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Allesley Hall School

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Harrier
Coventry
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16 of 25  Thu 18th Oct 2012 12:48pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:158

I am impressed with the answers to my enquiry!!! What sparked my initial enquiry about Allesley Boys School? During my researches into athletics in Coventry, I found that the Headmaster of the school appeared to be years ahead of his time in his outlook to school sport and his attitude to school athletics from the information I had gleaned from the local newspapers. In the mid-19th century, Public Schools had their own annual sports days as did local schools such as Henry's and Bablake; but what Wyles did differently was to invite ex-pupils to the event and include races exclusively for them! I had not come across this approach anywhere else. The track which the school used was marked out approximately where today the golf course meets the Allesley Old Road near the large roundabout. It was a temporary track marked out on the grass. (see the later race result). As was common in those days, it measured about 350 yards rather than the standard 400m (or 440 yards) which we see today. The distance chosen was dictated by the flat ground available, but also because it was the smallest perimeter which allowed a 100 yard straight to be squeezed into the centre of the arena. A similar set up was the track at the Butts but there the 360 yards was decided by the surrounding cycle track, cycling always taking precedence over athletics when the Butts was built in 1881. Athletics in the sport's early days came a distant second to cycling races mainly because of Coventry's pre-eminence with the cycle industry. Interestingly, the site of the Allesley School track is in the same area used by the Coundon and Allesley Horticultural Show for their athletic events in the 1920s. Like other 'shows' in Coventry, cycling and athletic events were an extra attraction added to the horticultural exhibits to increase the numbers of the paying general public attending. The bookies I was told by one of the young runners, who participated, stood on the rise going up to where Allesley Hall Drive is now, the vantage point offering them a clear view of the races and a chance to quickly adjust the odds placed on the runners, if and when needed. Of course, betting was not allowed under the athletic and cycling rules but a blind eye was always turned by the organisers as the presence of bookies was regarded as an added attraction to the afternoon's proceedings. This practice continued into the early 60s at the Butts! About 18 months ago I picked up this medal on e-bay. It was for the 440 yards flat race. We are left to wonder if it was for the third placed runner because of its bronze colour, or whether it was given to one of the other placed runners. And an interesting memento medal of the school. On 1874 (Monday Aug 3rd Allesley Park) a 'Bicycle, Foot and Hurdle races' were held in the Park, but 'owing to the unsuitability of the ground which lead to one or two accidents but not of a serious nature, the final heats of the 'B' [cycle] races were not proceeded with'. Famed local rider from Allesley was Tom Sabin, '1st heat, 1st race 1. J.Sabin (scr).' He would be riding a safety bicycle ( a penny farthing), bikes that we know today were invented a decade later (1885). The (scr) means he was the last person to set off in the handicap race where each competitor started the race from different marks. This means the lower ability performers were given a start and the best competitor set off at the back, or 'scratch'. Sabin was therefore a rider of some ability. Tom Sabin was well known as the winner of cycling gold medals at the Much Wenlock Olympic Games in 1876, 1877 and 1878. Local man, Dr Brookes, started the Much Wenlock Games and met with Baron De Coubertin the founder of the modern Olympic Games first held in Athens in 1896. British references claim that de Coubertin developed the concept of a modern Olympics from Brookes but German Olympic historians dispute this, Brookes being just one of many educationalists de Coubertin he met on his travels around Europe. Sabin raced on Coventry's first banked track and later he raced at the Butts track, besides taking part in many local events on flat temporary grass tracks marked out for particular sports. The Butts was a grass track, not becoming a cinder surface until 1954.
Allesley Hall School
NeilsYard
Coventry
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17 of 25  Thu 18th Oct 2012 1:32pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1776

Wow - not sure how I missed this one until now but I grew up a stone's throw from the current day Allesley Hall. My Mum still lives opposite the park. Before its current occupancy as a retirement home the Hall was used by the Council. One of the old downstairs rooms was the office to rent your clubs for the golf course and what was once the old stables was used by the park wardens as their accommodation. Recall the Hall rooms were totally wood-panelled inside. I spent literally years as a lad playing football around there and hiding here, there and everywhere around the park including the Walled Garden in its then dilapidated stated, inside The Old Farmhouse (and Dovecote!) which were also at the time pretty much derelict and the original gardens including the old bowling greens at the rear of the hall with its ponds and circular walled tree. We also had the run through the village across Coundon Wedge before the road was built and many a day spent knee deep in the Sherbourne. It was a terrific place to grow up though I do recall my paper round at the time involved delivering to the park wardens and houses along Allesley Hall drive which made me a little nervous in darkest/coldest winter.
Allesley Hall School
morgana
the secret garden
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18 of 25  Tue 2nd Apr 2013 11:02pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2227

There is a Silver Medal on ebay with this inscription on it here is the information about the medal, I was just wondering it stated Allesley Park College I have never heard of it. On the coin medal it shows a large old building Roll eyes An English Antique silver medal awarded to William Henry James Perry for Exemplary Conduct from Allesley Park College, Warwickshire, 1884. A solid silver medal, the obverse with the main college building, the inscription reading; ALLESLEY PARK COLLEGE WARWICKSHIRE - OMNIA VINCIT AMOR The reverse with a wreath inscribed with; SILVER MEDAL FOR 1884 AWARDED TO WILLIAM HENRY JAMES PERRY FOR EXEMPLARY CONDUCT Weight: 46.65 g Diameter: 45 mm Accompanied by old Spink & Son paper holder. A William Henry James Perry is recorded in the Census of 1901 as living in the neighbouring county of Worcestershire. He was born in 1870, making him 14 at the time this medal was issued. Allesley Park College, nr. Coventry was created in 1848 and ran as a boys boarding school until 1886.
Allesley Hall School
NeilsYard
Coventry
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19 of 25  Wed 3rd Apr 2013 12:38pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1776

morgana - it's what became Allesley Hall.
Allesley Hall School
morgana
the secret garden
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20 of 25  Wed 3rd Apr 2013 1:24pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2227

Thank you Neils Yard Thumbs up by the picture of the building on the medal I've never seen a building like it there, perhaps I haven't been in the right part of Allesley Park, Roll eyes I sent a photo of both sides of the coin medal to Rob so he could see it.
Allesley Hall School
NeilsYard
Coventry
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21 of 25  Wed 3rd Apr 2013 1:32pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1776

The Hall in its current state is a totally different building to the original Hall that was the School. It was completely rebuilt.
Allesley Hall School
NormK
bulkington
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22 of 25  Wed 3rd Apr 2013 1:33pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:854

Hi morgana. I read somewhere that the building was re-built, so the one you are on about is probably the older one. Thumbs up
Milly rules

Allesley Hall School
morgana
the secret garden
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23 of 25  Wed 3rd Apr 2013 6:08pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2227

Thank you Neils Yard and NormK, explains why I never had seen the building over there such a shame it was a beauty by the picture on the coin medal.
Allesley Hall School
Annie
Coventry
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24 of 25  Wed 1st Jun 2016 12:35am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:30

Are there any old photos of the inside of Allesley Hall, when it was a private residence if Lord Iliffe, before it was altered inside

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Allesley Hall School
NeilsYard
Coventry
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25 of 25  Wed 1st Jun 2016 9:10pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1776

I'll see what I can find Annie but it was possible right up to the early 80's to go inside the Hall itself. I grew up in Allesley Park and before the golf course had a dedicated ticket office opened on the first green, the council used one of the front corner rooms inside the hall to provide clubs/balls etc. I recall there was a lot of wood-panelling! Edited by member, 1st Jun 2016 9:10 pm
Allesley Hall School

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