennies down into buckets held up to us by oddly dressed young people - an elephant, penny farthing bicycles, men on stilts that seemed to be up to my window, a piano player, and a band on the back of a lorry. The drays and horses, harlequins, tumblers - and a cyclist with an oval front wheel bouncing up and down was hugely amusing, especially when he got stuck in the tram-line and went for a purler right in front of us! l remember he had to carry the cycle to the pavement side out of the way as it wouldn't push.
The horse was more impressive than Godiva. Later being shown Peeping Tom leaning and leering down at us from the window of his garret at the bottom of Bishop Street, turned to stone and sightless for daring to peep at the shapeless Godiva I saw in the carnival - to my young logic a travesty if ever there was! From that came a personal fetish as my bus-stop was below or over opposite to his garret. The Keresley 16A stopped in and out of town, and he always got a glance going or coming. Whatever the weather he was at his eeriest by street-light in fog! I wonder if he is still there?
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