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Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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76 of 90  Wed 13th Sep 2017 10:33am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2510

After the recent activity of the fire brigade round here reminded me: Hales Street Fire Station - the bells went down, the men scrambled and the machine raced out, but in the doorway lay a wallet. A fireman stooped and picked up a leather wallet. This was no cheap thing, old leather and with a clasp - the fireman thought he was justified in opening it to see who it belonged to. He undid the clasp and 'Good heavens!' he cried, looking at a photo of a lady. Agitated he buried his head in his hands - after a few minutes he took a second look then looked through the wallet. Nothing else in the wallet, only a note that gave the name and address of the owner. When the machine returned he walked over to the owner of the wallet. 'You you dropped this', holding the wallet out. 'Thanks' the owner said, a little flushed, and walked a little away from the others. 'May I ask about the lady?' 'She was my wife'. The man paused. 'We had only been married just over twelve months when she died.' His voice dropped to a whisper. The fireman nodded. 'I also knew her, when she was eighteen, I was madly in love with her, but her father found out I was Jewish, forbid her to see me. It was a painful experience'. They locked eyes, then clasped hands with a grip that they alone could understand.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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77 of 90  Sat 30th Sep 2017 1:30am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1941

Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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78 of 90  Sat 28th Oct 2017 12:36am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1941

Post copied from topic Pool Meadow on 13th Oct 2018 2:37 pm
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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79 of 90  Sat 23rd Dec 2017 1:14am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1941

Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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80 of 90  Sat 30th Dec 2017 3:12pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2510

NeilsYard. Over the top of the fire station you can see the training tower, this was about fifty feet high? I was taken there once when I was in the Armstrong Siddeley fire brigade for sheet jumping - we climbed about ten/twelve feet high then jumped out of the window. You had to rely on the men below to catch you in the sheet (or mat); you had to look straight in front of you, not look down. Once you did that correctly then you moved higher to twenty feet and jumped, it meant little to me (after my Para training) but there were several men found it a bit scary. But it reminded me that Coventry had the two towers not far apart.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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81 of 90  Sun 17th Jun 2018 2:26am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1941

Thanks to Paul Michael Kennelly - Rosemary you might like this one as I'm sure that's a police box.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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82 of 90  Sun 17th Jun 2018 4:34am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3201

I find this topic very interesting as my father-in-law was with the CFB during the WWII - Robert Shepherd or Bob Shepherd. Sadly I was never to know him as he passed away a few years later from a heart attack. If he was anything like his son then he was a lovely man. Thanks for the latest old pics. Neil. Thumbs up
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
coventry49
Devon
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83 of 90  Sun 17th Jun 2018 8:52am  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:187

Thanks Neil, yes I'm sure it is a police box, although it had disappeared by the time I joined. There was a proper one built into the building at the bottom of Trinity Street below Sainsburys. Near the box in your picture were some public toilets at the side of the Fire Station.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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84 of 90  Sun 17th Jun 2018 1:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5110

Correct, coventry49 - it was a police box and there were public toilets to the right of the box - I passed them regularly several times a week to and from Trinity Hall, early 1960s Thumbs up
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Prof
Gloucester
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85 of 90  Mon 18th Jun 2018 11:46am  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:840

Here is a photo of the firemen's cottages. I always knew of them from boyhood. Sadly they were demolished. Why? Did they have no bathrooms? Solid redbrick dwellings, could have made homes for someone, and it gave atmosphere in Chauntry Place, with the Lady Herberts Garden in front. Might have made additional almshouses!
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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86 of 90  Mon 18th Jun 2018 1:09pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5110

Not demolished, Prof! Thumbs up
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Prof
Gloucester
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87 of 90  Mon 18th Jun 2018 2:03pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:840

Hurrah! Thank you Midland Red for the proof positive. Presume they are now privately owned? What made me think they were demolished? Probably that bright blue walkway over Lady Herbert's Garden which, together with the Millenium 'boomerangs' I think hateful and completely out of scale!
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Prof
Gloucester
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88 of 90  Mon 18th Jun 2018 2:09pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:840

Super photo of Fire Station, NeilsYard. I recall as a small child my dad taking me there on an open day and I was shooted down the pole in the arms of a fireman, though I am not sure how he managed it! Would there be room for a piggy back? Edited by member, 18th Jun 2018 2:11 pm
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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89 of 90  Thu 9th Aug 2018 1:51pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2510

I have been talking to some of my relatives about my brother who served as a works fireman in exactly the same job I once did, this then led me to thinking of my short time with Coventry Brigade, 1949/50ish. I walked over and sat down at the side of George, "You were about to tell me about Bull Yard? I had been in the Coventry Fire Brigade for about two months at the Foleshill Station, and the last three days had been very quiet - we were all dying for the bells to go down to ease the tension. I had been called away for a few seconds. George was around the 50 mark, sent to Foleshill to serve his time out, helping in the kitchen, help a little training, no longer sent out on the 'wagon' as I called it. A few days ago he had asked me to tell him about leaping from a plane "without all the 'bull****', he said, so I asked him to tell me his story of the blitz. This is as near as I can remember. The sirens sounded about ten past seven, at twenty past the bells went down and we were called out a few yards away to Mattersons and already we could see the incendiaries falling and could hear planes overhead and loud explosions. Mattersons' roof soon caught alight and we helped their team put it out - by now we knew this was different, and fires were springing up all over the city. We then were directed to the Food Office in Hertford Street, where a huge bomb had exploded behind it, another had gone off at the far end of Bull Yard, had blown the supporting wall to a shelter down, the heavy concrete roof had come down on top of the people. We did what we could but we only got burnt and torn hands. Then we lost touch with our control room but a boy appeared on a bike - we could hardly credit it, the city was on fire, everywhere you looked - he had a message, we were to go to Cross Cheaping. As we arrived and started to run out the hoses a massive bomb went off, five of my mates were trapped as a massive wall fell on them and killed them. We could do nothing for them but I still feel guilty. A cascade of flying embers and glass everywhere, many catching me, then the water ran out and we stood by digging with our hands in the rubble. Then we had a message that our chief was in the hospital, not with body injury but bomb shock. People had to leave shelters because they filled up with smoke. Then the bells went down, I had to leave the story.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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90 of 90  Sat 13th Oct 2018 2:22pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2510

I never realised how high the fire station tower was above the station - hanging out that top window sorted the boys out from the men, but good keen fun for all.
Coventry Fire Brigade (inc. Hales Street Fire Station)

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