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Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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736 of 777  Mon 20th Jul 2020 10:08am  
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Slim, Other activities have been around since day one. My friend and I used to go to Amsterdam in the early eighties to buy blue films, bring them back and show and sell to the police - they were illegal in the UK, so we had to dodge the customs mainly at Dover (hold your breath times). We did it about five times, but thought we were getting well known. A guy came home one night, got out of his car and was slugged behind the ear - woke up with throbbing headache. Slowly the fog cleared - trussed up on bunk bed, a motion underneath told him he was in a moving boat. As the fog cleared more, he flexed his muscles. He had been asking too many questions. The ropes were not tight enough, he got free - the boat engines stopped, he knew he was to be put overboard. He faked unconsciousness. As the cabin door opened a man came down the steps, leaned over him - he pushed off the bed, his forehead smacked into the man’s nose. A second man came down the steps - confused by what he saw, a pile driver of a punch hit him, then a second and he went out. The man stripped, put his clothes in a piece of canvas, tied it securely to his waist, smashed an oar through the side of the boat and gently lowered himself over the side, shoe less and swam to the beach. He rubbed himself down with his socks, donned his clothes and made his way home. Sounds like a bad gangster story - no, just part of Brighton in the fifties. Newspapers told part of the man in the sea (an old man now, he's forgotten everything if anyone asks).
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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737 of 777  Tue 21st Jul 2020 10:51am  
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The Daddy Long Legs, a sea railway journey of about a mile through the waves. I thought it may be of interest. wearethemods - mods and rockers clash at Brighton Pier “”
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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738 of 777  Fri 24th Jul 2020 10:52am  
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As the end of the 19th century came to close we saw an era of great pomp and ceremony. For me there were many books and magazines showing the great era of the Edwardians. In Coventry most of the great buildings were from this era - the columns of the bank in Broadgate, the large buildings in Hertford Street, Opera House, the Council House. Steel framework meant they could build higher and wider, be more grand, ornaments and mouldings, they could turn a house into a palace. London became a paradise for sculptors and architects, most of London's great building and sculpture was from this era. But it was not confined to London - Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast, and scores of smaller towns - Colchester Town Hall, Bristol’s museum. New coins, new stamps, English pomp and circumstance music. The Old Bailey, with its gilded figure of justice holding the scales. End of the century, Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, the biggest pageant in history took place. It took three hours for 4,000 cavalry to pass by, a military procession of unparalleled grandeur. Ambassadors from every corner of the Empire in a sea of colour, massed robes and ladies in diamonds and beautiful clothes. We had the greatest Navy in the world, and were building bigger and better, imperial power and the world was watching. Twenty years after, I had scores of picture books with all this pomp and splendour while kids were running about in bare feet and ragged clothes. It made no sense, but the colour was spellbinding, and patriotism was stirred.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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739 of 777  Fri 24th Jul 2020 10:58am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5639

Not sure the Council House was from that era Wink
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Helen F
Warrington
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740 of 777  Fri 24th Jul 2020 12:21pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2285

I'm not sure how long the plans for the Council House predated its construction but they'd started demolition for it on Earl Street by at least 1897. They began rebuilding the area at St Mary's Hall prior to 1897 and worked their way clockwise. It was such a prime location, I think they had trouble buying the properties and plots. There are maps of how much they paid for each plot.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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741 of 777  Fri 24th Jul 2020 1:04pm  
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According to Wikipedia it was built between 1913 and 1917 and officially opened by the Duke of York, 11th June 1920.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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742 of 777  Sat 25th Jul 2020 9:53am  
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Annewiggy Yes, the ordinary working class people after WWI seemed to view 1890 to 1920 as Edwardian as far as I can remember. So many huge buildings in that period in so many cities. The Council House was talked of at least ten years before it was actually built. My father, a boy at the time, was given the colourful books and handed them down to us. But the Council House with all its historical decoration fitted in with era and so did many buildings in Coventry that had artwork and mouldings. I can't remember them now but walk round Coventry and there are still a lot there to be found.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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743 of 777  Sat 25th Jul 2020 2:51pm  
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A feature of the Edwardian era that was handed down to us kids of later times was the new coinage. On the shilling came the royal lion, a powerful living beast, a thing of extravagance, a sense of worth. The designs on the coins spread to sweet tins and other goods - who could forget the sight of Golden Syrup tins? On the florin (two shillings) the figure of Britannia standing at the front of her ship. The gold coins were gold and the silver were silver. After WWI the silver was halved, after WWII it was zero. Everything changed - newspapers, holidays, earnings increased, moving pictures, lighting, cars and aircraft. We kids of those days were going to a world never seen before.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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744 of 777  Sat 25th Jul 2020 9:20pm  
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Silver, an element, has the lowest resistance of all metals, making it a better conductor of electricity, with lower power loss, than copper even, but of course it is extremely expensive. I suppose there came a time when a silver florin contained more than two bobs' worth of silver, meaning coins of the realm would be melted down! Similarly, a few years ago a friend was surprised that a "copper" coin, a 2p piece, stuck to a magnet in his drawer. We both thought it was a forgery - but hang about, why would anyone bother forging such a low value coin? Plus, this one was very shiny and new. It also appeared perfectly made, unlike forged coins. Yes, copper became so expensive that they are now all made of steel, with a microscopically thin plating of coppery red.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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745 of 777  Fri 31st Jul 2020 12:33pm  
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The Edwardian era 1880 to 1920 was one of great colourful pageant, not only in costume but in large buildings, ornaments, stamps, coins, dress and music. All in a kaleidoscope, a great sea of lavish pomp. The rich took clothing to an absurd, extreme class in society. In Coventry, the Victorians’ cloth and ribbon factories had run out of steam by 1880, the watchmaking under great pressure from overseas, the trial and tribulations of factories now near an end. Corn halls, meeting houses, hotels, barracks, great spaces left empty - the aristocrats took their money and began to spend it in a lavish way. Cities all round Britain at the turn of the century built in exuberance, grandeur and ornamentation on a grand scale. Coventry’s Opera House, Mattersons with the plough on top, several buildings in the Burges, National Provincial Bank with its pillars, Burtons and other buildings replaced the City Hotel. The post office and buildings in Hertford Street, the Council House, all the great coach houses in Broadgate replaced. Aristocrats dominated the House of Lords and government, Church, judiciary, magistrates, armed forces, and professions. Queen Victoria thought her son, "Dirty Bertie" as he was known, was a leading adulterer, obsessed with drink, heavy smoking that would kill him, gave his life to pleasure, never made any contribution to life. Victoria called him lazy, unreliable, irresponsible. She would not let him see any state document till over fifty. In the naughties era, led by him now as the King, popular in seducing most of the females in the theatre, he then moved on to the aristocrats‘ wives. The King’s example of flexible marriage, a mistress became an indispensable part of High Society life. But government wrangled over everything, land prices fell and cheap cereals came from abroad, arable farmers we’re seriously hit, and the government offered no protection. Farms fell into ruin, great estates were broken up, rent values dropped away, estates became like prairie wastes and eventually the great heaths that I knew.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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746 of 777  Fri 31st Jul 2020 2:49pm  
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One company that started in Hertford Street during Victorian times were moved out of the city to Foleshill - J Cash, ribbon makers, and they were joined in 1904 by one of the Courtaulds, an American whose son started a ribbon industry in 1894 in Braintree Essex. One of the family came to Coventry, he too was sent to Foleshill. Dirty Bertie died in 1910, the war came, then the flu epidemic. The twenties started and so did my family and I. Foxhunting and game became the sport of the rich, with all the land let to grass and heaths around Coventry - it was an ideal life for a boy to grow up in. Gamekeepers now rose from 9,000 to 23,000, even though the privileged were in decline. Those lazy summer days at the side of the canal or river, the tinkle of the small brook, the lush fields with the scent of wild flowers, the drone of the bees, was an idyllic time for me. It lasted but a few years, then all hell let loose.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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747 of 777  Sun 2nd Aug 2020 10:16am  
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Modern historians have divided history, they now have the Victorians from 1830ish to 1880 and the Edwardians from 1880 to 1920. By the time we had reached 1880 most Victorian buildings were being hauled down and Coventry rebuilt over the next forty years. By 1920 most of city centre had been rebuilt. Gone were the corn mills, ribbon houses, meeting houses, stables and livestock, replaced with banks, shops and offices, cinemas, and wireless, telephones and most of all the railways gave it the 'clout'. Not only was the Council House built, but most buildings in High Street (Rob found us Allwoods). I believe Burtons and Westminster Bank, and other shops built around 1919 swept away the old Victorian era. Most of the buildings in the Burges had been replaced around Edwardian time as well. I believe when they made Trinity Street the loom factories had already been replaced by other buildings, and so had the slum dwellings. Coventry was improved by the spread of success.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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748 of 777  Mon 3rd Aug 2020 10:38am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

By the mid 1930s Coventry was well into manufacture again, could well afford a better living and better conditions all round, but the lower half of the centre of the city looked very tatty and the citizens needed another uplift. So the city built a new bus depot, a new theatre, pulled down the old Butcher Row and built the new Trinity Street and most of the Burges and a new cinema close by. Unfortunately the war followed.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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749 of 777  Sun 9th Aug 2020 9:45am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

Believe that the Church Book shop was responsible for most of the books sold to Sunday schools in Coventry, including The English Hymnal. The Sunday school I went to, we were led by old Pop Barnes, most of the old hymns, the lyrics were new but the tunes were old English folk tunes. The two I do remember were the carol 'Little town of Bethelehem', was from the 'Plough-boy' and the other, 'Fight the good fight', was supposed to be Tarry Trowsers' which we sang with The Cross of Jesus behind the vestry door, as no one (choir boy) would carry it up the aisle. Tarry Trowsers - any of you remember? Yonder stands a pretty maiden Who she is I do not know I'll go and court her for her beauty Will she answer yes or no Oh no John, no John, no Post copied from topic Shops of yore on 9th Aug 2020 1:17 pm
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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750 of 777  Sun 9th Aug 2020 1:02pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3810

To me I believe change came too fast, the speed of modernisiation, not only in manners and human relations, the great English country side, eaten up by buildings, villages into towns, and most of the pretty little villages and their ways and customs, and somehow I guess I had a desire to cling to the vanishing past. As a boy I loved the countryside, and travelled as far as my legs would allow me, walk or bicycle in Warwickshire. War came, but that allowed me to travel through the little villages in Wiltshire, Cerne Abbess, Piddlehinton, and interested in the book 'Rural Rides', many more - then through the villages of Kent, Robertsbridge and the clock that ran backwards, Shorncliffe and another book by Belloc, and so over to Salisbury Plain, another unusual village, Shaftesbury. Years passed me by and when retired, out came the books and the maps. Across Sussex with Belloc, 'the four men' 1900. Belloc lived in a windmill in the little village of Shipley. From the Kent border to the Hampshire border on foot, just over 100 miles, 1998, ave thirty miles a day. Scores of lovely little villages, many old local village songs, never heard before, visited his village home and graveyard. Weald Way, from Gravesend to Eastbourne, 85 miles, 1999, still app. thirty miles a day. 1066 walk, app. 35miles, 1999, mainly the side of river then through village of Catsfield, on to Battle Abbey, through Icklesham, on to Rye. The following week I walked back from the start of the 1066, back on through Jevington, through Friston Forest, into old Exceat Country Park, app thirty miles. Cuckoo Walk, 11 miles Sat morning stroll along disused rail track Sept 1999. Tonbridge river walk, app. ten miles, another Sat morning stroll along side river Vanguard Way, Croydon to Seaford, app. 70 miles, 2002 Ready to walk Offa’s Dyke, but foot and mouth stopped me. Later years attempted the Thames walk, 180 miles app. Reached Reading from Westminster Bridge, app. 80 miles but too costly, never did complete. Met Bob Copper (tele fame) who also did the Belloc walk, and sang old, almost lost, village country songs of long ago.
Coventry People - Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)

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