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"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford

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Radford kid
Coventry
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1 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 10:49am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Does anyone remember a man the kids called Burglar Bill ? Not his real name, just a name the kids around Radford gave him. Burglar Bill or to give him his real name, Eli Augustus Wilkinson, lived at the rear of Radford Road opposite the Radford Common, in an old double decker bus,converted as an home for him and his family (I know he had a son and I think he lived in Lydgate Road) - anyway he was a great bloke but did we give him an hard time as kids? (we did not mean it Bill sorry) He made his living as a scrap man and he also had two rows of garages that he used to rent out. Scrap metal and kids go together real well, we had a great time using his scrap sheets of metal to build dens etc. And if anyone remembers Bill I wonder if you also remember Nell Leather, she ran a little shop from her cottage on the corner of Radford Road and Beake Ave, not to be confused with Mrs Turley, she ran the sweet shop called Turley's next to Farmer's the Butcher's on the corner of Villa Road. Old memories A? Colin Wave Ps must point out that Eli was not a burglar, just a nickname invented by the kids at the time.
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 10:56am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4472

This sounds like an interesting thread - let's hope it stirs some memories from others Thumbs up Well done, RK !
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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3 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 11:05am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Well thanks for that MR . I hope it does, I have lots more to share about Radford , make ya hair curl lol. Colin
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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4 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 11:12am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4472

The only possible find on Ancestry is this entry in the death register : Coventry, 1975 March 1/4 - Frederick Eli A Wilkinson, (dob shown as 28 May 1901) Cannot trace a birth or an entry in the 1911 Census which would fit Sad
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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Thread starter
5 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 11:19am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Well I now know I was not dreaming it. I see you don't waste any time ,I must thank you for doing that. From the death certificate does it show any children? Thanks again M R. Colin
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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6 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 11:47am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4472

I haven't seen the death certificate, only the index to the register
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Midland Red
Cherwell
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7 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 12:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4472

It looks like he married Cynthia Buckley (nee Simpson) in 1939 - she died 1984 age 79 No Wilkinson children listed in the indexes which link
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
artful
lancashire
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8 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 3:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:140

On 30th May 2012 10:49am, Radford kid said: ....not to be confused with Mrs Turley, she ran the sweet shop called Turley's next to Farmer's the Butcher's on the corner of Villa Road. Old memories A? Colin Wave Ps must point out that Eli was not a burglar, just a nickname invented by the kids at the time.
Hi Radford Kid, I remember Turley's little shop well enough, also remember Nobby Farren's Cafe and Grocery shop which was set back from the others. Just cannot remember the other little shop you mention, what years are we talking about.
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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9 of 296  Wed 30th May 2012 9:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Hello Artful, not too sure of the year / years, about 1955-1960ish. Nell Leather was in a row of cottages opposite the Radford Common. If you were to come out of Turley's, turn right as if you were going to Heathcote Street, cross Beake Ave and you would come to small bridge over the river, then a row of cottages the first was Nell Leather, also a window cleaner lived next to her facing the Beaker cafe. One thing I do remember was being sent to Leathers for gas mantels for our gas lighting. I lived at number 404 Radford Road next to Wothington shop. The cottages were back to back, one day my Dad caught the man who lived in the front cottage nicking coal, he took out a dividing wall brick, reached through and stole coal lol. Anyway I hope that has jogged your memory. Cheers. Colin Cheers
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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Thread starter
10 of 296  Wed 6th Jun 2012 1:28pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Hello Artful this may help you locate Nell Leather's little shop, in the photo taken as the cottages were being knocked down in the far distance you can see the end of the row the last cottage, that was Nell Leather. Coming back towards this end of the row next to the lamp post that is the drive that led to Burglar Bill's bus and scrap yard and also he rented out wooden garages. Coming back this side of the drive the cottage almost removed, that's the house I was born in, gone but not forgotten. Hope this helps. And thanks to Rob for getting the photos to work. Colin
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
artful
lancashire
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11 of 296  Wed 6th Jun 2012 5:27pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:140

Hi Colin, Yes I remember the buildings well, there used to be a very large girl/woman lived in one of the houses. Do not recall ever being in Nell Leather's little shop though. Although I lived behind Radford Social Club, I spent a lot of time on the common and at the High Mounts. I'm just surprised I cannot bring you to mind. Thanks for the photo - it bought back many memories, Artful.
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
Radford kid
Coventry
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Thread starter
12 of 296  Wed 6th Jun 2012 6:06pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

Hi Artful just in case you did know me, my name is Colin Walton I went to school at Hill Farm and Barker Butts. My friends at the time --- Billy Goode , Bob Robinson, Tony Bend and Alan Mawby. I used to knock around with Mary Beacham from Villa road next to the Shaw family . Used to play on the Common and the hi-it's ( high mounts)bet we know each other. Name some of your old mates and see if we can't work it out. Best regards. Colin.
Colin Walton

"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
artful
lancashire
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13 of 296  Wed 6th Jun 2012 8:24pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:140

Colin,we certainly shared schools,I left Hill Farm in 1952 and Barkers in 12/55. My mates included Martin Tebbutt--Barry Anderton--Adrian Mogano--Terry Leslie--Alan Hunter--Eddie Harding who lived opposite Barry A on Villa Rd,Also the Edwards boy's who lived just off Brownshill Green Rd--Alan & Martin Gill--Tony Burgess--John Vernon and last but by no means least Pauline Hymers all from Dugdale Rd. The only name that rings a bell is Alan Mawby,but I didn't know the others.Perhaps there were a couple of years between us.Regards Harry.
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
MaryMc
New Zealand
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14 of 296  Mon 11th Jun 2012 2:49am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:26

On 30th May 2012 11:12am, Midland Red said: The only possible find on Ancestry is this entry in the death register : Coventry, 1975 March 1/4 - Frederick Eli A Wilkinson, (dob shown as 28 May 1901) Cannot trace a birth or an entry in the 1911 Census which would fit Sad
Name: WILKINSON, Frederick Eli A Registration district: Kings Norton County: Worcestershire Year of registration: 1901 Quarter of registration: Jul-Aug-Sep Mother's maiden name: Not available before 1911 Q3 Volume no: 6C Page no: 481
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford
MaryMc
New Zealand
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15 of 296  Mon 11th Jun 2012 2:52am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:26

He's with his Uncle in Stafffordshire in 1911 - interesting they are in the metal trade! RG14PN17985 RG78PN1094 RD383 SD4 ED43 SN297 Reg. District: Kings Norton Sub District: Smethwick Parish: Smethwick Enum. District: 43 Address: 38 Reynolds Street Smethwick Staffordshire County: Worcestershire MARTHEWS, Frederick James Head Married 5 years M 33 1878 Metal Trade Walsall Staffordshire MARTHEWS, Lebt Jane Wife Married 5 years F 30 1881 Smethwick Staffordshire MARTHEWS, Frederick James Son M 5 1906 Smethwick Staffordshire WILKINSON, George A Father Married 31 years M 61 1850 Iron Worker Smethwick Staffordshire WILKINSON, Mary Jane Mother Married 31 years F 66 1845 Smethwick Staffordshire WILKINSON, Frederick E A Nephew M 9 1902 Smethwick Staffordshire WILKINSON, Daniel E Son Single M 25 1886 Iron Worker Smethwick Staffordshire
"Burglar Bill" and other old tales of Radford

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