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boyds
Coventry
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1 of 166  Mon 6th Sep 2010 11:49am  
Member: Joined Sep 2010  Total posts:1

Hi, my name is Samantha Boyd I have lived in Coventry all my life. I am currently studying at Coventry University. I have decided to produce an Animation about the regeneration of the street. I am interested in talking to the local communtiy or anyone who has memories of Far Gosford Street, as part of my research. Any information would be gratefully appreciated. my email address is sammy@revlob.com Many Thanks
Far Gosford Street
erwegoagen
Coventry Wyken
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2 of 166  Mon 20th Sep 2010 12:58pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2010  Total posts:24

There was the Scala cinema at the top of Gosford St., also a cooked meat shop at the bottom, as you no doubt know it was a thriving shopping and social area up until the time it was 'improved'
Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 166  Tue 21st Sep 2010 4:23am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

The Scala was known as the Odeon when I was a kid. It wasn't quite at the top, there were were quite a few buildings above it including Davies' sports and games shop. The Odeon only ever showed war films which was all us kids were interested in anyway :o) In 1963 it was converted to a bingo hall and was quite lucrative until a change in the gaming laws in 1968. The building was destroyed by fire a few years after that. Below it, in no particular order, was a so-called "Turf Accountant" (betting shop) which had actual fake turf in the window which confused me no end. There was also diStefano's chip shop. The owner's son 'Gaspari' was a classmate of mine at nearby St Mary's primary school. There was a jewellers with those lovely see-through dome clocks in the window; Paynes music shop with all the high-ticket such as musical instruments and (open reel) tape recorders priced in 'guineas' rather than pounds; a second-hand shop whose window was filled with roll-film cameras and model aeroplane engines. Tom Bromwich, whose son of the same name was a later classmate of mine, also had a specialist bicycle shop in that part of the street. Near the bottom of the hill was quick succession of open-fronted grocer shop, butchers and fishmongers. I sometimes had the misfortune of passing the butchers in the early morning when a lorry was collecting leftovers for use as pig swill and believe me you didn't want to be within fifty yards of it the smell was that bad! Garners cooked meats was (I think) on the other side of the road? Far Gosford Street didn't end at the traffic lights. Passing All Saints School and crossing to the other side there was car showroom on the corner cleverly converted from ordinary houses. There was a showroom selling gravestones and the like which was probably a throwback to the days when there was stone mill in the area. Then the Paris Continental cinema (formerly the Crown). We used to watch reruns of St Trinian's and Norman Wisdom movies there but thought they were brand new at the time. Astley's warehouse occupied an enormous street frontage especially after a row of timber frames cottages was demolished so it could be extended. Swapping to the other side of the road there was Arthur Beecham motors then a gap which led to riverside weavers' cottages, Astleys' car park, an orchard, a timber yard and finally Bednell's TV and radio shop. Now, the owner's son, Charlie Bednell, used to joke with me that the weavers' cottages were in such a poor state of repair that if I were to kick one of the bricks four rows up from ground level, the entire row would collapse into the river. Shortly after the tenants were evicted in 1967 the cottages did exactly that! Moving towards the crossroads again there was garage forecourt which specialised in small cars and three-wheelers then a row of private houses some of which were set-back from the main road. Just before the traffic lights was a row of art deco shops known as the 'Enterprise Variety Stores'. It included at one time a second hand book stall; Dunhill's lighter and tobacco shop; a shop which dealt in a mixture of plastic model assembly kits and bicycles; a budget priced cafeteria; another shop selling fresh ground coffee which could be smelled some distance away and finally a tiny confectioners on the corner specialising in Lyons Maid ice-cream. Crossing Lower Ford Strret and going back up the hill again I remember a cafe where I sometimes spent Sundays instead of going to church; a bakers by the entrance of Harnall Row; All Saints Church with its graveyard and notice board then a mixture of pubs, shops and private houses. One of the pubs had a yard where the rag & bone man used to park his wagon and us kids used to feed his horse. At the very top of the street on the corner with Paynes Lane for a very long time was a poultry shop with dead birds hanging outside! These are just the buildings which stick in my memory for one reason or another, there were many more.
Far Gosford Street
cabbie
coventry
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4 of 166  Tue 12th Oct 2010 10:51am  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:30

dutchman thanks for the memories, I know Charlie I grew up with him and his brother Ron used to play in Astley's car park/orchard.
Far Gosford Street
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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5 of 166  Sun 24th Oct 2010 2:53pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:171

I can think of two more shops in Gosford Street. In the 1950's was a barber's shop which I used to visit on my way home from Stoke Secondary Modern School in Briton Road. I think it was located a few doors from Paynes music shop. The barber fancied himself as a comedian and used to tell his potential customers "I'm sorry we don't cut hair any longer - only shorter". In the 1960s I can remember a small, independently run travel-agents located near the "city" end of Gosford Street. My 1905 street map of Coventry shows that the built-up area stopped at the junction of Far Gosford Street and Swan Lane. Beyond that (going along what is now the Walsgrave Road) was all open land, apart from a small settlement called "Stoke Nob", which I think is the old name for Ball Hill. It consisted of the Old Ball public house, a Congregational chapel and about half a dozen houses.
Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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6 of 166  Sun 24th Oct 2010 6:08pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

DBC said: I can think of two more shops in Gosford Street. In the 1950's was a barber's shop which I used to visit on my way home from Stoke Secondary Modern School in Briton Road. I think it was located a few doors from Paynes music shop.
I was a customer there for many years too but had totally forgotten it!
DBC said: In the 1960s I can remember a small, independently run travel-agents located near the "city" end of Gosford Street.
"Warners", next to the Oak Inn. It was also a branch of Lombard Finance. The same building had been a pawnbrokers before the war. There was a gents outfitters just before it of the kind where all the sweaters and socks were stored in custom made wooden drawers.
DBC said: My 1905 street map of Coventry shows that the built-up area stopped at the junction of Far Gosford Street and Swan Lane. Beyond that (going along what is now the Walsgrave Road) was all open land, apart from a small settlement called "Stoke Nob", which I think is the old name for Ball Hill.
Yes it was. Gosford Green was just outside the city boundary as also was the Highfield Road football ground at the time it was first built. The boundary was distorted slightly though to allow Binley Terrace to be included within the city.
Far Gosford Street
DBC
Nottinghamshire
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7 of 166  Sun 24th Oct 2010 7:00pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:171

I have just remembered the name of the shop that sold the ground coffee. This was the Home and Colonial Stores (or was it the Maypole?). One branch of a very big chain of shops. They eventually was taken over by Safeway.
Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 166  Tue 26th Oct 2010 8:06pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

This is most odd. I have no memory of any retail units on the north side between the Enterprise Variety Stores building on the corner of Lower Ford Street and the Light Car Company at the west end of Far Gosford Street but the 1971 aerial photograph on Cliff Jones' website strongly suggests otherwise: Coventry in Photographs Without a close-up view of that particular section of the photograph it is very difficult to say for certain but it is possible my memories of the street have become distorted over time.
Far Gosford Street
TonyS
Coventry
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9 of 166  Tue 4th Jan 2011 1:16pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1557

I worked at 128 Far Gosford Street in the mid 1960s when I left school at a shop called RES (Radio and Electrical Services) TV sales/rental. They also had branches on Ball Hill and No 13 City Arcade. The City Arcade branch specialised in top-of-the-range Hi Fi separates like Quad, Teac, Revox and SME. Looking on Google Maps there appears to be a shop called ITARA (now closed) where RES once stood - next door to Peter Bennetts. The sales floor was downstairs, with the accounts department upstairs. There was a large old wooden shed at the rear, accessible via the entry at the side of the shop, where we used to store all the empty boxes. Bad luck when you sold anything as you would have to go round to the shed and find the box! The service department was based over the road (up an alleyway between the shop now named "SP Business Venture Ltd" and the disused "Restaurant" (although I never remember a restaurant being there) and TV's were kept in a lock-up storeroom - which I think is the open doorway which can be seen on Google Maps. I had to unpack the TV's (huge great big things) and carry them over the road to the shop. How I didn't drop any I'll never know! I bought my first guitar from Paynes Music Shop (the shop now forms part of the CostCutter store) - just the other side of the alleyway next door to RES. It was a red body "Fender" look-a-like and it cost me 17 guineas (£17.85) which was more than three weeks wages!
Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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10 of 166  Tue 4th Jan 2011 2:17pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

TonyS said: I worked at 128 Far Gosford Street in the mid 1960's when I left school at a shop called RES (Radio and Electrical Services) TV sales/rental. They also had branches on Ball Hill and No 13 City Arcade. The City Arcade branch specialised in top-of-the-range Hi Fi separates like Quad, Teac, Revox and SME.
Thanks Tony. I'd totally forgotten the TV shop next to Paynes but I do remember the one in the arcade as it had one of the first ever video recorders in the window. It was an open-reel Sony and could only be played back through a purpose-built B&W picture monitor, not through a domestic TV. Was the TV shop in Far Gosford Street the one which sold Murphy TV sets? I remember them as having unusual styling with trumpet stands and the channel selector buttons sticking out the top. (They also had the best picture quality of any B&W TV set once adjusted correctly). Paynes had an electrical showroom of their own at 113 Gosford Street (not Far Gosford Street) but it was very short-lived. It is now the site of a fried chicken takeaway shop.
Far Gosford Street
Davey
Coventry
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11 of 166  Fri 7th Jan 2011 11:36pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:51

There was a gunshop in Far Gosford St until the 70's. A Policeman investigating a burglary was shot dead and his colleague was wounded. LINK
DavidT

Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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12 of 166  Sat 8th Jan 2011 8:30pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

That was Davies' sports shop. Guns were only a part of their business.
Far Gosford Street
TonyS
Coventry
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13 of 166  Thu 13th Jan 2011 3:59pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1557

Sorry Dutchman, only just seen your response! Yes indeed, we certainly sold the Murphy sets you speak of. I was only talking about those a couple of days ago. I actually purchased a second-hand one around 1970, a green model (they also came in Orange and White!) The push-button channel selectors were on the right side along the top. I paid £35 for this set and my Wife thought it was a waste on money! I must show her your reply to confirm you opinion of its "picture quality"! I remember displaying the Sony Betamax you refer to - a pretty bulky affair - although I must admit I don't recall it having "open spools" - I thought it handled cartridges. Could be wrong though! I don't remember ever actually playing a tape on it - maybe cos we didn't have a monitor! We also had the KB (Kolster Brands) Discomatic - a horizontal jukebox with selector levers along the front. That sold for £65. There was also a small portable record player, I think called a Discotron, where 7" singles(!) slotted in the top to play. I was also there when Philips bought out the very first "Compact Cassette Recorder" with its "joystick" direction control, Grundig launched their hand-held portable Stenorette (at a whopping £19) and the manager of the shop, a chap called Graham West, launched the Panthos Recording Studios in Meeting House Lane, Balsall Common. Tony
Far Gosford Street
dutchman
Spon End
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14 of 166  Wed 16th Feb 2011 1:03am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3086

This is slightly before my time but these ancient weavers' cottages with their topshops were being demolished in 1957 to make way for Astley's warehouse: Pictures of Coventry Similar cottages on the opposite side of the road but running parallel with the river survived for another ten years: Pictures of Coventry
Far Gosford Street
cabbie
coventry
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15 of 166  Wed 16th Feb 2011 12:53pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:30

I think Bednall's shop was next to S. Cannon shop although I don't remember S. Cannon shop being there. Beacham's Cars was definitely there.
Far Gosford Street

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