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Knocking down historic Coventry

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Tom
Perth Australia
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1 of 17  Tue 19th Nov 2013 12:14am  
Member: Joined Nov 2013  Total posts:10

When I left school in 1964 I started working in the building trade I worked for Arthur Maguire, offices on Torrington Ave in Canley. We got the job of demolishing the old Lea Francis factory in Much Park St around 1965-66, the place was fire damaged and very dangerous. We also had to take down some of the very old buildings in Much Park St piece by piece and they were taken away to the museum, later to be re-erected in Spon Street opposite the Rising Sun pub. One Sunday we were told to come to work to demolish the old Dun Cow pub in Jordan Well which joined the old Gaumont cinema (now the Odeon). You can still see the roofline marks on the Odeon wall of the Lea Francis which also joined onto the cinema. I climbed onto the roof and started to take the very old tiles off and found an older thatched roof inside, the main timber support for the thatched roof was a complete oak trunk, still had bark on it!! We stopped work and told the foreman, Gordon, and some guy from the museum opposite had come down to watch, and he got very excited. We then had to take the pub down very carefully as it was believed to be even older than Much Park St buildings. Anyone know what happened to the building? After that job we demolished Godiva Street, and went on to Lower Ford St where I found £6,000 in used fivers under the floor boards in Blackmores electrical shop. After taking it to Little Park St police station and getting a receipt for it I went back to work and found another £2.500 and another £800 in another little hidey hole. This was on all TV channels and even made the London Evening Standard as well as the Evening Telegraph in Cov. Just to put it into perspective, the cost of a semi in Cov then was £2,500. I well remember ripping out the kitchen in the quick service cafe opposite Wheatley St school, I used to enjoy the brekkie there, massive plate of bacon, eggs, sausages, beans, black pudding, unfortunately my pleasant memories of past feasts were knocked a bit when we moved the cooker in the cafe and 50 million huge cockroaches took off down Lower Ford St towards Raglan St, it was like a river of roaches for a few minutes!! Tom from Tile Hill (also owned the hairdressers there in the 80's)
Tom Daly

Knocking down historic Coventry
mickw
nuneaton
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2 of 17  Tue 19th Nov 2013 1:19am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:446

Hi Tom, I lived in East Street at the time you were working in Lower Ford Street, I`m intrigued, did you receive a reward for being so honest??? Thumbs up
Knocking down historic Coventry
dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 17  Tue 19th Nov 2013 2:43am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

On 19th Nov 2013 12:14am, Tom said: Anyone know what happened to the building?
The Dun Cow wasn't reconstructed elsewhere Tom if that's what you mean? It would have been pointless in any case as a third of the original building was destroyed in the Blitz and without the neighbouring 14th Century row of shops it would have lacked any visual context.
Knocking down historic Coventry
NormK
bulkington
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4 of 17  Tue 19th Nov 2013 8:30am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:854

Hi Tom... Reading your post on the Lea Francis left me thinking, I also worked on that job, but it wasn't for Maguire's, I worked for George Hilditch. Did the two firms share the job? I think they must have done. That job brings bad memories for me because I fell through the roof and landed on the concrete floor and could not work for a whole year, due to my injuries. Even to this day I still get some pain in my right wrist. The compensation I got was a whole £20!!... not so happy days Sad
Milly rules

Knocking down historic Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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5 of 17  Tue 19th Nov 2013 8:40am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4879

Tom - when you visit Coventry, we'll try and arrange a forum breakfast meeting (very small and select!) - NormK came to the last one, so hopefully you two could meet up and exchange notes - between you, you two and the Luftwaffe must have knocked down the whole of Coventry Big grin
Knocking down historic Coventry
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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6 of 17  Wed 20th Nov 2013 2:56pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1172

Can anyone identify either of these 2 buildings for me. I am sure someone will know what the large building is but the half timbered one might be a bit more difficult.
Knocking down historic Coventry
TonyS
Coventry
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7 of 17  Wed 20th Nov 2013 2:59pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1553

The large one looks a bit like Leigh Mills, but I'm not sure if LM was that many floors?
Knocking down historic Coventry
Schumacher88
Coventry
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8 of 17  Fri 29th Nov 2013 1:06pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2013  Total posts:2

Can anybody tell me why the Tudor style pub that was set back on the corner of Hales Street opposite the Hippodrome (now the Transport Museum) was knocked down and was replaced by just a boring patch of grass as I remember this building from when I was younger and is no longer there.
Knocking down historic Coventry
Harrier
Coventry
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9 of 17  Fri 29th Nov 2013 1:51pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:157

Has anyone else seen the huge holes on the site of the gas holders? Top deck of a double decker (900) coming down the slip road from the Holyhead Road onto the ring road gives an excellent view!
Knocking down historic Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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10 of 17  Fri 29th Nov 2013 1:52pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4879

That would be The Smithfield If you put "Smithfield" in the search box at the top, you will find several references to it in other threads on this site Thumbs up
Knocking down historic Coventry
NormK
bulkington
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11 of 17  Thu 12th Dec 2013 7:29pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:854

This is me lifting a underground petrol storage tank at the Foundry at the end of Grove Street..
Milly rules

Knocking down historic Coventry
Foxcote
Warwick
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12 of 17  Thu 12th Dec 2013 9:03pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:911

Cracking action shot NormK Thumbs up Looks a delicate job, how deep were the tanks then?
Knocking down historic Coventry
NormK
bulkington
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13 of 17  Thu 12th Dec 2013 9:13pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:854

From what I remember the top of the tank was about 3 feet below the surface, the tank itself was about 6/7 feet deep and 10 feet long. The reason why it looks like I was struggling a bit, most tanks are in wet sand and once you break the suction they come out quite easily Thumbs up
Milly rules

Knocking down historic Coventry
mickw
nuneaton
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14 of 17  Fri 13th Dec 2013 12:25am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:446

On 12th Dec 2013 7:29pm, NormK said: This is me lifting a underground petrol storage tank at the Foundry at the end of Grove Street..
Looks as though you were a bit handy with a drot in those days Norm great photo Thumbs up Thumbs up
Knocking down historic Coventry
Tim Hamer
Coventry
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15 of 17  Wed 18th Dec 2013 10:53pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2013  Total posts:25

On 29th Nov 2013 1:06pm, Schumacher88 said: Can anybody tell me why the Tudor style pub that was set back on the corner of Hales Street opposite the Hippodrome (now the Transport Museum) was knocked down and was replaced by just a boring patch of grass as I remember this building from when I was younger and is no longer there.
Are you thinking of the Smithfield? A lot of people couldn't understand why it came down. Protest as we did, the council, like a spoilt child, had to have its own way. The Coventry Theatre / Hippodrome, one of the pubs in Bishop Street, the next one to come down will be junction 6 on the ring road, because the spoilt brats in the Council House say so.
THamer

Knocking down historic Coventry

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