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NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE FOR THE CHRISTMAS SLIDE SHOW Friday December 13th
"OLD NUNEATON REVISITED". Its now at the Bermuda Phoenix Centre, Bermuda Road, Nuneaton.
Scroll down the page for details.
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).
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.
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
next April 2014.
If you have Mallabones in your family tree we invite you to a family get together at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre, Nuneaton, next April (2014). Please contact us for more details and register your interest in attending: email: email@example.com or phone or sms: 07710 233539 24/7
The Last Nuneaton Local History Group Presentation:
OLD NUNEATON REVISITED
Various aspects of town life
At the Bermuda Phoenix Centre, Bermuda Road, Nuneaton, CV10 7HU (02476 383455)
NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE
Friday 13th December 2013 7.30pm-9pm Admission £3
NEW BOOK JUST RELEASED
Available from all good booksellers.
Email direct on: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form.
SCROLL DOWN FOR A PREVIEW OF THE IMAGES
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.
Note - All images and documents are copyright protected for private use only)
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.
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 resources. 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.
"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 it was entirely reconstructed to the designs of Thomas Larkins Walker, who carried out a number of local commissions at the time. The client 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 gets 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)
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 novel 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 of 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. Her father was a wine and spirits merchant. She is believed to have been involved with the Boy Scout movement as a girl. 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! (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 this man - 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".
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).
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)