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I have started to add photos of Larry Grayson to the dedicated section on the web site. A couple of lovely photos from Kay Farndon. I would like to hear of any memories of Larry and his life in Nuneaton as well as reminiscences of Astley Castle when Neville & Tom kept it. Remember the Parrott and the Great Dane they had when the Castle was Nuneaton's finest dining venue at the time?
Many thanks to Colin Yorke who has given me some interesting 1930's adverts which I have placed in the Memories/Local Newspaper Clippings, Press Cuttings section which evoke memories of those long forgotten between war years in Nuneaton town.
Alison Moore has sent a great picture of the congregation of St. Francis RC Church, Bedworth now shown under Photographs / Townscapes / Bedworth.
I have also added a new section on Daw Mill Colliery in the Photographs section.
Plus more photos........................................
THE NEXT NUNEATON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP MEETING:-
The Nuneaton Local History Group April Lecture - April 25th - The Story of the Public Execution of Mary Ball of Nuneaton - the last woman to be hung in Warwickshire told by her GGGGGGrandson - Bob Muscutt who has carried out an enormous amount of research into the tragic events that led up to her sentence and the terrible outcome which took place in 1849.
In the 1950's the National Coal Board moved its Laboratories to the former factory of Tansey's in Corporation Street Nuneaton where they established a centralised facility which had formerly been carried out at individual or at groups of collieries. This lady is carrying out examination of coal for quality, presence of gas and calorific values. Important work when Warwickshire had an important coalfield but all the collieries, and its attendant jobs have disappeared.
NEW - REMEMBERING WORLD WAR ONE 1914-2014
The War Diary and Memories of an ARLEY soldier - Frank Arnold in this fascinating memoir - DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY TODAY.
Click on the pdf symbol below..........................
STOP PRESS - NEW MATERIAL IN PREPARATION __________________________________________________________________________
COMING SOON - The Story of the Lancashire, Dublin & Royal Fusiliers billeted on Nuneaton in the first two months of 1915 before being sent to Gallipolli. Can you imagine the effect 7000 tanned fit and swashbuckling soldiers billeted two to a household on the working people of Nuneaton? Here are the Royal Fusiliers in Stockingford.
COMING SOON - Rare unseen video footage in colour of the terrible rail crash at Nuneaton station in June 1975. Never seen before. You will be able to view this shortly on this web site.
Local brick maker, coal master and industrialist - Reg. Stanley 1838-1914 spent ten years in the USA and during this time he kept a memoir of his adventures. Through a descendant of Mr. Stanley the late Reg. Rowley, an old friend of your web master, and great authority on the man and his life published his memoir as a booklet some 30 years ago. I have pleasure in reproducing this today as below. Please download it and enjoy his adventures in the days up to and during the great turmoil of the American Civil War.
NEW Cine Showcase of Rare Colour Film Footage of Nuneaton in the late 50's with flooded town centre. See Old Coton Road, Bondgate, Midland Red and Monty Moreton buses and a classic collection of narrow street scenes and old cars. Click here to watch the film (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
This is a great picture of Bermuda Ladies Football Team in the early 1950's. At the back - Annie Sparrow the Manager, Standing left to right, Mrs. Waite, Mrs. Seadon, Mrs. Kilburn, Joan Kent, Elsie Sheldon, Joan Clay, Violet Fowler, Mrs. Haycock. Sitting: Mrs. Coles, Violet Tallis, Jean Kent, Ann Warren, May Gibbs. Many thanks to Ralph Oldacres for supplying this wonderful image. Are any of these ladies or their families around today to tell us about life in Bermuda village back then and reminiscences of the football team.
Charles Phillimore's shop in Queens Road, Nuneaton was one of the town's most interesting businesses. The original rope,line and twine manufactory on this site dates back to c. 1820 when Joseph Scrivener (1793-1859) purchased property in what was then Wash Lane on the Chilvers Coton side and laid out a Rope Walk (that is where the current shopping centre gets its name from today). Mr. Scrivener purchased adjacent property which included the George & Dragon public house and built some tenement cottages which were thereafter referred to as Scrivener's Yard or George & Dragon Yard. On his death the rope business was purchased by Isaac Hogg and then later - Charles Phillimore. Whilst Mr. Phillimore went about his business of making Ropes, String, Lines, Twines for all purposes, his daughters set up this shop which as you can see was an emporium which sold a large range of dolls, toys and domestic bits and pieces sought after in the pre television age. Charles Phillimore died in 1940. (Courtesy - Colin Yorke in the collection of Dawn Smith)
This photograph was taken somewhere in Nuneaton (the old railwaymen's club in Oaston Road has been mentioned) of a bunch of young people enjoying themselves in an orderly fashion. Kids behaved themselves in the 50's. You can see they have moved the beer bottles and glasses to one side for a better photo. But who are they and what is the occasion?
Every town and village has its story, but that story is more often acted than told, and as the actors die out their tale of life and labour is all forgotten.
Alfred Lester Scrivener, Editor Nuneaton Observer, 1878
NEW Newsletter in Paper Format. Web sites are great but you may also welcome the satisfying plop of the arrival of a paper newsletter on your doormat, or to be able to pass it on to a non web connected relative. In 2014 you will be able to receive our newsletter by post. It will also incorporate a wealth of information on family history in the whole of the North Warwickshire and outlying parishes bordering the Watling Street in West Leicestershire. It will be packed with information about the history of our area and information on local families. £6 for four quarterly issues if you collect at Nuneaton Local History Group meetings or £8 by post (Inland UK). (Overseas postage details on request). To reserve your copy and for further details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A warm welcome and introduction to a local and family history resource, archive and online museum for the North Warwickshire Area. Research our area or bathe in nostalgia without leaving home 24 hours a day 7 days a week at your leisure. Free of Charge. Gratis!!_________________________________________________________
If your family name is Mallabone
or do you have Mallabone ancestors?
If so join us for a family re-union in
Chilvers Coton, their ancestral parish Saturday 19th April 2014.
A family photograph from the Mallabone family archives taken outside the Jolly Colliers Pub in College Street, Chilvers Coton. The Mallabones were associated with the Jolly Colliers for 100 years. Are there any members of the Mallabone Jolly Colliers family out there? The event appears to be a wedding and the groom with his family probably the girls are his sisters and one of other of the two men at the back his father, whilst the seated lady his mother. But what are their names? (Lynn Wilkes)
If you have Mallabones in your family tree we invite you to a family get together at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre, Avenue Road, Nuneaton, on Saturday April 19th (2014). Everyone is welcome as we celebrate the history of this old Norman family which has lived in the Nuneaton area for 400 years. For further information contact: email@example.com or phone or sms: 07710 233539 24/7.
11am: A slide show called "The Mallabone's Nuneaton & Chilvers Coton"
2.30pm: A guided walk around "Mallabone Country"
Although this is designed to help the Mallabone family understand their part in local history, anyone interested is very welcome to come and join us, and see what can be done to put family history into the proper context of the neighbourhood where their families lived and bring a bit more understanding in to their skeletal family trees. If you would like to organise a family re-union for your own local family please let me know as we plan to hold a similar event for local families every year from now on. Just contact me on the numbers above. Remember I am happy to oblige, and it will cost only the entrance fee per person for the day. All the proceeds will be donated to the upkeep of the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre.
Family trees will be supplied Free of Charge!
This is planned to be part of the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre's open day so there will be a lot going on including and in conjunction with the Centre there will be a FAMILY HISTORY HELP DESK manned by a volunteer from the Centre.
AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD BOOK STORES OR AMAZON
Available from all good booksellers.
Email direct on: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form.
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INSIDE THE SITE
(I am keen to ensure all photos and items provided are fully acknowledged to the original source. Please let me know if you know who took the original photos as we want to showcase their work for posterity and fully acknowledge the effort that has gone in to producing these images and thank everyone who has contributed. It is deeply appreciated. Also I am keen to unravel the story behind those pictures.
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THE LAST COLLIERY IN WARWICKSHIRE - DAW MILL - IS BEING DEMOLISHED. AN APPLICATION HAS GONE IN TO ENGLISH HERITAGE TO SAVE ONE OF THE LIFT SHAFTS AS A PERMANENT REMINDER OF A FORGOTTEN INDUSTRY.
Nuneaton Civic Society & Nuneaton Local History Group visit to Merevale Hall, Atherstone. Friday September 20th. 2013
35 attendees were entertained by Matthew Dugdale to a tour of the house and gardens with its stunning views over North Warwickshire.
Peter Lee - Your web site creator. Seeking out old Nuneaton and North Warwickshire memorabilia world wide. Here I am in Napier, New Zealand looking at the family photo album of the Townsend family of Attleborough Hall at the home of Jan & Dave Brock. All the photos in the album were taken in the 1880's and 1890's.
Angela Williams (left) whose ancestor Peter Unger Williams (1775-1837), and James Donald (with his children) whose ancestor Alexander Donald (1745-1808) owned Haunchwood House in the early 19th century are re-united next to the only remaining artefact from Haunchwood House an old apple tree which stood in the old mansion's gardens. A remarkable family re-union held in Nuneaton by the Nuneaton Civic Society for the Heritage Week End in September 2012. (Peter Lee)
Local history is not always about the past. It is often the way that history fits into the modern landscape. Deborah Griggs photo of Ansley Hall Pumping Station explores this theme and interprets history into today's scene. The photo was taken on Sunday 8th September 2013 and is a lovely image of an evocative part of old Nuneaton.
WELCOME TO OUR HISTORIC DISTRICT
In association with the Nuneaton Local History Group, the Nuneaton Civic Society and the Nuneaton Families Research Project, the Nuneaton Family History Group, the Edmands Family Nuneaton & Bedworth Photo Archive, the Haunchwood Brick & Tile Archive, the Stanley Brothers Photographic Archive, the North Warwickshire Collieries Collection, the Peter Bayly Collection, The Trent Valley Railway Archive, The Sterling Metals Archive, The Alan Cook Collection, The Nuneaton Chronicle Archive (1868-1920), the Jean Lapworth Collection, The Dr. Alan White Collection and The Maurice Billington Archive. The Wright Family Rural North Warwickshire Family Archive. The Stockingford Colliery Papers 1855 - 1928. The work of T.C.Neath, Chilvers Coton photographer. The Nuneaton Railwaymen's Staff Records.
I hope enjoy this new web site where you can re-visit our area, the most central part of England, in times past. Browse this on line archive as I fill the site up with free memorabilia, indexed material and images for you to use in your own researches if your local and family history interests extends to North Warwickshire and the bordering parishes in Leicestershire either side of the Watling Street. These opening images will give an idea of the scope and range of what is intended. I will add more photos and information daily. The site will be a wide ranging resource, for your entertainment and private and personal research without leaving home, paying admission fees, researchers expenses or subscriptions to society's who charge you for access to their limited information. Your enquiries about the district are always welcome and I am always pleased to hear from you and help wherever I can, or if you would like to comment, then it will be great to hear from you. Tell your relatives about it, show the older members of your family what is now available on-line enabling them to re-visit their roots in North Warwickshire in the "Good Old Days" without leaving the warmth and comfort of their firesides!.
Nuneaton Market Place in the 1930's. At one time there were eleven pubs within the immediate area of the Market Place seen here but now there is only one. One of the oldest remaining can be seen on the left - The White Swan which for many years was kept by a formidable landlady - Harriet Platt. The other pubs most of which had gone by the time of this picture taken in the 1930's were - The Plough, The Peacock, The Market House Inn, The Board, The Grapes, The Crystal Palace - formerly the Hare & Squirrel, The Red Lion (just a few yards into Queens Road), The Castle Inn or Hotel, the White Horse, The Old Ram which dated back to the 16th century and just off the picture to the right the Bull Hotel - now the George Eliot (although no longer a hotel) an old coaching inn. The town clock remains as well as the buildings on the right. On the extreme left is Lesters the Chemist whose lineal descendent is now Boots the Chemist who purchased Lesters in the early 1960's. Nuneaton's famous town clock was started by Mr. Edward Ferdinand Melly at 5 minutes past 5 on Wednesday 15th May 1901. The dials are 5 ft. in diameter and the clock was built by Evans of Handsworth. The designer of the clock was the same as designed Barclays Bank opposite.
A good question for you - where was this photo taken from? Surely there were no aeroplanes or helicopters in 1900, and a hot air balloon seems the only answer. After all even the height of the flour mill chimney is at a lower level. But in fact the picture was taken from Nuneaton Urban District's electric works (where the current Town Hall is today) and some intrepid cameraman (Clare Speight possibly) has lugged his heavy equipment up this very tall chimney to get this picture, and a few others taken at the same time. It is full of interesting detail. The little lane in the foreground just visible approaching the flour mill on the right is Mill Lane, and leading off that you can see a typical court of old tenements, outbuildings and privy's that were a familiar part of the court scene back then. The flour mill is well dredged in flour. The court is at the back of Bridge Street with the Bull Hotel (Nuneaton's principle hotel at the time) visible above the line of buildings. Off centre towards the top of the picture is the large shop premises of Parsons & Sherwins, ironmongers, general dealers in agricultural implements, and builders of farm sheds. To the extreme left of the picture is part of the running track of the Newdigate Arms, and immediately to the right of Parsons & Sherwins a big shed which I guess must be the former "Theatre Royal" a wooden theatre which preceded the "Prince of Wales" Theatre (later the Hippodrome) and was a venue of choice for our unwashed ancestors on a Saturday night where they could enjoy a Victorian melodrama before or after a night on the beer. The "Theatre Royal" was nicknamed "The Blood Hut". In the distance we can see the big railway warehouse erected by the London & North Western Railway at their Trent Valley Station and a riffle of steam as a train passing along the main line.
"The Famous Manufacturing Town of Nuneaton" was a snip in 1844. Estate agents were keen to hype up their sales document even back then. Famous, Nuneaton back in the 1840's? I bet most of the population of England had not even heard of it. This was three years before the opening of the Trent Valley Railway so its station sign boards could not be observed by the travelling public. And manufacturing in Nuneaton in 1844 consisted mostly of silk ribbons for which the residents of Nuneaton were only sub contractors to the London trade. The silk trade at this time was also in serious decline and many people relied on the soup kitchen. Whoever fell for this marketing ploy was sold a pup.
Bedworth Town Centre towards the Market Place, 1960's. By comparison Nuneaton has a few good historic central buildings compared with the adjacent town of Bedworth seen here. Everything you see here has been demolished. The interesting collection of old buildings erased from the townscape to be replaced by a boxy collection of 1960's concrete buildings. Bedworth town centre has been destroyed but the almshouses remain although their demolition was only narrowly averted (by one vote I am told).
Long Street, Atherstone which was built on the ancient Roman Road, the Watling Street. Atherstone is a lovely old town and will feature strongly in the feature on this site of the North Warwickshire villages bordering the Watling Street. The photo here was taken in the early 1900's and at the back of these frontages were many rows of yards and alley ways.
An Albino Peacock on the lawn of Merevale Hall in the 1930's. Home of the Stratford-Dugdale family. The Stratford family derived their name from the town of that name in South Warwickshire in the 13th century, and at one time were considered to be the second richest family in England with huge estates in the Cotswold stretching from Stow on the Wold to Tewkesbury. The Stratfords had estates in Ireland, a large house in the centre of London and business interests in Germany. They had substantial commercial interests in the wool industry. The Stratfords started to buy up properties in Warwickshire from 1648 onwards when they purchased Horestone Grange, then Nuneaton Hall, in the centre of the town (where Stratford Street is now), the Ansley Hall and Bretts Hall estates, and Merevale all in the space of twenty years in the 17th century. The Dugdale family lived at Blythe Hall Shustoke. In the 18th century through marriage these families amalgamated and Merevale Hall in its lofty and prominent position is the result. One of Warwickshire's finest houses and most magnificent estates. (Jean Lapworth Collection)
A large mansion stood on the site of a Roman camp at Camp Hill, Nuneaton since the 18th century. It was occupied in the 18th century by John Barber, a Derbyshire coal owner, and its history back then is lost in antiquity, but in the late 1830's the old mansion was entirely reconstructed to the designs of Thomas Larkins Walker, or this new house built. Mr. Walker carried out a number of local commissions at the time. The client at Camp Hill was John Craddock, a local banker and lawyer, and this fine house then stood on the site for upwards of a hundred years. In the later years of the 19th century it was owned by Henry Stubbs (1854-1916) who was a wealthy businessman, who was very interested in the theatre, and was one of the people behind the Prince of Wales theatre in Nuneaton. Other residents at the Hall were Henry Kay, Richard Ramsden and Arthur Charles Prettyman. After the First World War the house went into decline and there was an auction of its contents prior to demolition 17th-19th April 1928. A local landmark Stubbs Pool derives its name from the Stubbs family. (The Wright Family North Warwickshire Collection)
During the summer Nuneaton Local History Group provide walking tours of our area. Participants are invited to join us for a gentle stroll around the district seeing items of local heritage interest. Here is a group that joined us for the Whittleford Country Park tour where we were guided by Yvonne Everitt who lovingly helps look after this cherished part of old Nuneaton. It is hard to imagine this location was all part of Haunchwood Brick & Tile's industrial landscape up until the 1970's. (Peter Lee)
Elephants are rarely seen in Nuneaton and this might be the only occasion. It is led away from Trent Valley probably to appear as a star turn in a circus. Obviously in the 1950's. Does anyone record the date of the event? I wonder what this poor creature thinks of the gaggle of kids running after it. Probably the first time any of them had seen a live elephant. (Colin Yorke)
Frederick Charles Pearce (1871-1946) was a native of Newbury and lived in Gadsby Street, Attleborough. He had a small lean to barber's shop in Abbey Street, Nuneaton, next to the Liberal Club. Mr. Pearce took to smoking to hide the smell of the heads he was working on. his customers were very dirty he sent them to the slipper baths to clean themselves up. The hair clipped each day was bagged and given to the lime plasterers who used it to bond the plaster applied to the walls of the terraced houses which were at that time marching out into the countryside in Stockingford and Attleborough. An elderly chap in Nuneaton says that he tried Nosegay and found it rather rough, but I cannot tell not having tried it myself! (Dick Pearce)
Nuneaton Colliery was owned by Stanley Brothers Ltd. of Stockingford. Around 1896 with only three years lease to run on the colliery on Nuneaton Common, 261 acres of new mineral rights were obtained at Whittleford and a new set of shafts sunk. The old colliery was said to have been very profitable and covered 151 and a half acres on Nuneaton Common. The leasehold of the new colliery was taken on very favourable terms and this photo shows miners engaged on sinking with a fine horse outside one of the new colliery workshops.
Two of the principal terracotta and brick manufacturers was based in the Borough of Nuneaton. Haunchwood Brick & Tile and Stanley Brothers Ltd. Their complete history and the men behind the businesses will soon appear on this web site. This was one of the last leaflets Stanley Brothers produced prior to closure of the Stockingford brickyard in the late 1980's.
Click on the photo and re-visit Larry as he made millions of people happy on a Saturday night!................ Larry Grayson (31.8.1923-7.1.1995) Nuneaton's most famous son was born William Sully White and lived in his early years in a damp and draughty court in Abbey Street, Nuneaton. Perhaps that is where he got one of his famous catch phrases from "Look at the muck in 'ere" after all those old courts were grimy. It was discovered recently that one of Larry's imaginary characters - "Slack Alice" might be named after a woman who lived just a few doors from him in Abbey Street in his school days - Alice Slack ---- and Apricot Lil worked on the production line of Moorhouse's Jam factory in Seymour Road. (Photo: courtesy of Bob Pickering)
The great Nuneaton Flood of 1932. Nuneaton Post Office staff pose for the camera. Nuneaton was not named Ea-ton (water town) for nothing. Every 30 years there was a great flood and the one in 1932 was the worst. Water rose to 5'0" high in the Market Place within an hour leading to scenes throughout the town centre like this. But local people instead of wringing their hands and blaming it on global warming, got out their swimming costumes, wellington boots, rowing boats and made the most of the novelty. Nuneaton no longer floods as a relief water course was built round the town that saved the town from the nuisance. The great flood of 1932 produced some wonderful images of Nuneaton as the local photographers went round the district recording every aspect of this unusual scene. In the process capturing great images such as this one. Sue Bates has identified the man in the raincoat on the left hand side as the brother of her mother - Tom Trigg.
Here she is again. Sat demurely upon a telephone pillar in Church Street during the 1932 flood. But who is Nuneaton's mermaid? It says a lot about the differences between that era and our own that this girl has made the most of this otherwise catastrophic occasion to pose so happily for the camera and exhibit such a lovely pair of legs. Its hard to imagine that extensive flooding like this was looked upon by the local population as a chance to don your bathing costume, get out your rowing boats and canoes and make the best of the situation. (Jean Lapworth Collection)
Don't do it mate! Don't drink that stuff! I wonder if they realise that the water they are offering up to their lips so nonchalantly is mixed with the effluent from a thousand privies! Yuk. The view we see here of these young chaps enjoying themselves in the great Nuneaton flood of 1932 is looking up Coventry Street with Barclays Bank on the left. The building sticking out into the roadway is the Carnegie free lending library with the new Council House just in the course of erection, albeit work has been temporarily suspended for the duration of the flood. The Carnegie library will be pulled down in 1933 when the council house has been completed and its contents transferred to the former council offices and fire station in Queens Road.
I adore this image of Mary Whittaker (1913-2009) of "Greenacres" Lutterworth Road, Nuneaton. Mary's beautiful blonde hairstyle is so lovely and what a photogenic local girl who I believe when she married went to live in Leamington Spa where she became a grandmother to nine, and had three great grandchildren. Her father was a wine and spirits merchant in Newdegate Street. She is believed to have been a cub mistress with the 1st Nuneaton Scout Group which met at the Crystal Palace public house in Gadsby Street, Attleborough in the 1930's. It is a great pity she was of marriageable age 20 years before I became a twinkle in my parent's eyes. Such is life! Her married name was Bowen. She is buried at St. Peter's Church, Dormer Place, Leamington Spa. Many thanks to Colin King Asst. Group Leader of the 1st Nuneaton Boys Scouts for this information and help in providing a detailed caption for the photograph. (photo courtesy of Anne Lawson original by Leonard Chettle, Photographer Queens Road Studios, Nuneaton)
You will see a lot of the photos on this web site was taken by my friend - Geoff Edmands. This picture was taken by his cousin Reg. Bull, another well known local photographer. Reg and Geoff went on photographic missions together and often you see a photo taken by Geoff from one angle and Reg another of the same scene. Their work is invaluable in recording lost images of our locality from the 1930's onwards. Certainly by the 50's they were prolific. It is a huge debt of gratitude we owe Geoff, and I hope to produce most of his images on this web site in the coming months.
A "Coronation" class streamliner on an Up express on its way to London passes Ashby Junction, Nuneaton in the 1940's. Ashby Junction box on the left with the relief signalmen on the way to the box. The tracks leading off to Weddington Junction are seen curving off to the right. The Midland Junction to Weddington junction passed over the bridge in the distance and the two lines came together and headed for Shackerstone Junction with its connections to Loughborough Derby Road, Ashby de la Zouch and Burton on Trent. Note the signalman have no high visibility clothing in the "Good Old Days".
Then the electrics came in and youthful trainspotters made the transition. Does anyone recognise their youthful selves. Note how most of them are wearing ties and sensible clothes. Can you imagine that today? Nuneaton station c. 1966. (The lad on the extreme right looks like a young David Cameron, but it can't be of course, not train-spotting on Nuneaton station!)
At one time you were regularly held up at a level crossing for a train to pass conveying coal from Newdigate Colliery down to the exchange sidings on the Coventry-Nuneaton line and the empties back. In this picture Newdigate Colliery loco nr. 1. A Hunslet Engine Co. 0-6-0ST Nr. 3841 of 1956 trundles along stopping the traffic. It came new to Newdigate but only lasted here twelve years until it was sold to John Cashmore & Co of Great Bridge on 24th October 1968. Presumably for scrap. Note that it is the NCB livery of light blue, which looked very faded after a while. The Midland Red bus looks to be an S6 which is on the 758 route the short Bedworth to Keresley service. I would put this photo in the early 60's. (Peter Bayly)
This is a great image. Kids engaged in earnest conversation despite the noisy brass band marching down Attleborough Road towards Nuneaton town, in the 1950's. With the iconic weaving top shop Albion Buildings in the background. The occasion is a carnival day in June. In the Albion Buildings was a former silk weaving company who employed as their foreman one Joseph Warner (1855-1925). Mr. Warner emigrated to Paterson New Jersey USA in the year 1889. He formed a company called the Warner Manufacturing Co which was later incorporated as the Warner Woven Label Co. Inc, the largest silk manufactory in America which had its roots in this scruffy set of top shops in old Attleborough: (Colin Yorke)
This is Abbey Street, Nuneaton in the late 1950's. Abbey Street was the town's most populous street in the 19th century with two third's of the local population crammed into its courts and tenements. Familiar buildings still linger on the left but many on the right are long gone. Ranby's the chemist far right on the corner of High Street with Peter Lenton's lorry beyond. Lenton's were wholesale fruit and vegetable merchants and their storage warehouse was just in High Street off the picture to the right. They also had retail premises further down on the right in one of the white fronted buildings towards the centre of town. In the whitewashed block just behind Lenton's lorry was one of Nuneaton's famous institutions - Pickens Batch Bar - who dispensed the most delicious sausage batches (bread rolls to non-Nuneatonians not familiar with the vernacular) dipped in gravy. A mecca for kids straight out of the Ritz from the Saturday matinee. The entire block from the corner of High Street to the gable fronted pub in the centre of the picture on the right was pulled down in the 60's.
Mr. Alfred Day and his daughter in their backyard in Bond Gate, Nuneaton about 1912. Alfred was a tobacconist and hairdresser. The strange looking contraption is a tricycle fitted with a Wall Autowheel of 118cc manufactured from the turn of the century until 1922. Designed to take the muscle power out of cycling but whether it would have the power to get you up Tuttle Hill is another question. Similar Autowheels are still made by the Sachs company of Germany to this day.
Gun Hill Mixed Infants, Arley. 27th June 1940. There's a war on but these kids seem cheerful and the full horrors of war are a world away. It will come home to them though in the following November when the skys of Arley will be lit up by the devastating air raids when the Luftwaffe targeted the city close to their quiet village - Coventry. Note that their class room windows have been taped as a precaution against blast damage throwing shards of glass from the windows. The children are: standing left to right - Jenny Stevens, Rita Richards, Grace Greenfield, Nancy Plant, Rosemary Smith, Beatrice Matthews, Vivien Jones, and May Coop. Sitting left to right - Edith Morton, Eileen Gill, Doris Gripton, Gladys Rees, Betty Gaskell, Doreen LLoyd, Mary Charnell, and Gladys Summerton. I wonder what happened to these lovely kids. Are any still in the district? (Geoff Edmands).
The smart young men of the district, probably photographed at Caldecote. On the left is Tom Burgoyne senior whose son, young Tom aged 99 in 2013, is still living in Nuneaton. On the right is Charles Pipe who I believe emigrated to Australia whose family kept the Railway Tavern in Bond Street. (Tom Burgoyne jnr.)
Chilvers Coton church lads gather on Nuneaton Recreation ground ready to parade in the 1907 Charter Celebrations. They have a small artillery gun. The object that looks like a gun on the float behind them is in fact a rock drilling machine on messrs. Judkins float. The big factory with the chimney is Hall & Phillips hat factory fronting Abbey Street, and the row of houses to the right, cottages in Meadow Street. The buildings in the far distance are the backs of properties in Abbey Street. (Carol Hughes)
Inside the "Bohemian" smoking room of the Crystal Palace pub in Nuneaton Market Place. The sepia tone goes well with the scene because when the room was packed with Nuneaton folk on a Friday and Saturday night the smog from cigarette and pipe smoke must have been very dense indeed. Imagine Annie Wrighton, the publican, singing accompanied at the piano! This was as good as it got for local entertainment in Nuneaton at the week-end. Nothing else compared. The Crystal Palace pub was demolished in 1909 and Mrs. Wrighton's "Bohemian" smoking room became a dim and distant memory preserved here in tobacco smoke sepia for ever. (David Floyd)