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Midland Red
Cherwell
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1 of 17  Wed 31st Mar 2010 4:25pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4550

Does anyone have any information regarding Middle Borough Terrace There are remains of a sandstone wall and gateways (1851) on Radford Road (St Columbas Close) but does anyone know what was behind these?
Middleborough Terrace
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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2 of 17  Wed 31st Mar 2010 9:40pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1045

I don't have any information about what was behind the gateway, but coincidentally I was contacted a while ago by a chap who knows the owner of an Alvis photographed outside those very gates in 1923. He sent me scans of the photos which I've put below. The current owner, Robert Hunt, is hoping to have the car renovated within the next year or two, and is planning to bring it back to Coventry to recreate a "now and then" in that same place in St. Columbas Close. I'm hoping that he'll remember to contact me again when he's ready - I'm looking forward to seeing that occasion! It will be especially nice if he doesn't mind other interested folk dropping by to see it.
Middleborough Terrace
NeilsYard
Coventry
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3 of 17  Sun 30th Oct 2011 8:30am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Just reviving this after going through old threads - I'd love to see this car Rob if he ever gets in touch again. As a big car enthusiast I always feel a little pride in all those great Coventry cars that were manufactured here. I don't think I've ever actually been down St Colomba's Close before! Those walls look very interesting on Google maps? Just what were those doorways for?
Middleborough Terrace
NeilsYard
Coventry
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4 of 17  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:47pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Out of interest looks like the car is still off the road being restored - this may help to date the photos: ALVIS Reg.: HP6161 Date of First Registration : 27 07 1923 Year of Manufacture : 1923 Cylinder Capacity : 1496cc Fuel Type : PETROL Vehicle Colour : RED
Middleborough Terrace
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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5 of 17  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:54pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1045

Hi again Neil, It looks like you've found out more than I had! I'd nearly forgotten about all that, and when I saw that you'd revived this topic I suddenly remembered that it had been an awful long time since I'd heard from that chap about the car. I assumed that either it had still not yet been restored, or that he'd forgotten to tell me about it. Looks like the former is true then - well done for finding out! Interesting to see RED as the colour, I thought they only made cars in black and white on those days! Lol
Middleborough Terrace
NeilsYard
Coventry
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6 of 17  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:55pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Wow - actually the car has its own website!! How fantastic to see
Middleborough Terrace
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 17  Thu 3rd Nov 2011 11:48pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

I found myself on the ring road on Wednesday so detoured down St Columbas Close for a look. The inscriptions on the walls are still visible - what were they for?
Middleborough Terrace
AlvisNo1
Hereford
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8 of 17  Sat 17th Aug 2013 10:26am  
Member: Joined Aug 2013  Total posts:1

May I introduce myself as the current custodian of the car pictured here. Having been in touch with Rob Orland he suggested I add a bit to this post and let the forum know what I'm planning. The Alvis cars were produced at the Holyhead road factory and during the 1920's gained a reputation as being some of the most sporting cars available. In 1923, Alvis decided to introduce a new model - the 12/50 - which went on to become one of the most iconic of vintage sports cars of that era. It is believed that, in order to publicise the new model, Alvis entered racing cars based on this new design in the Brooklands JCC 200 miles race of that year - arguably the equivalent of the Grand Prix today. Cutting a long story short, they won the race and secured the success of the marque. These racing cars were developed during the summer of 1923 in Coventry and the first of the three, which was used as the test bed for the winning cars is the one pictured here. Sadly, the other two cars did not survive. We can date the picture pretty accurately as being early October and for those interested in a little more detail you can read a bit more at: Alvis racing car at St Columbas Road (the website is new and please excuse me if a number of the links are a little temperamental - I'm trying to fix them today) I would like to do a 'then and now' recreation of the photographs during October. At present the plan is to do it during a week day in working hours (for no other reason than there are less likely to be cars parked in the location of the arches, as there were when I last checked). Spectators are welcome! I would value any suggestions on the logistics (the car is road legal although I will trailer it up to Coventry) and if any members have more information relating to Alvis cars or this project please let me know. Robert Hunt
Middleborough Terrace
flapdoodle
Coventry
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9 of 17  Sat 17th Aug 2013 5:09pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:829

Some great pictures here. I've never really spent much time in that area of the city, but find it a bit weirdly laid out with strange dead ends and that canal basin stuck up there. I often wondered what happened to all the stone that was taken away from the city walls. How much of ended up in new buildings or just used as rockeries?
Middleborough Terrace
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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10 of 17  Sat 17th Aug 2013 8:27pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1040

From the census, Middleborough Terrace appears to be a row of gentlemen's residences, lived in by the likes of Solicitors and Ribbon manufacturers etc. it could be as suggested that the bricks were borrowed from older buildings. I think there were some like this further down by the shops on Radford Road.
Middleborough Terrace
walrus
cheshire
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11 of 17  Sun 18th Aug 2013 9:40am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:207

It was common practise to recycle materials but also there is a substantial source of sandstone in the immediate area. The railway cutting between Radford Road and Sandy Lane is cut through sandstone. We used to play in and on the embankment behind the Territorial Army depot. Digressing, we would find all manner of interesting stuff like grenades, artillery rounds and so on. All duds but it was interesting to take the pin out and throw the first one.
Middleborough Terrace
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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12 of 17  Sun 18th Aug 2013 5:32pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1040

Just remembered that the walls in the garden of Weavers Care Home in St Nicholas Street where my mum is at present also are made of similar stone blocks. I wonder if they were quarried when they actually dug the embankment. I used to walk to work over that wooden bridge at the back of the TA depot. Always like the name of that road that led to the common - "unadopted"!
Middleborough Terrace
mick
coventry
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13 of 17  Thu 29th Aug 2013 2:58pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:74

As part of the development of the Spon End waterworks in the 1840s a reservoir was also created in the vicinity of Radford Road/St Nicholas St. This can be seen on the 1889 OS maps and included all the land down to Light Lane. I have often thought that the walls in the area predate the houses and they may have remained in situ or just have been reused.
Middleborough Terrace
TEKMELF
HAWKESBURY
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14 of 17  Thu 29th Aug 2013 7:55pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:80

On 18th Aug 2013 9:40am, walrus said: It was common practise to recycle materials....
Bonfire night, needing the wood, decided along with our "gang" to borrow some railway sleepers from the embankment behind Westfield House. After struggling up the bank onto the footbridge with two sleepers we then realised that the local bobby had been watching the spectacle. No suggesting about arresting us, he just made us replace them where we had found them, and then after he had also been listening to us talking he had a list of our names which he then gave to our teachers at Barkers Butts School who subsequently administered a due whacking with the cane.
Middleborough Terrace
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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15 of 17  Fri 6th Sep 2013 5:21pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:25

On 31st Mar 2010 4:25pm, Midland Red said: Does anyone have any information regarding Middle Borough Terrace There are remains of a sandstone wall and gateways (1851) on Radford Road (St Columbas Close) but does anyone know what was behind these?
Hi Midland Red, This area crops up in some of my distant relatives lives so I thought I would contribute to the thread. St Columbas Close was originally part of the Radford road that led down to St Nicholas Street and on in to town (before the ringroad cut through it). A good way to see this example is if you view Google Earth history view and look at the area now and then quickly jump to 1945 view. I'm distantly related to the Riley Car family and at one time quite a few family members lived right where you describe. On the opposite side of the road to the brick wall and archway you describe is a run of original houses and one (that still remains) was called Hollybank (though it no longer bears this name). This was the residence of William Riley (who is buried in St Nicholas Church graveyard further up the Radford Road). He lived here with Percy, Victor, Allan and his wife and probably a few others. It was a convenient location as it was close to the Riley works at that time. Over the road from Hollybank was Middleborough Terrace where the stone wall and archways are. Behind here along with gentlemans residence was a property called Middleborough house. This was the residence of Basil Riley who was a master tailor who moved to Coventry from Manchester and married Williams daughter, Hannah. So he married in to the family and company ironically already having the same name and set up home with his wife across from his father in law and relatives. Being a master tailor he had involvements with upholstery within the company. Interestingly the properties behind the stonewall appear to be gone on 1945 view so Its possible to assume that the gentlemens residence and Middleborough house were all destroyed in the blitz. Anyway I thought you'd like to know :)
Middleborough Terrace

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