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St Nicholas Church, Radford

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abloke

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1 of 61  Thu 26th May 2011 7:14am  
Member: Joined May 2011  Total posts:1

An 83 year old friend of my wife was telling me a sad story about her parent's grave. She says she went to visit the grave a few years ago only to find the church and the graveyard gone because the area had been redeveloped for housing and a brand new church had appeared close by. From the information she gave me and looking on the web, I believe this is what actually happened: the church was in Radford Road. This means it must have been St Nicholas Church which was destroyed in the Blitz [not by redevelopment]. The graveyard, I believe, should still be there. In this article on the Coventry Telegraph site it says; "The waist-high grass in the graveyard at St Nicholas Church in Radford has been cleared by a group of men as part of their work with their probation service. For the first time in years, visitors to the Coventry church can now access the oldest part of the graveyard." So, I think, when she visited the area, the grave yard was actually still there, she just couldn't see or access it. I don't know if the graveyard is on the same plot as the new church. The article goes on to say; "Among the headstones uncovered so far have included [WWI] war veterans and the founding fathers of the transport industry in Coventry". This should mean that her parent's grave should still be there as her father's date of death was 1939/40 and the article refers to a WWI grave. I would be grateful if anyone could shed any light on this subject.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 61  Thu 26th May 2011 7:24am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5029

These may be of interest Cheers
St Nicholas Church, Radford
derbyskyblue
west hallam, derbyshire
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3 of 61  Sat 28th May 2011 12:43am  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:20

If both of those headstones are one and the same, whats happened to the others? Just knocked down and taken away and then in time its forgotten that a cemetery was ever there?
St Nicholas Church, Radford
dutchman
Spon End
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4 of 61  Sat 28th May 2011 2:25am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

The same thing happened all over Coventry. Try finding St Michael's graveyard or St Thomas' graveyard today.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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5 of 61  Thu 7th Jul 2011 1:47pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:25

The graveyard does still exist. I visited it earlier this week. If you park by the current 1950s church and walk behind it you can access the graveyard. The grass has been cut back though the site still is a little worse for wear. You can clearly make out the location of the blitzed original church as if you walk to the far end of the graveyard you can see the original rusting gas lantern which would have been by the Radford road entrance and a small set of steps then leads up to what was a path in to the Church (now a modern building behind brambles) As a side note of interest I was there trying to locate a grave of a distant relative which I found on this path to the right. The relative was William Riley Junior (and his wife Emma) famous for being one of the brothers who founded the Riley Motor company so this is what is referred to as a forefather of the motor industry as mentioned on a previous post. Interestingly he would have been buried here after the Church was destroyed as he died in 1944.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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6 of 61  Thu 7th Jul 2011 1:51pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:25

Also I believe the reason why some of the gravestones don't exist anymore between the 2 photos is because a lot were destroyed in the actual bombing of the church itself. A parachute landmine cleared a lot of the stones as well as the church. To view a photo of the aftermath demonstrates how bad the damage to the surrounding graveyard was.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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7 of 61  Sun 10th Jul 2011 3:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4076

My memories of this church concern the pipe organ. The console (keyboard bit) is so far detached from the pipe chambers that it requires a style & technic of its own in order to play it. Years & years ago, I was invited to provide accompaniment to a choir who were performing a Christmas musical, Night of Miracles. The choir also performed the musical at Fillongley parish the following week, the organ there being an Allen electronic. So many at both venues enjoyed the performances that a repeat performance was arranged back at St. Nicholas a week later. That Sunday evening, I had to hot foot from my own church organ duty the short distance to St. Nicholas, in quite bad weather. The choir, who were coming from all over were experiencing delays in getting there, so I provided a medley of popular organ music whilst we waited for the choir to arrive. Let me tell you, the choir was fantastic along with their leader & conductor. The special nice part for me, was whilst at work the following week, I had a phone call & a visit from the church hierarchy asking if I would provide a musical evening for them, as so many people had enjoyed the musical interlude. When I asked what they liked the most, they said the 'Blackpool bit'. What a pip!
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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8 of 61  Sun 24th Jul 2011 2:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5029

Revisited this morning This image demonstrates the location of the two commemorative stones, which now fill a gateway from Radford Road into the old churchyard. Interestingly, three of the four gate hinges still meain in situ
St Nicholas Church, Radford
nirvana
coventry
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9 of 61  Sat 17th Sep 2011 9:32pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:115

The churchyard is still there and the gravestones are visable and you are able to walk around. But sadly the church is being demolished and services are being held in the community hall.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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10 of 61  Sat 17th Sep 2011 9:47pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5029

Which church is being demolished?
St Nicholas Church, Radford
nirvana
coventry
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11 of 61  Wed 21st Sep 2011 11:34pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:115

As I told you in my e-mail it looks like the church is being demolished, contractors have now stripped the roof of all the copper and most of the windows are boarded up with a few of the windows smashed. Worship is being done in the community hall, the vicar has left so I do not know who is taking mass, I have heard that they want to demolish the big church and build a smaller one but at the moment I cannot confirm that as it is only hearsay.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Elaine
Coventry
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12 of 61  Thu 22nd Sep 2011 11:00am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:68

I know someone whose daughter is a member of the cheerleaders group that use the hall and they have had to move on as the hall is now the church. The original church needed so much money to repair it that it wasn't viable. It is cheaper to knock it down and start again.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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13 of 61  Thu 22nd Sep 2011 6:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5029

On 21st Sep 2011 11:34pm, nirvana said: As I told you in my e-mail it looks like the church is being demolished.
Thanks again for the information which is very sad I ventured over to the church this morning and this is what I saw And just outside the church there appears to have been vandalism to the war memorial This was Dec 2009 and this is today
St Nicholas Church, Radford
artful
lancashire
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14 of 61  Sun 25th Sep 2011 9:24pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:140

In the 1940/50s we used to go to Sunday School in the temporary church, which was housed in the old wooden church hall. Both of my parents (along with a brother who passed away aged 9 days and before I was born) are buried there.
St Nicholas Church, Radford
nirvana
coventry
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15 of 61  Sun 25th Sep 2011 11:25pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:115

Well a bit more news about St Nicholas Church. My wife was talking to one of the church elders this morning about the church, and was told the real reason that the church is in such demise is that vandals had caused a lot of the trouble at the church. The church elder went to the church one morning and found all the electrics had been ripped out, things stolen and she said that they had been plagued by vandals for over a year. Once they started to strip bits of copper off the roof and smash the windows they decided to call it a day. The only thing they have not stolen is the bell, but I can tell you someone stole the bell of St Francis Church. As for demolishing St Nicholas it will be done but when no one knows when and a new one will not be built. Sorry to report such bad news but it is a fact. I could go on and tell you a lot more but it is pointless and upsetting and by the way they also stole the plaques from the remembrance stone.
St Nicholas Church, Radford

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