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How people got to Coventry

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rojwhittle
derbyshire
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1 of 4  Fri 9th Sep 2011 11:44am  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Sitting here without a driving licence, unable to walk far, or go to work, has given me an unprecedented opportunity to fiddle around, doing things I have not had time to do for years. This wonderful website has given me the chance of whiling away the hours in a sort of productive way. The vast amount of knowledge packed into it, and the willingness of people to share, is fantastic. Recently, I have been looking into how my family got to be Coventrian, and thought it might be of interest to others. I live in a little hamlet or village (63 houses) in Derbyshire, about a mile from Ashover. For years my daughter caught the school bus from the corner of Pudding Bag Lane in Ashover. My maternal grandmother was as Coventry as could be, and my paternal grandparents were from Bolton. A while ago, I researched my grandma's family history - she was born in Pepper Lane, right in the centre of Coventry and was a seamstress. Her maiden name was Rhodes, and her mother's maiden name was Kemp. Edna Kemp, my great grandma, was born in Pudding Bag Lane in Ashover. She married a Rhodes from Derbyshire, who was described as 'mill labourer'. My grandma was born at roughly the same time as my paternal grandparents, who were also in textiles, but in Bolton. My grandfather was Moses Whittle, and my grandma was a Garlick. When in their late teens, they decided to marry, there was a heady mixture of family politics and my grandpa's father objected strongly to the union. Grandpa being grandpa, fell out with him big time and the two of them got married in Bolton, then walked down to Coventry. Grandpa was a mechanic, and so they took a number of months to do the walk, working as they went, mending farm machinery and doing farm work mostly. When they arrived in Coventry, grandpa bought a job lot of sewing machines from America. By the time they arrived, the price of sewing machines had gone through the floor, and so he had spent all their savings on something completely worthless. However, he was indomitable, and realising that the motor industry was taking off, decided spare parts would be needed, so converted the sewing machines into treadle-operated lathes, and started 'The Coventry Valve and Piston Ring Company'. Some of my grandma's family, called Garlick, also drifted down to Coventry, and although I never knew him, I believe my great uncle Fred Garlick had a carpentry business somewhere - any information anybody has would be appreciated. I think it was in Stoke. My maternal grandma, Florrie, meanwhile, married a soldier, Albert Smith, and they set up home in Leicester Causeway - is that still there? I never knew Albert because he died in Russia in 1917. My grandma subsequently outlived two more husbands, one a loom setter, whatever that is, and one a clockmaker from a topshop in Craven Lane. In all the years I knew her, and was very close to her, she never ever mentioned any connection with anywhere but Coventry, and I thought the family had been Coventrian for centuries. I am sorry if this seems all a bit rambling, but my point is really that I would like to find out a little about population movements towards Coventry, to get a little insight into the remarkable hotbed of industrial activity it became. The growth of industries there is well documented, but any personal knowledge you might have of family backgrounds is far more interesting.
How people got to Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 4  Fri 9th Sep 2011 12:17pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4550

Garlick's was a well-known name in the local building trade
How people got to Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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3 of 4  Fri 9th Sep 2011 2:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3840

Fear not, Rojwhittle, for I bring you tidings of great joy, for I think that I could be chief rambler. Lol I love reading the posts on here. The posts on here represent real people with real events. Wave Was the Coventry Valve & Piston Ring Company part of what became, British Piston Ring Company, know as the Brico? Cheers
How people got to Coventry
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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Thread starter
4 of 4  Fri 9th Sep 2011 3:10pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Hi Philip, fear not yourself, as I always really enjoy your posts! Coventry Valve did indeed become Brico, and the Brico plate in the sixties still displayed that it incorporated my grandpa's firm. He then went on to start the Leamington Valve and Piston Ring Company, which did very well until going bankrupt just before WW2. The Leamington site, in Radford, was bought by Lockheed, which then became Automotive Products. Grandpa had a spell as a doorman at a Trade Union building, then spent a little time making and selling brass candlesticks, which he turned on a lathe in the kitchen of his flat near the Plough on London Rd.. He was a unique character, grumpy and abrupt, but I still miss him now!
How people got to Coventry

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