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Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)

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dutchman
Spon End
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91 of 104  Sun 19th Oct 2014 5:39pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3033

On 25th Aug 2012 5:40pm, Foxcote said: I have just checked Kelly's 1928, Turner was still there, Coliseum Buildings but Kelly's 1932, Hinckley Watts Bros, Gaumont Buildings, Jordan Well. Does Hinckley Watts mean anything to you?
Well, waddaya know? Just found this very rare pic: The picture is post war as the upper storey of the ballroom is missing but pre1960s as the corner shop was then occupied by Mountford the newsagent. Edited by member, 13th Dec 2016 4:02 am
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Baz
Coventry
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Thread starter
92 of 104  Sun 19th Oct 2014 8:26pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:341

Very nice find. Well done for getting that dutchman. I do like the traffic signals on the corner. Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Foxcote
Warwick
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93 of 104  Mon 20th Oct 2014 8:35am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:928

That's a fantastic find Dutchman. So clear as well Thumbs up
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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94 of 104  Fri 12th Dec 2014 7:38pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:170

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but the restaurant in the Gaumont was turned into a Victor Sylvester Dance Studio in the 1960's. I did go there a few times but still can't dance very well!
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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95 of 104  Sat 13th Dec 2014 4:32am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3033

As far as I can tell from planning records it was substitute for a new ballroom they were planning to build above the car park behind the cinema. That was abandoned when Gaumont-owners Rank decided to build the Locarno around the same time. I think there were also caf├ęs on the Whitefriars Street side beneath the original ballroom before it was bombed in 1940.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Jokers80
Coventry
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96 of 104  Tue 16th May 2017 6:17pm  
Member: Joined May 2017  Total posts:4

Does anyone remember the original Joker's Corner and Mountford's Newsagent in Jordan Well, by the Odeon Cinema, run by Bill and Sylvia? Bill's father Ronald Mountford started in the newsagency trade when he bought Osborne's Newsagent and Tobacconist in Jordan Well in 1951 and ran it with with Bill and Sylvia until it was compulsory purchased by Coventry City Council in 1960. It was pulled down when the Lanchester Polytechnic was built (which later became Coventry University). Bill and Sylvia bought their first newsagent and tobacconist shop in about 1955, which was at 13 Cox St. When this also made way for the Lanchester Polytechnic, they took over the Chocolate Box in Odeon Buildings, Jordan Well and this became Mountford's Newsagent and Tobacconist. They ran this for many years, expanding into confectionery and greetings cards, until they visited Blackpool in the late 1970's and came across a joke shop where they purchased some samples. They took over the lapidary (suppliers of polished stones for jewellery making) next door and hey presto, Joker's Corner was born! Thanks to the students and the population of Coventry with their sense of fun, the business went from strength to strength, later incorporating fancy dress, stage make-up and magician's accessories, until they retired in the mid 90's.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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97 of 104  Tue 16th May 2017 8:07pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4603

Wave Welcome to the forum This photo shows that the old shop names are still partly visible Thumbs up
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Jokers80
Coventry
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98 of 104  Wed 17th May 2017 7:14am  
Member: Joined May 2017  Total posts:4

That's a good photo showing the Chocolate Box name, thanks! Here are a few more from the scrapbook. The first shows the building from the 1930's when it was the Coliseum Buildings, the second is from 1961 when it was the Gaumont and the old shops had been pulled down to make way for the Lanchester Poly. The last is from the 1980's, showing Joker's Corner and Mountford's newsagent when people were queuing up for the cinema which was now the Odeon.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Roger Turner
Torksey
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99 of 104  Wed 17th May 2017 11:40am  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:482

In the narrative of the first photo ref the Coliseum, it mentions Frank Turner ran out of money. Does anybody know who Frank Turner was or his story? I seem to remember a conversation with my uncle Alan Stanley Turner not long before he passed away telling me that a relative of ours was trying to build "something" I think theatrical in that area. Uncle Alan`s father came from a family of original watch makers. William Henry Turner (my grandfather, 201 Oldfield Road, but previously Somerset Road and possibly previously Cope Street), George Turner and Alec Turner (he was mayor in 1943 and lived at Coundon House).

Question

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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100 of 104  Wed 17th May 2017 12:51pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4603

Yet another coincidence crops up on this forum! Wave Roger, you mention that your relative lived at Coundon House. There has been reference on "The Birches" thread in the last few days to William Coker Iliffe - if you read his obituary, which is included in his entry on our Famous Coventrians" list, he too lived at Coundon House! Roll eyes
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Jokers80
Coventry
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101 of 104  Wed 17th May 2017 4:49pm  
Member: Joined May 2017  Total posts:4

When my family had the newsagent and Joker's Corner, I remember the old, winding wooden staircase leading to the storeroom upstairs, with racking (which I loved climbing around on) built around the big steps which led upwards and mysteriously disappeared into the back wall. I always wondered where they went! Afterwards I learnt that they were an original entrance to the Colisseum. Our neighbouring shop (which which we were linked at the back) was a wallpaper shop owned by the Redferns I think they were, who moved to Alberta in Canada. Then it became a lapidary. I don't remember seeing an old sign underneath the Joker's Corner sign (mentioned in the Colisseum thread). We had the sign painted by a fireman who was also a signwriter. Next door to us on the other side by the cinema was a clothes shop owned by Len and Stella Diamond from London, who were great characters. I remember afghan coats and jeans, etc hanging outside during the 60s and 70's. Then it was taken over by Gary of 1st for Men. Past the cinema was a cafe where we used to have fish and chips on a Saturday, and the Banana Queen stall selling fruit and veg. Victor the ice cream man was somewhere in the vicinity I think. Next to our Joker's corner side was a fire escape exit into the cinema, then an entrance into a car park round the back. Other shops (if my memory serves me correctly) in Whitefriars at various times were the ballroom dancing studio, Corks' wine bar, a music shop owned by Ian and at the top of the street Brandishes' garage, with a few in between which I can't remember. On the other side of Whitefriars' was the Sir Colin Campbell pub, a second hand car salesman and a carpet shop with 'Colin the carpet' who moved to one of the temporary shops on Corporation street opposite the Co-op. And I think there was a reclamation yard behind a gate. There were a few residential houses on that side, where a lovely lady 'Scottish Betty' lived, who often used to come in and sit chatting at the end of our counter.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Garlands Joke Shop
Coventry
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102 of 104  Wed 17th May 2017 9:30pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:164

Hi Jokers80, Welcome to the forum - good to have another joke shop on the forum. Thumbs up Your family started selling jokes in a very similar way to my Grandparents. They had a second-hand clothes shop in Lower Ford Street Called "C. R. Garland's" (Photo showing shop in 1986). They too, like Mr and Mrs Mountford, saw a joke shop when on holiday at the seaside (think either Rhyl or Great Yarmouth) and asked who supplied their jokes (which was 'Bristol Novelties'), he then contacted the suppliers. So, in about 1970, the shop became a second hand clothes / joke shop (a bit of a strange combination). The back of the shop sold second-hand clothes, shoes and books, and the front sold jokes, tricks and masks; over the years my gran and grandad started to sell more tricks than clothes. A few years before my grandad started selling jokes, a lady called Mrs Davenport owned a joke shop (called 'Davenport's') a few doors away on Lower Ford Street (which closed before my grandad's shop became a joke shop). The shop closed in about 1986, when my grandad retired (although to this day my gran still has left over stock). Smile The shop obviously made quite an impression on one customer, who after it closed, opened his own shop in the city centre (Merlins Ltd.). I have been in the old Joker's Corner but not prior to the 2000's when it would have been run by your family. I have, however, heard of the lady affectionately known as the 'Banana Queen' and still know her daughter-in-law. I'm sure that many people on this forum will have many happy memories about Joker's Corner. Luke. Smile Edited by member, 17th May 2017 9:31 pm
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Jokers80
Coventry
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103 of 104  Sat 20th May 2017 10:41am  
Member: Joined May 2017  Total posts:4

Hi Luke, It was interesting to hear about your grandparents' shop. I had heard of Garlands' but didn't know anything about it. Like your gran, my mum has kept some of the favorite items such as the Snowman, which was hired by the Cathedral for an event there. She made this herself, as well as many of the other fancy dress outfits for hire. Some of the outfits have turned up in odd places - we saw a spotty clown outfit which she made on a scarecrow outside a house in the Corley scarecrow festival!
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Garlands Joke Shop
Coventry
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104 of 104  Sun 21st May 2017 6:39pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:164

Hi Jokers80, That's quite a skill making fancy dress costumes by hand to a rentable quality. That sort of talent is sorely missing these days - nobody seems to make anything themselves anymore. My dad tells me that there used to be another place that also hired out fancy dress and costumes, near the old Canley level crossing (Sir Henry Parkes Road). That shop also had a strange combination - lawn mower repair and costume hire Smile. My grandad's shop didn't really hire out costumes (I don't think), it was mainly masks, wigs, hats, jokes / tricks (eg: fake moustaches, magic tricks, 'snapping chewing gum', itching powder, joke soap, magic ink, 'X-ray goggles'), flags, tinsel, silly string, etc. Thumbs up
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)

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