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"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford

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Little Nut
France
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286 of 296  Wed 15th Jun 2016 9:58pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2016  Total posts:35

Those were the days, Annewiggy. My form room was in the old house on the ground floor just past Miss Foster's office. Can you tell me your sister's name? I might have known her. The book sounds great, do you know if it is still in print? Did you ever make the choir? I didn't, I cannot sing in front of anyone on my own, not too bad in a group but solo - no chance. Hubby has a good voice, and can sing loud enough to drown me out Big grin We were encouraged to join in various groups or clubs and as I wasn't sporty or arty, I joined the orchestra, playing recorder. At the Christmas carol concert one of the other recorder players told me I was no good, so I asked Mr Llewellyn if I could play drums, as the percussionist was leaving, he said OK. A little while later Cov School of Music were offering lessons so I dragged a friend with me and we enrolled. My drum teacher played at Cov Theatre in the pit, as did the brass band master. The competition organisers decided to allow percussion in the comps and as the band didn't have anyone, my friend and I got roped in - not a bad ratio, 30 lads, 4 girls all aged from 11-21. I met my husband there, we started going out when I was just 13, were married 7 years later and are still together! I very rarely went to the cinema at the Savoy, and remember it more for bingo, with loads of coaches bringing loads of people to play! I remember Miss Hirons at school leading the choir and 2 Miss Allans. One was my housemistress and had a very ill fitting top denture, so her top set used to move up and down much to our amusement. She used to live somewhere around Telfer Rd or Cheveral Ave as I inadvertently called on her when out carol singing with a friend who lived in Telfer Rd. The other taught maths, and we used to go to her house, or it could have been Miss Hirons' house on a Friday evening for Scripture Union, which was another club I joined, as I went to church. At the end of our first year we went to a house in Littlehampton, West Sussex, for a 2 week holiday where we had services on the beach and learned loads more about becoming a Christian. This was the first time I had really heard the Christian message, and although there have been a few lapses along the way, we have always been committed to our faith. We moved from Leamington to Littlehampton in 1981, with my husband's work, where our youngest son was born, and moved to France from there in 2010, taking early retirement. Why were you living in Luxembourg? Wave
Little Nut

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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287 of 296  Thu 16th Jun 2016 11:49am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1030

Little Nut, this is a link to a site about the book, it is not cheap but a nice book for anyone interested in either George Singer or Coundon Court. My sister-in-law would have been Carol Bunker when she was at school. I seem to remember some of the names from CC you mention like Mr Llewellyn. Mrs Goodwin was housemistress of Margery Russell and our form mistress was Miss Schofield. No I wasn't sporty or arty. I hated sport at school and having to run from the hockey pitch, shower and change in 5 minutes and get to a class the other side of the school. I wasn't musical either. I am tone deaf and the only instrument I played like every one else was the recorder. Our son can play the organ. He has never found room for the organ we bought him so when he comes here he will often sit down and play it. My dad used to play one as well, loved it but it was like that comedian, all the right notes but in the wrong order. I am afraid I didn't like school very much. I was youngest in the class so I struggled a bit. I passed my 11 plus and started in the top class but gradually went down. I found history boring but it just seemed to be taking down dictation mostly about Romans. It's only since I started doing family trees and local history have I learned a lot more, it becomes more hands on. My best subject was maths. We had a good maths teacher, I just can't remember his name, he was a young teacher and he was very precise about geometry and technical drawing. We went to Luxembourg because the company Roy worked for had another factory there that made caravan windows. They needed someone to go and sort out the accounts side and asked if we would go for 2 years. We lived in a place called Dudelange which is only about a mile from the southern tip and France. It was before the euro and the first time we went into France we couldn't even buy an ice cream as they would not accept the money. After that I used to keep separate purses with a few French Francs and German Marks. It is a lovely country but with a 6 year old and a 4 year old living in a 6th floor flat it wasn't easy. I was very lonely, as most people spoke Luxembourgish it was difficult to make conversation. Someone would talk to you outside the school and I could get by with my basic French but if someone else came along they would revert to their own language, bit like the Welsh. There are no books to learn it. I was surprised how well my children got along and most of the words I learned were from them. I know the Luxembourgish for "go and stand in the corner". My last job was also for a French company, I worked for about 7 years for Florette salads. We both worked there. As Roy often had to go over to their office in Lessay we bought a flat at Montmartin Sur Mer, but we sold it a few years ago. Where do you live in France? Edited by member, 16th Jun 2016 12:58 pm
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Little Nut
France
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288 of 296  Sat 18th Jun 2016 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2016  Total posts:35

Thanks for the link to the book Annewiggy. I am afraid I don't know your sister-in-law from CC. We bought our house here in 2007 with a small legacy, as a holiday home, with a view to coming if we liked it when we retired. However Kev lost his job in 2008 aged 57 and could not find another. As this house needed some renovation we decided to cut our losses, put our English house on the market and move here, with the idea that if he found another job in the meantime, we would revert to plan A. Needless to say, he didn't and we moved here having sold our house, in 2010. We bought a house in Devon, quite near to our son, so that if we didn't like it, or if we got too infirm we could move back to the UK. So far it is fine, although language is a bit of a problem, especially with French red tape, but we manage. We think it is cheaper to live here on the whole than in the UK, although it is swings and roundabouts with a lot of stuff. The house is in a village called Merinchal, between Limoges and Clermont Ferrand, virtually in the middle of France. It is a far cry from Radford, we are surrounded by fields of cows, although we do have 2 very small factories, one making baby food and the other injection moulded bits and pieces. Mind you I expect when my dad moved into Heathcote Street as the first tenant just after it was built he had a few fields, round and about. I remember him telling me that during WW2 we had a hole blown in the roof over my bedroom, and you could see the stars through it. He worked at Courtaulds for over 50 years and played football in his early days there. I only remember him as the chairman of the bowling club, and being made to stay at my gran's once a year for the annual dinner dance in November, which I hated. My dad was, I have subsequently learned a really generous man, often giving to other members of the family. However, we never had hot water at home, except in the lethal appliance in the bathroom, which gave us a bath. He always washed in cold water in the kitchen, and only agreed to an inside toilet when they knew I was on the way. I vividly remember the argument over a wash hand basin in the bathroom, with my mum winning in the end, but it only ever had cold water. They only had a phone when we were married and paid for the installation. Having said all that, we got on great. I suppose growing up, these sort of things were not as important as they are to an adult - mind you I still don't have an ipad, and am reluctant to spend money on myself - nature or nurture?
Little Nut

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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Thread starter
289 of 296  Tue 6th Sep 2016 11:27am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

What a great read, Little Nut. You brought back a few memories, wonder what year were you at Hill Farm? I wonder if Chris Chattaway is still around? Many years ago now. Do you remember Bill Goode or Bob Robinson? They lived in the houses on the corner of Radford Common (six semidetached). I used to get my broken biscuits from Worthingtons, if they had none they would break some for us, we must have looked like urchins. You said you had more memories to share, love to read them. Thanks again for the lovely read. Colin.
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
CKV 1D
COVENTRY
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290 of 296  Sun 29th Jan 2017 4:32pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2012  Total posts:72

I came across this old photo last night, while having a sort out of a few things and I thought it might be of interest to someone. It shows a group of people out on a day trip somewhere back in the 1940's and I'm hoping that somebody might recognize either a relative, friend or neighbour in the photograph. Because one of the buses has "RADFORD" on its rear destination blind, I wonder if that's possibly where these people have come from and even were picked up from on the day???
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
CKV 1D
COVENTRY
All posts by this member
291 of 296  Sun 29th Jan 2017 4:37pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2012  Total posts:72

Here's another old "DAY TRIP" photo that I found last night, which also dates from the 1940's and has their privately hired "Coventry Transport" bus standing there behind them!
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Steve1957
Bromsgrove
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292 of 296  Sat 4th Mar 2017 2:57pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:7

On 16th Sep 2014 8:37am, Radford kid said:
On 26th May 2014 6:18pm, Steve1957 said: We lived in the "cut in" of Radford Rd....
Hello Steve I remember the house / houses you live in, I remember thinking how nice they looked, a real house, we lived at 404 Radford Road, if you remember it was the row of cottages next to Worthington shop on the corner of Heathcote Street, Burglar Bill lived in an old double decker bus situated at the end of a row of garages to the rear of our house, I also went to Hill Farm, my teacher was Mr Woods and Miss Hall, as was. I wonder if you remember Billy Goode or Bob Robinson, they lived in the houses on the common? Also the Vernons in Three Spires Ave? You may even remember me? Colin.
Hello mate! I have no idea what's gone on! I came by this message by accident, and remember it as strange I had no replies - nothing! Maybe I need to check my settings or something. Yeah, we lived at 458, Radford Rd., a 3-bed semi with the largest garden in the area, and my dad was a wonderful gardener. We were told that the builder who built them (called 'White', c.1938) went bust, as he built them to a very high standard. They still look smart these days. If you were near Heathcote St., you must've lived near Janet Barrell, and the bus stop? I remember Mr Thomas (Head), white-haired Welshman, Mr. Tucker (ex-Guardsman), Miss Garlick, Miss Anderson, the gorgeous Miss Hesketh Smile, and the vile Miss Jones, although she had a fine rack! I remember Barry Herbert from halfway up Three Spires on the left, and Leonard Jones (a strange lad with short life expectancy due to hole in the heart). And, of course, Martin and Andrew Lee at the very bottom on the right (from Radford Rd.) Your name doesn't ring a bell, Colin, I'm 60 this year, so left Hill Farm in July 1968, yet we're from the same area! Strange!
Steve (b. Holbrooks, 1957)

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Steve1957
Bromsgrove
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293 of 296  Sat 4th Mar 2017 3:04pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:7

Hi Little Nut, Love those memories, great to read! I'm glad someone else remembers Swain's - Ben Swain was a great butcher and a very nice chap. His wife was a bit quiet, and ran the grocery section.His fragrant daughter, Julie, was if I remember a year or 2 below me. It was a nice area to live, wasn't it?
Steve (b. Holbrooks, 1957)

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Little Nut
France
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294 of 296  Sat 4th Mar 2017 9:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2016  Total posts:35

Hi Steve, It was a great area to live, very neighbourly, all my friends were lads, as I was too young in the main to play with their older sisters. However that suited me anyway. We lived over the road from the Rumbolds and next door to the Sales. I am a little older than you, but remember the teachers at Hill Farm. I think I have said before in another post how disgusted I was with Mr Tucker who insisted in pouring back into his cup any tea I had managed to spill into his saucer when I was the tea monitor. Mrs Jones was my teacher for 2 years and I well remember the times table and spelling tests on Friday mornings. Did you have to do spelling corrections - 3 times for any word you got wrong, then 6 followed by 10 if you got it wrong again. Since having to spell "because" 100 times I don't think I have ever spelt it wrong since. There was also the ruler across the hand for the girls, or the legs for the boys, and if you were really bad and a lad you got the slipper. I can't remember what we did to recieve this punishment, but I know I had the ruler once. When I got home my friend asked me in front of my mother if it had hurt. I was then questioned by my mum, and even though I wanted to drop the subject I was marched back to school so she could "speak" to the teacher! I can't remember the outcome, but I think that was the only time I had the ruler - I was such a compliant child!! I remember a guy called Steven who was always getting the slipper, but he passed his 11+ and went to Henry VIII, he was the only one in my year, although several boys went to Bablake. I think 5 girls went to Barrs Hill and 1 to Stoke Park, 8 of us went to Coundon Court - strange the things you can remember and the things you forget isn't it. There was also a boy in Mr Tucker's class who was useless at £, s, and d. I remember having to wait ages for Mr T to finish quizzing him for the answer to how much in shillings and pence is 27 pence - he knew how much 26 pence was but 27p was a bit beyond him - he is no doubt a bank manager now!! Regards, Little Nut Wave
Little Nut

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Steve1957
Bromsgrove
All posts by this member
295 of 296  Sun 5th Mar 2017 1:29pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:7

Hi! Yes, my memories of Hill Farm are very similar. Mr. Tucker, LOL - about 6' 5" and raven black hair. I hated Miss Jones, I'm glad she only stood in a couple of times! Our main teacher was Miss Garlic, who, like the Infants school headmistress Miss Kennedy (remember her flowing, flower-print dresses and sandals in the summer!?), were school teachers in The Colonial Service in Africa. Quite formidable women! There was also a Mr. Nightingale who used to turn up in biker's leather jacket, and frequented the Beaker Cafe, which I was told to stay away from! I remember him being a really bad teacher! I passed my 11+ but my parents took no interest in my education, so I chose Woodlands Comp on Broad Lane (and it was cr*p!) because my sister's brother-in-law went there and I was matey with him, and he completely ignored me from day 1! Half the 1440 boys there failed their 11+, and I could've gone to Bablake or Henry VIII! Woodlands was 2 half-hour bus journeys each way. Mum and I moved from Radford Rd (in 1974) after dad died (1973), and we went to St. Nicholas St., just off Sandy Lane, and near Barr's Hill School. Spent 6 years there, before moving to Keresley off The Scotchill. (Did you know the actor Clive Owen was born in Keresley?) Mum's friend from wartime lived close by, so that was good, but there wasn't much going on in that area - just LOTS of terraced housing. Shortly after that, I got my first job in IT in Saudi. All the best for now, Thumbs up Steven.
Steve (b. Holbrooks, 1957)

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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296 of 296  Mon 5th Jun 2017 9:00pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1030

Another interesting article courtesy of British Newspaper Archive from 1941. I am assuming it is the Savoy Cinema in Radford although it looks like the name of the cinema has been censured out. I wasn't aware that there was an underground car park under the cinema, although I have never been round the back. Does anyone know any more about it ?

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